Hi Scott and Herman,
H: > > Dhamma study is the mind studying itself, no props required. > >
S: > Dhamma study (pariyatti) is learning the Dhamma (read teachings).
"Mind studying itself" is, loosely, practise or patipatti; and the
penetrating of the Dhamma (pativedha) is the end.
If by "mind" you mean "citta," I half understand your point. I don't
follow the apparent self-reflexiveness: citta is the reality which
experiences; objects are those which citta experiences. Does citta
experience citta? I don't think so. Corrections welcome.
That sounds right to me. The idea of a self-reflexive mind is one of
the early hurdles a Dhamma student has to get over. When the
Satipatthana Sutta, for example, says that a monk practising
satipatthana knows citta with dosa as citta with dosa, a student can
easily get the impression of an unwholesome citta reflecting
wholesomely on itself. But citta cannot take itself as object, nor can
it take one of its own cetasikas as object. Nor can an unwholesome
citta ever have insight.
However a citta or cetasika can become the object of a subsequent
citta. When a monk knows 'citta with dosa' as 'citta with dosa' it is
a closely following, wholesome, citta that does the knowing.