Tangent from the "Americans are ignorant of Religion Quiz" thread

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by seattlegal, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Clearing up misconceptions of anatta, nibbana, etc.

    From the Water Snake simile


    "And how is a monk a noble one with banner lowered, burden placed down, unfettered? There is the case where a monk's conceit 'I am' is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. This is how a monk is a noble one with banner lowered, burden placed down, unfettered.

    "And when the devas, together with Indra, the Brahmas, & Pajapati, search for the monk whose mind is thus released, they cannot find that 'The consciousness of the one truly gone (tathagata)[11] is dependent on this.' Why is that? The one truly gone is untraceable even in the here & now. [12]

    "Speaking in this way, teaching in this way, I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by some brahmans and contemplatives [who say], 'Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.' But as I am not that, as I do not say that, so I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by those venerable brahmans and contemplatives [who say], 'Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.' [13]

    [14] And if others insult, abuse, taunt, bother, & harass the Tathagata for that, he feels no hatred, no resentment, no dissatisfaction of heart because of that. And if others honor, respect, revere, & venerate the Tathagata for that, he feels no joy, no happiness, no elation of heart because of that. And if others honor, respect, revere, & venerate the Tathagata for that, he thinks, 'They do me such service at this that has already been comprehended.' [15]

    "Therefore, monks, if others insult, abuse, taunt, bother, & harass you as well, you should feel no hatred, no resentment, no dissatisfaction of heart because of that. And if others honor, respect, revere, & venerate you as well, you should feel no joy, no gladness, no elation of heart because of that. And if others honor, respect, revere, & venerate you, you should think, 'They do us [16] such service at this that has already been comprehended.'

    "Therefore, monks, whatever isn't yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness. And what isn't yours? Form (body) isn't yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness. Feeling isn't yours... Perception... Thought fabrications... Consciousness isn't yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness.

    "What do you think, monks: If a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches & leaves here in Jeta's Grove, would the thought occur to you, 'It's us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes'?"

    "No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self, nor do they belong to our self."

    "Even so, monks, whatever isn't yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness. And what isn't yours? Form isn't yours... Feeling isn't yours... Perception... Thought fabrications... Consciousness isn't yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  2. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Buddha says this line of questioning creates a thicket of views that becomes a hindrance to liberation:
    Sabbasava Sutta: All the Fermentations

    "This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

    "As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

    "The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — discerns what ideas are fit for attention and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention.​
     
  3. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    If you are "truly gone", who was freed?

    What is the need at all for freedom if there is nothing imprisoned?

    He looks logical, but his statements are quite flawed.

    Of course, the Dharma traditions have had 2500 years to mature since Buddha.

    What he is saying is not different to modern Dharma teachers.

    The primary wrong of Buddha is that he makes it seem there is something to do.

    This doing itself requires a self.

    All results will apply to that same self.

    The very statement that he is "truly gone" is a statement of that self.

    All of this is the result of an affect in consciousness.

    Consciousness itself is coming and going in time.

    There can be no truth within something temporary.

    When this is seen, the whole teaching looks simply stupid.
     
  4. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    This is of course why Vajrayana and Dzogchen have become so successful within Buddhism...

    Both are really the result of the larger Dharma tradition re-merging with his line.

    They tend towards this direct pointing with a teacher, rather than leaving students to study and learn doctrines...

    Even things so fundamental to Buddhism as meditation begins to look foolish, for again you are looking for an affect in consciousness...

    I would recommend someone like Maharshi Ramana if you are really interested in truth beyond words.

    Eventually something has to happen where you begin to question the very premise of relying on mind for your reality.

    You have to see that all these notions exist solely in your head.

    Even in deep sleep, none of this can come.

    Yet truth must still be there...
     
  5. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    That line of questioning is deemed as unfit for attention in the above referenced Sabbasava sutta, as it creates the very thicket of views and fermentations you have just described. Continuing on with that sutta regarding the line of reasoning that is fit for attention:

    "And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does attend to. Through his not attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his attending to ideas fit for attention, unarisen fermentations do not arise in him, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.

