He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby vinasp » Tue May 27, 2014 1:10 pm

Hi everyone,

"He who sees dhamma sees dhammas." [citation required.]

"Monks, it is by making some compounded thing one's object that evil,
unprofitable states arise, not without doing so. By abandoning just that
compound those states exist not."

[PTS Gradual Sayings I, Woodward, page 75.][Book of twos, chapter 8, item 10.]

Is there an assumed psychology in the five Nikaya which is not made explicit?

An assumption that all unenlightened states of mind are based on some object.

That this object is just a misconception fabricated by wrong thinking.

Attending to the misconception causes a certain state of mind to arise.

What is present can then be analysed as a state-of-mind (subject) attending
to an object.

misconception > contact > feeling > craving > clinging.
....object..................state of mind ............

Can we say that if there were no object then there would be no state of mind?

Can we say that the goal is to eliminate all these objects?

Can we say that these objects are sometimes called dhammas (plural)?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby vinasp » Wed May 28, 2014 12:54 pm

Hi everyone,

"He who sees dhamma sees dhammas"

This is the title of a paper by R.M.L. Gethin.

I assumed that it was a quotation from the Sutta Pitaka, but apparently it
is not. In his 'The Buddhist Path to Awakening', page 151 Gethin says:

"It is stated in the Nikayas that he who sees patica-samuppada sees dhamma,
and that he who sees dhamma sees patica-samuppada." [note 28: -M I 190-1...]
......
"One might rephrase the Nikaya saying, then, as:'He who sees dhammas
sees dhamma; he who sees dhamma sees dhammas.'"

The seven different meanings of the word dharma already given on page 148
make his arguments difficult for me to follow, so I will make no comments here.

Gethin also says:

"It is probably true to say that the relationship between dhamma and
dhammas in the early literature has been insufficiently examined by
modern scholarship. This is in part the result of a tendency to view
dhammas as the exclusive domain of the later Abhidhamma literature, (17)
both canonical and commentarial. The assumption is that the dhammas of
the Abhidhamma constitute a scholastic elaboration somewhat removed in
spirit and time from the 'original' dhamma of the Buddha. In fact, of
course, the four primary Nikayas themselves use the word dhamma in the
plural quite freely....."

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby vinasp » Wed May 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Hi everyone,

These are the terms used when the six internal spheres are described:

Eye-sphere, ear-sphere, nose-sphere, tongue-sphere, body-sphere.
mind-sphere [manayatana].

The corresponding objects are:

Form-sphere, sound-sphere, odour-sphere, taste-sphere, tactile-sphere.
mind-object-sphere [dhammayatana].

We know that "mano" is mind (in some sense) so "mind-sphere" seems correct for manayatana.

And "mind-object-sphere" seems to be the best translation of dhammayatana.
Some have translated it as "mental-phenomena."

The question is: What is a mind-object (dhamma)?

1. Is it anything that one can see in ones mind?
2. Or is it the object that the mind is attending to?

For example, any feeling which arises must be a feeling about something, any
desire is a desire for something, any clinging is a clinging to something.
That "something" is the object that the mind is attending to.

Often, we do not see this mind-object. We see an external object and a feeling
arises. We do not notice that we have created a mind-object to "stand-for" or represent the actual external object.

The mind-objects that we create represent rupa things, or arupa things.
The rupa things can be divided into five classes, eye and visible objects,
ear and sounds, and so forth. Which then leaves the arupa things for a sixth
category, mind and mental-objects.

In the formula of Dependent Origination the last eight items can be seen as
the mind and its object. Contact is the contact of the mind with the object.
Feeling, craving, clinging and so forth, are what arises in the mind due to
the object. All the objects are at the level of the item "six-spheres" either
in it or associated with it (the six external spheres).

The ability to see oneself creating these mind-objects is the ability to
see dhammas. To see these dhammas, and everything which arises from them, is
to see the teaching (dhamma).

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby chownah » Thu May 29, 2014 3:14 am

For example, any feeling which arises must be a feeling about something, any
desire is a desire for something, any clinging is a clinging to something.
That "something" is the object that the mind is attending to.



