Re: Emptiness and Analytical practice
- Hi Pt,
<. . .>
> Pt:1. Often I end up thinking (and believing with conviction) that kamma,
conditionality and anatta explain life and death much better than science or
Christianity. But, that conviction is no different than believing that 2+2=4
constitutes a better explanation than 2+2=5. So, in reality, this is probably
just attachment to the ideas of kamma, anatta, etc, but there is no wrong view.
KH: That sounds to me like a good attitude. It is consistent with there being only dhammas no controlling self.
> Pt:2. Often I think about kamma, anatta, etc and how they influence my life and
death. In reality this is probably attachment, but also wrong view since there's
a lot of me, me, me, going on there.
KH: There is no harm in thinking about your own life in terms of dhammas. Provided your thoughts are consistent with detachment and no-control, you are on the right track.
> Pt:3. Sometimes I'm lazy, and I think, well laziness is dosa, and dosa is akusala,
and it is anatta and conditioned. In reality this is probably aversion, as well
as attachment to ideas about dhammas plus wrong view since it's all about my
KH: I don't think it *is* all about your laziness. As soon as you remember laziness is dosa you remember it is just a fleeting dhamma it is not the conventionally known laziness that belongs to a controlling self.
> Pt:4. Sometimes I'm lazy, and I think, well, I'm lazy and laziness is dosa, and
dosa is anatta and there's nothing i can do about it (so I might as well keep
being lazy). In reality this is attachment and wrong view since it's again about
KH: Yes, I can see that you are straying into dangerous territory there. There is no one who can do anything about reality, but that doesn't mean there is *a self* (Pt) who can't do anything.
> Pt: Etc. The point then turns out to be that even though it seems all this is "considering Dhamma", it's actually all akusala, and akusala will never produce kusala.---------------
KH: But isn't that your right understanding? You know that when you are considering Dhamma there is really no you that is doing the considering, and no control there are only dhammas. Who cares if those dhammas include a lot of akusala? You still understand those akusala dhammas to be just conditioned, soulless phenomena: and that's your right understanding.
> Pt: As a matter of fact, at this point I see no difference anymore between considering Dhamma and meditating. I mean, akusala will never produce kusala.------------------------
KH: The former case (considering Dhamma) is something that happens after the Dhamma has been heard. The second case is something that commonly happens before the Dhamma has been heard: or, if it has been heard, after it has been met with ignorance and/or with an absence of right understanding.
- Hi Ken and Tony
--- In email@example.com, "Ken H" wrote:
> Hi Jon and Tony,
> >>Tony H: Seeing how things DO exist (i.e. as conventional appearances to the mind in dependence upon their aggregates etc...) also reveals how things don't exist (i.e. their emptiness and illusory nature as dependent related phenomena, mere appearances to the mind.
> > J: In the suttas the Buddha declares that the idea that things do exist and the idea that things don't exist are both views that are not taught by him.
> > So it is not the function of understanding to see "how things exist" or "don't exist", but rather to see the conditioned, and momentary, nature of dhammas.
> KH: Excuse me for interrupting, but I don't think that was the answer Tony needed to hear. I am sure it is perfectly valid with regard to concepts, but Tony's problem (if I may call it that) is that he thinks dhammas have no existence outside the mind. In other words, he sees them as concepts.
> The Buddha has clearly said that dhammas do exist (see Useful Posts under "Exists & does not Exist, Emptiness").
J: Right. The Buddha has clearly said that dhammas do exist -- see SN22:94 Flowers:
"And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists?
"Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling ...Perception...Volitional formations...Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists."
However, when I made my comment about the idea that things do or don't exist, I had in mind the sutta SN12:15:
"'Everything exists,' this is one extreme [view]; 'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme. Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations ... So there comes about the arising of this entire mass of suffering. But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance there comes the cessation of the formations, from the cessation of the formations comes the cessation of consciousness... So there comes about the complete cessation of this entire mass of suffering."
In his post Tony had talked about the importance of seeing how things do or don't exist. I read him as suggesting that nothing actually exists in any meaningful sense of that word; all is just an appearance to the mind (Tony may like to comment on that).