A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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Pam Seeback
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A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by Pam Seeback » Mon May 08, 2017 1:10 am

Buddhist logic vis a vis the nature of reality is, in my books, second to none. Recently I discovered the existence of the Buddhist text "Abhidhamma", an in depth look at the four ultimate realities of (citta) mind or consciousness, (cetasika) the conditioned mental factors that arise and occur along with mind or consciousness, (rupa) physical phenomena or material form and Nibbana, the unconditioned state of the Buddhist's goal. From Wiki: "Abhidhamma has been variously described as philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics. L. S. Cousins says that the Abhidhamma methodology looks at things in terms of occasions or events instead of sequences or processes."

The seven books of the Abhidhamma are a dry and laborious read which is why they are most often first studied via commentaries and compendiums written by scholarly monks. Currently I am studying just such a summation entitled "Handbook of Abhidhamma Studies" by Venerable Sayādaw U Sīlānanda (free online pdf). Thus far, for me, studying this easy-to-read handbook has made me realize just how cloudy was my understanding of conventional and ultimate truths. If all I walk away with after studying this handbook is a deeper understanding of the two truths, I shall consider myself most fortunate.

Is anyone here familiar with the Abhidhamma, either directly or via commentaries/compendiums?
Last edited by Pam Seeback on Mon May 22, 2017 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Wisdom deepening, a helpful Buddhist text

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Fri May 19, 2017 5:39 am

Pam Seeback wrote:Thus far, for me, studying this easy-to-read handbook has made me realize just how cloudy was my understanding of conventional and ultimate truths.
Is it possible to give an example of a passage or chapter which in particular made you realize something more in depth?

Here's a direct link to the material Handbook of Abhidhamma Studies. Volume I - III by Sayadaw U Sīlānanda.

It appears to me as extremely void of life, indeed like a chemistry class, as indeed the good man spoke of H2O in comparison with just the water, like some materialistic version of spiritual thought, where random divisions become some kind of prayer wheel, some rosemary or astrology -- a system to get by, so to speak.

Normally I'd stress people to stay away from this. But you have studied it recently so any eye opener perhaps you can share?

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Re: Wisdom deepening, a helpful Buddhist text

Post by Pam Seeback » Sun May 21, 2017 2:27 am

Hi Diebert,

First of all, I agree, the commentary of the text is very dry which for me, is its great benefit/purpose. Like all clinical wisdom texts, it presents ultimate reality as it truthfully is, as an impersonal force or causality, making real to the reader that it is human conventional reality (names) that causes bias toward form. One thing that hit home for me in the text (a great relief!) was the truth that although ultimate reality is free of bias because it is free of names, consciousness, by nature, is bias/name-dependent.

While such dry texts of causality can help drive home the unbiased nature of ultimate reality and the biased nature of conventional (thinking conscious) reality, my experience is that it is unwise to take literally the content presented in such texts. For example, in the Abhidhamma, 17 moments of cognition causality are identified. Since the intellect itself is caused, it is logical to conclude that it lacks the capability to count the components of its causality. Perhaps there are those who are so advanced in insight meditation that counting causes and conditions is a reality and I am just not 'there yet.' Who knows, but for me, the ultimate question is, what's the point?

I am one third the way through the first commentary. I have taken a break from the dryness. :-) Perhaps I will return, perhaps I won't. What is interesting is that I am now reading its direct contrast, an old faithful book of Rumi's love poetry. It seems as if I my conventional-object-drug of choice for now is, as it has been for the past 25 years, mystical love.

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Re: Wisdom deepening, a helpful Buddhist text

Post by Pam Seeback » Mon May 22, 2017 10:49 pm

Diebert, it has come to me that the named reality of logic, emotion and senses, the biased reality of relativity is the (caused) reality of self, of subjectivity, the world of the I. Not a new thought, but what is new (to me) is the solidifying of the logical truth that as awareness of the nameless causality expands, awareness of the subjective, relative, named self (exponentially) contracts (or is absorbed).

As I see it, the role of mystical love is to be the support 'form' of the subjective self as it is absorbed of the nameless. This now is how I see the purpose of the the writings of sufi mystics such as Rumi. I cannot say whether or not absorption of the self is the destiny of all selves, only that it is mine, and that if it is my destiny, it is also the destiny of others. For these selves of absorption, of mystical love, I write my truth.

