Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

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rolling_boulder
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Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by rolling_boulder »

Buddhism sometimes feels a little silly to me because of the following contradictions.

1. There is no separate self; everything is interconnected and interdependently arisen, we are completely and entirely social beings, we only exist with reference to our environment, our sphere of action is limited by our past conditioning, BUT, we are all separate individuals who are responsible for and individually receive results of our karma, our duty is to somehow act against our conditioning, and the final goal is complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions. What is that, a soul? Some kind of Absolute Being?

2. The mind is also not self, it is conditioned just like material nature, and it's also dependent on uncontrollable material factors (childhood traumas, brain chemicals, social conditions, wealth, access to resources) BUT we are supposed to make efforts to improve it

3. Happiness is just a meaningless mind state, sadness is just a mind state, mind states are simply phenomena that we can observe coming and going, BUT, nibbana is the highest happiness

4. Arahantship is the complete and final extinguishment of negative mind states, they never arise again, BUT, actually they do (because of material conditioning) but the arahant just doesn't "pick them up-" Ajahn Chah was an arahant, BUT he still yelled angrily at people when he was losing his brain function

Anyone that can resolve these tangles for me, gets my respect
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings rolling_boulder,
1. There is no separate self; everything is interconnected and interdependently arisen, we are completely and entirely social beings, BUT, we are all separate individuals who are responsible for and individually receive results of our karma, and the final goal is complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions
All things are not self. The end goal isn’t the “ complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions”. It’s to let go. When we do, the sense of “I am” also ceases. To get there, however, we rely upon conceit, desire and Right View. By relying upon conceit we can abandon all conceit. By relying upon desire we can abandon all desire. By relying upon Right View we can let go of all views.


2. The mind is also not self, it is conditioned just like material nature, and it's also dependent on uncontrollable material factors (childhood traumas, brain chemicals, social conditions, wealth, access to resources) BUT we are supposed to make efforts to improve it
The mind is the result of causes and conditions. By making use of conceit we can find liberation.

3. Happiness is just a mind state, sadness is just a mind state, don't attach to either, BUT, nibbana is the highest happiness
Ultimately it’s beyond both. The Buddha defines peace and stillness as happiness.

4. Arahantship is the complete and final extinguishment of negative mind states, they never arise again, BUT, actually they do (because of material conditioning) but the arahant just doesn't "pick them up"
The Arahant doesn’t experience hate, anger, sadness and so on because the sense of self has ceased. They do still experience feeling, and so pain.

Metta

:)
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
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cappuccino
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by cappuccino »

rolling_boulder wrote: Anyone that can resolve these tangles for me, gets my respect
see impermanence and your concerns will dissolve


that's how they're resolved
Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty? ―Paul Gauguin
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Nicolas
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by Nicolas »

These sutta references could be useful:


2.
Titthāyatana Sutta (AN 3.61) wrote: There are, bhikkhus, some ascetics and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever this person experiences—whether pleasure, pain, or neither-pain-nor-pleasure—all that is caused by what was done in the past.’
[...]
Those who fall back on past deeds as the essential truth have no desire to do what should be done and to avoid doing what should not be done, nor do they make an effort in this respect. Since they do not apprehend as true and valid anything that should be done or should not be done, they are muddle-minded, they do not guard themselves, and even the personal designation ‘ascetic’ could not be legitimately applied to them.

3.
Bahuvedanīya Sutta (MN 59) wrote: ‘Gotama the contemplative speaks of the cessation of perception & feeling and yet describes it as pleasure. What is this? How is this?’
‘It’s not the case that the Blessed One describes only pleasant feeling as included under pleasure. Wherever pleasure is found, in whatever terms, the Blessed One describes it as pleasure.’
Nibbānasukha Sutta (AN 9.34) wrote: “This unbinding is pleasant.”
“But what is the pleasure here, where there is nothing felt?”
“Just that is the pleasure here: where there is nothing felt.”

4.
Salla Sutta (SN 36.6) wrote: Bhikkhus, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament; he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, but they would not strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by one dart only. So too, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling … he feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one.

Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours no aversion towards it. Since he harbours no aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling does not lie behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the instructed noble disciple knows of an escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. Since he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling does not lie behind this. He understands as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. Since he understands these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling does not lie behind this.

