something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Sobeh
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Sobeh » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:Who teaches this?
As I understand it, the flux idea occurs in his writings as a byproduct of contemporary discussions to which he was part, i.e. his correspondence and the writings he was sent. Apparently it was somewhat in vogue in such circles, perhaps to do with something quantum.
tiltbillings wrote:But what is the point?
Perhaps he hasn't got one that you find meaningful. :shrug: I've explained as best I know how.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:12 am

I must admit I've never liked Ven Nanavira's chariot argument. He seems to be reading a very mechanical interpretation into what it seems to me are instructions on how to contemplate currently arising phenomena. But perhaps it is not surprising that he picks on the mechanical aspect when the simile happens to be a chariot...

An important question to ask is whether translating paramattha sacca as ''truth in the highest, or ultimate, or absolute, sense' is accurate, or whether it invokes too much intellectual baggage.

The Vissudimagga passage he is commenting on is, as I read it, practical instructions on the development of insight. It says, in part, (Nanamoli translation pp687-688, XVIII.25-28):
... he defines all states of the three planes, the eighteen elements, twelve bases, five aggregates in the double way as 'mentality-materiality', and he concludes that over and above mere mentality-materiality there is nothing else that is a being or a person or a deity or a Brahma. ...
So this is in the meditative context of breaking down every aspect of experience, and in that context:
... just as ... in the ultimate sense when each part is examined, there is no chariot ...
... when each component is examined there is no being as a basis for the assumption "I am'...
The meditator looks carefully and finds no "I" there... Just phenomena...

Perhaps we are veering too far off the original topic, but does Ven. Nanavira explain his method of seeing through "I"? That might shed light on his thinking...

Mike

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Sherab » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:50 am

Ven Nanavira's criticism of the chariot example resonates with me because when I first came across the example, I too found the silence about the relationships between the parts rather strange.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:40 am

tiltbillings wrote:Who teaches this?
nana quoted sutta before, posted below.
Ñāṇa wrote:
Sobeh wrote:"something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval"

Samadhi Sutta (AN 4.41):
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness."
There is no need to suggest that feelings, perceptions, or thoughts "endure unchanged for at least a certain interval." AN 3.47:
  • Monks, these three are fabricated characteristics of what is fabricated. Which three? Arising is discernible, passing away is discernible, alteration (literally, other-ness) while staying is discernible.
so there is production (arising), disintegration (passing away), and abiding (staying).

if there were no thing that is in a state of abiding, if there were no thing that is in a state of arising, if there were no thing that is in a state of disintegrating, then the 3 factors could not be said to exist. therefore these things exist in their 3 states just as the 3 factors/states exist. just as the 3 factors exist for an interval, the things upon which they work exist for an interval. in this sense they are unchanging.
Last edited by 5heaps on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:57 am

beeblebrox wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: There is no need to suggest that feelings, perceptions, or thoughts "endure unchanged for at least a certain interval." AN 3.47:
  • Monks, these three are fabricated characteristics of what is fabricated. Which three? Arising is discernible, passing away is discernible, alteration (literally, other-ness) while staying is discernible.
"Other-ness" gets translated as "alteration"? Seems like a stretch to me... what is the exact Pāli word here?
Uppādo paññāyati, vayo paññāyati, ṭhitassa aññathattaṃ paññāyati.

PTS PED aññathatta: (nt.) [aññathā + tta] 1. change, alteration; 2. difference; 3. erroneous supposition, mistake; 4. fickleness, change of mind, doubt, wavering.

CPD aññathatta: n. (abstr. of aññathā), (a) difference, alteration, variation, change; b) in the same sense, esp. the change of mind into delusion, depression, anxiety, remorse, etc.
beeblebrox wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote: SN 35.93:
  • In dependence on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Forms are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.
Why "changeable" and not "changing"? The latter would be more direct. Also why "of a nature to become otherwise"? This phrasing also seems pretty indirect.
The above excerpt is Ven. Ṭhānissaro's translation. Ven. Bodhi translates SN 35.93 as follows:
  • In dependence on eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; forms are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

    Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, monks, eye-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

    The meeting, the encounter, the occurrence of these three things is called eye-contact. Eye-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, monks, eye-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?

