the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

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aflatun
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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by aflatun » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:27 pm

Garrib wrote:If Nibbana is the cessation of existence, and this cessation applies to the living Arahant (as well as one who has attained to Parinibbana) - then "existence" must not mean what we usually think it means...perhaps this is because this translation of "bhava" is somewhat misleading?
Bingo! Regardless of the translation used, you have nailed the issue IMO, in that, how one interprets "existence" will of course determine how one interprets "cessation of existence," and this is a major branch point among vying interpretations of what this all amounts to. In a more general sense, how one interprets dependent origination ("forward order") will also determine how they interpret dependent cessation ("reverse order"), and:
This is all so difficult to work out - so many systems and interpretations - AHH! -
It can get very messy and overwhelming, indeed
The passages that might be seen to support that kind of interpretation actually sometimes inspire in me a sense of awe and wonder, a feeling that there really is something unconditional, something quite beyond the aggregates and worldly experience/life as we know it - Nibbana. I am inspired to realize that Dhamma, and I can take refuge in the fact that it is real - it is a source of immense hope, not only for myself, but for any being human or otherwise.


I'm glad to hear that they inspire in you a sense of awe, wonder and hope, I believe that's what they're supposed to do, and that's what they do to me :)
When I see people then claiming that this true Dhamma is actually just "mere cessation"/nothingness, it just seems off to me - like you can put together a coherent sounding argument in favor of that view, but on some deeper level it just seems incomplete, not quite there...
Me too. In fact I'll take it a step further, some of what I've seen strikes me as not only off but as a sign of a perverse mentality afflicted with, among other things, sophistry. It's very easy to read the suttas through the lenses of our contemporary secular nihilism and back read the grayscale of our desacralized and supposedly meaningless, mindless and vacuous world onto the insights of the Buddha. The futility that the Buddha found in "existence" has little to do with the musings of the likes of Nietzsche, Marx, Freud and their inheritors, IMO.
I guess I should be used to encountering views on the Dhamma that don't appeal to me by now, like the ones that somehow seem to support white nationalism (or other ethnocentrism), nazism etc...but I still get disheartened from time to time, and even feel the need to "defend" my own position.


I stroll through the politics forum once in a while, and I'm glad I stay out of there as a general rule, as I stay out of the media and politics in general :tongue:. But yeah, that aside, I think its normal to get disheartened, particularly when someone who is perceived as learned and wise is telling you that you should be striving for oblivion. And it's not an all black or white situation, because while sometimes its appropriate and even necessary to call bullshit, it's hard to do without getting involved in more reactive and emotional sludge (read: defilements).
Thanks for the conversation...
Ditto! :heart:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by aflatun » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:41 pm

Thanks for the resources cj, I look forward to checking them out! I read through "Reinterpreting the Jhanas" a while back and it apparently didn't leave much of an impression, as I don't remember much :jumping:


I especially like what you said here:

cjmacie wrote:But relatively naïve literalist interpretations (not unlike comparable Christian Biblical views) of the EBT vs abhidhamma and commentaries etc. continue to thrive in the forums
Naive literalism and fundamentalism rarely seem to lead to good things! Like the negative bias you mention, "mindless." Sometimes I think people suffer from a lack of imagination more than anything. Some of the conversations I have seen on forums seem to rest on the assumption that a tortuous grammatical analysis, and ONLY a tortuous grammatical analysis, is the final arbiter of "what the Buddha meant." I honestly don't get it. Maybe its because I'm a musician at heart and see things in a very "right brain" way :rolleye: (pardon the pop pscyh). But to each their own I guess...

PS: Regarding your post in the other thread, yeah it totally did heat up this weekend. I had the pleasure of waking up every 15 mins last night to the hot air my fans were blowing on me. Living on the third floor doesn't help! Stay cool :thumbsup:
cjmacie wrote:
A perhaps extreme example of this “modern innovation” is the case made in:
On Being Mindless: Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem, by Paul J. Griffiths (1986).
(Note the negative bias from the get-go in the title – “Mindless”.)

