Dependent Origination

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:37 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Element wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Meindzai has stated 'birth' is physical birth and 'death&dukkha' are physical death. Others have stated birth is the birth of 'self-view' and death is the sense of loss that becomes dukkha.
...
Element

Your logic eludes me. Causes and effects on various time scales are not mutually exclusive.

Metta
Mike


Exactly, I don't know why everybody keeps trying to push D.O. into being one or the other. I explained as clearly as I could that it runs in concurrent streams. Some cause and effect is over time, some is instantaneous.

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:59 pm

Is there a sutta in the pali canon excluding the abhidhamma that states that cause and effect can have a large time delay?
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:14 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:Is there a sutta in the pali canon excluding the abhidhamma that states that cause and effect can have a large time delay?


Yes, there are probably several hundred of them. :)

Here's one from the Majjhima Nikāya.

    Cause:

    "Ananda, there are four kinds of persons to be found existing in the world. What four? Here some person kills living beings, takes what is not given, misconducts himself in sensual pleasures, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks harshly, gossips; he is covetous, has a mind of ill will, and holds wrong view."

    Effect:

    "On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell."
    (Mahākammavibhanga Sutta, MN. 136)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:Is there a sutta in the pali canon excluding the abhidhamma that states that cause and effect can have a large time delay?


As I quoted earlier, the most basic formulation of Dependant Origination is (my brackets):

[1] "'When this is, that is.

[2] "'From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

[3] "'When this isn't, that isn't.

[4] "'From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that."

Found in many suttas, but here in SN 12.61 In relation to Dependant Origination. (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Statements 1 and 3 imply instantaneous cause and effect, while 2 and 4 imply cause and effect over time.

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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:51 pm

I dont see how "'From the arising of this comes the arising of that" shows how there is a gap between cause and effect that covers lifetimes.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:11 pm

Ven Thanissaro can explain it much better than I:

From Wings to Awakening: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

The Buddha expressed this/that conditionality in a simple-looking formula:

(1) When this is, that is.
(2) From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
(3) When this isn't, that isn't.
(4) From the stopping of this comes the stopping of that.

— AN 10.92

There are many possible ways of interpreting this formula, but only one does justice both to the way the formula is worded and to the complex, fluid manner in which specific examples of causal relationships are described in the Canon. That way is to view the formula as the interplay of two causal principles, one linear and the other synchronic, that combine to form a non-linear pattern. The linear principle — taking (2) and (4) as a pair — connects events, rather than objects, over time; the synchronic principle — (1) and (3) — connects objects and events in the present moment. The two principles intersect, so that any given event is influenced by two sets of conditions: input acting from the past and input acting from the present. Although each principle seems simple, the fact that they interact makes their consequences very complex [§10]. To begin with, every act has repercussions in the present moment together with reverberations extending into the future. Depending on the intensity of the act, these reverberations can last for a very short or a very long time. Thus every event takes place in a context determined by the combined effects of past events coming from a wide range in time, together with the effects of present acts. These effects can intensify one another, can coexist with little interaction, or can cancel one another out. Thus, even though it is possible to predict that a certain type of act will tend to give a certain type of result — for example, acting on anger will lead to pain — there is no way to predict when or where that result will make itself felt [§11].


A little later is a point that addresses something I think Element brought up earlier:

The fact of the teaching: As noted above, this/that conditionality is a combination of two causal modes: linear activity, connecting events over time; and synchronic causality, connecting objects in the present. The fact that the causal principle was not totally linear accounts for the fact that the Buddha was able to break the causal circle as soon as he had totally comprehended it, and did not have to wait for all of his previous kamma to work itself out first. The fact that the principle was not totally synchronic, however, accounts for the fact that he survived his Awakening and lived to tell about it. Although he created no new kamma after his Awakening, he continued to live and teach under the influence of the kamma he had created before his Awakening, finally passing away only when those kammic influences totally worked themselves out. Thus the combination of the two patterns allowed for an experience of the Unfabricated that could be survived, opening the opportunity for the Buddha to teach others about it before his total Unbinding.


