Fabrication

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:57 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote: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.

To that extent, there is Right View.

(I don't know what makes you think I'm trying to have it both ways though... I was just asking how dhammas/phenomena are regarded)

P.S. And to anyone who is wondering how what this present side-conversation has anything to do with the subject of fabrication, see SN 12.15, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , which is about fabrication and the questions I've just asked.

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 10:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote: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.

To that extent, there is Right View.

You mean you agree? :woohoo:
retrofuturist wrote:(I don't know what makes you think I'm trying to have it both ways though... I was just asking how dhammas/phenomena are regarded)

You'd be trying to have it both ways if you said that the Buddha's teaching is just about what we experience but also used it to try to deny (or confirm) an external reality behind that experience.
retrofuturist wrote:P.S. And to anyone who is wondering how what this present side-conversation has anything to do with the subject of fabrication, see SN 12.15, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , which is about fabrication and the questions I've just asked.

I thought it was mostly about how dependent origination short-circuits the extremes of eternalism and annihilationism. See the various ancient and modern commentaries here:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11269

:anjali:
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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:29 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:You'd be trying to have it both ways if you said that the Buddha's teaching is just about what we experience but also used it to try to deny (or confirm) an external reality behind that experience.

Indeed you would.

mikenz66 wrote:I thought it was mostly about how dependent origination short-circuits the extremes of eternalism and annihilationism.

It is, but what's dependent origination about?... "From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications."

All the nidanas are fabrications, and they comprise the sum of samsaric experience.

:twothumbsup:

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 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:37 pm

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.


I agree that this is besides the point of Buddhist practise, however to practise with the view that there is no "real world" seems like an exercise in pointlessness. No "real world" then no problem, therefore no need for a solution.

Having said that if this view creates a skillful means in that everything experienced is questioned as potentially fabricated until proven otherwise then that's not a bad thing
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:26 pm

Goofaholix wrote:I agree that this is besides the point of Buddhist practise, however to practise with the view that there is no "real world" seems like an exercise in pointlessness. No "real world" then no problem, therefore no need for a solution.

I agree. As I currently understand it the Buddha neither denied nor confirmed a real word. That's why I bring this up. Because, to me, some of the complex arguments that I see on this Forum about "reality" appear to me to veer towards denial.

I prefer to keep it simple. Dhamma is about experience, therefore any assertion about reality is beside the point.

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Re: Fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:30 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I thought it was mostly about how dependent origination short-circuits the extremes of eternalism and annihilationism.

It is, but what's dependent origination about?... "From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications."

Of course. The whole of the Nidana-samyutta (SN 12 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/index.html#sn12) is about dependent origination. But I was meaning the particular message of that sutta...

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Re: Fabrication

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:16 pm

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Because, to me, some of the complex arguments that I see on this Forum about "reality" appear to me to veer towards denial.

No, but I think I'm starting to see where your confusion may be coming from.

The question is not about whether one believes a "real world" exists or not does not exist... it's about whether dhammas experienced are regarded/discerned as being within "loka" or within a "real world", where things exist or don't exist. Look at again at SN 12.15

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

To that extent there is Right View.

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 retrofuturist » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:58 pm

Greetings Mike,

I've just thought of a comparable situation that might help make the above distinction clearer...

Think of the Buddha's teaching of anatta, (not-self) which says that the five aggregates and six-sense-sphere are not-self. Not once does the Buddha make the ontological declaration that "atman doesn't exist"*. When Thanissaro Bhikkhu explains this point and shows it's not an ontological teaching, some Theravadins who cling to an ontological belief in the non-existence of atman/soul hurl all manner of insult upon him because his comments do not affirm their pre-existing ontological bias. The teaching of anatta is most valuable as a corrective to those whose ontological biases (i.e. belief in atta or atman) cause them to incorrectly discern/regard loka in the present moment.

