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Re: [dsg] James' Referenced Article on Personalism

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Dieter - In a message dated 2/1/2008 3:16:09 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, moellerdieter@gmx.net writes: Hi Howard, you wrote: The purpose of definitions
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 1, 2008
      Hi, Dieter -

      In a message dated 2/1/2008 3:16:09 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      moellerdieter@... writes:

      Hi Howard,

      you wrote:

      'The purpose of definitions is (at least) twofold: the clarifying of our
      thinking, and the enabling of genuine communication. For us to communicate
      properly, we needn't agree on definitions, but we do need to know how the
      other
      is using words'

      let us try again:
      "My point is that a person, though spoken of as a unit and erroneously
      thought of as
      such, is actually an aggregation of many phenomena. When we speak of a
      person acting, it is actually the underlying mental activities and arising &
      ceasing rupas that are acting in concert. A person is improperly called an
      "in-dividual" (hyphenation intentional), because a person is an integrated
      collection of phenomena, and not a single phenomenon of its own."

      D: I am using 'person' for wordlings..still fully attached to the world of
      bodily mental phenomena unlike a noble one .. but both are individual
      beings..
      ---------------------------------------------------------
      Howard:
      Okay. So, I now know that when you say 'person' you exclude arahants,
      but you consider both to be "beings". That lets me know how you are using the
      words in one respect. Along those lines, I use 'person' fo both of these
      cases. I think of even the Buddha as a person, which, to me, is an aggregation of
      a specific type.
      There IS a sutta, though, I believe, in which the Buddha said that he
      speaks of a "being" only when there is clinging to the aggregates - so your
      usage is reasonable. (Okay - I've found the sutta. I'll print it out at the end.)
      ------------------------------------------------------------


      When we speak of phenomena i.e. nama and rupa , you refer to dhammas , don't
      you?
      (here again the point of excluding consciousness- though a separation is
      only conceptual ).
      --------------------------------------------
      Howard:
      Yes, by phenomena I mean khandhic elements.
      -----------------------------------------------



      All persons carry the history of accumulated dhammas ( avijja-sankhara ) ,
      which I miss in the definition of phenomena/dhammas
      (using Nina's recent quotation: the Dhammasangani (first Book of the
      Abhidhamma) states: "At the time of consciousness coming into existence, there
      occur dhammas." Thus,
      the aggregate of consciousness (vi~n`naa.nakkhandha) which is also a mental
      aggregate, is mentioned first, and then the other three mental aggregates
      denoted as dhammas are explained.')
      -------------------------------------------------------
      Howard:
      I don't know what this accumulation you speak of is. Kammic inheritance
      (in the form of this/that-conditionality) is the primary "glue" that binds
      together the rising & falling dhammas that constitute an aggregation we call a
      "person". Other forms of conditionality constitute the secondary level of
      coordination.
      I don't understand the point you are making in the foregoing - so I'm
      not quite sure how to respond.
      ----------------------------------------------------------



      I am not rejecting your definition, but - if you like a comment - I think it
      needs refinement, finer tuning...
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      Howard:
      What would you change? I don't understand what you think is deficient or
      what you would delete, change, or add on. Why not just say how you would
      modify what I wrote, and then we can look at that?
      -----------------------------------------------------------



      with Metta Dieter
      ==================================
      With metta,
      Howard
      ******************************************************************************
      ****

      SN 23.2
      Satta Sutta
      A Being

      Translated from the Pali by
      Thanissaro Bhikkhu



      PTS: S iii 189
      CDB i 985


      ____________________________________
      Source: Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.


      ____________________________________
      Copyright © 1999 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
      Access to Insight edition © 1999
      For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted,
      and redistributed in any medium. It is the author's wish, however, that any
      such republication and redistribution be made available to the public on a
      free and unrestricted basis and that translations and other derivative works be
      clearly marked as such.


      ____________________________________


      Translator's note: A number of discourses (among them, _SN 35.191_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.191.than.html) ; _AN 6.63_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.063.than.html) ) make the
      point that the mind is fettered, not by things like the five aggregates or the
      objects of the six senses, but by the act of passion & delight for them. There
      are two ways to try to cut through this fetter. One is to focus on the
      drawbacks of passion & delight in & of themselves, seeing clearly the stress &
      suffering they engender in the mind. The other is to analyze the objects of
      passion & delight in such a way that they no longer seem worthy of interest. This
      second approach is the one recommended in this discourse: when the Buddha
      talks of "smashing, scattering, & demolishing form (etc.) and making it unfit
      for play," he is referring to the practice of analyzing form minutely into its
      component parts until it no longer seems a fit object for passion & delight.
      When all five aggregates can be treated in this way, the mind is left with
      no conditioned object to serve as a focal point for its passion, and so is
      released — at the very least — to the stage of Awakening called non-return.

