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The Heart of the Issue - Dhamma Wheel

The Heart of the Issue

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
rolling_boulder
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

The Heart of the Issue

Postby rolling_boulder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:08 am

Hello,

I am new to this forum.

I might as well cut to the chase: I'm trying to get to the root of the Noble Truth of the Dependent Origination of Dukkha, and everything in the logical progression makes sense to me except for the final step:

Dukkha is founded on Craving;
Craving depends on Feeling;
Feeling depends on Contact;
Contact connects the world to the six senses;
The six senses lurk within the mind-body complex;
The mind-body complex depends on consciousness;
Consciousness is a fabrication and so depends on fabrications;
Fabrications depend on ignorance.


Fabrications are dependent on Ignorance?

Huh?
I'm really confused by this step. Can someone explain how this works? How are processes dependent on ignorance?
It seems to me like it would be the other way around or something...

I'm clearly missing a critical piece of understanding here and I feel that some insight into this step would really advance my understanding of the Dhamma.

Thanks for the replies.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

Digity
Posts: 1205
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:26 am

Here's my understanding of it. Fabrications have different forms like verbal, mental, etc. So, a mental fabrication might be something like "I'm an awesome tennis player." Thoughts like this are meant to build a self image of our self. You think things like "I'm an idiot" or "I'm a lot smarter than that guy.". So we fabricate an identity of ourselves through thoughts, feelings, perception, etc. These are fabrications and we believe in them as if they're reality...as if I'm this individual entity endowed with these properties. These fabrications have no inherent core to them...they're transient...they come into being and then pass away. However, we continue to thing of them in fixed ways. This is were the ignorance is. If we clearly saw the nature of things the mind would clearly see through these fabrications, but until we are enlightened we continue to relate to the world this way, which is rooted in ignorance and anything rooted in ignorance ultimately leads to suffering.
Last edited by Digity on Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

rolling_boulder
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby rolling_boulder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:44 am

So by the cessation of this ignorance (by following the Eightfold Path) we can cease fabrications that cause suffering? Here's what I still don't understand:

With the cessation of ignorance, comes the cessation of fabrications. Presumably (from your post) this means mental fabrications.

With the cessation of mental fabrications, would there come to pass a cessation of physical fabrications?

It still seems to me that physical fabrications remain unaddressed by a cessation of ignorance and that physical fabrications are as important as mental ones to consciousness.

Also, when ignorance ceases, then consciousness ceases. Does this mean that when ignorance is completely cured, a person would cease to be conscious? Are such questions even relevant?
Maybe such a distinction is not pertinent to the direct following of the Path but investigation into the Dhamma is critical to the cessation of the hindrance of doubt, so I will continue with the post.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

Digity
Posts: 1205
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:55 am

The Buddha was enlightened and he was obviously conscious or he wouldn't even be able to teach. I think the key point is that we relate to the world through a fabricated self and these fabrications are created through perception, thoughts, feelings, etc...not just mental. When we learn the true nature of these thoughts, feelings, perception....see that they're transient with no inherent core....that they are not-self...then we naturally stop fabricating the "self". This gives rise to wisdom and wisdom and ignorance can't co-exist. That's why the arising and developing of wisdom is crucial to these teachings, because they eat away at ignorance. That's also why awareness is crucial to these teachings, because it's only through a deep sense of awareness that you'll see the true nature of fabrications and realize that they are not-self.

santa100
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Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby santa100 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:05 pm


Samma
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Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby Samma » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:43 pm


Digity
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Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:52 pm


rolling_boulder
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby rolling_boulder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:46 pm

Thank you all for your input. I have another question:

So with direct knowledge of the noble truths, "Volitional formations" cease, thereby causing consciousness to no longer be sustained in the cycle of rebirth.

I will take the meaning of the "Volitional formations" to be the resultant series of phenomena caused by unskillful actions.

If one's rebirth is determined by his Volitional formations, then why doesn't his consciousness go on even after enlightenment? That is, why doesn't an enlightened being have a stream of kamma preexisting from before the being reached enlightenment? Does achieving enlightenment also entail ridding the world of all wrongdoing perpetrated in the past?

I am a beginner buddhist and these ideas still confuse me. But I appreciate your input, if anyone would like to add anything.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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mikenz66
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi rolling_boulder,

You might find it useful to read these different expositions, which address DO from a variety of viewpoints.

More traditional:

Nyanatiloka Mahathera: III. Paticca-Samuppada: Dependent Origination
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 4.html#ch3

Thanissaro Bhikkhu: The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-arising
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... fsuffering

Less traditional:

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu: Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... uppada.htm

:anjali:
Mike

rolling_boulder
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby rolling_boulder » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:54 pm

Mikenz,

Thank you for the greatly informative post. I will take a while to digest these articles.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:02 pm

Greetings,

Adding to Mike's list...

What's a good book on dependent origination?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2334

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

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:33 pm


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bodom
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby bodom » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:44 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

pegembara
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby pegembara » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:57 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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clw_uk
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Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:06 am

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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waterchan
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Location: Kamaloka

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby waterchan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:54 pm

I find the explanation by Ajahn Chah linked above to be the clearest and most intuitive. He was a monk who literally lived and breathed the Dhamma as well as adhering rigidly and relentlessly to the Vinaya.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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daverupa
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: The Heart of the Issue

Postby daverupa » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:06 pm



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