tiltbillings wrote:What jhana, in and of itself, can do is suppress sensuality -- kama -- for a period of time that can last for awhile after the experience of jhana, but don't forget kama is an asava, which means it is not until there is the attainment of non-returning is sensuality, sense desire, actually removed. Jhana can suppress a lot of stuff, leading one to thinking that one has attained far more than what is justified.
I'm sorry, but that is not what the text is saying. It is quite clear that the Buddha found pure (or "dry" or "bare") insight lacking when it comes to preventing, by itself, sensual desire. Both the wisdom of insight and the joy of tranquility are required to break the bonds of sensuality. I'm not arguing that Jhana is capable of doing this without a base of strong insight backing it up; if you look at the structure of that text, it's clear that the Buddha is encouraging insight as well as
Jhana pleasures, not one or the other. But the fact stands that the Buddha encouraged Jhana as a way to eliminate sensual desires that insight alone cannot tackle.
I'm honestly curious why you are taking such a hard anti-Jhana standpoint here. You are obviously well-versed in the suttas, can you really deny that the Buddha encouraged the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Jhanas over and over and over again, calling them "the meditation he approved of," "the practice that inclines one towards Nibbana," etc.? It seems to me that you are harping repeatedly on the "dangers" and "risks" and "drawbacks" of Jhana, while I have yet to hear you say one positive thing about that which the Buddha praised so highly!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.
Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.
His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta
Stuff I write about things.