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Re: Poor Venerable Aananda! To Han Tun puthujjana

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  • Robert E
    Hello Ken H....... ... Thanks for playing... ... None of those are examples of Eternal Atta - they are examples of everyday kandhic atta. Those are both
    Message 1 of 27 , May 21, 2013
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      Hello Ken H.......

      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Ken H" <kenhowardau@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Robert E,
      >
      > ---------
      > <. . .>
      > > RE: I can see you - can you see me waving? :-)
      > ---------
      >
      > KH: Don't look now . . . oh, too late!:-)

      :)

      Thanks for playing...

      > -------------
      > <. . .>
      > > RE: Nobody around here of any position or disposition believes in eternal atta - where on earth did you invent that idea from? A quote please...?
      > -------------
      >
      > KH: For Pete's sake, haven't you been reading the posts? :-) How many times have we been told `Of course there are people, cars and trees,' `Of course there is a Sarah saying there is no Sarah,' etc etc etc?

      None of those are examples of Eternal Atta - they are examples of everyday kandhic atta. Those are both nonexistent but not the same thing. You are equating the person "Sarah" with an eternal soul. That is not the same concept. Get your complaints straightened out please.

      > What you should be asking is how do people have the temerity to say such things in a Dhamma discussion group? How do they have the audacity to tell a group of serious students that the Buddha believed in atta?

      Nobody is saying that the Buddha believed in atta. But there is a topic worthy of discussion if one had the patience to understanding it -- you don't. It is the status of everyday beings and behavior and how and why they appear and what are their true nature. The Buddha taught that their true nature was the kandhas and that they were really the result of impersonal processes. That adds up to the same thing - no such beings exist as such. But sure we experience everyday actions and people recurring. Some folks are just trying to make the point that these sorts of appearances continue based on the conditioned occurrences of the kandhas in various combinations. That is a valid point and does not constitute belief in a self, and certainly not a belief in any sort of eternal anything, since such formations are temporary and eventually disappear completely.

      > There is only one reason we are seeing such outrageous behaviour,

      There is no outrageous behavior except in the reactive formulations of your own cittas.

      > and that is the web site, Access To Insight. It brazenly tells its readers the Buddha did not teach "no self." It brazenly says `Of course there is a self; if there wasn't a self to inherit the results of its deeds there could be no law of kamma and vipakka,' etc.
      >
      > ATI has singlehandedly made Eternal-life Buddhism mainstream.

      Show me the quotes, but really - I think it is worthwhile to look at what the Buddha actually said and discuss that, rather than some other stupid thing.

      > ----------------------
      > <. . .>
      > > RE: I think we probably all agree that:
      >
      > a/ the khandas really do appear, but they are temporary and not-self;
      > b/ the khandas arise due to conditions, not anyone's decision or desire;
      > c/ there is no self within the khandas, and there is no self outside of the
      > khandas either; ie, there is no self.
      >
      > > I think that if anyone says that the "ordinary everyday self" is "real but temporary," what they mean by that is that the khandas which are taken for self are actual but temporary and not-self.
      > ----------------------
      >
      > KH: If we all agreed on that sort of thing we could make progress together – discussing it honestly and trying to understand it more deeply.

      Well that's what I'm up to - I hope.

      > I could be wrong, but I believe some of us have no intention of understanding it. Some of us (and I could be wrong) are interested only in spreading Thanissaro's heterodoxy.

      I don't have the impression - after many years - that any of the players around here are particularly "Thanissaro followers." I am fine with many of his translations, but uninterested in his personal philosophy. And always happy to see an alternate translation as well.

      > ---------------------------------
      > <. . .>
      > > RE: If you misinterpret the suttas because of your own false interpretation of the commentaries, then you will be more deluded than if you had never read them at all.
      > ---------------------------------
      >
      > KH: I can almost understand your rejection of the no control Dhamma interpretation. (I say "almost" because in my case I took to it like a duck to water, but I had been a meditator before that. And so I *almost* understand your opposition.) But while you are getting such strong support from the Thanissaro camp, you are unlikely to change your stance. You are unlikely to give up your wrong understanding.

