Fabrication

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:55 am

:thumbsup:

:meditate:

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: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:57 am

chownah wrote:Yes, phenomena is probaby better but I think an important point is that you seem to have these phenomena moving into and out of "your" "the All". You can call them "phenomena" so as to be politically (or should it be spiritually?) correct but it does seem that you are treating them as objects.....does "object" by any other name stink much less?


I was just trying to check whether I understood what Retro was saying, I'm not suggesting it's necessary the best description. Obviously the reference to objects is my meditation instruction talking.

While the idea of objects coming in and out of ones 'sphere" of awareness may seem like self at the centre of the universe, that's just one perspective and one only need recognise it as such.

chownah wrote:Also...I thought a sutta reference might be appropo:
"And why do you call them 'fabrications'? Because they fabricate fabricated things, thus they are called 'fabrications.' What do they fabricate as a fabricated thing? For the sake of form-ness, they fabricate form as a fabricated thing. For the sake of feeling-ness, they fabricate feeling as a fabricated thing. For the sake of perception-hood... For the sake of fabrication-hood... For the sake of consciousness-hood, they fabricate consciousness as a fabricated thing. Because they fabricate fabricated things, they are called fabrications. "
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#fn-3
Notice that consciouness is clearly indicated to be a fabrication....


That's a crazy ass scripture if ever there was.

Actually not only does it talk about fabrication of conciousness but the fabrication of each of the 5 aggregates, in addition to this each of the 5 aggregates has it's own paragraph.

This appears to be supporting what I'm talking about, that there is form, and there is also the fabrication of form, there that there is feeling, and there is also the fabrication of feeling. I may be wrong and interpreting it to support my point but what it appears to be saying is that on top of these aggregates fabrication creates extra layers of fabrication of each the aggregates, ie the mind adds all it's extra categorisation, agendas, and interpretation to the primary experience.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:Yes, I observe how those sankharas listed by Ayya Dhammadinna arise.


The really cool thing is one doesn't need the list in order to observe them. Sometimes lists help but sometimes insight just works the way it's supposed to, and sometimes lists just get in the way.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:06 am

mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:... the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication.

Which is precisely the point I've always tried to make in various interminable discussions that usually get derailed by that silly "reality" straw person.


Amen to that too, that was my point right at the beginning, the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication... so in order to do that one must be able to discern the difference between direct experience and fabrication.

So why did I get phooied with "everything is Fabrication?'"
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:15 am

Greetings Goof,

Goofaholix wrote:the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication... so in order to do that one must be able to discern the difference between direct experience and fabrication.

Precisely so.

Goofaholix wrote:So why did I get phooied with "everything is Fabrication?'"

Because it is. :sage:

Nanananda wrote:"At the end, all is empty. We are not will­ing to accept that exis­tence is a per­ver­sion. Exis­tence is suf­fer­ing pre­cisely because it is a perversion.”

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: Fabrication

Postby SamBodhi » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Goof,

Goofaholix wrote:So if a tree falls to the ground and there is no-one there to hear it then it's not part of "the All", however if next day Retro is there having a picnic and another tree falls to the ground and ruins said picnic it is part of "the All".

Sight of tree, sound of tree, touch of tree, smell of tree, thought of tree and (if we're getting really intimate) taste of tree... yep, these may all fall within the all.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I think I am starting to get it.
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
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Re: Fabrication

Postby Mr Man » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:So why did I get phooied with "everything is Fabrication?'"

Because it is. :sage:

Nanananda wrote:"At the end, all is empty. We are not will­ing to accept that exis­tence is a per­ver­sion. Exis­tence is suf­fer­ing pre­cisely because it is a perversion.”



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Re: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:18 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Because it is. :sage:


So you see no contradiction between these two statements?

"the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication"

"everything is Fabrication"
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:50 pm

Goofaholix wrote:So you see no contradiction between these two statements?

:tongue:

Personally I wouldn't worry about it. As far as I am currently understand it, the Suttas, Abhidhamma, and various interpreters, ancient and modern, are talking about what is experienced. What the "underlying reality" (if any) behind that experience and how exactly it "interacts" or "creates" what is experienced is is not specified, and is unimportant for liberation. Believe what you like about that underlying reality. It wouldn't matter.

