Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:36 pm

Greetings Kenshou,

Excellent book, and excellent questions.

What I would recommend bearing in mind is that the 12-step "dependent origination" sequence doesn't designate the dependent origination of all things in the universe. It pertains only to the "dependent origination" of "this whole mass of suffering". To that end, it needn't be exclusively phenomenological or ontological. Consider the question of "eye"... it could be experience of eye, or it could be the fleshy eye itself. As far as ontological statements go, saying there is an "eye" is hardly some great leap of faith. And that eye, be it experience of eye or eye itself, plays its part in the causal factors that give rise to dukkha. What needs to be removed is ignorance, not the eye.

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)

Kenshou
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Kenshou » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:What I would recommend bearing in mind is that the 12-step "dependent origination" sequence doesn't designate the dependent origination of all things in the universe. It pertains only to the "dependent origination" of "this whole mass of suffering"...

Yes, I agree, and it is in this sense that I'm trying to work with it, for the most part.

Consider the question of "eye"... it could be experience of eye, or it could be the fleshy eye itself.

That is a good point, actually. However...

As far as ontological statements go, saying there is an "eye" is hardly some great leap of faith.

Maybe not, but isn't the eye or whatever other sense-organ that problematic here, but the other object.

What needs to be removed is ignorance, not the eye.

No argument there. :anjali: I realize that despite the particulars of this it does just come down to the ending of ignorance, but that doesn't mean I don't want to muck through the specifics sometimes.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:58 am

Greetings Kenshou,

kenshou wrote:Maybe not, but isn't the eye or whatever other sense-organ that problematic here, but the other object.

The problem is that there is a problem, and that comes about as defined in the dependent origination sequence, and I'd be wary of drifting into a subject-object dichotomy... whatever it is, it is a problem.

Anyway, it is good you are investigating earnestly.

A good complement to Magic Of The Mind, is Nanananda's Concept And Reality, which is available through the BPS. Not surprisingly, it comes highly recommended. If then you want more, read his Nibbana Sermons (available online) but I'd go with Concept And Reality first just because it's a bit more structured.

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)

Kenshou
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Kenshou » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:The problem is that there is a problem, and that comes about as defined in the dependent origination sequence, and I'd be wary of drifting into a subject-object dichotomy... whatever it is, it is a problem.

Not trying to be gruff with you, but I'm not really drifting into anything, the thing is that the 12 links of the dependent origination sequence are pretty general in their definitions and I'm attempting to learn about them in further detail. By subject-object dichotomy I'm simply referring to that in "ignorant" thinking there is the division between what is my "self" and what isn't, roughly. If that's wrong certainly tell me. I'm not drifting into any strange territory by saying that, I think.

I am reading the Nibbana sermons though at the moment, since they're free, sure is a heckofalotta reading!

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:30 am

Greetings Kenshou,

I didn't say you were - I'd just be wary of it. 8-)

In essence, it comes back to being about 'experience', and since anatta dictates that nothing experienced is self (i.e. subject), it would be a false dichotomy to mindfully steer clear of.

Good luck. Enjoy the reading.

:reading:

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)

User avatar
Reductor
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Reductor » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:52 am

Hey Kenshou,

If we have conceit, we function from the premise that there is some reliable persona to us that continues beyond as particular experience. In doing so we overlook the conditioned nature of our self right now as it experiences the object 'out there'. And since we assume that there is a reliable persona, then we also assume that the object has some persona to it that is also reliable. That is, we assume that the object doesn't significantly change once its passed beyond our senses. In a sense we retain an idealized conception of what that object's persona is, and project that persona beyond the experience of contact with it. I'm not saying we consciously treat external objects like this, but that this treatment stems from the same habit of inattention that blinds us to our own nature.

So when this automatic inattention is removed we notice that we change quickly based on the experience, which undermines conceit. Once conceit is undermined by seeing that we are very fluid in nature, it is no longer possible to take the stability of external objects for granted. This isn't the same as adopting the other extreme that nothing exists, but rather that all predictions of what an object may do once its passed beyond sense are based on understanding of conditionality and not on mistaken assumptions.

