The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

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bridif1
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The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by bridif1 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:17 pm

Hi, everyone!i just asked this question on Buddhism SE, and I'd love to know your thoughts as well.

Here is the original discussion, if you're interested in seeing other answers give to this question.

What is the orthodox position, the suttas' position or your position about the knowledge of reality itself, beyond any intervention of subjective factors?

In science, when we find evidence that proves some hypothesis, we cannot say that we've found the truth behind the studied phenomenon. We can only say that, until this point, the hypothesis works and it's useful to explain that phenomenon, and that, until refuted, we can use that hypothesis as a provisional working hypothesis, which is subject to eventual modification. In sum, science help us to find the most useful ideas to use in our lives.

Does this apply to Dhamma as well?

Evidence, (no matter how much evidence, whether theoretical or experiencial) is not enough to posit that the truth has been reached without any posible future refutation.

Let me ask this with an example:

We can say that the khandhas are not the self, but does that imply that there is not self at all? How can we reach that conclusion without any doubts?

Isn't better to simply say that we cannot know, and that it shouldn't matter at all? After all, if something is beyond the realm of experience, we shouldn't be able to say anything about it.

Is Buddhism concerned with ontology (how and what thinfs are by themselves, and not only how we humans perceive them), epistemology (the possiblity of knowing things about reality itself, objectively) or pragmatism (to use whatever seem to work for some specific end)? Is it concerned with all of them, some of them, or none of them?

Pragmatism, for example, doesn't deny the possibility of knowledge, and technology and scientific progress seem to be evidence for that. The problem lies in assuming that this -unknown- degree of certainty is somehow the same as the truth (or the expression of all possible definition or information about a phenomenon). If we arrive to the truth, how could we know? Because of a certain X amount of evidence? How much evidence is indication of reaching the truth?

Or in other words, is enlightenment enough and definitive proof of having reached the truth about reality itself? Does it even matter if it works?

After all, some physicist, in the 19th century, thought that there only a few stuff left to be known about reality, because apparently, there was no important evidence to suggest or indicate that the current theories and hypothesis were wrong nor incomplete.

Thanks for your time and patience!

Kind regards!

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Ceisiwr
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by Ceisiwr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:31 pm

bridif1 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:17 pm
Hi, everyone!i just asked this question on Buddhism SE, and I'd love to know your thoughts as well.

Here is the original discussion, if you're interested in seeing other answers give to this question.

What is the orthodox position, the suttas' position or your position about the knowledge of reality itself, beyond any intervention of subjective factors?

In science, when we find evidence that proves some hypothesis, we cannot say that we've found the truth behind the studied phenomenon. We can only say that, until this point, the hypothesis works and it's useful to explain that phenomenon, and that, until refuted, we can use that hypothesis as a provisional working hypothesis, which is subject to eventual modification. In sum, science help us to find the most useful ideas to use in our lives.

Does this apply to Dhamma as well?

Evidence, (no matter how much evidence, whether theoretical or experiencial) is not enough to posit that the truth has been reached without any posible future refutation.

Let me ask this with an example:

We can say that the khandhas are not the self, but does that imply that there is not self at all? How can we reach that conclusion without any doubts?

Isn't better to simply say that we cannot know, and that it shouldn't matter at all? After all, if something is beyond the realm of experience, we shouldn't be able to say anything about it.

Is Buddhism concerned with ontology (how and what thinfs are by themselves, and not only how we humans perceive them), epistemology (the possiblity of knowing things about reality itself, objectively) or pragmatism (to use whatever seem to work for some specific end)? Is it concerned with all of them, some of them, or none of them?

Pragmatism, for example, doesn't deny the possibility of knowledge, and technology and scientific progress seem to be evidence for that. The problem lies in assuming that this -unknown- degree of certainty is somehow the same as the truth (or the expression of all possible definition or information about a phenomenon). If we arrive to the truth, how could we know? Because of a certain X amount of evidence? How much evidence is indication of reaching the truth?

Or in other words, is enlightenment enough and definitive proof of having reached the truth about reality itself? Does it even matter if it works?

After all, some physicist, in the 19th century, thought that there only a few stuff left to be known about reality, because apparently, there was no important evidence to suggest or indicate that the current theories and hypothesis were wrong nor incomplete.

Thanks for your time and patience!

Kind regards!


“Evidence, (no matter how much evidence, whether theoretical or experiencial) is not enough to posit that the truth has been reached without any posible future refutation.”

The scientific theory that the Earth is “spherical” has now been confirmed as true. Truth has been established without any possible future refutation.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by Ceisiwr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:34 pm

As to the rest it’s dukkha to engage in debates about the existence or non-existence of reality and to hold a view about the existence or non-existence of reality. Instead we should look at how such debates and views arise:

“"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.”

