What if?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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rightviewftw
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What if?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:06 pm

What if someone was more or less learned in the doctrine and meditated so that he;
1. Attained the Dimension of Infinite Consciousness
2. Took it to be Nibbana
3. Taught others that it is Nibbana and taught them how to attain it

How likely do you think that he would get away with it nowadays?
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Sam Vara
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Re: What if?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:00 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:06 pm
What if someone was more or less learned in the doctrine and meditated so that he;
1. Attained the Dimension of Infinite Consciousness
2. Took it to be Nibbana
3. Taught others that it is Nibbana and taught them how to attain it

How likely do you think that he would get away with it nowadays?
I think it depends on what you mean by "get away with it". There would be a huge number of different variables involved. If there is something that can be objectively known as the "Dimension of Infinite Consciousness", then it is possible that someone could attain it, and incorrectly label it. (Unless, of course, there is something about its attainment that prevents such mis-labelling; I'm not sure whether the suttas say this is the case...) Then, there would be nothing to stop that person convincing others that it was Nibbana, and attempting to teach others how to attain it. That would be entirely down to their persuasiveness, and the credulity of their audience. Many people have made far more unlikely claims, and attracted large numbers of followers. There are plenty of people who claim special attainments. Finally, there would be the characteristics of the followers to take into account: their determination and meditative skill. It's quite likely that the attainment of the Dimension of Infinite Consciousness would inspire the deluded individual to be a persuasive teacher, but that his/her pupils would make little progress.

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StormBorn
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Re: What if?

Post by StormBorn » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:06 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:06 pm
What if someone was more or less learned in the doctrine and meditated so that he;
1. Attained the Dimension of Infinite Consciousness
2. Took it to be Nibbana
3. Taught others that it is Nibbana and taught them how to attain it

How likely do you think that he would get away with it nowadays?
I think there's a 99% chance of him get away with it nowadays. That 1% because I believe there are some practitioners still available who can identify such a wrong viewed person. When you look at how easily people mistakenly perceive non-superhuman states (non-uttari-manussa-dhammas) as jhanas or nibbana, perceiving Infinite Consciousness as nibbana seems very normal. :smile:
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

rightviewftw
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Re: What if?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:21 pm

Interesting answers thanks

I mostly agree with what has been said but i think he could be quite successful in teaching others to attain it. I also think it would be quite unfortunate if people thought it was the end and did not try to surpass it. However given big enough pool of practitioners some would inevitably surpass it but i don't think it is very likely in smaller groups.
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:00 pm
I think it depends on what you mean by "get away with it".
I did not mean it as him having malicious intent but rather as others being unable to see any flaw in his teachings and the teachings gaining popularity.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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budo
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Re: What if?

Post by budo » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:38 pm

It depends, how many people have experienced that and beyond, who could tell him he/she's wrong?

For someone to tell him he's wrong they'd have to experience the same thing he experienced AND Nibbana, and because of vinaya rules Monks are not allowed to make claims on attainments, so to answer your question:

he would get away with it.

Maybe a monk would tell him that it's not Nibbana, but because that monk can't make any claims on attainment then you can't know if this monk is speaking from experience or not.

rightviewftw
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Re: What if?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:48 pm

budo wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:38 pm
Maybe a monk would tell him that it's not Nibbana, but because that monk can't make any claims on attainment then you can't know if this monk is speaking from experience or not.
I think they can claim attainments but not in front of lay people. Knowingly claiming a false attainment is a defeat tho.

I also think that a person who had attainment of the real Nibbana would not have any doubt or perplexity about it but would probably be unable to tell what the other person's attainment is other than that it was not Nibbana and that only if asking the right questions or the person saying something that clearly does not apply. I think it would be quite difficult if the person with the false attainment was mostly using Sutta excerpts to talk about it.

I talked to a Sadhguru student recently, she told me they had some sort of "Nibbana" as well complete with the body and mind disappearance and all. I imagine it would have been helluva snare if such claims were backed by Sutta knowledge.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Sam Vara
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Re: What if?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:49 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:21 pm
Interesting answers thanks
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:00 pm
I think it depends on what you mean by "get away with it".
I did not mean it as him having malicious intent but rather as others being unable to see any flaw in his teachings and the teachings gaining popularity.
Sure. If the first condition is met (i.e. that there is such an attainment which one can definitively be said to attain) then anyone who has not attained it could be convinced by sheer persuasiveness. (It might be that those with superior attainments would be able to see the mistake and the fraudulent aspect - I hope so!) But whole religions have been founded on similar claims. Someone says they know or have experienced something that others have not, and they gain followers on that basis.

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DNS
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Re: What if?

Post by DNS » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:56 pm

It's already happened, several times, here is just one of many examples:

Image

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budo
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Re: What if?

Post by budo » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:11 pm

DNS wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:56 pm
It's already happened, several times, here is just one of many examples:
Although I would add that these teachings can fill in details to Buddhist meditation.

For example one time I focused on an orb nimitta that looked exactly like in the image below, I had it in between my eyebrows, and I focused on it so much that it became stronger and stronger to the point that I could even see it with my eyes open floating top-center of my vision for a while. That night I went to sleep I had some of the craziest hallucinations ever, like seeing energy beings.

I researched this the next day and I found this article which happened to be a Yogananda article

http://yogananda.com.au/pyr/pyr_eye1.html

Now I'm not sure if this is the same as in this sutta
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision? It’s when a mendicant focuses on the perception of light, concentrating on the perception of day, regardless of whether it’s night or day. And so, with an open and unenveloped heart, they develop a mind that’s full of radiance. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision.
That was the only time though I ever had a nimitta that was that strong that stayed even after opening my eyes, afterwards I had just bright white filling all of my vision, and different colour orb nimittas, but I never had a nimitta that looked liked this again

Image

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DNS
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Re: What if?

Post by DNS » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:46 pm

budo wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:11 pm
DNS wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:56 pm
It's already happened, several times, here is just one of many examples:
Although I would add that these teachings can fill in details to Buddhist meditation.
:thumbsup: Yes, certainly the other Dharmic paths are at least very good for Samadhi, imo. And probably Sila too.

SarathW
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Re: What if?

Post by SarathW » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:32 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:06 pm
What if someone was more or less learned in the doctrine and meditated so that he;
1. Attained the Dimension of Infinite Consciousness
2. Took it to be Nibbana
3. Taught others that it is Nibbana and taught them how to attain it

How likely do you think that he would get away with it nowadays?
As far as a person has not heard true Dhamma and not experience true Nibbana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

2600htz
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Re: What if?

Post by 2600htz » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:21 pm

Hello:

Lol you probably have like 40 people still alive who claim to be the reincarnation of Jesus, and each of them have their own followers.
So you probably can get away with anything haha, it doesnt even need to be coherent.

Regards.

rightviewftw
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Re: What if?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:22 pm

2600htz wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:21 pm
Hello:

Lol you probably have like 40 people still alive who claim to be the reincarnation of Jesus, and each of them have their own followers.
So you probably can get away with anything haha, it doesnt even need to be coherent.

Regards.
good point
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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