The Eye is Impermanent.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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vinasp
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi everyone,

MN148 wrote:"Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye."

That is a poor translation by Thanissaro, the Pali is:

"cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṃ, ..."

"Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciouness arises, ..." [Bodhi, 1995.]

Eye-consciousness ceases when the eye and forms cease, all three are just
mental fabrications. The actual eye, actual forms and seeing remain.

Regards, Vincent.

Anxt
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by Anxt » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:59 pm

kirk5a wrote:What you mean is eye-consciousness when there is no perception (concept, label, "conceiving") of "eye"
Since one's eyes are never disconnected from the rest of one's body and mind, I agree that one always "perceives" them one way or another (as you have described). But does seeing depend on having a perception (concept, label, "conceiving") of "eye"? I think the eye as that because of which there is seeing does not depend on one's ability to perceive it.
kirk5a wrote:
I don't deny that one will find that seeing depends on "meat", but in order to make such a statement, one has to introduce an external or additional point of view (which allows for becoming conscious of one's eye as something positive).
No because in squinting, crossing the eyes, focusing on foreground and background, and taking my finger and gently poking at the place where that is occurring I am perfectly able to make the statement that seeing depends upon "meat." Not to mention, looking in the mirror. No external points of view required. All first-person.
I think it depends. As an individual you have more than one sense, you have six senses. So what you say is true. But if we just look at the pair of eye and forms (which I tried to do), using your muscles to "squint", "cross" or "focus", or your fingers to "poke", or your mind to "recognize" a mirror-image as "my eye", are all out of the question, since the pair "eye and forms" is concerned with seeing only. And within that pair, the eye is no meat-ball nor anything else which can be described in positive terms.

In other words: I think the relation of "eye and forms" is much more fundamental than just relating a perceived eye to visible forms, i.e. I think the eye must be regarded as that, because of which there is seeing (of forms), and within this context it doesn't matter whether I can perceive my eye or not (which I can, of course).

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daverupa
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by daverupa » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:01 pm

vinasp wrote: 1. Ordinary man ------- he perceives X ------------------ He conceives X.

2. Learner (sekha) ---- has higher knowledge of X --- makes effort not to conceive X.

3. Arahant -------------- has higher knowledge of X --- does not conceive X.

4. Tathagata ------------ has higher knowledge of X --- does not conceive X.
What is "higher knowledge" here? The translation I am familiar with renders the phrase "directly knows", which is set off against the ordinary person who "perceives - conceives".
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

pulga
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by pulga » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:03 pm

daverupa wrote:Sounds like a strain of emptiness sickness. After all, the Mahasatipatthana Sutta suggests that one knows an angry mind as such, or a non-angry mind as such. This bewildered "where is it?" is hardly in keeping with that.
Whether it is objectified through an act of reflexion or experienced in its immediacy, the mind always finds itself situated in some place, at some time in the world.
"That in the world by which one perceives the world and conceives conceits about the world is called 'the world' in the Noble One's Discipline. And what is it in the world with which one does that? It is with the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind."

SN 35:116

pegembara
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by pegembara » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:26 pm

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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kirk5a
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by kirk5a » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:29 pm

Anxt wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What you mean is eye-consciousness when there is no perception (concept, label, "conceiving") of "eye"
Since one's eyes are never disconnected from the rest of one's body and mind, I agree that one always "perceives" them one way or another (as you have described). But does seeing depend on having a perception (concept, label, "conceiving") of "eye"? I think the eye as that because of which there is seeing does not depend on one's ability to perceive it.
kirk5a wrote:
I don't deny that one will find that seeing depends on "meat", but in order to make such a statement, one has to introduce an external or additional point of view (which allows for becoming conscious of one's eye as something positive).
No because in squinting, crossing the eyes, focusing on foreground and background, and taking my finger and gently poking at the place where that is occurring I am perfectly able to make the statement that seeing depends upon "meat." Not to mention, looking in the mirror. No external points of view required. All first-person.
I think it depends. As an individual you have more than one sense, you have six senses. So what you say is true. But if we just look at the pair of eye and forms (which I tried to do), using your muscles to "squint", "cross" or "focus", or your fingers to "poke", or your mind to "recognize" a mirror-image as "my eye", are all out of the question, since the pair "eye and forms" is concerned with seeing only. And within that pair, the eye is no meat-ball nor anything else which can be described in positive terms.

In other words: I think the relation of "eye and forms" is much more fundamental than just relating a perceived eye to visible forms, i.e. I think the eye must be regarded as that, because of which there is seeing (of forms), and within this context it doesn't matter whether I can perceive my eye or not (which I can, of course).
Does what you are saying here amount to anything except "in seeing, the eye does not see itself" ?

Yes, that's true. So what?
"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

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kirk5a
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by kirk5a » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:44 pm

vinasp wrote:Eye-consciousness ceases when the eye and forms cease, all three are just
mental fabrications. The actual eye, actual forms and seeing remain.
Are you talking about the cessation of mental fabrications?
"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

vinasp
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:02 pm

Hi daverupa,

Dave said: "What is "higher knowledge" here? ..."

"..sopi pathaviṃ pathavito abhijānāti; pathaviṃ pathavito abhiññāya pathaviṃ na maññati, pathaviyā na maññati, pathavito na maññati, pathaviṃ meti na maññati, pathaviṃ nābhinandati. taṃ kissa hetu? ‘pariññātaṃ tassā’ti vadāmi."

This begins with: " (he) directly knows earth as earth ..." [Bodhi, 1995]

The Pali term used here is "abhijanati".

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as "directly knows" in: Bodhi, 1995; and Bodhi, 1980.

I see that Thanissaro also translates as "directly knows."

Bhikkhu Bodhi explains in note 22 to MN 1 [Bodhi, 1995, page 1166.]:

" ... MA explains that he knows them with distinguished knowledge, knows
them in accordance with their real nature ..."

The prefix "abhi-" can mean "higher".

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi kirk5a,

Kirk5a said: "Are you talking about the cessation of mental fabrications?"

That is the central question.

"Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu does not conceive the eye, does not conceive in
the eye, does not conceive from the eye, does not conceive, 'The eye is mine.'
He does not conceive forms ... eye consciousness ... eye-contact ..." [SN 35.30]

Could this mean that "he does not fabricate an eye", that "he does not fabricate
forms", "he does not fabricate eye-consciouness"?

It is certainly one possible interpretation. What do you think?

Regards, Vincent.

Nyana
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by Nyana » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:37 pm

Dmytro wrote:Arahant's consciousness is no longer fixated (appatittha) on any perceptual image (nimitta) of the six sense doors, so the Arahant can experience Nibbana at will.
Yes, this also correlates quite well with some of the more enigmatic passages in suttas such as Udāna 8.1-4, SN 12.64, MN 49, DN 11, etc.
Dmytro wrote:The experience of Nibbana is beyond the six sense spheres, so during it six senses cease.
And we need to be careful here as to what is meant. There are a number of suttas which explicitly state that there is a perception of cessation, nirodhasaññā (AN 10.60), which is a samādhi (AN 10.6), and which is likely equivalent to the perception of "bhavanirodho nibbāna" (AN 10.7), and also related to aññāphala samādhi, which is a perception attainment as well (AN 9.37).

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kirk5a
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by kirk5a » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:41 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi kirk5a,

Kirk5a said: "Are you talking about the cessation of mental fabrications?"

That is the central question.

"Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu does not conceive the eye, does not conceive in
the eye, does not conceive from the eye, does not conceive, 'The eye is mine.'
He does not conceive forms ... eye consciousness ... eye-contact ..." [SN 35.30]

Could this mean that "he does not fabricate an eye", that "he does not fabricate
forms", "he does not fabricate eye-consciouness"?

It is certainly one possible interpretation. What do you think?
I was looking at the definition of "mental fabrications" in this sutta and the cessation of mental fabrications is discussed there with regard to the cessation of perception and feeling.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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

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DarwidHalim
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by DarwidHalim » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Image

Please point, Where are the eyes?

There are so many things there.

Where is the exact position of this mysterious thing called eyes?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

Nyana
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by Nyana » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:09 pm

vinasp wrote: Kirk5a said: "Are you talking about the cessation of mental fabrications?"

That is the central question.

"Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu does not conceive the eye, does not conceive in
the eye, does not conceive from the eye, does not conceive, 'The eye is mine.'
He does not conceive forms ... eye consciousness ... eye-contact ..." [SN 35.30]

Could this mean that "he does not fabricate an eye", that "he does not fabricate
forms", "he does not fabricate eye-consciouness"?

It is certainly one possible interpretation. What do you think?

Regards, Vincent.
With regard to the realization of nibbāna, what is calmed and abandoned is "any specific fabrication or volitional intention towards either existence or non-existence" (MN 140). Said another way, this is the absence of wavering or agitation (Ud 8.4), and so on.

vinasp
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi kirk5a,

kirk5a said:"I was looking at the definition of "mental fabrications" in this sutta and the cessation of mental fabrications is discussed there with regard to the cessation of perception and feeling."

A similar passage is found at MN 44.13 [Quote]:

"Now, lady, what are fabrications?"

"These three fabrications, friend Visakha: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."

"But what are bodily fabrications? What are verbal fabrications? What are mental fabrications?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications." [End Quote]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

These are three categories of formations, bodily, verbal and mental.
Perception and feeling are included in the category of mental formations.
These are examples not definitions. These correspond to the three
kinds of action, bodily, verbal and mental, which result from volition.

Translations differ, compare Bodhi 1995. It is difficult to see what these
mental formations could be except - habits (conditioning).

Your post raises an interesting question: What are mental fabrications and
how many of these things are there?

My answer would be: There are twelve of them, every item in the DO formula.

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp
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Re: The Eye is Impermanent.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:46 pm

Hi everyone,

This is a passage from MN 18 - Madhupindika Sutta:

"Now, when there is no eye, when there are no forms, when there is no eye-consciousness, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is no delineation of contact, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. ...."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"When there is no eye, no form, and no eye-consciousness, it is impossible to
point out the manifestation of contact. When there is no manifestation of
contact, it is impossible to point out the manifestation of feeling. ..."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Middle Length Discourses, page 204 - MN 18.18]

The venerable Maha Kaccana is here teaching and explaining at an advanced
level, informed by his own experience of the cessation of the six-spheres.

Regards, Vincent.

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