Internal / External - significance and meaning

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Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:44 pm
Greetings Spiny,
Spiny Norman wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:48 pm
Curious then that a sutta describing a contemplation on the four elements includes the distinction between internal and external.

"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external....Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
It is good you present sutta to demonstrate that the internal and external earth element (etc.) are simply earth element, thus the distinction between internal and external is a fabricated (sankhata) one, not to be taken seriously, and it saves me from needing to demonstrate this.
Spiny Norman wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:48 pm
Here the internal/external distinction itself doesn't seem to be the problem, the point is to see the element "as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.'"
I disagree with the bolded section. The fabricated designation of "internal" serves only to make the "right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self" that you speak of more difficult.

After all, what is it internal to, if not to that which is falsely deemed to be mine, me, or my self? If you wish, do explain to us a demarcation point between internal and external whose nexus does not resort to that which is falsely deemed to be mine, me, or my self.
Nanananda, in Nibbana Sermons wrote:This particular thematic paragraph in the Satipaṭṭhānasutta is of paramount importance for insight meditation. Here, too, there is the mention of internal, ajjhatta, and external, bahiddhā. When one directs one's attention to one's own body and another's body separately, one might sometimes take these two concepts, internal and external, too seriously with a dogmatic attitude. One might think that there is actually something that could be called one's own or another's. But then the mode of attention next mentioned unifies the two, as internal-external, ajjhattabahiddhā, and presents them like the conjoined pair of bulls. And what does it signify? These two are not to be viewed as two extremes, they are related to each other.

Now let us go a little deeper into this interrelation. The farthest limit of the internal is the nearest limit of the external. The farthest limit of the external is the nearest limit of the internal. More strictly rendered, ajjhatta means inward and bahiddhā means outward. So here we have the duality of an inside and an outside. One might think that the word ajjhattika refers to whatever is organic. Nowadays many people take in artificial parts into their bodies. But once acquired, they too become internal. That is why, in this context ajjhattika has a deeper significance than its usual rendering as 'one's own'.

Whatever it may be, the farthest limit of the ajjhatta remains the nearest limit of the bahiddhā. Whatever portion one demarcates as one's own, just adjoining it and at its very gate is bahiddhā. And from the point of view ofbahiddhā, its farthest limit and at its periphery is ajjhatta. This is a conjoined pair. These two are interrelated. So the implication is that these two are not opposed to each other. That is why, by attending to them both together, asajjhattabahiddhā, that dogmatic involvement with a view is abandoned. Here we have an element of reconciliation, which prevents adherence to a view. This is what fosters the attitude of anissita, unattached.
Nanananda, in Nibbana Sermons wrote:Since cravings, conceits and views thus reinforce the dichotomy between an internal and an external, the Buddha has upheld this principle underlying the meditation on the four elements, to resolve this conflict.

The fact that with the resolution of this conflict between the internal and the external concerning the four elements the mind becomes emancipated is put across to us in the following verse in the Tālapuṭa Theragāthā.

Kadā nu kaṭṭhe ca tiṇe latā ca
khandhe ime 'haṃ amite ca dhamme
ajjhattikān' eva ca bāhirāni ca
samaṃ tuleyyaṃ, tad idaṃ kadā me?

This verse gives expression to Venerable Tālapuṭa Thera's aspiration to become an arahant. It says:

"When shall I weigh as equal all these
Limitless things both internal and external,
Twigs, grass, creepers and these aggregates,
O! when shall that be for me?"

It is at the stage of arahant-hood that the internal and the external appear alike. That is precisely why the Venerable Adhimutta Thera, whom we quoted earlier, uttered the lines: Tiṇakaṭṭhasamaṃ lokaṃ, yadā paññāya passati.

"When one sees through wisdom,
The world to be comparable to grass and twigs."

The comparison is between the internal world of the five aggregates, or this conscious body, and the inanimate objects outside.
And what is the resolution to the sankhata distinction between internal and external?
Nanananda, in Nibbana Sermons wrote:Generally, what is known as a vortex or a whirlpool, is a certain pervert, unusual or abnormal activity, which sustains a pretence of an individual existence in the great ocean with a drilling and churning as its centre. It is an aberration, functioning according to a duality, maintaining a notion of two things. As long as it exists, there is the dichotomy between a 'here' and a 'there', oneself and another. A vortex reflects a conflict between an 'internal' and an 'external' - a 'tangle within' and a 'tangle without'. The cessation of the vortex is the freedom from that duality. It is a solitude born of full integration.

