Craving for Non-Existence

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Craving for Non-Existence

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:38 pm

What is the problem with craving for non-existence, isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby bodom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:51 pm

clw_uk wrote:What is the problem with craving for non-existence, isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?


Whoever said Nibbana is the ending of existence? Ending of existence would imply an annihilationist view which the Buddha did not hold. Craving for non-existence arises together with the annihilationist view. There are some who believe that there is this life only. Nothing arises at the end of this life. There is no rebirth and so being are annihilated at death. Such a belief is called "annihilationist view" The craving that goes with this view is called "craving for non-existence." Any form of craving gives rise to birth including craving for non-existence.

:namaste:
Last edited by bodom on Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby genkaku » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:02 pm

clw_uk wrote:What is the problem with craving for non-existence, isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?


Dear clw -- The ending of existence would be nihilism, which would just be another brick wall as far as Buddhism is concerned.

In Zen, which is the preference I have, there are what is called the Four Propositions:

It exists.
It doesn't exist.
It both exists and does not exist.
It neither exists nor does not exist.


Each of these propositions is addressed and considered and set aside in practice.

Each student begins with existence, or craving. If craving is where you are, then where else could anyone begin? Beginning just means recognizing that craving doesn't work very well, that it doesn't settle uncertainties and that some investigation would be sensible. With practice -- that's practice, not rumination -- it becomes apparent that what exists has another aspect, sort of like the other side of the penny -- a tails where once there was only heads. So, there is so-called non-existence as well or simultaneously or something. 'Is' and 'is not' are a package deal -- it both exists and does not exist. But then -- again with practice -- it becomes creditably apparent that what both exists and does not exist neither exists nor does not exist.

Verbalizing hardly skims the surface of the situation. But practice tells a different tale, and one worth heeding. In the end, no one could possibly crave for non-existence: That would just be another way of asserting existence or craving. And no one could 'crave' nirvana ... that would be like water craving to be wet.

Begin with craving, sure. Begin with beliefs, sure. Begin with hope, sure. Begin with intellectual and emotional appreciations, sure. But don't stop short. Having made a beginning, don't be negligent about continuing. The most intelligent and emotional assessment in the world cannot hold a candle to the facts. And the facts are uncovered in practice.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby piotr » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:03 pm

Hi,

bodom_bad_boy wrote:Whoever said Nibbana is the ending of existence?


Sāriputta-thera did (AN 10.7).

Clw_uk I would suggest you to read The Paradox of Becoming by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, because he touches this topic in depth there. :coffee:

http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings ... coming.pdf
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby bodom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:04 pm

piotr wrote:Hi,

bodom_bad_boy wrote:Whoever said Nibbana is the ending of existence?


Sāriputta-thera did (AN 10.7).

Clw_uk I would suggest you to read The Paradox of Becoming by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, because he touches this topic in depth there. :coffee:

http://dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings ... coming.pdf


I doubt sariputta held an annihilationist view. Whether the Buddha exists or does not exist after Nibbana is one of the 14 unanswerable questions.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby dumb bonbu » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:14 pm

can't really add much on top of the answer provided by BBB. i think several sutta quotes indicate that Nibbana doesn't amount to non-existance:

"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress."

— Ud 8.1


[Aggivessana Vacchagotta:] "But, Master Gotama, the monk whose mind is thus released: Where does he reappear?"

[The Buddha:] "'Reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

"In that case, Master Gotama, he does not reappear."

"'Does not reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

"...both does & does not reappear."

"...doesn't apply."

"...neither does nor does not reappear."

"...doesn't apply."

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if the monk reappears... does not reappear... both does & does not reappear... neither does nor does not reappear, he says, '...doesn't apply' in each case. At this point, Master Gotama, I am befuddled; at this point, confused. The modicum of clarity coming to me from your earlier conversation is now obscured."

"Of course you're befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you're confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. For those with other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know. That being the case, I will now put some questions to you. Answer as you see fit. What do you think, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that, 'This fire is burning in front of me'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"...I would reply, 'This fire burning in front of me is burning dependent on grass & timber as its sustenance.'"

"If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know that, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea."


— MN 72
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.
MN 21
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby bodom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:17 pm

Does the Buddha Exist After His Death?

The question: 'Does the Buddha exist after His death or not', is not a new question. The same question was put to the Buddha during His lifetime.

When a group of ascetics came and asked the same question from certain disciples of the Buddha, they could not get a satisfactory answer from them. Anuradha, a disciple, approached the Buddha and reported to Him about their conversation. Considering the understanding capacity of the questioners, the Buddha usually observed silence at such questions. However in this instance, the Buddha explained to Anuradha in the following manner:

'O Anuradha, what do you think, is the form (Rupa) permanent or impermanent?'

