SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Each week we studied and discussed a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 23198
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Geoff,

Thanks for sharing that Ajahn Chah quote... what a star.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by kirk5a »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kirk,

But the Suttas do speak of "mind and mind objects". Whether "mind" is something constant or not is a different question that doesn't seem to me to affect Ajahn Chah's statement. Like Geoff, I wouldn't try to read metaphysics into such statements.

:anjali:
Mike
Ok, but when Thai masters say "the citta is constant" they're the ones making statements, it's not me reading into anything.

"But the citta, the true knowing essence, does not arise and pass away like the body and the feelings do. The citta’s knowing presence is the one stable constant."
- Ajahn Maha Boowa
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ntship.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So. If "mind" is defined in one place as inconstant, and here as constant, that requires some explanation, I would say. That is not resolved by admonitions not to "papanca-ize" Seems to me like an important point of the Dhamma.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17864
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Kirk,

I don't have the reference handy but Ajhan Maha Bua does say in one of his books that his terminology and descriptions are non-standard (as many others would also point out!).

That doesn't necessarily mean that he's wrong, he's presumably describing his experience, but it does means that trying to reconcile his statements with Suttas is bound to be problematical. Perhaps a discussion about that would be better in another section of the Forum.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by kirk5a »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kirk,

I don't have the reference handy but Ajhan Maha Bua does say in one of his books that his terminology and descriptions are non-standard (as many others would also point out!).

That doesn't necessarily mean that he's wrong, he's presumably describing his experience, but it does means that trying to reconcile his statements with Suttas is bound to be problematical. Perhaps a discussion about that would be better in another section of the Forum.

:anjali:
Mike
Sure no problem Mike, thanks for the discussion.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Nyana »

kirk5a wrote:So. If "mind" is defined in one place as inconstant, and here as constant, that requires some explanation, I would say. That is not resolved by admonitions not to "papanca-ize" Seems to me like an important point of the Dhamma.
What is being referred to is the lucidity, clarity, and suppleness of mind. When one meditates a lot the mind can become incredibly lucid and clear. This vivid presence of mind can be mistaken for an unchanging quality. But the mind must necessarily change along with its perceptions. If the mind didn't change along with its perceptions then either:

(a) the mind would forever be frozen exclusively perceiving one unchanging object, or

(b) the mind would continuously perceive every single object cognized.

If we take visual consciousness for example: If you turn your head from right to left (with eyes open), your entire visual field changes as your head moves. When your head is to the left you are no longer cognizant of what was cognized in the beginning position to the right. Therefore, both (a) and (b) above are refuted, and we can correctly discern that visual consciousness changes along with its perceptions. And what is true for visual consciousness is also true for the other five consciousnesses. There can be no unchanging, permanent consciousness.

All the best,

Geoff
Dan74
Posts: 3448
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Dan74 »

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:So. If "mind" is defined in one place as inconstant, and here as constant, that requires some explanation, I would say. That is not resolved by admonitions not to "papanca-ize" Seems to me like an important point of the Dhamma.
What is being referred to is the lucidity, clarity, and suppleness of mind. When one meditates a lot the mind can become incredibly lucid and clear. This vivid presence of mind can be mistaken for an unchanging quality. But the mind must necessarily change along with its perceptions. If the mind didn't change along with its perceptions then either:

(a) the mind would forever be frozen exclusively perceiving one unchanging object, or

(b) the mind would continuously perceive every single object cognized.

If we take visual consciousness for example: If you turn your head from right to left (with eyes open), your entire visual field changes as your head moves. When your head is to the left you are no longer cognizant of what was cognized in the beginning position to the right. Therefore, both (a) and (b) above are refuted, and we can correctly discern that visual consciousness changes along with its perceptions. And what is true for visual consciousness is also true for the other five consciousnesses. There can be no unchanging, permanent consciousness.

All the best,

Geoff
So are these qualities of lucidity, clarity and suppleness impermanent? In nibbana are they not stabilised?
_/|\_
Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Nyana »

Dan74 wrote:So are these qualities of lucidity, clarity and suppleness impermanent? In nibbana are they not stabilised?
Consciousness is impermanent. Therefore, any qualities of consciousness are also impermanent.

All the best,

Geoff
Sylvester
Posts: 2204
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Sylvester »

Ñāṇa wrote:There are plenty of other suttas which, if properly considered, safeguard against such notions.

Ven. Ṭhānissaro's latent fire theory really cannot be sustained. The fire metaphor most commonly refers to the three fires of passion, aggression, and delusion. If the Indian Buddhist understanding of fire was really that an extinguished fire goes into a "latent state," then these three fires could re-combust within an arahant's mind as long as there is fuel remaining (i.e. saupādisesa nibbānadhātu: nibbāna element with fuel remaining). Of course, this would render nibbāna quite meaningless.

