Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby SDC » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:08 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.


So the English translations - which are what?, at least 3 languages and 2000+ years away from Pali not to mention riddled with :? :? :? :? :shrug: - are what we should be relying on to solve this? They're gonna have the final word?

I respect you Spiny, but that is absolutely absurd.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:58 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.

I said there was both in the suttas :/ isn't that what you and Jason were saying as well?


I don't think Jason was arguing that the suttas describe the realms in purely psychological terms, but maybe he can clarify.

Anyway, as far as I know there is nothing in the suttas which describes the realms in purely psychological terms - unless you can point to one that does?
I also argued that in this context the "cosmological" and the psychological are 2 sides of the same coin, as illustrated for example by the mutual dependence of consciousness and form described in dependent origination.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:01 pm

SDC wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.


So the English translations - which are what?, at least 3 languages and 2000+ years away from Pali not to mention riddled with :? :? :? :? :shrug: - are what we should be relying on to solve this? They're gonna have the final word?

I respect you Spiny, but that is absolutely absurd.


My observations are based on what the suttas seem to describe. Can you point to a sutta which describes the realms in purely psychological terms?
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:25 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.

I said there was both in the suttas :/ isn't that what you and Jason were saying as well?


I don't think Jason was arguing that the suttas describe the realms in purely psychological terms, but maybe he can clarify.

Anyway, as far as I know there is nothing in the suttas which describes the realms in purely psychological terms - unless you can point to one that does?
I also argued that in this context the "cosmological" and the psychological are 2 sides of the same coin, as illustrated for example by the mutual dependence of consciousness and form described in dependent origination.



Your kind of attacking something I haven't said here ...


However what do you mean when you say "they are two sides of the same coin"?
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:31 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote:Could be that these are two ways of understanding life processes amongst dependent consequences; in any event the point seems to me to be coming to grips with idapaccayata sans ritualism, self-aggrandizement, and so forth.


Sure, but also without aversion to what the suttas seem to be describing.



Why do you assume aversion is the cause?
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby SDC » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:21 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Show me a sutta which describes the realms as purely psychological states.


So the English translations - which are what?, at least 3 languages and 2000+ years away from Pali not to mention riddled with :? :? :? :? :shrug: - are what we should be relying on to solve this? They're gonna have the final word?

I respect you Spiny, but that is absolutely absurd.


My observations are based on what the suttas seem to describe. Can you point to a sutta which describes the realms in purely psychological terms?


I do not support a "purely psychological", idealist approach to the dhamma and I surely don't support the assumed realism of the English/Western translations and interpretations. I believe the Buddha taught an experiential approach which transcends this self and world/mind and matter debate. But since I cannot provide a link from access to insight to support my ideas I am sure they are next to meaningless. Not trying to be harsh about it, but it appears as though the bucks stops at the conventional interpretations in this discussion.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:34 pm

SDC wrote: Not trying to be harsh about it, but it appears as though the bucks stops at the conventional interpretations in this discussion.


By "conventional" do you mean what the suttas seem to describe?

Obviously there will always be uncertainties regarding the suttas on issues like translation and authenticity, but I feel we have to work with what we have - otherwise we end up with speculation and personal opinion.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:38 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote:Could be that these are two ways of understanding life processes amongst dependent consequences; in any event the point seems to me to be coming to grips with idapaccayata sans ritualism, self-aggrandizement, and so forth.


Sure, but also without aversion to what the suttas seem to be describing.


Why do you assume aversion is the cause?


I'm not saying aversion is an issue with everyone who doesn't favour the traditional approach, but I have met quite a number of Buddhists in the UK who clearly have a problem with the cosmological or "religious" content of the suttas.
It seems to me that when aversion is present it's difficult to approach what the suttas describe in an open-minded and objective way.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby SDC » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:37 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:By "conventional" do you mean what the suttas seem to describe?

Obviously there will always be uncertainties regarding the suttas on issues like translation and authenticity, but I feel we have to work with what we have - otherwise we end up with speculation and personal opinion.


