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Phassa (contact) - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

Phassa (contact)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mikenz66
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:09 pm


pulga
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:15 pm

To the extent that Ven. Ñanavira's ideas have been brought up, here are exerpts from a couple of his letters that might help in understanding his take on epistemology and whether or not things exist apart from us.

Letter 145:

Of course, since knowledge is very commonly (Heidegger adds 'and superficially') defined in terms of 'a relation between subject and object', the question of the subject cannot simply be brushed aside -- no smoke without fire -- and we have to see (at least briefly) why it is so defined. Both Heidegger and Sartre follow Kant in saying that, properly speaking, there is no knowledge other than intuitive; and I agree. But what is intuition? From a puthujjana's point of view, it can be described as immediate contact between subject and object, between 'self' and the 'world' (for how this comes about, I must refer you to PHASSA). This, however, is not yet knowledge, for which a reflexive reduplication is needed; but when there is this reflexive reduplication we then have intuitive knowledge, which is (still for the puthujjana) immediate contact between knowing subject and known object. With the arahat, however, all question of subjectivity has subsided, and we are left simply with (the presence of) the known thing. (It is present, but no longer present 'to somebody'.) So much for judgement in general.

Letter 137:

The ordinary person (the puthujjana or 'commoner') thinks, 'I feel; I perceive; I determine; I cognize', and he takes this 'I' to refer to some kind of timeless and changeless ego or 'self'. But the arahat has completely got rid of the ego-illusion (the conceit or concept 'I am'), and, when he reflects, thinks quite simply, 'Feeling feels; perception perceives; determinations determine; consciousness cognizes'. Perhaps this may help you to see how it is that when desire (craving) ceases altogether 'the various things just stand there in the world'. Obviously they cannot 'just stand there in the world' unless they are felt, perceived, determined and cognized (Berkeley's esse est percipi[2] is, in principle, quite correct); but for the living arahat the question 'Who feels, perceives, determines, cognizes, the various things?' no longer arises -- the various things are felt by feeling, perceived by perception, determined by determinations, and cognized by consciousness; in other words, they are 'there in the world' autonomously (actually they always were, but the puthujjana does not see this since he takes himself for granted). With the breaking up of the arahat's body (his death) all this ceases. (For other people, of course, these things continue unless and until they in their turn, having become arahats, arrive at the end of their final existence.)

Ven. Ñanavira described his approach to the Dhamma as "vertical" as opposed to "horizontal" or linear, i.e. it is based on immediacy and its relation to reflection. And since the immediate world is given (granted from a particular point of view, i.e. as "shaped" in a particular way) before reflexion, it stands autonomously whether we reflect upon it or not. To hold to a linear epistemology without recognizing its derivitive nature distorts how we actually experience the world (it lends itself to a belief in an outside world apart from our senses, failing to recognize that phassa occurs at the immediate level).

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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:39 pm


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:49 pm

"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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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:22 pm


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:00 am


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:13 am

Greetings Sylvester,

I agree with your reasoning on the preferability of the word "ontological" in this sense.

Ontology doesn't mean a decision has been made about existence or non-existence, only that one is investigating and enquiring with respect to that particular framework.

It's a framework with no relevance to dukkha and nirodha, and is merely a cause for papanca.

Questions of "soul" and "no soul", prevalent in Theravada, are also ontological frameworks.... the Buddha's Dhamma says only that all phenomena experienced are not-self. That is sufficient - anything more is speculative, unverifiable, outside loka and not connected with the goal.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:36 am


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:50 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

pulga
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:11 am


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:29 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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mikenz66
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:52 am


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:06 am

Greetings Mike,

I agree that Bhikkhu Bodhi certainly provides the most "readable" translations, and for the most part explains the basis upon which he makes his translations quite well, though I'm not convinced he did "justice to the meaning without jeopardising intelligability" when changing Nanamoli's earlier translation. At least he acknowledged the more literal translation via his footnotes.

:reading:

It's always worth looking at his and venerable Thanissaro's translations side-by-side, as they both often have something worthwhile to bring to the table.... so thanks for sharing.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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mikenz66
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:18 am

Hi Retro, Others,

A reminder that the DN and MN Wisdom Publications, and a little of SN (it's in process) are available at http://www.palicanon.org/
You have to sign up to read them, and you can't download or search, only read online. But if you don't have the printed copy at hand, it's really useful.

:anjali:
Mike

pulga
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:23 am

Last edited by pulga on Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:25 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

Sylvester
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:45 am


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daverupa
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:40 am


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:37 am

I think MN 43's position is understandable in light of the passage in the Sammanamandika Sutta MN 78 which states that unwholesome sankappas cease without remainder in 1st Jhana, and wholesome sankappas cease without remainder in 2nd Jhana.

Against that, MN 111 preserves cetana as a dhamma that persists all the way to the Attainment of Nothingness.

2 voices in the Canon?

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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:38 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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