Pleasant and Unpleasant

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Goofaholix
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:55 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:16 am
Again, I'm talking about perceptions, not feelings.
Pleasant and Unpleasant does not relate to perception (sanna), it relates to feeling tone (vedana).

Feeling tone is an automatic response to a stimulus, this automatic response can colour our perception of the experience. So it's feeling then perception not the other way around.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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L.N.
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by L.N. » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:10 am

samseva wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:36 pm
Please state your opinion ...
Thank you for asking. My opinion is irrelevant, as anybody can have an opinion. However, my opinion is that if one concludes that "things are just things," that is partly true from one perspective but potentially misleading from another perspective, to the extent that some "thing" which presents dependent upon kamma has some certain specific quality.

Others have expressed this better. From this site: http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... wtopic=120
But a disputatious speaker ... said 'There is no intrinsic agreeable and disagreeable. It is according to the likings of these or those individuals....'
... it is impulsion through perversion of perception (sannavipallasa) only that lusts for the agreeable and hates the same agreeable; that lusts for the disagreeable and hates the same agreeable. ... If the object is agreeable it is profitable result that has arisen; if disagreeable, it is unprofitable result that has arisen.

Although those of wrong view on seeing such exalted objects as the enlightened one (buddha) shut their eyes and feel domanassa (unpleasant feeling) [arising during the javana stage] and on hearing the Dhamma they stop their ears nevertheless their eye-consciouness, ear-consciousness, etc are only profitable kamma result (vipaka).

Although dung eating pigs on smelling the odour of dung become joyful, thinking; 'we shall get something to eat' nevertheless their eye-consciousness (a vipaka) in the seeing of the dung, nose consciousness (a vipaka) in smelling its odour and tongue consciousness (a vipaka) in tasting its flavour is only unprofitable result.

Hope that contributes in some way to the discussion. My opinion is irrelevant.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

"You can indulge your hauteur and prissiness at someone else's expense." -- Ven. Dhammanando

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one_awakening
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by one_awakening » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:23 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:55 am
So it's feeling then perception not the other way around.
But doesn't your perception first have to identify the object let's say an apple, as an apple before a feeling can arise?
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:51 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:23 am
But doesn't your perception first have to identify the object let's say an apple, as an apple before a feeling can arise?
Not necessarily, feeling tone is more on an animal instinct level. Whereas "It's an apple" is just a concept about an experience,whether you are drawn towards that experience or repulsed by it likely depends more on whether you are hungry at the time than how you label it or categorise it.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

chownah
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:41 am

I've not been following this thread so much but I have a question for goofaholic.

My eating an apple scenario:
I bite something. It is a pleasant feeling. It has the flavor of an apple. It has the texture of an apple. It has the aroma of an apple. It is an apple.

Seems like there are three stages. 1. determination of pleasant/unpleasant 2. determination of the qualities of the sense inputs. 3. determination of what it is that I bit into.

Do you think that there are these three stages?....and if so which one is perception etc.?

Another example:
I bite into somthing....it is unpleasant....I spit it out....I evaluate the flavor, texture, aroma etc.....I figure out what it was.

chownah

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one_awakening
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by one_awakening » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:10 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:51 am
Not necessarily, feeling tone is more on an animal instinct level.
So feeling tone is something like a disposition you already have. Someone who loves apples has a pleasant disposition towards apples. When he comes into contact with the apple he experiences a pleasant feeling tone and the mind then attempts to attribute meaning to the feeling tone.

So it's like a feeling you already have before the perception.
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of the mind"

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by pyluyten » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:34 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:10 am
Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:51 am
Not necessarily, feeling tone is more on an animal instinct level.
So feeling tone is something like a disposition you already have. Someone who loves apples has a pleasant disposition towards apples. When he comes into contact with the apple he experiences a pleasant feeling tone and the mind then attempts to attribute meaning to the feeling tone.

So it's like a feeling you already have before the perception.
actually brain studies could show the perception triggers feelings : because of perception, there are mechanism in brain associated to endorphine or others. A specific case would be nociceptive pain - since in that case this is really a perception of pain first, before to be a feeling. Back to topic, a concept i like is "dukkha dukkha" : the suffering of suffering. This concept is like a riddle.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:12 am

one_awakening wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:10 am
So feeling tone is something like a disposition you already have. Someone who loves apples has a pleasant disposition towards apples. When he comes into contact with the apple he experiences a pleasant feeling tone and the mind then attempts to attribute meaning to the feeling tone.

