MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby chownah » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:42 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:What happens if a visual object meets with an intact eye and consciousness is not present?
chownah


No contact, according to the suttas.

Contact is what doesn't happen. I'm wondering what does happen.
chownah

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Unrul3r » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:56 am

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:What happens if a visual object meets with an intact eye and consciousness is not present?
chownah


No contact, according to the suttas.

Contact is what doesn't happen. I'm wondering what does happen.
chownah


Since there is no contact, the only thing that happens is that matter is decaying without awareness. The eye is decaying and so is the object but there is no awareness of it. But that decay can be noticeable when contact happens again. For example, when someone leaves their eyes open for a long time they start to dry and, if they aren't paying attention through the eyes, they don't notice it. Only afterwards do they notice that they are dry.

:anjali:

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby barcsimalsi » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:45 pm

I wonder why during sleep one is easier awaken when exposed to louder sound/ harder touch than softer sound/touch?
In this case, what is the condition that pushes one's consciousness to meet the other 2 element of contact?

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Unrul3r » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:29 pm

barcsimalsi wrote:I wonder why during sleep one is easier awaken when exposed to louder sound/ harder touch than softer sound/touch?
In this case, what is the condition that pushes one's consciousness to meet the other 2 element of contact?


I would say it's lack of concentration, since in sleep the mind is scattered & unaware. If concentration is strong enough so that one is in the formless spheres, contact at the sense-doors won't happen.

:anjali:

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:14 pm

culaavuso wrote:
vinasp wrote:So if one completes the noble eightfold path, in this life, what, in your opinion, ceases at that point in time?


Papañca.

:clap:

Apropos.
Peace,
James

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:07 am

Hi everyone,

How one understands the six bases will determine how one understands contact.

The Literal Understanding.

The word 'eye' means the actual eye, the word 'form' means the actual visible object, and 'eye-consciousness' means seeing. The 'coming together' of these three is contact. In dependence on the eye and form eye-consciousness arises.

The arising of consciousness IS the coming together of these three things, so the arising of consciousness IS contact. The arising of seeing IS contact.

What is there that could be understood here? We know that seeing happens, even if we do not know what it is.

An Alternative Understanding.

The word 'eye' means the misconception of the eye, the word 'form' means the misconception of the visible form. The term 'eye-consciousness' means a state of mind in which the thing seen is known in a wrong way.

The arising of cosciousness (the state of mind) based on these misconceptions IS contact. The removal of these misconceptions would mean that no such state of mind (which knows in the wrong way) could arise.

Now contact can be seen and understood. Now contact can be reduced or eliminated. By eliminating these misconceptions contact is no longer possible.

To resist the wrong kind of knowing when it tries to arise based on these misconceptions is to resist contact. One does not give ones consent to the arising of the nutriment contact.

".. wisdom is to be developed, consciousness is to be fully understood." [BB, MLDB MN 43.6]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby culaavuso » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:35 am

vinasp wrote:How one understands the six bases will determine how one understands contact.


Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera's notes on contact might be helpful.

The thread Subject-Object Mode of Perception might also be helpful in this investigation.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:01 am

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 )?
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby LXNDR » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:47 am

vinasp wrote:So if one completes the noble eightfold path, in this life, what, in your opinion, ceases at that point in time?


ignorance, which made one create bodily, verbal and mental fabrications on account of contact, and it's logical since in nibbana no new sankharas are created

although i'm not sure ignorance of what is meant here, could be ignorance of impermanence or of anatta

the most interesting paragraph is the last, if the insert in the square brackets accurately represents the import of the sutta's authors

Bhumija sutta (SN 12.25) wrote:Whatever brahmans & contemplatives, teachers of kamma, who declare that pleasure & pain are self-made, even that is dependent on contact. Whatever brahmans & contemplatives, teachers of kamma, who declare that pleasure & pain are other-made... self-made & other-made... neither self-made nor other-made, but arise spontaneously, even that is dependent on contact.

"That any brahmans & contemplatives — teachers of kamma who declare that pleasure & pain are self-made — would be sensitive to pleasure & pain otherwise than through contact: that isn't possible. That any brahmans & contemplatives — teachers of kamma who declare that pleasure & pain are other-made... self-made & other-made... neither self-made nor other-made, but arise spontaneously — would be sensitive to pleasure & pain otherwise than through contact: that isn't possible.

