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Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please - Page 6 - Dhamma Wheel

Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:34 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:35 pm

PART III: The Opposition and My Counter-Arguments

(1) There are not three negative views represented here, it's all one view (nihilism, or materialism).
(2) That Wrong View here is a lack of Mundane Right View; that Mundane Right view represents the common sense of values; that the supramundane view drops out all language about such values; that it's an overview of progress away from Wrong Views
(3) That it's just coincidental that the three philosophies at the end can be matched in substance and order to the doctrines that are being denied at the start of the sutta, after all we see the same set at the end of other suttas.
(4) That the whole Mundane Right View is about us being owners of our own kamma.
(5) That the negative views are not nihilists or materialists but are all sceptics.
(6) That the Buddha was twisting common terms to his own use in these descriptions, something he was famous for.
(7) That either MN 117 has had its meaning lost or has in it secret teachings about the mundane and supramundane paths.


(1) Could be but the three negative philosophies listed at the end so neatly match the order and structure of the Wrong Views at the beginning that it seems more likely that nihilism is just one part.
(2) Actually I agree with this overview; it's in the details that I disagree.
(3) Seems a pretty large co-incidence to me that they match so well and the order is the same, too. I don't say that suttas never borrow from each other; they certainly do. What I do say is that a good way to discover which one is the “original” that the block of text was drawn from is to notice if elsewhere in the sutta there are portions that match it. When this block is found elsewhere with no great relevance to the sutta, it's probably been stuck in there (since these were orally transmitted for centuries, this undoubtedly happened); when it has relevance, it's far more likely to be original material that has been there all along.
(4) The whole of my reading goes against this* so I'm no able to fit my response in here... you need to read at least this whole summary! * except in the sense that we are all owners of our intentions (the Buddha's spin on kamma) which I would agree is part of the point of the sutta.
(5) Lumping so many different voices under “sceptic” is not helpful in understanding the rich and complex variety of points of view that abounded in the Buddha's day. Sure you can see all the negative views as skeptics – everyone is skeptical about the opponent's viewpoint – but calling them all “skeptics” doesn't help us sort anything out at all.
(6) The Buddha certainly did do that but he was clear about doing it when he was doing it. If that was what he was doing here we would need some evidence within the sutta for it, or ample evidence that when he used certain phrases he almost always meant something other than what he was saying. Otherwise, we should be quite careful about saying that by “x” he meant “y” – without good evidence Everything he said becomes meaningless if we can redefine them at will. This is not to say that every instance of the Buddha bending meaning is perfectly clear to us now, I know we have misinterpreted some of his clever turns, taking them literally – I'm just saying that when we say he is bending meanings, we need to show good evidence for it.
(7) That its meaning has been lost is the point of my argument; lost does not mean “is not recoverable” though. I do not find the idea of secret teachings originating with the Buddha at all credible – I believe the suttas when they say he said he taught with an open hand – it is consistent with his whole philosophy. As to secret teachings having been slipped into the suttas from some other source than the Buddha, I have never been much for conspiracy theories; it is far more likely that the normal course of human confusion and conflicting understandings, as well as attempts to preserve through oral traditions and laborious copying, and translations over time, have caused things to be mixed up, inserted, dropped, and just generally muddied to the point where one could see the outlines of a conspiracy (aka “secret teaching”) if one is so inclined. I am not.

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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:36 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:39 pm

PART IV: What's Concentration Got To Do With It?

The sutta says it's about concentration and then barely mentions it again. The whole sutta is a study in what the requisites and supports for concentration are. (Oh, I forgot to mention an opposing view as it relates to this: that the sutta has nothing to do with concentration, that the opening is just tacked on there as it is so similar to other openings on suttas that are actually about concentration. Unlikely, as in the middle sections the Buddha clicks into place all the other parts of the 8-fold path and even the two extra factors for arahants (wisdom and liberation). It would be very odd for him to leave out concentration from these considerations of the factors if it were just a generalized sutta – he is talking about concentration through the other factors, which is why he isn't mentioning concentration in the factors for Right View, Intention, Speech, Action, and Livelihood.)

When I asked earlier what Right View had to do with Concentration, I felt sure that anyone who'd practiced the Buddha's path for even a little while would testify that the relationship between the two goes two ways:

(1) Your meditation isn't going to do you a whole lot of good if you don't have Right View. You can sit and meditate on how good sex is all you want and it's not going to get you liberated. So Right View is clearly a support and requisite for Right Concentration.

(2) You get a much more accurate view the more you practice concentration. Meditation is about seeing directly, and seeing for yourself. So Right Concentration is a requisite and support for Right View.

The two run around each other in just the same way that Right View, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness run a circle around whatever factor we're discussing to support them (as the Buddha mentions in this very sutta).

How does the fact that this sutta is actually about concentration relate to an altered reading of MN 117? Hey, I've spent half my day writing this summary; that's going to have to wait till I've got some work done.

In the meantime, comments about the relationship between concentration and right view are most welcome; new arguments for or against the reading so far that add substance to the conversation are also welcome.

:namaste:

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:41 pm


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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:47 pm


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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby BlackBird » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:40 pm

Thank you for writing out that summary Nowheat. Certainly was a worthwhile read.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:39 pm


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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:18 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:33 pm


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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:24 am


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:18 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:29 pm

PART VI: Conclusion

Since the Mundane Right View (with effluents, taints, corruptions, that results in acquisitions -- causing one to keep generating the five aggregates that bind you to the self-view) by this reading, include the Brahminical view of the cosmos that ritual and sacrifice are effective, this cannot be part of the Buddha's actual path. He is saying here that these are mundane (worldly) views in the sense that they are common amongst the people of his day; he is showing tolerance for such views because they are morally far superior to the wrong views. He is *not* saying that you have to practice these views to get to his path, though one supposes in his day most people did start from one of them prior to coming to him as a teacher. He is saying that you have to get past these views, and get to his viewless view, to get to liberation. Mundane Right View, therefore, is not the Buddha's path. There is only one path in this sutta that the Buddha teaches, and that is the supramundane path.

:namaste:

vinasp
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby vinasp » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi nowheat,

What are the asava's ?

Enlightenment is the elimination of many things which are always present in an unenlightened mind. The earliest description of these things is "asava's".These things are divided into three groups :

1. kama-asava - everything connected with sense pleasures - feelings, cravings and clinging.

2. bhava-asava - everything connected with existence/ becoming - feelings, cravings and clinging.

3. avijja-asava - a multitude of wrong views and mis-conceptions.

The elimination of these three asava's is enlightenment, nothing else is required. The arahant is said to be "free of asava's" or to have "destroyed the asava's". In some passages describing enlightenment these three asava's are explicitly mentioned by name. They can be eliminated *only* by "seeing" as explained in MN 2 .

Note : in fact there are four asava's but this is an "advanced level" topic.

Best wishes, Vincent.

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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:11 pm


nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:45 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:52 am

Yes, sure, I know that's the theory.

Actually doing it is not so simple... "Let go of the view..." is still a view...

Metta
Mike

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:51 pm


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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:06 pm

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

nowheat
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Re: Sutta Readers: Shoot Me Down, Please

Postby nowheat » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:12 pm



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