Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed May 28, 2014 8:16 pm

Arahats experience pleasant sensations through contact with all the 6 senses. Furthermore, the obstructive acts are obstructive of attaining arahatship. What do they obstruct in the arahat? The only sense I can make from that sutta is that for a non arahat it is impossible to indulge in sensual pleasures without being attached to them. That doesn't apply to the arahat, though. The arahat experiences pleasantness. He may even cultivate pleasantness, through jhana or mindfulness.

If an arahat experiences pleasant sensations, can you rule out automatically that it is possible for him to have an orgasm? Not an orgasm in the lust sense. An orgasm in the sense of the physical process.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed May 28, 2014 8:27 pm

Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
MN 76 wrote:“But, Master Ananda, when a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed, one who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge, could he enjoy sensual pleasures?”
“Sandaka, when a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed … and is completely liberated through final knowledge, he is incapable of transgression in five cases. A bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed is incapable of deliberately depriving a living being of life; he is incapable of taking what is not given, that is, of stealing; he is incapable of indulging in sexual intercourse; he is incapable of knowingly speaking falsehood; he is incapable of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up as he did formerly in lay life.[1] When a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed … he is incapable of transgression in these five cases.[2]

[1][ MA: He is incapable of storing up food provisions and other pleasurable goods and subsequently enjoying them.]
[2][ At DN 29.26/iii.133 four other things that the arahant cannot do are mentioned: he cannot take a wrong course of action because of desire, hatred, fear, or delusion.]

:anjali:


Thank you Unruler.

Although I'm pretty sure you are arguing the other way, this sutta actually makes my point. Is it reasonable to believe that a lay arahat is incapable of storing food provisions? That doesn't make sense, in my opinion. Therefore, this qualification of "incapable" is best interpreted as context dependent.

I'm not saying that if an arahat kills that would be fine because he is an arahat. That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that there is no misterious physical force that would restrain the arahat, had he decided to kill another human being, from killing him. However, that doesn't mean he would decide to kill. It's fairly straightforward that there's almost no situation where an arahat would kill. It's just the case that, had he decided that he would kill (for example, very hypothetically, helping another arahat commiting suicide) he could do it. The point is that there's no magical force preventing him from killing. He just doesn't do it because he is wise.

EDIT: I have to clarify that I'm not holding these views firmly. I'm just saying these are possible interpretations of the texts which make sense of Ingram's words. Some of these interpretations I agree with. Others I really don't know. But I can't just throw away everything Ingram is saying because of an impulsive reaction to his words.
Last edited by Modus.Ponens on Wed May 28, 2014 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 28, 2014 8:28 pm

Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
he is incapable of indulging in sexual intercourse;


I hate to be hair splitting, but, it is possible to question what "indulging" means. Does that phrase means
a) Arahant can have sex, but not to indulge in it.
or
b) Arahant can't have sex at all.

Personally, I think that arahantship should be defined as #b.

Modus.Ponens wrote:What I'm saying is that there is no misterious physical force that would restrain the arahat, had he decided to kill another human being, from killing him. ..The point is that there's no magical force preventing him from killing. He just doesn't do it because he is wise.



But sex involves a lot of deliberate intentions, and it is questionable if Arahant can have those intentions (or to follow them through) in the first place.

As for "incapable of storing", I guess Arahats don't hoard things which is not a problem if one is a monk - but a problem if one is alone at home.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 28, 2014 8:32 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Arahats experience pleasant sensations through contact with all the 6 senses. Furthermore, the obstructive acts are obstructive of attaining arahatship. What do they obstruct in the arahat? The only sense I can make from that sutta is that for a non arahat it is impossible to indulge in sensual pleasures without being attached to them. That doesn't apply to the arahat, though. The arahat experiences pleasantness. He may even cultivate pleasantness, through jhana or mindfulness.

If an arahat experiences pleasant sensations, can you rule out automatically that it is possible for him to have an orgasm? Not an orgasm in the lust sense. An orgasm in the sense of the physical process.

