How do we know?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

How do we know?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:39 am

If everything is void of own-being, how do we know?

As in the process of knowing ourselves and the world.

Not in the sense of "i am this or that person named *****" but in the sense of bare awareness.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: How do we know?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:41 am

We don't know, that's the reason we practice the Noble Eightfold Path ;)

metta
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"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: How do we know?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:52 am

Greetings m0rl0ck,

m0rl0ck wrote:If everything is void of own-being, how do we know?


Anatta is a logical consequence of anicca.

It's easy enough to appreciate the anicca nature of things like leaves and ice, but to "turn inside" and see it in relation to one's own experience is another thing altogether.

You may be interested in this topic...

Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3529

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: How do we know?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:52 am

In the sense of "bare awareness" this not knowing is indeed it. Letting go of all clinging, including clinging to khandas, what is there to know?
_/|\_
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Re: How do we know?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:18 am

Dan74 wrote:In the sense of "bare awareness" this not knowing is indeed it. Letting go of all clinging, including clinging to khandas, what is there to know?


Yes, probably this inner compulsion, this strong need that we have to "know" and build a mental construct that explains everything is evidence that deep down inside we know it's all empty and it scares us.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: How do we know?

Postby alan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:26 am

Don't understand the question.
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Re: How do we know?

Postby ground » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:29 am

m0rl0ck wrote:If everything is void of own-being, how do we know?
As in the process of knowing ourselves and the world.

Not in the sense of "i am this or that person named *****" but in the sense of bare awareness.

Exactly because everything is a dependent arising, i.e. "void of own-being" we are able know. We know through validating experience.

Kind regards
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Re: How do we know?

Postby Zom » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:05 am

I like this sutta very much on this topic -))

"Lord, who craves?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'craves.' If I were to say 'craves,' then 'Who craves?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes craving?' And the valid answer is, 'From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.'"


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: How do we know?

Postby PeterB » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:23 am

Zom wrote:I like this sutta very much on this topic -))

"Lord, who craves?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'craves.' If I were to say 'craves,' then 'Who craves?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes craving?' And the valid answer is, 'From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.'"


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


:anjali:
He said it first. ( at least in our era ) He said it best.
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Re: How do we know?

Postby Aloka » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:08 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:If everything is void of own-being, how do we know?

As in the process of knowing ourselves and the world.

Not in the sense of "i am this or that person named *****" but in the sense of bare awareness.



Meditation is always helpful - but I wonder if SN 22.9 Phena Sutta might possibly be worth looking at, M0rl0ck.


On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Ayojjhans on the banks of the Ganges River. There he addressed the monks: "Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?

"Now suppose that in the autumn — when it's raining in fat, heavy drops — a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a water bubble? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any feeling that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?




Continued : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html


.
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Re: How do we know?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:21 am

TMingyur wrote:Exactly because everything is a dependent arising, i.e. "void of own-being" we are able know. We know through validating experience.

Kind regards


So am i correct in gleaning from this that you are suggesting something like the metaphor of two mirrors facing each other?
A dynamic relationship of subject and object exchanging themselves for each other? Knowingness arising from that ?

Imo ts the best thing anybody has said so far on the subject, either at dharmawheel or here. At least the best thing im able to understand :) That is if im getting your meaning.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: How do we know?

Postby ground » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:02 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Exactly because everything is a dependent arising, i.e. "void of own-being" we are able know. We know through validating experience.

Kind regards


So am i correct in gleaning from this that you are suggesting something like the metaphor of two mirrors facing each other?
A dynamic relationship of subject and object exchanging themselves for each other? Knowingness arising from that ?


If you can find some "truth" in this then fine. However I do not feel being able to say "Yes the metaphor you are suggesting is what I wanted to express." simply because I used different expressions and I did not have such a metaphor in mind when I wrote this.
I would however concede that "dependent arising" implies "dynamics" and that it implies some sort of "interdepence" in the context of talking about the "knowing subject" and the "object known". This interdependence may also be likened to an iterative process which does not necessarily have to cover "longer" periods of time but may be completed "instantaneously" too, depending on circumstances.
Caution: At first glance it may appear as if "ultimately" "knowing subject" and "object known" are no different. But this is an invalid conclusion. However the conclusion that "ultimately" they are different is invalid too.

Kind regards
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Re: How do we know?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:23 am

TMingyur wrote: ... At first glance it may appear as if "ultimately" "knowing subject" and "object known" are no different. But this is an invalid conclusion. However the conclusion that "ultimately" they are different is invalid too.
Kind regards


Yeah that sounds right :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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