"Enlightened in regard to all things"

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby kirk5a » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:24 pm

Fair enough. I just wondered whether if we interpret that sutta on "the all" as:

"the six sense bases as well as their corresponding sense objects contains everything there is"

... if it's quite right to restate it that way.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby kirk5a » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:26 pm

Kenshou wrote:"Consciousness without surface" is a tricky issue with a lot of interpretations. It would probably be good to look into a variety of them rather than just Thanissaro's. I'm just saying, it's one of those things.

Apparently! :smile: Not taking a position myself, I'm open to other interpretations.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:38 pm

kirk5a wrote:Fair enough. I just wondered whether if we interpret that sutta on "the all" as:

"the six sense bases as well as their corresponding sense objects contains everything there is"

... if it's quite right to restate it that way.

What I'm trying to point out is that the six sense bases as well as their corresponding sense objects contain everything there is for us to experience.
I don't have a clue what "consciousness without surface" is like or is not like. I'm not able to tell anything about it, because I'm not able to experience it by the means available, it lies beyond range...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby kirk5a » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:17 pm

(This just popped into my head, sorry.)

And I get so tired when I have to explain
When you're so far away from me
See you've been in the sun and I've been in the rain
And you're so far away from me

So far away from me
So far I just can't see
So far away from me
You're so far away from me... all right.

Dire straits. :smile:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:37 am

Here's a summary of what I see to be a problem:

If "the All" is confined only to whatever we can experience directly with our five senses and indirectly by the mind through the five senses (eg magnetic fields), then "the All" is confined to only the present experiences since the past is no longer there to be experienced and the future has not arrived as yet to be experienced. Thus, the Buddha's claim of being enlightened in regard of all things excludes the past and the future. If so, the Buddha's ability to see the past and the future is false. If the Buddha's ability to see the past and future is true, then the definition/interpretation of "the All" is called into question.

And the above have not even touch on where the consciousness without surface brought up by kirk5a resides within "the All".
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:10 am

Sherab wrote:Here's a summary of what I see to be a problem:

If "the All" is confined only to whatever we can experience directly with our five senses and indirectly by the mind through the five senses (eg magnetic fields), then "the All" is confined to only the present experiences since the past is no longer there to be experienced and the future has not arrived as yet to be experienced. Thus, the Buddha's claim of being enlightened in regard of all things excludes the past and the future. If so, the Buddha's ability to see the past and the future is false. If the Buddha's ability to see the past and future is true, then the definition/interpretation of "the All" is called into question.

And the above have not even touch on where the consciousness without surface brought up by kirk5a resides within "the All".


There are two faults:
1. Fault: Differentiating between "direct" experience of the physical senses and alleged "indirect" experience of the mind
2. Fault: Differentiating between "present things", "past things" and "future things" which presupposes real "time"

One imprisoned in "time" certainly could never be "enlightened in regard to all things".

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:19 am

TMingyur wrote:
Sherab wrote:Here's a summary of what I see to be a problem:

If "the All" is confined only to whatever we can experience directly with our five senses and indirectly by the mind through the five senses (eg magnetic fields), then "the All" is confined to only the present experiences since the past is no longer there to be experienced and the future has not arrived as yet to be experienced. Thus, the Buddha's claim of being enlightened in regard of all things excludes the past and the future. If so, the Buddha's ability to see the past and the future is false. If the Buddha's ability to see the past and future is true, then the definition/interpretation of "the All" is called into question.

And the above have not even touch on where the consciousness without surface brought up by kirk5a resides within "the All".


There are two faults:
1. Fault: Differentiating between "direct" experience of the physical senses and alleged "indirect" experience of the mind
2. Fault: Differentiating between "present things", "past things" and "future things" which presupposes real "time"

One imprisoned in "time" certainly could never be "enlightened in regard to all things".

Kind regards
Since this is a a General Theravada discussion section, please tie what is being said into actual Theravadin texts.
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: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:Since this is a a General Theravada discussion section, please tie what is being said into actual Theravadin texts.


