Re: [dsg] Sanna - Looking for feedback!
- Hi Rob M (Howard, TG, Suan & All),
--- "robmoult <rob.moult@...>"
There are quite a few points Id be interested to discuss further, but let
me just take up the first one for now:
> The cittas in an eye-door citta process have "visible object" (rupa)You mention elsewhere that you dont see Buddhism as a science , but
> as their object. A "visible object" is not a flower (flower is a
> concept). A visible object is a dot, a dot of colour. .....
arent these ideas from science intruding?
I liked the way Howard suggested a visual object is the entire "snapshot"
that appears at one moment, for example when one opens the eyes - so that
sa~n~na then subsequently carves out and identifies parts of what is
already entirely present. I believe this can indeed be tested and
Simply put, as I understand, visible object is just that which is seen at
this moment. If there is an idea of dots this is surely thinking about
what is seen? At this moment of opening the eyes, the seeing sees what
its always seen and accordingly as you say, sanna can mark the various
objects and there are conditions for the mind-door activity. If there is
any idea of seeing something special or different, such as dots or blank
colours or light, then it is not awareness of visible object and is
probably an aspect of wrong practice (not that Im suggesting you or
anyone else is trying this). I think the realities to be known are in a
way very obvious and simple - just as theyve always been, but covered up
I tend to think that the reason there is so little awareness relates to
the lack of understanding of anatta. Even though visible object is in
front of our eyes at this moment, whilst there is any idea of doing or
practising or noting now, there wont be conditions for awareness to
arise. Just an idea.
In the texts (Suttanta and Abhidhamma in particular), it is always visible
object (ruupa) that is referred to rather than dots or anything else.
Visual consciousness arises because of eye and visible object, the
meeting of the three is contact... and so on.
From the Sammohavinodani (Disp. of Delusion, ch2, 211) we read;
Herein, firstly (as to meaning) in particular: it relishes (cakkhati),
thus it is an eye (cakkhu); the meaning is that it enjoys a visble datum
(ruupa) and reveals it. It makes visible (ruupayatti), thus it is a
visible datum (ruupa)...
The following is another quote from the same source(227) stressing the
anatta-ness and lack of control of these various elements:
visible data, odour and flavour bases...sound base...but as to
classification acording to similarity and dissimilarity, they are all of
all these bases should be regarded as having no provenance and no
destination. For they do not come from anywhere previous to their rise,
not do they go anywhere after their fall; but rather before they rise
they had not obtained their intrinsic nature (sabhava) and after their
fall their intrinsic nature is completely broken up; in between what is
before and after, they occur without power (being exercisable over them)
owing to dependence on conditions. Therefore they should be regarded as
having no provenance and no destination.
Likewise (they should be regarded) as inactive and unoccupied. For it
does not occur to they eye and visible-datum and so on: Would that
consciousness might arise from our concurrence.....
Furthermore, the internal (bases) should be regarded as an empty village
because they are devoid of lastingnes, beauty, pleasure and self; and the
external (bases) as village-raiding robbers (Siv 175) because they raid
(impinge) on the internal (bases). For this is said: The eye, bhikkhus,
is struck by agreeable and disagreeable visible data......
You write later in your post:
> Craving is conditioned by pleasant feeling associated with concepts......
> Visible objects condition neutral feeling and therefore do not
> condition craving directly. Pleasant feeling is associated with
> current concepts when sanna "remembers" past concepts and the
> associated pleasant feeling.
Im not sure I agree here. Visible objects by way of arammana paccaya
(object condition) can condition craving very directly. Lobha can be
attached to sense objects, feelings or concepts surely? Feeling is given
as the proximate or perhaps principal condition, but not the only one.
Also from Sammohavinodani (837) under the section of With Feeling as
The meaning is that in this description of with feeling as condition,
craving (arises), these six kinds of craving are
illustrated.......visible-data craving...mental-data craving, being
called after their object as a son is called after his father rich mans
son, brahmans son. Herein, visible-data craving (ruupata.nha) is
craving in respect of a visible datum; ...Similar comments are made for
the other sense doorways.
