My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

Also take a look at DN 5:
He understands thus: ‘This is my body, having material form, composed of the four primary elements, originating from father and mother, built up out of rice and gruel, impermanent, subject to rubbing and pressing, to dissolution and dispersion. And this is my consciousness, supported by it and bound up with it.’
“When his mind is thus concentrated, pure and bright, unblemished, free from defects, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body having material form, mind-made, complete in all its parts, not lacking any faculties.
Most excellent, O Gotama, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up what has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms—just even so has the truth been made known to me in many a figure by the venerable Gotama.
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn5

I really can quote quite a lot of suttas containing "external form" and paying attention to different signs of external form but I believe I have already presented more than enough evidence that Buddha was not a postmodernist
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

And another:
If, friends, internally the eye is intact but no external forms come into its range, and there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range, but there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range and there is the corresponding conscious engagement, then there is the manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness.
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn28

I mean if this doesn't cut it I don't know what does
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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Coëmgenu
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Coëmgenu »

Twilight wrote:Witch is also in line with this sutta
Image
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
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aflatun
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by aflatun »

Coëmgenu wrote:
Twilight wrote:Witch is also in line with this sutta
Image

:rofl:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Jojola
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Jojola »

Coëmgenu wrote:
Twilight wrote:But as expected, you have not responded to any of my 2 questions at all :oops: :oops: :oops:
Because your questions are irrelevant and unrelated to the subject matter you claim to be an expert on.
Quite right, if she would have looked at what I was graciously and with good intention trying to share with her she would have learned that to say Paticcasumapadda happens in a single 'moment' makes it temporal due to the assertion of 'moment' which denotes a perception of 'time'. Also she fails to say what question two even has to do with Nanaviras work at all.

And I admit that I don't understand his take on it completely yet, I'm chipping away at it; I just know enough to say that her questions aren't applicable to his view, whether that view is true or not.

I'll post just a little since she doesn't seem truly concerned with getting the answers to her question herself, makes me question how much the questioner actually cares about the question, in which case I'm wasting my time trying to help, so for instance here is why she is stuck on the vanishing arahant that B. Bodhi puts forth who obvious did not bother to learn about Nanaviras actual view either (some of the pali characters get messed up in copy and pasting but a knowledgeable person should be able to correct the errors in their heads), Nanavira:

In spite of the venerable tradition, starting with the Pañisambhidàmagga
(or perhaps the Abhidhamma Piñaka) and continued in
all the Commentaries (see Aïguttara V,viii,9 <A.iii,107,§4>), pañiccasamuppàda
has nothing to do with temporal succession (cause-andeffect).
Precedence in pañiccasamuppàda is structural, not temporal:
pañiccasamuppàda is not the description of a process. For as long as
pañiccasamuppàda is thought to involve temporal succession (as it is,
notably, in the traditional ‘three-life’ interpretation), so long is it liable
to be regarded as some kind of hypothesis (that there is re-birth and
that it is caused by avijjà) to be verified (or not) in the course of time
(like any hypothesis of the natural sciences), and so long are people
liable to think that the necessary and sufficient criterion of a ‘Buddhist’ad
is the acceptance of this hypothesis on trust (for no hypothesis
can be known to be certainly true, since upon the next occasion it may
fail to verify itself). But the Buddha tells us (Majjhima iv,8 <M.i,265>)
that pañiccasamuppàda is:

sandiññhiko akàliko ehipassiko opanayiko
paccattaü veditabbo vi¤¤åhi.
(immediate, timeless, evident, leading,
to be known privately by the wise)

What temporal succession is akàlika (timelessness)?
For an ariyasà-vaka, pañiccasamuppàda is a matter of direct reflexive certainty: the ariyasàvaka has direct, certain, reflexive knowledge of the condition upon which birth depends. He has no such knowledge about re-birth,
which is quite a different matter. He knows for himself that avijjà is
the condition for birth; but he does not know for himself that when
there is avijjà there is re-birth. (That there is re-birth, i.e. saüsàra,
may remain, even for the ariyasàvaka, a matter of trust in the
Buddha.) The ariyasàvaka knows for himself that even in this very life
the arahat is, actually, not to be found (cf. Khandha Saüy. ix,3
<S.iii,109-15> and see Paramattha Sacca), and that it is wrong
to say that the arahat ‘was born’ or ‘will die’. With sakkàyanirodha
there is no longer any ‘somebody’ (or a person—sakkàya,) to whom
the words birth and death can apply. They apply, however, to the
puthujjana, who still ‘is somebody’. But to endow his birth with a
condition in the past—i.e. a cause—is to accept this ‘somebody’ at its
face value as a permanent ‘self’; for cessation of birth requires cessation
of its condition, which, being safely past (in the preceding life),
cannot now be brought to an end; and this ‘somebody’ cannot therefore
now cease. Introduction of this idea into pañiccasamuppàda infects
the samudayasacca with sassatadiññhi and the nirodhasacca with
ucchedadiññhi. Not surprisingly, the result is hardly coherent. And to
make matters worse, most of the terms—and notably saïkhàra
—have been misconceived by the Visuddhimagga.
It is sometimes thought possible to modify this interpretation of
pañiccasamuppàda, confining its application to the present life. Instead
of temporal succession we have continuous becoming, conceived as a
flux, where the effect cannot be clearly distinguished from the cause—
the cause becomes the effect. But this does not get rid of the temporal
element, and the concept of a flux raises its own difficulties.
The problem lies in the present, which is always with us; and any
attempt to consider past or future without first settling the present
problem can only beg the question—‘self’ is either asserted or denied,
or both, or both assertion and denial are denied, all of which take it
for granted. Any interpretation of pañiccasamuppàda
that involves time is an attempt to resolve the present problem by
referring to past or future, and is therefore necessarily mistaken. The
argument that both past and future exist in the present (which, in a
certain sense, is correct) does not lead to the resolution of the problem
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:
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aflatun
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by aflatun »

