The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dhamma follower
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.


Are you implying the words of the Blessed One are not good enough? I think the problem comes rather from not reflecting enough on his words. If there's more reflecting on his words, which point to all what we experience in our daily life, it can condition a lot more understanding. However, in our deep rooted self-view and desire to get result, we try to "do" something, even to the point of putting his words aside and believing more in our own interpretation based on our deluded perception.

We say we take refuge in the Buddha, but do we really take his words to heart and examine them?

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:51 am

Dear Dan,

In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.


What, in your understanding, is the difference between a Sravaka (a hearer) and a Buddha?

If someone can discover them-selves the same truth than the Buddha has taught, not based on what he has learnt and considered a great deal from a Buddha, he must be either a Sammasambuddha, or a Paccekabuddha.

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:09 am

dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.
Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:22 am

Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you.
"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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SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:38 am

dhamma follower wrote:[...] But the Buddha was very clear about what conditions panna, and they are: listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard (yoniso manasikara). That can condition, in due course, the arising of direct understanding of realities as they are (dhammanudhamma patipada). Apart from those moments, it is not the cultivation of vipassana pana at all. And no special environment is needed for these to occur.


dhamma follower wrote:If one thinks that it is the formal practice- of which the underlying emphasis is the intention to do something in particular, as opposed to just going about our daily chores naturally- that is needed for the arising of understanding, one is actually assuming (may be unknowingly) a self who can intend to make sati to arise in certain circumstances.

Hello dhamma follower,

Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Virgo » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:11 am

SamKR wrote:Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

Hello:

The intention also only arises based on conditions. For example, one has listened to Dhamma in the past, one thinks there maybe some benefit, one likes the voice of the person speaking, one has respect for Dhamma from past experience with it, etc.

Kevin

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:17 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan,

In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.


What, in your understanding, is the difference between a Sravaka (a hearer) and a Buddha?

If someone can discover them-selves the same truth than the Buddha has taught, not based on what he has learnt and considered a great deal from a Buddha, he must be either a Sammasambuddha, or a Paccekabuddha.

Brgrds,

D.F


Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:31 am

Greetings,

Dan74 wrote:Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?

I feel there's something of a false dichotomy emerging here... as if "the words" (in the second option) have no connection to "the Dhamma" (in the first option). Whereas actually, they are one and the same.

We learn the Dhamma to establish Right View, and then confirm the truth of that view by observing for ourselves that it is true through its application via the Noble Eightfold Path. This application builds confidence, joy, and is conducive to release.

On one hand it can be said that Right View is the cause for wisdom and is indeed wisdom itself (and Robert has already provided support for this), but the fulfilment of the entire Noble Eightfold Path is the validation of that Dhamma, and it is the path that leads to release, so one's Right View becomes all the more refined over time as the path is followed. We see a couple of examples of differently evolved forms of Right View in MN 117.

However, without Right View, there is no Right Path in the first place (again, the suttas are quite clear on this point). So in relation to "the causes of wisdom", Right View is the fore-runner - not some rear-runner by-product of activity.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Dan74 wrote:Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?

I feel there's something of a false dichotomy emerging here... as if "the words" (in the second option) have no connection to "the Dhamma" (in the first option). Whereas actually, they are one and the same.

We learn the Dhamma to establish Right View, and then confirm the truth of that view by observing for ourselves that it is true through its application via the Noble Eightfold Path. This application builds confidence, joy, and is conducive to release.

On one hand it can be said that Right View is the cause for wisdom and is indeed wisdom itself (and Robert has already provided support for this), but the fulfilment of the entire Noble Eightfold Path is the validation of that Dhamma, and it is the path that leads to release, so one's Right View becomes all the more refined over time as the path is followed. We see a couple of examples of differently evolved forms of Right View in MN 117.

