Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:All those quotes do not address the issue I am raising in this the sentence (and its context) you quoted.

Of course they do. If you are asserting that that passage is affirming a doctrine of momentariness then you are reading into it something that is not there.
No they don't. They are opinions, points of view, expressed by a variety of different gentlemen, but what would make all of that an actual argument on your part is missing.

tiltbillings wrote:First of all you have not established that Ven Nanananda holds a momentariness point of view, but you are willing to attack his practice on that basis.

I'm not "attacking" Ñāṇananda or anyone else.
Certainly looks like you are. Shall I gather together your words on the subject?

tiltbillings wrote:Again, if we are to rely solely on the suttas, whose interpretation are we going to follow?

You're free to follow whatever interpretation you wish.
Of course I am, and I see no reason to reject the commentaries in toto out of hand.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:I'm not asserting anything. I'm criticizing the assertion that the doctrine of momentariness is central to Buddhist insight and/or that it is present in the suttas.

Since you do not take the commentaries as having an important place in your practice, I don't see anyone here insisting that you do. Well, certainly not to the extent as I see those who are sutta-only-ists repeatedly criticizing the comentarians. Well, that was easy. Now, we can get on with having more fruitful discussions.

The commentaries (Aṭṭhakathā) contain some useful material relating to a whole variety of subjects. The doctrine of momentariness plays a very, very minor role in this strata of exposition.

tiltbillings wrote:They are opinions, points of view, expressed by a variety of different gentlemen, but what would make all of that an actual argument on your part is missing.

If I didn't agree with the assessments of the authors I quoted I wouldn't have quoted them. But let me be crystal clear: There is no mention of a doctrine of momentariness, either explicitly or implicitly, in the suttas, and anyone who reads such a doctrine into the suttas is reading later interpretations into this strata of material. Moreover, there is nothing esoteric, mysterious, or hidden about impermanence. Your body will surely die. My body will surely die. Death could occur at any time. And mental processes are subject to even greater change, alteration, and passing away than the body. This recognition is stark and sobering. This is what is important to understand, not some pseudo theory of momentariness with all of it's conceptual proliferation.

tiltbillings wrote:Certainly looks like you are. Shall I gather together your words on the subject?

Rejecting untenable theories isn't "attacking" anyone. Again, if you find value in the theory of momentariness then go ahead, knock yourself out chasing those momentary dhammas.

tiltbillings wrote:Of course I am, and I see no reason to reject the commentaries in toto out of hand.

That's fine. I don't "reject the commentaries in toto out of hand" either.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:43 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:I'm not asserting anything. I'm criticizing the assertion that the doctrine of momentariness is central to Buddhist insight and/or that it is present in the suttas.

Since you do not take the commentaries as having an important place in your practice, I don't see anyone here insisting that you do. Well, certainly not to the extent as I see those who are sutta-only-ists repeatedly criticizing the comentarians. Well, that was easy. Now, we can get on with having more fruitful discussions.

The commentaries (Aṭṭhakathā) contain some useful material relating to a whole variety of subjects. The doctrine of momentariness plays a very, very minor role in this strata of exposition.
Then don't worry about it, especially since you have not shown that those who hold to varying degrees an idea of momentariness are incapable of insight.

tiltbillings wrote:They are opinions, points of view, expressed by a variety of different gentlemen, but what would make all of that an actual argument on your part is missing.

If I didn't agree with the assessments of the authors I quoted I wouldn't have quoted them.
I would gather as much, but that still does not make an argument in the way you presented the quotes.

But let me be crystal clear: There is no mention of a doctrine of momentariness, either explicitly or implicitly, in the suttas, and anyone who reads such a doctrine into the suttas is reading later interpretations into this strata of material. Moreover, there is nothing esoteric, mysterious, or hidden about impermanence. Your body will surely die. My body will surely die. And mental processes are subject to even greater change, alteration, and passing away than the body. This recognition is stark and sobering. This is what is important to understand, not some pseudo theory of momentariness with all of it's conceptual proliferation.
Fine, and when one starts looking at the body, the closer one looks with a meditative, concentrated, mindful mind, the more one sees change.