"When there is a body, pleasure & pain arise internally with bodily intention as the cause; or when there is speech, pleasure & pain arise internally with verbal intention as the cause; or when there is intellect, pleasure & pain arise internally with intellectual intention as the cause.

"From ignorance as a requisite condition, then either of one's own accord one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally, or because of others one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally. Either alert one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally, or unalert one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally. (Similarly with verbal & intellectual fabrications.)

"Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the speech... the intellect on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby LXNDR » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:50 am

Spiny Norman wrote: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 )?


it appears that there's no vedana at this point

take a look at the last paragraph in the excerpt from the Bhumija sutta right above

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby daverupa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:56 am

LXNDR wrote:take a look at the last paragraph in the excerpt from the Bhumija sutta right above


Consider the Buddha's sore back, which he often rested by laying down. How can we understand this body intention?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby Ananda26 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:22 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

MN 28 and the Clinging-Aggregates.

What can we learn from MN 28.28? - [Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.]

[The previous section speaks of eye-consciousness arising in dependence on the
eye and visible form.]

28. "The material form in what has thus come to be is included in the material
form aggregate affected by clinging (340). The feeling in what has thus come
to be is included in the feeling aggregate affected by clinging. The perception
in what has thus come to be is included in the perception aggregate affected
by clinging. The formations in what has thus come to be are included in the
formations aggregate affected by clinging. The consciousness in what has thus
come to be is included in the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging.
He understands thus:'This, indeed, is how there comes to be the inclusion,
gathering, and amassing of things into these five aggregates affected by
clinging. Now this has been said by the Blessed One:"One who sees dependent
origination sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent
origination." (341) And these five aggregates affected by clinging are
dependently arisen. The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based
on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origin of suffering (342).
The removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for these
five aggregates affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering.'
At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.(343)

--------------------------- o O o -----------------------------

Let's go through it line by line, here is the first sentence:

1.The material form in what has thus come to be is included in the material
form aggregate affected by clinging.

My interpretation:

I take 'what has come to be' to mean the state-of-mind which has arisen. To simplify things let's drop 'material' and just use 'form.' We arrive at:

1a. The form in this arisen state of mind is included in the form aggregate subject to clinging.

But what does 'aggregate' mean? Two possible readings are:

(i) Aggregate means a mere categorisation of experiences.

Questions: Q1. What would this achieve?

Q2. What distinguishes an experience of 'form being clung to' from a simple experience of form?

(ii) Aggregate means a collection of things of some kind.

But primary experiences cannot be collected, nor can they be clung to. The actual seeing of a form must be converted into something else, a mental-object. It is this object which is clung to. The state-of-mind which has arisen is based on this object. Consciousness has arisen based on the form object, consciousness is a synonym for 'mind' and 'thought.' The feeling is about the object, the perception is of the object, the volition is in regard to the object. If the form-object is clung to then the entire state-of-mind is clung to, it is a fivefold clinging.

So 'aggregate subject to clinging' means collection of things being clung to.
Form aggregate subject to clinging, means collection of forms being clung to.
So we arrive at:

1b. The form in this arisen state of mind is included in the collection of forms being clung to.

Or, if the word 'object' is re-inserted:

1c. The form-object in this arisen state of mind is included in the collection of form-objects being clung to.

Learning not to make these form-objects (and other types) is called 'liberation by not clinging.'

Regards, Vincent.


When we see the impermanence of form externally subject to dry up, flood, burn, tornado, we can understand that the form internally is impermanent. We can regard that as non-self. By regarding the body as non-self we cease to cling to the body. We see that the body being impermanent and subject to change is not fit to be regarded as self.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby santa100 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:59 pm

LXNDR wrote:take a look at the last paragraph in the excerpt from the Bhumija sutta right above

Ven. Bodhi's footnote:
"Spk: That body does not exist which, if it existed, would enable pleasure and pain to arise conditioned by bodily volition; the same method of explanation applies to speech and mind. (Query:) But an arahant acts, speaks, and thinks, so how is it that his body, etc., do not exist (Reply:) In the sense that they do not generate kammic results. For the deeds done by an arahant are neither wholesome nor unwholesome kamma, but merely functional (kiriyamatta); thus for him it is said, “that body, etc., do not exist.” On the functional consciousness of the arahant, see CMA 1:15. An alternative explanation might be simply that with the elimination of ignorance there will be no further arising of the five aggregates, the basis of all experience, and thus no further experiencing of pleasure and pain.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:23 pm

Hi LXNDR,

Yes, that last paragraph is interesting, here is BB's translation:

"Ignorance is comprised within these states.80 But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance that body does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally; that speech does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally; that mind does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally. 81
That field does not exist, that site does not exist, that base does not exist, that foundation does not exist conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise internally. 82"
[BB, TCDB, p.562, last para. SN 12.25 - Bhumija.]

