"disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:50 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:The same dictionary gave me 'disgust', 'nausea', 'loathing' and 'aversion' itself as alternatives to 'revulsion'. They are all much stronger words than any in the first group, and they therefore describe a stronger emotional engagement with the object of the feeling. Such an engagement may be a necessary short-term antidote to a strong positive engagement but should be transcended - the long term aim, surely, is dispassion and equanimity, not aversion.

Indeed.

All the best,

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:45 am

But longer term Upekkha may depend on precisely that short term turning away from, with some degree of dispatch.
We are not encouraged to cultivate equanimous feelings to strong attachment..or to be in denial of same.
The trouble is some 21 st century Buddhists are so genteel that they outdo the Buddha in their sensibility.
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:59 am

PeterB wrote:The trouble is some 21 st century Buddhists are so genteel that they outdo the Buddha in their sensibility.

Of course. That's unbalanced dhamma-lite. And the other extreme -- unbalanced asceticism -- can lead to repression, bitterness, misogynistic attitudes, and so on.

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby reflection » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:48 am

It arises after 'seeing things as they are', which means stream entry. According to the suttas, stream enterers will be fully enlightened within at most 7 lives. They'll probably fully lose interest in the 5 sense world quite some time before that, this is impreventable. So nibbida is the force that drives them there. It's not like it's a choice. Therefore I would say revulsion is a good term, but a better translation could be repulsion, to emphasize the natural and impreventable aspect of it.

But in the end it is not really important how you translate a word which point to something that can't be explained in words anyway.
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:58 am

'Repulsion' is a good suggestion, Reflection - thanks.
But I do think the most accurate possible translation is worthwhile. Language isn't perfect but it's the only medium we have, and an inaccurate translation gives rise to a misleading statement in the second language.

:namaste:
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby pulga » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:17 pm

Ven. Ñanamoli translated nibbida as "estrangement". He has a lengthy note on the word in his Three Cardinal Dicourses :

ESTRANGEMENT: the Pali noun nibbida and its verb nibbindati are made up from the prefix nir in its negative sense of “out,” and the root vid (to find, to feel, to know intimately). Nibbida is thus a finding out. What is thus found out is the intimate hidden contradictoriness in any kind of self-identification based in any way on these things (and there is no way of determining self-identification apart from them — see under NOT-SELF). Elsewhere the Buddha says:

Whatever there is there of form, feeling, perception, determinations, or consciousness, such ideas he sees as impermanent, as subject to pain, as a sickness, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as an alienation, as a disintegration, as void, as not-self. He averts his heart from those ideas, and for the most peaceful, the supreme goal, he turns his heart to the deathless element, that is to say, the stilling of all determinations, the relinquishment of all substance, the exhaustion of craving, the fading of passion, cessation, extinction. (MN64)

The “stuff” of life can also be seen thus. Normally the discovery of a contradiction is for the unliberated mind a disagreeable one. Several courses are then open. It can refuse to face it, pretending to itself to the point of full persuasion and belief that no contradiction is there; or one side of the contradiction may be unilaterally affirmed and the other repressed and forgotten; or a temporary compromise may be found (all of which expedients are haunted by insecurity); or else the contradiction may be faced in its truth and made the basis for a movement towards liberation. So too, on finding estrangement thus, two main courses are open: either the search, leaving “craving for self-identification” intact, can be continued for sops to allay the symptoms of the sickness; or else a movement can be started in the direction of a cure for the underlying sickness of craving, and liberation from the everlasting hunt for palliatives, whether for oneself or others. In this sense alone, “Self protection is the protection of others, and protection of others self-protection” (Satipatthana Samyutta).
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:22 pm

pulga wrote:Ven. Ñanamoli translated nibbida as "estrangement".

