He directly knows X as X : what does that mean?

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SamKR
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Re: He directly knows X as X : what does that mean?

Post by SamKR »

daveblack wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm
Does anyone have an edifying explanation of what phrases like those used in MN 1 "He directly knows X as X" even mean?
In line with what SDC posted above, in my understanding, this means knowing X as it is, bereft of all additional superposition of conceiving, ideas, views, inclinations. This includes no assumption/imagination of the independent knower and the independent known-thing. This means the immediate knowing - in direct X-experience there is only the direct X-experience; anything else is always a conceiving.

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SDC
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Re: He directly knows X as X : what does that mean?

Post by SDC »

SamKR wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:39 pm
daveblack wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm
Does anyone have an edifying explanation of what phrases like those used in MN 1 "He directly knows X as X" even mean?
In line with what SDC posted above, in my understanding, this means knowing X as it is, bereft of all additional superposition of conceiving, ideas, views, inclinations. This includes no assumption/imagination of the independent knower and the independent known-thing. This means the immediate knowing - in direct Xexperience there is only the direct X-experience; anything else is always a conceiving.
Yes.
SN 22.79 wrote:“And why, bhikkhus, do you call it perception? ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. And what does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception.
"It perceives". Perception does not perceive matter.

Further:
SN 12.2 wrote:“And what, bhikkhus, is name-and-matter? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, attention: this is called name. The four great elements and the matter derived from the four great elements: this is called matter. Thus this name and this matter are together called name-and-matter.
MN 1 wrote:“From earth, he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept, he conceives [that to be] earth, he conceives [that to be] in earth, he conceives [that to be] out of earth, he conceives earth as ‘mine’, he delights earth. Why is that? He has not fully understood it, I say…”
"He has a percept of earth" is already a mistake. Notice how different it is from what the sekha trains towards further down in the sutta:
MN 1 wrote:From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be) earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be) in earth, he ought not to conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he ought not to conceive earth to be ‘Mine’, he ought not to relish earth. Why is that? He ought to diagnosed it fully, I say.
The sekha is attempting to understand that what is there is "knowledge of earth", not the "percept of earth". He is training to know earth, not to perceive it. Yes, perception is there, but not the perception of matter.
What a puthujjana has to realize is that regardless of what he perceives, it is always his perception that is perceived. Whether it is ‘earth’, ‘water’, ‘fire’, ‘air’ or any other thing that MN 1 mentions, all one will ever perceive (puthujjana and arahant alike) is one’s own perception of that ‘matter’. - Ven. N. Nanamoli, Notes on DN 15
A very good talk on the significance of imagery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8FratxqY9s

daveblack
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Re: He directly knows X as X : what does that mean?

Post by daveblack »

SDC wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:40 pm
daveblack wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm
Does anyone have an edifying explanation of what phrases like those used in MN 1 "He directly knows X as X" even mean?
"The Tathagata — a worthy one, rightly self-awakened — directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he does not conceive things about earth, does not conceive things in earth, does not conceive things coming out of earth, does not conceive earth as 'mine,' does not delight in earth.
So does that mean I've always been a Tathagata? Because I don't think that ever looking at dirt I conceived things about dirt, or conceived things as coming from the dirt, or conceived the dirt as 'mine', or delighted in dirt. When I see dirt, I just directly perceived "that's dirt." So am I naturally a Tathagata or what? This is one of the weirdest types of expressions in the suttas to me.
You thought you perceived earth within the percept of earth. Perception is perceived, not matter. When you assume matter is what you've perceived, that is the act of conceiving.
Are you arguing a difference in meaning between perceiving and conceiving? I can't perceive nor conceive one.

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SDC
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Re: He directly knows X as X : what does that mean?

Post by SDC »

daveblack wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:04 am
Are you arguing a difference in meaning between perceiving and conceiving? I can't perceive nor conceive one.
maññati: (to) conceive
maññāṇā: conceiving
sañjānāti: (to) perceive
saññā: perception

Oxford Dictionary:

Conceive: form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind
Perceive: become aware of (something) by the use of one of the senses, especially that of sight.

First verse if MN 1 with the Pali (emphasis added):
pathaviṃ pathavito sañjānāti; pathaviṃ pathavito saññatvā pathaviṃ maññati, pathaviyā maññati, pathavito maññati, pathaviṃ meti maññati, pathaviṃ abhinandati. Taṃ kissa hetu? ‘Apariññātaṃ tassā’ti vadāmi.

"From earth, he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept, he conceives [that to be] earth, he conceives [that to be] in earth, he conceives [that to be] out of earth, he conceives earth as ‘mine’, he delights earth. Why is that? He has not fully understood it, I say..."
Seems that the intention was to distinguish and describe separate meanings between the two terms.

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