    Contacted, monks, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise....
Ven. Ñāṇananda translates the same passage as follows:
  • Depending on eye and forms arises eye-consciousness. Eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Forms are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is unstable, evanescent, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.

    Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Whatever cause and condition there is for the arising of eye-consciousness, that cause, that condition, too, is impermanent, changing and becoming otherwise. How can eye-consciousness, arisen in dependence on an impermanent condition, be permanent, monks?

    That concurrence, that meeting, that togetherness of these three things, monks, is called eye-contact. Even the eye-contact, monks is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Whatever cause and condition there is for the arising of eye-contact, that cause and condition, too, is impermanent, changing and becoming otherwise. How can eye-contact, arisen in dependence on an impermanent condition, be permanent, monks?

    Contacted, monks, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things, too, are unstable, evanescent, impermanent, changing and becoming otherwise....
beeblebrox wrote:None of what you stated above are really saying (or at least explicitly) that a thing is changing while it is standing.
Do you practice satipaṭṭhāna? Specifically, either mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānassati), or observation of feelings (vedanānupassanā), or observation of dhammas (dhammānupassanā) pertaining to the mind sensory sphere and mental phenomena sensory sphere?

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:01 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Who teaches this?
nana quoted sutta before, posted below.
You might want to address him directly about that, but I would suggest in another thread.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:04 am

And when it is applied to an individual (i.e. a set of pañcakkhandhá) it is even less valid; for not only does it not show the non-existence of the individual, but since the functional arrangement of the pañcakkhandhá cannot be altered, even in imagination, it asserts an impossibility, that an existing individual can be destroyed.
And what is the "existing individual?"
As applied to an individual (or a creature) the argument runs into contradiction; and to say of an individual 'In the highest sense there is no individual; for it is a mere asemblage of khandhá' is to be unintelligible.
This is not a very sophisticated argument, and it seems to lack any sense of practical practice. In other words, it is head stuff, only.

Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. Which five? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person -- who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma -- assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.... Owing to the fading of ignorance and the arising of clear knowing, (the thoughts) -- 'I am,' 'I am this,' 'I shall be,' 'I shall not be,' 'I shall be possessed of form,' 'I shall be formless,' 'I shall be percipient (conscious),' 'I shall be non-percipient,' and 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' -- do not occur to him." SN III 46.

The self “exists” as an assumption grounded in the khandhas, and the sense of continuity - the supposed “existing individual” - is grounded in paticcasamuppada.

Bhikkhus, form (feeling... perception ,,, voltional formations ... consciousness) is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'This not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' When one sees this as it really is with correct wisdom, the mind becomes dispassionate and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging. SN III 45.

"But who, Venerable One, is it that feels?" "This question is not proper," said the Exalted One. I do not teach that there is one who feels. If, however, the question is put thus: 'Conditioned through what does feeling arise?' then the answer will be 'Through sense impressions as a condition feeling [arises]; with feeling as a condition, craving [arises]." SN II 13

The world, as a rule, is fettered by attachment and clinging to things, and is firmly adhering to them. But the learned and noble disciple does no longer attach himself, cling firmly, adhere and incline to the thoughts: 'I have an attaa,' and he knows: 'Merely dukkha that arises, merely dukkha that vanishes.' SN II 17 SN III 135.

the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." Ud 37 (4.1)

What Nanavira means by “existing individual” is, of course, not too clear. If he means the flow of the interdependent mind/body process, then short of nibbanic cessation it cannot be destroyed(, and destroyed would not be a proper way of talking about it).

