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FreeSangha Crier => Introductions => Topic started by: Old Chinaman on May 18, 2017, 05:38:57 am

Title: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: Old Chinaman on May 18, 2017, 05:38:57 am
Hello everyone!

I am just an old Chinaman born 67 years ago in Java - Indonesia. My name is Bambang (or just "Bam") and I now live in Australia. I would not call myself a Buddhist, but as an overseas Chinese I grew up with Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism as our "Way-of-Life" though I went to a Catholic school from Kindergarten till I finished High School.

From my childhood I had a passionate curiosity wanting to know how things work, including magic/mystic and supernatural phenomena that are abounds in the community where I grew up (in early 1950s - 60s). So, after my high school graduation I went to Germany and did my Master's degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in Control System Technology. My Master thesis was about Manual Control, investigating human behaviour as Controller as part of NASA project. I choose that topic so I had the opportunity to work with ECG (Electrocardiography), EEG (Electroencephalography)/ Brainwaves measurements and EMG (Electromyography).

However, after all those efforts, I still can't explain how a simple phenomena as telepathy work. On the other hand, having learned Western Science created a contrast between my critical mind and my mystical heart. And I embarked on a further search to reconcile my mind and my heart by studying modern Science as in Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics as well as all kind of religions / spirituality including Theosophy.

One day in October 1988, while feeling overwhelmed from reading H.P.Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, I took a break to watch a sunset in Seminyak Beach, Bali. While watching the beautiful sunset, all at a sudden my mind 'exploded'. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but suddenly I got all my questions answered. I suddenly 'knew' how the Cosmos works and it all hidden behind the four symbols on the archaic palm leaves mentioned in the PROEM in The Secret Doctrine I was reading. They are: 1. The Circle, 2. The Circle with a Centre Point, 3. The Circle with a Diameter and 4. The Circle with the Cross.

It took me a couple of years trying to write down what I learned from that 'Epiphany' experience that I call my 'first stage of enlightenment', using Western Scientific logic into a scientific paper called "The Ultimate Unification Theory" and presented at the Fifth International Conference on Thinking in July 1992 at James Cook University, Townsville Australia.

In 2011, while enjoying my holiday in Bali, I happened to pick up a book about "The Teaching of Buddha" to read beside the swimming pool. And I came to the story where The Buddha explained to Ananda what He experienced during the Enlightenment. The story is known as "The Twelve Nidanas". I fully agree to what The Buddha said because it is in-line with what I had experienced myself in 1988. However, I was feeling uneasy that the first link "Avidya" is translated as "Ignorance". It was badly translated, and that may lead to a total misunderstanding.

I didn't care much and thought it probably mistranslated in the book I was reading, until last week I read another article about A New Teaching of The Twelve Nidanas a dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh. And in that article "Avidya" is translated as "Delusion".

Avidya is not-knowing, because there is nothing to know. It is the first 'stage' experienced by the Buddha during his enlightenment known as Emptiness. In the symbols I mentioned above, it is the Circle that symbolize The Source and the Circle with the Centre Point, the point of pure awareness. The Source becomes aware of itself but it is emptiness.

The third symbol is the circle with a diameter 'polarizing the circle into the upper half, which symbolise 'arupa', the world of no form, or "Li" - the principle / Archetypes, while the lower half of the circle is the 'rupa' the world of form, the formation - Sankhara.

The fourth symbol is when the diameter is crossed by the vertical line, the interaction between spirit and matter, the mind-brain interaction that created Consciousness - Vijnana.

Vijnana in the lower half of the circle created forms - namarupa.

The vertical line is also the "I am axis" or the Subject patterns with the six senses - Sadayatana to interact and have contact - Sparsa with its surroundings creating perceptions / sensations - Vedana.

Only when Vedana / Sensation created Craving - Trsna and Clinging - Upadana then Becoming - Bhava we started the wheel of samsara in Jati - Birth and Jara marana - Old age and death.

I am very sorry if my intrusion above is not welcome in this forum. It is actually none of my business, but I feel compelled just to let you know. It is up to everyone to consider it or not.