This is a perfect example of clinging to a doctrine of self.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby chownah » Thu May 29, 2014 11:02 am

"Often, we do not see this mind-object. We see an external object and a feeling
arises. We do not notice that we have created a mind-object to "stand-for" or represent the actual external object."

Seems like this is backwards. Don't we really experience a "mind-object" and then mistake it for some "actual external object" existing in some theoretic external world.....and this happens so continually that we start to believe in that theoretic "real world".....and consider thoughts to be just a reflection of that "real" world?
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby vinasp » Thu May 29, 2014 12:19 pm

Hi chownah,

Yes. Modern psychology knows that we construct a model of the external world.

And some philosophers would say that there is no proof of this "external world".

The process that I am attempting to describe is the creation of a distorted
model of self-and-world within the natural or primary model.

The natural model is essential and cannot be made to cease, nor does it cause any suffering.

But the distorted model is a delusion, it can be ended, and it's ending is the end of suffering.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby chownah » Thu May 29, 2014 3:23 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi chownah,

Yes. Modern psychology knows that we construct a model of the external world.

And some philosophers would say that there is no proof of this "external world".

The process that I am attempting to describe is the creation of a distorted
model of self-and-world within the natural or primary model.

The natural model is essential and cannot be made to cease, nor does it cause any suffering.

But the distorted model is a delusion, it can be ended, and it's ending is the end of suffering.

Regards, Vincent.

I guess I disagree with modern psychology then. It seems pretty clear to me that we construct a model of something we call "the world" but that it is going a step to far to say that there is some external world which exists.....it certainly seems that there is an external world that exists and that we model it but there is no proof of this. No need to limit the idea that there is no proof of its existence to "some philosophers"......if there is proof then please bring it forward. I have been asking for this proof for a very long time and so far none has appeared....in fact no one so far has been able to show how it is even possible to prove one way or the other. It seems that our experience does not contain enough information to determine whether the external world exists or not....and that in principle our experience can not ever have the information or means to make the distinction. I would love to be proven wrong on this, really I would.

Also, what is this "natural or primary model" you are talking about?
chownah

P.S. It doesn't seem that the Buddha had much to say about the external world and his definition of the world doesn't really seem to be pointing much toward the thing commonly known as the external world so it doesn't seem that the "external world" figures prominently in his methods for reaching the goal......the strongly held view that an external world exists does, however, seem to be consistent with clinging to form and doctrine of self.
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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby chownah » Sat May 31, 2014 4:17 am

In my previous post I said, "It seems pretty clear to me that we construct a model of something we call "the world" ". This does not express my thoughts. I should have said that we construct a model....period. It is not necessarily a model of some thing which pre-exists. We call this model "the world" or "the real world" and usually associate it with some external world which we theorize exists independent of our experience.

Of course there very well may be a world which exists independent of our experience but it seems to me in my study of the buddha's teachings that the Buddha thought that it's possible existence did not have much to do with reaching the goal. The Buddha did teach about the importance of how views are grasped and views as a source of clinging....and it might be good to inspect our views of the world with regard to grasping and clinging.

It certainly does seem as if that independent world exists. Realizing that there is no proof in its existence does not mean that one can no longer fit into that world or any other.

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Re: He Who Sees Dhamma Sees Dhammas.

Postby vinasp » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:24 pm

Hi everyone,

"But, on the other hand, monks, if one does not will, nor entertain thought-constructions, nor has proclivities, then this does not become an object for the persistence of the consciousness.
The object not being there, there is no station of consciousness: consciousness not being stationed and not having grown, there is no bending: bending not being, there is no coming or going: there being no coming or going, there is no decease or birth: there being no decease or birth, there is no future birth, old age and death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, and despair. Such is the cessation of this mass of ill."

Nanananda, Concept and Reality, BPS 1986, page 90.- [cited as K.S. II. 46-47]

This is SN 12.40 - Will, see also SN 12.39 and SN 12.38

Regards, Vincent.
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