bodom wrote:Sounds about right to me. Why read anymore into it than that? Speculation and papanca are endless. Guess we wont know until were enlightened will we?
I don't think there's any more "speculation and pananca" in one interpretation than there is in the next... one is just understanding the words in an ontological framework, and one is understanding them in a phenomenological framework.
The question really is just which framework is more useful for practicing the Dhamma. Since all we can ever know is the loka
of our experience, I know which framework I find more useful. It is hard for scholars to incorporate the phenomenological perspective into their works, because they are trying to be, by nature of 'scholarship', personally independent of that which they describe and that is the very antithesis of the phenomenological approach.
H. J. Blackham wrote:The peculiarity of existentialism, then, is that it deals with the separation of man from himself and from the world, which raises the questions of philosophy, not by attempting to establish some universal form of justification which will enable man to readjust himself but by permanently enlarging and lining the separation itself as primordial and constitutive for personal existence. The main business of this philosophy therefore is not to answer the questions which are raised but to drive home the questions themselves until they engage the whole man and are made personal, urgent, and anguished. Such questions cannot be merely the traditional questions of the schools nor merely disinterested questions of curiosity concerning the conditions of knowledge or of moral or aesthetic judgements, for what is put in question by the separation of man from himself and from the world is his own being and the being of the objective world. ...These questions are not theoretical but existential, the scission which makes the existing individual aware of himself and of the world in which he is makes him a question to himself and life a question to him. ...Existential philosophies insist that any plain and positive answer is false, because the truth is in the insurmountable ambiguity which is at the heart of man and of the world
SN 35.236 is an excellent example by how, when you view a sutta from a different perspective, you can take out a completely different teaching to what someone else will see. If it was taken ontologically as was done by Spk, it would say little more than after death an arahant has no body and no mind and thus no sensations (but what do to with that ontological teaching?). If it was taken phenomenologically, there's actual practical instruction that can be derived, as exemplified by venerable Gavesako, chownah, Gabriel, and his excellent channelling of Bhikkhu Nanananda.
Note also the signficance of the term 'discerned' in the original sutta.