We happened to discuss the meaning of the term kevalī in our last sermon. The cessation of a vortex is at once the resolution of the conflict between an internal and an external, of the tangle within and without. When a vortex ceases, all those conflicts subside and a state of peace prevails. What remains is the boundless great ocean, with no delimitations of a 'here' and a 'there'. As is the great ocean, so is the vortex now.
This suchness itself indicates the stoppage, the cessation or the subsidence of the vortex. There is no longer any possibility of pointing out a 'here' and a 'there' in the case of a vortex that has ceased. Its 'thusness' or 'suchness' amounts to an acceptance of the reality of the great ocean. That 'thus-gone' vortex, or the vortex that has now become 'such', is in every respect worthy of being called tathāgata.

The term tādī is also semantically related to this suchness. The tathāgata is sometimes referred to as tādī or tādiso, "such-like". The 'such-like' quality of the tathāgata is associated with his unshakeable deliverance of the mind. His mind remains unshaken before the eight worldly vicissitudes.
The purpose of me highlighting the internal/external dichotomy in this topic was to show how attachment to this distinction will not lead to the "solitude born of full integration", outlined above. The solitude is not achieved through a retreat into the internal, but through the dissolution of the fabricated distinction between the two.

I'm happy to discuss the internal/external dichotomy further, but best we do so in a new topic, since we've exhausted the extent to which this side-discussion could relate to ToVincent's anapanasati cheat-sheet.

Metta,
Paul. :)
This post might make a new thread?
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:57 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:27 am
After all, what is it internal to, if not to that which is falsely deemed to be mine, me, or my self? If you wish, do explain to us a demarcation point between internal and external whose nexus does not resort to that which is falsely deemed to be mine, me, or my self.
I would suggest it is the distinction between what arises at the five "physical" sense bases ( external ) and what arises at the mind-base ( internal ).

It's worth mentioning that the internal/external distinction is referenced throughout the Satipatthana Sutta.
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by Circle5 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:32 am

And many other suttas, but solipsist just don't like it. There is one thing to be a solipsist, another to claim solipsism is based on the suttas. But people will always try to say that whatever ideas they might be holding are in line with the suttas, to gain traction for their philosophy on the back of the historical Buddha image.

Here is a bigger list of suttas showing Buddha did not agree with solipsism:

- SN 22.94 - explaining things do exist and that any "wise man in the world" agrees on that.
- SN 14.7 - explaining the diversity of perceptions depends on the diversity of elements. In postmodernist/solipsist view only diversity of perceptions exist and the diversity of elements is just an illusion created through the internal process of assumption
- SN 24.1 - calls solipsism a wrong view. Solipsism is listed as the first wrong view and the sutta is repeated 4 times throughout the "wrong view" section.
- AN 6.41 - Explains how there is a wood-pile and how one can attend to different proprieties of this wood pile (such as the eath property, water property etc)
- DN 5 - Explains what external material form is
- MN 28 - Explains what external elements are

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:45 am

Greetings Circle5,
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:32 am
And many other suttas, but solipsist just don't like it. There is one thing to be a solipsist, another to claim solipsism is based on the suttas.
:offtopic:

:strawman:

I'm not sure how many times you need to be told until you comprehend this, but solipsism is not being advocated.

If you persist in such off-topic strawmen, your posts will go the way of other off-topic posts...

Metta,
Paul. :)
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by perkele » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:45 am
Greetings Circle5,
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:32 am
And many other suttas, but solipsist just don't like it. There is one thing to be a solipsist, another to claim solipsism is based on the suttas.
:offtopic:

:strawman:

I'm not sure how many times you need to be told until you comprehend this, but solipsism is not being advocated.

If you persist in such off-topic strawmen, your posts will go the way of other off-topic posts...

Metta,
Paul. :)
The references are on point, though, and quite handy here to settle the interpretation. I. e. the last one:
MN 28 wrote:"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. Which is the internal earth property? Whatever internal, within oneself, is hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internal, within oneself, is hard, solid, & sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property and the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the mind dispassionate toward the earth property.

... etc.
Interesting.

