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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:23 am

Regarding views and concepts:
retrofuturist wrote:For a topic on the Dhamma eye that sees "whatever arising-dhamma cessation-dhamma", there seems to be a lot of resistance to actually discussing it. To quote Mike from his OP, "Whether one agrees with the exact conclusion regarding how arising-and-ceasing is experienced, it seems undeniable that the mundane observation that "things arise and cease" is not what is being talked about in these sutta passages." Rather than set up base camp where we are, perhaps we should consider and take upon the challenge that Mike has kindly presented us.

Just to remind you though, that I think that it is helpful to recognise that there are concepts (an extreme is "1+1=2") that clearly don't "arise and cease" in the same sense that thoughts about them arise and cease. In that sense they are not sankharas in the sense of having the three characteristics. The Classical interpretation is that concepts such as "self" are also not dhammas, and that's why "my self" is imagined to be something permanent and distinct. When we learn to just observe stuff as phenomena arising and ceasing that "self concept" turns out to be an illusion. Now, it's undeniable that there are many suttas about the wrong view of taking various things (basically anything) to be "self". Whether you think this partitioning into "concepts" (self, body, etc) and "non-divisible" (the deepest level of arising and ceasing phenomena) is useful is, I think, a matter of taste, rather than Dhamma.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:46 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:In that sense they are not sankharas in the sense of having the three characteristics.

:shock:

Thoughts are sankharas.

mikenz66 wrote:The Classical interpretation is that concepts such as "self" are also not dhammas

Outside the all? :shock:

Thoughts are sankharas.

I don't understand what you're trying to do here.

Are you trying to somehow extract "pure thought" from the "object of thought"? There is no consciousness apart from object-consciousness, and no object apart from consciousness of it. Are you trying to maintain that these concepts have some sort of objective existence, independent of consciousness of them? For what purpose?

Are you sure you are representing the classical Mahavihara interpretation correctly, or is this the view of a certain late-era Abhidhamma group who are inclined towards such comments, disconnected from the suttas?

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:57 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:In MN 11 the Buddha says that there are four kinds of clinging.
One of these is "view-clinging", which originates from craving,
which has its origin in feeling, and so on.

How do you understand this clinging in relation to the beliefs
which you call views?

It is clinging to views.

I could give some examples of views that could be clung to and navigate you through them hypothetically, but it would be far more beneficial for you to introspectively examine the matter for yourself with respect to views and preferences that you personally are prone to cling to.

When do these views come to the fore? What causes them to come to the fore? When they come to the fore, how do you relate to them? When they dissipate, what has changed to allow that to occur? etc. Political views, cultural views, religious views, philosophical views... it doesn't matter - they're all views.

For the Buddha's own instructions... see this extract from MN 10.

Maha-satipatthana Sutta wrote:"Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates? There is the case where a monk [discerns]: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'

Please don't regard these things as being outside "the all" however... because if you do, they will remain unknowable to you.

Best wishes.

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:49 am

Hi Retro,

And when a belief/view is clung to, does it then persist in the mind?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:52 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:And when a belief/view is clung to, does it then persist in the mind?

I could answer that, but I would repeating what I said above in a half hearted way, so instead, please review the following, and let me know precisely what you are uncertain about...

On one level (Dhamma-eye), a view/perspective exists for as long as it an object of mind-consciousness (i.e. until the monkey jumps away), and with respect to that view, "a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any fabrications that are past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing them, observing them, & appropriately examining them — they would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in fabrications?" (SN 22.95). Even then the view is not necessarily static, and it only retains its "viewness" whilst the observer attributes some inherent "viewness" to it.

On another level (Putthujana-eye), a view's duration extends continuously from the first time that the idea is thought, to the last. This putthujana view is necessarily rooted in self-view. In other words, it necessarily requires that there is a self that holds this view, and keeps it in existence even when it's not an object of mind-consciousness for that self, and whilst that self is in dreamless sleep.

Again... don't just make it an abstract thought exercise. Consider both approaches with respect to your own experience - that is what is important!

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:00 am

Hi everyone,

At enlightenment the formations which cease are those which originate
from, and depend on, ignorance.

Other formations do not cease. So the Buddha was still able to speak
whatever language he spoke. He also still had all the skills which he
had acquired.

He was not reduced to the state of a new-born baby.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:08 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:So the Buddha was still able to speak
whatever language he spoke. He also still had all the skills which he
had acquired.

He was not reduced to the state of a new-born baby.

No one is suggesting otherwise.

The point you feel you have made by stating this is far from made.

The Buddha's thoughts were not dependent upon avijja. Nirodha is quenching/ceasing/cooling, not destruction.

So did you take a look at your views? How about using the above view as an example?

When do these views come to the fore? What causes them to come to the fore? When they come to the fore, how do you relate to them? When they dissipate, what has changed to allow that to occur? etc.

Or to use your earlier line of enquiry... What role did feeling play in the origination? What role did craving play in the sustenance/nutriment? etc.

There's no good asking me questions on such matters if you're not also looking within.

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:21 am

Hi Retro,

I think that you are mis-interpreting SN 12.61

It is only intended to show that the mind of an ordinary person is jumping
from one thing to another - like a monkey in the forest.

His attention jumps from one thing to another.

It does not mean that there are no things which persist in the mind.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:37 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:It does not mean that there are no things which persist in the mind.

I'll pose the question to you that I posed to Mike, slightly tweaked to suit...

There is no consciousness apart from object-consciousness, and no object apart from consciousness of it. Are you trying to maintain that these views you speak of have some sort of objective existence, independent of consciousness of them? For what purpose? How do you know this, if it is outside the All? What is the basis of your statement?

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:In that sense they are not sankharas in the sense of having the three characteristics.

:shock:
Thoughts are sankharas.

Yes, I said that already. Thoughts are sankharas. But I'm not talking about the thoughts.

Can you explain in what sense the characteristics of the concept (in this case a simple piece of arithmetic) "1+1=2" are anicca, dukkha, anatta? Or how that concept arises, exists, and ceases? How do you propose to observe the arising, existing, and ceasing of that concept?

Our thoughts about the concept, of course, do arise, exist, and cease, and are anicca, dukkha, anatta
and it's by carefully examining the arising, existing, and ceasing of those thoughts (among the rest of the khandas) that the Suttas tell us will lead to liberation.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:04 am

Hi Retro,

If nothing persists in the mind then:

1. Where are your memories when you are not attending to them?

2. Where is your knowledge when you are not attending to it?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:07 am

Greetings Mike,

There is no "1+1=2" apart from consciousness of "1+1=2".

Your cleaving of concept and thought is an artificial distinction, and if you look within loka instead of looking within the books of Sujin Boriharnwanaket and her followers, you will see this for yourself, and it will render your present line of questioning moot.

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:10 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:If nothing persists in the mind then:

1. Where are your memories when you are not attending to them?
2. Where is your knowledge when you are not attending to it?

This is metaphysical speculation, disconnected from the pertinent matter of nirodha and dukkha, which is why the Buddha didn't teach it.

This is "thicket of views" stuff.

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:19 am

Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:There is no "1+1=2" apart from consciousness of "1+1=2".

Your cleaving of concept and thought is an artificial distinction, and if you look within loka instead of looking within the books of Sujin Boriharnwanaket and her followers, you will see this for yourself, and it will render your present line of questioning moot.

If you want to dismiss the question with irrelevant references, that's your choice.

However, it would be much more interesting if you would engage with it, because I do think that it goes to the heart of the clinging to concepts like "self".

Perhaps we just disagree on terminology, but I think that it's much more interesting and deep than that.

:anjali:
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:21 am

Greetings Mike,

The only reason that Sujin Boriharnwanaket and her followers make such a drama about "concept” versus “reality" is that they believe that the four paramattha dhammas of the Abhidhamma method inherently exist and are the only valid classifications for all things that exist in the universe and then find themselves in the awkward position of having to account for the notion of “concepts”, which they can only conclude do not exist, as they're unclassifiable with respect to the paramattha dhamma schema.

You don’t need to go down that path between the extremes of existence and non-existence if you don’t want to… the Buddha didn't. What the Buddha discovered was, to quote you, "much more interesting and deep than that."

mikenz66 wrote:However, it would be much more interesting if you would engage with it

The irony here being that I'm trying to point out that concepts are within loka and should be seen and understood accordingly, whilst you're trying to turf them out of the realm of potential engagement (i.e. loka) by saying that "they are not sankharas in the sense of having the three characteristics". Your statement is non-sequitur, and if it ought be directed at anyone, it should be directed towards yourself.

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: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:25 am

Hi Retro,

You have just admitted that you do not have any knowledge.

This means that you know absolutely nothing.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby ground » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:33 am

vinasp wrote:Hi Retro,

If nothing persists in the mind then:

1. Where are your memories when you are not attending to them?

2. Where is your knowledge when you are not attending to it?

Regards, Vincent.

There cannot persist anything in "mind" since "mind" cannot be found. If nothing can be found it is convention to speak of "no-thing". So there is nothing. What may persist in nothing?
Neuroscience may come up with the rupa corresponding to memory. But it will take a long time. Even then the found rupa will no be the memory just like the brain is not the thinking but the rupa corresponding to thinking.
The term "Mind" corresponds with the term "nama" which is just a nominal category. So "(living)body and mind" are "rupa-nama" (usually "nama-rupa") and it is consciousness with what there is mutual dependence. Memory manifest in consciousness and consciousness arises out of ignorance and volitional formations besides depending on nama-rupa.

Knowledge that manifests as consciousness is memory. But this type of knowledge is not the opposite of ignorance.


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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:45 am

Hi TMingyur,

An interesting post.

But, in order to write that, you had to use your knowledge of English.
That knowledge must persist somewhere, if not in the mind - then
where?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby ground » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:47 am

vinasp wrote: But, in order to write that, you had to use your knowledge of English.
That knowledge must persist somewhere, if not in the mind - then
where?

As I said above: As rupa (aspect) which however is not it. Bio-chemical molecules which may give rise to consciousness if the appropriate secondary conditions (belonging to the sphere of "nama-rupa") are also present.
Where does this matter (i.e. rupa, i.e. bio-chemical molecules) persist? In the brain and/or some other region of the CNS.
When you think that mind exists you are just reifying a nominal category qua concept/idea. There is just this word "mind", which in itself is a meaningless optical symbol, and the ideas (concepts) that arise upon contact (phassa). All these ideas are consciousness. Consciousness can be observed (by itself) but "mind" can never be observed because there is nothing beyond consciousness and "becoming conscious" in the context of ideas.
There is no need to be distracted into a metaphysical speculation of "the mind" as "true" because natural science and buddha dharma are perfectly compliant in this context here.

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:06 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:You have just admitted that you do not have any knowledge.

This means that you know absolutely nothing.

Sabbe dhamma anatta.

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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