Week 2: Discrimination

(mental event 2:51, omnipresent mental event 2:5)





འདུ་ཤེས་ (‘du shes)

discrimination: that which apprehends characteristics

The second of the five omnipresent mental events is discrimination. Discrimination is defined as that which apprehends characteristics. There are two types of discrimination, the discrimination of objects and the discrimination of conventional expressions.

The discrimination of objects refers to apprehending the characteristics of an object. This is the ability to apprehend each specifically characterized phenomenon (SCP) individually without mixing up its features.

The discrimination of conventional expression refers to apprehending the characteristics of what a conventional expression refers to. We are able to understand what expressions like “that’s a person” and “that’s a pillar” refer to.

There are two ways to divide discrimination can also be divided into six types: one is from the point of view of the support of discrimination (which of the six sense faculties is doing the discriminating) and one is from the point of view of the object.

  1. Concerning the discrimination of conventional expression, does this refer to going from conventional expression (GCP) to referent?

It seems that going from object to GCP would be something else. I am under the impression that being able to label an object with a word (from SCP to GCP) would involve a second moment of mind and therefore not be one of the five omnipresent mental events.

  1. Is this “discrimination” that is referred to in the Five Buddha Families presentation, “discriminating wisdom”? I always thought that ”discriminating wisdom” referred to knowing what to adopt and what to reject. Are these connected? If so, how?