arhantship vs satcitanada

arhantship vs satcitanada Sha-Man! Geoffrey 10/31/23 11:55 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/2/23 10:31 AM
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 4 Months ago at 10/31/23 11:55 AM
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arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Hello everyone,

For a bit of background - I've been spending the last 4 with Thervada monks and after growing a discontent with all the Dogma, I found this blog where Kenneth talks about achieving satcitanada (and it was actually in a different post) about doing it post arhant. This sent me on a bit of a spiritual quixotic adventure as I tried to use my book knowledge to figure everything out. Anyway I thought my theory was so good (ha!) that I promised Daniel I'd make a post about it when I emailed him, so here you go.

The theory I came up with
--------------------------
So the thesis of my theory is basically there are two separate components to developing spirituality 1. Vipassana 2. Nonduality, and that Theravada practice, really doesn’t do 2 well and that’s the failure point. (But also most other traditions do 2 and fail to do 1). 

 I come at dharma from a more western secular view. I want to be up front - here are two of my biases that have heavily influenced this idea. 

1. When people talk about their experiences in non-conceptual ways, I believe them. When people have good evidence of solid meditation skills, I believe their attainments. (So in my book Daniel Ingram, Kenneth folk, delson Armstrong, mahasi, and u pandita are all arhants). [retrospective note, Im actually a bit more suspect on KF being an arhant after all this.]
2. Theravada Buddhists aren’t the only people who do meditation. The Buddha wasn’t the only advanced meditator. Lots of valuable things can be learned from other traditions. 

So let’s talk about the varieties of spiritual paths. Basically every religion has a mystic component, they are all doing different stuff and have different concepts, a natural question comes up of - what do these spiritual paths have in common? (Side note - the meditative mind by Daniel Goldman is the best resource I’ve found comparing these) 
 Well you usually hear one of three answers  
1. All spiritual paths are the same but expressed differently (this is what I used to think. And I had the idea that since there are natural stopping points, other paths just didn’t go as far as Buddhists)  
2. The goal is the same, the paths are different
3. These things are deeply rooted in their cultural context and really do different things (I’ve always thought this is the weakest one because a huge part of this journey is going beyond concepts) 

But over time I’ve started to get the idea that there are two different things going on. Namely, basically all the other paths do seem to be going for “unity”, but Buddhism does seem like it’s off doing its own thing. One thing monks love to point out is that Buddhism is the only religion that doesn’t believe in a soul, and I think this is getting at something very deep. Like if the other paths were getting to stream entry, wouldn’t their religious teachings be way different? Shinzen tells this story about Teresa of Avila, who was a phenomenal jhana practitioner, and one day apparently she got stream entry because she was like “wait, how could there be a soul this doesn’t make sense??” (My hunch is this is in her autobiography, but that’s on my mystic reading list). 
And the two other pieces of external evidence I’ve found to support this are

1. This paper where he talks to about 300 mystics, and post equanimity it seems like two paths open up
2. This where Kenneth folk talks about how post arhant he went and basically developed unity consciousness by dwelling in the witness (basically 6th jhana type awareness, but notable he did this not in a jhanic state, he was just looking for that quality of awareness). This seems to imply they are two relatively separate things.

 Now I think there is a lot to be gleaned from Kenneth’s grand unified theory. I remember reading somewhere on dharmaoverground a student of his said he suggested basically using vipassana more for 1st and 2nd path, and then “who’s watching the watcher” type inquiry for deeper paths, and then eventually switching to surrendering to everything. And this made a bunch of things click. I think the secret to 3rd and 4th path (and beyond) is nonduality.
 I’ve been a mixed non dual and Theravada practitioner, and one thing that is blindingly obvious is that Theravada doesn’t have much in the way of non dual and it shows. Like they always make a big deal about how non-self is the hardest of the three characteristics to observe and you can usually only infer it from the other two, and I’ve always been like “what are you talking about? You just go into spaciousness awareness and it’s obvious”. And they always have issues with the formless realms (like Leigh says in his book he can’t do them, and he is like the main jhana guy in the us), but I’m like “what? You go to the fourth jhana and you switch to spacious awareness, it’s easy!”. And I realized the only form of nondual stuff they do is the formless realms, and suddenly a bunch of observations clicked.

- it’s a pretty common belief that to go all the way to arhant you need good jhanas (mahasi says in his book you need vipassana for 1st and 2nd path, jhanas for 3 and 4). There seems to be indirect evidence for this in the suttas to
- Daniel made this interesting comment one time how, dipa ma was an agami and all the western vipassana teachers we’re obsessed with her and so he speculated they were all stuck at 1st or 2nd path(but jhanas aren’t a big deal in the west) - There are so few arhants in Theravada (but this would make sense with my theory because they don’t really have a deep nondual practice, and the little bit they do have isn’t super emphasized).
 - And the other unitive traditions do seem to get to some other stable goal point that is different than Buddhist enlightenment  - I don’t think nonduality came naturally to the Buddha (like remember he had to get teachers to show him the formless realms), and I think this blind spot got transferred into their practices.

So my speculation is that when you get to 3rd path, one the thing you’re probably subtlety attached to is awareness itself. If you spend time observing it (like say in the formless realms), you naturally disembed yourself from it, and voila! [it’s worth mentioning that Kenneth’s example hints that you need to do to some extent, but you don’t need full mastery, that can come after arhanthood]

The final point worth mentioning is this. In the unitive mystical traditions, there is a fairly consistent pattern that to perform divine union you need to develop essentially 24/7 jhanic capabilities. Goleman astutely points out in his book that essentially you need to do this because you haven’t done the work of achieving cessation, so you still have hindrances and what not. This also explains why Kenneth was able to do it raw, because he was already an arhant. 
So it seems that there is very compelling evidence there are two aspects to spiritual development, and most traditions miss one part and have to compensate in weird ways. I think developing a hybrid practice model is the way to go.
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Daniels Response:

Thanks for reaching out.

These are old discussions and debates, going on for thousands of years.
I would briefly say that the Theravada without the Jhanas, particularly the 4th and 6th, meaning without much in the way of developing the second of the Three Trainings, nor without most people having much of an appreciation of the profound meanings of the Three Characteristics and the Greater Discourse on Mindfulness, nor of the Six Elements, nor of practices like the Limited Space and Limited Consciousness Kasinas, and in some of its related stripped down, reductionistic, incomplete interpretations definitely does a poor job with non-duality.
This is like saying the non-dual traditions do a poor job with details and specific technical and analytical and jhanic skill sets, which they actually do well if you actually progressively trained in them in their greater contexts, but wouldn’t if you just read some pop Vedanta, Sutta Mahamudra, or Dzogchen books.
So, yes, both traditions in their partially neutered forms are not that great at various things. This should come as no surprise.
Yes, a hybrid model of two partially broken things definitely works better than either partially broken thing on its own, or a regular model of the full things in their full forms, if you can find these, which admittedly is rare, as you think best.
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Then only afterward after just reading random threads, I found Daniels post compilation the ones that stuck out to me are

Here

I would seriously consider starting Theravada, getting stream entry and perhaps second path from the Mahasi kids first and then a good sense of what really strong concentration is from the Pau Auk kids, and then take that into the Vajrayana, and you will already have what you need to visualize really well as well as having established a direct understanding of ultimate bodhichitta, which is essential to that path, and be able to see that the endless fascination with ritual and the rest of the hyper-abundant trappings and politics and personality stuff may, at best, be skillful means, as Attachment to Rites and Rituals will be profoundly lessened if not eliminated, and so you will be able to have the wide, vibrant acceptance that the Vajrayana offers without its obvious initial traps that so confuse most people who get into it before they were really ready for it. Dzogchen and its related perspectives really help with 3rd Path territory.
Here
Vipassana clearly can get a shadow side of blasting, cutting, destroying, disembodying, depersonalizing in some unskillful way. This is a feature becoming a bug, really. It can become indifference, become aversion, become life-denying, become too future-oriented. It was never meant to do that, but often people take it that way anyway and practice that way.

If one reads something like the Greater Discourse on Mindfulness, one will see that it is very broadly accepting, straightforwardly accepting. One recognizes what is going on as it occurs. One recognizes skillful and unskillful mind states as they are. One walks. One breathes. One sees what is there. One is mindful of it. This, done properly, has a very different feel than poorly done Vipassana.

As to Dzogchen and not-self vs Vipassana and not-self, both emphasize not-self. Both point directly to not-self. One cannot practice Vipassana properly without some skillful view of not-self, as it is one of the Three Characteristics, and perceiving the Three Characteristics of whatever sensations arise is the essence of Vipassana. Dzogchen often emphasizes a wider field of attention than some Vipassana practitioners take. Adopting a wider field of attention is part of the normal progression of attention as we rise up the stages of insight, but some practitioners have this notion they should stay very narrow despite the higher stages of attentional development naturally becoming wider and more inclusive, so instead they force these stages to be something they are not naturally, and thus miss opportunities for insight. Some Vipassana practitioners will stay investigating objects outwardly away from their sense of self, not investing the sensations that seem to be them, but this is an error also. Some Vipassana practitioners will stay very effortful and future-oriented, thus missing the key insight instructions to be mindful of this moment and what arises naturally in this moment, and in this way they may fail to make progress.

For these practitioners who have somehow unfortunately misinterpreted the instructions of Vipassana, or taken very early instructions to be the more advanced instructions, or failed to understand what Mindfulness and Investigation are about, or failed to develop adequate Tranquility and Equanimity, then they may do better when they encounter the Dzogchen teachings, which may counter their misinterpretations and errors. However, often they will fail to realize that the errors were theirs, and attribute their new success with Dzogchen to Dzogchen itself over Vipassana, not recognizing that Vipassana, done properly, ends up looking like Dzogchen, in that it is wide, all-embracing, complete, settled into the moment, clear about not-self.

Thus, it is true that Dzogchen teachings have helped a lot of poorly-instructed or confused Vipassana practitioners. It is also true that Dzogchen has confused a lot of people.

The downsides of Dzogchen are basically the opposite set of shadow sides to those commonly found in poorly done Vipassana, but they can be just as problematic. By taking a wide view, precision is lost, and without precision, many sensations arise and vanish without being clearly perceived or investigated. By settling for this moment being however it is, many will greatly lower their own standards, becoming accepting of a dull, vague, spaced-out mind that lacks the delusion-cutting power and sharp clarity of Vipassana. By taking on the Dzogchen teachings prematurely, before meeting the standard minimum requisites often advocated in the original tradition for rectiving those instructions, many practitioners will simply attempt to leap too high, beyond their abilities, into wide territory that they can't simultaneously be very clear about, and then either get frustrated or begin to rationalize that weak, premature, spacy practice is actually great practice. Basically, they develop too much Tranquility and Equanimity without enough Mindfulness, Energy, and Investigation, and also perhaps without enough Concentration.

So, it is largely a question of identifying imbalances, misinterpretations, and poor practice and then correcting these. Pragmatically, if one goes into another tradition and this accomplishes those goals, all is well. If, on the other hand, one attributes to the new tradition a salvation and efficacy not found in the other tradition, this is really missing something about that tradition and style, as both traditions, performed properly and by the right practitioner at the right phase of practice, can be extremely profound and very liberating.

