Unconditioned

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Nicolas
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:37 pm

Avijjādipaccaya Sutta (SN 12.35) wrote:“What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?”
“Not a valid question.”

davidbrainerd
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Avijjādipaccaya Sutta (SN 12.35) wrote:“What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?”
“Not a valid question.”
If there is the view, ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ there is no living of the holy life; and if there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another,’ there is no living of the holy life
So the only thing your position has in its favor is the "just shut up" suttas that represent Buddha as taking every possible option off the table so that absolutely nothing can be said on a topic. LOL. These suttas destroy the rest of the suttas if you buy them. They are completely nonsensical and clearly made-up to try and end disagreements after Buddha's death with the most absurd disagreement-ending tactic ever devised, i.e. "just shut up! You are not allowed to talk about that!" LOL. Oh wow.

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Nicolas
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:23 pm

If you consider the Visudhimagga to be authoritative, there is this:
Visuddhimagga, chapter 19 (trans. Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli) wrote:In all kinds of becoming, generation, destiny, station, and abode there appears only mentality-materiality, which occurs by means of linking of cause with fruit. He sees no doer over and above the doing, no experiencer of the result over and above the occurrence of the result. But he sees clearly with right understanding that the wise say “doer” when there is doing and “experiencer” when there is experiencing simply as a mode of common usage.

Hence the Ancients said:

There is no doer of a deed
Or one who reaps the deed’s result;
Phenomena alone flow on—
No other view than this is right.

And so, while kamma and result
Thus causally maintain their round,
As seed and tree succeed in turn,
No first beginning can be shown.

Nor in the future round of births
Can they be shown not to occur:
Sectarians, not knowing this,
Have failed to gain self-mastery.

They assume a being, see it as
Eternal or annihilated.
Adopt the sixty-two wrong views,
Each contradicting one another.

The stream of craving bears them on
Caught in the meshes of their views:
And as the stream thus bears them on
They are not freed from suffering.

A monk, disciple of the Buddha,
With direct knowledge of this fact
Can penetrate this deep
Void conditionality.

There is no kamma in result,
Nor does result exist in kamma;
Though they are void of one another,
There is no fruit without the kamma.

As fire does not exist inside
The sun, a gem, cow-dung, nor yet
Outside them, but is brought to be
By means of its component parts,

So neither can result be found
Within the kamma, nor without;
Nor does the kamma still persist
[In the result it has produced].

The kamma of its fruit is void;
No fruit exists yet in the kamma;
And still the fruit is born from it,
Wholly depending on the kamma.

For here there is no Brahmá God,
Creator of the round of births,
Phenomena alone flow on—
Cause and component their condition.

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Nicolas
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:28 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:[...]
Your lack of understanding of and disagreement with these suttas in no way means that they are not authentic. Time to bow out (again). Good luck!

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:54 pm

Well Nicholas, its obvious to me that what you quoted above from Visuddhimagga, chapter 19, concerning there being no doer and everything is just a stream of phenomena just flowing on, that this is expressing the fatalistic view of the Ajivika which Buddha is clearly against in various suttas. So this discussion has certainly raised my awareness to the extent to which the determinist and nihilist sects Buddha was againt infiltrated the Theras.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:19 pm

Well, David, do not forget to address this msg:

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 60#p386988
>> 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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Mkoll
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:19 am

cjmacie wrote:Postby Mkoll » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:59 am
" It seems to me that whatever view we form about Nibbana will miss the mark. That's not to say we shouldn't reflect on it—in fact, it is a meditation subject (AN 10.60 and others). Respectfully asking, reading, listening, sharing, and learning from each other about what we think of it can aid our reflection. Aiding our reflection is the purpose
of such things."


Excuse the intrusion here, as I've not read-through this whole thread; but this passage brought to mind a passage I just came across in Mahasi Sayadaw's talks expounding the Wheel-of-Dhamma Sutta (p.157 in ). I can't claim knowing the truth of this matter, e.g. perhaps subtle distinctions between "reflecting" and taking a meditation object, but was struck by Mahasi's treatment of this topic. (color emphasis added)

" “Meditation on the four truths was taught prefaced by the words ‘understanding of the four truths.’ Of these four truths, the first two, namely, the truth of suffering and the truth of the origin of suffering are concerned with the cycle of existence (vatta). The last two, namely, the truth of cessation of suffering, and the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering are concerned with escape from the cycle of existence (vivatta).
The meditator employs only the first two truths as objects of meditation and not the last two truths.