Sorry ... I was not even sure whether Sherab's presuppositions in the context of "Enlightened in regard to all things" do comply with the Theravadan view that is why I felt it to be okay to respond similarly.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:37 am

I feel that if we restrict the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things" to the context of cause and effect in the context of dukkha then "enlightened in regard to all things" may capture the theravadan view and Sherab presuppositions regarding this expression may be recogized as invalid and/or speculative ... which then of course also applies to my response above. Why? Because in both Sherab's approach and my response there is a bias towards "knowing things" which necessarily neglects "knowing dukkha, its causes, the end of dukkha and the way to end dukkha" (at least to some degree ... which may be significant).

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:01 am

TMingyur wrote:... I was not even sure whether Sherab's presuppositions in the context of "Enlightened in regard to all things" do comply with the Theravadan view that is why I felt it to be okay to respond similarly.


TMingyur wrote:I feel that if we restrict the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things" to the context of cause and effect in the context of dukkha then "enlightened in regard to all things" may capture the theravadan view and Sherab presuppositions regarding this expression may be recogized as invalid and/or speculative ... which then of course also applies to my response above. Why? Because in both Sherab's approach and my response there is a bias towards "knowing things" which necessarily neglects "knowing dukkha, its causes, the end of dukkha and the way to end dukkha" (at least to some degree ... which may be significant).


Please re-read carefully the opening post and my other posts in this thread before you presuppose things that I don't presuppose.
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:21 am

Sherab wrote:Please re-read carefully the opening post and my other posts in this thread before you presuppose things that I don't presuppose.


You have asked:
Sherab wrote:If so what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things". If not, how should the verse be interpreted?


But the debaters got carried away by ideas that cannot necessarily be inferred from what the Buddha taught about "the All".

Faulty presuppositions are already in responses given by "theravadins" to your question. Therefore your bias became established.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:32 am

TMingyur wrote:
Sherab wrote:Please re-read carefully the opening post and my other posts in this thread before you presuppose things that I don't presuppose.


You have asked:
Sherab wrote:If so what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things". If not, how should the verse be interpreted?


But the debaters got carried away by ideas that cannot necessarily be inferred from what the Buddha taught about "the All".

Faulty presuppositions are already in responses given by "theravadins" to your question. Therefore your bias became established.

Kind regards


You are projecting your own thoughts as my thinking.

Anyway, my participation on this forum is to get the Theravadin's take on things said in the Pali canon and I would like to get back on topic.
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:37 am

Sherab wrote:... what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things".


The meaning is that the Buddha has attained enlightenment in regard to dukkha, its causes, the cessation of dukkha and the way leading to this cessation. This is called "enlightened in regard to all things".

This enlightenment is based on knowing all that there is (there is nothing beyond this "all" that is not mere speculation):
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."


And there is no mention of past, present and future at all!

This was introduced by yourself:
Sherab wrote:If yes, do you confine "the All" to the present or do you include "the All" that has passed and "the All" that is to come?


And that shows your presuppositions.


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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:55 am

Of course one may ask:
If "the All" is all then why did the Buddha teach more than that?

The answer is: Because he was "enlightened in regard to all things" which includes the capacities of his disciples, their specifically colored dukkha, their specifically colored causes and what is required for them to end it (i.e. the noble 8fold path).


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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby Sherab » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:45 am

TMingyur,

Help me out please. Stop participating in this thread. I am really looking for responses from people who are much more familiar with the Pali canon than you.

Thank you.
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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:39 am

Sherab wrote:TMingyur,

Help me out please. Stop participating in this thread. I am really looking for responses from people who are much more familiar with the Pali canon than you.

Thank you.


Okay. I accept that my responses do not meet your expectations whatever the reasons for your expectations are.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:10 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Sherab wrote:... what then is the meaning of "enlightened in regard to all things".


The meaning is that the Buddha has attained enlightenment in regard to dukkha, its causes, the cessation of dukkha and the way leading to this cessation. This is called "enlightened in regard to all things".


That is a good way of putting it... very elegant and to the point.

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."


So, basically it lies beyond the range because it is irrelevant to the task at hand, and also distracts one from it? That sounds good to me.

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:47 pm

Sherab wrote:Here's a summary of what I see to be a problem:
If "the All" is confined only to whatever we can experience directly with our five senses and indirectly by the mind through the five senses (eg magnetic fields),[...]

I don't understand your way of thought.
The All is not confined only to whatever we can experience directly with our five senses and indirectly by the mind through the five senses. This is your understanding but not what the Buddha taught.
The All is the six senses and their corresponding objects. It seems to me that you think you know another "All" which comprises more than the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. Otherwise I don't know why you phrased it "is confined only to", which implies that you think there is more than what is defined as "the All" by the Buddha. Remember SN35.23:
Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain [...] Why? Because it lies beyond range.