And finally the straw that broke the camel's back came from here where they are talking about basically find a permanent stable grounding called Rigpa and how DI disagrees with KF

1) I have attained something that those who are still at what I call anagami haven't realized yet, with some of them calling "arahatship" what I called "anagram". As pointed out before by others including Kenneth, the irony of the title anagami being used in a pejorative way is clear and humorous and enviable. However, this clearly explains why they seem to be going through what I went through and have the same fascinations and difficulties that I did during that period I call "anagami" and yet can't seem to understand what I am saying as they are not there yet, just as I couldn't have understood what I am talking about now when I was in that territory either. This also explains why they have such strong reactions to Tarin and Trent, both of whom claim arahatship and describe things very much like what I describe, and when the three of us talk about this stuff, we are on similar pages much more than those over at KennethFolkDharma are. I am not sure how much of this rift is cultural, social or conceptual and how much is about divergent or disparate practice and attainments, but the effect is clear and real and worthy of serious consideration.
2) I have no idea what they are talking about. Haquan assumes that one must have had Rigpa pointed out in some specific way for one to find it. Kenneth, who says Rigpa and arahatship are two different phenomena, seems to think that with arahatship, one has the best platform to stabilize Rigpa, whereas I claim that arahatship is Rigpa, stabilized and done without other options. Either I have no idea what the Rigpa they are talking about is, having not run into it in 6.5 years since what I call arahatship, or they are thinking the emptiness and luminosity thing I saw on and off and worked to stabilize during my anagami period is Rigpa and they simply can't or don't want to understand my descriptions of that territory and make the connection


It was then that I realized my new-to-DhO-ass had walked straight into some controversy like a brick wall. And if Daniel and Kenneth can't work it out then I'm going to have to do my own homework on this. Well time to go back to sensory reality manifesting itself at the present moment ... oh wait, that's right we never left. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 10/31/23 12:33 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Daniel says it well in his reply to you.

My experience has been that the non-dual orientation of the direct path lineages eventually intersects with the more advanced practices (and their fruits) of Theravada/vipassana, but at a point down the road in one's practice. The nice thing is we can all practice a direct path method and investigate the details of moment to moment experience in a dedicated vipassana practice. Both versions do, at some point, arrive at the same destination - if fully explored. 

My guess is both Daniel and Kenneth Folk (once my teacher) would agree. Daniel says as much in his reply to you. 
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 2:25 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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yankee doodle went to town

riding on a pony

stuck a feather in his cap

and called it macaroni
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Jim Smith, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 2:51 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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So the thesis of my theory is basically there are two separate components to developing spirituality 1. Vipassana 2. Nonduality,


I think this is more of an opinion not a theory, so it's not wrong.

I use the term spirituality in the same sense when communicating with people who use it in that sense so we can understand each other.

But to me spirituality is about the human soul/spirit that exists before birth and exists after the death of the body. This is only occasionally discussed among Buddhists usually on the subject of rebirth. Many Buddhists in the west are materialist atheists and therefore have no spirituality in this sense of the word (I don't mean that in a pejorative way, just expanding on that sense of the definition of spirituality.

And I see two angles on Buddhist practice as nirvana and anatta. Some people are more motivated by ending suffering others are more motivated by realizing anatta. The end points they both lead to overlap but I don't think they are identical because your past leaves a mark on you and you will be different in some ways depending on what you have done in life.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 2:55 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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3. These things are deeply rooted in their cultural context and really do different things (I’ve always thought this is the weakest one because a huge part of this journey is going beyond concepts) 




   
When you go beyond concepts you go beyond journeys and ways that can named and followed. Judgments of individuals are left behind - there are no individuals. Souls and spirits are notions, words of no real meaning, dependent concepts in a shifting world that pops like a soap bubble at the slightest disturbance. Samsara, the neverending whirlpool of changing states, of apparent progress, of endless war.

   Of course all these religions and their dogmas are cultural, they are the very definition of culture, the word culture comes from cultivate.  They are cults.

   You can study the way or you can tread the way. Dualism or nondualism. One is right or wrong as the world changes, the other is neither right or wrong as the world changes. You can take your pick, or you can't.

   You can try to be a better person, or you can be who you are.

   These are all false choices as there is no choce and no one to choose.


when we talk of advanced practices one must assume that it is this 
"huge part of the journey" that is referred to
and if one is to speak knowledgeably of the occult
one may only say that it is occult and
leave it at that



“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”
`wittgenstein
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 10/31/23 7:09 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Terry, I think someone needs to let this wittgenstein guy know we can just make up new and better words :p
shargrol, modified 3 Months ago at 11/1/23 7:08 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
Hello everyone,

Hi Geoffrey!  emoticon

I'm going to attempt to reply to some of the ideas below, but because some of the words aren't defined by you, I suspect I'm going to misread/misunderstand how you are using some of these terms.

For a bit of background - I've been spending the last 4 with Thervada monks and after growing a discontent with all the Dogma,
I can definitely understand this... but how is your actual practice going? I've found that sometimes I need to bite my tongue around traditionals when talking theory/dogma, but they can also be very supportive of actual practice and practical advise.
The theory I came up with
--------------------------
So the thesis of my theory is basically there are two separate components to developing spirituality 1. Vipassana 2. Nonduality,

It's hard to know exactly what you are talking about here without definitions, but I'm getting the sense that you are calling "vipiassana" the act of objectifying objects in awareness using attention and "nonduality" as alinging with the way awareness is already intimately aware of experience (sometimes called the inherent luminosity of experience). Hopefully that's close enough for this conversation, but correct me if I'm wrong.
and that Theravada practice, really doesn’t do 2 well and that’s the failure point. (But also most other traditions do 2 and fail to do 1). 
I think I understand what you are saying and there is some truth to it. Conventional "mindfulness" meditation tends to be about objectifying the contents of the mind. Conventional religious/god-based systems tend to be about finding the unity in beingness, so to speak, becoming one with god.

As practice continues, it's really normal to bounce between the two of these. When we objectify experience, we see it's constructed/empty nature, when we rest in non-duality we see it's inherent luminosity/being, and along the way what we assumed was "the witness/the observer/the self" becomes less and less tangible.

To give you my short answer, regardless of the tradition, people just simply tend to stop their meditation when they reach a temporary comfort zone. But neither of these metaphysical/dogmatic views withstand scrutiny and there a people from all traditions that have gone beyond the simplistic metaphysics/dogma of their systems. 

I think this old Dharmaoverground conversation (captured on another site) will be interesting to you: Awakening to Reality: A Zen Exploration of the Bahiya Sutta 



 Now I think there is a lot to be gleaned from Kenneth’s grand unified theory. I remember reading somewhere on dharmaoverground a student of his said he suggested basically using vipassana more for 1st and 2nd path, and then “who’s watching the watcher” type inquiry for deeper paths, and then eventually switching to surrendering to everything. And this made a bunch of things click. I think the secret to 3rd and 4th path (and beyond) is nonduality.


Yeah, this is basically correct. Another way to think about it is that the secret to 3rd and 4th is to neither identify with bodily states of being nor mental states of being. It's basically that simple. Once you fully experience the nanas, the material jhanas, and the formless jhanas and realize their limited nature.. it's really hard to identify with any of it and develop a sense of identity that needs to be protected in someway. 

I’ve been a mixed non dual and Theravada practitioner, and one thing that is blindingly obvious is that Theravada doesn’t have much in the way of non dual and it shows. Like they always make a big deal about how non-self is the hardest of the three characteristics to observe and you can usually only infer it from the other two, and I’ve always been like “what are you talking about? You just go into spaciousness awareness and it’s obvious”. And they always have issues with the formless realms (like Leigh says in his book he can’t do them, and he is like the main jhana guy in the us), but I’m like “what? You go to the fourth jhana and you switch to spacious awareness, it’s easy!”. And I realized the only form of nondual stuff they do is the formless realms, and suddenly a bunch of observations clicked.



Right, I mean a lot of nonduality stuff is also just the fourth jhana. If you listen to some descriptions of rigpa you can tell they're talking about equanimity/4th jhana.

- it’s a pretty common belief that to go all the way to arhant you need good jhanas (mahasi says in his book you need vipassana for 1st and 2nd path, jhanas for 3 and 4). There seems to be indirect evidence for this in the suttas to


Yeah, you need "good enough jhanas" - just enough that you don't get seduced by them.


- Daniel made this interesting comment one time how, dipa ma was an agami and all the western vipassana teachers we’re obsessed with her and so he speculated they were all stuck at 1st or 2nd path(but jhanas aren’t a big deal in the west) - There are so few arhants in Theravada (but this would make sense with my theory because they don’t really have a deep nondual practice, and the little bit they do have isn’t super emphasized).
 - And the other unitive traditions do seem to get to some other stable goal point that is different than Buddhist enlightenment  - I don’t think nonduality came naturally to the Buddha (like remember he had to get teachers to show him the formless realms), and I think this blind spot got transferred into their practices.
I read it the other way, he was a natural jhana guy. Mastered 1-7 easily, found another teacher and mastered 8... but was smart enough to see that any state you go into and out of can't be the ultimate answer.

So my speculation is that when you get to 3rd path, one the thing you’re probably subtlety attached to is awareness itself. If you spend time observing it (like say in the formless realms), you naturally disembed yourself from it, and voila! [it’s worth mentioning that Kenneth’s example hints that you need to do to some extent, but you don’t need full mastery, that can come after arhanthood]

I would say that going from 2nd to 3rd is about disembedding from the belief that we control attention. This is 90% of the way to awakening. The last 10% of going from 3rd to 4th is dropping the confusion that there is such a "thing" as awareness, you could say. Another way to say it is there is a confusion that there is such a thing as "my awareness".  

The final point worth mentioning is this. In the unitive mystical traditions, there is a fairly consistent pattern that to perform divine union you need to develop essentially 24/7 jhanic capabilities.

Right, because they think that union is a state. This idea that there is a state, a constant experience, that is somehow the right spiritual answer is the basic confusion we make over and over again. But WHAT EXPERIENCES THE STATE? is the question that blows this idea up --- if we are brave/honest about it. emoticon

Goleman astutely points out in his book that essentially you need to do this because you haven’t done the work of achieving cessation, so you still have hindrances and what not. This also explains why Kenneth was able to do it raw, because he was already an arhant. 
So it seems that there is very compelling evidence there are two aspects to spiritual development, and most traditions miss one part and have to compensate in weird ways. I think developing a hybrid practice model is the way to go.

...

It was then that I realized my new-to-DhO-ass had walked straight into some controversy like a brick wall. And if Daniel and Kenneth can't work it out then I'm going to have to do my own homework on this. Well time to go back to sensory reality manifesting itself at the present moment ... oh wait, that's right we never left. 


emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Not two, not one, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 2:48 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 2:47 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 1038 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
What an enjoyable thread.  Everybody is correct of course. What a privilege to have so many extraordinarily  insightful people chipping in, each with immensely valuable advice (this it in no way irony, by the way, in case anyone is confused).  Anyway, I will now lower the tone.

