The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

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frank k
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The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by frank k »

The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy'
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... hana.html

Hopefully we can use more accurate labels to differentiate the two interpretations of jhana.
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

It would be strongly advisable not to use the term 'Jhana lite' to denigrate those who place primacy on the Buddha's words in the EBT suttas over the redefinition and reinterpretation of Buddhists who came hundreds of years later in late Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga. This is tantamount to slandering the Buddha.
The irony is that many Jhana lite folks end up relying upon Abhidhamma definitions to back up their arguments, whether they realise it or not. Kāmā is one example.
'body' is redefined as 'mind',
As with English, the word "body" can have different meanings. For example, "a body of water", "the examination body", "the student body".
'material form consisting of 4 elements' is redefined as 'non material ethereal form with mind divorced from any bodily sensation',
ayaṃ kho me kāyo rūpī cātummahābhūtiko mātāpentikasambhavo ...

This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother and father ...


Kāyo is one thing, rūpa another. Rūpa means "appearance" or "image", which is the same meaning we find in the Upanishads which pre-date or were contemporary with the Buddha.
'thoughts that one thinks before vocalizing them' is redefined has 'placing the mind' (divorced from any content of thought).
As MN 78 shows, vitakka-vicāra are closer to intentions rather than normal thoughts and pondering:

Ime ca, thapati, kusalā saṅkappā kuhiṃ aparisesā nirujjhanti? Nirodhopi nesaṃ vutto. Idha, thapati, bhikkhu vitak­ka­vicārā­naṃ vūpasamā … pe … dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati; etthete kusalā saṅkappā aparisesā nirujjhanti.

Now where do skillful resolves cease without trace? Their cessation, too, has been stated: There is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. This is where skillful resolves cease without trace.


During mindfulness of breathing, before jhāna or even access, one can gain insight into how normal thinking and pondering is coarse, a disturbance, not-peaceful and dukkha whilst the unity of perception of the breath is fine, calming, peaceful. This is part of what aids the development of the practice, and leads one to jhāna. If a hindrance does arise, the minds attention is wedded to the sensation of the breath. A force like magnetism can literally be felt there. Then, with enough practice and insight, the sign of samādhi appears.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Ceisiwr
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

Interestingly:
At Vin III 109, some monks accused Moggallãna to have falsely claimed attainment, because he had stated that while being in the “imperturbable concentration” (i.e. fourth jhãna or an immaterial attainment) he had heard sounds. The fact that this led the monks to accuse him of false claims shows that the impossibility of hearing sound during deep absorption was generally accepted among the monks. However, the Buddha exonerated Moggallãna, explaining that it was possible to hear sound even during such a deep level of jhãna, if the attainment was impure (aparisuddho). Sp II 513 explains that because he had not fully overcome the obstructions to absorption, Moggallãna’s attainment was not stable and thus the hearing took place in a moment of instability of the concentration.
Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization, p 91

Sañ­ñāmana­sikārā is an obstruction to Jhãna, not an aid.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
BrokenBones
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:21 pm
It would be strongly advisable not to use the term 'Jhana lite' to denigrate those who place primacy on the Buddha's words in the EBT suttas over the redefinition and reinterpretation of Buddhists who came hundreds of years later in late Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga. This is tantamount to slandering the Buddha.
The irony is that many Jhana lite folks end up relying upon Abhidhamma definitions to back up their arguments, whether they realise it or not. Kāmā is one example.
'body' is redefined as 'mind',
As with English, the word "body" can have different meanings. For example, "a body of water", "the examination body", "the student body".
'material form consisting of 4 elements' is redefined as 'non material ethereal form with mind divorced from any bodily sensation',
ayaṃ kho me kāyo rūpī cātummahābhūtiko mātāpentikasambhavo ...

This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother and father ...


Kāyo is one thing, rūpa another. Rūpa means "appearance" or "image", which is the same meaning we find in the Upanishads which pre-date or were contemporary with the Buddha.
Drivel.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

The peerless teacher of men and gods gives a whole teaching on mindfulness of body and when he gets to the jhana section, without any warning he starts using the term 'body' to mean something entirely different... utter drivel. And the linguistic gymnastics that certain people try and use to alter the suttas meanings just highlights how deep the Brahmanical ideas of 'Oneness' and eternalism have permeated into the Buddha's teachings.
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:42 pm

The peerless teacher of men and gods gives a whole teaching on mindfulness of body and when he gets to the jhana section, without any warning he starts using the term 'body' to mean something entirely different... utter drivel. And the linguistic gymnastics that certain people try and use to alter the suttas meanings just highlights how deep the Brahmanical ideas of 'Oneness' and eternalism have permeated into the Buddha's teachings.
As with English, the meaning of “body” depends on the context.
And the linguistic gymnastics that certain people try and use to alter the suttas meanings just highlights how deep the Brahmanical ideas of 'Oneness' and eternalism have permeated into the Buddha's teachings.
The Buddha knew and used Upanishadic terms. The Buddha also taught non-dual or “oneness” meditation. Given that these mediations are of 1 perception, I do wonder how the Jhana lite crowd work their sañ­ñāmana­sikārā into them?

