the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:44 am

Spiny Norman wrote: I still don't see the significance here of your quote: "My back aches. I will rest it."
Because in all the goes with the feeling of an aching back and responding to it and voicing an intended action and then acting is transient, but what is permanent and unchanging is that all that transient mental/physical stuff is no longer conditioned (asankhata) by and is unbound (nibbana) from greed, hatred, and delusion. One may have particular meditative experiences related to the experience of the destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion, but the nibbana-ized individual still lives the world and nibbana is very much in the fact that nibbana-ized per is not longer subject to the binding conditions of greed, hatred, and delusion.
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

      >> 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

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:33 am

cappuccino wrote:He taught it was a reality after death.
I infer this from refuge, everlasting, safety, etc.


Nibbana is clearly a living experience, the question here is whether it is a sphere that one touches, a state of mind free from the taints, or both.

It is similar to the debate around whether "unconditioned" is a noun or an adjective, or both.
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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby polarbear101 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:09 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
cappuccino wrote:He taught it was a reality after death.
I infer this from refuge, everlasting, safety, etc.


Nibbana is clearly a living experience, the question here is whether it is a sphere that one touches, a state of mind free from the taints, or both.

It is similar to the debate around whether "unconditioned" is a noun or an adjective, or both.


Sphere: a solid geometric figure generated by the revolution of a semicircle about its diameter; a round body whose surface is at all points equidistant from the center. Equation: x 2+ y 2+ z 2= r 2.

I think you do not literally mean sphere, so what is it that is being touched? From whence does said non-literal sphere come? Obviously, not being touched physically, it must be touched mentally. And from what you've said in this thread, it appears to me you must be conceiving of something that has always existed, that has no relation to space-time, is unchanging, is "outside" the mind, that the mind can cognize and thereby gain release from the defilements. But then, who cares about its status as object? For its only value would be its utility in destroying the defilements. For consciousness is impermanent and so would not "go to" nibbana at death but would cease like all other events of cognition do, albeit this time without a sequel.

Imagine there is a rock (a spherical one if you like :tongue: ), and if you touch this rock, you instantly become happy for the rest of your life. That does not somehow identify you with the rock, nor your happiness, you are not now the rock and your happiness is also not a rock. Or perhaps you don't just have to touch the rock, but must be in constant contact with it to remain happy. So you affix the rock to your skin permanently or sew it into your flesh. The rock does not in this case become your body or even properly a part, and your happiness is still not the rock. Rather, a rock is attached to your body, is the cause of your happiness, and at death consciousness will end and thereby the rock will no longer have any utility.

It seems to me that one only has two choices, either accept that nibbana is "merely" the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion, the ending of craving, the remainderless cessation of dukkha, or nibbana is a form of consciousness. For if it were just an object of consciousness then it would have no utility and so the whole reason for you positing the notion would be nullified. Actually, there is a third option I suppose. (3) Nibbana is an object of consciousness, but not consciousness itself, and it has the attribute of making consciousness eternal/immortal so that consciousness may forever cognize nibbana.

Basically, it seems to me that the view that nibbana is a type of consciousness or an object that makes consciousness immortal stems from clinging to existence and therefore self-view. Any notion of nibbana being a reality after death is (1) you suggesting it is a reality for an eternal "you" in the form of a transcendent consciousness, or (2) it is a reality in itself, but that is of no consequence anyway since after death the individuated sequence of cognitive events having nibbana as object would have ended and thereby no longer have any relation to this reality.

And suggesting that the view "nibbana is an eternal consciousness (or related to one)" is not a self-view merely because in that consciousness no notion of self arises or is thought of seems unconvincing to my mind.

This is my rough intellectual understanding of the matter and please forgive my redundancy. To whatever extent this post produces pessimistic proliferative pondering pertaining to posthumous prospects, in anybody on a quest to become truly peaceful through this noble eightfold path, my apologies.

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:24 am

polarbear101 wrote:
It seems to me that one only has two choices, either accept that nibbana is "merely" the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion, the ending of craving, the remainderless cessation of dukkha, or nibbana is a form of consciousness.
It is both.
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

      >> 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

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:46 am

polarbear101 wrote:It seems to me that one only has two choices, either accept that nibbana is "merely" the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion, the ending of craving, the remainderless cessation of dukkha, or nibbana is a form of consciousness. For if it were just an object of consciousness then it would have no utility and so the whole reason for you positing the notion would be nullified. Actually, there is a third option I suppose. (3) Nibbana is an object of consciousness, but not consciousness itself, and it has the attribute of making consciousness eternal/immortal so that consciousness may forever cognize nibbana.


I am really trying to explore the meaning of the Udana passages referring to in the thread, and what they imply about the nature of Nibbana. Is Nibbana a sphere that one touches, a state of mind free from the taints, or both?

It seems that some people want to rewrite the Udana passages to fit their preconceptions. Others want to dismiss them as poetry. Others say they are just describing meditative states, though that is far from clear. None of these look like satisfactory responses to me. In some cases I am also puzzled by a stubborn refusal to acknowledge ambiguity where it exists.

PS Sphere = ayatana.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:48 am

Spiny Norman wrote:...
Why do you say that the these two passages are describing meditative states, rather than Nibbana? In the first ( Ud 8.01 ) it says "This, just this, is the end of stress" and in the second ( Ud 1.10 ) it says "from bliss and pain, he is freed".

Bearing in mind the Arrow Sutta and the distinction between bodily pain and mental anguish, I still don't see the significance here of your quote: "My back aches. I will rest it."

It seems to be referring to Nibbana, but the straightforard interpretation (see Nananada's nibbana sermons, or the standard Theravada commentarial interpretations) is that with that experience it is clear that that suffering was absent during that experience, and eventually will end completely (give or take some back ache on the way...) - nibanna without remainder.

