Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:12 am

Hello Tinhtan,

tinhtan wrote:From my personal experience, the magnifiant glasses show you clearly the small part but it also hide the whole picture. Oh yes ! that's maybe the reason why you don't see the whole path described in the 37 Boddhipakiyadhamma , especially the "four bases of power". (note that they are also taught in the 2nd book of the Abhidhamma pitaka).


The big picture is made of small parts, and these small parts can play a deciseve role in big scheme of things.


As for 37 Factors of Awakening. According to Ptsm (Sutta Pitaka) TREATISE XXIII chapter "Convergence" they happen at the moment of path&fruit (maggaphala). In fact so does N8P, and 5 faculties happen at the maggaphala moment.




Your kind of resolution "do not think any thought or imagine any thing" is incorrect. In the samatha meditation, you have just to apply your attention to an unique subject of meditation, that's it.


I've tried that too. It doesn't for with my current conditions.



- Can you tell me what is the pre-requisite condition before listening the Dhamma ?


Associating with those who know the Dhamma. For them one needs good enough results of kamma, plus all the physical necessities required. One needs to be alive, be able to hear or see, have the physical circumstances necessary to visit them (or read Dhamma books), etc.


- Could you explain more in a pratical way what do you mean by "considering the Dhamma" ?


Thinking about Dhamma such as 4NT, anicca-dukkha-anatta-conditionality, drawbacks, in such a way to weaken craving & ignorance and to understand Dhamma more.


- What do you think about the proved formula Sila->Samadhi->Panna (in the context of the Buddha teachings, of course) ?


These are physical and mental actions that happen due to corresponding causes. These can occur in momentary fashion as in Bahiya's case where 4 paths and 4 fruits happened within minutes or seconds.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:26 am

Alex123 wrote:
- Can you tell me what is the pre-requisite condition before listening the Dhamma ?


Associating with those who know the Dhamma. For them one needs good enough results of kamma, plus all the physical necessities required. One needs to be alive, be able to hear or see, have the physical circumstances necessary to visit them (or read Dhamma books), etc.
Is associating with others a choice or is just more leaves blowing in the winds of external causes over which we can exert no influence?


- Could you explain more in a pratical way what do you mean by "considering the Dhamma" ?


Thinking about Dhamma such as 4NT, anicca-dukkha-anatta-conditionality, drawbacks, in such a way to weaken craving & ignorance and to understand Dhamma more.
Thinking is not a choice, according to you, which would mean the only way I could think about something is if some external force cause me to think - in other words, thinking, being nothing more than leaves blowing in the wind, is a process that just happens as a result of mechanical causality. There being no choice, there is no moral imperative or responsibility, making purity of mind and action, as advocated by the Buddha nothing more than falling dominoes. Wow. Now that is a religion.
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:32 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:You may believe that we are naught more than leaves blowing in the winds,


Because there is no Atta, or cetana beyond and above 5 aggregates (which are fully conditioned). Without an outside force, one cannot control 5 aggregates, which include choice.

tiltbillings wrote:Also, your above statement is simply incoherent as is your overarching argument. You state: “There can be many dynamic causes for the choice,” but if we are leaves blowing in the winds and your mechanical, linear X always gives rise to Y, then there is nothing that could possibly be called choice.


This is what I tried to explain to you in the original thread, except I would say "there is nothing that could possibly be called free choice" . Conventionally choice occurs, but since it is within aggregates, it is conditioned like those aggregates.

tiltbillings wrote:Choice, of course, requires viable albeit conditioned options, but for you, no such thing as viable options exists, which renders your above paragraph meaningless.


Perceived options exist. But the options that are available are fully conditioned, and so is the motive for chosing this vs that option, and the final choice of option is fully conditioned.



tiltbillings wrote:So, rather than actually deal with the Buddha’s words that talk about choice, we have to listen to you expound your un-Buddhist theories based upon vague generalities.


Same can be said about your idea of unconditioned cetana (which appears like an idea of Atta as controler). Or if you do say that cetana is conditioned, what you don't admit is that it is dependent on conditions - not on choice above and beyond conditions.


tiltbillings wrote:As the Buddha makes quite clear in the words I quoted, control, in the sense he is advocating, in the texts I have quoted, is the result of active choices of the individual, not external forces acting upon the individual in a dead mechanical fashion.