In any way, thanks you very much for the opportunity.
Best regards,
Bam
Title: Re: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: The Artis Magistra on July 14, 2017, 01:51:17 pm
Excellent post. Very true. There is no problem. The writings attributed to the Buddha are quite clear and straightforward and logical as you have stated and contain no extra opinions or attitudes, they simply say what they say, yet translations tend to color things with "negative" or "positive" connotations which cover up or confuse the meanings in some ways. I have seen many people strongly ruled by these passions, unable to accept the straightforward origin of Not-Knowing or Non-Information without fussing about its value.

You have long labored for insight and insight was given to you. Having been given this, you descended upon the people here with an intention to bring them this news which may benefit them. In each of these actions you have acted in the manner of a Buddha or Bodhisattva yourself, through sharing with compassion. I encourage you to cautiously continue with bringing and publishing and spreading all the good that has come to you, not as much as possible, but as caringly as possible.

This means that where you can give it appropriate attention and care and interaction, your efforts should go towards those loving actions more so than a broad heart diffused spread, which can be done simultaneously but, the real nectar of your work and your life's work is in your personal interaction and intimately honest description.
Title: Re: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 14, 2017, 02:55:47 pm
It took me a couple of years trying to write down what I learned from that 'Epiphany' experience that I call my 'first stage of enlightenment', using Western Scientific logic into a scientific paper called "The Ultimate Unification Theory" and presented at the Fifth International Conference on Thinking in July 1992 at James Cook University, Townsville Australia.

Townsville - not exactly the most progressive place in Australia, let alone, in the world (since I live there). 

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In 2011, while enjoying my holiday in Bali, I happened to pick up a book about "The Teaching of Buddha" to read beside the swimming pool. And I came to the story where The Buddha explained to Ananda what He experienced during the Enlightenment. The story is known as "The Twelve Nidanas". I fully agree to what The Buddha said because it is in-line with what I had experienced myself in 1988.

Without even reading the rest of your post, I doubt you experienced what the Buddha experienced.

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However, I was feeling uneasy that the first link "Avidya" is translated as "Ignorance". It was badly translated, and that may lead to a total misunderstanding.

The first link is ignorance.

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I didn't care much and thought it probably mistranslated in the book I was reading, until last week I read another article about A New Teaching of The Twelve Nidanas a dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh. And in that article "Avidya" is translated as "Delusion".

Delusion (moha) & ignorance (avijja) are similar however generally used in different ways although also synonymously.

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Avidya is not-knowing, because there is nothing to know.

No. This is Taoism, Chinaman, rather than Buddhism.

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It is the first 'stage' experienced by the Buddha during his enlightenment known as Emptiness. In the symbols I mentioned above, it is the Circle that symbolize The Source and the Circle with the Centre Point, the point of pure awareness. The Source becomes aware of itself but it is emptiness.

'Emptiness' ('sunnata') in original Buddhism means 'empty of self' rather than empty of knowledge. Read the link:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.085.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.085.than.html)

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The third symbol is the circle with a diameter 'polarizing the circle into the upper half, which symbolise 'arupa', the world of no form, or "Li" - the principle / Archetypes, while the lower half of the circle is the 'rupa' the world of form, the formation - Sankhara.

'Arupa' is not enlightenment. It means 'mind-only' experiences.

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The fourth symbol is when the diameter is crossed by the vertical line, the interaction between spirit and matter, the mind-brain interaction that created Consciousness - Vijnana.

No. The 3rd link the Buddha referred to was simply 'vinnana' (consciousness) polluted by ignorance. When consciousness is polluted by ignorance, it is controlled by ignorance.

Refer to this link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.053.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.053.than.html)

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Vijnana in the lower half of the circle created forms - namarupa.

No. The 4th link the Buddha referred to was simply 'nama-rupa' (mind-body) polluted by ignorance. When namarupa is polluted by ignorance, it is controlled by ignorance & cannot discern clearly. Nama-rupa becomes the puppet of ignorance, like those Balinese puppets in Bali.

Read the links:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.055.wlsh.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.055.wlsh.html) (about how the mind is coloured & polluted by ignorant hindrances)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html) (where it states: "contact with ignorance")

What this means is the 1st six links merely explain how consciousness, body-mind & the sense bases are polluted by ignorance, which results in ignorant sense contact.

