What is Truth?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:21 pm

Kenshou wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:mu
This is actually a good answer, but it sure isn't a satisfying one.

It satisfied lojong1.
Can intention be added to Sid's 'message conveyance'? Even if you intended an implied 'to me' at the end when you said it, if I don't receive that implied message, its a lie for me.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby fabianfred » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:38 am

4NT and N8FP :anjali:
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby sid » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:09 am

lojong1 wrote:Can intention be added to Sid's 'message conveyance'? Even if you intended an implied 'to me' at the end when you said it, if I don't receive that implied message, its a lie for me.


No "to me" was implied here.
Only an observation is required to attest something as truth. As this can be done by anyone concerned, a "me" is not required.
Although the observer's frame of view should be taken into account.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:32 am

sid wrote:No "to me" was implied here.

Hmmn, something happened here and that's no lie.
Truth and lie belong to the realm of the human conversation?
Wiki says: "A conversation is communication between two or more people."

Kenshou says that 'mu' "isn't a satisfying one."
But 'mu' satisfied me.
If Kenshou meant that 'mu' was not satisfying to anyone, period, then it was an explicit and implicit lie, of the sort mentioned earlier by Sid, i.e. "the sun is a cube".
If Kenshou was aware that someone else may be satisfied with 'mu', but chose not to say 'to me' ["isn't a satisfying one (to me)"] because he felt its implication was obvious, then he spoke implicit truth, not explicit truth.
If Kenshou spoke implicit truth, yet I assume he did not because I didn't hear the words 'to me', then I've lied to myself by assuming that Kenshou denies the possibility of my satisfaction with 'mu'. I've lied to myself in a fast, subtle (unnoticed) conversation with myself.
So I'm suggesting that truth and lie belong not only to the realm of human conversation, but to the more inclusive realm of thought right here and now whether I speak it or not. :popcorn:

Then Sid wrote: "No 'to me' was implied here," and straight away I thought that Sid had assumed that I had assumed that he [Sid] had implied 'to me,' when [truthfully?] I was exploring the possibility that Kenshou had implied 'to me' and good grief that happens so FAST! :cookoo:
The Wiki Self-Deception page is startlingly...gross:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception

Whether someone else is lying explicitly; lying implicitly; truthing explicitly; truthing implicitly; lying explicitly while truthing implicitly or any other combination, it makes no difference to the receiver how it was sent; in every case it can only be received as truth. Is all this synonymous with 'mu'?
What does Buddha have to say about truth?
Dhamma
abhuuta = groundless; not become; not real; lie; deceit.
aalika = contrary; untrue; distortion of truth.
-vaadin [suffix]= one who speaks what is said correctly, telling the truth.
Tatha [adj.]/tathaa [adv.] = in truth; truthful; thus.
sacca (adj.!!) = true; real;

Any notable differences?
Last edited by lojong1 on Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:41 am

plwk wrote:Let's say if Pontius Pilate (or anyone else closer to your location/time/aeon :tongue: ) asked you, 'What is truth?'
How would you answer this question as a Buddhist? :juggling:

I would say " havent you got something more useful you could be doing instead of getting your head all pointy " ?
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby sid » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:53 am

PeterB wrote:I would say " havent you got something more useful you could be doing instead of getting your head all pointy " ?

:thumbsup:

I don't know why, but after reading some posts I remembered this.
"Bhikkhus, a certain foolish man learns the prose sections, prose and verse sections, the answers and explanation expositions, stanzas, solemn utterances, thus said sections, birth stories, wonderful things, a series of questions and answers. He thoroughly learns the Teaching but does not examine the meanings with wisdom. So he cannot take pleasure in the Teaching. He learns the Teaching for the purpose of finding fault..."


I think the Dhamma or anything for that matter, should be explained in the simplest manner possible.

-Sid
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby sid » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:05 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Truth is a characteristic of statements. So is falsity.
Experience can't be either true or false, though we can (and often do) make false statements about it.
Reality can't be either true or false, either, though we can (and often do) make false statements about it.
:popcorn:
Kim


Just saw your reply. This is exactly what I was trying to say and you put it in words much better than me. :bow:
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:15 pm

sid wrote:I think the Dhamma or anything for that matter, should be explained in the simplest manner possible.


The person who asks "what is truth?" has already shown a need to 'dumb up' the Dhamma. Simple is fast, almost too fast to catch, and complicated is slow. The simplest simply isn't complicated enough for some people.

Dhamma should be explained in the simplest manner that will be understood.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:30 pm

More on the futility of simplicity, from the 'Principia Discordia'.
http://brainwash.discordian.com/files/P ... cordia.pdf

---"A SERMON ON ETHICS AND LOVE

One day Malaclypse the Younger asked the messenger spirit Saint Gulik to approach the
Goddess and request Her presence for some desperate advice. Shortly
afterwards the radio came on by itself, and an ethereal female Voice said

YES?

"O! Eris! Blessed Mother of Man! Queen of Chaos! Daughter of
Discord! Concubine of Confusion! O! Exquisite Lady, I beseech You to lift
a heavy burden from my heart!"

WHAT BOTHERS YOU, MAL? YOU DON’T SOUND WELL.

"I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain.
Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with
injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers
imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe."

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THAT, IF IT IS WHAT YOU WANT
TO DO?