So it's like a feeling you already have before the perception.
I guess that's one way of putting it. Of course it all happens so quickly that we don't see the process unless we pay particular attention, that's where meditation practice comes in, and then there is sankhara that provides a value judgement etc and there is a feedback loop also.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:14 am

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:41 am
Do you think that there are these three stages?....and if so which one is perception etc.?
More like 3 components to the experience, perception is the component the recognises and labels the experience.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:17 am

pyluyten wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:34 am
actually brain studies could show the perception triggers feelings : because of perception, there are mechanism in brain associated to endorphine or others.
I think here you are relying on the english word perception, rather than the pali word sanna (usually translated as perception). How you've used perception above I think corresponds to vinnana (conciousness).
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

DooDoot
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:38 am

Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

chownah
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:24 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:14 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:41 am
Do you think that there are these three stages?....and if so which one is perception etc.?
More like 3 components to the experience, perception is the component the recognises and labels the experience.
so....in My eating an apple scenario:
I bite something. It is a pleasant feeling. It has the flavor of an apple. It has the texture of an apple. It has the aroma of an apple. It is an apple.
......would "it is an apple" be the perception or would a sort of summary "I have bitten into an apple" be the perception" or what?
chownah

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:27 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:38 am
Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:goodpost: ......but.....the suttas doo talk about these and so doo we.....so.....I guess if we are going to talk about them or read about them in the suttas then it would be good if we all somehow came up with meanings which we could agree on to facilitate that discussion.
chownah

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:58 am

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:27 am
it would be good if we all somehow came up with meanings which we could agree on to facilitate that discussion.
Personally, I don't know. I just thought to spice up the discussion. But I am sometimes myself not sure what is the difference between a perception (sanna) & a 'theme' ('nimitta'/sankhara/thought)?

The suttas describe perception (sanna) as follows, which sounds like the discernment or cognition of 'difference':
'It perceives, it perceives': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'perception.' And what does it perceive? It perceives blue. It perceives yellow. It perceives red. It perceives white. 'It perceives, it perceives': Thus it is said to be 'perception.
Therefore, if perception is cognising a difference between the light waves that are blue vs red, then surely perception occurs before feeling in this case, given bright red colour feels different to a light blue colour?

Then there are the labels of 'red' & blue'. Are these perceptions? Or are they thoughts or themes? For example, labels of 'beautiful' & 'ugly' are 'themes' or 'opinions' thus possibly not perceptions (sanna) but instead thoughts (sankhara).

I used to think perception (sanna) was "memorized labels" but now I am not sure.

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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by jagodage » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:12 am

Dear Dhamma friends

Having followed the discussion in this thread I would like to quote an example mentioned by a Venerable Thero to illustrate
that how feeling and perception arises.

Mr X goes school to accompany his child (C) home.

The child is thin and wearing white shirt and blue shorts and carrying school bag.

On his way he meet his friend Mr Y.Mr Y though friendly with X have a grudge with C.(C in past stoned X due to some incidence)Now both are waiting at school gate.School bell rang.Now children are coming to gate to go home.

Mr X see C. Having seen C Mr X become happy.(X saw C and recognized as his child and become patichcha with desire known as Raga patichcha).

Mr Y having seen C, become angry(Y saw C and become patichcha with anger known as Desa patichcha). Now the child having receive a piece of cake from one of his mate, offer portion to his father who ate it with happiness.Seeing Mr Y, C offer other portion who refuses(C has forgotten the grudge while Mr Y is still have it in hidden form).

Now we can see from this example the feeling and perception is not in the C.It is in the minds of X and Y.They both saw a thin child wearing white shirt and blue shorts carrying school bag .

Now to clarify further suppose An Arahath accompany X and Y. An Arahath also saw a thin child wearing white shirt and blue short carrying school bag .But for he there is neither desire nor anger.(He has destroyed both in becoming An Arahath)





With Metta

Jagodage

chownah
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by chownah » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:12 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:58 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:27 am
it would be good if we all somehow came up with meanings which we could agree on to facilitate that discussion.
Personally, I don't know. I just thought to spice up the discussion. But I am sometimes myself not sure what is the difference between a perception (sanna) & a 'theme' ('nimitta'/sankhara/thought)?

The suttas describe perception (sanna) as follows, which sounds like the discernment or cognition of 'difference':
'It perceives, it perceives': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'perception.' And what does it perceive? It perceives blue. It perceives yellow. It perceives red. It perceives white. 'It perceives, it perceives': Thus it is said to be 'perception.
Therefore, if perception is cognising a difference between the light waves that are blue vs red, then surely perception occurs before feeling in this case, given bright red colour feels different to a light blue colour?

Then there are the labels of 'red' & blue'. Are these perceptions? Or are they thoughts or themes? For example, labels of 'beautiful' & 'ugly' are 'themes' or 'opinions' thus possibly not perceptions (sanna) but instead thoughts (sankhara).

