There is a difference but it is impossible to describe. It is impossible to describe because nibbana has no conditions which can be described and all language is based on conditions and describes conditions and conditional relations. It is impossible to describe because nibbana contains no consciousness condition or time condition or space condition and so it is only described in terms of the absence of all dependently originating conditions. It is not annihilation of conditions as dependently originated conditions continue for the apparent universe at large and for all apparent beings sustained by varying degrees of delusion and fundamental ignorance and it is not eternal as it neither arises nor passes. Reasoning is inadequate for comprehending nibbana as the conditions which sustain reason cannot contact or comprehend nibbana. It can be said that nibbana "is" and that it "is" what "is" when dependently arising and passing conditions are consciously, with insight and understanding, willfully and entirely abandoned, be this for a moment or for a period of time or with the lasting cessation of the dependent conditions that bound up together make up the appearances of being and becoming.AdvaitaJ wrote:Having read Ajahn Brahm's book, Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond, this question keeps haunting me. With parinibbana described as the remainder-less cessation of everything, what is the difference between that and annihilation? I understand that as long as you're subject to rebirth, annihilation is wrong view. What I don't understand is how the results are different when you're no longer subject to rebirth. Everything ceases, right? The flame is extinguished, out, gone. It didn't go anywhere, it's just gone. So, how is this different from annihilation?
What conditions need to be developed and what conditions need to be abandoned in order to stop or to make an end to dependently originating conditions is what can be described and what can be done in order to realize nibbana but nibbana can not be said to be understandable. So what we can do is undertake the path that leads to the realization but no one can or ever will be able to communicate the nature of this realization because it is forever beyond range of understanding or description.