"But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it!"

OH. WELL, THEN STOP.

At which moment She turned Herself into an aspirin commercial and
left the Polyfather stranded alone with his species."


In the same book:
"M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don’t know man, I didn’t do it."

And in case anyone thinks this doesn't belong in the forum...
A) there is a quote from Buddha in the book. :mrgreen:
B) there is a sutta where Buddha says that any other teacher--past, present or future--pointing to truth is teaching Dhamma. The language can change.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby EricJ » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:33 pm

A concept which often becomes an object of attachment.


Regards,
Eric
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:10 pm

The Canki Sutta is a superb exposition of how to establish truth. Here is an excerpt but I recommend reading and studying the whole thing as an excerpt does not do it justice.

Metta

Gabe

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.095x.than.html

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.

"To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. I describe this as an awakening to the truth. But it is not yet the final attainment of the truth.

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. We regard this as an awakening to the truth. But to what extent is there the final attainment of the truth? To what extent does one finally attain the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the final attainment of the truth."

"The cultivation, development, & pursuit of those very same qualities: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally attains the truth. I describe this as the final attainment of the truth."
"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: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:15 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:there is the final attainment of the truth

This here truth being what in Paali? I get confused easily.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:42 pm

lojong1 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:there is the final attainment of the truth

This here truth being what in Paali? I get confused easily.


Hi Lojong,

Yes.

From the Pali Tipitika.

Metta

Gabe
"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: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:45 pm

@ gabrielbranbury

Hey there. I meant what is the paali original of the word 'truth' used throughout this Canki sutta excerpt?
I think there are a few, and we call them all truth, yet I'm sure there are subtle distinctions between them.
Maybe the OP only wants to know what the English word refers to, but by the looks of the responses it doesn't really go anywhere.

Buddha's "doesn't apply."
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:56 pm

lojong1 wrote:@ gabrielbranbury

Hey there. I meant what is the paali original of the word 'truth' used throughout this Canki sutta excerpt?
I think there are a few, and we call them all truth, yet I'm sure there are subtle distinctions between them.
Maybe the OP only wants to know what the English word refers to, but by the looks of the responses it doesn't really go anywhere.

Buddha's "doesn't apply."


OH,

Sorry,

I dont know.

Ill bet someone else here does...

Metta

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"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: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:46 am


Okay, in the Canki Sutta at the link, sacca is what they translated into Truth.
Sacca is an adjectictive, isn't it? I wonder if this could make a difference. Nouns are so darned hard and unchanging. :pig: :jedi:
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:11 am

I'm no Pali expert, but from http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2866.pali sacca is the adjective, saccaṃ the noun.
Typically glossaries such as this: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... .htm#sacca list just sacca, but that's just for convenience, I think.

Whether one uses a noun or an adjective is going to depend on the the construction of the sentence.
So, for example, here it is a noun: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... discourses
Idaṃ kho pana bhikkhave dukkhaṃ ariya-saccaṃ,
Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:


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Re: What is Truth?

Postby simplemind » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:47 am

I think with questions like 'What is Truth?' it doesn't hurt to consider that we use 'truth' in several ordinary ways. The thing to note is that they aren't necessarily equivalent. Here's just a few of them off the top of my head:

1) Something can be 'true' insofar as it matches our experiences with the way we perceive the world to be. False if not.
2) A statement can be vacuously 'true' if it is impossible for it to be false. Tautologies fall into this category (i.e. The Buddha is the Buddha).
3) A substance or material can be 'true' if it is seen as lacking impurities.
4) 'Truth' can also be used as an affirmation. Sometimes people say things like, "That is the truth man, or True dat!" In this sense, they are just standing behind an assertion.
5) There's another sense of Truth (the one I suppose Pilate was framing) which is something like, "What is the definitive definition of Truth, or what is the definition that overrides all the others, the Absolute definition if you like.' If that is the question, then I submit that it cannot be answered. I think we can only enumerate various uses. This by the way, is my interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's approach in his later philosophy (read his Philosophical Investigations if you are interested).

A lot of 20th century linguistic philosophy was interested in the analysis of our language to avoid philosophical confusions. It does not follow that this is just needless conceptual grasping, rather this process of analysis can help us clarify what is causing philosophical problems. In my opinion, it is often misleading questions and concepts. I see this process as quite liberating, especially in an online world where we increasingly rely on communication without the subtleties (and quick feedback) that we have in face to face communication.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:05 am

mikenz66 wrote: So, for example, here it is a noun: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... discourses
Idaṃ kho pana bhikkhave dukkhaṃ ariya-saccaṃ,
Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:


I see that it is rendered as a noun in English in many places, but the reason I keep asking these Paali questions is that after short examinations of anapanasutta, satipatthanasutta and other bits and pieces, it looks to me like the English can get kinda sloppy, as if the translated terms aren't fully understood by the translators, or the source materials disagree.
:pig: :spy: :toilet: A horrible thought...I accept the consequences.
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Re: What is Truth?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:19 am

Hi lojong1,

You may be right in some cases. Which translations are you reading?
But remember that Pali is a reasonably complicated language with a very different word order from English, so a word-for-word translation is not usually going to work in "subject object verb" sentences like:
    buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
    Buddha refuge go

See this thread for some more analysis: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4369

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