Elsewhere he translates nibbidā as "disenchantment." In fact, he's probably the one who first used "disenchantment" as a translation of the term. "Estrangement" is fine too, although the analysis he offers for how he came to this choice is a bit convoluted. Horner has translated the term as "turns away from." This works too. As does "revulsion." The only qualm I would have with "revulsion" is that it has somewhat too narrow of a meaning. Olendzki comments on nibbidā as follows:

    There is a story in the texts that usefully illustrates the meaning of this important term. A dog stumbles across a bone that has been exposed to the elements for many months and has been therefore bleached of any residual flesh or marrow. The dog gnaws on it for some time before he finally determines that he is “not finding” any satisfaction in the bone, and he thus turns away from it in disgust. It is not that the bone is intrinsically disgusting; it is rather the case that the dog’s raging desire for meat just will not be satisfied by the bone. He is enchanted by the prospect of gratification as he scrapes away furiously at the bone, but when he finally wakes up to the truth that the bone is empty of anything that will offer him satisfaction, he becomes disenchanted and spits it out in disgust.

At any rate, it's always helpful to have access to the work of multiple translators. No single translation is going to convey the full meaning of every passage and every term in every context.

All the best,

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:02 pm

Hello Geoff,

Very interesting quote above. As I understand it, nibbidā is not reaction toward the object itself, but toward craving or trying to find ultimate sukha for it.

In that case, I think that revulsion is actually a good word, and it is not dosa.

In Pali canon, I've noticed quite a few places where the Buddha, or Sariputta has felt "aṭṭiyāmi harāyāmi jigucchāmi" . How do you think they are to be translated?

In MN152, sekha is supposed to feel "aṭṭīyati harāyati jīgucchati" with whatever feeling arises. What do you think it supposed to mean? These words seem to be as strong, if not stronger than nibbidā.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:49 pm

It seems to me that whatever the intensity towards the object is - whether it be "disenchantment" or "revulsion" - the importance of that is to allow the letting go of (whatever it is we've become disenchanted with/repulsed by). That is, not clinging to it. Having dropped something, if someone wants to put it back in my hands to insist that I have not been sufficiently horrified by it... very well.. let's take another look... yep still not worth clinging to...
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby chownah » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:46 am

My interest in discussing the two words is to determine whether it is an arising of passion or a fanning of passion already arisen...or.... if it is a cooling of passion or extinguishment of passion that is intended by the Buddha......for me "disenchantment" would indicate a cooling while "revulsion" would be the arising or fanning of passion.
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby ground » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:47 am

Alex123 wrote:As I understand it, nibbidā is not reaction toward the object itself, but toward craving or trying to find ultimate sukha for it.

Yes. That's it. And this meaning of nibbidā shows that there is already insight involved and that there is actually no basis for the potential extremes Ñāṇa mentioned:
Ñāṇa wrote:And the other extreme -- unbalanced asceticism -- can lead to repression, bitterness, misogynistic attitudes, and so on.



Kind regards
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby pulga » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:57 am

The word itself of course represents an experience, so I suppose its meaning might be determined by an individual's predisposition when achieving enlightenment. For one inclined towards upekkha, "disenchantment" might better convey his disillusionment than "revulsion", but it might be quite the opposite for one inclined towards samvega.

Just a thought.
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby ground » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:10 am

Also ... I mean nibbidā is no "one way" in a sense that it directed only towards attachment but it is also towards aversion against an object.

For example:
First one would experience "revulsion" towards the habitual appearance of allure (attachment) in the context of one specific object. If later it might happen that one experiences "revulsion" towards the object as such due to identification of "I" and "mine" with the intent on renunciation then - wise attention assumed - one would experience "revulsion" toward that habitual "I"-making and the aversion it causes.

The causes of attachment and aversion do not inhere in objects but are the manifestations of underlying tendencies. These manifestations are the "right objects" of "revulsion".

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:32 am

TMingyur wrote:The causes of attachment and aversion do not inhere in objects but are the manifestations of underlying tendencies. These manifestations are the "right objects" of "revulsion".

