Exploring the Three Marks.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
chownah
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by chownah » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:19 am

This does not mean that there is not an actual body, or actual forms, but that it is the form as a mental construction which ceases. This form as a mental construction is the 'object' of craving and clinging.]
:goodpost:
I just want to add two things. This does not mean that there is an actual body or actual forms.....and....beliefs are mental constructions which means that a belief in an actual body or in actual forms is a mental construction.
chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:47 am

chownah wrote: This does not mean that there is an actual body or actual forms.....and....beliefs are mental constructions which means that a belief in an actual body or in actual forms is a mental construction.
That sounds like idealism?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

SarathW
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:06 am

chownah wrote:
This does not mean that there is not an actual body, or actual forms, but that it is the form as a mental construction which ceases. This form as a mental construction is the 'object' of craving and clinging.]
:goodpost:
I just want to add two things. This does not mean that there is an actual body or actual forms.....and....beliefs are mental constructions which means that a belief in an actual body or in actual forms is a mental construction.
chownah
Buddha kept away from the argument whether things are exist or not exist.
Instead he said all fabrications are dependently originated.
:shrug:
=======
"'"Everything exists": That is one extreme. "Everything doesn't exist": That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

vinasp
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by vinasp » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi everyone,

These verses from the Dhammapada seem to be a version of the three marks.

1. sabbe sankhara anicca ....[277] - All constructed things are impermanent.
2. sabbe sankhara dukkha ...[278] - All constructed things are suffering.
3. sabbe dhamma anatta .. [279] - All things are non-self.

The term 'sankhara' (formation) seems to be used here in its passive sense meaning conditioned or constructed things.

The term 'dhamma' which is usually understood as 'thing' in this verse, has a wider meaning in that it includes all constructed things and also the one unconstructed thing - Nibbana.

Since 'all things' includes 'all constructed things' then every sankhara is also a dhamma. So the verses could also be in the following form:

1. All things except Nibbana are impermanent.
2. All things except Nibbana are suffering.
3. All things are non-self.

Some Problems.

1. How should we understand 'all constructed things'? The term 'sankhara' seems to be closely connected with volition. So in its passive sense it would mean things constructed by volition.

How can it be that every thing in the world is made by volition?

Or was the Buddha speaking of all things in the internal world which we construct for ourselves, that world which is also called suffering?

Regards, Vincent.

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:35 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
1. All things except Nibbana are impermanent.
2. All things except Nibbana are suffering.
3. All things are non-self.
1. How should we understand 'all constructed things'? The term 'sankhara' seems to be closely connected with volition. So in its passive sense it would mean things constructed by volition.
HI Vincent, the general formula in the suttas shows that sankhara refers to the aggregates as a whole. See here for example:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

One translation I've seen for sabbe sankhara anicca is "all conditions are transient", and I think sankhara is meant in the broad, inclusive sense, both active and passive.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

vinasp
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by vinasp » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:38 pm

Hi Spiny,

Quote:-" ... shows that sankhara refers to the aggregates as a whole ..."

I do not quite see what you mean by this, could you please explain further.

I am not sure that I understand the aggregates, reading the sutta you cited reminded me of another problem.

Do the aggregates include all other people? How do you understand the 'external' feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness?

Regards, Vincent.

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:05 pm

vinasp wrote: Quote:-" ... shows that sankhara refers to the aggregates as a whole ..."
I do not quite see what you mean by this, could you please explain further.
The Anatta-lakkhana Sutta describes all 5 aggregates as subject to the 3 characteristics, and the aggregates seem to represent the totality of our experience.

The Girimananda Sutta is of interest here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

In paragraph (i) contemplation of impermanence is applied to all 5 aggregates.
In paragraph (ii) contemplation of anatta is applied to the internal and external sense bases - this contemplation is also referred to in the 4th frame of the Satipatthana Sutta.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Mkoll
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Mkoll » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:10 pm

SarathW wrote:Buddha kept away from the argument whether things are exist or not exist.
Instead he said all fabrications are dependently originated.
:shrug:
=======
"'"Everything exists": That is one extreme. "Everything doesn't exist": That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:goodpost:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

vinasp
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by vinasp » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:23 pm

Hi SarathW,

SarathW said:-"Buddha kept away from the argument whether things are exist or not exist. Instead he said all fabrications are dependently originated."

The Buddha warns us against pointless speculation about things that cannot be known, including speculation about whether they exist or not.

But progress on the path seems to involve developing the capacity to directly know and see things as they really are.