A "pseudo theory?" You mean it is a fake theory, not really a theory at all?

For all of its conceptual proliferation, pare it down to its vary basics in terms of meditative experience, it is rise and fall of experience/perceptions dependent upon conditions -- the arahant's maxim.

In other words, there clearly has not crystallized much of an argument here against the momentary dhamma notion.

tiltbillings wrote:Certainly looks like you are. Shall I gather together your words on the subject?

Rejecting untenable theories isn't "attacking" anyone. Again, if you find value in the theory of momentariness then go ahead, knock yourself out chasing those momentary dhammas.
You have yet to show that it is wholly untenable, especially in terms of actual practice. You have asserted it, but no real argument. As for attacking, if it looks like a duck . . . .

As for "chasing momentary dhammas," I have already clearly addressed that.

tiltbillings wrote:Of course I am, and I see no reason to reject the commentaries in toto out of hand.

That's fine. I don't "reject the commentaries in toto out of hand" either.
Well, good; now maybe we can start discussing something a bit more fruitful.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:A "pseudo theory?" You mean it is a fake theory, not really a theory at all?

I mean that it's imaginary.

tiltbillings wrote:As for "chasing momentary dhammas," I have already clearly addressed that.

A perception of momentariness without momentary dhammas is nonsense.

tiltbillings wrote:Well, good; now maybe we can start discussing something a bit more fruitful.

As far as I'm concerned, the fundamental teachings of the Pāli dhamma are the only thing worth discussing. Period. Anything other than these fundamental teachings is unnecessary and should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important. The recognition of unattractiveness (asubhasaññā) is important. The recognition of death (maraṇasaññā) is important. The recognition of impermanence (aniccasaññā) is important. The recognition of dispassion (virāgasaññā) is important. The theory of momentariness is not important. The theory of two truths is not important. And any other novel ideas that Buddhaghosa introduced to Theravāda commentary are not important. Moreover, if one isn't tied to the thought-world of the Visuddhimagga, then Burmese Vipassanā doesn't really have much to offer that's especially interesting or important.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:27 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:A "pseudo theory?" You mean it is a fake theory, not really a theory at all?

I mean that it's imaginary.
And that is your opinion.

tiltbillings wrote:As for "chasing momentary dhammas," I have already clearly addressed that.

A perception of momentariness without momentary dhammas is nonsense.
And you have not at all addressed what I said.

tiltbillings wrote:Well, good; now maybe we can start discussing something a bit more fruitful.

As far as I'm concerned, the fundamental teachings of the Pāli dhamma are the only thing worth discussing. Period. Anything other than these fundamental teachings is unnecessary and should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important. The recognition of unattractiveness (asubhasaññā) is important. The recognition of death (maraṇasaññā) is important. The recognition of impermanence (aniccasaññā) is important. The recognition of dispassion (virāgasaññā) is important. The theory of momentariness is not important. The theory of two truths is not important. And any other novel ideas that Buddhaghosa introduced to Theravāda commentary are not important. Moreover, if one isn't tied to the thought-world of the Visuddhimagga, then Burmese Vipassanā doesn't really have much to offer that's especially interesting or important.
But by gawd, if that is the case, you certainly are spending a great deal of time trying to beat-up all of these unimportant things with this scorched-earth approach of yours, and in the the process refusing to address the most central aspect of all this at all.

Maybe it is time for you to move on here.

Wait a minute, I just reread this paragraph of yours. Ah, here it is: "should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important." So, it is your job is to clear from the path those unimportant impdeiments so we can see: "The recognition of unattractiveness (asubhasaññā) is important. The recognition of death (maraṇasaññā) is important. The recognition of impermanence (aniccasaññā) is important. The recognition of dispassion (virāgasaññā) is important."

But you have not shown that what you are trying to clear away does not do this. As a matter of fact, you refused to address this issue, but despite your refusal to address this, you are saying now that anyone who does Burmese vipassana and that anyone who holds any notion of momentariness has no insight into the Dhamma, and that seems to include Ven Nanananda, since his style of meditation practice he teaches and practices doesn't "really have much to offer that's especially interesting or important."
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:15 am

Greetings,

In other topics I've mentioned that whether nama-rupa is understood as "mind and matter/body" or "name and form" seems to have profound implications on how nama-rupa is regarded and perceived with insight.