We all have something we cling on to as the ultimate truth - whether it be signlessness, or nonduality or whatever (do you know they are different?).  We crave explanations, correctness, the unlocking of the next secret or inner dharma.  The trick, IMAO (in my arrogant opinion), it to recognize the arbitrary nature of that clinging.  We are humans, we rely on metaphors.  But none of them are right.  Except of course my patented undertanding of the TRUE dharma which all shall love and despair.  Or failing that, donate to my foundation and provide me with physical ... reassurance.

For myself, I used to be cursed with a lot of attainments.  Luckily I think I've got rid of most of them now.  Although it's always nice to have a holiday on demand ... if I remember.  By the way, what DO you do if you meet the buddha on the road?

I love you all.

Malcolm (aka, Macaroni - Thanks Terry!)

P.S. I'm pointing to something ... this is very serious post.  You have to point, because language is too primitive.  It is difficult to desribe how to manage a 12 dimensional fractal tensor with something as primitive as subject-object-verb.  You have to grok it.
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 7:10 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 7:10 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Dude, the first rule of pointing is that you don't talk about pointing!

​​​​​​​emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 10:31 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 10:31 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Hey Shargrol

It's nice to meet you! I've been a lurker here for some time, and I must admit I've read your advice on EQ at least a dozen times. Practice is going well. I just got off of a 60 day Mahasi retreat and despite some health issues, it seems to have pushed me in high EQ territory after about a year of DN/low EQ cycling. My third eye opened too which is fun. I typed up some ex post facto practice logs, but I'm on the fence about posting them here, mostly because when you really pay attention to things the logs become quite long. It's like 5 pages in a google doc haha.

It's hard to know exactly what you are talking about here without definitions, but I'm getting the sense that you are calling "vipiassana" the act of objectifying objects in awareness using attention and "nonduality" as alinging with the way awareness is already intimately aware of experience (sometimes called the inherent luminosity of experience)
This is better than I could have phrased it.

As practice continues, it's really normal to bounce between the two of these. When we objectify experience, we see it's constructed/empty nature, when we rest in non-duality we see it's inherent luminosity/being, and along the way what we assumed was "the witness/the observer/the self" becomes less and less tangible.
This makes sense. I think I was just thrown through a loop because this idea of "post-arhant" deconstruction of the witness made me infer that to be an arhant was to fully detach from the objects of experience and not necessarily the ground of the being. I was also reading a bit of I am That, and the way he talks about being detached from things like a movie, you could imagine that in someway he is detached from the frame, but within that frame there would still be a "subject/object" distinction if that makes sense. Then combining those two ideas, I ended up at a place where it's like "huh maybe they are different, and you can do one or both"

To give you my short answer, regardless of the tradition, people just simply tend to stop their meditation when they reach a temporary comfort zone. But neither of these metaphysical/dogmatic views withstand scrutiny and there a people from all traditions that have gone beyond the simplistic metaphysics/dogma of their systems.
Yeah that's fair. Even as a bit of a rookie, I'm starting to meet people who are just chill in their jhanas, or spacious awareness, or even just with some intellectual knowledge their ego is an illusion.

I think the Khemaka Sutta they mention is very good because it is very easy to at least intellectually get grounded in the idea of "I am not rupa/vedana/etc" (also I never knew you could use cow-shit to wash clothing. Every day is a school day).

What you're saying about 3rd and 4th path seem to make sense to me. Because even working on getting SE, the attachment is very obvious in some cases, like with your body it feels like there is like psychic energy gripping, but in other cases it's entirely non-obvious like with verbal thoughts (like them moving from being "all around" to being very distinctly in your head and quieter), so I can imagine down the road it becomes extra-non-obvious and easy to stop looking.

Right, because they think that union is a state. This idea that there is a state, a constant experience, that is somehow the right spiritual answer is the basic confusion we make over and over again. But WHAT EXPERIENCES THE STATE? is the question that blows this idea up --- if we are brave/honest about it.

Holy shit, this is put really well. I never really took it to its logical conclusion but like yeah if you are in some "final union with God state" there is not one thing, there is the state then something experiencing it too, which isnt a part of the union with everything.

For myself, I used to be cursed with a lot of attainments. Luckily I think I've got rid of most of them now.
Haha thanks Malcolm. I'm going to borrow this line in the future...
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 3:41 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 3:41 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Geoffrey B
Terry, I think someone needs to let this wittgenstein guy know we can just make up new and better words :p




Twas brillig, and the slithy toves...


​​​​​​​

Jabberwocky
BY LEWIS CARROLL


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:04 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:04 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not two, not one

We all have something we cling on to as the ultimate truth - whether it be signlessness, or nonduality or whatever (do you know they are different?).  We crave explanations, correctness, the unlocking of the next secret or inner dharma.  The trick, IMAO (in my arrogant opinion), it to recognize the arbitrary nature of that clinging.  We are humans, we rely on metaphors.  But none of them are right.  Except of course my patented undertanding of the TRUE dharma which all shall love and despair. 

namaste brother...


It  is impossible to cling to ultimate truth.

This reminds me of the big bang theory.  There was no bang as there were no ears to hear. There was no bigness as there was nothng to relate anything to. There was no instant of time when the big bang occurred because time is measured in rotations of our sun which did not exist. The universe did not expand because there was nothing to expand into. One is literally better off with genesis.

There is no one, no entity, in ultimate truth to cling. The illusions and delusions one clings to are not ultimate truth, they are only called ultimate truth.

One may think of ultimate truth as unnameable. Occult. "Nature loves to hide." (heraclitus)

What we know absolutely of god is that he/she/it is absolutely unknowable. 

This is a major clue. 

You who would learn the miracle of love through the instrument of reason,
I amvery much afraid you will never see the point.

~hafiz

Practie love, don't try to learn it.
​​​​​​​Might as well try to tell your heart how to beat or your lungs to breathe.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:06 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:06 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Chris M
Dude, the first rule of pointing is that you don't talk about pointing!

​​​​​​​emoticon


point taken...
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:11 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 4:11 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not two, not one:
 

You have to point, because language is too primitive. 






from thinking prismatically website

in regard to “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”

To get back to the phrase, Wittgenstein was initially interpreted as trying to narrow down the problems that philosophy engages with by limiting it to the observable; where supernatural concepts like God, beauty, justice, love were to be avoided, because it was meaningless to do so. However, his later notes reveal a different reality. Wittgenstein not only believes that such concepts are essential in being a human, but speaking of them degrades and cheapens our intuitive understanding of these concepts. Therefore, other means of expression take over when the capacity of language cannot withstand the significance of such concepts and the weightiness of human emotions. Hence when words fail to express, other forms of art (as in poetry) and culture (as in various rituals) take over.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 5:01 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 5:01 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Geoffrey B

1. When people talk about their experiences in non-conceptual ways, I believe them. When people have good evidence of solid meditation skills, I believe their attainments. 



  Perhaps believing in these things is an addiction. 12 steps to conditional freedom. What difference does it make it someone experiences divinity? As nietzsche says, how can there be a god if it is not me? That you are god is no help at all, more like a hindrance. No one leaves the dark side behind, no arhat, no incarnation. 
​​​​​​​The way is everpresent, everhidden. Alpha and omega.

Or maybe belief is like food, where nutrition is important, fast food and processing are bad for you, but it's an addiction you cannot avoid.

Or perhaps beliefs are like a ladder, and clinging to one rung in fear keeps one from moving upward. A ladder to the moon., an ascent fueled by desire.

Better to have nothing to seek. (rinzai)
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 5:07 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 5:07 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'd like to hear about how you can talk about anything in a non-conceptual way. An example?
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 8:47 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 8:38 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Perhaps believing in these things is an addiction. 12 steps to conditional freedom. What difference does it make it someone experiences divinity? As nietzsche says, how can there be a god if it is not me? That you are god is no help at all, more like a hindrance. No one leaves the dark side behind, no arhat, no incarnation. 

So I really like Krishnamurti's take on beliefs

So one has to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn't deny the extraordinary mystery of life. But belief is one thing and "what is" is another. Belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, any more than your name is actually you.
...
Belief conditions its own supposed proof. What is important is not what you believe but only why you believe at all. Why do you believe? And what difference does it make to what actually is whether you believe one thing or another? Facts are not influenced by belief or disbelief. So one has to ask why one believes at all in anything; what is the basis of belief? Is it fear, is it the uncertainty of life - the fear of the unknown the lack of security in this ever-changing world? Is it the insecurity of relationship, or is it that faced with the immensity of life, and not understanding it, one encloses oneself in the refuge of belief? So, if I may ask you, if you had no fear at all, would you have any belief?

But as one of my dear Buddhist friends would love to say, "The Buddha said to destroy conceit you must first develop conceit!" And my hunch for beliefs it is a similar idea. And I think one belief destroying beliefs I have has to do with

No one leaves the dark side behind, no arhat, no incarnation. 
My hunch is this is mistaken, because I think in a deep way you can leave the dark side by moving beyond good and evil. When you can see how when you suffer you cause suffering towards others, and you can infer that when others made you suffer they were likely suffering as well. As this observation matures, the idea of "good or evil" breaks down a bit, and you can see suffering as an echo through the casual chain of actions and reactions that has nothing to do with morality.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 11:14 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/2/23 11:14 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Chris M
I'd like to hear about how you can talk about anything in a non-conceptual way. An example?


That which can be conceived of is not the tao.
​​​​​​​~textbook
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:47 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:36 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Geoffrey says

So I really like Krishnamurti's take on beliefs

Is it the insecurity of relationship, or is it that faced with the immensity of life, and not understanding it, one encloses oneself in the refuge of belief? So, if I may ask you, if you had no fear at all, would you have any belief?

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

I note that krishnamurti asks lots of questions, designed to make you think for yourself. Good technique, socratic. Lots of room for irony.

The answers, however, require some actual thought. The application of reason, analysis, judgment.

Belief is one of those things that is good or bad depending on time.place and circumstance. A child can be told, ‘believe me until you develop judgment,’ or a rookie or apprentice or disciple. One accepts premisses as true and then tests them, cautiously (the sorcerer’s apprentice)

Belief is a matter of convenience, most often. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow, but on the one hand maybe it won’t, and on the other the sun never rises, rather the earth turns. I believe I’ll take the dog for a walk, and she won’t run away or be naughty; but I don’t know and I am prepared to be wrong.

Diogenes (of sinope) had a philosophy called cynicism (at the time meaning dog philosophy or dogism) where he asserted that people’s honesty and objectivity was corrupted by desire. You want to be smart, good looking and brave and so you look for things that confirm these desirable traits to you and avoid things which undermine those beliefs. You want to believe that your life is good, that you are good, that you have a good spouse, good children, a good job etc etc and of course life is full of suffering and disappointment. Diogenes went so far as to carry a lit lamp in the daylight about the local marketplace, and when asked what he was doing he replied, “I am looking for an honest man.”

Desire is in fact fear. When desire is present it manifests as fearing to lose what we have or fearing to not get what we want. These emotions cause us to believe what we want to believe, rather than know what there is to be known.

The deeper answer is to delve into why/how we believe what we know is not true, in order to gain power over others, or acceptance, or approval, or benefits.

———————————<

Geoffrey:

But as one of my dear Buddhist friends would love to say, "The Buddha said to destroy conceit you must first develop conceit!" And my hunch for beliefs it is a similar idea. And I think one belief destroying beliefs I have has to do with

No one leaves the dark side behind, no arhat, no incarnation.

