Unconditioned

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:00 am Using the word "I have" does not mean there is an atta.
It means there is something to you, not nothing.
Within that limit no self can be found
There is a personal quality of knowing. It is not impersonal. We can use language and refer to it as one's true self..it's really no problem. Ajahn Maha Bua did this.
Anyone who then claims there is a self is simply engaging in mental masturbation,
But you're off the hook for saying there's "no self?"
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:05 am

It means there is something to you, not nothing.
Using appropriate language doesn't mean there is anything substantial behind "I did this". One again, you are adding something additional to experience.
There is a personal quality of knowing. It is not impersonal. We can use language and refer to it as one's true self..it's really no problem. Ajahn Maha Bua did this.
Who does this knowing belong to? Claiming that awareness is self is, once again, dubious reasoning. In all of this conversation you have not once demonstrated this self. You have simply asserted it ex cathedra. As for Ajahn Maha Bua, he was making some serious a-dhammic claims.

But you're off the hook for saying there's "no self?"
There is no self or what belongs to a self found in the Totality. If you want to discuss something that is outside of that you can, but it will make as much sense as debating if Santa really snorts cocaine or not.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
asahi
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by asahi »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:37 pm I don’t understand the question sorry. Could you rephrase?
You assert that there is a nibbana state or domain where in reality it is not in anyway your actual "experience" but merely through your own reasoning you take it to be true and you seems to be quite certain about it , that is "a synthetic a priori" isnt it ?!
coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:33 amWho does this knowing belong to?
Essentially you. Instead of trying to posit concepts like "Totality," "Awareness," "Citta," "Ayatana," just ask yourself this question and look. One might look and say "that's me," but that thought is not you either. It's empty, it's free, it's boundless, but it's quite personal. The difference between a person and an artificial intelligence is reflexive self-consciousness. There is something transcendent about reflexivity. It's a painfully obvious part of one's experience when one stops being pulled around by the 5 skandhas and pays attention.

When you are dreaming at night and gain lucidity in which you know you are dreaming in a dream world, it is the very fact that you have always transcended the dream world that makes awareness in a dream possible. It's reflexivity that pulls you out of a nightmare, not "no self." Not much more can be said about it. The Buddha likely hardly talked about it because it is so direct that we "lose it" when we talk about it.

Maha Bua was not "adhammic." He was just trying to communicate it. People get so tied up with "true self," "atman," "no self," but all are mere referents to this reflexive quality.

Perhaps this makes some sense of my thought process.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:23 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:33 amWho does this knowing belong to?
Essentially you. Instead of trying to posit concepts like "Totality," "Awareness," "Citta," "Ayatana," just ask yourself this question and look. One might look and say "that's me," but that thought is not you either. It's empty, it's free, it's boundless, but it's quite personal. The difference between a person and an artificial intelligence is reflexive self-consciousness. There is something transcendent about reflexivity. It's a painfully obvious part of one's experience when one stops being pulled around by the 5 skandhas and pays attention.
More irrational circular reasoning. As for the rest, we have already established that this Atman of course can never be experienced nor known to exist.
When you are dreaming at night and gain lucidity in which you know you are dreaming in a dream world, it is the very fact that you have always transcended the dream world that makes awareness in a dream possible. It's reflexivity that pulls you out of a nightmare, not "no self." Not much more can be said about it. The Buddha likely hardly talked about it because it is so direct that we "lose it" when we talk about it.
This is begging the question.
Maha Bua was not "adhammic." He was just trying to communicate it. People get so tied up with "true self," "atman," "no self," but all are mere referents to this reflexive quality.
He certainly was a-dhammic. What he said was not in line with the Dhamma. If he was correct or not is a different issue, but there is no point pretending that what he taught and what the Buddha taught are one in the same. If a Catholic Bishop teaches his flock that there is no soul nor heaven then there is no use in pretending that he is still a Roman Catholic, regardless of if he is right or wrong.
Perhaps this makes some sense of my thought process.
It does indeed.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Ceisiwr »

asahi wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:26 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:37 pm I don’t understand the question sorry. Could you rephrase?
You assert that there is a nibbana state or domain where in reality it is not in anyway your actual "experience" but merely through your own reasoning you take it to be true and you seems to be quite certain about it , that is "a synthetic a priori" isnt it ?!
Thank you for the clarification. When we talk of a priori statements, although they are statements that are known to be true (or claimed to be) without recourse to experience they can nevertheless be prompted by experience. In the suttas one of the periciopes that awakens the mind into stream-entry is:

“yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman”ti."
“Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.”


Another way to frame it would be:

"All that has ceased had an arising"

This is an analytic a priori statement prompted by experience. It is analytic because the predicate "arising" is contained in the subject of "ceasing", and vice versa. If something ceased then it must have began, by definition. This then becomes the basis for the 1st Noble Truth:

"That which arises and ceases cannot bring lasting satisfaction".

By definition, that which ceases cannot bring lasting satisfaction and so:

"Birth is dukkha; old age is dukkha; death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress are dukkha; not getting what you wish for is dukkha. In brief, the five grasping aggregates are dukkha."

