Is the practical application of Abhidhamma then to classify mental experience in relation to the 52 cetasikas, as they occur?
Quoting from the link you gave, Nina van Gorkom writes...
A detailed study of the many types of cetasikas will help the reader to know his own defilements and to develop good qualities and eventually, to eradicate all defilements.
I'm a little confused about how classifying of defilements itself leads to the development of good qualities. Is it the clear knowledge of what is wholesome and unwholesome which is inherently good, or is it something else which tends to the development of good qualities? Is classification by way of the 52 cetasikas said to be any more beneficial or essential in that sense than classification via the 5 aspects of nāma referred to in the sutta above? Or for that matter, classification via mula (roots) e.g.
AN 3.69: Mula Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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"Monks, there are these three roots of what is unskillful. Which three? Greed is a root of what is unskillful, aversion is a root of what is unskillful, delusion is a root of what is unskillful. (and so on.....)
I guess what I'm trying to drill down to is, what does the act of cetasika classification actually "do"? In other words, how does it lead to positive outcomes... is it classification alone that is required in and of itself, or is anything else required in order to lead to these positive outcomes?
Virgo wrote:In the Abhidhamma, the teaching was given in paramattha terms, not in conventional ones, as it was in the suttas. Therefore, these explanations are fleshed out in Abhidhamma and not in Sutta.
Hmmm... I'd be a little careful of classifying suttas as "conventional" only, particularly when the nāma list I provided corresponds directly to some of the cetasikas. Elsewhere Cooran has provided reference to suttas which form the nucleus of the codified Abhidhamma.