Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Spiny Norman
Posts: 9785
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Eko Care wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 10:21 am This is from the thread Concepts don't exist and therefore cannot be Anicca or Dukkha that I found important to discuss.

What is the benefit of making such a distinction?

Why is it always addressed in Theravada?
Spiny Norman wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 7:59 am
asahi wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 5:51 am Why do we needs to talk about concepts if it is non existence as though it has to do with the practice .
Good question. I'm not seeing the practical use of the technical distinction being made in this thread.

Practical benefit is identifying the "Person/Self" as non-real but a concept.

Otherwise, how can one eliminate Sakkayaditthi?

That is the main thing to do in Buddhism.

That is why it has become a major topic in Theravada.
Perhaps, but isn't to simpler to talk about incorrect views and perceptions, for example as in AN 4.49, Perversions of perception?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
Spiny Norman
Posts: 9785
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Spiny Norman »

robertk wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:57 pm
asahi wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:33 pm No need to talk about it because simply serve no purpose .
Actually we worldlings are immersed in concepts all day long. Learning to distinguish concepts and realities is integral to the path I would say.
I'd have thought the distinction between right view and wrong view is more to the point.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4819
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by robertk »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:34 am
robertk wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:57 pm
asahi wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:33 pm No need to talk about it because simply serve no purpose .
Actually we worldlings are immersed in concepts all day long. Learning to distinguish concepts and realities is integral to the path I would say.
I'd have thought the distinction between right view and wrong view is more to the point.
A crucial element of wrong view is believing that concepts like self really exist.
So to get under the root of wrong view, and begin to dig it out there has to be seeing what is real and existent - but conditioned and impermanent- and what is non-existent, mere concept.

The commentary to the UDANA ( translation by Peter Masefield from PTS) (p71,vol1, enlightenment chapter)
"it is ignorance since it causes beings to dart among becomings and so on within samsara.., it is ignorance since it darts among those things which do not actually exist [i.e. men, women] and since it does not dart among those things that do exist [.e. it cannot understand the khandas, paramattha dhammas].
asahi
Posts: 2526
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:23 pm

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by asahi »

Eko Care wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 10:21 am
Practical benefit is identifying the "Person/Self" as non-real but a concept.

Otherwise, how can one eliminate Sakkayaditthi?
One dont have to identify concept of self as non real . An idea of self and a view of self appear are different in buddhism . That is not the actual method of removing Sakkayaditthi .
Peace is more precious than triumph
User avatar
Sasha_A
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Sasha_A »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:41 amSo to get under the root of wrong view, and begin to dig it out there has to be seeing what is real and existent - but conditioned and impermanent- and what is non-existent, mere concept.
But we all already seeing and knowing that things are impermanent, the problem is that we actively choosing to not take that knowledge and seeing into the account.

From "Change" by Sāmanera Bodhesako:
Sāmanera Bodhesako wrote: Ch. 6. A circular argument
What, then, do the texts mean by “impermanence?” We can at once rule out the possibility that impermanence means “no change.” The notion that nothing ever changes could appeal only to the followers of Zeno, Enó, Pakudha Kaccāyana (D. 2: i,56), and others of their ilk. The Suttas dismiss this notion out of hand. If, too, we have eliminated the notion of continuous change, then clearly the only possibility remaining is discontinuous change. By discontinuous change is meant that while everything is subject to change, and could change at any time, and must change sooner or later, yet also things endure. At some times they change and at other times they do not. The problem is that quite some while ago we already acknowledged that though we can perceive discontinuous change, we are not thereby enlightened; and that situation seems not to have changed just yet (which is itself evidence for discontinuous change, if not yet for enlightenment).

What, then, is the difference between discontinuous change (as perceived by us) and discontinuous change (as perceived by an enlightened being)? I would suggest that it is not so much a matter of seeing impermanence as it is of seeing the necessity, the inevitability, of impermanence in all experience. The point may be made clearer by means of a simile (for by means of a simile “some thoughtful people know the meaning of what is said” — S. XII,67: ii,114).
...
On the other hand, a failure to see the structural necessity for change is due to an active intending to not see. It is a negating rather than a negative, a choosing to conceal that which presses for attention, a willing to perpetually perpetrate a misperception. In brief: self-deception.

Self-deception: Sartre speaks of “bad faith” and Heidegger of “inauthenticity;” more straightforwardly, Kierkegaard calls it “twaddle.” By whatever name, self-deception is notable in that it involves not only denial of the truth but also denial of the deception. For if we were to deny the truth but to acknowledge the deception (“Yes, it is true that I am denying the truth”) then the deception would be transparent stuff indeed. But it is not sufficient merely to deny the deception: we must also deny the denial of the deception. For to acknowledge that we were denying the deception would be no improvement — if that is the right word — over confessing to the deception. But even this is insufficient: if we do not deny the denial of the denial…of the denial of the deception the entire cover-up becomes unraveled, threatening the exposure of…. And, as matters progress backwards, we find that we have already become instantly involved in an endless regression, namely that familiar stairway, the infinite hierarchy.
...
But why go to the trouble of so much self-deception? Why should we be so reluctant to acknowledge the necessity, in experience, of impermanence, when we feel no such hesitation in asserting the necessity, in circles, of roundness? The answer will be found reflected in the entire history of humankind. We seek happiness. We seek freedom. We seek security. Or, more fundamentally, we seek. And so we return, as we must, to craving.