In what way does what you say differ from teaching of Atta or Puggala?


tiltbillings wrote:The thing is, Alex, the Buddha taught how use the very nature of conditionality to modify it and to gain insight into it in order to free one’s self from its enslavement.


All that is fully conditioned. There is nothing beyond and above conditionality that can do it out of its own wish. Part of what makes Path to Arhatship possible is that "hearing the Dhamma" adds certain new conditions that will be responsible for the conditions to be modified such so they would develop toward Arhatship.



Either we grow up and take responsibility for our actions, acting as the Buddha taught, or we become sad little things blown about by forces out of our control, hiding behind that as an excuse, finding a childish liberation in no responsibility, rather than striving to become the adult the Buddha demands of us.

[/quote]

Determinism doesn't require one to be irresponsible (there is no full choice!). It requires understanding of Anatta, conditionality, and not giving "oneself" credit for what occurs.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 am

Greetings Alex,

How do you define "conditioned" in the context you've used it in the above post (and now in the post below)?

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: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:39 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote: Is associating with others a choice or is just more leaves blowing in the winds of external causes over which we can exert no influence?


It is due to many conditions, including "choice". But the choice is not free choice, and all of this is fully conditioned.

tiltbillings wrote:Thinking is not a choice, according to you,


It is a deliberate activity that arises due to conditions. It is not free choice, or control over aggregates. Just a conditioned event.


tiltbillings wrote:which would mean the only way I could think about something is if some external force cause me to think


Isn't this what happens? Often we think what we were taught to think by parents, friends, media, teachers, books we read and so on.

I don't know about you, but I don't believe that Alex causes Alex to think. Alex, and "his" thoughts are just a conditioned process that is inconstant. unsatisfactory and not self. Ultimately there is no Alex! It is just a convention.


tiltbillings wrote:- in other words, thinking, being nothing more than leaves blowing in the wind, is a process that just happens as a result of mechanical causality.


Thinking occurs due to causes and conditions. Not due to Self, Person, or Cetana that is above and beyond 5 aggregates.

tiltbillings wrote: There being no choice, there is no moral imperative or responsibility,


There is. Good actions leads to good results, bad actions lead to bad results. There are moral and immoral actions. I've never meant otherwise. What I oppose is the idea of control, or acausality of moral/immoral actions.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:43 am

Hi Retro, all,

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,
How do you define "conditioned" in the context you've used it in the above post?
Metta,
Retro. :)


Something that is dependent on conditions, and not due to itself.


There doesn't have to be one condition for one result- there can be many conditions for a certain effect to occur, and additional conditions can modify the effect.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:56 am

Hello Tilt, Retro, all,

Nidana Samyutta has many interesting suttas.

“How is it, Master Gotama, is suffering created by oneself?”
“Not so, Kassapa,” the Blessed One said.
“Then, Master Gotama, is suffering created by another?”
“Not so, Kassapa,” the Blessed One said.
“How is it then, Master Gotama, is suffering created both by oneself and by another?”
“Not so, Kassapa,” the Blessed One said.
“Then, Master Gotama, has suffering arisen fortuitously, being created neither by one
self nor by another?”
“Not so, Kassapa,” the Blessed One said.
[alex: The the Buddha explained His rejection as being D.O. which doesn't deal with agents, but with impersonal causes]
SN12.17 (7) The Naked Ascetic Kassapa Ven BB Trans.


So, one doesn't create suffering. Conditions of Dependent Origination do. "One" (be it self, will, choice or anything above conditions) does NOT factor in. Because there is nothing outside and beyond of 5 aggregates, 5 aggregates are all things that are. And they follow their conditions that dictate what will occur to them.


Same is taught in other suttas such as SN12.18 (8) Timbaruka about "pleasure and pain". It is not causes by Self, Other, both, or random. It arises as part of D.O.