However, without Right View, there is no Right Path in the first place (again, the suttas are quite clear on this point). So in relation to "the causes of wisdom", Right View is the fore-runner - not some rear-runner by-product of activity.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro

There is no false dichotomy of course, but a simple rhetorical device to elicit any potential source of disagreement.

I am still not sure what Robert and DF are suggesting. No one has discounted the Right View as the foundation of practice. It's just not the whole thing. As far as I can make out the Noble Eightfold Path also contains Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration:

(SN 45.8)

And what, monks, is right mindfulness?

(i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(ii) He remains focused on feelings in and of themselves—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iii) He remains focused on the mind in and of itself—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iv) He remains focused on mental qualities (dhammesu[54]) in and of themselves—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
This, monks, is called right mindfulness.


Bhikkhu Bodhi comments:

The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event. All judgments and interpretations have to be suspended, or if they occur, just registered and dropped.


Right concentration (DN 22):

And what is right concentration?

(i) Herein a monk aloof from sense desires, aloof from unwholesome thoughts, attains to and abides in the first meditative absorption [jhana], which is detachment-born and accompanied by applied thought, sustained thought, joy, and bliss.

(ii) By allaying applied and sustained thought he attains to, and abides in the second jhana, which is inner tranquillity, which is unification (of the mind), devoid of applied and sustained thought, and which has joy and bliss.

(iii) By detachment from joy he dwells in equanimity, mindful, and with clear comprehension and enjoys bliss in body, and attains to and abides in the third jhana, which the noble ones [ariyas] call "dwelling in equanimity, mindfulness, and bliss".

(iv) By giving up of bliss and suffering, by the disappearance already of joy and sorrow, he attains to, and abides in the fourth jhana, which is neither suffering nor bliss, and which is the purity of equanimity — mindfulness.
This is called right concentration.


So I am at a loss how these practices appear to have been dismissed as rituals or formal. If I am missing the point, perhaps you or the others can explain.
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:13 am

Greetings Dan,

No one has discounted the Right View as the foundation of practice. It's just not the whole thing.

OK, but there is no "Right Practice" (i.e. Noble Eightfold Path) without Right View. I believe that's called "a necessary, but not sufficient" criteria.

Dan74 wrote:So I am at a loss how these practices appear to have been dismissed as rituals or formal. If I am missing the point, perhaps you or the others can explain.

Well, you've basically just quoted two aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path, and I've already explained the importance of the N8P in the post above... so I won't revisit those. There may be something you wish Robert or DF to say in response to those, so I'll leave them to do so if they wish.

What is needed to make those factors you mention "Right" however, is a foundation in Right View. If someone does certain exercises without Right View as the foundation, the exercise itself will not be Right, and no amount of effort or sincere dedication to that activity will make it otherwise. If someone does an exercise (whether it be selecting a sandwich, sacrificing goats, or sitting down with closed eyes) in the absence of Right View (and thereby does not understand the Dhammic causality associated with the exercise and are doing it simply out of faith that understanding will arise simply as a consequence of doing the activity) then that exercise could well be described as a ritual, to which one could become attached.

[Note: and before anyone takes umbrage at those words, please note the IF operator at the start of those sentences... if the IF condition is false, the resulting sentence does not apply]

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:28 am

Virgo wrote:
SamKR wrote:Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

Hello:

The intention also only arises based on conditions. For example, one has listened to Dhamma in the past, one thinks there maybe some benefit, one likes the voice of the person speaking, one has respect for Dhamma from past experience with it, etc.

Kevin


Hello Kevin,
True, that the intention also arises based on conditions. No doubt.

dhamma follower wrote:If one thinks that it is the formal practice- of which the underlying emphasis is the intention to do something in particular, as opposed to just going about our daily chores naturally- that is needed for the arising of understanding, one is actually assuming may be unknowingly) a self who can intend to make sati to arise in certain circumstances.


