Sylvester wrote:Occupational hazard, m'dear. I'm one of those who persistently object to the use of Plain English in my profession. I now have to unravel some tax legislation that was carelessly drafted by Plain English advocates who could not see the distinction between an adjectival participle and a prescriptive term.
It can make sense in a profession, particularly in one involved with legalities (like tax law). But even within a profession, one does not talk full-blown technicalese to someone who doesn't have the vocabulary built for precise use in the field, with any expectation of being well-understood.
I don't think that your use of language in the conversation between you and I has the effect you're hoping for, when I only understand about two out of three words, and end up with only a vague understanding (or an equally vague misunderstanding) of what you're saying. I also believe that if one can't explain technical concepts in lay terms, then one hasn't understood the concept itself well enough. I have found that I get fresh insights and a great understanding of what I'm seeing when I take the language into the everyday world.
If you can't explain what you're doing and why you're doing it to any intelligent layman, that really means that you don't understand it yourself.
Allan Bromley, former President of the American Physical Society
Let me see if I can summarize what I think you've said in this last post:
(1) DN 15 and SN 36.6 share the characteristic of splitting contact into more-or-less the same two divisions with enough similarity that they might actually be the same -- or might not.
(2) A difference may lie in the way paṭigha is used in each of them. In SN 36.6 it's about underlying tendencies (anusaya), while in DN 15 it appears to be simply describing contact (you said "impact/collision" -- was your "impact" meant to have more significance than just "contact"? I can't tell) between the outside world and what goes on inside us.
(3) In DN 15, the contact that results in resistence isn't about aversion or rejection.
(4) Because of (3) you "don't think that 'bodily contact' is something to which one reacts with resistance in the SN 36.6 sense."
#4 -- is not something one reacts to with existence: (a) ever? (b) isn't what's being described? or (c) neither of the above (please clarify if -c- is the appropriate answer, thanks).
(5) Your understanding is that because pain seems to be described as one thing, and grief as another (I'm assuming this means grief can arise from pain, but that doesn't make it the same as pain) descriptions of bodily feelings aren't limited to experiences of sensuality (in the literal sense of lust: sexual, gastronomical, drug-related, etc). Bodily feelings can also call up experiences tied to thoughts that aren't primarily sensual. (You didn't say that, exactly; I'm extrapolating.)
(6) Something more than a discussion of pleasure is going on in SN 36.6.
. See what anusaya pertains to that hedonic tone and what other suttas (eg SN 36.7) have to say about this anusaya.
Sorry, I don't find SN 36.7 saying anything about anusaya?
On the other hand, I follow the traditional interpretation of paṭigha in DN 15 and all the arūpa pericopes...
I'm sorry, I must have missed something here. How is DN 15 an arūpa pericope?
Do you see the intersection between this anusaya and the delineation of self mentioned in DN 15? Does the delineation of self in DN 15 fall to be criticised as being identical with MN 64's sakkāya-diṭṭhanusaya?
I'm having trouble with the word "fall" in he above -- can't quite make sense of what you're saying there (not phrasing I've encountered before).
Because of the way I see the Buddha's dhamma, I see an intersection between just about any two discussions you can give me (if I have any understanding of them at all -- there are still a lot of flat-out mysteries to me in things he says, things that are most likely so couched in the context of the day that the key to understanding is missing), with the exception of the brahma viharas, which I don't find fitting into the rest of the structure with anything like precision or need.
But to answer the first question in the quote just above, yes, I see anusaya being described in the delineation of self in DN 15 -- though it makes no mention of underlying tendencies -- specifically because of what's being discussed in namarupa, which brings us back to the original question which (I think) could be Plain Englishly put as:
How would a Vedic student of the Upanisads, if he recognized that the structure the Buddha was speaking of in DA, have known that the Buddha wasn't simply endorsing the student's Upanisadic view of the universe. You also (if I recall) pointed out how radically different the Buddha's detailed explanation of what's going on in namarupa was from the Vedic use of namarupa (though damned if I can find where you said that so maybe it wasn't you). But the answer to the former is the latter, among other things -- like the way he roundly condemned the Upanisadic view as Wrong View, which would certainly give the student pause and a reason to ask himself if he had misunderstood the Buddha's apparent use of his worldview to endorse it or... maybe he meant something else, hmmm.
While I was trying to locate what I thought was your comment about namarupa (I am prepping for my daughter's birthday party so I'm about to hit a wall here) I found this, though:
If the Buddhist texts record this teaching as being given with a grammatical construction that is apparently commonly understood, what evidence is there that the brahmins would have understood it differently from the Theravada Commentators?
And I suspect there may be a misunderstanding in there, because I don't have the impression that the *grammatical structure* (or even the statement's structures) of the field/set/where was "commonly understood" by people in the Buddha's day. In fact, I seriously doubt anyone had ever done what he did in the precise way he did it ever before -- what he did was brilliant but not simple.
What I believe I've been saying was commonly understood was that teachers tended to develop a structure of some sort and teach from that and that this resulted in them making pronouncements that might seem too obvious ("Where does death come from? From birth!") or a bit wrong-headed ("To end suffering we must become detached" -- which is logical but most of us don't want to stop caring about the world). So I am not saying that just everyone will have understood the structure of "What is X? X is 'just what you think it is', X is detail, detail, detail" where the first comment seems obviously to mean just what you think it means, but doesn't, actually. That other teachers also used "structures" doesn't equate to "used the same structure the Buddha did." (see remark just above about "brilliant -- not simple".)
So then I guess your next question:
I would trouble you to point to some textual sources for the purported Vedic pedagogy that the Buddha exploited or criticised, specifically how it intersects with DA.
was asking me to provide evidence of that "common understanding" that was not what I was saying at all, so my answer ("the dog ate my homework") was overkill?