Cessation's permanence

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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acinteyyo
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:24 am

Akuma wrote:
accinteyo wrote: Hi Akuma,

since you prefer some kind of logical proof, I try to provide it.(...)
Ah the avijja argument, yes thank you. This only holds true tho for the Buddhas and Arahants, do you have anything in your sleeve for the other 3 classes too? ^^
It applies to all the 4 ariya puggala. When one sees through delusion, starting to understand, one knows by seeing it. That's the crucial point. Even if one isn't freed from all the fetters, when there's still more subtle form of avijja left. There's no way to not-know what one knows by directly seeing it. It's just as simple as that.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

chownah
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by chownah » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:44 pm

Akuma wrote:
Of course if you look at it from the perspective of gradual training then theres a big difference between my Jesus-example and the training Buddhist, but that misses what my example aimed at. Since every training results in skills you have to train continously then if you dont train anymore you'll gradually loose the skills again. Transience. One important aspect of Buddhist training tho is that for all except the Mahasamgika sect from Sotapanna onward you cannot retrogress anymore. Its this non-retrogression I'm asking about.
I tried to find your Jesus-example but couldn't find it....can you post it soon? I'll ignore the fact that I don't know what your example is and proceed to start firing wildly in the dark to answer your post.

I think that skills acquired for training is not a good metaphor for the changes of reaching Sotapanna and higher......possibly a more apt metaphor is the smell and taste of chocolate ice cream......once you experience them you do not retrogress and forget them even if you don't practice. Another example.....if you had a pair of really bad shoes that hurt your feet when you wore them....and you wore them every day for as long as you can remember.....and then someone gave you a good pair of shoes that were very very comfortable.....I don't think you would retrogress and think that you would like to wear those painful shoes again......I guess what I am saying is that the idea is that having achieved stream entry or higher one has experiences or realizations or wisdom or whatever you like to call it that indicate so strongly that the old way of ignorance is not worth pursueing and the new way is clearly the only way to go.....that retrogress is unthikable......if you stop hitting yourself in the head with a stick and see how good it feels you will not be likely to retrogress and start hitting yourself in the head again..........also...though many people practice skills in their path it should not be assumed that nibanna or even stream entry is a result of practicing skills or that it requires some skill to maintain them.....skill is needed to make and maintain the raft....once the water is crossed the raft (and skills) are not longer of use and might as well be sunk to the bottom of the river as the Buddha suggests....
chownah
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Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:05 am

I tried to find your Jesus-example but couldn't find it....can you post it soon? I'll ignore the fact that I don't know what your example is and proceed to start firing wildly in the dark to answer your post.
Nibbida referred to my answer to Ben I assume.
I think that skills acquired for training is not a good metaphor for the changes of reaching Sotapanna and higher......possibly a more apt metaphor is the smell and taste of chocolate ice cream......once you experience them you do not retrogress and forget them even if you don't practice.
So a Sotapanna from Theravada pov can always remember his past existences?

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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by ground » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:33 am

Akuma wrote:
I think that skills acquired for training is not a good metaphor for the changes of reaching Sotapanna and higher......possibly a more apt metaphor is the smell and taste of chocolate ice cream......once you experience them you do not retrogress and forget them even if you don't practice.
So a Sotapanna from Theravada pov can always remember his past existences?
That of course is a valid question from the perspective of presuming the validity of "time" and "past existences". But only from that perpective is it valid ... as is the case with the OP.

So one has to differentiate between an outsider driven by doubt and the subject's experience.

Kind regards

Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:10 am

That of course is a valid question from the perspective of presuming the validity of "time" and "past existences". But only from that perpective is it valid ... as is the case with the OP.

So one has to differentiate between an outsider driven by doubt and the subject's experience.

Kind regards
First of all time in Theravada is equivalent to the mind as stated in the Atthasalini and as indicated by the absence of a time-dharma in the list of dharmas. Secondly the sutta states that the Sotapanna has a maximum of seven lives yet to live which makes the question fundamental and valid since the examples given by chownah, accinteyo and Nibbida all are based on the idea that the state of the arya is based on his remembrance of past experiences.

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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by ground » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:31 am

And that evidences what?

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Kenshou
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Kenshou » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:33 am

Akuma wrote:the examples given by chownah, accinteyo and Nibbida all are based on the idea that the state of the arya is based on his remembrance of past experiences.
Maybe I missed something, but as far as I can see, no they are not based on that. It seems that you brought up the subject on your own a few posts back.

Is your line of thinking here that in order for a reborn sotapanna etc. to maintain their realization, they must be able to recall their practice in past lives? I would submit that the termination of whatever fetters is not something so shallow, that merely not remembering that it happened would be enough for a person to retrogress.

But unless we have some reborn ariyas around here, this is all pretty speculative... not that we can't discuss it.

Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:58 am

Kenshou wrote: Maybe I missed something, but as far as I can see, no they are not based on that. It seems that you brought up the subject on your own a few posts back. Is your line of thinking here that in order for a reborn sotapanna etc. to maintain their realization, they must be able to recall their practice in past lives?
No I read this in their answers. Nibbida wrote that you cannot compare the belief in Nirvana with the belief in Jesus because there is gradual training that you can witness and so forth. While it is true that gradual training can produce visible outcomes (more relaxed and so forth) it is of course not indicating the existence of a Nirvana. But more important to the OP is that since everything in Buddhism is transient everything that is gradually aquired can also be gradually lost again. So reacting to this chownah tried to get rid of the idea of gradual training and brought up the idea of chocolate ice-cream which is based on the same principle tho - having had an experience and then remembering it. Just like training in piano-playing or whatever the experience of ice-cream is based on the remembering of past objects of consciousness. Unlike accinteyos first explanation that is able to logically show that the absence of avijja will lead to the absence of rebirth and so on the explanations based on remembrance can not do that until you base it on the skill of remembering your experience.
I would submit that the termination of whatever fetters is not something so shallow, that merely not remembering that it happened would be enough for a person to retrogress.
Which brings us back to the original question, what exactly happens to the citta-stream in the moments of enlightenment that changes it in such a way. This becomes especially hard to explain for Tehravadins because they accept the present-only-exists viewpoint and which made this question interesting for me in the first place.

Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:03 am

TMingyur wrote:And that evidences what?

Kind regards
That even if you argue with the relativity of concepts the question is still valid in the context of the school its asking about.

chownah
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by chownah » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:10 am

Akuma wrote:
I tried to find your Jesus-example but couldn't find it....can you post it soon? I'll ignore the fact that I don't know what your example is and proceed to start firing wildly in the dark to answer your post.
Nibbida referred to my answer to Ben I assume.
I think that skills acquired for training is not a good metaphor for the changes of reaching Sotapanna and higher......possibly a more apt metaphor is the smell and taste of chocolate ice cream......once you experience them you do not retrogress and forget them even if you don't practice.
So a Sotapanna from Theravada pov can always remember his past existences?
OK, I see your jesus example....sorry that i missed it before.
First let me say that the portion of my last post you reproduce here is a direct comment on your metaphor of skills acquired for training and why I think it is not appropriate....so please take it to be that and try to understand why I think your metaphor is not appropriate.
Second let me say that I think that Sotapanna's know the difference between their condition and the condition of those not having reached Sotapanna....whether this is from remembrace of their own experiences or if it is from observing the world around them is not an issue for me......even if they can not remember their own experiences it should be easy enough to see the folly of indulgence in self (for instance) for them to know that their understandings about doctrine of self is absolutely the way to go...and so they continue....without regress.....I guess......I don't really know for sure because in life there are no proofs and there are no guarantees.....in life you pays your money and you takes your chances.......
chownah

Kenshou
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by Kenshou » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:15 am

It is my suspicion that when it comes to something as radical as seeing through self-view and gaining that understanding of how the cessation of suffering is possible (which is a big deal), even if it is not conceptually remembered, the individual could still intuit, so to say, that knowledge. Those realizations are pretty novel for one who has been going around and around in samsara for so long, and I would not be surprised that they would condition the mindstream significantly.

If you pushed me to say one way or another whether retrogression is possible I would have to say that I simply don't know, so I'd better not worry about it right now since thinking about that isn't going to help me not retrogress.

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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by ground » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:34 am

Akuma wrote:
TMingyur wrote:And that evidences what?

Kind regards
That even if you argue with the relativity of concepts the question is still valid in the context of the school its asking about.
Only if one erroneously assumes that "the relativity of concepts" can be logically grasped which actually is impossible because whereas "relativity as such" can be logically grasped "the relativity of a meaning qua meaning" is not accessible to logical thought which is necessarily of binary nature.


Kind regards

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tiltbillings
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:02 am

Akuma wrote: . . .
You appear to be widely read in Theravadin and other Buddhist stuff, but I wonder what your actual quesation is here?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by ground » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:42 am

As a matter of fact the Buddha's way is one of experience which entails knowledge:
... don't go by logical conjecture, by inference, ...

When you know for yourselves that,
'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them.
...
When you know for yourselves that,
'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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nobody12345
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Post by nobody12345 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:41 am

Ben wrote:Practice.
The proof of the pudding, Akuma, is in its eating.
Ben's answer is wise one.
To OP, suppose if you want to know about the taste of apple and you are asking me about it.
I could write thousands pages of researches and descriptions regarding the taste of apple and its chemical and molecule level dynamics that creates such a taste and flavor.
But in the end, even after read all the pages of researches, you would have no idea what is the taste after all.
You need to eat it in order to know what is like the taste of apple.
(This simile of the apple's taste is from Ajahn Chah.)
But in the end, you do not need to believe it.
If it doesn't ring a bell to you, then forget about Theravada and move on to some other 'religions'.
Dhamma only rings a bell if a listener is ready (faculty wise).
If Dhamma doesn't do that, it is simply not for you.
Metta.

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