My questions is: How is this intention to do "formal" practice necessarily different from intention to listen and consider right dhamma? How only this so called "formal" practice is based on wrong view of self? Can't the so called "formal" practice be practiced without wrong view of self? Can't there be conditions for the intention to practice formally (other than wrong view of self) just like there are conditions for the intention to listen and consider dhamma (as Kevin stated above)?

No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Edit: corrected a sentence

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:19 am

Dear Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.
Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?


The stretching on "formal practice" versus "leaving sati-panna to arise in our natural daily life when there are conditions for it to arise" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:24 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.
Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?


The stretching on "formal practice" versus "leaving sati-panna to arise in our natural daily life when there are conditions for it to arise" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Brgrds,

D.F
Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:27 am

dhamma follower wrote: Let's see what the texts say:

Mindfulness, . . .

http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas28.html
That is only one text, writen by Buddhaghosa with a modern gloss. There is not a thing in that text that requires that it must be interpreted as the gloss suggests.

One should not try to direct mindfulness to a particular object; there is no self who can have power over any reality or who can direct sad [sic].
Interesting contradiction here.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:35 am

Dear Dan

Dan74 wrote:Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?


Behind this question is the idea of "self" who can do something... When listening to the right Dhamma, i.e- the Dhamma on realities and anattaness, if there is understanding, it will understand that whatever appears now (seeing, hearing etc...)is only dhamma, not me. Seeing now arises because there's the visible object, eye sense, and eye consciousness, not "I" seeing someone or something. That's how the Teachings are applied in our lives. Not you, me or anyone can do anything. It is the function of panna to do the work.

At first, panna is only of the intellectual level. It is the beginning of the development of understanding. By hearing more about details of realities, and more consideration of what has been heard, which pertains to now, this intellectual understanding can grow, but only gradually, until thira sanna (firm rememberance ) is established and can condition the arising of sati which is directly aware of realities.The development of panna takes a long time, very very long time....

Brgrd,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:36 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.


Are you implying the words of the Blessed One are not good enough?
Quite the contrary.

I think the problem comes rather from not reflecting enough on his words.
Actually, it would seem far more likely that the problem is that my understanding simply does not agree with you understanding, and I have yet to see anything in this thread that is a compelling argument for your undestanding.

If there's more reflecting on his words, which point to all what we experience in our daily life, it can condition a lot more understanding. However, in our deep rooted self-view and desire to get result, we try to "do" something, even to the point of putting his words aside and believing more in our own interpretation based on our deluded perception.
And quite frankly, that argument can just as easily be applied to your point of view. The reality is that there is room for understanding these things differently. The problem comes with insisting that one's understanding is the only way and everyone else's is wrong (which is what it looks like you followers of Sujin are doing).

We say we take refuge in the Buddha, but do we really take his words to heart and examine them?
Are you going to tell me that I do not? Based upon what, that I do not agree with you?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:37 am

Hi Sam,
SamKR wrote:No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand. Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana...").

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.


The stretching on "formal practice" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Is it clearer now?

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:42 am

No one I know claims that these things arise from "will" so I presume you are talking about some teachers I don't know about.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:50 am

I am repeating the following because dhamma follower did not reply to it, and I would like him to do so.

===========================================

    dhamma follower wrote:
    As it has been said, the choice doesn't belong to anyone, it is cetana perfoming its functions, but ignorance takes it for "mine" or "his".

    Understanding that it is not "me", but only elements arising by conditions is what constitutes right view, an indispensable factor of the Path, isn't it?

    Best wishes,
    D.F
    It depends, but until you have awakening you have to work with the "me" and "mine." Also, since this is the classical section we can talk about things using conventional or ultimate language. Conventional language is less clumsy.

    The Buddha did not speak falsely:

      By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
      By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

      To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
      For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

      (Dhammapada 165)

    From the commentary to the Anguttara Nikaya:
    Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā.

    To one who is capable of awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
    each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
    AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55

    http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf
    sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā. And since this is not an Abhidhamma section we need not be limited to trying to speak in Abhidhamma-ese.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12


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