MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:38 pm

culaavuso wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
culaavuso wrote:Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera's notes on contact might be helpful.


I'm not sure I really understand, but he says: "This is the foundation of the notion that I am and that things are in contact with me. This contact between me and things is phassa."
Is he saying that without self-view there is no contact ( phassa )? And if so, what happens to feeling ( vedana ), which is described in DO as arising in dependence on contact ( phassa )?


Without self-view, what would the perception of contact perceive as contacted? This seems to be suggested by the phrase in MN 18 that it is "possible to delineate a delineation of contact" and thus to delineate a delineation of feeling. Put another way, to delineate contact would seem to require an implicit perception of what lies on each side of the line. One side of the line is called "object" and one side is called "subject", but this is imputed based on simply seeing, hearing, feeling, etc.


I'm not sure. The suttas talk about the meeting of sense-object, sense-organ and sense-consciousness, but that seems to be describing the process functionally, almost biologically, and I don't see an explicit assumption of subject/self in that. I think the assumption of subject/self arises from not seeing this process as it really is, but rather assuming the process to be me or mine.

Taking Nanavira's view to it's logical conclusion would seem to mean that both contact and feeling cease for an Aharant - but perhaps I've misunderstood?
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

chownah
Posts: 3024
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby chownah » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:29 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
I'm not sure. The suttas talk about the meeting of sense-object, sense-organ and sense-consciousness, but that seems to be describing the process functionally, almost biologically, and I don't see an explicit assumption of subject/self in that. I think the assumption of subject/self arises from not seeing this process as it really is, but rather assuming the process to be me or mine.

Taking Nanavira's view to it's logical conclusion would seem to mean that both contact and feeling cease for an Aharant - but perhaps I've misunderstood?

I have a difficult time thinking of sense-consciousness as being described by the Buddha as a biologically functional process....although I can see how someone with strong views of the external world and right view with effluents might think of it that way.

Could it be that you don't see explicit assumptions because the Dhamma is deep and not easily comprehended?........seems like expecting explicitudes is expecting a shallow and easily understood dhamma......I guess.....don't know for sure.......
chownah

culaavuso
Posts: 1255
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby culaavuso » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:32 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:I'm not sure. The suttas talk about the meeting of sense-object, sense-organ and sense-consciousness, but that seems to be describing the process functionally, almost biologically, and I don't see an explicit assumption of subject/self in that. I think the assumption of subject/self arises from not seeing this process as it really is, but rather assuming the process to be me or mine.

Taking Nanavira's view to it's logical conclusion would seem to mean that both contact and feeling cease for an Aharant - but perhaps I've misunderstood?


Note that the suttas also talk about the cessation of consciousness and a state where the four elements have no footing. This is described as being the case with viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ. Various modern commentators interpret this as either the experience of the formless attainment of infinite consciousness or the arahant's meditative experience of Nibbana. The cessation of later links of dependent origination could be implied through the statement of the cessation of consciousness. Additionally there is the formless attainment of cessation of perception and feeling which is explicitly described as including the cessation of feeling. The contact described as occuring after emerging from the cessation of perception and feeling is not described in the usual terms of the six sense bases. There is still an awareness of experiences such as physical pain, but the functions described in the links of dependent origination seem to not occur. It's also perhaps worth considering how the nutriment of contact and consciousness are to be regarded according to SN 12.63.

DN 11: Kevaṭṭa Sutta wrote:Consciousness without feature,
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
each is here brought to an end.


Nibbana is still not Viññāṇa by Ven. Ajahn Sujato wrote:I have suggested that it is a reference to the formless attainment of infinite consciousness, which is surely the most obvious reading (since it actually says ‘infinite consciousness’!). Bhikkhu Bodhi prefers to read it as a reference to the arahant’s meditative experience of Nibbana; while this is not an unproblematic reading, it is certainly defensible.