My hunch is this is mistaken, because I think in a deep way you can leave the dark side by moving beyond good and evil. When you can see how when you suffer you cause suffering towards others, and you can infer that when others made you suffer they were likely suffering as well. As this observation matures, the idea of "good or evil" breaks down a bit, and you can see suffering as an echo through the casual chain of actions and reactions that has nothing to do with morality.

—————————————————


“Good and evil” are prejudices. When there is plenty to go around, all children are open handed and benevolent. When there is a shortage, it’s every kid for themselves. In a famine, it is said the good die first because they share their food. The survivors eat their young.

Where there is light there is shadow, where there is beauty there is ugliness, where there is peace there is strife. Conditions are only known through their opposites. You can read these words because they are displayed against a contrasting background.

In this case, singling out individuals as advanced beings aka arhats etc encourages people to compete and to strive. This is foolish because people already have everything they need to be healthy and happy human beings.

Here in my neck of the woods we have this ironman competition and normally healthy activities such as running, biking and swimming are so fetishized as to become positively unhealthy at every level for everyone involved.

Similarly, those who excel at meditation and various spiritual practices become convinced that their practice is making them better. The truth is that they were as perfect to begin with as they will ever get. Imagine how negatively this delusion of progress and attainment can affect followers!

I can tell this simple truth over and over and some may nod wisely but virtually no one will actually get it. It’s like searching with a lit lantern in a busy marketplace among all sorts of people for an honest man.
​​​​​​​

Someday I will be honest, some day I will tread the way, some day I will be here now as the human being I am no more no less.

Somewhere over the rainbow
way up high
there's a land that I heard of
once in a lullaby






If you want the full monte, let me repeat what spinoza said in his ethics, appendix to the first part

...it will be sufficient here, if I assume as a starting point, what ought to be universally admitted, namely, that all men are born ignorant of the causes of things, that all have the desire to seek for what is useful to them, and that they are conscious of such desire. Herefrom it follows, first, that men think themselves free inasmuch as they are conscious of their volitions and desires, and never even dream, in their ignorance, of the causes which have disposed them so to wish and desire. Secondly, that men do all things for an end, namely, for that which is useful to them, and which they seek. Thus it comes to pass that they only look for a knowledge of the final causes of events, and when these are learned, they are content, as having no cause for further doubt. If they cannot learn such causes from external sources, they are compelled to turn to considering themselves, and reflecting what end would have induced them personally to bring about the given event, and thus they necessarily judge other natures by their own. Further, as they find in themselves and outside themselves many means which assist them not a little in the search for what is useful, for instance, eyes for seeing, teeth for chewing, herbs and animals for yielding food, the sun for giving light, the sea for breeding fish, &amp;c., they come to look on the whole of nature as a means for obtaining such conveniences. Now as they are aware, that they found these conveniences and did not make them, they think they have cause for believing, that some other being has made them for their use. As they look upon things as means, they cannot believe them to be self—created; but, judging from the means which they are accustomed to prepare for themselves, they are bound to believe in some ruler or rulers of the universe endowed with human freedom, who have arranged and adapted everything for human use. They are bound to estimate the nature of such rulers (having no information on the subject) in accordance with their own nature, and therefore they assert that the gods ordained everything for the use of man, in order to bind man to themselves and obtain from him the highest honor. Hence also it follows, that everyone thought out for himself, according to his abilities, a different way of worshipping God, so that God might love him more than his fellows, and direct the whole course of nature for the satisfaction of his blind cupidity and insatiable avarice. Thus the prejudice developed into superstition, and took deep root in the human mind; and for this reason everyone strove most zealously to understand and explain the final causes of things; but in their endeavor to show that nature does nothing in vain, i.e. nothing which is useless to man, they only seem to have demonstrated that nature, the gods, and men are all mad together. Consider, I pray you, the result: among the many helps of nature they were bound to find some hindrances, such as storms, earthquakes, diseases,etc.: so they declared that such things happen, because the gods are angry at some wrong done to them by men, or at some fault committed in their worship. Experience day by day protested and showed by infinite examples, that good and evil fortunes fall to the lot of pious and impious alike; still they would not abandon their inveterate prejudice, for it was more easy for them to class such contradictions among other unknown things of whose use they were ignorant, and thus to retain their actual and innate condition of ignorance, than to destroy the whole fabric of their reasoning and start afresh. They therefore laid down as an axiom, that God's judgments far transcend human understanding. Such a doctrine might well have sufficed to conceal the truth from the human race for all eternity, if mathematics had not furnished another standard of verity in considering solely the essence and properties of figures without regard to their final causes. There are other reasons (which I need not mention here) besides mathematics, which might have caused men's minds to be directed to these general prejudices, and have led them to the knowledge of the truth.

After men persuaded themselves, that everything which is created is created for their sake, they were bound to consider as the chief quality in everything that which is most useful to themselves, and to account those things the best of all which have the most beneficial effect on mankind. Further, they were bound to form abstract notions for the explanation of the nature of things, such as goodness, badness, order, confusion, warmth, cold, beauty, deformity, and so on; and from the belief that they are free agents arose the further notions of praise and blame, sin and merit.

I will speak of these latter hereafter, when I treat of human nature; the former I will briefly explain here.

Everything which conduces to health and the worship of God they have called good, everything which hinders these objects they have styled bad; and inasmuch as those who do not understand the nature of things do not verify phenomena in any way, but merely imagine them after a fashion, and mistake their imagination for understanding, such persons firmly believe that there is an order in things, being really ignorant both of things and their own nature. When phenomena are of such a kind, that the impression they make on our senses requires little effort of imagination, and can consequently be easily remembered, we say that they are well—ordered; if the contrary, that they are ill—ordered or confused. Further, as things which are easily imagined are more pleasing to us, men prefer order to confusion—as though there were any order in nature, except in relation to our imagination—and say that God has created all things in order; thus, without knowing it, attributing imagination to God, unless, indeed, they would have it that God foresaw human imagination, and arranged everything, so that it should be most easily imagined. If this be their theory, they would not, perhaps, be daunted by the fact that we find an infinite number of phenomena, far surpassing our imagination, and very many others which confound its weakness. But enough has been said on this subject. The other abstract notions are nothing but modes of imagining, in which the imagination is differently affected: though they are considered by the ignorant as the chief attributes of things, inasmuch as they believe that everything was created for the sake of themselves; and, according as they are affected by it, style it good or bad, healthy or rotten and corrupt. For instance, if the motion which objects we see communicate to our nerves be conducive to health, the objects causing it are styled beautiful; if a contrary motion be excited, they are styled ugly.

Things which are perceived through our sense of smell are styled fragrant or fetid; if through our taste, sweet or bitter, full—flavored or insipid; if through our touch, hard or soft, rough or smooth, etc.

Whatsoever affects our ears is said to give rise to noise, sound, or harmony. In this last case, there are men lunatic enough to believe, that even God himself takes pleasure in harmony; and philosophers are not lacking who have persuaded themselves, that the motion of the heavenly bodies gives rise to harmony—all of which instances sufficiently show that everyone judges of things according to the state of his brain, or rather mistakes for things the forms of his imagination. We need no longer wonder that there have arisen all the controversies we have witnessed, and finally skepticism: for, although human bodies in many respects agree, yet in very many others they differ; so that what seems good to one seems bad to another; what seems well ordered to one seems confused to another; what is pleasing to one displeases another, and so on. I need not further enumerate, because this is not the place to treat the subject at length, and also because the fact is sufficiently well known. It is commonly said: "So many men, so many minds; everyone is wise in his own way; brains differ as completely as palates." All of which proverbs show, that men judge of things according to their mental disposition, and rather imagine than understand: for, if they understood phenomena, they would, as mathematicians attest, be convinced, if not attracted, by what I have urged.

We have now perceived, that all the explanations commonly given of nature are mere modes of imagining, and do not indicate the true nature of anything, but only the constitution of the imagination; and, although they have names, as though they were entities, existing externally to the imagination, I call them entities imaginary rather than real; and, therefore, all arguments against us drawn from such abstractions are easily rebutted.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:49 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:49 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry
Chris M
I'd like to hear about how you can talk about anything in a non-conceptual way. An example?


That which can be conceived of is not the tao.
​​​​​​​~textbook


When you meet a master swordsman, show him your sword. When you meet a man who is not a poet, do not show him your poem.
​​​​​​​~rinzai
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 1:08 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 1:08 AM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

Posts: 2419 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
speaking of beliefs...


​​​​​​​The newly elected speaker of the us house of representatives, alfred e neuman, who would be president and "leader of the free world" (har) if the president and vice president were incapacitated, once did legal work for a theme park based on noah's ark, christian version.

In the park noah was depicted as leading dinosaurs on to the ark, two by two.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 1:21 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey:

But as one of my dear Buddhist friends would love to say, "The Buddha said to destroy conceit you must first develop conceit!" 


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

What sutta is this from? 
​​​​​​​

I doubt this can be legitimately attributed to the buddha by anything even remotely construed.

(imagine the 8fold path to developing conceit...)
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 3:44 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

The Nun Bhikkhunī Sutta; (AN 4:159)
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 8:50 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I don't think that conveys the need to develop conceit but rather an acknowledgment that conceit is part of the suffering we need to overcome in order to awaken. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 11:00 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Developed might be a bit of a strong word for it, but acknowledgment is definitely underplaying it. Like I'd say in 99.999% to get someone developing a practice that works well enough you're (ie the teachings or a teacher) going to have to get them to the point where they think like "I can become enlightened!", "my meditation is great, I should keep doing this!", "this seems to have so many benefits for me.", "if I practice hard I can learn how to control my mind, and I'll be happier.", etc. So I'd say them relying on or developing conceit is not a bad way to phrase this.
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:08 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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It's not really a difference in degree (too strong of a word), but in kind - Buddhism doesn't suggest that people develop defilements they don't have just to see through them afterward. It assumes we all come with plenty of them and focuses squarely on the reason to address them, the methods to use, and the fruits of that process. So I'd say it's about 90-degrees off  emoticon

I, and maybe most Buddhists, would call what you describe as "confidence" and not conceit. Quibbling, maybe, but more accurate.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 12:09 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Belief is one of those things that is good or bad depending on time.place and circumstance. A child can be told, ‘believe me until you develop judgment,’ or a rookie or apprentice or disciple. One accepts premisses as true and then tests them, cautiously (the sorcerer’s apprentice)

Belief is a matter of convenience, most often. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow, but on the one hand maybe it won’t, and on the other the sun never rises, rather the earth turns. I believe I’ll take the dog for a walk, and she won’t run away or be naughty; but I don’t know and I am prepared to be wrong.

Well belief is still a type of object that is fundamentally conceptual and thus the "truthfulness" of it is suspect. Like, how can you say the sun will rise tomorrow when all that exists is the sense impressions Now.