Now think of the Buddha's teaching of dependent origination, which says that all experience other than nibbana is conditioned/formed/sankara/dependently-arisen. The Buddha doesn't affirm either ontological existence or non-existence. When Nanananda, Nanavira et.al. explain this point and show that dependent origination is not an ontological teaching, some Theravadins who cling to an ontological belief in existence, exude all manner of strange looks and accusations of obscurity, because their comments do not affirm their pre-existing ontological beliefs. The teaching of dependent origination is most valuable as a corrective to those whose ontological biases (i.e. existence or non-existence) cause them to incorrectly discern/regard loka in the present moment. Let's not kid ourselves either, that's true of all putthujjanas, and of sekhas who habitually still lapse into avijja, when not mindful. As Nanananda says, "We are not will­ing to accept that exis­tence is a per­ver­sion. Exis­tence is suf­fer­ing pre­cisely because it is a perversion.”... so I'm not just talking about you or Goof, I'm talking about all of us here (unless the self-proclaimed arahants in the member poll are to be believed! :lol: ). Whether you wish to strive to see that exis­tence is a per­ver­sion and put an end to suffering is up to you. The Buddha, Nanananda, Nanavira et.al. can only point the way... speaking for myself though, it is of paramount importance.

As dependent origination addresses and diagnoses the full gamut of ontological beliefs, it is rightly regarded as the most profound of the Buddha's teachings. Anatta, whilst not quite so profound, is still immensely valuable since so much of our preconceived ontological beliefs which give rise to clinging are rooted in notions of self (e.g. "I" and "mine"). So yes, paticcasamuppasa does address ontological biases in the form of belief and disbelief in the soul, and belief and disbelief about what happens to it at death... but that's not all it does. Because it talks about atthitā (exis­tence) and natthitā (non-existence), rather than sassatavada (eternalism) and ucchedavāda(annihilationism) it encompasses all ontological views/distortions, including but not restricted to the distortions of sassatavada and ucchedavāda. Thus, it serves as a corrective against all distorting biases. That is why it is awesome. 8-) And that is also why I bang on about sankharas/fabrication and invited Goof to start this topic if he was interested in exploring the topic together...

Metta,
Retro. :)

* - Why he refrains from doing so is quite obvious, if you think about it. If he did ontologically deny atman, he could not prove it, because to prove it he would have to explain something outside the all. Being unable to prove it, he would not be able to wedge people out of their deeply ingrained beliefs. Therefore, he tries to get them to focus just on their experience/loka and logically demonstrate to them that nothing within that loka is atman. Now that is personally verifiable and onward leading... and that is how you get people to relinquish entrenched views in favour of something more liberating.
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 9:04 pm

I prefer some of the alternative translations:

Bhikkhu Bodhi:
"The world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality - upon the notion of existence and the notion of non-existence."

Bhikkhu Nanananda:
"This world, Kaccāyana, for the most part, bases its views on two things:
on existence and non-existence."
    In his answer, the Buddha first points out that the worldlings
    mostly base themselves on a duality, the two conflicting views
    of existence and non-existence, or `is' and `is not'. They would
    either hold on to the dogmatic view of eternalism, or would
    cling to nihilism.


But I agree with this, if I am reading it correctly.
retrofuturist wrote:The question is not about whether one believes a "real world" exists or not does not exist... it's about whether dhammas experienced are regarded/discerned as being within "loka" or within a "real world", where things exist or don't exist.

We experience dhammas. Their connection with a 'real world' is not specified. It would be a statement like:
    "The Buddha says that those dhammas have no connection with a 'real world'."
that I believe is as equally incorrect as:
    "The Buddha says that those dhammas are the 'real world'."

:anjali:
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Re: Fabrication

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:54 pm

Hi all,

I have not spent much time on DW in the past few years but this thread reminds me how phenomenally :tongue: valuable it can be.

Im not sure how I missed it before.


My thanks to Mike/Retro/Goof for engaging in such elucidating conversation. I will save this thread as a bookmark.

Sadu
Sadu
Sadu


Kindly and Fondly

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"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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