4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸EBpedia📚Viññāṇaṃ anidassana    🔗📝   🔝

Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ: consciousness unmanifest, featureless, without surface.
 Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ
.
.
suttas matching content pattern “ anidass”
DN 11.4.1 where nāma, rūpa, viññāna cease without remainder
DN 33.3 threefold classification of rūpa with 4 permutations of visible (dassana) and resistant (patigha)
MN 21.6 sky is ākāso arūpī anidassano, formless and invisible
MN 49.9.7 Buddha says Brahma has no knowledge of Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ anantaṃ sabbato pabhaṃ
SN 43.44 Anidassanañca is listed among other synonyms for nirvana
Thanissaro footnote from DN 11
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/DN/DN11.html#dn11note02
2. Viññāṇaṁ anidassanaṁ.
This term is nowhere explained in the Canon.
Anidassanaṁ is listed in SN 43 as an epithet for unbinding.
This is apparently related to the image in SN 12.64 of a beam of light that doesn’t land (or:
“become established”) on any surface anywhere, corresponding to consciousness that takes no food anywhere.
MN 49 mentions that viññāṇaṁ anidassanaṁ “is not experienced through the allness of the All”—the “All” meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see SN 35.23). In this it differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media.
Because name and form are brought to an end, this consciousness also lies beyond the consciousness of the jhānas and the formless attainments, inasmuch as the four jhānas are composed of both name and form, and the formless attainments are composed of various aspects of name:
feeling, perception, and fabrication.
The formless jhānas are also experienced through the sixth sense medium, the intellect.
Lying outside of time and space, consciousness without surface would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far;
past, present, and future.
However, the fact that it is outside of time and space—in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (KN Ud 1:
10), no coming, no going, or staying (KN Ud 8:
1)—means that it cannot be described as eternal or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time.
The standard description of nibbāna after death is, “All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.”
(See MN 140 and KN Iti 44.) Again, as “all” is defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether consciousness without feature is not covered by this “all.”
However, AN 4.173 warns that any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn’t remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to “objectify the non-objectified,” which gets in the way of attaining the non-objectified.
Thus this is a question that is best put aside.
MN 49 footnotes
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN49.html
9. Consciousness without surface (viññāṇaṁ anidassanaṁ):
This term appears to be related to the following image from SN 12.64
“Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east.
When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?”
“On the western wall, lord.”
“And if there is no western wall, where does it land?”
“On the ground, lord.”
“And if there is no ground, where does it land?”
“On the water, lord.”
“And if there is no water, where does it land?”
“It doesn’t land, lord.”
“In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food… contact… intellectual intention… consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow.
Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight.
Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications.
Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future.
Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death.
That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.”
In other words, normal sensory consciousness is experienced because it has a “surface” against which it lands:
the sense organs and their objects, which constitute the “all.”
For instance, we experience visual consciousness because of the eye and forms of which we are conscious.
Consciousness without surface, however, is directly known, without intermediary, free from any dependence on conditions at all.
This consciousness thus differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media.
Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far;
past, present, and future.
And, as SN 35.23 notes, the word “all” in the Buddha’s teaching covers only the six sense media, which is another reason for not including this consciousness under the aggregates.
However, the fact that it is outside of time and space—in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (KN Ud 1:
10), no coming, no going, or staying (KN Ud 8.1)—means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time.
Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbāna, on the grounds that nibbāna is nowhere else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness.
Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant’s consciousness of nibbāna in meditative experience, and not nibbāna itself.
This argument, however, contains a flaw:
If nibbāna is an object of mental consciousness (as a dhamma), it would come under the all, as an object of the intellect.
There are passages in the Canon (such as AN 9.36) that describe meditators experiencing nibbāna as a dhamma, but these passages seem to indicate that this description applies up through the level of non-returning.
Other passages, however, describe nibbāna as the ending of all dhammas.
For instance, SN 5.6 quotes the Buddha as calling the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas.
SN 4.6 and SN 4.10 state that the arahant has transcended dispassion, said to be the highest dhamma.
Thus, for the arahant, nibbāna is not an object of consciousness.
Instead it is directly known without mediation.
Because consciousness without feature is directly known without mediation, there seems good reason to equate the two.
Also, given that this consciousness is independent of the six senses, and that at the death of the arahant the six senses simply grow cold (KN Iti 44), then such an event should have no effect on it.
10. In other words, the act of searching for non-becoming—or annihilation—is also a type of becoming.
Although the Buddhist path aims at the cessation of becoming (bhava), it does not attempt this cessation by trying to annihilate the process of becoming.
Instead, it does so by focusing on what has already come to be (bhūta), developing dispassion for what has come to be and for the nutriment—the causes—of what has come to be.
With no more passion, there is no clinging to or taking sustenance from the causes of what has come to be.
And through this lack of clinging or sustenance comes release.
On this point see SN 12.31 and KN Iti 49.

essay by Charlie

SuttaCentral SuttaCentral
Discuss & Discover
DN11, Five Aggregates, Vinanna Anidassana
Essays
Charlie November 10, 2023, 4:
51am1
This essay is to revisit this topic of vinanna anidassana in DN11 but more generally to look at the role of The Five Aggregates in the suttas.
TLDR:
The Five Aggregates (TFA) describe the faculties or capacities, attributes of the mind (citta).
This is true regardless of whether your mind is defiled or undefiled.
However, in the presence of the asavas (karmic tendencies, ignorance, becoming) they present themselves to the unawakened person as The Five Clinging Aggregates (FCA).
FCA’s are subsequently conditioned by Sankharas.
Ignorance (the driving force behind Dependent Origination (DO)) is the underlying ‘glue’ that causes TFCA’s to bind-up with each other.
The simile of the rope appearing as a snake is an easy way to understand the relationship of The Five Aggregates to The Five Clinging Aggregates.
The ‘snake’ appears because we fail to recognize that it is a rope.
When the snake is discovered to be simply a piece of rope, the snake disappears but the rope is still a rope – it does not cease to exist along with the snake.
In the same way, in the presence of ignorance, The Five Aggregates (rope) appear as The Five Clinging Aggregates (snake) – that constantly bind-up with each other giving rise to ‘The All’.
When ignorance ceases, ‘The All’ (snake) is simply seen to have been The Five Aggregates (rope) all along.
The Five Aggregates (rope) do not cease to exist – rather they are no longer conditioned by the asavas.
What is the undefiled citta?
As far as I know, the Buddha left it undefined.
The structure of this essay is as follows:
All Translations are Interpretations
Just looking at some Pali terms that will come up in this discussion.
How some Suttas Describe the Aggregates
Looking at sutta references that support the view outlined in the TLDR above.
Specifically, that The Five Aggregates represent the five faculties of the mind (citta) - that in the presence of the assavas (ignorance, becoming, karmic tendencies) they become the Five Clinging Aggregates - which are then further conditioned by Sankharas.
In the absence of the asavas, dependent origination ceases taking with it the Five Clinging Aggregates - which only arise under the influence of the asavas.
For something to arise in the presence of ignorance then there must be something that ignorance acts on and this is The Five Aggregates that for the Arahat have been abandoned, put down, scattered.
These terms are used so as to describe that ‘done is what needs to be done’ - the five aggregates are no longer subject to being grasped and thus future arising of ‘the all’.
When consciousness (the fifth aggregate) is freed from name-and-form it no longer finds a footing on the other four aggregates.
For the Arahat there is neither arising nor passing because consciousness no longer lands anywhere.
Thus it is said to be un-established and non-manifestative.
Context of DN11
Does it point to the awakened experience of the Arahat?
Or a monk looking for advice on how to practice the formless states?
Summary
Let’s Begin:
1) All Translations are Interpretations
Several Pali terms:
The following represents my understanding of these terms based on the Pali Text Society Dictionary and the Sutta Central dictionary.
If you have more knowledge of Pali (almost everyone probably does) feel free to help me out.
uparujjhati:
to be stopped, broken, annihilated, destroyed.
The term ‘uparujjhati’ is often used in the suttas with regard to the ceasing of consciousness.
‘Cease’ is a good translation because it also can be interpreted as ‘stopped’ (the motor stopped running) or ‘destroyed’ (the motor was destroyed).
Sujato:
there the cycle spins no more;
(ettha vaṭṭaṁ na vattati;
)
and there it is that name and form (Ettha nāmañca rūpañca,)
cease with nothing left over.”
(asesaṁ uparujjhatī”ti.
)
Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Here that the round no longer revolves;
Here name-and-form ceases,
Stops without remainder.”
Which is it:
stopped or destroyed?
You will have to decide the meaning of uparajhati:
does it mean that The Five Clinging Aggregates cease to exist entirely or does it mean that without the presence of the asavas that they revert to being The Five Aggregates - that are now scattered and abandoned (not subject to being picked up, grasped).
Nirodena:
ceasing, cessation;
the being no more;
stopping, shutting off
Apacināti:
diminishes, makes less;
dismantles, does away with.
This term is used in SN22.79 with regard to how the Arahat relates to the five aggregates.
Here this term is translated by Ven.
Sujato as ‘get rid of’:
This is called a mendicant who neither gets rid of things nor accumulates them, but remains after getting rid of them.
They neither give things up nor grasp them, but remain after giving them up.
They neither discard things nor amass them, but remain after discarding them.
They neither dissipate things nor get clouded by them, but remain after dissipating them.”
In this section of this sutta it describes each of the five aggregates from the point of view of the Arahat.
The phrase ‘getting rid of them’ doesn’t fit with the meaning of the other terms – it implies that they are no longer present.
I think ‘dismantles’ is a better fit as Bhikkhu Bodhi shows:
Bhikkhu Bodhi translation:
“This is called, bhikkhus, a noble disciple who neither builds up nor dismantles, but who abides having dismantled;
who neither abandons nor clings, but who abides having abandoned;
who neither scatters nor amasses, but who abides having scattered;
who neither extinguishes nor kindles, but who abides having extinguished.”
Think about it:
If I tell you my car stopped working so I got rid of it and you went out back and saw the car sitting covered in weeds – wouldn’t you ask me something like:
“Hey, I thought you told me you got rid of that thing”.
But if I told you I abandoned it and you saw it out back – “Sure enough, he abandoned it”.
Anidassana:
The term nidassana is defined as:
“pointing at” evidence, example, comparison, apposition, attribute, characteristic;
sign.
Another meaning given is ‘visible’.
So anidassana means something like ‘not pointing at/not able to point at (one of these terms) or alternatively ‘invisible’.
In MN21 We have an example of anidassana that clarifies the meaning more.
In this sutta, the Buddha gives a number of similes describing how monks should remain basically imperturbable when confronted by others using abusive or challenging language.
He asks the monks:
“Suppose someone comes along with some colored markers and says ‘I will draw pictures in space, such that they appear there – is that possible?’
(Compare this with SN12.64)
Monks:
“No”
Buddha:
“Why is that?”
Monks:
“Because empty space has no surface, no mark can be made there” (this is my translation).
Sujato’s translation:
Monks (answering the question ‘why is that?’
):
“Because space is formless and invisible.
[ Formless and invisible:
arūpī anidassano ]
Note:
If I ask you to take a pen and sign your name in the empty space in front of you, I don’t think you would say “I can’t, its invisible”.
Considering the meaning of nidassana above, the term should be understood more like un-impressionable – as in nothing has an impact on it or nothing can make a mark on it.
Than. Geoff translates it here as surface-less.
Monks (continued):
“It’s not easy to draw pictures there.
That person will eventually get weary and frustrated.”
This sutta points to the impurturbility of the mind of the Arahat – it’s kind of a ‘fake it until you make it’ teaching.
In SN43 the term is used as a synonym for the deathless (nibanna):
“Monks, I will also teach you the surfaceless (Sujato:
invisible) and the path leading to the surfaceless…”
(Anidassanañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi anidassanagāmiñca maggaṁ.
Taṁ suṇātha.
Katamañca, bhikkhave, anidassanaṁ…)
I am not sure why Ven.
Sujato translates this term as ‘invisible’ because just a couple lines up both he and Than Geoff translate a line that describes the deathless as ‘hard to see’ – if something is invisible then you can’t see it no matter how hard you look.
This reference in SN43 is very important – because it links how the Arahat experiences the deathless with DN11’s use of the term as a modifier for the consciousness aggregate (as one of The Five Aggregates not as one of the Clinging Aggregates).
These translation issues may seem small but they add up and can shift the meaning away from the original text.
Sankharas:
The act and consequence of identification with intent to create personal experience of pleasure through acts of body, speech and mind and the resulting construction.
- Buddha Dust
2) How Some Suttas Describe the Aggregates
SN22.48 defines The Five Aggregates as well as The Five Clinging Aggregates (which come about in the presence of the asavas (karmic tendencies, becoming, ignorance).
These are always present for the worldly person where they provide a landing place for consciousness - where as they are absent for the awakened person.
The difference between the two is –the asavas:
“And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates subject to clinging?
Whatever kind of form [feeling, perception, choices, consciousness] there is, whether past, future, or present … far or near, that is tainted, that can be clung to:
this is called the form [etc.
] aggregate subject to clinging.”
SN22.79
Describes:
How The Five Clinging Aggregates (that arise from the presence of the asavas are further conditioned by Sankharas.
Choices produce conditioned phenomena;
that’s why they’re called ‘choices’.
And what are the conditioned phenomena that they produce?
Form [Feeling…Perception…Choices…] are a conditioned phenomenon;
choices [Sankharas] are what make it into form [etc.
]. Consciousness is a conditioned phenomenon;
choices are what make it into consciousness.
Choices produce conditioned phenomena;
that’s why they’re called ‘choices’.
How after Awakening, the Five Aggregates (Not Clinging!
) are still present:
“This, monks, is called a disciple of the noble ones who neither builds up nor tears down, but who stands having torn down;
who neither clings nor abandons, but who stands having abandoned;
who neither pulls in nor discards, but who stands having discarded;
who neither piles up nor scatters, but who stands having scattered.”
He neither builds up nor tears down form, …feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, but stands having torn it down.
He neither clings to nor abandons form,…feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, but stands having abandoned it.
He neither pulls in nor discards form, …feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, but stands having discarded it.
He neither piles up nor scatters form, …feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness, but stands having scattered it.
If vinanna or any of the other Five Aggregates had ceased to exist then clearly the Buddha would just tell us that.
In the absence of the assavas conciousness no longer lands on Name and Form spinning out ‘the All’.
That is, the rope no longer appears as a snake.
They are simply the five faculties of the mind.
With ending of the assavas, consciousness is stilled, it is freed:
SN22.53
“Apart from form, feeling, perception, and choices, I will describe the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and reappearing, its growth, increase, and maturity.’
That is not possible.
If a mendicant has given up greed for the form element,…feeling….
perception…choices…consciousness element, the support is cut off, and there is no foundation for consciousness.
Since that consciousness does not become established and does not grow, with no power to regenerate, it is freed.”
SN22.54
“Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to (a physical) form, supported by form (as its object), landing on form, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.
[Repeats for feelings, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness ]
“If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness.
Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released.

SN 22.47
“The five faculties remain right there, bhikkhus, but in regard to them the instructed noble disciple abandons ignorance and arouses true knowledge.
SN22.99
But the instructed noble disciple … no longer keeps running and revolving around form, around feeling, around perception, around volitional formations, around consciousness.
As he no longer keeps running and revolving around them, he is freed from form, freed from feeling, freed from perception, freed from volitional formations, freed from consciousness.
AN 10.81
“Bāhuna, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits.
What ten?
Form …feeling …perception… choices…consciousness (five aggregates)
rebirth …old age …death …suffering …defilements …
Consciousness does not cease (to exist) - it is freed.
Freed from what?
Name-and-Form. That is to say:
It is un-established and non-manifestative.
Note:
There are additional sutta references more context) at the end of this essay.
3) Context of DN11
A) Where does the term vinanna anidassana occur in DN11?
It may not be immediately obvious but many suttas have a specific structure that follows a general pattern that can be summed up by “I teach suffering and the end of suffering”.
That is, most suttas start with the problem of suffering, proceed to discussion of the path, and end with awakening.
Some will then go on to add a section about the nature of the awakened state.
If we want to understand the context of a term we can look in several suttas where that term appears and see which section it falls under.
In DN 11 the section where the troublesome verse appears, and the story about our traveling monk, and the simile of the ship and the bird, and the Buddhas rephrasing of the question – all appear after the section on awakening.
Further more, the very closely related term unestablished consciousness (appatiṭṭhita viññāṇa) also follows at or after awakening in both suttas in which it appears:
SN22.53, SN12.38.
Summary:
Both terms ‘non-manifestative consciousness’ and ‘unestablished consciousness’ appear in their respective discourses at or after the section on awakening.
B) The Traveling Monk and the Land Seeking Bird (DN11):
The Traveling Monk:
In this story a monk wants to know where form comes to an end without remainder so using his psychic powers he travels to many different realms – each time asking his question and then being directed to somewhere else until he reaches the highest level (the Brahma realm) where ultimately Brahma admits he doesn’t know the answer and sends him to the Buddha.
It is very common in the suttas to find a teaching which is then followed by a simile to further clarify what the teaching is telling us.
Immediately following the monk story is:
The simile of the ship and the bird seeking land:
A ship on the ocean when seeking land sends out a bird.
If the bird finds a suitable place to land it doesn’t return, indicating to the ships crew that the bird has found a place to land.
If the bird does not find land it simply returns to the ship.
The Buddha is using this simile to tell us what the monk story means:
That this monk desiring to find an answer to his question keeps moving from one realm to the next seeking an answer.
When none can be found he is sent to the Buddha (the fully awakened one that wanders (Samsara-ing) no more).
This is about the movement of consciousness when bound up with name and form – jumping from one place to the next – landing here, then there, endlessly searching.
If the bird finds a place to land, it stays there.
This is describing how consciousness - if it finds a firm place to land - just stays there until that place no longer of interest and then moves on to another spot – this is the arising and passing of phenomena experienced by a worldly person and the monk, being a worldly person, jumps from one realm to another.
Does this simile fit the dimension of infinite consciousness?
The problem with infinite consciousness in this context:
The dimension of infinite consciousness is just a label describing what it feels like - that is how it is experienced by the one practicing it.
The dimension of infinite consciousness is fabricated.
That is, it provides a footing on which consciousness lands.
The consciousness aggregate of a worldly person that is dwelling in this attainment has landed on it and used it as their object of meditation – the simile of the bird does not fit.
Summary:
This story and its simile describe the Arising and Passing of the worldly persons consciousness compared to non-landing, non-establishing of the consciousness faculty of the Arahat.
C) Then the Buddha Rephrases the Question:
“Where do water and earth,
fire and air find no footing?
Where do long and short,
fine and coarse, beautiful and ugly;
where do name and form
cease with nothing left over?”
As the first four lines simply refer to name and form, the question can simply be restated as:
“Where do name and form cease with nothing left over?”
Note1:
The word being translated in DN11 and elsewhere here as ‘footing’ is ‘gādhati ’ - my Pali isn’t great but according to the dictionary it means:
“to stand fast, to be on firm ground, to have a firm footing.”
You aren’t going to step somewhere if you can’t find firm footing.
We could also call it insufficient footing.
Insufficient for what?
Insufficient for consciousness to land there and grow.
If consciousness has no place to land and grow then it can’t become established, nor can it give rise to ‘the all’.
Note2:
These two similar terms:
un-established consciousness and non-manifestative consciousness are describing the same nature of consciousness when it is freed from the defilements.
Un-established because it doesn’t land and non-manifestative because having no place to land it doesn’t give rise to ‘the All’.
D) The Buddha’s answer to the rephrasing of the monks question:
Non-manifestative consciousness, endless, bright, radiant
One answer, same as in SN1.27, Ud1.10, and SN7.6
Summary
Ven Sujato’s reasoning (as I understand it):
He feels that this represents two separate questions with two separate answers.
Note:
SN1.27 has a similar verse containing three questions with one answer regarding the same topic and Ven.
Sujato translates it that way.
SN1.27 does not contain the term ‘vinanna’.
In other words he has in at least one other sutta translated similar verse without having to resort to breaking the verse into separate questions – so not strong support for this.
He infers that the word order of the verse that includes “vinanana annidassana anantam…” is this way because it is verse and that ‘anantam’ (infinite, endless) should apply to ‘vinanna’ – (such word order changes is found in Pali verse so there is some support for this view.
I agree that word order does not significantly alter the meaning but it can introduce a ‘red herring’ that throws us off track.
He infers that the first question is about the dimension of infinite consciousness and the second is about nibanna.
Support is based on 2.
He infers that the monk (because he uses his psychic powers to travel to the different realms) must be seeking advice on how to practice the formless attainments.
Presumably this inference is based on 3 which is based on 2. There is no evidence in the sutta that this monk does not know the formless attainments.
No support.
He infers that the second question is about nibanna.
There is strong support that the entire verse is about nibanna as we shall see.
“Privileging the Hypothesis is the fallacy of singling out a particular hypothesis for attention when there is insufficient evidence already in hand to justify such special attention.”
- source
“Narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship upon them.
Explanations bind facts together.
They make them all the more easily remembered;
they help them make more sense.
Where this propensity can go wrong is when it increases our impression of understanding.”
- source
My Reasoning:
Location of the term vinanna anidassana follows the section on awakening in DN11
The term ‘anidassana’ is used in SN 43 as a synonym for the unconditioned.
The Traveling Monk story and the Land Seeking Bird simile both follow the awakening section and precede the Buddhas rephrasing of the question and both are being used to point to ‘no firm footing’ on which consciousness can land.
The Buddhas rephrasing of the question directly relates to the monk story, the simile and is supported by multiple suttas.
In other words:
The important question is not where Form ends but rather where consciousness no longer lands, where it gains no footing.
The Buddha’s answer to the rephrasing of the monks question where he asks where does form come to an end is Where does name and form no longer give rise to suffering – and nibanna is the answer and it is just this knowing faculty of mind that knows this.
There are at least three suttas (SN1.27, Ud1.10, and SN7.6 ) which state that name and form completely come to an end with awakening.
Remember that it was Buddha that brought in name.
Name-and-form within the context of dependent origination form a complex – that is the aggregates are said to be ‘built up’ – they provide a landing place for consciousness.
Remember that for the Arahat there is neither arising (manifesting) nor passing.
I have included about a dozen sutta references to support the view that The Five Aggregates do not cease with the ending of dependent origination.
I have shown that the Arahat is aware of all five but now they are no longer a cause of suffering as they are not capable any longer of being grasped.
Conclusion:
The Five Aggregates represent the nature of the mind – it describes the faculties of the mind – how the mind ‘knows and sees’.
For the worldly unawakened person these five faculties are conditioned by ignorance and they appear to one as distinct graspable ‘things’.
That is, the consciousness conditioned by ignorance (I am the thinker) identifies with the phenomena (what is seen, heard, thought, etc) as me or mine or not me, not mine.
Because of this mis-identification, when these ‘things’ change (as they must – being essentially a snap-shot of the flow of phenomena) there is suffering.
This is described as the arising and passing (of ‘things’) when consciousness lands on and then leaves one ‘footing’ after another (arising and passing).
When the hold of ignorance finally loses its power over us, then the five clinging aggregates cease without remainder (no more objectification- papancha) because the five faculties of the mind are no longer conditioned by ignorance (neither arising nor passing).
Are there no references to vinanna in the suttas outside of dependent origination?
If they are dismissed whenever they are encountered then no.
But if we look at the context of these references that are there, and we see how other suttas reinforce these references then we find that yes, but the nature of that consciousness is not conditioned by the asavas, by ignorance.
For the Arahat there is neither arising nor passing because the knowing (vinanna) faculty of the Arahat never ‘lands’ anywhere.
It never leaves the ship.
