Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:44 am
mikenz66 wrote: ↑Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:27 am
Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:08 pm
That Sujato thinks there is no underlying structure? Sure. I’ll try and dig it out. It’s part of his criticism of the Abhidhamma’s attempts to systemise the teachings.
Thanks for the quotes, but they don't seem to address my question about your statement that:
Sujato departs radically from other Abhidhammas in that he thinks the Dhamma has no underlying structure or core, and that all of the teachings were always and ever context specific.
Of course, as I said, I think it's rather obvious that the Buddha taught in different ways, at different levels, depending on who he was teaching to, and unless one takes that into account, it will seem confusing. However, that's quite a different thing from thinking that the Dhamma itself is just a matter of context.
How do you interpret them? The quote I’m remembering was along the lines of the teachings of the 5 aggregates etc merely being put forward to correct a distorted view, and that if the Buddha was alive today he would have used other concepts. The core teachings then are merely useful concepts, rather than ultimate realities. There is no underlying core, apart from specific conditionality, impermanence etc. I’ll try searching for it when I’m home, as I’m away and am currently using my phone which is crap for trawling through his voluminous posts and his works.
I did say this makes him unique but in thinking about it it makes him sound closer to Prajñaptivāda or possibly even Lokottaravāda, but of course without the cosmic Buddha.
Sorry, doesn't really sound familiar. Thanks anyway!
Perhaps what you are objecting to is the observation that many modern commentators (including Bhikkhu Bodhi) make about the Abhidhamma/Commentary tendency to aim for completeness. So, for example, the aggregates and the sense bases are seen to have to encompass everything (based on statements about "the all", etc, of course). However, in the suttas it's not clear that the aggregates have to include every possible aspect of experience, but the later texts tend to expand the sankhara aggregate to include anything that doesn't fit in the other four.
Personally, I find both views helpful to consider. From a Classical point of view the aggregates and sense bases are alternative ways to analyse all of experience, and that can have value, like looking at something from a different angle. From a more sutta-oriented view, they tend to be taught in particular contexts, so the aggregates tend to appear more often in the context of discussions of not-self (second discourse), and the sense bases in discussions of greed, hatred, aversion (third discourse). However, this is not always the case, and different suttas illuminate in different ways.
There is amazing depth and breadth in the suttas, and the later texts. Considering the analyses of ancient and modern commentators can provide helpful guidance. I am most interested in understanding how to make use of the teachings to reduce greed, aversion and delusion, not to jump to conclusions about what they will ultimately mean.