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Ten Fetters Path?

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Ten Fetters Path? svmonk 4/9/15 10:46 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Eric G 4/9/15 5:23 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/9/15 5:23 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? svmonk 4/10/15 12:16 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/10/15 5:02 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Chuck Kasmire 4/10/15 6:42 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Psi 4/10/15 8:49 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Psi 4/10/15 9:05 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Daniel M. Ingram 4/10/15 9:45 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Chuck Kasmire 4/11/15 8:54 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 4/12/15 6:31 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Change A. 4/17/15 8:51 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Eva Nie 6/18/15 9:33 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/12/15 12:25 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/12/15 1:15 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/12/15 7:25 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/12/15 10:49 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/13/15 1:18 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/13/15 10:33 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Pål 4/13/15 12:30 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? svmonk 4/13/15 2:29 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/13/15 3:08 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Chuck Kasmire 4/13/15 4:20 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/13/15 4:43 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Psi 4/14/15 12:19 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Ryan J 4/14/15 9:58 AM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Eva Nie 6/18/15 9:08 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Chuck Kasmire 4/13/15 3:42 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Chuck Kasmire 4/10/15 3:15 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Banned For waht? 4/13/15 12:45 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? svmonk 4/13/15 2:20 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Banned For waht? 4/13/15 2:50 PM
RE: Ten Fetters Path? Monsoon Frog 6/18/15 6:04 PM
Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/9/15 10:46 AM
Could someone explain to me what the ten fetters path is? The term has come up several times in discussions, contrasting it I think with the path as described in MCTB.

I am familiar with the ten fetters from the Visuddhimagga, as being tendencies of the mind that lead to suffering which are dropped in 4 stages as one experiences the path moments in meditation. But are there specific practices, other than the insight and concentration practices described in MCTB, that one follows on the ten fetters path? Is the ten fetters path any different from the canonical Theravada teaching on enlightenment?

I googled around a bit and found lots of information the ten fetters but none of the references mentioned a path, per se.

Thanx!

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/9/15 5:23 PM as a reply to svmonk.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/9/15 5:23 PM as a reply to svmonk.
The practices depends on who you ask. Ten fetter model is from the suttas, not only the visudhimagga. I think when people, or at least me, say ten fetter paths here they mostly mean the stages of enlightenment defined from number if fetters uprooted rather than from number of nana cycles completed.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 12:16 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
The practices depends on who you ask. Ten fetter model is from the suttas, not only the visudhimagga. I think when people, or at least me, say ten fetter paths here they mostly mean the stages of enlightenment defined from number if fetters uprooted rather than from number of nana cycles completed.
Thanx, Pal!

Do you think it might be possible that both nana cycles and fetters uprooted might be part of the stages of enlightenment? The nana cycles would be the process, the fetters eliminated would be the result, with the nana cycles becoming less intense as the fetters were eliminated? If I recall correctly, the suttas don't actually talk about the nana cycles so I suppose one could argue that the nana cycle classification isn't canonical. But with the exception of the Maha Satipatana Sutta, the Anapanasati Sutta, and a pericope inserted in many places about the process of achieving jhana, my recollection (which could be wrong because its been a while since I've read the suttas) is that the suttas don't say much about the process of meditation and enlightenment in general.

Also what about rebirth? According to the canonical Theravada teaching, stream enterers are reborn 7 times, once returners once, non-returners into the Pure Abodes, and arhats not at all. MCTB doesn't talk much about this, most Western Buddhists don't. Do ten fetters path followers hold with rebirth? I suppose Burmese Mahasi nana cycles practitioners would though.

              

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 3:15 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Is the ten fetters path any different from the canonical Theravada teaching on enlightenment?

Daniel, in his book, presents his understanding of the the 10 fetters here where he refers to it as a limited emotional model.

He writes:the core of the Theravada Four Path Model is the dogma that enlightenment involves progressively eliminating the Ten Defilements in the following manner...

Stream Entry eliminates the first three defilements: skeptical doubt, attachment to rites and rituals, and personality belief....Fourth Path, that of arahatship, eliminates the remaining five defilements of attachment to formed jhanas (the first four jhanas), attachment to the formless realms (the second four jhanas), restlessness and worry, “conceit” (in quotes because it is a bit hard to translate), and something called “the last veil of unknowing”.