Conditioned consciousness (Clinging Aggregate) comes to an end with the cessation of dependent origination – references to it won’t be found outside of that context.
But why so few references to this non-manifestative consciousness and other related terms?
Consider The Handful of Leaves sutta (SN56.31):
The Buddha states that what he knows is equivalent to the leaves in the surrounding forest, but what he teaches is equivalent to a few leaves in his hand:
“This is stress … This is the origination of stress … This is the cessation of stress … This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress”.
Why not add in a bunch more leaves from the forest?
Because those leaves will have no meaning to a worldly person and an Arahat needs to abandon the raft – leave the teachings behind - anyway.
So why put such a demand on a precious resource (the sangha that has to commit these teachings to memory for generations to come) to record something that no one needs to know?
This is why there are lots of references to consciousness ceasing/stopping for a worldly person – that is the target audience.
Some Thoughts:
Is ‘vinanna anidassana’ nibanna?
I think it is the knowing faculty of the mind of an Arahat that has realized nibanna.
Is it ‘vinanna anidassana’?
– no, that’s just a couple of words, a label.
It points to the fact that an Arahat knows – you know – stuff.
Call it what ever you want.
But that is what DN11 is about.
It is not about the dimension of infinite consciousness.
If you know stuff then there must be some way of knowing.
Kind of obvious.
Can you separate the knowing faculty from what it knows?
I don’t know.
Seems like they kind of go together like peanut butter and jelly.
And yet knowing and what is known can certainly be distinguished.
Additional Sutta Resources for Section 2 Above
SN22.53
Apart from form, feeling, perception, and choices, I will describe the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and reappearing, its growth, increase, and maturity.’
That is not possible.
If a mendicant has given up greed for the form element,…feeling….
perception…choices…consciousness element, the support is cut off, and there is no foundation for consciousness.
Since that consciousness does not become established and does not grow, with no power to regenerate, it is freed.
Tadappatiṭṭhitaṁ viññāṇaṁ avirūḷhaṁ anabhisaṅkhacca vimuttaṁ.
SN 12.38
The term here is unestablished consciousness (appatiṭṭhita viññāṇa) (also see SN 12.53)
“But when one doesn’t intend, arrange, or obsess (about anything), there is no support for the stationing of consciousness.
There being no support [footing?
] there is no landing of consciousness.
When that consciousness doesn’t land & grow, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future.
When there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair.
Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.”
SN 12.64
“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of consciousness, consciousness lands there and increases.
Where consciousness lands and increases, there is the alighting of name-&-form.
Where there is the alighting of name-&-form, there is the growth of fabrications.
Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

Where there is no passion for the nutriment of consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase.
Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form.
Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications.
Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future……
"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east.
When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?”
“On the western wall, lord.”
“And if there is no western wall, where does it land?”
“On the ground, lord.”
“And if there is no ground, where does it land?”
“On the water, lord.”
“And if there is no water, where does it land?”
“It does not land, lord.”
“In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food… contact… intellectual intention… consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase.
Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form.
Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications.
Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future.”
SN 22.47
“The five faculties remain right there, bhikkhus, but in regard to them the instructed noble disciple abandons ignorance and arouses true knowledge.
With the fading away of ignorance and the arising of true knowledge, ‘I am’ does not occur to him;
‘I am this’ does not occur to him;
‘I will be’ and ‘I will not be,’ and ‘I will consist of form’ and ‘I will be formless,’ and ‘I will be percipient’ and ‘I will be nonpercipient’ and ‘I will be neither percipient nor nonpercipient’—these do not occur to him.”
SN22.54
“Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to (a physical) form, supported by form (as its object), landing on form, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, & proliferation.
[Repeats for feelings, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness ]
“If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness.
Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released.

SN22.99
But the instructed noble disciple … does not regard form as self … nor feeling as self … nor perception as self … nor volitional formations as self … nor consciousness as self….
He no longer keeps running and revolving around form, around feeling, around perception, around volitional formations, around consciousness.
As he no longer keeps running and revolving around them, he is freed from form, freed from feeling, freed from perception, freed from volitional formations, freed from consciousness.
He is freed from birth, aging, and death;
freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair;
freed from suffering, I say.”
AN 10.81
“Sir, how many things has the Realized One escaped from, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits?”
“Bāhuna, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits.
What ten?
Form …feeling …perception… choices…consciousness (five aggregates)
rebirth …old age …death …suffering …defilements …
Suppose there was a blue water lily, or a pink or white lotus.
Though it sprouted and grew in the water, it would rise up above the water and stand with no water clinging to it.
[Note:
the water didn’t cease to exist]
In the same way, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits.”
And this I tell you, is the end of this essay
5 Likes
How can we understand the fact that DN 11 speaks of a luminous consciousness beyond the world?
Viññana anidasana = escape from being
84.2916666666667
The Year in Review
The other way to final Nibbāna according to the suttas
Clarity November 10, 2023, 9:
53am2
Thank you for a good essay.
I enjoyed reading it.
May I ask the following questions?
Q1:
When an enlightened person sees with wisdom that his defilements are destroyed (or eradicated/stopped/broken/annihilated/ceased), does the term “anidassana” (invisible) apply to these defilements?
And why (or why not)?
Q2:
Defilements and Consciousness, are they both conditioned dhamma?
If defilements can be destroyed, how can consciousness not be destroyed but instead just “anidassana” (invisible)?
Q3:
Take a famous example with fire, can we say such thing as:
‘when the fuel is no more, the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when the fuel is “anidassana” (invisible), the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
Q4:
Finally, even more famous example with dukkha, can we say such thing as:
‘when ignorance is no more, dukkha is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when ignorance is “anidassana” (invisible), dukkha is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
2 Likes
Notez November 10, 2023, 11:
00am3
If we are trying to figure out whether the verse in DN11 is referring to either of the two
Nibbana with residue - as the absence of greed, anger & delusion in the mind of an arahant, but wherein the faculties by which the arahant experiences pleasure & pain remain unimpaired.
Advice on how to practice the formless states
If so then, as i see it, we have a false dichotomy where a rigorous debate is taking place between two wrong interpretations, and where the true interpretation is excluded from consideration.
The true interpretation, according to me, being that the verse is proclaiming the asankhatadhatu, as that which is not included in the allness of the all, the unmade, the ayatana where there is neither this world nor the next, no coming or going, neither form nor the formless, unsupported, unevolving, the end of dukkha.
P.bodhi November 10, 2023, 1:
46pm4
“anidassanaṁ anantaṁ sabbatopabhaṁ”:
viññāṇa shines everywhere, without limit, without distinction.
1 Like
Charlie November 10, 2023, 2:
37pm5
May I ask the following questions?
Good questions.
Q1:
When an enlightened person sees with wisdom that his defilements are destroyed (or eradicated/stopped/broken/annihilated/ceased), does the term “anidassana” (invisible) apply to these defilements?
And why (or why not)?
When the snake is seen to be a rope does the snake become invisible?
The term anidassana with respect to the aggregate of consciousness means that this consciousness does not become entangled with anything - not getting entangled, the defilements are unable to arise.
Q2:
Defilements and Consciousness, are they both conditioned dhamma?
If defilements can be destroyed, how can consciousness not be destroyed but instead just “anidassana” (invisible)?
Consciousness as a clinging aggregate is conditioned by asavas (lets just simplify and say ignorance).
Defilements like greed and hatred are conditioned by that fundamental ignorance - ‘I am the thinker’ - but further conditioned by likes, dislikes (karmic tendencies), feelings, etc.
With the cessation of ignorance, then greed and hatred will disintegrate into the constituant aggregates - for example, feelings and thinking.
In other words, once we see that the snake is just a rope then there is just a rope.
This is how I understand “there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, … only the cognized in reference to the cognized”.
What was greed is seen to be just a flow of feelings, thoughts, sights, etc.
The Five Aggregates remain each simply as they are - in and of themselves.
So consciousness absent ignorance (I am…) is just knowing.
Knowing thoughts, knowing feelings, knowing seeing, etc.
but knowing without landing without entangling itself.
Q3:
Take a famous example with fire, can we say such thing as:
‘when the fuel is no more, the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when the fuel is “anidassana” (invisible), the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
When the snake is seen to be a rope where did the snake go?
If stress and suffering arise with ignorance and ignorance ceases where did the stress go?
Q4:
Finally, even more famous example with dukkha, can we say such thing as:
‘when ignorance is no more, dukkha is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when ignorance is “anidassana” (invisible), the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
I would go with ‘with the cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of dukkha’.
Anidassana is describing why ignorance and dukkha have ceased.
2 Likes
Charlie November 10, 2023, 2:
44pm6
The true interpretation, according to me, being that the verse is proclaiming the asankhatadhatu, as that which is not included in the allness of the all, the unmade, the ayatana where there is neither this world nor the next, no coming or going, neither form nor the formless, unsupported, unevolving, the end of dukkha.
This is what I am referring to as well.
‘The All’ ceases with the cessation of ignorance - the end of dependent origination.
The residue is just the faculties of the mind that sense the physical body - the coals remaining.
Not bad when previously the whole world was on fire.
Notez November 10, 2023, 5:
17pm7
Namo Buddhaya!
When you say ‘the all ceases with the cessation of ignorance’ this needs explaining because
The all is defined in the sutta as the eye & forms, ear & sounds, tongue & tastes, nose & aromas, as body & sensations, and intellect & ideas.
The arahant has no ignorance
The arahant is not without the eye & forms, ear & sounds, tongue & tastes, nose & aromas, body & sensations, intellect & ideas.
If the all ceased with the cessation of ignorance it would follow that the arahant is without these things.
Therefore your statement ‘the all ceases with the cessation of ignorance’ needs more explaining as to the meaning of it.
Consider this,
The truth & reality which is unmade neither arises nor ceases whereas the mind of an arahant is wholly constructed and impermanent.
The only connection between the unmade and the minds of beings is that the discernment of the unmade is effectively a destruction of taints and cessation attainments occur in dependence on it.
The discernment of the constructed-feeling-states such as dreams, perceptions of sensuality, mundane perceptions or the formless perceptions, these perceptions and the objects of these perceptions, were generated in the past, are generated in the present, or will be generated in the future.
For example the feeling-states of seeing of ‘blue’, and that in dependence on which these occur;
all that has occured, is occuring or will occur;
all that has been generated, is generated or will be generated.
Therein
The eye was, is, or will be generated.
The form ‘blue’ was, is or will be generated.
The eye-consciousness was, is, or will be generated.
As to that which has been in the past, the term ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or ‘will be’.
As to that which is in the present, the term ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or ‘will be’
As to that which will be in the future, the term ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or ‘is’.
Therefore in as far as past, present and future discernment of ‘blue’, for this or that being, it will be different and it will occur in dependence on different things.
This is unlike the destruction of taints occuring in dependence on the unmade element.
In as far as there a destruction of taints occuring in dependence on the unmade element, for this or that being, it will occur in dependence on one & same truth-reality which is the unmade.
In as far as beings, past, present, or future, will abide in a cessation of perception & feeling, all these cessations will occur in dependence on the very same element which is the unmade.
Likewise all beings who attain destruction of taints, past, present, or future;
attain it by seeing with wisdom the very same unconstructed truth-reality.
By this line of reasoning it can be shown that the minds of the arahants are many but there is only one unmade.
The All is manyfold - the unmade is one.
The constructed is manyfold - the unmade is one.
The dukkha is manyfold - that in dependence on which the cessation of dukkha occurs is one.
It is very important to realize how special this is and it is very easy to miss
One might say
All beings who see ‘blue’ do so in dependence on the same ‘blue’.
This is not so.
In as far there is talk about the conditioned, it is never the same thing occuring and the conditions for it’s occurence-discernment are always different because the constructed changes as it persists.
Example 1
Suppose you extinguish a log-fire by pouring water on monday and you extinguish a log-fire by pouring on a tuesday.
Here the fires are not the same and that in dependence on what extinguishment occurs is also not the same.
There is fire1 extinguished by water1 and fire2 being extinguished by water2.
Example 2
Suppose you meet two men, man1 and man2, both ignorant as to what your name is.
There is then ignorance1 and ignorance2.
Now suppose you take man1 aside and tell him your name, now ignorance1 is dispelled in dependence on your speaking and his listening.
Later you take man2 aside and tell him your name, now ignorance2 is dispelled in dependence on your speaking and his listening.
Here ignorance1 is dispelled by speaking1 & listening1;
and ignorance2 is dispelled by speaking2 & listening2.
Even if you were to tell them your name at the same time, their listening is differentiated;
ignorance1 will be dispelled by listening1;
and ignorance2 will be dispelled by listening2.
All these examples are describing changes in the constructed in as far as it persists.
Now consider this
If in the future, your taints are removed by a seeing with discernment, that will occur in dependence on the unconstructed1.
In the past, Sariputtas taints were removed by a seeing with discernment, that occured in dependence on the exact same unconstructed1.
By this line of reasoning it can be shown that the unmade has nothing to do with the minds of beings, unmade is a truth & reality whether it is dicerned or not, it is independent of there being arahants.
1 Like
Clarity November 10, 2023, 5:
54pm8
Thank you for your answers.
I am trying to summarize what you said below:
Consciousness as a clinging aggregate is conditioned by asavas (lets just simplify and say ignorance).
Defilements like greed and hatred are conditioned by that fundamental ignorance - ‘I am the thinker’ - but further conditioned by likes, dislikes (karmic tendencies), feelings, etc.
With the cessation of ignorance, then greed and hatred will disintegrate into the constituant aggregates - for example, feelings and thinking.
In other words, once we see that the snake is just a rope then there is just a rope.
In summary, you are telling me this kind of chain reaction (with symbol “→” denotes the verb “conditions”):
[likes, dislikes (karmic tendencies), feelings, etc.
+ ignorance] → greed and hatred → (clinging) consciousness
And here is the cessation of that chain reaction (with the strikethrough denotes “cessation”):
[likes, dislikes (karmic tendencies), feelings, etc.
+ ignorance] → greed and hatred
greed and hatred → (clinging) consciousness
Put back into words again:
Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of greed and hatred
Cessation of greed and hatred conditions cessation of clinging consciousness
As you seems to say in your essay:
cessation of clinging consciousness is anidassana consciousness.
In other words, from (2) above, we have:
anidassana consciousness is conditioned by cessation of greed and hatred.
Therefore:
anidassana consciousness is a conditioned dhamma.
However:
All conditioned things will be inevitably destroyed.
Conclusion:
anidassana consciousness will also be inevitably destroyed.
Do you agree with such conclusion?
Notez November 10, 2023, 7:
57pm9
Namo Buddhaya!
I want to emphasise that what i am getting at is that the referent of the D11 verse is definitely not an aspect of an arahant’s mind, nor a mind’s quality or classification.
But it is that in dependence on what the mind is purified and in dependence on what the cessation attainments occur.
I hold that the verse is a proclamation of the same ayatana as is proclaimed in U8.1
There is, bhikkhus, that ayatana where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air;
no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception;
neither this world nor another world nor both;
neither sun nor moon.
Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising.
Not fixed, not movable, it has no support.
Just this is the end of suffering.
D11 verse speaks of a ‘where consciousness is brought to an end’.
Obviously the end of suffering is just that, where these things are brought to an end.
I am inclined to take the D11 verse to read as:
‘There is that ayatana where consciousness is not apparent [doesn’t appear;
is not-demonstrable], luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end.’
It could as i see it rightly be modified merging the two excerpts
“There is, bhikkhus, that ayatana where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air;
luminous all around;
there consciousness is not apparent:
no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception;
neither this world nor another world nor both;
neither sun nor moon.
Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising.
Not fixed, not movable, it has no support.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul, name & form, are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end.
Just this is the end of suffering.”
The only question is could “vinnana anidassana” be a name rather than a descriptive quality.
In this case we would get;
“There is, bhikkhus, that ayayana, called Consciousness Anidassana;
where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air;
luminous all around:
no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception;
neither this world nor another world nor both;
neither sun nor moon.
Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising.
Not fixed, not movable, it has no support.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul, name & form, are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end.
Just this is the end of suffering.”
It runs into inconsistencies because consciousness is defined as the six classes of consciousness, name & form is it’s requisite condition:
form is one end, name is the other end, and consciousness is in the middle.
And the verse itself would then speak of a cessation of consciousness but describing it as a type of consciouness.
One could entertain that it is not so that The Blessed One describes as consciousness only the six classes of consciousness but that wherever there is consciousness & in whatever terms consciousness is discerned, that he describes as consciousness.
This is analogical to describing the cessation of feeling as pleasant, saying that there is a pleasure where nothing is felt.
One would have to say that this is then a consciousness not included in the consciousness aggregate, not found among past, present or future consciousnesses.
This would work but was it intended?
I do not see a substantial advantage to this method and therefore i favor the former reading.
However both interpretations are agreeable to me when thus explained.
I think that the former reading is more agreeable to annihilationists and the latter more agreeable to eternalists, and that it makes little to no difference to those who understand what is being spoken of.
1 Like
Charlie November 11, 2023, 3:
40am10
When you say ‘the all ceases with the cessation of ignorance’ this needs explaining because
The all is defined in the sutta as the eye & forms, ear & sounds, tongue & tastes, nose & aromas, as body & sensations, and intellect & ideas.
The arahant has no ignorance
The arahant is not without the eye & forms, ear & sounds, tongue & tastes, nose & aromas, body & sensations, intellect & ideas.
If the all ceased with the cessation of ignorance it would follow that the arahant is without these things.
In SN35.23 we have:
“The Blessed One said, “What is the All?
Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
This, monks, is called the All…”
Assumption:
The Buddha is freed from ignorance, the audience is not.
In terms of the snake and rope simile, the Buddha is telling the audience that what appears as a snake is actually just a rope.
The Loka suttas are also relevant such as SN12.44
The truth & reality which is unmade neither arises nor ceases whereas the mind of an arahant is wholly constructed and impermanent.
What leads you to this conclusion?
This maybe is something we could discuss more as I don’t see that as being the case.
The only connection between the unmade and the minds of beings is that the discernment of the unmade is effectively a destruction of taints and cessation attainments occur in dependence on it.
When you say ‘minds of beings’ are you also refering to the mind of the Arahat?
Likewise all beings who attain destruction of taints, past, present, or future;
attain it by seeing with wisdom the very same unconstructed truth-reality.
I agree.
By this line of reasoning it can be shown that the minds of the arahants are many but there is only one unmade.
Hmm, not really willing to go there.
I think it is getting to speculative for me.
The All is manyfold - the unmade is one.
The constructed is manyfold - the unmade is one.
The dukkha is manyfold - that in dependence on which the cessation of
dukkha occurs is one.
Agree
It is very important to realize how special this is and it is very easy to miss
This is outside the scope of this essay.
Suppose you meet two men … and ignorance2 will be dispelled by listening2.
All these examples are describing changes in the constructed in as far as it persists.
I agree
By this line of reasoning it can be shown that the unmade has nothing to do with the minds of beings, unmade is a truth & reality whether it is dicerned or not, it is independent of there being arahants.
I never said it was.
I think I have covered the main issues aside from where I ask for some clarification.
Let me know if I missed something.
Charlie November 11, 2023, 4:
01am11
In summary, you are telling me this kind of chain reaction (with symbol “→” denotes the verb “conditions”):
Oh sorry, no - that is just my style of writing - a way to separate phrases.
For a chain of events or actions I tend to use ‘>’.
(examples intended)
Does that change the questions you had?
Notez November 11, 2023, 8:
11am12
The truth & reality which is unmade neither arises nor ceases whereas the mind of an arahant is wholly constructed and impermanent.
What leads you to this conclusion?
This maybe is something we could discuss more as I don’t see that as being the case.
Namo Buddhaya!
There are three characteristics defining the unconstructed;
No arising is discerned.
No disappearance is discerned.
No change while it persists is discerned.
As to that which is called mind-intellect-consciousness, by which one experiences pleasant & unpleasant things, this is impermanent and is changing as it persists;
by day & by night it arises as one thing and ceases as another, that for as long as fuel for existence remains.
Manocittavinnana is dukkha, even when it is rid of delusion.
An arahant is not without it.
It is somewhat common to see people interpret the unconditioned as a quality of an arahant’s mind.
What they will be getting at is that the arahant’s mind, having turned away from conditioning/constructing of a consequent birth, is therefore ‘unconditioned’.
The passages like ‘there is that ayatana where neither this world nor the next…’ these are then interpreted as referring to the arahant’s not having craving, neither for this world nor the next, neither for form nor for the formless, them having thus abandoned all craving for being [bhava].
These people miss the point, because they will describe a cessation of the constructed as a change in the constructed.
In other words, they hold that the world will change thus:
having been with an arahant’s consciousness, the world will become without an arahant’s consciousness.
This is an annihilation of constructed in the constructed, a discerned change in the constructed as it persists.
Exactly as the fire simile, there is burning in the world, the world changes with the extinguishment of the fire, having been with fire the world becomes without.
In the exact same way they think about the parinibbana of an arahant;
The world was with the constructed which can be grasped with wrong view to be personal for the arahant, and it becomes without these things due to their extinguishment.
Thus there is a cessation of constructed in the constructed due to the special quality of an arahant’s mind namely the unconditioned which is their having turned away from conditioning/constructing of a consequent birth due to lack of clinging.
The issue with this view is that there is nothing particularly unmade about it.
It doesn’t describe a cessation of the made as the unmade in any sense other than the arahant’s existemce being annihilated and future existence not being made due to a lack of clinging.
As it actually is, it describes the made as the unmade and merely talks about a change in the made as it persists.
Alternatively they might say that the extinguishment of an arahant’s existence is the unmade, but that is in a sense that the extinguishment of a fire is an unmade fire, or they might say that a lack of fuel in a fire is an unmade and they should admit it.
This is a pernicious wrong view and it can be very difficult to give up.
Green November 11, 2023, 9:
36am13
I like the following interpretation and simile.
The mind is like the ocean.
The mind/ocean has two aspects.
A. It has an aspect or element that cannot be seen arising, ceasing and changing.
This is like an peaceful empty stillness.
Like a ground.
It is never absent.
It shows no movement.
Here it is a oneness.
In the sutta’s this is refered to as an ultimate emptiness , the unconditioned, the stilling of all formations, cessation, Nibbana.
Cessation is not nothing.
The Buddha also refers to this as Tathagata.
The Tathagata is deep, immeasurable, unfathomable as the ocean.
This aspect or element of mind is space-like, it cannot be identified as this or that because it has no characteristics.
That is its emptiness.
At the same time, it is not a mere emptiness, it also has an aspect of clarity, i.
e. the ability to become aware of things, and it is able to manifest things without hindrance.
These things are not local.
At this level one cannot speak of the mind of a being or even a being.
This depth, the Tathagata, is beyond any bhava.
B. Besides this the mind has a surface, waves, an aspect or element of movement, formations arising and ceasing.
For the ignorant mind only waves, formations, arising and ceasing are seen.
It is obsessed with formations.
Like moving things also get immediately the attention of the physical eye, likewise, arising formations in the mind tend to get immediately attention of the mental eye.
It is just how nature works.
It inclines towards movement.
Buddha’s aim
Buddha’s teachings 1. make us aware that there are those two aspects or elements in our lifes.
Not one aspect.
Not only arising and ceasing and change.
2. With all his skills as teachers he tries to remedy our usual obsession with what is seen arising and ceasing.
Otherwise we cannot awaken to the other aspect, the depth, the Tathagata.
We are too obsessed with, and involved in the waves or surface noise of the mind.
While these are only its projections.
It like mind all the time grasps at it own projections.
If you look in meditation, direct, you can see that when mind starts to grasp arising ideas, thoughts, plans, mental images etc is start conceiving and tends to get lost in that.
Absorbed in that.
Absorbed in conceivings is feels very real and it becomes our world as it were.
The moment the mind start conceiving and gets lost in it, it has made a home of the head.
But the head is not the home of the mind.
It took time to see this but i do not doubt this anymore.
Passion causes that one makes the head ones home.
And while in the midst of all this conceivings, one experiences that as ones reality.
While it is only the mind grasping at her own projections.
A kind of story telling.
One can due to anger start conceiving how bad a person is, and it feels very real, but at the same time one can drop all this immediately, cut it at the root and there is nothing real about it anymore.
It is like one has left a dream.
Being lost in conceiving is like dreaming.
I am quit sure that in fact the brain is very demanding and distorting and it is due to passion we end up in our heads.
While so lost in conceivings and with so much love and attention for formations, at the same time the empty stilness, the inner peace, that what is not seen arising, ceasing and changing is fully ignored.
It is even like it does not exist anymore.
But that is nonsense.
The nutrition of avijja
Ignoring what is most self-evident for us, is what ignorance grows/feeds upon.
Upon neutral feeling which are most common or self-evident.
Also stillness, peace, emptiness, that aspect of our lifes that is not seen arising and ceasing and changing is most self-evident.
It is due to the self-evidency of inner silence, peace, emptiness, Nibbana that we do not see it, ignore it, do not feel that it is deep, special.
All teachings, i believe, are only skillful means to awaken us and to guide us to the stillness, the emptiness, the depth that is allready present and is ignored in so many lifes.
Ignored not because Nibbana was absent any moment, but the peace and unburdeness of Nibbana has always been the most self-evident aspect in our lifes.
That is why it is not seen.
There is nothing more common, more self-evident, more close to us, known to us, then Nibbana.
So, now you are all convinced and Green-ones :
slight_smile:
Notez November 11, 2023, 10:
07am14
It has an aspect or element that cannot be seen arising, ceasing and changing.
This is like an peaceful empty stillness.
This is a good example of ascribing the qualities of the unmade to something made.
The mind that was in the past, is ceased, the word ‘was’ applies to it, not the word is or will be.
The future doesn’t yet exist, it will arise and so the future consciousness is known to arise.
It doesn’t matter if it is incorporeal & hidden, it’s arising & change are evident in that pleasant & unpleasant feelings cognized by the mind change.
If you assert that the same mind persists through time then this sides with eternalism.
You can talk about the weather in the same way.
Saying that there is an unchanging & unseen weather element underlying all past, present & future surfacing perceptions of the wind, or the rain, or the heat, or the cold.
Weather changes as it persists, likewise consciousness is changing as it persists, this is how one should think about it.
There is nothing unconditioned about this pile of constructed phenomena.
1 Like
Charlie November 11, 2023, 10:
37am15
This is a good example of ascribing the qualities of the unmade to something made.
The mind that was in the past, is ceased, the word ‘was’ applies to it, not the word is or will be.
The future doesn’t yet exist, it will arise and so the future consciousness is known to arise.
It seems to me that you are equating knowing with the flow of phenomena.
That knowing arises and passes away even for the Arahat.
I don’t see that this is consistent with what the Suttas are saying - what Green is saying is much more consistent with my understanding as well.
But to each his own.
Charlie November 11, 2023, 10:
56am16
There are three characteristics defining the unconstructed;
No arising is discerned.
No disappearance is discerned.
No change while it persists is discerned.
As to that which is called mind-intellect-consciousness, by which one experiences pleasant & unpleasant things, this is impermanent and is changing as it persists;
by day & by night it arises as one thing and ceases as another, that for as long as fuel for existence remains.
Maybe we can take this in smaller chunks:
Ud8.4
One who is dependent has wavering.
One who is independent has no wavering There being no wavering, there is calm.
There being calm, there is no yearning.
There being no yearning, there is no coming or going.
There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising.
There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two.
This, just this, is the end of stress.
How do you understand the above in relation to what you are saying in your post?
Green November 11, 2023, 11:
02am17
If you assert that the same mind persists through time then this sides with eternalism.
I believe that the nature of mind is not a bhava, and so it is also beyond time and space.
Meaning it is unestablished, unsupported.
While it is beyond time and space it also cannot be called eternal.
The nature of mind is also no Atta.
Mind is a very interesting idea.
But what is mind?
Where does it refer to?
I feel, later buddhims has felt the need to give this more attention.
Not that it deviates from the sutta’s but it is not given much specific attention in tje sutta’s.
’ Mind’ almost always referes to formations, arising and ceasing, stream of moments of specific kinds of awareness.
Or emotions, thoughts etc.
But that is, according later buddhist, only an aspect of the mind.
The movement aspect.
The mind has also that element or aspect of peace, non-movement, stillness, emptiness.
That is also in EBT ofcourse.
The descent into emptiness is, ofcourse, a descent into the empty stilled nature of mind.
Then one starts to see mind is not the same as formations.
No moments of sounds (no ear-vinnana), no moments of tactile sensations (body-vinnana), no tendencies arising, not emotions, thoughts, ideas, plans etc.
This is the cessation of the constant changing stream of the 6 sense vinnana’s ofcourse.
Those moments blind us for what mind really is.
Vinnana is surface noise and does not reveal what mind is.
That is how i tend to see this.
Now i am going to sit and meditate.
There is nothing unconditioned about this pile of constructed phenomena.
I do not say that.
There is the conditioned and unconditioned aspect or element in our lifes or Life.
Notez November 11, 2023, 11:
15am18
There is no doer of a deed
Or one who reaps the deed’s result;
Phenomena alone flow on—
No other view than this is right.
[Visuddhimagga]
Why now do you assume ‘a being’?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.
Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word ‘chariot’ is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There’s the convention ‘a being.’
It’s only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.
[Vajira Sutta]
Yes phenomena alone flow on but these are not the same phenomena flowing on.
Blessed One said to him, “Is it true, Sāti, that this pernicious view has arisen in you — ‘As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another’?”
“Exactly so, lord.
As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another.”
“Which consciousness, Sāti, is that?”
“This speaker, this knower, lord, that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & evil actions.”
“And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that?
Haven’t I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, ‘Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness’?
But you, through your own poor grasp, not only slander us but also dig yourself up [by the root] and produce much demerit for yourself.
That will lead to your long-term harm & suffering.”
[Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta]
“But, indeed, that which, monks, is called ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’, that, by night and by day, as other, indeed, arises, as one thing and ceases as another.
Just as, monks, a monkey in the mountain-side forests, moving itself, grasps a branch, then releasing that, grasps another, then releasing that, grasps another;
even so, indeed, monks, that which is called ‘mind’, or ‘thought’, or ‘consciousness’:
that, by night and by day, as other, indeed, arises, as other ceases.
[Asuttavā Sutta]
"Bhikkhus, there are these three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins.
What three?
"Whatever form, bhikkhus, has passed, ceased, changed:
the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’
"Whatever feeling …
Whatever perception …
Whatever formations …
description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’
"Whatever form, bhikkhus, has not been born, has not become manifest:
the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’
"Whatever feeling …
Whatever perception …
Whatever formations …
Whatever consciousness has not been born, has not become manifest:
the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’
"Whatever form, bhikkhus, has been born, has become manifest:
the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’
"Whatever feeling …
Whatever perception …
Whatever formations …
Whatever consciousness has been born, has become manifest:
the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’
"These, bhikkhus, are the three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins.
[ Nirutti-Patha Sutta]
Notez November 11, 2023, 11:
22am19
I believe that the nature of mind is not a bhava, and so it is also beyond time and space.
Meaning it is unestablished, unsupported.
Do you assert that there are many minds like this or just one?
In other words do you think that this a single ‘mind’ underlying the realities of the various beings?
Notez November 11, 2023, 11:
30am20
Also from the Visuddhimagga, on the same point;
“Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object
Of a single consciousness;
By one who knows not these three things
Development is not obtained.
“Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object
Of a single consciousness;
By one who does know these three things
Development can be obtained.”
Green November 11, 2023, 12:
04pm21
Do you assert that there are many minds like this or just one?
In other words do you think that this a single ‘mind’ underlying the realities of the various beings?
Mind must not be reified because it is not a thing.
If i say there is just one mind, than i reify mind and give it boundaries.
I am not gonna do that.
What i believe that can be seen is:
That there is a moment that reality is not yet established.
A moment of complete openess and emptiness.
The reality… “I am a human being, I am the body, I am vinnana, I am this or that, or even I am, or I am here and there” is not yet establised.
These are always ideas that are establised due to grasping and conceiving.
So, the unestablised reality is, as it were, never absent.
Indeed, it is, as it were, underlying all existence, underlying any bhava, but overlooked.
Due to grasping we live in a conceived world, a world of ideas, views, images.
That is how our reality becomes establised.
It is like we have no contact/feeling anymore fo the openess, the unestablised reality, the signless, desireless, uninclined.
The reality in which things have no name, no sign, no subjective meaning yet.
It is like we have lost a sense of the total openess of the mind.
A situation in which not all is filled in yet.
But i feel this can be seen.
Notez November 11, 2023, 12:
21pm22
That there is a moment that reality is not yet established
A moment is something that changes because it pertains to time and is merely a smallest unit of time measure.
An year has a beginning, middle and an end.
A month…
A day…
An hour…
A minute…
A second…
A nanosecond…
A moment has a beginning, middle and an end.
If a moment didn’t have a beginning, middle and an end, then it’s beginning and end wouldn’t be discerned.
Notez November 11, 2023, 12:
41pm23
It is like we have no contact/feeling anymore
I don’t really understand what it is that you are talking about because of the unconventional usage of words like ‘mind’ and now ‘moment’.
The word mind is generally a mind of this or that being, the six classes of consciousness are spoken of as mind.
When you speak of a mind other than this, it is extraordinary and requires much explanation.
Likewise when you speak of ‘moments’ outside of space-time.
This is very much extraordinary because a moment pertains to time and we don’t usually speak of time outside time.
Anyway, i will leave it at this.
1 Like
Charlie November 11, 2023, 2:
14pm24
Yes phenomena alone flow on but these are not the same phenomena flowing on.
Have you considered that the sense of time may be an artifact of ever changing phenomena?
Just a thought.
Anyway, I don’t know what to say.
You post these quotes I assume to correct some misunderstanding that you feel I have - yet I keep agreeing with these posts - such as the two you give here.
So I don’t really understand what you are getting at.
Perhaps if you quoted something from the essay and say “This is how I understand this - Is this what you mean?”
- then that would give me a better idea.
Clarity November 11, 2023, 2:
53pm25
Does that change the questions you had?
No, the questions that I asked will still be the same.
Oh sorry, no - that is just my style of writing - a way to separate phrases.
For a chain of events or actions I tend to use ‘>’.
(examples intended)
Let me put it in clearer words with highlight so you can see easier.
Below is just directly from what you said:
Consciousness as a clinging aggregate is conditioned by asavas (lets just simplify and say ignorance).
Defilements like greed and hatred are conditioned by that fundamental ignorance - ‘I am the thinker’ - but further conditioned by likes, dislikes (karmic tendencies), feelings, etc.
With the cessation of ignorance, then greed and hatred will disintegrate into the constituant aggregates - for example, feelings and thinking.
From what you said, as I understand, it means:
Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of greed and hatred
Cessation of greed and hatred conditions cessation of clinging consciousness
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Notez November 11, 2023, 3:
00pm26
Have you considered that the sense of time may be an artifact of ever changing phenomena?
Just a thought.
I don’t understand what you mean by it being an artifact of changing phenomena but time only goes in as far as change goes in general.
We only think about time in as far as change goes.
To measure time we measure a change in something.
Our smallest measure of time is derived from our ability to discern change such the frequencies of as atomic decayor whatnot by which we calibrate other means of measuring time.
A year is measured months
Months by days
Days by hours
Hours by minutes
Minutes by seconds
Seconds by miliseconds
Miliseconds by nanoseconds
Nanoseconds by measurable intervals of atomic decay or things like a particle crossing of a molecule.
But at the end of the day, to measure any interval we have to discern change, and in that a before and an after must be discerned.
Therefore thinking about time is inherently tied to change.
In that sense one can say that time is an artifact of change.
Maybe this is close to what you meant.
Notez November 11, 2023, 3:
07pm27
You post these quotes I assume to correct some misunderstanding that you feel I have - yet I keep agreeing with these posts - such as the two you give here.
I was posting in trying to understand what exactly you meant and the quotes to encourage a common usage of that expression.
It is very difficult to understand what exactly people mean when talking about these things.
Green November 11, 2023, 4:
44pm28
That there is a moment that reality is not yet established
A moment is something that changes because it pertains to time and is merely a smallest unit of time measure.
You stumble on the word ‘moment’, unfortunately.
I see that the Buddha teaches that there is not something like an established reality.
The All, the world we experience via the six senses, is mind-made in the way we experience it.
The hardness/softness of things, the colours, the sounds, the shapes, the smells, all the characteristics we notice, it is all just a result of how our brain , our senses, our nerves, our mind processes info.
Einstein has showed this is also true for the dimensions of time and space, that is also relative and dependend on perspective.
But how we perceive things is not an established reality.
This idea of an established reality is the ultimate delusion.
Because then we think or believe that the way we experience things as humans is how things are.
This is absurd.
The top of delusion.
It is really nonsense to think that a decaying body IS repulsive, for example.
Buddha could walk over water, fly, dive into the earth, and this way a great masters shows there is no established reality.
Maybe you can feel or see how the mind fills in and get some sense of the unestablised reality?
The word mind is generally a mind of this or that being,
Do you really believe there is a being and that is has a mind?
?
…the six classes of consciousness are spoken of as mind.
And when the sutta’s talk about the purification of the mind, does that refer to the purification of the 6 sense vinnana’s?
Sutta’s talk about the mind in different ways.
In general, in that aspect that can be seen arising and ceasing (vinnana’s) and in that aspect that cannot be seen arising and ceasing (emptiness).
That aspect of mind that cannot be seen arising and ceasing is impossible to manipulate.
How can one manipulate emptiness?
Notez November 11, 2023, 8:
37pm29
I’ll answer anyway because these are good questions
Do you really believe there is a being and that is has a mind?
?
In as far as communication goes i understand what is referred to as a ‘being’.
If you tell me:
‘give this package to that being’.
Because i am adequately trained in such communicaion, I would be capable of doing what it is you want me to do.
If you were to tell me:
‘this being’s mind is beset by worry’.
Likewise i would know what it is that you are communiating because i am adequately trained.
In either case, If you spoke in a foreign language, then i wouldn’t be able to respond adequately to the communicable because i am not trained in that system.
Therefore the question of whether I really believe that there are being and whether these being really have minds, is irrelevant to effective communication.
It is just communication & the communicable and i have long understood that reality is not what i name it or what think about it.
Therefore in as far as communication goes i know the words ‘beings’ and ‘minds’ but i don’t make assertions beyond the communicable use of these conventions.
And when the sutta’s talk about the purification of the mind, does that refer to the purification of the 6 sense vinnana’s?
Purification of mind is neither the aggregate consciousness nor apart from it.
But rather this purification is discerned as the absence of greed-anger-delusion in dependence on past, present and future consciousness.
Green November 11, 2023, 8:
37pm30
, the six classes of consciousness are spoken of as mind.
so, if someone is unconsciousness, mind is absent?
Notez November 11, 2023, 8:
55pm31
if someone is unconsciousness, mind is absent?
You are asking many questions and i don’t understand why.
Could you tell me the purpose?
Are you cross-questioning in regards to the questions i posed to you;
or are you generally curious about my understanding;
or are you interrogating as to find a mistake;
or are looking for a clarification of a particular point?
Either is fine with me but as much as i do appreciate a good question, i do not like derailing this thread by further discussing unconsciousness.
I pretty much signed up to this forum to discuss the D11.
1 Like
Charlie November 12, 2023, 1:
57am32
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Thanks, this is very helpful feedback.
I can see that what I wrote could be a bit confusing.
Let me restate that more clearly:
The Aggregate of Consciousness (the knowing quality of the mind) under the influence of ignorance is what makes it ‘clingable’ - or in other words, now it has become the Clinging Aggregate of Consciousness.
With the presence of ignorance, sankharas are also present and these further condition this Clinging Aggregate of Consciousness.
With the cessation of ignorance, this Clinging Aggregate of Consciousness remains/reverts to The Aggregate of Consciousness (the knowing quality of mind) - The Clinging Aggregate is seen to have been simply an illusion or trick of the mind due to ignorance.
Like the rope that appears as a snake - once it is seen to be a rope, the sense of it being a snake disappears.
From what you said, as I understand, it means:
Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of greed and hatred
Cessation of greed and hatred conditions cessation of clinging consciousness
I wanted to stay away from stages of awakening but I did mention greed and hatred - so I guess I can’t.
I think greed and hatred fall away with the five lower fetters so these disappear when there is no longer the sense of ‘I am this/that’ and what is left is the formless identification ‘I am’ (Anagami).
This seems quite clear in the Suttas.
I really appreciate your questions.
It is so difficult to present this topic in a way that is clear.
Rephrasing:
Greed and Hatred fall away/cease with the cessation of identification with this body as being me or mine (the stage of Anagami).
Greed and Hatred further conditions/distorts our sense of self as long as these are active (see 1 above) .
I hope that is better.
Thank you for your help.
I think in my next version of this I will not refer to Greed and Hatred in order to avoid having to bring in stages of awakening which make this topic unnecessarily complicated.
Because really all I am trying to show here is that vinanna doesn’t disappear/cease with awakening - it just stops landing on name and form.
Charlie November 12, 2023, 2:
14am33
I was posting in trying to understand what exactly you meant and the quotes to encourage a common usage of that expression.
It is very difficult to understand what exactly people mean when talking about these things.
Indeed, it is very difficult.
I appreciate your effort.
I am not very familiar with the Visudhimagga.
I started with reading the suttas before encountering it and just found it confusing to me.
It is much easier for me to stay within the context of the Suttas.
I will take a look at your earlier posts to see if I can maybe see where we are disagreeing or misunderstanding each other.
Green November 12, 2023, 8:
40am34
I now rest in this (for a while :
slight_smile:
I believe all this in DN11 says “monk seek the fruit of arahantship and do not seek arupa jhana”.
Seek the fruit of a fully purified and detached mind.
That is the mind which does not land anymore on what it senses because all that can cause landing (all fetters) have been destroyed.
“Seek that monk”.
The cessation of vinnana mentioned does not refer to the cessation of the 6 sense vinnana’s, like it also does not in Paticca Samuppada (an arahant without avijja still senses) but vinnana in the sutta’s almost always refers to a defiled mindstate, a knowing defiled with greed, hate and delusion.
A kamma vinnana.
If one does not see this, all becomes a mess.
There a huge difference between a mere sense vinnana and a karmically active vinnana, i.
e. a vinnana with a defiled load.
Vinnana is almost never a mere consciousness.
A mere sensing.
Only for the arahant.
The karmically loaded vinnana’s have ended for the arahant but not the six sense vinnana’s, ofcourse.
In this situation there are elements, but they find no footing because anything that can cause attachment to it, is uprooted.
I believe it cannot really be said that in arupa jhana the four great elements have no footing.
Probably it can be said they have temporary ceased, surpressed.
And Buddha says to the monk, " do not seek that.
Do not seek those formless realms", but seek the fruit of the arahant.
A situation of total detachment, where the elements find no footing.
Detachment is the same as ‘things find no footing anymore’.
They do not establish.
They are there but they do not become builingblocks.
Nanananda also saw this adinassana vinnana as the fully purified mind, free (DN, note 242, translation Walshe).
For me, all things fall in place this way.
Charlie November 12, 2023, 2:
47pm35
If one does not see this, all becomes a mess.
There a huge difference between a mere sense vinnana and a karmically active vinnana, i.
e. a vinnana with a defiled load.
Vinnana is almost never a mere consciousness.
A mere sensing.
Only for the arahant.
Yes, I agree.
One has to find a way of dismissing not only the sutta references I have included here but in my opinion many more.
How does consciousness become freed in some suttas and yet always destroyed according to Sujato’s reasoning.
The more one looks into this, the more this view falls apart.
How can an Arahat still be aware of all five aggregates if the aggregate of consciousness ceases to exist?
2 Likes
Green November 12, 2023, 4:
48pm36
Yes, I agree.
One has to find a way of dismissing not only the sutta references I have included here but in my opinion many more.
How does consciousness become freed in some suttas and yet always destroyed according to Sujato’s reasoning.
The more one looks into this, the more this view falls apart.
How can an Arahat still be aware of all five aggregates if the aggregate of consciousness ceases to exist?
Just as info.
I did not figure this out myself.
These different meanings of vinnana.
It was explained to me.
All credits to the teacher.
For me it was very helpful.
I have read that Abhidhamma treats vinnana as an endstage.
An original pure citta becomes defiled in very rapid successive stages.
The end stage of defilement is the vinnana-khandha.
Cetasika’s like greed, hate, jalousy etc.
are incorporated very rapidly.
And very rapidly there is much more going on then a mere seeing, hearing, tasting, thinking, smelling, tactile feeling.
Vinnana is almost always defiled, loaded, not only with dark qualities but also with bright ones.
Such vinnana’s can become kamma-seeds and lead to vipaka, fruits, good and bad.
But sense vinnana’s cannot.
They have not karmic load.
A mere smell vinnana is very different from a smell vinnana with the karmic load of dislike.
Such karmic loaded vinnana’s gradually weaken and even come to an end due to the Path, but not the sense-vinnana’s ofcourse.
It is not that one becomes blind :
slight_smile:
Jasudho November 12, 2023, 5:
33pm37
How can an Arahat still be aware of all five aggregates if the aggregate of consciousness ceases to exist?
Because it doesn’t cease to exist while an arahant is alive.
All the khandhas are present and active while alive – what has ceased are all defilements and clinging.
Greed, anger, and ignorance have ceased.
Not the khandhas.
So there is peace and the knowledge that there will be no further rebirth and hence no re-arising of dukkha after the final death.
Consciousness and the other khandhas only cease with final nibbāna, when the khandhas cease without remainder at the passing away of an arahant.
Then, no consciousness or any of the other aggregates, no bhava, no dukkha.
1 Like
Clarity November 12, 2023, 9:
33pm38
It seems to me that there are currently at least 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1:
There is clinging.
There is consciousness.
There is also another type of consciousness which is clinging consciousness which is the result of:
ignorance covering/influences consciousness in (2) above.
Now we look at the cessation in scenario 1:
a) Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of clinging.
Cessation of clinging conditions cessation of clinging consciousness.
b) Consciousness in (2) is always there, it does not change, it is not affected, it still remains while (1) and (2) are gone, it is not conditioned by the cessation procedure.
Illustration:
[Wearing color glass](Ignorance) so [a person with good eyes](Consciousness) [sees through color glass](Clinging consciousness) then [sees distorted color](Samsara).
Cessation:
[Removing color glass](Cessation of ignorance) so [a person with good eyes](Consciousness) [does not see through color glass](Cessation of clinging consciousness) then [sees color as it really is](Nibbāna)
In this case:
[Good eyes](Consciousness) from start to finish, remains the same, never changes.
People will call this [Good eyes](Consciousness) as pure heart, pure mind, pure consciousness, pure citta, anidassana consciousness, etc.
Because it never changes, it is deathless, it is unconditioned just like Nibbāna.
Scenario 2:
There is clinging.
There is clinging consciousness which is the result of:
ignorance
Note that there is no 2 types of consciousness as in scenario 1.
Now we look at the cessation in scenario 2:
a) Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of clinging.
Cessation of clinging conditions cessation of clinging consciousness.
b) Clinging consciousness becomes consciousness.
c) Consciousness in (b) above is conditioned by the cessation procedure.
Whatever the name we give to Consciousness in (b), we can call it pure heart, pure mind, pure consciousness, pure citta, anidassana consciousness, etc.
it is still a conditioned dhamma.
