Author Topic: Dependent Origination  (Read 34289 times)

Offline retrofuturist

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2010, 03:44:29 am »
Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2010, 04:09:39 am »
Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc.

When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2010, 04:14:58 am »
When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

Ageing and death are quite high on my list. :)  But I agree it's useful to look at dependent arising in terms of how suffering arises in the here and now.

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Yeshe

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2010, 06:37:14 am »
Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thank you for that clarification. :)

I don't ascribe to that view, but appreciate the explanation.

It may be more common and useful, but I still regard it as a very tenuous conclusion. A deluded self in samsaric suffering still has no death or sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair as a consequence of all gradual changes.  Death and the breaking up of the body may easily do so, and is a much more obvious and logical interpretation.

Hey, maybe that's why I'm in TB ! LOL :)


Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2010, 10:16:24 am »
Interestingly a Behavior Dynamics professor in 1966 used this exact same example to point out that none of us know who we are and ABC just forty-four years later.  Interestingly Buddha did the same twenty-five hundred years earlier with his Not-Self strategy of emptiness.  

The Dhamma Wheel not only continues to turn, but folks keep reinventing it.

Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 06:48:20 am by Bodhisatta2010 »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline ABC

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2010, 12:34:16 pm »
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?
Change does not need to result in all those negative experiences.

But you must bear in mind the Dependent Origination is about when experience is affected by ignorance.

If there is no ignorance, naturally, there will be no suffering when change occurs.

This is Dependent Cessation rather than Dependant Origination.

 :r4wheel:
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 12:41:33 pm by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline ABC

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2010, 12:37:26 pm »
S
abbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)
Retro F

The dukkha in the context here is not that of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair and the whole mass of suffering.

 :spiderman:
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline ABC

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2010, 12:40:55 pm »
Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.


This is what the Buddha intended.

Quote
"Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising." [4] And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen. [5] Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.028.than.html



Quote
"Well then — knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing & seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html


 :eek:
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline vinasp

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2010, 03:42:21 am »
Hi everyone,

Here are a few thoughts in response to some posts:

 Spiny #21, quote :
"It might be worth mentioning that the 4 Noble Truths are themselves an example of dependent origination."

 V:  A good point. One can go even further, there is a version of the four noble truths in which DO with the links arising is the second truth, and DO with the links ceasing is the third truth. So perhaps DO is the full version of the second and third truths. This is why DO is so very important.

Spiny #9, quote:
"There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26:"
"And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

 V: My Bodhi translation has: "... precipitation [in a womb] ...". The brackets indicate something inserted by the translator. If you ignore those words, then there is no reason why 'birth' here can't be taken in a figurative sense. ABC has already mentioned this in post #10.

 ABC #10, quote:
"It is questionable that this is physical birth because after death comes suffering. So how can something dead experience suffering?"

 V: I agree that the link 'birth' can be understood as not being 'physical birth'. But you say: "... after death comes suffering ...". The last link is: "ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair." The word 'pain' here is 'dukkha' (suffering) in the Pali. The concluding statement: "Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering", is not another link.

 In my opinion 'being', 'birth' and 'ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair', (in fact all twelve links) are found together in the present. So it is not even the case that 'death' comes after 'birth', let alone that suffering (which is not a link) comes after 'death'. The formula is sometimes called 'dependent co-arising' to try to make this point clear.

 ABC #10, quote:
 "The word 'jati' means social class in India."

 V: True. But that is a secondary meaning, not the primary meaning, which is birth in a literal sense. The teachings also use 'birth' in a figurative sense.

 ABC #24, quote:
 "Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc."
"When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering."

 V: This is not what the Nikaya's teach. They do not use birth and death in that way, see SN 22.1:

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration."

Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html

 When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing. It is the initial acquisition of the view of self which is called 'birth', and the cessation of that view which is called 'death'. These things occur only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'.

 Best wishes, Vincent.


Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2010, 03:53:44 am »
Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.

This is what the Buddha intended.

That's your opinion, not a fact.

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2010, 04:09:33 am »
Spiny #9, quote:
"There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26:"
"And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

 V: My Bodhi translation has: "... precipitation [in a womb] ...". The brackets indicate something inserted by the translator. If you ignore those words, then there is no reason why 'birth' here can't be taken in a figurative sense. ABC has already mentioned this in post #10.

Brackets like this are usually a means for the translator to elaborate or explain the meaning of the preceding word or phrase - so in this case it's likely that [in a womb] is clarifying the meaning of "precipitation".  In other words the translator hasn't just added the bracket to give his personal opinion.
However I acknowledge that translation and interpretation are subjective.  It's also clear that often people tend to interpret in line with their preconceived ideas.

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline vinasp

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2010, 09:52:28 am »
Hi everyone,

Correction of previous post:

" When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing. It is the initial acquisition of the view of self which is called 'birth', and the cessation of that view which is called 'death'. These things occur only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'."

Corrected version:

 When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing.

 When the view of self is first acquired, it is the view of an existing self here and now. This leads automatically to the view 'self was born', which then leads to the view 'self will grow old and die'. These are the links 'being', 'birth' and 'old age and death etc.' in the formula. So from 'being', birth comes to be, from 'birth', old age and death etc. comes to be. The reverse is: when being ceases, birth ceases, when birth ceases, old age and death etc cease. So both 'birth' and 'old age and death' arise with 'being' or the view of self. These three things arise only once, and all three cease only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for their arising, 38.40 for their ceasing.

 Best wishes, Vincent.


« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 09:59:22 am by vinasp »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2010, 03:34:57 am »
See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'."

Vincent, I  haven't got access to this sutta just now, could you give the extract which describes this figurative use of birth?
As a general point we need to be aware that MN 38 is only one of a number of suttas describing DO.  See for example the sutta on Right View ( MN 9 I think ).

Spiny
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline vinasp

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2010, 04:14:57 am »
Hi Spiny,

 The following is from The Middle Length Discourses by Bhikkhu Bodhi, MN 38.30.

 28. "When he grows up and his faculties mature, the child plays at such games as toy ploughs, tipcat, somersaults, toy windmills, toy measures, toy cars, and a toy bow and arrow.
29. "When he grows up and his faculties mature [still further], the youth enjoys himself provided and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure, with forms cognizable by the eye ... sounds ... odours ... flavours ... tangibles ...
30. "On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing ; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished ...
... whatever feeling he feels - whether pleasant or painful ... - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

 Best wishes, Vincent.

Offline vinasp

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2010, 02:25:46 am »
Hi Spiny,

 On the MN 38.30 passage:

"With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering."

 This is clearly the last four links of DO. Let's take 'birth' first. If one follows the 'three life' interpretation, then 'birth' refers to ones next life. So one has to understand 'birth' here as something which will come to be perhaps fifty years into the future. This is taking 'birth' in DO in a literal sense.

 The alternative understanding is that 'birth' arises right there, along with 'being' and 'ageing and death etc'. This requires finding some other meaning for the link 'birth'.

 This is really a figurative or non-literal understanding of the link 'birth' in DO. This is a different thing from the figurative use of birth which is frequently found, for example in SN 22.81:

 "That formation - what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?"  This is just a normal figurative use of birth.

 So, how do you understand the link 'birth' in DO ?
 1. Literal meaning only.
 2. Non-literal meaning only.
 3. Both literal and non-literal meanings.

 Best wishes, Vincent.

 


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