"Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby alan » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:19 am

:?:
I don't get it.
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:21 am

Greetings Alan,

When Chownah wrote "Only those things that are directly knowable in this moment are useful Buddha-Dhamma" he was only quoting Mike's original post... these aren't Chownah's own words.

Get it now?

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


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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:40 am

Greetings,

A few off-topic posts have been removed.

:focus:

(Alan - as for what's Chownah's and what's Mike's, you can simply read and compare the two posts... not surprisingly, that which is in "quotation marks" is a quotation and that which isn't isn't)

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


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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:25 am

Thanks everyone for the interesting contributions.

The original question was a little vague, and some of the comments have helped to firm up how I see some aspects. While the emphasis in insight is, of course, on the rapid rising and falling of phenomena in the present moment, it seems obvious that there are some aspects that seem to me are not "in the present moment". Here are some comments/questions.

1. Some knowledges, such as the Buddha's description of recollection of past lives is clearly not about something happening in the present moment. And it's not necessary to go that far. On the more mundane level we remember things from seconds, minutes, days, or years ago. In Pali there does not seem to be separate term for memory - memory is part of perception, sanna http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_s.htm#sa%C3%B1%C3%B1%C4%81). Even when observing the changing "present moment" phenomena isn't it short term memory that allows us to see the changes?

2. To what extent is inferential or semi-inferential knowledge "enough" to qualify as "knowing"? Does observing death inevitably following birth qualify? Having burnt ourselves once do we "know" enough that we don't have to put our hand in a different fire? Or do we have to test every fire?

3. On a slightly different issue, gabrielbranbury raises the question of whether, to "know" Dependent Origination one needs to have direct knowledge of every connection, or is the point to know enough of the many and various connections in the different versions given in the suttas to "know" about DO causality?

In the end, apart from setting up the basic parameters for practise, in terms of what phenomena one is "looking for" or "looking at" perhaps it doesn't matter too much. I don't believe I could be following rapidly rising and falling phenomena while I was considering this stuff intellectually...

Mike
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:33 am

Greetings Mike,

In Pali there does not seem to be separate term for memory - memory is part of perception, sanna


These notes on sati from Dmytro might be of relevance, in identifying a connection between memory and sati too...

Pali Term: Sati
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4299

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


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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby Freawaru » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:00 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:
1. Some knowledges, such as the Buddha's description of recollection of past lives is clearly not about something happening in the present moment. And it's not necessary to go that far. On the more mundane level we remember things from seconds, minutes, days, or years ago.


Yes, but when such a memory arises it arises in the now. For example, sometimes we try to recall something but it... just... somehow... isn't present to us at the moment. But then, suddenly, after a short time, it comes, the memory arises, as if we had send a "job" into our mind to relocate a specific memory. Then the "job" was done and our mind presents us with the memory file, now. And now we can access it now, and now, and now, until we forget it again.

In Pali there does not seem to be separate term for memory - memory is part of perception, sanna http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_s.htm#sa%C3%B1%C3%B1%C4%81).


I wonder about this. From your link:

Saññā: 1. 'perception', is one of the 5 groups of existence khandha, and one of the 7 mental properties cetasika that are inseparably bound up with all consciousness see: cetanā It is sixfold as perception of the 5 physical sense-objects and of mental objects. It is the awareness of an object's distinctive marks,one perceives blue, yellow, etc.,; S. XXII, 79. If, in repeated perception of an object, these marks are recognized, saññā functions as 'memory' see: Abh. St., p. 68f..


But in MN 1: Mūlapariyāyasutta - Discourse on the Root Sequence http://www.dhammavinaya.com/sutta/mn/1.htm we see that the main difference between a puthujjana and everybody else from bhikkhu sekkha to Buddha is sanna (perception). "Directly knows" is placed instead of sanna (perception). But surely the Buddha was able to remember. I also doubt that he couldn't discern between blue, yellow etc. So what is the difference between a puthujjana "sensing" memory (and everything else, like colours) and a bhikkhu sekkha's "sensing" the same stuff in the "directly knowing" way?


Even when observing the changing "present moment" phenomena isn't it short term memory that allows us to see the changes?


I am not sure here but to me it seems more as if the mind compares a changing stream to a stable "stream" rather than to a previous state of the changing stream. Or to put it differently, change is known even though only the present state is there and no explicit memory of the previous state is still present. I mean, as if any full description of phenomena does not only include the "location" but also the "momentum", if you know what I mean. Of course, maybe there is some Quantum theory lurking somewhere :tongue:
Last edited by Freawaru on Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:34 pm

It seems necessary to see/know dependent origination for one's self, but that perhaps seeing all the nidanas might not be necessary, and one's view of them may remain speculative.



