I agree with your assessment. My reason for quoting the Nature article was to highlight my viewpoint that IF science continues with the posited hypothesis: “Understanding how consciousness arises from neural activity remains one of the biggest challenges for neuroscience,” they may be relegated to a dog chasing its own tail. They will never find the answer. However, perhaps I was not very clear (I have that habit). My focus was really on the question:
“How would you represent, in a list form, e.g. Step 1, Step 2…(imagine dominoes) of the operation of an average human life cycle (including the linking up of consciousness)? Where does the process begin? I know that there is no beginning to rebirth, but does the cycle begin again at death (cuti patisandhi) or a combination of death and the activation of a gandhabba? I wish to begin at the starting point of a single cycle of rebirth and create a sort of, for lack of a better phrase, time-line. At death, what triggers the rebirth process? Kamma, Gandhabba, Cuti Patisandhi??? I think, from what I have studies thus far, that the rebirth process begins with a combination of these things, but in what order, if any? Is the order specific to or determined by kamma?”
In your reply, you stated: “…consciousness can arise ONLY in a hadaya vatthu created by kammic energy. As we know, hadaya vatthu is the key element in a gandhabba.”
So, to simplify:
1. Hadaya vatthu (mind door): This is a concatenated Pali word. I noticed that the meaning of “hadaya” is “heart” in the Sutta Central dictionary.
“Hadaya: 1 The substance of the heart Mil.281; Dhs-a.140 2 “heart-basis,” the heart as basis of mind, sensorium commune Tikp.17, Tikp.26, Tikp.53 sq., Tikp.62, Tikp.256; Vism.447; Snp-a.228; Dhs-a.257, Dhs-a.264; the heart as seat of thought and feeling, esp. of strong emotion, which shows itself in the action of the heart SN.i.199.”
2. Vatthu: a site ; ground ; field ; plot ; object ; a thing ; a substance ; a story. basis, foundation, seat, (objective) substratum, substance, element Ja.i.146. -kamma “act concerning sites,” i.e. preparing the ground for building DN.i.12.
Am I to understand then that kamma is the substratum from which the hadaya vatthu is created? Existing kammic elements (as in vatthu-kamma) then refine the gandhabba element?
So, in the process of rebirth (the causal moment of rebirth) would you say that Step 1 is the creation of consciousness via vatthu-kamma, thus energizing a gandhabba?
In that sequence (if correct) what would you consider Step 2 to be? (I redirect you back to my original question as to purpose of intent.)
Your site is indispensable to me. However, I do feel like a bird following breadcrumbs from here to there and back again. Perhaps there is no other method than this. However, might I be so bold to suggest a post/section titled: Consciousness & Rebirth: How it Happens? which would be a step by step explanation beginning say from the moment that cuti patisandhi is generated.
Also, just as a suggestion, when you write a post, it would be immensely helpful to put a brief, concise definition of the Pali word. For example:
“Gandhabba Is the Essential “Seed” for the Physical Human Body
1. A human-being is born at the cuti-paṭisandhi moment first with just the “mental body.” That is the manomaya kāya or a gandhabba. Once that gandhabba “descends” to a womb, the physical body starts growing.
The alternate might be:
Gandhabba Is the Essential “Seed” for the Physical Human Body
1. A human-being is born at the cuti-paṭisandhi (joining a new life at the end of the old) moment first with just the “mental body.” That is the manomaya kāya or a gandhabba (mental body). Once that gandhabba “descends” to a womb, the physical body starts growing.