Aggregate?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:05 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:We can hold as an intellectual concept that samasara is not an "out there thing," but that is not really going to do anything for us as an intellectual concept. It only becomes meaningful in terms of insight into the rise and fall of what is experienced -- the khandhas, or the all

True enough, though whether someone decides to take the medicine or not, does not determine whether or not the diagnosis was correct.

tiltbillings wrote: Of course the reality is that one has start from where one is, which is obvious in the suttas. There is a necessary transition from from the first to the second, given that the second, to be meaningful, really requires a fair degree of meditative experience.

Well, you "start from where one is", but to attempt to quantify the required "degree of meditative experience" and then extrapolate that requirement out to others (when one does not have the ability to penetrate the minds of others)... is to lapse back into the first mode of discernment - that of the "out there". There are many factors.

tiltbillings wrote:Except the conditioned experiential perceptual process still functions, arahants still remembers stuff, sensations based upon the body still arise and fall, thoughts/cognitions come and go, and Mara still visits. The difference is that all of this is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata. It is empty is the perception of any sort of thingness, any sort of of grasping or aversion based upon the misapprehension of experience.

In other topics I've called out this variable use of word "conditioned". In the context of the Dhamma, or paticcasamuppada, it ultimately traces back to being "conditioned by avijja" and it is therefore "sankhara". To then interchangeably use the word "conditioned" to refer to anything that may have a cause (either "out there" or "in loka" - such as, "the mountain is conditioned by the rain and wind", "the human body is conditioned by the ovum and the sperm", "the body is conditioned by food and oxygen") is to shift the frames of reference and create inconsistencies in meaning.

All I know is that I will not be going to an arahant and saying, "Here monk, these are your aggregates" or "Here monk, this is your experience - explain it to me with worldly frames of reference". I will let the arahant explain, as it accords to them to do 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: Aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Of course the reality is that one has start from where one is, which is obvious in the suttas. There is a necessary transition from from the first to the second, given that the second, to be meaningful, really requires a fair degree of meditative experience.

Well, you "start from where one is", but to attempt to quantify the required "degree of meditative experience" and then extrapolate that requirement out to others (when one does not have the ability to penetrate the minds of others)... is to lapse back into the first mode of discernment - that of the "out there". There are many factors.
"There are many factors?" What does that mean? I am not lapsing at all. Just stating a fact that one has to start where one is. And the statement "degree of meditative experience" does not require that I need to penetrate to another's mind. All I have to do is listen to what people say about their practice of the Dhamma as well as read what the Buddha taught.

retro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Except the conditioned experiential perceptual process still functions, arahants still remembers stuff, sensations based upon the body still arise and fall, thoughts/cognitions come and go, and Mara still visits. The difference is that all of this is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata. It is empty is the perception of any sort of thingness, any sort of of grasping or aversion based upon the misapprehension of experience.

In other topics I've called out this variable use of word "conditioned". In the context of the Dhamma, or paticcasamuppada, it ultimately traces back to being "conditioned by avijja" and it is therefore "sankhara". To then interchangeably use the word "conditioned" to refer to anything that may have a cause (either "out there" or "in loka" - such as, "the mountain is conditioned by the rain and wind") is to shift the frames of reference and create inconsistencies in meaning.
Maybe, but if you are going to claim that my use of the word is inconsistent, you'll need to actually demonstrate it is so rather than just make vague remarks about a supposed inconsistency by using the word "conditioned" in relation to mountains. I would welcome such a demonstration, in that it wold give me a chance to tighten up my language a bit, but as it stands, my point still stands, given that you have not shown otherwise. Keep in mind, I am not shifting the frame of reference. I am talking about the khandha/loka/all experience, which is very much to the point.


All I know is that I will not be going to an arahant and saying, "Here monk, these are your aggregates" or "Here monk, this is your experience - explain it to me with worldly frames of reference". I will let the arahant explain, as it accords to them.
Okay; however, this still stands: Except the conditioned experiential perceptual process still functions, arahants still remembers stuff, sensations based upon the body still arise and fall, thoughts/cognitions come and go, and Mara still visits. The difference is that all of this is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata. It is empty is the perception of any sort of thingness, any sort of of grasping or aversion based upon the misapprehension of experience.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:38 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:"There are many factors?" What does that mean?

Put simply, in the Sutta Pitaka there are accounts of those who got it at the drop of a hat... there are accounts of those who died, unable to grasp the Dhamma. There is no consistent account to say this is how long it should take or whether it will happen at all. The Buddha saw as such when surveying the world post-enlightenment.

tiltbillings wrote:Okay; however, this still stands: Except the conditioned experiential perceptual process still functions, arahants still remembers stuff, sensations based upon the body still arise and fall, thoughts/cognitions come and go, and Mara still visits. The difference is that all of this is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata. It is empty is the perception of any sort of thingness, any sort of of grasping or aversion based upon the misapprehension of experience.