It means that the meditator contemplates the first two mundane truths, not the last two supramundane truths, which are unsuitable subjects for meditation.
Indeed it is impossible to meditate on them. Why so? The Subcommentary states that these supramundane truths are beyond the understanding of ordinary common worldlings.

Indeed it is true that ordinary common worldlings cannot take the path and fruition as their objects of meditation, nor is nibbāna within the scope of their knowledge before they attain the stage of maturity knowledge (gotrabhū-ñāna). Maturity knowledge consciousness arises only after knowledge of adaptation (anuloma-ñāna), when insight becomes fully developed. Immediately after maturity knowledge comes the realisation of the Path and its Fruition. Therefore, it is obvious that a common worldling is not in a position to take nibbāna or the path and its fruition as an object of meditation. Thus, it must be carefully noted that any instruction to begin with meditation on nibbāna is totally wrong.


The question might arise whether nibbāna may not be taken as an object for tranquility meditation. Contemplation on the qualities of nibbāna such as being devoid of lust (virāga), may be adopted as to gain concentration. However, this exercise is taken solely for the purpose of achieving one-pointedness of mind; it is not to immediately realise the Noble Path and Fruition. In any case this meditation exercise is most appropriate only for the Noble Ones who have already realised nibbāna, and not for the ordinary common worldling. Thus it is definitely a mistaken practice to try to achieve the path and fruition by dwelling on nibbāna from the very start."
Thank you for that. What the Venerable says makes sense.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

chownah
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:51 am

In any case this meditation exercise is most appropriate only for the Noble Ones who have already realised nibbāna
chownah wrote: For those who have realized nibbana what needs to be done has been done....they have laid down the burden.....they have sunk the raft and have no need to go carry the raft around with them. Why would they have need of meditation exercises?
chownah
JohnK wrote: Perhaps for the "day's abiding."
(Don't know what word was translated as "exercise," but it [exercise] may carry an unnecessary connotation.)
"Exercise" is not a translation....this is cjmacie's statement...I should have attributed that, sorry. I think the entire idea that arahants would sit around contemplating nibbana to be sort of comical...I can almost imagine a monty python skit about this.....but perhaps I am completely wrong about this.
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cjmacie
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by cjmacie » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:39 am

by chownah » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:51 pm

"Exercise" is not a translation....this is cjmacie's statement...I should have attributed that, sorry."

You actually should have read the post more carefully -- it was a direct quotation from Mahasi Sayadaw.

btw, the book referenced I forgot to cite, i.e. page 157 in:
http://www.saraniya.com/books/mahasi-sa ... dhamma.pdf

That book is a reworking of this original translation, which is, IMO, more readable (page 270-271 in this version):
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/damachak.pdf

chownah
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:50 am

cjmacie wrote:by chownah » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:51 pm

"Exercise" is not a translation....this is cjmacie's statement...I should have attributed that, sorry."

You actually should have read the post more carefully -- it was a direct quotation from Mahasi Sayadaw.

btw, the book referenced I forgot to cite, i.e. page 157 in:
http://www.saraniya.com/books/mahasi-sa ... dhamma.pdf

That book is a reworking of this original translation, which is, IMO, more readable (page 270-271 in this version):
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/damachak.pdf
Yes, I should have read the post more carefully and so in fact "exercise" is indeed a translation of something into english.....I still think that the entire idea that arahants would sit around contemplating nibbana to be sort of comical...I can almost imagine a monty python skit about this.....but perhaps I am completely wrong about this......AND......I still think that for those who have realized nibbana what needs to be done has been done....they have laid down the burden.....they have sunk the raft and have no need to go carry the raft around with them. Why would they have need of meditation exercises?
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:51 am

Nicolas wrote:What you call "true self" actually has no characteristics of a self, and so shouldn't be called "self" at all, and shouldn't be identified with.
Indeed. And even if one views "the unconditioned" as some sort of transcendental reality, there is nothing to suggest it involves self-hood or "true self", rather it would have a universal quality.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:56 am

cjmacie wrote:by chownah » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:51 pm

"Exercise" is not a translation....this is cjmacie's statement...I should have attributed that, sorry."

