137522Re: [dsg] Re: References to beings in the texts must be similes or metaphors?
- Aug 17, 2014Hi, Robert and Jon -
In a message dated 8/15/2014 2:33:32 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
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
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.
/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)
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