Well you tell me what you mean by conditioned then. You insist on saying the arahant has "conditioned experiential perceptual process" but then just one sentence later, you go on to say it "is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata". It's hard to see how that's not shifting the goal-posts on a sentence-by-sentence basis with regards to your use of the term.

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: Aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:"There are many factors?" What does that mean?

Put simply, in the Sutta Pitaka there are accounts of those who got it at the drop of a hat... there are accounts of those who died, unable to grasp the Dhamma. There is no consistent account to say this is how long it should take. The Buddha saw as such when surveying the world post-enlightenment.
Yes, well, the Buddha did teach meditative practice, which pretty goes with

    If viewed "within loka"...

    The rise-and-fall of various feelings (of pain, swelling, compression)
    The rise-and-fall of various consciousness (of the six-senses)
    The rise-and-fall of various perceptions (of recognition and apperception)
    The rise-and-fall of various thought-formations (of anger, regret, frustration, aversion)
    The rise-and-fall of various forms (etc.)

tiltbillings wrote:Okay; however, this still stands: Except the conditioned experiential perceptual process still functions, arahants still remembers stuff, sensations based upon the body still arise and fall, thoughts/cognitions come and go, and Mara still visits. The difference is that all of this is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata. It is empty is the perception of any sort of thingness, any sort of of grasping or aversion based upon the misapprehension of experience.

Well you tell me what you mean by conditioned then. You insist on saying the arahant has "conditioned experiential perceptual process" but then just one sentence later, you go on to say it "is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion -- it is unconditioned, asankhata". It's hard to see how that's not shifting the goal-posts on a sentence-by-sentence basis with regards to your use of the term.
You'll need to explain how that could be taken as shifting the goal post, because I do not see it. Are you saying that the arahant has absolutely no conditioning whatsoever? I guess, if you mean that, you will need to explain conditioning. What I mean by conditioning is this:

    "I will teach you, monks, how the world comes to be and passes away... What monks, is the arising of the world? Dependent on eye and forms, arises visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling, craving. Conditioned by craving, grasping. Conditioned by grasping, becoming. Conditioned by becoming, birth. And conditioned by birth, arise decay, death, grief lamentation, suffering, despair. This is the arising of the world.
    And what, monks, is the passing away of the world? Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Conditioned by feeling is craving. By the utter fading away and cessation of that craving, grasping ceases, by the ceasing of grasping, becoming ceases, by the ceasing of becoming birth ceases, by the ceasing of birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation, suffering, despair, cease. Such is the ceasing of this entire man[sic; should be 'mass'] of Ill."
    -- SN ii 73 CDB i 581
This -- "Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling" -- continues to function for the arahant, as do the other five "all"/loka aspects, but seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, cognitions, are for the arahant no longer conditioned by those things that have ceased. Quite straightforward.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:The "solution" is sunnata (emptiness) and asankhata (non-fabricating).


Could you elaborate what you mean by "non-fabricating"?
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:58 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Quite straightforward.

Not really, since all those nidanas you depict all spawn originally from avijja that the arahant does not even have.

Rather, I would suggest paticcasamuppada does not apply to the arahant. As to what does apply, again, I would leave that for them to explain.

As for myself, I avoid the vaguaries of the term "conditioned" in discussions on the Dhamma by using it with exclusive reference to paticcasamuppada and sankharas.

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: Aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:01 am

mikenz66 wrote:As well as a probably spurious over-reaching of the translation, in my opinion the question contains an implicit assumption that the khandas are "things", rather than mere classifications. Rather than wheeling out clearly flawed statements such as "the aggregates are what we are" for flagellation, I would refer to more careful statements, such as the following from Ven Nyanatiloka: the khandas are "the 5 aspects in which the Buddha has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence". This avoids the reification implied in the original question.


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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:08 am

Greetings Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:Could you elaborate what you mean by "non-fabricating"?

Not giving rise to sankharas.

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: Aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Quite straightforward.

Not really, since all those nidanas you depict all spawn from originally from avijja that the arahant does not even have.

Rather, I would suggest paticcasamuppada does not apply to the arahant. As to what does apply, again, I would leave that for them to explain.

As for myself, I avoid the vaguaries of the term "conditioned" in discussions on the Dhamma by using it with exclusive reference to paticcasamuppada and sankharas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I'll go with what the Buddha said rather than your interpretation. The sutta is quite clear: Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. Otherwise, you'll have to argue that the arahant does not see, hear, taste, touch, smell or cognize. So, obviously Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling is not necessarily dependent upon avijja, as the text I quoted shows.
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: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:13 am

Greetings Tilt,

We'll have to disagree on that one then.