So I ask you, do you describe another All? If yes and you think you're able to explain, what exactly may be the grounds for your statement?
Sherab wrote:[...] then "the All" is confined to only the present experiences since the past is no longer there to be experienced and the future has not arrived as yet to be experienced. Thus, the Buddha's claim of being enlightened in regard of all things excludes the past and the future.

I think it's a logical and linguistical problem. It's not easy to understand what I'm trying to explain now, because of a lack of words.
You yourself said that the past is no longer there to be experienced and the future has not arrived as yet to be experienced. But this statement originates from an assumption which is usually made without any doubt and is taken for granted. Namely that a "real past" and a "real future" is existing independently from experience. The assumed, from experience independently existing "real past" and "real future" actually only exist in the present experience as an idea of a "real past" and "real future" independently existing from experience, which is a wrong idea, because the idea itself is in fact experienced. Whether there is or is not such a "real past" and "real future" existing independently from experience, lies beyond range. We are only able to talk about the idea, the concept of past and future existing within the present, namely within the present experience which is the only sphere where experience can be made and therefore also the only ground to make any statement about something.

The only existing past and future we are able to know from experience is the idea, the concept, the imagination of past and future in the present. Thus the Buddha doesn't exclude the past and the future in regard of all things. The assumed "real past" and "real future" existing independently from experience is excluded, because they lie beyond range.

I never came across a Sutta in the Palicanon where Buddha dealt with this issue. If someone else knows more I would be happy to read about it. But I guess there isn't something to be found, because the Buddha was concerned much more with suffering and the ending of suffering.
Sherab wrote:If so, the Buddha's ability to see the past and the future is false. If the Buddha's ability to see the past and future is true, then the definition/interpretation of "the All" is called into question.

When you understand what I wrote above, these problems you see do not occur. If you think I'm wrong and you know anything about a "real past" and/or a "real future" existing independently from experience I have to ask what exactly may be the grounds for your statement?
Sherab wrote:And the above have not even touch on where the consciousness without surface brought up by kirk5a resides within "the All".

The consciousness without surface doesn't reside within "the All". That's why it's "without surface" (anidassanaṃ) (see MN49). Which doesn't mean that it resides outside or in between "the All".
This is the reason why I don't dare taking a position on "consciousness without surface". I just repeat what is stated in the Sutta.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: "Enlightened in regard to all things"

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:36 pm

So, to sum it up... if we stick with the "All," it's not really the "past," "future" and "present moment" per se, but:

1) The idea of a "past."
2) The idea of a "future."
3) The idea of a "present."
4) The idea of them "existing independently of each other," or
5) The idea of "past and future existing in the present moment only," or
6) The idea of "neither past nor future really exist, only the present exists," or
7) The idea of "and so on and on."

All of the above which are perceived by the mind (or intellect) as objects, as a part of the "All." A very elegant way of looking at things, if you ask me.

acinteyyo wrote:
Sherab wrote:And the above have not even touch on where the consciousness without surface brought up by kirk5a resides within "the All".

The consciousness without surface doesn't reside within "the All". That's why it's "without surface" (anidassanaṃ) (see MN49). Which doesn't mean that it resides outside or in between "the All".
This is the reason why I don't dare taking a position on "consciousness without surface". I just repeat what is stated in the Sutta.


It might be helpful to look at the Pāli word "anidassanaṃ." According to the PED, "nidassana" means: pointing at, evidence, example, comparison, apposition, attribute characteristic, sign, or term.

The "a" at the start of the word is similar to adding it to "atta" to make anatta... so: "no pointing at," "no evidence," "no example," "no comparison," and so on.

The "ṃ" added at the end makes it a modifier (I think) for "viññāṇaṃ," so: viññāṇaṃ "without pointing at," "without evidence," "without example," "without comparison," and so on.

That's why the phrase "without surface" (a fancy interpretation, imo... which only makes it confusing), or the word "invisible" (which I think still doesn't quite cut it). I think I remember Ven. Ñāṇananda said that nidassana generally means illustration, so he interpreted it as something like "non-illustrative consciousness," a kind of state where there is no footing for anything to grab ahold of in.

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