Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Pulsar
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Pulsar » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:44 am

Lostitude wrote
I wonder why experienced meditators, even after having experienced firsthand the absence of self and "understood" it, still have to carry on meditating for years and years
Understood can mean at sotapanna level or higher
whatever you meant, depending on level of understanding
they would like to retreat to that domain, when they can,
for instance normal life is like samsara, state of jhanic concentration is a proximity to bliss,
or nibbana.
If you've known a beautiful woman, and a not so beautiful, would you not prefer to be with the beautiful always if you could?
Budo wrote a nice reply, lots of good responses here, I like JamesTheGiant metaphor.
The arahat is sitting on the beach
unlike the others struggling.
For instance if you take the ultimate, in this case, the Buddha, he revealed that whenever he could, once he is done interacting with those who visited him, he would withdraw into second jhana or the void meaning 4th jhana.
Buddha was always in the first jhana whether he was interacting with folks or not.
Buddha even said while walking, sitting etc, he maintained
these jhanic states.
Blissful are the states of concentration
Once I thought like you do,
I think at some point everyone thinks like you. Meditation is
not just sitting. It is also not necessarily one pointedness of mind. Jhanic
states are dynamic.

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anthbrown84
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by anthbrown84 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:19 pm

This is very simple

Because we are still craving

Seeing the impersonal nature of things is not awakening. Letting go of the impersonal nature of things absolutely, that is full awakening

Until then, craving just keeps cropping up and up... Time after time, second after second

:)
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by salayatananirodha » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:28 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.089.than.html wrote:"Friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated.

"Just like a cloth, dirty & stained: Its owners give it over to a washerman, who scrubs it with salt earth or lye or cow-dung and then rinses it in clear water. Now even though the cloth is clean & spotless, it still has a lingering residual scent of salt earth or lye or cow-dung. The washerman gives it to the owners, the owners put it away in a scent-infused wicker hamper, and its lingering residual scent of salt earth, lye, or cow-dung is fully obliterated.

"In the same way, friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated."
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

binocular
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 pm

This is from another thread, but I think it fits better here:
lostitude wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:50 pm
auto wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:32 pm
lostitude wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:59 pm
Are you being ironic?
no, i straightforward know there is a self.
It's funny you raise this, because I often wonder if buddhism isn't just a way to train your mind to become insane, and if nibbana is not simply a dignified form of psychosis. "Ipseity disorders"? I'm sure some threads must have discussed this already but the search function is not working at my end.
Yes, and this ties to your other thread about understanding the truth of the dhamma or convincing oneself of it.

The pressure one gets from vigilant Buddhists, one is surely induced toward the psychosis of being a mere faith follower, whereby the content of that faith appears to be entirely irrelevant, one might as well be pressured into believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

By the "pressure one gets from vigilant Buddhists" I mean the pressure one is under in some Buddhist circles, or by individual Buddhists, to think, feel, speak, and act in line with their expectations of what a proper Buddhists is supposed to think, feel, speak, and act like. The pressure might not become apparent until those Buddhists say things like, "By now, you should have figured this out", "By now, you should have stopped asking questions", "By now, you should have started practicing", or just the ubiqutous charge of trolling and other forms of character assassination against anyone who doesn't fall in line.

In other words, I think it's because some Buddhists don't give people time and space to figure things out for themselves, to see how the Dhamma actually applies in their life, as their life is, and because people themselves don't give themselves this time and space, that this notion of Buddhism being a kind of induced, willed psychosis emerges.

If one doesn't give oneself that time and space, and if one doesn't fight those who want to restrain one this time and space, then Buddhism really is a form of psychosis, and not a dignified one at that.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

lostitude
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by lostitude » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:36 pm

Thank you binocular, actually that was exactly the question I wanted to get to, but I felt a bit shy to phrase this too bluntly, so I'm glad that Auto did it for me :)
binocular wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 pm


In other words, I think it's because some Buddhists don't give people time and space to figure things out for themselves, to see how the Dhamma actually applies in their life, as their life is, and because people themselves don't give themselves this time and space, that this notion of Buddhism being a kind of induced, willed psychosis emerges.
In my opinion the clues in favor of willed psychosis are:
-the fact that it is so hard for most people to obtain such mental states, as if they ran counter to all our normal biological and psychological processes,
-the fact that several mental disorders seem to share some traits with the concept of anatta,
-the fact that, according to some, being able to obtain those mental states requires constant practice otherwise you end up losing this capacity (although this point is debatable because I understand that stream-entry is irreversible).

I don't know if it is possible for a healthy subject, through constant and prolonged mental conditioning, to become schizophrenic, bipolar or borderline. Maybe it is, for a tiny portion of the population, as is the case for stream-entry. Maybe for those with predispositions to schizophrenia. Just like for stream-entry, again.

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cappuccino
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:46 pm

The slightest of all the results coming from drinking fermented & distilled liquors is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement.

The slightest of all the results coming from telling falsehoods is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to being falsely accused.