Without this explanation, Spiny's interpretation would have made just as much sense to me. I think one might construe some vague relation of Spiny's proposed interpretation to a solipsist interpretation, but I don't see that it's implied. Maybe that could be talked about in this other topic (which at some point I had stopped reading most of the replies to, but it's something I wanted to get back to, yet had not enough time).

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:56 am

Could it be that int/ext mean different things in different suttas?
chownah

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by ToVincent » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:11 pm

Nanananda, in Nibbana Sermons wrote:
The cessation of the vortex is the freedom from that duality. It is a solitude born of full integration.


AGAIN - Pure Upaniṣadic and Hinduist philosophy = Self view.
!?!?!?

Nanananda translations are just interpreted to fit his own view:

Kadā nu kaṭṭhe ca tiṇe latā ca
khandhe ime 'haṃ amite ca dhamme
ajjhattikān' eva ca bāhirāni ca
samaṃ tuleyyaṃ, tad idaṃ kadā me?
Thag 19.1 -(#11)

"When shall I weigh as equal all these
Limitless things both internal and external,
Twigs, grass, creepers and these aggregates,
O! when shall that be for me?"
Nanananda

Oh when will I discern the aggregates
And the infinite varieties of phenomena,
Both internal and external, as no more than (as equal to)
Wood, grass, and creepers? When will it be?
Sujato

We are made of pus, blood, excrement, grease,... - of the same khandhas than twigs, grass, creepers, ...
Do we have to "equal" that?
Would that make us freer?

That's just plain Hinduism!

I think Nanananda also missed these strophes:

Oh, when will I, devoted to tranquillity,
See with understanding the infinite
sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and mental phenomena = EXTERNAL ĀYATANANI
As burning? When will it be? - (Note: Is it said to "equal" that?)
...
Oh, when will I be devoted to jhāna,
Rejecting entirely the signs of beauty,
Splitting apart desire for sensual pleasures,
Like an elephant that wanders without ties;
When will it be?
....
Pretty sights, pleasant feelings,
And the delightful kinds of sensual pleasure: I’ve vomited them all;
And I can’t swallow back what I’ve vomited up.


___________________


AGAIN - as far as the "vortex" is concerned, it has to do with consciousness being dependent on name-&-form and name-&-form dependent on consciousness - Not about externals and internals - This kind of convoluted interpretation is absolutely nonsensical.

This is what this vortex is all about (and I have already covered that lengthily in other threads).

How does consciousness turns back at nāme & form?
--------------------------------------------------
1. Consciousness gets established >>
2. Which triggers the descent of Nāma-Rūpa in saḷāyatana; which nāmarūpa does the all shebang with the 12 āyatanāni => "sense-consciousness" - plus "descends" into satta, for the contact, feeling, perception, whatever manasi (mano) stuff (manasikāra), and cetanā business. >>
Which maintains consciousness, that will again establish itself. (back to #1)
So and so forth.
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:12 pm

perkele wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:23 am
The references are on point, though, and quite handy here to settle the interpretation. I. e. the last one:
MN 28 wrote:"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. Which is the internal earth property? Whatever internal, within oneself, is hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internal, within oneself, is hard, solid, & sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property and the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the mind dispassionate toward the earth property.

... etc.
Interesting.

Without this explanation, Spiny's interpretation would have made just as much sense to me. I think one might construe some vague relation of Spiny's proposed interpretation to a solipsist interpretation, but I don't see that it's implied. Maybe that could be talked about in this other topic (which at some point I had stopped reading most of the replies to, but it's something I wanted to get back to, yet had not enough time).
Have another look at the first couple of paragraphs of the OP. I wasn't advocating solipism or idealism by using the model of the sense bases, just suggesting a practical way of understanding the internal/external distinction. My assumption is that suttas like these were written primarily to facilitate dhamma vicaya ( investigation ), rather than to establish philosophical positions.

As a general observation the suttas describe dependent origination as the "middle" between the polarities of existence and non-existence - and perhaps between the philosophical monisms of materialism and idealism?

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:14 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:56 am
Could it be that int/ext mean different things in different suttas?
chownah
Yes, that could well be the case.

