middle path and the three views

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dudette
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middle path and the three views

Post by dudette » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:26 am

I am confused about one thing
The confusion is about middle path and the three views being, nonbeing and being-and-nonbeing.
According to the introductionS to theravada buddhism, buddha said that neither of these views stop suffering and bring enlightenment; therefore, we should adopt the middle path.
OK! But here is the problem,

Some buddhists say "Existence, nonexistence, and all other views that are combinations of the two are mistaken, and the middle way is the path of being free from these kinds of views altogether", so ultimately the point is to realize that these views are not useful for enlightenment (rise above them, and see the bigger picture, so to speak).

The other half of buddhists say that "If you combine being/non-being and neither being nor non-being then you will arrive at the middle way. There isn't a bigger picture, you're simply including all possible views", so ultimately the point is to realize that these views are important for enlightenment (experience all of them, and a person cannot be enlightened if she/he did not experience nonbeing and being-and-nonbeing, so to speak)

So which is the correct understanding according to theravada? I am very confused :(

paul
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by paul » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:27 am

I suggest you use the terminology ‘conventional reality’ and ‘ultimate reality’ to follow the Theravada position more easily. Both realities exist simultaneously, and should be categorised as separate experiences, the practice labelled as ultimate and daily life as conventional.

The Buddha explained how the dhamma (ultimate reality) can be identified in daily life:

"The fact that when greed is present within you, you discern that greed is present within you; and when greed is not present within you, you discern that greed is not present within you: that is one way in which the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.”—AN 6.47

Dinsdale
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:37 am

dudette wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:26 am
Some buddhists say "Existence, nonexistence, and all other views that are combinations of the two are mistaken, and the middle way is the path of being free from these kinds of views altogether", so ultimately the point is to realize that these views are not useful for enlightenment (rise above them, and see the bigger picture, so to speak).
In SN12.15 the "middle way" is dependent origination:

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness...."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!

justindesilva
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by justindesilva » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:57 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:37 am
dudette wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:26 am
Some buddhists say "Existence, nonexistence, and all other views that are combinations of the two are mistaken, and the middle way is the path of being free from these kinds of views altogether", so ultimately the point is to realize that these views are not useful for enlightenment (rise above them, and see the bigger picture, so to speak).
In SN12.15 the "middle way" is dependent origination:

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness...."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Lord budda in the stage of pre enlightenment went through two styles of living. One is kama sukallikana ( sassattavada) giving extreme comforts to this body and the other is attakilamatanu yoga( uccedavada) self mirtification by giving extreme suffering to this body. When he realised that the body has nothing to do with escape of suffering , he expounded liberation through majjima patipada as the noble eightfold path. The noble eightfold path is facing existence as paticca samuppada, which is a process , non ending due to ignorance. Lord budda hence advised the way to end suffering by first ending ignorance through Dana ( getting away from greed) Seela ( developing virtues by desciplining mind and body) and bhavana ( by developing concentration of the mind and cleansing of defilements)

santa100
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by santa100 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:31 pm

Every view is only useful within its own scope. For example, pick a mundane discipline like geometry, the statement that "2 parallel lines can never meet" only holds true within its scope, which is Euclidean geometry (plane geometry) but does not apply in curvature geometry. So if we keep this in mind, the suggestion of either Buddhist camp would be equally useful... within its own scope. Yes, it's important to see the bigger picture and so not to get dogmatically attached to a particular view, while at the same time, at least at our current level of being un-enlightened worldlings, it's important to be aware of the "existence" of unwholesome conducts, of dukkha, of kamma, of the fruition of kamma, etc. so that one'd have the solid bases to help with his practice.

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Zom
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by Zom » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:04 pm

I am confused about one thing
The confusion is about middle path and the three views being, nonbeing and being-and-nonbeing.
This is not really that hard to understand. All wrong views on this matter are based entirely and without an exception on so called "self-views" or "views about self", also known by pali term "sakkaya ditthi". So all views about "being" or "non-being" are sakkaya ditthi. Why? Because all this being and not-being is just about "a self", which is an illusion and does not really exist.

Being - is a view, that there is a permanent self, which continues to be (eternalism).
Not-being - is a view, that there is a permanent self, which at some point ceases to exist (annihilationism).

Now, the right view is that there is no such thing as "self" at all, but instead, there is just an impersonal psychic-biological process going on. This is best demonstrated by the Buddha in SN 12.12:

“Venerable sir, who feels?”

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “I do not say, ‘One feels.’ If I should say, ‘One feels,’ in that case this would be a valid question: ‘Venerable sir, who feels?’ But I do not speak thus. Since I do not speak thus, if one should ask me, ‘Venerable sir, with what as condition does feeling come to be?’ this would be a valid question. To this the valid answer is: ‘With contact as condition, feeling comes to be; with feeling as condition, craving.’”

“Venerable sir, who craves?”

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “I do not say, ‘One craves.’ If I should say, ‘One craves,’ in that case this would be a valid question: ‘Venerable sir, who craves?’ But I do not speak thus. Since I do not speak thus, if one should ask me, ‘Venerable sir, with what as condition does craving come to be?’ this would be a valid question. To this the valid answer is: ‘With feeling as condition, craving comes to be; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, existence…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.’


Another vivid simile about "impersonality" is in SN 22.33:

“Suppose, bhikkhus, people were to carry off the grass, sticks, branches, and foliage in this Jeta’s Grove, or to burn them, or to do with them as they wish. Would you think: ‘People are carrying us off, or burning us, or doing with us as they wish’?”

“No, venerable sir. For what reason? Because, venerable sir, that is neither our self nor what belongs to our self.”


So, as grass, sticks, branches are "not-self", impersonal - in the same way, every thing in any living being is a "not-self" and impersonal as well.

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cappuccino
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Re: middle path and the three views

Post by cappuccino » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:17 pm

a view, that there is a permanent self, which at some point ceases to exist (annihilationism)
the process isn't annihilated, simply by losing a sense of self

this is the difficult thing to understand

the process continues, and so annihilation isn't true

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