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The vertical line is also the "I am axis" or the Subject patterns with the six senses - Sadayatana to interact and have contact - Sparsa with its surroundings creating perceptions / sensations - Vedana.

No. The idea of "I am" arises at attachment (9th link). Please read this scriptures:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html)

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Only when Vedana / Sensation created Craving - Trsna and Clinging - Upadana then Becoming - Bhava we started the wheel of samsara in Jati - Birth and Jara marana - Old age and death.

'Birth' is the production of the idea of "beings", "persons" or "selves". Old age & death is the idea that "I" or "a being" is getting old & dying.

For example, you see a corpse that has no life. You then look at the corpse & realise: "This is my mother". Because of the idea of "my mother", you suffer. This is because that corpse ceases to be a mere corpse but, instead, due to ignorance & attachment, becomes the idea of "my mother". This idea of "my mother" is birth. The corpse is born as "my mother" and your mind take birth as "her son". Because of the birth of the idea of "son" & "mother", there is aging & death and suffering.

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I am very sorry if my intrusion above is not welcome in this forum. It is actually none of my business, but I feel compelled just to let you know. It is up to everyone to consider it or not.

You are welcome & free to post here but what you posted is wrong. The egoism & materialism of your initial words indicated from the beginning what you were posting was wrong & unrelated to what the Buddha experienced.

What the Buddha experienced resulted in the destruction of egoism and suffering.

If your mind can penetrate the explanation I provided, it will enter the enlightenment of Buddha.

Kind regards  :namaste:


Title: Re: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: The Artis Magistra on July 14, 2017, 11:04:51 pm
I apologize on behalf of VisuddhiRaptor. Thank you for your post, and I'm so sorry for any rudeness you may have experienced from any member of this community.
Title: Re: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 14, 2017, 11:35:43 pm
I apologize on behalf of VisuddhiRaptor. Thank you for your post, and I'm so sorry for any rudeness you may have experienced from any member of this community.

Thank you friend however I cannot discern any grounds for an apology on your behalf. Also, I have not discerned any rudeness (although the moderators might find your off-topic spamming here inappropriate).

Thank you for posting here. Personally, I only pass through occasionally. Since you appear unhappy with my presence here, I will take the rest of the weekend off for you to have the freedom to domineer the members here.

With metta  :namaste:
Title: Re: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
Post by: The Artis Magistra on July 15, 2017, 12:14:26 am
Excellent, but what I found rude in your post was the comment or slight towards some town where this individual said they submitted something, your use of their username "Chinaman" after saying "this is Taoism" or whatever you said. Your calling the man's efforts "worthless" and perhaps more if that doesn't cover it all. So then, seeing that, I was impressed by your belligerence for someone who has so few post (I have less posts and only just joined), and then I clicked your username to examine the rest of your writing. I like that you provide good sources and quotes, but your approach with people seems downright hostile and extremely rude and mocking. That might snap some people out of their ego or something, but ultimately its just really unpleasant to see and as the big boss of domineering that I am, I would like to tie you up and stop you from doing that, as I find it might not be the best way to spread the dhamma or invite people to Buddhism. I think we should maybe be good examples? I'm not suggesting I'm a better example than you, but just that you seemed really horrible to me in the way that you were acting. So in studying your posts, I saw you being rude seeming to other people, getting into apparent arguments, insulting them. This may stem from a good place, a real passion for Buddhism, but it really just seems like you're a menace and probably a really unpleasant human being to ever know. Now of course, someone who turns away from the Buddhism because of the nasty appearance of someone might be a sign of their pettiness or ignorance, but really, it might be helpful or even beneficent to be patient with people and not so abrasive.

I don't think a weekend off is really good enough for me, as the big boss of domineering, I honestly wanted to know why you do what you do and why you don't go poof from this existence. This is not a threat or a malicious desire, this is a genuine heartfelt wish that you cease to be as you are and never return again, having attained total freedom from any associations with this world forever and immediately.

I dreaded interacting with you, but waited until you engaged with me.