      ____________________________________

      I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi
      at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed
      One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was
      sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's
      said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"
      "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught
      up_1_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn23/sn23.002.than.html#n-1) there, tied up_2_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn23/sn23.002.than.html#n-2) there, one is said to be 'a being.'_3_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn23/sn23.002.than.html#n-3)
      "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception...
      fabrications...
      "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one
      is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'
      "Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:_4_
      (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn23/sn23.002.than.html#n-4) as long as
      they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for
      those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand
      castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become
      free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little
      sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands
      or feet and make them unfit for play.
      "In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and
      make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.
      "You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play.
      Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.
      "You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for
      play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.
      "You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for
      play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.
      "You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for
      play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of
      craving, Radha, is Unbinding."




      /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)




      **************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
      (http://music.aol.com/grammys/pictures/never-won-a-grammy?NCID=aolcmp003000000025
      48)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tep Sastri
      Hi Howard, - Thank you very much for quoting Ajaan Thanissaro s note on fettered mind and how to deal with it. Translator s note: A number of discourses
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 1, 2008
        Hi Howard, -

        Thank you very much for quoting Ajaan Thanissaro's note on fettered
        mind and how to deal with it.

        Translator's note:

        "A number of discourses (among them, _SN 35.191_; _AN 6.63_) make the
        point that the mind is fettered, not by things like the five
        aggregates or the objects of the six senses, but by the act of
        passion & delight for them. There are two ways to try to cut through
        this fetter. One is to focus on the drawbacks of passion & delight in
        & of themselves, seeing clearly the stress & suffering they engender
        in the mind. The other is to analyze the objects of passion & delight
        in such a way that they no longer seem worthy of interest".

        T: Several suttas are easier for me to understand when these two ways
        are kept in mind.

        Tep
        ===
      • Dieter Möller
        Hi Howard, you wrote: Okay. So, I now know that when you say person you exclude arahants, but you consider both to be beings . That lets me know how you are
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 2, 2008
          Hi Howard,

          you wrote:

          Okay. So, I now know that when you say 'person' you exclude arahants, but you consider both to be "beings". That lets me know how you are using the words in one respect. Along those lines, I use 'person' fo both of these
          cases. I think of even the Buddha as a person, which, to me, is an aggregation of a specific type.
          There IS a sutta, though, I believe, in which the Buddha said that he speaks of a "being" only when there is clinging to the aggregates - so your usage is reasonable. (Okay - I've found the sutta. I'll print it out at the end.)



          D: thanks for the quotation ..to restrict a being to 'when there is clinging' , makes me wonder about the Pali origin...
          I am used to the term 'a being ' in respect ' a life is there' , i.e. neutral, without a quality , e.g. fermentation .

          The term 'person' comes from Latin 'persona' (social role/ character played by an actor / the mask or appearance one presents to the world (qt Wikip) , hence I would suggest to re-consider its use due to easy misunderstandings..as I may do it with 'being' ;-)

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          ( D: When we speak of phenomena i.e. nama and rupa , you refer to dhammas , don't you?
          (here again the point of excluding consciousness- though a separation is only conceptual ).
          --------------------------------------------
          Howard:
          Yes, by phenomena I mean khandhic elements.
          -----------------------------------------------

          (D: All persons carry the history of accumulated dhammas ( avijja-sankhara ) , which I miss in the definition of phenomena/dhammas (using Nina's recent quotation: the Dhammasangani (first Book of the Abhidhamma) states: "At the time of consciousness coming into existence, there occur dhammas." Thus, the aggregate of consciousness (vi~n`naa.nakkhandha) which is also a mental aggregate, is mentioned first, and then the other three mental aggregates denoted as dhammas are explained.')
          -------------------------------------------------------
          Howard:
          I don't know what this accumulation you speak of is. Kammic inheritance (in the form of this/that-conditionality) is the primary "glue" that binds together the rising & falling dhammas that constitute an aggregation we call a "person". Other forms of conditionality constitute the secondary level of coordination.
          I don't understand the point you are making in the foregoing - so I'm not quite sure how to respond.
          ----------------------------------------------------------

          D: I speak of avijja-sankhara - vinnaya- nama/rupa , only the latter to be called phenomena /dhammas - though when vinnaya
          occurs dhammas occur as well.
          The ignorance/past of a person isn't phenomena/dhammas , but it is conditioning it , is it not?
          This I had in mind by my previous comment conc. your definition..



          (D: I am not rejecting your definition, but - if you like a comment - I think it needs refinement, finer tuning...
          ----------------------------------------------------------
          Howard:
          What would you change? I don't understand what you think is deficient or what you would delete, change, or add on. Why not just say how you would modify what I wrote, and then we can look at that?
          ----------------------------------------------------------


          D: as I mentioned: only a feedback, so no suggestion intented (how) to modify your perspective..

