The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby rohana » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:I wasn't referring to questions of reality/existence. I was referring to how, as I understand it, concepts (whether true or false, real or imaginary) are not seen to "arise and cease" in the same way that thought, sensations, and so on do.

Perhaps we should clarify how we are defining the terms 'concept' and 'thought' here to avoid speaking at cross purposes. From my point of view, a concept is a mind-object; i.e. just as tastes come into contact with the tongue, concepts come into contact with the mind. When the contact between the concept, and the mind, and the mind-viññāna has been established, we become aware of the concept, and we say a thought has occured.

As for whether a concept is real or imaginary, I would say it is real in the sense that it is cognized by the mind(but this again is a bifurcation of the single thing which is simply awareness-of-the-concept), but beyond that it has no existence - i.e. concepts only arise when we look for them. (It would be meanigless to speak of concepts that lie beyond the six sense bases.) So the quesiton of reality/existence and the question of what airses and ceases is, in fact the same question.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Sylvester » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:48 am

rohana wrote:As for whether a concept is real or imaginary, I would say it is real in the sense that it is cognized by the mind(but this again is a bifurcation of the single thing which is simply awareness-of-the-concept), but beyond that it has no existence - i.e. concepts only arise when we look for them. (It would be meanigless to speak of concepts that lie beyond the six sense bases.) So the quesiton of reality/existence and the question of what airses and ceases is, in fact the same question.



What about MN 28, which suggests that any of the 6 sense objects can "be", even if there is no consciousness of it?
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby pulga » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:56 pm

rohana wrote:Perhaps we should clarify how we are defining the terms 'concept' and 'thought' here to avoid speaking at cross purposes. From my point of view, a concept is a mind-object; i.e. just as tastes come into contact with the tongue, concepts come into contact with the mind. When the contact between the concept, and the mind, and the mind-viññāna has been established, we become aware of the concept, and we say a thought has occured.


I think it is worth noting that concepts ultimately derive from the five bodily sense, whether the senses be real or imaginary (cf. the Mahávedallasuttam where the mind is designated the patisaranam of the other senses).
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:56 pm

rohana wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I wasn't referring to questions of reality/existence. I was referring to how, as I understand it, concepts (whether true or false, real or imaginary) are not seen to "arise and cease" in the same way that thought, sensations, and so on do.

Perhaps we should clarify how we are defining the terms 'concept' and 'thought' here to avoid speaking at cross purposes. From my point of view, a concept is a mind-object; i.e. just as tastes come into contact with the tongue, concepts come into contact with the mind. When the contact between the concept, and the mind, and the mind-viññāna has been established, we become aware of the concept, and we say a thought has occured.

Yes, I agree that you can see those thoughts about concepts rising and ceasing. But can you see "1+1=2" rising any ceasing? It seems to me that every time I come back to it, I get the same answer...
Similarly, when I come back to the concept of "my self", it seems rather static, though the thoughts about it rise and cease...

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:55 pm

Greetings Mike,

Mike wrote:Yes, I agree that you can see those thoughts about concepts rising and ceasing. But can you see "1+1=2" rising any ceasing? It seems to me that every time I come back to it, I get the same answer... Similarly, when I come back to the concept of "my self", it seems rather static, though the thoughts about it rise and cease...

In the examples you give in the post immediately above, your perception (sanna) is artificially cleaving out a "subject" and an "object" from your actual living experience... it's proliferating the singularity of loka (experience) into multiple differentiated and fabricated (sankhata) things, with which there is contact (phassa).

So from a practice perspective, do you think it would be easier to watch the ti-lakkhana of two artificially bifurcated things at once, or would it be easier to watch just the one that reflected the full breadth of your thought-world (namely, mind-consciousness)?

So rather, if there is no cleaving between "subject" and "object", your perception can actually align with the reality of your experience... namely, that loka consists of consciousnesses, which can be observed to have ti-lakkhana.

Snp 4.11 - Kalaha-vivada Sutta wrote:"Now where is the cause
of contact in the world,
and from where have graspings,
possessions, arisen?
When what isn't
does mine-ness not exist.
When what has disappeared
do contacts not touch?"

"Conditioned by name & form
is contact.
In longing do graspings,
possessions have their cause.
When longing isn't
mine-ness does not exist.
When forms have disappeared
contacts don't touch."


