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584Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] A few Questions

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  • Robert Kirkpatrick
    Jul 1, 2000
      --- Dear Kashi:
      > >
      > > 1) What is the difference between "contemplation"
      > > and "reflection"?
      > >
      > > 2) If there are differences, is reflection
      > > consumated to reveal
      > > another level of insight?

      > I wrote:
      > There are many, many levels of understanding both at
      > the theoretical and experiential level. The theory
      > assists undertsanding at the practical level and
      > also
      > the practical makes the the theory much clearer.

      Even when we are thinking there can be moments of
      direct understanding of the characteristics of
      different realities. Also when we are studying a
      Dhamma book there can be many moments when there is
      direct study of realities. This is an important
      question because we have to learn how to study
      realities directly otherwise our Dhamma study is
      merely theoretical. sOEMTIMES I read books by people
      who have studied Abhidhamma a great deal but I am
      disapointed to see that they cannot relate it directly
      to what is hapening at this moment . They think of it
      as some sort of technical subject to learn and think
      about rather than as a very exact description of life
      that should be tested and seen for oneself.

      Some people can say things like "there is no self" but
      still have no understanding. Thus even when we are
      reflecting or contemplating or whatever we call it we
      need to develop the ability to see below the surface
      and see the realities that are conditioning the
      thinking. It can be done and discussions like these
      help to encourage. While you are reading this what
      dhammas , realities are present? There are colors
      contacting the eyebase, which condition seeing, cakkhu
      vinnana. These are three different dhammas that we
      have to gradually separate and insight.
      There is the thinking process which is composed of
      many different realities. And what is the thinking
      process rooted inright now? Is it all clear? In that
      case it is rooted in amoha, panna, wisdom. Or is there
      doubt and confusion? In that case it is rooted in
      moha, ignorance.
      Do you like to think about all this? In that case it
      could be rooted in either lobha, unwholesome desire or
      panna as both can come with pleasant feeling. We must
      learn to understand the characteristics of both so
      that there they can be distinguished.
      If there is confusion or other unwholesome defilements
      present that is OK. They are real and they too must be
      understood.


      > >
      > > 3) "Delusion arises when consciousness
      > > arises...period and always..."
      > > is what someone recently said to me. My
      > > understanding is that
      > > delusion manifest primarily through perceptions;
      > > though,
      > > yes...without first having (contact -->)
      > > consciousness or "kindling"
      > > there wouldn't be delusion.

      I mentioned the asava yesterday. Another way the
      Buddha classified defilements is by vipallasa, the
      perversions of seeing. I use the Patisambhidhimagga
      VIII "Bhikkhus there are four perversions of
      percep[tion,(sanna) perversions of cita, perversions
      of view. What four? Bhikkhus seeing what is
      1.impermanent as permenent is a perversion of sanna,
      of citta of ditthi. 2.Seeing what is not self as
      selfis...
      3.seeing the foul as beautiful is..
      4.seeing the painful as pleasnat is a perversion of
      .."

      The sotappana has completely eliminated forever all
      pervesion of view ditthi. He has also eliminated all
      perversions at the level of sanna and citta that see
      anything as permanent or self. However he still has
      the perversions of view at the level of sanna and
      citta that see the foul as beautiful and the painful
      as pleasant.
      It is sometimes thought that the experience of nibbana
      is some sort of mystical event whereby someone who was
      deluded is meditating and suddenly switches into an
      enlightened being. However, even before becoming a
      sotapanna there is a gradual diminishment of wrong
      view, ditthi, which is the grossest, most dangerous
      defilement. Thus someone may not be enlightened but if
      they have considered and tested the teachings and
      studied realities directly a lot, they will have only
      rarely, if at all, the perversions at the level of
      ditthi( those that see what is not self as self or
      what is not permanent as permanent.) They will still
      have these perversions at the level of sanna and citta
      however, although these will gradually recede as
      understanding deepens.
      Robert


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