Hi Tilt, all,
tiltbillings wrote:Geez, Alex, the Buddha did not teach the idea of an unconditioned - in absolute control - “Agent” thingie, nor did he teach free - unconditioned - choice.
If the choice in not a "thing of an Agent", nor is it unconditioned - then choice is conditioned like "a leaf being blown by the wind
". There can be many dynamic causes for the choice, but in essence it still means that choice is an effect of those causes and not something that happens on "its own and solely due to itself" or as what an Agent does.
This is the usual male bovine coproforms you offer us. You may believe that we are naught more than leaves blowing in the winds, but you have given us nothing compelling in your “arguments.” But, you said it, leaves blowing in the winds
, which is to say we are at the mercy of external forces acting upon us.
Also, your above statement is simply incoherent as is your overarching argument. You state: “There can be many dynamic causes for the choice
,” but if we are leaves blowing in the winds and your mechanical, linear X
always gives rise to Y
, then there is nothing that could possibly be called choice. Choice, of course, requires viable albeit conditioned options, but for you, no such thing as viable options exists, which renders your above paragraph meaningless.
As for the issue of control, Geoff neatly responded to it:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p100052
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Your response, as usual, missed what Geoff said and went off on a tangent, which is a favorite tactic of yours for not directly addressing a response to something you said.
My way is to discuss about general idea about "control", rather than specific instances of teachings that sound as if there is control. If there is no control (in free will sense) at all, then all sutta quotes do not talk about control out of free choice, but control that happens due to causes, and control that is like "a leaf being blown by the wind
Your way. So, rather than actually deal with the Buddha’s words that talk about choice, we have to listen to you expound your un-Buddhist theories based upon vague generalities. And as usual, you bring in your usual straw-man dodge of free will, which is not what I am talking about. It is a waste of time.
As the Buddha makes quite clear in the words I quoted, control, in the sense he is advocating, in the texts I have quoted, is the result of active choices of the individual, not external forces acting upon the individual in a dead mechanical fashion.
The issue of control of the khandhas has been directly addressed in the other thread, which you then tried to side step. There are aspects of the khandhas that are out of our control - the fact that there is change is the primary one. One cannot will or wish away change. Nor can one wish or will away ignorance, because that would run against the conditioned nature of the khandhas.
If one can't wish or will away ignorance, then one can't will or wish away that which is caused by ignorance, namely saṅkhāra. And Saṅkhāra includes all choice, intention and will.
Again, with the straw-man. I very carefully pointed out that what I am talking about is not a wishing away of ignorance or anything else. This comment of yours is a non sequitur and can be ignored.
The thing is, Alex, the Buddha taught how use the very nature of conditionality to modify it and to gain insight into it in order to free one’s self from its enslavement.
Dhp 375. Control of the senses [indriyagutti], contentment, restraint according to the code of monastic discipline — these form the basis of holy life here for the wise monk.
Unlike the “control” based upon the assumption of a permanent Atman/Self thingie and rejected by the Buddha, there is nothing in the control of the senses, as the Buddha taught, that is outside of the Buddha’s teachings of conditionality.
If there is nothing in the "control of the senses, as the Buddha taught, that is outside of the Buddha’s teachings of conditionality.
" then control of the senses is conditioned like "a leaf being blown by the wind
Not that you have shown. The texts I quoted makes it quite clear that one’s own action, choice, is involved, but then you do not want to talk about what the Buddha actually said on the matter; rather, you trot out a few texts you distort to try to make your point.
Because we are not enmeshed in a mechanical causality where no choice is possible, rather because we find ourselves in a dynamic flow of conditionality, how we choose to act is what is central to the Path: "This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond." - SN I, 38.
I thought that you've said that everything is conditioned and nothing lies outside of the Buddha’s teachings of conditionality ?
Conditionality, not your mechanical, linear dead causality.
Conditionality is conditionality. It can be complex and dynamic, but for all intents and purposes it is the same. Conditions dictate results.
Mechanical, linear causality dictates invariable results. This is what you are saying the Buddha taught, ignoring everything that points otherwise.
If any one says that a man must reap according to his deeds, in that case there is no religious life nor opportunity afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow. But if any one says that what a man reaps accords with his deeds, in that case there is a religious life and an opportunity is afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow. AN I 249.
What the Buddha taught is that if Y
is the cause, but he pointed out in terms of human action - kamma - that if X
happens that does not necessitate Y
. Other conditions may intervene, and choice is the obvious one, which is why he told us repeatedly to act this way but not that way. If there were no choice, the Buddha’s exhortations would be a lie. In what you are advocating, no religious life is possible.
tiltbillings wrote: If we were dealing with mechanical causality, we would be dealing with essences, atmans/attas, which would be the only basis for a total invariability of a mechanical causality. It would be, as the Buddha stated, falling “ back on what was done in the past as being essential”
That wrong view missess the point that during this life there can be new causes (such as hearing true Dhamma) injected that will alter the development of cause-effect stream that we call "this or that person". So "one" is not doomed to spiral downhill, and liberation is possible.
There is no willful, intended action - kamma - here. Hearing the Dhamma is not the result of any action one may have done. It is merely an external force exerting pressure upon an inactive entity, according to your model. Because there is no intention and willful action in hearing the Dhamma, following your model of invariable, linear dead mechanical causality - leaves blown about by the wind - there is no difference in hearing the Dhamma from mass murder. Yours is a position of abject, contemptible absurdity.
Otherwise, what would be the point of the Buddha’s teachings?
To inject wholesome conditions for wisdom to arise, and alter the course of that cause-effect stream we call a person.
From your model of inert objects blown about by external forces, wholesome and unwholesome means nothing.
tiltbillings wrote: If the core of the Buddha’s teachings were just mechanical causality, the Path would be a lie.
Quite the opposite. By hearing and understanding the Dhamma, the path will emerge and will have no other choice but to eventually result in parinibbana.
What would be the point? None that you have shown. Again, you are calling the Buddha liar by so distorting his teachings. The Buddha, as in the texts I quoted and you so assiduously ignored, advocated choice between acting badly and acting in accordance to the Dhamma, but you, without just reason, deny this.
The Calvinist Buddhism you are advocating is an ugly, horrific distortion.
And from arising of what does choice arise?
tiltbillings wrote:“From the arising of this comes the arising of that.”
“From the arising of choice comes the arising of choosing.”
Or does it arise spontaneously and unconditionally?
Already, clearly addressed in this thread and in this thread: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6234
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Either we grow up and take responsibility for our actions, acting as the Buddha taught, or we become sad little things blown about by forces out of our control, hiding behind that as an excuse, finding a childish liberation in no responsibility, rather than striving to become the adult the Buddha demands of us.