In this case, singling out individuals as advanced beings aka arhats etc encourages people to compete and to strive. This is foolish because people already have everything they need to be healthy and happy human beings.
I'd push back against this hard. I had pretty bad mental health issues before getting into meditation, that was a pretty big hard block to being happy. To say people already have all the tools to be happy, both 1. Marginalizes the real suffering people have 2. Undermines the substantial meditative work people have to do to let go of attachment
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 3:51 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Well belief is still a type of object that is fundamentally conceptual and thus the "truthfulness" of it is suspect. Like, how can you say the sun will rise tomorrow when all that exists is the sense impressions Now.

In this case, singling out individuals as advanced beings aka arhats etc encourages people to compete and to strive. This is foolish because people already have everything they need to be healthy and happy human beings.
I'd push back against this hard. I had pretty bad mental health issues before getting into meditation, that was a pretty big hard block to being happy. To say people already have all the tools to be happy, both 1. Marginalizes the real suffering people have 2. Undermines the substantial meditative work people have to do to let go of attachment


and now you're all better....

people naturally grow in wisdom and maturity, rather like an acorn grows into a tree, god willing, with air and light and rain and no accidents...

but our society is far from healthy, and to be able to grow naturally is increasingly difficult...

meditation saved my life, bra, and I do it twice a day, half hour at a time... and I feel like that is plenty but I live a pretty natural life... I avoid medicine...

you will do as you like, no doubt...

​​​​​​​god bless you
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 3:55 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

The Nun Bhikkhunī Sutta; (AN 4:159)


Thanks for the citation.




"If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise."

William Blake
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 3:57 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
Developed might be a bit of a strong word for it, but acknowledgment is definitely underplaying it. Like I'd say in 99.999% to get someone developing a practice that works well enough you're (ie the teachings or a teacher) going to have to get them to the point where they think like "I can become enlightened!", "my meditation is great, I should keep doing this!", "this seems to have so many benefits for me.", "if I practice hard I can learn how to control my mind, and I'll be happier.", etc. So I'd say them relying on or developing conceit is not a bad way to phrase this.


No, you are competely right, such people are totally relying on conceit.

​​​​​​​And recognizing that condition no doubt would be liberating.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 4:07 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
It's not really a difference in degree (too strong of a word), but in kind - Buddhism doesn't suggest that people develop defilements they don't have just to see through them afterward. It assumes we all come with plenty of them and focuses squarely on the reason to address them, the methods to use, and the fruits of that process. So I'd say it's about 90-degrees off  emoticon

I, and maybe most Buddhists, would call what you describe as "confidence" and not conceit. Quibbling, maybe, but more accurate.


Zen, on the other hand, emphasizes innate buddha nature. 

The misunderstanding here involves whether one can through thought design an ideal character toward which one may strive or whether this is merely a conceit.

Or perhaps the two are phases. Like childhood and maturity.




Huike said to Bodhidharma, "My mind is anxious. Please pacify it."
Bodhidharma replied, "Bring me your mind, and I will pacify it."
Huike said, "Although I've sought it, I cannot find it."
"There," Bodhidharma replied, "I have pacified your mind." 
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/3/23 4:29 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.
...
This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.




   



​​​​​​​I checked out the sutta and the words were not uttered by the buddha, but by ananda. And it is interesting that you cut a phrase out of the middle of your quote. It actually goes:


This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.

“This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge.

“‘This body, sister, comes into being through food. And yet it is by relying on food that food is to be abandoned.’ 






 It could be noted that ananda was speaking to nuns but presumably monks would be admonished likewise.

I wonder if he was telling the nuns that they would conquer sexual intercourse by relying on it?


Anyhows, bra, the body "came into being" as a result of causes. The body then existing, we are faced with dealing with conceit, etc. Through knowledge and wisdom and judgment, conceits (defilements) fall away, as a natural organism heals itself. But even sick, we are the pattern of health. Our real nature as life itself is undefiled.

We learn conceit at our mother's knee, from parents, siblings, relatives and the family pets. We unlearn as we can, often with the blessed help of our friends. Our Friend.

Peace. Shalom. Salaam.
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 7:56 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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... whether one can through thought design an ideal character toward which one may strive or whether this is merely a conceit.

That I would call a conceit.

​​​​​​​(And thought design is the opposite of what would allow conceit to be seen through.)
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 3:27 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
... whether one can through thought design an ideal character toward which one may strive or whether this is merely a conceit.

That I would call a conceit.

​​​​​​​(And thought design is the opposite of what would allow conceit to be seen through.)


Is insight a conceit? Thinking we see through?

​​​​​​​I don't know.
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 4:22 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I think I'd start with these two questions:

1. What is insight?
2. What is conceit?
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 8:58 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
I think I'd start with these two questions:

1. What is insight?
2. What is conceit?


1.  light
​​​​​​​2. shadow
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 9:13 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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terry
Chris M
I think I'd start with these two questions:

1. What is insight?
2. What is conceit?


1.  light
​​​​​​​2. shadow


The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.



tao te ching, trans feng


​​​​​​​from 52.
 
Seeing the small is insight;
Yielding to force is strength.
Using the outer light, return to insight,
And in this way be saved from harm.
This is learning constancy.

 
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 9:24 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
I think I'd start with these two questions:

1. What is insight?
2. What is conceit?


or perhaps insight and conceit are a continuum...

​​​​​​​in practice shades of grey...
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/4/23 9:27 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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terry
Chris M
I think I'd start with these two questions:

1. What is insight?
2. What is conceit?


or perhaps insight and conceit are a continuum...

​​​​​​​in practice shades of grey...


or six realms of samsara...
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/5/23 1:49 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Huike wrote:

Originally deluded, one calls the mani-pearl a potsherd
Suddenly one is awakened---and it is [recognized] as a pearl
Ignorance and wisdom are identical, not different.




Even so, I like to tell my customers, 

"Every gem is a stone, but not every stone is a gem."
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/5/23 1:53 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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terry
Huike wrote:

Originally deluded, one calls the mani-pearl a potsherd
Suddenly one is awakened---and it is [recognized] as a pearl
Ignorance and wisdom are identical, not different.




Even so, I like to tell my customers, 

"Every gem is a stone, but not every stone is a gem."


(I cut a rock polish it up set it in silver and assert "this is a gem!" Usually the rock has a fancy trade name and an accompanying list of entirely made up properties.)
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/5/23 11:40 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Excerpt From
The Compass of Zen 
Zen Master Seung Sahn

​​​​​​​
The Buddha taught us that for life after life after life, we must walk the Great Bodhisattva Way and save all beings from suffering. In order to save all beings, it is very important that you first save yourself. If you cannot save yourself, how can you possibly save other people? So this is why we must attain our true self, our true nature. This true nature cannot be found in books or conceptual thought. A Ph.D., no matter how wonderful, cannot match the power of even one moment of clear insight into our own true original nature. And the most direct path to that experience is meditation. That is a very important point.

Correct meditation means understanding my true self. The path of this begins and ends by asking, “What am I?” It is very simple teaching, and not special. When you ask this question very deeply, what appears is only “don’t know.” All thinking is completely cut off, and you return to your before-thinking mind. If you attain this don’t-know, you have already attained your true self. You have returned to your original nature, which is mind before thinking arises. In this way you can attain your correct way, and you attain truth, and your life functions correctly to save all beings from suffering. The name for that is “wake up.” That is the experience of true meditation.
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terry, modified 3 Months ago at 11/6/23 12:41 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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from the sutra of hui neng, trans cleary


​​​​​​​The nature of worldly people is always drifting, like the clouds in
the sky. Good friends, wisdom is like the sun, insight is like the
moon: knowledge and insight are always light, but when you fixate
on objects outside, you get your own essential nature covered by the
drifting clouds of errant thoughts, so you cannot have light and
clarity. If you meet a spiritual benefactor and hear truly authentic
teaching, you get rid of confusion so that inside and out are
thoroughly clear, and myriad things appear within your own essential
nature. This is how it is with people who see essential nature. This is
called the buddha as the pure body of reality.
brian patrick, modified 3 Months ago at 11/6/23 12:42 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
Hello everyone,

For a bit of background - I've been spending the last 4 with Thervada monks and after growing a discontent with all the Dogma, I found this blog where Kenneth talks about achieving satcitanada (and it was actually in a different post) about doing it post arhant. This sent me on a bit of a spiritual quixotic adventure as I tried to use my book knowledge to figure everything out. Anyway I thought my theory was so good (ha!) that I promised Daniel I'd make a post about it when I emailed him, so here you go.

The theory I came up with
--------------------------
So the thesis of my theory is basically there are two separate components to developing spirituality 1. Vipassana 2. Nonduality, and that Theravada practice, really doesn’t do 2 well and that’s the failure point. (But also most other traditions do 2 and fail to do 1). 

 I come at dharma from a more western secular view. I want to be up front - here are two of my biases that have heavily influenced this idea. 

1. When people talk about their experiences in non-conceptual ways, I believe them. When people have good evidence of solid meditation skills, I believe their attainments. (So in my book Daniel Ingram, Kenneth folk, delson Armstrong, mahasi, and u pandita are all arhants). [retrospective note, Im actually a bit more suspect on KF being an arhant after all this.]
2. Theravada Buddhists aren’t the only people who do meditation. The Buddha wasn’t the only advanced meditator. Lots of valuable things can be learned from other traditions. 

So let’s talk about the varieties of spiritual paths. Basically every religion has a mystic component, they are all doing different stuff and have different concepts, a natural question comes up of - what do these spiritual paths have in common? (Side note - the meditative mind by Daniel Goldman is the best resource I’ve found comparing these) 
 Well you usually hear one of three answers  
1. All spiritual paths are the same but expressed differently (this is what I used to think. And I had the idea that since there are natural stopping points, other paths just didn’t go as far as Buddhists)  
2. The goal is the same, the paths are different
3. These things are deeply rooted in their cultural context and really do different things (I’ve always thought this is the weakest one because a huge part of this journey is going beyond concepts) 

But over time I’ve started to get the idea that there are two different things going on. Namely, basically all the other paths do seem to be going for “unity”, but Buddhism does seem like it’s off doing its own thing. One thing monks love to point out is that Buddhism is the only religion that doesn’t believe in a soul, and I think this is getting at something very deep. Like if the other paths were getting to stream entry, wouldn’t their religious teachings be way different? Shinzen tells this story about Teresa of Avila, who was a phenomenal jhana practitioner, and one day apparently she got stream entry because she was like “wait, how could there be a soul this doesn’t make sense??” (My hunch is this is in her autobiography, but that’s on my mystic reading list). 
And the two other pieces of external evidence I’ve found to support this are

1. This paper where he talks to about 300 mystics, and post equanimity it seems like two paths open up
2. This where Kenneth folk talks about how post arhant he went and basically developed unity consciousness by dwelling in the witness (basically 6th jhana type awareness, but notable he did this not in a jhanic state, he was just looking for that quality of awareness). This seems to imply they are two relatively separate things.

