Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Zom » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:25 pm

The buddha states that he was able to experience the jhanas when he was in nibbana.
He does not say that in there.

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Robert123 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:41 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for your posts and sorry for the late reply Santa100, Nicolas, and Zom.

1st

I would like to add to the discussion a sutta that shows that “rapture not of the flesh” (the 2nd type) is not only experienced in the jhānas, but also during insight meditation.

Majjhima Nikāya III 85-86 states:

"In one who has aroused energy, unworldly rapture [rapture not of the flesh] arises. On whatever occasion unworldly rapture arises in a bhikkhu who has aroused energy—on that occasion the rapture enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by development it comes to fulfilment in him."

Unworldly rapture, or “rapture not of the flesh” (the 2nd type), is present in both the jhānas, as discussed, but also in insight meditation since the enlightenment factors are experienced specifically in insight meditation (in case you want to find out more about why this is so, see SN XLVI.3 in https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... eel107.pdf page 55-56)

This shows that the 2nd type or rapture is experienced while clinging to the aggregates since, insight meditation is ONLY experienced while clinging to the aggregates. Yes? Hence, it can be concluded that the jhānas discussed in SN 36.31 describing the 2nd type of rapture show that this 2nd rapture is experienced while clinging to the aggregates since it is the same type of rapture experienced during insight meditation. Yes?

This implies that SN 36.31’s point between the 2nd and 3rd rapture is to make a distinction between a person who is experiencing rapture while clinging to the aggregates in insight meditation or jhana (the 2nd type of rapture) and while not clinging to aggregates (3rd type). If instead, as you seem to point out Nicolas, the sutta were making a distinction between rapture experienced during jhāna and not in jhana, then the second type of rapture would not also be occurring during insight meditation since by definition in insight meditation a person still clings to the aggregates. Do you agree?

Therefore, I don’t think this reasoning works Nicolas:
When an arahant is in jhana (which is not all of the time), then rapture/pleasure/equanimity not of the flesh (2nd kind) is there. Same if one is not an arahant. This 2nd kind requires jhana, samadhi, ekaggata. This 2nd kind is connected to jhana, not connected to whether or not one is liberated.


Yes?

2nd

Santa100 you state:
But nowhere in the sutta where it said the first 2 kinds require clinging to the aggregates to exist. Freel free to provide exact quotes to prove otherwise.
I don’t think this is true. After I added the new above sutta Majjhima Nikāya III 85-86 showing that the second type of rapture is experienced during insight meditation and the 3rd, as SN36.31 states, it is experienced without clinging to the aggregates, do you agree that the sutta is making the distinction between clinging and not clinging?

But if you still disagree, let’s consider the beginning of SN36.31 which states:
And what is rapture of the flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Sounds cognizable via the ear … Aromas cognizable via the nose … Flavors cognizable via the tongue … Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Now whatever rapture arises in dependence on these five strands of sensuality, that is called rapture of the flesh."
The sutta states “strings of sensuality” (unwholesome state of mind) “fostering desire, enticing.” This shows that these strings of sensuality are clinging to the aggregates, right? (if you disagree you can look at how sensuality is connected to karma and how one should cease that https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html ). Of course, by this I think we'll agree, it is not meant stopping perceiving from the 6 senses, but rather not be attached to what the 6 senses perceive)
Therefore, this shows that the 1st type of rapture is produced when a person is clinging of the aggregates.

Santa100, you state:
Actually it'd be a big problem if that was true cuz an arhant would no longer be able to experience rapture/pleasure when s/he's drinking a fresh cold glass of water in a hot summer day (1st kind); nor the rapture/pleasure arisen during the 1st and 2nd jhanas (2nd kind).
Exactly, the arahant would not experience rapture and pleasure CAUSED by clinging to the aggregates when drinking water. The point is rapture “caused” by attachment. In drinking, he would not feel a sense of attachment to water. However, he would still enjoy water as a quenching experience without being attached to it, without sensuality, fostering desire and enticing. Yes?

Regarding the second point you make stating “nor the rapture/pleasure arisen during the 1st and 2nd jhanas (2nd kind)”:

Following my reasoning, rapture and pleasure would still be experienced in the 1st and 2nd jhānas because the arahants can experience the jhānas while in nibbana. However, the arahants would experience rapture and pleasure without clinging to the aggregates.

Zom you state:

“He does not say that in there.”

You’re correct Zom, do you imply to state that the Buddha exited nibbana to experience the Jhanas?

Thank you for engaging in this interesting conversation!