I feel like some, NOT ALL, of what we “have” is already speculation and personal opinion; and being that there are other interpretations – which may very well be even more “speculation and personal opinion” – perhaps everything should be included until such a time as we have seen it for ourselves. While I have serious doubts about the accuracies of the modern translators, I do not dismiss their work completely; I reserve judgment on the ideas that seem to make no sense. This allows room for the so-called “alternate” interpretations to perhaps alleviate some of the confusion, but even when they do, I still reserve judgment. However I am going to support what makes the most sense to me at the time, and I try to be very clear about that when I post.

This is not the first time we’ve had this discussion, but it is the first time I heard you say we have to “work with what we have”. What we do “have” in addition to the conventional western translations is the work of countless monks that are just offering another perspective. While some work may be born out of some intellectual need for something more complex, some may very be based on their direct experience. Whatever the reason, their work is part of what we have.

I don’t frown upon anyone who prefers to stay amongst the conventional scheme, I do however get an uncomfortable feeling when an “outside” idea is dismissed just because past translators either weren’t aware of it, disagreed with it based on the knowledge they had, or perhaps felt the consensus amongst scholars was that it is NOT accurate.

Look, when it comes to the modern translations, yes, we have what have, so how can allowing supplemental information - that could very well be more accurate - be a bad thing?

Is this off topic? What’s this thread even about? :embarassed:
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:36 pm

SDC wrote:Look, when it comes to the modern translations, yes, we have what have, so how can allowing supplemental information - that could very well be more accurate - be a bad thing?


Fair enough, but I'd suggest that supplemental information should include the commentaries, which seem to support the conventional interpretation.

I don't see an obvious way to solve the "problem" of modern translations. Like I said, we work with what we have available - perhaps the best we can do is compare different translations?

Yes, sorry, we've strayed from the OP. But to answer the OP question directly, I don't think the suttas support the idea that the realms are solely the product of our minds.
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby SDC » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:53 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:
Look, when it comes to the modern translations, yes, we have what have, so how can allowing supplemental information - that could very well be more accurate - be a bad thing?

I don't see an obvious way to solve the "problem" of modern translations. Like I said, we work with what we have available - perhaps the best we can do is compare different translations?


Sure. And only until such time as we know for sure in our own experience can we say what of it is dhamma. Otherwise we are speculating, even if we're right! :tongue:

So yes, back to the OP.

Spiny Norman wrote:But to answer the OP question directly, I don't think the suttas support the idea that the realms are solely the product of our minds.


And neither do I. The puthujjana takes the experience in two parts: world and self within that world. This creates the conditions for either idealism, realism or some combination of both with respect to how reality is perceived. Hence the reason it is so easy for all of us to constantly have this debate. Both make sense in the common scheme. But according to Ven. Punnaji (“Mind”. Collection of Dhamma Talks In America. Wasinghton, DC. c. 2009. Lecture.) we would be misled in whichever model or combination of models we choose, though not entirely – for each is partially correct in its rejection of the principals of the opposing model, i.e., one rejects matter/world and the other mind/self.

So what is actually happening? I don't know. The Buddha seems to be presenting a broader perspective of the experience based on a deeply fundamental misunderstanding of reality which, as far as I am concerned, leaves no place for a winner in the "purely psychological" vs "actual worlds" battle. Logically, they endure ONLY because of the other. You said earlier they are two sides of the same coin, and I would agree with that by saying they are two sides of the same fantasy.

So who created the other realms? The OP did. :tongue:
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Re: Who created the heavenly and hell realms?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:24 am

SDC wrote: The puthujjana takes the experience in two parts: world and self within that world. This creates the conditions for either idealism, realism or some combination of both with respect to how reality is perceived. Hence the reason it is so easy for all of us to constantly have this debate. Both make sense in the common scheme. But according to Ven. Punnaji (“Mind”. Collection of Dhamma Talks In America. Wasinghton, DC. c. 2009. Lecture.) we would be misled in whichever model or combination of models we choose, though not entirely – for each is partially correct in its rejection of the principals of the opposing model, i.e., one rejects matter/world and the other mind/self.
So what is actually happening? I don't know. The Buddha seems to be presenting a broader perspective of the experience based on a deeply fundamental misunderstanding of reality which, as far as I am concerned, leaves no place for a winner in the "purely psychological" vs "actual worlds" battle. Logically, they endure ONLY because of the other. You said earlier they are two sides of the same coin, and I would agree with that by saying they are two sides of the same fantasy.


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