I used to think perception (sanna) was "memorized labels" but now I am not sure.
Really the suttas do not give a definition of perception...or consciousness....or some other pertinent stuff. In english there is no single accepted definition for these things either. THis is why it is important for people to really nail down definitions first and then show how those definitions make sense in what is written in the suttas AND what happens in our experiences. No one ever seems to have the ability and the will to do this....probably because there is wide disagreement about what is being said in the suttas and how these things apply to our experience....and having these already fixed views people are not willing to suspend their meanings (even for the sake of discussion) and accept an agreed upon meaning if it is not theirs. It is called clinging to views....it turns a discussion into a freeforall.

It might be that the reason for the bit of scripture you brought is because at the time of the buddha the same problem arose and this scripture is like saying "stop arguing because for the purposes of achieving the goal you can consider them to be conjoined and there is no real reason you need to consider them seperately as it is what they do together which is important.".....or something like that.
chownah
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:39 pm

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:24 am
I bite something. It is a pleasant feeling. It has the flavor of an apple. It has the texture of an apple. It has the aroma of an apple. It is an apple.
......would "it is an apple" be the perception or would a sort of summary "I have bitten into an apple" be the perception" or what?
chownah
I think those are all descriptions of the experience, descriptions are sankhara. Sanna is more a non verbal recognition.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

DooDoot
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:42 pm

chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:12 pm
Really the suttas do not give a definition of perception...or consciousness....or some other pertinent stuff.
Of course the suttas (MN 43; SN 22.79; SN 12.2) give a definition of both perception & consciousness, as I posted. As I previously posted, perception in the suttas is defined as something extremely basic, such as the differentiating between colours. The suttas say consciousness, perception & feeling are inseparable (MN 43; MN 111) and say both perception & feeling together are the citta sankhara (MN 44).

After devoting meditation to perception this morning, my view is:

1. consciousness is the coming into experiential existence of a thing; such as the coming to be of a breath (experientially)

2. perception is discerning or discriminating the features/characteristics of that thing, such as a breath. This discerning or discriminating is not a mere label but a prolonged sustained stream of discernment (such as the throbbing, long, smooth, agitated sensations, etc, qualities of a breath)

My point is I think it cannot be concluded that perception must happen after feeling. I think perception & feeling occur together with consciousness, as literally stated in MN 43.
Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:39 pm
I think those are all descriptions of the experience, descriptions are sankhara. Sanna is more a non verbal recognition.
I agree with this; that sanna is non-verbal. However, I regard sanna as discernment or discrimination (but which can later be articulated descriptively, which is sankhara).

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samseva
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by samseva » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:49 am

I think there is a mixing up of the aggregates and that there needs to be better differention of feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā) and mental-formations (sankhāra/sankhāra-kkhanda).

Feeling (vedanā-kkhandha) is any of the following 5 feelings:
Bodily agreeable/disagreeable
Mentally agreeable/dsagreeable
Indifference
Perception (saññā-kkhandha) is all perceptions from the six senses (but only the bare perception, no mental formations attached):
Perception of form (sight), sound, odour, taste, bodily impression (touch), and mental impression (thoughts/mind).
Mental-formations (sankhāra-kkhanda) are classified in the Abhidhamma as 50 mental-formations:
- Feeling (vedanā) is inseparable from consciousness.
- Perception is merely the receiving of information from our senses.
- Finally, mental-formations can be a multitude of things (listed in the link above, although probably partially correct and well-translated). I believe that almost everything else that can be categorized as thoughts or emotions comes under one of those subcategories of mental-formations (sankhāra). What are seen as feelings in modern/popular psychology and everyday speech are in fact mental-formations.

The topic of this thread, I think, is instead the liking and disliking of things, and how these things "feel" (pleasant or unpleasant)—which are mental-formations. These interact with a multitude of other processes of the mind and are a lot more complex than just feeling (vedanā) and perception (saññā), as well as being a lot more personal.

chownah
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Re: Pleasant and Unpleasant

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:20 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:42 pm
chownah wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:12 pm
Really the suttas do not give a definition of perception...or consciousness....or some other pertinent stuff.
Of course the suttas (MN 43; SN 22.79; SN 12.2) give a definition of both perception & consciousness, as I posted.
In your suggest reference of mn43 it says:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?"

"'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"
I do not accept this as being a definition of 'consciousness'. I think that this is just giving some examples of what consciousness does.....and.....it does so using the verb 'cognize' which begs the question what is the definition of 'cognize' which in my mind gets us really no closer to a reliable definition. Are we to take from this that consciousness only deals with pleasant and painful?
Same for other concepts.
I think that it is likely that you prefer the translation of mn43 from sutta central.
chownah

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