-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:10 pm

meindzai wrote:Found in many suttas, but here in SN 12.61 In relation to Dependant Origination. (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)


Nice sutta. Thank you. However, I am not sure if it supports the Abhidhamma notion of a stream of rebirth consciousness.
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:13 pm

meindzai wrote: A little later is a point that addresses something I think Element brought up earlier:

The fact of the teaching: As noted above, this/that conditionality is a combination of two causal modes: linear activity, connecting events over time; and synchronic causality, connecting objects in the present. The fact that the causal principle was not totally linear accounts for the fact that the Buddha was able to break the causal circle as soon as he had totally comprehended it, and did not have to wait for all of his previous kamma to work itself out first. The fact that the principle was not totally synchronic, however, accounts for the fact that he survived his Awakening and lived to tell about it. Although he created no new kamma after his Awakening, he continued to live and teach under the influence of the kamma he had created before his Awakening, finally passing away only when those kammic influences totally worked themselves out. Thus the combination of the two patterns allowed for an experience of the Unfabricated that could be survived, opening the opportunity for the Buddha to teach others about it before his total Unbinding.
-M


M

I would appreciate if you do not misrepresent me.

I do not recall bringing up such things.

I do not talk such elaborations.

I try to stick to the suttas.

Thank you.

E
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:15 pm

In MN 38, the Buddha states clearly the stream of dependent origination arises all the way to dukkha 'when the eye sees the form', 'when the ear hears the sound', etc.

Similarly, the Lord advised it quenches in the same way...'when the eye sees the form...', etc...

The arising and cessation is momentary.
Last edited by Element on Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:19 pm

Dhammanando wrote: "On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell."

(Mahākammavibhanga Sutta, MN. 136)


This teaching above is about karma. It is not supramundane dhamma. As Bhikkhu Buddhadasa raised in his book, quoted by Robert K yesterday, the doctrine of dependent origination is not a doctrine of morality. Buddha has advised us there are two levels of dhamma: mundane & supramundane.
"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view of one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

MN 117
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:59 pm

There is another passage that i have come accross that does seem to contradict the 3 lives interpretation despite being cited by bhikkhu bodhi as evidence of it in his introduction to the Book of Causation, its in the SN - Book of Causation - 19.

"Bhikkhus, for the wise mand, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body originated. For the wise man that ignorance has been abandoned and that craving has been utterly destroyed. For what reason? Because the wise man has lived the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering. Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to body. Not faring onto body, he is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"

Now a few important things to note here, at first glance it seems to say that this is discussing physical death but i do not believe that is the intent, first of all it says the breakup of the "body" and not the breakup of the aggregates which i feel would have been used if it meant literal death.

Second of all this states that when the body breaks up one is free, enlightened. Now if you take break up of the body to mean literal death then it seems you assert that while still living there will still be dukkha. However this is contrary to the buddhas promise that one can be liberated from all dukkha right now, in this very moment and not have to wait for death. Therefor you can only interpret this not as literal death of the "body".


That is my interpretation anyway :smile:
:namaste:
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:43 pm

Element wrote:
I would appreciate if you do not misrepresent me.

I do not recall bringing up such things.

I do not talk such elaborations.

I try to stick to the suttas.

Thank you.

E


My apologies, it was clw_uk that brought up the issue (of the possible death of the Buddha on realizing nirvanna)

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:00 pm

clw_uk wrote:There is another passage that i have come accross that does seem to contradict the 3 lives interpretation despite being cited by bhikkhu bodhi as evidence of it in his introduction to the Book of Causation, its in the SN - Book of Causation - 19.

"Bhikkhus, for the wise mand, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body originated. For the wise man that ignorance has been abandoned and that craving has been utterly destroyed. For what reason? Because the wise man has lived the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering. Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to body. Not faring onto body, he is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"


That is my interpretation anyway :smile:
:namaste:


I don't see any contradictions here.

First of all it states "Bhikkhus, for the wise man, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body originated."

Which implies it is ignorance from a previous life that lead to the current physical birth (Body originated).

"For the wise man that ignorance has been abandoned and that craving has been utterly destroyed."