The Buddha is saying it is impossible to indulge in sensual pleasures without craving for them. The arahant has, by definition, eliminated craving. So he doesn't seek out, acquire, and indulge in sensual pleasures because that is the origin of suffering (second Noble Truth). Physical orgasm is something that requires, uhm . . . cultivation, if you get my meaning.

Over and over, the suttas say that sensual pleasures are dangerous, are worldly and ignoble, to be avoided, etc. Why would the highest Buddhist saint, the ultimate exemplar of the Dhamma, suddenly seek out, acquire, and indulge in sensual pleasures at his attainment? It makes no sense. The opposite is shown to be true: please see the Therigatha and Theragatha for examples of arahants enjoying seclusion in the forest at their attainment.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3269
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Unrul3r » Wed May 28, 2014 8:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
he is incapable of indulging in sexual intercourse;


I hate to be hair splitting, but, it is possible to question what "indulging" means. Does that phrase means
a) Arahant can have sex, but not to indulge in it.
or
b) Arahant can't have sex at all.

Personally, I think that arahantship should be defined as #b.


Indeed, I agree. I think that the arahat is incapable because he knows it will lead to suffering. It is not that he is physically incapable, he is psychologically incapable. It's like asking a regular person, "Would you cut yourself?", of course not. Because she knows it will lead to suffering. Further, if an arahat is well trained in the bliss of jhanas why would he indulge in sex. It doesn't make any sense to me.
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed May 28, 2014 8:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
he is incapable of indulging in sexual intercourse;


I hate to be hair splitting, but, it is possible to question what "indulging" means. Does that phrase means
a) Arahant can have sex, but not to indulge in it.
or
b) Arahant can't have sex at all.

Personally, I think that arahantship should be defined as #b.

Modus.Ponens wrote:What I'm saying is that there is no misterious physical force that would restrain the arahat, had he decided to kill another human being, from killing him. ..The point is that there's no magical force preventing him from killing. He just doesn't do it because he is wise.



But sex involves a lot of deliberate intentions, and it is questionable if Arahant can have those intentions (or to follow them through) in the first place.

As for "incapable of storing", I guess Arahats don't hoard things which is not a problem if one is a monk - but a problem if one is alone at home.


What I'm trying to say is that these are not clear cut positions. And the storing thing is the one that makes the best case for my position against absolutist interpretations of the dhamma. I don't believe that it's impossible for a lay arahat to keep a can of tuna for the next day. It doesn't make sense at all. It only makes sense in the context of a bhikkhu who is an arahat. But if this "incapable" is context dependent, what guarantees do I have that the others aren't?

Regarding sex, I'm ambivalent about it. I agree that it's really strange to consider an arahat having sex. But orgasms are not necessarily associated with sex. Plus, iirc, one of the points of contention, about the time of the schism with the to-be mahayanists, was that mahayanists were against the established view that a supreme being (the arahat for the to-be theravadins) could emit semen.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Unrul3r » Wed May 28, 2014 8:45 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
MN 76 wrote:“But, Master Ananda, when a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed, one who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge, could he enjoy sensual pleasures?”
“Sandaka, when a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed … and is completely liberated through final knowledge, he is incapable of transgression in five cases. A bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed is incapable of deliberately depriving a living being of life; he is incapable of taking what is not given, that is, of stealing; he is incapable of indulging in sexual intercourse; he is incapable of knowingly speaking falsehood; he is incapable of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up as he did formerly in lay life.[1] When a bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed … he is incapable of transgression in these five cases.[2]

[1][ MA: He is incapable of storing up food provisions and other pleasurable goods and subsequently enjoying them.]
[2][ At DN 29.26/iii.133 four other things that the arahant cannot do are mentioned: he cannot take a wrong course of action because of desire, hatred, fear, or delusion.]

:anjali:


Thank you Unruler.