In terms of DO, its whole structure and all the terms derive from a need to express what we are misunderstanding and how we can come to understand that misunderstanding. So if we wrongly assume an individual reliable self (namarupa) then we quickly see how that pits us against the world, salayatana. Now that we are pitted against the world, it is reasonable that we must organize that world into useable data, which is contact. Once we have discerned an object out in the 'world' via contact we can then ascertain whether or not that object is of positive or negative value to ourselves (vedanta). Once we know that it is pleasurable, ie positive, then we naturally wish to acquire it (tanha). Once we acquire it, we naturally wish to retain it (upadana) and thus we become obsessed with it (bhava).

But, as I suggest above, all this stems from the simplest form of conceit -- that 'I' exist.

However, this conceit is not, in itself, ignorance. Ignorance is to not understand that all things change due to conditions. But once this conceit is undermined with understanding, then the entire edifice of the DO and all the outcomes from it fall apart. But so long as we do function in line with DO, we can use it as a road map to our experience.

Above you mention that the idea of contact seems to allow that we can have knowledge of an object beyond the experience of it. To this I would suggest that we benefit most in seeing our assumptions proven wrong time and again. To be wrong time and again, and know it, is a sure way to undermine any assumption of a reliable persona in either object or experiencer.

Anyway, if I still have missed the mark, then I suppose I should bow out. :jumping:

But before I do, I would like to clarify my own thoughts on the formualtion volition > consciousness > namarupa.

To me this simpler interpretation presents a few problems, one of which is that calling sankhara volition alone suggests that volition has an unmediated influence on consciousness, which is not the impression given in the canon as a whole. Rather the order seems to be consciousness coming to increase and growth based on the other four aggregates, which in turn have food, contact and volition as their chief supports. So the putting of volitions here without a mediator seems to undermine consciousness' usual dependence on the other four aggregates. Then, to put namarupa after consciousness would suggest that consciousness is more substantial than the five aggregates traditionally assigned to the term 'namarupa', which is confusing. (and don't forget the additional confusion that ensues by reduplicating in one place the aggregates elsewhere present in the DO chain).

This is not to say that sankhara should be seen as excluding volition, but rather seen as the ambiguous and all encompassing term that it really is, which includes intention, volition and also the act and the resultant effects stemming there from. But because it is all encompassing it drives home the impersonal nature of all those things that it does encompass. Then by defining namarupa as the arising of conceit we drive home the role conceit plays in our deluded cognitive process.

If we define namarupa as 'five aggregates', thus entrenching a slightly different expository construct in the middle of DO, then what does it mean if the arahant is shown to posses all five aggregates? Does that mean that their cognitive process mirrors that of the DO? After all, if this possession of the five aggregates means that they retain 'namarupa' then they might be said to still conceive in terms of objects, feelings and so on -- which doesn't fit that well with the sutta passage that you are having trouble with.

...Phew!

Bare in mind that this is all an interpretation, so you are certainly not bound to accept any or all of it. But for me, at this time, it is the best interpretation.

:namaste:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


Shonin
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Shonin » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:20 am

Ontology is theorising about that which is outside of experience. Whether DO is ontology or not seems to come down to one question.

Are eyes outside our experience? No. Except possibly for a person blind from birth.

What about ignorance? We all have some insight (or the possibility of it) into our ignorance. What about Ignorance producing conditioned factors (usually interpreted as being in a previous life). Well, according to the suttas, the Buddha experienced this stuff himself. Thus, for him it is not ontological speculation, but an observation based explanation.

Kenshou
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Kenshou » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:26 am

thereductor wrote:]...but rather that all predictions of what an object may do once its passed beyond sense are based on understanding of conditionality and not on mistaken assumptions.

I follow you until right here. I've gotten the impression from that old prickly passage that no prediction or assumption about an object is occurring even at the moment that sense consciousness is active.

Am I just reading too much into it? If the issue were merely about not assuming any substance to our perceptual fabrication of an "object" there would be no problem at all. But it doesn't seem to be restricted to merely in the sense of perception, but in the sense of sense-experience in general. I hope that I am wrong because that would make a lot more sense!

