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To Rob E

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  • han tun
    Dear Robert,   I just found my misplaced old file and I was reading the correspondence between you and me during the later part of the year 2010, and it
    Message 1 of 4 , May 27, 2013
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      Dear Robert,
       
      I just found my misplaced old file and I was reading the
      correspondence between you and me during the later part of the year 2010, and
      it brings back fond memories.
       
      I do not know whether you have read my serial presentation
      of Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya. So far, I have posted four messages. Apart
      from the useful contents of the suttas, please read the first sentence of each sutta,
      with the Paa.li text which I am now inserting. The first sentence represents
      the Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca) which was spoken by Lord Buddha himself.
       
      Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya (1)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/130841
      50. The Stream [AN 4.5 Anusota Sutta]
      These four kinds of persons, O monks, are to be found in the
      world. What four?
       
      5. Anusotasutta.m
      5. Cattaarome , bhikkhave, puggalaa santo sa.mvijjamaanaa
      lokasmi.m. Katame cattaaro?
       
      --------------------
       
      Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya (2)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/130850
      71. From Darkness to Light [AN 4.85 Tamotama Sutta]
      These four kinds of persons, O monks, are found existing in
      the world. What four?
       
      5. Tamotamasutta.m
      85. Cattaarome , bhikkhave, puggalaa santo sa.mvijjamaanaa
      lokasmi.m. Katame cattaaro?
       
      --------------------
       
      Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya (3)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/130854
      72. Tranquility and Insight [AN 4.94 Tatiya Samaadhi Sutta]
      These four kinds of persons, O monks, are found existing in
      the world. What four?
       
      4. Tatiyasamaadhisutta.m
      94. Cattaarome, bhikkhave, puggalaa santo sa.mvijjamaanaa
      lokasmi.m. Katame cattaaro?
       
      --------------------
       
      Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya (4)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/130870
      73. One's Own Good and Another's [AN 4.96 Raagavinaya Sutta;
      AN 4.99 Sikkhaapada Sutta]
      These four kinds of persons, O monks, are found existing in
      the world. What four?
       
      6. Raagavinayasutta.m
      96. Cattaarome , bhikkhave, puggalaa santo sa.mvijjamaanaa
      lokasmi.m. Katame cattaaro?
       
      9. Sikkhaapadasutta.m
      99. Cattaarome, bhikkhave, puggalaa santo sa.mvijjamaanaa
      lokasmi.m. Katame cattaaro?
       
      --------------------
       
      Han: These words, spoken by Lord Buddha himself, represent
      the Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca), one side of the same coin that I had
      written before.
       
      Please take note of the Paa.li words, santo sa.mvijjamaanaa,
      which were repeated by Lord Buddha in each sutta.
      sant = being, existing (page 675 of PTS Dictionary)
      sa.mvijjati = to be found, to exist (page 657 of PTS
      Dictionary)
       
      Thus, the Buddha's words highlight
      the importance of the Conventional Truth.
       
      with metta and deepest respect,
      Han
      p.s. Are you still holding the interesting designation at Washington,
      D.C.?

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert E
      Hi Han. ... Thanks for mentioning that - I enjoyed our exchanges too. :-)   ... Thanks for that reminder. I have been noticing that you have posted them,
      Message 2 of 4 , May 27, 2013
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        Hi Han.

        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, han tun <hantun1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Robert,
        >  
        > I just found my misplaced old file and I was reading the
        > correspondence between you and me during the later part of the year 2010, and
        > it brings back fond memories.

        Thanks for mentioning that - I enjoyed our exchanges too. :-)
         
        > I do not know whether you have read my serial presentation
        > of Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya. So far, I have posted four messages.

        Thanks for that reminder. I have been noticing that you have posted them, but have not found a good time to read them yet. However, I intend to read them, and I appreciate the index of the suttas below, not only because of your worthwhile point about the Buddha's conventional use of speech, but also as it will give me a check list for the suttas.