'Impermanent, Sir.'

'Is that which is impermanent, painful or pleasant?'

'Painful, Sir.'

'Is it proper to regard that which is impermanent, painful and subject to change as: 'This is mine; this is I, this is my soul or permanent substance?'

'It is not proper, Sir.'

'Is feeling permanent or impermanent?'

'Impermanent, Sir.'

'Is that which is impermanent, painful or pleasant?'

'Painful, Sir.'

'Is it proper to regard that which is impermanent, painful and subject to change as 'This is mine, this is I, this is my soul'?'

'It is not proper, Sir.'

'Are perfection, formative tendencies and consciousness, permanent or impermanent?'

'Impermanent, Sir.'

'Is that which is impermanent, painful or pleasant?'

'Painful, Sir.'

'Is it proper to regard that which is impermanent, painful and subject to change as: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my soul?'?'

'It is not proper, Sir.'

'Therefore whatever form, feeling, perception, formative tendencies, consciousness which have been, will be and is now connected with oneself, or with others, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near; all forms, feelings, perceptions, formative tendencies and consciousness should be considered by right knowledge in this way: 'This is not mine; this not I; this is not my soul.' Having seen thus, a noble, learned disciple becomes disenchanted with the form, feeling, perception, formative tendencies and consciousness. Becoming disenchanted, he controls his passion and subsequently discards them.'

'Being free from passion he becomes emancipated and insight arises in him: 'I am emancipated.' He realizes: 'Birth is destroyed, I have lived the holy life and done what had to be done. There is no more birth for me.'

'What do you think, Anuradha, do you regard the form as a Tathagata?'

'No, Sir.'

'O Anuradha, what is your view, do you see a Tathagata in the form?'

'No, Sir.'

'Do you see a Tathagata apart from form?'

'No, Sir.'

'Do you see a Tathagata in feeling, perception, formative tendencies, consciousness?'

'No, Sir.'

'O Anuradha, what do you think, do you regard that which is without form, feeling, perception, formative tendencies and consciousness as a Tathagata?'

'No, Sir.'

'Now, Anuradha, since a Tathagata is not to be found in this very life, is it proper for you to say: 'This noble and supreme one has pointed out and explained these four propositions:

A Tathagata exists after death;
A Tathagata does not exist after death;
A Tathagata exists and yet does not exist after death;
A Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death?'

'No, Sir.'

'Well and good, Anuradha. Formerly and now also I expound and point out only the truth of Suffering and cessation of Suffering.' (Anuradha Sutta - Samyutta Nikaya.)

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby Jechbi » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:19 pm

bodom_bad_boy wrote:I doubt sariputta held an annihilationist view.

It's clear from reading the sutta that he didn't. Thanks for the link, piotr.

Metta
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But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:22 pm

annihilationism is the view that a self gets destroyed

If one sees there is no permanent self and says there is non-existence this is not annihilationism as they dont view it in a context of "I will be annihilated" just simply an ending of existence.


The venerable Sariputta said this:-

It is extinction, friends, that is pleasant! It is extinction, friends, that is pleasant! When this was said, the venerable Udayi said to the venerable Sariputta "but what herein is pleasant, friend Sariputta, since herein there is nothing felt?

Just this pleasant, friend, that herein there is nothing felt


From this it seems to say to me that Sariputta wasnt an annihilationist because he knew there was no "I" to be annihilated, he did however state that no-existence is good and is reality.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby genkaku » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:23 pm

Dear clw -- I suppose we can play it two ways: Intellectually, in which case the meanings of "existence" and "non-existence" would have to be defined to everyone's satisfaction, or experientially, in which case each person might use words as tentative means of communication but would otherwise be stuck checking his or her own backyard.

I have always liked the example of a sneeze.

Suppose you have some deeply held faith or belief ... I mean something you take with the utmost seriousness ... perhaps the fear of death. Roughly speaking, you might say that that belief existed ... together with whatever else you took seriously ... as for example the speeding taxi that was about to run you down. You exist, taxi exists, belief exists, fear exists, but suddenly, you have to sneeze ....

In the midst of that sneeze -- right smack in the middle of it -- where are all your heart-felt, existing concerns? How could they enter? A sneeze is a single-act play. It is not some 'other' play. There are no 'other' actors in this play. This is this and this is it. There is no beginning or end, no love or hate, no Buddhism or lack of Buddhism. A sneeze is so much a sneeze that you can't even call it a "sneeze." A sneeze erases the blackboard. "You" are out of the picture. "You" do not exist.