Although I'm pretty sure you are arguing the other way, this sutta actually makes my point. Is it reasonable to believe that a lay arahat is incapable of storing food provisions? That doesn't make sense, in my opinion. Therefore, this qualification of "incapable" is best interpreted as context dependent.

I'm not saying that if an arahat kills that would be fine because he is an arahat. That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that there is no misterious physical force that would restrain the arahat, had he decided to kill another human being, from killing him. However, that doesn't mean he would decide to kill. It's fairly straightforward that there's almost no situation where an arahat would kill. It's just the case that, had he decided that he would kill (for example, very hypothetically, helping another arahat commiting suicide) he could do it. The point is that there's no magical force preventing him from killing. He just doesn't do it because he is wise.


As I said in the previous post, I agree. The reason is not physical, it's psychological. But I think he is incapable nonetheless, for the psychological reasons I mentioned above (Wisdom & Jhana).


Modus.Ponens wrote:EDIT: I have to clarify that I'm not holding these views firmly. I'm just saying these are possible interpretations of the texts which make sense of Ingram's words. Some of these interpretations I agree with. Others I really don't know. But I can't just throw away everything Ingram is saying because of an impulsive reaction to his words.


Of course, that is wise.

:namaste:
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby culaavuso » Wed May 28, 2014 8:50 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Unrul3r wrote:A sutta that might help:
MN 76 wrote:... he is incapable of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up as he did formerly in lay life. …



Although I'm pretty sure you are arguing the other way, this sutta actually makes my point. Is it reasonable to believe that a lay arahat is incapable of storing food provisions? That doesn't make sense, in my opinion. Therefore, this qualification of "incapable" is best interpreted as context dependent.


It's worth noting that the sutta does not say incapable of storing food, but incapable of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up. Food is not necessarily stored as a sensual pleasure. The Vinaya actually documents the case of an arahant storing food in the origin story of Pācittiya 38.

Buddhist Monastic Code p. 326 wrote:This is one of the few rules where the original instigator was an arahant: Ven. Beḷaṭṭhasīsa, Ven. Ānanda's preceptor and formerly the head of the 1,000 ascetics who attained Awakening on hearing the Fire Sermon (SN XXXV.28). The origin story here reports that he made a practice of keeping leftover rice from his alms round, drying it, and then moistening it to eat on a later day. As a result, he only rarely had to go out for alms. Even though he was doing this out of frugality rather than greed, the Buddha still rebuked him.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed May 28, 2014 8:50 pm

Mkoll wrote:The Buddha is saying it is impossible to indulge in sensual pleasures without craving for them. The arahant has, by definition, eliminated craving. So he doesn't seek out, acquire, and indulge in sensual pleasures because that is the origin of suffering (second Noble Truth). Physical orgasm is something that requires, uhm . . . cultivation, if you get my meaning.

Over and over, the suttas say that sensual pleasures are dangerous, are worldly and ignoble, to be avoided, etc. Why would the highest Buddhist saint, the ultimate exemplar of the Dhamma, suddenly seek out, acquire, and indulge in sensual pleasures at his attainment? It makes no sense. The opposite is shown to be true: please see the Therigatha and Theragatha for examples of arahants enjoying seclusion in the forest at their attainment.


The Buddha described sickness as suffering. However, there must be a ton of examples in the suttas of arahats being sick and yet, not suffering.

I'm not saying that sensual pleasures are not dangerous. They are dangerous to non arahats for sure. It is my view that sensual pleasures are not dangerous to the arahat. That doesn't mean he pursues them. He probably prefers to enter jhana anyway. Nevertheless, it's pursuing pleasantness.

Again: I'm only arguing against the absolute impossibility of these behaviours. I'm not arguing that these behaviours are common and normal in the arahats. That wouldn't make any sense.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed May 28, 2014 8:59 pm

culaavuso wrote:It's worth noting that the sutta does not say incapable of storing food, but incapable of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up. Food is not necessarily stored as a sensual pleasure. The Vinaya actually documents the case of an arahant storing food in the origin story of Pācittiya 38.