I don’t know the commentaries so can’t say if this is where this is coming from or not. It certainly represents a commonly held view - but earlier on that same page he writes that the Theravada Four Path Model is the original model presented in the Pali Canon.

Personally, I don’t disagree with him that what he describes is a poor model - where I disagree is where he says that this is what the suttas are describing. Your description tendencies of the mind that lead to suffering which are dropped in 4 stages as one experiences the path moments in meditation is more in line with my own understanding.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 5:02 PM as a reply to svmonk.
According to Mahasi, it seems, the Nana process leads to the fetters dropping away. According to Daniel, if I've gotten it right, the nana process of his version of enlightenment does not take away the fetters, so his definition of arahantship is different from the definition in the suttas. That's right, I still haven't found a single sutta mentioning nanas but many that talk about the ten fetters and their gradual elimination at the four paths.
There are lots of suttas about meditation but even more suttas about other things. A huge amount of them are about patticasamupada. 

@Chuck Kasmire
The Ten Fetter model is presented for example in the Anapanasati sutta. Just so you know emoticon

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 6:42 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
@Chuck Kasmire
The Ten Fetter model is presented for example in the Anapanasati sutta. Just so you know emoticon

Hi Pal,
I am not - to the best of my knowledge - disagreeing with you. The ten fetters are mentioned fairly often. As to the view that this is Theravada - or pre-dates that school - I don't know. That would be a good question to pose over on the sutta central forum. What I disagree with is Daniels equating defilements and fetters and the notion that an arahat cannot even appear to be angry or conceited in any way - in other words, I have not found support for his definition of the model in the suttas in my own reading.

My understanding is that Defilements are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions (wikipedia) where as Fetters are ways that we are bound-up in such a way that creates becoming (essentially craving or passion) - the samsara machine. They are separate but related concepts. Fetters are not cut by eradicating a defilement. The cutting of fetters that occurs at the various stages of awakening represent shifts in ones underlying experience that undermine the ability of the defilements to take hold of the mind and proliferate in the same old way. Defilements are essentially nothing more than overgrown likes and dislikes - in order to grow up into defilements they need to be nurtured and fed. The mind of the Arahat provides no food (footing) for them and so they remain likes and dislikes - this is a huge difference.
 
As for the view that an arahat cannot even appear to be angry or conceited in any way - I am curious where this is coming from - the source. I am not aware of any suttas that say an Arahat is  responsible for what emotions someone reads into their behavior - it makes  no sense to me. On the other hand, there are lots of them I haven't read so if anyone knows of one....

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 8:49 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire 

As for the view that an arahat cannot even appear to be angry or conceited in any way - I am curious where this is coming from - the source. I am not aware of any suttas that say an Arahat is  responsible for what emotions someone reads into their behavior - it makes  no sense to me. 

Hello Chuck,

Well, first off I have not eliminated , but rather have reduced anger and greed.  But, this is not about that, I just wanted to share real world experiences along the lines of you observations above, however mundane and simple the experiences may be.

So quick real world example, with the family, if something is about to spill, or the cat is about to get out of the front door, or someone is in danger of injury, I will speak quickly, and sometimes loudly a second time, so that they hear me, and hopefully react with a sense of urgency.

 From my perspective I am speaking quickly and involving energy.  Sometimes, from their perspective though, they feel and see it as anger.  I will contemplate after the fact, and find no anger involved, at all, and usually the opposite is involved , compassion for the cat, the children, or my wife.

So, sometimes, energetic, forceful compassion is read by others as anger, strange.  The two seem very similar on the outside, but the inentions are very different.

So, to sum up, what you are sayng is indeed true.

But anyway, appearances are in the eye of the observer.

Maybe I should have just said the above sentence first , and left it at that , huh?

Psi

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 9:05 PM as a reply to Psi.
Back again, having a hard time communicating these ideas it seems, so I will have to resort to the metaphors tha arise in the mind.


Basically, It takes a clear mind to see a clear mind, regardless of the external projections of the mind and body.

If a mind is like a glass of dirty water and it looks at other glasses of water, it will always see dirty water.

If a mind is purified like a glass of clean water, only then will it be able to notice another clean glass of water.

Now there are various spectrums of purified minds and whatnot, so it is not all either this or that completely, and for some it is not always the same, all the time.

