Interbeing ?

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Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:43 pm

From the POV of Classical Theravada can we discern a concept in the Pali Canon that could be rendered as " Interbeing" ?
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:48 pm

Interbeing.

Could you be so kind and add a brief explanation?

Thanks, Peter.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:52 pm

" Interbeing" is a concept found frequently on Buddhist forae.
I am interested to know if it is derived from, or can be equated to, any formulation found within the Classical Theravada schema.
And of course if so, where.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:17 pm

My take on the notion is that it was originally developed by Thich Nhat Hanh to explain dependent origination.
"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: Interbeing ?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:20 pm

As fas as I know that expression has been introduced by Thich Nhat Hanh:
From "The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra"
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:Interbeing

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we ha vea new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And wesee the wheat. We now the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.

I don't think that there can be found any formulation within the Pali Canon which equates to that particular term. Perhaps it can be compared with D.O. in broadest sense...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:29 pm

So are we saying that it has no equivilant in the Pali Canon... Pali scolars......Nana, Dmytro, Kare et al, anything to add ?
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:32 pm

The broadest sense of D.O. being the formulation:

When this is, that is. From the arising of this comes the arising of that. When this isn't, that isn't. From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
"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: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:37 pm

Kirk5a thank you for your input, but I am not looking for an explanation of the term as it is found in TNH, I am aquainted with that. And that lies outside the scope of this Classical Theravada forum, I am asking if anyone can point within the Suttas to a clearly parallel teaching that is Canonical.
With ( in accord with the TOS of the subforum ) references.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:47 pm

PeterB wrote:Kirk5a thank you for your input, but I am not looking for an explanation of the term as it is found in TNH, I am aquainted with that. And that lies outside the scope of this Classical Theravada forum, I am asking if anyone can point within the Suttas to a clearly parallel teaching that is Canonical.
With ( in accord with the TOS of the subforum ) references.

You're welcome. I gave you exactly what you asked for. Here is the sutta I quoted from, which, in the section I quoted, taken in the broadest sense, is a clearly parallel teaching to the formulation of "interbeing" as it has been expressed by the originator of that teaching.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:50 pm

Ok I give up. Over and out. Clearly you have an answer Kirk5a...it just doesnt happen to coincide with my OP.
But the floor is yours. I will stop attempting to get an answer to this question and you can debate to your hears content.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:54 pm

kirk5a wrote:The broadest sense of D.O. being the formulation:

When this is, that is. From the arising of this comes the arising of that. When this isn't, that isn't. From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.


This is how I've heard it explained as well. It's hard to put this in a classical Theravada context because it's a very broad way of interpreting D.O. The problem from a Theravada point of view is that we're more interested in is the cessation part - i.e. the culmination of the 8-fold path. "Interbeing" therefore would be a way of being caught up in samsara.

The closest counter-example is in Lokayatika Sutta: The Cosmologist, where the Buddha refers to "oneness" and "manyness" as "cosmologies" that are to be avoided, and points us right back to the direct statement of Dependent Origination.

Staying at Savatthi. Then a brahman cosmologist [1] went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything [2] exist?"

"'Everything exists' is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist?"

"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Oneness?"

"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Manyness?"

"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


I would think he might have something similar to say about "interbeing."

-M
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:03 pm

Perhaps there needs to be a sub forum within the Classical Theravada that limits question and replies to those able to operate within that genre.

I will wait and see whether Dmytro or Kare or Nana or one of the Theravadin scholars can give an authorative reply rather than jamming.
If it was jamming that interested me I would stick to TNH.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:07 pm

If I thought the answer was "yes," I would have provided an example from the canon.

I believe the answer is "No," so I provided what I thought was a counter example from the canon.

I believe this to be within the guidelines of the Classical Theravada forum.

-M
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:21 pm

Ok its not subtle guys. I suspect that the "Interbeing" concept is an innovation that has no pedigree within the teachings of the Buddha.
I think it was invented. No doubt its inventor had good intentions, but we know what is paved with good intentions dont we.
I think it has actually become a barrier to understanding D.O.

I would like those with more knowledge of the Pali Canon than me to show me whether my thoughts on the matter are in accord with theirs.
And to show mw me either way from the Classical theravadin POV.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby Akuma » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:26 pm

1) TNH wasnt born yet when the writings of classical Theravada were created so classical Theravada doesnt have a viewpoint on this.
2) TNH's concept is incompatible with DO because his idea is not based on abhidharma at all but on physicalism; a typical misconception - not only with "Mahayanis" tho.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:51 pm

Akuma wrote:1) TNH wasnt born yet when the writings of classical Theravada were created so classical Theravada doesnt have a viewpoint on this.
2) TNH's concept is incompatible with DO because his idea is not based on abhidharma at all but on physicalism; a typical misconception - not only with "Mahayanis" tho.

What is "physicalism" and why is it a misconception?
"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: Interbeing ?

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:58 pm

Akuma wrote:1) TNH wasnt born yet when the writings of classical Theravada were created so classical Theravada doesnt have a viewpoint on this.
2) TNH's concept is incompatible with DO because his idea is not based on abhidharma at all but on physicalism; a typical misconception - not only with "Mahayanis" tho.

I am interested in whether in the view of those who have a depth knowledge of the Pali TNH's development can be extrapolated in a logical way that accords with the Classical view.
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:23 pm

PeterB wrote:" Interbeing" is a concept found frequently on Buddhist forae.
I am interested to know if it is derived from, or can be equated to, any formulation found within the Classical Theravada schema.
And of course if so, where.


Thanks, Peter.

May I ask why you're asking?

Are you intending a merely academical exchange?

Or would it affect any personal feelings or thoughts you may be having about interbeing if you were presented a Theravada source?

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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:32 pm

PeterB wrote:Ok its not subtle guys. I suspect that the "Interbeing" concept is an innovation that has no pedigree within the teachings of the Buddha.
I think it was invented. No doubt its inventor had good intentions, but we know what is paved with good intentions dont we.
I think it has actually become a barrier to understanding D.O.

I would like those with more knowledge of the Pali Canon than me to show me whether my thoughts on the matter are in accord with theirs.
And to show mw me either way from the Classical theravadin POV.
:anjali:


Ah, an answer arrived.

I had a feeling that's your drift. :smile:

I suspect that the "Interbeing" concept is an innovation that has no pedigree within the teachings of the Buddha.
I think it was invented.


Hm. I think that many Buddhist monks have their own unique way of imparting and explaining aspects of the Dhamma.

I think it has actually become a barrier to understanding.


To me it's no barrier.

It may be for some, but -different strokes for different blokes, they say.

It's not your cup of tea, I reckon... :smile:
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Re: Interbeing ?

Postby Nyana » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:39 pm

PeterB wrote:" Interbeing" is a concept found frequently on Buddhist forae.
I am interested to know if it is derived from, or can be equated to, any formulation found within the Classical Theravada schema.

I don't think that interbeing is a very common expression beyond TNH. Nevertheless, it's not uncommon to find pratītyasamutpāda (paticcasamuppāda) translated as "interdependent origination" etc., which is not the most accurate translation. Anyway, there is really no Pāli source for interbeing, as it is based on Chinese Huayan sources which were developments from the Avataṃsaka Sūtra.

All the best,

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