Hello tiltbillings, all
In this thread http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6234
in the general meditation section was a back and forth about the role of determinism within the Buddha's teachings. It is a battle better fought here for those who are interested.
Edit: Yes, the Buddha taught causilty, but to refine the question: Did the Buddha teach that we have choice within the causal context within which we find ourselves?
I think the problem comes from the understanding of the anatta.
The argument often shown is the "beyond-control" or "out-of-control" or "no-control" aspect of the anatta dhamma. So there is no choice possible.
As Alex argue :
Alex123 wrote:ayoniso or yoniso manasikāra belongs to the aggregates (especially Saṅkhāra khandha).
In MN35 The Buddha defined anatta as 5 aggregates being beyond control when he was talking to Saccaka (Aggivessana). Anatta is similarly defined in SN22.59. One cannot control any aggregate "let it be thus, let it not be thus".
Saṅkhāra Khandha includes such thing as wisdom, ignorance and intention toward sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, mental objects - SN22.57.
So one cannot control intention "let me put wisdom or anger toward" sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, mental objects. One cannot choose to have only yoniso manasikāra toward things. If I could, I would do it
This is not the way that I understand the meanings of "no control" aspect of the anatta dhamma.
Why one cannot control any aggregate ? well , it is just because of the anicca-impermanence of every phenomenon. It is never be permanent due to the ever changing nature of every phenomenon. It cannot be the same permanently. It will change according to the natural law of anicca-impermanence.
It means that what one have seen arising as kusala dhamma, it will be falling away, disappearing, and if one is influenced (conditionned) by bad stimuli, akusala dhama will arise and fortunately then will also fall away.
The arising/falling of each conditionned dhamma leaves place for the best as the worst to happen.
This anicca law is a chance, a real opportunity for one to change one's life. Now what is missed, it is the way to use this anicca law for one's benefit. Fortunately, this is teached by Gotama Buddha summarized in the 4NT (which is also a brief summary of the Paticcasamupadda).
The first thing to know is to identify what is dukkha (that is to discern or to feel of what are kusala/akusala dhammas). The cause of dukkha. Finally the path to realize the cessation of dukkha.
Kusala dhammas are conditions that lead to the cessation of Tanha, that is also the cessation of Avijja.
So the only way to keep one to maintain, to accumulate kusala dhammas (that are arising/falling away all the time) is to repeat the process in the direction that allow kusala dhamma to arise frequently.
The fact to see/go in a good direction means making a good, skilfull choice - yoniso manasikara (also called appropriate attention).
The suttas MN19, MN20 are very clear on how the Boddhisatta processed on the path.
Here is another basic/fondamental sutta about yoniso manasikara (translated in this sutta as "appropriate attention" ) : MN2 : Sabbasava Sutta: All the Fermentations. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Surely that there will be another mental qualities that we need to cultivate for the progress on the spiritual path (atapi, sati, sampajanna, faith, samadhi,panna..)
It is meaningless to say :
"mental-qualities" belong to "sankhara khanda"
but "sankahra khanda" is beyond control
so "mental-qualities" are beyond control !!! Yeah, and what's else ?
It is counter-productive to have such views missing the role of the 8 Noble Path in short or the 37 Boddhipakiyadhammas in large.
"choice/no-choice", "control/no-control" .. whatever one calls that, but because of the arising/falling of all conditionned phenomenon, there is room to make conditions for kusala dhamma arised.
- But WHO makes conditions ?
- BAD question, there's no who, but panna makes conditions
- really ?? but it is sankh....
- oh dear...
Thanks tiltbillings for your amazing kind wolf.
just my other two cents