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Re: [Pali] Abhidhamma Series, no 7. Kamma and Result.

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  • Ken O
    Dear Bryan ... There is a will but no one will, it is cetana that will.  When we think there is an I that will, that I  is miccha ditthi that arise with
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 7, 2010
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      Dear Bryan

      >I know this is an age-old question, but if there is "no self who can determine to do wrong or to do what is right" who is it that awakens to and follows the Eight Fold Noble Path? Did the Buddha not believe in free will? Certainly from reading his teachings, it seems like he did. Please explain,

      There is a will but no one will, it is cetana that will.  When we think there is an "I" that will, that "I" is miccha ditthi that arise with cetana that will.  When you interest to learn dhamma to develop understanding, it is not you that "will" to learn dhamma, it is saddha or panna (or arising together) that arise with cetana that will, chanda that interest and viriya that strive


      Kind regards
      Ken O 


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    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear Bryan, ... N: I understand your question. The expression free will is not found in the teachings, and the core of the Buddha s teachings is anattaa, no
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 8, 2010
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        Dear Bryan,
        Op 7-apr-2010, om 12:57 heeft Bryan Levman het volgende geschreven:

        > Whatever conduct we follow in daily life, it is conditioned by the
        > >wholesome or unwholesome roots accumulated from life to life. There
        > >is no
        > self who can determine to do wrong or to do what is right, it
        > >is
        > conditioned by the roots and many other factors. Each moment,
        > >whatever we do, is conditioned.
        >
        > I know this is an age-old question, but if there is "no self who
        > can determine to do wrong or to do what is right" who is it that
        > awakens to and follows the Eight Fold Noble Path? Did the Buddha
        > not believe in free will? Certainly from reading his teachings, it
        > seems like he did. Please explain,
        ---------
        N: I understand your question. The expression free will is not found
        in the teachings, and the core of the Buddha's teachings is anattaa,
        no self or person who can direct the arising of any citta. There is
        volition, cetanaa, and it is a cetasika, a conditioned dhamma which
        is not self.
        It is very useful to remember that the Buddha spoke in conventional
        language and also pointed to paramattha sacca.
        Recently we studied the sutta about 'it can be done', namely the
        abandoning of akusala and the developing of kusala. This sutta is a
        strong exhortation and it can enhance confidence in the Dhamma. This
        in itself is already a condition for right effort, for kusala viriya
        to follow up the Buddha's advice. The disciples at the Buddha's time
        had no misunderstandings and knew that kusala viriya and kusala
        cetanaa are cetasikas, conditioned dhammas, not belonging to a self.
        Your question cannot be solved by thinking in a theoretical, abstract
        way. People would turn into a vicious circle, and it may seem a
        contradiction that whatever we do is conditioned but that it is still
        possible to develop kusala and abandon akusala.
        We have to see it all in a practical, realistic way and then the
        problem of free will would not even occur. It is already a fact that
        we are interested in the Buddha's teachings and that we study these.
        Thus, there are already conditions that can affect our thinking and
        actions. These conditions stem from the past, and nobody could
        control them. Kusala performed in the past conditions the arising of
        kusala today.
        If we forget that there is no self who develops kusala, then we
        easily can have conceit that I am better than others, or we may be
        clinging to the idea of "I am a good person".
        The more we study the conditioned dhammas of citta, cetasika and
        ruupa, the more will we see, at least intellectually, that there is
        no self who can cause the arising of any citta at will.

        Later on I will deal with the cittas arising in processes, and the
        rapidity of the arising and falling away of cittas. It will be
        clearer that there is simply no time to stop any citta or prevent it
        from arising, no matter it is kusala or akusala. But it is a fact
        that favorable conditions can be cultivated by citta and cetasika.

        *******
        Nina.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bryan Levman
        Dear Nina, Thanks for your answer. Perhaps the best way to look at it is that concepts of free will and determinism are themselves extremes and neither one
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 9, 2010
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          Dear Nina,

          Thanks for your answer. Perhaps the best way to look at it is that concepts of free will and determinism are themselves extremes and neither one applies ("na upeti" as the Buddha says to Upaviisa in SN 207, verse 1077 in answer to the latter's question of whether a person exists or not-exists at death) . Or, in a practical, conventional sense, one can follow the path, but in an ultimate sense, there is no atta at all.

          Best,

          Bryan







          ________________________________
          From: Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...>
          To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, April 8, 2010 4:24:31 AM
          Subject: Re: [Pali] Q. Abhidhamma Series, no 7. Kamma and Result.


