DAN:It reminds me of Krishnamurti who argued that the mind is already so rigid and conditioned and full of conflicts and dualities, that to impose another structure on it like that of formalised spiritual practice is like to clean off dirt with mud. I think he overestimated people's capacity and resolve and that's why his legacy is dwindling fast.
I think mr. K thought that all that was needed was to let go of attachment to ritual and special practice.
But as this thread shows one also needs the deep explanations of the khandhas , the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them, that the Buddha gave. These teachings of the Buddha are then confirmed in every moment that satisampajanna arises; so that if one is eating a sandwich for example, there is direct understanding of taste or hardness or sound or color or seeing or desire or aversion etc.
In other words he had the right idea in that he saw the danger in silabataparamasa but didnt have the conditions to go further.
Hi Robert and thank you for replying.
Krishnamurti was big on inquiry, so it's not quite fair to say that he "thought that all that was needed was to let go of attachment to ritual and special practice" but we probably shouldn't get sidetracked.
In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.
With my students too, some need more explanation, others need less. Some need more here and others more there. But above all, it is important to learn to inquire and discover. Following another person's roadmap, one has to be careful to look under one's feet and not to stumble. Even more importantly, one has to look around carefully to see where one is, otherwise the map will lead to quite a different place than intended. Perhaps even more fundamentally, it can be argued that a map can only lead so far, as mr k said "truth is a pathless land", which I understand to mean that we all have to find our own way in it, with the words of our teacher - a lamp that lights the way.
So, I am still at a loss to see how without an intense meditation practice one can investigate the sense bases and the khandas and the causes and conditions for them. As far as I can make out, no explanation can suffice in the end and one needs to actually see
the functioning, to become aware. A coarse untrained mind is not going to be able to do that. All such a mind will see are the coarse arising and passing away, but the subtle will remain obscure.
So how can we dispense with a training of the mind to perceive and let go of the defilements without meditation? Maybe one blessed by kamma of aeons of cultivation and a subtle and agile mentality can do that, but most of us can't.
Most of us also cannot summon up enough resolve to truly look into it and relinquish but through practice develop an affinity with the wholesome while seeing the shortcoming and unsatisfactoriness of the unwholesome and the vital importance of practice. The coarse pleasures are hard to give up without a mind trained in insight that is able to see them for what they truly are rather than simply try to believe the teachings. Belief is always built on a shaky ground and can crumble given enough pressure, but one who knows is secure. Without a deep training that brings about a clarity and depth of seeing, how can we hope to see past our attachments?