Therefore, it will also be destroyed.
Illustration:
[A sick person](Ignorance) with [sick eyes](Clinging consciousness) [sees distorted color](Samsara).
Cessation:
[a healthy person](Cessation of ignorance) with [healthy eyes](Consciousness) [sees color as it really is](Nibbāna)
In this case:
[healthy eyes](Consciousness) is a conditioned dhamma because it changes from sick eye into healthy eye with the cessation of sickness as condition.
Although that consciousness can be used to see the unconditioned Nibbāna, that consciousness will still be destroyed.
So, I have presented here 2 scenarios.
From our discussion, it seems to me, you are telling scenario 1. Meanwhile, I was trying to show you scenario 2.
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Charlie November 12, 2023, 11:
44pm39
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Yes, pretty good.
But the wording of Scenario 1 isn’t quite what I am describing so if I may rephrase it:
There is undefiled mind (citta)
This citta has an inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing.
In the presence of ignorance, this knowing quality is subject to clinging.
With the cessation of ignorance, clinging ceases.
Can you work with that?
Charlie November 13, 2023, 1:
54am40
All the khandhas are present and active while alive – what has ceased are all defilements and clinging.
Greed, anger, and ignorance have ceased.
Not the khandhas.
This is the whole point of the essay.
I am responding to Ven.
Sujato’s view that consciousness ceases (to exist) with the cessation of dependent origination.
Seems like we agree on this.
Consciousness and the other khandhas only cease with final nibbāna, when the khandhas cease without remainder at the passing away of an arahant.
Then, no consciousness or any of the other aggregates, no bhava, no dukkha.
What happens at death of the physical body of an Arahat - can’t really speculate on.
Are you saying here that Bhava only ceases with the death off the physical body?
- Maybe I am misunderstanding you.
Bhava is dependent on ignorance.
Jasudho November 13, 2023, 3:
17am41
My response was to your question:
How can an Arahat still be aware of all five aggregates if the aggregate of consciousness ceases to exist?
Answer:
Because the consciousness aggregate hasn’t ceased for the arahant.
Glad we appear to agree on this.
Are you saying here that Bhava only ceases with the death off the physical body?
- Maybe I am misunderstanding you.
Bhava is dependent on ignorance.
Upon Awakening and the ending of ignorance, there is still continued existence/bhava (let’s say in the human realm), via the 5 aggregates until it all ceases with the death of an arahant – better, with the cessation of the aggregates.
In other words, the cessation of ignorance does not lead to the immediate cessation or disappearance of all the factors of DO.
There remain the conditional manifestations of the vipkāka that lead to this final birth and life, including bhava, the senses, etc.
An arahant knows there will be no rebirth, but bhava, the aggregates, illness, old age, and physical death still remain and will take place until final niibbāna, (not that an arahant can be pinned down or that there’s any identification with anything).
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Charlie November 13, 2023, 8:
45am42
In other words, the cessation of ignorance does not lead to the immediate cessation or disappearance of all the factors of DO.
There remain the conditional manifestations of the vipkāka that lead to this final birth and life, including bhava, the senses, etc.

An arahant knows there will be no rebirth, but bhava, the aggregates, illness, old age, and physical death still remain and will take place until final niibbāna, (not that an arahant can be pinned down or that there’s any identification with anything).
The presence of the aggregates, an aging body, kamic tendencies (likes, dislikes, habits, and so on) are like a potential place for consciousness to establish itself in the presence of ignorance (I am).
But for the Arahat, that consciousness never lands anywhere - and so there can be no becoming (bhava) there.
Becoming is not a physical state but rather experiential or psychological - a sense of identity, a future, past - we create our world, our past, our future - in search of happiness and such.
But in the absence of ignorance this simply can not arise.
What will appear with relation to these phenomena is just seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking.
They aren’t picked up - and bhava (becoming) relies on being picked-up - that is, consciousness needs to become established there.
Take a look at AN3.77
I suppose you are not the only one here that sees things this way but I have never encountered such a view.
I don’t see any way to approach it but I do appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me.
Sunyo November 13, 2023, 11:
07am43
In Iti44 it is explicitly said that the cessation of bhava “follows this life”.
It happens after death, in other words, at parinibbāna or “extinguishment with nothing left over”.
Bhava is not a sense of identity.
See also here.
I’m surprised this view is new to you.
It’s not exactly a fringe interpretation.
2 Likes
Jasudho November 13, 2023, 12:
49pm44
Thanks for sharing.
In AN3.77 the establishment of consciousness based on craving and intentions leads to rebirth, a new existence, bhava.
:
"“If, Ānanda, there were no deeds to result in the sensual realm, would continued existence in the sensual realm still come about?”
“Kāmadhātuvepakkañca, ānanda, kammaṁ nābhavissa, api nu kho kāmabhavo paññāyethā”ti?"
And so on in the sutta.
This also aligns with the Buddha’s teaching about the three kinds of bhava in SN12.2:
And what is continued existence?
Katamo ca, bhikkhave, bhavo?
There are these three states of existence.
Tayome, bhikkhave, bhavā—
Existence in the sensual realm, the realm of luminous form, and the formless realm.
kāmabhavo, rūpabhavo, arūpabhavo.
This is called continued existence.
Ayaṁ vuccati, bhikkhave, bhavo.
This points to existence as a general way of being.
The three realms are not verbs of “becoming” here.
A being exists in a particular realm based on prior ignorance, craving, etc.
I think this may be where we’re not in agreement – if bhava is defined as “becoming” then this active verb is brought into DO as something that must end when craving and ignorance are given up.
But when the Buddha defines it as a kind of existence in a particular realm, then that existence, like the aggregates, will not fully cease until parinibbāna.
Anyway, that’s how I understand it…
Green November 13, 2023, 1:
42pm45
In Iti44 it is explicitly said that the cessation of bhava “follows this life”.
It happens after death, in other words, at parinibbāna or “extinguishment with nothing left over”.
Bhava is not a sense of identity.
See also here .
I’m surprised this view is new to you.
It’s not exactly a fringe interpretation.
Bhava is what Buddha refers to as a home.
The mind grasping at her own projections such as hate and greed creates a greedy home, and a hateful home for herself at that moments.
It becomes her reality, her bhava at that moment.
It is constructed, build-up.
Such temporary states, build up, are liable to desintgerate and cease.
This is the suffering refered to as the suffering in change and desintegretation.
It always causes a certain unrest.
The mind that builds up, constructs, that is never totally peaceful, at ease.
Easy to see.
Ofcourse, if this building proces (Paticca Samuppada) does not take place, when all grasping is gone, the mind does not construct a home anymore, also not in this life.
Ofcourse the senses keep intact.
That is what called the sa-upadisesa Nibbana of the arahant.
This Nibbana is no bhava.
Cessation of all bhava follows also this life because it has been realised here and now ofcourse.
That is also the only reason.
The way the sutta’s express the cessation of bhava in this life is as ‘an emptiness’.
Clarity November 13, 2023, 4:
47pm46
Yes, pretty good.
Glad that we made progress and that you have confirmed that it was scenario 1 that you meant.
But the wording of Scenario 1 isn’t quite what I am describing so if I may rephrase it:
There is undefiled mind (citta)
This citta has an inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing.
In the presence of ignorance, this knowing quality is subject to clinging.
With the cessation of ignorance, clinging ceases.
As I said in my previous post about Scenario 1, here, in your rephrase, you are simply splitting the Consciousness of point (2) into 2 parts:
(1) undefiled mind, aka citta (2) inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing.
Everything about Consciousness of point (2) in Scenario 1 now will apply to both point (1) and point (2) in your rephrase.
To make explicit, it will be something like this:
[Undefiled mind aka citta AND its inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing] are always there, they do not change, they are not affected, they still remains while clinging and ignorance are gone, they are not conditioned by the cessation procedure.
As I said in my post, people can all that combination or any single of them any name they like.
The important point in scenario 1 is:
they never change, they are deathless, they are unconditioned just like Nibbāna.
In your rephrase, you are effectively increasing the quantity of dhamma with the characteristics of unconditioned just like Nibbāna.
There are some essential questions for scenario 1 below:
Q1:
From scenario 1:
The [undefiled mind aka citta] is unconditioned, that means it is NOT anicca.
Meanwhile, the Buddha’s teaching is to realize from anicca to dukkha then to anatta.
But now, we can’t start from anicca for [undefiled mind aka citta], how can we still assert/prove that it is anatta?
Q2:
If we somehow manage to prove that it is anatta, how can we prove/assert that it is dukkha (or NOT dukkha)?
Q3:
Its knowing characteristics is NOT anicca either.
How can we see the difference from this non-stop knowing ability with the claim of non-stop knowing ability from the Jains in MN76 Sandakasutta and MN101 Devadahasutta?
Q4:
What is the role of this [undefiled mind aka citta] between different lives?
How to distinguish it with the view of Sati in MN38 Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhayasutta?
Those are not trick questions, I asked because I honestly don’t know the satisfactory answers to them.
As long as I don’t know the satisfactory answers to those questions, I am still not convinced of scenario 1.
Until here, I hope we are still on the same page?
Notez November 13, 2023, 6:
55pm47
Namo Buddhaya!
Having skimmed the discussion it has become apparent that you are using the expression ‘the cessation of consciousness’ to describe a change in consciousness as it persists, where having been with clinging it becomes without clinging.
Essentially just as one would describe a change in weather as a cessation of weather.
Example
The rainy weather ceases and sunny weather arises.
Thus describing a change in weather as a cessation of weather.
Notez November 13, 2023, 7:
00pm48
You can certainly do this, it’s not wrong, but you should be made aware that this merely describes a change in the constructed [sankhatadhatu] as it persists.
This is not describing a cessation of the constructed occuring in dependence on the asankhata.
Notez November 13, 2023, 7:
20pm49
The difference is like the difference between describing a change in weather and an altogether cessation of all weather.
It’s a radical difference.
To speak of a cessation of the conditioned in dependence on the unconditioned you should examine the attainments of the cessation of perception & feeling.
The aggregates of feeling-perception-consciousness-construction[sankhara;
intention] are conjoined.
When you speak of a cessation of eother one of these, then the cessation of the entire semantic complex is implied, the general cessation of sankhata is implied.
Therefore to understand the cessation of consciousness, in the sense of it’s cessation in dependence on the asankhata, you need to direct your attention to understanding this kind of cessation and that in dependence on what it occurs.
There is an escape from feeling & perception, therefore there must be something categorically different to these constructed constructs, there must be some truth & reality in dependence which this escape is discerned.
Just this alternate truth & reality is the asankhata and it is neither a function nor a property of the mind nor of anything constructed whatsoever.
Suppose a fire is extinguished in dependence on water.
Is the water a function of the fire?
No.
Suppose a fire is extinguished in dependence on a lack of oxygen.
Is the lack of oxygen an inherent property of a fire?
No.
Like this you should see that the cessation of consciousness occurs in dependence on the asankhata.
And the asankhata is neither a property nor a function of any consciousness whatsoever.
Charlie November 14, 2023, 1:
27am50
[Undefiled mind aka citta AND its inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing] are always there, they do not change, they are not affected, they still remains while clinging and ignorance are gone, they are not conditioned by the cessation procedure.
It is here at this point that we diverge.
What I am saying is that the citta of the Arahat is no longer conditioned by the asavas, ignorance, sankharas.
Cessation of defilements reveals the undefiled citta in the same way removal of impurities from water reveals pure water.
Another way of saying this is that on a cloudy day, if the clouds dissipate, the sun is revealed.
It is not that the sun is conditioned by the clouds dissipating.
Does that help?
the Buddha’s teaching is to realize from anicca to dukkha then to anatta.
But now, we can’t start from anicca for [undefiled mind aka citta], how can we still assert/prove that it is anatta?
The Buddha is not concerned with the undefiled mind (which by definition is only fully realized by an Arahat).
For the Arahat there is no sense of ‘I am’ with regard to anything.
The teaching on impermanence is with regard to identification with one or more of the five aggregates as being 'this is what I am ’ and similar such thinking.
The Buddha doesn’t care if there is or is not a ‘true self’ because by his definition it would not be a source of suffering.
As it would not be a source of suffering it is by definition outside the teaching.
This is clear if you read the first sutta we have on the not self teaching (SN22.59) that he gives to the five ascetics he had been hanging around with.
This idea that the Buddha teaches that there is or is not some sort of true self is commentarial.
He specifically states that speculating on this is unskillful and best avoided.
Charlie November 14, 2023, 1:
58am51
In Iti44 it is explicitly said that the cessation of bhava “follows this life”.
If you could quote the specific text you are referring to that would help.
I don’t see it.
Sunyo November 14, 2023, 2:
10am52
What has nothing left over
pertains to what follows this life,
where all states of existence cease.
(Yamhi nirujjhanti bhavāni sabbaso)
In SN22.76 it is also said that being an arahant is still a type of bhava.
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Charlie November 14, 2023, 4:
47am53
In SN22.76 it is also said that being an arahant is still a type of bhava.
Bhava by itself is one of the asavas - the asavas are also known as ‘preparations’ because that is what they do:
They ‘prepare’ the Five Aggregates by making them clingable - that is, by making them into something suitable as a landing place for consciousness - which also requires the presence of ignorance and grasping.
This is why it is translated as ‘becoming’.
And this is why I suggested to Jasudho to read AN3.77 - because it makes this relationship very clear:
deeds are the field, consciousness is the seed, and craving is the moisture.
The consciousness of sentient beings - shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving—is established in … a realm.
That’s how there is rebirth into a new state of existence in the future.
But the Arahat being freed from the asavas, freed from grasping, freed from ignorance - in this very life - their consciousness is incapable of landing there.
To equate the presence of a physical body through which the Arahat experiences sights, sounds, etc.
with the state of existence of a worldy person - it’s a really big stretch.
What the Buddha is saying here in SN22.76, in my view, is that the Arahat is the most subtle form of ‘existence’ possible and still function - walk, talk, etc.
in the physical world.
Existence in quotes because the Arahat cannot be located anywhere even in this life.
Oh! How happy are the perfected ones!
Craving is not found in them,
the conceit ‘I am’ is cut off,
and the net of delusion is shattered.
Bhava works together with ignorance and grasping to form a complex structure - which can then be called an existence.
Another name for this complex structure is ‘name-and-form bound up with consciousness’.
Bhava isn’t just playing a role in creating rebirth.
It is going on all the time generating (preparing) a landing spot for consciousness (of the worldly person).
Do you have a sense of the future?
, wondering about what will come to be?
How will you deal with this or that?
- this is bhava at work.
Charlie November 14, 2023, 5:
09am54
A being exists in a particular realm based on prior ignorance, craving, etc.
In this case Arahats and the Buddha would still be locatable.
I would agree that a physical body exists in a particular realm due to prior ignorance, etc.
But if the Arahat is freed from that, no longer subject to ‘I am’ - you can say there is a body but there is no one that identifies with it.
And as I recall the Buddha somewhere states in regard to his body “There is this”.
I think this may be where we’re not in agreement – if bhava is defined as “becoming” then this active verb is brought into DO as something that must end when craving and ignorance are given up.
Yes, this is what I am saying - bhava ceases with the cessation of DO.
Bhava is one of the asavas - it is not a body.
Bhava+ignorance+grasping = future rebirth.
Bhava alone does not.
This is my understanding.
Jasudho November 14, 2023, 12:
54pm55
bhava ceases with the cessation of DO
While the awakened “mind” of an arahant can’t be pinned down, the aggregates still remain and can be located, no?
That’s why the suttas talk about people going to see the Buddha and Sariputta – existence/bhava and the aggregates were still present and active in the human realm.
True, grasping that creates and perpetuates bhava and rebirth have ended.
But bhava, the senses, and the aggregates from previous kammic intentions and craving don’t cease until final nibbāna.
DO includes illness, old age and death and these still occur for an arahant, although there is of course no clinging or identification with these conditional processes.
The perpetuating and creating processes of DO (craving, clinging, ignorance) end with awakening, but the “inherited” features from prior kamma continue, including the existence/bhava of the aggregates in a particular realm, until the final death where it all ceases without rebirth.
Again, you may wish to refer to SN22.76 as Ven.
Sunyo pointed out and to SN12.2.
:
pray:
1 Like
Clarity November 14, 2023, 3:
33pm56
[Undefiled mind aka citta AND its inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing] are always there, they do not change, they are not affected, they still remains while clinging and ignorance are gone, they are not conditioned by the cessation procedure.
It is here at this point that we diverge.
What I am saying is that the citta of the Arahat is no longer conditioned by the asavas, ignorance, sankharas.
Cessation of defilements reveals the undefiled citta in the same way removal of impurities from water reveals pure water.
Another way of saying this is that on a cloudy day, if the clouds dissipate, the sun is revealed.
It is not that the sun is conditioned by the clouds dissipating.
Does that help?
I am not too sure what you meant by saying “It is here at this point that we diverge”.
I have highlighted what I said and also what you said above, they are not that much different in the meaning.
You have told me that you want to rephrase scenario 1, which is the scenario that brought up an unconditioned dhamma.
So, just to make sure I understand you correctly:
while you accepted scenario 1, you still said above that “the citta of the Arahat is no longer conditioned by the asavas, ignorance, sankharas.”
, therefore,
Did you mean that:
“Before the cessation of ignorance, the undefiled mind was conditioned dhamma.
But, after the cessation of ignorance, the undefiled mind becomes unconditioned dhamma”?
OR, did you mean that
“The undefiled mind is unconditioned dhamma from the very beginning, it never changes from conditioned to unconditioned.
What were changed instead are the clinging, the ignorance, asavas, sankharas.”
?
(Note that, this meaning is what we already agreed for scenario 1)
OR, did you mean that
“the undefiled mind is just another conditioned dhamma from beginning to end, like any other conditioned dhamma”?
(Note that, this is scenario 2)
We need to clear the above misunderstanding first because what you said in the 2nd paragraph of your post seems that you misunderstood my questions (My questions for you in my previous last post are within scenario 1, not scenario 2).
Sunyo November 15, 2023, 12:
49am57
Hiya, :
slightly_smiling_face:
It seems you are much influenced by a particular interpretation of the suttas, and I think I can guess whose it is.
That’s alright, of course.
No problem.
:
0.0416666666666667
But for sake of discussion you may want to widen your reading a bit, because it isn’t a very standard interpretation afaik.
And therefore, to simply post a sutta and say it’s all very clear, won’t achieve much, because people will generally interpret it in a different way.
Anyway, here are some thoughts:
Bhava by itself is one of the asavas
No, bhavāsava is the āsava, not bhava itself.
This word is a compound where the relationship between bhava and āsava can be interpreted in various ways.
It’s not likely to be a kammadharaya, which is a technical way of saying it doesn’t mean ‘bhava which is an āsava’.
More likely it means ‘the āsava for/towards bhava’, ‘the defilement [aimed] towards existence’.
On this, Sujato notes at MN4, “Bhavāsava is the defilement that craves to continue life in a new birth.”
The continuance in a new birth is the bhava.
Also:
It needs to be understood as the āsava (the defilement) of desire for existence.
Such shorthands are to be expected in language.
And this is why I suggested to Jasudho to read AN3.77 - because it makes this relationship very clear:
This sutta too is generally interpreted differently.
Ven. Bodhi notes at the similar AN3.76:
“Bhava.
What is meant is a concrete state of individual existence in one of the three realms.”
And he notes that this sutta describes “the rebirth process”.
That is also how Sujato interprets it, as you can see in the translation you quoted:
“That’s how there is rebirth into a new state of existence in the future.”
The word for ‘new state of existence’ here is punabbhava, which means “a next bhava”, i.
e., a new life.
So this sutta doesn’t “make this relationship very clear”.
It only does so when you start reading it with a certain interpretation already.
To me it makes no sense to talk about “rebirth into a new becoming”.
The overall problem here is that bhava is never explicitly defined in the suttas.
In that case we need to use context to determine it’s meaning.
I haven’t seen any definite indications for it to mean some momentary becoming and many that indicate it to mean a life.
The Ratana Sutta says, for example, that the stream winner will not have a eighth bhava.
This clearly means an eighth life, not an eight “sense of the future” or eighth “wondering about what will be”.
Anyway, I’m not sure what this still has to do with this viññāṇa anidassana.
Were you aware that Ven.
Sujato just posted a short essay on this topic?
4 Likes
Charlie November 15, 2023, 4:
09am58
But for sake of discussion you may want to widen your reading a bit, because it isn’t a very standard interpretation afaik
As far as resources go.
I tend to use Thanissaro’s site in order to identify which suttas might help me understand something.
I do this because the site has a good search function and his consistency in translating terms makes it easy to find a number of suttas to look at.
With each sutta he almost always has a list of other suttas that also discuss the same topic.
Once I have a list of suttas I then look them up at sutta central such that I have the line by line Pali/English.
I compare Sujato’s version with Bikkhu Bodhi, and Thanissaro where possible and sometime look at parallels in the Agamas if things don’t seem clear to me (but that is not often).
I make pretty regular use of the Pali dictionary on Sutta Central.
For understanding Pali terminology I use the Sutta Central dictionary as well as the Glossology at Buddha Dust - I suspect this is an underused resource but he has a list of most key Pali terms and for each term he has a table showing how that word is translated by a number of translators, along with the Pali Text Society meaning and often a list of suttas where the term is used.
I also find the Index of similes at accesstoInsight is very useful.
Similes are one of the greatest ways of understanding terms in my view because for the most part the meaning is very clear even after translation and 2,500 years.
For deep stuff like ‘vinnana anidassana’ in this essay I look at Ven.
Nananandas The Mind Stilled talks and see if and how he covers it.
His discussions are the most extensive coverage as far as Pali terminology goes that I am aware of.
It [Bhava] needs to be understood as the āsava (the defilement) of desire for existence
Yes, this is how I understand it as well.
One difference may be that I see it as ongoing (as long as ignorance is present) in the process of making a faculty of the mind (ex:
seeing) as something clingable.
And such an ongoing process is naturally also going to prepare some future landing place for consciousness when the present body dies.
This clearly means an eighth life, not an eight “sense of the future” or eighth “wondering about what will be”.
I have no problem with what you are saying in general.
I have no doubt that bhava plays a very key role in future rebirth.
What I am trying to point out is that DO is a process - there are a number of different pieces to this and they are always working as a complex.
This is why Bhava itself is not referring to a next life (IMO) because it is simply one part of the complex.
Consider how consciousness is discussed where we speak of its jumping around landing here and then there.
It isn’t doing this by itself.
That’s obvious.
It is understood to be one part of a process.
Anyway, I’m not sure what this still has to do with this viññāṇa anidassana.
Were you aware that Ven.
Sujato just posted a short essay on this topic?
Thanks, I just read it.
It seems a restatement of his earlier line of thinking.
I didn’t see anything there that would change what I have written here - the Suttas I referenced.
I have no particular bias around the word ‘vinanna’ - it’s just a label and I don’t understand why it bothers him so much.
One thing I want to add - I have no idea if Ven.
Sujato is awakened or not - so just speaking for myself:
If I thought I was awakened but it seemed quite different from what the Thai Forest Ajahns seem in general agreement on - I would be there to hang out with them in a heart beat.
What has happened to curiosity?
Why are Ajahns dismissing each other so readily?
It truly saddens me.
Thanks for being willing to discuss these things.
We may not agree but I appreciate your views.
Hopefully I don’t come across too much with the “I am right and you are wrong attitude” - it is a good way of shutting down dialog as well as being just generally kind of obnoxious.
But its hard to know what other peoples views are and my assumption is that we tend to see things in a similar way - until I realize we don’t.
1 Like
Charlie November 15, 2023, 6:
31am59
[Undefiled mind aka citta AND its inherent quality/attribute/characteristic of knowing] are always there, they do not change, they are not affected, they still remains while clinging and ignorance are gone, they are not conditioned by the cessation procedure.