 Now I think there is a lot to be gleaned from Kenneth’s grand unified theory. I remember reading somewhere on dharmaoverground a student of his said he suggested basically using vipassana more for 1st and 2nd path, and then “who’s watching the watcher” type inquiry for deeper paths, and then eventually switching to surrendering to everything. And this made a bunch of things click. I think the secret to 3rd and 4th path (and beyond) is nonduality.
 I’ve been a mixed non dual and Theravada practitioner, and one thing that is blindingly obvious is that Theravada doesn’t have much in the way of non dual and it shows. Like they always make a big deal about how non-self is the hardest of the three characteristics to observe and you can usually only infer it from the other two, and I’ve always been like “what are you talking about? You just go into spaciousness awareness and it’s obvious”. And they always have issues with the formless realms (like Leigh says in his book he can’t do them, and he is like the main jhana guy in the us), but I’m like “what? You go to the fourth jhana and you switch to spacious awareness, it’s easy!”. And I realized the only form of nondual stuff they do is the formless realms, and suddenly a bunch of observations clicked.

- it’s a pretty common belief that to go all the way to arhant you need good jhanas (mahasi says in his book you need vipassana for 1st and 2nd path, jhanas for 3 and 4). There seems to be indirect evidence for this in the suttas to
- Daniel made this interesting comment one time how, dipa ma was an agami and all the western vipassana teachers we’re obsessed with her and so he speculated they were all stuck at 1st or 2nd path(but jhanas aren’t a big deal in the west) - There are so few arhants in Theravada (but this would make sense with my theory because they don’t really have a deep nondual practice, and the little bit they do have isn’t super emphasized).
 - And the other unitive traditions do seem to get to some other stable goal point that is different than Buddhist enlightenment  - I don’t think nonduality came naturally to the Buddha (like remember he had to get teachers to show him the formless realms), and I think this blind spot got transferred into their practices.

So my speculation is that when you get to 3rd path, one the thing you’re probably subtlety attached to is awareness itself. If you spend time observing it (like say in the formless realms), you naturally disembed yourself from it, and voila! [it’s worth mentioning that Kenneth’s example hints that you need to do to some extent, but you don’t need full mastery, that can come after arhanthood]

The final point worth mentioning is this. In the unitive mystical traditions, there is a fairly consistent pattern that to perform divine union you need to develop essentially 24/7 jhanic capabilities. Goleman astutely points out in his book that essentially you need to do this because you haven’t done the work of achieving cessation, so you still have hindrances and what not. This also explains why Kenneth was able to do it raw, because he was already an arhant. 
So it seems that there is very compelling evidence there are two aspects to spiritual development, and most traditions miss one part and have to compensate in weird ways. I think developing a hybrid practice model is the way to go.
---------------------
Daniels Response:

Thanks for reaching out.

These are old discussions and debates, going on for thousands of years.
I would briefly say that the Theravada without the Jhanas, particularly the 4th and 6th, meaning without much in the way of developing the second of the Three Trainings, nor without most people having much of an appreciation of the profound meanings of the Three Characteristics and the Greater Discourse on Mindfulness, nor of the Six Elements, nor of practices like the Limited Space and Limited Consciousness Kasinas, and in some of its related stripped down, reductionistic, incomplete interpretations definitely does a poor job with non-duality.
This is like saying the non-dual traditions do a poor job with details and specific technical and analytical and jhanic skill sets, which they actually do well if you actually progressively trained in them in their greater contexts, but wouldn’t if you just read some pop Vedanta, Sutta Mahamudra, or Dzogchen books.
So, yes, both traditions in their partially neutered forms are not that great at various things. This should come as no surprise.
Yes, a hybrid model of two partially broken things definitely works better than either partially broken thing on its own, or a regular model of the full things in their full forms, if you can find these, which admittedly is rare, as you think best.
-----------------------
Then only afterward after just reading random threads, I found Daniels post compilation the ones that stuck out to me are

Here

I would seriously consider starting Theravada, getting stream entry and perhaps second path from the Mahasi kids first and then a good sense of what really strong concentration is from the Pau Auk kids, and then take that into the Vajrayana, and you will already have what you need to visualize really well as well as having established a direct understanding of ultimate bodhichitta, which is essential to that path, and be able to see that the endless fascination with ritual and the rest of the hyper-abundant trappings and politics and personality stuff may, at best, be skillful means, as Attachment to Rites and Rituals will be profoundly lessened if not eliminated, and so you will be able to have the wide, vibrant acceptance that the Vajrayana offers without its obvious initial traps that so confuse most people who get into it before they were really ready for it. Dzogchen and its related perspectives really help with 3rd Path territory.
Here
Vipassana clearly can get a shadow side of blasting, cutting, destroying, disembodying, depersonalizing in some unskillful way. This is a feature becoming a bug, really. It can become indifference, become aversion, become life-denying, become too future-oriented. It was never meant to do that, but often people take it that way anyway and practice that way.

If one reads something like the Greater Discourse on Mindfulness, one will see that it is very broadly accepting, straightforwardly accepting. One recognizes what is going on as it occurs. One recognizes skillful and unskillful mind states as they are. One walks. One breathes. One sees what is there. One is mindful of it. This, done properly, has a very different feel than poorly done Vipassana.

As to Dzogchen and not-self vs Vipassana and not-self, both emphasize not-self. Both point directly to not-self. One cannot practice Vipassana properly without some skillful view of not-self, as it is one of the Three Characteristics, and perceiving the Three Characteristics of whatever sensations arise is the essence of Vipassana. Dzogchen often emphasizes a wider field of attention than some Vipassana practitioners take. Adopting a wider field of attention is part of the normal progression of attention as we rise up the stages of insight, but some practitioners have this notion they should stay very narrow despite the higher stages of attentional development naturally becoming wider and more inclusive, so instead they force these stages to be something they are not naturally, and thus miss opportunities for insight. Some Vipassana practitioners will stay investigating objects outwardly away from their sense of self, not investing the sensations that seem to be them, but this is an error also. Some Vipassana practitioners will stay very effortful and future-oriented, thus missing the key insight instructions to be mindful of this moment and what arises naturally in this moment, and in this way they may fail to make progress.

For these practitioners who have somehow unfortunately misinterpreted the instructions of Vipassana, or taken very early instructions to be the more advanced instructions, or failed to understand what Mindfulness and Investigation are about, or failed to develop adequate Tranquility and Equanimity, then they may do better when they encounter the Dzogchen teachings, which may counter their misinterpretations and errors. However, often they will fail to realize that the errors were theirs, and attribute their new success with Dzogchen to Dzogchen itself over Vipassana, not recognizing that Vipassana, done properly, ends up looking like Dzogchen, in that it is wide, all-embracing, complete, settled into the moment, clear about not-self.

Thus, it is true that Dzogchen teachings have helped a lot of poorly-instructed or confused Vipassana practitioners. It is also true that Dzogchen has confused a lot of people.

The downsides of Dzogchen are basically the opposite set of shadow sides to those commonly found in poorly done Vipassana, but they can be just as problematic. By taking a wide view, precision is lost, and without precision, many sensations arise and vanish without being clearly perceived or investigated. By settling for this moment being however it is, many will greatly lower their own standards, becoming accepting of a dull, vague, spaced-out mind that lacks the delusion-cutting power and sharp clarity of Vipassana. By taking on the Dzogchen teachings prematurely, before meeting the standard minimum requisites often advocated in the original tradition for rectiving those instructions, many practitioners will simply attempt to leap too high, beyond their abilities, into wide territory that they can't simultaneously be very clear about, and then either get frustrated or begin to rationalize that weak, premature, spacy practice is actually great practice. Basically, they develop too much Tranquility and Equanimity without enough Mindfulness, Energy, and Investigation, and also perhaps without enough Concentration.

So, it is largely a question of identifying imbalances, misinterpretations, and poor practice and then correcting these. Pragmatically, if one goes into another tradition and this accomplishes those goals, all is well. If, on the other hand, one attributes to the new tradition a salvation and efficacy not found in the other tradition, this is really missing something about that tradition and style, as both traditions, performed properly and by the right practitioner at the right phase of practice, can be extremely profound and very liberating.

And finally the straw that broke the camel's back came from here where they are talking about basically find a permanent stable grounding called Rigpa and how DI disagrees with KF

1) I have attained something that those who are still at what I call anagami haven't realized yet, with some of them calling "arahatship" what I called "anagram". As pointed out before by others including Kenneth, the irony of the title anagami being used in a pejorative way is clear and humorous and enviable. However, this clearly explains why they seem to be going through what I went through and have the same fascinations and difficulties that I did during that period I call "anagami" and yet can't seem to understand what I am saying as they are not there yet, just as I couldn't have understood what I am talking about now when I was in that territory either. This also explains why they have such strong reactions to Tarin and Trent, both of whom claim arahatship and describe things very much like what I describe, and when the three of us talk about this stuff, we are on similar pages much more than those over at KennethFolkDharma are. I am not sure how much of this rift is cultural, social or conceptual and how much is about divergent or disparate practice and attainments, but the effect is clear and real and worthy of serious consideration.
2) I have no idea what they are talking about. Haquan assumes that one must have had Rigpa pointed out in some specific way for one to find it. Kenneth, who says Rigpa and arahatship are two different phenomena, seems to think that with arahatship, one has the best platform to stabilize Rigpa, whereas I claim that arahatship is Rigpa, stabilized and done without other options. Either I have no idea what the Rigpa they are talking about is, having not run into it in 6.5 years since what I call arahatship, or they are thinking the emptiness and luminosity thing I saw on and off and worked to stabilize during my anagami period is Rigpa and they simply can't or don't want to understand my descriptions of that territory and make the connection


It was then that I realized my new-to-DhO-ass had walked straight into some controversy like a brick wall. And if Daniel and Kenneth can't work it out then I'm going to have to do my own homework on this. Well time to go back to sensory reality manifesting itself at the present moment ... oh wait, that's right we never left. 
I'd like to throw a tiny wrench into this discussion if I may. I have no terms for any of this, and no education, formal or otherwise. 

but one thing is clear, some of the greatest teachers you will never hear of exist beyond the fence, and much of their "teaching" can be encapsulated in a phrase, which you can reword in a million different ways, probably. 

"never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength." 

He explains, all of this inquiry is an elaborate "trick," to get one to see, realize something that can't be realized, because it is before thought, concepts, or ideas, and the human mind is only capable of thoughts, concepts, and ideas. So what is left when there are no thoughts, no inquiry, and no concepts?

​​​​​​​Can this ever be systematized? I don't know the answer to that. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 11:37 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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A few things that come to mind as I read this great thread:

As someone who started with 20+ years of Nyingma Dzogchen, direct pointing at Rigpa happened the first time I met with a teacher. In Mahayana the assumption is always that we are "all" enlightened already, and direct pointing at Rigpa sometimes precipitates full realization. While I might not have got it right off the bat, after a month or so of practice and some more pointing it became something I could see pop up when I was sitting, and I was no-great meditator by any means. Over time, by knowing its flavor and noticing it, the episodes would occur more frequently and in longer intervals, and even be noticed in everyday life, which is no surprise since it is always present. It isn't something mysterious, most of us have seen it in our lives and not recognized it for what it is. 

