"Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:39 am

Hi Alan,
alan wrote:Jechbi-- In this context I'm saying it is so much easier to proliferate ideas, concepts, and thoughts within the Mahayana. "Emptiness", "Original Nature", etc. They don't really give us any way to judge them. Too easy to just go off on a non-rational rant. Within the Therevada, however, claims must be backed up. That is why I say there are many more ways for the mind to proliferate outside Therevada.
Don't see anything dangerous or conceited about that.

Thanks for your comment. I think that papanca is a matter unrelated to whether one follows Theravada or Mahayana.

alan wrote:Jechbi,
Not sure if you are using the concept of Kamma correctly.

Kamma is volitional action.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:48 am

Thanks, Ben, for your kind post!
Ben wrote:I would argue that if elements of the Dhamma are found existing outside the Buddhadhamma, and I did give the example of Alara Kalama and Ramaputta (the Buddha's teachers), that it is incomplete. That it is not to suggest that it is worthless. I am reminded of Ashoka's 14th Rock Edict where he directs all within the empire to encourage everyone to engage with their religion, whether they are practicing Buddhadhamma or something else. It is an acknowledgement that there is great beauty and benefit in other paths and the practice of those paths are beneficial, but I still contend they are incomplete because they do not offer a path out of samsara.

I agree with this.

Ben wrote: ... here we are at Dhamma Wheel, a forum for the discussion of the Dhamma. As such, some of us may feel compelled to challenge ideas that are counter to the Buddha's teachings.

Yes, absolutely. It's the exchange of ideas that I think can make for very productive discussions, particularly when we listen carefully to others, and when we invite encouragement even when challenging their ideas. Didn't mean to imply otherwise.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:02 am

tiltbillings:

One of the things Cafael stated is that "enlightenment" was inevitable, which is something the Buddha strongly rejected, stating that such a view is disastrous for the welfare of those who followed such a view (AN I 33).


31. "I don't envision a single thing that, when untamed, leads to such great harm as the mind. The mind, when untamed leads to great harm."


sorry, I'm unfamiliar with your referencing system, but do you mean... Anguttara Nikaya, Book of the Ones, 31?

Because I'm in complete agreement with it, and that enlightenment is inevitable (not for every life, perhaps, but I think for every lifestream, though it may take more time than one wishes to risk by not practicing correctly.).

There is no self, you understand? So no one pulling the strings. Yet of course one has to make the greatest effort to enlighten. Is this a paradox? No; no one is pulling effort's strings either, volition's strings, yet there is the illusory sense of effort, a form of suffering based on self-view.

As to the Lion's Roar, Buddha says 'certain recluses' teach incorrectly. How you leap from that to 'Buddhism is the only way!!!', which, let us not forget, is considered a pretty crazy thing to say these days, for all sorts of very good reasons, I don't know.

When I say 'for all sorts of good reasons', what I mean is that the general public does understand why you cling to propositions such as the above, even if you don't know yourself so well.

I agree with Buddha that his is the only path, by the way, of course it's the only path - but it can be expressed in a myriad of ways. I understand language well enough to know this quite firmly; to me it's not even contentious, but laughably obvious and self-apparent. Let me ask you another question: does only the Theravada have the correct way?
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:04 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:... Let me ask you another question: does only the Theravada have the correct way?

You keep shifting your position, and as for your question, I am not going to answer any question from you, until you address the questions I have directly put to you and which you avoid answering.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:06 pm

Ok, sorry, can you repeat the questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

Let's all bear the following in mind:

If, like a cracked gong, you silence yourself, you have already attained Nibbana: no vindictiveness will be found in you.


- Dhammapada 133-134
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:16 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Ok, sorry, can you repeat the questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.



Are you for real? Or are you just a troll?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby alan » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:08 pm

I don't think Cafael is a troll, in the sense that he is just messing with us for the pleasure of disruption.
Cafael is real enough to speak well in English, which is not his first language, I suppose.
But Cafael has gone far beyond rationality and is probably delusional.
"Oh, sorry, can you repeat the question?"
--give me a break.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:53 pm

here is a thread of relevance cadfael,
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3130#p45459

AN 3.67 Kathavatthu Sutta: Topics for Discussion wrote:"Monks, it's through his way of participating in a discussion that a person can be known as fit to talk with or unfit to talk with. If a person, when asked a question, doesn't give a categorical answer to a question deserving a categorical answer, doesn't give an analytical (qualified) answer to a question deserving an analytical answer, doesn't give a counter-question to a question deserving a counter-question, doesn't put aside a question deserving to be put aside, then — that being the case — he is a person unfit to talk with.


it is difficult to get a straight response from you, you shift the discussion every time a question has been asked, or answer in a manner which isn't relevant to the question.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:09 pm

I've been looking back through the thread to find questions I was asked but haven't answered:

'is enlightenment empty?'