And further, for example, if one were to read conceit into the above metaphor, that is dirty water.Psi

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/10/15 9:45 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Dear Chuck,

I am thankful for your clarification of your reading of the Pali Canon, as I get the sense that, when you speak of the Ten Fetters, people often interpret you as stating that you support that model in the more strict sense rather than the looser sense that you describe here and that we talked about together. In that, we are much closer in our take on this than most people reading would suspect we are, I feel.

The number of texts (even those on the standard lists of "more authentic" or "older" texts, not that every scholar agrees on those points) that support the strict bad-emotional-elimination view is pretty large, for better or worse. The texts also say even wilder things, like pain being minimized, total control of all thought, and the like. There are plenty of other texts that humanize things more, such as the parts of the Vinaya (which is still hard to find and so most people have read little of it) and some of the more humanistic stories of the Buddha.

Care to say more about the actual experience, both internal and external, both mental and physical, both perceived by you and perceived by others, about what your life is like these days, regarding things like pain, regarding things like what sorts of thoughts can and can't arise, about what specific feelings can and can't arise, and about what has changed about all of that as a result of what you have done?

Might take it fetter by fetter, if you are up for that.

Thanks for discussing these things,

Daniel

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/11/15 8:54 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Dear Chuck,

I am thankful for your clarification of your reading of the Pali Canon, as I get the sense that, when you speak of the Ten Fetters, people often interpret you as stating that you support that model in the more strict sense rather than the looser sense that you describe here and that we talked about together. In that, we are much closer in our take on this than most people reading would suspect we are, I feel.

Hi Daniel,
Yes, while responding in this thread I realized that when I have said that I find the 10 fetters model useful and relevant with regard to my own experience - most people reading that will think that I am referring to your presentation of it - not mine - which I have written about in the past but it is the nature of forums for these things to get buried pretty fast.

The number of texts ... that support the strict bad-emotional-elimination view is pretty large, for better or worse. ...

As you come upon these, maybe you could jot down the references? It would help to have some examples to look at - just so I understand what you are referring to. I am particularly interested in those that also show up in the agamas - but I can sort them out. I think this view of the Arahat as some kind of saint gets in the way of openly talking about the experience itself which is actually much stranger and more interesting. I also see the opposite - a real watering down and dismissive attitude toward aspects of the experience that for me are quite real and apparent - I find this attitude more troublesome then the saint making one.

Care to say more about the actual experience, both internal and external, both mental and physical, both perceived by you and perceived by others, about what your life is like these days,...

Yes, that might help clear things up a bit - or totally confuse things more. I still seem to have wiki access so I think I will go that route as opposed to trying to do it within the forum which is something like trying to build a sand castle in the middle of a river. As I mentioned the last time we spoke - my time is sort of limited these days - but I have some material already put together that covers some of what you are asking about. After I get some of it up I will start a thread with a link to it.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/12/15 12:25 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
I love this discussion!

I'm going to throw in a few suttas about the behaviour of an arahant:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.007.than.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.041.vaka.html
 
These suttas say Arahants can't break the 5 precepts. 

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

This sutta say Arahants have complete control over their thoughts. See the last long paragraph. Feels a little like Patanjali Yoga Sutras, but I've only read about them, not read them directly.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/12/15 1:15 AM as a reply to Pål.
On the behavior of Arhats in the first sutta one of the 9 behaviors is, "It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to engage in sexual intercourse."

Do you suppose this is true about Arhats? How do you feel about this statement?

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/12/15 6:31 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
I too like the fetter model; I find it personally worth working on year over year, inching.


In the same way, I also like zen form-crushing.

For example, I like the story of "the authentic tea bowl before birth".

Many of these stories heal adverse effects of a strong ethical effort with a well-pointed poke to any harmful and useless/ridiculous ego-inflation, such as in "the authentic tea bowl before birth" story.  

Other zen/ch'an stories present ethical conundrums in which there is no 'better' answer --- but the stories rather show compassion for no victory and/or victory of seeing and compassion or humor in an unreasonablely/unavoidablely stressful situation --- so that an ardent practitioner may also balance the training of the mind without clinging, without conceit, and with compassion, even with sometimes a chuckle, for a ludicous situation.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/12/15 7:25 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
According to the suttaic path defenitions, attraction is one of the fetters that is cut at third path. I've always thought this means that third pathers, by the definitions of the suttas, can't feel attraction and so they can't have sex. But now upon reading Chuck's interpretation (which I'm not sure if I understood correctly) I think that the fetter being cut might just mean that attraction can arise but it's not a fetter anymore since it's not clung to anymore. Maybe it's the case that you have to cling to attraction in order to maintain an intercourse. What do you think about that? I'm not that sexually experienced yet so I can't really tell. One way to find out might be through having sex while investigating one's mind with 100% honesty, maybe through noting. If it happens to be true, that you have to cling in order to maintain attraction enough to have sex, then it might prove that ten fetter defined arahants can't have sex. 