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:58 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
PS Sphere = ayatana.
You might want to ask Sylvester about that. The problem with this word and dhatu istheir English translations, which manifest in your struggling.
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

      >> 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

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby davidbrainerd » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:50 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
cappuccino wrote:It is the Other Shore, the Everlasting, Safety,
the Island, the Refuge, the Beyond.

~ S 43.1-44


The trouble with taking poetical metaphor literally is that one only does it to the extent that it supports ones view.

I don't think one can have it both ways, if we are to properly take the above literally then Nibbana is an island that is reachable by boat and provides long term residency to refugees.


The other shore is an obvious metaphor so obviously it makes sense to interpret it as such.

But this:

Spiny Norman wrote:"There is, monks, an unborn[1] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[2]"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

What do you think?


This is obviously NOT a metaphor so obviously it makes NO sense to interpret it as such.

The trouble with taking literal statements metaphorically is that one only does it to the extent that it supports ones view.

(Edit: By the way, Goofaholix, even in your quote, only other shore and island there can be metaphors; everlasting, refuge, and beyond must be literal.)

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby cappuccino » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:25 pm

Buddha rejected annihilation.

Why (therefore) are atheists arguing for annihilation?
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:00 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:This is obviously NOT a metaphor so obviously it makes NO sense to interpret it as such.

The trouble with taking literal statements metaphorically is that one only does it to the extent that it supports ones view..


I never said that one was metaphor, I said it was poetry. Poetry tends to play fast and loose with terminology substituting beauty for accuracy. Bearing that in mind if the use of the word "an" adds meaning that doesn't appear in more serious prose then the answer here is to not infer meaning from it.

davidbrainerd wrote:(Edit: By the way, Goofaholix, even in your quote, only other shore and island there can be metaphors; everlasting, refuge, and beyond must be literal.)


Seems reasonable. Thought everlasting what? refuge from what? beyond what? Poetry leaves it up to the reader to fill in the blanks, again I think it's reasonable that the blanks should be filled in from more serious prose rather than ones wishful thinking.
“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: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby cappuccino » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:03 pm

Goofaholix wrote:everlasting what? refuge from what? beyond what?


Everlasting state of Nirvana, refuge from states of Samsara, beyond states of Samsara.
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby davidbrainerd » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:09 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:This is obviously NOT a metaphor so obviously it makes NO sense to interpret it as such.

The trouble with taking literal statements metaphorically is that one only does it to the extent that it supports ones view..


I never said that one was metaphor, I said it was poetry. Poetry tends to play fast and loose with terminology substituting beauty for accuracy. Bearing that in mind if the use of the word "an" adds meaning that doesn't appear in more serious prose then the answer here is to not infer meaning from it.

davidbrainerd wrote:(Edit: By the way, Goofaholix, even in your quote, only other shore and island there can be metaphors; everlasting, refuge, and beyond must be literal.)


Seems reasonable. Thought everlasting what? refuge from what? beyond what? Poetry leaves it up to the reader to fill in the blanks, again I think it's reasonable that the blanks should be filled in from more serious prose rather than ones wishful thinking.


Are you claiming that "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned." is poetry rather than prose? And no, "an" is not a problem. Its required by English grammar. So Pali and a host of other languages don't need an indefinite article. Only somone who knows English only would complain about that as if it matters at all.

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:20 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:Are you claiming that "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned." is poetry rather than prose?

The Udana contains prose backgrounds to poetic utterances:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/
The Udana, the third book of the Khuddaka Nikaya, offers a rich collection of short suttas, each of which culminates in a short verse uttered by the Buddha. Altogether there are eighty suttas, arranged in eight vaggas, or chapters.


The English and Pali of Ud 8.3 can be read here:
https://suttacentral.net/ud8.3

Pali verse often rearranges word order and leaves out words to maintain the poetry. This can sometimes make it difficult to decipher.

:anjali:
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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby cappuccino » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:24 pm

Obviously you're not accepting Buddha's rejection of annihilation…
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby davidbrainerd » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:42 pm

If "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned." is to be considered poetry due to the stacking of adjectives, then the entire canon becomes poetry since there is a marked tendency to stack adjectives.

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby cappuccino » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:48 pm

Some cannot accept transcendent realities,
for they already accept there are none, period.

(God is impossible attitude…)
Last edited by cappuccino on Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:49 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:If "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned." is to be considered poetry due to the stacking of adjectives, then the entire canon becomes poetry since there is a marked tendency to stack adjectives.

I was simply talking about the form, and that it is classified as poetry. There are long studies of Pali verse forms (which I haven't read...).

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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:49 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:Are you claiming that "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned." is poetry rather than prose?


Yes, on the basis that the Udana is mostly verse. If someone more intimate with the Pali knows better I'm sure they'll correct me.

davidbrainerd wrote:And no, "an" is not a problem. Its required by English grammar. So Pali and a host of other languages don't need an indefinite article. Only somone who knows English only would complain about that as if it matters at all.


I think the reason "an" is needed because it makes for better poetry than...
"There is, monks, that which is unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that which is unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from that which is born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned."
“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: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:50 pm

cappuccino wrote:Obviously you're not accepting Buddha's rejection of annihilation…

Is this a comment addressed to a particular post or person?

:anjali:
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Re: Is Nibbana a transcendent reality, or just a state of mind?

Postby cappuccino » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:52 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
cappuccino wrote:Obviously you're not accepting Buddha's rejection of annihilation…

Is this a comment addressed to a particular post or person?


If you don't accept nirvana is a reality.
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."


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