Yes. It's just a way of describing experience. Descriptions as a category are empty, void of essence.

'provide assertions for your statement 'nibbana is love' from the Pali Canon'.

Well, I have provided a few, but to be frank, Buddha spoke in a very direct and unflowery way; I doubt he would have made such a statement, he would have left others to discover this for themselves. I can find plenty of zen stuff if you like, since this is the free-for-all. I can't convince you of anything as Theravada Buddhists, only as human beings.

Are there other questions I haven't answered? I'll continue looking through the thread to find them but at the moment there are sandwiches for me :tongue: .

I honestly don't mean to sidestep, and Alan, I am not particularly delusional, though all unenlightened people are pretty crazy in the sense of causing our own suffering, after my first realisations I did check psychological texts to make sure I wasn't loopy. Actually, the 'flow state' is known in psychology, and is considered healthy.

Is it sane to believe that Buddhism is the only path because Buddha said so? It would be sane to consider it possible that it was the only discovery of the path to nibbana, but to be firm on this point I would consider delusional without evidence.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:32 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:. . . I . . .

There is no point in wasting any more time with you. You shift your position when confronted with a problem with what you are saying. You show very little actual understanding of the texts you claim support your experience. You dismiss, with no real justication as to why, anyone questioning the understanding you claim for yourself. You show no real interest in what others are saying, and obviously assume that your experience trumps anyone else's and what anyone has to say is meaningless in lighht of your supposed real realizations. What you are neatly illustrating here - as a walking, talking example - is one of the major dangers of the path, of taking one's - sometimes profound - experiences as being far more than what they are. It is all too easy to fool oneself into thinking one knows, understands, sees the truly true truth, all the while exhibiting very little actual understanding of the Dhamma. As Trungpa would say: Good luck to, sir.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:47 pm

I shifted my position on nibbana as a ground of being, yes, because I realised I was wrong. You were correct in this and I learnt from the exchange. For me, that's what internet forums are about, not just to change the ideas of others but to improve my own conceptions of things. That's why I asked you to explain how you understand nibbana and love in the Theravada tradition - I really would like this information.

I apologise for making people so angry. I'm not sure what I've said that would stir peoples' feelings so. I'm used to forums where the point is argued, not the person.

Tilt, really, I respect your posts and never wanted to cause you to turn your back on me.

Manapa:

"Monks, it's through his way of participating in a discussion that a person can be known as fit to talk with or unfit to talk with. If a person, when asked a question, puts down [the questioner], crushes him, ridicules him, grasps at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person unfit to talk with. But if a person, when asked a question, doesn't put down [the questioner], doesn't crush him, doesn't ridicule him, doesn't grasp at his little mistakes, then — that being the case — he is a person fit to talk with.
Last edited by Cafael Dust on Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:49 pm

When were you asked for assertions? we asked for references!
as the Buddha never used the term Buddhism he never said Buddhism in the canon, he used Dhammavinaya! and as already pointed out the 8fold path is what the buddha called the only way.
if you are going to attempt to answer questions answer the ones asked!

Good-Bye.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:58 pm

I thought this was quite a good reading within the current context. It refers to the absolute truth of the the Buddhas "Lions Roar" and how this Roar indicates the only way to liberation. There is no need for any divergence from what can be directly considered and easily confirmed by anyone who is reasonable.

Gabe

As Quoted by Ven Analyo
Translation of EĀ 27.2

[url]
http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nsRoar.pdf[/url]
1. [I] heard thus.21 At one time the Buddha was at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, the park [given
by] Anāthapiṇḍika.22 At that time a large group of monks had entered Sāvatthī. This large
group of monks had the following reflection: “It seems still too early in the morning for
us to collect alms, let us approach the village23 of the heterodox wanderers who [follow a]
different practice for some discussion.”24 Thereupon this large group of monks approached
the village of the heterodox wanderers. Having arrived they exchanged greetings [with the
heterodox wanderers] and sat down to one side.25
3. Then the wanderers who [follow a] different practice asked the monks:26 “The recluse
Gotama proclaims this teaching to [his] disciples: ‘Monks, you should completely learn
this teaching, entirely realize and understand it, and having realized and understood it,
you should all together act accordingly!’ We also proclaim this teaching to [our] disciples:
‘You should completely learn this teaching, entirely realize and understand it, and having
realized and understood it, you should all together act accordingly!’ What is the difference
between the recluse Gotama and us? What is there that is superior or inferior? That is to say,
he proclaims teachings and we also proclaim teachings, he instructs and we also instruct.”
When the large group of monks had heard this question, they expressed neither agreement
nor disagreement, but right away got up from their seats and left. Then this large group of
monks, deliberating among themselves, said [to each other]: “We should go and report this
matter to the Blessed One.”
At that time, the large group of monks entered Sāvatthī to collect alms and, having eaten
and put away their robes and bowls, with the sitting mat over their left shoulders they
approached the Blessed One, paid respect [by bowing down] with their heads at his feet,
and sat down to one side. Then the large group of monks reported this issue in full to the
Blessed One.27
5. At that time, the Blessed One told the monks: “If those heterodox wanderers pose such a
question, you could employ this rejoinder to reply to them: ‘Is there a single final goal or
are there many final goals?’ If those Brahmins28 are capable of giving an unbiased answer,
then they should answer like this: ‘There is a single final goal, there are not many final
goals.’

