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"...
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.
What needs to be removed is ignorance, not the eye.
kenshou wrote:Maybe not, but isn't the eye or whatever other sense-organ that problematic here, but the other object.
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.
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.
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.
Anyway, if I still have missed the mark, then I suppose I should bow out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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,
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.
Is it possible that from the Tathagatha's viewpoint, there was nothing for him to conceive?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.
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?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?
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