Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:01 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:12 am


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Jechbi
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Jechbi » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:52 am


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:42 am


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:36 am


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:44 am

[Please note: If you disagree with the premise that follows, which is between the dashed lines, the remainder of this thread is really not for you, although if you have evidence and well-reasoned, fresh arguments against the premise, you're still quite welcome to post here. Please see my response to Jechbi two posts back for my definition of “evidence”.]


My last question, back on Page 3 near the middle in this thread, can be summed up as follows:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If the Wrong Views listed in the first part of sutta MN 117 “The Great Forty” are those of the philosophers listed as refuted at the end of the sutta:

(1) Denying the efficacy of Brahmin rituals ("There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed")
(2) Denying the efficacy of karma ("There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.") and
(3) Denying the validity of a whole bunch of ideas then current in the Buddha's world, that is, the nihilism of the day ("There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.")

and if the precisely corresponding Right View with Effluents listed in the next verse is the affirmation of the views the thinkers at the end of the sutta denied:

(A) Avowing the efficacy of Brahmin rituals (“There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed.”)
(B) Avowing the efficacy of karma (“There are fruits & results of good & bad actions.”)
(C ) Avowing the validity of a variety of ideas current in the Buddha's day (“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.”)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
then what is the Buddha saying here about Right View with Effluents? A tentative reading could be that the Buddha is saying that Brahmin rituals work just fine, and the Vedic belief in causality – in the reasoning that why things happen the way they do down here is because of what's going on up there, an that we can affect what happens up there via our gifts, offerings, and sacrifices is a valid way of seeing the world. That the view that counters Brahminical beliefs, a belief in kamma-as-action bearing fruits in this life and the next is also valid and true. Further, that a whole bunch of other beliefs short-handed by the series of phrases in (C ) and probably well-known in the day by those stock phrases, that this whole bunch of other beliefs are valid, as well.

Do those who could (even tentatively) see that the premise here might be true, feel that this would be what the Buddha is saying: that all these world-views are valid? If not, have you any theories as to what else he might be saying here?

:namaste:

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Jechbi
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Jechbi » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi nowheat,

I like your analysis because it provides a different perspective and is worth thinking about as a means of exploring the context of the sutta, but I don't think the Buddha was saying on the one hand (1) that denying these views is wrong view; and on the other hand (2) that affirming these views is right view, and in fact all these philosophical views are right in their own way.

Rather, I think the Budha was giving an overview of the progress away from wrong "views" in the sense of the vantage point we bring as we orient ourselves in this world. While it's possible to intepret all of the various "wrong views" according to the three groupings of philosophies that you cited, it's also possible to interpret the various wrong views as simple instances of what happens when a person lives without values, without any regard for the consequences of one's actions. In this particular case, I'm inclined to apply Occam's Razor and give this sutta the interpretation that requires the fewest assumptions, because when I do so, I see that it supports and fits together with other Dhamma teachings found throughout the Suttas, and I can see that it is conducive to helping a person along the path to liberation. At least that's how it appears to me.

As you correctly point out, I probably am understanding this sutta passage through the prism of my own predilections. So I'll keep an open mind.

Metta

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:53 pm


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Jechbi
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Jechbi » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:02 am


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:33 pm


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Jechbi
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Jechbi » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:04 pm

No, that's not what I meant either. I meant that it appears to me the wrong views referred to in the sutta are more general than just these specific philosophies, and it appears to me that the Buddha is not commenting on the three types of philosophies, but rather on wrong views in a broader sense. I don't think this sutta can be interpreted as focusing so narrowly on the three types of philosophies. Just my reading. Metta

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:36 pm


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Jechbi
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Jechbi » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:56 am

It's actually an addition to what I was clumsily trying to say, but I could go along with it. But this thread isn't about my reading it's about yours. Thx for the thought-provoking posts. :smile:

vinasp
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby vinasp » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:26 pm

Hi nowheat,

Are you trying to establish that belief in kamma and rebirth is not required for progress on the path ? If so, then there may be other arguments which can achieve this objective.

Best wishes, Vincent.

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:58 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:53 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:23 pm


vinasp
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby vinasp » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:48 pm

Hi nowheat,

What is missing that you would have expected to see ?

Best wishes, Vincent.

pegembara
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby pegembara » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:03 pm

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

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:53 am



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