[dsg] Ignorance (was Re: ï¿½Cetasikas' study corner 433- You ain't seen nothin' ye
- Dear Herman,
H: "You and Ajahn Chah could have been great mates, no doubt."
An anecdote: I was in a Chapters store (a local bookstore chain) and
met, totally out of his element, a Thai Forest monk. He was in town
to care for his dying father. Ignorant of the fineries of interacting
with monks, but thinking that others took care of their needs, I
offered him some money but he, of course, declined. He did let me buy
a book for his mother, and gave me a book by Ajahn Chah to buy for
myself, telling me that he had been taught by the Venerable Chah. So
I guess, really stretching it of course, we've sort of met. And I
read the book (to no-one's surprise).
H: "'Don't read books! Read your own heart instead. Take Wat Pah Pong
for example. These days many university graduates are coming to
ordain. I try to stop them from spending their time reading books
about Dhamma, because these people are always reading books. They have
so many opportunities for reading books, but opportunities for reading
their own hearts are rare. So, when they come to ordain for three
months following the Thai custom, we try to get them to close their
books and manuals. While they are ordained they have this splendid
opportunity to read their own hearts.'"
I take your point, Herman. I suspect, as this seems to happening
everywhere, we'll have to agree to disagree, but...
Not learning the Dhamma through a study of its texts, and attempting
to rely only on experience (which is fine) that is inevitably
accompanied by all sorts of foolish ideation and theorising is folly
and hubris, in my opinion.
Of course I'm aware that one needs to practise. This is self-evident
to all but the thickest of the thick. Do you actually think that one
can hope to achieve anything (except to get hopelessly lost) by
blindly firing off and practising without any structure?
Its just my opinion, of course, but I find the "don't study"
admonishment to be ridiculous. I happen to have certain predilections
and a study of Dhamma texts fits with that. I don't have the balls to
just think I know what it all is and practise all in isolation and the
security of my own way of seeing things. You might think me a
fundamentalist, but I strive to never believe anything I think that
starts with "I believe" when it comes to knowledge of the Dhamma
So, since you offer me the free advice, I'll submit to you that you
ought to read some more texts and rely less on your own way of seeing
things. I'll have to quote myself, since I have no famous Ajahn to
quote. ;-) (Look, this time I made a guy with a winking, wry sort of
expression! Or a smug expression. Ecch.)
Perhaps we could debate the relative merits of study and "practise" in
an effort to each learn balance...
With loving kindness,
- Dear Sarah,
S: "Sounds right to me. Taking the elements for something, for atta is
miccha ditthi. As you later put it: 'If in this [one understands] the
object to be non-void....'"
Scott: Thank you, I appreciate the clarification. Later.