[Again, they should be asked:] ‘Regarding that final goal, is the presence of sensual desires
the final goal or is the absence of sensual desires the final goal?’ [They should answer
like this:] ‘Regarding what is reckoned as the final goal, the absence of sensual desires is
reckoned as the final goal.’
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘How is it, regarding that final goal, is the presence of ill-
will the final goal or is the absence of ill-will the final goal?’ [They should answer like this:]
‘Regarding what is reckoned as the final goal, the absence of ill-will is the final goal, the
presence of ill-will is [certainly] not the final goal.’
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘How is it, is the presence of delusion the final goal or is
the absence of delusion the final goal?’ [They should answer like this:] ‘Regarding what is
reckoned as the final goal, the absence of delusion is the final goal.’
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘How is it, regarding that final goal, is the presence of
craving the final goal or is the absence of craving the final goal?’ [They should answer
like this:] ‘Regarding what is reckoned as the final goal, the absence of craving is the final
goal.’
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘How is it, regarding that final goal, is the presence of
clinging the final goal or is the absence of clinging the final goal?’ [They should answer
like this:] ‘Regarding what is reckoned as the final goal, the absence of clinging is the final
goal.’29
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘How is it, regarding that final goal, is it [to be attained] by
one who is wise or by one who is not wise?’ [They should answer like this:] ‘Regarding
what is to be is reckoned as the final goal, it is [to be attained] by one who is wise.’
[Again, they should be asked:] ‘[Regarding] this final goal, is the final goal for one who is
quarrelsome or is the final goal for one who is not quarrelsome?’30 [They] should answer
like this:31 ‘Regarding what is reckoned as the final goal, that final goal is for one who is
not quarrelsome.’32

6. Monks, there are these two views. What are the two views? That is to say, the view of
existence and the view of non-existence.33
7. Any recluse or Brahmin who does not understand the origin and the result of these two
views will consequently have sensual desire, ill-will, delusion, craving, and clinging in
the mind, he will be one who lacks wisdom, his mind will be quarrelsome and he will
not take part in practice that is in conformity [with the teachings]. Such a person does not
become liberated from birth, old age, disease, death, worry, dejection, suffering, vexation,
and multifarious kinds of distress; he will not be liberated from dukkha.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:59 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:I shifted my position on nibbana as a ground of being, yes, because I realised I was wrong.
You have shifted your position on any number of things during this exchange.
I apologise for making people so angry. I'm not sure what I've said that would stir peoples' feelings so. I'm used to forums where the point is argued, not the person.
No one is angry here. As to arguing the point, you do not do that, and as for the "person," you are the one who has interested your person, via your repeated claims of realization and experience, in to this discussion as if they are the arbiter of what is true. You have made yourself the topic, repeatedly.

Tilt, really, I respect your posts and never wanted to cause you to turn your back on me.

You do not answer my questions, you do address the points I raised in response what you say. It is not much of a dialogue. You might want to give some thought as what is a good basis for dialogue, and maybe a little humility might go a long way. I am not turning my back on you. I just see no reason to continue with this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:24 pm

I've provided references, but they do not convince you. Here are more supporting my statements:

"Just as, of all trees, the balsam is foremost in terms of softness and pliancy, in the same way I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, is as soft & pliant as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, is soft & pliant."


This is similar to the description I posted of the uncultivated mind as moving water. A cultivated mind is indeed soft and pliant, it doesn't try to go its own way against the grain of reality. All that I added to the descriptions was the zen idea that the mind only appears to be unpliant and in turmoil.

"These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Tranquillity (samatha) & insight (vipassana).

"When tranquillity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.

"When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.