One can plow through that book (I got partway through), or consider the book review by Frank Hoffman in “The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies” [JIABS], Vol. 11, 1988, No. 2.

A major ambiguity in Theravada tradition is explicated by asking whether "cessation" is equivalent to nirvana (Buddhaghosa's view) or to nirvana in life with substrate (Dhammapala's view). Griffiths' puzzle is: in the second case how could one emerge from "cessation" (30-31)? He offers a complex argument for the claim that the puzzle of how emergence from "cessation" is possible once one enters it is neither answered in Theravada Buddhism nor is answerable on Theravada assumptions (41).
...
…[detailed logical analysis of Griffith’s argumentation]
...
Despite some difficulties which make his case less than entirely convincing, Griffiths gives considerable thought to the topic of "cessation" so as to repay careful reading. His conclusion is: "In sum, we have a non-substantivist, event-based interactionist psycho-physical dualism" (112). Some passages, e.g. as in Griffiths' note 80 discussed above, do suggest that a mind-body dualism is presupposed in Sutta Pitaka Buddhism (SPB), but SPB does not unequivocally assert a mind-body dualism overall. To follow Griffiths on this point without reservation would be to superimpose a (basically Western) mind-body distinction wholesale.

Note also the usage “Sutta Pitaka Buddhism (SPB)”, which appears to be an earlier (1980s) incarnation of the currently popular notion of “Early Buddhist Teachings” (EBT).

I ran across Griffith’s work as part of the background (together with the work of one Martin Stuart-Fox) for Rodney Bucknell’s essay “Reinterpreting the Jhānas” (JIABS, Vol 16, No 2, Winter 1993), which Leigh Brasington led me to as a foundation for his notion of “Sutta-Jhāna”.

Note also, Rupert Gethin, in his article on ‘bhavanga’, takes Griffiths to task for failing to grasp essentials of abhidhamma, and Bucknell’s thesis is soundly criticized by other scholars (c.f. threads in SuttaCentral discussions). But relatively naïve literalist interpretations (not unlike comparable Christian Biblical views) of the EBT vs abhidhamma and commentaries etc. continue to thrive in the forums.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by theY » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:06 pm

Talaputa Sutta: To Talaputa the Actor
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1998
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel's Sanctuary.

Then Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, 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: "Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.' What does the Blessed One have to say about that?"

"Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that."

A second time... A third time Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, said: "Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.' What does the Blessed One have to say about that?"

"Apparently, headman, I haven't been able to get past you by saying, 'Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that.' So I will simply answer you. Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor — himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless — with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter. But if he holds such a view as this: 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,' that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb."

When this was said, Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, sobbed & burst into tears. [The Blessed One said:] "That is what I couldn't get past you by saying, 'Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that.'"

"I'm not crying, lord, because of what the Blessed One said to me, but simply because I have been deceived, cheated, & fooled for a long time by that ancient teaching lineage of actors who said: 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.'

"Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://UnmixedTheravada.blogspot.com/20 ... monks.html

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by DNS » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:39 pm

theY wrote: Talaputa Sutta: To Talaputa the Actor
What point are you trying to make from quoting the Talaputa Sutta? (in regard to this thread on Nibbana)

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by theY » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:09 pm

I love to sing. It is one of my most important hindrance, that make me leaved monk hood. So I very deeply understand, why the musician has very wrong view.

I am a pali translator, so I understand that why people who can't translate pali always have many confused thinking.

I am a memorizer of some sutta, so I understand that why person, who hate reciting&memorizing, looks no sequence, confuse, loose some pali words, and thinking "right is wrong, or wrong is right".