SN 41.6: Kāmabhu Sutta wrote:In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications.
...
But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrication has ceased & subsided, verbal fabrication has ceased & subsided, mental fabrication has ceased & subsided, his life force is not ended, his heat is not dissipated, and his faculties are bright & clear.
...
When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, three contacts make contact: contact with emptiness, contact with the signless, & contact with the undirected.


MN 53: Sekha Sutta wrote:Then the Blessed One — having spent most of the night instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the Kapilavatthu Sakyans with a Dhamma talk — said to Ven. Ananda, "Ananda, speak to the Kapilavatthu Sakyans about the person who follows the practice for one in training. My back aches. I will rest it."


SN 12.63: Puttamaṃsa Sutta wrote:"And how is the nutriment of contact to be regarded? Suppose a flayed cow were to stand leaning against a wall. The creatures living in the wall would chew on it. If it were to stand leaning against a tree, the creatures living in the tree would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to water, the creatures living in the water would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to the air, the creatures living in the air would chew on it. For wherever the flayed cow were to stand exposed, the creatures living there would chew on it. In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of contact to be regarded. When the nutriment of contact is comprehended, the three feelings [pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain] are comprehended. When the three feelings are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do."
...
"And how is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded? Suppose that, having arrested a thief, a criminal, they were to show him to the king: 'This is a thief, a criminal for you, your majesty. Impose on him whatever punishment you like.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him in the morning with a hundred spears. Then the king would say at noon, 'Men, how is that man?' 'Still alive, your majesty.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him at noon with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him at noon with a hundred spears. Then the king would say in the evening, 'Men, how is that man?' 'Still alive, your majesty.' So the king would say, 'Go, men, and shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears.' So they would shoot him in the evening with a hundred spears. Now what do you think, monks: Would that man, being shot with three hundred spears a day, experience pain & distress from that cause?"

"Even if he were to be shot with only one spear, lord, he would experience pain & distress from that cause, to say nothing of three hundred spears."

"In the same way, I tell you, monks, is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded. When the nutriment of consciousness is comprehended, name & form are comprehended. When name & form are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do."

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:30 am

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
I'm not sure. The suttas talk about the meeting of sense-object, sense-organ and sense-consciousness, but that seems to be describing the process functionally, almost biologically, and I don't see an explicit assumption of subject/self in that. I think the assumption of subject/self arises from not seeing this process as it really is, but rather assuming the process to be me or mine.

Taking Nanavira's view to it's logical conclusion would seem to mean that both contact and feeling cease for an Aharant - but perhaps I've misunderstood?

I have a difficult time thinking of sense-consciousness as being described by the Buddha as a biologically functional process....although I can see how someone with strong views of the external world and right view with effluents might think of it that way.


I'm looking here at the way the sense bases are actually described in the suttas - they look to me like basic functions.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:35 am

culaavuso wrote:
SN 12.63: Puttamaṃsa Sutta wrote:"And how is the nutriment of contact to be regarded? ....When the nutriment of contact is comprehended, the three feelings [pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain] are comprehended. When the three feelings are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do."...In the same way, I tell you, monks, is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded. When the nutriment of consciousness is comprehended, name & form are comprehended. When name & form are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do."


An interesting passage, but again the emphasis here seems to be on comprehending these activities rather than "getting rid of" of them.

Here's a passage from MN149 I quoted previously, which also points to the importance of knowing these activities as they actually are

The Blessed One said: "Not knowing, not seeing the eye as it actually is present; not knowing, not seeing forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye as they actually are present; not knowing, not seeing whatever arises conditioned through contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — as it actually is present, one is infatuated with the eye... forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye... whatever arises conditioned by contact at the eye and is experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

vinasp
Posts: 1316
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:32 pm

Hi Spiny,

In my opinion, MN 149, which belongs in the 'late' strata, represents a shift in the use of terms, and in the teaching strategy.

