识 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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shí 识

Vijñāna / Consciousness

其字面义为理解、认识、识见,在佛教当中主要指意识功能。因为它的特殊作用,凡夫对于世界的认识产生了偏差因而导致痛苦,转变这种状态也就要从意识入手。唯识学以世间一切为意识本身的造作,通常被视为一种唯心主义。其意识内部又至少分为见分和相(xiàng)分,即能见和所见的两个方面,因而能够在没有外在世界存在的前提下,提供认知活动的基本条件。其中根据特定的认知对象又分八识:除眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意六种分别以色、声、香、味、触、法为对象的意识以外,还有末那识和阿赖耶识。第七末那识指恒常思量的功能,一方面为第六识提供依托,一方面将阿赖耶识恒常执持为实有的“自我”。而第八阿赖耶识能含藏业力种子,因而使得一切意识功能处在染污的状态下,与此同时它本身清净的本质却不发生改变。为了解决阿赖耶识这种染净同体的问题,摄论宗另举第九阿摩罗识,即清净识,以区分真妄。

Vijñāna, literally “understanding,” “recognition,” or “knowledge,” refers to the function of consciousness in Buddhism. It distorts a common man’s perception of the world and inflicts mental pain on him. To relieve the pain and restore a correct view, the man has to enhance his own consciousness. Generally regarded as a school of idealism, Yogācāra, literally “mind only,” argues that all worldly phenomena are actually shaped by consciousness, which can be divided into at least two parts: the seeing and the seen. Such consciousness is able to lay the foundation for cognition even before the external world exists. According to Yogācāra, there are eight types of consciousness based on objects of cognition. The six fundamental types of sensory consciousness of the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind respectively perceive form, sound, smell, taste, shape, and dharma. The seventh type of consciousness is  (deluded consciousness), and the eighth ālāyavijñāna (storehouse consciousness).  performs a function of constant reflection, on which the consciousness of the mind is posited. It also persistently conceives ālāyavijñāna as the physical self. Ālayavijñāna, the repository of the seeds of karma, keeps the purity of all types of consciousness from being contaminated, even though they are in a state of contamination themselves. In order to sort out the entanglement of pollution and purity, the School of the  proposes another consciousness, amalavijñāna (immaculate consciousness), which distinguishes truth from falsehood.

引例 Citation:

◎识所变相(xiàng)虽无量种,而能变识类别唯三:一谓异熟,即第八识,多异熟性故;二谓思量,即第七识,恒审思量故;三谓了境,即前六识,了境相粗故,及言显六,合为一种。(《成唯识论》卷二)

(意识所变化显现的相状虽可分为无数种,但就其能造作变化的意识功能看只有三类:其一是善恶果报,指第八识,因为它的本质多是因缘异时成熟的结果;其二是思量,即第七识,因为它恒常地审思度量;其三是了别对象,即前六识,因为它们能够分别感官认识的对象,虽然可以说显现为六种不同的形式,但其实是同一种功能。)

Although consciousness appears in numerous forms, there are only three categories of them in terms of function: (1) consciousness of karma execution, which constitutes the essence of the eighth type of consciousness, (2) consciousness of constant reflection, which refers to the seventh type of consciousness, and (3) consciousness of object recognition and distinction, which includes the first six types of consciousness for their sensory perception. Although six types are found in the last category of consciousness, they actually perform the same function. (Collected Commentaries to the Perfection of Consciousness-only)

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