Eternity

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Eternity

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:28 am

Im pretty confident that everyone on this site would agree that a belief in an eternal self is wrong view and a cause of dukkha, but is the view of Nibbana as eternal also a wrong view, and attachment to eternity?
“ 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: Eternity

Postby termite » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:16 am

Maybe it would be helpful to clarify what you mean by "eternity." "Duration" is surely conditioned; without change there is no measure of time, is there?
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Re: Eternity

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:34 am

Greetings clw_uk,

clw_uk wrote:Im pretty confident that everyone on this site would agree that a belief in an eternal self is wrong view and a cause of dukkha, but is the view of Nibbana as eternal also a wrong view, and attachment to eternity?


Nibbana is an unconditioned element, and thus could rightly be called eternal. It is only that which is conditioned that is subject to change (aniccata).

I think you need to distinguish between nibbana, and the consciousness which makes nibbana its object.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Eternity

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:56 am

Sorry I probably wasnt to clear with my first post.

What im trying to put accross is this, Is the view of Nibbana as a permanent and never ending simply a subtle manefestation of bhava-tanhaa. Does the Buddha acctualy ever put forward that Nibbana is something that never ends?

Its just when something is put forward as permanent and without end it seems to naturally conjure up feelings/images/thoughts of somekind of eternal happiness etc.
“ 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: Eternity

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:53 pm

We have discussed what nirvana means in the modern Theravada forum. On the one hand it is simply the point at which a being is totally free of the causes of suffering or rather greed hatred and delusion. On the other hand the Buddha seems to have said that no arising, changeability, or passing away of nirvana will be discerned.

The first way of thinking about nirvana places it in our future. With the right practice conditions there will emerge a state free from greed hatred and delusion then the being who experiences these conditions will become aware of this experience through direct knowledge.

The second way of thinking about nirvana is in terms of it occupying space. In this way it is an expanse of freedom which can be occupied by the being who realizes it. Like a mind which knows that in whatever way it moves through all that can be experienced nirvana is there unchanging.

We can only think of things in terms of either time or space. That is the limitation of thinking.

What view we take of nirvana is really a matter of what helps us to purify our minds. In some cases people who find it difficult to fathom their own ability to work with their minds in a constructive way might be better off thinking of nirvana as something they are looking for in space. Some kind of element which will help them purify their mind. This kind of practice basically amounts to reflecting on the Buddha. On the other hand some people will be more in tune with the changeability of their minds in accordance with conditions and have confidence in their ability to work with these factors though time to move towards purity. I think we all need to work with both ways of viewing nirvana at different times depending on whats happening with us. We are likely to be either one of these types of people at different times.

There is no other way to formulate how we should think about nirvana other than to measure by its effects on our basic practice patterns. Is it helpful in letting go of what binds us in unskillfulness?

These are my thoughts and they are open to change. 8-)

Metta

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Re: Eternity

Postby mountain » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:34 pm

It is better to see nibbana as a term which is applied to one in whom the outflows have been extinguished. A better source would be Early Monastic Buddhism by Nalinaksha Dutt. See pages 279-294. Here the author deals with the opinions of the Venerable Nagasena. Hope this may help. The book is probably out of print but worth a search.
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Re: Eternity

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:07 pm

Thanks john will look it up

I think I keep falling into this problem of nibbana and eternity because of my Avijja im looking at it in some term of self
“ 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: Eternity

Postby mountain » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:03 pm

clw,
Its really hard to get around the concept of self. Everytime we speculate on the past existences of our selves or others there we are. I try to think of the dhamma lakshanas or marks of existence. They are annica, dukkha and anatta. As you post such very good questions, may I commend to you "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula? This is an excellent book. It has expanded since its first publication and remains a classic. Very good section on kamma
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Re: Eternity

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:12 pm

Thank you john for your advice its very much appreciated.

:namaste:
“ 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: Eternity

Postby mountain » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:31 pm

clw,
Thanks for your kindness. Is it not truly amazing that within that lump of grey matter between our ears that the way to liberation exists. The teachings of Lord Buddha are so fantastic. Sometimes when my thinking falls short of the mark I remind myself that its there within. I have received many kindnesses over the years from dhamma brothers and sisters. Mainly Asians.who simply accepted me at face value. Sorry to be blabbing on but I honor with gratitude the chance to assist others. Lord Buddha imho was both the most human and humane of the great teachers.
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Re: Eternity

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:46 pm

Sorry to be blabbing on but I honor with gratitude the chance to assist others


That is a great virtue you have there my friend

:namaste:
“ 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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