Aggregate?

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mikenz66
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Re: Aggregate?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote: I'm challenging the oft made statement that the aggregates are "what we are"... these things are self only if they are erroneously picked up, taken up and bundled/aggregated as such. Unaggregated, they are not aggregates. Unbundled, they are not bundles.
I am assuming you are talking about the khandhas.

What does Unaggregated, they are not aggregates. Unbundled, they are not bundles mean? I wonder if the "what we are" needs to be explained a bit more.
As well as a probably spurious over-reaching of the translation, in my opinion the question contains an implicit assumption that the khandas are "things", rather than mere classifications. Rather than wheeling out clearly flawed statements such as "the aggregates are what we are" for flagellation, I would refer to more careful statements, such as the following from Ven Nyanatiloka: the khandas are "the 5 aspects in which the Buddha has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence". This avoids the reification implied in the original question.

:anjali:
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Re: Aggregate?

Post by cooran » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:23 pm

Agree. Thanks Mike!

with metta
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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:06 pm

Greetings Porpoise,
porpoise wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:I'm challenging the oft made statement that the aggregates are "what we are"... these things are self only if they are erroneously picked up, taken up and bundled/aggregated as such. Unaggregated, they are not aggregates. Unbundled, they are not bundles.
An aggregate is just a collection, in this case a collection of processes based on which we assume a self.
Right. If one does not collect, there is no collection. In the sutta that Sylvester referenced above (SN 22.48), even the Buddha couldn't explain these collections, without collecting things together in order to form those collections (though of course, for the Buddha it was an expedient exercise in words and teaching, rather than a personal exercise of self-accumulation).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:09 pm

Greetings Darwid,
DarwidHalim wrote:So, how can there are aggregate of feeling, perception, etc., when there is no owner?

Since there is no owner that ever make them.
Because when one erroneously perceives an owner for them, that "owner" itself is a perception etc. and lands back in the domain of the aggregates.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:17 pm

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:What does Unaggregated, they are not aggregates. Unbundled, they are not bundles mean?
In the context of the original post, it means there needs to be the verb before there is the noun. As you know, a verb is a "doing word" and a noun is "object". Thus, all "objects" required "doing" in order to become objects (i.e. dhammas), and that "doing" is an activity, (i.e. sankhara).

Mike's objection that khandas are "classifications" as opposed to "things" is moot in this context, because there is "doing" required in order for them to become "classifications". They do not become classifications independent of the activity of classifying - or, to extend the formula of the original post to Mike's choice of expression...

"If one does not classify (verb), there are is no classification (noun), let alone five of them"

Same-same...
MN 121 wrote:He discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance.
tiltbillings wrote:I wonder if the "what we are" needs to be explained a bit more.
If you see benefit from it, then by all means. The original post was an invitation to exploration.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by DarwidHalim » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Darwid,
DarwidHalim wrote:So, how can there are aggregate of feeling, perception, etc., when there is no owner?

Since there is no owner that ever make them.
Because when one erroneously perceives an owner for them, that "owner" itself is a perception etc. and lands back in the domain of the aggregates.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If we don't have the verb, it is illogical to have the result of the verb.

Buddha clearly said in his higher teaching that there is no self (subject), actually not only on human, but across the board including every phenomena.

If there is subject, it is then very illogical there are characteristic of the subject, such as feeling, perception, etc.

Like you said it is because erroneously putting subject then there is such thing as feeling, perception, etc.

Like discussing the shape of rabbit horn, what is the shape of rabbit horn, what is the color, how many type of rabbit horn.

But, really there is no point at all to discuss all of those rabbit horn, because in the first place that horn is not there. There is no horn to be analyzed. The rabbit horn is erroneously imagined.

In the similar way, these 5 aggregates are exactly purely imagination, which is raised based on erroneously perceiving there is subject.

Since self (subject) is purely imaginary and is never there, we can the conclude with absolute certainty all 5 aggregates are just papanca imaginary, like discussing rabbit horns.

Rabbit horn is just an idea, just a fantasy.

All 5 aggregates (feeling, perceptions, mental formations, etc) are also just a fantasy, an idea of mad man, of confused beings.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:03 am

Greetings,

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:45 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: Mike's objection that khandas are "classifications" as opposed to "things" is moot in this context, because there is "doing" required in order for them to become "classifications". They do not become classifications independent of the activity of classifying - or, to extend the formula of the original post to Mike's choice of expression...
So you think that that classifying is the problem, not part of the solution? What is the solution in your version?

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:03 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:So you think that that classifying is the problem, not part of the solution?
Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman, so whether it's "problem" or (a preliminary) "solution" (to be abandoned over time) probably depends subjectively on where one starts.

Irrespective, taking one's classifications as being real or inherent, independent of the act of classifying... yes, that is "problem".
mikenz66 wrote:What is the solution in your version?
The "solution" is sunnata (emptiness) and asankhata (non-fabricating).

Or, if you'd rather it explained in terms of how it is done, Daverupa put it eloquently here... "Samadhi is best translated as composure, not concentration, imo; it's a certain tenor of six-sense body awareness-&-mindfulness." - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 4&p=199972" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . With Samma Samadhi, one can discern emptiness instead of fabricating things with respect to the six-sense body. It's learning what fabricating is, and how it is done, so that one can train the mind to stop fabricating. If we create fabrications and cling to them, there will surely not be release. (See also Kirk's sutta quote from page 1)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:34 am

retrofuturist wrote: Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman, so whether it's "problem" or (a preliminary) "solution" (to be abandoned over time) probably depends subjectively on where one starts.

Irrespective, taking one's classifications as being real or inherent, independent of the act of classifying... yes, that is "problem".
OK, well from my point of view there is nothing to "believe" in, since aggregates are not "things".

As you go on to say, it's discerning emptiness that seems to the be important point, and these classification are just aids to that development.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:51 am

retrofuturist wrote: Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman,
Please. What do you mean "believing in aggregates?"
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by Sylvester » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:21 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:So you think that that classifying is the problem, not part of the solution?
Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman, so whether it's "problem" or (a preliminary) "solution" (to be abandoned over time) probably depends subjectively on where one starts.

Irrespective, taking one's classifications as being real or inherent, independent of the act of classifying... yes, that is "problem".
Oh no it's not!

I wonder why this Mahayana distrust of words, conceptualisation and language always creeps into how we should interpret the Pali Dhamma.

I've cited DN 15 before in this regard. Yes, the Buddha admits of the potential pitfalls in language, given the worldling's predilection to construct (maññati) notions of self based on language. Yet, He affirms the opposite side of the coin, ie that "the pathways of designation, language and description" (adhivacanapatha, niruttipatha, viññattipatha) possible with nāmarūpa together with viññāṇa also lies with paññāvacara (the sphere of wisdom).

In SN 22.63, we find the Buddha's most resounding endorsement of adhivacanapatha, niruttipatha, viññattipatha as proper tools for seeing, inferring on, understanding and describing the Aggregates. This sutta makes short work of the non-dual notions that permeate scholastic Mahayana.

It seems that conceptualisation or classification is, in the Pali Canon, something that takes us all the way to full understanding.
Last edited by Sylvester on Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:27 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote: Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman,
Please. What do you mean "blelieving in aggregates?"
What Sylvester is doing in the post immediately above this one.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by Sylvester » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:29 am

Following of course the admonition of the Buddha, and not Madhyamika.

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Re: Aggregate?

Post by DarwidHalim » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:32 am

Retro:
Believing in aggregates is a more refined classification than believing in atman
This is indeed very true.

Actually, everyday we are killing ourselves. We are actually putting ourselves deeper and deeper into the mud.

And the way we kill ourselves is very interesting.

We reject the existence of self and atman directly from the point of view of the subject.

But, ironically,

We use the verb to unconsciously reify the existence of self again and again.

We reject the existence of subject, but we unknowingly assert the verb again and again.

Classification of aggregate or classifying the aggregate is actually the act that reify the existence at self. It is the subtle form of saying there is self.

Kirk, actually ask a very interesting question.

He asked how can there is breathing, because Buddha said clearly in the meditation to use breathing. Because of that breathing must exist. Because Buddha clearly said breathing.

In order to solve this issue, we actually must know how to classify the sutras, which one is path, which one is the view.

The Sutta that tell us the view is the teaching of emptiness.

The Sutta that tell us the path is like anapanasatti Sutta, etc.

Because we have believed there is a rabbit horn, Buddha must use our language like to treat this rabbit horn in this way, you meditate this rabbit horn in that way.

If we follow that Buddha prescription, we will then come to the final view, that although Buddha tell me to treat this rabbit horn like this or like that, although Buddha help me by classifying the rabbit horn into this or that, actually the Buddha is using rabbit horn to finally teach me - at the end that rabbit horn is not there.

If Buddha tell me straight away there is no feeling in you, no one will believe him. No one. Because we have this extreme deep of believe there is rabbit horn.

If we are not aware of this:
Classifying something will put you into the danger of asserting self or atman in the indirect and subtle way.
All verbs that we use daily has a very dangerous pitfall in making us to assert the self and atman in the subtlest way.

One of Buddhist monk said this idea very well:
You stand in front of the busy street.

If you keep saying movement, movement, movement, and movement, even you say there is no self, at the end of the day, that repetition movement will make you assert there is self.

It because by saying movement, deep inside you, you assert something move, which only self can move.

You will end up in deep shit - there is self.

Majority of us has a difficulty in reading Suttas. We have this issue.

This Sutta say there is this. That Sutta say there is not that. Whih one is true?

In order to solve that, we must know which one is the practice sutta( which in this case, Buddha must use
There is rabbit horn, because we believe so), and which one is the final view of Buddha (which in this case, the rabbit horn is rejected).

Knowing the dangerous of using verb in reifying the subject or self is extremely important to be realized. Because it is just a
Very subtle form to acknowledge there is atman or self at the end.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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