If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. This, bhikkhus, is called a noble disciple who is detached from birth, aging, and death; who is detached from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is detached from suffering, I say.
Nibbānadhātu Sutta (Iti 44) wrote: And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an Arahant [...]. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.
dharmacorps
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by dharmacorps »

rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm
Ajahn Chah was an arahant, BUT he still yelled angrily at people when he was losing his brain function
Please cite what you base this accusation on. What is your basis for this claim?
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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by Sam Vara »

dharmacorps wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:31 pm
rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm
Ajahn Chah was an arahant, BUT he still yelled angrily at people when he was losing his brain function
Please cite what you base this accusation on. What is your basis for this claim?
I don't know of any written record of this, but someone I knew and trusted as an honourable person told me they witnessed it when they were a monk.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by Dhammanando »

dharmacorps wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:31 pm
rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm
Ajahn Chah was an arahant, BUT he still yelled angrily at people when he was losing his brain function
Please cite what you base this accusation on. What is your basis for this claim?
When asked, Ajahn Chah denied that he was an arahant and said that he still had a lot more work to do. So I was told by my former preceptor, Ajahn Khemadhammo.

As I recall, the arahantship accusation started to be levelled against him almost immediately after his death in 1992. By about 1994 it had become a fait accompli that Ajahn Chah had been an arahant when alive, despite his own protestation to the contrary. I don't know why. Perhaps it was a case of devoted disciples thinking: "the true Messiah always denies his own divinity".
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
binocular
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by binocular »

Dhammanando wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:29 pmAs I recall, the arahantship accusation started to be levelled against him almost immediately after his death in 1992.
The "arahantship accusation started to be levelled against him"? Is an arahant some kind of criminal that "accusations" would be "levelled against him"?
By about 1994 it had become a fait accompli that Ajahn Chah had been an arahant when alive, despite his own protestation to the contrary. I don't know why.
Who wants to be the student of less than an arahant? Esp. given all the self-effacement that his Western students went through while being his students ...
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
SteRo
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by SteRo »

rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm Buddhism sometimes feels a little silly to me because of the following contradictions.

1. There is no separate self; everything is interconnected and interdependently arisen, we are completely and entirely social beings, we only exist with reference to our environment, our sphere of action is limited by our past conditioning, BUT, we are all separate individuals who are responsible for and individually receive results of our karma, our duty is to somehow act against our conditioning, and the final goal is complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions. What is that, a soul? Some kind of Absolute Being?
Self can neither be affirmed nor negated, so there is no basis for asking "separate or not?"
Why should "everything [be] interconnected"? What does "interconnected" mean? It isn't the case that the arising of everything depends on everything.
There being no beings, there being no "social beings".
...

I stop here because I cannot agree to anything you're saying.

Why call worldly views "buddhist"? :shrug:
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
binocular
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by binocular »

rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm1. There is no separate self; everything is interconnected and interdependently arisen, we are completely and entirely social beings, we only exist with reference to our environment,
This sounds like a Mahayana(-like) teaching.
our sphere of action is limited by our past conditioning,
That's not even Buddhism, or, at best, it's merely folk Buddhism (which includes a variety of tenets that cannot be supported with canonical sources).
BUT, we are all separate individuals who are responsible for and individually receive results of our karma,
This sounds more like Theravada.
our duty
You might want to read up on the notion of the moral imperative in Buddhism.
is to somehow act against our conditioning, and the final goal is complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions.
Where did you hear that?

Buddhism sometimes feels a little silly to me because of the following contradictions.
Those contradictions that you list arise from mixing up different Buddhist traditions, and mixing up Buddhism with other religions/philosophies. So, yes, mixed-up silly it is.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Dhammanando
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by Dhammanando »

binocular wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:37 pm The "arahantship accusation started to be levelled against him"? Is an arahant some kind of criminal that "accusations" would be "levelled against him"?
Just an Orwell-inspired oxymoron.

"Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent, but the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of course, the same in all cases."
(Reflections on Gandhi, Partisan Review. 1949)
binocular wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:37 pmWho wants to be the student of less than an arahant?
The two monks who've influenced and inspired me the most are most certainly innocent of the charge. I don't mind at all.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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cappuccino
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by cappuccino »

Dhammanando wrote: Ajahn Chah denied that he was an arahant
I thought so
Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty? ―Paul Gauguin
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SarathW
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by SarathW »

Anyone that can resolve these tangles for me, gets my respect
My advice is that do not try to be an Arahant.
The word Arahant should be broken into manageable pieces we can relate to.
For me, what I wont to be is just be happy.
Then investigate your level of happiness against the teaching on a regular basis.
Try to understand the reason for your unhappiness.
For instance, I found my unhappiness is coming from attachment and aversion.
I am too early to investigate the unhappiness coming from ignorance because I have much gross unhappiness.
Unhappiness coming from self-view is more subtle.
Don't try to eat the elephant at once.
Take one byte at a time. :D

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=30709&p=446976&hilit=
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
rolling_boulder
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by rolling_boulder »

SarathW wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:19 am
Anyone that can resolve these tangles for me, gets my respect
My advice is that do not try to be an Arahant.
The word Arahant should be broken into manageable pieces we can relate to.
For me, what I wont to be is just be happy.
Then investigate your level of happiness against the teaching on a regular basis.
Try to understand the reason for your unhappiness.
For instance, I found my unhappiness is coming from attachment and aversion.
I am too early to investigate the unhappiness coming from ignorance because I have much gross unhappiness.
Unhappiness coming from self-view is more subtle.
Don't try to eat the elephant at once.
Take one byte at a time. :D

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=30709&p=446976&hilit=
I think this is good advice Sarathw

Oddly my horoscope today said,

It is just impossible to know all the facts from your perspective, and it isn’t necessary for you to seek such understanding.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Buddhist Paradoxes I Still don't understand

Post by confusedlayman »

rolling_boulder wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:19 pm Buddhism sometimes feels a little silly to me because of the following contradictions.

1. There is no separate self; everything is interconnected and interdependently arisen, we are completely and entirely social beings, we only exist with reference to our environment, our sphere of action is limited by our past conditioning, BUT, we are all separate individuals who are responsible for and individually receive results of our karma, our duty is to somehow act against our conditioning, and the final goal is complete disconnection of the "individual" from conditions. What is that, a soul? Some kind of Absolute Being?

2. The mind is also not self, it is conditioned just like material nature, and it's also dependent on uncontrollable material factors (childhood traumas, brain chemicals, social conditions, wealth, access to resources) BUT we are supposed to make efforts to improve it

3. Happiness is just a meaningless mind state, sadness is just a mind state, mind states are simply phenomena that we can observe coming and going, BUT, nibbana is the highest happiness

4. Arahantship is the complete and final extinguishment of negative mind states, they never arise again, BUT, actually they do (because of material conditioning) but the arahant just doesn't "pick them up-" Ajahn Chah was an arahant, BUT he still yelled angrily at people when he was losing his brain function

Anyone that can resolve these tangles for me, gets my respect
1. no soul. aggregates are seen as such hence there is no clining by aggregates to aggregates by ignorance. when this is seen aggregates dont take action based on stimulus just for aggregates hence aggregates dont enter becoming stage but still age and die by past kamma by which it is produced.

2. mind is seen as non self hence there is no need to change the way the mind reacts to its memory but whatever feeling or sadness produced by mind based on its past truma memory it cause feeling but feeling will passaway there is no need to act and create another round of becoming. mind seeing past trauma create painful feeling but seeing it as just arising of pain feeling when thoughts of past trauma is there and cessation of that feeling when thoughts of it not there. u cant control or make happy feelings proiduce when trauma thoughts are there it is controlling non self or impersonal things.

3. previously u think u feel pain and happy and u want to maintain one state of mind over another. this cause manifold feeling further. but when u see arising and passing of feeling its like seeing ariisng and passing of clouds in sky both are arising and passing why make a fuss when feeling arise and pass instead of clouds in sky? nibbana is seeing suchness due to non clining and wisdom.

4. in arhants prespective there is arising of feeling and cessation of it but it has nothing to do with them. how evoporation of water in sea and formation of clouds and decrease in could due to rain and formation of new water in sea has nothing to do with anything or anyone, all phenomena are just ariisng and passing...he can see it if he want or maintain bare awarneess to let go of stress of perception. painful feeling due to injury will occur but painful feeling due to clining, ego, I making, delusion wont occur.
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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