Freawaru wrote:This still agrees with how Mahayana sees it. For correct "hearing" states of concentration and insight are necessary on the part of the student. The level seems to depend on the specific transmission (there are various). For the base level transmission one needs to be in a state of zhine (samatha) for example. The transmission does not work without it.
So, then we're talking about the same thing?
That is what I am trying to find out.
I mean, what you say above for Mahayana "hearing" seems pretty much identical for how it is in Theravada imo, and I believe what they'd say on DSG, though they'd probably express it in abhidhamma terminology, something like "at the moment that kusala citta arises with panna [wisdom or insight as you call it], the cetasikas of concetration and calm [what you call samatha] are also kusala and accompany the citta. And cetasikas can be of different kinds and intensities [as you also seem to be saying by various transmisions]".
Yes, but in Mahayana only specific persons can give a transmission. We find this idea in other cultures as well, think of the baptism in Christianity or Reiki initiations. This is the reason for the lineages. No transmissions no lineages. In fact the whole concept of lineage is only plausible if there is something like a transmission. Something that can be lost.
Lineages cannot not start from scripture - one NEEDS an original person who discovered the energy (or recieved it himself by some enlightened being like Manjushri) and starts the lineage by transmitting the energy to someone else. This is why in lineages the persons who transmit are very important). Without the energy the scripture is still interesting and useful but does not have the same effect - at least that is the theory in Mahayana, I have not tested it.
Freawaru wrote:Do you have another Theravadan option of what "the voice of another" means than the one the DSG proposes?
Could you please clarify - what's the one you think DSG proposes?
People at DSG (not all, but many) consider Abhidhamma and the Pali suttas as formal systems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_system
Considering these scriptures in a formal way isn't, IMO, what the Buddha meant by "wise consideration". But it has many similarities. Concentrating on a formal system brings calm, just as doing Mathematical calculations or writing programs in C++ does. Also, dealing with scripture in this way one understands something - but not the Buddha's Dhamma. They define that kind of calm as samatha and the formal understanding of the Abhidhamma as "wise consideration". So for them it is "hearing Dhamma" when someone more knowledgeable of Abhidhamma in a formal way is explaining (in a formal way) the scripture and this way they think they are "considering wisely". Which would lead to "right view". Their "right view" is understanding of a fomal logic and I do not think that the Buddha's Dhamma is meant on this level. When looking at the suttas "right view" clearly is based on iddhis (like the knowledge of beings appearing and disappearing: the iddhi called divine eye). Right view is nothing one has been told by someone else. Nothing one can gain by a formalism.
IMO, they change the meanings of the terms in the suttas. Because the the result is not correct. That calm they talk about is is not samatha, playing with a formalism is not "wise consideration". And thus there must be more about "hearing Dhamma" than just having Abhidhamma read by someone else.
Afaik, in Theravada, "voice of another" can be anyone, or even the texts, that's not important, what's important is that there is wise consideration, or as you say above, insight and samatha, or in abidhamma terms, panna and samadhi, on the part of the hearer.
As far as I know "understanding of sacred scriptures" is an iddhi gained from the element fire (a so-called Kundalini accomplishment). Does not require a linage. But here, too, "hearing" or "reading" is quite different from normal hearing or reading. And it does not require someone else to speak.