Edit: Though, another way I can think of how to spin this is that the sights that we see etc. are not construed to exist in their own right but that it is recognized the nature of the eye determines what information it is able to receive and therefore in that way there is sight, but it is not assumed that what is seen is at all absolute. The Pali has some wiggle room, I dunno. I can't help be curious about it but after a certain point mulling over it becomes a waste of time.


However, this conceit is not, in itself, ignorance. Ignorance is to not understand that all things change due to conditions.

Maybe not if we're talking very specifically, but the notion of self is very closely connected to that base ignorance, and we do know that in our usual experience and cognition we maintain the perspective of a self, so I figure we can assume it in all of the 12 nidanas. It doesn't seem like you actually disagree on that point so I guess this doesn't matter too much anyways.

But once this conceit is undermined with understanding, then the entire edifice of the DO and all the outcomes from it fall apart. But so long as we do function in line with DO, we can use it as a road map to our experience.

Mhm, that's what I'm thinking.

Anyway, if I still have missed the mark, then I suppose I should bow out. :jumping:

Oh no, this is good discussion, this is relevant.

But before I do, I would like to clarify my own thoughts on the formualtion volition > consciousness > namarupa.

To me this simpler interpretation presents a few problems, one of which is that calling sankhara volition alone suggests that volition has an unmediated influence on consciousness... Rather the order seems to be consciousness coming to increase and growth based on the other four aggregates, which in turn have food, contact and volition as their chief supports. So the putting of volitions here without a mediator seems to undermine consciousness' usual dependence on the other four aggregates.

Ah, I understand your point, but I did not mean to imply that. Maybe I took this for granted in assuming it was obvious but I definitely don't disagree with what you've said here, I've just been running under the assumption that all that stuff does indeed take place but that it's just not mentioned inbetween sankhara > vinnana explicitly, because it's so obviously implied that it isn't necessary to be stated.

Then, to put namarupa after consciousness would suggest that consciousness is more substantial than the five aggregates traditionally assigned to the term 'namarupa', which is confusing. (and don't forget the additional confusion that ensues by reduplicating in one place the aggregates elsewhere present in the DO chain).

I don't think it implies that it is more substantial necessarily. My idea of the section of consciousness > namarupa is this: First of all, consciousness + namarupa is essentially the same as the 5 aggregates. Which are the totality of experience. But what is significant about dividing it into consciousness and namarupa is showing the interdependency between the two. Of the things that "consciousness is conscious of", they are always something from namarupa. That is that consciousness is always dependent upon namarupa in that way. But namarupa, from the standpoint of experience, would not be known if not for consciousness for that same reason. Without namarupa there could be no consciousness but without consciousness namarupa would never be known to us. The ol' reeds leaning on each other thing.

As for reduplicating things throughout the chain, I kind of think that a number of things could indeed be placed in "between the lines" more than once. But they are not mentioned because that chain we have is for the purpose of mentioning particularly important steps or events in the process, not for completely fleshing out everything. But that is something of an assumption on my part.

And also for the fact that, or rather my suspicion that, every link in the chain can also be thought in terms of the links ahead of it, because an instance of the things which are going to occur, have already occurred once before this. So when we try to fill in all the gaps when looking at once "instance" of the chain there are some things which look like superfluous duplications, but aren't because this cycle is based upon a previous one.

This is not to say that sankhara should be seen as excluding volition, but rather seen as the ambiguous and all encompassing term that it really is, which includes intention, volition and also the act and the resultant effects stemming there from. But because it is all encompassing it drives home the impersonal nature of all those things that it does encompass. Then by defining namarupa as the arising of conceit we drive home the role conceit plays in our deluded cognitive process.

Re-arising, I'd say, yeah.

I actually think we're on similar tracks, it's just that we've drawn the boundaries a little differently. What you are saying belongs under sankhara I'm saying is implied in the following space. Pretty much the same thing though right?

If we define namarupa as 'five aggregates', thus entrenching a slightly different expository construct in the middle of DO, then what does it mean if the arahant is shown to posses all five aggregates? Does that mean that their cognitive process mirrors that of the DO? After all, if this possession of the five aggregates means that they retain 'namarupa' then they might be said to still conceive in terms of objects, feelings and so on -- which doesn't fit that well with the sutta passage that you are having trouble with.

