Ah, I think I see what you're saying Zavk and yeah, I guess you're right. My response would be - What's the extent of influence that these things have over the way we frame our understanding of the Nikayas.
Certainly the way I read the suttas (given my existential Nyanavarian mode bias) is at times quite different to the way a traditionalist would read them, especially when it comes to subjects such as paticcasamupada (PSP), where as a working hypothesis I do not follow the 3 life interpretation but one which suggests that X is the determinant of Y, plug in dukkha and tanha and you have the 2 & 3rd noble truth - The four noble truths end up being the primary example of PSP - this gives PSP a primacy above all doctrinal topics and reflected in the Buddhas own words that one who sees PSP sees the Dhamma and one who sees the Dhamma sees PSP, a primacy that is not as far as I understand, seen in the traditional mode. Other translations that lead to differing readings include nama rupa, which I see as name and form, which leads to a divergent understanding of the term compared with those who translate it as mentality-materiality. Sangkhara is another, which I see as determinations, or determinants, instead of the popular notion of 'mental formations'. This is all completely at odds with the commentaries and abhidhamma, which are both rejected by Nyanavira Thera.
I say all this to give a case example of what I think you're driving at. (Not to debate anyone haha)
I read the same suttas as a person with a traditional POV does, with the same words on the page, but my differing translation of key words leads to a divergent conceptual understanding of these suttas. I can't say that the stuff I've written above is necessarily the right translation, or the correct approach. What is to say that there wasn't in the past other interpretations too that could have been equally valid from my stand point as a worldling. But more importantly, are these differences so divergent that we have a fundamentally different vision of the triple gem? Do we have a different vision of the goal, or just how to get there?
As you say, we all like to see our preferred framework as the one that is more true, more factual, closer to the Buddha's teachings. But it might be healthy to recall from time to time that until we know, we simply don't know for sure. Instead of being torn apart by our differences, it might be more in line with the Buddha's teachings to consider what unites us - That we all seek the same thing - Nibbana, for starters.
Last edited by BlackBird
on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -