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The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path

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The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/24/13 2:50 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Robin Woods 1/24/13 2:44 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path John P 1/24/13 3:13 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Simon T. 1/25/13 10:11 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/25/13 1:24 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/25/13 2:05 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/25/13 2:13 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Simon T. 1/25/13 2:49 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/25/13 3:12 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Daniel M. Ingram 1/25/13 2:48 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Russell . 1/25/13 4:10 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Daniel M. Ingram 1/25/13 5:10 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Robin Woods 1/25/13 6:21 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Ona Kiser 1/25/13 7:08 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Daniel M. Ingram 1/27/13 3:46 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Ona Kiser 1/27/13 4:12 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Daniel M. Ingram 1/27/13 9:26 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Joshua, the solitary 1/27/13 6:19 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/28/13 9:07 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Russell . 1/25/13 7:08 PM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/26/13 7:29 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Joshua, the solitary 1/26/13 9:26 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Shashank Dixit 1/26/13 9:12 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Joshua, the solitary 1/26/13 9:27 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Shashank Dixit 1/26/13 9:36 AM
RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path Fitter Stoke 1/26/13 10:49 AM
It seems that at some point over the last few years (before my time, though after 2009), some (most?) people decided that technical/MCTB 4th path =/= Arahant. It seems like Daniel no longer believes they're equivalent. So, two questions:

  1. First one aimed at Daniel, if you’re reading: What led you to believe that what you attained at 4th path was equivalent with what’s called “Arahant” in the texts? How did this become the model of what Enlightenment is when there are so many other models saying different things, even/especially in Theravada?
  2. What set of experiences led you (general “you” now) to conclude that 4th path is not the same thing as Arahant?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/24/13 2:44 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Brilliant question. I wish I'd thought of this....

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/24/13 3:13 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
As far as I know, that's where people say "there are different axes, and they do not progress equally or at the same time".

I would say that MCTB 4th Path would be to master the Insight training, and achieve Right View and probably Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration from the Noble Eightfold Path.
While an Arahant as pointed out by the suttas would probably have mastered the 3 training and the noble eighfold path.

Well, anyway there are a lot of models of enlightenment listed in MCTB, you should check them out if you haven't already.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 10:11 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
I hope someday there will be an hurricane ranch dialogue take 2 to discuss that matter, something like the discussion between Tarin and Daniel. The first dialogue was more about how to get there but it was somewhat implied that they all get to the same place. Kenneth Folk stated at some other time that there is no confusion about it. This is the path of the Buddha. Done what had to be done. Was Laozi or Saint-John The Cross at the same point of the Buddha? Those guys are dead and we will never know. Gurus through history have spoken words that we need to connect but never had much interaction. We live in a time when those discussions can happen much more easily. It's unfortunate that we don't see it happening that much.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 1:24 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
I hope someday there will be an hurricane ranch dialogue take 2 to discuss that matter, something like the discussion between Tarin and Daniel. The first dialogue was more about how to get there but it was somewhat implied that they all get to the same place. Kenneth Folk stated at some other time that there is no confusion about it. This is the path of the Buddha. Done what had to be done. Was Laozi or Saint-John The Cross at the same point of the Buddha? Those guys are dead and we will never know. Gurus through history have spoken words that we need to connect but never had much interaction. We live in a time when those discussions can happen much more easily. It's unfortunate that we don't see it happening that much.


Thank you for the thoughtful, relevant reply, Simon.

If 4th path isn't Arahantship, then what is it? It's not even Sakadagami in the 10-fetters model; yet, according to Kenneth's new model, Sakadagami is not far from technical 4th path.

I'm really curious to know why it was ever interpreted as Arahant in the first place. And I'd also like to know about the discovery process that led to it being renamed "technical/MCTB 4th path".

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 2:05 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Fitter Stoke:
If 4th path isn't Arahantship, then what is it? It's not even Sakadagami in the 10-fetters model; yet, according to Kenneth's new model, Sakadagami is not far from technical 4th path.

I'm really curious to know why it was ever interpreted as Arahant in the first place.

You would have to ask Daniel. As far as I know, he still considers what he's got to be Arahantship as the Buddha taught (and he considers actual freedom to be something outside of that teaching).

Fitter Stoke:
And I'd also like to know about the discovery process that led to it being renamed "technical/MCTB 4th path".