So, this person who has a body (originally born due to ignorance) has now destroyed craving. So they will not take any future rebirths when they die.

" Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to body"

Or TB's translation "Therefore, at the break-up of the body, he is not headed for a [new] body."


Now a few important things to note here, at first glance it seems to say that this is discussing physical death but i do not believe that is the intent, first of all it says the breakup of the "body" and not the breakup of the aggregates which i feel would have been used if it meant literal death.



Why wouldn't breakup of the body mean physical death? What else could it possibly mean?

Second of all this states that when the body breaks up one is free, enlightened.
Now if you take break up of the body to mean literal death then it seems you assert that while still living there will still be dukkha. However this is contrary to the buddhas promise that one can be liberated from all dukkha right now, in this very moment and not have to wait for death. Therefor you can only interpret this not as literal death of the "body".



No, one is enlightened before death, but still inhabits a body due to prior ignorance. There will be things like physical pain, but no suffering. Since that ignorance has been destroyed, this person will not inhabit a new body after death.

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:29 pm

"Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to body. Not faring onto body, he is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"


The key here is "freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say" these are mental dukkha that arise through ignorance. It states that one is only free from them when one does not fare on to another body. If you take it as literal body/death then you assert that one cannot be free from dukkha and enlightened in this moment as this passage states that with the breakup of the body one is freed from suffering, physical and mental.

If you take this with birth etc meaning "I" moments then it keeps in line with freedom in this very moment. By not faring onto another false "birth" of a sense of self or "I" then one does not experience dukkha ever again.

Metta
Craig :smile:
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Hi Element,

Element wrote:This teaching above is about karma. It is not supramundane dhamma.


The idea that the teaching of dependent arising and that of kamma and vipāka are distinct and mutually exclusive (with the former leading to liberation and the latter being for keeping thick peasants on the straight and narrow) is Buddhadasa's doctrine, but not the Buddha's.

    Parivīmaṃsana Sutta

    "Bhikkhus, if a person immersed in ignorance forms a meritorious saṅkhāra, consciousness goes on towards merit. If he forms a demeritorious saṅkhāra, consciousness goes on towards demerit. If he forms an imperturbable saṅkhāra, consciousness goes on towards the imperturbable."
    (SN.ii.80-4)

    Bhava Sutta

    "It is said, lord, 'becoming, becoming.' In what way, lord, is there becoming?"
    "If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the sense realm, would sense-sphere becoming be discerned?"
    "No, lord."
    "Thus, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness is the seed, craving the moisture; for beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered to craving, consciousness becomes grounded in a low realm. Thus, Ānanda, there is the production of re-becoming in the future. It is thus, Ānanda, that there is becoming.
    "If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the fine-material realm, would fine-material becoming be discerned?"
    "No, lord."
    "Thus, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness is the seed, craving the moisture; for beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered to craving, consciousness becomes grounded in a middling realm. Thus, Ānanda, there is the production of re-becoming in the future. It is thus, Ānanda, that there is becoming.
    "If, Ānanda, there were no kamma ripening in the immaterial realm, would immaterial becoming be discerned?"
    "No, lord."
    "Thus, Ānanda, kamma is the field, consciousness is the seed, craving the moisture; for beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered to craving, consciousness becomes grounded in a superior realm. Thus, Ānanda, there is the production of re-becoming in the future. It is thus, Ānanda, that there is becoming."
    (AN.i. 223-24)

Buddha has advised us there are two levels of dhamma: mundane & supramundane.


"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.


But what is the relationship between the two kinds of right view? According to Buddhadāsa and his circle there's none whatsoever; they're two unrelated doctrines that the Buddha taught to different types of persons – one a doctrine conducive to morality and the other a doctrine of liberation. And so if it's liberation one is after, then according to this interpretation, mundane right view will be of no interest at all; indeed it will be counterproductive, for holding it ineluctably makes one an eternalist. Have I got it right?

