[dsg] Re: Help with clarification of "control" (Concepts as Realities)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, upasaka@a... wrote:
9:50:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> > =========================
> I'm using the word 'referent' as an ordinary-language word,
> and not something translated from the Pali, though perhaps there
is such a term
> there. I understand memories, percepts, and concepts to be mental
> each one of which is a mental construct via sa~n~na and/or
I feel like the boy who asks a question that the whole class has
known the answer to since the beginning of the term.
Obviously you, Kenh, dighanaka and larry are well at home talking
about referents and percepts but these are just not words I ever use.
They might have come into ordinary daily usage but as I have been
living in Asia for over a decade I am not familiar with them.
Anyway I will bow out of these discussions, I like to learn more
about what the texts say about pannati (concept) and reality.
- Hi, Robert -
In a message dated 11/1/04 12:10:58 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> Dear Howard,=========================
> I feel like the boy who asks a question that the whole class has
> known the answer to since the beginning of the term.
> Obviously you, Kenh, dighanaka and larry are well at home talking
> about referents and percepts but these are just not words I ever use.
> They might have come into ordinary daily usage but as I have been
> living in Asia for over a decade I am not familiar with them.
> Anyway I will bow out of these discussions, I like to learn more
> about what the texts say about pannati (concept) and reality.
My apologies, Robert - sincerely. As I think about it, I realize that
I come from a background of years of study and work in mathematics,
mathematical logic, and formal linguistics, and that notions that are almost 2nd nature
to me are not so to almost all other folks. This is seriously shortsighted on
As I consider it now, getting bogged down in all the fine nuances of
these various ideas amounts to "getting stuck in the mind" and probably has
little or no value in helping us follow the crux of theory and practice of the
Dhamma. It likely amounts to little more than an intellectual game or pastime!
In fact, it may even provide a substitute, ersatz Dhamma that hides the true
As far as the concept vs reality business is concerned, I guess that
all we truly need to know is that there is a real difference between what is
actually experienced and what alleged things/events we name, think about, and
communicate. What we actually experience is unnamed and directly encountered,
but what is named, thought about, and communicated is either only imagined to
some degree or other, or is apprehended with some lesser or greater degree of
indirection. Knowing through name, thought, and communication is always partial,
limited, and at-a-distance, and is a poor substitute for knowing directly,
face to face, especially when wisdom is operative.
/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)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In email@example.com, upasaka@a... wrote:
> Hi, Robert -realize that
> In > =========================
> My apologies, Robert - sincerely. As I think about it, I
> I come from a background of years of study and work inmathematics,
> mathematical logic, and formal linguistics, and that notions thatare almost 2nd nature
> to me are not so to almost all other folks. This is seriouslyshortsighted on
> my part.nuances of
> As I consider it now, getting bogged down in all the fine
> these various ideas amounts to "getting stuck in the mind" andprobably has
> little or no value in helping us follow the crux of theory andpractice of the
> Dhamma. It likely amounts to little more than an intellectual gameor pastime!
> In fact, it may even provide a substitute, ersatz Dhamma thathides the true
> Dhamma.guess that
> As far as the concept vs reality business is concerned, I
> all we truly need to know is that there is a real differencebetween what is
> actually experienced and what alleged things/events we name, thinkabout, and ==========
Thanks for your kind post.
To summarize the Buddhist explanation of what is experienced:
through the five sense doors are experienced only paramattha dhamma -
reality- respectively sight, sound, hardness, heat, taste, smell
But through the mind door are experienced both concepts and
realities. An example of a reality that can be known through the
minddoor is anger(dosa) and then there can be concepts(pannati)
about dosa. Or through the nose door smell is experienced, and then
immediately there are minddoor processes which conceive
(conceptually) about the smell . The minddoor processes are
paramattha dhamma but the object (ideas about the smell) are concept.
- Dear Joop,
You kindly responded to one of my India posts. Perhaps other India
pilgrims like Chris, Jon, Shakti, Azita or even O will add other comments
as I dont think mine will be the kind youre looking for:
--- jwromeijn <jwromeijn@...> wrote:
> Hallo Sarah and other India pilgrims.
> Nice to hear from you again.
> What interests me is how (perhaps later) are the results of your
> reflections on your tour ?
What I reflected on a lot and found most useful were perhaps the following
that come to mind now as I write:
1. More and more reminders about detachment, especially this time a
growing detachment to akusala states gone by the time theres any
dwelling and anatta.
2. Wider reflections on the meaning of situations or stories which we
cling to, such as in my case to Buddhist texts or commentaries (as DN
points out in his own way;-) or to names and labels or references.
3. All the clinging in samsara which in the end is just for brief, useless
moments of seeing, hearing and so forth which are so very fleeting.
4. Special and very humbling experiences at Holy Places, bowing my head
low on the ground by the Buddhas kuti in Jetavana or at the feet of the
statue in Kusinara or under the relics and being reminded at the same time
not to cling to any of the stories or experiences.
J:> Especially on the experiences in the multi-religious and more
> specific, the multi-buddhist culture in India..
> I mean: do you think now, more than living in a mono-Theravada
> culture that buddhist traditions can influence each other in a
> positive way? And do you think that more than till now Theravada and
> Mahayana buddhists can have fruitful discussions with each other?
S: To be honest, I dont think much about Buddhists and non-Buddhists,
about cultures, about Theravada and Mahayana. If I can find ways to share
what I have learnt about the Buddhas teachings and have great confidence
in, then I will. I think its the understanding of realities that is
important, not the labels and definitely not the numbers. Like here on
DSG, we have our discussions in public, so anyone can participate and we
can all share our limited knowledge, but we dont expect all Buddhist
groups to be interested in the scope of our discussions.
Having said that, it was very inspiring in Sarnath when we offered a large
dana, to see bhikkhus of different nationalities and from different sects
participating and communicating together. Nina kindly took a copy of her
ADL and next time it would be good to take a few more books.
I dont think that concern or attachment to results or the growth/decline
of Buddhism/interactions is productive however. We just help and share the
Dhamma as we can and as we think best. On the trip I was also working on
the long bus rides (when possible!!) and sometimes at night when I had to
sit up to edit the discussions which I hope we can make available to
anyone interested before too long. I think they make excellent listening.
p.s Nina is spending her extra week in India working on her recordings and
notes for a detailed series on the trip, so we can look forward to that
in due course.
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