Dependent origination???

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Zenny
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Dependent origination???

Post by Zenny »

So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by JamesTheGiant »

Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
Exactly, it is a very big problem. Many scholar monks I know are also stumped by this problem, basically the classic free-will paradox. Ajahn Brahmali, Bhante Sujato, Bhikkhu Bodhi, I've heard them all ponder this without any particularly satisfying resolution.
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by SarathW »

Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
:goodpost:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
2600htz
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

The way i see it is that volition as an aggregate (sankhara) is a choice that arises based on previous actions.

Example:

If you have eaten chocolate in the past, you are hungry, and you see a chocolat bar, chances are it will arise arise on your mind the idea of performing the action of eating it.

That will choice arises due to dependent origination, its automatic.

But its "free choice" in the sense that you can dismiss it once it arises and replace it with other choice (example, you dont want to gain weight so you dont eat it).

This other choice of course it will also arise due to past actions, but you can do it infinite times and finally go with the one you want. Thats the free choice aspect.

Regards.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Zenny,
Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Yes, or perhaps more helpfully, all phenomena (dhamma) are fabricated (sankhata), as explained by dependent origination (paṭiccasamuppāda), except for the phenomena of nibbana, which is explained via the "cessation mode" of paṭiccasamuppāda.

(Note, we both said phenomena, and nobody said noumena - so please do not shift the goal posts later)
Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
As above, all phenomena (dhamma) are fabricated (sankhata), and intention is an aspect of sankhara as well as an aspect in creating "things" (see the constitutents of nama for more detail)... it is an aspect of fabricating phenomena, based upon an underlying ignorance. Thus, there's far more choice about phenomena than most people realise, and where there is choice, there is free will and there is agency. What you don't have is a metaphysical entity (such as an atman) to pin these things on to.
Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
It is as explained above. Understanding it thus, it's evident that "you" or "in your control" is not a comprehensive list of reasons for how intention arises and choices are made.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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DooDoot
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Re: Dependent origination???

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Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
MN 9 explains dependent origination the best. The first condition of dependent origination is ignorance mixed with sensuality & desire for becoming. For example, if we look into the natural world, we see plants, insects, worms, maggots and other very basic life forms striving for life, engaged in reproduction & consumption, etc. Do we think these plants, insects and lesser organisms, that are bursting with reproductive & eating instinct & energy, are a self and contain free will, choice & agency?
Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pmThen what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
There is no such thing as free will. Beings are pushed & pulled by underlying ignorance, underlying tendencies (instincts) or, otherwise, wisdom learned from the suffering caused by previous ignorance & tendencies.
Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pmIf volition is one of the five aggregates and the aggregates are not from you, or in your control, then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
Nature creates instincts or tendencies (called 'anusaya') of good & evil in beings, which are all "dhammas". "Dhamma" means "that which supports" life. Therefore, a being has the tendency to do good so it can love & give to its offspring. However, a being also has the tendency of evil so it can kill perceived threats, etc. These tendencies can be seen in the most basic life forms, such as an ant, that will fight to protect its life in self-defence; or in an ant that will attack a wounded animal without mercy.

In short, if we can look at bacteria growing in a petri dish and wonder at how this occurs, we can begin to understand how there is the manifestation of desire or craving in life forms that is unrelated to any self. Volition is caused by these organic desires. The existence of this phenomena is a total mystery. Unfortunately, later-day Buddhists, who were unable to overcome self, created the idea a volition at the 2nd link of dependent origination propels dependent origination.
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by confusedlayman »

Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
Aggregates manifesting case and condition can be removed by aggregates using process called reconditioning
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Tennok
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by Tennok »

DooDoot post_id=627660 time=1623367409 user_id=14001]
There is no such thing as free will. Beings are pushed & pulled by underlying ignorance, underlying tendencies (instincts) or, otherwise, wisdom learned from the suffering caused by previous ignorance & tendencies.
I hold similiar viev. So called "free will" is hard to find :smile: . Sankharas aka volitions aren't free at all. But there is a lot of tendencies and conditions that alter the results, that's why Damma is a full time job. We may create good sankharas. In a singular moment, one human being may choose to develop sila, help others or meditate...while the other human being may think: nah, screw it, let's have a drink. Why our choices vary?