      Well I did say "if." I don't think you are very clear about my understanding, one way or the other. It would be hard to be too accurate, as my understanding is a work in progress, not set.

      > There are still a lot of people following wrong interpretations of the Tipitaka who could potentially see the right interpretation that is found in the ancient commentaries. However, while they are infiltrated by undercover Thanissaro missionaries, there is not so much hope for them.
      >
      > So I am genuinely concerned for your welfare.

      I think that paranoia does not become you. This kind of conspiracy theory is amazingly silly. I'm not a Thanissaro follower and this is the first I've heard about everyone who disagrees with your particular view being some kind of Thanissaro zombie, hypnotized by wrong view.

      Do you ever stop to think whether there are some gaps in your own view? Maybe you are more screwed up than you think... :-)

      Best,
      Rob E.

      = = = = = = = =
    • Ken H
      Hi Robert E. ... ... one way or the other. It would be hard to be too accurate, as my understanding is a work in progress, not set. ... KH: You have
      Message 2 of 27 , May 21, 2013
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        Hi Robert E.

        ------
        <. . .>
        > RE: I don't think you are very clear about my understanding,
        one way or the other. It would be hard to be too accurate, as my understanding is a work in progress, not set.
        ------

        KH: You have made no progress at all since you joined DSG umpteen years ago. For all that time you have stubbornly refused to consider anatta.

        I can't blame you for that; not many people can consider no self, even for an instant. It is just too frightening.

        ------------------
        > RE: I think that paranoia does not become you. This kind of conspiracy theory is amazingly silly. I'm not a Thanissaro follower and
        -----------------

        KH: Thanissaro at least has the honesty to say he is rejecting the doctrine of no self.

        Most other meditating Buddhists pretend to believe in anatta. Actually, they can't face the prospect of no self, even for an instant, but they do pretend.

        I don't know which is worse.

        -------------------
        > RE: this is the first I've heard about everyone who disagrees with your particular view being some kind of Thanissaro zombie, hypnotized by wrong view.
        -------------------

        KH: It does sound a bit melodramatic when you put it that way.

        -------------------------
        > RE: Do you ever stop to think whether there are some gaps in your own view? Maybe you are more screwed up than you think... :-)
        -------------------------

        KH: My view is, "There are only dhammas (no self)," how can there be gaps in that?

        Ken H
      • Robert E
        Hi Ken H. ... You re being arrogant Ken. I do accept anatta and understand it as well as you I am sure if not moreso. You cling to doctrine like it is anatta
        Message 3 of 27 , May 22, 2013
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          Hi Ken H.

          --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Ken H" <kenhowardau@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Robert E.
          >
          > ------
          > <. . .>
          > > RE: I don't think you are very clear about my understanding,
          > one way or the other. It would be hard to be too accurate, as my understanding is a work in progress, not set.
          > ------
          >
          > KH: You have made no progress at all since you joined DSG umpteen years ago. For all that time you have stubbornly refused to consider anatta.
          >
          > I can't blame you for that; not many people can consider no self, even for an instant. It is just too frightening.

          You're being arrogant Ken. I do accept anatta and understand it as well as you I am sure if not moreso. You cling to doctrine like it is anatta itself. Anatta is not a word or a thingy, it stands for no self at all. You appear to have made your version of familiar Dhamma concepts your treasured self, even though the Buddha says to cling to nothing at all, including even Right View, which is destroyed by clinging. You judge others because they don't say the right keywords and you don't understand what they are saying at all, or what they know or believe.

          > ------------------
          > > RE: I think that paranoia does not become you. This kind of conspiracy theory is amazingly silly. I'm not a Thanissaro follower and
          > -----------------
          >
          > KH: Thanissaro at least has the honesty to say he is rejecting the doctrine of no self.

          You have the foolishness to think you know whether someone's own view is what they really think or not. If I say I don't believe in the existence of any form of self, you ought to take my word for it. You really don't know enough to look into someone else's mental state or understanding.