If regarded and investigated as "name and form", dissolution as it pertains to "matter" becomes a non-issue, since rupa is taken as "form" rather than "matter" or "body", and with that, any potential base for explicit or implicit philosophical views of atomic realism are short-circuited, thereby side-stepping many of the quotations posted in the original post which were deemed problematic.

Furthermore, if it is recognised that all "nama" are "sankharas", then the bifurcation between "observation" and "observed" dissolves (since both are just sankharas in the realm of sentience).

If there really was atomic "momentariness" of dhammas, it would have to apply just as equally to the "observation" side (nama-rupa) as it would to the "observed" (vinnana), so how could some atomic moment of "observational" momentariness last independently long enough to see the full rise/exist/fall of a similarly momentary "observed dhamma"?

To imagine that some thing can observe the full rise/exist/fall of an observed dhamma is to neglect that this very same thing itself is not constant (atta) either, and must be subject to the same principles as that which it observes. Thus, if one is committed to affirming the observation of a fixed momentariness in the rise, existence and fall of observed dhammas, they are stuck with the dilemma of accounting for how the "observation dhamma" which is "doing the vipassana" outlasts the "observed dhamma" in order to see its rising, existing and passing away.

:shock:

Different degrees of atomic momentariness for different kinds of mental dhammas? Hornet's nest. Run.

However, that all becomes unnecessary...

...if it is recognised that all "nama" are "sankharas", then the bifurcation between "observation" and "observed" dissolves (since both are just sankharas in the realm of sentience).

Momentariness (or any need for it) is then side-stepped too, regardless of whether it's to be found anywhere on the ground amongst the fallen leaves in the Simsapa Forest.

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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:A perception of momentariness without momentary dhammas is nonsense.
And you have not at all addressed what I said.

Already addressed: A perception of momentariness without discrete momentary dhammas is nonsense.

tiltbillings wrote:But by gawd, if that is the case, you certainly are spending a great deal of time trying to beat-up all of these unimportant things with this scorched-earth approach of yours, and in the the process refusing to address the most central aspect of all this at all.

Once again, if you find any value in the theory of momentariness then by all means knock yourself out chasing those momentary dhammas.

tiltbillings wrote:Maybe it is time for you to move on here.

Maybe it's time for you to quit accusing people who don't agree with you of engaging in a "scorched-earth approach."

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:44 am

Hi Retro,

Yes, but I really don't have any particular attachment to whether dhammas are actually momentary or not and (as you know, so you won't be surprised) I don't think it makes any difference to what I should actually do and I've yet to hear an argument that makes sense to me about why I should care about such obscure technicalities. As I see it the different views expressed are simply different ways of approaching the Dhamma.

I appreciate hearing about different perspectives, but I can't really get particularly excited about some of these technicalities except that there seems to be an implication in threads such as this that many modern practitioners are doing it all wrong and if they only got all those technicalities straight they would be OK. If that were the case then it would be something to worry about.

Really, I'd be interested to know what difference these technical distinctions would make and where there is something "wrong". But I've yet to see an argument that I can actually understand. Sorry. I'll just bumble along thinking that the Suttas, Vissudhimagga, and various modern teachers are doing the best they can at explaining about how to do about Dhamma practice.

I imagine that there must be something perceived to be important in these issues, or there wouldn't be so many posts trying to convince people that they (the people) are doing their practice wrong, or thinking about it wrong, and should switch to something else, or think differently. It would be so much more interesting to hear about the advantages of that "something else".

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:48 am

mikenz66 wrote:I imagine that there must be something perceived to be important in these issues, or there wouldn't be so many posts trying to convince people that they (the people) are doing their practice wrong, or thinking about it wrong, and should switch to something else, or think differently.

I don't see anyone here trying to convince you of anything.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:55 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:It would be so much more interesting to hear about the advantages of that "something else".