I've been running under the assumption that even though they no longer "conceive in terms of objects, feelings and so on", they are still able to make use of those same conceptual designations. If they weren't they wouldn't be able to do anything at all. But then of course even if they make use of those things they see through them, of course.
Last edited by Kenshou on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Vepacitta
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:58 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Meru

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:55 am

One point here - the DO is set out as a chain for the purposes of exposition and an easy referent for discussion. It's not linear in actual occurrence - more like a web or a tapestry but people can get caught up in the 'formula'. It's not quite e = mc squared and all that. If you have the SN - read Ven Bodhi's remarks in the preface to the Nidanavagga - they may be helpful to you.

The DO is another (striking) teaching to break down the conception of self and that 'self-i-ness' which stems ultimately from our ignorance - leading to ooo - grasping (with self no less!!) of how things are - so personally - no - I don't find these statements contradictory - contemplating the DO and understanding it truly - and no I'm not making claims here - but what I'm trying to say is - the point of contemplating the DO is so we can get to that point of not conceiving when we see, hear, etc. We just see the seen, hear the heard etc. (pardon me for sounding so ... zennish).

Great discussion and points from all btw - Reductor's points are really spot on imo.

NB - another way to translate sankara - is fabrications - or mental fabrications (I personally like that and although my teacher doesn't use that he has no problem with that wording) they're volitional - active - but they also imply 'making' - if you look in the SN in the Khandavagga section - you'll see Ven. Bodhi's notes on that word and discussion on its fuller meaning. Sankaras can also be seen as a bit of a clearing house for everything that isn't feeling, perception and consciousness.

Hoping this didn't sound overly doltish,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

Kenshou
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Kenshou » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:14 am

Not doltish at all. The thread has kind of turned itself into a general discussion of dependent origination but it was sort of a vague thread to start with. Your input is definitely welcome.

User avatar
Reductor
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Reductor » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:01 am

Kenshou wrote:Edit: Though, another way I can think of how to spin this is that the sights that we see etc. are not construed to exist in their own right but that it is recognized the nature of the eye determines what information it is able to receive and therefore in that way there is sight, but it is not assumed that what is seen is at all absolute.


Right, so I too am thinking. A tathagata would be drawing on what they can sense and, presumably, ask questions which seem pertinent to knowing the inner realm of the person they talk to (if we rule out iddhis). I don't think they would assume they know everything about a given person/object, but of course they would know what presents itself to the senses.

The Pali has some wiggle room, I dunno. I can't help be curious about it but after a certain point mulling over it becomes a waste of time.


A fun and distracting one to boot! :clap:


I actually think we're on similar tracks, it's just that we've drawn the boundaries a little differently. What you are saying belongs under sankhara I'm saying is implied in the following space. Pretty much the same thing though right?


We are drawing the boundaries somewhat differently, yes. Whether it amounts to the same thing or not, I'm not certain. But both interpretations will provide plenty of food for thought, plenty of angles from which to reflect on our experience.

I'll prattle a bit more in response to vepacitta's post, as it is related in part.

Great discussion and points from all btw - Reductor's points are really spot on imo.


:embarassed: Awww, shucks! I spend a lot of time thinking this over, so it's been fun to rattle on about it.

NB - another way to translate sankara - is fabrications - or mental fabrications (I personally like that and although my teacher doesn't use that he has no problem with that wording) they're volitional - active - but they also imply 'making' - if you look in the SN in the Khandavagga section - you'll see Ven. Bodhi's notes on that word and discussion on its fuller meaning. Sankaras can also be seen as a bit of a clearing house for everything that isn't feeling, perception and consciousness.

Hoping this didn't sound overly doltish,


No, not doltish at all.

In fact, I am glad that both you and Kenshou understand sankhara in a broader sense than just 'volition'. I've never been too sure just how people usually interpret that term and I know that I first took it to simply mean 'volition', as that is what I was told it referred to.

Actually one reason I prefer to read so much into that one little term is that it does allow me to assign 'conceit' to namarupa (the moment where we perceive ourselves as 'discrete individuals'). Then it is much easier to see how DO almost completely falls away with the attainment of arahantship. That is, if all the mechanical parts of living and breathing are taken care of in sankhara and conciousness, then we can treat the remaining links as expressing the main forms of ignorance and how they relate to one another to create craving and suffering. This means that we can safely conclude that final knowledge puts all the links assunder, except for consciousness and the sankhara necessary to carry life to its conditioned conclusion.