          Dear Bryan,
          Op 7-apr-2010, om 12:57 heeft Bryan Levman het volgende geschreven:

          > Whatever conduct we follow in daily life, it is conditioned by the
          > >wholesome or unwholesome roots accumulated from life to life. There
          > >is no
          > self who can determine to do wrong or to do what is right, it
          > >is
          > conditioned by the roots and many other factors. Each moment,
          > >whatever we do, is conditioned.
          >
          > I know this is an age-old question, but if there is "no self who
          > can determine to do wrong or to do what is right" who is it that
          > awakens to and follows the Eight Fold Noble Path? Did the Buddha
          > not believe in free will? Certainly from reading his teachings, it
          > seems like he did. Please explain,
          ---------
          N: I understand your question. The expression free will is not found
          in the teachings, and the core of the Buddha's teachings is anattaa,
          no self or person who can direct the arising of any citta. There is
          volition, cetanaa, and it is a cetasika, a conditioned dhamma which
          is not self.
          It is very useful to remember that the Buddha spoke in conventional
          language and also pointed to paramattha sacca.
          Recently we studied the sutta about 'it can be done', namely the
          abandoning of akusala and the developing of kusala. This sutta is a
          strong exhortation and it can enhance confidence in the Dhamma. This
          in itself is already a condition for right effort, for kusala viriya
          to follow up the Buddha's advice. The disciples at the Buddha's time
          had no misunderstandings and knew that kusala viriya and kusala
          cetanaa are cetasikas, conditioned dhammas, not belonging to a self.
          Your question cannot be solved by thinking in a theoretical, abstract
          way. People would turn into a vicious circle, and it may seem a
          contradiction that whatever we do is conditioned but that it is still
          possible to develop kusala and abandon akusala.
          We have to see it all in a practical, realistic way and then the
          problem of free will would not even occur. It is already a fact that
          we are interested in the Buddha's teachings and that we study these.
          Thus, there are already conditions that can affect our thinking and
          actions. These conditions stem from the past, and nobody could
          control them. Kusala performed in the past conditions the arising of
          kusala today.
          If we forget that there is no self who develops kusala, then we
          easily can have conceit that I am better than others, or we may be
          clinging to the idea of "I am a good person".
          The more we study the conditioned dhammas of citta, cetasika and
          ruupa, the more will we see, at least intellectually, that there is
          no self who can cause the arising of any citta at will.

          Later on I will deal with the cittas arising in processes, and the
          rapidity of the arising and falling away of cittas. It will be
          clearer that there is simply no time to stop any citta or prevent it
          from arising, no matter it is kusala or akusala. But it is a fact
          that favorable conditions can be cultivated by citta and cetasika.

          *******
          Nina.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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        • Bryan Levman
          Dear Ken, Thanks very much for your explanation, Warm regards, Bryan ________________________________ From: Ken O To:
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 10, 2010
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            Dear Ken,

            Thanks very much for your explanation, Warm regards, Bryan







            ________________________________
            From: Ken O <ashkenn2k@...>
            To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wed, April 7, 2010 2:13:28 PM
            Subject: Re: [Pali] Abhidhamma Series, no 7. Kamma and Result.


            Dear Bryan

            >I know this is an age-old question, but if there is "no self who can determine to do wrong or to do what is right" who is it that awakens to and follows the Eight Fold Noble Path? Did the Buddha not believe in free will? Certainly from reading his teachings, it seems like he did. Please explain,

            There is a will but no one will, it is cetana that will. When we think there is an "I" that will, that "I" is miccha ditthi that arise with cetana that will. When you interest to learn dhamma to develop understanding, it is not you that "will" to learn dhamma, it is saddha or panna (or arising together) that arise with cetana that will, chanda that interest and viriya that strive

            Kind regards
            Ken O

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          • Nina van Gorkom
            Dear Bryan, ... N: Just as an addition: one may think of oneself as following a Path and then one is in the world of conventional truth, sammutti sacca. It is
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 10, 2010
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              Dear Bryan,
              Op 9-apr-2010, om 13:25 heeft Bryan Levman het volgende geschreven:

              > Or, in a practical, conventional sense, one can follow the path,
              > but in an ultimate sense, there is no atta at all.
              -------
              N: Just as an addition: one may think of oneself as following a Path
              and then one is in the world of conventional truth, sammutti sacca.
              It is a way of thinking. Whereas, in the ultimate sense, only
              specific cetasikas, the Path-factors, arise with the citta and in
              that way the Path is developing, no one develops it. As I see it, the
              ultimate sense is practical, effective.

              -------
              Nina.



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ardavarz
              Dear friends, I just would like to share a thought that occurs to me - could we translate anatta in a sense with inanimate ? Etymologically it is more or less
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 10, 2010
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                Dear friends,

                I just would like to share a thought that occurs to me - could we translate anatta in a sense with "inanimate"?
                Etymologically it is more or less equivalent - both anima in Latin and atta in Pali mean "soul", but I am not fully aware of all possible connotations of the word "inanimate" in English. Still I think if one say: "The psyche (or mind) is inanimate", the shock from this seemingly paradoxical (for the common sense) statement could be quite insightful.

                Ardavarz

                --- On Sat, 4/10/10, Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...> wrote:

                From: Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...>
                Subject: Re: [Pali] Q. Abhidhamma Series, no 7. Kamma and Result.
                To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 5:12 PM







                 









                Dear Bryan,

                Op 9-apr-2010, om 13:25 heeft Bryan Levman het volgende geschreven:



                > Or, in a practical, conventional sense, one can follow the path,

                > but in an ultimate sense, there is no atta at all.

                -------

                N: Just as an addition: one may think of oneself as following a Path

                and then one is in the world of conventional truth, sammutti sacca.

                It is a way of thinking. Whereas, in the ultimate sense, only

                specific cetasikas, the Path-factors, arise with the citta and in

                that way the Path is developing, no one develops it. As I see it, the

                ultimate sense is practical, effective.



                -------

                Nina.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bryan Levman
                Thanks Nina, Bryan ________________________________ From: Nina van Gorkom To: Pali@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sat, April 10, 2010 10:12:55 AM
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 10, 2010
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                  Thanks Nina, Bryan







                  ________________________________
                  From: Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...>
                  To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sat, April 10, 2010 10:12:55 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Pali] Q. Abhidhamma Series, no 7. Kamma and Result.


                  Dear Bryan,
                  Op 9-apr-2010, om 13:25 heeft Bryan Levman het volgende geschreven:

                  > Or, in a practical, conventional sense, one can follow the path,
                  > but in an ultimate sense, there is no atta at all.
                  -------
                  N: Just as an addition: one may think of oneself as following a Path
                  and then one is in the world of conventional truth, sammutti sacca.
                  It is a way of thinking. Whereas, in the ultimate sense, only
                  specific cetasikas, the Path-factors, arise with the citta and in
                  that way the Path is developing, no one develops it. As I see it, the
                  ultimate sense is practical, effective.

                  -------
                  Nina.

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                • Nina van Gorkom
                  Dear Ardavarz and Richard, Thanks for your contribution. ... N: Ardavarz, You are probably thinking of the Pali nijjhiiva, literally: no life. I understand the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 11, 2010
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                    Dear Ardavarz and Richard,
                    Thanks for your contribution.
                    Op 10-apr-2010, om 22:09 heeft Ardavarz het volgende geschreven:

                    > I just would like to share a thought that occurs to me - could we
                    > translate anatta in a sense with "inanimate"?
                    > Etymologically it is more or less equivalent - both anima in Latin
                    > and atta in Pali mean "soul", but I am not fully aware of all
                    > possible connotations of the word "inanimate" in English. Still I
                    > think if one say: "The psyche (or mind) is inanimate", the shock
                    > from this seemingly paradoxical (for the common sense) statement
                    > could be quite insightful.
                    -------
                    N: Ardavarz, You are probably thinking of the Pali nijjhiiva,
                    literally: no life. I understand the difficulty to find an English
                    equivalent.
                    It is actually absence of a living being.
                    I quote from my "Meaning of dhamma: < The following meaning of dhamma
                    explained in the Dhammapada-Atthakata, is dhamma as an entity without
                    a living soul (nissatta, nijjiva):
                    <"Tasmi.m khopana samaye dhammaa honti, khandhaa hontii"ti (dha. sa.
                    121)
                    Then, at that time dhammas occur, khandhas occur.

                    aya.mnissattadhammo naama, nijjiivadhammotipi eso eva.
                    this is dhamma without living being (non-substantial), it is also
                    merely dhamma without life.
                    Tesu imasmi.m .thaane nissattanijjiivadhammo adhippeto.
                    As to these, dhamma devoid of a living soul is meant in this case. >

                    -------
                    The word inanimate can be used for ruupa, materiality. We also take
                    ruupa for self, but also ruupa is anattaa.
                    -------
                    Nina.




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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