Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

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Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby Sacha G » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:39 pm

Hi
I was wondering whether "reading" might be considered as sensual pleasures. In some ways I guess "no", because:
- it's not a pleasure derived directly from the five senses, but more a mental pleasure
- it can be wholesome, such as "reading of the suttas" or anything "dhammic".
But in some respects, I would say "yes" because:
- it's not jhanic either, therefore not "secluded from sensual pleasures"
- it's also not supramundaine, since (unless in some rare cases) it doesn't lead to the "eye of the dhamma"...
Might it be that there is a "plane" between the "plane" of sensual pleasures and the jhanic and supremundaine planes???
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Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:04 pm

Remember that there aren't five senses in Buddhism, but six, including the mind.

One can crave for and cling to ideas just as easily as the other senses

"And what is craving? These six are classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for smells, craving for tastes, craving for tactile sensations, craving for ideas. This is called craving.

"And what is feeling? These six are classes of feeling: feeling born from eye-contact, feeling born from ear-contact, feeling born from nose-contact, feeling born from tongue-contact, feeling born from body-contact, feeling born from intellect-contact. This is called feeling.
Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising
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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:12 pm

"And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever is endearing & alluring in terms of the world: that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

"And what is endearing & alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells. "The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect..."Forms... Sounds... Smells... Tastes... Tactile sensations... Ideas...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"And what are the six kinds of household joy? The joy that arises when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of forms cognizable by the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly baits — or when one recalls the previous acquisition of such forms after they have passed, ceased, & changed: That is called household joy. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.137.than.html
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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby Sacha G » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:59 am

Hi
There are only five types of sensual pleasures. Intellect isn't one.
(i) "And what, bhikkhus, is the gratification in the case of sensual pleasures? Bhikkhus, there are these five cords of sensual pleasure. What are the five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear...Odors cognizable by the nose...Flavors cognizable by the tongue...Tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. These are the five cords! sensual pleasure. Now the pleasure and joy that arise dependent on these five cords of sensual pleasure are the gratification in the case of sensual pleasures. (MN13)

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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby meindzai » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:34 pm

Sacha G wrote:Hi
There are only five types of sensual pleasures. Intellect isn't one.
(i) "And what, bhikkhus, is the gratification in the case of sensual pleasures? Bhikkhus, there are these five cords of sensual pleasure. What are the five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear...Odors cognizable by the nose...Flavors cognizable by the tongue...Tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. These are the five cords! sensual pleasure. Now the pleasure and joy that arise dependent on these five cords of sensual pleasure are the gratification in the case of sensual pleasures. (MN13)

:hello:


Ok, point taken if you are talking purely about "pleasure" and not "craving." Though I think it's important to keep in mind that all these have their locus in the mind, that even the above 5 can still be "wished for, desired," etc. without actually encountering them. "All mental states are preceded by mind."

Of course, reading is done through the eyes, is it not? It also has the ability of creating images, sounds, smells, tactile sensations, etc. in the mind. So it seems that in some way the senses are involved.

-M
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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby effort » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:00 am

i quite reading novels years ago, it became an addiction.
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Re: Is 'Reading' classified as sensual Pleasure?

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:56 am

I have been brought up to adore literature, poetry and language, all my life. My parents always encouraged us to have a book at hand, always open, always read, in order to broaden our minds, deepen our education, and understand literature more deeply. I loved to read, as a child, and would choose books over TV any day.

When I first came to Buddhism, and began to practice in earnest, all of my reading material was Buddhist literature. I devoured books by TNH, The Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Lama Surya Das and others.

I found that I developed an aversion to fiction and novels, because they seemed trite, trivial, superficial, shallow and irrelevant.
Every time I thought of reading one, I was put off by the sheer attachment and grasping of the protagonists, and critiqued it in Buddhist terms, from a Buddhist perspective.

Over time, I began to read other non-Buddhist books again, but they were informative, thought-provoking and educational.

Recently, many people raved about the three books by Stieg Larsson ("The Girl....." Trilogy) and I decided that, if so many people were raving about them, they had to be good.
I read the first, initial interest and curiosity turning into perseverance as I read through it, and finished it feeling decidedly cheated and wondering what all the fuss had been about.
I attempted to venture into the second, and gave up.

I found them...an unnecessary distraction to my life.

However, 'The Book Thief' is one that has left an indelible mark on my psyche, and I also enjoyed the novel 'The Time Traveller's Wife' (although I haven't seen the film, and it has received mixed reviews).

The Book Thief focuses on the experiences of a young German girl in war-time Germany, who develops a good friendship with a Jew.

The Time traveller's wife plays with time and space, attachment, detachment, suffering and compassion.

So now, I seem to have become more selective, more discriminating, more discerning about the literature I take up.
It has to do something for me, in order for it to be worth my while.

I don't see this as a sensual pleasure. I see this as implementing Right Understanding, Right View and Right Awareness.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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