Despite the fact that we want things to be this way, the universe displays an uncanny predilection to arrange that things shall be that way. Things become otherwise. Even when things are as we would have them be, they exhibit the disconcerting quality of not remaining so. We deny to ourselves the necessity of impermanence out of a desire for things to remain as we wish them to be.
...
When there is self-deception it is because, in some fundamental sense, we desire to deceive ourselves; and when there is craving we cannot avoid the deception that is inherent in that very craving. No wonder it is so hard to be free from the misery occasioned by these twin nemeses!
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
Spiny Norman
Posts: 9785
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Spiny Norman »

asahi wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:47 am An idea of self and a view of self appear are different in buddhism . That is not the actual method of removing Sakkayaditthi
So what's the difference beyween an idea and a view of self, and what's the correct method of removing sakkayaditthi, in your opinion?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
justindesilva
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by justindesilva »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:01 am
asahi wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:47 am An idea of self and a view of self appear are different in buddhism . That is not the actual method of removing Sakkayaditthi
So what's the difference beyween an idea and a view of self, and what's the correct method of removing sakkayaditthi, in your opinion?
I think by understanding anatta lakkhana sutta, with meanings of rupa, vedana, sangna sankara, vingnana and how they link from one with the other. Further that these occur as we are a dependant form of energy as a part
of a whole system.
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4819
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by robertk »

Sasha_A wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:20 am
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:41 amSo to get under the root of wrong view, and begin to dig it out there has to be seeing what is real and existent - but conditioned and impermanent- and what is non-existent, mere concept.
But we all already seeing and knowing that things are impermanent, the problem is that we actively choosing to not take that knowledge and seeing into the account.

From "Change" by Sāmanera Bodhesako:
Sāmanera Bodhesako wrote: Ch. 6. A circular argument
What, then, do the texts mean by “impermanence?” We can at once rule out the possibility that impermanence means “no change.” The notion that nothing ever changes could appeal only to the followers of Zeno, Enó, Pakudha Kaccāyana (D. 2: i,56), and others of their ilk. The Suttas dismiss this notion out of hand. If, too, we have eliminated the notion of continuous change, then clearly the only possibility remaining is discontinuous change. By discontinuous change is meant that while everything is subject to change, and could change at any time, and must change sooner or later, yet also things endure. At some times they change and at other times they do not. The problem is that quite some while ago we already acknowledged that though we can perceive discontinuous change, we are not thereby enlightened; and that situation seems not to have changed just yet (which is itself evidence for discontinuous change, if not yet for enlightenment).

Whatever this "discontinuous change", that we are "already seeing and knowing" is, it clearly isn't the impermanence that the arahats know.
https://suttacentral.net/sn1.11/en/bodh ... ight=false
[the ] maxim of the arahants..
Impermanent are all formations;
Their nature is to arise and vanish.
Having arisen, they cease:
Their appeasement is blissful.’
User avatar
Sasha_A
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Sasha_A »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:51 am Whatever this "discontinuous change", that we are "already seeing and knowing" is, it clearly isn't the impermanence that the arahats know.
Mystification is simply another means of self-deception and hiding from the pressure of the obvious and inescapable truth of impermanence - further proliferation in ignorance and craving. Because the mystical is, by definition, incomprehensible. There is no room in the Dhamma for the mystical, only for the delusion, moha.

Here is a good story about Susima, who was looking for a mystical experience behind the way of liberation in the Dhamma: sn12.70.
It is merely dukkha that comes into being, dukkha that stands and disappears,
Nothing apart from dukkha comes into being, nothing other than dukkha ceases.
- SN5.10
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 4819
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by robertk »

Sasha_A wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:46 am
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:51 am Whatever this "discontinuous change", that we are "already seeing and knowing" is, it clearly isn't the impermanence that the arahats know.
Mystification is simply another means of self-deception and hiding from the pressure of the obvious and inescapable truth of impermanence - further proliferation in ignorance and craving. Because the mystical is, by definition, incomprehensible. There is no room in the Dhamma for the mystical, only for the delusion, moha.