In the SN there is a sutta which isnt on the internet that states that


When one sees dukkha one sees the origin of dukkha, cessation of dukkha and also path leading to cessation of dukkha


when one sees origin of dukkha one sees dukkha, one sees cessation of dukkha, one sees path leading to cessation of dukkha


and so on


Since the four noble truths are a summary of Dependent Co-Origination it would seem that one can see all twelve links at the same time


metta
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:21 pm

clw_uk wrote:
It seems necessary to see/know dependent origination for one's self, but that perhaps seeing all the nidanas might not be necessary, and one's view of them may remain speculative.



In the SN there is a sutta which isnt on the internet that states that

Always helps, it does, to give us the citation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:13 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
It seems necessary to see/know dependent origination for one's self, but that perhaps seeing all the nidanas might not be necessary, and one's view of them may remain speculative.



In the SN there is a sutta which isnt on the internet that states that

Always helps, it does, to give us the citation.



Ive been looking for the sutta but ive forgotten where exactly it is in the SN (i copied it out without taking down page number etc), have better look tomorrow so hopefully have it then
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:17 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks everyone for the interesting contributions.
1. Some knowledges, such as the Buddha's description of recollection of past lives is clearly not about something happening in the present moment. And it's not necessary to go that far. On the more mundane level we remember things from seconds, minutes, days, or years ago. In Pali there does not seem to be separate term for memory - memory is part of perception, sanna http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_s.htm#sa%C3%B1%C3%B1%C4%81). Even when observing the changing "present moment" phenomena isn't it short term memory that allows us to see the changes?


I think this is a very good question.

How accurate is our short term memory anyway? My Long term abuse of marijuana doesn't make me a very good average sample. Thankfully I got over that.

2. To what extent is inferential or semi-inferential knowledge "enough" to qualify as "knowing"? Does observing death inevitably following birth qualify? Having burnt ourselves once do we "know" enough that we don't have to put our hand in a different fire? Or do we have to test every fire?


Obviously we do not need to put our hand in every fire. So the question is... Is there a parallel between the practical inference that all fire will burn our hands and the inference of universal impermanence. Did the Buddha do away with the passions through a practical inference? Another good question. As stated I before, I prefer to think that the Buddha attained some kind of special knowledge or perception which the constructs of our current unenlightened minds cannot get at on a conceptual level. Like this...

1st- Rely on practical inference= Ethics
2nd- cultivate and utilize the skills necessary to see and know for yourself =Meditation
3rd- Abide in this knowledge = Wisdom

Maybe "knowable here and now" refer's to a type of practical inference as well as the immediate potential of actually knowing.

The Buddha is cool. :thumbsup:

3. On a slightly different issue, gabrielbranbury raises the question of whether, to "know" Dependent Origination one needs to have direct knowledge of every connection, or is the point to know enough of the many and various connections in the different versions given in the suttas to "know" about DO causality?

While this is a pretty good question I like to leave the third option which is that there is a knowing of Dependent Arising which occurs independent of any particular "connection'. Knowledge in the raw so to speak. Somthinge like what retro said...
My way of approaching the question, is that if you understand the structures, when temporal instances occur, you can see that they always adhere to the given structure and do not function otherwise.

But rather than understand the "structure" one knows the "structure" directly.

Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:58 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
It seems necessary to see/know dependent origination for one's self, but that perhaps seeing all the nidanas might not be necessary, and one's view of them may remain speculative.



In the SN there is a sutta which isnt on the internet that states that

Always helps, it does, to give us the citation.







SN - page 1857 (bhikkhu bodhi's translation)
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: "Knowable here and now" as a criterion for Dhamma

Postby Sobeh » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:03 pm

That's SN 56.30; Gavampati, in the Saccasamyutta. On that note:

Bhikkhu Sujato wrote: The contributions of the schools are mostly limited to fixing the final arrangement of the texts and standardizing the dialect. Interpolations of sectarian ideas are few and usually readily recognizable. To pick one random example of an apparent sectarian statement, let’s consider what the Saṁyutta of the Theravādins and the Saṁyukta of the Sarvāstivādins tell us about how the four noble truths are realized in time. The Theravāda says that one who sees any one of the four noble truths also sees the others (SN 56.30). This sutta, which has no counterpart in the Sarvāstivāda, implies that the four truths are realized all at once. In contrast, a number of Sarvāstivāda suttas, which have no Theravāda counterparts, say that one will come to know each of the four noble truths in sequence, one after the other (SA 435-437). This relates to the disputed question of sudden (ekabhisamaya) versus gradual (anupubbabhisamaya) attainment. Appropriately, the Theravāda was a classic ekabhisamaya school, and in their Abhidhamma they developed the theory that all the four noble truths were realized in one mind moment. The Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma argued the contrary position, that the truths were realized gradually. This dispute became one of the major sectarian battlegrounds in later Chinese Buddhism, but its roots appear already in the Saṁyuttas. Notice that, while the two schools do differ on this point, the very fact that they share the doctrine of the four noble truths is what makes this dialogue meaningful. If they didn’t share the basic teachings in common, they couldn’t argue about the details of interpretation.
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