Is Theravada "Realist"?

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:44 am

Akuma wrote:Mahavedalla Sutta, Vitality-Fabrications.
This is 43, not i, 43. But which part in particular of sutta 43, which covers i, 292 through i, 298 do you want us to look at.
VSM is on page 731, explanation to (i).
Whose translation are you using?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Akuma » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:49 am

Nanamoli Fifth Edition.

Herein, (i) What is the attainment of cessation! It is the non-occurrence
of consciousness and its concomitants owing to their progressive
cessation.


This is 43, not i, 43. But which part in particular of sutta 43, which covers i, 292 through i, 298 do you want us to look at.


But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrications have ceased & subsided, his verbal fabrications ... his mental fabrications have ceased & subsided, his vitality is not exhausted, his heat has not subsided, & his faculties are exceptionally clear. This is the difference between one who is dead, who has completed his time, and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:54 am

Akuma wrote:Nanamoli Fifth Edition.

Herein, (i) What is the attainment of cessation! It is the non-occurrence
of consciousness and its concomitants owing to their progressive
cessation.
Why don't you cite the chapter along with the numbered paragraph. It would be so much easier.

This is 43, not i, 43. But which part in particular of sutta 43, which covers i, 292 through i, 298 do you want us to look at.


But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrications have ceased & subsided, his verbal fabrications ... his mental fabrications have ceased & subsided, his vitality is not exhausted, his heat has not subsided, & his faculties are exceptionally clear. This is the difference between one who is dead, who has completed his time, and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling.
And your point here is?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Akuma » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:58 am

Why don't you cite the chapter along with the numbered paragraph. It would be so much easier.


Same as above. If you wouldve had the intention to look for it there is a chapter about cessation which you couldve found on your own several times already.

And your point here is?


You are obviously missing the required knowledge to understand the arguments and I am tired of repeating myself.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:08 am

Akuma wrote:VSM is on page 731, explanation to (i).

As Tilt says, it would be useful to quote the paragraph so it's easy to find.

I guess you mean what's on page 731 of my print edition.
In the PDF on Access to Insight it's Page 735, so the paragraph: XXIII.18 is useful:
18. Herein, (i) What is the attainment of cessation? It is the non-occurrence of
consciousness and its concomitants owing to their progressive cessation.
(ii) Who attains it? (iii) Who do not attain it? No ordinary men, no stream-
enterers or once-returners, and no non-returners and Arahants who are bare-
insight workers attain it. But both non-returners and those with cankers destroyed
(Arahants) who are obtainers of the eight attainments attain it. For it is said:
“Understanding that is mastery, owing to possession of two powers, to the
tranquilization of three formations, to sixteen kinds of exercise of knowledge,
and to nine kinds of exercise of concentration, is knowledge of the attainment of
cessation” (Paþis I 97). And these qualifications are not to be found together in
any persons other than non-returners and those whose cankers are destroyed,
who are obtainers of the eight attainments. That is why only they and no others
attain it.

:anjali:
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:09 am

Akuma wrote:
Why don't you cite the chapter along with the numbered paragraph. It would be so much easier.


Same as above. If you wouldve had the intention to look for it there is a chapter about cessation which you couldve found on your own several times already.
So, in other words, you are not even willing to carefully cite your sources so that that whomever you are talking with can look at what is being said in context. It is the polite thing to do. Also, we have seen here that you seem to not really know how to cite properly stuff from the suttas and other texts, and seriously, concerning the VSM, how hard is it to cite a chapter number and the number of the numbered paragraph in that chapter? The problem here lies with thee, not me.

And your point here is?


You are obviously missing the required knowledge to understand the arguments and I am tired of repeating myself.
You have not presented an actual argument, and in other words, you are unwilling to actually formulate an actual structured argument, so who really knows what your point or argument is.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:24 am

All this talk about the so-called "holes" in Early Buddhism leads me to wonder if the "holes" are subjective to the thinker. "Subjective" insofar as the scholar pre-occupied with trying to account for effects that seem to be unmediated by something already goes beyond, by assuming as a zeroth premise that the Buddha was interested in that "something". This search for a container/mediator/medium for kamma/vipaka, arising of consciousness etc etc smacks of the very Realist/Materialist assumptions about the behaviour of dhammas/dharmas as cause and effect.

You don't see theoretical physicists grieving like Sarvastivadins or Yogacarins in an attempt to find a mediator for the peculiar effects of Quantum Entanglement. If it works mathematically and is demonstrated empirically, why assume that a mediator is required? Even if a mediator is required, why assume that the mediator is limited by one's imagination and limited familiarity with the laws of the universe?