The whole point of the chariot thingie is not to destroy the “existing individual”; rather, it is to penetrate the delusion of self and there is some sort of selfness to the “existing individual”. “Existing individual” is, however, a very poor choice of words to explain things. This is why I don’t read Nanavira.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Who teaches this?
nana quoted sutta before, posted below.
You might want to address him directly about that, but I would suggest in another thread.
I've already addressed the inappropriateness of applying realist ontology to the Buddha's dhamma a number of times on this thread and elsewhere. There is no need whatsoever to impute substantial existence onto phenomena as they are experienced. It's a complete sidetrack; an infatuation with views.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:12 am

Ñāṇa wrote:I've already addressed the inappropriateness of applying realist ontology to the Buddha's dhamma a number of times on this thread and elsewhere. There is no need whatsoever to impute substantial existence onto phenomena as they are experienced. It's a complete sidetrack; an infatuation with views.

All the best,

Geoff
Gawd only knows what it is other than some sort of Abhidharma stuff coming out of the Tibetan tenet system which has not a thing to do with the Theravada. I am going to go through this thread later and carefully pull out stuff that really is off-topic and move it to a new thread.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:19 am

Ñāṇa wrote:I've already addressed the inappropriateness of applying realist ontology to the Buddha's dhamma a number of times on this thread and elsewhere. There is no need whatsoever to impute substantial existence onto phenomena as they are experienced. It's a complete sidetrack; an infatuation with views.
when they Buddha talks about the nature of the eye consciousness, that it is subject to change, that it is impermanent, and that it arises, abides and disintegrates, this is talking about the nature of the eye consciousness aka ontology.

furthermore eye consciousnesses are not the mental factor of contact. contact is one functioning object that in fact depends on its object (ontology), and which acts as a condition for the eye consciousness (again, ontology). merely splitting up human creatures into 5 heaps is an ontological statement about the nature of creatures. therefore its utterly senseless to say buddhism has nothing to do with ontology. anatta itself is an ontological fact about persons.
tiltbillings wrote:which has not a thing to do with the Theravada.
you call any of this stuff Theravada? can you quote a a book which explains any of these things? a scholarly book came out recently about Theravada and Sautrantika. if i read it, will i find any of the ideas which you and nana are purporting? i think not.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:21 am

Sherab wrote:Ven Nanavira's criticism of the chariot example resonates with me because when I first came across the example, I too found the silence about the relationships between the parts rather strange.
But as Tiltbillings has explained, that part of the Visuddhimagga is practical meditation advice, not philosophy. Ven Nanavira fans seem to have a penchant for quoting extracts where he seems to be in philosophy mode, criticising what he perceives to be poor logic and philosophy in texts that I read in a much more practical way.

Perhaps someone could start a thread on positive statements from the Venerable. It would be much more interesting to hear how he recommends one should walk the path.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:26 am

5heaps wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:I've already addressed the inappropriateness of applying realist ontology to the Buddha's dhamma a number of times on this thread and elsewhere. There is no need whatsoever to impute substantial existence onto phenomena as they are experienced. It's a complete sidetrack; an infatuation with views.
when they Buddha talks about the nature of the eye consciousness, that it is subject to change, that it is impermanent, and that it arises, abides and disintegrates, this is talking about the nature of the eye consciousness aka ontology.
Ontology. Really. Did the Buddha talk about an ontology of being?
anatta itself is an ontological fact about persons.
Say who? You? Why should we listen to you?
tiltbillings wrote:which has not a thing to do with the Theravada.
you call any of this stuff Theravada? can you quote a a book which explains any of these things? a scholarly book came out recently about Theravada and Sautrantika. if i read it, will i find any of the ideas which you and nana are purporting? i think not.
Is there a reason why you keep try to push this thread way off topic?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by Nyana » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:48 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:which has not a thing to do with the Theravada.
you call any of this stuff Theravada? can you quote a a book which explains any of these things?
The individuation of phenomena requires apperceptive memory recognition (saññā) and conceptual designation (paññatti) for differentiation. All such individuation is relational and conventional and therefore phenomena cannot be ultimately established as “truly existing” (sabhāvasiddhi).

