Phenomenology question - view about the world

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.

Witch view is correct ?

Option 1
3
21%
Option 2
11
79%
 
Total votes: 14

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:29 pm

One thing we definitely agree on is that it really really really seems like there is an external world out there. What I think you are missing is that it is impossible for the six sense media to prove or disprove the existence of an external world. Impossible. The idea that an external world exists (regardless of whether it exists or not) is a product of the input from the six sense media over the entirety of your life...a construal. Notice that I am not talking about the possible existence of an external world, I am talking about the idea of existence of an external world is a construal.
chownah
Have you read my first paragraph ? Of course I agree that it's impossible to "step outside" of your phenomenological world. But through logical deductionyou understand that.

If that is not so, then please explain me why the phenomenon of "cold water touching my skin", why that feeling, why that phenomenon manifests ONLY SOME TIMES, NOT ALL THE TIME. There must be a cause for this. Or am I wrong and there is no cause for this ?
One thing we definitely agree on is that it really really really seems like there is an external world out there.
Trust your common sense and logical deduction. If we throw logic out the window, there is no way we will ever arrive at the truth and make sense of the world. We could chose any idea we want like "I am creating this world" or "a pizza monster is creating this world" etc. and nobody would be able to disagree with us. We could chose any wrong view we want and stick with it till we die. Yet, if one want's to achieve stream entry, he has to drop the first 2 fetter. And that can only be done through following logic till the end and not getting stuck in a jungle of views. Only logic, reason is our light that carries us through darkness at the end of the tunnel. If we don't trust logic and reason, who else can we trust ?


@Binocular - good point. I already explained the brain in the vat problem in my first paragraph. There is no other way other than logical deduction to understand the external world is real. Only by asking yourself the question "why does the phenomenon of cold water touching my skin only sometimes, not all the time manifest" will a person understand, through logical deduction, that "external world" does exist. Otherwise who in the world is responsible for that cold water phenomenon appearing only some times, not all the time ?

Until a person understand this, he will continue to assume a self is behind this. That's why understanding conditionality leads to understanding no-self and removal of the first fetter. After that, only second fetter remains witch is removed through understanding stress. The third fetter of doubt is removed through removing the first two.

SamKR
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by SamKR » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:08 pm

chownah wrote: One thing we definitely agree on is that it really really really seems like there is an external world out there. What I think you are missing is that it is impossible for the six sense media to prove or disprove the existence of an external world. Impossible. The idea that an external world exists (regardless of whether it exists or not) is a product of the input from the six sense media over the entirety of your life...a construal. Notice that I am not talking about the possible existence of an external world, I am talking about the idea of existence of an external world is a construal.
chownah
:goodpost:

Whatever conclusion we reach about the external world, or whatever ideas/arguments/logic/reasoning we generate about things in the 'external' world, all arise in this wobbly sphere of experience. There is no escape from this sphere as long as there is ignorance about its nature. The idea that "external world has essence/substance and exists out there " is an idea that arises in this sphere. The idea that "there is no external world" is an idea that arises in that sphere. The idea about "the sphere" I am talking about is also a mere idea that arises in the same sphere. It sounds like a paradox.

Knowing (consciousness) is the essential aspect of every arising (or being or existence). Unless there is knowing of the thing, the idea about its being/existence is meaningless and nonsensical. If there is no knowing of any thing, you cannot have any idea or experience about its existence (it does not yet exist in your sphere of experience).

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:43 pm

So you're arguing for postmodernism / solipsism / philosophical skepticism ? Good for you, if you're not concerned with ever dropping the first fetter. The only way you can arrive at the truth is by following logic. Logic is the only light that leads us through the jungle of views. When we find that a view is ilogical, we drop it cause it's wrong view. If we don't guide ourselves using logic, then by what are we guiding ourselves ? As far as buddhism is concerned, not all views are right view. But postmodernism/relativism/eternal skepticism is the main view in the west at the moment and it's normal for westerners to take some time to adapt to buddhism.

Here is a paradox for you to think about: this postmodernist view that you're holding right now was created "in there" too so it has no value over other views. Buddhist view or muslim view could be as correct as you're current postmodernist view. So why are you arguing for it ? Why not be a real skeptic and say that you can't know for sure even about your own view if it's correct of not so no need to argue for it ? This is the paradox of postmodernism.

You know what Buddha said about postmodernism ? That it's a completely useless view, that it has no purpose, that it answers nothing. It helps you at nothing.

SamKR
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by SamKR » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:23 am

Janalanda wrote:So you're arguing for postmodernism / solipsism / philosophical skepticism ? Good for you, if you're not concerned with ever dropping the first fetter.Logic is the only light that leads us through the jungle of views...

...view that you're holding right now was created "in there" too so it has no value over other views. Buddhist view or muslim view could be as correct as you're current postmodernist view. So why are you arguing for it ?...

You know what Buddha said about postmodernism ? That it's a completely useless view, that it has no purpose, that it answers nothing. It helps you at nothing.
I have no idea what you are talking about, or how you reach that conclusion. When I try to understand what you seem to be saying it sounds very illogical to me.

Logic is needed but mere logic cannot lead us out of ignorance. In fact, it is precisely because of logic (I mean common sense logic that naturally arises) that beings are bound in the world. Only after seeing the binding nature of logic/views/thoughts/ideas/stories can there be a hope for the arising of direct knowledge.

What I am saying is that there is no need of views regarding the world and there is no need of superposition of ideas or "logic" when it is understood that there can be direct knowledge of things as they are.

If only logic works for you and there is no need of direct knowledge then "Good for you". :anjali:

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:34 am

SamKR wrote:
I have no idea what you are talking about, or how you reach that conclusion. When I try to understand what you seem to be saying it sounds very illogical to me.

Logic is needed but mere logic cannot lead us out of ignorance. In fact, it is precisely because of logic (I mean common sense logic that naturally arises) that beings are bound in the world. Only after seeing the binding nature of logic/views/thoughts/ideas/stories can there be a hope for the arising of direct knowledge.

What I am saying is that there is no need of views regarding the world and there is no need of superposition of ideas or "logic" when it is understood that there can be direct knowledge of things as they are.

If only logic works for you and there is no need of direct knowledge then "Good for you". :anjali:
The issue of buddhism been confused with solipsim has been debated already. Bhikkhu Dhammamundo answer sums it up quite well
Dhammanando wrote:Whenever I've interrogated them, I've found that those who suppose Buddhism to be a species of solipsism have arrived at this notion in one of two ways: (1) by uncritically embracing one particular popular caricature of Buddhism or (2) by reading about the vijñaptimātra philosophy of the Yogācāra school from books whose scholarship is out of date.

In the first case you can simply tell them that the caricature is baseless. In the second you can tell them that the scholarship is out of date and in any case the Yogācāra is merely one school.
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=24044

People trying to fit the two together are like christians trying to integrate god into buddhism.

SamKR
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by SamKR » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:36 am

Whatever I am trying to say in this thread is no solipsism. So, either I could not communicate well or you did not understand me.

Even if it is solipsism (if solipsism is defined in a certain way), so what? If it is in alignment with the Buddha's teachings (assuming that definition is correct), then nothing wrong with any ism.
:anjali:
Last edited by SamKR on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:45 am

External reality been an illusion, saying logic should be thrown out the window, saying you can never know nothing for sure etc. Only think different in your view is that through some mystical direct knowledge that has nothing to do with logic you will gain some knowledge that you didn't have before. This is a new age idea or in the best case some versions of mahayana. Let's not forget this is a therevada forum.

You may want to read this and contemplate if there is anything in your view that is not solipsism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

According to Buddha, this is wrong view.
Or, even if it is solipsism (if solipsism is defined in a certain way), so what? If it is in alignment with the Buddha's teachings (assuming that definition is correct), then nothing wrong with any ism.
It is not in any way in line with buddhism except yogacara buddhism. Buddha dismissed this view as wrong view. And it's one of the most obstructive, self-defeating views a person can have as far as buddhism is concerned.

Ariving at right view is done through cutting through a jungle of views to with the person is attached by following logic. When he is proven wrong, he will change. Buddha said attachment to views is what is keeping one from becoming a sotapanna. Holding the solipsist view that logic has no importance is like cutting your legs from the start of the race. It's difficult to arrive at right view anyway, let alone when obstructed by a view that keeps you from ever following logic.
Last edited by Janalanda on Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

SamKR
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by SamKR » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:01 am

Janalanda wrote:External reality been an illusion, saying logic should be thrown out the window, saying you can never know nothing for sure etc.
I have never said logic should be thrown out of window. I am just saying that we should not fully depend upon it but depend upon direct knowledge.

So, if you are are advocating for logic and not for direct knowledge, should I assume that you are saying that direct knowledge should be thrown out of window?
Janalanda wrote: Only think different in your view is that through some mystical direct knowledge that has nothing to do with logic you will gain some knowledge that you didn't have before.
Direct knowledge is not mystical. Because it is direct.
Janalanda wrote: This is a new age idea or in the best case some versions of mahayana. Let's not forget this is a therevada forum.
It is your personal opinion that my understanding is new age or mahayana or solipsism or postmodernism and not Theravada. It is not my opinion. I consider myself to be in align with the teachings of the Buddha. :)
Janalanda wrote: You may want to read this and contemplate if there is anything in your view that is not solipsism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

According to Buddha, this is wrong view.
Janalanda wrote:It is not in any way in line with buddhism except yogacara buddhism. Buddha dismissed this view as wrong view. And it's one of the most obstructive, self-defeating views a person can have as far as buddhism is concerned.
I don't find it important to explore what philosophies or sects say what, and what are similar to mine. While I am saying that we should drop views and construing and then depend on direct knowledge why are you saying that it is a view that the Buddha did not teach (when the Buddha is teaching to drop all construings)?
Last edited by SamKR on Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:03 am

I don't care about what philosophies or sects say what and what are similar to mine. While I am saying that we should drop views and construing and then depend on direct knowledge why are you saying that it is a view that the Buddha did not teach (when to me the Buddha is teaching to drop all construings)?
How about dropping the view that we should drop views altogether and rely on direct knowledge. (whathever that is). You see ? Solipsism is self-defeating.

You can only drop views that you are already holding. So you can start by dropping solipsism.

SamKR
Posts: 976
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by SamKR » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:08 am

Janalanda wrote:
I don't care about what philosophies or sects say what and what are similar to mine. While I am saying that we should drop views and construing and then depend on direct knowledge why are you saying that it is a view that the Buddha did not teach (when to me the Buddha is teaching to drop all construings)?
How about dropping the view that we should drop views altogether and rely on direct knowledge. (whathever that is). You see ? Solipsism is self-defeating.

You can only drop views that you are already holding. So you can start by dropping solipsism.
:strawman:

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:11 am

:shrug:

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:02 pm

While thinking about the question, I realized it's intuitive to think the world exists. But I also noticed I have doubts and that it's also intuitive to think it does not exist. As usual, Buddha has a perfect answer for our question. We were arguing about a wrong question like those posting in the endless anatta topic. No wonder we got to so many pages.
15 (5) Kacc›nagotta
At S›vatthı. [17] Then the Venerable Kacc›nagotta approached
the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and
said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘right view, right view.’ In
what way, venerable sir, is there right view?”
“This world, Kacc›na, for the most part depends upon a duality—upon
the notion of existence and the notion of nonexistence.29
But for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is
with correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard
to the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as
it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in
regard to the world.30

“This world, Kacc›na, is for the most part shackled by engagement,
clinging, and adherence.31 But this one [with right view]
does not become engaged and cling through that engagement
and clinging, mental standpoint, adherence, underlying tendency;
he does not take a stand about ‘my self.’32 He has no perplexity
or doubt that what arises is only suffering arising, what ceases is
only suffering ceasing. His knowledge about this is independent
of others. It is in this way, Kacc›na, that there is right view.33
“‘All exists’: Kacc›na, this is one extreme. ‘All does not exist’:
this is the second extreme.
Without veering towards either of
these extremes, the Tath›gata teaches the Dhamma by the middle:
‘With ignorance as condition, volitional formations [come to
be]; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness….
Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the
remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes
cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional
formations, cessation of consciousness…. Such is the cessation
of this whole mass of suffering.” [18]
The topic should be closed

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 15663
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:27 pm

There is certainly disagreement over whether SN 12.15 is about "existence", in the sense of whether there is external reality.

See, for example:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=11269
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=26456
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/on ... u=mikenz66

So, I think the idea that the question is settled is a little premature.

:anjali:
Mike

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:03 pm

The way I see it goes like this: one who has understood stress, has understood that all that arises is stress. He knows all that arises is stress and knows the way leading to the cessation of stress. Asking weather the world exists or not exist is a wrong question, same as questions about the self. It's like reading Little Red Riding Hood and asking what color the helicopters are. It's simply a question that has nothing to do with the story, simply a wrong view. Therefore, a person who has understood the story about stress and has right view would not ask such a question.

I disagree with some opinions quoted in that topic that Buddha said this to avoid other wrong views that would be implied by saying the world exists or not. Asking such a question is wrong view in itself, same as asking questions about the self. It's simply not part of the story plain and simple.

"Only suffering arises, only suffering exists, only suffering that ceases (nibbana)" https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.85
There is no room for questions about the self or existence in this story. The middle way between existence and non-existence is not a combination of the two. As Bhikkhu Bhodi said in your quoted topic, the middle way is a radical, unexpected - different story.


But indeed, the topic should not be closed. It was initially intended to be about weather "external world" manifests in the form of conditions for the "internal world". It was not about weather the world really exist or does not exist. It was about a particular condition existing or not, as explained in my rain example. Does the phenomenon of cold water falling on me manifest because of a cause or not ? This is the big question of this topic.

What people don't understand in this topic is that the existence of a cause for phenomenons to appear does not imply the external world ultimate existence and that it's full of substance. The same way the existence of stress does not imply the world to ultimately exist and be full of substance. This is where people get confused and lost in wrong view. (and this is just on top of holding wrong postmodernist views that the world does not exist in the first place)

Janalanda
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:29 pm

Re: Phenomenology question - view about the world

Post by Janalanda » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:12 am

mikenz66 wrote:There is certainly disagreement over whether SN 12.15 is about "existence", in the sense of whether there is external reality.

See, for example:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=11269
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=26456
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/on ... u=mikenz66

So, I think the idea that the question is settled is a little premature.

:anjali:
Mike
That sutta is not trying to say "the world ultimately exists because things appear + the world ultimately doesn't exist because things cease". Right view takes for granted that "something exist but is impermanent" (as explained here https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.94 ) without bothering if this implies fundamental existence or fundamental non-existence. Then, it goes to the other level by understanding why everything that arises is actually stressful, even pleasant feelings. It's stressful in the here and now, not only in the long run because of impermanence. The here and now would be better without the existence of "things" however small in that very moment. That's because anything that exists involves craving and because of that it's stressful. The person might not understand that a even a pleasant feeling is actually stressful and it would be better without it. He can understand this by logical deduction. When his mind starts wandering, daydreaming, imagining conversations - at one point after some time it will become stressful. The activity is stressful even if done for 5 seconds and it would be better without it but the person does not have "insight" to understand this is so. Anything that involves attachment is actually stressful in the here and now even when the person doesn't realize it is so. It makes him be a little less happy in that very second because of the stress (noticed or unnoticed) present in that second. If the person is ignorant of it, it is still there making the second less happy without the person realizing it. Or take for example "attachment to views, even correct ones is stressful". When for example the person wan't to post something on the forum in a heated debate, he might notice his attachment to views is making his mind agitate and is stressful in a subtle way. Been able to see and understand this is called "insight" into stress. A non-returner for example will see that after getting rid of these big attachments, even after the subtle ones we can not see described above - there is still more attachment. He will see attachment is basically in everything, even in ultra-subtle things there is attachment to existence or attachment to non-existence for example. These are called the 5 last fetters. After he will remove even these ultra-subtle things, he will become an arahant.

That's why nibbana is better than samsara. There is a lot of subtle stress to be removed and the person will become more and more happy by removing it. Nibbana is not a neutral state but a very pleasurable one. Not understanding this is wrong view.Here is a sutta explaining this better: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At this level, the person understands that (for him on the ultimate level) only suffering arises and only suffering ceases. That is all that arises in his world and all he can do is remove this suffering. Questions about the fundamental existence or fundamental nonexistence of reality are not part of his story about suffering. They are questions to be asked by puthijhanas, by those with no insight into the nature of stress. They are to be asked by those who do not understand why "everything that arrises is stressful" (in the here and now). The stream enterer is thinking on another level and has a view not shared by the ordinary, a view for witch such questions have no place, same as questions about the self. That's why that sutta is formulated in the identical manner with the sutta about questions regarding the self, simply saying they are wrong view not part of right view witch is a different story, a different line of thinking.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 8 guests