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/12/15 10:49 AM as a reply to Pål.
It sounds like equanimity taken to the max, no push no pull with regards to the arising of the sensations that make up arousal and other sensations that drive one to have sex. I would suppose that the sensations of arousal arise with no clinging, so imagine infinite smoothness or zero friction, and simultaneously that is triggering the action of sex without attachment to the plethora of different sensations. I think this could be seen as doing without doing, but my rewording is loving-playfulness, one is simply spontaneous.

My thoughts lead me to suppose this: If no clinging to the desire to have sex meant no longer having sex, would no clinging to the desire to eat lead an Arhat to never eat again?

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 1:18 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
A person who has no clinging to desire to eat might eat for other reasons: like staying alive to teach. I've heard about meditators lovking themselves in caves to just bliss out until they die though. 

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 10:33 AM as a reply to Pål.
That idea was what I supposed could be the difference between the two. But in my personal opinion, I see breathing, eating, and sex as different scale survival mechanisms. Each 3 are necessary for the continuation of life. If just one of them stops, then life stops at some point, either in 5 minutes, 15 days, or 70 years.

I'm not kidding when I say you could be right, I'm very open to the possibility of being wrong. It's just in my imagination I'm lead to the further following unrealistic supposition so don't take me too seriously: if the ultimate goal of a human is Arhatship, and Arhats don't have sex, but they stay alive to teach others, with the ideal goal of awakening for all humans, is the goal of Theravada Buddhism to wipe the human race off the face of the planet? Life would certainly continue on, just no more humans because they all got enlightened and stopped having sex, that just seems like an outcome I myself wouldn't see as ideal.

That is of course, an extreme scenario, but it's where the surface logic of it points to when I think about it.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 12:30 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
That's nice, I first thought you were as much a fundamentalist as me ;)

are you saying one can die celibacy? Sorry my english isn't that good. 

well wiping the human race of the planet in a peaceful and loving way could be an indirect but unrealistic goal of the Theravada, as well as Mahayana traditions I think. If rebirth is real, then not just the human race but all living beings. 

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 12:45 PM as a reply to svmonk.
Some excerpts from Mahaparinirvana sutra On Bodhisattva Kasyapa (c):

"Of this person, there are two types. One associates with a good friend, and the other
with a bad friend. The one who associates with a bad friend is up for a time, but sinks again.
The one who associates with a good friend looks all around. To look all around refers to the
"topmost-height"1. The nature of this stage is as yet of the class of the five skandhas, and yet is
related to the Four Truths. Hence, one can see all around. After the stage of the topmost-height,
the person attains that of "cognition"2. The same is the case with the stage of cognition, too.
The nature is of the four skandhas, but is related to the Four Truths. This person next gains the
laukikagradharma ["first-of-the-world root of good"], which is of the nature of the five skandhas
and has causal relations with the Four Truths. The person, by degrees, gains the "cognition
of suffering". The nature of Wisdom actualises the causal relation of the First Truth. Having
thus actualised the causal relation of the truth of cognition, the person cuts away defilement
and attains [to the level of] srotapanna. This is the fourth stage of seeing all around in the four
directions. The four directions are none other than the Four Truths."

...

"O good man! Those from the stage of srotapanna up to all Buddhas could well be called
srotapanna. If it is not the case that those from the sakrdagamin stage up to the Buddha do
not possess the nature of the srotapanna, how could there be such as from sakrdagamin up to
the Buddha? All beings have two kinds of name, which are: 1) old, and 2) objective. As a
common mortal, one has a name of the secular world. When one has entered the Way, one is
called "srotapanna". When this is first gained, one is called srotapanna; gained later, one is
called sakrdagamin. Such a person is called srotapanna and sakrdagamin. The same is the case
with the Buddha, too.

...