“Venerable sir, what now are volitional constructions, and for whom are there these volitional constructions?
“Not a proper question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now are volitional constructions, and for whom are there these volitional constructions?’ or whether one says, ‘Volitional constructions are one thing, the one for whom there are these volitional constructions is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing…. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the
Tathågata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: ‘With ignorance as condition, volitional constructions.’ “But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance, whatever kinds of contortions, writhings, and vacillations there may be&108—’What now is aging-and-death, and for whom is there this aging-and-death?’ or ‘Aging-and-death is one thing, the one for whom there is this aging-and-death is another,’ or ‘The soul and the body are the
same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’—all these are abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising.&
SN12.35 (5) With Ignorance as Condition BB Trans


Volitional formations are, but they are not a property of anyone. They arise due to ignorance, not due free choice or wish of one. Volitional formations are fully dependent on their condition. Volitional formations cease when their condition ceases.


As I understand it, all conditions of D.O. are sufficient.

D.O. is not cut at "feeling->craving" part of D.O. , but at "ignorance".


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:03 am

Greetings Alex123,

Alex123 wrote:So, one doesn't create suffering. Conditions of Dependent Origination do. "One" (be it self, will, choice or anything above conditions) does NOT factor in.

...

Volitional formations are, but they are not a property of anyone.

I struggle to believe that after all these posts in this topic and the last, you still think that is what other people here are saying.

You really are arguing with straw-men... straw-men that exist only in your mind and nowhere else in this discussion forum.

You understand how cetana co-incides with anatta... congratulations.... as far as I can tell, so does everyone else who has participated in the discussion.

It's quite evident that you don't really listen to what other people say... you simply use their words as fodder for yet another rehash of your view.

Are you going to stop any time soon? Or maybe actually engage properly with what people are saying, rather than assuming they have Wrong View re: atman?

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: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:
You really are arguing with straw-men... straw-men that exist only in your mind and nowhere else in this discussion forum.
You understand how cetana co-incides with anatta... congratulations.... as far as I can tell, so does everyone else who has participated in the discussion.
It's quite evident that you don't really listen to what other people say... you simply use their words as fodder for yet another rehash of your view.
Are you going to stop any time soon? Or maybe actually engage properly with what people are saying, rather than assuming they have Wrong View re: atman?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Here is the problem.

1) If cetana is anatta, then it is fully conditioned.
2) What is fully conditioned is controlled by conditions
3) What is controlled by conditions is not "free", it doesn't occur by itself. It is like "a leaf being blown by the wind". There is no free choice. The deliberation, available options, choice are fully conditioned.

What makes something atta, among other factors, is
4) Being able to control it.
5) Being outside of conditions (thus it could be outside of causes for decay, and thus be permanent. Outside of conditions creating dukkha and thus be sukha, etc).

with which points don't you agree?


When someone claims that there is a real choice (in the sense of free choice) that for all the intents and purposes would fit into #4 and #5 and be Atta. The only difference is in the expression used, not the intent. If one agrees with #1-3 then the choice is not a real full choice. It is like "a leaf being blown by the wind". If there is no Self, then cetana is like a leaf that doesn't have Self-power, the leaf is totally moved by the wind.


With metta,

Alex
Last edited by Alex123 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:22 am

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:Here is the problem.

1) If cetana is anatta, then it is fully conditioned.
2) What is fully conditioned is controlled by conditions
3) What is controlled by conditions is not "free", it doesn't occur by itself. It is like "a leaf being blown by the wind". There is no free choice.

What makes something atta, among other factors, is
4) Being able to control it.
5) Being outside of conditions (thus it could be outside of causes for decay, and thus be permanent. Outside of conditions creating dukkha and thus sukha, etc).

with which points don't you agree?

I don't agree with the all or nothing, black and white manner in which you frame this proposition. The only two propositions you acknowledge are Atman/Free-Will and Anatta/Fatalism... the notion that there might be something else, or something inbetween, is not acknowledged in your words.

Alex123 wrote:When someone claims that there is a real choice (in the sense of free choice) that for all intents and purposes would fit into #4 and #5 and be Atta.

See? You're doing it again. Where has anyone here advocated "free choice"? You simply do not listen, and you argue with shadows.

As is often the way, the middle way of the Dhamma is one that transcends polar dichotomies.

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: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby ground » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:28 am

As a compromise I would like to suggest that once a human has been taught about conditionality she/he may access the sphere of "free will" to a degree that correlates with the development of the understanding of conditionality.