Vipaka Sutta: Results

binocular
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:14 pm

lostitude wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:36 pm
In my opinion the clues in favor of willed psychosis are:
-the fact that it is so hard for most people to obtain such mental states, as if they ran counter to all our normal biological and psychological processes,
-the fact that several mental disorders seem to share some traits with the concept of anatta,
-the fact that, according to some, being able to obtain those mental states requires constant practice otherwise you end up losing this capacity (although this point is debatable because I understand that stream-entry is irreversible).
The idea that there is a(n awkward) similarity between mental illness and spiritual advancement is hardly new. The details of this similarity, and the differences, are another matter, though.
I don't know if it is possible for a healthy subject, through constant and prolonged mental conditioning, to become schizophrenic, bipolar or borderline. Maybe it is, for a tiny portion of the population, as is the case for stream-entry. Maybe for those with predispositions to schizophrenia. Just like for stream-entry, again.
Traditionally, psychology views the individual person in isolation, with the assumption that everyone around them is mentally healthy, and that it is just the individual who has something wrong with them.
Consider whether this assumption is justified or not.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Dan74-MkII » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:16 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:46 pm
The slightest of all the results coming from drinking fermented & distilled liquors is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement.

The slightest of all the results coming from telling falsehoods is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to being falsely accused.

Vipaka Sutta: Results
These sutta quotes seem nonsensical to me. If Angulimala who murdered countless innocent people could become an arahant, then someone who drinks a glass of red at lunch cannot be irrevocably headed for mental derangement.

They must've either been a teaching point or a later addition.

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cappuccino
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:48 pm

faith doesn't question the teaching

nor is faith confused or misguided

faith is just efficient

binocular
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:14 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:48 pm
faith doesn't question the teaching

nor is faith confused or misguided

faith is just efficient
And now think of the faithful members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

:alien:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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cappuccino
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:21 pm

binocular wrote:
cappuccino wrote: faith doesn't question the teaching

nor is faith confused or misguided

faith is just efficient
And now think of the faithful members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
from here one will either rise or sink

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Polar Bear
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:22 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:03 am
lostitude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:03 pm

I wonder why experienced meditators, even after having experienced firsthand the absence of self and "understood" it, still have to carry on meditating for years and years.
I was under the impression that once you have understood something, that thing is understood, end of story, you don't need to go over it again and again for years on end.
There's a good story which explains it:

We are all drowning in a deep ocean...
The sotapanna, someone who has experienced the truth of no self (etc), is someone who has struggled up to the surface of the water and managed to look up and see an island on the horizon, for just a brief minute.

The once-returner is someone who is swimming towards the shore with his eyes fixed on the island.

The non-returner is wading through the surf, the sand beneath his feet and the water up to his middle.

The arahat is sitting on the beach.
The end.

That's what I remember of the story anyway. I think it might be in some old teaching somewhere maybe even the Buddha taught it, I'm not sure.
You have a pretty good memory. It’s a sutta:
“Monks, seven types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which seven?

“There is the case where an individual sinks down once and stays sunk. There is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, sinks down again. There is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, stays there. There is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, opens his eyes & looks around. There is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, heads across. There is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, gains a foothold. Then there is the case where an individual, on coming to the surface, crosses over, reaches the far shore, stands on high ground, a brahman.

“And how does an individual sink down once and stay sunk? There is the case where an individual is endowed with exclusively dark, unskillful qualities. That’s how an individual sinks down once and stays sunk.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, sink down again? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction (over the results of actions) is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ But his conviction neither remains nor grows, but simply wanes away. His sense of shame, his sense of compunction, his persistence, his discernment neither remain nor grow, but simply wane away. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, sinks down again.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, stay there? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ His conviction doesn’t wane, but instead develops & remains. His sense of shame, his sense of compunction, his persistence, his discernment don’t wane, but instead develop & remain. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, stays there.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, open his eyes & look around? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ With the total ending of (the first) three fetters, he becomes a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, opens his eyes & looks around.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, head across? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ With the total ending of (the first) three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, he becomes a once-returner, who—on returning only one more time to this world—will make an ending to stress. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, heads across.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, gain a foothold? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ With the total ending of the five lower fetters, he is due to arise spontaneously (in the Pure Abodes), there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, gains a foothold.

“And how does an individual, on coming to the surface, cross over, reach the far shore, stand on high ground, a brahman? There is the case where an individual comes to the surface, (seeing,) ‘Conviction in skillful qualities is good, a sense of shame is good, a sense of compunction is good, persistence is good, discernment with regard to skillful qualities is good.’ With the ending of effluents, he enters & remains in the effluent-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having directly known and realized them for himself right in the here & now. That’s how an individual, on coming to the surface, crosses over, reaches the far shore, stands on high ground, a brahman.
“These are the seven types of individuals to be found existing in the world.”

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN7_15.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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Dan74-MkII
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Dan74-MkII » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:23 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:21 pm
binocular wrote:
cappuccino wrote: faith doesn't question the teaching

nor is faith confused or misguided

faith is just efficient
And now think of the faithful members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
from here one will either rise or sink
or hover just a foot off the ground

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mikenz66
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:37 pm

Hi Binocular,
binocular wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 pm
In other words, I think it's because some Buddhists don't give people time and space to figure things out for themselves, to see how the Dhamma actually applies in their life, as their life is, and because people themselves don't give themselves this time and space, that this notion of Buddhism being a kind of induced, willed psychosis emerges.

If one doesn't give oneself that time and space, and if one doesn't fight those who want to restrain one this time and space, then Buddhism really is a form of psychosis, and not a dignified one at that.
These pressures can seem somewhat amusing when there are so many competing "One True Way"s of interpreting and applying Dhamma...

From my, admittedly limited, observations, it appears that being too convinced and complacent about the rightness of ones "On True Way" can result in long-term disappointment, when cracks appear in the path.

Given the various similes about rafts and crossing floods, it seems to me that we need to carefully navigate the path that works in our circumstances.

:heart:
Mike

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cappuccino
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:45 pm

The Five Spiritual Faculties
1. Faith
2. Vigor
3. Mindfulness
4. Concentration
5. Wisdom

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