The Buddha:" ... [and I am thus able] to teach the Dhamma to various people in various ways such that one who practices accordingly will know of what exists that it exists and of what does not exist that it does not exist ...." [ Bhikkhu Bodhi, TNDB, part of AN 10.22]

"Bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling makes the statement, 'in the great ocean there is a bottomless abyss,' he makes such a statement about something that is nonexistent and unreal. ..."
[BB, TCDB, part of SN 36.4]

SarathW said:-""'"Everything exists": That is one extreme. "Everything doesn't exist": That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:"

This discourse may be talking about two extreme views, which are based on feeling, and have no basis in reality.

The enlightened individual does attain a state beyond dualistic thinking, but such thinking is still required for interacting with the world, and for communicating with other people.

Regards, Vincent.

SarathW
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:56 am

Hi Vince
I see your point.
I am sure I know what you are talking about.
By the way do you have AN10.22 translation?
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

culaavuso
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by culaavuso » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:35 am

SarathW wrote: By the way do you have AN10.22 translation?
AN 10.22 (Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi translation)

chownah
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:24 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote: This does not mean that there is an actual body or actual forms.....and....beliefs are mental constructions which means that a belief in an actual body or in actual forms is a mental construction.
That sounds like idealism?
The term 'mental construction' does lend itself to an interpretation of idealism and I considered whether to use it or to just use the term 'fabricaton' instead. I decided to use 'mental construction' so that what I brought to the discussion would be consistent with the terms used previously. But for now just clear the mental fabrications which go along with the idea of idealism from your mind and consider beliefs. Aren't beliefs mental constructions or fabrications whether considered to be mental or not? if not then what are they?.....certainly not physical. Aren't beliefs experiential? If so......then belief in an actual body and in actual forms is what?.....a mental construction?....a fabrications?......or what? Is a belief associated with the eye?....the nose?....the tongue?....the ear?....the body?....or the mind?....or what?
chownah

chownah
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:27 am

SarathW wrote:
chownah wrote:
This does not mean that there is not an actual body, or actual forms, but that it is the form as a mental construction which ceases. This form as a mental construction is the 'object' of craving and clinging.]
:goodpost:
I just want to add two things. This does not mean that there is an actual body or actual forms.....and....beliefs are mental constructions which means that a belief in an actual body or in actual forms is a mental construction.
chownah
Buddha kept away from the argument whether things are exist or not exist.
Instead he said all fabrications are dependently originated.
:shrug:
=======
"'"Everything exists": That is one extreme. "Everything doesn't exist": That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I don't understand how you are commenting on what I posted. I did not mention existence anywhere. Can you explain how your post replies to my post?
chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:05 am

vinasp wrote:All the actual things which are said to be impermanent, suffering, and non-self, are all also present as views about these things. These views are mental constructed things.
The mental constructed things are impermanent because they can cease or vanish, this is their nature [they are dependently arisen].
I want to check I've understood your hypothesis here, Vincent.
Are you basically say that the 3 characteristics apply to our views about our experience, rather than to the actual experience, ie the aggregates?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

vinasp
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Re: Exploring the Three Marks.

Post by vinasp » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:12 pm

Hi Spiny,

Quote:-"Are you basically say that the 3 characteristics apply to our views about our experience, rather than to the actual experience, ie the aggregates?"

Yes, they apply to 'conceived things' from which views originate.

In my opinion, the elements, sense bases, and aggregates, all have a double meaning. They can be taken as experience or understood as something else. Exactly what this other thing is seems not to be explained clearly in the teachings, in some passages it is called 'conceiving,' as in 'he does not conceive an eye.'

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates 'mannita' as 'conceiving'. It does not mean simply 'to think of', but is more like 'to give birth to' or 'to create.' What is conceived can persist for years. To conceive an eye as mine is to create another eye.

What are aggregates? Are form and the form aggregate the same thing?

The ordinary man takes talk of the form aggregate to be talk about actual form. When form is said to be impermanent, suffering, and non-self, he finds a way to make sense of it.

The noble disciple understands the form aggregate to be something other than actual form. This 'something' is not only capable of vanishing, it must vanish in order to attain enlightenment. As we find in those passages which say:-'he does not conceive form.'

The noble disciple investigates the things which are dependently arisen, each of these things are said to be constructed, and suffering. When all twelve of these things have arisen it is called 'this whole mass of suffering.' This is the 'suffering inherent in formations.'

He probably starts with 'decay-and-death' and works his way down. When he gets to the six bases he finds the first set of constructed things that can actually be eliminated. A concieved eye, a conceived visible form, a conceived eye-consciousness.

These constructed things are not, in themselves, views, but they are what views originate from. The views involve clinging, craving, feeling, and contact, as part of their structure. The contact is with these conceived things.

To answer your question: The three characteristics are understood by a noble disciple as applying to these 'conceived things' which are the origin of everything which arises from them.
The origin of suffering, the origin of the world.

Regards, Vincent.

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