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[dsg] Ignorance (was Re: �Cetasikas' study corner 433- You ain't seen nothin' ye

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  • Scott Duncan
    Dear Herman, Hello again! 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
    Message 1 of 46 , Jul 1, 2006
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      Dear Herman,

      Hello again!

      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
      teachings.

      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,

      Scott.
    • Scott Duncan
      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
      Message 46 of 46 , Nov 5, 2007
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        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.

        Sincerely,

        Scott.
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