But a regards these (six) kinds of craving, each kind is held to be
threefold, according to its mode of occurrence as craving for sense
desire, craving for existence and craving for non-existence. For when
visible-data craving occurs in the form of delighting with sense delight
in a visible datum as object that has come into the focus of the eye, it
is then called craving for sense desire.....
Later, we also read about how in any case all kinds of feelings condition
all kinds of craving, but yet they depend on the accumulated tendencies as
One who suffers yearns for happiness;
one who has happiness wants more;
Yet equanimity, took, is knowm as
happiness since it is peaceful.
Since all three feelings thus can be
conditions for all kinds of craving,
With feelings as condition, there is craving
has been said by the Greatest Sage.
Though feeling is condition, still
without inherent tendency
No craving can arise, and so
from this the perfect saint is free.
Conditions are very complicated and intricate. Other passages in the same
chapter give a taste of this intricacy. I believe that if there is any
idea of breaking the link or preventing craving from arising on account
of feelings, it is to underestimate the power of conditions and to not
fully comprehend the nature of anatta. The perfect saint is free, or the
link is broken, throught the comprehension and full knowledge of
conditioned realities and thereby the eradication of kilesa (defilements)
on account of transitory phenomena.
> This progression is described in the Honeyball Sutta (Mn18):.....
> Dependent on the eye and forms, eye consciousness arises. The
> meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a condition there
> is feeling.
> What one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one
> thinks about. What one thinks about, that one obsesses.
> What obsesses one is the cause perceptions and notions tinged by
> obsession that beset a man with respect to past, future and present
> forms cognizable though the eye.
These are very helpful reminders to read over and over. You may not have
ready access to the The ~Nanamoli/Bodhi transl which adds a Ms note by
~Nm which you may like to read(p1204,232:
The meeting of eye, form, and eye-consciousness is called contact.
Contact, according to dependent origination, is the principal condition of
feeling. Feeling and perception are inseparable (MN43.9). what is
perceived as this is thought about in its differences and is thus
diversified from that and from me. This divesification -involving
craving for form, wrong view about permanence of form, etc, and the
conceit I am - leads to preoccupation with calculating the desirability
of past and present forms with a view to obtaining desirable forms in the
Ill leave it here and look forward to any further comments.
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- Dear Sarah,
I find this in particular very helpful. Awareness of visible object and
still an idea of, I have to note this. Then the reality could be lobha,
thinking with lobha, or even aversion, some slight uneasiness that visible
object is so difficult. Or "omaana"(minority) conceit: poor me, I am so
ignorant, thus, clinging to the importance of self. Or
ati-maana(superiority) conceit: hey, I make some progress.No end to all the
different kilesas, but good to know. I am grateful for any reminder,
op 04-03-2003 13:29 schreef Sarah op sarahdhhk@...:
> I think the realities to be known are in a
> way very obvious and simple - just as theyve always been, but covered up
> by moha(ignorance).
> I tend to think that the reason there is so little awareness relates to
> the lack of understanding of anatta. Even though visible object is in
> front of our eyes at this moment, whilst there is any idea of doing or
> practising or noting now, there wont be conditions for awareness to
> arise. Just an idea.
- Dear Nina,
--- nina van gorkom <nilo@...> wrote: > Dear Sarah,
> I find this in particular very helpful. Awareness of visible object and.....
