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Cessation's permanence - Dhamma Wheel

Cessation's permanence

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Akuma
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Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:35 am

Hello everyone.


How does - if it can - Theravada prove that the cessation of the fetters in the 4 levels of sainthood / the cessation of the poisons in Nirvana is irreversible?

Aku

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Ben
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:54 am

Practice.
The proof of the pudding, Akuma, is in its eating.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Akuma
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Location: NRW, Germany

Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:37 pm


chownah
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby chownah » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:05 am

Akuma,
You asked for proof. Absolute proof of anything is difficult to find. I think Ben's statement is a pretty good one for Theravada thinkilng......in Theravada I think that if you want to "prove" something about experience the only real way to do it is to experience it....all else is just views and speculation....this is all just my view and should not be taken as a proof nor even an attempt at a proof.....
chownah

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Ben
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:07 am

Thanks Chownah!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby ground » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:40 am


Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:33 am


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Ben
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:11 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Akuma
Posts: 147
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Location: NRW, Germany

Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:22 am


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acinteyyo
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:20 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Sylvester
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Sylvester » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:33 am

It is, by Hume's Fork, impossible to prove.

There are certain propositions made in Buddhism which are empirically verifiable. One can generally not dispute the conditioned nature of practically every observable datum. The consequences for this conditioned nature leads to the 3 Signs. Specifically, in AN 3.47a, we see another description of the "sankhatassa sankhatalakkhana" as including the observable fact that a conditioned thing is subject to arising, falling away and change. AN 3.47b then discusses the opposite, ie the 3 asankhatassa asankhatalakkhana, namely non-arising, non-falling away, and no change. One could then logically infer a priori that Nibbana is irreversible.

But, can one, on the basis of the observation of conditioned states, surmise that there is an "unconditioned"? The "unconditioned" does not seem to be empirically observable, so that leaves only 2 choices for a proposition concerning the "unconditioned" to be meaningful.

One could take this as a matter of faith, in which case it becomes soteriologically meaningful within that religious discourse.

The alternative is of course to rationalise it via metaphysics. Unfortunately, I don't believe Kant made a convincing case for any meaningful discourse on synthetic a priori propositions. A statement about the "unconditioned" is synthetic to the extent that its truth value is independent of and additional to the statement concerning the "conditioned", and yet it presumes to be derived logically from the statement concerning the "conditioned" - thus the a priori appellation.

It's a lost cause, since Hume pointed out the futility of this enterprise more than 2 centuries ago.

And I'm happy to take the irreversibility of Nibbana on faith alone.

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daverupa
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby daverupa » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:13 pm


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Nibbida
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Nibbida » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:54 pm

The difference between "believe in Jesus" and "ehi passiko" (~"come and see [for yourself]") is that practice yields progressive results. Buddhist training develops various skills (e.g. mindfulness, equanimity, the remaining seven factors of awakening, metta, etc.) much in the same way we develop skill with a musical instrument or doing arithmetic. As these skills become interalized and highly developed, a change in one's sense of well-being becomes more and more noticeable. One becomes less perturbed by events, and more appreciative and kind.

If you don't believe changes in subjective experience are enough, then look at the amassing research literature which consistently shows that mindfulness training (which incorporates various Buddhist princples) create changes in the brain and measurable changes in objective ability and subjective well-being.

The progression to various levels of enlightenment is, to some degree, a continuation of the development of these processes. If neither of these forms of evidence satisfy you, then I can't imagine what other kind of proof you're looking for.

rowyourboat
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:46 am

The cause of becoming is noted, then that cause is removed-nibbana is experienced even in this life. If the cause for bhava is removed and stays removed for an entire lifetime, in you and in others following the same path, and you have seen you have no suffering any more in this life- then you have done everything in your power which is humanly possible to reach nibbana- nothing more further can be done.

Besides the question is wrong. What is this 'permanent' nibbana? Who is it that falls out of it? Who is it that went 'in' to it?
:anjali:

With metta

M
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:50 am


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acinteyyo
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:24 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

chownah
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby chownah » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:44 pm


Akuma
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:05 am


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ground
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Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby ground » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:33 am


Akuma
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Location: NRW, Germany

Re: Cessation's permanence

Postby Akuma » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:10 am



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