Author Topic: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation  (Read 508 times)

Offline ground

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The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:09:29 pm »
Emptiness is emptiness of independent existence, i.e. existence only through the imputation which is the nature of perception

.....

Conducive to the Imperturbable

He discerns the emptiness of sensuality and attains the imperturbable of form:
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"In that case, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: both are Mara's realm, Mara's domain, Mara's bait, Mara's range. They lead to these evil, unskillful mental states: greed, ill will, & contentiousness. They arise for the obstruction of a disciple of the noble ones here in training. What if I — overpowering the world [of the five senses] and having determined my mind — were to dwell with an awareness that was abundant & enlarged? Having done so, these evil, unskillful mental states — greed, ill will, & contentiousness — would not come into being. With their abandoning, my mind would become unlimited, immeasurable, & well developed.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the imperturbable[1] now or else is committed to discernment.


If the latter then he discerns the emptiness of form and attains the formless imperturbable:
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"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come: both are inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is not worth relishing, is not worth welcoming, is not worth remaining fastened to." Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the imperturbable now or else is committed to discernment.


If the latter then he discerns the emptiness of the formless imperturbable and attains nothingness:
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"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of nothingness.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment.


If the latter then he discerns the emptiness of nothingness and attains neither perception nor non-perception:
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"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception now or else is committed to discernment.


If the latter then he is totally unbound by the equanimity of neither perception nor non-perception if even that is not taken as a home ('homelessness') ...
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There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."



... and not taken as 'this' or 'that' ...
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"There is the case, Ananda, where a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness; perceptions of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception: that is an identity, to the extent that there is an identity. This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.'


... which amounts to there being neither meditation nor non-meditation.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 11:41:26 pm by ground »

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 12:24:38 am »
Do Ground like Tibetan music?
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Offline ground

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 10:16:43 pm »
To repeat the decisive point in the sutta:

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"There is the case, Ananda, where a monk, having practiced in this way ... obtains equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it. As he relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, his consciousness is dependent on it, is sustained by it (clings to it). With clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is not totally unbound."

"Being sustained, where is that monk sustained?"

"The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

...  the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — is the supreme sustenance.


I.e. what is called the dimension of 'neither perception nor non-perception' is the best of all phenomena that can be clung to. There can be no better.

Since 'neither perception nor non-perception' is not 'perception' it is a similitude of 'cessation of perception'.

So in this sense to attain 'neither perception nor non-perception' is a worthwhile goal since it is the best of all sustenances.


Why is 'neither perception nor non-perception' only a similitude of 'cessation of perception'?

Because there still is the grasping at it:

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There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.121.than.html



So liberation is attained through 'neither perception nor non-perception' AND at the same time not clinging to the equanimity of cessation of perception:

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There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way ... obtains [the] equanimity [of of neither perception nor non-perception]. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."


But there still is the possibility that what results is still clung to and thus is not liberation as MN 121 still adds another stage which is cessation of perception as far as cessation of perception can reach and is called 'theme-less concentration' which however still is characterized by
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His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness.

... i.e. there is still 'clinging to' and thus there still is no liberation.

Actually this 'theme-less concentration' can only be distinguished from 'neither perception nor non-perception' based on its characteristic of 'no grasping at 'neither perception nor non-perception'' and thus this 'theme-less concentration' has to be as  'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach by definition.
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"Further, Ananda, the monk — ... not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the theme-less concentration of awareness.


So is this 'theme-less concentration' the same as 'cessation of perception'? yes, it has to be set as 'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach in the context of a living body by definition:
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There is only this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.


Therefore the 'emptiness' MN 121 is referring to is 'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach in the context of a living body:
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Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.


If clinging even to this emptiness of perceptions ceases there is liberation:
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"He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'



What's the message of all this?

1. Liberation cannot be attained without cessation of perception (i.e. experience of the original and natural emptiness of perceptions of mind) which - since imputation is the nature of perception - is cessation of all kinds of imputations, be they conceptual or intuitive.

2. Liberation is not the same as cessation of perception.

3. If there is clinging to this cessation of perception after having experienced it then liberation is not attained.

4. All perceptions necessarily arise from the original and natural emptiness [of perceptions] of mind that can be experienced first hand through cessation of perception.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 10:58:33 pm by ground »

Offline ZenFred

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 08:05:30 am »
Ground,

  Thanks for the explanation. Our conversation in other threads makes more sense now.
  I assume you've studied the heart sutra? It has simmilar themes.

