Ñāṇa wrote:I don't have the time right now to critique Ven. Ṭhānissaro's views in detail. There are probably other threads which deal with some of these issues. Just one example (related to both anatta and consciousness): Ṭhānissaro's latent fire theory presented and elaborated in Mind Like Fire Unbound cannot be sustained. The fire metaphor most commonly refers to the three fires of passion, aggression, and delusion. If the Indian Buddhist understanding of fire was really that an extinguished fire goes into a "latent state," then these three fires could re-combust within an arahant's mind as long as there is fuel remaining (i.e. saupādisesa nibbānadhātu: nibbāna element with fuel remaining). Of course, this would render nibbāna quite meaningless
In his Intro to Mind Like Fire Unbound Ṭhānissaro actually argues against such interpretation of fire metaphor. He writes:
- The best-known metaphor for the goal is the name nibbāna (nirvāṇa), which means the extinguishing of a fire. Attempts to work out the implications of this metaphor have all too often taken it out of context. Some writers, drawing on modern, everyday notions of fire, come to the conclusion that nibbāna implies extinction, as we feel that a fire goes out of existence when extinguished. Others, however, note that the Vedas — ancient Indian religious texts that predate Buddhism by many thousands of years — describe fire as immortal: Even when extinguished it simply goes into hiding, in a latent, diffused state, only to be reborn when a new fire is lit. These writers then assume that the Buddha accepted the Vedic theory in its entirety, and so maintain that nibbāna implies eternal existence.
The weakness of both these interpretations is that they do not take into account the way the Pali Canon describes (1) the workings of fire, (2) the limits beyond which no phenomenon may be described, and (3) the precise implications that the Buddha himself drew from his metaphor in light of (1) & (2). The purpose of this essay is to place this metaphor in its original context to show what it was and was not meant to imply.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ire/1.html
It seems to me that you didn't represent his views accurately.