"O good man! There are two kinds of stream, of which one is Emancipation and the other
Nirvana. All holy persons possess these, too, and they can be srotapannas and sakrdagamins.
The same also applies to the Buddha. O good man! The srotapanna can also be called a
Bodhisattva. Why? The Bodhisattva is none other than a person who is perfect in the "knowledge
of extinction" [i.e. the knowledge in which defilement is completely extinguished] and the
"knowledge of birthlessness" [i.e. the knowledge in which one is awake to the existence which is
birthlessness]. The sakrdagamin, too, seeks these two knowledges. Hence, one may know that
a person of the srotapanna stage can also be called a Bodhisattva. The sakrdagamin, too, can
be called one who is "enlightened". Why? Because he is enlightened regarding the darsanamarga
[i.e. the stage of practice in which one first enters the great sea of Truth] and cuts away
defilement, because he is correctly enlightened as to the law of causal relations, because he is
enlightened in the ways that are "common to all" and those which are "not common to all".
The same applies to the sakrdagamin up to arhatship.

..

"We say that a person goes off and then remains again. This can be compared to the
anagamin, who, having partaken of the food, abides there. There are two kinds of this anagamin.
One is he who has now attained the fruition of arhatship and, practising the Way still further,
gains the further fruition of the arhat . The other is he who greedily adheres to the
samadhi of silence of the world of form and non-form. This person is called an anagamin.
He does not gain a body from the world of desire. Of the anagamin, there are five kinds,
namely: 1) middle-grade Parinirvana, 2) carnal Parinirvana, 3) action Parinirvana, 4) actionless
Parinirvana, and 5) up-stream Parinirvana. There are six kinds. Of these, the five are as above,
and the sixth is the actual enjoyment of the fruition of Parinirvana. There are also seven kinds,
of which the six are as above and the seventh is the Parinirvana of the world of non-form.

..

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 2:20 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Hi Rist Ei,

Is this from the Chinese Tipitaka? I don't recall this in the Wisdom Edition Mahaparanibbana Sutta from the Pali Canon.

             jak

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 2:29 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Hi Ryan,

In a one month retreat I did at Spirit Rock several years ago, somewhere around the middle of the retreat I was in a very deep concentration state and I noticed a desire to continue living. It was not very big and evident, like the desire to eat when you're hungry, but it was definitely there. My mind sort of touched it. I talked with one of the teachers about it. I told her that I thought if that desire ever went away, I would probably die. She mentioned that the Buddha supposedly lost his desire to live about 3 months before he died. I don't recall this as being in the Mahaparanibbana Sutta, but it may be in the Vinaya, which I think has a parallel text about the Buddha's last days.

That would indicate, to me, that Arhats don't completely lose all desire. Maybe they just lose desire that is associated with the defilements, that are bound up with defining a self?

                             jak

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 2:50 PM as a reply to svmonk.
what i quoted is from different translator. You can find that copy on nirvanasutra.net

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 3:08 PM as a reply to svmonk.
To both Pal and SVMonk,

Not copping out, but I simply don't know. My way of thinking is applying Shinzen's system along with a few other systems and my own personal creative taste and practicing a lot without any end goals in mind. Like my Dragon Ball Z avatar Vegeta, I just plan to 'Keep powering up', or simply practicing technique. I honestly don't care about the end goal in as much as I care about being a meditative Jazz musician with meditation technique or lackthereof, hence my coinage of the word loving-playfulness.

I'm not an official Vajryana practitioner, but I suspect I'm a tantric Buddhist without teacher training, which means as far as desire goes I think it's just fine, just like joy, fear, love, anger, and so on are okay as long as one holds these sensations as they arise with neither clinging or aversion.

To summarize, my personal taste is treating meditation like my own musical symphony jam session and thus I just don't care about the end goal, in as much as I seem to be doing 'proper' technique and that in the long term my practice has benefits, which mine definitely has.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 3:42 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
I'm going to throw in a few suttas about the behaviour of an arahant:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.007.than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.041.vaka.html
 These suttas say Arahants can't break the 5 precepts. 

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html
[control over thoughts]

Hi Pal,

First, AN 9.7 has not been found in the agamas - so maybe Theravada - which is where Daniel is suggesting this stuff is coming from. In any case, it is widely regarded as saying that Arahats can’t have sex and other sorts of things - so seems to support the limited emotional model.

Some thoughts on it:
First, the target audience for this sutta is Arahat monks -not arahats in general.

The Buddha defines a monk as anyone that practices the dhamma and adheres to the vinaya or code of discipline. The main difference between an arahat and a monk who is an arahat is that the monk is committed to following the vinaya. And I think this is important here.

