Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby robertk » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:44 am

Just a note to thank Nana for his patient presentation of an important issue in this thread.

While Sylvester may have a point that Nana has recently moved towards a closer agreeement with the Theravada Commentaries- and is this thread pretty much exact agreement- unlike Sylvester I find this a cause for optimism , considering that we rarely see this positive (IMHO) move in contemporary buddhist circles.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:36 am

robertk wrote:Just a note to thank Nana for his patient presentation of an important issue in this thread.

While Sylvester may have a point that Nana has recently moved towards a closer agreeement with the Theravada Commentaries- and is this thread pretty much exact agreement- unlike Sylvester I find this a cause for optimism , considering that we rarely see this positive (IMHO) move in contemporary buddhist circles.
I don't think you understand, at all, what Sylvester has said here concerning this issue.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:04 am

tiltbillings wrote:I don't think you understand, at all, what Sylvester has said here concerning this issue.

I learned quite some time ago that if you're going to discuss a text, a Buddhist school, or a tenet system, that you do so within the framework of that text, Buddhist school, or tenet system. It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that Kearney's text be exempt from critical analysis according to the authoritative source of the 16 insight gnoses presented in the Visuddhimagga.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:11 am

robertk wrote:Just a note to thank Nana for his patient presentation of an important issue in this thread.

Thanks Robert. I knew this thread would be somewhat contentious. I've remained silent on this issue for some time. It is an important one, and should be aired.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:34 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I don't think you understand, at all, what Sylvester has said here concerning this issue.

I learned quite some time ago that if you're going to discuss a text, a Buddhist school, or a tenet system, that you do so within the framework of that text, Buddhist school, or tenet system. It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that Kearney's text be exempt from critical analysis according to the authoritative source of the 16 insight gnoses presented in the Visuddhimagga.

All the best,

Geoff
My point is made, Robert neither understood Sylvester's point or your point of reference.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Sylvester » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:52 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Nice rant. Anyhoo, firstly, I generally only criticize what are extreme and completely unfounded views being bandied about in this current, quite unfortunate wild west climate of contemporary Buddhism. I have always studied the Abhidhamma and consider it a very important reference to help understand the suttas. Secondly, I never went looking for you and have never felt compelled to follow you around DW. In my opinion, your views are extreme, and this extremism is quite contrary to the dhamma, without any basis in the teachings whatsoever, and quite ridiculous.


How precious, coming from someone who could reify an event of consciousness not being established into an unestablished consciousness. How moderate you appear, despite insisting on dhammavicaya in states without the vacisankharas. If anyone should be accused of being extreme, it would be those who re-write the Pali grammars to suit their bizaare readings of present tense clusters, hoti/honti, anupada, etc just so that they can salvage their wooly readings...

Ñāṇa wrote:What I don't want this discussion to degenerate into is yet another round of your completely irrelevant and pointless interpretations of the Abhidhamma. Take out all of the mental factors of supramundane cognition except perception and the concomitant jhāna factors and the point is the same.


Yet another of your famous strawmen tactics. Just because I (and others) point out that the Dhammasangani's locative absolute formulation allows for some of the dhammas to follow the citta, you pervert it into a misrepresentation that I hold the lokuttara cittas to be empty of those dhammas. Keep it up, Geoff. I won't tire of pointing this out. You do seem to be a glutton for pain anyway.

Ñāṇa wrote:When discussing the stage model of 16 vipassanā gnoses there is no other authority than the commentaries. If it isn't supported by the Visuddhimagga -- which is the authoritative source of the presentation that they're claiming to follow -- then it's just another example of wild west dhamma. ... There is simply no trace of what he is telling us in the canonical Pāḷi dhamma or the Visuddhimagga, which, again, is the source of the stage model 16 vipassanā gnoses.

If Kearney was trying to describe the path and fruition stages -- which he most certainly was -- then he utterly failed. Why? Because there is no mention of any of the indicators of a supramundane path and fruition cognition in his description. Zero. None.


Of course, you could continue to deny your blind spot and insist that Kearney and the Mahasi school equate that blankness with nana. A plain simple reading of it to me yields quite a contrary result. And insisting that Kearney should mention the Dhammasangani's factors in what is plainly a simple introduction to the subject is just so unneccessary. Anyone interested in Kearney's thoughts on the locative absolute can always resort to his more technical papers, not a Nana 101 intro.