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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:30 am

Hi Retro, all,

retrofuturist wrote:I don't agree with the all or nothing, black and white manner in which you frame this proposition. The only two propositions you acknowledge are Atman/Free-Will and Anatta/Fatalism... the notion that there might be something else, or something inbetween, is not acknowledged in your words.


There is causality and acausality. No real 3rd option that makes sense. We could mix two to create (causality for some things and acausality for other) a 3rd alternative. But this 3rd alternative shares the problem of first two.

1) If choice arises due to causes, then causes dictate the choice. So the choice is not real choice, but merely a "leaf being blown in the wind".
2) If choice doesn't arise due to causes, then it is not free choice either. There was no cause to make it arise. It just randomly appeared. This has no control as well. No control in either case.

The 3rd possible option is just combination of first 2 and shares their problems.


It is possible for some to imagine that there is real choice, real possibility to go against conditioning - but what does it and why? This is where idea of Self arises. Even though one may not call it "Self", for all intents and purposes it is.

The idea of a choice that is somehow free to choose this or that choice despite the conditions, is simply a disguised idea of a Self. The Self is the idea of something above causes, or something that can go against causes.

As is often the way, the middle way of the Dhamma is one that transcends polar dichotomies.

Metta,
Retro. :)


And the primary dichotomy in Dhamma is existence of the Self after death or parinibbana. If there was real Self prior to death, then there are two options: Either this Self is annihilated at death which is annihilationism, or it eternally exists which is eternalism.

Or who reaps the results of Kamma. Self or other?


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:51 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You may believe that we are naught more than leaves blowing in the winds,


Because there is no Atta, or cetana beyond and above 5 aggregates (which are fully conditioned). Without an outside force, one cannot control 5 aggregates, which include choice.
That is not what the Buddha said, as has been shown to you in detail, but then never mind what one shows you; you just ignore it.

tiltbillings wrote:Also, your above statement is simply incoherent as is your overarching argument. You state: “There can be many dynamic causes for the choice,” but if we are leaves blowing in the winds and your mechanical, linear X always gives rise to Y, then there is nothing that could possibly be called choice.


This is what I tried to explain to you in the original thread, except I would say "there is nothing that could possibly be called free choice" . Conventionally choice occurs, but since it is within aggregates, it is conditioned like those aggregates.
Geez, Alex, you do not make a consistent argument from one posting to the next. Now there is “conventional” choice. I have never argued for “free choice,” which is your bugbear. Choice, Alex, is conditioned. I never said it was not, but for choice to be really choice there has be viable options. If, Alex, there are no viable options upon which to act for the individual, there IS no choice, but keep in mind, Alex, that conventional Dhamma language, that of the suttas and what I have been adhering to all along, is - according to the Theravada - no less true than the supposed “ultimate” Dhamma language -- that is to say, speaking of the reality of choice from a standpoint of conventional Dhamma language is speaking the Dhamma/Truth.

While we cannot control the aggregates in a way that runs counter to the principles of conditionality as the Buddha clearly states we cannot, we can, as the Buddha clearly points out in the texts I quoted, choose to act one way or another; we can act in a way that positively influences/alters our conditioning, giving us the control/mastery over the senses the Buddha said that we can have, or we can act in a way that binds us more sharply to samsara. It is our choice; that is the Buddha’s teachings and the texts I quoted support this.

tiltbillings wrote:Choice, of course, requires viable albeit conditioned options, but for you, no such thing as viable options exists, which renders your above paragraph meaningless.


Perceived options exist. But the options that are available are fully conditioned, and so is the motive for chosing this vs that option, and the final choice of option is fully conditioned.
If it is a choice there has to be viable options from which to choose, to act - kamma - and there has to be consequences of the kamma - choice -, and all of this can exist with the matrix of conditionality, but choice certainly cannot exist in the dead world of mechanical causality where we are naught but inert leaves blowing in the wind, which is what you have been claiming we are.

tiltbillings wrote:So, rather than actually deal with the Buddha’s words that talk about choice, we have to listen to you expound your un-Buddhist theories based upon vague generalities.


Same can be said about your idea of unconditioned cetana (which appears like an idea of Atta as controler). Or if you do say that cetana is conditioned, what you don't admit is that it is dependent on conditions - not on choice above and beyond conditions.
This is the sort of insulting and silly response you repeatedly give us here. Why do you do that? It is as if I never wrote a word about any of this. You just say this stuff without any regard for what I have repeatedly and directly said. It is insulting.