  As I said earlier when I paraphrased the Christian theologian Paul Tillich saying God doesn't "exist" I appreciate that "God" is not this and not that.

  Experienced thru cessation of perception is an interesting phrase. Is by achieving, as Zen would say, no mind?  Though "achieving" is still grasping. The zen patriarchs talked about polishing the mirror of the self to which the more zen reply is there is no need for polishing, nothing to polish.

Offline ground

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 02:34:38 pm »
  Experienced thru cessation of perception is an interesting phrase. Is by achieving, as Zen would say, no mind?  Though "achieving" is still grasping. The zen patriarchs talked about polishing the mirror of the self to which the more zen reply is there is no need for polishing, nothing to polish.
In zen speech: Seeing Dharma is seeing no dharna. (note capital D vs d). That is cessation of perception.
This cessation is accompanied by pristine atemporal awareness (-> Seeing Dharma).

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 10:51:12 pm »
Emptiness is emptiness of independent existence, i.e. existence only through the imputation which is the nature of perception...

Emptiness is emptiness of 'self', which is an imputation of 'view' ('ditthi') rather than a 'perception' ('sanna'). 'Sanna' does not impute 'self' because there is no 'self' to perceive. Instead, sankhara aggregate creates or imputes the view of 'self'.

I really don't see the point of studying the Pali suttas if the definitions of Mahayana cannot be abandoned & are clung to tenaciously.

In Pali Buddhism, perception is not an inherent problem.  :namaste:


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 11:03:26 pm »
he is totally unbound by the equanimity :lmfao: of neither perception nor non-perception if even that is not taken as a home ('homelessness') ... 
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There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."

the mind is totally unbound by not clinging to equanimity (rather than by equanimity). This is what the sutta literally states.  :namaste:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 11:06:11 pm »
Do Ground like Tibetan music?

Maybe the only good post I have read Samana make. Saddhu.  :jinsyx:

Ground, trying to read Pali suttas, with brainwashed Tibetan music singing in the brain cells.  :teehee:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 12:03:25 am »
I.e. what is called the dimension of 'neither perception nor non-perception' is the best of all phenomena that can be clung to. There can be no better.
It might be better than clinging to dog shit but it is still clinging or bondage.

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Since 'neither perception nor non-perception' is not 'perception' it is a similitude of 'cessation of perception'.
No. The 8th jhana is not a similitude of 'cessation of perception'. Perception only completely ends in the 9th jhana (nirodha samapatti), which is a state of unconsciousness, as described in MN 43. Therefore, there cannot be any conscious experience of the cessation of perception.

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So in this sense to attain 'neither perception nor non-perception' is a worthwhile goal since it is the best of all sustenances.
It might be better than dog-shit but it is actually not part of the eightfold path.

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Why is 'neither perception nor non-perception' only a similitude of 'cessation of perception'. Because there still is the grasping at it:

No. The Buddha entered this state (eg. before parinibbana in DN 16). Here, there was no clinging to it.

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There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.'
No. Be careful with MN 121 because it uses the word emptiness in a different way; in a literal way.

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So liberation is attained through 'neither perception nor non-perception' AND at the same time not clinging to the equanimity of cessation of perception:

No. The 8th jhana is not part of the noble path. The Susima Sutta makes it clear the formless absorptions (5th to 8th jhana) are not required for liberation. The suttas say the Buddha reached liberation using the 4th jhana. The 8th jhana is natural samadhi development but is unnecessary or excessive.

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There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way ... obtains [the] equanimity [of of neither perception nor non-perception]. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."
Yes. Unbound by non-clinging; similar to unbound by not clinging to dog shit.

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But there still is the possibility that what results is still clung to and thus is not liberation as MN 121 still adds another stage which is cessation of perception as far as cessation of perception can reach and is called 'theme-less concentration' which however still is characterized by

Themeless is still not the foremost liberation. Refer to end of MN 43. Sunnata is the foremost liberation, empty of greed, hatred & delusion.

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His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness.
... i.e. there is still 'clinging to' and thus there still is no liberation.

