Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:05 am

I am providing an opportunity for you to explain your claims to understanding Buddhism.
Thanks for your reply and thanks for clarifying your intentions, this was not clear to me.
You wrote:
Becoming – birth

From becoming, your ‘self’ is formed. This self is born mentally because you identify yourself with your desires. These desires become mentally separate from your objective sensatory awareness, because you define them, and thus create a self.

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/10-the-self/
The equivalent Pali text says:
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, jāti.

And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Note: The above English translation may or may not be accurate.
Therefore, how does your explanation represent what is written in the Buddhist texts? How can you be sure your explanation is Buddhism? :shrug:
In that chapter I explain the birth of form as part of the chain of dependent arising of the self. Besides the birth of form, there is also birth of the formless (through identifying it), however I do not explain this in that chapter, because someone who reads it at that point would probably not be able to understand it, as they are still consumed by form.

Everything that is defined is born (mentally) and formed, first it was not and then it is defined. It is quite literally referred to in the Pali text (whatever coming-to-be, coming-forth..), however understanding it requires context. Birth is understood in the context of dependent arising of the self. Something is formed through the 6 sense bases of form consciousness.

If one attains Nirvana everything in Buddhism becomes clear, like I mentioned to someone else earlier in this thread. One will also understand what is meant in all the sutta's. Although I can say this, you will still have doubt.

:candle:

You continue:
Birth-death (extinction)

From the birth of the self until its death (extinguishment) it will always be unsatisfied because the self has originated from sensory desires! These desires must constantly be satisfied. If you have a desire, you are dissatisfied. If all egocentric desires are extinguished (lifted), by taking away the first cause (delusion, ignorance, false-knowing) of mutually dependent origination, you are freed from your dissatisfaction. Your delusion or ignorance is taken away by the insight that the essence of reality is empty. Through this insight, the urge for meaning, interpretation or substance in life is removed and as a result, all consecutive chains disappear. The chain of dependent origination of the self is lifted in this way.

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/10-the-self/
To me, the above sounds like "death" is Nirvana (extinguishment).

However, the Pali texts provide the following definition of "death":
Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Therefore, again, how does your explanation represent what is written in the Buddhist texts? How can you be sure your explanation is Buddhism? :shrug:
Quite the same as with birth but the other way around; every dissolving of form or formless results in the death (disappearance) of that. This death should not be seen in a physical sense, as what is really dying is only the thought of living. Maybe I should add this last sentence in the text, thanks.

Birth and death of form and formless all come forth from the desire to define and identify 'something,' out of ignorance. That is why it is important, for understanding these concepts, to not see these concepts as standing on themselves, but in relation to which birth and death they are referring to.

On the notion of rebirth;
The moment you have let go of the identification with form, you are left with the identification with the formless. Although you do not define a form anymore, you do recognize you experience something.

Rebirth occurs whenever someone tries to define an experience in form and every time when someone tries to identify with an experience which is not defined in form (formless).

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/14-nirvana/
First there is the identification of the formless. One experiences 'something,' but has not defined its form yet. This identification is the most subtle form of birth, as it lays the foundation on which form is defined. Form is based upon the identification of this 'something.' So, everytime when anything is formed, it is reborn. The image of the old and young women in the manual really helps in understanding this, in my experience that is. Thich Nhat Hanh explains this also in this video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwGsQxUdczw One will not fully understand this if one is still consumed by form.

I am happy to help with other things which may be unclear. Although I will repeat that it will help if one reads the whole manual, as a lot of questions will probably be answered there. The manual is only 24 pages long in A4 format. Afterwards, we can still doubt if it is Buddhism or not. Although, I am also prepared to answer questions from people who have not read the whole thing.

I have written the manual in a way that even the most inexperienced people should be able to understand it (I hope), so it could be that in the first chapters you will read a lot of which you already know. However, for understanding the whole, they still might prove value. One should not expect to understand something one has read in the last chapter, if he has not understood the previous ones. One can't skip his way to Nirvana.

