Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby ground » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:the two truth notion = papanca


... although one may find expressions in the suttas that may give rise to this notion.

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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:40 am

Greetings,

tmingyur wrote:.. although one may find expressions in the suttas that may give rise to this notion.

And the act of coming up with this notion would be conceptual proliferation.

tiltbillings wrote:we really do not have idea of what you are actually criticizing

I am criticising needless papanca, and the reification of that papanca.

See the anicca in all sankhara (incl. papanca), see the dukkha in that which is anicca, see anatta in that which is dukkha... abandonment, dispassion, cessation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby ground » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tmingyur wrote:.. although one may find expressions in the suttas that may give rise to this notion.

And the act of coming up with this notion would be conceptual proliferation.


Well yes. Every thinking about the suttas is conceptual proliferation.


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tmingyur wrote:.. although one may find expressions in the suttas that may give rise to this notion.

And the act of coming up with this notion would be conceptual proliferation.

tiltbillings wrote:we really do not have idea of what you are actually criticizing

I am criticising needless papanca, and the reification of that papanca.

Metta,
Retro. :)
And so you claim again, papanca, but you have not actually made a reasoned, example argument for your claim, much less actually telling us what it is that you are actually objecting to. The latter you are simply avoiding doing. You were asked two simple "yes and no" questions that would have helped us understand your objections, but you ignored them, leaving us with no clearer of an idea of what it is you are calling papanca or why you think it is so.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:50 am

Greetings,

Are you saying that the two truth notion says there are two actual and distinct truths, as you seems to be saying? Yes or no?

Image
"Retro discards it and sees absolutely no danger or loss in doing so."

And if they are two actual distinct truths, is one higher, more true than the other? Yes or no?

Image
"Retro discards it and sees absolutely no danger or loss in doing so."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Are you saying that the two truth notion says there are two actual and distinct truths, as you seems to be saying? Yes or no?

Image
"Retro discards it and sees absolutely no danger or loss in doing so."

And if they are two actual distinct truths, is one higher, more true than the other? Yes or no?

Image
"Retro discards it and sees absolutely no danger or loss in doing so."

Metta,
Retro. :)

[Editing this a bit] Basically, you are telling us with this response you cannot make a real argument here, and I think we can leave it there.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby ground » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:12 am

Two truths theory may be a stepping stone when initially approaching the dhamma to somehow conceptually smoothen the felt inconsistencies due to habitual reification of terms and terminology. However if the two truths theory is not abandoned in a timely manner due to being reified itself then this is actually an instance of an intermediary remedy having become a poison.


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:11 am

For a discussion of the double truth as taught in classical Theravada:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=10222&start=0
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:20 am

Greetings,

TMingyur wrote:However if the two truths theory is not abandoned in a timely manner due to being reified itself then this is actually an instance of an intermediary remedy having become a poison.

Well said.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:23 am

TMingyur wrote:However if the two truths theory is not abandoned in a timely manner due to being reified itself then this is actually an instance of an intermediary remedy having become a poison.
The double truth notion is like any Dhamma teaching. It can be a useful tool or a basis for spiritual materialism, and always the question, when to let go? But that really is answered by one's ongoing practice.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Double Truth aka Two Truths

Postby Gena1480 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:51 am

the way the Buddha teaches is not divided in two
Buddha teachings are great at the begging
Buddha teachings are great at the middle
Buddha teachings are great at the end.
dividing the teaching into two different classes
can cause schism in the Sangha
the Buddha does not teach the path to immortality (immortality is a view of eternalism) which is wrong view
that is my view
metta
Last edited by Gena1480 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Double Truth aka Two Truths

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:03 am

Gena1480 wrote:the way the Buddha teaches is not divided in two
And the Double Truth notion does not divide the teaching in two. It is just an acknowledgement that there are two broad ways of talking about the same thing.
Gena1480 wrote:the Buddha does not teach the path to immortally (immortality is a view of eternalism) which is wrong view
that is my view
The word here is like likely amata, one of the epithets for nibbana. Best to criticize what you understand, not what you do not.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby Nyana » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:44 am

retrofuturist wrote:I am criticising needless papanca, and the reification of that papanca.