According to AN 10.61 there is a whole set of factors, that fuel or feed ignorance. And they are all connected:
in this way, when the factor of associating with bad people is fulfilled, it fulfills the factor of listening to an untrue teaching. When the factor of listening to an untrue teaching is fulfilled, it fulfills the factor of lack of faith … improper attention … lack of mindfulness and situational awareness … lack of sense restraint …the three kinds of misconduct … the five hindrances. When the five hindrances are fulfilled, they fulfill ignorance. That’s the fuel for ignorance, and that’s how it’s fulfilled.

https://suttacentral.net/an10.61/en/sujato

The factor of being conncted with good people and Sangha is very important. And this forum, with all it's contributors, is a blessing, seriously. :anjali: Being soaked with Damma, reading suttas, alters my daily choices a bit, I hope.

And still, some folks embrace good influences, and some don't. In my case, I had enough of dukkha, to continue my fully ignorant ways, dukkha was my first teacher. But I had a friend, a heavy drinker, who was exposed to Damma for many years - from me. I tried to talk to his senses many times . And he had a lot of dukkha, yet he chose to drink himself to death, instead of making any good choices, such as therapy, AA, etc. Or simply he just couldn't do better. Very sensitive, intelligent guy. Actually, in his last years, he told me he hates Damma or any religion with passion, he just want's to disappear. Vibhava Tanha of sorts.
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Tennok,
Tennok wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:43 am Sankharas aka volitions aren't free at all.
How so? They're only constrained by ignorance. They're not fatalistic.

You're free to be free of ignorance, by following and fulfilling the Noble Eightfold Path. Then the only fabrications will be suddhaṃ saṅkhārasantatiṃ (i.e. sankharas based on vijja, rather than avijja).

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Dependent origination???

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Zenny wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:27 pm So if phenomenon are dependently originated and contain no self.
Then what becomes of human free will,choice and agency?
If volition is one of the five aggreegates and the aggregates are not from you,or in your control,then how do you have intention or a choice to do good deeds???
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_ ... nce_People

Zenny seems to have read the chapters on influencing people; but not on how to win friends. Poor guy 💩

SN 45.8
And what is right effort? It’s when a mendicant generates enthusiasm, tries, makes an effort, exerts the mind, and strives so that bad, unskillful qualities don’t arise. They generate enthusiasm, try, make an effort, exert the mind, and strive so that bad, unskillful qualities that have arisen are given up. They generate enthusiasm, try, make an effort, exert the mind, and strive so that skillful qualities that have not arisen do arise. They generate enthusiasm, try, make an effort, exert the mind, and strive so that skillful qualities that have arisen remain, are not lost, but increase, mature, and are fulfilled by development. This is called right effort.
Right effort improves right thought, speech, action, livelihood.

Effort is often a matter of restraint. Ie. a mental and physical effort to overcome various and certain cravings which bring about unskillful qualities.

Transcendental DO explains that restraint is a condition for non-remorse; non-remorse for gladness - then joy - rapture - tranquility- sukha - samadhi - knowledge and vision of things as they really are - disenchantment - dispassion - release - knowledge and vision of release.

The only agencies are the craving which compels one to do wrong speech; action; livelihood; thought - etc.

The other agency is the agency of right effort. There need not be an I. It is only the skhandas fighting against craving out of faith that restraint is for their best.

There is no I in the 8FP. But all the requisites for enlightenment are their including restraint and use of will for the purpose of generating skillful qualities.

Who does the good? There is no “self” doing the good. There is only a process of restraint - or a process of right exertion.
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
asahi
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by asahi »

Tennok wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:43 am
According to AN 10.61 there is a whole set of factors, that fuel or feed ignorance. And they are all connected:
in this way, when the factor of associating with bad people is fulfilled, it fulfills the factor of listening to an untrue teaching. When the factor of listening to an untrue teaching is fulfilled, it fulfills the factor of lack of faith … improper attention … lack of mindfulness and situational awareness … lack of sense restraint …the three kinds of misconduct … the five hindrances. When the five hindrances are fulfilled, they fulfill ignorance. That’s the fuel for ignorance, and that’s how it’s fulfilled.

https://suttacentral.net/an10.61/en/sujato
Actually without associating with bad people when born into this world people are in ignorant state and with no knowledge whatsoever . Not that after associating with bad people then we turn ignorant .