        > Apart
        > from the useful contents of the suttas, please read the first sentence of each sutta,
        > with the Paa.li text which I am now inserting. The first sentence represents
        > the Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca) which was spoken by Lord Buddha himself.
        >  
        > Selected Suttas from Anguttara Nikaya (1)
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/130841
        > 50. The Stream [AN 4.5 Anusota Sutta]

        > These four kinds of persons, O monks, are to be found in the
        > world. What four?
        ...

        > Han: These words, spoken by Lord Buddha himself, represent
        > the Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sacca), one side of the same coin that I had
        > written before.
        >  
        > Please take note of the Paa.li words, santo sa.mvijjamaanaa,
        > which were repeated by Lord Buddha in each sutta.
        > sant = being, existing (page 675 of PTS Dictionary)
        > sa.mvijjati = to be found, to exist (page 657 of PTS
        > Dictionary)

        Looking at the Pali terms for this conventionally-based sentence is especially interesting. It suggests at least that the Buddha was not merely referencing the concept of a person as a purely non-existent idea, but was in a sense underlining their provisional or conventional existence as referents by using terms like "being, to be found" or "to exist." So it shows that rather than referencing persons as "totally non-existent," he was instead referencing them as having a particular kind of existence, and it might be worthwhile to see what kind of existence is appropriately understood for such a reference.

        The idea that persons *do* exist and are real phenomena is incorrect, as I understand it, and is one extreme.

        But it is also an extreme view, as I understand it, to say that persons *do not* exist *at all* and are merely hallucinations of thought.

        I think the difficult middle ground of what kind of existence actually creates the appearance of coherent persons in the world is the correct ground to stay on, and to interrogate to see how dhammas relate to such an existence.

        We know that the existence of persons is "free of self," [anatta] and is temporary and constantly changing and shifting, [anicca,] and that they are unstable existences that eventually are gone altogether [also anicca,] and that such an existence causes suffering because of its undependability and temporary nature and because of clinging [dukkha.] The dhammas that create this existence have those characteristics, and they cause our experience of conventional objects and persons to also be unstable and unsatisfying.

        Somewhere in there is the middle ground in which ultimate existence and conventional existence are both understood together.

        > Thus, the Buddha's words highlight
        > the importance of the Conventional Truth.

        Yes, that is really worth pointing out.

        > p.s. Are you still holding the interesting designation at Washington,
        > D.C.?

        I am still in Washington, D.C., doing my same work as an acting teacher - now in a new house, which has many new possibilities. I do not know if that covers the designation that you meant, but if not, please let me know and I will clarify further.

        It's interesting to be in a new larger house, after living in a small condo apartment for many years and to have all this new "space." I wonder if the dhamma of "space" and some qualities of movement and the elements would explain some of this conventional phenomena in paramatha terms? Or maybe that is on the wrong track...

        Best Regards,
        Rob E.

        -----------------------------------
      • han tun
        Dear Robert,   Thank you very much for your thought-provoking comments.   Robert: Looking at the Pali terms for this conventionally-based sentence is
        Message 3 of 4 , May 27, 2013
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          Dear Robert,
           
          Thank you very much for your thought-provoking comments.
           
          Robert: Looking at the Pali terms for this
          conventionally-based sentence is especially interesting. It suggests at least
          that the Buddha was not merely referencing the concept of a person as a purely
          non-existent idea, but was in a sense underlining their provisional or
          conventional existence as referents by using terms like "being, to be
          found" or "to exist." So it shows that rather than referencing
          persons as "totally non-existent," he was instead referencing them as
          having a particular kind of existence, and it might be worthwhile to see what
          kind of existence is appropriately understood for such a reference.
           
           The idea that persons
          *do* exist and are real phenomena is incorrect, as I understand it, and is one
          extreme.
           
           But it is also an
          extreme view, as I understand it, to say that persons *do not* exist *at all*
          and are merely hallucinations of thought.
           
           I think the difficult
          middle ground of what kind of existence actually creates the appearance of
          coherent persons in the world is the correct ground to stay on, and to
          interrogate to see how dhammas relate to such an existence.
           