Otherwise, you'll have to argue that the arahant does not see, hear, taste, touch, smell or cognize.

A conclusion that makes no sense whatsoever in light of what I said about not taking it upon myself to describe the arahant's experience.

Why must I argue that?

(P.S. We have discussed down this particular line of inquiry before, and I don't envisage it being any more profitable this time than the last. Shall we get back to aggregates?)

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: Aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:Could you elaborate what you mean by "non-fabricating"?

Not giving rise to sankharas.


And what does that mean? ;)
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:21 am

Not being ignorant (avijja). ;)

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: Aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:Not being ignorant (avijja). ;)


Very cryptic! Are you thinking of this from the Bahiya Sutta?

"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:26 am

porpoise wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Not being ignorant (avijja). ;)


Very cryptic!
And not helpful.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:27 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:And not helpful.

Tilt ~ Must I answer everyone's short questions and quips with long, detailed personal responses? I don't remember signing up to be anyone's teacher or preceptor here...

porpoise wrote:Are you thinking of this from the Bahiya Sutta?

Porpoise ~ I wasn't, but it covers it, yes. No sankharas (conditioning / fabrication / fashioning) there - yet.... sight, smell and all the rest.

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: Aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

We'll have to disagree on that one then.

Otherwise, you'll have to argue that the arahant does not see, hear, taste, touch, smell or cognize.

A conclusion that makes no sense whatsoever in light of what I said about not taking it upon myself to describe the arahant's experience.
You do not have to decribe the arahant's experience. The Buddha already has, as in the text I quoted, but even more so to this point, we see the conditioning of old kamma still at play with arahants, which is most famously illustrated by what happened to Ven Angulimala after his awakening. Keeping that in mind we have the Buddha stating:

"What, monks, is old kamma?

"The eye [ear, nose tongue, body (touch), mind], monks, is to be regarded as old kamma, brought into existence and created by volition, forming a basis for feeling. This, monks, is called 'old kamma
.' -- S iv 132
And obviously this "old kamma" is the basis for Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. Conditioned by contact is feeling. So, the arahant sees: Dependent on the eye and forms arise visual consciousness. The concurrence of the three is contact. No need to allude to some mysterious "unconditioned" arahant only process. It is the "old kamma" process of the "all" which is no longer clung to, no longer identified with, it is asankhata, no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:You do not have to decribe the arahant's experience. The Buddha already has, as in the text I quoted

He is talking about loka, not lokuttara.

Lokuttara is of the arahant. The rest of your argument falls with that...

If you don't see or accept that all the nidanas are dependent on avijja, then you don't. I don't know what I can do about that.

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: Aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:If you don't see or accept that all the nidanas are dependent on avijja, then you don't. I don't know what I can do about that.

As Tilt said, they are dependent on past ignorance, so no problem there.

:anjali:
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:55 am

Greetings Mike,

Unless you are Tilt, I don't see what your acceptance has to do with whether or not Tilt accepts that all the nidanas are dependent on avijja.

It is curious how people wish to speak for the lokas of others.

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: Aggregate?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:56 am

DarwidHalim wrote:This sutta:

"The world in general, Kaccaayana, inclines to two views, to existence or to non-existence. But for him who, with the highest wisdom, sees the uprising of the world as it really is, 'non-existence of the world' does not apply, and for him who, with highest wisdom, sees the passing away of the world as it really is, 'existence of the world' does not apply.


Now, is the existence of aggregrate solely a believe business?
Is the non-existence of aggregrate also solely a believe business?

Is the higher wisdom is the wisdom that make you not to believe?

But, the key question here based on what reason I shouldn't believe?

If this aggregate does exist, of course we have to believe it is exist.

Because Buddha said clearly: SEE REALITY AS WHAT IT IS.

...But for him who, with the highest wisdom, sees the uprising of the world as it really is...


So, after seeing reality as what it is, if we can see the aggregate, why I shouldn't believe it?

If I see there are feelings, and that is the reality that I see, why I shouldn't believe it?

It is then a big contradiction here: between see reality as what it is and whether you should believe it or not.

But, if you believe aggregate exist, you are extrimist.

"'Everything exists,'[9] this is one extreme [view];


But, if you believe aggregate do not exist, you are also extrimist.

'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme.


So, how if we just see everything as such, without conceptual?

Isn't feeling just an alient concept?
Isn't perception just an alient concept?

Shouldn't we remove this extra layer of conceptual, throw that layer to the garbage, and just be there nakedly?


And what if, just what if, your entire conception of what SN 12.15 means were based on a bad and perverted translation?
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