The introduction of actual freedom to this community had a lot to do with that reinterpretation. Here was something better than Arahantship (Daniel called it "Arahat+"), but Arahantship is supposed to be the best you can get... therefore the old Arahatship became in many people's eyes "technical/MCTB 4th path" and now there's talk of a new one (though it's supposedly an 'old one', called "10-fetter" or "sutta" Arahatship to demonstrate legitimacy).

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 2:13 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Fitter Stoke:
If 4th path isn't Arahantship, then what is it? It's not even Sakadagami in the 10-fetters model; yet, according to Kenneth's new model, Sakadagami is not far from technical 4th path.

I'm really curious to know why it was ever interpreted as Arahant in the first place.

You would have to ask Daniel. As far as I know, he still considers what he's got to be Arahantship as the Buddha taught (and he considers actual freedom to be something outside of that teaching).


I was not aware of this! I know that Kenneth now refers to it as "technical 4th path" to differentiate it from Arahantship, and perhaps I misinterpreted a remark by Daniel somewhere here to imply he makes a similar differentiation. Hopefully he'll chime in and clear this up.

Fitter Stoke:
And I'd also like to know about the discovery process that led to it being renamed "technical/MCTB 4th path".

The introduction of actual freedom to this community had a lot to do with that reinterpretation. Here was something better than Arahantship (Daniel called it "Arahat+"), but Arahantship is supposed to be the best you can get... therefore the old Arahatship became in many people's eyes "technical/MCTB 4th path" and now there's talk of a new one (though it's supposedly an 'old one', called "10-fetter" or "sutta" Arahatship to demonstrate legitimacy).


Okay. Interesting to know that the introduction of AF had that effect. I've read a ton of the old threads in this community to get an idea of what happened, but there's so much that it's difficult to piece it all together.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 2:49 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Fitter Stoke:
according to Kenneth's new model, Sakadagami is not far from technical 4th path.


Do you have a link of to this statement? Does Kenneth now consider Buddha-certified Arahanship to be something different than technical 4th?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 2:48 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
I myself have never used the term technical 4th, and I am not sure where it originated.

Lots of people, even those in this community, use the terms discussed here in many different ways, and they tend to get loosely applied a lot of the time.

I am currently thinking about the models very differently from the general way presented in MCTB, in case anyone is asking, with an increased appreciation of the basic concept, expressed in MCTB, that there are many axes of development, and the assumption that they will all occur simultaneously in a very specified sequence often not reflecting what actually happens in the wild.

That said, the language is still in use, and I use it sometimes also these days, for better or for worse, though I am trying to get away from it more and more, as it causes a lot of trouble, and there seem to be many layers to the thing that often surprise people when they show up unexpectedly when they thought they had something totally nailed, as happened to me many, many times over many years, as noted in MCTB.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

Some people use Technical or MCTB 4th to mean the general feeling that they are done, with that feeling of doneness being the primary criteria. Kenneth Folk, the primary proponent of this particular meaning, was just here at Hurricane Ranch working on his book, and we had long discussions about this, with me advocating for this not to be the primary thrust of the term, and him thinking that the feeling of doneness was of primary importance. I argued for the following as being more along the lines of what I considered relevant: an undifferentiated field of selfless causality doing its natural thing with no sense of center-point, doer, controller, perceiver, or agent of any kind. Anyway, experts clearly disagree, and so long as people qualify how they are using the term, I am not sure it matters, or does it? Actually, it probably does, so back to the drawing board...

As posted in an earlier thread, I think a more nuanced model that allows for flexibility and many areas of development and evolution of the practitioner in time is going to be what we end up with, following something like a more medical model of all of this.

For instance, when I am admitting a patient from the emergency department and speak on the phone with my consulting/admitting hospitalist, I don't just say, "Mrs. Jones has pneumonia, admit her."

Instead, I might say, "Mrs. Jones is a 75 year-old female with pneumonia who needs admission. She has mild emphysema, diet-controlled diabetes, hypertension and a previous case of pneumonia 3 years ago. She was just admitted to the hospital 3 weeks ago for a right hip replacement by Dr. Smith. Her primary care doctor is Dr. Brown, for whom you admit. She had been recovering well at home for 3 days after 2 weeks in a rehab facility who presented with shortness of breath, fever to 102.1, a blood pressure of 102/45, a heart rate of 120, and an pulse ox of 89% on room air. She was found to have bilateral patchy infiltrates on chest x-ray, a white count of 17.5 with 92% neuts and 3% bands, platelets are a bit elevated 580, has mild anemia, a glucose of 216, a normal urinalysis, a sodium that was just a bit low at 131, normal potassium, mild dehydration with a BUN of 25 and a Cr of 1.2. She improved after 1L of normal saline IV fluids, with her blood pressure coming up to 110/58, and we gave her levaquin 750mg IV, doripenem 500mg IV, and vancomycin 1g IV, given her low blood pressure, concern for sepsis, and recent extensive health-care exposure raising concern for resistant organisms. Her hip wound is healing well without erythema. Her breathing responded well to one hour of albuterol and atrovent nebulized, and she should probably go to the RCU."