But after the sneeze, you can get back to believing and fearing and philosophizing and talking about sneezes and all the rest of it. Suddenly you exist again, so to speak. But the principle that informs both the "you" and the "sneeze" -- well, what about that? There is no 'explaining' such things, but there is the possibility of examining them ....

And I have no doubt you'll find a better way to examine them than I have. :)

Best wishes.
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:What is the problem with craving for non-existence, isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?


does the Buddha exist or not exist after death? is a question which isn't answered, and the same would go for an arahant, as the two are the same bar one finds the path and the other follows the path laid out!
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:42 pm

Thank you genkaku for your posts, they are quite insightful

does the Buddha exist or not exist after death? is a question which isn't answered, and the same would go for an arahant, as the two are the same bar one finds the path and the other follows the path laid out!



The Budda didnt answer questions such as as "does the Tathagata exsist after death" etc becasuse they question always comes from someone who holds the thought of self and is asking the question in relation to this self. Whenever these questions are brought up it is by lay people etc.


My understanding is that there is no Annhilation because there is no "I" to be annihilated. There is no existence forever because there is no "I" to exsist forever.

There is however non-exsistence, non-becoming. The cesstation of all.

To me it seems the annihilationist is close to the truth, they just need to get rid of a sense of "me".

Nibbana is not annihilation because there is no Craig to be annihilated, but Nibbana is the end of all is it not?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby Element » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:56 pm

clw_uk wrote:What is the problem with craving for non-existence, isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?

Craving for non-existence is a synonym for aversion. For example, having pain, being averse to that pain and craving to commit or even commiting suicide. Or simply being averse to hot weather. This is craving for non-existence, not wanting to experience hot weather.

Nibbana is the cessation of existence via insight. Nibbana makes living easy & effortless. With Nibbana, pain & hot weather can be accommodated.

E
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:02 pm

Craving for non-existence is a synonym for aversion. For example, having pain, being averse to that pain and craving to commit or even commiting suicide. Or simply being averse to hot weather. This is craving for non-existence, not wanting to experience hot weather.

Nibbana is the cessation of existence via insight. Nibbana makes living easy & effortless. With Nibbana, pain & hot weather can be accommodated.

E



Then couldnt it be said that practising the dhamma comes from aversion, aversion to Dukkha?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby Element » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:Then couldnt it be said that practising the dhamma comes from aversion, aversion to Dukkha?

CLW

Indeed it can or does in the beginning. However, to practise Dhamma it is required to be free from aversion.

The path of practice uses Right Aspiration (Samma Sankappa) rather than craving-not-to-be (vibhava tanha).

E

The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!'

Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."


The Beauty Queen
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:30 pm

Thank you Element

I think I understand better now when it is said that annihilationism is close to dispassion.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby wakeupnow » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:54 am

genkaku wrote:...
In Zen, which is the preference I have, there are what is called the Four Propositions:

It exists.
It doesn't exist.
It both exists and does not exist.
It neither exists nor does not exist.


... Just my two cents.


Just a thought ... I believe the four way proposition has its origin in Indian logic. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_logic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma

This is evident in the dialogues between the ascetics and the Buddha, eg four of the eleven questions not to be answered, whether the Buddha exist, not exist etc. It can also be found in but not limited to Nagarjuna's commentarial works and from there, it took root in the later zen school of thought. :)
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:17 am

"isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?"

I found something that might be relevant to your discussion. Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that Nibbana is not the ending of existence at all in Mind Like Fire Unbound, a book that may be found online here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... x.html#pre

I have not had the chance to read it all myself, but it looks interesting.

With firm determination to stay out of the debate :smile: ,

Ed
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:20 am

sukhamanveti wrote:"isnt nibbana the ending of existence, cesstation so isnt walking the path simply a craving for non-existence?"

I found something that might be relevant to your discussion. Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that Nibbana is not the ending of existence at all in Mind Like Fire Unbound, a book that may be found online here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... x.html#pre

I have not had the chance to read it all myself, but it looks interesting.

With firm determination to stay out of the debate :smile: ,

Ed


P.S.: Scroll up to find links to the various parts of the book.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Craving for Non-Existence

Postby wakeupnow » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:40 am

clw_uk wrote:
Craving for non-existence is a synonym for aversion. For example, having pain, being averse to that pain and craving to commit or even commiting suicide. Or simply being averse to hot weather. This is craving for non-existence, not wanting to experience hot weather.

Nibbana is the cessation of existence via insight. Nibbana makes living easy & effortless. With Nibbana, pain & hot weather can be accommodated.

E



Then couldnt it be said that practising the dhamma comes from aversion, aversion to Dukkha?


I guess you could say that. ;)

But in the end, even this aversion is dropped, much like the "desire" to strive towards Nibbana.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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