Delusion

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
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cherrytigerbarb
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Delusion

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:29 pm

In Buddhism there are two truths, conventional truth, and ultimate truth. With regard to conventional truth, delusion (or ignorance), is failing to understand that it is craving and aversion which cause suffering. This in itself is a further cause of suffering, so that we say that craving, aversion AND delusion together are the three main causes of suffering. All of the other negative emotions such as jealousy, pride and anger come into being as a natural consequence of these things. Now with regard to ultimate truth, delusion is failing to understand the true nature of reality. Because if we did, then we would automatically realise that craving and aversion are completely meaningless in that context. So much so, that they are immediately dropped as soon as they arise.

Thoughts?
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.

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cooran
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Re: Delusion

Postby cooran » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:34 pm

This might be worth considering:

The Two Truths
http://www.theendofseeking.net/OW%20-%2 ... ruths.html

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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cherrytigerbarb
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Re: Delusion

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:48 pm

cooran wrote:This might be worth considering:

The Two Truths
http://www.theendofseeking.net/OW%20-%2 ... ruths.html

With metta,
Chris


Thank you Chris, that makes really interesting reading, and thank you for for correcting my assertion that the two truths are part of Buddhism. I still think it's something valid though, and it helps me to see how the Buddhist teachings fit into the bigger picture. :)
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.

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Re: Delusion

Postby culaavuso » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:54 pm

When the 'ultimate' reality of paramattha dhammas are discussed in the Abhidhamma, it seems that craving and aversion are still meaningful in that they can be described in terms of unskillful mental phenomena.

See, for example, Nina Van Gorkom's Abhidhamma in Daily Life (ch. 4):

Nina Van Gorkom wrote:Lobha is the paramattha dhamma (absolute reality) which is cetasika (mental factor arising with the citta); it is a reality and thus it can be experienced.
...
Lobha is sometimes translated as 'greed' or 'craving'; it can be translated by different words, since there are many degrees of lobha.


For a brief explanation of the Abhidhamma take on ultimate truth, see Conventional Truth and Ultimate Truth

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Goofaholix
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Re: Delusion

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:04 am

While not terms the Buddha used conventional truth and ultimate truth are a good way of looking at not self and emptiness to help understand that while our conventions and concepts are not reality as such they are useful and necessary for our day to day interactions.

I don't see these concepts as useful in understanding delusion and suffering etc though, delusion and suffering are just a much a part of ultimate truth as they are of conventional truth.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

pegembara
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Re: Delusion

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:59 am

cherrytigerbarb wrote:
cooran wrote:This might be worth considering:

The Two Truths
http://www.theendofseeking.net/OW%20-%2 ... ruths.html

With metta,
Chris


Thank you Chris, that makes really interesting reading, and thank you for for correcting my assertion that the two truths are part of Buddhism. I still think it's something valid though, and it helps me to see how the Buddhist teachings fit into the bigger picture. :)


Yes, they are found in the suttas. In the Mahayana texts, they are referred to as form and emptiness.


"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.
Kaccayanagotta Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Citta, these are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them." Potthapada Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick —
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they're empty, void
to whoever sees them
appropriately.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by pegembara on Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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daverupa
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Re: Delusion

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:17 am

That's quite a leap from those passages to the fully worked out Two Truths.

That happens much later in response to the prevailing scholastic environment; the causes for it as a doctrine were not otherwise in place, since e.g. the comment to Citta was accepted without specific interrogation of the point.

I therefore see that statement as a simple disavowal of always being held to the philosophical/linguistic precision of contemporary discussions & debates in order to engage with easygoing colloquial speech acts. (If anything, I expect that the Two Truths doctrine is one way that this samanic history became romanticized and remembered by later populations - something akin to the Wild West in United States history.)

The first quote describes one of many consternating cognitive dichotomies that can be set aside altogether by attending appropriately, and the last is poetry.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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mikenz66
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Re: Delusion

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:42 am

The translation conventional and ultimate is a little unfortunate but certainly the suttas sometimes use terms like self and beings and sometimes the analysis into aggregates, sense bases, etc.

Mike

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Re: Delusion

Postby SamKR » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:56 am

Although the Buddha may not have stated two truths as such it seems obvious to me that different suttas talk from different perspectives - from the perspective of to-be-enlightened and from the perspective of already-enlightened.

pegembara
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Re: Delusion

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:19 am

SamKR wrote:Although the Buddha may not have stated two truths as such it seems obvious to me that different suttas talk from different perspectives - from the perspective of to-be-enlightened and from the perspective of already-enlightened.


Exactly. Just because they are not spelled out in the suttas doesn't mean that they are not implied.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true
or even false.

"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


View the world, Mogharaja,
as empty

always mindful
to have removed any view
about self.

This way one is above & beyond death.
This is how one views the world
so as not to be seen
by Death's king.


Mogharaja's Question
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

pegembara
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Re: Delusion

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:24 am

pegembara wrote:
SamKR wrote:Although the Buddha may not have stated two truths as such it seems obvious to me that different suttas talk from different perspectives - from the perspective of to-be-enlightened and from the perspective of already-enlightened.


Exactly. Just because they are not spelled out in the suttas doesn't mean that they are not implied.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true
or even false.

"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


View the world, Mogharaja,
as empty

always mindful
to have removed any view
about self.

This way one is above & beyond death.
This is how one views the world
so as not to be seen
by Death's king.


Mogharaja's Question


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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cherrytigerbarb
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Re: Delusion

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:45 am

Here's a good explanation of the two truths doctrine....

http://buddhism.about.com/od/mahayanabu ... Truths.htm
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.

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Re: Delusion

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:03 am

From the commentary of to the Anguttara Nikaya:
Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathâ, whereas
references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric
individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of
mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathâ. One who is capable of understanding
and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out
in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on
sammuti-kathâ. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting
the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the
Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathâ. To one who is capable of
awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathâ , the teaching is not presented on the basis of
paramattha-kathâ, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through
paramattha-kathâ, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathâ. There is this
simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their
meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the
suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathâ. It is by taking into
consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the
Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way
of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to
Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55
THERAVADA VERSION OF THE TWO TRUTHS
Y. KARUNADASA
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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Aloka
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Re: Delusion

Postby Aloka » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:00 am

It might be worth noting that In DN16, the Buddha said to Ananda:

I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html


:anjali:


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