Much appreciation,

Rob

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by santa100 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:04 am

Robert123 wrote:However, the arahants would experience rapture and pleasure without clinging to the aggregates.
Of course that's the point I was trying to make. However, your position now seems to contradict your previous position when you said that clinging is the prerequisite condition for the experiencing of the first two types of rapture??
Robert123 wrote:It follows that, you can’t experience the first two types when you don’t cling to the aggregates.

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Robert123 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:54 am

Oh I see the misunderstanding we are having.

When I said: "Following my reasoning, rapture and pleasure would still be experienced in the 1st and 2nd jhānas because the arahants can experience the jhānas while in nibbana. However, the arahants would experience rapture and pleasure without clinging to the aggregates.."

I was talking about the rapture and pleasure of the jhanas experienced in nibbana (therefore without clinging to the aggregates).

So, I was saying that the first two types of rapture and pleasure depend on clinging to aggregates and therefore are not experienced in the liberated state. Only the 3rd type is experienced, which type can be experienced in the jhanas while in nibbana (not the jhanas discussed in SN 36.31 since the rapture and pleasure in those jhanas are experienced with clinging to aggregates made clear by the fact that they can also be experienced during insight meditation), Yes?

Does this clarify the misunderstanding?

Thanks!

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by santa100 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:15 am

Not sure I follow you. If you still maintain your original position which stated:
you can’t experience the first two types when you don’t cling to the aggregates."
then the natural logical consequence is that an arahant's no longer able to experience the first 2 kinds of rapture, ie. he's no longer experience the rapture of a cold glass of water during a hot summer day, NOR the rapture during the 1st and 2nd jhanas. But this consequence contradicts your statement that:
he would still enjoy water as a quenching experience without being attached to it, without sensuality, fostering desire and enticing."
So your original position states that one CANNOT experience rapture without clinging; and somehow your subsequent position states that one CAN experience rapture without clinging??

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:21 am

How the Blessed One Passed into Nibbana
And the Blessed One entered the first jhana. Rising from the first jhana, he entered the second jhana. Rising from the second jhana, he entered the third jhana. Rising from the third jhana, he entered the fourth jhana. And rising out of the fourth jhana, he entered the sphere of infinite space. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite space, Et cetera

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Robert123 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:20 am

Hi Santa100

I'll try again as I am realizing I am not being clear. And yes, I am still maintaining my original position that you can't experience the first 2 types of rapture once you are liberated.

Here is my position:

1
"Rapture of the flesh" dependent on the five senses is a rapture experienced when a person clings to aggregates because SN 36.31 states that it depends on attachment (see previous post).

This type of rapture does not arise when a person just drinks water if this person is not attached to the water (arahant) yet, this person STILL experiences water; however, he experiences it devoid of ego/attachment (rapture of the flesh). Conversely, rapture of the flesh arises when a person is attached, or egoically "impulsive/reactive" in his desire of drinking water.

Perhaps our misunderstanding is that you equate "rapture" with just "experience" of drinking water and that if a person does not have this type of rapture he cannot experience the water (is this what you are saying). I am instead making a difference between this rapture which arises from the attachment to water VS. just drinking water without attachment and therefore without experiencing rapture, but still drinking and experiencing water. The fact that the rapture is not experienced, doesn't not prevent an arahat from experiencing water. He will still experience water but without the ego/attachment added to the water (rapture of the flesh)

E.g.

Rapture of the flesh = water + ego attachment to water
vs
Arahant realization = "just drinking water," which means, drinking water - attachment to water (which attachment produces rapture of the flesh).

Yes?


These are further clarification, which you perhaps you didn't ask:

2
"Rapture more of the flesh" is a rapture experienced with clinging to aggregates whether one is in the Jhanas or doing insight meditation. I'll try to be clearer here and hopefully not make things more confusing. These jhanas, if I may use the commentarial use of jhanas experienced with aggregates, would be "mundane jhanas."

3
"Rapture more not of the flesh" SN 36.31 states that is a rapture experienced in nibbana. I think you agree with this statement. What I add is the following:

"Rapture more not of the flesh" must also be experienced in the jhanas (but as the mundane jhanas in which a person experiences "rapture more of the flesh"). Rather, jhanas experienced when a person is enlightened. The jhanas experienced by the Buddha after his enlightenment.

So "rapture not of the flesh" describes the experience of rapture in mundane jhanas (while clinging to aggregates) and "rapture more not of the flesh" describes the experience of jhanas when an arahant is in nibbana.

Did I clarify my point? Or it's still unclear?




Finally, the whole reason for this thread is to ask this following question: Is "rapture more not of the flesh" experienced in nibbana the same as the rapture experienced in the first two jhanas by a liberated person since these jhanas are not mundane jhanas but jhanas experienced without aggregates?


Thanks again for this!