    "He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.​
     
    Vajradhara likes this.
  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Actually for Truth beyond words, I would recommend the Ch'an text known as the Hsin Hsin Ming. :)
     
  7. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    Do you feel stressed engaging in the thought exercise?

    You are actually "grasping at precepts and practices" here because it suits your view.

    This has to be looked at, the dharma cannot remain merely mental.
     
  8. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    I have enjoyed this text also...
     
  9. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    What is strange is you have rejected something from outside your tradition and replaced it with something within...

    This again shows identification with a particular belief system.

    Ramana Maharshi is not an Advaitin, he is a Saivite, so please do not claim the same of me.

    I only point it out so that you can look at it, for the Zen patriarch and Ramana are not saying different things.

    It seems to be your tendency to divide, to compartmentalize traditions, but doing this you will always remain partial.

    There is no point studying truth if you do not intent to become it.
     
  10. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    I do feel the fermentations mentioned in the sutta arise.

    Perhaps. However following the source of the stress that does arise and dealing with it so that it ends is a practice that I have had success with.

    Oh, I agree. You have to look deeply and see for yourself.
     
  11. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    Who are they arising for? They are only a concern if you become identified with it.

    Why involve yourself in the stress process? In fact, if you look closer, it is exactly your belief in the danger of the questions that cause the arising.

    The entire process is mental, but your mind still feels very important to you, as do your emotions...


    This is what I was talking about earlier... Buddha provides this notion of how things should look.

    The energy being called "stress" here will dissipate of its own accord, why involve yourself with it at all?

    These things become too important, and thus we have to work at breaking them down...

    Something is untouched by any of this, stay there...

    Of course, if you believe there is no Self, how to stay there?

    Even Buddha has the notion of Dharmakaya though, the same is intended.

    This is the Buddha nature, but we think it has something to do with the contents of consciousness, rather than its container.
     
  12. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    This is true. I have not yet mastered the part in the Water Snake Simile about not being resentful towards those who misrepresent Buddha's teachings. I still have a lot of work to do in that area. :oops:

    Did I? Sorry if I caused offense.

    I can't speak to this, as I am not familiar with Ramana.

    I do admit that I do balk at misrepresentations. :oops:

    A work in progress.
     
  13. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    It is good that it is recognized.

    It is due to self-identification... which is again something you have quoted Buddha touching on.

    This is why I say it is all well and good learning this stuff, but something has to happen in you.

    If nothing happens in you, you're just wasting your time, or at best have made it a hobby...

    There is nothing wrong in it, but I think it misses the point.

    If you have not understood the truth behind the words, it becomes less interesting to discuss them with you.
     
  14. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    This is why I have recommended Ramana Maharshi, there is no one that points so directly.

    It will perhaps be easier for you to look at Mooji, who teaches in English.

    You will know when you understand it because you will see these words that seem so important right now as utterly irrelevant.

    The sutras are so verbose, the mind enjoys it because there is so much to take on...

    I will suggest this is a burden only.
     
  15. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Well, they are arising for someone who still has plenty of dukkha to resolve, and will likely continue until that dukkha is resolved. ;)

    No. I came upon this sutta after the fact of noticing how I was clinging to no-self, which caused fermentations to arise, and someone else pointed me towards this sutta.

    Well yes, because my mind and emotions still needs work.


    Buddha called this "quick intuition" in the Vitthara sutta. Of course, I have to become aware of the stress in order to end ignorance regarding stress.

    Avoiding your habitual problems does not resolve them.

    Actually, it is no self views, as Atman is supposed to be neti-neti; anything that can be traced is not atman, so any view you hold of atman is also not atman.

    There are many different concepts to refer to an individual self, but those concepts are not Self.
     
  16. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    Do you find this notion useful?

    I tell you there is no need to resolve dukkha if you understand the original question.


    This is again the same issue, because you believe yourself to be contained in consciousness, you still think it matters what arises and falls within you. You are not the mind, nor the emotions, so what good can working to make them look better accomplish for you?

