Thought Experiment

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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arunam
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Thought Experiment

Post by arunam » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:05 am

[SN 12.68]
Then Ven. Pavittha said to Ven. Musila, "Musila, my friend, putting aside conviction, putting aside preference, putting aside tradition, putting aside reasoning through analogies, putting aside an agreement through pondering views: Do you have truly personal knowledge..............


When I ask my self this question, What is it that i truly,truly know for myself. I find it very hard to answer this question.

What do you think?
What is even possible for us to know and to what degree?
:anjali:
A path is made by walking on it

binocular
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by binocular » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:04 pm

I wonder about this too.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:18 pm

One potentially useful response to this question is that we know what our experiences are, and we are able to know when our knowledge is based upon the conditions listed in the sutta you quote. That's extremely important, as it enables us to safeguard the truth by understanding the conditioned nature of what we "know", and avoid false claims:
If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, [...] there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"If a person likes something... holds an unbroken tradition... has something reasoned through analogy... has something he agrees to, having pondered views, his statement, 'This is what I agree to, having pondered views,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent [...] there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

2600htz
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by 2600htz » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:44 am

arunam wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:05 am
[SN 12.68]
Then Ven. Pavittha said to Ven. Musila, "Musila, my friend, putting aside conviction, putting aside preference, putting aside tradition, putting aside reasoning through analogies, putting aside an agreement through pondering views: Do you have truly personal knowledge..............


When I ask my self this question, What is it that i truly,truly know for myself. I find it very hard to answer this question.

What do you think?
What is even possible for us to know and to what degree?
:anjali:
Hello Anuram:

If we read the entire sutta, we can see venerable Musila is being asked if he has personal experience of dependent origination and seeing how the four noble truths work. It ends with venerable Saviṭṭha stating that because of the way Ven. Musila answered he must be an arahant, but he says he is not.

Regarding your question, i think that In order to truly have experience/personal knowledge of dependent origination and seeing how the four noble truths work, the person needs to have experienced kinda deeply the cessation of craving (jhana or in the case of this sutta probably some of the first three stages of awakening).

Regards.

Garrib
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by Garrib » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:02 am

I used to think about this quite a bit: "What do I actually know!?" - because I desperately wanted to ensure that my choices in life were informed by some kind of actual truth, at least to some extent. I ended up landing on the fact that I would die - I could know this to be absolutely true, regardless of what other confusions I might have. I think I can at least add the knowledge that all conditioned things are impermanent (even though it may only be conceptual knowledge), and therefore ultimately unsatisfying. So - the things we can be absolutely sure about, I think they do tend to be in the realm of Dhamma and not some other field of knowledge or discipline.

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Bundokji
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by Bundokji » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:03 am

Maybe acknowledging this fact can be beneficial if it prevents us from clinging to views. However, if it becomes a source of radical skepticism (which is unwarranted certainty in disguise) then it can be quite harmful.

The mere fact that we can know things and act differently shows that our knowledge is unstable. I think it is impossible for a noble one not to act according to his knowledge.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

arunam
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by arunam » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:41 am

:anjali:
A path is made by walking on it

binocular
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:20 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:18 pm
One potentially useful response to this question is that we know what our experiences are, and we are able to know when our knowledge is based upon the conditions listed in the sutta you quote. That's extremely important, as it enables us to safeguard the truth by understanding the conditioned nature of what we "know", and avoid false claims:
What is "experience"?

How can experience clearly be delineated from conviction, preference, tradition, reasoning through analogies, agreement through pondering views?

How can there be experience independently from conviction, preference, tradition, reasoning through analogies, agreement through pondering views?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:31 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:20 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:18 pm
One potentially useful response to this question is that we know what our experiences are, and we are able to know when our knowledge is based upon the conditions listed in the sutta you quote. That's extremely important, as it enables us to safeguard the truth by understanding the conditioned nature of what we "know", and avoid false claims:
What is "experience"?

How can experience clearly be delineated from conviction, preference, tradition, reasoning through analogies, agreement through pondering views?

How can there be experience independently from conviction, preference, tradition, reasoning through analogies, agreement through pondering views?
This post looks like an invitation to engage in some pointless Western philosophical wrangling which misses the point of MN 95, so I'll politely decline it.

binocular
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by binocular » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:42 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:31 pm
This post looks like an invitation to engage in some pointless Western philosophical wrangling which misses the point of MN 95, so I'll politely decline it.
Not at all. I'm not even qualified for " Western philosophical wrangling" (pointless or otherwise). I really just don't know what "experience" refers to.
I'm saddened by your reply, although not surprised.

I suppose I'll have to try my luck and go above your head, and ask Ven. N. Nyanamoli what he means by "experience". Perhaps he can explain the matter to me in a language that is closer to me.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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cappuccino
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by cappuccino » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:20 pm

is not every moment of existence difficult?

that is experience, you can know for yourself

arunam
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:19 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:20 pm
is not every moment of existence difficult?

that is experience, you can know for yourself

I like this answer. i definitely fear suffering. this i have no doubt.
A path is made by walking on it

arunam
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by arunam » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:22 pm

so the next question is what is this "suffering" i fear?
how can i pin it down?
A path is made by walking on it

santa100
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Re: Thought Experiment

Post by santa100 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:20 pm

"Suffering"'s probably too narrow a term for dukkha. If going by "unsatisfactoriness", it'd be easier to see that it's a universal trait for both the haves and the havenots. For the havenots, it's fairly obvious to see. For the haves, there's the impermanence of all conditioned things and hence the fear of losing what they already possess and the stress of the constant effort to retain/maintain their possessions in good condition.

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