Ven. Ñāṇananda, The Magic of the Mind (pp. 62-63):
  • According to the phenomenalistic approach of the Buddha, not only the different types of feelings and mental states but the entire range of doctrinal categories summed up under the last section [of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta] i.e. ‘contemplation of mind-objects,’ has nothing in it that is worth ‘clinging to.’ All of them can be subsumed under the term ‘concept’ and that is to recognize their conditioned nature – the nature of arising and ceasing.

    “Friends, when there is the eye and there are forms and there is eye-consciousness, it is possible that one will point out a designation of contact (phassapaññatti). When there is a designation of contact, it is possible that one will point out a designation of feeling (vedanāpaññatti). When there is a designation of feeling, it is possible that one will point out a designation of perception (saññāpaññatti). When there is a designation of perception, it is possible that one will point out a designation of thought (vitakkapaññatti). When there is a designation of thought, it is possible that one will point out a designation of obsession due to reckonings born of prolific perception (papañcasaññāsaṅkhāsamudācaraṇapaññatti).

    “When there is the ear... When there is the nose... When there is the tongue... When there is the body...

    “When there is the mind and there are mental phenomena and there is mental-consciousness, it is possible that one will point out a designation of contact. When there is a designation of contact, it is possible that one will point out a designation of feeling. When there is a designation of feeling, it is possible that one will point out a designation of perception. When there is a designation of perception, it is possible that one will point out a designation of thought. When there is a designation of thought, it is possible that one will point out a designation of obsession due to reckonings born of prolific perception.” – M I 112 Madhupiṇḍika Sutta

    It would indeed appear strange to us that in Buddhist psychology even contact and feeling – with which we are so intimate – are treated as ‘designations’ (paññatti). We might feel that this is an intrusion of the ‘designation’ into the jealously guarded recesses of the psyche. Yet this is not the case, for, in the very act of apperception contacts and feelings are reckoned, evaluated, defined, and designated on the basis of one’s latencies (i.e. the aggregates). Thus there is hardly any justification for regarding them as ‘the given’, though we are accustomed to take them for granted. In other words, what we are wont to treat as ‘the given,’ turns out to be ‘synthetic’ and ‘composite’ (saṅkhata).
Noa Ronkin, Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition (pp. 245-247):
  • The Buddha’s insight reveals that the causal foundation for one’s samsaric experience is the operation of one’s cognitive apparatus. One’s experience in its entirety arises from the cognitive process of making sense of the incoming sensory data. Basic to this process is the khandha of conceptualization and apperception, namely, sañña, the activity of which results in the identification and differentiation of the incoming data. This identification process necessarily involves naming. As Hamilton points out, in describing the way identification is part of sorting out incoming experiential data the early Buddhist texts emphasize that naming is equivalent to what is called ‘making manifold’ of those data. ‘One might say’, Hamilton suggests, ‘that the process of making manifold in order to identify is the process of making nameable the aspects of one’s experience’. Indeed the Pali term for making manifold, papañceti, also means ‘verbal differentiation’, or ‘verbal proliferation’. All this verbal differentiation adds up to language, for, as the apperceptive process develops, one is imposing on the sensory influx categories and references that can be indicated by means of language. Language, then, is intrinsic to our experience: it provides the conceptual criteria and framework by which we make sense of our experience, or rather, by which we construct our world.

    The Buddha, however, unveils not only the dominance of language and conceptual thought, but also their inherent insufficiency and inadequacy. Although language is a constant feature of our experience, we are normally unaware of the paradox in the cognitive process: to become knowable all the incoming sensory data must be verbally differentiated, but as such they are mere constructions, mental formations; nothing justifies their reliability because they could equally have been constructed otherwise, in accordance with other conventional guidelines. What the Buddha rejects is realism, conceptual and ontological alike: the notion that the encountered world is made up of distinguishable substances, and the linguistic theory that words refer to these substances which they represent; the conviction that our language corresponds to or mirrors a mind-independent reality. He points towards conventionalism in language and undermines the misleading character of nouns as substance-words. Whatever we can know is part of the activity of language, but language, by its very nature, undermines certified knowledge. The Buddha shows that language is, in principle, faulty: having the power to make manifold and endlessly to proliferate, it makes things appear and disappear; it can construct anything and hence cannot be representational of reality. There can be no innocence of relations between word and world....

