No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

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No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:50 am

Greetings,

In SN 47.42: Samudaya Sutta, the Buddha teaches the following...

Manasikārasamudayā dhammānaṃ samudayo
manasikāranirodhā dhammānaṃ atthaṅgamo


"With the arising of attentiveness there is the arising of dhammas
With the cessation of attentiveness there is the cessation of dhammas"

Thus, there are no sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness, because once awareness leaves, the dhamma ceases.

1. Do you agree with this conclusion?

2. Whether you do or do not, what implication does this extract from the Sutta Pitaka have on our task of mental cultivation? (i.e. what should we do, what should we stop doing, what should we do differently, which assumptions or views should we revisit?)

: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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

In SN 47.42: Samudaya Sutta, the Buddha teaches the following...

Manasikārasamudayā dhammānaṃ samudayo
manasikāranirodhā dhammānaṃ atthaṅgamo


"With the arising of attentiveness there is the arising of dhammas
With the cessation of attentiveness there is the cessation of dhammas"

Thus, there are no sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness, because once awareness leaves, the dhamma ceases.

1. Do you agree with this conclusion?

2. Whether you do or do not, what implication does this extract from the Sutta Pitaka have on our task of mental cultivation? (i.e. what should we do, what should we stop doing, what should we do differently, which assumptions or views should we revisit?)

:meditate:

Metta,
Retro. :)
It depends upon how you are using the word dhamma. While dhamma refers to what is experienced, that does not mean that what is not experienced has no "exisatence." This goes to the question of anusaya, latent tendencies, among other things.
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:31 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It depends upon how you are using the word dhamma. While dhamma refers to what is experienced, that does not mean that what is not experienced has no "exisatence."

Well, first things first, it makes it not a dhamma, as the sutta explicitly states... so we can rule out the possibility of it being a sankhata dhamma.

Thus whatever it is anyone might wish to posit does not have "no existence" is not a sankhata dhamma. It is the implications of this point that the topic was set up to explore.

Thus whatever it is that someone might wish to posit does not have "no existence" must be something other than a sankhata dhamma.

So, if it is not a sankhata dhamma, what could be the nature of this "what is not experienced"?

SN 35.23 wrote:"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . .
How do you account for conditioning?
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:46 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:How do you account for conditioning?

Personally I find "conditioning" to be a potentially misleading and confusing term.

For example, you could say a mountain is "conditioned" by winds, rain, earthquakes and such and this statement is true, but it has no bearing on first-hand phenomenological experience so it has no connection to the fundamental matters of dukkha and nirodha.

Sankhara, as taught by the Buddha arises in dependence upon "avijja". That samsaric relationship has no bearing on, or correlation to, the "conditioning" of the mountain by physical forces.

For the reasons outlined above (i.e. the imprecise vaguaries of the term), are you able to reframe the question without recourse to the word "conditioning"?

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:How do you account for conditioning?

Personally I find "conditioning" to be a potentially misleading and confusing term.
Possibily confusing, but. let me clarify: I act, kamma, this way or that. I keep the precepts or I break the precepts. I cultivate mindfulness or I do not, all by my choice. This is the conditioning I am talking about and it is the conditioning that the Buddha talked 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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:58 am

Greetings Tilt,

Thank you for expressing the question in an alternate manner.

tiltbillings wrote:I act, kamma, this way or that. I keep the precepts or I break the precepts. I cultivate mindfulness or I do not, all by my choice. This is the conditioning I am talking about and it is the conditioning that the Buddha talked about.

I account for it as follows...

Kamma is the fabricating of sankhata-dhammas, and vipaka is the resultant samaric/formed experience.

That is all within the all (sabba) and requires no recourse to "another" outside the all.

All the actions you speak of are kamma = cetana = sankhara.

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

Thank you for expressing the question in an alternate manner.

tiltbillings wrote:I act, kamma, this way or that. I keep the precepts or I break the precepts. I cultivate mindfulness or I do not, all by my choice. This is the conditioning I am talking about and it is the conditioning that the Buddha talked about.

I account for it as follows...

Kamma is the fabricating of sankhata-dhammas, and vipaka is the resultant samaric/formed experience.

That is all within the all (sabba) and requires no recourse to "another" outside the all.

All the actions you speak of are kamma = cetana = sankhara.

Metta,
Retro. :)
But between the kamma, willfull action, and the vipaka, result, there is conditioning that may not be at all directly experienced.
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:26 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:But between the kamma, willfull action, and the vipaka, result, there is conditioning that may not be at all directly experienced.

Once again, so I can better grasp precisely what you are intending to communicate, can this be expressed without recourse to "conditioning"?

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:But between the kamma, willfull action, and the vipaka, result, there is conditioning that may not be at all directly experienced.

Once again, so I can better grasp precisely what you are intending to communicate, can this be expressed without recourse to "conditioning"?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If kamma does not condition, what does it do?
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:36 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:If kamma does not condition, what does it do?

(Well I didn't say it doesn't, because we've not reached a landing on precisely what this "conditioning" is, but...)

It fabricates / forms / sankhara-s.

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:If kamma does not condition, what does it do?

(Well I didn't say it doesn't, because we've not reached a landing on precisely what this "conditioning" is, but...)

It fabricates / forms / sankhara-s.

Metta,
Retro. :)
That is fine with me. It puts together, shapes, conditions.
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:44 am

Image

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:Image

Metta,
Retro. :)
So, betwixt and between the kamma, the willful action, and the vipaka, the result whence the sankhara?
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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:57 am

Greetings Tilt,

If that translates to "what are the mechanics connecting non-immediate fruition of kamma to its subsequent fruit?", I can honestly say it's not a question that keeps me up at night. If it were important to the practice, I believe the Buddha would have explained it (as per his Simsapa Sutta guarantee). He didn't, and that's good enough for me.

He also said...

AN 6.63 wrote:"And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later, and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.

Again, that's good enough for me.

He also said...

AN 4.77 wrote:The [precise working out of the] results of kamma is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

Again, that's good enough for me.

In fact, once I stop thinking about this question of yours in the very near future, the current sankhata-dhamma will have made its excuses, ceased and left.

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby piotr » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:08 am

Hi Retro,

I'd suggest that here (in context of satipaṭṭhānas) term dhammā stands exclusively for bojjhaṅgas. Later I can provide some references to the Suttas which strongly support this interpretation.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:10 am

Greetings Piotr,

I look forward to it! Thanks!

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: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby kirk5a » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:33 pm

[*]
retrofuturist wrote:Thus, there are no sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness, because once awareness leaves, the dhamma ceases.

1. Do you agree with this conclusion?

2. Whether you do or do not, what implication does this extract from the Sutta Pitaka have on our task of mental cultivation? (i.e. what should we do, what should we stop doing, what should we do differently, which assumptions or views should we revisit?)

Stop fomenting positions about existence or non.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi Retro

It seems Dhammas here refer to mental objects (as per fourth foundation of mindfulness.) Here is an alternate translation. I think that version makes more sense.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

With metta

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Re: No sankhata dhammas existing outside of present awareness

Postby Viscid » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:53 pm

So, then, this sutta is simply stating that proper attention cultivates qualities/factors which lead to awakening, while improper attention diminishes such factors.. rather than the idealist slant that retro seemed to be suggesting in the OP?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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