What I find quite repugnant in your presumption to set the goal posts for Kearney's presentation is how you vaccillate between your exegetical methods and use whatever you happen to think to be convenient at that moment. As mentioned in the Ajahn Brahm example, you start off by criticising his Jhana descriptions as falling outside of the suttas. You take ample pot shots at the Vsm presentation of the jhanas. When your sutta interpretations are shown to be shaky, you run to the Dhammasangani. Worse, without even knowing Bhante G's current reading list, you presume to say (in relation to MN 111) -

It's entirely up to you whether or not you accept the authority of the Dhammasaṅgaṇī. But my hunch is that Ven. Gunaratana does.


And when confronted by the grammatical nuances of the Dhammasangani, you take refuge in the Commentarial explanation of concommittance. Aren't you flirting too much to be qualified to demand that Kearney must expound within the artificial limits set by you? Who are you to set this limit on the Mahasi school?

And you would presume to dictate how Kearney should present the nanas, when you have not even had the decency to apply the same yardstick to your own exegetical method(s). Frankly Geoff, I find your method(s) to be nothing more than doctrinal opportunism, through and through.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:06 pm

Sylvester wrote:Frankly Geoff, I find your method(s) to be nothing more than doctrinal opportunism, through and through.

When people like Kearney, Brahmavamso, and Sujato make claims that what they're teaching is representative of the Buddhadhamma, when in fact one or more of the foundational premises underlying these claims is entirely unfounded and bogus, then it's incumbent upon individuals who have investigated these issues in some detail to speak out against these extremist misrepresentations. I personally derive no pleasure from voicing concern in these matters. But the alternative -- to remain silent and allow extremist views to go uncontested -- is at times even less palatable.

Sylvester wrote:A plain simple reading of it to me yields quite a contrary result.

Again, if Kearney was trying to describe the path and fruition stages -- which he most certainly was -- then he utterly failed. Why? Because there is no mention of any of the indicators of a supramundane path and fruition cognition in his description. Zero. None. This is a pretty glaring omission regarding the climax stage of the entire presentation written by someone who has "trained extensively in the Mahāsī approach to insight meditation." On the contrary, there is every indication in his description that he had fallen into the bhavaṅga and then mistaken this non-percipient state for nibbāna.

Sylvester wrote:What I find quite repugnant in your presumption to set the goal posts for Kearney's presentation is how you vaccillate between your exegetical methods

What part of this do you fail to understand: I learned quite some time ago that if you're going to discuss a text, a Buddhist school, or a tenet system, that you do so within the framework of that text, Buddhist school, or tenet system. It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that Kearney's text be exempt from critical analysis according to the authoritative source of the 16 insight gnoses presented in the Visuddhimagga.

Sylvester wrote:How precious, coming from someone who could reify an event of consciousness not being established into an unestablished consciousness.

More utter nonsense. It's obvious that you have no way of stepping outside of your conceptual box in order to appreciate the subtleties of what I have said on the issue of consciousness or any other. There is no point in trying to communicate with you. I hope your straightjacket serves you well.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Theravadidiliana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:07 pm

@Sylvester and Geoff,

Although some interesting light is being shed, I am left wondering at you two and the way you go at it like a pair of teenagers. Do you guys have a history? It's absolutely uninspiring and ridiculous but thanks for the food for thought all the same. It be really interesting to know if you two are accomplished meditators too and know everything you have preached by actual experience but alas we can really never know. I remain open minded.

I've got red glasses on, you've got green tints on. Why don't you see things as red?

Be happy,

Theravadidiliana
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby darvki » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:12 pm

Theravadidiliana wrote:@Sylvester and Geoff,

Although some interesting light is being shed, I am left wondering at you two and the way you go at it like a pair of teenagers. Do you guys have a history? It's absolutely uninspiring and ridiculous but thanks for the food for thought all the same. It be really interesting to know if you two are accomplished meditators too and know everything you have preached by actual experience but alas we can really never know. I remain open minded.

I've got red glasses on, you've got green tints on. Why don't you see things as red?

Be happy,

Theravadidiliana



Geoff and Sylvester are coming at the issue, as they have with many others before, from two different interpretations. Both see the other's interpretation as ultimately unfounded and consider it their responsibility as practitioners and members of this forum to stand their ground.