Imagine you are the Buddha. You have done all this work in creating the monastic communities in order to provide the best possible situation for men and women to become awakened. Then you come up with a test for them so they can be sure if they are an arahat - done what needs to be done and all that - just see if they can kill, have sex, etc. - the down side is if they fail the test (not an arahat) they have just violated the most serious rules in the vinaya and get kicked out for life from monkdom or nundom - thus denying them the best opportunity for awakening in this life.

Sounds stupid - doesn’t it? What kind of teacher would come up with something like this? I think  it is misunderstood.

The most serious rules - such that if you break them you are banished from being a monk for the rest of your life are intentional killing, stealing, sexual intercourse, and falsely claiming attainments while the next section in the vinaya following these rules is a section of 30 or so rules on storing up goods. In other words, four of the first five items in the list. The act of an intentional lie is the first rule in a list of 92 other rules further down. The entire list can be seen here: http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227.htm

There is a break between these first 5 items (that all fit vinaya rules) and the last four items that relate to following a bias based on desire, aversion, fear, and delusion. It is saying here that it is impossible to follow a bias based on desire, etc. - not that one will not experience them - just that you won’t get caught up in them.

So here is what this thing is saying in my view: An arahat who follows the vinaya is incapable of being overwhelmed by sensual desires such that they would violate the vinaya and more generally they would not be capable of getting caught up in things such that they would act unskillfully due to feelings of desire, aversion, fear, or delusion.

In MN 20 - I think this is what you are referring to?
“He thinks whatever thought he wants to, and doesn't think whatever thought he doesn't. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and — through the right penetration of conceit — has made an end of suffering and stress."

Earlier I wrote:  “The cutting of fetters that occurs at the various stages of awakening represent shifts in ones underlying experience that undermine the ability of the defilements to take hold of the mind and proliferate in the same old way’

Did you happen to read Giovanni's description of his experience? This is what the fetters model is pointing to. There is this series of shifts that occur. Each stage releases more.

It is not so much that one gains control over thoughts but rather that thoughts lose their power over you. When thoughts no longer control you - you pick them up or put them down as desired.

Gotta go but I covered 2 out of 3 - back later.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 4:20 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
if the ultimate goal of a human is Arhatship, and Arhats don't have sex, but they stay alive to teach others, with the ideal goal of awakening for all humans, is the goal of Theravada Buddhism to wipe the human race off the face of the planet? Life would certainly continue on, just no more humans because they all got enlightened and stopped having sex, that just seems like an outcome I myself wouldn't see as ideal.

As far as I can tell, the ultimate goal of humans is to have sex and eat lots of stuff. In the race to end humanity, the non-arahats are way out ahead.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/13/15 4:43 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Indeed ;p I'm not too worried about our hypothetical world domination scenario, just pointing out some immediate surface (meaning naive in conclusion/consequence) thoughts as a means to elucidate long term speculative goals. Or, basically my wording of what apparently Bill Hamilton called, "The cosmic suicide club".

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/14/15 12:19 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
That idea was what I supposed could be the difference between the two. But in my personal opinion, I see breathing, eating, and sex as different scale survival mechanisms. Each 3 are necessary for the continuation of life. If just one of them stops, then life stops at some point, either in 5 minutes, 15 days, or 70 years.

I'm not kidding when I say you could be right, I'm very open to the possibility of being wrong. It's just in my imagination I'm lead to the further following unrealistic supposition so don't take me too seriously: if the ultimate goal of a human is Arhatship, and Arhats don't have sex, but they stay alive to teach others, with the ideal goal of awakening for all humans, is the goal of Theravada Buddhism to wipe the human race off the face of the planet? Life would certainly continue on, just no more humans because they all got enlightened and stopped having sex, that just seems like an outcome I myself wouldn't see as ideal.

That is of course, an extreme scenario, but it's where the surface logic of it points to when I think about it.
I too, had though this out, if everyone was celibate, the race would die out.

Firstly, that will never happen, as far as I can see.

And as far as Arahant goes, Just remember the first time you sat and tried to meditate on the breath for even ten minutes, how many people even try to meditate once?game over.

Then how many people would just stop because they would think meditation is boring or whatever, game over.  

Then there are those who meditate, then stop for some reason or another, game over.

There are those who just meditate and gain some tranquility, and stop there, game over.