Correct.  :namaste:

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Actually this 'theme-less concentration' can only be distinguished from 'neither perception nor non-perception' based on its characteristic of 'no grasping at 'neither perception nor non-perception'' and thus this 'theme-less concentration' has to be as  'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach by definition.

No. The themeless occurs as literally written in the sutta: "not attending to the perception of the dimension of nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception".

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So is this 'theme-less concentration' the same as 'cessation of perception'?

No.  :no:

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Passion is a making of themes. Aversion is a making of themes. Delusion is a making of themes. MN 43
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yes, it has to be set as 'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach in the context of a living body by definition:

No.  :no: Cessation of perception is nirodha samapatti or the unconscious 9th jhana. The body is alive but the mind stops functioning.

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There is only this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.

Therefore the 'emptiness' MN 121 is referring to is 'cessation of perception' as far as 'cessation of perception' can reach in the context of a living body:

No. "Body" is "kaya", which refers to five aggregates. This paragraph means when the five aggregates are empty of sensuality, becoming & ignorance, that is the unsurpassed emptiness.

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If clinging even to this emptiness of perceptions ceases there is liberation:

No. MN 121 clearly states emptiness is a perception:teehee: :listen: :smack:

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He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the effluent of sensuality... becoming... ignorance.   :lmfao:  :teehee: :D

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"He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

 :namaste:


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What's the message of all this?

1. Liberation cannot be attained without cessation of perception (i.e. experience of the original and natural emptiness of perceptions of mind) which - since imputation is the nature of perception - is cessation of all kinds of imputations, be they conceptual or intuitive.

No.

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2. Liberation is not the same as cessation of perception.

Yes.


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3. If there is clinging to this cessation of perception after having experienced it then liberation is not attained.

Non-sequitur.

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4. All perceptions necessarily arise from the original and natural emptiness [of perceptions] of mind that can be experienced first hand through cessation of perception.

No. When perception ceases, consciousness ceases. There cannot be an experience of the cessation of perception. Cessation of perception & feeling is merely something inferred when the mind emerges from the unconsciousness of the 9th jhana.

 :brick:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 02:59:50 pm »
Themes or signs (nimitta) are defined in many suttas to be ideas such as 'beautiful'. Any ideas about the quality of something is a 'theme'; even the idea 'this is peaceful'. Such themes are 'sankhara' rather 'perceptions' ('sanna') in Pali. 'Sanna' is very basic differentiation, which all arahants have, such as:

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And why, bhikkhus, do you call it perception? ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. And what does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. SN 22.79

When Mahayana refers to "imputing", from a Pali perspective, this "imputing" is "sankhara" (fabricating views) and not "sanna" (perception).

 :namaste:

Offline ground

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 09:02:48 pm »
Emptiness is emptiness of independent existence, i.e. existence only through the imputation which is the nature of perception...

Emptiness is emptiness of 'self', which is an imputation of 'view' ('ditthi') rather than a 'perception' ('sanna'). 'Sanna' does not impute 'self' because there is no 'self' to perceive. Instead, sankhara aggregate creates or imputes the view of 'self'.

I really don't see the point of studying the Pali suttas if the definitions of Mahayana cannot be abandoned & are clung to tenaciously.

In Pali Buddhism, perception is not an inherent problem.  :namaste:

Nothing is a problem. But anything may cause problems if not appropriately understood.

That perception involves already an intuitive conditioned imputation is essential because without that imputation no object arises and when no object arises perception has ceased.

Cessation of perception is nothing but cessation of imputation, both intuitive and conceptual. What people most often overlook is intuitive imputation that precedes imputation of conceptuality. So even if there is cessation of thought there still is imputation by intuition.
Cessation of perception is the prerequisite for 'liberation being seen' (metaphorical use of 'seen') and if only imputation of conceptuality ceases but imputation of intuition is still active then liberation cannot be 'seen'.

One has to understand the reverse succession of absorptions in MN121 in the context of perception.
Intuitive imputation sets in in the formless dimension of nothingness and blossoms continually following its course through form dimensions up to so called 'desire' dimensions.

I validly know for myself perception and its cessation as a prerequisite for liberation. So you may argue about pali and mahayana as much you like. It is not about what tradition uses the correct linguistic expressions but it is about valid knowledge and authentic expression of that knowledge. I do authentically express what I validly know and I am using both pali and mahayana sources as linguistic support.