          > Most other meditating Buddhists pretend to believe in anatta. Actually, they can't face the prospect of no self, even for an instant, but they do pretend.
          >
          > I don't know which is worse.

          You have no idea what "most meditators" think or know. You make it up to comfort yourself and go back to reciting your favorite concepts. That is no different than any meditator with a mantra.

          > -------------------
          > > RE: this is the first I've heard about everyone who disagrees with your particular view being some kind of Thanissaro zombie, hypnotized by wrong view.
          > -------------------
          >
          > KH: It does sound a bit melodramatic when you put it that way.
          >
          > -------------------------
          > > RE: Do you ever stop to think whether there are some gaps in your own view? Maybe you are more screwed up than you think... :-)
          > -------------------------
          >
          > KH: My view is, "There are only dhammas (no self)," how can there be gaps in that?

          Perhaps because you can say the right words but don't really know what they mean.

          Best,
          Rob E.

          - - - - - - - - - -
        • sarah
          Hi Rob E, ... ... S: So do we all agree that the khandhas are the only (conditioned) realities, the (conditioned) all ? There is no self, no person, no
          Message 4 of 27 , May 24, 2013
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            Hi Rob E,

            --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@...> wrote:

            > No one on dsg has ever doubted the truth of anatta. People may have different opinions on the status of the khandas. I think we probably all agree that:
            >
            > a/ the khandas really do appear, but they are temporary and not-self;
            > b/ the khandas arise due to conditions, not anyone's decision or desire;
            > c/ there is no self within the khandas, and there is no self outside of the khandas either; ie, there is no self.
            ...
            S: So do we all agree that the khandhas are the only (conditioned) realities, the (conditioned) "all"? There is no self, no person, no computer, no diamond?

            Metta

            Sarah
            =====
          • Robert E
            Hi Sarah. ... There is still a distinction which is the problematic one I think. Yes, ultimately that s all that exists, like atoms and their contents are the
            Message 5 of 27 , May 26, 2013
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              Hi Sarah.

              --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "sarah" <sarahprocterabbott@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Rob E,
              >
              > --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@> wrote:
              >
              > > No one on dsg has ever doubted the truth of anatta. People may have different opinions on the status of the khandas. I think we probably all agree that:
              > >
              > > a/ the khandas really do appear, but they are temporary and not-self;
              > > b/ the khandas arise due to conditions, not anyone's decision or desire;
              > > c/ there is no self within the khandas, and there is no self outside of the khandas either; ie, there is no self.
              > ...
              > S: So do we all agree that the khandhas are the only (conditioned) realities, the (conditioned) "all"? There is no self, no person, no computer, no diamond?

              There is still a distinction which is the problematic one I think. Yes, ultimately that's all that exists, like atoms and their contents are the ultimate reality of all objects of science. But in the case of science we can say the chariot appears to be solid, but is really made up of atoms whirling around in empty space. In the case of dhammas, we don't say that what we see as wholes are really a bunch of momentary dhammas arising marked by sanna, etc. to create the sense of a stable whole, but instead it is said that the dhammas exist independently and the seeming larger objects are totally illusory. I think this is the real problem. Where is it said that the conventional objects are of the nature of hallucinations and the dhammas only exist in their own right? There is a conceptual element to piecing all these dhammas together into the sense of a stable whole, but it may be too extreme to say those objects don't exist at all. The Buddha never said the chariot wasn't real, just that it was made up of infinitely less stable and more discrete parts than appeared. I think it's possible to look at the two aspects of existence - the conventional and the dhammas and see the link between them, rather than a vast separation, and much of the talk in the commentaries acknowledges this connection, from what I've seen [limited though it may be.] I think to say that only dhammas exist and thus conventional objects are wholly nonexistent may be one of the extreme views that the Buddha warned against. To say that the universe is experienced only one dhamma at a time and that we have to understand the nature of this experience with wisdom is one thing - that unwinds the human enterprise and brings it to cessation. To say that the physical universe doesn't exist at all and that only dhammas exist altogether is quite another, and I would have to wonder exactly how that view is justified. I don't see that stated anywhere that I can recall. The Buddha says that the physical universe consists of kandhas - true, but not that it doesn't exist as such. I am sure the first view that our experience only takes place one dhamma at a time is justified, but not sure the second that this is the whole of the universe and that there is no physical world other than individual rupas is not too extreme.