Ironically, I gave you a "something else" (i.e. if we regard nama-rupa as name-and-form instead of mind-and-matter in the context of insight, then....), with a set of advantages in doing so, but all you perceived was someone trying to convince you of something, and rather than "hear about the advantages of that "something else"" you heard something else altogether - something which was never spoken.

It's hard to know what to (constructively) say to that.

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)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:If regarded and investigated as "name and form", dissolution as it pertains to "matter" becomes a non-issue, since rupa is taken as "form" rather than "matter" or "body", and with that, any potential base for explicit or implicit philosophical views of atomic realism are short-circuited, thereby side-stepping many of the quotations posted in the original post which were deemed problematic.
What do you mean by form? And how does this taking rupa as form short circuit "atomic realism." And please define what you mean by "atomic realism," because I have no idea what you mean by it.

Since the SN IV 15]‘All’} is composed entirely of phassa, contact between sense base and sense object. We can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience," and objective outside "reality" is not what is being talked about. So, do please explain a bit more what you are talking about.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:07 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What do you mean by form?

With regards to eye, it would be the discerned image.
With regards to ear, it would be the discerned sound.
With regards to body, it would be the discerned tactile sensation. etc.

tiltbillings wrote:And how does this taking rupa as form short circuit "atomic realism." And please define what you mean by "atomic realism," because I have no idea what you mean by it.

Realism relates to that which is said to (capital E) "Exist".
Atomic relates to the property of representing the smallest unit of indivisibility (e.g. kalapas).

Together, it is to say that tiny indivisible dhammas "Exist", and in the context of dissolution, that they alternate between "do not Exist", "Exist" and "do not Exist" in the smallest possible unitary duration of indivisible time (i.e. a "moment"). It is the classic commentarial Abhidhammic view of both cittas and matter (though it pronounces a different durational timeframe for each).

Taking rupa as "form" however, is to rightly discern it as a formation/sankhara, dependent upon avijja for its presence, and recognising that it arises in accordance with dependent origination, there will neither be the perception of "Exist" or "does not Exist". The same cannot be said for so-called objective physical matter, which is not understood as being dependent upon avijja for its presence, which cannot be known independently of the six-senses, and which is therefore not within loka or sabba.

tiltbillings wrote:We can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience," and objective outside "reality" is not what is being talked about.

If someone is implicitly or explicitly adhering to the view of atomic realism, then "objective outside reality" (as well as "objective inside reality", for what it's worth) is precisely what they would be talking about...

Bhikkhu Bodhi, ACMA, p188 wrote:The compendium of process-freed consciousness opens with a survey of the topography of the phenomenal world, charting the planes of existence and the various realms within each plane. (See Table 5.1). The author undertakes this survey before examining the types of process-freed consciousness because the external universe, according to the Abhidhamma, is an outer reflection of the internal cosmos of mind, registering in concrete manifest form the subtle gradations in states of consciousness. This does not mean that the Abhidhamma reduces the outer world to a dimension of mind in the manner of philosophical idealism. The outer world is quite real and possesses objective existence. The outer world is always a world apprehended by consciousness, and the type of consciousness determines the nature of the world that appears. Consciousness and the world are mutually dependent and inextriably connected to such an extent that the hierarchical structure of the realms of existence exactly reproduces and corresponds to the hierarchical structure of consciousness.

Because of this correspondence, each of the two, the objective hierarchy of existence and the inner gradation of consciousness, provides the key to understanding the other. The reason why a living being is reborn into a particular realm is because he has generated, in a previous life, the kamma or volitional force of consciousness that leads to the rebirth into that realm, and thus the final analysis all the realms of activity of existence are formed, fashioned, and sustained by the mental activity of living beings. At the same time these realms provide the stage for consciousness to continue its evolution in a new personality and under a fresh set of circumstances

Hence the benefit in consciously avoiding and side-stepping views which pertain to the existence and non-existence of dhammas, moments, cittas, kalapas, anything etc.

Meditation instructions however, which are based upon commentarial terminology, are inextricably intertwined with the consequences and implications that underpin that commentarial terminology, which is fine if the commentaries are entirely free of error and/or irrelevance.