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DooDoot
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by DooDoot » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:17 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
In that chapter I explain the birth of form as part of the chain of dependent arising of the self.
Thank you. I have no doubts it can be said the idea of "self" is "born" in the mind however it appears you are yet to reconcile this phenomena with the Buddhist texts. You said what you wrote is from the Buddhist texts yet you are yet to present a Buddhist text to support your ideas.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
someone who reads it at that point would probably not be able to understand it, as they are still consumed by form.
The above sounds rather presumptuous to me.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
Everything that is defined is born (mentally) and formed...
Personally, I have never read this idea in the texts; even though I have no doubt the mind can give "birth" to ideas & concepts. For example, the texts say "birth has ended" for an Arahant yet Arahants, such as the Buddha, continue to define words & things.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
, first it was not and then it is defined.
The above sounds like what the Brahmans called "nama-rupa" (see link). I doubt this is really related to Buddhism. The Buddhist texts appear to define "nama-rupa" different to Brahmanism/Hinduism. For example, i have never read the Buddha refer to "subject-object" as "nama-rupa", as you appear to have done in your book.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
It is quite literally referred to in the Pali text (whatever coming-to-be, coming-forth..),
The above is an English translation. Other translators translate it differently. Also, coming-forth can mean coming-forth from a mother's womb. You have yet to show how "coming-forth" (sañjāti & abhinibbatti) of mental ideas is found in the texts.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
however understanding it requires context. Birth is understood in the context of dependent arising of the self. Something is formed through the 6 sense bases of form consciousness.
Sure. I do not doubt the above can occur but you have not shown the Buddhist texts describe this.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
If one attains Nirvana
You mean if "the mind" attains Nirvana?
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
everything in Buddhism becomes clear
Possibly. However, the texts say the Buddha was the perfect teacher. Thus, I imagine the texts should be clear given the texts are assumed to be spoken by the clear Buddha.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
like I mentioned to someone else earlier in this thread. One will also understand what is meant in all the sutta's. Although I can say this, you will still have doubt.
Sorry. But you have not demonstrated your ideas are related to the texts (suttas). I certainly have many doubts about your book. But about the texts, I don't have many, if any, doubts at all.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
Quite the same as with birth but the other way around; every dissolving of form or formless results in the death (disappearance) of that.
The texts mention impermanence (anicca) and vanishing (vaya) but I have never read this correlated with "death" ("marana").
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
This death should not be seen in a physical sense, as what is really dying is only the thought of living. Maybe I should add this last sentence in the text, thanks.
Here, are you saying the imaginary 'self' imagines it, the 'self', is dying? In other words, you are not saying the body dies but you are saying the self hallucination believes it, the self, namely, "me" or "I", is dying? Such as when people cry in pain: "I am dying". :shrug:
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
Birth and death of form and formless all come forth from the desire to define and identify 'something,' out of ignorance.
Sure, this might sound reasonable but where is this written in the Buddhist texts?
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
On the notion of rebirth;
The moment you have let go of the identification with form, you are left with the identification with the formless. Although you do not define a form anymore, you do recognize you experience something.

Rebirth occurs whenever someone tries to define an experience in form and every time when someone tries to identify with an experience which is not defined in form (formless).

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/14-nirvana/
OK. So "rebirth" sounds like the repeated birth or arising of identification. While this idea sounds reasonable, where is it written in the suttas?
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
First there is the identification of the formless. One experiences 'something,' but has not defined its form yet. This identification is the most subtle form of birth, as it lays the foundation on which form is defined. Form is based upon the identification of this 'something.' So, everytime when anything is formed, it is reborn. The image of the old and young women in the manual really helps in understanding this, in my experience that is. Thich Nhat Hanh explains this also in this video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwGsQxUdczw
I sensed you plagiarised from TNH, particularly when writing about the yellow flowers or whatever it was.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
One will not fully understand this if one is still consumed by form.
I think it is easy to understand but my question is where is it found in the suttas?
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
I am happy to help with other things which may be unclear.
I still think your answers to my questions are unclear.
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:50 am
Although I will repeat that it will help if one reads the whole manual
The manual contains nothing novel to me. Its old news to me. This said, I must admit parts of it were very good. But you didn't explain how your manual is Buddhist. For example, there have been very famous Buddhist teachers teaching some similar ideas to you about "ego-birth" but most Buddhists call these teachers "heretics" given these teachers generally do not use the texts to substantiate their ideas.

Regards
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm

And what proof would I bring if I went through the job of referring everything I wrote to Buddhist texts, other than that we may conclude, probably after a long debate, that the words I used are my interpretations of the path. Every other explanation of the path is another interpretation. Just like the different sutta's are different interpretations. Debating about which words mean what exactly, and if this is true or that, didnt really help me progress on the path.