All the best,

Geoff

After all our Jhana debates, I'm glad there's at least this thing we can agree on. :hug:
Sylvester
Posts: 2204
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Sylvester »

Ñāṇa wrote:As for the view expressed there, I'd suggest that it's far more skillful to follow the advise of the Buddha as recorded in the Pāḷi Canon. This will safeguard against engaging in pointless mental proliferation (papañca). Suttanipāta 5.6:
  • [Upasiva:] He who has reached the end: Does he not exist, or is he for eternity free from dis-ease? Please, sage, declare this to me as this phenomenon has been known by you.

    [The Buddha:] One who has reached the end has no criterion by which anyone would say that — for him it doesn't exist. When all phenomena are done away with, all means of speaking are done away with as well.
All the best,

Geoff
More synonyms for Nippapañcañca popping up.
Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Nyana »

Sylvester wrote:After all our Jhana debates, I'm glad there's at least this thing we can agree on.
I suspect that there may be a fair bit that we can agree on. :)

All the best,

Geoff
Sylvester
Posts: 2204
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Sylvester »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kirk,

But the Suttas do speak of "mind and mind objects". Whether "mind" is something constant or not is a different question that doesn't seem to me to affect Ajahn Chah's statement. Like Geoff, I wouldn't try to read metaphysics into such statements.

:anjali:
Mike

And this is one of the most enduring and frustrating mysteries for me - the equivalence of mano, citta and vinnana. In particular, the necessity for mano-ayatana to touch dhammas in order to establish phassa with a manosamphassa vinnana.

Perhaps the subject for a future Sutta study?
User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by kirk5a »

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:So. If "mind" is defined in one place as inconstant, and here as constant, that requires some explanation, I would say. That is not resolved by admonitions not to "papanca-ize" Seems to me like an important point of the Dhamma.
What is being referred to is the lucidity, clarity, and suppleness of mind. When one meditates a lot the mind can become incredibly lucid and clear. This vivid presence of mind can be mistaken for an unchanging quality. But the mind must necessarily change along with its perceptions. If the mind didn't change along with its perceptions then either:

(a) the mind would forever be frozen exclusively perceiving one unchanging object, or

(b) the mind would continuously perceive every single object cognized.

If we take visual consciousness for example: If you turn your head from right to left (with eyes open), your entire visual field changes as your head moves. When your head is to the left you are no longer cognizant of what was cognized in the beginning position to the right. Therefore, both (a) and (b) above are refuted, and we can correctly discern that visual consciousness changes along with its perceptions. And what is true for visual consciousness is also true for the other five consciousnesses. There can be no unchanging, permanent consciousness.

All the best,

Geoff
There might be something that could be done with a metaphor involving light and that which it falls upon to get around this - change in object does not change light - but probably getting outside the scope of this thread.

But if there was a consciousness that did not "fall" upon anything, there would be no objects, which would make that analysis inapplicable.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
Sylvester
Posts: 2204
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: SN 35.23 Sabba Sutta: The All

Post by Sylvester »

kirk5a wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:So. If "mind" is defined in one place as inconstant, and here as constant, that requires some explanation, I would say. That is not resolved by admonitions not to "papanca-ize" Seems to me like an important point of the Dhamma.
What is being referred to is the lucidity, clarity, and suppleness of mind. When one meditates a lot the mind can become incredibly lucid and clear. This vivid presence of mind can be mistaken for an unchanging quality. But the mind must necessarily change along with its perceptions. If the mind didn't change along with its perceptions then either:

(a) the mind would forever be frozen exclusively perceiving one unchanging object, or

(b) the mind would continuously perceive every single object cognized.

If we take visual consciousness for example: If you turn your head from right to left (with eyes open), your entire visual field changes as your head moves. When your head is to the left you are no longer cognizant of what was cognized in the beginning position to the right. Therefore, both (a) and (b) above are refuted, and we can correctly discern that visual consciousness changes along with its perceptions. And what is true for visual consciousness is also true for the other five consciousnesses. There can be no unchanging, permanent consciousness.

All the best,

Geoff
There might be something that could be done with a metaphor involving light and that which it falls upon to get around this - change in object does not change light - but probably getting outside the scope of this thread.

But if there was a consciousness that did not "fall" upon anything, there would be no objects, which would make that analysis inapplicable.

Just note that what Ven Thanissaro translates as "land" is translated as "established" by BB.
Locked