              In addition, I would wonder how even the sages know that rupas arise apart from experience, since even they do not experience them. That seems to acknowledge a physical event-world that is beyond human experience, in any case.

              Best,
              Rob E.

              = = = = = = = = = = = =
            • sarah
              Hi Rob E, ... ... S: Remember the suttas in which we read about mirages and conjuring tricks? It is not the conventional objects which are of the nature of
              Message 6 of 27 , May 29, 2013
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                Hi Rob E,

                --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@...> wrote:

                > > S: So do we all agree that the khandhas are the only (conditioned) realities, the (conditioned) "all"? There is no self, no person, no computer, no diamond?
                ....
                >R:....Where is it said that the conventional objects are of the nature of hallucinations and the dhammas only exist in their own right? There is a conceptual element to piecing all these dhammas together into the sense of a stable whole, but it may be too extreme to say those objects don't exist at all.
                ...
                S: Remember the suttas in which we read about mirages and conjuring tricks? It is not the conventional objects which are of the nature of hallucinations, but it is the mis-perceiving of realities that does the hallucinating - taking what is not real for being real.

                Here's a good example which was recently quoted in Nina's series:

                >The "Visuddhimagga" (XI, 100) states that the four Great Elements are "deceivers":

                "And just as the great creatures known as female spirits (yakkhinii) conceal
                their own fearfulness with a pleasing colour, shape and gesture to deceive
                beings, so too, these elements conceal each their own characteristics and
                function classed as hardness, etc., by means of a pleasing skin colour of
                women's and men's bodies, etc., and pleasing shapes of limbs and pleasing
                gestures of fingers, toes and eyebrows, and they deceive simple people by
                concealing their own functions and characteristics beginning with hardness and
                do not allow their individual essences to be seen. Thus they are great primaries
                (mahaa-bhuuta) in being equal to the great creatures (mahaa-bhuuta), the female
                spirits, since they are deceivers."

                >Realities are not what they appear to be. Because of sa~n~naa, the cetasika
                remembrance that arises with every citta, we remember shape and form and
                immediately we cling to what we believe are things and persons.

                >One may be infatuated by the beauty of men and women, but what one takes for a
                beautiful body are mere ruupa-elements.<
                ****

                >R:... To say that the physical universe doesn't exist at all and that only dhammas exist altogether is quite another, and I would have to wonder exactly how that view is justified. I don't see that stated anywhere that I can recall.
                ....
                S: >The Blessed Buddha replied:
                It is, Vaccha, because of neither knowing form, nor feeling, nor perception,
                nor mental construction, nor consciousness, nor the cause of origin of form,
                feeling, perception, mental construction, and consciousness, nor the cause
                of ceasing of form, feeling, perception, construction, and consciousness,
                nor the way to cease form, feeling, perception, construction, & consciousness
                that these various speculative views, such as: "This Universe is eternal,
                finite etc. " arise in the world! This ignorance, this not seeing, blindness,
                this not understanding, this not fully knowing, this not breaking through,
                this not comprehending, this not penetrating, this not discerning, this not
                discriminating, this not differentiating, this not closely investigating, this
                not directly experiencing and realizing, friend Vaccha, is the cause, and
                is the reason, why those various speculative views arise in this world!<
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/122306

                S: Remember that the Buddha taught the "All" - just the ayatanas meeting together now, just paramattha dhammas.
                ...
                > In addition, I would wonder how even the sages know that rupas arise apart from experience, since even they do not experience them. That seems to acknowledge a physical event-world that is beyond human experience, in any case.
                ....
                S: The Buddha's omniscient wisdom knew about all and any realities attended to.
                This should never be underestimated.

                Metta

                Sarah

                p.s. Off to Thailand early in the morning, so some delay in replies.
                =====
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