You actually should have read the post more carefully -- it was a direct quotation from Mahasi Sayadaw.

btw, the book referenced I forgot to cite, i.e. page 157 in:
http://www.saraniya.com/books/mahasi-sa ... dhamma.pdf

That book is a reworking of this original translation, which is, IMO, more readable (page 270-271 in this version):
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/damachak.pdf
You really need to take some time to learn how to use the "quote" button.
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>> 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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The Thinker
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by The Thinker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:27 am

davidbrainerd wrote:Well Nicholas, its obvious to me that what you quoted above from Visuddhimagga, chapter 19, concerning there being no doer and everything is just a stream of phenomena just flowing on, that this is expressing the fatalistic view of the Ajivika which Buddha is clearly against in various suttas. So this discussion has certainly raised my awareness to the extent to which the determinist and nihilist sects Buddha was againt infiltrated the Theras.
I find it strange that you take the above view, it is the beauty of the teachings that bring together such a mixed group of people, the Four truths form basis of the path, I may be classed a nihilist, but I would say that I simply do not know what comes after death, If people believe the Ajahn Chah School a sect, then if they look within that school they will find different views amongst those teachers (this can prove troublesome I understand).

It is all positive, regardless of opinions. :namaste:
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by pegembara » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:34 am

"True self" can never be known. For anything that one points to up to and including "true self" is not what you are.
You are not that.
"Friend, concerning these five clinging-aggregates described by the Blessed One — i.e., form as a clinging-aggregate... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, there is nothing I assume to be self or belonging to self, and yet I am not an arahant. With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, 'I am' has not been overcome, although I don't assume that 'I am this.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"As you say, friend," the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son replied. Then he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Sāti, that this pernicious view has arisen in you — 'As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another'?"

"Exactly so, lord. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

"Which consciousness, Sāti, is that?" [1]

"This speaker, this knower, lord, that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & evil actions."

"And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that? Haven't I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness'? [2] But you, through your own poor grasp, not only slander us but also dig yourself up [by the root] and produce much demerit for yourself. That will lead to your long-term harm & suffering."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:19 pm

pegembara wrote:"True self" can never be known. For anything that one points to up to and including "true self" is not what you are.
You are not that.


In the sutta you reference (SN 22.89) "I am" is always short for "I am one or more of the aggregates." In every sutta speaking negatively about "I am" its the same.
Friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated.
In the other sutta (MN 38) the problem is that Sati thinks "consciousness" (one of the aggregates) is the self. He is not looking for the true self beyond the aggregates but identifies with one aggregate. Furthermore the problem is (as Buddha explains there) that consciouness is nothing but the brain's awareness of the 5/6 senses! Consciousness in the suttas is NOT the sci-fi consciousness where some alien machine switches Kirk's and Spok's consciousness between their bodies in StarTrek (even though much modern Buddhist literature misuses it this way). And the 6th consciousness is only the brain's attempt to make sense of the other 5 consciousnesses. This is not at all like the sci-fi and psychological use of the term "consciousness". The aggregate called "mental formations" has more in common with the "consciousness" of psychology than "consciousness" as used in the suttas does.
Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:54 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Nicolas wrote:What you call "true self" actually has no characteristics of a self, and so shouldn't be called "self" at all, and shouldn't be identified with.
Indeed. And even if one views "the unconditioned" as some sort of transcendental reality, there is nothing to suggest it involves self-hood or "true self", rather it would have a universal quality.
But I think the self not being like what we think of as a self is the whole idea. That's why Buddha talks so much about what the self is not, and what he says its not is what we typically think it is. The true self is so very devoid of so much of what we think of as self that it thought itself very boring and dreamed of a more exciting existence, and ended up grasping the aggregates and clinging to them and becoming deluded into thinking it is them. To go to Nirvana is to go back to being that boring self up there in pure calm not experiencing all what the phenominal world has to offer. Enlightenment is kind of like: This world is exciting, but filled with suffering, so the self says its had enough of the bells and whistles and can now accept that bare calm 'boring' existence it had in transcendence and now that it knows better, it won't make the same mistake again, its let go of craving for a more exciting existence.