I had another look at the Satipatthana Sutta, I'm not sure I now agree with Note 4 in the translation by Nyanasatta Thera, the idea that "external" refers to another person:

'Internally': contemplating his own breathing; 'externally': contemplating another's breathing; 'internally and externally': contemplating one's own and another's breathing, alternately, with uninterrupted attention. In the beginning one pays attention to one's own breathing only, and it is only in advanced stages that for the sake of practicing insight, one by inference at times pays attention also to another person's process of breathing.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nysa.html

I now wonder if "external" here could refer to the bodily sensation of the breath passing through the nostrils? I need to give further thought to how this internal/external distinction might be applied in the second and third frames, but I think the sense-base model could be a useful approach.
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by perkele » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:26 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Have another look at the first couple of paragraphs of the OP. I wasn't advocating solipism or idealism by using the model of the sense bases, just suggesting a practical way of understanding the internal/external distinction. My assumption is that suttas like these were written primarily to facilitate dhamma vicaya ( investigation ), rather than to establish philosophical positions.
I did not say that you were advocating solipsism. And yeah, the sutta surely does not seem to be about sorting out absurd philosophical positions. I just had the idea that your suggested interpretation could be construed as being somehow related to solipsism and could at least be more natural/appealing to a solipsist mindset than the other. I don't want to draw this out here, but merely gave a hint that such could be better discussed in the solipsism topic. Although I am not really very interested in that at the moment.

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by polarbear101 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 pm

Internal/external refers to the commonsense distinctions between self/other, internal environment/external environment, organism/ecosystem, one's own body-mind and anything outside of that.

The elements are the things that when aggravated externally lead to earthquakes, floods, fires, and tornadoes. It is just the ancient indian way of describing what we now call matter.

All this intellectual sillyness reading non-existent distinctions or hifalutin deconstructions into the suttas is unnecessary. Kindergarteners would grasp it easier than people drowning in the sea of superfluous ideas. Just take a plain reading of the sutta below:
"And what is the liquid property? The liquid property may be either internal or external. What is the internal liquid property? Whatever internal, belonging to oneself, is liquid, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine, or whatever else internal, within oneself, is liquid, watery, & sustained: This is called the internal liquid property. Now both the internal liquid property and the external liquid property are simply liquid property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the liquid property and makes the mind dispassionate toward the liquid property.

"Now there comes a time, friends, when the external liquid property is provoked and washes away village, town, city, district, & country. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean drops down one hundred leagues, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred... six hundred... seven hundred leagues. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands seven palm-trees deep, six... five... four... three... two palm-trees deep, one palm-tree deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands seven fathoms deep, six... five... four... three... two fathoms deep, one fathom deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean stands half a fathom deep, hip-deep, knee-deep, ankle deep. There comes a time when the water in the great ocean is not even the depth of the first joint of a finger.

"So when even in the external liquid property — so vast — inconstancy will be discerned, destructibility will be discerned, a tendency to decay will be discerned, changeability will be discerned, then what in this short-lasting body, sustained by clinging, is 'I' or 'mine' or 'what I am'? It has here only a 'no.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:26 pm

Hi TV. A slight asign on Ven Nananada's use of language:
ToVincent wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:11 pm
Nanananda translations are just interpreted to fit his own view: ...
Actually, if you take the time to listen to Analayo's talks on the Nibbana Sermons, or look carefully at the translations, you'll see that the translations that he uses in the English versions of the Sermons are simply the old PTS translations that he had to hand, so I wouldn't read anything special into the choice of words!

Analayo gives alternate, modern translations. He also comments that Nananada was asked for English translations because his Sinhalese style is very complex. My observation is that he has the rather dense educated-Sinhalese style I know from working with various students. This results in much of his English being somewhat archaic and not always easy to follow. Again, I wouldn't read too much into his particular choice of words, but would try to see though to the meaning.