It look like I posted by māna (I am). So I just posted tālaputtasutta. I don't wanna insult anyone. I just wanna let someone found the problem by my lacking english.
David N. Snyder wrote:
theY wrote: Talaputa Sutta: To Talaputa the Actor
What point are you trying to make from quoting the Talaputa Sutta? (in regard to this thread on Nibbana)
aflatun wrote:Thanks for the resources cj, I look forward to checking them out! I read through "Reinterpreting the Jhanas" a while back and it apparently didn't leave much of an impression, as I don't remember much :jumping:


I especially like what you said here:

cjmacie wrote:But relatively naïve literalist interpretations (not unlike comparable Christian Biblical views) of the EBT vs abhidhamma and commentaries etc. continue to thrive in the forums
Naive literalism and fundamentalism rarely seem to lead to good things! Like the negative bias you mention, "mindless." Sometimes I think people suffer from a lack of imagination more than anything. Some of the conversations I have seen on forums seem to rest on the assumption that a tortuous grammatical analysis, and ONLY a tortuous grammatical analysis, is the final arbiter of "what the Buddha meant." I honestly don't get it. Maybe its because I'm a musician at heart and see things in a very "right brain" way :rolleye: (pardon the pop pscyh). But to each their own I guess...

PS: Regarding your post in the other thread, yeah it totally did heat up this weekend. I had the pleasure of waking up every 15 mins last night to the hot air my fans were blowing on me. Living on the third floor doesn't help! Stay cool :thumbsup:
cjmacie wrote:
A perhaps extreme example of this “modern innovation” is the case made in:
On Being Mindless: Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem, by Paul J. Griffiths (1986).
(Note the negative bias from the get-go in the title – “Mindless”.)

One can plow through that book (I got partway through), or consider the book review by Frank Hoffman in “The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies” [JIABS], Vol. 11, 1988, No. 2.

A major ambiguity in Theravada tradition is explicated by asking whether "cessation" is equivalent to nirvana (Buddhaghosa's view) or to nirvana in life with substrate (Dhammapala's view). Griffiths' puzzle is: in the second case how could one emerge from "cessation" (30-31)? He offers a complex argument for the claim that the puzzle of how emergence from "cessation" is possible once one enters it is neither answered in Theravada Buddhism nor is answerable on Theravada assumptions (41).
...
…[detailed logical analysis of Griffith’s argumentation]
...
Despite some difficulties which make his case less than entirely convincing, Griffiths gives considerable thought to the topic of "cessation" so as to repay careful reading. His conclusion is: "In sum, we have a non-substantivist, event-based interactionist psycho-physical dualism" (112). Some passages, e.g. as in Griffiths' note 80 discussed above, do suggest that a mind-body dualism is presupposed in Sutta Pitaka Buddhism (SPB), but SPB does not unequivocally assert a mind-body dualism overall. To follow Griffiths on this point without reservation would be to superimpose a (basically Western) mind-body distinction wholesale.

Note also the usage “Sutta Pitaka Buddhism (SPB)”, which appears to be an earlier (1980s) incarnation of the currently popular notion of “Early Buddhist Teachings” (EBT).

I ran across Griffith’s work as part of the background (together with the work of one Martin Stuart-Fox) for Rodney Bucknell’s essay “Reinterpreting the Jhānas” (JIABS, Vol 16, No 2, Winter 1993), which Leigh Brasington led me to as a foundation for his notion of “Sutta-Jhāna”.

Note also, Rupert Gethin, in his article on ‘bhavanga’, takes Griffiths to task for failing to grasp essentials of abhidhamma, and Bucknell’s thesis is soundly criticized by other scholars (c.f. threads in SuttaCentral discussions). But relatively naïve literalist interpretations (not unlike comparable Christian Biblical views) of the EBT vs abhidhamma and commentaries etc. continue to thrive in the forums.
Last edited by theY on Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://UnmixedTheravada.blogspot.com/20 ... monks.html

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by cappuccino » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:22 pm

So I very deeply understand, why the musician has very wrong view.
Why is music very wrong view?

