What motivates Arahant?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Buckwheat
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:
santa100 wrote:But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment?
Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine" so how can he know that "I am hungry and I need to eat or I will die".

This is what I wonder.
Enlightenment is wisdom, not ignorance. Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"? That seems like it would be ignorance, not wisdom.

In "the Not-Self Strategy", Ven. Thanissaro points out that "selfing" is an activity that we all do with ignorance. An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Cittasanto
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Alex123 wrote: If there is no perception of self, then there is no perception of other self to feel compassion for.
there maybe a perception of beings, rather than selves. there is a difference.
Can you please explain the difference between "perception of beings" and "selves" ?
The self is no more than a combination of parts, kamma, mind & body... but although there is no-thing that can be called a self or should be held as a self doesn't mean that the combination of parts is absent. it only means that there is a combination of parts, not, as assumed, that there is a self.

That is only my understanding anyway.
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...
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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Alex123 wrote:...they do not cling to their body, so why eat?
Why not eat? To not seek food is also a choice.
Not doing something doesn't have to be actively doing the opposite.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:29 pm

Buckwheat wrote: Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"?
Because Arahant doesn't have "I, me, mine".
Buckwheat wrote:
An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.
Doesn't this contradict anatta? Can self be unreal and non-substantial (if there is no self, then it cannot have any properties)?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Ben
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Ben » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:08 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If I am hungry, then I need to eat, not him. I need to distinguish him from me. So one needs to perceive identity and difference.
Alex, what you need to do is find out what motivates you, not what motivates Arahants.
Well said, Bhante!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Buckwheat
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:00 am

Alex123 wrote:
Buckwheat wrote: Where does it say that an arahant is unable to perceive "I am hungry"?
Because Arahant doesn't have "I, me, mine".
Buckwheat wrote:
An arahant can still "self" but he does it with wisdom and compassion, seeing that there is actually no real and substantial self.
Doesn't this contradict anatta? Can self be unreal and non-substantial (if there is no self, then it cannot have any properties)?
This is the weakness with the "No-Self" translation, and why many (incl Ven Thanissaro) translate it as "not-self". To play off Cittasanto's excellent explanation, I might add that seeing the collection of parts is a form of selfing, but without clinging to this as something more than an assembly of parts (ie: not falling for the magician's illusion) it does not lead to dukkha. She is not motivated by the illusion. She is motivated by wisdom and compassion.

Another approach: When a magician performs his trick, cutting a lady in half, a person full of delusion believes that the lady is cut in two. That is the situation for you and I. The arahant has figured out the magicians trick, and knows the lady is not being cut in half. He is still able to see the illusion, but he also knows the reality of what is really going on.

Hope that helps. If not, ignore my words, as I am not an authority on the topic.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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ground
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by ground » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:34 am

Alex123 wrote:
santa100 wrote:But why can't arahants eat after their enlightenment?
Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine" so how can he know that "I am hungry and I need to eat or I will die".

This is what I wonder.
But how can you know what another, arahat or not, is thinking?

Who instilled all these ideas into your brain? :sage:

Do not believe everything it thinks ...

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SDC
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by SDC » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:10 am

Alex, in your scenario it is as if the arahant is in less in harmony with reality than everyone else. I know that you know this is not the case, but your idea of the arahant is an experience of confusion with circumstances.The puthujjana engages in delusional, inconsistent harmony with reality, but the arahant is in complete harmony. Why would a decision be made to deliberately cause disharmony?

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:50 pm

ground wrote:But how can you know what another, arahat or not, is thinking?
The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine". Without this, I don't see how or why one would respond to anything. It seems to me that ANY thing we do is in some form a personal reaction to external stimuli or circumstances. When I walk it is so that I would gain something, even this gain is due to doing something good for someone else. I choose to avoid walking off the cliff because then this, not other body would get hurt.

I wish I could explain myself better.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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kirk5a
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by kirk5a » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:16 pm

Alex123 wrote:The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine". Without this, I don't see how or why one would respond to anything. It seems to me that ANY thing we do is in some form a personal reaction to external stimuli or circumstances. When I walk it is so that I would gain something, even this gain is due to doing something good for someone else. I choose to avoid walking off the cliff because then this, not other body would get hurt.