In the same way, of some practitioner I might say, "Mrs. Jones is a 35 year-old female with about 9 months of retreat time total, mostly Goenka, Mahasi, but also a bit of Soto Zen and Dzogchen, who has been practicing for 16 years total with a good daily practice. She also practiced in a mixed Wiccan/Golden Dawn-influenced magickal tradition in the past and still does on occasion. She has 4 jhanas most of the time in daily life and can get real formless jhanas on retreat up to the 8th reliably after a week of practice to warm up and occasionally in the height of Equanimity during new cycles. She has attained to what she thinks is Nirodha Samapatti 4 times with heavy afterglow and proper set up, again on retreat. Her current practice focuses on meditation at all times in daily life, and integrating what she thinks of as ultimate and relative perspectives. By her report she is now walking around mostly in a field that appears mostly without boundaries, but still at points catches glimpses of formed patterns that clearly have some tinge of a sense of identification and separateness to them sometimes, and debunking these are what she considers her cutting edge of practice. She easily attains to Fruitions up to a few per day in daily life when in Review phases, and has gone through what feels like an insight cycle every 2-3 months for the last 3 or so years. When in the A&P phase she has a high degree of talent for out of body travel, something she started practicing as a teenager. She also feels she can at times see auras and subtly manipulate her own and others energetic fields. She has had a few prognosticative dreams of uncanny accuracy, none in the last two years. She just crossed the A&P last about 6 days ago, and is currently struggling a bit in Re-Observation, but bleed-through is minimal, her having easily identified this phase from long familiarity with it, and her job as a physical therapist is going well despite a relatively large amount of daily practice, about 2-3 hours/day of sitting at this point, which at this time is making her feel a bit edgy, though nothing nearly as bad as it used to during this phase, and she is confident she will hit Equanimity any time now. She is planning a retreat of 2 weeks duration at the Forest Refuge in 4 months, with her goal being total field integration. She also practices Bikram yoga in a hot studio 3 times/week and finds it very helpful, something she has done on and off for 5 years. She has noticed a marked increase in her emotional balance and ease after a major shift about 5 months ago that she has no good name for, as it doesn't seem to correlate that well with any standard map. The benefits of that shift have held up well in the face of some recent family stressors, with clear and automatic improvement in the way she processed old triggers by her parents. She does occasionally suffer from insomnia, but uses the time to meditate. She also volunteers occasionally at the local art museum front desk and occasionally paints water colors, and she was actually painting when her last major breakthrough occurred and considers it part of her practice. She has a small local sangha, mostly of mixed practitioners, many of whom are also members of her yoga studio. She teaches informally through Skype on occasion."

Here is a repost of the thread content, as somehow I can't find the original thread:

"A large number of recent conversations with relatively talented practitioners revolved around various things that practice had done to everyone, and what the similarities and differences were. These conversations mercifully weren't along the lines of, "Yeah, I'm an MCTB Arahat," or whatever, and instead focused on the phenomenology, which is always more fun and straightforward anyway, and is often less politically charged, it seems.

Basically, the attempts of the conversations were either consciously less so (but the effect was the same) to put the member of the groups discussing this on a virtual grid something like this.

On one axis you have those discussing what they can do and what they have attained.

On the other axis, you have something like this, in no particular order:

Agency: completely gone, even more completely gone, sometimes completely gone, at times has been completely gone, is somewhat attenuated, is occasionally attenuated, is still quite present.

Panoramic Perspective: how well does the concept of panoramic perspectives describe your practice and how has this changed?

Dreams: did you dream before and do you dream now and how are they the same or different? Have you lucid dreamed and how has this changed with practice?

Traveling: have you ever and can you still travel out of body, with what degree of regularity and control, duration, etc? Can you do it from waking or do you have to start in a lucid dream? Can you come back to body being fully awake or do you have to come back to a dream? etc.

Sleep: do you need more, less, or what, if anything, is different.

Visualization ability: same, different, there, not there, or what?

Cycling: do you cycle through the insight stages or something like them, and did you cycle before, and what it is it like now and how has it changed?