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)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What do you mean by form?

With regards to eye, it would be the discerned image.
With regards to ear, it would be the discerned sound.
With regards to body, it would be the discerned tactile sensation. etc.
And that is what i would mean by it, and when I use, probably idiomatically, mind/body process that is would be exactly what I am referring to.

tiltbillings wrote:And how does this taking rupa as form short circuit "atomic realism." And please define what you mean by "atomic realism," because I have no idea what you mean by it.

Realism relates to that which is said to (capital E) "Exist".
Atomic relates to the property of representing the smallest unit of indivisibility (e.g. kalapas).

Together, it is to say that tiny indivisible dhammas "Exist", and in the context of dissolution, that they alternate between "do not Exist", "Exist" and "do not Exist" in the smallest possible unitary duration of indivisible time (i.e. a "moment"). It is the classic commentarial Abhidhammic view of both cittas and matter (though it pronounces a different durational timeframe for each).
Let us not forget that the dhammas "exist" dependent upon conditions and are what we experience/perceive and are nowhere other than in the matrix of the ALL.

Taking rupa as "form" however, is to rightly discern it as a formation/sankhara,
That is a matter of definition.

Taking rupa as "form" however, is to rightly discern it as a formation/sankhara, dependent upon avijja for its presence, and recognising that it arises in accordance with dependent origination, there will neither be the perception of "Exist" or "does not Exist". The same cannot be said for so-called objective physical matter, which is not understood as being dependent upon avijja for its presence, which cannot be known independently of the six-senses, and which is therefore not within loka or sabba.
One does not need objective physical matter.

tiltbillings wrote:We can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience," and objective outside "reality" is not what is being talked about.

If someone is implicitly or explicitly adhering to the view of atomic realism, then "objective outside reality" (as well as "objective inside reality", for what it's worth) is precisely what they would be talking about...

Bhikkhu Bodhi, ACMA, p188 wrote:The compendium . . . .

Hence the benefit in consciously avoiding and side-stepping views which pertain to the existence and non-existence of dhammas, moments, cittas, kalapas, anything etc.
Assuming that this paragraph is the only way of talking about these things. I am not, however, thrilled with Ven B’s analysis, but interestingly dhamma follower did present a different point of view as does the VM.

Meditation instructions however, which are based upon commentarial terminology, are inextricably intertwined with the consequences and implications that underpin that commentarial terminology, which is fine if the commentaries are entirely free of error and/or irrelevance.
I wonder where that puts Ven Nanananda, whose practice is very much in line with Mahasi Sayadaw.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:29 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I imagine that there must be something perceived to be important in these issues, or there wouldn't be so many posts trying to convince people that they (the people) are doing their practice wrong, or thinking about it wrong, and should switch to something else, or think differently.

I don't see anyone here trying to convince you of anything.


Ñāṇa wrote:As far as I'm concerned, the fundamental teachings of the Pāli dhamma are the only thing worth discussing. Period. Anything other than these fundamental teachings is unnecessary and should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important.
Kind of seems you are on a mission here.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:02 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:A perception of momentariness without momentary dhammas is nonsense.
And you have not at all addressed what I said.

Already addressed: A perception of momentariness without discrete momentary dhammas is nonsense.
But that still does not address what i said.

tiltbillings wrote:But by gawd, if that is the case, you certainly are spending a great deal of time trying to beat-up all of these unimportant things with this scorched-earth approach of yours, and in the process refusing to address the most central aspect of all this at all.

Once again, if you find any value in the theory of momentariness then by all means knock yourself out chasing those momentary dhammas.
Again, side stepping what I have addressed which are the serious implications in this line of argument you are making.

tiltbillings wrote:Maybe it is time for you to move on here.