:roll:
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by Bundokji »

Choice is an interactive between nihilism and eternalism hence rightly designated as dependently originated by the blessed one. The dynamics of choices involve eliminating/negating in order to construct/continue and vice versa. Under this state of affairs, actions are justified either through free will/lack or through determinism/conditioning. The model of free will and ethical choices refers to the human experience as a political, biological and legal entity where the body and the mind are used as references to determine agency, assign responsibilities and speculate about good and bad. Within this framework, mundane right view sides with renunciation and dispassion where attention is paid to the suffering and stress of pursuing sensual pleasure that are subject to impermanence and the individual lacks ultimate control over, considering that control is the underlying rationale behind agency and free will.

Within the same logic of choice, human behavior, experience and functionality are not only explained through what we know, but also through what we do not know. As such, choices and agency are not necessarily the best ways of functioning in the world under all circumstances and are justified by not knowing any other ways of functioning. Referring to choices could be skillful in a social, political and legal contexts, but how about when we are alone? or when we are on our death beds? So, a rational human being has vested interest in investigating whether the model of agency is all that there is, or whether there is a higher knowledge to be attained. By doing so, the practitioner has more to win than to lose. By investigating the conditioned, he uses it more skillfully and becomes less vulnerable to the hype associated with it. He also increases his chances of attaining higher knowledge.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by DooDoot »

Tennok wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:43 am I hold similiar viev. So called "free will" is hard to find :smile: . Sankharas aka volitions aren't free at all.
our views not not similar because sankhara in D.O. is not volition (cetana). the suttas say where volition arises:
Feeling, perception, intention, contact, and attention—
Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro—

this is called nama.
idaṁ vuccatāvuso, nāmaṁ;

https://suttacentral.net/mn9/en/sujato#52-54.7
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Tennok
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by Tennok »

retrofuturist wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:54 am Greetings Tennok,
Tennok wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:43 am Sankharas aka volitions aren't free at all.
How so? They're only constrained by ignorance. They're not fatalistic.

You're free to be free of ignorance, by following and fulfilling the Noble Eightfold Path. Then the only fabrications will be suddhaṃ saṅkhārasantatiṃ (i.e. sankharas based on vijja, rather than avijja).

Metta,
Paul. :)
Thanks, Paul

What I was trying to say - perhaps confusing the meanings of the word "Volition" in English and in my own native language - is that each of our choices is conditioned, too. And with ignorance being a last thing that the arahant deals with, I 'm not sure if it's something that disappears so quickly.

I'm aware, that the Noble 8 would be impossible without a choice, and a chance to actually practice it, but it seems to me, that each od our "free choices" depends on various conditions and previous actions, so we only think, that we decide anything. At least, it's kinf of a paradox to me...

metta
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Tennok
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Re: Dependent origination???

Post by Tennok »

[quote=DooDoot
our views not not similar because sankhara in D.O. is not volition (cetana). the suttas say where volition arises:
Feeling, perception, intention, contact, and attention—
Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro—

this is called nama.
idaṁ vuccatāvuso, nāmaṁ;

https://suttacentral.net/mn9/en/sujato#52-54.7
[/quote]

Thanks for correcting me. I think I confused cetana and sankhara before, perhaps becouse Bhante Sujato translates sankhara's in D.O. as choices. And some folk translate sankharas as intentions, too.

So could you say few words about sankhara section in D.O? How you understand it? Sankhara conditiones vinnana, right? In Sujato's transaltion of SN 12.1 : "Choices are a condition for consciousness". Doesn't that say, that sankharas in D.O, those choices, are somehow related to will? And If not, how they create consciousness? And how this particular consciousness functiones, without nama - rupa, six sense fields and phassa? Which all arrive later in D.O.?
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