Fruitions: have you ever attained them, can you attain them now, did you ever have the notion that they had duration of any kind (either experienced or not experienced), how many could you at your best attain/day and how rapidly from inclination to them happening, can you get multiple back to back, etc.?

Subject/Observer: seems to be localized, seems diffuse, seems gone some of the time, seems utterly and completely gone, or what?

Affect: do you still have the internal feeling of feelings, and if so is anything different about the way you experience them?

Similarly: Affect triggers: is there anything different about how stimuli that would have at some point in the past (and perhaps now) have triggered feelings are reacted to and if so, what is different, if anything, and how has this changed?

External Affect: do people still perceive you to have feeling and, if so, how has this changed as a result of practice, if at all?

Formed Jhanas: did you ever have and do you still have jhanas, and if so, which ones and how developed (stability, duration, rapidity of access, various objects, etc.)?

Formless Realms: did you ever have they and do you still have them, and if so, how developed were/are they (with formed/bodily phenomena somewhat present, very present, subtle or gone or what, stability, access, duration, etc.)?

Brahma Viharas: have you practiced them, and could you stay with the phrases, feel the actual feelings, take them to their ultimate jhanas (3rd or 4th, depending) and how has this changed with time?

Powers: did you ever have any, do you still have them or can you access them, and if so how often, how easily, what conditions required, etc.? How has your interpretation of those experiences varied with time?

Energetics: have you ever perceived energetic stuff (vibrations, chakras, energy channels, etc.) and could you ever manipulate them, and can you now and what conditions would be required to do that?

Nirodha Samapatti: do you think you have ever attained it, which version did you attain (NS Lite: sense of duration/experience still somehow present, or NS Deluxe: experience and everything else utterly gone), can you still attain it, do you have any notion of how long the attainment has been able to last (either by external or internal reference) and what conditions would be required for you to do that?

Suffering: what is suffering like for you now on any level and how do you describe it? What causes the mind to be disturbed, if anything?

Memory: has practice changed your memory of events in any way and if so how?

Visual Field: anything different about it, or any other sense door, for that matter?

Relationships with others: has practice changed the way you related to others and if so how, assuming the ability to generalize this very complex topic?

Compassion: do you feel compassion, and, if so, how has practice changed it if at all or your understanding of what compassion is?

Peace: is your mind more or less peaceful or what and how has this changed with time?

Ethics: has your practice changed your concept of morality and ethics, and if so, how and how has this evolved with time?

Task Fatigue: has meditation practice changed your ability to stay on tasks with less fatigue in any way?

Silence: do you perceive your mind as silent and if so when/how often?

Thoughts: how has meditation practice changed what thoughts do and how often you perceive them to occur?

Time: anything interesting about it?

There are probably a bunch more things that could be placed on this grid, but those are some of the more common ones that have been bandied about recently, and these sorts of conversations turn out to be so much more fun than trying to shoehorn people into very narrow concepts such as single path names and the like, as it turns out that there is all sorts of variability in how people respond to those questions even among people who claim the same crudely labeled attainments.

While these could end up looking a bit like a character sheet from D&D (for those old enough to remember what that was), the effect is a much more nuanced and productive discussion of exactly what people are experiencing and it also leads nicely to all sorts of fascinating practice discussions, I have found.

This is actually a setup for a more sophisticated discussion of the goal and promises of practice and what is possible and how developments may occur in a non-parallel fashion sometimes, as well as terms such as "enlightenment", which, given that the level of discussion is now at this much more nuanced level, seem paltry by comparison."

See the difference?

Daniel

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 3:12 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
Do you have a link of to this statement? Does Kenneth now consider Buddha-certified Arahanship to be something different than technical 4th?


There was a thread on the Wetpaint version of KFD (which is now nuked) where Kenneth said that his stage 6 (1 stage above MCTB 4th path) seemed to match up with 10-fetters Sakadagami.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 4:10 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Bravo Daniel

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 5:10 PM as a reply to Russell ..
Thanks.

Here is a fragment from MCTB2 in its rough form that I was just working on recently.

"The Problems with Most Current and Former Models

There are large numbers of problems with many of the models of meditative development that we have inherited from the past as well as those we are creating today. I will get right to the point and list the major problems and then spend some time flushing them out:

1. Some models assume predictable linear development, such that if you attain this, next you will attain that, and so on, with this and that being very specifically defined. I call this the Linear Fallacy. It is not that there aren’t some truths in these models, but there are generally problems as well.