We need to clear the above misunderstanding first
If this analogy (simile - I get them confused) works for you with regard to the above then I think we are on the same page:
Lets imagine we live on a world where the sky is always completely covered by clouds - never a spot of blue to be seen.
This has been going on since before we were born.
We know nothing about the sun.
It’s a very gray world.
But it isn’t completely dark.
We can see other people and things just like on a heavily overcast day anywhere else.
We meet someone who tells us if we climb to the top of a certain mountain we will be amazed.
So we do that - it takes a long time.
But as we get up near the top, we see the blue sky with the Sun shining and can see for miles and miles.
We realize that even though we had never experienced this before - this is why we could see everything down below.
Because it was this sun that illuminated the clouds all along.
So if your scenario 1 is a good way of understanding this story - if that is how you could describe it - then I think we agree.
Charlie November 15, 2023, 6:
41am60
While the awakened “mind” of an arahant can’t be pinned down, the aggregates still remain and can be located, no …
I am trying to focus on just this topic of vinnana anidassana.
It takes a lot of time to put this together and I don’t have the time to follow up on this topic you are bringing up.
We have kind of gotten off topic.
Maybe we can visit it at some future time or if you want to post a topic where you go into more detail I would be happy to look at it.
But can’t do it right now.
Notez November 15, 2023, 10:
08am61
Consider how consciousness is discussed where we speak of its jumping around landing here and then there.
It isn’t doing this by itself.
It’s a dangerous way of talking about consciousness which is constantly explained to be dependently arisen.
There are many instances of fire being lit in dependence on many things in the world, a log-fire here, there a grass-fire, over there an oil-lamp.
To speak of a consciousness jumping around is essential akin to speaking of a fire jumping from one place to another.
Suppose i light & put out a log-fire on a monday and i light a grass-fire on a tuesday.
You wouldn’t say that the fire having landed on the logs jumped to the grass.
Why is that?
Because clearly it is not the same fire!
The fire that was on monday had ceased by the time i light the grass-fire.
In exactly the same way it is taught that this or that consciousness originates due to conditions.
You may discern eye-consciousness
and later discern ear-consciousness but no consciousness jumped from the eye to the ear.
The consciousness that arose in dependence on the ear ceased by the time that ear-consciousness arose.
There is no jumping of a thing from one to another.
Suppose i use friction to light a small grass-fire, having lit a grass fire i would light a candle and with this lit candle i would light a grass-torch which would later be extinguished.
You wouldn’t say that i summoned a fiery monster by performing the ritual of rubbing a stick, a monster which then jumped from the grass and onto the candle before jumping onto a light-torch to feed on the grass.
In the same way you shouldn’t make a mental monster which roams around, jumping from here to there out of consciousness.
There are communicable conventions.
For example suppose you light a small fire for cooking near a farmers corn field.
Then you would make mediocre effort to extinguish it half-heartedly and walk away, leaving hot coals.
Then a wind would blow and the fire would blaze up again due to your negligence in putting it out.
Then somehow the fire would spread to light up the corn-field.
Now here are two ways of thinking about it.
You didn’t set the corn field on fire.
You did set the corn field on fire.
Obviously the farmer would blame you saying that the fire you lit had spread to the field even if it’s obviously not the same fire and you had no intention of setting the field on fire.
Nothing therein actually jumped from one thing to another.
The flame that you had put out was extinguished and another flame arose due to the wind’s blowing.
It’s not like you had summoned a fiery monster which hid from you in the coals before jumping out and onto the field.
It is not one and the same fire jumping from one thing to another.
Likewise there is no such thing as a single consciousness-entity roaming & jumping around.
Past consciousness ‘was’, has been, and the future consciousness is not yet begotten, these are not the same thing.
Charlie November 15, 2023, 10:
15am62
It’s a dangerous way of talking about consciousness which is constantly explained to be dependently arisen.
I was providing a sample to Sunyo showing how consciousness within the context of DO is sometimes spoken of as constantly moving without mentioning that ignorance, grasping, and name-and-form all play a role in this process.
Charlie November 15, 2023, 11:
08am63
No, bhavāsava is the āsava, not bhava itself.
This word is a compound where the relationship between bhava and āsava can be interpreted in various ways.
OK, yes I see that I was confusing those two:
Bhava:
“becoming,” (form of) rebirth, (state of) existence, a “life.”
There are 3 states of existence conventionally enumd as kāma-, rūpa-, arūpa- or sensual existence, deva-corporeal, and formless existence… D II.
57;
III.
216;
S II.
3;
IV.
258;
A II.
223;
III.
444… - Another view is represented by the division of bhava into kamma- and upapatti- (uppatti-), or the active functioning of a life in relation to the fruitional, or resultant way of the next life… - In the “causal chain” (Paṭicca-samuppāda, q.
v.) bhava is represented as condition of birth (jāti), or resultant force for new birth…
Āsava:
that which flows (out or on to) outflow and influx.
1. spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree or flower, O.
C. in Vin IV.
110 (four kinds);
B.
on D III.
182 (five kinds)… - 2. discharge from a sore, A I.
124, 127… - 3. in psychology, t.
t. for certain specified ideas which intoxicate the mind (bemuddle it, befoozle it, so that it cannot rise to higher things).
Freedom from the “āsavas” constitutes Arahantship, and the fight for the extinction of these āsavas forms one of the main duties of man… - The 4 āsavas are kām-, bhav-, diṭṭh-, avijj-, i.
e. sensuality, rebirth (lust of life), speculation and ignorance.
- They are mentioned as such at D II.
81, 84, 91, 94, 98, 123, 126;
A I.
165 sq.
, 196;
II.
211;
III.
93, 414;
IV.
79… - The set of 3, which is probably older (kāma-, bhava-, avijjā-) occurs at M I.
55;
A I.
165;
III.
414;
S IV.
256;
V.
56, 189…
BTW, is there an easy way to translate these PTS references over to the current style used on Sutta Central and Dhammatalks?
Thanks for showing the difference though I still can’t see how Bhava can act alone as an existence without the support of the rest of DO - or maybe I was misunderstanding you?
Sunyo November 15, 2023, 11:
08am64
Hellooo again, :
slight_smile:
Consider how consciousness is discussed where we speak of its jumping around landing here and then there.
It isn’t doing this by itself.
That’s obvious.
It is understood to be one part of a process.
The “landing” of consciousness with connection to bhava many think refers to being reborn in a particular life.
Ven. Bodhi for example notes at SN12.38:
“When that kammic consciousness is established [or “landed”] […] through its ability to precipitate rebirth, there is the production of future renewed existence, i.
e., production consisting in renewed existence.”
If you can read German, Rita Langer’s Das Bewusstsein als Träger des Lebens is the best work I found on this particular topic.
Thai Forest Ajahns seem in general agreement on
The Thai Forest Ajahns (of the past) weren’t studying or translating suttas all that much, that’s at least one difference.
And the whole issue here is how to translate and interpret said sutta.
You can be enlightened and translate it wrongly, or be unenlightened and translate it rightly.
I don’t think enlightened has much of a bearing on this, although it does of course rule out some wrong ideas.
Thanks for showing the difference though I still can’t see how Bhava can act alone as an existence without the support of the rest of DO - or maybe I was misunderstanding you?
Not all factors of DO cease at enlightenment right away.
Many cease only at parinibbana, the death of an enlightened being.
For example death:
the Buddha still had to die one more time.
Or the six senses, contact, feelings, consciousness:
the Buddha still had all of them.
Same with bhava.
Charlie November 15, 2023, 11:
25am65
The Thai Forest Ajahns (of the past) weren’t studying or translating suttas all that much, that’s at least one difference.
And the whole issue here is how to translate and interpret said sutta
Actually I was changing the subject on you.
What I said was:
If I thought I was awakened but it seemed quite different from what the Thai Forest Ajahns seem in general agreement on - I would be there to hang out with them in a heart beat
It was just an add-on thought.
I never met them - I don’t know what they knew of the suttas - probably varies widely among them.
I am pretty sure that what they did know was probably left in the raft.
But that wasn’t my point:
They are describing their experience in contemporary language.
I have a rudimentary understanding of ordinary language - if what they describe seemed quite different from my own experience I would want to learn more from them.
I would be quite interested rather than dismissing them.
I was musing… I like to muse
2 Likes
Jasudho November 15, 2023, 12:
37pm66
Apologies.
Didn’t wish to distract you.
I was responding to several posts regarding bhava, including:
bhava ceases with the cessation of DO
All best
Charlie November 15, 2023, 2:
36pm67
For example death:
the Buddha still had to die one more time.
Or the six senses, contact, feelings, consciousness:
the Buddha still had all of them.
Same with bhava.
I am not sure about that - that the Arahat dies.
In a sense, they are already dead.
I doubt they relate to the death of the physical body in any way similar to how we see it.
I doubt they have any sense of existence with regard to the body.
If there is pain than that is felt - that seems clear in Buddha’s case - however much of the challenge associated with pain is the mental or second arrow type which I don’t think would be present.
Just from the perspective of here you have a guy (Buddha) that can create a mind made body and travel to different realms, know what his monks are thinking and psychically jump over to teach them, fly through space and such - is that mind really dependent on a physical body?
We tend to think that the senses are physical - but we have plenty of evidence from near death experiences of people for example describing things that are going on in the operating room from the perspective of looking down at it while they are ‘dead’.
They describe non-physical senses, non-physical communication, and thoughts - these are all described many times.
And those are presumably non-awakened people.
So what is the death of a body among Arahats?
I don’t know.
1 Like
Clarity November 15, 2023, 5:
13pm68
Lets imagine we live on a world where the sky is always completely covered by clouds - never a spot of blue to be seen.
This has been going on since before we were born.
We know nothing about the sun.
It’s a very gray world.
But it isn’t completely dark.
We can see other people and things just like on a heavily overcast day anywhere else.
We meet someone who tells us if we climb to the top of a certain mountain we will be amazed.
So we do that - it takes a long time.
But as we get up near the top, we see the blue sky with the Sun shining and can see for miles and miles.
We realize that even though we had never experienced this before - this is why we could see everything down below.
Because it was this sun that illuminated the clouds all along.
I guess what you meant in your analogy are below:
“the Sun” means:
the undefiled mind that is always there and unconditioned, just like Nibbāna
“clouds” means:
the ignorance, clinging, asavas, sankharas, etc.
“climbing mountain” means:
clearing the cloud/cessation of ignorance
“Why we could see everything down below.
Because it was this sun that illuminated the clouds all along.”
means “before clearing the cloud, we could still see but we only saw with clinging consciousness.
The reason we could still see is due to this undefiled mind, without this undefiled mind, we won’t be able to see at all”
Your analogy is very similar to scenario 1 that I presented in my post previously.
However, there are still some subtle differences.
I think these subtle differences are best to describe using totally new and different scenario to avoid confusion with scenario 1. We will call it as Scenario 3 below:
A person with pure, precious, brilliant diamond covered under many layers of clothes;
he is inside a dark room.
Due to the pure, precious, brilliant diamond, he can still see things inside that dark room with his good eyes.
However, he almost always sees things incorrectly.
By removing these many layers of clothes, with the pure, precious, brilliant diamond, he can see now everything inside that dark room correctly.
Below is the explanation of the terms in scenario 3:
The pure, precious, brilliant diamond means the undefiled mind.
Due to its presence, that person can see.
Without it, that person can NOT see anything even with good eyes.
This is similar to your analogy of “the Sun”.
The characteristics of diamond such as pure, precious, brilliant and somewhat indestructible means to make a similarity with the inherent characteristics of the undefiled mind.
The removing of those many layers of clothes means cessation of ignorance.
Just as the pure, precious, brilliant diamond is not conditioned by the process of removing those many layers of clothes:
The undefiled mind is not conditioned by the cessation of ignorance.
Note the differences between scenario 3 and scenario 1:
The ignorance does not cover this person’s good eyes as in scenario 1. It instead covers the undefiled mind.
This person’s good eyes are not required to be unconditioned as in scenario 1. Instead, that requirement now falls onto the diamond in scenario 3. By making a distance with the person (external object vs.
eyes), the diamond in scenario 3 seems to has less sense of a personal “atta” than the person’s eyes in scenario 1.
Note the similarities between scenario 3 and scenario 1:
The overall result that this person sees things correctly (Nibbāna) is still the same as in scenario 1.
The undefiled mind and Nibbāna are two different dhamma.
Same as in scenario 1, they are both unconditioned dhamma.
I hope that this scenario 3 fully reflects what you meant.
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Charlie November 15, 2023, 11:
03pm69
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Yes, I do believe so.
Charlie November 15, 2023, 11:
52pm70
The undefiled mind and Nibbāna are two different dhamma.
Same as in scenario 1, they are both unconditioned dhamma
I didn’t notice this in my first response to you - not a big deal I think but just to be clear:
I don’t see how we could say they are the same or different.
I don’t think that kind of language can be applied here.
I would say something more like:
There is unconditioned knowing.
(vinanna anidassana)
There is unconditioned known.
(Nibanna)
They cannot be said to be different nor can we say they are the same as such concepts no longer apply.
Sorry not to have caught that earlier.
Sunyo November 16, 2023, 2:
35am71
I am not sure about that - that the Arahat dies.
In a sense, they are already dead.
I doubt they relate to the death of the physical body in any way similar to how we see it.
I doubt they have any sense of existence with regard to the body.
If there is pain than that is felt - that seems clear in Buddha’s case - however much of the challenge associated with pain is the mental or second arrow type which I don’t think would be present.
Just from the perspective of here you have a guy (Buddha) that can create a mind made body and travel to different realms, know what his monks are thinking and psychically jump over to teach them, fly through space and such - is that mind really dependent on a physical body?
We tend to think that the senses are physical - but we have plenty of evidence from near death experiences of people for example describing things that are going on in the operating room from the perspective of looking down at it while they are ‘dead’.
They describe non-physical senses, non-physical communication, and thoughts - these are all described many times.
And those are presumably non-awakened people.
So what is the death of a body among Arahats?
I don’t know.
How about feelings, contact, six senses, consciousness, etc after enlightenment?
Don’t these exist anymore either?
Charlie November 16, 2023, 5:
03am72
How about feelings, contact, six senses, consciousness, etc after enlightenment?
Don’t these exist anymore either?
Not as they do in DO but yes in the sense of The Five Aggregates (faculties of the undefiled mind) from which they arise due to ignorance.
As part of what makes up dependent origination (feelings, contact, six senses, consciousness, etc) these are all conditioned by ignorance.
When ignorance ceases these things (in the sense of their role in creating suffering, I am this or that etc.
) cease. Another way to say this is that all these factors are part of a ‘shaping process’ that are also themselves ‘shaped’ (by ignorance) that arises because of ignorance.
When ignorance ceases this shaping process also ceases.
MN18
Eye consciousness arises dependent on the eye and sights.
The meeting of the three is contact.
Contact is a condition for feeling.
What you feel, you perceive.
What you perceive, you think about.
What you think about, you proliferate.
What you proliferate is the source from which judgments driven by proliferating perceptions beset a person.
This occurs with respect to sights known by the eye in the past, future, and present.
If consciousness does not land then there is no contact.
This does not mean that Arahats can’t see - it means that they don’t objectify what is seen.
In seeing there is just the seen.
As worldy people operating under the influence of DO we are inputting a flow of ever changing phenomena and in our DO factory endlessly stamping out distinct ‘things’ making them graspable.
see also SN12.2
This is how I understand this at this point.
Sunyo November 16, 2023, 9:
31am73
If consciousness does not land then there is no contact.
This does not mean that Arahats can’t see - it means that they don’t objectify what is seen.
Arahants still experience contact.
SN12.19, which is part of SN12 and therefore is on Dependent Origination, says about the astute (or ‘wise’) person who “has given up that ignorance and finished that craving”:
there [still] is the duality of this body and external name and form.
Contact depends on this duality.
When contacted through one or other of the six sense fields, the astute person experiences pleasure and pain.
Notez November 16, 2023, 9:
58am74
If consciousness does not land then there is no contact.
This does not mean that Arahats can’t see - it means that they don’t objectify what is seen.
In seeing there is just the seen.
This a misuse of the term ‘consciousness not landing’.
This is not what it means in the texts.
In as far as the arahant discerns feelings & perceptions, that is due to a landing of consciousness.
In as far as the arahant is alive, consciousness doesn’t land when one has entered & remains in the attainment of the cessation of perception & feeling, otherwise it’s landing is discerned, by which one experiences the various feeling-states.
Charlie November 16, 2023, 11:
52am75
Arahants still experience contact.
SN12.19, which is part of SN12 and therefore is on Dependent Origination, says about the astute (or ‘wise’) person who “has given up that ignorance and finished that craving”
As ignorance is the underlying condition for contact and the astute person has given up that ignorance and finished with craving how can that be the same contact (same meaning/experienced in the same way) as by a foolish person?
For an astute person shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has been produced.
But the astute person has given up that ignorance and finished that craving.
DO depends on ignorance as a condition.
How can it function without it?
We already know that consciousness is stilled, freed, no longer lands on name-and-form when one awakens.
It is clear that even Buddhas are still aware of feelings - I recall one sutta where he says something like “I am most at ease when I am on the road and there is no one in front of me and no one behind me” and earlier in that sutta there are many people who have come to honor him, making lots of noise and he wants them sent away.
But feelings are just feelings - they will not be clung to, consciousness will not land there and proliferate because there is no grasping, no ignorance.
This is not the case for a foolish person.
Consider the role of name-and-form in dependent origination.
It is clear from DN11 and other suttas that name-and-form cease without remainder for the Arahat.
Yet I don’t think anyone would say that the Buddha is not aware of his body, thoughts, feelings, etc.
So IMO we have to consider these terms differently depending on their context:
a worldly person whose sense existence arises from DO vs that of an Arahat who took on another birth because they were not awakened at the time but now they are and DO has ceased.
Charlie November 16, 2023, 12:
09pm76
In as far as the arahant discerns feelings & perceptions, that is due to a landing of consciousness.
The landing of consciousness is referring to consciousness landing on name-and-form within the context of DO.
It does not refer to the consciousness of the Arahat.
I provided a number of sutta references in the essay that point out the difference.
Notez November 16, 2023, 12:
30pm77
I am not going to debate whether you understand what DO means either and can offer only my sincere condolence
Charlie November 16, 2023, 3:
05pm78
I appreciate the offer.
Thanks. I have not said that Arahats are incapable of seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc.
and that they are conscious of these.
If that is what you are referring to then we probably don’t disagree.
What the suttas do say (to the best of my knowledge) is that for the Arahat there is neither arising nor passing.
For the worldly person there is Arising and Passing and this is caused by the ‘landing of consciousness’ on name-and-form such as to become established there creating a sense identity.
This is the reason for the answer I gave you.
I am not aware of any suttas saying that name and form only cease for the Arahat when they are practicing formless attainments - if you know of any I would be interested.
If there are any then would they not be contradicting SN1.27, Ud1.10, and SN7.6? How would you then understand these?
Clarity November 16, 2023, 4:
39pm80
Glad that we are back on the same page again.
The undefiled mind and Nibbāna are two different dhamma.
Same as in scenario 1, they are both unconditioned dhamma
I didn’t notice this in my first response to you - not a big deal I think but just to be clear:
I don’t see how we could say they are the same or different.
I don’t think that kind of language can be applied here.
I would say something more like:
There is unconditioned knowing.
(vinanna anidassana)
There is unconditioned known.
(Nibanna)
They cannot be said to be different nor can we say they are the same as such concepts no longer apply.
The extra details you have just given above actually seems to me that Scenario 3 still does not fully capture what you meant.
Especially, when we look again at your given analogy of “climbing mountain to cross the covering cloud then finally discover the shining Sun”, Scenario 3 couldn’t capture the sense of “the Sun” as a single one and unique, common shared object for everyone who is below the cloud and also for everyone who has crossed the cloud.
Your given analogy of “the Sun” has the most distant sense with the “atta” because it does not belong to anyone, does not attach to anyone either.
However, because “the Sun” is a single one, unique, common shared object for everyone so “the Sun” seems to be more suitable as a metaphor for “nibbāna” than “the undefiled mind”
So, by combining what you said in your given analogy and also the extra details about inseperable between “unconditioned knowing” and “unconditioned known”, maybe this Scenario 4 below is better to reflect what you meant.
A person who was born with his eyes covered behind many layers of clothes and he is inside a very high ceiling and dark bright room.
There is ONE pure, precious, brilliant diamond on the ceiling which shines the whole room.
Due to that ONE pure, precious, brilliant diamond, he can see things.
However, he almost always sees things incorrectly/blurry because his eyes are covered behind many layers of clothes since birth.
By removing these many layers of clothes and with that ONE pure, precious, brilliant diamond, he can see now everything inside that dark room correctly.
Below is the explanation of the terms in scenario 4:
The ONE pure, precious, brilliant diamond means the undefiled mind.
Due to its presence, that person can see.
Without it, that person can NOT see anything even with good eyes.
Without it, that person can NOT see anything even after he has already removed these many layers of clothes.
This is even more similar to your analogy of “the Sun” than scenario 3.
The characteristics of diamond such as pure, precious, brilliant and somewhat indestructible means to make a similarity with the inherent characteristics of the undefiled mind.
The removing of those many layers of clothes means cessation of ignorance.
Just as the pure, precious, brilliant diamond is not conditioned by the process of removing those many layers of clothes:
The undefiled mind is not conditioned by the cessation of ignorance.
Note the differences between scenario 4 and scenario 3:
The ignorance does not cover the diamond as in Scenario 3. It instead covers this person’s eye as in Scenario 1.
By making a much further distance with the person (very far object vs.
very near object), the diamond in Scenario 4 seems to has even MUCH less sense of a personal “atta” than the diamond in Scenario 3.
Compared to Scenario 3, the undefiled mind and Nibbāna in Scenario 4 are harder to tell as two different dhamma because this person can see clearly both of them after the cessation of ignorance.
(this is to capture the extra details you have given about inseperable between “unconditioned knowing” and “unconditioned known”)
There is only ONE diamond in Scenario 4 instead of many many diamonds corresponding to each being as in Scenario 3.
Note the similarities between scenario 4 and scenario 3:
This person’s good eyes are not required to be unconditioned as in Scenario 1. Instead, that requirement still falls onto the diamond as in Scenario 3.
The overall result that this person sees things correctly (Nibbāna) is still the same as in Scenario 3.
Same as in Scenario 3, they are still both unconditioned dhamma.
It seems to me that this Scenario 4 better reflects what you meant than Scenario 3.
However, I don’t know which one you really meant so let me know whether Scenario 3 or Scenario 4 is the one you pick to continue this discussion?
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Notez November 16, 2023, 4:
40pm81
My internet is bad here and i barely managed not to lose the text.
The previous post had a section missing.
I’ll try a little to pry you away from the misconceptions.
I am anxious to do so foreseeing that this might be fruitless because you will have to scrap a lot of your current understanding and these things are hard to do for most people due to attachment to views.
The thing is that the meaning of what you are trying to explain, in as far as i can tell, is not much problematic.
As i understand it, what you keep trying to explain is just how it is that arahants don’t grasp with wrong view and just how their mind differs from pre-attainment.
The problem is that the scope of this subject is very limited and you are trying to include within the scope the discourses dealing with things not included therein.
This is as if you were studying dogs and having read a book about elephants proceeded to try explaining that the dog’s tail is called a ‘trunk’ and what exactly are a dog’s ‘tusks’.
What the suttas do say (to the best of my knowledge) is that for the Arahat there is neither arising nor passing.
Now keep in mind that only dukkha arises and only dukkha ceases.
There are three ways in how one might rightly say that for an arahant there is no arising & passing away.