I don't argue everyone has to view it this way, but rabbid no-self Buddhists (By 'rabbid' I mean someone who won't for a moment listen to a differing position, which is not anyone here) remind me a lot of rabbid atheists just wanting to rain on everyone's parade. I think this is one possible interpretation of Buddha's teachings and should not be dismissed too readily. It explains what none other can explain, why clinging to the aggregates is called clinging, because someone is clinging to them. If you are the aggregates then you don't cling to them but are them. If you are nothing at all, you can't cling to anything. If you are a true self that hasn't outgrown the bells and whistles of the phenominal world then you keep clinging to the aggregates.

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:11 pm

Just to further clarify about my use of the word "rabbid". You guys have put up with me spewing what you think is nonsense for a long time. What I meant by that is that typically in any discussion of this topic I've been in before the response is just insults. Being called a fool etc. I even had one guy tell me that "the Dhammapada is for fools and the suttas are for the wise" when I quoted the Dhammapada both verses 153-154 and the verse about the self being the refuge of the self. So even though everyone here may disagree with me, I respect you.

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by The Thinker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:40 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:Just to further clarify about my use of the word "rabbid". You guys have put up with me spewing what you think is nonsense for a long time. What I meant by that is that typically in any discussion of this topic I've been in before the response is just insults. Being called a fool etc. I even had one guy tell me that "the Dhammapada is for fools and the suttas are for the wise" when I quoted the Dhammapada both verses 153-154 and the verse about the self being the refuge of the self. So even though everyone here may disagree with me, I respect you.

Much respect for you also davidbrainerd, you have made your case and opinion quite clear, and something for me to reflect on, your opinion is valid, the suttas in a literal reading undoubtedly imply a large part of what you believe, I do find myself pulled towards the metaphor explanation of many suttas put forth by Ajahn Sumedho in various books and tapes, everyone is teaching me and I am most grateful. :namaste:
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:56 pm

davidbrainerd wrote: So even though everyone here may disagree with me, I respect you.
I do not think that you do. I have asked you questions, which you ignore. I have responded to some of your claims, which you ignore. You simply refuse to actually engage in a genuine discussion of your claim about a true self. When asked about what it does you give a rather vague, waffling answers. You have not shown that your supposed true self is something beyond the khandhas, nor have you shown that the Buddha taught that there is some sort of "true self" beyond the khandhas.

You refer to Dhp 154 (trans by J.R. Carter & M. Palihawadana):
    • House-builder, you are seen! The house you shall not build again! Broken are your rafters, all, Your roof beam destroyed. Freedom from sankhāras has the mind [citta] obtained. To the end of cravings has it come.
There is no justification for taking "house-builder" as referring to some sort of "true self." The answer here is found in paṭiccasamuppāda and the role played by tanhā, 'the chief root of suffering, and of the ever-continuing cycle of rebirths. "What, o monks, is the origin of suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to ever-fresh rebirth and, bound up with pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight."'* It is tanhā that builds the house, not some mysterious "true self."

And let keep in mind that nature of citta:
  • Bhikkhus, I will teach the origination and passing away of the four esatblishments of mindfulness. Listen to that.

    And what, bhikkhus, is the origination of the body? With the origination of nutriment there is origination of the body. With the cessation of nutriment there is the passing away of the body.

    With the origination of contact there is origination of feeling. With the cessation of contact there is the passing away of feeling.

    With the origination of name-and-form there is origination of mind
    [citta]. With the cessation of name-and-form there is passing away of mind.

    With the origination of attention there is origination of phenomena
    [experience], dhamma]. With the cessation of attention there is passing away of phenomena.
Why would the "true self" choose to be the cause of suffering? Your whole argument makes no sense at all.
>> 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: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:45 pm

tiltbillings, I'm not purposefully avoiding your questions. I am a little puzzled as to what this phrase "Freedom from sankhāras has the mind [citta] obtained" means to you. Maybe that is the origination of the divergence in opinion right there.
Why would the "true self" choose to be the cause of suffering? Your whole argument makes no sense at all.
I was thinking because it had not yet experienced phenominal existence and didn't know any better yet.

Also this "With the origination of name-and-form there is origination of mind [citta]. With the cessation of name-and-form there is passing away of mind"..I think in this case citta means "thought" as in any individual thought rather than "mind". Otherwise, it seems to me to conflict with "Freedom from sankhāras has the mind [citta] obtained." Because then it would seem to suggest "Freedom from sankhāras has the mind [citta] obtained" means the whole mind ceases to exist, in which case how did he speak this statement after his whole mind ceased to exist?

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