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Re: Just checking re concepts and panna

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  • Robert E
    Hi Jon. ... Well, it would not be so bad, would it, to be a prisoner of goodness? But in any case I mean restriction in the sense of something that is
    Message 1 of 1137 , Mar 31, 2012
      Hi Jon.

      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "jonoabb" <jonabbott@...> wrote:

      > --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Jon.
      > > ...
      > > RE: Okay, so then there is a correlation between what cannot be expressed. Fine. That is a restriction on conventional behavior that comes from defilements being eradicated on the dhamma level. so then we are agreed that this correlation exists?
      > > ===============
      >
      > J: I certainly would not call stream-entry a *restriction* on conventional behaviour :-)). That would make the arahant a prisoner!

      Well, it would not be so bad, would it, to be a "prisoner of goodness?" But in any case I mean restriction in the sense of something that is cordoned off or kept from happening. If entry of garbage into your front yard was "restricted" that would not make you a prisoner but just keep the garbage out. Since the arahat cannot engage in any akusala, it's not a bad restriction in that sense.

      > > ===============
      > > > J: Yes, I appreciate that that's your point. But you haven't yet explained what you see as being the significance of this (perceived) connection, for example, how it bears on the development of the path.
      > >
      > > RE: It means that what we do or don't do in conventional existence has significance for the path, particularly in the case of the fulfillment of kamma patha, which requires that the cetana is strong to the point of causing completion of action.
      > > ===============
      >
      > J: Thanks for giving sharing what you see as the significance of the correlation you've been making.
      >
      > I'm puzzled by the proposition that "what we do or don't do in conventional existence has significance for the path".
      >
      > I'd have thought that what you've been pointing to so far in this thread was the converse: that the extent to which the path has been developed by a person has significance for the person's conventional behaviour.

      That's certainly true, but if there is a relationship between dhammas and their expression in conventional behavior, then the conventional behavior can show the results of the dhammas involved.

      > Otherwise, it's the tail wagging the dog, surely :-))

      Well, it's more like: where a wagging tail is seen, there is most likely a dog attached to it, even if the dog is not directly discerned at the time. The tail is not as important as the dog, but it gives an indication of what the dog is up to. That's more or less what I mean in terms of conventional behavior in that sense.

      Of course, in everyday life it is also significant if someone is not going to murder anyone, lie, cheat or steal. In conventional life that is a positive result of the eradication of the kilesas, even though it may not be the most important thing for the path.

      > > ===============
      > > RE: It also means that we can see, to some extent, the signs of dhammas in the conventional behavior of those on the path. Not killing insects doesn't have to be a sign of a certain level of progress on the path, but it may be. In the case of someone like Sarah, who said spontaneously "I would never kill an insect" it may be a natural accompaniment to understanding.
      > > ===============
      >
      > J: You say that not committing akusala kamma patha doesn't have to be a sign of a certain level of progress on the path, but it may be. Well if there's uncertainty, about the matter, it can't be of any significance.

      I think there is a difference between whether something is certain or not, and whether it is significant or not, but the uncertainty does make it more difficult to assess the significance, that is sure.

      > But the more fundamental question is as to the relevance of knowing/being able to tell whether another person has attained a certain level on the path. I don't see this to be something worth speculating about.

      It's not important in that sense. What is important about it is only whether there is some signficance to the existence or lack thereof of conventional behavior that is correlated to dhammas.

      > In my summary to RobK I said that you asserted the following:
      > - at each stage of enlightenment, certain conventional behaviour is no longer possible (for example, in the case of the sotapanna, killing or stealing);
      > - this means that for the person who becomes sotapanna there is a change in behaviour, as compared to immediately before becoming enlightened;
      > - accordingly, a person's stage of development of the path is reflected in, and in fact is evidenced by, his/her behaviour.
      >
      > I still think that's a reasonable précis of what you've been saying :-))

      Well I've qualified both the second and third one, so I'm not sure if that's really accurate as it stands. I agree with the first one, in any case.

      Best,
      Rob E.

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    • Robert E
      Hi Sarah. ... I see what you mean, that it s better to understand kusala as strictly opposite from any kind of akusala. ... That makes sense - it is more clear
      Message 1137 of 1137 , Jun 7, 2012
        Hi Sarah.

        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "sarah" <sarahprocterabbott@...> wrote:

        > S: I think we need to be careful about considering kusala of any kind as the "middle" between any kinds of akusala. Understanding and equanimity are the "turning away" from attachment of all kinds and the aversion and so on which it brings.

        I see what you mean, that it's better to understand kusala as strictly opposite from any kind of akusala.

        > The same applies to the Middle Way, the 8fold Path, which is the turning away from all kinds of wrong view under the banners of eternalism and annihilationism, all wrapped up in self-view.

        That makes sense - it is more clear than seeing "The Middle Way" as somehow floating around in the middle of akusala.

        ...

        > > >S: There's a part of the audio I've been transcribing parts of where a friend talks about all the tumult in her life, all the difficulties. K.Sujin's response is not one of feeling sorry, but "just passing dhammas". I may add it tomorrow.
        > >
        > >R: I could see how the view that difficulties are "just passing dhammas" would tend to promote equanimity too - since there is no need or possibility to do anything about what is happening.
        > ...
        > S: Exactly. This is why reflection on kamma and its results may also condition equanimity. Whatever comes, comes by conditions. The best thing is always the present understanding.

        Very nice.

        Best,
        Rob E.

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