    Stated otherwise, samsaric experience is rooted in our cognitive apparatus: to rely on our conceptual scheme and language the way we normally do amounts to emotionally and intellectually grasping at and fixing our experience. Having recognized the fiction and imaginative creation inherent in conceptual thought and language, the awakened mind breaks up the apparently solid world that we construct for ourselves. To realize that words and concepts do not name anything, do not represent anything – what could be closer to silence and the eschewal of all views?

    Noticeable in this context is the Atthakavagga of the Suttanipata, which promulgates an ascetic discipline of silence and repudiation of our very cognitive apparatus as based on linguistic and conceptual delineation:

    “Neither conceptualizing, nor conceptualizing wrongly, nor lacking conceptualization, nor conceptualizing nothing – in one who has achieved this state sensory recognizable experience (rupa) ceases, for what is called ‘verbal proliferation’ (papañca) has its origin in conceptualization.”

    What comes to a halt according to this description is but namarupa: nama referring to all that is conceived of, thus providing an abstract, conceptual identity for the person, rupa designating the physically (though not necessarily visibly) recognizable data, that is, all that lends itself to apperception and that is given shape by means of sensory impression. Covering the range of whatever is either conceived or apperceived, namarupa therefore signifies the entirety of what is cognizable. That namarupa is related to papañca is attested by another Suttanipata passage located in the Mahavagga:

    “Having understood namarupa as verbal proliferation ( papañca) that is the root of inward and outward disease, one is released from bondage to the root of all disease. Such a one is called in truth ‘one who knows well’.”
Ven. Ñāṇananda, Concept and Reality In Early Buddhist Thought (p. 87):
  • The primary significance of the formula of Dependent Arising lies here. Lists of phenomena, both mental and material, are linked together with the term "paccayā" or any of its equivalents, and the fact of their conditionality and non-substantiality is emphasized with the help of analysis and synthesis. Apart from serving the immediate purpose of their specific application, these formulas help us to attune our minds in order to gain paññā. Neither the words in these formulas, nor the formulas as such, are to be regarded as ultimate categories. We have to look not so much at them as through them. We must not miss the wood for the trees by dogmatically clinging to the words in the formulas as being ultimate categories. As concepts, they are merely the modes in which the flux of material and mental life has been arrested and split up in the realm of ideation....
Concept and Reality (pp. 55–56):
  • Concepts – be they material or spiritual, worldly or transcendental – are not worthy of being grasped dogmatically. They are not to be treated as ultimate categories and are to be discarded in the course of the spiritual endeavour.... That the emancipated sage (muni) no longer clings even to such concepts as "nibbāna" or "detachment" (virāga) is clearly indicated in the following verse of the Sutta Nipāta:

    "For the Brahmin (the Muni) who has transcended all bounds, there is nothing that is grasped by knowing or by seeing. He is neither attached to attachment nor is he attached to detachment. In this world, he has grasped nothing as the highest." [Sn 795]
Sn 3.12: Dvayatānupassanā Sutta:
  • Entrenched in name and form,
    They conceive that “This is true.”

    In whatever way (worldlings) conceive it,
    It turns out other than that.
    For that is what is false about it.
    Whatever is transitory certainly has a false nature.

    But nibbāna does not have a false nature.
    That the noble ones truly know.
    Through fully comprehending the truth,
    They are without hunger, quenched.
Ud 3.10 (Ud 32) Loka Sutta:
  • This anguished world,
    Afflicted by contact,
    Speaks of a disease as self.
    By whatever terms it conceives of (anything),
    It turns out other than that.
    Although becoming otherwise, the world is held by existence,
    Afflicted by existence, yet delights in that very existence.
    Where there is delight, there is fear.
    What it fears is unsatisfactory.
    This holy life is lived for the abandoning of that existence.