I’m also not really sure where you are getting “eternalism” from? Nothing I have said supports that.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
coffeendonuts
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by coffeendonuts »

Not to be rude, but how do y'all know what you're talking about? Even scholars are confused.
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:14 pm Not to be rude, but how do y'all know what you're talking about? Even scholars are confused.
Putting aside reliance on personal attainments as that doesn’t move the conversation 1 inch, we can either engage in scholarly and academic investigation or we can just give up because there is disagreement.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
coffeendonuts
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by coffeendonuts »

You're right that the options here are limited. Theravada lost its living meditation lineages. It all just seems so ambiguous and the debates so endless. I wonder if it is truly possible to recreate the way the Buddha meditated, and if parsing definitions is the way to do it. Right now it seems to me that the more parsing, the more "poles" of meaning are being generated, not clarity. How can we tell if there is a light at the end of the tunnel?
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:34 am You're right that the options here are limited. Theravada lost its living meditation lineages. It all just seems so ambiguous and the debates so endless. I wonder if it is truly possible to recreate the way the Buddha meditated, and if parsing definitions is the way to do it. Right now it seems to me that the more parsing, the more "poles" of meaning are being generated, not clarity. How can we tell if there is a light at the end of the tunnel?
Personally my mind is quite made up on the issue. If you are still unsure then you will have to make your mind up via the usual method. Study the suttas, the Pali, the arguments and personal experience.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
arkaprava
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by arkaprava »

The problem is there is a lot of clinging among people when there authorities are challenged, lot of conceit, people like Sujato called the "lite" jhanas as Jhana-banana.

People like to cherry pick passages, use dictionary entries without taking in the context from the suttas.

(1) “Here, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination. He makes the rapture and happiness born of seclusion drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Just as a skillful bath man or a bath man’s apprentice might heap bath powder in a metal basin and, sprinkling it gradually with water, would knead it until the moisture wets his ball of bath powder, soaks it, and pervades it inside and out, yet the ball itself does not ooze; so too, the bhikkhu makes the rapture and happiness born of seclusion drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the rapture and happiness born of seclusion. This is the first development of noble five-factored right concentration.

78(2) “Again, with the subsiding of thought and examination, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination. He makes the rapture and happiness born of concentration drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the rapture and happiness born of concentration. Just as there might be a lake whose waters welled up from below with no inflow from east, west, north, [26] or south, and the lake would not be replenished from time to time by showers of rain, then the cool fount of water welling up in the lake would make the cool water drench, steep, fill, and pervade the lake, so that there would be no part of the whole lake that is not pervaded by cool water; so too, the bhikkhu makes the rapture and happiness born of concentration drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the rapture and happiness born of concentration. This is the second development of noble five-factored right concentration.

79(3) “Again, with the fading away as well of rapture, a bhikkhu dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences pleasure with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ He makes the happiness divested of rapture drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the happiness divested of rapture. Just as, in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water might thrive immersed in the water without rising out of it, and cool water would drench, steep, fill, and pervade them to their tips and their roots, so that there would be no part of those lotuses that would not be pervaded by cool water; so too, the bhikkhu makes the happiness divested of rapture drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body that is not pervaded by the happiness divested of rapture. This is the third development of noble five-factored right concentration.


If someone reads this simile, and genuinely thinks the Buddha isn't talking about the body we have. They are being dishonest and they very well know that.


This is from the Theragatha :
Lahuko vata me kāyo phuṭṭho ca pītisukhena vipulena
Tūlamiva eritaṃ mālutena pilavatīva me kāyo'ti.