Likewise, Sarvastivadins and Yogacarins flopping around in pre-industrialised India are limited by their agrarian imagination and cosmology. Why must we accept their limited imagination as posing the right question or assuming the right premises that a mediator which fits their world-view is needed for these "spooky action at a distance/temporal seperation"?
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:55 am

Geez, Sylvester, you are such a spoil-sport, but, honestly, you are quite correct. This "holes" business is wholly beside the point, pointing to, as you correcting point out, a need to have some sort of agent to explain everything, which is wholly pointless.

Also, you may have caught above that our holey guy, when first asked about the supposed holes and where they are found, gave us: "They are located in the Theravada philosophy and have been pointed out by f.e. Vasubandhu, Nagarjuna or in the Mahavibasha or Vijnaanakayasastra," as if these texts had any relevance to the Theravada.

Be that as it may, your comment here on this "hole" issue is wholly to the point. Thanks.

Sylvester wrote:All this talk about the so-called "holes" in Early Buddhism leads me to wonder if the "holes" are subjective to the thinker. "Subjective" insofar as the scholar pre-occupied with trying to account for effects that seem to be unmediated by something already goes beyond, by assuming as a zeroth premise that the Buddha was interested in that "something". This search for a container/mediator/medium for kamma/vipaka, arising of consciousness etc etc smacks of the very Realist/Materialist assumptions about the behaviour of dhammas/dharmas as cause and effect.

You don't see theoretical physicists grieving like Sarvastivadins or Yogacarins in an attempt to find a mediator for the peculiar effects of Quantum Entanglement. If it works mathematically and is demonstrated empirically, why assume that a mediator is required? Even if a mediator is required, why assume that the mediator is limited by one's imagination and limited familiarity with the laws of the universe?

Likewise, Sarvastivadins and Yogacarins flopping around in pre-industrialised India are limited by their agrarian imagination and cosmology. Why must we accept their limited imagination as posing the right question or assuming the right premises that a mediator which fits their world-view is needed for these "spooky action at a distance/temporal seperation"?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:13 am

I knew I was missing something, when I forgot to include "agent" in the litany...
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Gena1480 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:52 pm

if you don't think about existence
then you don't think about non existence
there is only five clinging aggregates, existence and non existence, do not apply
there is only five non clinging aggregates, existence and non existence, do not apply
there is no five aggregates, existence and non existence , do not apply
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:41 pm

I believe Retro's OP was a question about metaphysical realism, not direct realism. But most of you focused on direct realism, which seemed to derail the thread. Theravada is not a school of realism in the western sense, but the commentarial tradition clearly advanced theories of metaphysical realism and downplayed the direct realism aspects (Mahayana picked it up from there and transformed it into more direct realism, and eventually idealistic, terms). The Buddha was clear that "EXISTENCE," "non-existence," etc... were irrelevant to his Dhamma. He clearly defined consciousness, and no matter how hard we push the inferential envelope, a teaching from the Buddha about "mediated consciousness" exists only in the minds of those who've made inferential leaps.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:20 am

danieLion wrote:I believe Retro's OP was a question about metaphysical realism, not direct realism.


And in what way isn't direct realism a metaphysical teaching?

danieLion wrote: Theravada is not a school of realism in the western sense,


Realism in sense of mind independent matter. This is allowed in Orthodox Theravada. Rūpa can be without nāma, thus realism in that regard.

Vibhaṅgapāḷi PTS 419 it says this about Asaññasattā:
1017.... Asaññasattānaṃ devānaṃ upapattikkhaṇe eko khandho pātubhavati – rūpakkhandho; dve āyatanāni pātubhavanti – rūpāyatanaṃ, dhammāyatanaṃ; dve dhātuyo pātubhavanti – rūpadhātu, dhammadhātu; ekaṃ saccaṃ pātubhavati – dukkhasaccaṃ; ekindriyaṃ pātubhavati – rūpajīvitindriyaṃ. Asaññasattā devā ahetukā anāhārā aphassakā avedanakā asaññakā acetanakā acittakā pātubhavanti.

Please note that rūpakkhandho is present even though there are no mental things such as: vedana, sañña, cetana, citta. So rūpakkhandha can exist independent of mind. That is realism in that regard.


danieLion wrote:The Buddha was clear that "EXISTENCE," "non-existence," etc... were irrelevant to his Dhamma.