    This is the notion of bodhicitta, you are not the contents, you are the container.


    Ignorance and knowledge are dualities that are again merely arising and falling in consciousness.


    To call them a problem, you have to first decide to reject them, which will be based on some belief which now requires you to correct it.

    I will suggest that once you see through self-identity, much of what happened to Buddha will happen as a consequence automatically... I think that many misunderstand this... this doer of practice is this same self that must be seen through, so we are in a catch 22... the very work to resolve the self is upholding it.


    They are all seen by the Self, which is itself not a thing at all.

    Hence Buddha has called it anatta, but this is not a different truth.
     
  17. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Not really, except to answer questions such as the one that was posed. I usually don't consider such thing at all, but try to remain focused on the task at hand.

    I like to resolve dukkha. ;)




    The notion of everything being interconnected.

    It is still a self view. Is the concept the container of Self? No.




    I try to focus on dispelling the illusion of duality--personal perception bias based on like and dislike--which distorts ones perception of reality--as is described in the Hsin Hsin Ming. Ignorance is ignorance, and knowledge is knowledge, and forgetfulness is forgetfulness. This is how it is.




    Well, if you notice fermentations arising because of them, it might be an indication that there is a problem. Just sayin'

    --or to get out of one's own way!




    Curious how so many sentient beings can stumble over nothing at all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  18. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    I would suggest that is itself dukkha, this sense that you are not already perfectly complete.


    Every THING is, but are you a thing?


    It is a notion I have just made up in an attempt to point...

    You have not seen the moon, so the notion was pointless.


    There is already no duality, but you are creating a duality within yourself by trying to correct it.

    Now you are two, the one apparently thinking in a dualistic way, and the one trying to correct it... this is a common trap.

    Object and subject is the fundamental duality, but there is nothing about the subject that functions independently of objects... you cannot know yourself without its relation to everything else.

    There is nothing to break down when you understand language itself is necessarily dualistic, there is no other way to convey something to another... but the mind is not the basis for reality, THAT is the true illusion. We begin to comply to our stories, we think our way through life, failing to notice that reality itself has nothing to do with our thoughts about it.

    Ignorance, knowledge, forgetfulness, these are all matters solely for this mind which is not you.


    Why is it a problem? You know the "fermentation" will subside, why engage it and thus sustain it?


    Again, you make yourself two...

    Stuck in words, we think these statements make sense, but all they really do is confirm belief.


    Indeed.

    Yet, are thoughts or emotions, these "fermentations" actually something?

    Where is that stress now?
     
  19. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    The most dangerous duality for seekers is that of duality vs non-duality.

    The only non-dual state is deep sleep, here the subject exists alone, consciousness is empty and so experience ceases.

    Everything else is an object in consciousness, including sensations like hunger etc...

    Many think the subject is our inner reality, but this is erroneous.

    This subject is your Buddha nature.
     
  20. Francis Earl

    Francis Earl Member

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    Can it suffer?

    Can it die?

    These questions are only valid for the entity in consciousness...

    Even notions like enlightenment or liberation become absurd.

    Even the most out there mystical experience is just nothing...

    These all depend on consciousness...

    Which itself is temporary and dependent on you.

    I wonder if you can understand?
     
  21. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    I would say that "completeness" is waaaaay overrated. Your mileage may vary.




    That would depend upon the concept involved--and I am not that concept.




    Duly noted.




    Is it possible to know and understand my own mind? Sentient beings have a subjective mind that is somewhat separated from objective reality. This subjective mind is what makes sentient beings sentient.

    Hey, we agree on something! :D (back to the separation of subjective mind and objective reality)

    I do care about my subjective mind, as I also honor other sentient beings who have their own subjective minds.




    I want to understand the problem in order to resolve the bad habit. Why? Because I care.




    Like I said, sentient beings have subjective minds--which is what makes them sentient!




    They certainly have an effect. Talking about them does help with understanding them, even if it is understanding that they propagate.
     

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