Javi wrote:With the commentary it seems to make sense to me. The "law" of patticasamuppada is just something that can be said to be stable.
Of course you wouldn't say that that "law" is some kind of ontological thing, just like you wouldn't say that the laws of physics are some ontological existing thing. It's just that the patterns of causality are repeatedly observed to be stable. You drop a ball again and again and it falls. You observe death again and again and it is conditioned by birth.
The Pali literature calls the "law" of paṭiccasamuppāda "unchanging/permanent" more or less. And that is sufficient for setting up a "first principal" of metaphysics based on the Pali.Bakmoon wrote:CecilN wrote:Javi wrote:Of course you wouldn't say that that "law" is some kind of ontological thing...
Is this a crime or sin? What is the relevance of this "ontological thing" to Buddhism?Javi wrote:just like you wouldn't say that the laws of physics are some ontological existing thing.
Please explain more?Javi wrote: It's just that the patterns of causality are repeatedly observed to be stable.
But the sutta states the patterns of causality exist independent of observation.Javi wrote:You drop a ball again and again and it falls. You observe death again and again and it is conditioned by birth.
But the sutta states the patterns of causality exist independent of observation; that is, independent of the enlightenment of a Buddha. When not one person in the universe penetrates the reality of 'not-self' (anatta), everything in the universe is still anatta.
Javi is saying that dependent origination is not an entity or substance that somehow inheres inside dhammas, but is a description of how dhammas behave. The idea that dependent origination could somehow be an entity or substance is very strange indeed I think, because dependent origination is a set of causal links. If DO were somehow a substance, it would absurdly follow that each dhamma has tucked up inside of it all twelve of the links of DO.
The secondary point that has come up (and this one relates solely to Sarvāstivāda metaphysics so is less directly relevant to practitioners as it is simply academic curiousity) in this discussion on the Paccayasutta and its āgama parallels (SN 12.20, SA 296, SF 163) (of which, I believe SA296 argues from a Sarvāstivāda POV vis-à-vis Dhamma-Theory) is whether or not the "unchanging/permanent" element/nature/quality (dhātu, in the Pali) is an integral part of the dhammas themselves or is seperate from the dhammas themselves. If the dhātu is an intrinsic element to the dhammas then the nature of being a dhamma necessitates that dhammas have a particular dhātu that is permanent (which would be the nature of being a dhamma) even if any specific dhamma was not permanent individually.
Its not the most relevant to practice however, hence why I put the discussion in "Connections to Other Paths".
A heresy in Dhamma-Theory may lead to eventual mispractice, but mainstream Buddhism does not support svabhāva Dhamma-Theory, so its a non-issue for a practitioner.