How light my body!
Touched by abundant
rapture & bliss,
— like a cotton tuft
borne on the breeze —
it seems to be floating
— my body! - Khitaka Thera
Probably Ajahn Brahm and Pa Auk need to go back and tell him : Bhante, there is no sense of the body during Jhanas, your body shouldn't be light as cotton, but your patibhaga-nimitta should be like the cotton seeds. How can you feel your body is light ? Since obviously the Critical Pali Dictionary says kāmā (pl.) must mean all objects of the five senses. Perhaps they'd also tell him that he is in access concentration.
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by arkaprava »

Another problem is the term Ekaggatā, translated as "one-pointedness". The instances in the Canon doesn't mention it to be indicating minute focusing, a good article is "How Pointy is One-Pointedness ?" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Not in one Indian language, Ekaggatā has this meaning.

In Bengali (একাগ্রতা) [Eka-grata] means being engaged in only activity/primarily focused on some task , e.g একাগ্রতার সঙ্গে পড়াশুনো করো (With single-mindedness , study).
Similarly in Hindi (एकाग्रता) : एकाग्र के भाव से अर्थ है एक ही विषय में ध्यान लगाना ( Ekagrata means being focused on only one topic).
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by coconut »

The context of ekaggata is non-distraction. It arises when one pays attention to samathanimitta (calm mental representation/theme) and abyagganimitta (non-distraction theme).

example

When Prince Jayasena refused to accept that a bhikkhu could achieve non-distractedness of mind (cittassa ekaggatan ti), the Buddha exclaimed to Aggivessana:

'How could it possibly be (taṃ kutettha aggivessana labbhā), that Prince Jayasena, living amidst sensuous pleasure, enjoying sensuous pleasure, being consumed by sensuous thought, tormented by sensuous passion, eager in the quest for sensuous pleasure, could know or see or realise that which must be known, seen, attained and realised through the practice of unsensuousness? It is impossible' (netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati) (M.3.129).

It is thoughts that distract us, first unwholesome thoughts are calmed, and then in second jhana wholesome thoughts are calmed.

See the simile of the six animals.
Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would catch six animals—with different domains and different feeding grounds—and tie them by a strong rope. He would catch a snake, a crocodile, a bird, a dog, a jackal, and a monkey, and tie each by a strong rope. Having done so, he would bind them to a strong post or pillar. Then those six animals with different domains and different feeding grounds would each pull in the direction of its own feeding ground and domain. The snake would pull one way, thinking, ‘Let me enter an anthill’ … as above … The monkey would pull another way, thinking, ‘Let me enter a forest.’

“Now when these six animals become worn out and fatigued, they would stand close to that post or pillar, they would sit down there, they would lie down there. So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has developed and cultivated mindfulness directed to the body, the eye does not pull in the direction of agreeable forms nor are disagreeable forms repulsive; the ear does not pull in the direction of agreeable sounds nor are disagreeable sounds repulsive; the nose does not pull in the direction of agreeable odours nor are disagreeable odours repulsive; the tongue does not pull in the direction of agreeable tastes nor are disagreeable tastes repulsive; the body does not pull in the direction of agreeable tactile objects nor are disagreeable tactile objects repulsive; the mind does not pull in the direction of agreeable mental phenomena nor are disagreeable mental phenomena repulsive.

“It is in such a way that there is restraint.

“‘A strong post or pillar’: this, bhikkhus, is a designation for mindfulness directed to the body. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will develop and cultivate mindfulness directed to the body, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus should you train yourselves.”
The biggest issue is the monkey, aka thoughts. As when you're in seclusion, it's the monkey mind that will make you break seclusion. The Buddha gives lots of strategies for subduing the monkey in MN 20.
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by Ceisiwr »

arkaprava wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:23 am ....

If someone reads this simile, and genuinely thinks the Buddha isn't talking about the body we have. They are being dishonest and they very well know that.
Seeing as how MN 43 teaches that the physical body faculty can’t experience any āyatana besides phoṭṭhabba then “kāya/body” in your quote here obviously refers to the nāmakāya.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by frank k »

The tragic non-irony of the situation is that Vism. Jhana believers are confirmation bias inclined, cherry picking passages, ignoring all the other sutta passages that contradict their cherry picked one so they can deceive themselves and imagine their view is correct.

The Abhidhamma passages quoted to support the buddha's definition of jhana is not because we need it (abhdhamma's definition) to be true for the Buddha's definition of jhana to work, but to show that the foundation of the Vism. believer's jhana supports EBT jhana, and not the Vism. Redefinition. If I have to explain that, it's really kind of hopeless for you.

