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Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how? - Dhamma Wheel

Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Ron-The-Elder
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Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:15 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

meindzai
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby meindzai » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:43 pm

Well the first thing wrong with that post is that Theravada doesn't say "everything is impermanent." It says that all conditioned things are impermanent. There are conditioned things and there is the unconditioned, which is not impermanent.

Right there we have a duality problem, since clearly the Buddha distinguished between the conditioned and unconditioned, a dualism which Mahayana sometimes seeks to remove/delete/obfuscate/make ambiguous in some of it's teachings, i.e. "Nirvana is Samsara."

The Buddha didn't put much (or any, depending on your interpretation) emphasis on non-duality, probably, IMO, because it is too easily conflated with "oneness," which is a concept that the Buddha tried to steer us away from.

There are places in the canon though where the Buddha distinctly avoids certain polarities - such as existence and not existence, eternalism and nihilism, manyness and oneness, etc. Such polarities usually come about by questioning things without recards to anicca, anatta or with regards to dependent origination.

To phrase that the other way, such polarities as "does the self exist or not?" completely disappear or become nonsense questions in the face of dependent origination. One could easily say that this is a non-dualistic approach.

There are also the four categories (which I think are an indian thing, not limited to Buddhist teaching) such as "neither exists, nor not exists, nor both, nor neither" which the Buddha makes reference to frequently, and I've heard these categories referred to in Mahayana teachings quite frequently in reference to non-dualism.

-M

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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:56 pm


alan
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby alan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:29 pm

What would be the proper translation?

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ground
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby ground » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:03 pm

When there is no owner of the aggregates where could dualism have its locus?

Kind regards

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beeblebrox
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:26 pm

This is what I have figured out so far... from reading a dictionary:

asaṅkhāta

saṅkhāta = (past participle of saṅkhāyati) agreed on; reckoned -- so-called; named.
saṅkhāyati = 1. to appear. 2. to calculate.
saṅkhāya = having considered, or discriminated.
saṅkhati = = saṅkh + āti, saṅkhāa = enumeration; calculation; a number; definition.

The "a" prefix = "no," "not," or "non."

Nibbāna = asaṅkhāta = not named; not calculated; not defined. Or in other words, it's undefineable. Once someone tries to define it... it stops being nibbāna. It becomes re-ignited once again (a play on the word extinguishment), and then it turns into an endless cycle of saṃsāra for the person trying to figure it out.

Non-duality is a condition, and duality is also a condition. If the person doesn't know any better, the battle in between these two will be never-ending.

:anjali:
Last edited by beeblebrox on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:29 pm


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beeblebrox
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:32 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:37 pm


alan
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby alan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:10 am

I've looked around all day and have not found a translation that seems any better than "the unconditioned".

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retrofuturist
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:18 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:50 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:13 am


chownah
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby chownah » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:58 am

The way I handle the existence/non-existence thing is to just consider that the concept of "existence" does not apply.....for instance take the question "Does nibhana exist...or not exist?"........my reply would be "The concept of "existence" does not apply to nibhanna." This can be applied to anything....is the dog black or white?....the concept of blackness and whiteness do not apply....the end result if this is applied to everything is that everything is seen as empty and tends to not arise again.... because our minds tend to conjure up the dhammas which are applicable to a particular situation any dhamma deemed inapplicable will tend to not arise...I think. I hope this helps to understand something.......maybe not....don't know.....
chownah

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ground
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby ground » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:08 am


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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby PeterB » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:43 am


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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:35 am


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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:32 pm

So.......... :thinking:

Getting back to my original question: .... :quote:

Is it correct to say that nibanna is an example of the unconditioned and is therefore "not impermanent" and therefore "permanent", while the conditioned, any conditioned thing, is impermanent. :stirthepot:

If so, then "permanent vs impermanent", as well as "conditioned vs unconditioned" are examples of dualities.

True? False? Other?

Or, is there a third case: "Permanent, impermanent, neither impermanent nor permanent", and "conditioned, unconditioned, and neither conditioned nor unconditioned",

....and in any case why would such understanding be of any assistance in ending pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction (dukkha)? :rolleye:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:11 pm


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Re: Dualism: Does Theravada address it? If so, how?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:13 pm



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