Overall their knowledge far exceeds mine, but I've comprehended what I feel is the meat of their arguments (at least most of the time). As a result I've arrived at an understanding of the Theravada that I had almost given up on trying to acquire. What has been "uninspiring and ridiculous" to you has been one of the pivotal resources for my grasp of the Pali Dhamma.

That being said, I certainly understand your reaction, especially if you have not encountered their interactions before. I do sometimes find it trying to read their discussions since I often feel that a particular one of them consistently misses the points of the other (but that's another story and one that no one need be concerned with but myself).
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:28 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:You say there is no need for a supramundane 'other'ness, but if you want to escape arising and passing away, an otherness is required, otherwise you are left with annihilation as the only alternative left, at death.

Not so. The uniquely Buddhist version of nihilism is just as untenable as the uniquely Buddhist versions of eternalism, one of which you are proposing here.


You ARE saying that your idea of nibbana is the ending of the three poisons+that there is no supramundane element to this. Well since the erradication of the three poisons is also the ending of rebirth- since there is no supramundane element, your stance simply leads to annahilation. You cannot defend this, so instead you resort to denial 'Not so' or another of your quotes 'Non-sense!' :smile: Then you proceed to attack my position by stating that I think the characteristic 'permanent' can be attached to the supramunane element. Well done. So much for scholarly integrity. It has boiled down to defending your thesis what ever the cost to the truth.

rowyourboat wrote:THE unborn, THE unmade, THE unfabricated DOES refer to the supramundane other ... there IS yet another state, and calls it nibbana.

Visuddhimagga, Chapter 16:

    [Q] Is the absence of present [aggregates] as well nibbāna?

    [A] That is not so. Because their absence is an impossibility, since if they are absent their non-presence follows. [Besides, if nibbāna were absence of present aggregates too,] that would entail the fault of excluding the arising of the nibbāna element with result of past clinging left, at the path moment, which has present aggregates as its support.


According to your thesis
noble eightfold path (cause) nibbana-supramundane jhana etc (effect)

"Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?"

"The noble eightfold path is fabricated."

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

Hence nibbana, being the effect is also fabricated.

"Impermanent, alas, are all formations (fabrications)!"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_43.html

therefore

Noble eightfold path is impermanent/fabricated, hence, nibbana is impermanent/fabricated.

"Now, that which is impermanent, is it unsatisfactory or satisfactory?"

"Unsatisfactory, O Lord."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .mend.html

Hence according to your thesis, nibbana is not only impermanent, it is also unsatisfactory. :jumping: :rolleye:

I'm sorry Geoff, just because you managed to find some commentaries (dont see you posting much from suttas, especially when it comes to the contentious bits- clearly because you can't) to justify your thesis, it is clear to me that you don't even understand the basics, and stand to seriously mislead someone who believes your posts just because of your pali knowledge and access to the commentaries. Your previous description of the practice of removing the three poisons is naive, at least I was hoping your knowledge would be up to scratch on practical aspects, if not the philosophical.

You post that removal of craving is the third noble truth. Of couse it is. COMPLETE removal 'without remainder' (as in asesa-viraganoridha) is what leads to the supramundane experience, because to remove craving completely is to remove upadana, is to remove bhava itself- and that does happen at the supramundane moment. Partial removal leads to what you are describing as 'nibbana'-jhana factors etc. According to your descriptions we could easily wipe out any mention of supramundane, because there is nothing to differentiate it from the mundane practice and results of practice. This is indeed why, you think of (and confuse) a supramundane moment in terms of a mundane asanna moment. You know nothing else. Your thesis, practice, language and vocabulary are entirely mundane and is not fit for purpose in this discussion. :shrug:

with metta

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:11 pm

rowyourboat wrote:According to your thesis noble eightfold path (cause) nibbana-supramundane jhana etc (effect)

"Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?"

"The noble eightfold path is fabricated."

Hence nibbana, being the effect is also fabricated.

You've completely misunderstood what I have said. This isn't surprising. It's difficult to let go of wrong views.

rowyourboat wrote:I'm sorry Geoff, just because you managed to find some commentaries (dont see you posting much from suttas, especially when it comes to the contentious bits

Your failure to understand and accept what the Abhidhamma and commentaries are teaching is not my problem.

rowyourboat wrote:Partial removal leads to what you are describing as 'nibbana'-jhana factors etc.