So, let is look at this stuff you have just claimed of me. You state: “Same can be said about your idea of unconditioned cetana (which appears like an idea of Atta as controler). I have never, ever advocated an “unconditioned cetanā.” This is a repeated accusation of yours, but it speaks of your insulting manner of dealing with those who disagree with you. Rather than deal honestly with your opponents arguments, you repeatedly mis-characterize them, trying to deflect the argument back upon them as if they are the ones with the problem. Why do you do that?

Next you say: “Or if you do say that cetana is conditioned, what you don't admit is that it is dependent on conditions - not on choice above and beyond conditions.” This statement of your is remarkably stupid. If I said cetanā is conditioned, that IS an admission that cetanā IS conditioned. I have said it directly repeatedly that choice, kamma, intention is conditioned and conditioning. You do not have the simple decency to actually engage the other person’s argument as they have actually presented it. You are playing these silly games of straw-man and misdirection as these two sentences so sadly illustrate. Why do you do that?

tiltbillings wrote:As the Buddha makes quite clear in the words I quoted, control, in the sense he is advocating, in the texts I have quoted, is the result of active choices of the individual, not external forces acting upon the individual in a dead mechanical fashion.


In what way does what you say differ from teaching of Atta or Puggala?
Here you go again, trying to deflect the conversation, turning it back on me rather than you directly addressing the point raised by the quotations.

But I’ll answer your accusation. Since I quoted what the Buddha said, where he outlined choices we can make in order to follow the Dhamma, I would assume that when the Buddha talked about these things he was not referring to some sort of unconditioned attā or a puggala. So, if the Buddha is not referring to any of this, there would be no need for me to do so.

tiltbillings wrote:The thing is, Alex, the Buddha taught how use the very nature of conditionality to modify it and to gain insight into it in order to free one’s self from its enslavement.


All that is fully conditioned. There is nothing beyond and above conditionality that can do it out of its own wish. Part of what makes Path to Arhatship possible is that "hearing the Dhamma" adds certain new conditions that will be responsible for the conditions to be modified such so they would develop toward Arhatship.
Again, with the straw-man non-sequitur of “nothing beyond and above conditionality.” Since I have not advocated anything like that, there is no need to respond to this, but it is worth pointing out that rather that directly dealing with what I said, you again tried to deflect the discussion with your usual straw-man non-sequitur

Either we grow up and take responsibility for our actions, acting as the Buddha taught, or we become sad little things blown about by forces out of our control, hiding behind that as an excuse, finding a childish liberation in no responsibility, rather than striving to become the adult the Buddha demands of us.

Determinism doesn't require one to be irresponsible (there is no full choice!). It requires understanding of Anatta, conditionality, and not giving "oneself" credit for what occurs.
Again, a very silly and a really not getting it response from you. There is no responsible or irresponsible in determinism of being naught more than leaves blown about by the winds. Being responsible or irresponsible requires actual, real choice with real consequences, which you seem to deny, but what you actually believe is difficult to figure out given your confused stance on things here.

You have been called out repeatedly about the straw-man stuff. Time to stop it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:51 am

Interesting.

It might be useful to keep in mind that some on this thread may have actually have reached the insight knowledge of paccaya-pariggaha nana and are speaking from this evolved view point. Their understanding of causality is deeper, hence the worldling may not see it this way. However their view is correct.

It can be seen that if choice is seen as fully conditioned by previous phenomena, this leads to a deeper state of acceptance of anatta. This means that the progress through seeing causality (paccayaparigghaha nana) into seeing the three characteristics (sammasana nana) can happen without an obstacle- hence a further clue that this line of reasoning might be correct. However unpleasant it maybe.

It is wise to be prepared for the horror that is dukkha - if you are 'getting it' correctly your face should look something like this: :jawdrop: ..... :tongue: Don't be fooled into thinking that the Buddha did not teach things which are not rosy and peachy. He was full on :jedi:

Finally I might add that the insight knowledges are special just because they are difficult to 'get'. It is not for the meek and the mild.

with metta

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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Theravadidiliana » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:56 am

rowyourboat wrote:In
It is wise to be prepared for the horror that is dukkha - if you are 'getting it' correctly your face should look something like this: :jawdrop: ..... :tongue: Don't be fooled into thinking that the Buddha did not teach things which are not rosy and peachy. He was full on :jedi:

Finally I might add that the insight knowledges are special just because they are difficult to 'get'. It is not for the meek and the mild.

with metta

Matheesha/RYB



In total agreement with you there rowyourboat. Not for the faint of hearted. Practice insight at your own risk..hehe!

