Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

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mikenz66
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:49 am

Hi Retro,

Abhidhamma aside, I can't work out why you have an objection to the (to me) rather simple observation that thinking about complicated concepts can be broken down into a large number of more elementary steps. This is discussed in the context of papanca in the Honeyball sutta, which I quoted above (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p156618) and can be observed for oneself.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:56 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:I can't work out why you have an objection to the (to me) rather simple observation that thinking about complicated concepts can be broken down into a large number of more elementary steps.
I have no objection to it whatsoever... the objection is to the idea that this process of papancification is somehow taking place outside the domain of mind-consciousness (i.e. outside loka/sabba).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:I can't work out why you have an objection to the (to me) rather simple observation that thinking about complicated concepts can be broken down into a large number of more elementary steps.
I have no objection to it whatsoever... the objection is to the idea that this process of papancification is somehow taking place outside the domain of mind-consciousness (i.e. outside loka/sabba).

Metta,
Retro. :)
Just to clarify, what exactly are you calling a "process of papancification?"
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:35 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Just to clarify, what exactly are you calling a "process of papancification?"
The extract from MN 18 I posted back here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 00#p157882" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
MN 18 wrote:"Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future ideas cognizable via the intellect.
The above does not occur in some magic fairyland outside loka.

Therefore 'concepts' are objects of mind-consciousness, and as objects of mind-consciousness they too are subject to the three characteristics.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . .
I understand that; however, I am not sure in what Mike is saying -- "a rather simple observation that thinking about complicated concepts can be broken down into a large number of more elementary steps" -- what that is a "process of papancification?"

Why is making something easier to understand papanca?
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:08 am

Greetings Tilt,

Mike is talking about the Honeyball Sutta - he is talking about breaking conceptual proliferation into its lower-level concomitant activities.

Thus, so am I... the difference is that I'm saying that all those lower-level activities are within loka. In contrast, modern Abhidhammikas work via a bifurcation of "concept" and "reality".... or in other words, "concepts" (which do not "Exist") and "reality" (comprising of "paramattha dhammas" which "Exist").

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:15 am

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p156618" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mike wrote:That's the whole point. Insight generally seems to be in terms of breaking experience down into simple objects - khandas, sense bases, elements, not trying to wrestle with complex objects like concepts. The thinking about a concept can be broken down into a lot of "simple" processes happening over a considerable period of time.
Well, it seems that Mike is talking about the meditative experience of seeing things as they are in increasingly finer detail. No papanca in that.
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:16 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:No papanca in that.
I didn't say there was - you're getting the wrong end of the stick, conflating discussion on two different examples of causality.

I know you're intending well, but this side-discussion is untimely and unintentionally diversionary.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:No papanca in that.
I didn't say there was - you're getting the wrong end of the stick, conflating discussion on two different examples of causality.

I know you're intending well, but this side-discussion is untimely and unintentionally diversionary.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I asked you directly what your complaint was. And I'll ask you again, and maybe you will spell it out for me, given my thickness in this issue of what you are trying to say. I do not understand it. Please spell it out so there is no uncertainty.
Mike is talking about the Honeyball Sutta - he is talking about breaking conceptual proliferation into its lower-level concomitant activities.
Is he advocating this as an intellectual exercise or a meditative process? What do you see he is saying, because I thought what he was saying was what I just quoted in my preceding msg?
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:12 am

tiltbillings wrote:Well, it seems that Mike is talking about the meditative experience of seeing things as they are in increasingly finer detail. No papanca in that.
Yes Sir! No papanca here Sir! No Sir!

Perhaps I should try again. The MN18 quote on papanca describes how the process of thinking about complex concepts can be broken down into smaller chunks. It's a very useful and practical description.

I therefore think that:
retrofuturist wrote:Therefore 'concepts' are objects of mind-consciousness, and as objects of mind-consciousness they too are subject to the three characteristics.
is extremely vague. Not "wrong" exactly, but not particularly useful if one is trying to follow the instructions in order to understand one's experience in detail.

In what sense is the concept: "one plus one is two" subject to the characteristics? Every time I check that, via mental and physical processes that do seem to be subject to the characteristics, it stays the same.

And what about the concept "my self"? Is that an "object of mind-conciousness". Kind of, but it's built from complex interactions analysable into all khandhas or sense bases.

It appears to me that learning to break down, and distinguish, complex experiences/concepts ("one plus one is two", "my self") from the simpler processes is an important part of the Dhamma.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Well, it seems that Mike is talking about the meditative experience of seeing things as they are in increasingly finer detail. No papanca in that.
Yes Sir! No papanca here Sir! No Sir!

Perhaps I should try again. The MN18 quote on papanca describes how the process of thinking about complex concepts can be broken down into smaller chunks. It's a very useful and practical description.
Okay. Just to clarify. You are talking about thinking about the Dhamma teachings in a particular way in order to understand them? Certainly, if we are talking about the process of insight practice, the breaking down of components of experience via insight is free of papanca. In learning the Dhamma, in studying the suttas, in trying to get at what they are saying so I can put them into practice, I may want to break down what it is being said into bits that help me better understand what is being said. Am I getting at what you are saying here? Sort of, maybe?
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:20 am

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Okay. Just to clarify. You are talking about thinking about the Dhamma teachings in a particular way in order to understand them?
Hmm, why do you say that?
tiltbillings wrote: Certainly, if we are talking about the process of insight practice, the breaking down of components of experience via insight is free of papanca.
Yes, that's how I understand it. Actually, perhaps "with papanca"/"without papanca" would be a more palatable to some than the common descriptions "conceptual" and "non-conceptual".

The reason I was quoting that particular teaching about papanca was because it's a good sutta example of a complex process, rather than as a description of the insight process itself.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:28 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Okay. Just to clarify. You are talking about thinking about the Dhamma teachings in a particular way in order to understand them?
Hmm, why do you say that?
It follows from these seven msgs starting with:

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 42#p157961" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
tiltbillings wrote: Certainly, if we are talking about the process of insight practice, the breaking down of components of experience via insight is free of papanca.
Yes, that's how I understand it. Actually, perhaps "with papanca"/"without papanca" would be a more palatable to some than the common descriptions "conceptual" and "non-conceptual".
That is not unreasonable, though papanca is starting to sound like fingernails on a blackboard. It is getting overused.
>> 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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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:36 am

Greetings,

I suspect you guys are thinking of vittaka moreso than...

Image

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:40 am

tiltbillings wrote:That is not unreasonable, though papanca is starting to sound like fingernails on a blackboard. It is getting overused.
Sure. Can you find another synonym for "conceptual"/"non-conceptual"?
"Very conceptual" and "not very conceptual" would get a little cumbersome...

:anjali:
Mike

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