The path is not this or that. The only proof lies in your experience. If you gain insight into yourself and reality, and your suffering dissolves, the vehicle is true. Every vehicle which helps you progress is true in some way. In the end it will proof which ones have it all. Why limit your progress to the use of only one or two sources of knowledge? I am curious; did you understand the Buddhist texts that you have read? And did they help you attain Nirvana?

I don't really see your point of trying to blame me for plagiarism again. If a video is on YouTube, the knowledge in the video is known by the public. What is it you are trying to achieve there?

Like I said before, the whole religion people created around the path; with all the hierarchies and people calling other people 'heretics' has nothing to do with the path. Everyone trying to hold on to something and dismissing something in favor of something else, is not on the path or has not understood it.

Calmoid
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Calmoid » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:46 pm

Greetings Peter

I am one of these western people (target group) for whom your exposition is intended. Your writings are an attempt to make the dhamma easier for us to understand. Sadhu anumothana.

Would be great if you would also offer a pdf to download. Easier to use/handle than the WordPress page you have created. Your page has no buttons to go to the next or previous chapter etc.. If in one page or document then one could also easily search through the text for certain key words etc.. Or put the text together on one page. At the beginning you can make a clickable hyperlinked table of contents.

I've read just your Nirvana chapter.
I could follow easily till the sentence:

"Therefore, the flower can’t be truly defined as it needs everything to exist and consequently its essence is empty."

I can't easily understand that sentence. What do you mean with the word "defined"? Defined = clearly characterised, showing clearly a boundary
Visually I can define it/ single it out of the whole. The very act of saying "flower" shows that it can be defined, the word flower points to the thing or manifestation or form we defined (convention) as flower.

Also it is not clear to me how you arrive from the fact that a flower can't exist on its own but depends on many conditions, to "consequently its essence is empty"??

What do you mean with essence and of what is it empty?

Then you continue with "an example to explain the above" which underlines that the above is hard to understand on its own. Unfortunately the example does not help me to understand the above. Again I can follow till:
"Therefore, the formless women are also part of dependent arising and are also empty of an essence. So the formless things are also empty of an essence and really nothing, just like form objects."

It is clear that the picture is dependently arisen, but not why it is empty of essence?
Again what do you mean with essence?

essence
the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
"the gist of the prosecutor's argument"
"the heart and soul of the Republican Party"
"the nub of the story"
syn : kernel, substance, core, center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty

I understand you try to proof or convince the reader with your argument/words that form (something which has formed/manifested or simply an experience) as well formless (something we don't experience, has not formed (yet)) is "empty in essence" and "nothing". Maybe it's only me but I have a hard time to follow and understand your reasoning. Please remember in your head everything may be crystal clear because of your experiences and contemplations but the reader might lack those.

"There is really no coming (birth), as the manifestation of form already existed in the formless. Just as there is no going (death), as form will continue to exist in the formless when the form dissolves."
I know what you are describing. Still I don't know if you can really say it like that. The rearrangement of the elements (from air ground water seed etc to the flower) is the birth of something, the destruction of that rearrangement (flower) is death. Sure nothing (no element) gets lost, there is just a constant rearrangement.

In the next paragraph are many true things stated.
The part
"Although you do not define a form anymore, you do recognize you experience something. We attain Nirvana when we also have let go of the identification with the formless. We are conscious that nothing is formed, as the essence of form is empty. This means that something is without form. However, also the essence of the formless is empty and is therefore nothing. "
is not clear and self explanatory.

Overall I think the text is not easy to understand especially not for a beginner with no direct experience of the dhamma at all. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable and experienced in the field of the dhamma , means I can read between the lines, and even for me it is difficult to follow or even make sense out of your explanations.
Maybe one has to read the previous chapters but you see not everyone does. So a chapter itself should be able to stand for itself to some degree or refer to a previous chapter if the info from there is a prerequisite to understand the one at hand.

so far I can say there are definitely certain insights in it which I can second through my own experience. Because of that I will read later the chapter of the middle path maybe then your writing becomes clearer.

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DooDoot
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:48 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm
The only proof lies in your experience.
Sure. But maybe your experience is not a Buddhist experience. Maybe it is just "your experience". For example, the following books by a famous Thai Buddhist monk make similar claims to you yet I have not read any compelling references from the Buddhist texts in these books to support the author's claims.

1. The Danger of I - Another Kind of Birth

2. Anattā and Rebirth
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:36 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm
The only proof lies in your experience.
Only proof ---> behaviors (physical, verbal, mental).