(Acting is one thing, music is another.)

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by theY » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:34 pm

cappuccino wrote:
So I very deeply understand, why the musician has very wrong view.
Why is music very wrong view?

Because they enjoy the being living (suffering) as alike as patienter enjoy to drug, but healing. This case can compare to you who enjoy to have realm of happiness (suffering), but suffering leaving.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://UnmixedTheravada.blogspot.com/20 ... monks.html

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by DNS » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:55 am

theY wrote:I love to sing. It is one of my most important hindrance, that make me leaved monk hood. So I very deeply understand, why the musician has very wrong view.
A musician could have right view and just not be an anagami or arahant yet, he or she could just still be in lay life and have no requirement or will to give up those pleasures or livelihood yet. Everyone has their vices, if it's not music, it might be movies, shows, other entertainment, other arts, sports, fine dining, etc.; unless they are an anagami or arahant where those cravings have naturally ended.

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by theY » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:07 am

I'm sorry. It is my mistake reading. My quote is out of topic, now. I am sorry.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://UnmixedTheravada.blogspot.com/20 ... monks.html

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:14 am

aflatun wrote:The more universal view, in so far as I can tell, not just in Theravada but also in non Theravada "hinayana" systems (minus Sautrantika again, supposedly), is that Nibbana is an unconditioned existent dhamma (or at least something closer to that).
So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:14 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
aflatun wrote:The more universal view, in so far as I can tell, not just in Theravada but also in non Theravada "hinayana" systems (minus Sautrantika again, supposedly), is that Nibbana is an unconditioned existent dhamma (or at least something closer to that).
So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
Does unconditioned existent dhamma necessarily mean transcendent reality we connect with in some sense?
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by theY » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:25 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
aflatun wrote:The more universal view, in so far as I can tell, not just in Theravada but also in non Theravada "hinayana" systems (minus Sautrantika again, supposedly), is that Nibbana is an unconditioned existent dhamma (or at least something closer to that).
So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
Does unconditioned existent dhamma necessarily mean transcendent reality we connect with in some sense?
Nibbāna has no cause, because nibbāna never arise (everything arisen by causes). Nibbāna is reality, existent, because nibbāna is the end of suffering (5 aggregates), the opposite side of suffering. But paññatti is not reality, not existent, although we can know it. Because paññatti has not any cause, too. And mainly, it is neither included in aggregate existent, nor included in nibbāna existent.

This is the difference between aggregate existent, nibbāna existent, and nonexistent (paññatti).

This reply may look like general sutta that described about nibbāna, because this topic is the deepest topic in buddhism. So it is very hard to describe.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.
http://UnmixedTheravada.blogspot.com/20 ... monks.html

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by aflatun » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:05 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
aflatun wrote:The more universal view, in so far as I can tell, not just in Theravada but also in non Theravada "hinayana" systems (minus Sautrantika again, supposedly), is that Nibbana is an unconditioned existent dhamma (or at least something closer to that).
So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
No, or at least I try not to. But I think its probably better to approach it this way then the "other extreme."
Coëmgenu wrote: Does unconditioned existent dhamma necessarily mean transcendent reality we connect with in some sense?
Probably not, since presumably "we" and "connect" is what obscured "it" in the first place :sage:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by cappuccino » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
If you blow out a fire,
has reality itself disappeared with the fire?

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am

aflatun wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
aflatun wrote:The more universal view, in so far as I can tell, not just in Theravada but also in non Theravada "hinayana" systems (minus Sautrantika again, supposedly), is that Nibbana is an unconditioned existent dhamma (or at least something closer to that).
So do you think of Nibbana as a transcendent reality which we "connect" with in some sense?
No, or at least I try not to. But I think its probably better to approach it this way then the "other extreme."
By "other extreme", do you mean the view that Nibbana is just a different state of mind?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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