polarbear101 wrote: tiltbillings 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.
I'm not sure if you are referring to arahatta-phala samadhi or just the fact that any time-slice of the arahant's consciousness is freed from craving,
Pretty much these two things.
but what I meant by nibbana as a form of consciousness was that it is a form of consciousness that survives the final ending the of the five aggregates. And there is no good evidence for that notion in the suttas as far as I can tell.
Interestingly, I had a conversation on E-Sangha with Malcolm Smith, aka Namdrol, about this sort of thing. He was advocating this sort of position that you are taking. Honestly, I won't go there, not that it could not be defended, but the dangers of taking such a position far outweigh any advantage in making sense of post-mortem nibbana. Way too easy to slip into holding an ersatz atman/brahman -- tat tvam asi/om tat sat/sat chit ananda -- notions, but mostly I do not really care about this issue at this level since I do not see a practical application in terms of practice.
But then I really do not care about such ideas a sotāpanna, once returners and such as goals of practice. I have seen/known over the past 48-9 years of my being a Buddhist any number of folks who have claimed of themselves of having attained ariya status. Most, almost all, of the people were in fact seriously flawed in ways that undermines any claim of awakening, and this includes some of the more recent ones I have encountered on this forum and elsewhere.
The ones I feel, without question, who have managed to gain no small degree of insight and transformation from their practice rarely claimed such of themselves (even privately), or have spoken of it in ways that drew no attention or little favor in their direction.
For myself, doing the practice is enough, and in a very real way, what I am practicing for is dying, death. If one cannot sit with an equanimous, concentrated mindful mind in face of the dangerous mind states, sit with an equanimous, concentrated mindful mind in face of difficulties of being seriously ill, I suspect one will find it a bit more difficult to face the moments of death. As a hospice nurse, I deal with death directly, with the dying and with their families before and after the death of their loved one, and see how difficult death can be for those are dying and for those who are losing a loved one. If I have to have a goal, it is to have a good death, to be as much awake as possible as I die, which is to say to be awake as much as possible during my life. After that, I am not worried.
The sort of things I outlined here
is how I understand the Dhamma in terms of practice. No one needs to agree with me on any of this.
So, the bottom line, I have offered some ideas on the subject of this thread, and others have proffered their ideas. Now it is time to practice.