Spiny Norman wrote:
cappuccino wrote:He taught it was a reality after death.
I infer this from refuge, everlasting, safety, etc.
Nibbana is clearly a living experience, the question here is whether it is a sphere that one touches
, a state of mind free from the taints, or both.
It is similar to the debate around whether "unconditioned" is a noun or an adjective, or both.
a solid geometric figure generated by the revolution of a semicircle about its diameter; a round body whose surface is at all points equidistant from the center. Equation: x 2+ y 2+ z 2= r 2.
I think you do not literally mean sphere, so what is it that is being touched? From whence does said non-literal sphere come? Obviously, not being touched physically, it must be touched mentally. And from what you've said in this thread, it appears to me you must be conceiving of something that has always existed, that has no relation to space-time, is unchanging, is "outside" the mind, that the mind can cognize and thereby gain release from the defilements. But then, who cares about its status as object? For its only value would be its utility in destroying the defilements. For consciousness is impermanent and so would not "go to" nibbana at death but would cease like all other events of cognition do, albeit this time without a sequel.
Imagine there is a rock (a spherical one if you like
), and if you touch this rock, you instantly become happy for the rest of your life. That does not somehow identify you with the rock, nor your happiness, you are not now the rock and your happiness is also not a rock. Or perhaps you don't just have to touch the rock, but must be in constant contact with it to remain happy. So you affix the rock to your skin permanently or sew it into your flesh. The rock does not in this case become your body or even properly a part, and your happiness is still not the rock. Rather, a rock is attached to your body, is the cause of your happiness, and at death consciousness will end and thereby the rock will no longer have any utility.
It seems to me that one only has two choices, either accept that nibbana is "merely" the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion, the ending of craving, the remainderless cessation of dukkha, or nibbana is a form of consciousness. For if it were just an object of consciousness then it would have no utility and so the whole reason for you positing the notion would be nullified. Actually, there is a third option I suppose. (3) Nibbana is an object of consciousness, but not consciousness itself, and it has the attribute of making consciousness eternal/immortal so that consciousness may forever cognize nibbana.
Basically, it seems to me that the view that nibbana is a type of consciousness or an object that makes consciousness immortal stems from clinging to existence and therefore self-view. Any notion of nibbana being a reality after death is (1) you suggesting it is a reality for an eternal "you" in the form of a transcendent consciousness, or (2) it is a reality in itself, but that is of no consequence anyway since after death the individuated sequence of cognitive events having nibbana as object would have ended and thereby no longer have any relation to this reality.
And suggesting that the view "nibbana is an eternal consciousness (or related to one)" is not a self-view merely because in that consciousness no notion of self arises or is thought of seems unconvincing to my mind.
This is my rough intellectual understanding of the matter and please forgive my redundancy. To whatever extent this post produces pessimistic proliferative pondering pertaining to posthumous prospects, in anybody on a quest to become truly peaceful through this noble eightfold path, my apologies.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."
"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."