mikenz66 to nana wrote:So if you think that "breaking experience down into simpler bits" isn't a two truth notion then that's fine with me.
I concur that "breaking experience down into simpler bits" isn't a two truth notion. The Buddha broke down the puggala in many ways - five aggregates, six consciousnesses etc.
What I like personally about the 5A & 6C is that they consitute the entirety of experience (ala Sabba Sutta) so seem suitable frames for perception by which to regard anything that comes into your sphere of experience. They are not too excessive either - one does not need to memorise a periodic table of dhammic elements to apply them in practice... a list of five, and a list of six... not too taxing on the old grey matter.
I find the six consciousnesses a good place to start because they are the most obvious... all you need to do is discern the sense-channel and the sensory input and you know how to classify that "framed experience" and observe its aniccata, thus anattata, thus dukkhata. Once the mind tunes into this practice, the five aggregates serve as a good next step of refinement if "mind consciousness" is insufficient as a means of classifying the activities going on within the old grey matter. Again, with the five aggregates you know how to classify that "framed experience" and observe its aniccata, thus anattata, thus dukkhata.
At this point (or anywhere along it), there is the opportunity to recognise that all the "framed experiences" thus far are indeed just that - framed / fabricated / conditioned experiences - they are all sankhata dhamma. This is where the teaching on dependent origination and its underlying this/that conditionality may be applied. One learns the process of framing (sankata), the process of labelling forms (nama-rupa) and nama-rupa's "whirlpool" relationship with consciousness (i.e. consciousness framed by nama-rupa framed by consciousness)... and that in the end it all leads to dukkha.
Seeing thus, there is the realisation that everything (no matter if five aggregates, six aggregates, a periodic table of dhamma elements) is formed, and by believing the formations are real (or worse, thinking they represent something that "exists") we set ourselves up for dukkha. So... we come to learn that the acting of "forming the formed" is the inherent problem here. What would happen if we didn't do the forming? Sankhara would become extinguished, consciousness would become extinguished, nama-rupa would become extinguished - and you can see where this is going.
Realising thus that EVERYTHING experienced is sankhata dhamma (with the attributes of aniccata, anatta & dukkhata) one naturally (when paying attention!) becomes disillusioned with one's own creations and seeks the solitude of emptiness. That leads to development in the Dhamma.
That is how I understand and apply the Dhamma discourses, without recourse to "two truths" or anything else. Although I have presented the above in a particular way for the purpose of logical development and explanation, any of the above can be done in any order at any time, and thus a separate "method" need not be established out of that.