Buddhist Monastic Code p. 326 wrote:This is one of the few rules where the original instigator was an arahant: Ven. Beḷaṭṭhasīsa, Ven. Ānanda's preceptor and formerly the head of the 1,000 ascetics who attained Awakening on hearing the Fire Sermon (SN XXXV.28). The origin story here reports that he made a practice of keeping leftover rice from his alms round, drying it, and then moistening it to eat on a later day. As a result, he only rarely had to go out for alms. Even though he was doing this out of frugality rather than greed, the Buddha still rebuked him.


There are two possibilities: an arahat can enjoy pleasant sensations without any craving or ignorance; or he is incapable of enjoying pleasdant sensations in any way. In the second case, incapability of enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them is just a particular case of a vast amount of experiences an arahat can have. In the first case, it has to do specifically with storing. Therefore it makes the term "incapable", a term that is dependent on context.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
User avatar
Modus.Ponens
 
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Funchal, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Unrul3r » Wed May 28, 2014 9:00 pm

And a further note to clarify my previous posts, I was referring exclusively in regards to sexual intercourse since it was the matter at hand when I first posted, not "enjoying sensual pleasures by storing them up". That is another matter.
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby waterchan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:03 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:The Buddha described sickness as suffering. However, there must be a ton of examples in the suttas of arahats being sick and yet, not suffering.


I'm pretty sure the suttas say that a sick arahant feels the physical portion of the suffering but not the mental portion. (Bunch of canonical references here.)

There's one sutta where an arahant was suffering so much physical pain that the Buddha gave them permission to commit suicide, which was allowable since they were arahants and had nothing left to achieve.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed May 28, 2014 9:17 pm

How come actual arahants never participate in threads like this?
There is no comfort without pain; thus
we define salvation through suffering.
-- Cato
User avatar
m0rl0ck
 
Posts: 1022
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby culaavuso » Wed May 28, 2014 9:18 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:There are two possibilities: an arahat can enjoy pleasant sensations without any craving or ignorance; or he is incapable of enjoying pleasdant sensations in any way.


A few suttas might help to explain these points:

AN 6.63: Nibbedhika Sutta wrote:The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures
found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality.

The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard,
subdue their desire.


DN 16: Maha-parinibbana Sutta wrote:But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.
...
And soon after the Blessed One had eaten the meal provided by Cunda the metalworker, a dire sickness fell upon him, even dysentery, and he suffered sharp and deadly pains. But the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.


Perhaps a question worth asking regarding what is "possible" is if in the absence of passion and desire certain volitions might arise.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby waterchan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:29 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:How come actual arahants never participate in threads like this?


For the same reason people with eyesight don't participate in a debate on color, how many kinds of color there are, whether color is scientific or just religious dogma, whether color was really taught by the Buddha, the sutta view of color vs the Visuddhimagga view of color vs the Abhidhamma view of color, etc.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Unrul3r » Wed May 28, 2014 9:32 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:How come actual arahants never participate in threads like this?


Do you know the intentions of the people posting here besides from their writing? If not, why would you assume this? Certainly writing is not enough for you to ascertain this, is it?
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 28, 2014 9:34 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:How come actual arahants never participate in threads like this?

They don't engage in wrong speech.

:tongue:
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3269
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby Unrul3r » Wed May 28, 2014 9:37 pm

Mkoll wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:How come actual arahants never participate in threads like this?

They don't engage in wrong speech.

:tongue:


Since when is Dhamma talk wrong speech?
User avatar
Unrul3r
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Porto, Portugal

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby daverupa » Wed May 28, 2014 9:43 pm

:focus:

It was getting good...

Does an arahant smoke a cigarette offered to them?
    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4180
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Postby waterchan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:46 pm

daverupa wrote::focus:

It was getting good...

Does an arahant smoke a cigarette offered to them?

That's kind of like asking, "Does an arahant drink spittle offered to them?"
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Nicolas, Sweet_Nothing and 3 guests