The cognitive processes of supramundane cognitions are only clearly described in the Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga. It's your choice to refuse to accept what these sources have to say. But then you're dismissing the entire Theravāda to adhere to a mistaken view.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Kenshou » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:11 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Noble eightfold path is impermanent/fabricated, hence, nibbana is impermanent/fabricated.
That doesn't necessarily follow. Also you seem to be implying that the 8 fold path is not fabricated. I don't think that makes any sense.

Anyway, the path may be fabricated, but it's goal is not, because that goal is realized specifically by not fabricating, due to clear knowlege. The ending of craving aversion and delusion isn't a "thing" that you create or fabricate. And just that ending is the supramundane.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:12 pm

darvki wrote:What has been "uninspiring and ridiculous" to you has been one of the pivotal resources for my grasp of the Pali Dhamma.

Sometimes it seems worth it to try to clarify some of the more subtle aspects of the dhamma. Other times it seems pointless to bother saying anything at all. But some things do need to be said. As always, it's a question of balance.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:07 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:The cognitive processes of supramundane cognitions are only clearly described in the Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga.


The Buddha didn't teach that material.

:heart:
    "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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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Freawaru » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:34 pm

darvki wrote:
Theravadidiliana wrote:@Sylvester and Geoff,

Although some interesting light is being shed, I am left wondering at you two and the way you go at it like a pair of teenagers. Do you guys have a history? It's absolutely uninspiring and ridiculous but thanks for the food for thought all the same. It be really interesting to know if you two are accomplished meditators too and know everything you have preached by actual experience but alas we can really never know. I remain open minded.

I've got red glasses on, you've got green tints on. Why don't you see things as red?

Be happy,

Theravadidiliana



Geoff and Sylvester are coming at the issue, as they have with many others before, from two different interpretations. Both see the other's interpretation as ultimately unfounded and consider it their responsibility as practitioners and members of this forum to stand their ground.

Overall their knowledge far exceeds mine, but I've comprehended what I feel is the meat of their arguments (at least most of the time). As a result I've arrived at an understanding of the Theravada that I had almost given up on trying to acquire. What has been "uninspiring and ridiculous" to you has been one of the pivotal resources for my grasp of the Pali Dhamma.

That being said, I certainly understand your reaction, especially if you have not encountered their interactions before. I do sometimes find it trying to read their discussions since I often feel that a particular one of them consistently misses the points of the other (but that's another story and one that no one need be concerned with but myself).


Could you please give a summary of their two different interpretations. Because I am not well versed in Abhidhamma, etc, to follow their arguments in Pali but here and there I felt sure they both (or three, I am not sure which interpretation Matheesha prefers) made wrong arguments, either due to logic errors or statements that I can - maybe just for myself - prove wrong by own experience.
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:11 pm

daverupa wrote:The Buddha didn't teach that material.

That doesn't make it wrong, or inconsistent with what he did teach. Of course, if one wants to look at the suttas have to say about stream-entry that's fine too. There isn't any trace of Kearney's unconscious path attainment there either.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:16 pm

Freawaru wrote:Could you please give a summary of their two different interpretations.

Here is a summary of some of what I have been saying: Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha:

    1. The First Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    2. The Second Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,
    5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

    These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

    So are the Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness, Anāgāmī Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supra mundane consciousness.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:28 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
daverupa wrote:The Buddha didn't teach that material.

That doesn't make it wrong, or inconsistent with what he did teach.


Only possible; in some respects, probable.

Ñāṇa wrote:Of course, if one wants to look at the suttas have to say about stream-entry that's fine too.


Fine... too? Odd.

Ñāṇa wrote:There isn't any trace of Kearney's unconscious path attainment there either.


If things are said the same way in the Suttas and the Vinaya as in the abhidhamma, oughtn't we to prefer the Suttas and the Vinaya over, say, the Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa Lokuttarakusala Suddhikapaṭipadā?
    "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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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:42 pm

daverupa wrote:If things are said the same way in the Suttas and the Vinaya as in the abhidhamma, oughtn't we to prefer the Suttas and the Vinaya over, say, the Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa Lokuttarakusala Suddhikapaṭipadā?

Sure. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī and so on, are merely additional tools.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:51 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Sure. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī and so on, are merely additional tools.

All the best,

Geoff


In this critique, they seem to be exclusive tools and not merely additional.
    "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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