I would rather we clash circling around an increasingly similar understanding of what we are discussing instead of being in blissful agreement about two completely unrelated points of view that we are both too blind to see are seriously misaligned. I am in favor of simplicity, but not at the expense of accuracy. So let's try and find a happy medium.Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:59 pm Thank you for clarifying. My argument style is to try to make things as simple and as clear as possible, so as to avoid mist and possible misunderstandings. If you prefer more long winded type of debates, which seems to be the case so far, then there might be a clash. Still, lets proceed and see where we end up.
We should probably agree to disagree on the message of MN 60. We'll just waste time. I find the distinction between the first three doctrines compared to the last two very striking. The Buddha literally says to these householder, "Since there is...". That is very unusual in suttas about these doctrines, as far as I recall. Very unsual. Be that as it may, MN 60 is now an auxiliary to the others I have cited, and I am less interested in coming to terms on its message. I maintain that it is illuminating on this matter, but we don't have to harp on it as the others are far more direct. Your call.Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:59 pm
I have read it. The sutta is aimed at those who have not yet gone for refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. It is, essentially, a Kalama like sutta. For those who have gone for refuge in the Buddha there is saddha (faith) until some level of awakening occurs. Saddha clarifies and removes all doubts. So, for one who has gone for refuge in the Buddha these kind of Dhamma talks are not necessary. The only message to take is to not dogmatically cling to the truth until you know the truth directly for yourself. With that in mind I do not see any relevance for the sutta here?I'm still not sure if you have given MN 60
AN 4.159 is in your corner:Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:59 pm Whilst it is true that until some level of awakening there will be a tendency towards convieving this or that dhamma I do not see why that means we cannot talk about said dhamma? If we are sincerely practicing the path then we should be aware of this flaw and should be practicing mindfulness to refrain from doing so. Us having a tendency towards conceit when it comes to nibbāna is not a good enough reason to then refrain from discussing nibbāna for, I think, two reasons. Firstly, we have a tendency towards conceit for all dhammas. MN1 does not just say it is nibbāna that can be taken as self, or as being possesed by self and so on and it would be strange if it did so. For example, MN1 also mentions concieving in relation to the earth element. Does this then mean we can never discuss the earth element?
And SN 35.31 is in mine, and I find it far more explicit and more appropriate for broaching contemplation of the meaning of "direct knowing":This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.’ Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, ‘The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.’ The thought occurs to him, ‘The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now. Then why not me?’ Then he eventually abandons conceit, having relied on conceit. ‘This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.
Indeed, there is no choice as one is striving to understand, but my point is that, unless one is a noble disciple, they could only be talking about whether or not this or that is accurate in terms of the Right view; Nibbana is absent from the question, literally unavailable because of the bottomlessness of avijja.SN 35.31 wrote:Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases, he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
Sure, talk about the elements, but since it will be on the basis of perceiving tainted by ignorance, one must accept that they have not accessed the elements. MN 1 says, "From X, he directly knows..." "Knows", not perceives. That is critical.
Better to accept this and strive with such an inadequacy, than to assume access from some quasi neutral ground between wrong and Right view. If one is striving and is not a noble disciple, the view is still fundamentally wrong. Yet.... it will be through the admission of this fact that will serve as the basis for wisdom (AN 4.159 above). So we have a bit of alignment there.
On mindfulness, are you referring to this?Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:59 pm The second issue would be that restricting ourselves to only discussing nibbāna via its negative aspects offers no protection against concieving. Nibbāna only described in negative terms can be grasped at as much as nibbāna described via positive terms. Each can become the basis for the wrong view of eternalism or annihilationism.
So, all in all, I do not agree with what I think is your position. Whilst it is true that we can grasp nibbāna when discussing it, this is true of all dhammas. Our job is to be aware of this tendency, to be mindful of it, whilst discussing these dhammas. Discussion, of course, being a part of learning which is vital for the development of the path.
How often are people actually admitting that, I wonder? And I never said that negativity offers protection from conceiving, it's almost just as dangerous. I even cautioned within my own attempts. Striving to not conceive is the only protection.MN 10 wrote:...When they don’t have the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states in them, they understand: ‘I don’t have the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states in me.’
Again, I'm not saying not to discuss it. I'm discussing the fact that we can't discuss it freely. The inadequacy is the focal point in these suttas. It is the work. Not a hindrance, but the training itself. And no discussion is complete without their acknowledgment. These are serious limitations that if disregarded for the purpose of discussion, can just as easily be repeated in contemplation. I want to make this last point very clear. To set this aside for purposes of discussion is nothing else than courting avijja:
So we can and should carry on, but with this issue as the work, not just a burden to set aside under certain circumstances, lest we toss the baby out with the bath water.SN 22.100 wrote:Bhikkhus, this saṃsara is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving….
“Suppose, bhikkhus, a dog tied up on a leash was bound to a strong post or pillar. If it walks, it walks close to that post or pillar. If it stands, it stands close to that post or pillar. If it sits down, it sits down close to that post or pillar. If it lies down, it lies down close to that post or pillar.
So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling regards form thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’ He regards feeling … perception … determinations … consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’ If he walks, he walks close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he stands, he stands close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he sits down, he sits down close to those five aggregates subject to clinging. If he lies down, he lies down close to those five aggregates subject to clinging.
Super tired. Hope this makes sense.