One one has arrived at the 1st Noble Truths than the 2nd and 3rd truths follow via analytic a priori reasoning:

2nd Truth: "Clinging to that which is subject to arising and ceasing is dukkha"

3rd Truth: "The cessation of clinging is the cessation of dukkha"

One can then arrive at the first 3 truths via analytic a priori reasoning, which is certain knowledge without recourse to experience. Since the 3rd truth is nibbāna one can via analytical a priori reasoning establish for certain that is is the cessation of dukkha, by definition.

Now, you asked in relation to myself. I'm not one to declare attainments, since that serves no purpose on forums like these, but I will say what I am not. I am not a sotāpanna. I have not fully understood yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman”ti, and so the other truths do not become established in me which in turn means that nibbāna has not been sensed by me at the mind base. I therefore assert these things based on faith and through reasoning about the Dhamma. Of course, when I do eventually sense nibbāna at the mind base at that point I can assert nibbāna as an a posteriori statement rather than a synthetic a posteriori one (remember the difference between the 2).

You will notice that nowhere in this is synthetic a priori. No metaphysics required.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
coconut
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coconut »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:41 pm I therefore assert these things based on faith and through reasoning about the Dhamma.

That means you have the path of stream entry, assuming you understand the dhamma concepts correctly, which comes down to the source of your views, and if those sources are the Buddha's words and meanings or not.

There are many people who even understand some of these concepts correctly but reject them, like people who reject rebirth which is required for mundane right view.
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cappuccino
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino »

coffeendonuts wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:22 pm we see Buddhists talking about "mind" and "consciousness" when they're really itching to just say "self."
But precisely because consciousness is not self, consciousness lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible to say with regard to consciousness, 'Let my consciousness be thus. Let my consciousness not be thus.'

Pañcavaggi Sutta
coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:07 pmHe certainly was a-dhammic. What he said was not in line with the Dhamma...there is no point pretending that what he taught and what the Buddha taught are one in the same.
Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around...

Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta
"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Bua observes the essential enduring truth of the sentient being as constituted of the indestructible reality of the citta (heart/mind), which is characterized by the attribute of Awareness or Knowingness. This citta, which is intrinsically bright, clear, and aware, gets superficially tangled up in samsara but ultimately cannot be destroyed by any samsaric phenomenon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha_Bua
You can make up your own mind.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:37 pm
Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around..
There are two interpretations:

1) This refers to the consciousness which arises in the moment when cognising Nibbana, but is itself impermanent etc.

2) The commentarial explanation that this isn’t referring to consciousness but instead should be better translated as “that which is to be cognised which is without feature” etc.

Either way this does not support the idea of a permanent consciousness or soul thingy.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

This debate is an old one, and I suspect because no self is the purview of the contemplative or intellectual, while luminous mind or knowingness is the purview of the meditator (see Wynne for details on the contemplative/meditative divide in early Buddhism). Indeed, "awareness" is an irritant to the contemplative intellectual who itches to deconstruct it as a concept, and no self makes little sense in the face of direct experience. Both are correct.
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cappuccino
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:46 pm Either way, this does not support the idea of a permanent consciousness or soul thingy.
either way, annihilation is not the teaching


the teaching is a paradox, instead
pegembara
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by pegembara »

cappuccino wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:12 pm
coffeendonuts wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:10 pm It is really not anymore heretical to say the atman or self is liberated
neither self … nor no self …


rather not self
There is no end to the argument.
Maybe we can all agree that "There is liberation".
Liberation from the idea of "self" and "not-self".
"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'

"Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in form, he finds estrangement in feeling, he finds estrangement in perception, he finds estrangement in determinations, he finds estrangement in consciousness.

"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
skandha
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by skandha »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:46 pm
coffeendonuts wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:37 pm
Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around..
There are two interpretations:

1) This refers to the consciousness which arises in the moment when cognising Nibbana, but is itself impermanent etc.

2) The commentarial explanation that this isn’t referring to consciousness but instead should be better translated as “that which is to be cognised which is without feature” etc.

Either way this does not support the idea of a permanent consciousness or soul thingy.
I prefer to translate anantaṃ as infinite rather than without end. So consciousness is infinite. Just like the world/space is infinite. Space also has a luminous quality. In another sutta, an4.45 the Buddha equates the fathom long body (container of consciousness) to the world. The sutta talks about how you will never be able to travel to the end of the universe even if you had the psychic power of flying with super speed because of it's infinite nature. Likewise the consciousness is infinite. However in the sutta the Buddha says that you can reach the end of the world by way of the cessation of the mind and perception within the fathom long body.

So consciousness does have an end - cease with nothing left over, as even the quoted Kevatta Sutta says

Consciousness that’s invisible,
infinite, radiant all round.
Here’s where water and earth,
fire and air find no footing;

here’s where long and short,
fine and coarse, beautiful and ugly;
here’s where name and form
cease with nothing left over
with the cessation of consciousness,
that’s where this ceases.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
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cappuccino
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino »

skandha wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:47 ameven the quoted Kevatta Sutta says
"the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"

Yamaka Sutta
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