Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Realities, concepts and dhammas
- Hi, Kom -
In response to my writing to Jon: "You write 'Paramattha dhammas arise
and fall away independently of anyone's experience of them'. I have just one
question with regard to that: Exactly how would anyone come to know that?",
you reply -
This is where faith comes in. The Buddha has
sappanyuyutta-nana, the panna that knows all realities as
they truely are. Otherwise, all we can say is, all
realities are only those characteristics we (satipatthana)
I do not believe that the Buddha explicitly commented on whether
dhammas are things that are or are not experiential. But he did emphasize
that what is to be known is to be known by direct experience, and not by
reliance on authority, tradition, or even reason (which is often brought in
to serve to justify our grasping and predispositions). Many observers,
including Ven. Nyanaponika for example, understand dhammas as experiential,
as having phenomenalistic existence instead of being some hidden somethings
lurking behind experience, but not experiential themselves. They understand
the Buddha's teaching in that light. Hardness (and softmess), movement,
temperature, fluidity/cohesion - earth, air, fire, water - all these are
experiential realities. Hardness, for example, is not to be found somewhere
"out there" in some Platonic heaven. It is an element of experience.
My point was simply that that which is known in any way is
experiential, by definition. Something which is, in principle,
unexperienceable (and I do not mean only as an object of one of the six
senses, because nibbana, itself, is experienceable) is pragmatically and
If by faith, you mean a faith in the Buddha's knowing what is not
knowable, then I don't have such faith. What I do have is a strong
confidence, gained by following the Buddha's path, that he, indeed,
discovered and correctly taught the way which, if walked to its end, marks
the end of suffering.
/Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)
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- Dear Sarah, Rob K and all,
Thanks for the warm welcome. I have been monitoring the
dsg archives for a while and have found some topics
interesting in the last week or so.
I live in Sydney, Australia.
I am 32 years old and have been studying Theravada since I
The main point I learnt about introductory Abhidhamma from
a Burmese monk Ven U Dipaloka was that anxiety, worry,
fear, sadness, anger are all //dosa//.
I've heard that the Patthana is profound but difficult.
My interests in the Dhamma include Buddhist Economics,
Right Speech and The Four Sublime States (and other works
I accepted Kamma and Rebirth only after reading the
comprehensive "Paticcasamuppada" by Mahasi Sayadaw which I
I look forward to participating in dsg further.
Best wishes / Antony.
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