          B.T.W.: Interesting Ven. Thanissaro's comment: 'There are two ways to try to cut through this fetter. One is to focus on the
          drawbacks of passion & delight in & of themselves, seeing clearly the stress & suffering they engender in the mind. The other is to analyze the objects of passion & delight in such a way that they no longer seem worthy of interest. This
          second approach is the one recommended in this discourse: when the Buddha talks of "smashing, scattering, & demolishing form (etc.) and making it unfit for play," he is referring to the practice of analyzing form minutely into its component parts until it no longer seems a fit object for passion & delight.
          When all five aggregates can be treated in this way, the mind is left with no conditioned object to serve as a focal point for its passion, and so is released — at the very least — to the stage of Awakening called non-return'


          with Metta Dieter



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • upasaka@aol.com
          Hi, Dieter - In a message dated 2/2/2008 2:00:48 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, moellerdieter@gmx.net writes: Hi Howard, you wrote: Okay. So, I now know that
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 2, 2008
            Hi, Dieter -

            In a message dated 2/2/2008 2:00:48 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
            moellerdieter@... writes:

            Hi Howard,

            you wrote:

            Okay. So, I now know that when you say 'person' you exclude arahants, but
            you consider both to be "beings". That lets me know how you are using the words
            in one respect. Along those lines, I use 'person' fo both of these
            cases. I think of even the Buddha as a person, which, to me, is an
            aggregation of a specific type.
            There IS a sutta, though, I believe, in which the Buddha said that he speaks
            of a "being" only when there is clinging to the aggregates - so your usage
            is reasonable. (Okay - I've found the sutta. I'll print it out at the end.)



            D: thanks for the quotation ..to restrict a being to 'when there is
            clinging' , makes me wonder about the Pali origin...
            I am used to the term 'a being ' in respect ' a life is there' , i.e.
            neutral, without a quality , e.g. fermentation .

            The term 'person' comes from Latin 'persona' (social role/ character played
            by an actor / the mask or appearance one presents to the world (qt Wikip) ,
            hence I would suggest to re-consider its use due to easy
            misunderstandings..as I may do it with 'being' ;-)

            ----------------------------------------------------------

            ( D: When we speak of phenomena i.e. nama and rupa , you refer to dhammas ,
            don't you?
            (here again the point of excluding consciousness- though a separation is
            only conceptual ).
            --------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Yes, by phenomena I mean khandhic elements.
            -----------------------------------------------

            (D: All persons carry the history of accumulated dhammas ( avijja-sankhara )
            , which I miss in the definition of phenomena/dhammas (using Nina's recent
            quotation: the Dhammasangani (first Book of the Abhidhamma) states: "At the
            time of consciousness coming into existence, there occur dhammas." Thus, the
            aggregate of consciousness (vi~n`naa.nakkhandha) which is also a mental
            aggregate, is mentioned first, and then the other three mental aggregates denoted as
            dhammas are explained.')
            -------------------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            I don't know what this accumulation you speak of is. Kammic inheritance (in
            the form of this/that-conditionality) is the primary "glue" that binds
            together the rising & falling dhammas that constitute an aggregation we call a
            "person". Other forms of conditionality constitute the secondary level of
            coordination.
            I don't understand the point you are making in the foregoing - so I'm not
            quite sure how to respond.
            ----------------------------------------------------------

            D: I speak of avijja-sankhara - vinnaya- nama/rupa , only the latter to be
            called phenomena /dhammas - though when vinnaya
            occurs dhammas occur as well.
            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            I'm assuming you meant to write 'vi~n~nana instead of 'vinnaya'?
            Why only the latter to be called dhammas?
            --------------------------------------------------------------



            The ignorance/past of a person isn't phenomena/dhammas , but it is
            conditioning it , is it not? This I had in mind by my previous comment conc. your
            definition..
            ------------------------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Why does not the ignorance consist of dhammas? What are conditions other
            than dhammas?
            --------------------------------------------------------------





            (D: I am not rejecting your definition, but - if you like a comment - I
            think it needs refinement, finer tuning...
            ----------------------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            What would you change? I don't understand what you think is deficient or
            what you would delete, change, or add on. Why not just say how you would modify
            what I wrote, and then we can look at that?
            ----------------------------------------------------------


            D: as I mentioned: only a feedback, so no suggestion intented (how) to
            modify your perspective..

            B.T.W.: Interesting Ven. Thanissaro's comment: 'There are two ways to try to
            cut through this fetter. One is to focus on the
            drawbacks of passion & delight in & of themselves, seeing clearly the stress
            & suffering they engender in the mind. The other is to analyze the objects
            of passion & delight in such a way that they no longer seem worthy of
            interest. This
            second approach is the one recommended in this discourse: when the Buddha
            talks of "smashing, scattering, & demolishing form (etc.) and making it unfit
            for play," he is referring to the practice of analyzing form minutely into its
            component parts until it no longer seems a fit object for passion & delight.
            When all five aggregates can be treated in this way, the mind is left with
            no conditioned object to serve as a focal point for its passion, and so is
            released — at the very least — to the stage of Awakening called non-return'
            --------------------------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Yes, a nice analysis. :-)
            ------------------------------------------------------------




            with Metta Dieter




            ============================
            With metta,
            Howard

            /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)




            **************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
            (http://music.aol.com/grammys/pictures/never-won-a-grammy?NCID=aolcmp003000000025
            48)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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