And from an earlier paragraph, there is this:

"I have said, Ananda, that pleasure and pain are dependently arisen. Dependent on what? Dependent on contact."

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby faraway » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:56 pm

daverupa wrote:
LXNDR wrote:take a look at the last paragraph in the excerpt from the Bhumija sutta right above


Consider the Buddha's sore back, which he often rested by laying down. How can we understand this body intention?

I wonder is there sutta that decsribe what does left in arahant's mind after the ignorance has been uprooted?


It's been said that in many sutta about paticca samuppada:

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


I don't think we can take it literally, isn't it? When people read about this, they might think why when someone become arahat, i.e. reaching nibbana (cessation of ignorance), his mind and body (name & form) doesn't cease? In fact, they are still alive and able to think. I think the cessation for some factors doesn't happen immediately, only after they are passed away (parinibbana), all of them really cease. When someone attain arahant, I think only ignorance and craving to birth that ceases immediately. The rests (fabrications to feeling and suffering (old age, sickness, death, and bodily pain)) still exist as long as they have not reached parinibbana. However they can be suppressed by entering deep samadhi meditation (jhana or cessation of perception & feeling).

Is it possible that the cessation in paticca samuppada has two meanings when the arahant is still alive:
1. Become disappear (for ignorance, and craving - birth)
2. Still exists but become dispassioned or not clinging with them (for fabrications - feeling, and sufferings (old age, sickness, bodily pain))

OR the meaning of cessation implies the complete cessation at parinibbana? :shrug:
Last edited by faraway on Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:09 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby LXNDR » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:24 pm

daverupa wrote:
LXNDR wrote:take a look at the last paragraph in the excerpt from the Bhumija sutta right above


Consider the Buddha's sore back, which he often rested by laying down. How can we understand this body intention?


the body would act on the strength of its old sankharas, there would be no actor however

the last paragraph of the sutta i understand as being spoken from a subjective perspective of an arahant, as soon as he realizes all khandhas as not-self, the world, which would otherwise be perceived through these khandhas, ceases for him as there's nobody to percieve it or act upon it

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby culaavuso » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:35 pm

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.

MN 18: Madhupiṇḍika Sutta wrote:Now, when there is the eye, when there are forms, when there is eye-consciousness, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is a delineation of contact, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling.


Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu's introduction to MN 18 describes the shift:
MN 18 Introduction by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:When there's the sense of identification with something that experiences, then based on the feelings arising from sensory contact, some feelings will seem appealing — worth getting for the self — and others will seem unappealing — worth pushing away. From this there grows desire, which comes into conflict with the desires of others who are also engaging in papañca. This is how inner objectifications breed external contention.

How can this process be ended? Through a shift in perception, caused by the way one attends to feelings, using the categories of appropriate attention [see MN 2]. As the Buddha states in DN 21, rather than viewing a feeling as an appealing or unappealing thing, one should look at it as part of a causal process: when a particular feeling is pursued, do skillful or unskillful qualities increase in the mind? If skillful qualities increase, the feeling may be pursued. If unskillful qualities increase, it shouldn't. When comparing feelings that lead to skillful qualities, notice which are more refined: those accompanied with thinking (directed thought) and evaluation, or those free of thinking and evaluation, as in the higher stages of mental absorption, or jhana. When seeing this, there is a tendency to opt for the more refined feelings, and this cuts through the act of thinking that, according to MN 18, provides the basis for papañca.


Given this shift, there's doesn't seem to be any clear purpose left in delineating feelings. Feelings would simply be phenomena to be understood and to attend to appropriately. In that way their function as feelings in giving rise to craving, passion, and aversion is undermined to an extent that brings into question whether it's still appropriate to use the term feeling.