2. Some models assume that if you attain or understand one thing, you will automatically attain or understand something else which might be entirely unrelated, something I call the Package Fallacy. It is not that packages of abilities and understandings don’t occur, as they definitely do, but most Package Models presume it will always happen that way.

3. Some models assume that if you can perceive or do something now that you will always be able to (at least until you die, that is in most models that don’t assume that realizations carry on into the “next life”.) I call this the Permanence Fallacy. It is not that there aren’t some very long-lasting and resilient transformations that can occur, but some of these models have problems that I will touch on in a bit.

4. Some models assume that if you attain to something you will automatically describe it in certain ways. I call this the Descriptive Fallacy.

5. Some models assume that if you attain to something you will automatically know you have attained it, what it is, what it does, and what it means. I call this the Diagnostic Fallacy. It is in many ways related to the Descriptive Fallacy.

6. Some models assume that there is only one endpoint that is a valid or final or ultimate endpoint and that it will look a certain way. I call this the Final Fallacy, or, as my friend Kenneth Folk calls it, Pernicious Convergence, meaning that all roads lead to some specific final point if you take them all far enough, and this is not referring to that obvious endpoint, namely death, as least not in some models...

It is worth noting that I have fallen victim to believing all of these fallacies to some degree at some point, though now don’t totally believe any of them. Exactly how these Fallacies do and don’t apply is complicated. The problem is that many of them are getting at something that can happen sometimes or something that is at least partly true with some qualifiers at points. I will illustrate this by way of specific examples now.

The Linear Fallacy is probably the most pernicious of them all. Most models that are not single shot models (meaning models that are not Total Package Models, in which everything that you could every know and do is gained all at once in one big “Zap!”) involve some aspect of the Linear Fallacy. The Four Path Model, the Tibetan Five Path Model, the Bhumi Model, and many others all involve this one to some degree. The problem is not that they are not getting at something that may have some value as a model, as many of them have some specific merits at times with many qualifiers..."

Anyway, much more work to do on that.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 6:21 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I don't mean to talk out of turn here, but what happened to the Daniel who said this stuff is way more clear-cut, straightforward and reproducible than anything he encountered in medicine?

Don't the over-simplified models at least give beginners like myself some sense of what they're aiming towards? of what might be possible?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 7:08 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I was just discussing this sort of thing with some friends, and noting that St. Teresa pointed out that the process of "perfection" in the Christian contemplative tradition *typically* follows a pretty predictable path, but that she had noted cases where it didn't. For example one is supposed to first do long preliminary practices that purify the soul of sinful tendencies and cultivate detachment from worldly things and train virtuous behavior, after which one will usually begin to experience certain deep meditative states that were characteristic of more advanced contemplatives. However she met cases where people who were a right mess morally or very inexperienced quite suddenly began to experience these deep states, without the preliminary practices, or after only a few months of practice, though it was fairly rare.

It is interesting that there's a tendency of many more experienced yogis to lose interest in the rigid linear mapping stuff after a certain point. I imagine this is (as Robin pointed out) a bit startling and frustrating to those who are really attached to the simple logic and clear list of goals and methods that got them started bothering with all this stuff. Which should yield some very interesting discussion.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/25/13 7:08 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Wow, this is even more useful and comforting for me now than ever. Thank you Daniel. I can't wait to see the whole book.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 7:29 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for sharing all this. Much food for thought.

Do you think you and Kenneth achieved the same state of being at "4th path"? Or to put it another way, what is there in common between what you achieved and what Kenneth achieved (based upon your discussions with him)?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 9:12 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
I wonder why wouldn't we just go and talk to some meditation masters in monasteries and get their opinion ?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 9:26 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel, I know your writings on magick to do with paradigms and fields of disbelief, but I think it would be nice if in your new book you could comment on the fourth jhanic powers as described in the vimmutimaga (same kind of thing with Patanjalis powers section). What I got from reading some of your writings is that you would say these things are actually possible, right? If you don't take Those parts literally then what would you say their use would be? Or do you perhaps consider them to be possible but haven't practised your concentration to that level? Would you have to practise jhana all day long for decades to have a chance at levitation, or is that the trade off?

Joshua

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 9:27 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Shashank Dixit:
I wonder why wouldn't we just go and talk to some meditation masters in monasteries and get their opinion ?


It breaks the precepts to speak of attainment.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 9:36 AM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
Joshua zuJa:
Shashank Dixit:
I wonder why wouldn't we just go and talk to some meditation masters in monasteries and get their opinion ?


It breaks the precepts to speak of attainment.


