tiltbillings wrote: rowyourboat wrote:
Probably not adding much to this amazing discussion - my take on the matter is that when avijja samyojana is finally shattered by the arahanth, the 'process' which took up the path to enlightenment ceases to be. The unconditioned comes to manifest and all the aggregates cease. What starts up again is the remaining body, formed of 'old kamma'- a previous throw of the paticcasamuppada which has been crystallised as the ayatana, just continuing until the 'fuel' runs out.
So what remains is a bit of paticcasamuppada that remains functioning, but where is memory and personality?
Memory and personality arise as aggregates, but from another perspective form part of the brain tissue- ie the body. In anycase everything uptil that point the 'arahanth' was 'wiped out' belonged to the arahath continuum only because there was mistaken identification as such. When this ceased, experientially as well as in terms of designation, at the point of vimutti, what arose afterwards can't be said to 'belong' to anyone.
Even now there is only an aggregate in the process of becoming 'other', so all this continuum/arahanth talk is just talk, of course. But it does help to illustrate what is going on for those who need to hear something more than 'this is just the ending of suffering'.
Also, there is no supramundane language you would communicate to an arahanth in- we only have the same old conventional concepts, hence all the baggage of continuity, belonging, and self get used, to confuse us poor mortals even more.
I think it is a mistake to deny the external world. The Buddha said an external world cannot be said not to exist, as there is arising. (equally it can't, he said, be said to exist as there is passing away). So for a truly fulfilling, rounded doctrine (not that that is essential, but damn, these are the teachings of a fully enlightened Sammasambuddha), the external world must play a part- note kabalinkara ahara, right livelihood, samadhi, sati, jhana none are bogged down by talk of aggregates, but retain their vitality, where it is needed most. The Buddha was expert at mixing up conventional with ultimate, because his role was not to be as accurate as possible, but to be a the best teacher as was possible, to devas and men.