Ven. Ñāṇananda criticized the two truth theory with a few more words before similarly dismissing it. In his Concept and Reality In Early Buddhist Thought, pp. 44-45:

    [T]he word ‘paramattha’ in its earlier and non-technical usage, actually meant the Highest Goal as the object of realization, and any words tending towards that goal were called ‘paramatthasaṃhita’ (connected with the Highest Goal), irrespective of their precision or technicality. However, the Buddha, for his part, was content to treat all of them as ‘sammuti’. For him, they were ‘merely worldly conventions in common use, which he made use of, without clinging to them’ (DN I 202, Poṭṭhapāda Sutta).

    One wonders whether this simple though profound attitude of the Buddha towards concepts, has been properly handed down in tradition, when for instance one comes across the following verse quoted approvingly by Buddhaghosa (source unknown) in his commentary to the Anaṅgaṇa Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya:

    Duve saccāni akkhāsi, sambuddho vadataṃ varo;
    sammutiṃ paramatthañca, tatiyaṃ nūpalabbhati.
    Saṅketavacanaṃ saccaṃ, lokasammutikāraṇā;
    paramatthavacanaṃ saccaṃ, dhammānaṃ bhūtakāraṇā.
    Tasmā vohārakusalassa, lokanāthassa satthuno;
    sammutiṃ voharantassa, musāvādo na jāyati.

    If one can appreciate the significance of the term ‘nippapañca,’ one might realize that the Buddha could magnanimously afford to dispense with such naïve defenses as the above, against any charges of his having violated the fourth precept.

And also, in his The Mind Stilled, Nibbāna Sermon 13:

    [Nibbāna] is not a paramattha in the sense of an absolute. It is a paramattha only in the sense that it is the highest good, parama attha. This is the sense in which the word was used in the discourses, though it has different connotations now. As exemplified by such quotations as āraddhaviriyo paramatthapattiyā, "with steadfast energy for the attainment of the highest good," the suttas speak of Nibbāna as the highest good to be attained.

    In later Buddhist thought, however, the word paramattha came to acquire absolutist connotations, due to which some important discourses of the Buddha on the question of worldly appellations, worldly expressions and worldly designations fell into disuse. This led to an attitude of dwelling in the scaffolding, improvised just for the purpose of constructing a building....

    [I]t is not proper to relegate some sermons as discursive or conventional in style. Always it is a case of using concepts in worldly parlance. In the laboratory one uses a particular set of symbols, but on returning home he uses another. In the same way, it is not possible to earmark a particular bundle of concepts as absolute and unchangeable. As stated in the Poṭṭhapādasutta, already discussed, all these concepts are worldly appellations, worldly expressions, worldly usages, worldly designations, which the Tathāgata makes use of without tenacious grasping. However philosophical or technical the terminology may be, the arahants make use of it without grasping it tenaciously. What is of importance is the function it fulfills. We should make use of the conceptual scaffolding only for the purpose of putting up the building. As the building comes up, the scaffolding has to leave. It has to be dismantled. If one simply clings onto the scaffolding, the building would never come up.

retrofuturist wrote:See the anicca in all sankhara (incl. papanca), see the dukkha in that which is anicca, see anatta in that which is dukkha... abandonment, dispassion, cessation.

Indeed. Sustained recognition of impermanence will eventually shred all philosophical views.
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Re: Double Truth aka Two Truths

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:03 am

Gena1480 wrote:the way the Buddha teaches is not divided in two
Buddha teachings are great at the begging
Buddha teachings are great at the middle
Buddha teachings are great at the end.
dividing the teaching into two different classes
can cause schism in the Sangha
the Buddha does not teach the path to immortality (immortality is a view of eternalism) which is wrong view
that is my view
metta


Two truth or Double truth or whatever it is, will not cause the buddha teaching to be divided into two classes and cause schism in the Sangha. :rofl:

I think Sangha will in fact say thank you to this 2 truths. :rofl:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:07 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:I am criticising needless papanca, and the reification of that papanca.