What matters for awakening is drilling down to the deepest levels of the experiential world. The Abhidhamma model has the handy shorthand "paramattha dhammas" for that. Those who think the Abhidhamma isn't just a model of experience don't like the term and so have to use more convoluted language to get across essentially the same ideas.

And, of course, all the stuff in the Suttas and various ancient and modern commentaries is just a model, a raft, a way of giving the instructions on how to get to awakening. So I wouldn't take some of the disagreements about them too seriously. I'd test whether the ideas are useful.

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Re: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:38 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:So you see no contradiction between these two statements?

Personally I wouldn't worry about it.


I agree with what you are saying, it's just that it's not easy to have a discussion with somebody when they keep moving the goalposts.

I think the net affect of what you are saying is that the second half of the equation should be changed to as shown below, there is still a contradiction from where I'm sitting.
"the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication"

"everything that is experiened is Fabrication"
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:55 pm

Greetings Goof,

Goofaholix wrote:So you see no contradiction between these two statements?

"the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication"

"everything is Fabrication"

Not in the slightest (except for the earlier mentioned caveat that nibbana isn't a fabrication). The only truly unfiltered experience is that which is truly unconditioned.

I think the confusion you are expressing may be attributable to an over-estimation of how "direct" what you normally think of "direct experience" is. Or looked at from the other side of the coin, an under-estimation of the role of conditioning and fabricating (which include implicit assumptions about what Mike calls "underlying reality") concerning what is experienced.

But if you and Mike choose not to worry about it, that's for you to each decide for yourselves. The Noble Eightfold Path too is fabricated, and we must each fabricate our own path, cognizant that the Buddha taught that Right View is the forerunner. I've just been presenting sutta for those who are interested to consider its relevance to their own fabricated Noble Eightfold Paths. And on your's and Mike's, I wish you all the best!

:thumbsup:

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: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:09 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:So you see no contradiction between these two statements?

"the Buddha encourages an experience that is as direct as possible, and not filtered through subsequent layers of fabrication"

"everything is Fabrication"

Not in the slightest (except for the caveat that nibbana isn't a fabrication). The only truly direct experience is that which is truly unconditioned.


If that's the case then the first statement means "the Buddha encourages an experience of Nibanna", I would have thought that this goes without saying, and saying it the way you did before just unnecessarily invites confusion.

retrofuturist wrote:I think the confusion you are expressing may be attributable to an over-estimation of how "direct" what you normally think of "direct experience" is. Or looked at from the other side of the coin, an under-estimation of the role of conditioning and fabricating (which include implicit assumptions about what Mike calls "underlying reality") concerning what is experienced.

But if you and Mike choose not to worry about it, that's for you to each decide for yourselves. The Noble Eightfold Path too is fabricated, and we must each fabricate our own path, cognizant that the Buddha taught that Right View is the forerunner.


I think we might be getting somewhere.

If I can use a metaphor to clarify what I've been saying. I'd compare it with looking through a dirty window, experience without fabrication could be compared to looking through a window that is 100% clean and 100% without distortion, this is an exceedingly rare thing. Instead our experience is altered by varying degrees of dirt and distortion. Discerning the difference between the dirt and and what is on the other side of the dirt (aka experience unadulterated by fabrication) doesn't mean one can seperate them somehow, it just means one just allows for the fact that the dirt and distortion is there, never believing one has a 100% clean undistorted view of the experience. Realising there is always some degree of fabricatuion there and looking for insight that goes beyond that.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:23 pm

Greetings Goof,

Nice simile - I like it.

To extend it a bit further and slightly tweak your definitions, I think that people tend to assume that a clean window, devoid of the dirt (of defilements) is the best thing to look through, when in fact they would get a better view if the window (of fabrication) and frame (of reference) themselves were removed.

Many people may be happy to clean the windows for a better view, but not so many prepared to investigate the role of the glass itself in the distortion, and remove the window and frame itself. Many are satisfied with clean windows.

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: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:34 pm

retrofuturist wrote:To extend it a bit further and slightly tweak your definitions, I think that people tend to assume that a clean window, devoid of the dirt (of defilements) is the best thing to look through, when in fact they would get a better view if the window (of fabrication) and frame (of reference) themselves were removed.

Many people may be happy to clean the windows for a better view, but not so many prepared to investigate the role of the glass itself in the distortion, and remove the window and frame itself.