I realize that for those who understand the self of definition, of concreteness to be the All, self-absorption sounds like attachment to the philosophies of nihilism or annihilation, but neither is true. Absorption of the finite self by the infinite is not nihilism because, for the mystic-in-love, it is the ultimate meaning of the formation of self. In other words, If the self were not formed, mystical love would not be formed. Absorption of the finite self is not annihilation because the finite self is caused of the infinite causality.

I can also understand why being in mystical love is not interesting to the intellectual, defining, 'fighting for life' passionate self. Which is why, as I see it, mystical love does not belong to the realm of genius, at least not in the sense of forming detailed worldly causal connections as is usually believed to be the definition of genius. Again, the mystic does not deny the passionate, genius-striving, distinction-making self, once it too was he/she, rather, the mystic realizes it is not the be All of Existence and when it is done, it is done. Perhaps the mystic has its own brand of genius, that of expressing and living an all encompassing love for all of the selves of the World.

Because of the direction this post has taken, I have changed the title to reflect this change. Perhaps studying the Abhidhamma was the tipping point of finally accepting as my truth (for which I speak for others like me) the mystical path of self-absorption, perhaps not, who can say for sure? However, it grew from this thread so it shall remain here.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Wisdom deepening, a helpful Buddhist text

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Fri May 26, 2017 8:49 pm

Pam Seeback wrote: I can also understand why being in mystical love is not interesting to the intellectual, defining, 'fighting for life' passionate self. Which is why, as I see it, mystical love does not belong to the realm of genius, at least not in the sense of forming detailed worldly causal connections as is usually believed to be the definition of genius. Again, the mystic does not deny the passionate, genius-striving, distinction-making self, once it too was he/she, rather, the mystic realizes it is not the be All of Existence and when it is done, it is done. Perhaps the mystic has its own brand of genius, that of expressing and living an all encompassing love for all of the selves of the World.
It sounds a lot like you're just saying here that your brand of genius is more mystical, deeper and encompassing than the "usual" one, whatever that might be referring to beyond something more intellectual and worldly connected.

Since this is called the Genius forum, it would be best to point out that by definition, the highest genius is the deepest, most encompassing and defining elevation possible. If something can be called mystical or not would normally be linked to the observer perspective. It could just mean "intuitive" or "inspired" just as it could mean hearing voices or clinging to ritual and the phraseology of "mystical language", designed to be impenetrable and therefore beyond reproach.

As far as your post goes, to me it sounds like you're mainly affirming interest into the actual topic of this forum, or perhaps increasingly discovering what it was supposed to mean, while at the same time you remain as well in some oppositional frame: rejecting any intellectual, dirty, difficult imperfect dialogue in favor of ritualistic sounding celebration of a "direct knowing" -- or is it just an exercise in "you can't touch me"?

In any case, there's nothing specific to oppose to what you wrote beyond it looking like a bit like some convoluted expression of ones appreciation of genius as mover, shaker and stillness.

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by jufa » Sat May 27, 2017 4:41 am

For me, I find the Abhidhamma text, from what I read "is the Higher Teaching of the Buddha.
"It expounds the quintessence of His profound doctrine and deals with the Ultimate Truth."
There is the rub, for it is of the Buddha's (applicable directly only to Him by experience, which cannot only be recognized relatively by others) learning which is objectified while being subjective to dual events (birth & death) through sentient analyzation which is totally dependent upon the 5 human senses.

People makes decision concerning their lives second by second. The universe is structured for analyzation of its thoughts. The issue is not that people do not seek to find themselves introspectively, as the Abhidhamma text teaches from a partial experience, it is what is the use when those, such as the one participating in this subject, who (my assumption) claim they have a clear perception of themselves cannot demonstrate "mortality must be swallowed up of life."

When mortal man boast of their penetration into their depth, they see nothing but the back of their heads. And let it be told, they do not escape the inevitability of human struggles and suffering, nor any of "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" the circle of humanism demand for all sentient beings. In the depth and heights we see the many personalities we wear, but in finality, we die of one.

Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength - jufa

Pam Seeback
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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by Pam Seeback » Sun May 28, 2017 1:11 am

Truth must be analyzed for oneself. Wisdom texts help in this process of truth discovery, they inspire, they suggest, they point. Your signature is an example of a truth you discovered and are now sharing with the world. No different than the Buddha, the author of the Abhidhamma commentary and myself. Your interpretation of boasting is not a truth.

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by jufa » Sun May 28, 2017 2:21 am

Pam states"
Truth must be analyzed for oneself.
which is what I have stated in my post concerning what The Buddha did. And of course the Wisdom text's are pointers to discovery(whether considered as truth, or impulses nudging one to say I never thought of it that way). All life's events are pointers to each individual on their level of comprehension, whether from the snake pit of misery, or upon the high mountain of high consciousness.

The mirror of ones life is the reflections of the the shadows they cast on the level of their understanding. These shadows belong to no one else but the person who cast them, and whether or not they have the fortitude to process their behavior cause of why, but does not determine their effect because, as the cause so is the effect beyond the mind's eye of sentient comprehension. Everyone cast a shadow and everyone sees them by what each person display in their activity of living. "The watchman looks into the dark shadows of his invisible self and sees nothing but the light aura shining of himself" irrespective whether one is of low intellect or high spiritual comprehension.

Thus, the statement of boasting is not an interpretation, and is not introspective, but more so of conceptual idealism of one person objectification of the Wisdom text means, mode, and median, fragmented with a view sought to connect, and place all selves into a category they deem to be a path which must be followed if stability of consciousness is to become a reality for mankind. My signature, therefore, is saying what you stated in your opening response to me:
Truth must be analyzed for oneself.

Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength - jufa

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by Pam Seeback » Mon May 29, 2017 5:37 am

Much wisdom in your answer but I do not see any attempt, either in the commentary or in my posts that suggests an attempt to 'place all selves into a path they deem must be followed if stability of consciousness is to become a reality for mankind.' It could be said your signature has this intent as you use the absolute term 'never.' Wisdom texts are written in the absolute, this is what causes the reader to think for themselves. I am the God of me, how else can I speak except as truth? Because no two Godselves are exactly the same, it isn't even possible to follow another's causality.

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by jufa » Mon May 29, 2017 9:40 am

Pam stated:
I do not see any attempt, either in the commentary or in my posts that suggests an attempt to 'place all selves into a path they deem must be followed if stability of consciousness is to become a reality for mankind
that because the commentary, and your words
Truth must be analyzed for oneself
nullifies any attempt to put mankind https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=59B42503 in a box.

And why would you settle for
It could be said your signature has this intent as you use the absolute term 'never.
when I tell you 'never' in my signature is stating you never allow anyone to control your destiny.

Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength . jufa

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by Pam Seeback » Wed May 31, 2017 12:36 am

1. It could be said is not an acknowledgment of control. The infinite does think and speak as it analyzes. This is all that is being presented in these four words.

2. Since there is no inherent or separate self in the analysis of the things of God/The Causality, control of one self or mind on another is an illusion. There is only analysis inspiring analysis, or more accurately, there is only analysis being inspired. There is belief in control, most definitely, one only has to pay attention to the media to realize how pervasive is this delusion.

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Re: A helpful Buddhist text, my tipping point (renamed)

Post by jufa » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:25 am

Pam Seeback wrote:1. It could be said is not an acknowledgment of control. The infinite does think and speak as it analyzes. This is all that is being presented in these four words.

2. Since there is no inherent or separate self in the analysis of the things of God/The Causality, control of one self or mind on another is an illusion. There is only analysis inspiring analysis, or more accurately, there is only analysis being inspired. There is belief in control, most definitely, one only has to pay attention to the media to realize how pervasive is this delusion.
It could be said is an admission of I don't know. And those four words, being not an acknowledgement of control, is also a statement of your acknowledgement of being able to delve into the unknown elements of the Godhead's original intent and purpose of reasoning to do things which the human mind cannot fathom.

Being you are not in control, then what reasoning do you have to present which justifies your saying:
Since there is no inherent or separate self in the analysis of the things of God/The Causality, control of one self or mind on another is an illusion
when God is all there is and the illusion is a separation from Its reality?

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