Alex123 wrote:So the Arahant or the Buddha, who is totally freed from kāmā, cannot see or hear anything? Also do you really think that arahants do not know what sensuality, lust, etc is?
Hmm, I think you're still confusing kāmā (sense objects) with kāma (sensual desire). While an Arahant is bereft of kāma, the Arahant will phusati/contact kāmā, except in those attainments which are secluded from the kāmā (vivicceva kamehi).
To get a more direct sense of kāmā, check out MN 75. I would suggest you use BB's translation, as the translation on ATI is only an extract which omits this critical distinction. For those who insist that the "kāmā" in the "vivicceva kamehi" formula means ONLY "kāmagunā", consider what the Buddha says about kāmā and kāmagunā here -
Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, māgaṇḍiya, api nu so devaputto nandane vane accharāsaṅghaparivuto dibbehi pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappito samaṅgībhūto paricārayamāno amussa gahapatissa vā gahapatiputtassa vā piheyya, mānusakānaṃ vā pañcannaṃ kāmaguṇānaṃ mānusakehi vā kāmehi āvaṭṭeyyā”ti?
I wonder why this bit was left out from the ATI translation?
I'll track to track down that MN sutta, where the Buddha was in fact asked if enlightment meant that an Arahant cannot enjoy the kāmā. Oddly enough, the Buddha did not give a categorical answer, but said that an Arahant is incapable of 5 things in respect of the kāmā, eg sex, squirelling away food.
If the only way of escape (nissaraṇa) from something was "don't see, don't hear, don't know it" (similar to those ascetics who enter this mindless state and are still reborn as asaññasatta), then one would have to drop dead as a log.
No, it is not the only way. One starts with DN 2's sense restraint, and then progress onto the sense restraint accompanied with happiness (MN 151). Then one progresses to the MN 148, MN 152 and satipatthana instructions, not to relate to the kāmā but to simply relate to the feelings engendered by the kāmā. To me, anapanasati seems a natural progression from satipatthana, but even then, the contemplation of kāmā seems to be very limited, ie the experience of breath (most likely potthaba). Whether one likes it or not, the progressive cessation schema of DN 9, SN 36.11 and AN 9.31 are supposed to unfold in the Jhanas.
Don't you think it's a rather flimsy strawman to label meditation without cognition of the kāmā as "mindless"? DN 9 specifically says that in 1st Jhana, kāmasaññā ceases and is replaced by another saññā, namely the "perception of pitisukha born of seclusion". Can you cite any absorption teacher who teaches a Jhanic state that is without consciousness, without feeling or without perception?
The piece in this kind of state is dependent on there not being 5 sense consciousness, and in such way, it is still conditioned. What, IMHO, is more reliable is to develop the peace even if there are 5 sense consciousness. When one is in the state where one cannot see, hear, form thoughts, comprehend what is happening, etc, one can't really do any insight.
But do the suttas actually state that vipassana proceeds in a Jhana? That is a mistake that is easy to make, if one refers only to the English translations, without a sense of the Pali grammar. Just like those who read the iddhi sections following 4th Jhana as thinking that one could exercise the iddhis within the 4th Jhana. A quick check with the grammar on the effect of a past participle verb in a locative absolute construction would immediately tell you that the verbs associated with the 4th Jhana happened well in the past and not concurrently with the iddhis.
We all (or most of us) fall into deep sleep every night. That doesn't make us awakened and neither does it by itself brings us closer to it. Many of us do not need new special comatose states to know that 5 senses are a burden (though craving is a bigger burden and ultimately causes acquisition of more senses through rebirth).
Another non-sequitor. Which teacher has presented a model of Jhana that resembles sleep or a coma? All 4 of my teachers present Jhana as state of intense awareness, and the intensity is remembered after arising.