Yes, it's important to understand that nibbidā is a mature stage of practice. The long term developmental sequence is given in SN 12.23 Upanisa Sutta (and elsewhere):

    dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa)

Faith & confidence in the dhamma and a genuine, deeply felt motivation to actually practice arises out of the recognition of dukkha -- that things aren't right with the world. This is a beginning. By the time a noble disciple reaches the point of knowing and seeing things as they really are there has already been considerable integration of skillful mental qualities such as joy, tranquility, meditative composure, and equanimity. These are necessary factors of awakening:

    mindfulness (sati) → dhamma-investigation (dhammavicaya) → energy (viriya) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → meditative composure (samādhi) → equanimity (upekkhā)
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:49 am

Alex123 wrote:Very interesting quote above. As I understand it, nibbidā is not reaction toward the object itself, but toward craving or trying to find ultimate sukha for it.

Craving is just another object.

Alex123 wrote:In that case, I think that revulsion is actually a good word, and it is not dosa.

That's fine.

Alex123 wrote:In Pali canon, I've noticed quite a few places where the Buddha, or Sariputta has felt "aṭṭiyāmi harāyāmi jigucchāmi" . How do you think they are to be translated?

The available translations are fine. The point which I would emphasize is that there has to be balance in our practice. The integral developmental path presented in the suttas includes developing both the cognitive and affective aspects of ourselves in order to confront and begin to skillfully work with the deep seated habitual tendencies which manifest as conflicted emotions. Through the development of clear seeing (vipassanābhāvanā) we begin to work on our self-limiting cognitive barriers. And through the development of calm (samathabhāvanā) we begin to confront and work on our emotional hindrances. These conflicting emotional reactions include aversion and aggression just as much as passion and lust.

All the best,

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Adrien » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:43 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
    dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa)


What's the difference between disenchantment and dispassion ?
Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Nyana » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:02 pm

Adrien wrote:What's the difference between disenchantment and dispassion ?

Disenchantment arises from clearly seeing the futility of worldly concerns and the unreliability of all fabricated phenomena. This leads to dispassion. Thus, dispassion is even more fruitional than disenchantment. Dhammapada 273:

    The best of dhammas is dispassion.

The experience of dispassion is visceral, deep, and profound. Discernment at this stage of the path is fully present and naked. There is a directness and clarity of understanding which engenders confidence. We become confident that our practice won't be easily shaken by any unexpected bumps on the road. We are able to handle situations which previously created emotional upheavals and moments of uncertainty or hesitation. And when difficult situations do arise we know that we have the necessary insight and skills to work with whatever presents itself.

All the best,

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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby Adrien » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:37 pm

Thank you, that's very clear.
Please don't hesitate to correct my english if you feel to
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby reflection » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:43 pm

Adrien wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
    dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa)


What's the difference between disenchantment and dispassion ?


Disenchantment/revulsion is a result of seeing things as they are which describes fruit of stream entry and liberation obviously points to arahantship, so dispassion probably points to the stage of non-returner. A non-returner dropped the fetter of sensuality, which is passion for the 5 senses, so dispassion (freedom from passion) seems a right way to describe it.

So revulsion and dispassion are very different things. Revulsion is -in other words- the knowledge of dukkha. The dukkha in the 5 sense world leads one free from it, to dispassion of it. Of course the knowledge of dukkha in all conditioned phenomena then drives one to full enlightenment also.

:namaste:
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Re: "disenchantment" or "revulsion"?

Postby chownah » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:46 am

pulga wrote:The word itself of course represents an experience, so I suppose its meaning might be determined by an individual's predisposition when achieving enlightenment. For one inclined towards upekkha, "disenchantment" might better convey his disillusionment than "revulsion", but it might be quite the opposite for one inclined towards samvega.

Just a thought.

Pulga,
I think its a very good thought!!! The various shades of meaning of the two words perhaps allows more people to feel connection with the concepts they are used to represent and when people feel connected with an idea they are more likely to study it and find value.
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