Rob

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by santa100 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:29 pm

Robert123 wrote:Perhaps our misunderstanding is that you equate "rapture" with just "experience" of drinking water and that if a person does not have this type of rapture he cannot experience the water (is this what you are saying). I am instead making a difference between this rapture which arises from the attachment to water VS. just drinking water without attachment and therefore without experiencing rapture, but still drinking and experiencing water. The fact that the rapture is not experienced, doesn't not prevent an arahat from experiencing water. He will still experience water but without the ego/attachment added to the water (rapture of the flesh)
No, I meant rapture exactly as its intended meaning, a sankhara. Basically according to your position, the sankhara component of the Five Aggregates no longer functions in an arahant. Only his "experience"/vedana/feeling is functional. This is clearly wrong for the Five Aggregates are still there after arahantship. I still don't understand your position on why some component of the Five Aggregates has to go once an arahant no longer clings to them? The sutta clearly doesn't say that. Matter of fact, the meaning of "Nibbana with remaining residue" is that of an arahant whose Five Aggregates still remain (ie. before s/he passes away).
Finally, the whole reason for this thread is to ask this following question: Is "rapture more not of the flesh" experienced in nibbana the same as the rapture experienced in the first two jhanas by a liberated person since these jhanas are not mundane jhanas but jhanas experienced without aggregates?
Ok, I think I know where the confustion is. "Jhanas experienced without aggregates" is a contradiction in terms. Even for the higher formless jhanas like Neither-perception-nor-non-perception (the 8th one) or Cessation-of-feeling-and-perception (9th one), only some components of the Five Aggregates are temporarily subsided. The Five Aggregates never completely go away in all the jhanas.
Anyway, regarding the main question: the 2nd kind of rapture is one that results from 1st and 2nd jhanas, while the 3rd kind the result of the awareness to the ending of all defilements. They're 3 distinct kinds, Imho.

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Zom » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:13 pm

You’re correct Zom, do you imply to state that the Buddha exited nibbana to experience the Jhanas?
In depends on how one understands "nibbana".

“It is said, friend, ‘directly visible nibbāna, directly visible
nibbāna.’ In what way has the Blessed One spoken of directly
visible nibbāna?”
(1)–(8) “Here, friend, secluded from sensual pleasures . . . a
bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhāna. . . . To this extent,
too, the Blessed One has spoken of directly visible nibbāna in
a provisional sense. . . .
(9) “Again, friend, by completely surmounting the base of
neither-perception-nor-non-perception, a bhikkhu enters and
dwells in the cessation of perception and feeling, and having
seen with wisdom, his taints are utterly destroyed. To this
extent, friend, the Blessed One has spoken of directly visible
nibbāna in a non-provisional sense.”

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Re: Does "rapture more not of the flesh" refer to nibbana?

Post by Robert123 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:52 am

Dear Santa and Zom,

Sorry again for my late reply.

Santa,

We agree, aggregates stay till the arahant dies.

I am not sure how to clarify what I am trying to say.

I don’t understand this point you are making, “The sankhara component of the Five Aggregates no longer functions in an arahant.”
Sankharas are aggregates, so they are always there; however, the attachment of/to them depends on whether or not a person is liberated. Right? If you agree then, what I am saying is that the attachment to them ceases in nibbana, and therefore types 1 and 2 of rapture/pleasure—which are colored by the attachment to aggregates—ceases.

Perhaps, to clarify, I should ask you, in your view what’s the difference between an arahant experiencing an object and an ordinary person experiencing an object? Isn't it their attachment to them?


Sorry, I made a mistake at the end of my last post. I didn’t mean to state “jhanas experienced without aggregates,” I meant to state jhanas experienced without CLINGING to aggregates. So the question would be:

Is "rapture more not of the flesh" experienced in nibbana the same as the rapture experienced in the first two jhanas by a liberated person since these jhanas are not mundane jhanas but are jhanas experienced without clinging to the aggregates?

You said: “Anyway, regarding the main question: the 2nd kind of rapture is one that results from 1st and 2nd jhanas, while the 3rd kind the result of the awareness to the ending of all defilements. They're 3 distinct kinds, Imho.”

What I don't understand by this comment you made is, How can a person experience perpetually the ending of all defilements but then experience other types of rapture with attachment to defilements? I am confused

Zom,

Let define nibbana in a non-provisional way. In such case, would the Buddha have exited nibbana to experience the jhānas? It wouldn’t make sense. He would have stayed in nibbana and experience the jhānas while in nibbana. Yes?

Hence, are rapture and pleasure in the jhānas describing the experience of rapture and pleasure in nibbana?

Thank you for engaging in this conversation!

Rob

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