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:34 pm

polarbear101 wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 pm
Internal/external refers to the commonsense distinctions between self/other, internal environment/external environment, organism/ecosystem, one's own body-mind and anything outside of that.
And are one of the doorways to seeing the not-self nature of the elements... I simply don't see why this is seen to be particularly difficult or controversial (on an intellectual level - really understanding not-self experiential is obviously non-trivial). The internal-external (non-)distinction is also a feature of this sutta:
“Bhikkhus, what do you think? If people carried off the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burned them, or did what they liked with them, would you think: ‘People are carrying us off or burning us or doing what they like with us’?”—“No, venerable sir. Why not? Because that is neither our self nor what belongs to our self.”—“So too, bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it; when you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. What is it that is not yours? Material form is not yours…Feeling is not yours…Perception is not yours…Formations are not yours…Consciousness is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn22/70
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by 2600htz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:22 am

Hello:

The sutta i like the most about internal/external is "MN-148 - The Six Sets of Six - Chachakka Sutta".
Taking the eye as an example: "eye-base" is the internal, and "form-base" is the external. Dependent on eye-base and form-base, eye feeling,eye craving, etc. comes to be. Thats pretty clear.
4] (i) " ‘The six internal bases should be understood.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? There are the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, and the mind-base. So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The six internal bases should be understood.’ This is the first set of six.

5] (ii) " ‘The six external bases should be understood.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? There are the form-base, the sound-base, the odor-base, the flavor-base, the tangible-base, and the mind-object-base. So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The six external bases should be understood.’ This is the second set of six.

6] (iii) " ‘The six classes of consciousness should be understood.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises; dependent on the ear and sounds, ear-consciousness arises; dependent on the nose and odors; nose-consciousness arises, dependent on tongue and flavors, tongue-consciousness arises; dependent on the body and tangibles, body-consciousness arises; dependent on mind and mind objects, mind-consciousness arises. So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The six classes of consciousness should be understood.’ This is the third set of six.
Regards.

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by L.N. » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:30 am

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:56 am
Could it be that int/ext mean different things in different suttas?
Yes, this could be.
Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:56 am

Greetings,

Some off-topic posts have been move to: Circle5 obsessively labelling other people Solipsists.

Subsequent posts that needlessly introduce Solipsism will be moved to this new topic.

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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retrofuturist
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:04 am

Greetings ToVincent,
ToVincent wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:11 pm
AGAIN - Pure Upaniṣadic and Hinduist philosophy = Self view.
!?!?!?
No, it's not. It has nothing to do with self-view. If you can find anything in Nanananda's works that actually advocates self-view, do please let me know. Until such time, your over-the-top reactions to what you disagree with, or have not bothered to understand on its own terms, will be regarded by me as baseless hyperbole. As Spiny said to you in a different topic recently, "It is just a different understanding. Don't assume that anyone with a different view to yours must be wrong."

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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samseva
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:45 am

The internal/external dichotomy has fascinated me for years. I really liked how Ñāṇananda Bhikkhu described it:
Nanananda, in Nibbana Sermons wrote:The cessation of the vortex is the freedom from that duality [external and internal]. It is a solitude born of full integration.
The internal/external dichotomy will result in having a completely skewed understanding of reality—like how the common person of the 21st century (and probably all centuries in the past) understands the world. When you actually sit down and take the time to think of how your mind and the world works (something not many seem to do), what would you class as being external? Is your body external? What about your organs and blood? Doesn't the dichotomy therefore make no sense—physical and non-physical being a better way to understand reality?

And even then, everything from the external/physical world, aren't those understood from just your perceptions, which are completely dependent on your senses? What does the actual physical/external world look like without the bias of how your own senses are? If your eyes have more red cones, you see more red, but what does the external world actually look like (think this one through a little)?

In reality, there is no separation of the external and the internal, as well as being no distinction of the mental and physical. Physical changes affect your internal world; mental changes effect the physical world (brain chemistry, etc.).

Like in the formula of Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda), Mind and Matter (nāma-rūpa) are a single link. They are co-dependent and one cannot exist without the other.

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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:04 am

Seems that most effort is placed on saying what things are external and what things are internal. If int/ext is taken to be artibrary then perhaps it is good to discern how it is that we mistakenly make the distinction and what is the nature and characteristics of the line we draw between these two.......and if int/ext is not arbitrary then what is the nature and characteristics of the line we see between the two.

Rambling a bit,
chownah

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samseva
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Re: Internal / External - significance and meaning

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:15 am

I prefer to see it as subjective and objective—subjective being what is personal to you (body, thoughts, beliefs, being conscious or not, sensations, perceptions, etc.) and objective being what is not personal (the world, countries, science, facts, other people, etc.). Notice that the objective is part of the subjective, because the objective is only perceivable and can only exist from sensory input—or that your understanding of the world is a "filter" of how you see the world (and further, "the world" in reality being only sensory input).

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