Phassa (contact)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Post by pulga » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:51 pm

I suppose we all have to cherry pick in our efforts to understand the liberating message contained in the Suttas -- and some of us are better cherry pickers than others. But it is important to recognize that life is short, and at some point one needs to have confidence in and a commitment to one's interpretation.

I'm inclined to think that the world doesn't fall apart, it doesn't cease to exist completely, it doesn't lose its significance, its intelligibility upon the attainment arahatta phala -- tassa titthant'eva pañc'indriyáni, yesam avighátattá manápámanápam paccanubhoti sukhadukkham patisamvediyati. tassa yo rágakkhayo dosakkhayo mohakkhayo... Itivuttaka II,ii,7. The Buddha's message has to do with dukkha and its source, and that comes down to how we understand and experience the world.

'I was' is not for me, not for me is 'I shall be';
Determinations will un-be: therein what place for sighs?

Pure arising of things, pure series of determinants --
For one who sees this as it is, chieftain, there is no fear.
Theragáthá 715, 716

The Suttas grew out of what might be described as a samádhi culture, and certainly samádhi is a vital part of the Eightfold Path, but it is clear that the higher levels of samádhi that they describe aren't necessary to come to Right View. One can get lost in trying to decifer the remnants of the descriptions of attainments from a lost culture written in a language that technically is lost as well -- and that is true for those who claim to base their understanding of the Dhamma on their own meditative achievements.

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