Touchstone --> Buddha's teachings.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
metta,
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22

chownah
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by chownah » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:24 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:48 am
But maybe your experience is not a Buddhist experience.
Is this really what you meant to say? Is experience now judged as being either "buddhist" or "non-buddhist"?

Seems like the idea of a "buddhist experience" is just identity making for experience....objectifying some thing called "exerience" and subjectifying some self called "a buddhist".
chownah

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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:44 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm


I just joined this forum and I recently attained Nirvana.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Well, I read the last section on nirvana. It mentions interdependence and a realization of Anatta based on that understanding. But there are other aspects to Nirvana as conceived in Theravada Buddhism. Of course, you’re free not to answer, but I’d like to ask: are you free of sexual desire and do you plan to be celibate for the rest of your life? Also, do you plan to hold a job and save up for retirement and are you concerned about having good health insurance? If anybody close to you died, would you feel sadness at their passing?

Thank you for your time.

: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."

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:42 am

Calmoid wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:46 pm
Greetings Peter

I am one of these western people (target group) for whom your exposition is intended. Your writings are an attempt to make the dhamma easier for us to understand. Sadhu anumothana.

Would be great if you would also offer a pdf to download. Easier to use/handle than the WordPress page you have created. Your page has no buttons to go to the next or previous chapter etc.. If in one page or document then one could also easily search through the text for certain key words etc.. Or put the text together on one page. At the beginning you can make a clickable hyperlinked table of contents.
Greetings Calmoid,

Thanks for your reply and feedback! I will try to implement your suggestions. I am a real beginner in website building though, so it may take a while. Do you know if we are able to share PDF files on this forum? Are you familiar with website building in wordpress?
I've read just your Nirvana chapter.
I could follow easily till the sentence:

"Therefore, the flower can’t be truly defined as it needs everything to exist and consequently its essence is empty."

I can't easily understand that sentence. What do you mean with the word "defined"? Defined = clearly characterised, showing clearly a boundary
Visually I can define it/ single it out of the whole. The very act of saying "flower" shows that it can be defined, the word flower points to the thing or manifestation or form we defined (convention) as flower.

Also it is not clear to me how you arrive from the fact that a flower can't exist on its own but depends on many conditions, to "consequently its essence is empty"??

What do you mean with essence and of what is it empty?
Indeed we can define things, but is our definition true to its being? I hoped the word "truly" before "defined", in the sentence you referred to, would suffice. But I see now that it needs further explanation. Although insight into dependent arising and the emptiness of essence is necessary/a prerequisite to understand the explanations in the Nirvana Chapter. I see now that I need to make this clearer in the beginning of the chapter. Thank you.

To elaborate on the flower; we can see the manifestation of the flower in its leaves and in its branches and in our thought. However, what would the flower be without the air, the soil, the sun, space, time, matter, gravity, etc? The flower would not be there. So they are part of the flower. Thus the flower is not only its leaves and its branches, but also everything around the flower make the flower what it is.

So how can we truly define the flower? We can't. The flower we defined by looking at the leaves and the branches does not exist upon itself, it is dependent upon space, time, matter, gravity, etc. This is what is meant with dependent arising. If something, in this case the physical presence of the flower, is dependent upon something else, the essence of the flower is empty. We can't say the flower is this or that, at least not to its true nature. So the flower is truly 'no-thing' or 'nothing.' What is clearer; no-thing or nothing?

Chapter 12 explains what the emptiness of essence is. Chapters 7 till 11 explain dependent arising, which is a prerequisite for understanding emptiness of essence.
https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/12-the-essence/
Then you continue with "an example to explain the above" which underlines that the above is hard to understand on its own. Unfortunately the example does not help me to understand the above. Again I can follow till:
"Therefore, the formless women are also part of dependent arising and are also empty of an essence. So the formless things are also empty of an essence and really nothing, just like form objects."

It is clear that the picture is dependently arisen, but not why it is empty of essence?
Again what do you mean with essence?

essence
the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
"the gist of the prosecutor's argument"
"the heart and soul of the Republican Party"
"the nub of the story"
syn : kernel, substance, core, center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty
I wrote a definition of essence in chapter 12, which hopefully is helpful;
In philosophy,essence is defined as the property or set of properties that make an entity or substance what it is, what it needs, and without which it loses its identity.
We could say that we thought that the physical presence of the flower was the flower. So the essence of the flower was his physical presence. However, we now have realized that the flower is dependent upon many things and these things are again dependent upon other things, which are dependent upon other things. For example; Without gravity there would be no matter; matter, therefore, does not exist in itself. Matter is therefore essentially empty. Also, space and time are essentially empty, because space is mutually dependent on time.