           We know that the
          existence of persons is "free of self," [anatta] and is temporary and
          constantly changing and shifting, [anicca,] and that they are unstable
          existences that eventually are gone altogether [also anicca,] and that such an
          existence causes suffering because of its undependability and temporary nature
          and because of clinging [dukkha.] The dhammas that create this existence have
          those characteristics, and they cause our experience of conventional objects
          and persons to also be unstable and unsatisfying.
           
           Somewhere in there is
          the middle ground in which ultimate existence and conventional existence are
          both understood together.
           
          --------------------
           
          Han: You are pointing out an angle which I have not seen
          before. I was saying the two Truths (Conventional and Ultimate) as the two
          sides of the same coin. But what you have written points out that it is not
          that simple -- it is not a clear-cut two sides, but the inter-relationship between
          the two sides which you said [Somewhere in there is the middle ground in which
          ultimate existence and conventional existence are both understood together.] And
          you also said: [I think the difficult middle ground of what kind of existence
          actually creates the appearance of coherent persons in the world is the correct
          ground to stay on, and to interrogate to see how dhammas relate to such an
          existence.]
           
          Yes, that is the point we have to investigate and understand.
          Right at the moment I cannot think how that can be understood. I will think
          some more and read some more. Thank you very much for opening the new areas to
          explore.
           
          ---------------------
           
          Robert: I am still in Washington, D.C., doing my same
          work as an acting teacher - now in a new house, which has many new
          possibilities. I do not know if that covers the designation that you meant, but
          if not, please let me know and I will clarify further.
           
          Han: Yes, that is the designation I meant.
           
          --------------------
           
          Robert: It's interesting to be in a new larger house,
          after living in a small condo apartment for many years and to have all this new
          "space." I wonder if the dhamma of "space" and some
          qualities of movement and the elements would explain some of this conventional
          phenomena in paramatha terms? Or maybe that is on the wrong track...
           
          Han: I think to explain every day-to-day experience in terms
          of conventional phenomena in paramatha terms is also another extreme :>))
           
          with metta and deepest respect,
          Han
           
           




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Robert E
          Hi Han. ... I am not sure either. But I think a good place to start is to take the Buddha s word seriously, when he talks about what is conventionally
          Message 4 of 4 , May 27, 2013
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            Hi Han.

            --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, han tun <hantun1@...> wrote:

            > Han: You are pointing out an angle which I have not seen
            > before. I was saying the two Truths (Conventional and Ultimate) as the two
            > sides of the same coin. But what you have written points out that it is not
            > that simple -- it is not a clear-cut two sides, but the inter-relationship between
            > the two sides which you said [Somewhere in there is the middle ground in which
            > ultimate existence and conventional existence are both understood together.] And
            > you also said: [I think the difficult middle ground of what kind of existence
            > actually creates the appearance of coherent persons in the world is the correct
            > ground to stay on, and to interrogate to see how dhammas relate to such an
            > existence.]

            > Yes, that is the point we have to investigate and understand.
            > Right at the moment I cannot think how that can be understood.

            I am not sure either. But I think a good place to start is to take the Buddha's word seriously, when he talks about what is conventionally wholesome and when he talks about the ultimate elements of reality. Hopefully there is room for both.

            > I will think
            > some more and read some more. Thank you very much for opening the new areas to
            > explore.

            Thank you for starting this conversation and engaging in it with me.

            > ---------------------

            > Robert: I am still in Washington, D.C., doing my same
            > work as an acting teacher - now in a new house, which has many new
            > possibilities. I do not know if that covers the designation that you meant, but
            > if not, please let me know and I will clarify further.

            > Han: Yes, that is the designation I meant.
             
            > --------------------

            > Robert: It's interesting to be in a new larger house,
            > after living in a small condo apartment for many years and to have all this new
            > "space." I wonder if the dhamma of "space" and some
            > qualities of movement and the elements would explain some of this conventional
            > phenomena in paramatha terms? Or maybe that is on the wrong track...
             
            > Han: I think to explain every day-to-day experience in terms
            > of conventional phenomena in paramatha terms is also another extreme :>))

            Good to hear - I will take that into account.

            > with metta and deepest respect,
            > Han

            Thanks for the good conversation! I will look forward to seeing what happens with this inquiry.

            Best,
            Rob E.

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