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Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom? - Dhamma Wheel

Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Alex123
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Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Tue May 24, 2011 4:48 pm

Hello all,

This question is a bit clumsy, but I hope I can properly state it.

Is ignorance:
a) Lack of skill (skill with wisdom, of course)?
or
b) Lack of wisdom?

Any canonical passages that may shed light on this issue?

With metta,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

David2
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby David2 » Tue May 24, 2011 4:51 pm

Imo:
Skill = Wisdom

Two words for the same thing.

rowyourboat
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue May 24, 2011 5:03 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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daverupa
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby daverupa » Wed May 25, 2011 1:10 am

It is simply ignorance of the Four Noble Truths.

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kirk5a
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby kirk5a » Wed May 25, 2011 2:32 am

In the Avijja Sutta SN 45.1, avijja and vijja are directly contrasted. Whereas avijja leads to unskillful qualities, vijja leads to skillful ones. Ven. Thanissaro translates vijja as "clear knowing." So I think there's something to avijja being an actual quality of the mind - a not-knowing, not-awake, sleepy quality of mental grasping.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 25, 2011 11:42 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 26, 2011 1:27 am


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bodom
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby bodom » Thu May 26, 2011 1:35 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 26, 2011 1:52 am

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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ground
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby ground » Thu May 26, 2011 4:00 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri May 27, 2011 8:51 pm

I think the idea that mindfulness=wisdom is pretty close, but the Buddha always insert one step in between the two - concentration. That is to say, the mind which is mindful, gives rise to concentration, which allows for insight to arise. He did say that there is no wisdom without concentration.

This must make us think a little deeper then, as to what he meant by insight- is it merely seeing things with mindfulness?

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 28, 2011 4:17 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

rowyourboat
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat May 28, 2011 8:24 pm

Hi Alex,

Important questions you have asked. - how do you understand right view? The well versed ariyan disciple must understand that 1) when something arises, it is nothing other than suffering that arises. Contemplations like the four noble truths contemplation is helpful for beginners in this regard. The Buddha is often seen asking not to think whether the self exists etc but rather to think about everything in terms of the four noble truths. This builds up right view. Such a disciple is aware that everything is unsatisfactory (you can think of how many Buddhists get this practice as the initial instruction).

2) From that point onwards the well instructed noble disciple forms the intention to renounce.. everything -in his mind. He has intentions to be completely harmless. He keeps the precepts (see pansadovaka sutta) to purify his mind. He removes defilements from his mind. The Buddhas bhikkus did this for 8 hours (4 morning and 4 at night) of the day, in those hours it was dark.

3) removing defilements from the mind and developing wholesome qualities (right effort) during the day requires mindfulness. This becomes the cause for establishing mindfulness (satipatthana- right mindfulness/recall). Even this step is with the view of renunciation -NOT with the intention to make samsara more peaceful.

4) finally right concentration is developed. Concentration is only possible because of the previous practice. It is a very important to notice that this concentration is often mentioned as the four form jhanas- this is the commonest description of right concentration, even though the mahacattasarika sutta is often quoted (which does not invalidate, but rather qualifies, the four rupa jhana as right concentration). Even this concentration is developed with the firm idea of letting go ..of even a modicum of phenomena, at each succeeding level of jhana.

So yes, sila requires Samma ditti- it brings it to completion (you may start sila, say, just to be a good person. This then is sila based on the mundane Samma ditti (maha cattasarika sutta). Similarly for jhana practice. But we can all turn the 'micca' path into the 'samma' path by right view, right effort and right mindfulness (maha cattasarika sutta). :)

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 29, 2011 5:29 am

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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ground
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby ground » Sun May 29, 2011 6:35 am


User avatar
Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 29, 2011 3:50 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 29, 2011 3:53 pm

Hi TMingyur

Sati leading directly to panna, of the type the Buddha talks of? I guess that is what I'm trying to say - there is more to it than meets the eye. Only a deeply concentrated mind through prolonged mindfulness (hours, days ata stretch) can really come to have these insights, unless the faculty of wisdom is particularly sharp.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 29, 2011 4:02 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

User avatar
Alex123
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Re: Ignorance: Lack of skill or wisdom?

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 29, 2011 4:09 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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