When stream entry happened I began looking for some place to get some context and expertise. I was completely taken by surprise, and it wasn't like anything I had read about exactly.  It best correlated with accounts of Satori in my book collection of primarily Tibetan Buddhist and Zen books. My Nyingma teacher had passed away the year previous, and I hadn't sought out a relationship with his protege, so I looked online as we do these days. I was so thankful to have found the DHO, but felt lost. The questions I got about my stream entry posting were (unsurprisingly) about the Progress of Insight, how many cycles I could percieve, what jhanas I had access to, etc.,  all things that I had never heard of and that, despite my best attempts afterwards, were nothing I could shoehorn my moment to moment experience into. These are not topics that I ever heard discussed in the Vajrayana world, and, at least for me, I have never been able to say concretely that I cycled (I certainly don't now) and yes I've had people tell me it is because I just don't notice or whatever.  emoticon

What WAS helpful was the exhorations to look at my moment to moment experience over time to see how present or stable the insight was. It has always been available since the first glimpse, and only got deeper and deeper. The other thing that was useful was to look at the fetters and see what remained after major deepening (path) events. No-self is stable and permanent without change since July 2018 and Rigpa is always present. 

One of Michael Tafts podcasts was on "A Few Stray Points About Nonduality" and one of the things that caught my attention was his discussion of what he calls non-dual 1 and non-dual 2.

MT:  So let me just unpack Nondual 1 in another way that will shed light on this issue of awareness. And I’ll just use the most common metaphor that’s used everywhere. But I’ll update it just slightly, although it will still be out of date. So let’s postulate a movie being shown on a movie screen. And on the movie screen, there is a person and a train. And conventionally, we would say okay, especially if I’m the person, I’m here, there’s a train over there. And I’m looking at it. But from the light of awareness, from the viewpoint of awareness itself, the person and the train are simply appearing in the field of awareness equally, right. They’re both on the screen, so to speak. And in terms of being on the screen, they’re not separate at all. And so seeing that person and train are not separate in any way. They’re different. This is another reason it’s not monism. The train and the person aren’t the same damn thing. One looks like a person and the other one looks like a train. So one of the main things about nonduality is it retains the difference. But we see that they’re appearing on the same screen of awareness, they’re arising as contents in the same field of awareness. And so that’s Nonduality 1.

MT:  Yeah. And the way that we’ve explained and gone through Nondual 1 makes it obvious, I hope, what Nondual 2 is. It sets it up. It begs the question because of course, in Nondual 1, we’ve ended up creating a strong dualism between experience, or awareness, and the contents of experience. But in Nondual 2, we then collapse that duality as well and emphasize the nondual nature the not-two-ness of awareness and its contents, or experience and its contents, or if we use Buddhist language, emptiness and form. And this is actually quite a bit deeper and also collapses any need for this renunciative transcendental mood because we’ve just collapsed the vertical dimension here that the transcendent move was trying to create.

https://deconstructingyourself.com/transcript-of-a-few-stray-points-about-nonduality-with-jake-orthwein.html

This is what I have always thought, that there is a disconnect between no-self and madhyamaka as insights. For me, coming from my background, I just always figured that the insight must eventually be the same for everyone, but now I wonder if there are those that don't see "Nondual 2" for whatever reason. "Nondual 2" was my entry-level insight and continues to be. Is it possible to be an arhat and ONLY see "Nondual 1"? Maybe some arhats see "Nondual 2"? I don't know, but it seems to me that it wouldn't be much of a move to get there, or perhaps it is already there and just isn't seen for what it is. 

One last point: Vipassana IS a component of both Dzogchen and Shikantaza - it just isn't done the way other traditions do it. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 12:03 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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That's seeing awareness is empty and not separate from anything else. It's a natural progression, I think, but some people don't realize it or, as some would say, get stuck in not seeing it. There are multiple threads on DhO containing discussions of this very distinction.

Rob Burbea, a Theravada/vipassana dude focuses on this in his book "Seeing That Frees." So do a lot of teachers in the Thai Forest tradition, like Ajahn Amaro.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 7:06 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Okay, to clarify for my Mahasi phenomenological positivist brain - you're both getting at this idea that awareness isn't a 'real' thing correct? Like in Mahasi terms, you'd say there isn't an object you can note as awareness. Like when new things pop into existence, there isn't a "you" scanning over there with some magic spotlight of the brain, the thing is just popping in and being known by itself. What we think of as awareness is just an illusion created by temporality and variability in sharpness of the appearance of objects. Am I following?

Funnily enough, I think that would actually make the whole thing monistic, because I think Michael Taft misunderstand monism. It not one thing in the sense that there is one object (although if you consider the collection of all things a thing, I think you might be hitting on Brahman), but it's one thing in the sense that it's made from one substance (experience or consciousness if you will), ie nondual 2.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 7:16 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I think monism has a very broad set of meanings. But yes, awareness is not an object. It only plays one on tv.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 2:24 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B

Funnily enough, I think that would actually make the whole thing monistic, because I think Michael Taft misunderstand monism. It not one thing in the sense that there is one object (although if you consider the collection of all things a thing, I think you might be hitting on Brahman), but it's one thing in the sense that it's made from one substance (experience or consciousness if you will), ie nondual 2.


As a student of Michael Taft, I know for a fact that he is very clear on awareness not being a thing, if that’s what you are getting at.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 7:07 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Well monism just means everything is made from one substance. From what I've seen, there are two types you see in the wild. A more "theological" monism, where there is one object and that's God (Brahman, ultimate reality, etc), and when Michael says clearly the train and the person are two different things, I think he is talking about that. But the other kind is almost more of a "materialist" monism where everything is made from one material - like computer software could be made from one material binary code, or in this case reality is made from one material and that's experience/phenomena/consciousness. And this second type of monism seems to me what nondual 2 is really getting at.

Edit: it's also worth mentioning, my understanding is that it is one substance, but with variation within that substance (ie binary code has 0s and 1s). This is to contrast it to something like dualism, where there are really two different substances, completely different, like say consciousness and atoms.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 7:21 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Well monism just means everything is made from one substance. 

Since you've challenged this, here you go, from Websters online:

monism /mō′nĭz″əm, mŏn′ĭz″əm/
noun
  1. The view in metaphysics that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system.
  2. The doctrine that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being.
  3. Any system of thought which seeks to deduce all the varied phenomena of both the physical and spiritual worlds from a single principle; specifically, the metaphysical doctrine that there is but one substance, either mind (idealism) or matter (materialism), or a substance that is neither mind nor matter, but is the substantial ground of both: opposed to dualism.
  4. Any theory or system which attempts to explain many heterogeneous phenomena by a single principle.
  5. In biology, same as monogenesis .
  6. That doctrine which refers all phenomena to a single ultimate constituent or agent; -- the opposite of dualism.
  7. See Monogenesis, 1.
  8. The doctrine that the universe is an organized unitary being or total self-inclusive structure.
  9. The doctrine of the oneness and unity of reality, despite the appearance of diversity in the world.

More here:

Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept, such as to existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished:
  • Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One. In this view only the One is ontologically basic or prior to everything else.
  • Existence monism posits that, strictly speaking, there exists only a single thing, the universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things.
  • Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. Substance monism posits that only one kind of substance exists, although many things may be made up of this substance, e.g., matter or mind.
  • Dual-aspect monism is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance.
  • Neutral monism believes the fundamental nature of reality to be neither mental nor physical; in other words it is "neutral".
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 8:50 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Awww it ate my long, well articulated response. Oh, well.

The gist is we're not actually saying different things. Like all the definitions you posted are "monism is the belief that nature is of a unified X" where X means <substance, principle, Thing, structure, etc>.

I'm saying they are different substances. But what does a substance mean? Well according to wikipedia:

Substance theory, or substance–attribute theory, is an ontological theory positing that objects are constituted each by a substance and properties borne by the substance but distinct from it. In this role, a substance can be referred to as a substratum or a thing-in-itself.

Okay so then what is a thing-in-itself or a substratum? (From wikipedia and hertiage dictionary)

In Kantian philosophy, the thing-in-itself (German: Ding an sich) is the status of objects as they are, independent of representation and observation.

And a substratum is
  1. An underlying layer.
  2. A layer of earth beneath the surface soil; subsoil.
  3. A foundation or groundwork.
So a substance is an object, layer, foundation, or groundwork. Ie basically whatever we want it to be. Which is consistent with how I'm talking about it since I'm using substance to refer to God, Totality, experience, consciousness, binary code, etc etc. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 9:49 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I think you're overthinking this  emoticon

All I'm saying here is that awareness can't be found. It's not an object, not something you can bring into attention.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 10:27 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Geoffrey B
Okay, to clarify for my Mahasi phenomenological positivist brain - you're both getting at this idea that awareness isn't a 'real' thing correct? Like in Mahasi terms, you'd say there isn't an object you can note as awareness. Like when new things pop into existence, there isn't a "you" scanning over there with some magic spotlight of the brain, the thing is just popping in and being known by itself. What we think of as awareness is just an illusion created by temporality and variability in sharpness of the appearance of objects. Am I following?

Funnily enough, I think that would actually make the whole thing monistic, because I think Michael Taft misunderstand monism. It not one thing in the sense that there is one object (although if you consider the collection of all things a thing, I think you might be hitting on Brahman), but it's one thing in the sense that it's made from one substance (experience or consciousness if you will), ie nondual 2.
There is ONLY awareness. It is the only thing that is always present. Everything else is impermanent and constructed. There are no subjects, only objects. This includes what you think of as your "self".

I bring this topic up because SatChitAnanda (as far as I can tell) is essentially the Rigpa understanding, but the understanding of a tripitaka arhat that only understands "no-self" might be missing a few things, like the emptiness of time, space, and the complete lack of "other". I'm not sure why Chris is (I think?) a little frosty or maybe dismissive of this being brought forward, but I think it might get at your question. It isn't intended as some criticism of other traditions. 

My experience was that Stream Entry included a glimpse that had the whole shebang (self/space/time), but I come from a tradition that includes training pointing toward it from the beginning and with practices intended to precipitate it specifically. It didn't match Daniel's phenomenology in many respects, but seems much more like the teachers I have met in Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.

Emptiness isn't a monism, though it appears to be one, as there aren't any objects to be considered whole. The objects are mental constructions, or "ornaments of consciousness" as Dudjom Rinpoche once called them, arising in the dharmakaya and passing away. 
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 12:55 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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  Hey Geoffrey,

The trick here is that monism is only monism if there is affirmation of the substantial existence of "one reality" — monism is realistic, not in the materialist sense of realism VS idealism (which is basically just a difference in views as to just what that inherent sub-stance is), but in the sense of ontologically reifying, making real, a single ontological substratum, as you say.

It isn't monism if it neither affirms oneness nor twoness, as buddhist philosophy has since the buddha (including in the pali canon, actually: at the philosophical level, the tertralemma is the "middle way" from the "extremes" of realism [is] and nihilism [isn't] — neither is, nor is not, nor is and is not, nor neither is nor is not — and I seem to recall quotes from the original suttas that use that sentence). 

As in this wonderfully elegant Shantideva quote, Bodhicaryāvatāra sutra, chapter IX, stanza 93:
"If there is a gap between a sense power and its object,
Where would they meet?
And if there is no gap, they would be fused as one,
So the meeting would be of what with what?"

Which goes to the heart of that Taft quote up there.

So I wouldn't say the "non-dual" view is a monism, because it affirms neither One (in greek, monos), nor two, nor many.

There are different levels of understanding of that neither-one-nor-many thing, two. Pun intended. The deeper versions also understand the neither-real-nor-non-real nature of, e.g., dependent origination.