So we can't define the properties of the true flower anymore, as it includes everything. If it is everything, we can't localize its essence by defining its properties, therefore, its essence is empty. Everything is of dependent arising and nothing stands on itself, so everything is empty of an essence.
I understand you try to proof or convince the reader with your argument/words that form (something which has formed/manifested or simply an experience) as well formless (something we don't experience, has not formed (yet)) is "empty in essence" and "nothing". Maybe it's only me but I have a hard time to follow and understand your reasoning. Please remember in your head everything may be crystal clear because of your experiences and contemplations but the reader might lack those.
Yes, these writings are a first attempt to share my insights and only through your feedback I can become aware which parts are unclear to others and need more explanation. Although it is helpful if we start at the beginning, so I do not have to explain things which are described in previous chapters. I intentionally tried to keep the writings brief and only describing the essential, every word has its place. So that one becomes not lost in words, but can focus on contemplating what he has read in his experience.

I will repeat that one will not understand the last chapter if he has not gained insight into dependent arising and emptiness of essence, which are explained in the chapters before that.

"There is really no coming (birth), as the manifestation of form already existed in the formless. Just as there is no going (death), as form will continue to exist in the formless when the form dissolves."
I know what you are describing. Still I don't know if you can really say it like that. The rearrangement of the elements (from air ground water seed etc to the flower) is the birth of something, the destruction of that rearrangement (flower) is death. Sure nothing (no element) gets lost, there is just a constant rearrangement.
What is the flower more than an arrangement of elements?

In the next paragraph are many true things stated.
The part
"Although you do not define a form anymore, you do recognize you experience something. We attain Nirvana when we also have let go of the identification with the formless. We are conscious that nothing is formed, as the essence of form is empty. This means that something is without form. However, also the essence of the formless is empty and is therefore nothing. "
is not clear and self explanatory.
With the insight into dependent arising and emptiness of essence we know we cannot truly define something. So, no-thing or nothing is really formed, outside of our mental fabrication.

In this, the formless does not differ from form. The formless women are also part of dependent arising, the same as the women in form. The only difference is that we defined them. So, the formless is also empty of an essence, just like form, and is really nothing.

Becoming aware of the formless is important (in attaining Nirvana), as the formless is the foundation on which form is defined. So we can let go of form, but we will still experience 'something,' and if we do not look into this 'something' and figure out its nature, we will try to identify the formless. Identification of the formless is the deepest 'level' of our self. It is the basis on which our self is defined. If we identify something, we identify with this something. First we identify something and then we will try to define it. So in order to attain Nirvana, one needs to let go of the identification of/with the formless. We can do this by realizing the formless is also 'empty' and 'nothing,'just like form. If we realize it is empty and nothing, we will not try to identify it, as we realized there is really nothing to identify (with).
Overall I think the text is not easy to understand especially not for a beginner with no direct experience of the dhamma at all. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable and experienced in the field of the dhamma , means I can read between the lines, and even for me it is difficult to follow or even make sense out of your explanations.
Hopefully a beginner will start with the first chapter and will read the whole thing. It will be impossible to attain and understand Nirvana without clear insight into dependent arising and emptiness of essence. On the path I myself thought on multiple occasions that I was more knowledgeable than I really was. The only way I progressed was to keep an open mind. I experienced it is easy to mistake some realizations for Nirvana, especially if one fully realizes dependent arising of form and the emptiness of essence. After that realization, one is tempted to close his mind and not investigate further as all apparant distinctions seem to have dissolved. One can easily believe that he therefore also has transcended the formless.

Maybe one has to read the previous chapters but you see not everyone does. So a chapter itself should be able to stand for itself to some degree or refer to a previous chapter if the info from there is a prerequisite to understand the one at hand.
This is quite hard to do, as all the required information is in the previous chapters.

so far I can say there are definitely certain insights in it which I can second through my own experience. Because of that I will read later the chapter of the middle path maybe then your writing becomes clearer.
Thanks again for your reply and feedback. I am happy to receive more feedback on the manual and on my replies to your feedback, if you will of course. I will gather all the feedback and see how I can improve the manual with it.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:19 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:48 am
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm
The only proof lies in your experience.
Sure. But maybe your experience is not a Buddhist experience. Maybe it is just "your experience".
What is a Buddhist experience for you?