Here is a good story about Susima, who was looking for a mystical experience behind the way of liberation in the Dhamma: sn12.70.
There is nothing mystical about the path. However the idea that this path can be easily grasped is wrong:

Samyutta Nikaya(V, Mahavagga, Book XII, the Truths, chapter V, ,
The keyhole.``
"
Now what think you, Ananda? Which which is the harder
task : To shoot like that or to pierce one strand of hair, a
hundred times divided, with another strand?
Why, lord, of course to split a hair in such a way is the harder,
muchthe harder task.
Just so, Ananda, they who penetrate the meaning of: This is dukkha,
this is the arising of dukkha, this is the ceasing of dukkha, this is
the practice that leads to the ceasing of dukkha, pierce through
something much harder to pierce.
and
Ariyapariyesana Sutta
"This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard
to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning,
subtle, to be experienced by the wise.
Jack19990101
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:40 am

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Jack19990101 »

Assume we are all clear about difference between perceivable & conceivable(concept) -

All concepts are sankhara.
Sankhara is anicca & dukkha.

Mental sankhara is like trying to push a boulder up slope.
Once u take a break from it, u have to do it from scratch again.
Such is the business of concepts, memory too.

As to 'exist'/'real'/'reality', we should train to replace with -
it dependently arises, it dependently ceases.
or
if it is here by condition, it will disappear by condition.
User avatar
dicsoncandra
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:19 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by dicsoncandra »

robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 11:20 am
Sasha_A wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:46 am
robertk wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:51 am Whatever this "discontinuous change", that we are "already seeing and knowing" is, it clearly isn't the impermanence that the arahats know.
Mystification is simply another means of self-deception and hiding from the pressure of the obvious and inescapable truth of impermanence - further proliferation in ignorance and craving. Because the mystical is, by definition, incomprehensible. There is no room in the Dhamma for the mystical, only for the delusion, moha.

Here is a good story about Susima, who was looking for a mystical experience behind the way of liberation in the Dhamma: sn12.70.
There is nothing mystical about the path. However the idea that this path can be easily grasped is wrong:

Samyutta Nikaya(V, Mahavagga, Book XII, the Truths, chapter V, ,
The keyhole.``
"
Now what think you, Ananda? Which which is the harder
task : To shoot like that or to pierce one strand of hair, a
hundred times divided, with another strand?
Why, lord, of course to split a hair in such a way is the harder,
muchthe harder task.
Just so, Ananda, they who penetrate the meaning of: This is dukkha,
this is the arising of dukkha, this is the ceasing of dukkha, this is
the practice that leads to the ceasing of dukkha, pierce through
something much harder to pierce.
and
Ariyapariyesana Sutta
"This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard
to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning,
subtle, to be experienced by the wise.
Certainly the path cannot be easily grasped, but props to affirming its uneasiness-to-grasp and thereby distancing it away even further? Nothing about Samanera Bodhesako’s description is easily graspable, and none makes it any less profound.
arising is manifest;
ceasing is manifest;
change-while-standing is manifest.

Link to website: http://dicsonstable.blog/
Tl21G3lVl
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 6:51 am

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Tl21G3lVl »

justindesilva wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:38 am
Spiny Norman wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:01 am
asahi wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:47 am An idea of self and a view of self appear are different in buddhism . That is not the actual method of removing Sakkayaditthi
So what's the difference beyween an idea and a view of self, and what's the correct method of removing sakkayaditthi, in your opinion?
I think by understanding anatta lakkhana sutta, with meanings of rupa, vedana, sangna sankara, vingnana and how they link from one with the other. Further that these occur as we are a dependant form of energy as a part
of a whole system.
By knowing that there is only imminent destruction inherent in all things. An urgency is needed in uprooting all things that aligns with and falls into the illusory self, the self that is unaware of imminent dukkha.
justindesilva
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by justindesilva »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:34 am
robertk wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:57 pm
asahi wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:33 pm No need to talk about it because simply serve no purpose .
Actually we worldlings are immersed in concepts all day long. Learning to distinguish concepts and realities is integral to the path I would say.
I'd have thought the distinction between right view and wrong view is more to the point.
When I was very small I used to believe that the image of a rabbit seen on the moon surface, was drawn by shakra, as was told my grandma. She too believed it as told by the priest in the temple . My grandma and me at that time had the same concept, to be true as illusioned by the eye. But later when telescopes were available i learnt that the figure like rabbit was an illusion. We form concepts when the truth is not understood.
The only means of getting away from concepts is by understanding the primary elements as explained in mulaparyaya sutta etc. Even mulaparyaya sutta reveals the smallest particles or qualities of energy that can be conceived by a human. Today we learn about elementary frequencies of energy levels to learn about types of vingnana as in mahanidana sutta and other energies to evade concepts .
When Einstein expresses that all beings are just frequencies he has an expression beyond concepts.
User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Why do we need to talk about Concepts if it is Non-Existent?

Post by Goofaholix »

We don't need to talk about anything, in fact noble silence is a very beneficial practice, but internet forums are all about talk and would be pretty pointless if we didn't.

All talk involves using concepts to convey meaning, we can't talk without using concepts, if the meaning of the concepts is unclear we need to talk about the concepts themselves to establish shared meaning.
“What we call "I" is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”
― Shunryu Suzuki
Post Reply