> still an idea of, I have to note this. Then the reality could be lobha,
> thinking with lobha, or even aversion, some slight uneasiness that
> object is so difficult. Or "omaana"(minority) conceit: poor me, I am so
> ignorant, thus, clinging to the importance of self. Or
> ati-maana(superiority) conceit: hey, I make some progress.No end to all
> different kilesas, but good to know. I am grateful for any reminder,
Yes, we may have an idea that knowing what visible object is may just be a
technical matter of no great importance. On the contrary, I think that if
there is no understanding or awareness of its characteristic when it
appears as distinct from seeing and distinct from other rupas -- just a
dhatu (element) with no self -- then I think there is also likely to be
misunderstanding and lack of awareness about all other realities.I read
recently in the Sammohavinodani about why the eyedoor is always given
first and it is on account of common occurrence. There is seeing of
visible objects now and attachment or aversion on account of these all the
time. Just as we read in the Mulapariyayasutta, there is conceiving,
proliferating and clinging to self, ideas of self and so on. I like your
reminders about omaana (poor me) and ati-maana(hey, I make some
progress). Reminds me of Dominique and the other girl James created in a
post to Kimmy, one of the Star Kids. It impressed her so much.
RobertK gave so many useful references from Vism about namas and rupas and
the puppet similes. In ch X1X Pufification by Overcoming Doubt we read
more about how by understanding the nature of namas and rupas and about
conditions, it becomes more apparent that other realities not being
directly exerienced at this moment have the same characteristics and this
is the way that doubt about realities is overcome:
6 When he has thus seen that the occurrence of mentality-materiality is
due to conditions, then he sees that, as now, so in the past too its
occurrence was due to conditions, and in the future too its occurrence
will be due to conditions.
This is not merely by thinking but by the deep understanding of present
realities and their conditioned nature, so that there are no longer
conditions to speculate or wonder with any doubt about rupas not yet
experienced or those that have been experienced.
In the same way, as I understand the texts, after understanding the
conditioned nature of phenomena, by understanding the impermanence of what
appears, by inference from that, all formations are clearly seen as
impermanent. Herein doubt is abandoned. When he brings to mind as
painful, he correctly knows and sees occurrence. Hence...when he brings
to mind as not-self, he correctly knows and sees the sign and occurrence.
Hence right seeing is said.
Im looking at these sections in Vism partly because you and Jon were
discussing khandhas I believe. Under comprehension by groupsin chXX we
read about all the realities to be known and then :
So when a man comprehends the five aggregates by means of this
comprehending as impermanent, etc, in its two hundred aspects, his
comprehending as impermanent, painful and not-self, which is called
inductive insight, is strengthened.
Like you said in your other post (which Ill come back to), when there is
more understanding of paramattha sacca (absolute truth) and sammuti sacca
(conventional truth), even when we read about clenching the teeth or
other actions that may appear to suggest a self making a big effort, we
know there are just the various elements working in combinations and
according to conditions. This has also been stressed recently in the Way
extracts, I think. Hence just as a piano-player can bring to mind any
music learnt and all previous skills and knowledge in that regard, so any
understanding developed can be applied with right seeing - not
theoretically at all.
Im not sure that this touches on your discussion with Jon or the question
raised that hes meant to be re-raising in Bkk, because I dont have any
of the posts to hand. Ill be glad to be corrected if Ive barked up the
wrong tree in any regard. These are difficult points because they relate
to developed stages of insight.
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- Dear Sarah
op 09-03-2003 12:16 schreef Sarah op sarahdhhk@...:
When there is
> more understanding of paramattha sacca (absolute truth) and sammuti saccadifficult points because they relate to developed stages of insight.
> (conventional truth), even when we read about clenching the teeth or
> other actions that may appear to suggest a self making a big effort, we
> know there are just the various elements working in combinations and
> according to conditions. ....
> Im not sure that this touches on your discussion with Jon. These are
N: I considered more the qu I raised to Jon about the third (please correct
third, not second) stage of insight, as to panna that realizes even space in
between groups of rupa. I realize better: there is I who would like to know,
but it is panna that will perform its function. I listened to a tape: <Do
not think of group. It is not the matter of trying to know. When we think of
groups there is expectation to know all the time. We are trying so hard to
understand. But the goal of the teachings is elimination, eradication.>
That is it.