The alternative to delineating a subject and an object in a way that gives rise to contact seems to be training to not add anything to the experience itself, as described in Ud 1.10

Ud 1.10: Bāhiya Sutta wrote:Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.


A similar explanation can be seen in MN 1:

MN 1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta wrote:There is the case, monks, where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — perceives earth as earth. Perceiving earth as earth, he conceives [things] about earth, he conceives [things] in earth, he conceives [things] coming out of earth, he conceives earth as 'mine,' he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.
...
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.
...
A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of mental fermentations — who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetters of becoming, and is released through right knowledge — directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he does not conceive things about earth, does not conceive things in earth, does not conceive things coming out of earth, does not conceive earth as 'mine,' does not delight in earth. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:39 pm

Hi everyone,

A good description of the cessation of the five aggregates subject to clinging, can be found in SN 22.55, my comments are in brackets: [like this].

"The instructed noble disciple, bhikkhu, who is a seer of the noble ones .... does not regard form as self ... or self as in consciousness. [ compressed, these are the twenty ways of regarding.]
He understands as it really is impermanent form as 'impermanent form' ...
[repeat for feeling, perception, and volition.]
He understands as it really is impermanent consciousness as 'impermanent
consciousness.' [impermanent here means capable of permanently vanishing.]

He understands as it really is painful form as 'painful form' ...... painful consciousness as 'painful consciousness.'
He understands as it really is selfless form as 'selfless form' ..... selfless consciousness as 'selfless consciousness.'

He understands as it really is conditioned form as 'conditioned form.'
[repeat for feeling, perception, and volition.]
He understands as it really is conditioned consciousness as 'conditioned consciousness.'

[ This could also be translated as: constructed form ... consciousness.]

He understands as it really is:'form will be exterminated'...'feeling will be exterminated' ...'perception will be exterminated' ... 'volitional formations will be exterminated' ... 'consiousness will be exterminated.'

With the extermination of form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness, that bhikkhu, resolving thus:'It might not be, and it might not be for me; it will not be, (and) it will not be for me,' can cut off the lower fetters.77" [BB, TCDB, p. 893, part of SN 22.55 - Inspired Utterance.]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby vinasp » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:11 am

Hi everyone,

Some more comments on SN 22.55

When the noble disciple understands that these five things are being continually recreated, and that this is samsaric existence, he sees that enlightenment requires that this process be stopped.

He sees that form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness are being re-constructed continuously.

These are needed to support the view of self, so the process results in the continued existence of an apparent self.

So he sees that the next stage (non-return) requires the destruction of these five things, as related to self. This is the ending of the apparent self.

With the stopping of this process, and the vanishing of these five things, and the view of self, the five lower fetters are broken, which is the state of the non returner.

It is actually the five aggregates subject to clinging which are eliminated at this stage, the five aggregates remain.

So it is only the form, feeling, .... consciousness which is created to support the apparent self which ends here.

There is also form, feeling, ... consciousness involved with the conceit 'I am' which is still to be removed.

The resolving represents the determination to bring about this psychological death of the apparent self.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: MN 28 and the Clinging Aggregates.

Postby culaavuso » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:29 am

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Some more comments on SN 22.55

When the noble disciple understands that these five things are being continually recreated, and that this is samsaric existence, he sees that enlightenment requires that this process be stopped.

He sees that form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness are being re-constructed continuously.

These are needed to support the view of self, so the process results in the continued existence of an apparent self.

So he sees that the next stage (non-return) requires the destruction of these five things, as related to self. This is the ending of the apparent self.


Stream entrants have eliminated the fetter of self-identity view. Non-returners have additionally eliminated the fetters of sensual desire and ill-will. Arahants finally eliminate the conceit 'I am'.

MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta wrote:In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of the five lower fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, destined never again to return from that world: such are the monks in this community of monks.

In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who — on returning only once more to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.

In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks.


AN 10.13: Saṃyojana Sutta wrote:There are these ten fetters. Which ten? Five lower fetters & five higher fetters. And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views, uncertainty, grasping at precepts & practices, sensual desire, & ill will. These are the five lower fetters. And which are the five higher fetters? Passion for form, passion for what is formless, conceit, restlessness, & ignorance. These are the five higher fetters. And these are the ten fetters.


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