Nothingness is a Perception attainment

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Pondera
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Nothingness is a Perception attainment

Post by Pondera » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:22 am

It is said in suttas that “Nothingness” is a perception attainment. Sariputta further delineates the attainment as so in “one after another” sutta
"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of nothingness. Whatever qualities there are in the dimension of nothingness — the perception of the dimension of nothingness, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
Qualities such as perception and contact arise. How can this be the case if the attainment is nothing?
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Garrib
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Re: Nothingness is a Perception attainment

Post by Garrib » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:47 am

Pondera wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:22 am
It is said in suttas that “Nothingness” is a perception attainment. Sariputta further delineates the attainment as so in “one after another” sutta
"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of nothingness. Whatever qualities there are in the dimension of nothingness — the perception of the dimension of nothingness, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
Qualities such as perception and contact arise. How can this be the case if the attainment is nothing?
Not speaking remotely from experience - but if we make the distinction between the base of nothingness and the cessation of perception and feeling, then it seems to me the attainment of "nothingness" must include those factors. Interesting sutta though - favored by Bhante Vimalaramsi.

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Nicolas
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Re: Nothingness is a Perception attainment

Post by Nicolas » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:31 pm

My understanding: There is the perception of nothingness. Mind is still active, along with contact, perception, etc. Mind notices the absence of things at that time, this absence is a thing that is perceived. There is contact with the mind-object “nothing”/“nothingness”.

paul
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Re: Nothingness is a Perception attainment

Post by paul » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:45 pm

The dimension of nothingness has afflictions, only in the dimension of cessation of perception and feeling are fermentations ended:

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. If, as he remains there, he is beset with attention to perceptions dealing with the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, that is an affliction for him...

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. If, as he remains there, he is beset with attention to perceptions dealing with the dimension of nothingness, that is an affliction for him. Now, the Blessed One has said that whatever is an affliction is stress. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how pleasant Unbinding is.

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant.”—-AN 9:34

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Pondera
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Re: Nothingness is a Perception attainment

Post by Pondera » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:44 am

I went skydiving once. Amazing experience. We dropped right through several clouds as we leapt out of the airplane. From a distance I could see their shape. Up close I could only feel their moisture and I was blinded by a fog of white.

I think darkness is like this. From a distance you see black. But if you enter the blackness all you see is “nothing”. That is how I interpret the meaning of “nothingness”.

I believe nothingness is another term for darkness with two meanings. The first is the shadow property of darkness and the second is the absence property of darkness. The shadow is a comforting refuge. The absence can scare you out of your mind - much like an abyss ought to.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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