I'm not sure that's possible, for the sake of this metaphor I'm assuming that the glass and frame are still necessary, we still need some of this fabrication in order to interact with the surrounding world. Concepts like I, you, big, small, Australian, New Zealander etc even a fully awakened being would have to use these to interact with the surrounding world. I'd guess he'd just recognise them as such, so while all the dirt would all be gone I think the glass and frame remain to be used as and when necessary.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:45 pm

Greetings Goof,

Goofaholix wrote:I'm not sure that's possible, for the sake of this metaphor I'm assuming that the glass and frame are still necessary, we still need some of this fabrication in order to interact with the surrounding world. Concepts like I, you, big, small, Australian, New Zealander etc even a fully awakened being would have to use these to interact with the surrounding world.

Yeah, you don't smash the window and burn the frame. It's just that they have a time and a place, and their role in experience should not be ignored or implicitly assumed as necessary. In connection to this, the Buddha instructed as follows...

SN 55.3 wrote:Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications, percipient of stress in what is inconstant, percipient of not-self in what is stressful, percipient of abandoning, percipient of dispassion, percipient of cessation. That's how you should train yourself."

Reason being, that once we understand that the very fundamentals of samaric/conditioned existence are distorted and remain cognizant of this in our practice, there is natural abandoning of them out of benefit for our own well-being, dispassion with regards to them, and subsequent cessation (nirodha). If we labour under the presumption that we need our fabrications, we will not abandon them, rather we will cling to them all the more. In time, even our fabrication of the noble eightfold path can be cast adrift like the raft that has helped us on our journey. But let's make sure we are actually on a raft, and not just standing on the pier admiring the sparkling water.

To "remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications" as per the Buddha's instructions is to go one step beyond "remain focused on inconstancy in all dhammas", because remaining focused on dhammas (i.e. "things") alone pays no heed to the thing-ness (i.e. what actually makes them "things", which might then be perceived to rise and fall) which was attributed to them by the very act of fabrication. To take things (dhammas) as real things that arise and pass away is to forget that we volitionally framed them as things in the first place. They are only dhammas because we made them so. Hence, "remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications".

Goofaholix wrote:I'd guess he'd just recognise them as such, so while all the dirt would all be gone I think the glass and frame remain to be used as and when necessary.

Yes, "used as and when necessary" but if we don't fully understand them, they will be the ones using us.

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: Fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:20 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Yes, "used as and when necessary" but if we don't fully understand them, they will be the ones using us.


Yes, sounds like we are on the same page.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:32 pm

Greetings,

Goofaholix wrote:Yes, sounds like we are on the same page.

Cool. 8-)

SN 12.15 wrote:The Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications... Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications...

:buddha2:

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: Fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:30 am

retrofuturist wrote: To take things (dhammas) as real things that arise and pass away is to forget that we volitionally framed them as things in the first place. They are only dhammas because we made them so. Hence, "remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications".

Yes, of course we agree on that. No taking the Suttas, Abhidhamma, and Commentaries as anything more than descriptions of our fabricated, empty experience here. No Sir!

And since:
retrofuturist wrote:The Dhamma is about the dependent arising / conditionality, that occurs founded on avijja. It is not about physics. Refracted light has nothing whatsoever to do with Right View or the Four Noble Truths... so actually, yes, you can get far more Dhammic than that.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 0&start=20

It therefore has nothing to say about whether the physics out there is real or not. That's an exercise for the philosophers.

So if someone wants to think that there is a "real world" out there (whatever that might mean), that's OK. If they want to think there is no "real world" (whatever that means) that's also OK. Since the Buddha didn't talk about it one way or the other it's not relevant to awakening.

Right? :coffee:

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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:35 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:So if someone wants to think that there is a "real world" out there (whatever that might mean), that's OK. If they want to think there is no "real world" (whatever that means) that's also OK. Since the Buddha didn't talk about it one way or the other it's not relevant to awakening.

Right? :coffee:

That depends... does this hypothetical someone discern that the "objects" they observe in meditation are in "a real world" or in "loka"?

How are such dhammas regarded?

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: Fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:45 am

Hi Retro,

The Dhammas themselves are what we experience. That's all we can say isn't it?

You can't have it both ways. If the Dhamma is just about what we experience (which is my current view) it says nothing about reality, or whether that experience is affected by some external reality or not.

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