Agreed, but no need to ask for personal attainments. Questions can be framed in such a way :-

Does an Arahat ever experience nervousness , anxiety , love , lust , anger etc ?

instead of asking directly like this :-

Do you ever experience nervousness , anxiety , love , lust , anger etc ?

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/26/13 10:49 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Shashank Dixit:
Joshua zuJa:
Shashank Dixit:
I wonder why wouldn't we just go and talk to some meditation masters in monasteries and get their opinion ?


It breaks the precepts to speak of attainment.


Agreed, but no need to ask for personal attainments. Questions can be framed in such a way :-

Does an Arahat ever experience nervousness , anxiety , love , lust , anger etc ?

instead of asking directly like this :-

Do you ever experience nervousness , anxiety , love , lust , anger etc ?


But that's not the topic under discussion. We're talking about the nature of what's called "MCTB/technical 4th path". Since I've never heard of such an attainment being discussed by a monk, I have no idea why a monk would have anything of value to offer on that subject.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/27/13 3:46 PM as a reply to Ona Kiser.
Regarding clear goals, maps as things go on, and linearity, as Ona mentioned, well, it does get complicated.

From zero to stream entry: really easy to map, really straightforward, at least from this perspective.

Early middle paths: not quite as easy to map, but close, and moderately straightforward.

And then, a Bill Hamilton always used to warn us, things get complicated. It is like there is this geometric increase in the complexity of the thing as you go, such that one sees more and more of a fractal that the more you see of it, the more complicated and vast it becomes.

And finally, there can be a totally different of axis of simplicity that one finds in all that, something unrelated to fractals, stages, states, etc.

And then.... and then....

So, in case anyone is asking, I recommend getting to that level, however you define it, and many here, as mentioned above, tend to define it very differently. I obviously like my definition, others like theirs, whatever.

The point is that from there, if you look around and are honest and get enough data points and explore and talk with enough people over long enough periods of time, if you are like me and the vast majority of the people I have talked with about this stuff, you realize that what people have done to their brains through their own unique fusion of their methods, in that specific dose, in that specific order, with their own idiosyncratic emphases and blind spots, applied to their own unique underlying makeup and with their own particular talents and weaknesses and wiring, produces a very wide range, a range that remains dynamic as their own continued journey unfolds.

They see things they didn't develop well and try to develop them, they leave off previous things they developed but at that time they consider more peripheral and so those skill-sets wane, they readjust their perspectives on their own past in light of their current paradigms, potentially reinterpreting experiences in light of whatever they are currently perceiving and being influenced by and what they are currently paying more attention to and what they have encountered that they then wish to learn from and emulate to enhance their current way of being and understanding, as there are so many fronts to develop, so many lessons to learn, so many depths to which these things can be taken (remember the 4 Imponderables: one is the depths of meditation), and so it goes, and it gets complicated, and I am sorry about that, but that is, at least from this vantage point, very much more interesting, though some experts would disagree with me on this, I admit.

I am currently much more interested in learning about the wide range of what one finds in the wild than fitting everything into boxes that I currently find insufficiently nuanced to delineate what I already know about in myself and many others, and I think that once the descriptive science is better, we can come up with more sophisticated patterns, realizing that every now and they we are likely to encounter something that simply doesn't fit in any of our boxes well, and hopefully we will find that more exciting that threatening.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/27/13 4:12 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel - your posts on this thread have been really interesting to me. Thanks for sharing your current perspective.

You do get an award for really long sentences, though. emoticon

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/27/13 9:26 PM as a reply to Ona Kiser.
It's funny that one of the things that really annoys me about Dickens is his really long, whole-paragraph sentences, and yet I find myself doing the exact same thing. Odd, that.

D

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
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1/27/13 6:19 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Lovely post Daniel! I imagine if the day came where I was going down a fractal spiral, it would be to the depths of tripping balls, purely mentally induced.

RE: The Meaning of Technical/MCTB 4th Path
Answer
1/28/13 9:07 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I am currently much more interested in learning about the wide range of what one finds in the wild than fitting everything into boxes that I currently find insufficiently nuanced to delineate what I already know about in myself and many others, and I think that once the descriptive science is better, we can come up with more sophisticated patterns, realizing that every now and they we are likely to encounter something that simply doesn't fit in any of our boxes well, and hopefully we will find that more exciting that threatening.


This in some ways reflects or is related to my observation that awakening takes shape in the context of a personality. Really, thinking about this stuff in terms of "the emotions" is too abstract as compared with what it's actually like, which is more like what you're describing.