rowyourboat wrote:Hi Kirk,
The difficulty of anyone who has seen and understood that there is only the five aggregates, through vipassana, is to communicate that insight (ie that way of 'seeing') to someone who hasn't. This ultimate reality/ conventional reality dichotomy is a hurdle in developing a Right view before the start of vipassana meditation. It is litterally the difference between seeing actors on a tv screen vs seeing the pixels of the screen which make up those 'actors', who don't ultimately exist.
So sometime to communicate the deep dhamma the Buddha has to use conventional terminology sometimes. Why should the Tathagata be hard to see? The conventional Tathagata is very easy to see. What is hard to see is the aggregates that we 'erroneously' label as the tathagatha. The pixels do exist, but they are deep and hard to see. Hope that makes some sense.
So then it is the aggregates
which are "deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea"?
"Even so, Vaccha, any form... feeling... perception... fabrication... consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form... feeling... perception... fabrication... consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea."
It is the aggregates which the Tathagata "has abandoned" which are deep and boundless, like the sea?
"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