Unconditioned

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

Post by skandha »

cappuccino wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:53 am
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
Correct, because "the monk" is not
- the same,
- different,
- the same and different,
- both same and different,
- neither same and different
to that of any of the individual aggregate, whilst alive.

So how can you say "the monk" is annihilated after death.
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 6:04 am
difficult to understand


but a state without stress does not have to be a lack of existence
coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

Two likely reasons why Buddhists were and still are more partial to annihilation:

1. The big emphasis on selfless altruism makes any admission of a self paradoxical.
2. They were competing with Brahminic movements that positively asserted a self.

Like pegembara said, it's really about freedom from the idea of self or consciousness.
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

pegembara wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:19 am
"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
If this is only taken to its logical conclusion, the outcome is nonexistence. But a bright wakefulness to one's awareness is so utterly immediate and obvious to a meditator. Maybe that too is simply dependent on contents and ceases to exist with the release of experience. But there must be something transcendent about it, or you and I would not be different from rock. In the West we call this the "hard problem of consciousness."

If we read this as "release any conceptual notions of identity" it makes more sense.
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Spiny Norman »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:24 am Two likely reasons why Buddhists were and still are more partial to annihilation:

1. The big emphasis on selfless altruism makes any admission of a self paradoxical.
2. They were competing with Brahminic movements that positively asserted a self.

Like pegembara said, it's really about freedom from the idea of self or consciousness.
In the suttas it's about challenging the idea of a self, given that the assumption of a self is the default position for most people.
Not necessarily the assumption of a "soul", but the assumption of an identity, based on the "I" thought.

Though it's ironic that one unconditioned thing (Atman), is effectively replaced with another unconditioned thing (Nibbana).
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coffeendonuts
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by coffeendonuts »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:32 amThough it's ironic that one unconditioned thing (Atman), is effectively replaced with another unconditioned thing (Nibbana).
Yep.

Reification of identity is just like what happens when one is told to think of space. The actual experience of feeling space instead of thinking about it can be communicated as “absence.”

A good lesson. But we can still call it space. The self features every step of the way on the Buddhist path even in liberation. You do karma. You meditate. You realize hindrances. You overcome hindrances. You realize selflessness in conditioned existence. You are released from the cycle of rebirth. The Buddha said “knowledge arose in me...unshakeable is my release.” It’s always been there.

When it is pointed out, Buddhists will dismiss it as just everyday linguistic parlance. Mere convenience in communication. To avoid further transgressions, they will say “the mind cultivates metta” or “the mind is hindered” or “the mind is released.” “Mind” is just short hand for a few of the skandhas. It really makes no sense. The mind doesn’t meditate on the mind any more than a hammer hammers itself...
skandha
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by skandha »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:32 am
Though it's ironic that one unconditioned thing (Atman), is effectively replaced with another unconditioned thing (Nibbana).
In Advaita Vedanta the unconditioned atman is always intrinsically within the personality.

In Buddhism the unconditioned Nibbana is never an intrinsic part of the five aggregates.

The similarities between the two traditions are that they both agree that craving is the cause of suffering.
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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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Spiny Norman »

skandha wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:34 am
Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:32 am
Though it's ironic that one unconditioned thing (Atman), is effectively replaced with another unconditioned thing (Nibbana).
In Advaita Vedanta the unconditioned atman is always intrinsically within the personality.

In Buddhism the unconditioned Nibbana is never an intrinsic part of the five aggregates.

The similarities between the two traditions are that they both agree that craving is the cause of suffering.
In Vedanta, Atma is seen as distinct from the aggregates (distinct from the sheaths or koshas, which are equivalent to the aggregates). So Atma is distinct from mind/body (sheaths) in the same way that Nibbana is distinct from mind/body (aggregates).
I'm not arguing that these are equivalent systems, I'm just observing that Theravada replaced one unconditioned with another. Like there still has be something transcendent to attain.
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skandha
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by skandha »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:43 am
skandha wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:34 am
Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:32 am
Though it's ironic that one unconditioned thing (Atman), is effectively replaced with another unconditioned thing (Nibbana).
In Advaita Vedanta the unconditioned atman is always intrinsically within the personality.

In Buddhism the unconditioned Nibbana is never an intrinsic part of the five aggregates.

The similarities between the two traditions are that they both agree that craving is the cause of suffering.
In Vedanta, Atma is seen as distinct from the aggregates (distinct from the sheaths or koshas, which are equivalent to the aggregates). So Atma is distinct from mind/body (sheaths) in the same way that Nibbana is distinct from mind/body (aggregates).
I'm not arguing that these are equivalent systems, I'm just observing that Theravada replaced one unconditioned with another. Like there still has be something transcendent to attain.
In Vedanta, atma is within the sheaths of the aggregates, it's essence. In Buddhism nibbana is not the essence within the aggregates. Yes, they are not equivalent systems but they both used the idea of the unconditioned.
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
asahi
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by asahi »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:41 pm
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:
All that has ceased does not necessarily had an arising in reality ! The 1st noble truth is not about after something has ceased to be something else begins but the experiences of sufferings that occurs if not mistaken .



I therefore assert these things based on faith and through reasoning about the Dhamma.