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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:03 pm

Could someone please summarize what this debate is about? Without having read beyond the first page I am fairly perplexed as to why such a categorical piece of doctrine (that we have choice) has spawned 9 pages of debate. Fairly perplexed is an understatement, I am outright confused...

metta
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Last edited by BlackBird on Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby tinhtan » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:04 pm

Hello Alex
just my last answer

Alex123 wrote:The big picture is made of small parts, and these small parts can play a deciseve role in big scheme of things.

when over-ampplifying particular small parts, they will put the whole picture in an unbalanced state.
now relax, I remember a history about "who have a decisive role ?"
- the brain says me, the heart says me, the stomach says me, the kidneys say me, .... and the anus, face to such trouble, decide to protest on unlimited strike. All the others are laughing at the anus.
But after 3 days, 7 days, finally 10 days later, all begin to be really really unconfortable, 20 days later, every one realizes that if the anus strike continues, it will be a serious issue of dead or alive ! then they all agree that the anus plays a decisive role !
This reminds that each part have a reason in existence and a function to accomplish. If all play its role in harmony, so the result will be a heatlhy state.

______________________________

Alex123 wrote:As for 37 Factors of Awakening. According to Ptsm (Sutta Pitaka) TREATISE XXIII chapter "Convergence" they happen at the moment of path&fruit (maggaphala). In fact so does N8P, and 5 faculties happen at the maggaphala moment.

This is not an answer from a yogi (who practices) ,... You escaped the question on the "Four bases of power" by saying "According to ..". I don't know your reference "Convergence" but I don't agree with most of what you are reported from the text.

_______________________________

Your kind of resolution "do not think any thought or imagine any thing" is incorrect. In the samatha meditation, you have just to apply your attention to an unique subject of meditation, that's it.

I've tried that too. It doesn't for with my current conditions.

if it doesn't work then how about the consideration to change another meditation subject or to see another teacher ?
do you also consider the lack of certain "merits - paramis" and the way to cultivate them (another verb : accumulate, create conditions) ?
They are parts of the spiritual path. They are not only "listening & considering or thinking".
when one understands that this or that is necessary on the spiritual path then just do it, under the guidance of this understanding, and later reflecting on its effects. No need to over-think there's a self or not, or choice vs no-choice, just to observe if it is done with lobha or dosa or moha ?.

_______________________________

- Can you tell me what is the pre-requisite condition before listening the Dhamma ?

Associating with those who know the Dhamma. For them one needs good enough results of kamma, plus all the physical necessities required. One needs to be alive, be able to hear or see, have the physical circumstances necessary to visit them (or read Dhamma books), etc.

Well you missed the point, the pre-requisite condition before listening the Dhamma is to have "appropriate attention - yoniso manasikara" .
This means one have to turn his attention to whatever that can contribute to the realization of the goal. In the Theravada path, the goal is the realization of the cessation of Dukkha. (the "goal" is part of the "Four bases of power").
This is the pre-requisite condition that conditions the right listening of the Dhamma, then right understanding of the Dhamma.
Otherwise one can mis-interpreting the Dhamma while listening although even in face of the Buddha. (that's why the Buddha says : "listen and heed well what i shall say").

________________________________

- Could you explain more in a pratical way what do you mean by "considering the Dhamma" ?

Thinking about Dhamma such as 4NT, anicca-dukkha-anatta-conditionality, drawbacks, in such a way to weaken craving & ignorance and to understand Dhamma more.

In my understanding, the path is a learning progress where there are many steps to go through. Along the path, there're always 3 aspects "1/studying 2/praticing 3/realizing". Thinking is a small part of the phase "1/studying".
If one stay at the phase studying, one still have an Atta-view on Dhamma-concept (including Anatta-concept, D.O.concept)
That is why on a previous post in "Meditation, conditionality, and anatta". i'm talking about "Knowing.... Seeing...." but you take only "Knowing".