    Whatever ascetics or brahmans say that emancipation from existence is by means of existence, all of them are not liberated from existence, I say.

    And whatever ascetics or brahmans say that escape from existence is by means of non-existence, all of them have not escaped from existence, I say.
When one relinquishes infatuation with all apperceptions and conceptual designations regarding both existence and non-existence then it is possible to find peace. Also, there is no soteriological necessity for categorizing any dhamma-s as paramattha, except in reference to nibbāna as the highest goal or the highest good. Ven.Ñāṇananda, Concept and Reality In Early Buddhist Thought (pp. 44-45):
  • [T]he word ‘paramattha’ in its earlier and non-technical usage, actually meant the Highest Goal as the object of realization, and any words tending towards that goal were called ‘paramatthasaṃhita’ (connected with the Highest Goal), irrespective of their precision or technicality. However, the Buddha, for his part, was content to treat all of them as ‘sammuti’. For him, they were ‘merely worldly conventions in common use, which he made use of, without clinging to them’ (DN I 202).
Ven. Ñāṇananda, The Mind Stilled, Nibbāna Sermon 13:
  • [Nibbāna] is not a paramattha in the sense of an absolute. It is a paramattha only in the sense that it is the highest good, parama attha. This is the sense in which the word was used in the discourses, though it has different connotations now. As exemplified by such quotations as āraddhaviriyo paramatthapattiyā, "with steadfast energy for the attainment of the highest good", the suttas speak of Nibbāna as the highest good to be attained.

    In later Buddhist thought, however, the word paramattha came to acquire absolutist connotations, due to which some important discourses of the Buddha on the question of worldly appellations, worldly expressions and worldly designations fell into disuse. This led to an attitude of dwelling in the scaffolding, improvised just for the purpose of constructing a building....

    t is not proper to relegate some sermons as discursive or conventional in style. Always it is a case of using concepts in worldly parlance. In the laboratory one uses a particular set of symbols, but on returning home he uses another. In the same way, it is not possible to earmark a particular bundle of concepts as absolute and unchangeable. As stated in the Poṭṭhapādasutta, already discussed, all these concepts are worldly appellations, worldly expressions, worldly usages, worldly designations, which the Tathāgata makes use of without tenacious grasping. However philosophical or technical the terminology may be, the arahants make use of it without grasping it tenaciously. What is of importance is the function it fulfils. We should make use of the conceptual scaffolding only for the purpose of putting up the building. As the building comes up, the scaffolding has to leave. It has to be dismantled. If one simply clings onto the scaffolding, the building would never come up.


All the best,

Geoff
Last edited by Nyana on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:56 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
5heaps wrote: . . . .
Nonsense. . . .
Good stuff, but it won't make a dent or even a ding.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

5heaps
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Post by 5heaps » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:Is there a reason why you keep try to push this thread way off topic?
i am merely responding to the things you 2 are saying, and talking about what you are talking. i havent said anything that others have not said.
Ontology. Really. Did the Buddha talk about an ontology of being?
its pretty amazing that someone could ask this question.

its very simple. some people say the nature of persons is that they possess an unchanging essence and/or are identified by way of an unchanging essence. the Buddha however said that no, this is not the nature of persons. thats ontology.
Ñāṇa wrote:Nonsense.
"One’s experience in its entirety arises from the cognitive process of making sense of the incoming sensory data.."

every system differentiates between experience of objects and the sense data themselves. what you seem to be forgetting in reading these quotes is that within our "construct[ion of] our world" using concepts, this still includes sense data which are not concepts. ignorance, for example, is sense data, mind is sense data, form is sense data. and these sense data function differently than concepts. in fact they play a necessary role in our being able to derive concepts out of them and pertaining to them and thus "construct our world".

anyway ill start a new thread to address those things when i have a spare moment.
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