My impression of you, which is largely imaginary, is that you must be some sort of Australian Buddhist who is rather Protestant at heart in the sense of being strictly in agreement with the Pali Canon and essentials of Buddhism, having fully grasped it as well as you have, and now, in having come from some sort of identity which might be misplaced in your locality, find (like others) that the way to confirm or verify your existence as a Buddhist is by slapping old men with an eight spoke wheel and rolling it over them repeatedly. In that respect, I may be similar to you, as I find a great joy in pummeling people with the wheel and being a raging vehicle of my own brand of fanaticism, it feels good, it makes me feel Buddhist. The one thing I don't want to be though, is as unpleasant and hostile as you appear to be.

I might not mind your presence in this world were it that you simply spread the religion of Buddhism and quoted the Pali Canon and eschewed the emoticons, the belligerence, calling the efforts of people "worthless", calling the extra sentences of people "unnecessary", making people feel bad.

Maybe you are autistic and have no sense at all how these things you say might be perceived as rude or belligerent or might frighten people even from posting. Whatever you are, a weekend does not seem to be enough.

I wanted clear answers on how you will go about attaining the non-returning status and absolute attainment and enlightenment, and then your forever departing never to return, I was not kidding about that. I do not want to control you, or correct you, or let you continue to exist in this world, I would like that you depart this world forever. I won't be the winner by staying behind, all who stay behind are essentially the losers, you would be the winner.

I think the best answer though might be "I don't know how to do it" or "I am not ready to do it" or something like that. Otherwise, why not do it?

My answer is, I don't know how to do it, and I am not ready to do it. This is not a happy state, in fact it is very uncomfortable, that I have to share my time with seeing elderly men being insulted by you and going behind you apologizing for your methods of spreading the medicine of the Buddha with harsh injections, and snide interjections.

You are the prime Dhamma Force on this website, look at the gusto and energy with which you post and quote, you are both knowledgeable and well informed, but you lack tact and manners, which is not to suggest that I am the master of tact or manners, but just that I wanted to point out to you and everyone that this may not be the best way to engage people or spread the message of Buddhism. Maybe it is the best way, but I don't like it.

Now you and I both know I am a massive ego-maniac, a domineering fanatic, someone who likes pulling up my belt and shifting my weight around like an overweight cowboy or boycow. We also know that you are much more highly refined and attained than me, so close to Nibbana that you could almost touch it.

What I'd like to know is what holds you to this world. I think perhaps it is that you feel you have a mission to perform before you leave, and that mission is to spread the true word attributed to the Buddha, and dispel all the misunderstandings and perversions regarding what you love the most, Buddhism. People like me, you may soon find, are complete perverts of the religion of Buddha, interjecting with personal ideas and opinions like some sort of fraud or charlatan, and that it is your duty (since no one else has quite as much sense or ability to do it), to fight such menaces before you yourself leave this world.

If that is the case, and if your vow is that you must do battle, then you might not want to leave even for the weekend, and continue full force, with re-doubled efforts, to spin, roll, and throw your wheel everywhere you can on this forum as well as the other major Buddhist forums (you can link me to them and I can follow you there as see what you are up to).

So here is what happened, and this is heart to heart. I saw you, I thought you were being rude all over the place, I thought its bad really how you are doing what you are doing, I fear you, I wanted to help you to become better or notice or more like I want you to be because I'm that sort of bossy sort of person who wants to make everyone conform to my ideals, seeing that it was unlikely that someone so deeply hostile in their behaviors would ever change but has the wisdom, my strategy was to suggest to you that you leave this planet entirely, the whole world, all the realms, or to at least hear how you might do this or see how you might do this with your knowledge, or what excuses you might make regarding being unable to do this, which is really unfortunate for us both.

It is more than likely, that you and I will have to end up tolerating each other if you do not simply leave this existence forever soon.  What this really means is that I'll probably have to see you insulting people, including me, and having my heart sink every time I post for fear of what you might say regarding it or try to make people think regarding it. I really wish you would just go and be enlightened and leave me to this disaster though, or at least sincerely talk with me as to what might the hold up be regarding your departure, or why ever you would come back.
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