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The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera - Page 6 - Dhamma Wheel

The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
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retrofuturist
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:34 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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:18 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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:31 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

vinasp
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby vinasp » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:57 am

Hi everyone,

I will now attempt to substantiate claim 5, that Ven. Nanavira has misunderstood
the six spheres. Consider the following:

" By the utter detachment from, and the cessation of the six spheres of
contact, there comes to be the cessation, the allayment, of prolific
conceptualisation."

From AN II 161 ( Pali ) Translated on page 21 of Concept and Reality by
Ven. Nanananda.

Why is it hard to understand that the six spheres cease? It is because we have
misunderstood what the six spheres are. They may not be the actual six senses.
It is true that they are said to be "the world" but this "world" (loka) is
also said to cease. [ it may not be the external world ]

" Where there is no eye, Samiddhi, no forms, no eye-consciousness, no
things to be cognized by eye-consciousness, there the world does not
exist nor any description of the world." [ SN 35.68 ]

Please note that "eye-consciousness" may not mean seeing.

" It is, friend, in just this fathom-high carcass endowed with
perception and mind that I make known the world, the origin
of the world, the cessation of the world, and the way leading
to the cessation of the world." Rohitassa SN 2.26

By understanding the six spheres as being the actual six senses, Ven.
Nanavira fails to see how they can cease for an arahat. What has been
constructed is "self-and-world". Cessation of the "world" occurs with
the cessation of ( the view of ) self. Another way to understand this
"world" is that it is everything that we are clinging to. This raises
the question: what, exactly, are we clinging to, and where are these
"objects"?

These "objects" are mind-fabricated. The Discourses classify them by
either a fivefold or a sixfold framework. The fivefold is called the
five aggregates of clinging. The sixfold is called the six spheres.
The objects are almost the same in either case. The cessation of these
objects is enlightenment or awakening.

More to follow.

Regards, Vincent.

Brivat
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Brivat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:04 pm

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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:09 pm

"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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Brivat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:53 pm

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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:32 pm

Last edited by Alex123 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:38 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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Brivat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:43 pm

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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:21 pm


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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:36 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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:43 pm


pulga
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby pulga » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:17 pm

All this, of course, is tautologous; for 'to be a thing' means 'to be able to be or exist', and there is no thing that cannot exist. And if anything exists, everything else does (see (a) above). Compare this utterance of Parmenides: 'It needs must be that what can be thought of and spoken of is; for it is possible for it to be, and it is not possible for what is no thing to be'. (Parmenides seems to have drawn excessive conclusions from this principle through ignoring the fact that a thought is an imaginary, and therefore absent, experience -- or rather, a complex of absent experiences --; but the principle itself is sound. The images involved in thinking must, individually at least [though not necessarily in association], already in some sense be given -- i.e. as what is elsewhere, or at some other time, or both -- at the immediate level, before they can be thought. Perhaps the method of this Note will suggest a reconciliation between the Parmenidean absolute denial of the existence of no thing, with its corollary, the absolute existence of whatever does exist, and the merely relative existence of every thing as implied by the undeniable fact of change.( FS Static Aspect, footnote c)

Ven. Ñanavira is explaining his understanding of the nature, the principle (logos) of what it means to exist, to be (onto): in other words he is providing us with an ontology that reflects the concrete structure of lived experience.

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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby vinasp » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:20 pm

Hi everyone,

I will now attempt to substantiate claim 4, that Ven. Nanavira has invented his
own idea of contact, and ignored what is said in the Sutta Pitaka.

In his note PHASSA Ven. Nanavira begins by mentioning the standard formula found in the Discourses, "...as the coming together of the eye, forms, and
eye-consciousness (and so on with the ear and the rest)."

He then continues: "But it is probably wrong to suppose that we must therefore
understand the word phassa, primarily at least, as contact between these three
things." He then begins his own explanation of contact.

Now, since I do not understand what Ven. Nanavira is saying about contact, I will
not try to explain it. I hope that someone else will do that. Instead I will try
to explain contact as understood in the Sutta Pitaka. Any differences should then
be clear.

The discourses say that eye-contact is "the coming together of eye, forms, and
eye-consciousness." Anyone who thinks that "eye-consciousness" means seeing will
run into great difficulty here. It would mean that contact was always occurring
which would result in craving for everything which one sees! Clearly, this can
not be correct.

Consider the situation where two people see the same object, and yet desire for
the object only arises in one of these two persons.

There is only one way out of these problems, and that is that "eye-consciousness"
is not seeing. They already have a word for seeing, which is frequently used.
Why invent a new "technical term" for seeing?

Since I believe that consciousness (vinnana) often means a form of knowing which
is a conceptual knowing, there is an alternative way to understand contact.

When anything that you see becomes significant to you, then a representation of
the actual external object is fabricated in ones mind. This representation is
conceptual, and will be known by a form of conceptual knowing.

Now, a form of conceptual knowing will know only concepts, it is not capable
of seeing that which is seen through the eye. So when we find the term
eye-consciousness being used, we must understand "eye" as meaning the conception of the eye, and "forms" as meaning the conception of forms.

Or, to be more accurate, since enlightened individuals still have a conception
of the eye and forms, we should say that "eye" means a misconception of the eye,
and "forms" means a misconception of forms.

Thus we see that Ven. Nanavira, by understanding eye-consciosness as seeing,
has completely overlooked the real meaning of contact in the Sutta Pitaka.

Regards, Vincent.

pulga
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby pulga » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:42 pm


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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:50 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

User avatar
retrofuturist
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:15 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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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:06 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Brivat
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Re: The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera

Postby Brivat » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:19 pm

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