What is fundamental?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

What is fundamental?

Postby firststeps » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:51 am

Scientific materialism (physicalism) says that everything is fundamentally physical, and that all our sensing, perceiving, remembering, fantasising, all the activity of that which we call the mind, is really the activity of the physical brain.

Some Hindu and Greek idealist systems turn the physicalist view on its head and instead say that consciousness is the ground of all being.

Some faiths like Christianity and my former religion, Islam, say that we are immaterial souls dwelling within physical bodies, so reality is both physical and non-physical (aka dualism). Some sub-groups within these religions may be better termed pluralist. Some Sufis believe the non-physical elements have their own types - the heart (qalb), the spirit (ruh), the soul (nafs), the secret (sirr), the hidden (khafi), the most hidden (akhfa).

What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby Chi » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:43 am

Friend,

I would google or search on this forum:
"Four Noble Truths"
"Three Characteristics"

Be Happy.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby SamKR » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:52 pm

firststeps wrote:What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?

As far as I understand, according to the Buddha's teachings there is no fundamental essence or reality out of which everything originates. The idea of such fundamental is just a product of conceiving power of mind. However, there is dependent origination, as explained in Kaccayanagotta sutta.

According to the Buddha the All is:
"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


And, according to the Buddha's teachings, the practice could be like this:

'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

This means that there should not be any conceiving and craving along with the seen, heard, sensed and cognized. In the seen there is just the seen - no seer or a seen object. In other words, the seen is precisely the only happening in the seen. That is, the seen just IS - by itself - arising effortlessly due to conditions. Any belief or statement about the seen (ex: "I am seeing"; "There is a 'real' individual object behind what is seen") is conceiving. All we can be sure about the seen - without any conceiving - is the ISness of the seen. But our obsession of mind is such that with the arising of every seen there arises conceiving of the seer and a seen-object along with craving.

"A monk who is a trainee — yearning for the unexcelled relief from bondage, his aspirations as yet unfulfilled — directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, let him not conceive things about earth, let him not conceive things in earth, let him not conceive things coming out of earth, let him not conceive earth as 'mine,' let him not delight in earth. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
there has long been — and still is — a common tendency to create a "Buddhist" metaphysics in which the experience of emptiness, the Unconditioned, the Dharma-body, Buddha-nature, rigpa, etc., is said to function as the ground of being from which the "All" — the entirety of our sensory & mental experience — is said to spring and to which we return when we meditate. Some people think that these theories are the inventions of scholars without any direct meditative experience, but actually they have most often originated among meditators, who label (or in the words of the discourse, "perceive") a particular meditative experience as the ultimate goal, identify with it in a subtle way (as when we are told that "we are the knowing"), and then view that level of experience as the ground of being out of which all other experience comes.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by SamKR on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby culaavuso » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:28 pm

firststeps wrote:What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?


MN 63: Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta wrote:"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared. And what is undeclared by me? 'The cosmos is eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' is undeclared by me.

"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me.

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared."


SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta wrote:By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.


AN 10.93: Ditthi Sutta wrote:Anathapindika the householder said to the wanderers, "As for the venerable one who says, 'The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have,' his view arises from his own inappropriate attention or in dependence on the words of another. Now this view has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated. Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. This venerable one thus adheres to that very stress, submits himself to that very stress." (Similarly for the other positions.)

When this had been said, the wanderers said to Anathapindika the householder, "We have each & every one expounded to you in line with our own positions. Now tell us what views you have."

"Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. This is the sort of view I have."

"So, householder, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. You thus adhere to that very stress, submit yourself to that very stress."

"Venerable sirs, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it actually is present, I also discern the higher escape from it as it actually is present."
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby Jetavan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:27 pm

firststeps wrote:What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?
The four paramatthas: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=19361
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby waterchan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:12 pm

firststeps wrote:What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?


The first teaching the Buddha gave after his enlightenment. You can't get any more fundamental than your first lecture!

The nature of suffering, the cause of suffering, the release from suffering, and the path to the release from suffering.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: What is fundamental?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:18 pm

Delight.

The Blessed One said: "Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns in line with what has come into being. And what does he discern in line with what has come into being? The origination & disappearance of form. The origination & disappearance of feeling... perception... fabrications. The origination & disappearance of consciousness.

"And what is the origination of form? ...feeling? ...perception? ...fabrications? What is the origination of consciousness?

"There is the case where one enjoys, welcomes, & remains fastened. And what does one enjoy & welcome, to what does one remain fastened? One enjoys, welcomes, & remains fastened to form. As one enjoys, welcomes, & remains fastened to form, there arises delight. Any delight in form is clinging. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

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 is fundamental?

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:57 pm

waterchan wrote:
firststeps wrote:What does Theravada Buddhism say is fundamental?


The first teaching the Buddha gave after his enlightenment. You can't get any more fundamental than your first lecture!

The nature of suffering, the cause of suffering, the release from suffering, and the path to the release from suffering.


Fundamental, but do we know that it was the first? Richard Gombrich has pointed out that we have no real evidence - merely tradition - for supposing that the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta was the first discourse. In fact, it seems to summarise ideas that the listeners would already have been familiar with.
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