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Imagination, Compassion, Awakening - Dhamma Wheel

Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mikenz66
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Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:49 am

I went to a talk at my local Insight group a couple of days ago, which was on the subject of "Meditation and Imagination". A couple of interesting questions came up in the discussion:
1. Would an awakened person still imagine?
2. Is it possible to have compassion (or have a desire to improve anything) without imagination?

Of course, this depends on what exactly what is meant by "imagination", but these questions did make me think a little about whether "imagination" is something we are trying to do away with, or an activity the serves a useful purpose. Clearly the instructions for cultivation of metta, for example, involves imagination/visualisation...

Any thoughts?

Mike

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:04 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: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby alan » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:42 am

Hi Mike.
To which instructions do you refer?
I'm Abbhidamma-challenged, sorry. Is there a sutta that requires imaginative flights to achieve compassion?

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:51 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:54 am

Last edited by Goedert on Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:56 am

Greetings Mike,

Objectification sounds like a pretty odd translation to me. It's worth noting that the antonym to papanca is nippapanca, which is understood to be synonymous with nibbana. Therefore, whatever papanca is, it is not done by arahants, hence the definition I gave earlier, stipulating delusion as an inherent component.

The Buddha came up with some cracking similes though, presumably derived from his imagination, requiring some degree of conceptual objectification... yet, it was imagination that was embued with and characterised by nippapanca rather than papanca.

Image

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: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby alan » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:58 am

Nanananda goes down like honey...so sweet, so tasty. Perhaps I'm under his hypnotic sway?
Don't see why imagination, or any other of the mind's elaborate creations, should be treated as something with it's own existence...or given a special place in our attempt at understanding the world...

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:05 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:08 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:12 am

Greetings Mike,

Indeed it is... and whilst the translation of papanca isn't too flash hot, the translator introduction is of interest.

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: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:16 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:22 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:39 am

Greetings Mike,

Have you read Venerable Nanananda's "Concept And Reality in Early Buddhist Thought", available through BPS?

I've not mentioned it to date in this topic (because sometimes I feel I mention him at every turn) but I think Alan is on the mark with his association between this topic and Venerable Nanananda's work. It would be worth reading if you wanted to pursue the question in depth.

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

alan
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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby alan » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:02 am

One of the best Dhamma books ever. A treasure.

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:33 am


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby pt1 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:24 am

Hi Mike, my guess would be that an arahat must also think in order to communicate with others, the difference being that s/he will not conceive any sort of permanent, satisfactory self in what s/he thinks about. I think according to abhidhamma, object of citta which is accompanied by metta and karuna would be a concept of a person one is extending metta/karuna to. I don't think that citta, which has a concept (like a person) as the object, would necessarily also have to be accompanied by wrong view.

Best wishes

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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby chownah » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:03 pm


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:28 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: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:30 pm


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Re: Imagination, Compassion, Awakening

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:58 pm



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