"Loka" is key here ~ not any fabricated "object". Seeing this, the question of "can you see 1+1=2 rising and ceasing?" will not arise, because one will not be observing such "objects"... the observation will be of the mind-consciousnesses that have risen. In that context, thoughts about the existence or non-existence of "1+1=2" will not arise, because the focus is on the rising and falling of present-moment consciousness, and not on the polarity of existence and non-existence of these so-called "objects" that have been artificially cleaved, formed and fabricated, out of loka. Whence does the question of existence and non-existence come to bear, when nothing is objectified? In the context of the phrase underpinning this topic, a dhamma needn't be brought to arise.

In time, what was formerly designated as "subject" (i.e. me, I, mine, atman, soul, self) and "object" will no longer "seem rather static", because you're not implicitly granting them their own separate static existence off to the side, delineated and distinct from the aspect of loka that you are actively observing.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby reflection » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:38 am

Half way I got lost in a debate I couldn't really follow, so maybe this has already been said. Still like to add it.

There is also this quote: "He who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma; he who sees the Dhamma sees dependent arising." So, seeing "whatever arises passes away" refers to understanding dependent origination for one thing. But is the quote also about arising and passing away on also small time scale? Well, understanding one is understanding the other. If from moment to moment nothing really lasts and even consciousness is impermanent, there also is nothing worth saving for another lifetime, or for some kind of heaven. To me those things are so interconnected, the quote may very well refer to both. The Buddha would obviously be wise enough to encapsulate multiple meanings in something.

(I know some people also refer to DO as having a moment-to-moment interpretation, but I don't, so I left that out of the above. But if you do, the above still goes.)
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:03 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Similarly, when I come back to the concept of "my self", it seems rather static, though the thoughts about it rise and cease...

Specific to this, you might be interested in this sutta extract...

DN 15 wrote:Delineations of a self
"To what extent, Ananda, does one delineate when delineating a self? Either delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, delineating a self formless and finite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, delineating a self formless and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and finite, either delineates it as possessed of form and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and infinite, either delineates it as possessed of form and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and infinite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and finite, either delineates it as formless and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and infinite, either delineates it as formless and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and infinite obsesses him.

Non-Delineations of a Self
"To what extent, Ananda, does one not delineate when not delineating a self? Either not delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one does not delineate that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, not delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one does not delineate that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, not delineating a self formless and finite, one does not delineate that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, not delineating a self formless and infinite, one does not delineate that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as possessed of form and finite, does not delineate it as possessed of form and finite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as possessed of form and infinite, does not delineate it as possessed of form and infinite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and infinite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and infinite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as formless and finite, does not delineate it as formless and finite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and finite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and finite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as formless and infinite, does not delineate it as formless and infinite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and infinite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and infinite does not obsess him.

Assumptions of a Self
"To what extent, Ananda, does one assume when assuming a self? Assuming feeling to be the self, one assumes that 'Feeling is my self' [or] 'Feeling is not my self: My self is oblivious [to feeling]' [or] 'Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious to feeling, but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling.'

"Now, one who says, 'Feeling is my self,' should be addressed as follows: 'There are these three feelings, my friend — feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, and feelings of neither pleasure nor pain. Which of these three feelings do you assume to be the self?' At a moment when a feeling of pleasure is sensed, no feeling of pain or of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed. Only a feeling of pleasure is sensed at that moment. At a moment when a feeling of pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure or of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed. Only a feeling of pain is sensed at that moment. At a moment when a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure or of pain is sensed. Only a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed at that moment.

"Now, a feeling of pleasure is inconstant, fabricated, dependent on conditions, subject to passing away, dissolution, fading, and cessation. A feeling of pain is inconstant, fabricated, dependent on conditions, subject to passing away, dissolution, fading, and cessation. A feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is inconstant, fabricated, dependent on conditions, subject to passing away, dissolution, fading, and cessation. Having sensed a feeling of pleasure as 'my self,' then with the cessation of one's very own feeling of pleasure, 'my self' has perished. Having sensed a feeling of pain as 'my self,' then with the cessation of one's very own feeling of pain, 'my self' has perished. Having sensed a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain as 'my self,' then with the cessation of one's very own feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, 'my self' has perished.

"Thus he assumes, assuming in the immediate present a self inconstant, entangled in pleasure and pain, subject to arising and passing away, he who says, 'Feeling is my self.' Thus in this manner, Ananda, one does not see fit to assume feeling to be the self.

