Are views eradicat/uprooted, or are views just abandoned

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Are views eradicat/uprooted, or are views just abandoned

Postby Jaidyn » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:31 pm

(Parts from MN 22.15-16 - Alagaddupama Sutta - The Simile of the Snake, Translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi)

I would like to share some reflections which I hope someone can share thoughts about. An untaught ordinary person has this stance:

“Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary person, who has no regard for noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, […] And this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’ – this too he regards thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’”

It is now tempting to guess that the noble one, practically, will give rise to another “better view”, like this view: “That which is the self is _not_ the world; after death I shall _not_ be permanent, everlasting, eternal, _and I will be_ subject to change; I shall _not_ endure as long as eternity”, but this is not the case as we will see:

“Bhikkhus, a well-taught noble disciple who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, […] And this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’ – this too he regards thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.’”

Look how the view in treatment is still the same. The difference is that the noble one relates to the very same view in a different way – in a non-self way.

* The important thing seems to be the way one relates to the view, not the actual view.
* It seems like the view in question still can be produced in a noble one, but that the noble one abandons it.
* The minds tendency to create this view has not been removed. Is it so that the tendency is actually never removed in a noble one, and that the only focus is not on removing the view, but to foster an active non-self relation towards this view. (I do not know if a noble one is an enlightened one).
* I read (SN BB's translation - The Book with Verses - Marasamyutta (Introduction), pp. 79-80) and understand that Mara “visited” Buddha even after his enlightenment, but that the Buddha always disclosed and defeated Mara. I am thinking of the same with views: views still arise, but the fully enlightened one always “defeat” the view.

The comment (MN. BBs translation, n. 259) says: “This is a full-fledged eternalist view arisen on the basis of one of the earlier, more rudimentary types of personality view; here it becomes itself an object of craving, conceit and the false view of self.”

I would like to take this one step further by aligning the previous quotes with other parts of the same passage:

The undisciplined one: “He regards formations thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’”

The noble one: “He regards formations thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.’”

The danger herein must be the temptation to _view_ formations as non-self. The noble one is not merely viewing formations as non-self, but he must be doing something else.

* A misconception in the students mind should possible here: we think that we regard formations as non-self in the correct way, but we actually append a _view_ of non-self which is not the correct way. To “regard formations as non-self” should involve something else.

Phew :namaste:
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Re: Are views eradicat/uprooted, or are views just abandoned

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:51 pm

Hi Jaidyn,

Thank you for raising some very interesting points. Thanissarro Bhikkhu points out in a footnote to his translation: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-8 that there is some controversy over how exactly to render the passages.

Reading through both translations, I am still confused as to their exact meaning.

"He assumes about the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. [8] After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity': 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.'
...
"He assumes about the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity': 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, he is not agitated over what is not present." [9]

[8] The Pali here reads, so loko so atta. The translation given here follows the interpretation of Nyanaponika Thera in his translation of this discourse. Bhikkhu Bodhi, in his notes to the translation of this discourse in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, calls this interpretation hypothetical, and instead suggests that this phrase indicates the Sankhya theory of the changeless "person" as opposed to unchanging "nature." However, in his later translation of SN 22.81, which contains an identical passage, he adopts Nyanaponika's interpretation as well.
[9] On non-agitation, see MN 138 and MN 140.

I had taken "He assumes about the view-position..." to mean "he considers this view and rejects it". You seem to be putting a different, and very interesting nuance on it. I'll have to think a little more...

:anjali:
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Re: Are views eradicat/uprooted, or are views just abandoned

Postby ground » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:24 am

Bikkhus, I will teach you the way that is appropriate/suitable for uprooting all conceivings.

SN35.30/31 (B. Bodhi)


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Re: Are views eradicat/uprooted, or are views just abandoned

Postby nameless » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:53 am

What I read, from

"The comment (MN. BBs translation, n. 259) says: “This is a full-fledged eternalist view arisen on the basis of one of the earlier, more rudimentary types of personality view; here it becomes itself an object of craving, conceit and the false view of self.”


is that the view ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’ is a set view, that is, whether it was a common view in that culture, or an established philosophical standpoint, or something else, it's not addressing the mind's tendency to form that view, but is the same in both cases because a set view is being addressed.

So,
Ordinary person - eternalist view - ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’
Trained person - eternalist view - ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.’

Hope that makes sense.

* A misconception in the students mind should possible here: we think that we regard formations as non-self in the correct way, but we actually append a _view_ of non-self which is not the correct way. To “regard formations as non-self” should involve something else.


Maybe it's not about having a view of non-self, but rather not having a view of self.
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