Ñāṇa wrote:Ven. Ñāṇananda, Seeing Through: A Guide to Insight Meditation:
The Buddha has compared the aggregate of perception to a mirage. Now if perception is mirage, what is 'rūpa saññā' or a visual percept? That also must be a mirage. What about 'sadda saññā'? What about the auditory percept or what strikes the ear? That too must be a mirage. Though it is not something that one sees with the eye, it has the nature of a mirage. To take as real what is of a mirage-nature, is a delusion. It is something that leads to a delusion. It is an illusion that leads to a delusion. In order to understand deeply this mirage-nature in sensory perception, there is a need for a more refined way of mental attending.
retrofuturist wrote:This bolded section seems strongly opposed to the Abhidhamma world-view, where not only are paramattha-dhammas not an illusion, they're deemed to be ultimate realities. Note, it's not their illusory nature that is deemed the ultimate-reality in the Abhidhamma schema, but it is the view of the very existence and reality of the dhammas themselves which is regarded as panna (wisdom) rather than delusion.
pulga wrote:In light of the Kevaddhasutta it seems to me that rúpa is independent of náma
I realize of course that the Ven. Ñanananda may have been speaking loosely, not wanting to go into the ontological subtlties of the nature of rúpa.
This bolded section seems strongly opposed to the Abhidhamma world-view, where not only are paramattha-dhammas not an illusion, they're deemed to be ultimate realities. Note, it's not their illusory nature that is deemed the ultimate-reality in the Abhidhamma schema, but it is the view of the very existence and reality of the dhammas themselves which is regarded as panna (wisdom) rather than delusion.
Such is the diversity of Theravada thought since the Buddha's enigmatic words.
"Look at the world and see its emptiness" (Sn 1119)
mikenz66 wrote:However, Bhikkhu Nananada seems very careful to not posit the extreme view that there is no underlying reality, just as the similes of the magic show, etc, do not deny the underlying reality of the magician and his props.
mikenz66 wrote:It seems to me that the interesting question he raises is at which level the magic show ceases, whether the khandhas are the illusion or the underlying reality.
mikenz66 wrote:And whether such analysis has any impact on how one approaches meditative practise is not completely clear to me. However, you analyse it, the meditative instructions, to see experientially beyond the illusion, appear to be the same.
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."
"As you say, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
Returning to the formula defined in the Phena Sutta...
"...a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any [khanda] that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance..."
The only thing a monk can observe is the khandas, they cannot experience anything outside of them. So the impact on meditative practice is that the monk correctly understands what they are experiencing is experience (i.e. the five khandas, loka) and should not inappropriately examine it as some kind of "objective reality" that lies outside the five khandas. That would be an erroneous, conceptual overlay, and would be a case of inappropriately examining what was being observed.
mikenz66 wrote:What I'm saying is that my impression is that any assertion that nothing in the khandhas is real would be completely misguided.
mikenz66 wrote:It seems to me that the point is to get to the bottom of the illusion
Ñāṇa wrote:mikenz66 wrote:It seems to me that the point is to get to the bottom of the illusion
I'd suggest that the point is to see the illusion clearly for what it is, and in this way proceed to abandon all infatuation and distress regarding its manifold colorful and dramatic representations.
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