"Bhikkhus, when one does not know and see the eye as it actually is, 1338
when one does not know and see forms as they actually are, ..."

[continue for eye-consciousness, eye-contact, the feelings which arise.]

" ... then one is inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, for eye-consciousness, for eye-contact, ...."

"Bhikkhus, when one knows and sees the eye as it actually is, 1340 when one
knows and sees forms as they actually are, ...."

" ... then one is not inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, ...."

[BB, MLDB, parts of MN 149.]

When one does not know and see the eye as it actually is, then one has a misconception of the eye. When one does not know and see forms as they actually are, then one has a misconception of forms.

When one knows and sees the eye as it actually is, then one no longer has a misconception of the eye. When one knows and sees forms as they actually are, then one no longer has a misconception of forms.

The misconceptions of the eye and forms which are eliminated here, were, in earlier discourses, called 'eye' and 'forms' and were said to cease.

In this discourse, eye, forms, eye-consciousness, and eye-contact, are no longer ambiguous but refer to the actual things.

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp
Posts: 1316
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:46 pm

Hi everyone,

The discourse MN 18 has also been cited, the key lines are:

"When there is the eye, a form, and eye-consciousness, it is possible to point out the manifestation of contact. When there is the manifestation of contact, it is possible to point out the manifestation of feeling. ..." [BB, MLDB, MN 18.17]

"When there is no eye, no form, and no eye-consciousness, it is impossible to point out the manifestation of contact. When there is no manifestation of contact, it is impossible to point out the manifestation of feeling. ..." [BB, MLDB, MN 18.18]

With a literal understanding of eye and forms, and taking eye-consciousness to mean seeing, then the 18.18 lines above, do not really make any sense and can only be understood as some after death state, or strange meditation experience.

But if 'eye', and 'form', are just misconceptions, and 'eye-consciousness' is the state of mind which arises based on these misconceptions, then the absence of these things is just the normal state of an enlightened one.

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp
Posts: 1316
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:04 pm

Hi everyone,

An interesting discourse is AN 6.63 - Penetrative. [link]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

In Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation the following line is repeated for six things.

" ... he understands this penetrative spiritual life to be the cessation of
[sensual pleasures], [feelings], [perceptions], [the taints], [kamma], [suffering]."

Sensual pleasures are said to be not the objects of sensual pleasure, but lustful intention towards these objects.

So the source or origin of sensual pleasures is said to be contact.
Contact is also said to be the origin of feelings, perceptions, and kamma.
Ignorance is the origin of the taints, craving is the origin of suffering.

Regards, Vincent.

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:24 am

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

The discourse MN 18 has also been cited, the key lines are:

"When there is the eye, a form, and eye-consciousness, it is possible to point out the manifestation of contact. When there is the manifestation of contact, it is possible to point out the manifestation of feeling. ..." [BB, MLDB, MN 18.17]

"When there is no eye, no form, and no eye-consciousness, it is impossible to point out the manifestation of contact. When there is no manifestation of contact, it is impossible to point out the manifestation of feeling. ..." [BB, MLDB, MN 18.18]

With a literal understanding of eye and forms, and taking eye-consciousness to mean seeing, then the 18.18 lines above, do not really make any sense and can only be understood as some after death state, or strange meditation experience.

But if 'eye', and 'form', are just misconceptions, and 'eye-consciousness' is the state of mind which arises based on these misconceptions, then the absence of these things is just the normal state of an enlightened one.

Regards, Vincent.


I think this can be read quite straightforwardly as a description of 3 of the links of DO, ie feeling is conditional on contact, which in turn is conditional on the sense-bases.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 3208
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:27 am

vinasp wrote:When one does not know and see the eye as it actually is, then one has a misconception of the eye. When one does not know and see forms as they actually are, then one has a misconception of forms.


I think the misconception is seeing the eye and forms etc as permanent, satisfactory and self.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: waryoffolly, WoodsyLadyM and 8 guests