Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Lately I've been taking a liking to Suttas from the Majjhima and Digha Nikaya which, like this one, tend to contain a series of interconnected teachings, rather than being a thorough exposition on one topic.
This text, to me, rings true to the scenario set up in its opening lines: the Buddha was giving an impromptu teaching to this one individual. As such, while the Buddha opens with the six properties, six sense media, eighteen considerations and four determinations, in the process of discussing those things he hits on points that are broader and, to me, amazing...
1. The linking of discernment with the six properties is more-or-less an Anatta rundown/exposition, as is the discernment of "limits" (that which is body/that which is life). Brilliant!
2. This line of thought leads the Buddha to proclaim on the value of discernment: "His release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive is false; Unbinding — the undeceptive — is true. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for truth, for this — Unbinding, the undeceptive — is the highest noble truth." Followed by all the "whereas, formerly..."'s.
This is a great text. Thanks for sharing, jc