Best,

​​​​​​​Olivier


  
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 12:50 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I'm not sure why Chris is (I think?) a little frosty or maybe dismissive of this being brought forward, but I think it might get at your question. It isn't intended as some criticism of other traditions. 

Um, I thought I was making it clear that I agree with what you said. I suppose not based on your comment, but really and truly, I do.
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 12:53 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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ps: and to me, this is all just a very elaborate way of talking about the essentially mysterious nature of existence. It is expressed through using logic to break logic, in the most explicit way possible. Others have arrived at the same conclusion, imo, without expressing it in the form of logical statements and irrefutable prrofs using conventional reasoning. Perhaps poetry or soemthing.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 1:02 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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There's a podcast out on the net from Ken McLeod that captures this as well. He holds up his cell phone and asks someone to tell the audience exactly where the phone is given that it's only apparent because it's a mind object. So is it in Ken's hand over there, or is it here, in your mind? Is the answer is both, or nether? One, or the other?.

Logic breaking logic, poetry, or what I'd call the mystery of existence and consciousness.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 1:07 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
Um, I thought I was making it clear that I agree with what you said. I suppose not based on your comment, but really and truly, I do.
In that case, my apologies for misreading you. Much back-slapping and ales all 'round. emoticon
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 1:11 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M There's a podcast out on the net from Ken McLeod that captures this as well. He holds up his cell phone and asks someone to tell the audience exactly where the phone is given that it's only apparent because it's a mind object. So is it in Ken's hand over there, or is it here, in your mind? Is the answer is both, or nether? One, or the other?. Logic breaking logic, poetry, or what I'd call the mystery of existence and consciousness....
...reminds me of:

Case 29 Hui-neng: “Not the Wind; Not the Flag”

The Case

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. 

One said, “The flag moves.” 

The other said, “The wind moves.” 

They argued back and forth but could not agree.

The Sixth Ancestor said, “Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves.” 

The two monks were struck with awe.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 1:13 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Famous Zen stories for 500, Alex!
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 1:39 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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I think Olivier is most technically correct. There is no flag, there is no wind, there is no mind.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 2:05 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Who's going to post the obligatory Nagarjuna quote?
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 2:26 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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​​​​​​​Katz!!!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 3:53 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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“All philosophies are mental fabrications. There has never been a single doctrine by which one could enter the true essence of things.”
― Nagarjuna

I don't know if its a real one though. I can't find a citation for it beyond goodreads :p
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/4/23 6:34 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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There is ONLY awareness. It is the only thing that is always present. Everything else is impermanent and constructed. There are no subjects, only objects. This includes what you think of as your "self".

My hunch is that this is basically the big split between something like Vedanta and Buddhism. Because according to the Buddha even awareness is fabricated by the mind, and you can "see" this when there is cessation, because even awareness vanishes then. So then this thing can be seen as impermanent, and not a constant self.
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 5:18 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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 And it is interesting that the tetralemma is expressed quite clearly in the pali suttas, which sort of puts an end to all the debates about which school has the deeper view or whatever...

I would extend this to other traditions, too, who may not express the insight in the same logical terms as buddhism, and yet experience it deeply at the pre-reflexive level... Like some jazz pianist able to improvize something beautiful, complex, and subtle on the piano, who couldn't (or didn't want to use say they frame of functional harmony to) explain how they did it or what they did exactly.

"Being, non-being, both, neither: none of these applies to characterize the way of being of anything". This also implies, technically speaking, that saying "there is no flag, no mind, etc." isn't right either ;).










 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 5:33 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Correct. If someone proposes flag, wind, mind -- then the teacher says: well, perhaps no flag, no wind, no mind? But if someone proposes no flag, no wind, no mind -- then the teacher says: well, perhaps flag, wind, mind?  Etc. emoticon

Rather than rely on intellect, it is much better to have the direct insight. Everything that is proposed about flag, wind, self also applies to "self". So where is self? Then the matter becomes quite "personal" rather than intellectual. And then there isn't much to say. emoticon
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 6:43 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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  Neither center nor no center, ..., etc.

The intellectual dimension is important too, IMO. Some traditions like to rely on that to lead to meditation, like in the verse that directly precedes the shantideva quote I just shared:
"The concentrative mind that grows from the field of exmination
Is the food of yogis."

Some traditional texts such as the gelugpa lam-rim states, in this line, that perceptual experiences of clarity and insubstantiality are not direct perceptions of emptiness if they are not accompanied by the metaphysical view we are describing, so the intellectual dimension is important too, I would say. There is something to the harmonization of the intellectual views and the perceptual world. I don't think analytical thought should be discouraged on principle, as is often prescribed in e.g. mahasi derived practice traditions. Ideas (a word derived from some kind of conjugated form of the greek verb "oraio", which means to see) can guide attention and perception from a very high, synthetic and subtle level, in my experience. Can lead to very profound perceptions and emotions directly, too!  A bit like the Burbea notion of "way of looking".

My 2 cts.
 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 7:06 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Sure, the intellect is important, and body/visceral is important. Most insights are actually partial tipping points, but what has not tipped often doesn't become clear until the intellect or the body displays some tension, some resistance.  It's interesting... The intellect is prone to rationalizing away incomplete insights. The body is prone to suppressing away emotions indicative of incomplete insights. If we're honest, it's great and no big problem and there's an opportunity for further refinement. But you know, humans are lazy and usually don't address problems until they are big problems...
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 9:01 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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"Being, non-being, both, neither: none of these applies to characterize the way of being of anything". This also implies, technically speaking, that saying "there is no flag, no mind, etc." isn't right either ;).

Yes, and I think that's the point of the weirdness of the logical contradictions and the weirdness of the sideways descriptions. We can experience this, but if we think about it, evaluate it, explain it, or try to express it, we lose it. To me, this is where Zen gets it right. No mind means no evaluating, no describing, no thinking conceptually, descriptively. Just experience this as it happens. The ultimate clarity and stillness. And to truly appreciate this, then we can think about it, evaluate it, or describe it.
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 9:01 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Nagarjuna's Tetralemma is real
Nagarjuna's Tetralemma is unreal
Nagarjuna's Tetralemma is both real and unreal
Nagarjuna's Tetralemma is neither real nor unreal
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 9:05 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Soh Wei Yu, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 9:21 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 11:28 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Chris M
"Being, non-being, both, neither: none of these applies to characterize the way of being of anything". This also implies, technically speaking, that saying "there is no flag, no mind, etc." isn't right either ;).

Yes, and I think that's the point of the weirdness of the logical contradictions and the weirdness of the sideways descriptions. We can experience this, but if we think about it, evaluate it, explain it, or try to express it, we lose it. To me, this is where Zen gets it right. No mind means no evaluating, no describing, no thinking conceptually, descriptively. Just experience this as it happens. The ultimate clarity and stillness. And to truly appreciate this, then we can think about it, evaluate it, or describe it.
Agreed. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 11:30 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Olivier S  And it is interesting that the tetralemma is expressed quite clearly in the pali suttas...


Not intended to be a challenge, more about my lack of study in this area, but WHERE is it expressed clearly in the pali suttas? I feel Bahiya is close to it...
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 12/7/23 11:25 AM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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As I understand it the same issue which caused sense of self to deteriorate from cool feature to hotbed of dukkha isn't fully removed through meditative practices and there will always be need for some kind of further "realizations" - which are just further "developments" (let's call them that) which prevent dukkha in the same way as preventing dukkha from sense of self did and likewise because of how they operate might cause person to have some illusion of realizing something deeper which is just result of change in patterns of their brain activity that meditative practices cause.

Therefore if someone claims arhatship but then feels need to do some practice and reports that this is not reason to disbelieve their initial attainment. At least not just because of that.

As for satcitanada its wikipedia entry suggest it is the same thing as True Self. I mean its meaning seems it is the same thing not that it suggest equality between commonly understood meaning of the terms.

And they always have issues with the formless realms (like Leigh says in his book he can’t do them, and he is like the main jhana guy in the us), but I’m like “what? You go to the fourth jhana and you switch to spacious awareness, it’s easy!”.

Spoiler alert!
Formless jhanas do not have any spaciousness.
In fact - and I know this might be surprising to some - they lack any qualities which one could even remotely call 'form'.
Kinda like removing fetter of ascetic rules removes likeness of things which people might not even consider as ascetism.
Or for example removing fetter of identity views removes ability to even conceive answers to wrong questions let alone obsess about them (eg. realizing something is not there this kind of nonsense).

Things always go in the direction of first more stronger and what seem significant and meanigful to then plateau and then to subtler and more refined and this refinement is just what 'chopping wood and carrying water' means. My observation/opinion is people call it a day way too early where they should still be discovering oxes. That said the issue I mentioned from first paragraph - kinda different kind of 'training', let's call it that. In fact people seem to confuse concentration for mindfulnes...

May all sentient beings experience "Metta Fruitions"®
Ni
Olivier S, modified 2 Months ago at 12/21/23 12:15 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/21/23 12:07 PM

RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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  Hey Stirling,

Sorry about the delay, and here are some hints.

MN 2 says this about the ontology of the Self:
​​​​​​​
“This is how he attends unwisely: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what did I become in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I become in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the present thus: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where will it go?’“

When he attends unwisely in this way, one of six views arises in him. The view ‘self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘no self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive not-self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with not-self’ arises in him as true and established; or else he has some such view as this: ‘It is this self of mine that speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions; but this self of mine is permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and it will endure as long as eternity.’ This speculative view, bhikkhus, is called the thicket of views, the wilderness of views, the contortion of views, the vacillation of views, the fetter of views. Fettered by the fetter of views, the untaught ordinary person is not freed from birth, ageing, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; he is not freed from suffering, I say.

This refutes all possible affirmations or negations regarding an inherently existing self.

The following excerpt from SN 12:15 also does this about "the World":

“Kaccāna, this world mostly relies on the dual notions of existence and non-existence. But when you truly see the origin of the world with right understanding, you won’t have the notion of non-existence regarding the world. And when you truly see the cessation of the world with right understanding, you won’t have the notion of existence regarding the world.

This is not exactly a formulation of the tetralemma, but taken together, these two discourses do something I find quite similar.

Of course, the rest of that last sutta goes on to express the dominant theme in the Pali canon that the goal of the path is basically to check out (see below), which one may argue is not the case with other buddhist vehicles, but anyways, in terms of onotological middle way, the Pali canon does have something very reminiscent of Nagarjuna and successors.

The end of SN 12:15:
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The world is for the most part shackled by attraction, grasping, and insisting. But if—when it comes to this attraction, grasping, mental fixation, insistence, and underlying tendency—you don’t get attracted, grasp, and commit to the notion ‘my self’, you’ll have no doubt or uncertainty that what arises is just suffering arising, and what ceases is just suffering ceasing.

Your knowledge about this is independent of others. 

This is how right view is defined. 

‘All exists’: this is one extreme. 

‘All does not exist’: this is the second extreme. 

Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way: ‘Ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. … That is how this entire mass of suffering originates. 

When ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. … That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.’”

Edit: Notice also that last bit about the end of choices, which I had originally missed. Very cool!
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 12/23/23 12:31 PM
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RE: arhantship vs satcitanada

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Sorry... just seeing this Olivier. Thanks for that! Nice work!