I can only suggest that you read the entire passage on 'A Note on Paticcasamupada' in order to understand his point of view. As I previously said I wish he was around to go toe to toe with you on this, which if you bother reading the letters he wrote at any stage you will see he absolutely relished (with no small degree of success in debate). I am not qualified to represent his position in regard to much of your analysis, it is unfortunate because I too would love to have the knowledge to be able to construct an adequate rebuttal.
But on the point of jati being literal in many suttas, yes I think he found this acceptable on the basis that when it was dealing with paticcasamupada it had this meaning, and when it was in a more general context, say talking about someone's birth or whatever, this phenomenological meaning did not apply.
So if you want to check it out:
I am no expert on pali, far from it, so I do not have the means to respond with a rebuttal, suffice to say I trust his translations, I have read the book many times over and seen non traditional translations explained with a good degree of logic. As for this particular point you make about temporal significance or lack thereof: Ven. Nyanavira felt that paticcasamupada was akalika (which he translated as not involving time, intemporal) I know this doesn't accord with what you have said, at least not in the way you 'meant it'. I simply contend that what he had was experiential evidence, and he worked backwards from there, so if certain translations do not fit right with pali scholars then I would say that makes not one iota of a difference given his positive disdain for scholasticism beyond his short list of 'things we have to thank scholars for'.
metta to you both
Last edited by BlackBird
on Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 1 time 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." -