In regards to their undoing of a future birth, they have cancelled all that and are freed of all that would arising & passing away after the break up of the body, freed of future dukkha, for them there is no arising & passing away, in that sense.
In regards to their knowing of the ayatana where there is no dukkha, there is no arising & passing, neither this world nor the next, just this is the end of suffering.
This they directly discern in as far as attaining of cessation of perception & feeling.
In regards to unwholesome feeling & perception states that can arise & cease for one who is not an arahant, states such as restlessness, conceit, intentional having intercourse, telling a deliberate lie, intentional killing, etc.
These and other unwholesome states that can arise & pass away for a non-arahant do not occur for an arahant.
In this sense the arahant is freed from that arising & passing away.
I can’t think of a fourth.
Now as to how they are not freed of arising & passing away.
In as far as their life force & faculties remain, by which they experience feelings & perceptions, all that & what is derived from it, all is dukkha and a subject to arising & passing away.
The landing of consciousness is referring to consciousness landing on name-and-form within the context of DO.
It does not refer to the consciousness of the Arahat.
The dependent origination refers to the dependent origination of the arahant’s faculties as well.
It refers to the dependent origination of all feeling whatsoever, past, present & future, arahant or not.
I’ll explain it in brief
The human arahant’s feeling is born of contact, arises due to his birth from a womb which was construed due craving for feeling-states which existed in the past.
I am not aware of any suttas saying that name and form only cease for the Arahat when they are practicing formless attainments - if you know of any I would be interested.
It is unusual to speak of the attainment of cessation of perception & feeling as a formless attainment because the formless attainments are usually referring to the four formless feeling states the pinnacle of those being the attainment of neither perception nor non-perception.
You can speak of the attainment of cessation of perception & feeling as a formless attainment but this one is categorically different from the others because it’s not a feeling-state.
The formless feeling states are sankhara, they are intended, thry are felt & perceived, they originate from contact and come into play through attention.
Now what is name?
It is just that contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention.
Therefore it should be obvious that these formless perception attainments are not explained to be without name.
Only the cessation of perception & feeling entails an altogether cessation of namarupa, of contact and all.
SN1.27, Ud1.10, and SN7.6? How would you then understand these?
Now from what i’ve explained thus far you should be able to understand that there is only one truth & reality entailing being divorced from both name & form , namely that which is discerned by attaining cessation of perception & feeling.
Therefore it should be obvious how i interpret this passage;
“From where do streams turn back?
Where does the cycle spin no more?
Where do name and formcease with nothing left over?”
“Where water and earth,fire and air find no footing—from there the streams turn back;
there the cycle spins no more;
and there it is that name and formcease with nothing left over
Likewise for D11 and it’s analogs
Green November 16, 2023, 7:
46pm83
Arahants still experience contact.
SN12.19, which is part of SN12 and therefore is on Dependent Origination, says about the astute (or ‘wise’) person who “has given up that ignorance and finished that craving”:
They do not experience the socalled ignorance contacts.
No defiled contacts anymore.
The glueing function of anusaya is gone.
So we need to understand, from experience, what is defiled sense contact and not-defiled sense-contact.
Or in other words, what does contact still mean when mind is detachment and there is nothing anymore that functions as glue in the mind?
I think it is not that bad to speak of landing on what is felt, seen, heard, sensed in the case of attachment and becoming involved in what is sensed.
This contact is like a landing on it.
I cannot really understand to be honest what a not defiled sense contact is.
For example, how does one experience pain if there is no mental involvement at all with this pain due to whatever glues (desires, conceit, conceiving, views).
No dislike, nor even a sense of me having pain.
Notez November 16, 2023, 10:
10pm84
Namo Buddhaya!
what does contact still mean when mind is detachment and there is nothing anymore that functions as glue in the mind?
There is no differentiation in the suttas, it means the same thing as usual.
It is a meeting of the three.
What three?
One of the six classes of consciousness, a sense faculty and a sense object.
It’s really simple.
Suppose a man says ‘the ear is to hear with’.
Take him to a quiet place and ask whether he heard anything.
He didn’t.
Why not?
Because there was no sound.
Then the ear is not to hear with lest there is sound.
Suppose you are speaking to him but the man is distracted by beautiful sights.
Ask him then whether he heard what you were saying.
He didn’t.
Why not?
Because he was unconscious of the ear-faculty, he might say ‘Sorry could you repeat that, i was distracted’.
Then the ear is not to hear with lest there is ear-consciousness.
Obviously if there is no ear then there is no hearing either.
Therefore for there to be ‘hearing’ these three things must come together, namely the ear, the sound and ear-consciousness.
At that time, a feeling is born of ear-contact and it is the meeting place.
The ear-element is the internal sense-base and is on one end, the sound-element is the external sense-base and is on the other end, and ear-consciousness is in between the external base & the internal base.
The meeting of the three is contact.
This doesn’t change whether one is an arahant or not an arahant.
The dhamma is well explained, we are incredibly fortunate to have inhereted it and we should be learning it as it is explained to us.
Charlie November 17, 2023, 1:
09am85
My internet is bad here and i barely managed not to lose the text.
The previous post had a section missing.
My connection is good here but I do find using the editor on this site is tedious - it’s a slow process.
Recently I started using a mark down editor named zettlr and it really makes things easier.
It allows me to work off line and then I can log in and directly paste into the discourse editor.
So far - and I used it to compose the essay - all the mark down works perfectly with discourse.
Don’t know if that might help in your situation - but at least you don’t lose your work.
I’ll try a little to pry you away from the misconceptions.
I am anxious to do so foreseeing that this might be fruitless because you will have to scrap a lot of your current understanding
I appreciate your intent.
This post has given me a much better understanding of your views on this topic - so thanks for putting your time and energy into it.
I find it quite fascinating how different people can read the same material and arrive at such different views.
In the end, I don’t think these sorts of topics really matter from the perspective of practice.
Perhaps you have a different view on that - which is fine.
Not to worry, I am quite happy with my current misunderstanding.
Notez November 17, 2023, 1:
30am86
thanks for putting your time and energy into it
You are welcome
I find it quite fascinating how different people can read the same material and arrive at such different views.
I agree, it is very fascinating and well worth studying.
Sunyo November 17, 2023, 2:
36am87
As ignorance is the underlying condition for contact and the astute person has given up that ignorance and finished with craving how can that be the same contact (same meaning/experienced in the same way) as by a foolish person?
There is certain contact conditioned by ignorance, yes, but in DO the preceding factor is the six senses, not ignorance.
Enlightened beings still have the six senses, as various suttas indicate, but which I don’t need to reference because I think you’ll agree.
So therefore in DO we’re talking about contact more generally, including that of the enlightened.
Feelings in DO likewise aren’t said to depend on ignorance.
The sutta I referenced, which is about DO, clearly says arahants still experience them.
The essence here is that the factors of DO don’t arise instantaneously, nor cease instanteaneously.
There can be a time gap in between.
Birth and death for example, don’t happen at the same time.
Likewise, the cessation of certain factors doesn’t happen the very moment ignorance ceases.
This is the case with contact, for example, which ceases only at death.
Consider the role of name-and-form in dependent origination.
It is clear from DN11 and other suttas that name-and-form cease without remainder for the Arahat.
Well, that’s exactly the sutta we disagree on, don’t we?
:
slight_smile:
I don’t think “name and form” have ceased for the arahant either, because ‘form’ for example is (part of) one of the aggregates and these are said to cease at their death only.
(E.g. SN22.85)
As to the landing of consciousness, you’re repeating your idea again, but haven’t replied to the alternative interpretation I provided, where it refers to rebirth.
It’s not landing by extent refers to the cessation of rebirth.
ANyway, I’ve been writing a long essay on this which I’ll share soon-ish, so I’ll leave it at this.
1 Like
Charlie November 17, 2023, 3:
30am88
There is certain contact conditioned by ignorance, yes, but in DO the preceding factor is the six senses, not ignorance
This is probably at the core of where we disagree.
I get the impression that you see this as a linear process.
I am not sure if you see it as an ongoing process every moment or if you see it cycling once per life or something else.
Let me know if this gets at least closer to understanding your position on this.
In my view this is a limitation of language - which tends to be quite linear.
It might have been easier if Buddha had power point but the format would probably no longer be supported anyway.
In my view it describes a structure which has a core element that it depends on for its support - like a central pole.
This support is ignorance which infuses the entire structure with a sense of identity or maintains its integrity - me and mine/ not me not mine.
If the pole is removed the entire structure collapses.
The pieces are still there but they are seen as just pieces - they no longer play a role in creating the structure.
The pieces are just lying around scattered and abandoned.
Some examples of what I mean:
I am always looking for, seeking out happiness and trying to avoid pain.
When I see something that might satisfy my desire I try to possess and hold on to it.
As I grow old, sick, face death this causes me stress and I have pain.
1 Like
Charlie November 17, 2023, 7:
38am89
Until here, are we still on the same page?
Yes, I think scenario 4 is pretty good.
Sasha_A November 17, 2023, 10:
34am90
As ignorance is the underlying condition for contact and the astute person has given up that ignorance and finished with craving how can that be the same contact (same meaning/experienced in the same way) as by a foolish person?
Sorry to barge in, I don’t know if you are familiar with the Ven.
Nanavira’s “Notes on Dhamma”, but if you are not, I highly recommend that you read at least chapter “A NOTE ON PAṬICCASAMUPPĀDA”:
I think any person with views and understanding of the personal real situation like yours will find it extremely insightful and interesting.
Green November 17, 2023, 11:
01am91
Namo Buddhaya!
what does contact still mean when mind is detachment and there is nothing anymore that functions as glue in the mind?
There is no differentiation in the suttas, it means the same thing as usual.
I see it like this, based upon how i understand the teachings, and how things work in my own mind:
See for example pain.
How is this actual contact with pain?
A mere contact?
I notice this almost never the case.
The contact with pain is often emotionally.
Is that how the mind of an arahant has contact with pain?
I do not think so.
So, there are different kinds of contact.
I will share my understanding of the teachings and how it works in my own mind:
The mind habitually inclines towards sense-objects and lands on it, meaning, it tends to get involved with it.
Buddha describes 3 ways according the commentaries :
involvement due to views (this is my self) , involvement due to desire (this is mine) involvement due to conceit (This I am, or this is Me).
How this involvement happens the Buddha explained in detail by describing 7 anusaya’s which are triggered if something is sensed.
Once those anusaya’s are triggered, a mentallity arises towards the sense-object.
For example:
Pain arises, let say strong pain.
Then you can notice almost immediately the dosa anusaya gets triggered.
This is not done by an ego, an atta, but it arises in a habitual way, by force of habit.
It is not a choice.
It is unvoluntairy becoming or how the mind develops.
Now the mind does not only sense pain, but is irritated towards what is sensed, the pain.
It cannot just relax and only sense strong pain.
A mere contact with pain seems almost impossibe.
It is like walking on hot coals.
Agitation.
If you see this happen in your own mind, you can see that there is much more going on now then mere sensing and a mere sense-contact with pain.
There is a strong mentallity towards the pain.
There is now a defiled, emotional contact with what is sensed.
Many sense contacts become defiled very rapidly because very rapidly the contacts become emotionally.
Mentallity towards what is sensed, does not only arise when emotions arise (dosa and lobha anusaya are triggered) but also when the mana-anusaya is triggered.
What does this mean?
When mana-anusaya gets triggered the impression arises that there is a Me who senses:
“I feel, I experience”.
The asmi-mana is very strong.
For example:
Pain arises and not only irritations arises or sadness (dosa anusaya being triggered) but also a strong sense of Me arises who has or feels the pain and wants that it ends.
If you look at all this, at that very moment this is happening, you see that this is the opposite of letting go, detachment, freedom.
It is a quit obsessive situation.
Much agitation.
Anusaya cause that we become in a unvoluntairy way involved in what is sensed.
Dhamma is never about voluntairy involvement.
That also does not end.
If you see this, then you see clearly that there are different kinds of sense contacts.
The contact with pain is, if i look at it, is almost always defiled, emotional.
I have trust this can change.
When anusaya are triggered-, and avijja also exist as anusaya-, sense-contacts and sensing become defiled.
A mentallity arises towards what is sensed.
In an undefiled sense contact there is just no mentallity arising towards a sense-object, not even a sense of a Me who feels.
By the way, Buddha describes disinterest also as a mentallity, and this is connected with avijja anusaya.
For example, upon disinterest for neutral feelings, avijja anusaya becomes stronger.
The defiled mind has a sense of Me or I who senses something (subject-object duality).
It has its own distorted way of understanding things.
If you look at this personally, you can see it is always about becoming lost in your head, in conceiving, And seeing that cinematic stream as the reality.
Really, that’s all.
There is really nothing more to this.
Passion is just the energystream due to which we land in our heads and become lost there, lost in our cinematic stream of conceiving ourselfves, others, situations.
We happen to see that at that moment as very real, true, facts, at it is.
When all anusaya are dismantled this does not happen unvoluntairy anymore.
The mind is tamed.
Now there is only sensing.
No defiled sense contacts arise anymore, meaning, no mentallity towards what is sensed arises.
Not even a notion of I who senses.
I think this is very different then a defiled sense contact.
Even strong pains are felt in a way without irritation, a tendency to flee, and even not from a perspective of a Me who feels.
I do not really know what this means to be honest.
SN22.47 en SN22.81 describe ignorance-contact.
Feelings, sensation can be born from ignorant contact or an ignorant way of relating to what is sensed.
That is how i understand this, at least.
This happens almost all the time.
If there is a sense of I who senses, it is already happening.
I have understood from a lay teacher that samphassa always refers to a defiled sense contact and phassa is the kind of sense contact that is not defiled.
May this be helpful and corrected if wrong.
Clarity November 17, 2023, 6:
26pm92
Since you have confirmed that Scenario 4 is the best analogy to fully reflect what you meant, we will continue this discussion based on Scenario 4.
I have an impression that the diamond in Scenario 4 is a metaphor for “viññāṇa anidassana”, is that the case?
If that’s not the case, which role of “viññāṇa anidassana” can be seen in Scenario 4?
Charlie November 18, 2023, 1:
31am93
Sorry to barge in, I don’t know if you are familiar with the Ven.
Nanavira’s “Notes on Dhamma”, but if you are not, I highly recommend that you read at least chapter “A NOTE ON PAṬICCASAMUPPĀDA”
Thanks for the recommendation - I will take a look at it.
I have heard of it before but not read it.
Charlie November 18, 2023, 1:
42am94
I have an impression that the diamond in Scenario 4 is a metaphor for “viññāṇa anidassana”, is that the case?
If that’s not the case, which role of “viññāṇa anidassana” can be seen in Scenario 4?
Yes, that is the case.
Keeping in mind that we cannot truly seperate knowing from what is known (the room in scenario 4). Or another way:
The diamond is the knowing faculty of the citta (Consciouness Aggregate) while the room that is known are the other four of The Five Aggregates (not The Five Clinging Aggregates - which would be what is known when the eyes are covered with layers of clothes as in your scenario 4).
Sunyo November 18, 2023, 2:
06am95
This is probably at the core of where we disagree.
I get the impression that you see this as a linear process.
I am not sure if you see it as an ongoing process every moment or if you see it cycling once per life or something else.
I wouldn’t call it linear.
But I think the traditional interpretation of the Theravada and Nagarjuna etc.
is pretty much right.
Some factors of DO talk about what happens during life, including that of the enlightened, such as contact giving rise to feelings.
Others talk about the creation of rebirth, such as that between craving and existence leading to birth.
This is exactly how SN12.19 I mentioned explains it:
it explicitly says the difference between the enlightened and unenlightened is NOT in the arising of contact and feelings.
The difference is that the enlightened will not be born again, i.
e. there is no more arising of birth.
That’s the entire point being made here.
Also, again, this sutta stems from the Nidana Samyutta, hence discusses dependent origination.
It’s also clearly talking about physical death, not how death mentally affects you.
How would you explain this sutta, then?
I cannot really understand to be honest what a not defiled sense contact is.
For example, how does one experience pain if there is no mental involvement at all with this pain due to whatever glues (desires, conceit, conceiving, views).
No dislike, nor even a sense of me having pain.
There still is pain, though.
Contact isn’t about our reaction to it.
Contact is about feelings arising regardless of the reaction.
Enlightened beings still experience feelings, also still undergo contact.
They still see things, smell things, touch things, etc.
(The word phassa litterally means ‘touch’, by the way.
)
1 Like
Charlie November 18, 2023, 7:
18am96
I wouldn’t call it linear.
But I think the traditional interpretation of the Theravada and Nagarjuna etc.
is pretty much right.
OK. I submit that what you mean here is that:
“My understanding of them agrees with my understanding of the Suttas”.
Because I don’t think you have had extensive dialog with Nagarjuna, nor with Theravada in order to know that all ‘three’ of you agree.
Nor can I have any dialog with Nagarjuna, nor with Theravada.
They can’t answer my questions such that I may have some assurance that we have the same understanding.
So if you could do your best to explain to me how you understand DO in contemporary language that would help me.
Let me know which factors change vs which factors don’t - when comparing the experience of the Arahat vs a worldly person.
Which factors cease to exist and which don’t.
This would help me understand your model.
If factors cease to exist why?
If factors are changed why?
I am asking for this because from my perspective I have already answered your question several times.
We seem to be going in circles.
We need to appreciate each others understanding at a basic level in order to have any meaningful conversation.
Neither of us need to adopt the other persons model - but we need to understand it.
Green November 18, 2023, 10:
49am97
This is exactly how SN12.19 I mentioned explains it:
it explicitly says the difference between the enlightened and unenlightened is NOT in the arising of contact and feelings.
The difference is that the enlightened will not be born again, i.
e. there is no more arising of birth.
That’s the entire point being made here.
Also, again, this sutta stems from the Nidana Samyutta, hence discusses dependent origination.
Sorry, this has become a long post again.
I feel this needs careful attention.
There are huge differences in how things dependently arise for an arahant who has uprooted the defilements and a situation when the mind becomes under influence of the defilements.
The nidana’s differ.
I share how i learned it and which, i believe, is true.
Mind under control of avijja
mind becomes under influence of avijja
abhisankhara’s, loaded formations arise, these are never mere mental formation, these are loaded
kamma-vinnana’s arise, loaded moments of awareness, not moments of mere awareness.
mentallity towards sense objects or what is sensed is present
sense contacts are defiled (samphassa)
vedana’s arising in fivefold.
There are those vedana’s arising in the initial sense contact.
Those are dukkha, sukha or neutral vedana’s.
But when upon them emotional reactions arise (like or dislike or disinterest), also those mindsets come with a feeling tone, called domanassa and somannasa vedana’s.
(see further)
sense-fields or domains function in a defiled way
there is an unvoluntairy grasping or involvement happening in what is sensed
an unvoluntairy proces of becoming is happening, for example mind becomes angry, sad, jalous etc
there takes place an unvoluntairy birth into a specific mindset (angry, sad, greedy, conceited etc)
decay of that specific mindset or decay of what the mind has temporary build up or produced.
Desintegration.
This described the untamed mind.
Now the mind which is not under influence of avijja anymore
no avijja
mere sankhara’s arise (no load, there are no abhisankhara’s arising, no loaded ones)
mere vinnana’s arise, 6 sense vinnana’s
no mentallity towards a sense-object arises, not even a sense of Me sensing
sense contact is pure (phassa), a mere sensing is happening
no domanassa and somanassa vedana’s arise , only sukha, dukkha and neutral vedana’s (see further)
undefiled functioning of sense-domains
no unvoluntaire grasping or involvement in what is sensed
no unvoluntairy proces of becoming or building up
no unvoluntairy birth of mindsets or into certain temporary mindstates
no decay because nothing is build up, nothing is made, no house is made anymore
This describes the tamed mind.
Conclusion
These are huge difference.
Ofcourse there is still contact, vedana, vinnana, sankhara etc for the arahant but these are all very different of nature.
Abhidhamma explains this in detail but one can also understand this, ofcourse, by studying the sutta’s and own experience.
I feel the most important general difference is that the undefiled tamed mind does not build up anymore, it shows no unvoluntairy involvement in what is sensed.
It does not habitually build up an angry home, a joyful home, a jalous home, a conceited home etc.
So there is also no experience of a desintegration proces.
This mind is stable.
Experiential comfirmation of this is, i believe, the knowledge of the end of rebirth.
The knowlegde of no rebirth cannot be intellectual, not a view.
It arises because in this very life one has the experiential confirmation that all those inner drifts, all those tendencies, all those floods that usually overwhelm the mind and take controll are just gone.
Not only weakened but gone.
No building up is this life, no building up after this life.
Contact is about feelings arising regardless of the reaction
Sorry, this is not true.
Also emotional reactions as like and dislike come with certain feeling tone (called domanassa and somanassa vedana’s).
The mind contacts them.
For example, if one feels a certain pain, one can become stressed, anxious or angry and that sphere in the mind in itself is felt, contactedd
Another example, if one has a nice taste, which comes with a sukha vedana, ones mind can really become bright, joyful, feeling good, delight in it, liking this taste.
This sphere of happiness in tje mind, this good feeling, is called Somanassa vedana’s.
And it is exactly these vedana’s, we want to repeat.
One wants TO BE in that joyful mindstate again.
That good sphere.
That is a good feeling, somanassa.
But if the same nice taste does not bring that somanassa feeling anymore, that joy, that delight, and that happens a lot, one looses interest and starts to seek delight somewhere else.
This is the core of the ignoble search.
We are expecially always looking for somanassa’s vedana’s.
Good happy sphere in the mind.
Not only for sukha vedana’s!
But our experience is also that what brings much joy to the senses (somanassa) because we like it very much, at a certain moment does not do that anymore.
It is like the same stimulus does not bring delight anymore to the mind.
This is our experience, right?
This distinction between the feeling tone of an initial sense moment (a taste, sound, tactile feeling etc) and the feeling tone that comes with minds reactions of like and dislike upon that initial feeling, is very important to make.
Mind also contacts the sphere that arises together with like (that is felt as joy, happiness, delight) and the sphere that comes with dislike (is felt as darkness, stress, agitation).
So, the mind contacts both:
the initial sukha, dukkha and neutral vedana’s that arise with a smell, taste, sound etc.
And it contacts the mental sphere that arises when the mind likes it or dislikes it.
Attachment is not really to the sense-objects but to the delight that we feel when we like this sense -contact.
What we want to repeat is that delight but that effect of delight of what is sensed, decreases.
I can sense this very well.
I do hardy feel any delight anymore in what is sensed.
But that is oke with me.
It does not lead to a new search for delight.
Sorry for this long reaction but i feel it needs careful attention.
1 Like
Sunyo November 18, 2023, 12:
37pm98
Hi,
OK.
I submit that what you mean here is that:
“My understanding of them agrees with my understanding of the Suttas”.
Because I don’t think you have had extensive dialog with Nagarjuna, nor with Theravada in order to know that all ‘three’ of you agree.
What I tried to say there was, if for context you desire to know my general interpretation, you can check that of the Theravada tradition or Nagarjuna, on which there is a broad consensus of what they are saying.
Then I don’t have to write a long post on how I understand it.
:
slight_smile:
This interpretation is also very well known, so I was hoping you were aware of it.
It’s also widely held in the Tibetan tradition.
Although I disagree with some details, they aren’t of importance to the things we were discussing.
Wikipedia has an explanation of this interpretation.
It’s also know as the “three life model”, although that is a later label and a bit of a misnomer.
I don’t feel I need to explain it in in my own words, because we’re discussing your essay here, isn’t it?
I have some issues with it that I’m trying to highlight.
For that I don’t think I need to explain how I understand the entirety of DO.
I am asking for this because from my perspective I have already answered your question several times.
We seem to be going in circles.
We need to appreciate each others understanding at a basic level in order to have any meaningful conversation.
Neither of us need to adopt the other persons model - but we need to understand it.
I know I referred again to the same sutta, but don’t feel we’re going in circles myself.
You claimed that the not landing of consciousness, which you said doesn’t happen for arahants, means they don’t experience contact.
The factors of DO don’t function without ignorance, you also said.
When I then showed a sutta that explicitly said arahants do experience contact even though they have no ignorance, I don’t think you explained how you make sense of that sutta.
That’s what I’m wondering about.
Sunyo November 18, 2023, 12:
40pm99
Sorry, this has become a long post again.
I feel this needs careful attention.
I think it would be more fruitful if we could keep it focused.
My point is simple:
for the arahants contact still happens, and therefore that factor of DO still continues after enlightenment.
You seem to agree with both of these, actually.
Of course there are differences between how an arahant and worldling experience things that they “contact”, but I’m just saying that they both do.
I think the sutta does, as I said, say that “the difference between the enlightened and unenlightened is NOT in the arising of contact and feelings”.
I’m not sure why you’re implying that it doesn’t.
Can I ask, did you read it?
“Mendicants, for a fool shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has been produced.
So there is the duality of this body and external name and form.
Contact depends on this duality.
When contacted through one or other of the six sense fields, the fool experiences pleasure and pain.
For an astute person [because in the past life they were] shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has been produced.
So there is the duality of this body and external name and form.
Contact depends on this duality.
When contacted through one or other of the six sense fields, the astute person [also] experiences pleasure and pain.
[In this the foolish and astute are the same.
] What, then, is the difference between the foolish and the astute?”
It then explains that the difference is that the astute won’t be reborn again.
It doesn’t make a difference between pure and defiled contact, or something like that.
1 Like
Vaddha November 18, 2023, 1:
54pm100
I think it’s important to understand the difference between a historical reading of textual material to understand how the text itself uses terminology, from practical exegesis which makes traditional text come alive with real instructions and flushes out nuances.
I hope the above is stated clearly.
When giving a Dhamma talk to meditators and practitioners, extracting certain pieces from material and commenting on it with nuanced implications and instructions, it’s very normal for that kind of exegesis to not necessarily align with what the specific text itself had in mind.
But it also could be perfectly valid, proper, useful, insightful exegesis.
A basic example of this is where the commentaries provide word-play etymologies to draw out the meanings of words and add nuances and details to them.
If someone finds certain of those etymologies very accurate, useful, practical and profound, they might insist on translating the word in a certain way that aligns with the practical exegesis they received which comments on it.
But that does not mean it would be an accurate translation from a text-critical and historical perspective, even if it were in line with the Dhamma.
Just so, certain exegesis on DO proves very practical, profound, and helpful, and it is not necessarily saying anything wrong or contradictory from the suttas.
Nonetheless, it isn’t necessarily the case that that exegesis is the best way to approach literal and historical translation.
It just means we have to distinguish between layers of using and interpreting a text.
A common phenomenon among sincere practitioners is coming across some exegesis on sutta material that they deeply resonate with and potentially even experience profound results and proper insight from.
Then, because that understanding proved so helpful, they insist it must be the reading of the original text.
But it’s very much possible that, although the understanding is not wrong, it is not specifically what any given text or word is getting at.
Hope this is helpful.
Clarity November 18, 2023, 4:
15pm101
I have an impression that the diamond in Scenario 4 is a metaphor for “viññāṇa anidassana”, is that the case?
If that’s not the case, which role of “viññāṇa anidassana” can be seen in Scenario 4?
Yes, that is the case.
Keeping in mind that we cannot truly seperate knowing from what is known (the room in scenario 4). Or another way:
The diamond is the knowing faculty of the citta (Consciouness Aggregate) while the room that is known are the other four of The Five Aggregates (not The Five Clinging Aggregates - which would be what is known when the eyes are covered with layers of clothes as in your scenario 4)
Glad that we made further progress again.
So, you have confirmed that “undefiled mind” and “viññāṇa anidassana” are just labels for one same thing (if that’s incorrect, please kindly explain).
Before you told me above, I did NOT have the impression that “the room that is known are the other four of The Five Aggregates (not The Five Clinging Aggregates)”.
That’s why I can’t figure out answers for questions in Scenario 4 such as below:
When one person interacts with another person via wholesome (e.
g. giving, helping, teaching, etc.
) or unwholesome (e.
g. killing, lying, stealing, etc.
) actions, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?
When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
Or same room, same diamond?
Or another room, same diamond?
Or same room, different diamond?
Green November 18, 2023, 7:
35pm102
Of course there are differences between how an arahant and worldling experience things that they “contact”, but I’m just saying that they both do.
I think the sutta does, as I said, say that “
I’m not sure why you’re implying that it doesn’t.
Can I ask, did you read it?
Sutta’s are often expressing a global understanding and not always a very detailled understanding.
For a detailled understanding some have felt the need to write such texts as Abhidhamma.
Sometimes this is really helpful i feel.
I do not think it is really vital for practicing the Dhamma but sometimes it is helpful
What you say in the above and it in the sutta is very global and coarse.
I felt the need for a more detailled approach.
One cannot say that in general contact remains, vinnana remains, sankhara remains, vedana remains for the enlightend, that is much to gross.
That has no depth.
I tried to share more detail.
If not appreaciated…oke.
Contact isn’t about our reaction to it.
Contact is about feelings arising regardless of the reaction.
This needs to be adressed too, i did.
I changed my reaction, kind regards
Green November 18, 2023, 10:
16pm103
It then explains that the difference is that the astute won’t be reborn again.
It doesn’t make a difference between pure and defiled contact, or something like that.
I changed the content because it was flagged.
I understand.
Sorry. I can be frustrated sometimes.
Of course there are differences between how an arahant and worldling experience things that they “contact”, but I’m just saying that they both do.
I think the sutta does, as I said, say that “the difference between the enlightened and unenlightened is NOT in the arising of contact and feelings”.
i say, yes there is a difference.
There is no samphassa only phassa and there are only sukha, dukha and neutral vedana’s, but no domanassa and somanassa vedana’s which rise as results of reactions of what is sensed, such as like and dislike.
The mind also contacts those domanassa and somanassa vedana’s.
What we crave most is a more general good feeling in the mind, somanassa vedana’s, when seeing, hearing, tasting etc things.
Sense contacts come with a certain mental feelings of joy or gladness , a certain sentiment, as it were.
But this is not the sukha vedana!
This is the somanassa vedana.
Often one craves a certain sphere, such as in jhana.
Or one craves the sphere of being optimistic, being glad, being joyful, being cheerful.
Having a good time.
Enjoying oneself.
I think that is has nothing to do with senses.
There is nothing in the sense-objects that is an sich joyful, sad, ugly, nice, cheerful, beautiful.
The only thing that happens is that the mind deludes us to think there is.
While it is only how the mind gives meaning to what it senses.
Mere projections.
Except women, they are just beautiful.
1 Like
Sasha_A November 18, 2023, 10:
35pm104
Arahants still experience contact.
SN12.19, which is part of SN12 and therefore is on Dependent Origination, says about the astute (or ‘wise’) person who “has given up that ignorance and finished that craving”:
I think that in SN12.19 the comparison is not between enlightened and unenlightened persons, but between the results of different ways of life of two ordinary persons, one of whom is on ‘the spiritual journey to the complete ending of suffering’ - ‘an astute person’ - and one who is not - ‘a fool’:
at the moment of comparison ‘an astute person’ is not the one who has ‘given up that ignorance and finished that craving’, but is still ‘an astute person shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving’ in the same way as ‘a fool’ - that person is not an arahant.
1 Like
Sunyo November 18, 2023, 11:
56pm105
I think that in SN12.19 the comparison is not between enlightened and unenlightened persons, but between the results of different ways of life of two ordinary persons, one of whom is on ‘the spiritual journey to the complete ending of suffering’ - ‘an astute person’ - and one who is not - ‘a fool’:
at the moment of comparison ‘an astute person’ is not the one who has ‘given up that ignorance and finished that craving’, but is still ‘an astute person shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving’ in the same way as ‘a fool’ - that person is not an arahant.
Thanks for the reply.
I see how one might conclude this.
But later in the sutta it says the astute person has abandoned ignorance, so it seems it is indeed the arahant we’re talking about.
The line you quoted I think refers to the ignorance of the arahant in their past life, i.
e. the ignorance that through rebirth created “this body”.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote on this in a footnote:
In this brief sutta we find clearly adumbrated the later exegetical scheme […].
The past causes are the ignorance and craving that brought both the fool and the wise man into the present existence;
the present results—the conscious body, name-and-form, the six sense bases, contact, and feeling;
the present causes—the ignorance and craving that the fool does not abandon;
the future results—the birth, aging, and death to which the fool is subject in the next existence.
This should also help establish the validity of the "three-life” interpretation of paṭicca-samuppada and demonstrate that such an interpretation is not a commentarial innovation.
Another sutta making a similar comparison between enlightened and unenlightened is SN36.6, known for the famous second-arrow simile.
It also indicates enlightened ones still have contact:
But, bhikkhus, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful bodily feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament;
he does not weep and beat his breast and become distraught.
The remainder of the sutta clarifies that in this context the learned noble disciples are the enlightened ones, for they are said to have overcome rebirth.
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Sasha_A November 19, 2023, 1:
33am106
But later in the sutta it says the astute person has abandoned ignorance, so it seems it is indeed the arahant we’re talking about.
The line you quoted I think refers to the ignorance of the arahant in their past life, i.
e. the ignorance that through rebirth created “this body”.
In this reading we now have a sutta in which Buddha literally says that everyone who “has not completed the spiritual journey for the complete ending of suffering” is a fool - that is all non-arahants, including other aryas too.
In this case, where Buddha was talking about the past lives of these persons, he must have called both of them fools, because both of these persons in the past life “did not complete the spiritual journey” and as a result “were reborn in another body”.
And take a look at the conclusion of the sutta, where Buddha is directly indicates the criteria for drawing the difference here:
“This is the difference here between the foolish and the astute, that is, leading the spiritual life”.
It simply makes no sense to make such a comparison of the two persons on the basis of how they have lived their past lives:
those past lives have already ended, and there is nothing that can be done to change that past - this reading simply renders Buddha’s whole speech incoherent and impractical.
1 Like
Sasha_A November 19, 2023, 2:
36am107
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote on this in a footnote:

This should also help establish the validity of the "three-life” interpretation of paṭicca-samuppada and demonstrate that such an interpretation is not a commentarial innovation.
Also Ven.
Bodhi:
I am not saying that the detailed exposition of paticca-samuppaada (PS) as found in the Pali Commentaries can in all particulars be traced back to the Suttas.
The aim of the Commentaries, in their treatment of PS, is to correlate the Suttanta teaching of PS with the systematic analysis of phenomena and their conditional relations as found in the Abhidhamma.
This results in an explanation of PS that is far more complex and technical than anything that can be drawn out from the Sutta texts themselves.

I also believe that the Commentaries take unnecessary risks when they try to read back into the Suttas ideas deriving from tools of interpretation that appeared perhaps centuries after the Suttas were compiled.
1 Like
Charlie November 19, 2023, 2:
40am108
When one person interacts with another person via wholesome (e.
g. giving, helping, teaching, etc.
) or unwholesome (e.
g. killing, lying, stealing, etc.
) actions, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?
When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
Or same room, same diamond?
Or another room, same diamond?
Or same room, different diamond?
You are asking me my view on the ultimate nature of Reality?
I have no view on this.
Charlie November 19, 2023, 3:
28am109
This interpretation is also very well known, so I was hoping you were aware of it
I have been aware of it for a number of years.
But until you mentioned it, I was not aware that this was your view.
I have always viewed that interpretation as commentarial - thus did not expect to find it on a site dedicated to discussing the EBTs.
In my own reading of the suttas, I never had this impression about DO.
This is why I was surprised that you hold this view.
As an exercise that you can do on your own:
It is your view that DO covers at least one life (maybe three) and therefore the Arahats experience in this life is to found explained there as well - something like that.
So if you looked at the Linked Discourses that describe the Arahat you should see the same terminology found in DO.
Another obvious place would be the section on Arahats in Dhammapada.
Maybe give that a try.
It seems to me that you aren’t really open to considering other view points.
I say this because if you were already familiar with my view on DO (and it is quite common) then you would not have kept responding from your own viewpoint because you would have known it made no sense to me.
It’s kind of like Rubin’s Vase - if someone keeps insisting it’s two faces looking at each other, it will be impossible to see the vase.
One needs to let go and open up the mind.
Sunyo November 19, 2023, 3:
58am110
In this reading we now have a sutta in which Buddha literally says that everyone who “has not completed the spiritual journey for the complete ending of suffering” is a fool - that is all non-arahants, including other aryas too.
That’s indeed a harsh way for the Buddha to put it, but dichotomous ways of putting things isn’t unique to this sutta.
It simply makes no sense to make such a comparison of the two persons on the basis of how they have lived their past lives
That wouldn’t make sense, indeed, but that isn’t what’s happening.
The point is that in the past lives they were the same (both having ignorance and craving) but in the current life they are no longer the same (though still both experiencing contact as a result of being born).
As the SuttaCentral blurb of the sutta also says:
Both the wise and the foolish have been reborn in this life due to their deeds conditioned by ignorance in past lives.
But a fool continues to make the same mistakes and is reborn yet again, whereas a wise person does not.
“This is the difference here between the foolish and the astute, that is, leading the spiritual life”.
Yes, some have lead it to the end and others haven’t.
That’s the difference.
As it says, “The astute person has completed the spiritual journey”.
You’re saying the astute aren’t the arahants, but who else has completed the spiritual journey but the arahants?
I am not saying that the detailed exposition of paticca-samuppaada (PS) as found in the Pali Commentaries can in all particulars be traced back to the Suttas.
As I said, I also don’t agree with all the details.
:
slightly_smiling_face:
But again, that doesn’t even matter.
The ONLY point I’m trying to make here is that the arahants still experience contact.
Because Charlie claimed that they don’t, and that idea forms a big part of his interpretation.
Everything else in my interpretation could theoretically be wrong, and it wouldn’t matter for my argument here.
I say this because if you were already familiar with my view on DO (and it is quite common) then you would not have kept responding from your own viewpoint because you would have known it made no sense to me.
Hi once more,
I don’t know what you understand a discussion to be, but in my book it is exactly responding to another’s view coming from your own point of view.
It doesn’t mean that you already completely understand and agree with the other.
Anyway, I think we’ve had enough red herrings and meta discussion.
:
pensive:
This “discussion” clearly isn’t going anywhere.
I thought you wanted to explain and defend your ideas, which could have been illuminating so we can get a better undrestanding of this obsucre viññāṇa anidassana.
Seems I misjudged and you were looking for an echo chamber instead.
Ceisiwr November 19, 2023, 4:
54am111
The three lives model is found in all known early schools.
You also see it in Mahayana.
It’s also right there in the suttas, given the definitions of each link.
Of course Buddhas and Arahants experience contact.
To say otherwise is absurd.
Dukkha is also experienced by them, whilst alive.
Charlie November 19, 2023, 5:
27am112
I don’t know what you understand a discussion to be, but in my book it is exactly responding to another’s view coming from your own point of view.
I would call that an argument.
My idea of a discussion is the collaborative effort by Clarity and I to understand each other.
Charlie November 19, 2023, 5:
32am113
contact
Could you define contact from an experiential side?
Ceisiwr November 19, 2023, 8:
02am114
What on that occasion is contact (phasso)?
The contact which on that occasion is touching, the being brought into contact, the state of having been brought into touch with—this is the contact that there then is.
Dhammasaṅgaṇī
Engagement with sense objects.
Green November 19, 2023, 9:
42am115
Engagement with sense objects.
What do you mean by engagement?
Involvement, attachment?
Ceisiwr November 19, 2023, 9:
52am116
Paying attention to.
Without engagement eye consciousness will not arise, even when forms pass in range of the eye.
For example, when one is in deep meditation with the eyes open.
Green November 19, 2023, 10:
04am117
Thanks.
Do you also believe that this is why the suttas teach that all things come into existence due to attention?
AN10.58
Probably this must be seen as how our subjective experience arises, and not, for example, the stars, the planets etc.
?
Green November 19, 2023, 10:
09am118
Paying attention to.
Without engagement eye consciousness will not arise, even when forms pass in range of the eye.
For example, when one is in deep meditation with the eyes open.
I like to ask you:
what do you feel about this:
position:
vinnana is not really the mind.
for example, eye-vinnana one cannot really be called mind.
is the stream of those sense vinnana’s, the mind?
I do not think so.
One is not mindless when this stream is absent.
I like to see it more like this:
that vinnana’s presents visuals, sounds, smells etc to the mind.
or they arise in the mind.
Or do those vinnana moment arise in insensitive space?
In nothing?
In a vacuum?
Ceisiwr November 19, 2023, 10:
19am119
Thanks.
Do you also believe that this is why the suttas teach that all things come into existence due to attention?
AN10.58
Probably this must be seen as how our subjective experience arises, and not, for example, the stars, the planets etc.
?
I read that as referring to meditation.
The hindrances and awakening factors.
I like to ask you:
what do you feel about this:
position:
vinnana is not really the mind.
for example, eye-vinnana one cannot really be called mind.
is the stream of those sense vinnana’s, the mind?
I do not think so.
One is not mindless when this stream is absent.
I like to see it more like this:
that vinnana’s presents visuals, sounds, smells etc to the mind.
or they arise in the mind.
Or do those vinnana moment arise in insensitive space?
In nothing?
In a vacuum?
Viññāṇa, Manas and the Citta are different ways of describing the mind.
In a worldly person, or someone not meditating deeply, viññāṇa presents an object, manas constructs it and citta is the more mind felt experience of it.
1 Like
stephen November 19, 2023, 2:
54pm120
Except women, they are just beautiful.
What does this mean?
Green November 19, 2023, 3:
52pm121
Nothing, just kidding.
Clarity November 19, 2023, 8:
12pm122
When one person interacts with another person via wholesome (e.
g. giving, helping, teaching, etc.
) or unwholesome (e.
g. killing, lying, stealing, etc.
) actions, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?
When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
Or same room, same diamond?
Or another room, same diamond?
Or same room, different diamond?
You are asking me my view on the ultimate nature of Reality?
I have no view on this
To my understanding, these questions about wholesome/unwholesome and rebirth/kamma are considered much less “ultimate nature of reality” than such things like “viññāṇa anidassana” or “Nibbāna”.
I am not sure about you but for me, I consider those Scenario 1,2,3,4 that we have gone through are models to help understanding our ideas.
However, ideas are plenty and only the most useful ideas can stay.
Therefore, I consider those questions as a test to see how well these ideas can be useful to us and to abandon unuseful ones.
So, in that perspective, those questions are really essential and can not be ignored.
If they are ignored, that means there is a serious drawback/hole in the idea.
If that drawback/hole can not be fixed/patched then that idea should be replaced by a better idea which at least passes the test.
I hope that I have conveyed to you and you also confirmed that I have fairly understood what you meant by “viññāṇa anidassana”/“undefiled mind” or “Nibbāna” through the analogy of Scenario 4. However, as explained above, due to the above limitation of ignoring essential questions about wholesome/unwholesome and rebirth/kamma, I can not accept these ideas.
Instead, as I said from beginning, I propose Scenario 2 as a better candidate.
You are welcome to do similar tests toward Scenario 2 by asking essential questions and I will try to answer you.
Of course, even if I manage to answer all of your essential questions, in the end, you will still be the one to decide which Scenario to rely on for your own spiritual journey.
Another possibility is:
You can just conclude this discussion here and simply know for yourself that there are limitations of your ideas and there are other ideas (which can be better and be supported by suttas) that you today simply chose not to explore further.
dhammapala November 19, 2023, 9:
45pm123
Human consciousness is understood through the trimodalities of mind, body and awareness unto which the five aggregates fit into.
Mind:
thinking, feeling, reasoning, perceiving, abstracting, sensing.
Body:
vehicle, apparatus, vehicle, chariot, sensor.
Awareness:
animating charge, life force.
These three form the basis of human consciousness (aliveness).
The 5 aggregates are provisional and are by that in which a human being apprehends the world.
Due to contact of feeling (of being alive and sensory data), perception (what is seen) and the actuality of consciousness one gives rise to mental formations.
The 5 aggregates are an aspect of human experience and it is up to the individual to untangle themselves from the unhelpful products of each.
At the same time, the 5 aggregates are also the basis for wisdom to develop
Cessation in my view is the cessation of the causes of suffering.
I leave it at that and do not go on to reference cessation as this idea of ‘permanent dissolution’.
I stop at conditionality.
Charlie November 20, 2023, 1:
53am124
Engagement with sense objects.
OK. I agree with that.
Further more, I would like to make the following observation:
worldly people engage with sense objects because of ignorance while Arahats do not because ignorance has ceased.
**Phassa:
**[cp.
Ved. sparsa, of sp.
r.s:
see phusati] contact, touch (as sense or sense-impression, for which usually phoṭṭhabbaṅ).
It is the fundamental fact in a sense impression, and consists of a combination of the sense, the object, and perception, - Pali Text Society Dictionary
We know that for the Arahat there are just these Five Aggregates.
Any past, present, or future life consists of nothing but these Five Aggregates (the five faciulties of the mind) (SN22.48). If the dictionary (and my understanding) is correct then phassa is a combination of the sense organ (form faculty) + the object (form faculty) + perception faculty.
I think the following describes a distinct difference between worldly experience and that of the Arahat:
“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of contact, consciousness lands there and increases…Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair."

“So too, bhikkhus, if there is no lust for the nutriment edible food … for the nutriment contact … for the nutriment mental volition … for the nutriment consciousness … consciousness does not become established there and come to growth.
Where consciousness does not become established and come to growth … I say that is without sorrow, anguish, and despair.”
- SN12.64
Does phassa continue to exist for the Arahat?
My understanding is no - because with the cessation of ignorance, phassa has broken up into it’s underlying components that are found under the five aggregates (which are now described as scattered and abandoned).
It is not just that consciousness doesn’t land there but that it ceases to exist.
Does that mean that an Arahat doesn’t have a sense of touch, sight, etc.
- no.
Perhaps this sounds absurd to you.
But such is my understanding.
Charlie November 20, 2023, 2:
32am125
But again, that doesn’t even matter.
The ONLY point I’m trying to make here is that the arahants still experience contact.
Because Charlie claimed that they don’t, and that idea forms a big part of his interpretation.
Yes, so this seems to be at the core of our different views.
I suspect you have seen my response to Ceisiwr on this topic.
Perhaps what we could try is for me to present you with what I see are more problematic suttas (in my view based on how I understand your model of DO) such that I can understand your view better.
I imagine the people that came up with it were intelligent, capable people and they must have some understanding of these but from my understanding of your view they don’t seem to fit.
And these issues may be why we seem to be talking (writing) past each other.
InSN35.82 contact is defined as part of The World (loka) If contact is part of the world then seems like DO is part of the world also?
“‘The world, the world [loka],’ it is said.
In what respect does the word ‘world’ apply?”
“Insofar as it disintegrates [lujjati], monk, it is called the ‘world.’
Now what disintegrates?
… Eye-contact disintegrates.
And whatever there is that arises in dependence on eye-contact—experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain—that too disintegrates.
…repeats for ear, nose, tongue, body, tactile sensations …disintegrate…-SN35.82
What I don’t understand is how the Arahat can be above the world and in it at the same time:
“Bhikkhus, just as a blue, red, or white lotus is born in the water and grows up in the water, but having risen up above the water, it stands unsullied by the water, so too the Tathagata was born in the world and grew up in the world, but having overcome the world, he dwells unsullied by the world.”
- SN22.94
Nor do I understand how the Arahat knows the cessation of the world “within this fathom long body” while at the same time experiencing contact and whatever other factors of DO that - from what I understand you to be saying - are still operating in said world.
I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos.
Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos -AN4.45
So how are these suttas - understood with respect to the 3-life model of DO?
Charlie November 20, 2023, 2:
50am126
To my understanding, these questions about wholesome/unwholesome and rebirth/kamma are considered much less “ultimate nature of reality” than such things like “viññāṇa anidassana” or “Nibbāna”.
Perhaps I misunderstood what you were asking.
, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?

When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
..
Here is what I thought you were asking:
Is there only one undefiled mind or are there multiple undefiled minds?
Are there multiple rooms or is it the same room?
This is what I thought you were asking and thus my answer.
The reason being that my essay and comments are dealing with the EBT’s and to the best of my knowledge the questions that I thought you were asking are outside of that context.
Maybe by placing the questions within the context of suffering and the end of suffering might help me to understand.
Ceisiwr November 20, 2023, 2:
01pm127
Does phassa continue to exist for the Arahat?
My understanding is no - because with the cessation of ignorance, phassa has broken up into it’s underlying components that are found under the five aggregates (which are now described as scattered and abandoned).
It is not just that consciousness doesn’t land there but that it ceases to exist.
Does that mean that an Arahat doesn’t have a sense of touch, sight, etc.
- no.
There is contact, feeling, the six senses for the Arahant because whilst he is now free from ignorance, he wasn’t in the past.
With the arising of ignorance …
Awakening doesn’t undo the past.
Green November 20, 2023, 7:
32pm128
I think the following describes a distinct difference between worldly experience and that of the Arahat:
“Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of contact, consciousness lands there and increases…Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair."

“So too, bhikkhus, if there is no lust for the nutriment edible food … for the nutriment contact … for the nutriment mental volition … for the nutriment consciousness … consciousness does not become established there and come to growth.
Where consciousness does not become established and come to growth … I say that is without sorrow, anguish, and despair.”
- SN12.64
Some thoughts about this:
For example, an awareness of a specific taste arises, a specific taste-vinnana.
Suppose now there is totally no lust at all, no delight, no attraction, no liking towards it, no mentallity at all.
That taste vinnana does not establish and grow on that kind of attention.
It just arises and ceases again.
This is, i believe its non growth and non-establishment.
Because things that just come and go do not establish.
A vinnana that establishes and grows is a nourished vinnana.
It is nourished with wrong attention.
This ‘establishing and growth’ of vinnana is, i feel, just a way to express what attachment or involvement means.
Involvement means things establish and grow in the mind.
What causes involvement?
The subconscious patterns called anusaya’s.
Involvement due to views, desire and conceit.
Involvement is no choice.
Oke, one can be mindful and become quickly aware that there is involvement and let go but one cannot prevent that involvement happens.
But gradually one can cause changes in the subconscious choices the mind makes.
The established and grown vinnana is never a mere sense vinnana.
Impossible. It is called kamma-vinnana.
It is loaded vinnana, loaded with the information of the subconscious patterns.
It more then a mere sensing.
Not nourished sense vinnana’s just come and go.
It can be said that they do not establish or land anymore.
Cerrtain contacts end when vinnana’s do not establish anymore.
For example, contacting the mental delight if one likes a taste or the dark feeling if one does dislike a taste.
Sense Contact is explained like this:
"Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises.
The meeting of the three is contact" (MN18, Bodhi))
So, any sensing implies this kind of sense contact.
But this contact inherent to any sensing is not the same as involvement or the establising and growth of vinnana.
Yes, i also feel this is really important stuff, this establising and no establishing of vinnana.
Nikolas November 20, 2023, 9:
47pm129
This is what I am referring to as well.
‘The All’ ceases with the cessation of ignorance - the end of dependent origination.
The residue is just the faculties of the mind that sense the physical body - the coals remaining.
Not bad when previously the whole world was on fire.
“All” in the suttas refers to the eye and form, the ear and sounds, the nose and smells, the tongue and tastes, the body and the tangible, the mind and the imaginary.
There is nothing there about attachment, ignorance and so on.
There is no such thing in any sutta.
Body and mind in this context are always literally the body born during the process of conception, subject to the presence of craving and karma.
So is the mind.
It seems, sir, that you are making it up as you go along.
If with regard to aggregates there is the concept of “objects of grasping,” then with regard to the six spheres of senses and objects there is no such concept.
Further, consciousness is conditioned by these six kinds of senses and objects.
And it does not arise without their presence.
When these six senses and objects are destroyed, and new ones do not arise for obvious reasons (the sage does not grasp a new body), consciousnesses no longer have the opportunity to arise.
You can imagine some other kind of consciousness - a new, enlightened, seventh kind.
But then it doesn’t fit into your model, where the five aggregates remain the same except that there is no more clinging.
Nikolas November 20, 2023, 10:
06pm130
Put back into words again:
Cessation of ignorance conditions cessation of greed and hatred
Cessation of greed and hatred conditions cessation of clinging consciousness
As you seems to say in your essay:
cessation of clinging consciousness is anidassana consciousness.
This is all very good.
But where did the addition “clinging” come from in relation to the “consciousness” link?
There is no such additive, it is your personal creativity.
It is well explained in the Mahanidana Sutta that the link of consciousness is the consciousness of a new life, the consciousness of the fetus in the womb.
That is, this consciousness of rebirth, the consciousness of a new life as such, is conditioned by past volitional shapers, past intentional actions of body, speech and mind, karma.
The consciousness of the Buddha and any arahant is in the same way generated by past karma, volitional shapers.
Accordingly, it is said that Buddha is like a lotus that grew in dirty water, came out of dirty water, but is not stained by water.
It is clear that the arahant’s consciousness is not clinging.
And yet, its emergence is due to the fact that the corresponding shapers were created in a past life.
These shapers started the process of consciousness in the womb, and they also formed the body and mind, which continue to support the consciousness of the arahant right up to the very moment of the disintegration of the physical body and vital forces.
Clarity November 20, 2023, 10:
13pm131
This is all very good.
But where did the addition “clinging” come from in relation to the “consciousness” link?
There is no such additive, it is your personal creativity.
For clarification:
actually, it’s not “mine” creativity.
If you read my whole post carefully from top to bottom, you will see that I was in the process of asking the OP.
These does not represent my understanding - it instead represents the OP’s - if you read thoroughly the whole long many posts in this topic between the OP and me, you will see so.
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Nikolas November 20, 2023, 10:
25pm132
Assumption:
The Buddha is freed from ignorance, the audience is not.
In terms of the snake and rope simile, the Buddha is telling the audience that what appears as a snake is actually just a rope.
The Loka suttas are also relevant such as SN12.44
As I understand from your essay, you believe that the arahant is liberated not from the aggregates, but from clinging and illusion in relation to the aggregates.
That is, there is no snake, there is a rope and the rope remains.
But the rope is conditional!
We know that each of the aggregates, regardless of whether there is clinging to it or not, is by nature conditioned, formed, arises and ceases.
We also know that nibbana is a realm where there is no coming or going, no 4 elements, that is, kkhandha of form, no arising, no cessation, nothing formed, created, conditioned.
That is, there are simply no aggregates there, whether with clinging (of an ordinary person) or without (an arahant, an arahant’s mind focused on nibbana, and the like).
We also know that the formed aggregates, whether gross or subtle (ordinary or in samadhi), low or sublime (polluted or purified, aimed at nibbana), are all of the nature of dukkha.
And clinging to them is clinging to dukkha.
You cling to them because you want to preserve them and conceptually create a theory that they remain in parinibbana.
But it is clearly stated that Nibbana is the realm where no formations or aggregates remain.
It is empty of them.
And this is precisely why it is constant and reliable, since there is nothing to change there.
There is nothing there to turn from happiness to misfortune.
In the realm of nibbana there is no rope.
Jasudho November 20, 2023, 11:
29pm134
“Insofar as it disintegrates [lujjati], monk, it is called the ‘world.’
Now what disintegrates?
… Eye-contact disintegrates.
And whatever there is that arises in dependence on eye-contact—experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain—that too disintegrates.
…repeats for ear, nose, tongue, body, tactile sensations …disintegrate…-SN35.82
In this sutta the Buddha is speaking about the conditioned world and here the “disintegrates” or “breaking apart”, lujjati, here appears to be a synonym for anicca.
If you put anicca into the sutta, it seems clear the Buddha is pointing to the unreliability of the senses and all conditions – not to the disintegration of all these for an arahant while alive.
What I don’t understand is how the Arahat can be above the world and in it at the same time:
“In the world” can be seen as the aggregates still be ing present and active.
“Above the world” can be seen as freedom from the defilements;
as non-identification with the aggregates;
and the knowledge that there will be no rebirth after the final death and no coming to further existence, bhava.
In other words, one is “above” perpetuating the world of samsāra.
But these are not terms used in the suttas.
So how are these suttas - understood with respect to the 3-life model of DO?
In the Rohitassa Sutta AN4.45 you cited, the cosmos is the “world” cited in the prior sutta – so that’s what we have to work with in this practice, yes?
With the complete cessation of the defilements the “end” of the world/cosmos is reached, no further “world” is being created by clinging, etc.
– the aggregates just play out until final death without rebirth – the final and utter end of the world, attained in this very body, so to speak.
In this particular sutta, it appears that only two lives are involved:
the prior one with ignorance and sankhāras that lead to the arising of the senses etc.
in the current one – which will end without rebirth if full awakening is attained.
The 3-life model of DO is a model and is applicable in some suttas, while other suttas like this one present the same basic principles.
but in a different context.
Overall, 3-lives appears to apply when there is rebirth and 2 lives appears to apply for an arahant, without rebirth.
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Charlie November 21, 2023, 5:
34am135
You can imagine some other kind of consciousness - a new, enlightened, seventh kind.
But then it doesn’t fit into your model, where the five aggregates remain the same except that there is no more clinging
Now that I understand this different view regarding DO I completely understand your opinion.
I have no interest in engaging in debates - I don’t think it is useful to do so.
If someone wants to explore a different viewpoint they can do so and if not, not.
Charlie November 21, 2023, 5:
45am136
That is, there is no snake, there is a rope and the rope remains.
But the rope is conditional!
What we ‘know’ is our own thoughts that we then grasp and feel ‘This is true’ or whatever.
If you have spent lots of time with the Buddha and fully understand his own realization then you would Know.
I don’t claim that kind of certainty.
I think curiosity and a sense of humor are good companions to any discussion.
The rope in the analogy stands for The Five Aggregates.
By definition (I point to the specific sutta in the essay) they are not influenced by the asavas - when this occurs they are referred to as The Five Clinging Aggregates.
You can read the sutta - if you draw a different conclusion that’s fine.
Nikolas November 21, 2023, 7:
46am137
We cannot base an interpretation on just one sutta.
I emphasize that according to other suttas, in the dimension of nibbana there is nothing conditioned, arising, changing and dying.
Since aggregates without clinging are conditioned, they do not remain in the dimension of nibbana, which does not agree with your interpretation in which aggregates without clinging remain.
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Charlie November 21, 2023, 8:
20am138
In this sutta the Buddha is speaking about the conditioned world and here the “disintegrates” or “breaking apart”, lujjati, here appears to be a synonym for anicca.
This is how Ven.
Nanananda speaks about it:
“It is disintegrating, monk, that is why it is called ‘the world’.
And what is disintegrating?
The eye, monk, is disintegrating, forms are disintegrating, … It is disintegrating, monk, that is why it is called ‘the world’.”
Here the Buddha is redefining the concept of the world, punning on the verb lujjati, which means to “break up” or “disintegrate”.
To bring about a radical change in outlook, in accordance with the Dhamma, the Buddha would sometimes introduce a new etymology in preference to the old.
This definition of ‘the world’ is to the same effect…
In this instance, the play upon the word loka is vividly apt in that it brings out the transciency of the world.
If the world by definition is regarded as transient, it cannot be conceived substantially as a unit.
How then can an eternity or infinity be predicated about it?
If all the so-called things in the world, listed above, are all the time disintegrating, any unitary concept of the world is fallacious.
[Mind Stilled Number 20]
Overall, 3-lives appears to apply when there is rebirth and 2 lives appears to apply for an arahant, without rebirth.
Are you a programmer?
The definition of your version of DO will run to the end of the program and start over as long as there is ignorance.
Regardless if one awakens within it or not.
There will be changes but there is effectively no break within the function:
while:
(ignorance =true) do:
dependentOrigination
Here dependentOrigination simply steps through the sequence from birth to death.
If on exit ignorance is still present it repeats.
The alternative version that I am presenting (not by any means my own) goes like this:
Here the outer loop looks the same:
if there is ignorance the loop starts running.
But within the dependentOrigination we call a subroutine called arisingAndPassing which looks like:
arisingAndPassing:
every time consciousness is about to land on name-and-form it checks to see if ignorance is still present.
If it no longer is then the program exits.
What happened to the one experiencing that samsaric life is undefined.
The body is still there doing what it does.
the 6 senses are still there doing what they do.
The one that is aware of them is aware of them but released.
untraceable.
Maybe that helps maybe not.
Jasudho November 21, 2023, 12:
20pm139
version of DO will run to the end of the program and start over as long as there is ignorance.
Regardless if one awakens within it or not.
Not quite.
Not sure how you came to that conclusion since the for the awakened there is no rebirth after death.
End of program, as you called it.
Charlie November 21, 2023, 12:
42pm140
Awakening doesn’t undo the past.
It obliterates it.
Totally.
Ceisiwr November 21, 2023, 1:
00pm141
No, it doesn’t.
You can’t undo the past.
Clarity November 21, 2023, 9:
23pm142
Here is what I thought you were asking:
Is there only one undefiled mind or are there multiple undefiled minds?
Are there multiple rooms or is it the same room?
This is what I thought you were asking and thus my answer.
The reason being that my essay and comments are dealing with the EBT’s and to the best of my knowledge the questions that I thought you were asking are outside of that context.
Maybe by placing the questions within the context of suffering and the end of suffering might help me to understand.
The above directions with multiple rooms or multiple diamonds, same/different room or same/different diamond are simply suggested directions because as I told you that I don’t see how to apply Scenario 4.
I was asking:
How interaction between persons can be determined wholesome and unwholesome using Scenario 4?
How rebirth and kamma can be interpreted using Scenario 4?
You are supposed to understand what you meant better than I do.
Therefore, when you can’t answer above questions using Scenario 4 either, then I expect from you 1 or maybe more different and new analogies to explain.
After that I will try to integrate what you said (if coherently enough) hopefully into a new Scenario 5. That’s what I suggest how to continue this discussion.
Are we still on the same page?
Charlie November 21, 2023, 11:
30pm143
You can’t undo the past.
You are right, ‘I’ can’t undo the past.
Because the ‘past’ is built on the very sense of ‘I am’ - that is, the notion that there is an ‘I’ that experienced the past, that is experiencing the present, and will (or wants to) experience the future.
When the sense of ‘I am’ ceases then where is the past, present, future?
There were, are, and will be only The Five Aggregates that were foolishly taken as an ‘I’.
You are quite familiar with the suttas so I don’t think it is necessary to point them out.
I am not trying to argue with you.
As I have already said:
You are right, ‘I’ can’t undo the past.
Charlie November 22, 2023, 1:
32am144
I was asking:
How interaction between persons can be determined wholesome and unwholesome using Scenario 4?
How rebirth and kamma can be interpreted using Scenario 4?
Hello Clarity,
Let me just take a moment to pull this stuff together so that our audience doen’t need to search around this thread for context:
Scenario 4
When one person interacts with another person via wholesome (e.
g. giving, helping, teaching, etc.
) or unwholesome (e.
g. killing, lying, stealing, etc.
) actions, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?
When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
Or same room, same diamond?
Or another room, same diamond?
Or same room, different diamond?
Charlie:
Yes, that is the case.
Keeping in mind that we cannot truly seperate knowing from what is known (the room in scenario 4). Or another way:
The diamond is the knowing faculty of the citta (Consciouness Aggregate) while the room that is known are the other four of The Five Aggregates (not The Five Clinging Aggregates - which would be what is known when the eyes are covered with layers of clothes as in your scenario 4).
Clarity:
Before you told me above, I did NOT have the impression that “the room that is known are the other four of The Five Aggregates (not The Five Clinging Aggregates)”
That’s why I can’t figure out answers for questions in Scenario 4 such as below:
When one person interacts with another person via wholesome (e.
g. giving, helping, teaching, etc.
) or unwholesome (e.
g. killing, lying, stealing, etc.
) actions, is that TWO (2) rooms [with TWO (2) diamonds inside each room] interact with each other?
When a person reborns, will he appear in another room with a different diamond?
Or same room, same diamond?
Or another room, same diamond?
Or same room, different diamond?
OK. I think I have the key parts above.
I did misunderstand the questions as regarding the ultimate nature of reality.
And I also see that my answer about the room being the five aggregates and not the five clinging aggregates - I was speaking from more the perspective of the sun.
I was jumping ahead I think relative to your line of questioning.
So let me answer your questions as I now (I think correctly) understand and I aggree they are important as far as undertanding.
Keep the diamond out - that was me jumping ahead and confusing things.
Each person experiences themselves in their own room.
Which they perceive as being very real.
From each persons perspective there are many rooms.
When people interact with each other they do so within the context of their own room.
Each person tends to think that other persons rooms pretty much resemble their own.
Ex:
If a person has angry tendencies and acts out on that it is because the room they are in gives the impression that this is how they need to be and there is a tendency to assume others also have angry tendencies.
When a person is reborn, yes they are in a new room and they bring along many of their favorite belongings from the previous room, along with lots of other stuff they weren’t aware of.
As mentioned above, no diamond, that was my jumping ahead.
Here I am jumping ahead to what I think you want to clarify:
From the perspective of the sun (diamond) there is just the ever flowing, changing clouds.
It doesn’t shine on (knows of) the rooms.
So to get to your questions quoted at the beginning of this reply:
How interaction between persons can be determined wholesome and unwholesome using Scenario 4?
Briefly:
If interactions are calming, not leading to agitation, not leading to further stress as an act of intention then they are wholesome (skillful) and they lead to a more nicely furnished room.
How rebirth and kamma can be interpreted using Scenario 4?
I think you already understand from my clarification above but to restate more simply:
We want to be in a room.
So when one room is no longer usable then we grab a few cherished belongings, throw them in our suitcase and go off looking for a new room (rebirth).
Kamma is the stuff we brought along plus all the other stuff that was kind of stuck to it but we didn’t notice.
Hope this helps.
Ceisiwr November 22, 2023, 6:
47am145
Therefore because of the past there is a body and mind, and so contact, in the present for the Arahant or Buddha whilst alive.
1 Like
Clarity November 22, 2023, 11:
04pm146
Hope this helps.
Thank you for your effort to explain.
Please kindly having more patience to explain a few more details below:
Each person experiences themselves in their own room.
Which they perceive as being very real.
From each persons perspective there are many rooms.
So, in reality (or in perspective of normal daily life), is there:
only 1 room?
many rooms (1 for each person)?
no room?
or what else?
When a person is reborn, yes they are in a new room
When you say “new” room, that means there was also an “old” room, so totally at least 2 different rooms.
So back to above question, it seems that there are many rooms in reality (or in perspective of normal daily life)?
As mentioned above, no diamond
Did you mean “the diamond” for an unenlightened person:
has no affect?
is not there on the room’s ceiling yet?
When a person is reborn, yes they are in a new room
Also another question here, take note that in Scenario 4, the diamond is fixed on the ceiling of the room.
So, when a person moves to a new room:
If it’s the same diamond, then that diamond will have to move from “old” room to “new” room, is that the case?
If it’s a different diamond, then do that diamond come together with the “new” room?
From the perspective of the sun (diamond)
What does it mean “perspective of the diamond”?
You meant “perspective of a fully enlightened one like arahant”?
Or you meant “perspective of ultimate reality that really matters much more than the reality we face in daily life”?
Or what?
Briefly:
If interactions are calming, not leading to agitation, not leading to further stress as an act of intention then they are wholesome (skillful) and they lead to a more nicely furnished room.
Maybe you can take a more concrete example of killing:
When a person kills another person, what will be this event of killing when described using Scenario 4? 1 room will be destroyed while the diamond in that room is still intact?
Kamma is the stuff we brought along
I had impression that kamma is described as the builder of a new room using Scenario 4?
Charlie November 24, 2023, 12:
24am147
Thank you for your effort to explain.
Please kindly having more patience to explain a few more details below
Hi Clarity,
I have to wrap this up now - at least for a while - as I have some challenging electrical issues in my house that requires significant attention.
Such is life.
I leave you with the following thoughts:
Here are the four questions you initially asked:
Q1:
When an enlightened person sees with wisdom that his defilements are destroyed (or eradicated/stopped/broken/annihilated/ceased), does the term “anidassana” (invisible) apply to these defilements?
And why (or why not)?
Q2:
Defilements and Consciousness, are they both conditioned dhamma?
If defilements can be destroyed, how can consciousness not be destroyed but instead just “anidassana” (invisible)?
Q3:
Take a famous example with fire, can we say such thing as:
‘when the fuel is no more, the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when the fuel is “anidassana” (invisible), the fire is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
Q4:
Finally, even more famous example with dukkha, can we say such thing as:
‘when ignorance is no more, dukkha is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
or even something more headache like ‘when ignorance is “anidassana” (invisible), dukkha is “anidassana” (invisible)’?
The questions you asked all define anidassana as invisible - something I rejected in the essay.
Thus the analogy that I gave in response to your four questions was an attempt to evoke a sense of how I understand the term vinanna anidassana.
All analogies are limited.
To separate anidassnna out from vinanna is something like taking the phrase ‘I feel blue’, pulling out the word ‘blue’ and then defining it as a color (as opposed to a feeling which is what the phrase is clearly referring to).
If you hold the view that dependent origination depends on the existence of a physical body then what I am saying will make no sense.
Nor will you even be able to entertain the idea that Upasika Kee Nanayon is describing ‘vinanna anidassana’ as her living experience:
“To know the disbanding of consciousness pure and simple is to know the disbanding of everything.
It’s like opening up the entire world, or stripping off the entire world and throwing it away.
When you can strip it away, throw it off, and let it go, there’s nothing but emptiness, an emptiness that’s bright and clear, with no sense of the world at all.
The words “world” and “five aggregates” are simply conventions to help us see how there’s change.”
If ones conceptual understanding cannot accommodate such descriptions then they will dismiss her as ‘adopting mahayana views’ or some such thing.
For as we all know, my conceptual understanding is always the Truth and could not possibly be wrong.
At that point it is time to ‘circle the wagons’ and ‘shoot the messenger’.
I am not suggesting that this is the case for you.
I don’t know.
As to your questions:
as I said at the beginning, analogies can only go so far and the purpose of the one I gave was to evoke a sense of the meaning of vinanna anidassana.
The answer to all of your questions in my view is this:
the thinking analytical mind is not capable of understanding this term.
But each of us has the ability to realize it for ourselves.
So with that, all the best to you and thanks for your patience.
Green November 24, 2023, 9:
28am148
The answer to all of your questions in my view is this:
the thinking analytical mind is not capable of understanding this term.
But each of us has the ability to realize it for ourselves.
Yes, it is a platitude but still true.
I can see for myself how the analytical mind is even an obstacle.
It is like it wants to figuer out the taste of honey by reading all about honey making, bees, flowers, molecular composition of honey :
slight_smile:
It is a kind of madness.
Wrong search, wrong effort.
Just a bit of honey in the mouth is enough.
But the analytical mind is strong and thinks it can grasp everything.
It just keeps on studying, reasoning, investigating, probing, reading etc.
It also has an addictive side.
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