Maybe it's time for you to quit accusing people who don't agree with you of engaging in a "scorched-earth approach."
Your own words:
But let me be crystal clear: There is no mention of a doctrine of momentariness, either explicitly or implicitly, in the suttas, and anyone who reads such a doctrine into the suttas is reading later interpretations into this strata of material. Moreover, there is nothing esoteric, mysterious, or hidden about impermanence. Your body will surely die. My body will surely die. Death could occur at any time. And mental processes are subject to even greater change, alteration, and passing away than the body. This recognition is stark and sobering. This is what is important to understand, not some pseudo theory of momentariness with all of it's conceptual proliferation.
Obviously there is no compromise, no room for finding a common basis. This “doctrine of momentariness” is to be rejected and to be shown to be totally wrong, as you further state:

As far as I'm concerned, the fundamental teachings of the Pāli dhamma are the only thing worth discussing. Period. Anything other than these fundamental teachings is unnecessary and should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important. The recognition of unattractiveness (asubhasaññā) is important. The recognition of death (maraṇasaññā) is important. The recognition of impermanence (aniccasaññā) is important. The recognition of dispassion (virāgasaññā) is important. The theory of momentariness is not important. The theory of two truths is not important. And any other novel ideas that Buddhaghosa introduced to Theravāda commentary are not important. Moreover, if one isn't tied to the thought-world of the Visuddhimagga, then Burmese Vipassanā doesn't really have much to offer that's especially interesting or important.
Your words: Anything other than these fundamental teachings is unnecessary and should be cleared from the path lest it impede what is important. No compromise, no attempt at any sort on conciliation; just cleared from the path. And by implication, you seem to be saying that the Burmese vipassana traditions, the VM and the momentary doctrine are incapable of leading to insight into the Dhamma. It all sounds rather severe to me, but I could be wrong, of course.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:14 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:One does not need objective physical matter.

Agreed - this is not what rupa (or in the context of this topic, dissolution of rupa) points to.

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)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:It would be so much more interesting to hear about the advantages of that "something else".

Ironically, I gave you a "something else" (i.e. if we regard nama-rupa as name-and-form instead of mind-and-matter in the context of insight, then....), with a set of advantages in doing so, but all you perceived was someone trying to convince you of something, and rather than "hear about the advantages of that "something else"" you heard something else altogether - something which was never spoken.

Actually, you're reading far too much into what I said. I simply have trouble understanding your arguments...
I am, of course, quite happy with reading nama-rupa as name-and-form:
retrofuturist wrote: If regarded and investigated as "name and form", dissolution as it pertains to "matter" becomes a non-issue, since rupa is taken as "form" rather than "matter" or "body", and with that, any potential base for explicit or implicit philosophical views of atomic realism are short-circuited, thereby side-stepping many of the quotations posted in the original post which were deemed problematic.

So lets drop the philosophy then, since it's not relevant, as you say. What we observe is what we observe. What do we do with what we observe? As I understand it, I build up concentration and mindfulness and observe what is happening. And I observe sensations, feelings,thoughts, and sensations arising and disappearing with greater rapidity the more concentrated I get, roughly as described by teachers such as Sayadaw Mahasi. No need for some complex analysis to see that. Now, the interesting question is what should I be doing with that information. You see, the problem with this thread is that it's supposedly talking about vipassana, which has to do with what one is experiencing, but the discussion often seems to me to be always veering towards philosophical ideas that I can't see how to relate to experience and claims about how people practice that appear to have little to do with the instructions I know about.

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Already addressed: A perception of momentariness without discrete momentary dhammas is nonsense.
But that still does not address what i said.

It does. Your attempt to have it both ways is meaningless.

tiltbillings wrote:Obviously there is no compromise, no room for finding a common basis.

I already indicated where there can be a common basis. Beyond that, compromise only obscures. Acquiescing to untenable theories results in woolly-minded, vague, and muddled relativism. As I've previously mentioned, there is no need for consensus, nor should consensus even be desired.

tiltbillings wrote:This “doctrine of momentariness” is to be rejected

Yes.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:16 am

Greetings Mike,

Well, in the context of the topic then, what does "dissolution" mean to you? Dissolution of what, exactly?

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)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Well, in the context of the topic then, what does "dissolution" mean to you? Dissolution of what, exactly?

Stuff I observe (thoughts, feelings, whatever) arises, then it ceases. That's what I see, anyway... Isn't that normal?

:anjali:
Mike


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