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137522Re: [dsg] Re: References to beings in the texts must be similes or metaphors?

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  • upasaka_howard
    Aug 17, 2014
      Hi, Robert and Jon -

      In a message dated 8/15/2014 2:33:32 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com writes:

      Jon: For a start, in the case of a person who has never heard of dhammas,
      nothing that person thinks, says or does could possibly *point to* dhammas.

      RE: Well, that would be the most extreme case, and not the most relevant
      one. To knock down the case of a person who has no hope of understanding
      anything about a subject they've never heard of, is not especially relevant to
      whether concepts reflect upon the dhammas that they are shadows or
      representations of.
      Let's imagine a person who has never heard about "dhammas" - not very
      hard to do. Has s/he never experienced hardness, warmth, sights (a.k.a.
      "visible objects"), tastes, sounds, fear, joy, love, impatience, anger,
      thinking, desiring, recalling, etc, etc, etc??? Of course s/he has. And in each
      of these cases and boundlessly more, s/he is experiencing a dhamma.
      Moreover, so long as her/his mind works normally, s/he can then recall these and
      think about each of these, which thinking involves the creation of
      concepts of these dhammas, concepts born of the experiencing of them. Such
      thinking is, in fact, a mental "pointing to" these dhammas. Moreover, not only do
      people think of specific dhammas - most of us can also (often wordlessly)
      generalize these concepts to a concept which encompasses all such objects
      of experience. The mere word 'dhamma' is unimportant.
      Our thinking about dhammas (and collections of them) enables us to
      navigate this world of experience, but it has its downside too. For what we
      think about and conceptualize becomes seemingly "real" to us, a genuine,
      self-existent reality with substance and own-being (or self.) This is our
      fundamental task: to think yet avoid the atta-delusion that is based in our
      thinking and is intensified by our resultant craving.

      With metta,

      /See how the world together with the devas has self-conceit for what is
      not-self. Enclosed by mind-and-body it imagines, 'This is real.' Whatever
      imagine it to be, it is quite different from that. It is unreal, of a false
      nature and perishable. Nibbana, not false in nature, that the Noble Ones
      as true. Indeed, by the penetration of the true, they are completely
      stilled and realize final deliverance./

      (From the Dvayatanupassana Sutta)

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