I posted earlier that vispassana dispels our ignorance as to our own essentially tranquil nature. As I asked before when people disputed the idea of 'essentially tranquil', 'when one sharpens a point, is the sharpness revealed or created?'. I tend to visualise this as 'revealed', whereas in the Theravada 'created' seems to be orthodox. I am open to arguments on this, and it does seem to be that the Buddha explained things in terms of the latter concept.

"Monks, these three are fabricated characteristics of what is fabricated. Which three? Arising is discernible, passing away is discernible, alteration (literally, other-ness) while staying is discernible.

"These are three fabricated characteristics of what is fabricated.

"Now these three are unfabricated characteristics of what is unfabricated. Which three? No arising is discernible, no passing away is discernible, no alteration while staying is discernible.

"These are three unfabricated characteristics of what is unfabricated."


Samsara is fabricated, nibbana is unfabricated, as I argued earlier. It isn't a combination of relative objects, it is irreducible.

"Sir, those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught. That's how it strikes me."


Every teaching of this nature is a good one, as I argued earlier. Where I differ from some people is that I expect that there are other such teachings, though I don't cling to this idea as I can't prove it. I do however disapprove of clinging to the opposite idea.

gabrielbranbury: I do agree absolutely that the Buddhist goal is the only goal, in fact the only thing worth having at all, since all other relative gains are in light of samsara's nature poisoned chalices. I'm a fundamentalist on this point. But I also believe that other words have described the same goal.

[Sariputta:] "The statement, 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?' complicates non-complication.1 The statement, '... is it the case that there is not anything else ... is it the case that there both is & is not anything else ... is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' complicates non-complication. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far complication goes. However far complication goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of complication.


As I say, I was wrong to describe nibbana in the terms I used. I stand corrected in this. I suppose that rather than saying nibbana is love, I should instead say 'the highest happiness', as the Buddha said. I suppose I see 'the highest happiness' combined with 'benefitting other beings' as love, but that's just how I use words, I don't think it's a path breaker.

I can carry on providing references. I do know the Pali Canon fairly well in terms of having read most of it many times (scattergun though so there may be the odd sutra I've missed), though I've been in developing countries in South America without much internet access for the last year and a half and can't remember what I've read offhand as well as I used to be able to.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:32 pm

No one is angry here. As to arguing the point, you do not do that, and as for the "person," you are the one who has interested your person, via your repeated claims of realization and experience, in to this discussion as if they are the arbiter of what is true. You have made yourself the topic, repeatedly.


Tilt, yes, you're right. I did so out of exasperation - that's a failing but a human one. When you're trying to explain the truth of something you've seen it's difficult not to resort to 'but I saw it!'. I know this is not adequate, however, and should refrain from doing so.

I suppose what I've being trying to do is, ok, I've experienced things, how do I describe them in orthodox Theravada language? There are so many Buddhist terminologies all with, as you say, subtly different connotations, that I am essentially having to learn a new language to communicate with you. There are bound to be problems along the way. I suppose I expected people to gently explain 'ah, you're talking about this, which is expressed in this way here', whereas I've encountered more 'wrong. Give evidence for why you're saying that', and I've been swept up in those emotions and ended up debating and arguing when I seek common ground.

That's my fault, but I am trying; I suspect you are unenlightened also, and therefore also struggling. We can lash out in the dark or help each other describe which bits of the elephant we perceive, so we can ride it away rather than getting trampled upon :smile: .
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:39 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:. . . I . . .

Again, this is all about you, which should tell you something.

All your "experiences" - probably best to let them go.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:43 pm

Tilt, I said
ignorance is conditioned


you said:
That is not what Buddhism - Theravada or Mahayana (Nagarjuna) - teaches. I have no idea of what you are talking about.


Buddha said:

The ignorance is conditioned, the conditioned things occur.
The conditioned things are conditioned, the consciousness occurs.
The consciousness is conditioned, the Mind and Matter occur.
The Mind and Matter are conditioned, the six senses occur.
The six senses are conditioned, the contact occurs.
The contact is conditioned, the feeling occurs.
The feeling is conditioned, the craving occurs.
The craving is conditioned, the attachment occurs.
The attachment is conditioned, the existence occurs.
The existence is conditioned, the life occurs.
The life is conditioned, the old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, suffering, grief and despair occur.
“All kinds of suffering occurred are caused from as the above.”


Pali Canon (Thai), MCU, vinaya4, p.13-16 and 1-10.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:47 pm

Tilt:

Again, this is all about you, which should tell you something.

All your "experiences" - probably best to let them go.


Yes, good advice. I think it's possible to discuss the Dharma without clinging to it, however, even without clinging to one's fingers as they move over the keys.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:53 pm

Ah, how stupid of me. Of course nibbanic love is unconditioned (I was asked this before, if love is conditioned). That's the meaning of unconditional love.
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