Dinsdale
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:46 pm

The impression I have is that the suttas are mostly concerned with "my world" and not with "THE world".
So it's about the way we experience our "personal reality", rather than an investigation of "ultimate reality".

https://suttacentral.net/sn12.44/en/bodhi
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Sam Vara
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:28 pm

bridif1 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:17 pm

What is the orthodox position, the suttas' position or your position about the knowledge of reality itself, beyond any intervention of subjective factors?
It seems to be the case that the Buddha as depicted in the suttas did not take any position on a "reality" which was outside of human subjectivity, and indeed is often depicted as deflecting questioners away from such matters towards the processes of subjective experience. Sue Hamilton makes an excellent case for the Buddha's teachings being, in this context, something like an early form of Transcendental Idealism. Out loka of experience is necessarily subjectively conditioned, but nevertheless ontologically dependent upon a transcendental reality of which we can posit nothing more than its existence.
https://is.muni.cz/el/1421/podzim2008/R ... n_1999.pdf

As the suttas deal only with the components of experience rather than objectivity, your question:
In science, when we find evidence that proves some hypothesis, we cannot say that we've found the truth behind the studied phenomenon. We can only say that, until this point, the hypothesis works and it's useful to explain that phenomenon, and that, until refuted, we can use that hypothesis as a provisional working hypothesis, which is subject to eventual modification. In sum, science help us to find the most useful ideas to use in our lives.

Does this apply to Dhamma as well?
should, I think, be answered: Yes.

This is, I think, an excellent Popperian model for dealing with our experience, and is compatible with the Buddha's advice to practitioners that they test the efficacy of his teachings against their own experience.
We can say that the khandhas are not the self, but does that imply that there is not self at all? How can we reach that conclusion without any doubts?
If we are approaching the matter inductively (which the Buddha seems to encourage in some suttas) then we cannot say that any such conclusion is valid. I'm pretty sure that the Buddha didn't mean it to be. It's worth noting that most disagreements over anatta involve participants failing to define terms and talking past one another; and selecting different bits from the canon.
Or in other words, is enlightenment enough and definitive proof of having reached the truth about reality itself?
You'll have to wait and see. The Buddha certainly says it is!

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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:18 pm

Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:46 pm
The impression I have is that the suttas are mostly concerned with "my world" and not with "THE world".
So it's about the way we experience our "personal reality", rather than an investigation of "ultimate reality".
Agreed. The only physical aspect of "THE world" that seems to be affirmed are the four great elements, however to your point, the suttas focus on "my world" and the constructed forms, derived from those four great elements.

As ven. Nanananda says, we can only ever experience rupa (form), via rupasanna (perception of form).

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

sentinel
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by sentinel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:39 am

This probably is about definition .
The six type of consciousness is My world .
The six external sense object is The world .
Fallacy occurs if to regard external object as unknowable . If external object is unknowable ,
then there is no six external sense object corresponding to it .
Last edited by sentinel on Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
:buddha1:

SarathW
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:59 am

We can say that the khandhas are not the self, but does that imply that there is not self at all? How can we reach that conclusion without any doubts?
Could you describe what you understand as self?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:00 am

The scientific theory that the Earth is “spherical” has now been confirmed as true. Truth has been established without any possible future refutation
But some people may not still believe it.
This is why that you will never be able to pass your experience to someone else with words.
We have to understand it our self using words.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

sentinel
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by sentinel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:13 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:00 am
The scientific theory that the Earth is “spherical” has now been confirmed as true. Truth has been established without any possible future refutation
But some people may not still believe it.
This is why that you will never be able to pass your experience to someone else with words.
We have to understand it our self using words.
This is not about belief .
Please tell me you don't believe the money in the bank under your name account not belongs to you ?
:buddha1:

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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:36 am

Greetings,
sentinel wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:39 am
This probably is about definition .
The six type of consciousness is My world .
Correct.
sentinel wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:39 am
The six external sense object is The world .
Not correct. Salayatana are dependently originated. The bifurcation of "sense base" and "sense object" is a fabrication, rooted in avijja.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

SarathW
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by SarathW » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:41 am

Please tell me you don't believe the money in the bank under your name account not belongs to you ?
I see your point. But sometimes bank make mistakes.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

sentinel
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by sentinel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:36 am
Greetings,


Not correct. Salayatana are dependently originated. The bifurcation of "sense base" and "sense object" is a fabrication, rooted in avijja.

Metta,
Paul. :)
So , enlightened person like Buddha and arhat looking at moon would appears differently from any ignorance person ?
:buddha1:

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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:10 am

Greetings,
sentinel wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:00 am
So , enlightened person like Buddha and arhat looking at moon would appears differently from any ignorance person ?
"In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen." (Bahiya Sutta)

No dependently originated sense base.
No dependently originated sense object.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

sentinel
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Re: The relation about Dhamma and reality itself

Post by sentinel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:10 am


No dependently originated sense base.
No dependently originated sense object.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Mind explain the meaning ?
:buddha1:

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