Another beautiful result of using the one term sankhara to mean so many things is that, when its coupled with the fourth aggregate denoting mental constructions, we can see that Buddha said 'mind precedes all things, and an ignorant mind precedes all suffering'. But by taking the ambiguity of the term to include both verbal and physical formations in addition to mental formation, it then also suggests that mind formations lead to outward acts, which effect the environment which in turn influences/supports the mind and body's continuance (thus providing a base for consciousness).

So in this way sankhara means 'mind precedes all things' and 'consciousness has many supports, none of which comprise a discrete independent being'. Or so I interpret it.

Anyway, my hands hurt (dang carpel tunnel), so I'll be leaving you with those thoughts of mine.

:namaste:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


User avatar
IanAnd
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:19 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby IanAnd » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:13 am

Kenshou wrote:I don't think it implies that it is more substantial necessarily. My idea of the section of consciousness > namarupa is this: First of all, consciousness + namarupa is essentially the same as the 5 aggregates. Which are the totality of experience. But what is significant about dividing it into consciousness and namarupa is showing the interdependency between the two. Of the things that "consciousness is conscious of", they are always something from namarupa. That is that consciousness is always dependent upon namarupa in that way. But namarupa, from the standpoint of experience, would not be known if not for consciousness for that same reason. Without namarupa there could be no consciousness but without consciousness namarupa would never be known to us. The ol' reeds leaning on each other thing.

Hi Kenshou, thereductor, et al.,

The passage above brings out an important point in the book which when put together with the other points the book makes helps one to gain an overall sense of the profound nature of the Buddha's insight.

This book and its companion — Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought — are two of the most important books I ever read and digested a few years ago. I read the latter first, and the former second, which, for me, kind of helped to be able to digest the second more easily.

I don't want to interrupt the discussion you're having as you seem to be having a good time with it.

I was so overawed by the insight that both of these books brought out that I wrote a book review of each at amazon.com. I don't know if either of these reviews will help you out in being able to understand the material, but they certainly might not hurt.

I endeavored to write them from the standpoint of reducing down the insight that I received into a medium length review. So, while they don't go into all the detail that you find in the book, they do condense some important parts of the detail necessary in order to bring out the insight, presenting a kind of overview. The review for The Magic of the Mind is found in this link, and Concept and Reality in this other link.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

User avatar
Reductor
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Reductor » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:57 am

Well now! Thanks for those reviews Ian. Very, very tantalizing. Now, if only BPS would acknowledge my orders! :cry: Of course I can read Magic of the Mind online, but I don't like doing so... and C&R only comes in bound form. Blast!

:namaste:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


User avatar
Sherab
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:53 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Phenomenalism vs. Dependent origination? (Kalakarama sutta)

Postby Sherab » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:50 am

Kenshou wrote:"Thus, monks, a Tathagata does not conceive of a visible thing as apart from sight; he does not conceive of an unseen; he does not conceive of a 'thing-worth-seeing'; he does not conceive about a seer." [/i] and so on for hearing, smell, taste, touch, and intellect.

I understand this to mean that the awakened individual does not conceive or assume anything either in the positive or negative about either a doer or thing to which something is done.
Is it possible that from the Tathagatha's viewpoint, there was nothing for him to conceive?

Kenshou wrote:What confuses me is that, this take seems to negate dependent origination, in a sense. The dependent origination of consciousness for example, eye + visible forms, ear + audible sound, and so on for the other pairs that make up the sense-spheres. But this formula itself assumes a "thing-able-to-be-sensed" apart from the bare "sensing" itself, does it not? Which is contradictory to the previous quote in question. It is by understanding the dependent origination of all phenomena (of experience) that we are able to grasp the depth of their unreliability (and by extension unsatisfactoriness and selflessness), at least in part, and so is quite important, is it not?
For someone in whom Ignorance was destroyed, would there be a DO of samsaric experience? If there is no DO of samsaric experience, is there anything for the Tathagatha to conceive of?


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests