Bundokji wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:06 am
This law of Dependent Arising which embraces the entire gamut of experience ranging from that of the worldling to the Arahant's, could be applied even to our problem of the magic-show. While the show was going on, if anyone had asked you and your friend: “Is there any magic?”, he might have received two contradictory answers. Since, by then, the magic had lost its magic for you, you would have replied: “There is no magic,” but your friend had the right to say: "There is," The two answers would be contradictory if understood in an absolute sense and asserted dogmatically without reference to the question of standpoint. The law of Dependent Arising resolves the above contradiction by avoiding the two extremes 'Is' and 'Is not' with its wise proviso: 'It depends.' Given the ignorance of the magician's tricks, formations (i.e. gestures, exclamations, imaginations) come to be; depending on these formations, the consciousness of the magic-show comes to be; dependent on this consciousness is 'name-and-form' pertaining to the World of Magic (i.e. feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention constituting the 'name' aspect and the four primaries of solidity, liquidity, heat and air together with the derivative concept of form making up the 'form' aspect of the World of Magic); depending on this 'name-and-form' which comprehends the entire stock-in-trade of the magician, the six sense-spheres of the deluded audience are kept all agog with curiosity; depending on these sensespheres there arise appropriate impressions of the marvellous World of Magic; conditioned by such impressions feelings of exhilaration arise; from these feelings there develops a craving for the perpetuation of that very exhilaration; in response to that craving, there comes to be a grasping after the magic-performances; from that grasping there results a chimerical existence in a 'world-of magic' and the audience, thus spell-bound, finds itself 'born', as it were, into a 'wonderland'. This 'birth', however, is short-lived. The marvellous magic-show too, 'like all good things', comes to an end and that is its decay-and-death.
The above illustration would have made it clear that the existence of the magic can neither be affirmed nor denied absolutely. And what is true of the magic is true of all phenomena comprising the magic-show of consciousness. The fact that existence is a relative concept is often overlooked by the worldling. Says the Buddha: "This world, Kaccàyana, usually bases (its views) on two things: on existence and non-existence. Now, he who with right insight sees the arising of the world as it really is, does not hold with the nonexistence of the world. And he who with right insight sees the passing away of the world as it really is, does not hold with the existence of the world. The world, for the most part, is given to approaching, grasping, entering into and getting entangled (as regards views). Whoever does not approach, grasp and take his stand upon that proclivity towards approaching and grasping, that mental standpoint Þ namely, the thought: 'This is my soul' Þ he knows that what arises is just suffering and what ceases is just suffering. Thus he is not in doubt, is not perplexed and herein he has knowledge that is not dependent on another. Thus far, Kaccàyana, he has right view. 'Everything exists,' this is one extreme. 'Nothing exists,' this is the other extreme. Not approaching either of those extremes, the Tathàgata teaches the Dhamma by the middle way: From ignorance as condition formations come to be; from formations as condition consciousness comes to be . . . Such is the arising of this entire mass of suffering. From the complete fading away and cessation of that very ignorance, there comes to be the cessation of formations; from the cessation of formations, the cessation of consciousness . . . . . Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering." Þ S. II. 17. Kaccàyanagotta S.
1) What is this passage trying to explain ? That the magician does not experience any magic cause he already knows the trick ? That's something everybody knows, it's actually one of the biggest problems for magicians because they have to make an effort to understand how the trick looks to people who don't know it. But I just don't see anything of value in this. In my country we have a saying "the theory of the mach" - meaning somebody explaining something super simply that even a kid knows, trying to make it look like it's some big discovery.
2) How in the world is this connected in any way with the views expressed in the second paragraph, about things existing or not ?
3) That interpretation of the sutta from second paragraph is of course wrong, and Nanananda has also injected a paragraph from another sutta right in the middle of it, deceiving the audience that it is the same sutta, in order to make a better case for his views.
That sutta reffers to this: There is a banana. 1000 years from now, that banana will not exist any more. Not even the memory of it will exist. Therefore, one can go as far as saying "nothing really exists" in the sense that absolutally everything will dissappear at one point, or at least it is improper to say that "things really exist" - in the sense that they will dissappear at one point, not in some postmodern sense that Nanananda tries to give it.
Therefore, one who sees the dissappearence of things can not say that things really exist, in the sense of permanent existence, not in the sense of some postmodern ideas.
But on the other hand, the banana exists right now. It has arisen, it has become manifest. Therefore, it is improper to say that the banana doesn't exist, because it is here right now. Therefore, who ever sees the appearence of the world would not say that the banana does not exist.
It's pretty simply stuff that even a kid can understand. But, based on twisting words, one can try to justify all kinds of existentialist/postmodernist ideas based on that sutta taken out of context. And what do I mean by context ? Well, things like SN 22.94 https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.94
- that is entirely consistent with what I have just written, and totally destroys any primitive postmodern twistings of the sutta quoted by Nanananda out of context.
The "earth" is the same.....the difference is the perspective....a "local perspective" takes into account only the things immediate to a location...so a local perspective for me as a farmer is that the earth is flat because the earth in my restricted location is in fact flat....the global perspective is obviously that the earth is spherical (not really but close enough).
People too often strive for the perfect perspective...or the real perspective...or the true perspective. But there can be many perspectives that are true locally....think of the blind people and the elephant. I can make my field flat and it is part of the planet earth so you can say in my location the earth is flat....if you've got enough money I can make it as flat as you want....locally.
The "global" vs. "local" thing is important in mathematics, many sciences, and engineering.
By using the same elephant example that you have brought up, we can say that the one "having a local perspective" is a blind man that sees only a part of the elephant, while the one who knows the world is round is a person seeing all the elephant.
I do not see any point in framing things like "the world is flat is a conventional truth, just as true as the world is round" - such framings of things and word jugglerly to make a case for relativism are ridiculous. This framing o things brings no added value in any sense. It's in all respects totally useless. Rather, the correct way of framing things is the normal, non-postmodern one: "the world is round despite the fact that looking from the surface level, it looks flat".