Twilight wrote:And another:
If, friends, internally the eye is intact but no external forms come into its range, and there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range, but there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range and there is the corresponding conscious engagement, then there is the manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness.
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn28

I mean if this doesn't cut it I don't know what does
I don't pretend to know for certain what suttas like this mean, I really don't, but I do know that the meaning will hinge on how one interprets eye, external form and consciousness. The venerables you refuse to read have explained their take on these things at length. Whether they are right or wrong, they have explained their position.

As written, does the passage require that 'external form' to be something independent of experience, an unseen visible object (which is a square circle, a sheer impossibility, something you may have realized if you bothered to read the Bradley quote I provided, which IMO is a key to understanding phenomenology in general)? I don't think so, but maybe it does. Similarly does "eye" mean the gelatinous globe that sits in your orbit? Does consciousness mean visual awareness in the general sense, as a neuroscientist might use the term? I'm not sure.

If you think this passage describes a kind of photo neurophysiology, where the Buddha is describing the emergence of consciousness upon the interaction of physical sensory organs and physical experience independent objects in the manner of modern science lets say, as you seem to think all the teachings on the sense bases do, one suggestion I can offer is, try to imagine a scenario where you have a functioning eye ball and a visible form in range *without* any visual consciousness whatsoever. As in none, zero. Similarly, try to imagine a scenario where you have a functioning eye ball without any visible form in range whatsoever. I don't think darkness counts to be honest. Do either of these actually happen in experience?

I also don't know what "conscious engagement" translates, perhaps one of our Pali savants can be of help? The permutations offered above are

Eye/No external form/no conscious engagement
Eye/external form/no conscious engagement
Eye/external form/conscious engagement

If I could have an eye ball with no external forms present why couldn't I "consciously engage" my eye or the absence of forms anyway?


EDIT: Bradley's argument cited does not require submission to his Absolute Idealism in my opinion, just wanted to be clear that I am not advocating that. I would be lynched for Eternalism! :thumbsup:
Last edited by aflatun on Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

@Jojola: It is a "he" not a "she". My question is this: if paticcasamupadda is structural not temporal, then tell me what happens when ignorance disappears. Let's say you get enlightened tomorrow at hour 22:45. Do you vanish or will your body, consciousness, perception etc. continue to exist ? Since ignorance disappeared at 22:45, then consciousness, name and form, volition, perception, feeling - also disappeared at 22:45. You simply vanish at 22:45. And we know this did not what happened in the suttas. Buddha and all other arahants 5 aggregates continued to exist in the world.

@alfatun: You're really doing your best to read as much as posible into that sutta. The sutta is pretty straight foreward. Even a kid could understand the sutta. If your eye is intact not damaged and you come in contact with external form (like seen a tree or seen a ferarri)and you pay attention, then there will appear eye-consciousness regarding the tree or the ferari.

Or for example if the tree or the ferarri come into range of the eye but there is no conscious engagement, you do not "move your focus" and engage with the object - then there will be no manifestation of consciousness. Like if you put your attention/consciously engage with a building that is also in sight instead of the ferarri, then there is no manifestation of the coresponding section of consciousness for the ferari. Or maybe you are daydreaming and not paying attention at all to the ferarri.