Ven. Ñāṇananda criticized the two truth theory with a few more words before similarly dismissing it. In his Concept and Reality In Early Buddhist Thought, pp. 44-45:

[list][T]he word ‘paramattha’ in its earlier and non-technical usage, actually meant the Highest Goal as the object of realization, and any words tending towards that goal were called ‘paramatthasaṃhita’ (connected with the Highest Goal), irrespective of their precision or technicality. However, the Buddha, for his part, was content to treat all of them as ‘sammuti’. For him, they were ‘merely worldly conventions in common use, which he made use of, without clinging to them’ (DN I 202, Poṭṭhapāda Sutta).
Dismnissed it? Not so clear that he really did. He certainly dismissed taking ‘paramattha’ as meaning some sort of absolute, which is fine. That really does not need to touch the double truth notion in general. One does not have to look very hard to see that there are differing ways within the suttas to say the same sort of thing, and the general division outlined by the double truth notion as outlined here is workable and can be useful a tool of investigation.

Is it needless papanca, word that all too often gets heedlessly thrown about here as a way of trying shut down any disagreement? I suppose, as it is with any Dhamma notion, it could be, but the double truth notion could also help prevent a lot of the mistakes we see made by taking the conventional language or the more percise langugae too seiously, without balance. As for reification of the double truth notion, there has been nothing to support that accusation of anyone here who finds the double truth notion useful. This unsupported accusation itself seems to be guilty of the very accusation it is making.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby Nyana » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:He certainly dismissed taking ‘paramattha’ as meaning some sort of absolute, which is fine. That really does not need to touch the double truth notion in general.

Dhammas are mere designation (paññattimatta). The classical Mahāvihāra two truth hermeneutic is deeply flawed -- resulting in either an eternalistic or nihilistic view. We see variations on these extremes playing out all over this forum and amongst many Theravāda teachers as well. The aggregates are not to be taken as "the given." Nor is contact, etc. Nibbāna is the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. End of story.
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:40 am

Greetings,

Ñāṇa wrote:Dhammas are mere designation (paññattimatta).

Well said, Geoff... all sankhata dhammas (i.e. all dhammas other than the unconditioned - nibbana) arise due to ignorance. To take self-appointed designations rooted in avijja as some variety of higher order of truth, is akin to regarding loka as that which 'exists' and foresaking the Dhamma (that teaches down the middle) in the process.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:44 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:He certainly dismissed taking ‘paramattha’ as meaning some sort of absolute, which is fine. That really does not need to touch the double truth notion in general.

Dhammas are mere designation (paññattimatta). The classical Mahāvihāra two truth hermeneutic is deeply flawed --
Maybe it is, but you have not yet shown it to be the case. And that dhammas are mere designation need not touch the double truth notion in a negative way -- anyway, not that you or anyone else here has shown.

We see variations on these extremes playing out all over this forum and amongst many Theravāda teachers as well.
It is easy to say but if you are unwilling to actually back it up, there is nothing here to take sertiously.

he aggregates are not to be taken as "the given." Nor is contact, etc. Nibbāna is the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. End of story.
I do not disagree with that, but you have yet to show that this has anything to do with anything. Let us have little bit more than crap on the commentaries and crap on Buddhaghosa.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Ñāṇa wrote:Dhammas are mere designation (paññattimatta).

Well said, Geoff... all sankhata dhammas (i.e. all dhammas other than the unconditioned - nibbana) arise due to ignorance. To take self-appointed designations rooted in avijja as some variety of higher order of truth, is akin to regarding loka as that which 'exists' and foresaking the Dhamma (that teaches down the middle) in the process.
That would be a problem, but luckily that is not what the double truth business is about.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two truths theory. Did Buddha teach it?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:52 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:That would be a problem, but luckily that is not what the double truth business is about.

What is the differentiation then, in your words? Is one set of designations somehow 'less designated' than the other?

There is the designated, and the undesignated.

SN 22.3 (Bodhi translation) wrote:And how, householder, does one roam about without abode? Diffusion and confinement in the abode [consisting in] the sign of forms: these have been abandoned by the Tathagata, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising. (so on with the sign of odours, sign of tastes, sign of tactile objects, sign of mental phenomena).

"Not the least of the dangers of the facile and fallacious notion 'truth in the highest sense' is its power to lull the unreflecting mind into a false sense of security. The unwary thinker comes to believe that he understands what, in fact, he does not understand, and thereby effectively blocks his own progress."
~Nanavira Thera

All the labels and designations applied are all nama-rupa (i.e. name-form)... and according to the Buddha, nama-rupa is to be extinguished, not cultivated.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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