In your arguments, you say "drawbacks", this is the function of memory (perception aggregate), sanna, panna. But according to you, "perception aggregate", "formations aggregate" are out of control. So when does it reproduce ? if one does not have motivation to recall ?

In fact, thanks to the memory, once one had known et seen the results of such&such (kusala vs akusala) actions/speeches/thought that there are possibilities to undo bad habits (akusala) and to adopt good habits (kusala). This is possible because of appropriate attention - yoniso manasikara, in line with one's goal (cessation of dukkha).

_________________________________

- What do you think about the proved formula Sila->Samadhi->Panna (in the context of the Buddha teachings, of course) ?

These are physical and mental actions that happen due to corresponding causes. These can occur in momentary fashion as in Bahiya's case where 4 paths and 4 fruits happened within minutes or seconds.

...?
In case of Bahiya, only Panna happened. because he already had accumulated in mature Sila/Samadhi and he listened the instructions with appropriate attention then practiced correctly and finally realized (liberated) correctly with the correct knowledge.

_______________________

Dhamma is connected to real life.
Wish you Alex accomplish the goal of your life according to your accumulated merits (parami).

Besh wishes :namaste:
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:07 pm

Hello Tilt, Retro, Induvidial, all,

This being, that is; from the arising of this, that arises; this not being, that is not; from the cessation of this, that ceases.

...with ignorance (avijjā) as condition, volitional activities (saṅkhāra) come to be.
... from the complete disappearance and cessation of ignorance, volitional activities cease
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


1) Saṅkhāra are conditioned by Avijjā.
2) Avijjā, not "choice", is the condition for volitional activities/fabrications/saṅkhāra.

3) saṅkhāra compared to its condition, Avijjā, is like "a leaf being blown by the wind".


Where is the choice involved?

4) Do saṅkhāra's have a choice to be like this or like that?
No.
5) Avijjā causes saṅkhāra's to arise or cease. It is the wind that blows saṅkhāra's around like "wind blowing the leaf cause it to fly here or there".


This (Avijjā) being, that (saṅkhāra) is; from the arising of this (Avijjā), that (saṅkhāra) arises; this (Avijjā) not being, that (saṅkhāra) is not; from the cessation of this (Avijjā), that (saṅkhāra) ceases.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


With which point don't you agree?


I examine my thoughts, and their origin, and see that "Alex" has nothing to do with them.


With metta,

Alex
Last edited by Alex123 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:09 pm

tinhtan wrote:when over-ampplifying particular small parts, they will put the whole picture in an unbalanced state.
now relax, I remember a history about "who have a decisive role ?"
- the brain says me, the heart says me, the stomach says me, the kidneys say me, .... and the anus, face to such trouble, decide to protest on unlimited strike. All the others are laughing at the anus.
But after 3 days, 7 days, finally 10 days later, all begin to be really really unconfortable, 20 days later, every one realizes that if the anus strike continues, it will be a serious issue of dead or alive ! then they all agree that the anus plays a decisive role !
This reminds that each part have a reason in existence and a function to accomplish. If all play its role in harmony, so the result will be a heatlhy state.

:rofl:
Ahh thanks for the reminder that dependent origination and anatta are not just linear mechanical theories of causality - they also point to interrelationship. Assertions of "control" or "no control" ... very narrow views.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:11 pm

Hi Kirk5a,

kirk5a wrote:Ahh thanks for the reminder that dependent origination and anatta are not just linear mechanical theories of causality - they also point to interrelationship. Assertions of "control" or "no control" ... very narrow views.


What is the difference in meaning between interrelationship and conditionality? How do you think "paccaya" should be translated?

Do you think that D.O. is a narrow view?

"with ignorance (avijjā) as condition, volitional activities (saṅkhāra) come to be." and "from the complete disappearance and cessation of ignorance (avijjā), volitional activities (saṅkhāra) cease".

Saṅkhāra is interrelated to Avijjā like a motion of a leaf is interrelated to the wind that blows it. Now imagine the chaos that would be if the wind blew the leaf to the west (and all physical conditions were set for leaf to be blown west), and the leaf (for no physical reason) flew to the east breaking all physical and aerodynamic rules.


With metta,

Alex
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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