It's pretty simple stuff, no need to try finding postmodernism into the sutta when it is simply not there. If one is looking for postmodernism, sure he can find it even in the bible. But just take a step back and read the sutta with honesty to understand what it is describing.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

From the same MN 28 sutta:
“What, friends, is the earth element? The earth element may be either internal or external. What is the internal earth element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to; that is, head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to: this is called the internal earth element. Now both the internal earth element and the external earth element are simply earth element. .
What, friends, is the water element? The water element may be either internal or external. What is the internal water element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to; that is, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to: this is called the internal water element. Now both the internal water element and the external water element are simply water element
“Now there comes a time when the external water element is disturbed. It carries away villages, towns, cities, districts, and countries. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean sink down a hundred leagues, two hundred leagues, three hundred leagues, four hundred leagues, five hundred leagues, six hundred leagues, seven hundred leagues. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand seven palms deep, six palms deep…two palms deep, only a palm deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand seven fathoms deep, six fathoms deep…two fathoms deep, only a fathom deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand half a fathom deep, only waist deep, only knee deep, only ankle deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean are not enough to wet even the joint of a finger.
“Now there comes a time when the external fire element is disturbed. It burns up villages, towns, cities, districts, and countries. It goes out due to lack of fuel only when it comes to green grass, or to a road, or to a rock, or to water, or to a fair open space. There comes a time when they seek to make a fire even with a cock’s feather or a hide-paring
I mean how can one be more clear than the MN 28 sutta ? How much clear could the Buddha get about what he meant by external elements ????????
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn28
Last edited by Twilight on Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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aflatun
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by aflatun »

Twilight wrote:@Jojola: It is a "he" not a "she". My question is this: if paticcasamupadda is structural not temporal, then tell me what happens when ignorance disappears. Let's say you get enlightened tomorrow at hour 22:45. Do you vanish or will your body, consciousness, perception etc. continue to exist ? Since ignorance disappeared at 22:45, then consciousness, name and form, volition, perception, feeling - also disappeared at 22:45. You simply vanish at 22:45. And we know this did not what happened in the suttas. Buddha and all other arahants 5 aggregates continued to exist in the world.

@alfatun: You're really doing your best to read as much as posible into that sutta. The sutta is pretty straight foreward. Even a kid could understand the sutta. If your eye is intact not damaged and you come in contact with external form (like seen a tree or seen a ferarri)and you pay attention, then there will appear eye-consciousness regarding the tree or the ferari.

Or for example if the tree or the ferarri come into range of the eye but there is no conscious engagement, you do not "move your focus" and engage with the object - then there will be no manifestation of consciousness. Like if you put your attention/consciously engage with a building that is also in sight instead of the ferarri, then there is no manifestation of the coresponding section of consciousness for the ferari.

It's pretty simple stuff, no need to try finding postmodernism into the sutta when it is simply not there. If one is looking for postmodernism, sure he can find it even in the bible. But just take a step back and read the sutta with honesty and in a normal manner to understand what it is describing.
I wasn't trying to read anything into it, I'm trying to understand how you understand it and whether that leads to a tenable scenario as reflected in my experience, which is more respect than you've afforded me on this forum, or anyone else from what I've seen.

If the ferrari is in range of my eye and my eye is open there will be some consciousness of it no matter how vague or undefined, no matter what else I'm focusing on, that's what I was getting at. What you don't seem to understand is "come in contact with an external form" that there is zero awareness of whatsoever is an impossibility, its a post hoc abstraction. I'm glad you seem to derive so much benefit from the Blessed One turned neurophysiologist but I don't buy it.

What does "conscious engagement" translate?

EDIT: So the emergence of visual consciousness requires the internal and external plus my attention, is that what you're saying? (Honest question).

Children can do a lot of things, like spell properly in the language they seek to argue with people in by use of google, spell checkers, etc.
Last edited by aflatun on Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

Just read what I just posted from the same MN 28 sutta and tell me what is your opinion on these external and internal elements described there :anjali:
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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aflatun
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by aflatun »

Twilight wrote:Just read what I just posted from the same MN 28 sutta and tell me what is your opinion on these external and internal elements described there :anjali:
Beautiful passages! I'm not sure what they have to do with your argument though?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Twilight
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:43 pm

Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

So you agree there exist external things such as floods that drown villages, fires that burn villages etc. and it is not all internal ? If you die, will your family, your city, other humans etc. continue to exist ?
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
User avatar
aflatun
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by aflatun »

Twilight wrote:So you agree there exist external things such as floods that drown villages, fires that burn villages etc. and it is not all internal ? If you die, will your family, your city, other humans etc. continue to exist ?
It depends on what you mean by external?

I believe you and everyone I'm talking to is real, possessed of their own mind and life etc, sure, did I ever imply otherwise? If you were a figment of my imagination I could be carrying more self hatred around than I thought I was! :rofl:

EDIT: Please note I did not use the word "exist," its just so hairy when I don't know what it means to you
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Twilight
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Re: My criticism of Nanavira and other "existentialist"

Post by Twilight »

If you die, will I continue to exist ? Will I continue to eat, sleep, etc. even though I will not manifest in your internal phenomenological world cause you are not here anymore?
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link
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