Shonin wrote:Well, 4NT are very simple and I have verified all but final nibbana in this life. I have also verified that attachment is dependent on Ignorance (although I prefer 'Delusion'). On the other hand, as I've made clear, I can't make sense of DO, nor can I see any other point in the chain that can end the creation of suffering. Why would that be?
Seeing as your line of inquiry has deviated now from the strictly Mahavihara account which you were interested in earlier, I'll share with you this small note on sankhara, by Nanavira Thera, whose thinking is not representative of the classical Mahavihara perspective.http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=84
The word sankhāra, in all contexts, means 'something that something else depends on', that is to say a determination (determinant). It might be thought that this introduces an unnecessary complication into such passages as
Vayadhammā sankhārā appamādena sampādetha
To disappear is the nature of determinations; strive unremittingly.
Aniccā vata sankhārā uppādavayadhammino
Impermanent indeed are determinations; to arise (appear) and disappear is their nature.(Dīgha ii,3 <D.ii,156&7>).
Why, instead of telling us that things (dhammā) are impermanent and bound to disappear, should the Buddha take us out of our way to let us know that things that things depend on are impermanent and bound to disappear? The answer is that the Dhamma does not set out to explain, but to lead—it is opanayika. This means that the Dhamma is not seeking disinterested intellectual approval, but to provoke an effort of comprehension or insight leading to the abandonment of attavāda and eventually of asmimāna. Its method is therefore necessarily indirect: we can only stop regarding this as 'self' if we see that what this depends on is impermanent. Consider, for example, the Mahāsudassanasuttanta (Dīgha ii,4 <D.ii,169-99>), where the Buddha describes in detail the rich endowments and possessions of King Mahāsudassana, and then finishes:
Pass'Ānanda sabbe te sankhārā atītā niruddhā viparinatā. Evam aniccā kho Ānanda sankhārā, evam addhuvā kho Ānanda sankhārā, yāvañ c'idam Ānanda alam eva sabbasankhāresu nibbinditum, alam virajjitum, alam vimuccitum.
See, Ānanda, how all those determinations have passed, have ceased, have altered. So impermanent, Ānanda, are determinations, so unlasting, Ānanda, are determinations, that this, Ānanda, is enough for weariness of all determinations, enough for dispassion, enough for release.
This is not a simple statement that all those things, being impermanent by nature, are now no more; it is a lever to prize the notion of 'selfhood' out of its firm socket. Those things were sankhārā: they were things on which King Mahāsudassana depended for his very identity; they determined his person as 'King Mahāsudassana', and with their cessation the thought 'I am King Mahāsudassana' came to an end. More formally, those sankhārā were nāmarúpa, the condition for phassa (Dīgha ii,2 <D.ii,62>), upon which sakkāyaditthi depends (cf. Dīgha i,1 <D.i,42-3> together with Citta Samy. 3 <S.iv,287>).
Whilst you rightly understand that attachment is dependent upon ignorance, until you uproot ignorance by uprooting all perceptions of self, I, me, my and mine etc., the dependent origination sequence will continue to play out. (FYI - as used above, attavāda means "self-view", and asmimāna means the "'I am' conceit")
Knowing that attachment causes suffering is insufficient in order to relinquish suffering, because we don't yet know how to stop attachment. That's where the earlier parts of the dependent origination sequence play a pivotal role. If you can unravel the perceptions of self that hide within the mutual dependency of vinnana and namarupa, you'll be on your way. To that end, I find that... Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermonshttp://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf
... give some excellent tools for understanding namarupa. If you're in a rush, search for the word "whirlpool" or "vortex" and you'll come across several instances of him discussing the relationship between the two. Alternatively, if you're as interested in Dependent Origination as you seem, it actually wouldn't hurt to start with Nibbana Sermon 1 and go the whole way through them.