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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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    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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