It is only my experience, and if I would claim that it is anything beyond that, would make it untrue.
For example, the following books by a famous Thai Buddhist monk make similar claims to you yet I have not read any compelling references from the Buddhist texts in these books to support the author's claims.

1. The Danger of I - Another Kind of Birth

2. Anattā and Rebirth
And how can you be ever sure that the sutta's are true? The Buddha didn't wrote them himself right?

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:25 am

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:36 am
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm
The only proof lies in your experience.
Only proof ---> behaviors (physical, verbal, mental).

Touchstone --> Buddha's teachings.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
metta,
Thanks for your reply, but I do not understand your message. Are you willing to elaborate?

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DooDoot
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:26 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:24 am
Is this really what you meant to say? Is experience now judged as being either "buddhist" or "non-buddhist"? Seems like the idea of a "buddhist experience" is just identity making for experience....objectifying some thing called "exerience" and subjectifying some self called "a buddhist".
Thanks Chownah but I have no idea about what you are trying to say. If I meditate and my experience is seeing "god" or the "angel Gabriel", this is obviously not the same experience as the Buddha. Its not a "Buddhist" experience.
PeterC86 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:19 am
What is a Buddhist experience for you?
The same experience of the Buddha as described in the texts.
PeterC86 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:19 am
It is only my experience, and if I would claim that it is anything beyond that, would make it untrue.
I am not questioning the personal truth of your personal experience. I was merely questioning your claims that your experiences are those described in the Buddhist texts, as you claimed.

For example, you wrote lots of things about sense experience, preferences, favouring & opposing, craving, expectation, ego, etc, and how these create suffering & dissatisfaction; which sound similar to many texts. I found these explanations very impressive & useful. But you didn't cite these texts nor did you reconcile your ideas about Dependent Origination with the suttas. In fact, often your TNH ideas about Dependent Origination were Mahayana & not related to what the Pali suttas appear to teach about Dependent Origination.
PeterC86 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:19 am
And how can you be ever sure that the sutta's are true? The Buddha didn't wrote them himself right?
See. Now you seem to have ceased to be a Buddhist altogether because you cannot reconcile your experience with the suttas. The above appears to demonstrate a lack of faith in the Triple Gem. The suttas say the Dhamma is verified by each introspective person individually. You appeared to claim you are an Arahant (but without conviction in the suttas) yet in the texts merely a Stream-Enterer has absolutely certainty the (verifiable) suttas are true. This is starting to sounds like plagiarists such as Krishnamurti, who was taught all different religions, who repackaged those religious teachings but claimed the religions themselves to be false. Often the mind can have experiences in meditation but often knowledge of the teachings is influencing or bending the mind see in that enlightened manner. Thus, I think we should try to have gratitude for the teachings when appropriate rather than make claims we did it all ourselves.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:44 am
PeterC86 wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm


I just joined this forum and I recently attained Nirvana.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Well, I read the last section on nirvana. It mentions interdependence and a realization of Anatta based on that understanding. But there are other aspects to Nirvana as conceived in Theravada Buddhism. Of course, you’re free not to answer, but I’d like to ask: are you free of sexual desire and do you plan to be celibate for the rest of your life? Also, do you plan to hold a job and save up for retirement and are you concerned about having good health insurance? If anybody close to you died, would you feel sadness at their passing?

Thank you for your time.

:anjali:
Thanks for your reply. What would an answer on those questions give you?

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Aloka
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Aloka » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:24 pm

PeterC86 wrote:What would an answer on those questions give you?
Perhaps one could also ask: "What would an answer on the above question give you, Peter?"






.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:09 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:25 am
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:36 am
PeterC86 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm
The only proof lies in your experience.
Only proof ---> behaviors (physical, verbal, mental).

Touchstone --> Buddha's teachings.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
metta,
Thanks for your reply, but I do not understand your message. Are you willing to elaborate?
Hello,

It means:

The only proof of one's attainment is the indestructible & irreversible purity (appropriate to the specific level of four attainments) of one's actions, talks, and thoughts.
And, Buddha's teachings, when interpreted rightly, are there for one, to be used as a touchstone to test the authenticity and level of that purity, and accordingly, to test the attainments.

Because:
Fortunately, all real attainments are perceived as real experiences for one.
Unfortunately, all delusional attainments are perceived as real experiences for one, too.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Metta,
.


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Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22

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