Sacha G wrote:Hello
Would anyone here declare themselves a sotapanna (or stream enterer) or any near to it?
The definition of a stream enterer ranges from "one who has unshakable faith in the 3 gems" to "one who has had direct experience of nibbâna". Ceasing with cling to rules and observances is also a characteristic of the stream-enterer, as is right view, which means direct understing of dependent origination (not an easy task it seems).
The problem with the "Definition" of a Stream Enterer is that it is a "Definition" of a Stream Enterer.
It is the attachment to conventions (Not just rules and observances) that prevents Stream Entry.
This does not, however, include ritual practices which are designed to enhance mindfulness.
By "Conventions", it is referring to the beliefs that we hold that the world around us is as we think it is. That said, to believe in the deterministic models of science, laws, governments, etc, as being a form of "Ultimate" truth is what attachment to Convention truly is.
To assume that "What you see" is what you get, is what attachment to conventions truly are. To believe what you have been told, read, learned in school, without investigating it yourself, is "Attachment" to convention".
To believe that DOING the "Ritual" practices will somehow get you to enlightenment (Like fulfilling an algorithmic requirement) is an attachment to Convention. The practices themselves are just the practices. Do them. Don't do them. That's not what "Attachment" and "Clinging" are referring to. That's just the "Definition you have in your mind of what they are.
The problem with the definition of "Convention" is that it is a definition of "Convention".
The problem with the definition of "Clinging" is that it is a definition of "Clinging".
Start letting go of the "Definitions". The "Definitions" themselves ARE conventions.
To have unshakable faith in the "Three Gems" is not required for Stream Entry. Stream Entry is attainable to all human beings, regardless of religious affiliation. In fact, you are born "Enlightened", and lose it as soon as "Conventions" begin to drag you away from it....
With Faith in the Buddha, you are taking faith that his path was true, and that he in fact discovered a way of "returning" to his own true nature. He re-harmonized himself with the universe. Unfortunately, contrary to the texts, unshakeable faith in the Buddha's path does not, and can not truly occur until after stream entry. And there are some nuances regarding the Buddha's path, as well.... To try to "create" Absolute faith that his path was right, is in itself another convention, and a new problem in itself.
Unshakeable faith in the Dhamma cannot fully occur until you have experienced the Dhamma directly, which occurs after Stream Entry. It is a preconceived notion (A convention) that you must establish these things prior to Stream entry. That's why you find so many unenlightened people who've practiced for 50 years. This is the misconception (Attachment to convention) that there is an "Algorithmic" approach to enlightenment. You're trying to "Get something", to "Buy" your way into enlightenment. But this misunderstanding of what Enlightenment IS, is in itself a block to the very enlightenment you seek.
Unshakeable faith in the Sangha, well, just focus on harmonizing yourself with the world around you. Strive for a symbiotic relationship with this world, strive for balance and compromise. Choose wholesome behavior, over unwholesome behavior and begin to examine your world more closely, the people, the birds, the grass, the stones--See if you can see the "Sangha" in them all, how they interact with one another, how they depend on one another, support one another.... Look into the heart to decide if what YOU are doing is right or wrong--Set the books aside. The books too, are conventions, mostly written by the unenlightened trying to lead the unenlightened. The Heart has all of the answers you need.
You see the birds flying in perfect formations? They understand their true nature very well. You see a bunch of humans fighting, bickering, pushing and shoving in the subway station? This is the result of a non-symbiotic (Non-harmonious, non-balanced) existence.
And if you think the birds fly in such orderly formations because they have "instincts", I recommend, to get yourself started, you drop the attachment to that "Convention/Idea", asap. Try to experience the world more like a bird, yourself. You might be surprised if you suddenly figure out just how they actually fly so neatly.... And science won't have the answer you're looking for, this I promise you.
Stop trying so hard to "Become" something that is not in your true nature. Your true nature is to be a human.
You might be disappointed for many more lifetimes if you fail to come to this understanding before this one is over with....