I wish I could explain myself better.
What's the problem with avoiding hurting the body? Here's the distinction to contemplate:
"This, monks, is the path of practice leading to self-identification.
...
One assumes about the body that 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.
Now, this is the path of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification.
...
One assumes about the body that 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine".
Which sutta has this precise phrasing?
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:53 pm

kirk5a wrote:What's the problem with avoiding hurting the body? Here's the distinction to contemplate:
The issue is that in the absence of identifying with one's body: "This is I, me, mine" why would one prefer to do with it one thing or another? One isn't supposed to feel that "my body needs this or that". Likes and dislikes motivate one to do this or that. For example if one feels cold and one doesn't like it, then one will be motivated to put on more clothing to feel warm. Without like/dislike, nothing would move one to do anything.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Polar Bear
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What's the problem with avoiding hurting the body? Here's the distinction to contemplate:
The issue is that in the absence of identifying with one's body: "This is I, me, mine" why would one prefer to do with it one thing or another? One isn't supposed to feel that "my body needs this or that". Likes and dislikes motivate one to do this or that. For example if one feels cold and one doesn't like it, then one will be motivated to put on more clothing to feel warm. Without like/dislike, nothing would move one to do anything.
The arahant carries on but he's fine either way, whether he continues to live or die and many arahants carry on out of compassion for the world. Anyway, I don't have any fully satisfactory way to answer your question Alex but arahants certainly aren't averse to death.
[The bandit chief:]
Those who
for the sake of sacrifice
for the sake of wealth
we have killed in the past,
against their will
have trembled & babbled
from fear.
But you —
you show no fear;
your complexion brightens.
Why don't you lament
in the face of what's greatly to be feared

[Ven. Adhimutta:]
There are no painful mental states, chieftain,
in one without longing.
In one whose fetters are ended,
all fears are overcome.
With the ending of [craving]
the guide to becoming,
when phenomena are seen
for what they are,
then just as in the laying down of a burden,
there's no fear in death.

I've lived well the holy life,
well-developed the path.
Death holds no fear for me.
It's like the end of a disease.

I've lived well the holy life,
well-developed the path,
seen states of becoming
as devoid of allure,
like poison spit out
after it's drunk.

One gone to the far shore
without clinging
without effluent
his task completed,
welcomes the ending of life,
as if freed from a place of execution.
Having attained the supreme Rightness,
unconcerned with all the world,
as if released from a burning house,
he doesn't sorrow at death.

Whatever's compounded,
wherever a state of becoming's obtained,
all that has no one in charge:
so says the Great Seer.
Whoever discerns this,
as taught by the Awakened One,
would no more grasp hold of any state of becoming
than he would a hot iron ball.
I have no 'I was,'
no 'I will be.'
Fabrications will simply go out of existence.
What's to lament there in that?
For one who sees, as it actually is,
the pure arising of phenomena,
the pure seriality of fabrications,
there's no fear.
When seeing the world with discernment
as on a par with grass & twigs,
finding no 'mine-ness,'
thinking, 'There's nothing of mine,'
he feels no sorrow.
Dissatisfied with this carcass,
I'm unconcerned with becoming.
This body will break up
and there will not be another.
Do as you like with this carcass.
From that I will feel
neither hatred nor love.
Hearing these awesome, hair-raising words, the young men threw down their weapons & said:

What have you done, sir,
or who have you taken as mentor?
Because of whose teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired?

[Ven. Adhimutta:]
The all-knowing,
all-seeing conqueror:
He is my mentor.
Greatly compassionate teacher,
all the world's healer,
this doctrine is his,
unexcelled, leading to ending.
Because of his teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired.

The bandits, hearing the good words of the seer,
threw down their swords & their weapons.
Some relinquished their life of crime,
some chose the Going Forth.
Having gone forth in the teachings
of the one well-gone,
developing the powers & factors for Awakening,
wise, happy,
exultant in mind,
their faculties ripened,
they touched uncompounded Unbinding.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What's the problem with avoiding hurting the body? Here's the distinction to contemplate:
The issue is that in the absence of identifying with one's body: "This is I, me, mine" why would one prefer to do with it one thing or another? One isn't supposed to feel that "my body needs this or that". Likes and dislikes motivate one to do this or that. For example if one feels cold and one doesn't like it, then one will be motivated to put on more clothing to feel warm. Without like/dislike, nothing would move one to do anything.
when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. AN Yassa Sutta.
>> 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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Alex123
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Re: What motivates Arahant?

Post by Alex123 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:19 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Alex123 wrote:The suttas do speak that Arahant has no perception of "I, me, mine".
Which sutta has this precise phrasing?

For example similar phrasing occurs in:
But, Vaccha, the Tathågata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, regards the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ He regards the ear … the mind thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ -SN 44.7

"Thus, Susima, any form [alex: and other 4 aggregates] whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' SN 12.70
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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