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Micro and macro bhava - Dhamma Wheel

Micro and macro bhava

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
phil
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Micro and macro bhava

Postby phil » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:49 am

Hi all

I'm very weak on D.O, and basically am content with that situation because I feel it's so far over my head that trying to get a handle on it right now would not lead to proper understanding. The day will come when I am ready to get into it.

But I'm curious about one link these days, and especially as it is taught by Thanissaro Bhikkhu in a few of his talks. He talks about micro and macro bhava (becoming, or existence in B.B's translations.) Macro bhava being rebirth and micro being all the "thought worlds" we create from moment to moment. This makes sense to me, but as grateful as I am to him for his clear, motivating teaching (especially with respect to sila, avoiding harmful behaviour etc) there are some aspects of the way Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches on the higher teachings that I suspect (that's all I can do) are not quite kosher, so I'd like to ask you about this micro and macro bhava and if it makes sense from the canon. I guess it's not possible to answer this without going into the 3 lifetime vs. time-free continuum D.O issue, which is fine, though I find it difficult..

Thanks.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:14 am

Hi Phil
Which talk is it he goes into this?

but from what you said, I would say one is moment to moment the other is lifetime to lifetime, but both can be a part of the teachings on rebirth depending on the context, sometimes the teaching will mean both other times it will only mean one or the other, it is just a matter of perspective! but we would need to know what a life is, in my view it could be interpreted as a personality, I know I have had several distinct persona's (not in a multiple personality manner simply periods of time when I have different persona types) these were still me but not me as I am now, and we all go through this in both day to day living and as life stages or phases, rebirth in the 3life model can be understood in this manner, as well as from womb to womb, and I see no reason why this can not be the case or evidence in the suttas to contradict that, and there is divine abiding in the here and now, as well as comments such as (not exact) if you act like a dog in this life you will be reborn as a dog in the next, but I am not 100% familiar with all the material, and it isn't a topic which peaks my interest all the time to study the texts to prove one or the other to myself.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

phil
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Location: Tokyo

Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby phil » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:15 am

Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:32 am

Hi Phil,
Thanks will have a download tomorrow if I don't have it!

it wasn't quite what I was refering to (maybe me misunderstanding how you mean horny phil, hungry phil) but they are close, not so much the feeling angry . . . but rather the persona of anger, in a almost jungian sense.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

phil
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby phil » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:45 am

Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:49 am

Greetings Phil,

Possibly you might find this of use...

The Paradox of Becoming (PDF)
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... coming.pdf

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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Ben
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:53 am

Hi Phil
I'm mostly focused on what Thanissaro Bhikkhu calls the 'micro' level of Dependent Origination. Bhikkhu Bodhi, in his notes in A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma warns that the the three-lifetime model is merely an expository device and should not be taken too literally. If I get time over the next few days, I'll glean what I can from Vism, though I think the chapter on DO is very large and atomistic in detail.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

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Reductor
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby Reductor » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:10 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Above is the "The world" in which the 12 factors of D.O are seen functioning
in relation to the six sense media, this is including the "mind" sense. I believe this is the sense of
becoming that Than is referring to.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In this Sutta there is further talk about how, starting from contact, there is mental proliferation,
which is said to beset a man with respect to past, future , and present in regards to the sense-bases and
their objects. In this sutta there is talk of how this process gives rise to conflict, which is certainly
producing kamma, the second link in the D.O., which means that this proliferation feeds back into
the rebirth cycle.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
The D.O described here, for completion.

I'm not entirely sure I've got all this worked out, because this is complex. Hopefully I can mull
it over and refine and clarify this post in the near future.

Please note that I use Bodhi's translations, which differ in wording to Thans. I hope you can still
see my meaning here.

Hope this gives a start for discussion.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:06 am

Hi Phil & Ben
Had a listen to the talk, thanks for pointing it out! but yeah the misunderstanding was what I thought (non-existing), but wasn't sure.
I have been reminded of conversations on a e-mail group I once belonged to by Ben where a certain argument was used every time.
basically the 1st noble truth was used as proof every time the topic of rebirth was mentioned and denied by moment to moment advocates, but I posted this as part of my reply on another thread in the last couple of days - The Four Noble Truths are noble not because they are metaphysical certainties but because they are reflective, that is Sumedho from his four noble truths book, and I think a perfect way to describe the rebirth models in the canon. for me macro bhava is the same, the reflections on the gods, metta to all beings, etc are reflective, they are part of the Noble path because of this reflective nature, not because all the beings reflected on definitely exist but because these beings can be logically asserted to exist, whether they do or not! although there are other posibilities for these beings to exist i.e., the gods are actually a group who practised the Brahmaviharas to the fullest extent, although I doubt that is actually the case boot as a tool for reflective purposes I have found it useful.
The Buddha is said to of disapeared when he became enlightened, physically I doubt that happened, but to use a phrase Thanissaro uses, his attachment to his 'personal narative' could be said to of disappeared, his previous cycle of becoming in Samsara, because he no longer saw things as constant, as his, so no stress could manifest that wasn't part of preforming day to day activities, in other words he realised the three characteristics, regarding the four noble truths.

i know my thoughts earlier and here are not exactly in keeping with the talk but I don't think they contradict, they could be said to be a different expression & I think if we focus on the micro level to understand becoming as a reality, and the macro level as a reflective tool to realise the cycle as it is, then we may be inkeeping with the Dhamma realised by the Buddha.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

phil
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: Micro and macro bhava

Postby phil » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:45 am

Hi all

I will have to re-read the previous posts and links, difficult material here, but I came across a passage today in a notebook that struck me as relevant to this topic. It's from SN 22, I'm pretty sure, but don't have the exact sutta number.

"One attached is unreleased. Should consciousness when taking a stance stand attached to a physical form, it is etablished in form, watered with delight, it will exhibit growth..." (Sorry for the syntax mess, the note is scribbled.) This is followed by the very trippy simile of a figure painted on a wall representing forming of sakkaya ditthi, I think, vs. sun going through a window and finding no wall to fall on. It's obviously a difficult sutta and I'd appreciate if someone could point me to the exact sutta, but I find even this fragment interesting. Obviously consciousness always and inevitably takes stands attached to physical form, there cannot be citta without rupa base, right? So it is the "watering with delight" that turns the inevitable consciousness/form marriage into sakkaya ditthi (wrong view of self)? What does "watering with delight" mean?

Thanks for feedback anyone, on this sutta and what it means in the context of this thread. (Also the reference so I can track it down, thanks.)

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)


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