"As for the person who says, 'Feeling is not the self: My self is oblivious [to feeling],' he should be addressed as follows: 'My friend, where nothing whatsoever is sensed (experienced) at all, would there be the thought, "I am"?'"

"No, lord."

"Thus in this manner, Ananda, one does not see fit to assume that 'Feeling is not my self: My self is oblivious [to feeling].'

"As for the person who says, 'Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious [to feeling], but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling,' he should be addressed as follows: 'My friend, should feelings altogether and every way stop without remainder, then with feeling completely not existing, owing to the cessation of feeling, would there be the thought, "I am"?'"

"No, lord."

"Thus in this manner, Ananda, one does not see fit to assume that 'Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious [to feeling], but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling.'

"Now, Ananda, in as far as a monk does not assume feeling to be the self, nor the self as oblivious, nor that 'My self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling,' then, not assuming in this way, he is not sustained by anything (does not cling to anything) in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"If anyone were to say with regard to a monk whose mind is thus released that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' is his view, that would be mistaken; that 'The Tathagata does not exist after death'... that 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death'... that 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death' is his view, that would be mistaken. Why? Having directly known the extent of designation and the extent of the objects of designation, the extent of expression and the extent of the objects of expression, the extent of description and the extent of the objects of description, the extent of discernment and the extent of the objects of discernment, the extent to which the cycle revolves: Having directly known that, the monk is released. [To say that,] 'The monk released, having directly known that, does not see, does not know is his opinion,' that would be mistaken.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby piotr » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:33 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:
piotr wrote:Hi Mike,

In ‘yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman’ti only a verb (atthi - to be) is omitted, a subject is there (kiñci - whatever). But it's nothing uncommon in Pāli as well as in many other languages. The usual translation might sound not so profound but I guess that in order to understand its meaning one has to connect it with specific conditionality and therefore with dependent arising.



Hi Piotr

Might you have been thinking about the auxillary verb hoti instead of atthi?

If so, you're right about its usual absence. The presence of this copula is usually a sign of lateness of that particular redaction.


Yes! Thank you for correction and additional information. :thumbsup:
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby Sylvester » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:40 am

That long extract from DN 15 is really quite to the point on the issue of whether or not the experience of ANYTHING thru the 6 sense bases is real or concocted. This ties in to the issue of whether or not the subject-object dichotomisation is something that unawakened beings slather on top of cognition.

The DN 15 extract above ends with this -

If anyone were to say with regard to a monk whose mind is thus released that 'The Tathagata exists after death,' is his view, that would be mistaken; that 'The Tathagata does not exist after death'... that 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death'... that 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death' is his view, that would be mistaken. Why? Having directly known the extent of designation and the extent of the objects of designation, the extent of expression and the extent of the objects of expression, the extent of description and the extent of the objects of description, the extent of discernment and the extent of the objects of discernment, the extent to which the cycle revolves: Having directly known that, the monk is released.


I zoom in on "designation" (adhivacana), as it is a word and concept that needs to be clearly understood, if this issue about the reality or otherwise of cognition is to be properly addressed. Adhivacana is not defined directly in DN 15, but is discussed in a somewhat mysterious manner here -

'From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes contact. Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes contact. If the qualities, traits, themes, & indicators by which there is a description of name-group (mental activity) were all absent, would designation-contact with regard to the form-group (the physical properties) be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of form-group were all absent, would resistance-contact with regard to the name-group be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name-group and form-group were all absent, would designation-contact or resistance-contact be discerned?"

"No, lord."

"If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name and form were all absent, would contact be discerned?"

"No, lord."


"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for contact, i.e., name-and-form.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I've added the text in blue to Ven T's translation, which seems to have missed out this section from the Pali.

This passage describes 2 types of contact, ie resistance-contact (paṭighasamphassa) which is functionally associated with the form-group (rūpakāya) and designation-contact (adhivacanasamphassa) which is functionally associated with the name-group (nāmakāya). BB has a very instructive analysis of how these 2 contacts function in his "The Great Discourse on Causation: The Mahānidāna Sutta and Its Commentaries". Leaving aside the Sarva and Theravada Abhidhammic limitation imposed on impingement (paṭigha), he notes that impingement signifies the impact of an object on a sense faculty. When the impingement is strong enough, a sense consciousness based on that particular sense faculty arises. The union of the sense object and the corresponding consciousness is the impingement/resistance-contact, echoing MN 28's description of the process of contact arising. On the other hand, designation (adhivacana) is naming, the sequel to the bare impingement experienced in impingement-contact. BB conveniently places paṭighasamphassa in the passive "reception" phase, while adhivacanasamphassa accounts for the "response" phase (not necessarily as in volition, but simply as naming).