There are some who gain insight, then forget the insight, or do not integrate insight into their daily living, game over.

The list of wrong turns and exits goes on and on...  So,  It seems there may be many Paths up the Mountain, but they all seem to converge in the end.

But, I like your view, just keep practicing, The goal of no goal, sounds wrong on the surface, but it is so right.  You can not want Enlightenment, cuz then ya never get it, so they say...

But, even if we were to die off as a species, the Earth may breathe a sigh of relief, we have yet to prove ourselves as much more than a drilling, burning, siphoning, clawing, parasitic, multiplying form of DNA so far.  Though we may change as a species, we have not taken many steps in the right direction.

But as Chuck said, the main thing on most peoples minds is sex or candy. Or sex and candy? The human race is likened to preprogrammed automatons.  It is such a crazy situation one almost has to laugh.  Perhaps, we are just a more complex form of Trilobites.

Oh, and one more thought, evolution, if there is a gene that predispose people to becoming celibate Arahats, they will eventually vanish anyway through the process of evolution, as the Arahat predisosed peoples would tend to not reproduce and not pass along Arahat genetic tendencies, then we are only left with hornier and hornier humans, we surely are doomed either way, lol....  emoticon game over

Psi

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/14/15 9:58 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi,

I agree with you, and I'll add on another major factor which I don't think was mentioned, which is by it's nature most Buddhism isn't proselytized like Christianity or Islam. It typically doesn't spread like that because it's cultural nature is more letting people come to Buddhism vs sending missionaries across the globe as the first wave of colonization for some powerful state to colonize it later and exploit the shit out of said area. Actually, in hindsight I think there are Buddhist missionaries, but it also still isn't spread quite the same as something like Christianity is.

And thank you, I try to find ways to talk about practice that encourage the habit of practice and orientating the mind to doing it now, not hypothetical super enlightened Ryan years from now, which is why I phrased practice in my previous post so I'm perpetually excited to do the practice in a sense.

Anyways I want to leave it here to not get off topic as SVMonk and Pal want to talk about the 10 fetters, and this is a product of a few of my whimsical thoughts!

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
4/17/15 8:51 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

The texts also say even wilder things, like pain being minimized, total control of all thought, and the like.
I don't think these are wilder things.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
6/18/15 6:04 PM as a reply to svmonk.
An anecdote:
I sat my first longish retreat (60 days) a few months back. It was at a Mahasi center in Asia, straight orthodox Theravada but the center was structured for Westerners, taught by monastic disciples of U Pandita.  At one of the dhamma talks I asked a question regarding metta practice in relation to the 4 stage/fetters model of enlightenment: if hatred is fully uprooted at third path (Anāgāmī) what is the function of metta practice for an Anāgāmī or Arhat? 

The answer was that metta practice is completely unnecessary for an Anāgāmī, they have no need for metta practice as they do not experience hatred.

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
6/18/15 9:08 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan J:
It's just in my imagination I'm lead to the further following unrealistic supposition so don't take me too seriously: if the ultimate goal of a human is Arhatship, and Arhats don't have sex, but they stay alive to teach others, with the ideal goal of awakening for all humans, is the goal of Theravada Buddhism to wipe the human race off the face of the planet? Life would certainly continue on, just no more humans because they all got enlightened and stopped having sex, that just seems like an outcome I myself wouldn't see as ideal.

That is of course, an extreme scenario, but it's where the surface logic of it points to when I think about it.
To continue in that vein, it is supposed to take hundreds of lifetimes or so to become enlightened.  That means, by conventional math, for every enlightened one, there would be hundreds of lifetimes of humans around that have not made it yet and could still breed.  ;-P  Either that or in the future, we could just use test tubes!
-Eva 

RE: Ten Fetters Path?
Answer
6/18/15 9:33 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Daniel M. Ingram:

The texts also say even wilder things, like pain being minimized, total control of all thought, and the like.
I don't think these are wilder things.
Yeah, I was going to say the same thing.  For the pain one, that is already done via hypnosis.  Ordinary people have whole surgeries under hypnosis with no pain killers and they are happy as a clam and relaxed the whole time.  No reason to think it can't be done via self suggestion too, in fact, one would expect it should be doable. 

For the control of thoughts, maybe they are just talking about no longer having jealousy, anxiety, etc, ie you don't have thoughts you don't want to have..
-Eva