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And why, bhikkhus, do you call it perception? ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. And what does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. SN 22.79

When Mahayana refers to "imputing", from a Pali perspective, this "imputing" is "sankhara" (fabricating views) and not "sanna" (perception).

 :namaste:
The point is that imputation of inherent existence ('self' of persons and 'self' of phenomena) is an innate feature of sense consciousnesses and thus is already inherent as conditioning in direct non-conceptual perception. It is essential to understand this and to not ascribe imputation of inherent existence only to conceptual perception.
This understanding can dawn validly only if perception has ceased and then sets in again. why? Because in cessation of perception there are not even imputing intuitions that could serve as basis for directly non-conceptually perceived objects and when perception sets in again it sets in through the re-arsing of intuitions on the level of sense consciousnesses empty of conceptuality, i.e. on the subject's side.
The 'crystallization' of phenomena out of the sphere of cessation of perception is initiated by imputing intuitions. This corresponds with what dzogchen calls 'the dynamic display of the ground of being'. So using dzogchen metaphorical linguistic expression, all phenomena, conventionally 'outer' and conventionally 'inner' phenomena, are 'the dynamic display of the ground of being'.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 09:46:32 pm by ground »

Offline ground

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2017, 10:03:22 pm »

Quote
4. All perceptions necessarily arise from the original and natural emptiness [of perceptions] of mind that can be experienced first hand through cessation of perception.

No. When perception ceases, consciousness ceases. There cannot be an experience of the cessation of perception. Cessation of perception & feeling is merely something inferred when the mind emerges from the unconsciousness of the 9th jhana.

 :brick:
It is my use of conventional language only. Of course there cannnot be any experience in cessation of perception because experience always must have a quality which would require a perception.
But to say ' that can be not-experienced first hand through cessation of perception' would not make much sense conventionally either.
Alternatiively I could use the expression 'pure knowing' in the context of cessation of perception. But language here causes the same issue because if there is 'knowing' then that requires something that is known and that would require a perception too.

Cessation of perception is empty of self and other, empty of time and space, empty of everything and nothing, empty of oneness and manyness, empty of duality and non-duality, empty of emptiness ... and still whatever I will be merely saying cessation of perception is empty of will cause the issue of 'how can I validly know?' because 'to validly know' has been defined as 'having directly perceived'.  :wink1:

Therefore the cessation of perception is merely said to have an inherent knowing quality which is 'the ground of conscious being knowing itself'. I.e. it is merely said that when perception ceases in the context of a conscious being there still is this lucid and empty awareness as long as there is life.

However I will never be able to validate what I merely say here. Why? Because as long as there is this intuitive imputing perception or sentiment of 'I' it isn't 'it'.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 10:27:45 pm by ground »

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2017, 11:57:27 pm »
Cessation of perception is nothing but cessation of imputation, both intuitive and conceptual. What people most often overlook is intuitive imputation that precedes imputation of conceptuality. So even if there is cessation of thought there still is imputation by intuition.

You are refuting your own view here by equating 'perception' ('sanna') with 'conceptuality' ('sankhara'). 

Perception occurs such as looking at a forest & seeing the different shapes & colors of trees. This is perception.

For example, now I look at my desk & there is a roll of white toilet paper. The sensory impact (vedana) due to the color is soft or mild. Near this there is a bright red container and the sensory impact is stronger. The black outline of my laptop contrasts with the light green colour of the wall. These contrasts & subtle sensory impingements are perceptions. They are a long way from conceptualisation.
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Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives. What one perceives, one thinks about [conceptualises]. What one thinks about, one objectifies. MN 18

 :namaste:


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 12:00:34 am »
Themes or signs (nimitta) are in SN 46.2, which are conceptualisations but not perceptions, for example:
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And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the beautiful...

And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the repulsive...

Offline ground

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Re: The imperturbable OR discernment and liberation
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2017, 12:13:51 am »
Themes or signs (nimitta) are in SN 46.2, which are conceptualisations but not perceptions, for example:
Quote
And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the beautiful...

And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the repulsive...

The talk of 'signs' is completely compatible. Also to call these 'conceptualizations' is completely compatible. Why? Because conceptualizations are imputations and are preceded by intuitions which are imputations too.

 


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