Needless to say, this is not the understanding of the classical Theravada. Rather, the two kinds of right view are seen as intimately bound up with each other, and with the supramundane one having the mundane one as its necessary foundation. Without mundane right view one won't even begin to understand the full scope of the first noble truth.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:11 pm

clw_uk wrote:"Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to body. Not faring onto body, he is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"


The key here is "freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"



You cut out the first part of the quote It says " freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"

He's freed from birth - he does not take another body again because he has destroyed ignorance. If he took on another body that would indicate he had not destroyed ignorance, so he'd still be subject to all the other types of suffering.

these are mental dukkha that arise through ignorance. It states that one is only free from them when one does not fare on to another body.


No, it means that if he'd take on another body, he would not really have eliminated ignorance, thus all the other kind of suffering would follow.

If you take it as literal body/death then you assert that one cannot be free from dukkha and enlightened in this moment as this passage states that with the breakup of the body one is freed from suffering, physical and mental.


If one takes on another body, that means one has not eliminated ignorance, therefore one will experience all types of suffering.
The body you inhabit is the result of prior ignorance. When you destroy that ignorance, you still have a body, as explained in the quotes from Thanissaro Bhikkhu previously.

If you take this with birth etc meaning "I" moments then it keeps in line with freedom in this very moment. By not faring onto another false "birth" of a sense of self or "I" then one does not experience dukkha ever again.

Metta
Craig :smile:


One more time: You have this lifetime (Which we shall call 1). You can look at D.O. as occuring moment to moment in this lifetime, and that's ok, but not ONLY in this lifetime. You experienced birth in this lifetime, due to prior craving. So the fact that you're here at all is a result of a previous lifetime. (We'll call that 2). In 2, you also experienced birth, which had to be the result of previous craving (3) and so on. That's one way of explaining the three minimum. We can also go the other way. If you don't become an arahant during thie lifetime, after death, your current ignorance will land you a new body again.

If one awakens during this lifetime, you put an end to future births. But you still have this body that you were born into (due to that previous lifetime). There is still kamma that has to play out, but there's no mental suffering involved. After the physical death of the body, there's no further rebirth because there is no desire to be reborn again. This sutta does not contradict this at all.

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:16 pm

There is still the problem of when there is cesstation fo D.O. it states that Name and Form comes to cesstation. Would this mean that then one would infact die after enlightenment. Also it states that contact leads to feeling and then onto cravin.... birth. Contact happens all the time so can only be moment to moment and also that consciousness depends on name and form and name and form on consciousness so how can anything go past physical death? (I realise i have said this before but feel it is important) and also the suttas themselves dont really state that D.O. covers anything more than this life/moment.


P.S. thank you for your posts they are quite challenging which is good :smile:

:namaste:
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:21 pm

clw_uk wrote:There is still the problem of when there is cesstation fo D.O. it states that Name and Form comes to cesstation. Would this mean that then one would infact die after enlightenment.



Reread the quote from Thanissaro Bhikkhu here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=285&start=60#p3005


(I realise i have said this before but feel it is important) and also the suttas themselves dont really state that D.O. covers anything more than this life/moment.


Image I'm not going to repeat myself.

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:24 pm

Greetings meindzai,
meindzai wrote:Image I'm not going to repeat myself.

Looks like you're becoming a headbanger. ;)

Non-becoming is cool. 8-)

Speaking of "becoming", see also the following related thread:

The Paradox of Becoming - Thanissaro Bhikkhuhttp://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=323

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:28 pm

I did read the extract and it does seem reasonable however i do not see any evidence of it acctualy being in the suttas.

From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

To me that just says that in the next moment if there is, for example, contact there will be craving. Doesnt mean it has to be three lives.

In reguard to your earlier post:

[quote=]You cut out the first part of the quote It says " freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and dispair, freed from suffering, I say"[/quote]

Birth just means the birth of the sense of "I" arising from contact, feeling and craving.

MN - 44:

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

"'The cessation of self-identification, the cessation of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which cessation of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving: This, friend Visakha, is the cessation of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

The "birth" is of the sense of I through contact.

If you are saying that the body refers to literal physical body/birth there is a sutta that states that the physical body originates from the 4 elements.

"The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the material form aggregate"

This debate does seem to be getting circular however, anyone else got something to add?

Also sorry if im causing you frustration.

Metta
Craig
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