The big question now is this - is experience of impingement-contact (paṭighasamphassa) tainted in the least by proliferation? DN 15 suggests that the naming function belongs to another contact, ie designation-contact (adhivacanasamphassa). In impingement-contact, the reception is plain and unalloyed by subject-object modality.

What about its sequel designation-contact? Although this contact has naming as its function, we have to be careful about tarring this aspect of cognition inevitably with the proliferation-brush. Going back to the first passage above, the sutta is careful to say "the extent of designation" (yāvatā adhivacana). In earlier passages, the question is asked "to what extent?" (kittāvatā) one delineates a self (attānaṃ paññapento) or not delineate a self (attānaṃ na paññapento) or assume a self (attānaṃ samanupassamāno). Each of the extents of the 2 cases of self delineation and self assumption are limited to very specific forms of distortions that give rise to a false sense of self. The "extent" is not dragged out ad infinitum to cover all possible types of naming or designation-contact. This much is clear, when one considers this exhortation -

Ettāvatā kho, ānanda, jāyetha vā jīyetha vā mīyetha vā cavetha vā upapajjetha vā. Ettāvatā adhivacanapatho, ettāvatā niruttipatho, ettāvatā paññattipatho, ettāvatā paññāvacaraṃ, ettāvatā vaṭṭaṃ vattati itthattaṃ paññāpanāya yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ saha viññāṇena aññamaññapaccayatā pavattati.

This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.


One gets the assurance that the bifurcation into subject-object is not an inevitable defect that is inherent in cognition. One's bare cognition is untainted by it. One's naming cognition can also be used to good effect, as long as the self-delineations are dropped. There is a range/extent to which contact can be gainfully employed towards delineating, just as there is also a limited range in which contact becomes tainted with self-delusion.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby rohana » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:22 pm

Sylvester wrote:What about MN 28, which suggests that any of the 6 sense objects can "be", even if there is no consciousness of it?

    Mahā Hatthipadōpama Sutta:
    "Now if internally the eye is intact but externally forms do not come into range, nor is there a corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, but there is no corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness."
My interpretation is that Ven. Sāriputta is explaining this at a level closer to the understanding of a puthajjana. The internal/external dichotomy is to be abandoned further along. Though I have to admit this is not a point I'm completey confident in, so may be you're right; I'll have to do some re-reading.

    Nibbāna Sermons:
    This particular thematic paragraph in the Satipaṭṭhānasutta is of paramount importance for insight meditation. Here, too, there is the mention of internal, ajjhatta, and external, bahiddhā. When one directs one's attention to one's own body and another's body separately, one might sometimes take these two concepts, internal and external, too seriously with a dogmatic attitude. One might think that there is actually something that could be called one's own or another's. But then the mode of attention next mentioned unifies the two, as internal-external, ajjhattabahiddhā, and presents them like the conjoined pair of bulls. And what does it signify? These two are not to be viewed as two extremes, they are related to each other.

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, I agree that you can see those thoughts about concepts rising and ceasing. But can you see "1+1=2" rising any ceasing? It seems to me that every time I come back to it, I get the same answer...

If you're referring to practical experience, I have to say no, my practical experience is minimal.

One more quote from the Nibbāna Sermons:

    Usually, the worldlings attribute a certain degree of reality to concepts in everyday usage. These may be reckoned as mind-objects, things that the mind attends to. The word dhamma also means 'a thing', so the worldling thinks that there is some-'thing' in each of these concepts. Or, in other words, they believe that there is some-thing as an inherent nature or essence in these objects of the mind.
    ...
    Attributing a reality to whatever concept that comes up, the worldlings create for themselves perceptions of permanence, perceptions of the beautiful, and perceptions of self. In other words, they objectify these concepts in terms of craving, conceit and views. That objectification takes the form of some inherent nature attributed to them, such as earthiness, deva-hood (etc.).
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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