You will notice that nowhere in this is synthetic a priori. No metaphysics required.
Nibbana seems to be a synthetic a priori since you assert nibbana is outside the experiencing aggregates itself .
And metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility . It examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter . The four noble truth is about cause and effect .
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Ceisiwr »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:38 am
If this is only taken to its logical conclusion, the outcome is nonexistence.
Saying that final nibbāna is non-existence is just as speculative view as saying it is existence. Its still the same old synthetic a priori reasoning being spun due to the actions of nāma under the influence of craving.
Then Ven. Maha Kotthita went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, “With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?”

[Sariputta:] “Don’t say that, my friend.”

[Maha Kotthita:] “With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, is it the case that there is not anything else?”

[Sariputta:] “Don’t say that, my friend.”

[Maha Kotthita:] “…is it the case that there both is & is not anything else?”

[Sariputta:] “Don’t say that, my friend.”

[Maha Kotthita:] “…is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?”

[Sariputta:] “Don’t say that, my friend.”

[Maha Kotthita:] “Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, there is anything else, you say, ‘Don’t say that, my friend.’ Being asked if … there is not anything else … there both is & is not anything else … there neither is nor is not anything else, you say, ‘Don’t say that, my friend.’ Now, how is the meaning of your words to be understood?”

[Sariputta:] “The statement, ‘With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification. The statement, ‘… is it the case that there is not anything else … is it the case that there both is & is not anything else … is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of objectification.
https://suttacentral.net/an4.173/en/thanissaro

Nibbāna is beyond all language and concepts. It can only be described by what it is not (not conditioned, not a self etc).
“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: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:47 pm
All that has ceased does not necessarily had an arising in reality !
By definition if something is dead then at one point it was alive.
The 1st noble truth is not about after something has ceased to be something else begins but the experiences of sufferings that occurs if not mistaken .
The 1st Noble Truth relates to all dhammas that are dukkha because they arise and cease. The trigger for understanding that truth is always:

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


My reversal of origination and cessation was to bring out the tautological and so analytical (not synthetic) nature of the insight. Something that has ceased would have had an origination, something that has an origination is subject to cessation (through having a condition). The trigger can come about through examining paṭiccasamuppāda in reverse order:

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does aging-and-death come to be? By what is aging-and-death conditioned? ’ Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: ‘When there is birth, aging-and-death comes to be; aging-and-death has birth as its condition.’

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does birth come to be?… existence?… clinging?… craving?… feeling?… contact?… the six sense bases?… name-and-form? By what is name-and-form conditioned?’ Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: ‘When there is consciousness, name-and-form comes to be; name-and-form has consciousness as its condition.’


By understanding how each dhamma arises on a condition, one understands that each dhamma is subject to cessation. All that has an origination had a condition and so is subject to cessation, all that has ceased would have had an origination with a prior condition.
Nibbana seems to be a synthetic a priori since you assert nibbana is outside the experiencing aggregates itself .
By saying "there is nibbāna" I am making a synthetic a posteriori proposition. It could be the case that there is nibbāna, but it might turn out that there is no nibbāna. When I finally experience nibbāna it would no longer be a synthetic a posteriori proposition. It would be a simple a posteriori one, as I have directly experienced it. For example, I could say "In the next room there is a cat". This would be a synthetic a posteriori proposition. It is synthetic as there is nothing in "next room" that includes "cat". It is a posteriori as it relates to experience. If I then go into the next room and see a cat this is no longer a synthetic a posteriori proposition. It is a posteriori, as I directly see the cat.
And metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility . It examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter .


I agree. The Buddha rejected all that as a "thicket of views".
The four noble truth is about cause and effect .
If by that you mean dependent origination and idappaccayatā, that is about conditionality not causality. Cause and effect, causality, is, as you rightly say, metaphysics as "every event has a cause" is a synthetic a priori statement. As I have been arguing, the Buddha rejected those. For example, to go back to my quote above:

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does aging-and-death come to be? By what is aging-and-death conditioned? ’ Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: ‘When there is birth, aging-and-death comes to be; aging-and-death has birth as its condition.’

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does birth come to be?… existence?… clinging?… craving?… feeling?… contact?… the six sense bases?… name-and-form? By what is name-and-form conditioned?’ Then, bhikkhus, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: ‘When there is consciousness, name-and-form comes to be; name-and-form has consciousness as its condition.’


Birth is not the cause of ageing and death. It is the condition for it.
“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
Spiny Norman
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:29 pm
Saying that final nibbāna is non-existence is just as speculative view as saying it is existence. Its still the same old synthetic a priori reasoning being spun due to the actions of nāma under the influence of craving.
So what is Nibbana, exactly? And what does it mean to say that Nibbana is unconditioned, practically speaking?
Is Nibbana a thing, a state of mind, or something else?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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cappuccino
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:10 pm So what is Nibbana, exactly?
It is the Unformed, the Unconditioned, the End,
the Truth, the Other Shore, the Subtle,
the Everlasting, the Invisible, the Undiversified,
Peace, the Deathless, the Blest, Safety,
the Wonderful, the Marvellous,
Nibbæna, Purity, Freedom,
the Island,
the Refuge, the Beyond.
~ S 43.1-44
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Re: Unconditioned

Post by Spiny Norman »

cappuccino wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:14 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:10 pm So what is Nibbana, exactly?
It is the Unformed, the Unconditioned, the End,
the Truth, the Other Shore, the Subtle,
the Everlasting, the Invisible, the Undiversified,
Peace, the Deathless, the Blest, Safety,
the Wonderful, the Marvellous,
Nibbæna, Purity, Freedom,
the Island,
the Refuge, the Beyond.
~ S 43.1-44
The question stands. Is it a thing, a state of mind, or something else?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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