I think that in context of SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta it means:
a) Buddha refuted static existence or non-existence. When there are appropriate causes, that thing exists. When there aren't causes for existence of that thing, then it doesn't exist.

b) Dependent Origination focus on arising and ceasing of suffering, an experiential truth, not about ontological external world beyond experience and beyond any relevance to the issue of suffering here and now.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:28 am

Greetings,

retrofuturist wrote:Friends, is Theravada Realist? If so, in what form?

danieLion wrote:I believe Retro's OP was a question about metaphysical realism, not direct realism.

In the context of the topic, any form of realism is fine for discussion.

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: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby chownah » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:05 am

chownah wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
chownah wrote:Good. If I'm reading you correctly you are saying that forms, odors, flavors, sounds, tactile sensations, and ideas (this list is from The All at your link) all have an "objective base" called "ayatana" and that the base of the six on the list, namely "ayatana" exists whether we cognize any of the six on the list or not....


Right, except that I mention only 5 āyatana. More detailed description of them is found in corresponding section of VsM.

Alex123,
I looked through alot of the posts trying to find where you referenced VsM and only found one place where you only posted Pali. I didn't look through every post. Can you provide a link here to the VsM in English? I went to Nayanatiloka's dictionary and there is a detailed discussion of ayatana...the first definition pertains to jhana so I think it is not what we are discussing...I pasted here the first part of the second definition which I think is pertinent:

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... dic3_a.htm
Āyatana:
1: Spheres, is a name for the four formless absorptions; see: jhāna 5-8.
2: The 12 sources or bases on which depend the mental processes, consist of five physical sense-organs and consciousness, being the six internal ajjhattika sources; and the six objects, the so-called external bāhira sources - namely:

- eye, or visual organ and visible object
- ear, or auditory organ and sound, or audible object
- nose, or olfactory organ and odour, or olfactive object
- tongue, or gustatory organ and taste, or gustative object
- body, or tactile organ and body-contact, or tactile object
- mind-base, or consciousness and idea or mental-object manāyatana dhammāyatana

It seems that this definition is saying that ayatana is itself made up of both the six sense bases and the six sense objects.......it does not seem to be saying that ayatana is a basis from which these are derived. I am in agreement with this definition in that these twelve items are contained in The All. I think that your position differs from mine in that I think that you are describing ayatana as being some substrate from which the five sense objects arise. I'm hoping that you can provide another link or more which provides more perspective on this.
Also, an important question for me in this is how would it be in any way possible to know if "ayatana" exists when we don't cognize it?
chownah

Alex123,
I'm hoping we can further our discussion of "ayatana" ....
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:18 am

Hi Chownah,

There are 6 internal and 6 external āyatanas. So total of 12 āyatana.

""'The six internal media should be known (ajjhattikāni āyatanāni).' ... The eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium.
"'The six external media (bāhirāni āyatanāni) should be known.' ... The form-medium, the sound-medium, the aroma-medium, the flavor-medium, the tactile sensation-medium, the idea-medium. '

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

There can be external āyatana, Rūpāyatanaṃ is one of them. And since rūpa as part of rūpakkhandha can exist independent of mind (vedanā, saññā, cetanā, citta), it means that in that regard the teaching is realist. Vibhaṅgapāḷi PTS 419.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby ground » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:20 am

Alex123 wrote:And since rūpa as part of rūpakkhandha can exist independent of mind (vedanā, saññā, cetanā, citta), it means that in that regard the teaching is realist. Vibhaṅgapāḷi PTS 419.


If the suttas would teach that it could "exist" independent of mind then there would not be the concept of "nama-rupa" taught by the suttas.
This view that it can "exist" independent of mind is completely counter the teachings of dependent origination.

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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby alan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:47 am

You don't know what the hell you are talking about.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:49 am

Greetings Alan,

Actually, I think what he says makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps you could provide an alternative position, question his, or sit on your hands?

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: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby alan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:00 am

Please translate.
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Re: Is Theravada "Realist"?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:06 am

TMingyur wrote:
Alex123 wrote:And since rūpa as part of rūpakkhandha can exist independent of mind (vedanā, saññā, cetanā, citta), it means that in that regard the teaching is realist. Vibhaṅgapāḷi PTS 419.


If the suttas would teach that it could "exist" independent of mind then there would not be the concept of "nama-rupa" taught by the suttas.
This view that it can "exist" independent of mind is completely counter the teachings of dependent origination.

Doesn't this whole thing hinge on how one defines "exists"?

It seems to me that many of these disagreements come from trying to insist that the highly technical analysis of "the (experiential) world" in terms of sense bases and object, etc, has to be applied to "conventional" descriptions in the suttas of object like logs or rocks.

:anjali:
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