Why do you think MN 78 says right resolves cease in SECOND jhana, and not first? And why is noble silence SECOND jhana, not first? Work through the implications of that and what that means right resolves are doing in first jhana, and what that resolve must have in relation to vitakka of first jhana. And stop ignoring all the other similar suttas that contradict your erroneous interpretation of MN 78. Look at MN 125. And look at the agama parallels to MN 19 and MN 78. They all clearly constrain vitakka and vicara, and vaci sankhara, to have to mean thoughts of a verbal nature (thoughts you think before you say them out loud). All this has already been discussed to death, I even laid out the audit in step by step detail. You're living in denial and ignoring the complete incoherence of how ALL the sutta passages on jhana and vitakka become when you use the VRJ redefinitions for jhanic terms.

It's probably best you refrain from participating in any more threads that I start. I don't mind answering genuine questions you don't understand, but you keep insisting on cherry picking and ignoring other relevant passages that disprove your favored interpretation. You have to address ALL of those relevant suttas to prove your interpretation is coherent. Run your interpretation through AN 3.60, MN 125, their parallels, and show how they're coherent. And stop quoting Analayo. I've already done a very detailed audit disproving his erroneous interpretations. Moggallana was in imperturbable samadhi, not four jhanas. Look it up. Imperturbable in this context obviously is an arupa samadhi, or you could argue for imperturbable fourth jhana, the state from which skilled meditators are levitating, using divine eye, etc. Imperturbable samadhi is never in reference to first jhana, or even third jhana.


Detailed audit here:
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/v ... ndex.html

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:21 pm
It would be strongly advisable not to use the term 'Jhana lite' to denigrate those who place primacy on the Buddha's words in the EBT suttas over the redefinition and reinterpretation of Buddhists who came hundreds of years later in late Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga. This is tantamount to slandering the Buddha.
The irony is that many Jhana lite folks end up relying upon Abhidhamma definitions to back up their arguments, whether they realise it or not. Kāmā is one example.
'body' is redefined as 'mind',
As with English, the word "body" can have different meanings. For example, "a body of water", "the examination body", "the student body".
'material form consisting of 4 elements' is redefined as 'non material ethereal form with mind divorced from any bodily sensation',
ayaṃ kho me kāyo rūpī cātummahābhūtiko mātāpentikasambhavo ...

This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother and father ...


Kāyo is one thing, rūpa another. Rūpa means "appearance" or "image", which is the same meaning we find in the Upanishads which pre-date or were contemporary with the Buddha.
'thoughts that one thinks before vocalizing them' is redefined has 'placing the mind' (divorced from any content of thought).
As MN 78 shows, vitakka-vicāra are closer to intentions rather than normal thoughts and pondering:

Ime ca, thapati, kusalā saṅkappā kuhiṃ aparisesā nirujjhanti? Nirodhopi nesaṃ vutto. Idha, thapati, bhikkhu vitak­ka­vicārā­naṃ vūpasamā … pe … dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati; etthete kusalā saṅkappā aparisesā nirujjhanti.

Now where do skillful resolves cease without trace? Their cessation, too, has been stated: There is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. This is where skillful resolves cease without trace.


During mindfulness of breathing, before jhāna or even access, one can gain insight into how normal thinking and pondering is coarse, a disturbance, not-peaceful and dukkha whilst the unity of perception of the breath is fine, calming, peaceful. This is part of what aids the development of the practice, and leads one to jhāna. If a hindrance does arise, the minds attention is wedded to the sensation of the breath. A force like magnetism can literally be felt there. Then, with enough practice and insight, the sign of samādhi appears.
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
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Re: The definition of 'jhana-lite' and 'jhana-heavy', and hopefully a better way to differentiate

Post by BrokenBones »

arkaprava wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:23 am

If someone reads this simile, and genuinely thinks the Buddha isn't talking about the body we have. They are being dishonest and they very well know that.


This is from the Theragatha :
Lahuko vata me kāyo phuṭṭho ca pītisukhena vipulena
Tūlamiva eritaṃ mālutena pilavatīva me kāyo'ti.

How light my body!
Touched by abundant
rapture & bliss,
— like a cotton tuft
borne on the breeze —
it seems to be floating
— my body! - Khitaka Thera
Probably Ajahn Brahm and Pa Auk need to go back and tell him : Bhante, there is no sense of the body during Jhanas, your body shouldn't be light as cotton, but your patibhaga-nimitta should be like the cotton seeds. How can you feel your body is light ? Since obviously the Critical Pali Dictionary says kāmā (pl.) must mean all objects of the five senses. Perhaps they'd also tell him that he is in access concentration.
I think deluded rather than dishonest. Views can be very deep and ingrained and hard to change even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
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