Concentration is happiness.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Smoke & Mirrors.
LuangPow Panyavaddho's logic talks about:-
"Everything is internal".
That is to say:-
The physical senses detect raw data as physical/chemical phenomena impinging on the five physical sense organs. The mind can be said to be acting in the same way with psychic phenomena impinging on consciousness. The mind then interprets all this raw data and produces an ongoing analog model that integrates all the raw data to give rise to the Cosmos that one lives in. It may be helpful to see it as 'The Kammic Predicament'.
It is virtually impossible to distinguish between these raw data and Nimitas:(fantasy, objects arising directly from the Citta).
However, we may make assumptions, act on them and observe the results, and if the results are useful we may continue to act on those assumptions. If not, we are equally free to review them and adapt them as seems appropriate and useful.
This is a kind of 'Mind Only' view of the Cosmos, where everything is seen as the minds analog model and interpretation of raw data regardless of it's source. Thus the difference between internally arising phenomena, Nimitas, and externally arising phenomena, Reality, is reduced to mere differences in logical technique to render them objectively rather than the troublesome subjectivity.
Thus nothing can be known directly, with just one possible exception. Dukkha,
dissatisfaction. It's existence is knowable, it's origin is knowable, it's cessation is knowable, and the path leading to it's cessation is knowable. Anything else is pure conjecture, assumption, conclusion, view, convention, etc., etc. These four aspects of Dukkha are called Truths because they are free from the need for external verification. Thus, together with Dukkha, we can equally directly know change and non-self, i.e. objectivity.
In the light of this, the Dhamma seems quite reasonable. Anicca, Dukkha and
Thus the Sword of Wisdom cuts through Kilesa like a knife through a deck of cards, since it knows the properties of Anicca's successive arising and ceasing, Dukkha's dependence on ignorance (of these things), and Anatta's objective view of all phenomena by seeing them as completely devoid of any self or subjectivity. But who is it that knows all this?
Thus our practice consists of observing raw sense data, e.g. breath or physical
heart, without any judgment: (to assist this a Samana may recite the word "buddho" to help keep extraneous thought & judgment under control). In this way we learn to distinguish between raw sense data & the Citta's response to them. In this way delusion is gradually made knowable: plane & clear enough for the Citta to finally realize it's own true nature of just direct knowing.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Aasavas - Outflows - Proliferation.
The Citta doesn't realise that it is constantly generating an output stream of
proliferating thoughts, triggered by & in turn triggering off memories, so as to
maintain a perception of what it believes it's true self to be.
This outflow can be seen as four sub groups of proliferation, each of which
maintains or establishes a sense of identity of it's own.
The Proliferation of Views is probably the easiest to understand in this
context. Views & opinions being very strong forms of identity & attachment,
anything from politics to cooking recipes.
The other three being perhaps a little more subtle. First, lets take the most
basic form from which the others arise, namely Delusion. This is characterised
by a dullness, no doubt caused by the dissipative wear & tear of the other three types of Proliferation. The Citta, unknowingly, then jumps to the wrong conclusion & assumes this dullness to be a basic quality of itself & promptly identifies with it. Thus, in turn, becoming the cause for the other three types.
The Aasava of Becoming is often misleadingly given a philosophical
interpretation. But in fact is a real motivating force in it's own right. Nothing
less than the compulsive desire for existence and the corresponding terror of
Lastly, but by no means least, the Aasava of Sense Desires. This essentially includes every thing that impinges on the six sense bases. But it's most important and powerful form is the drive for sexual procreation: the topic of a whole article on its own.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
The Citta is always here & now
At the dissolution of the body, the Citta does not travel through Space/Time searching for a new rebirth that will match it's last moment of consciousness in the Kandhas.
What happens instead is that the appropriate rebirth arises within the Citta, in accordance with the last state of consciousness within the Kandhas of the
Friday, June 17, 2005
I think, therefore I am a jump to a conclusion, a proliferation of assumptions, a stream of subjective feelings, a lack of awareness of any of this.
I think, therefore I am aware of this, an objective fading observation.
I think, therefore I am . . .
But who is it that knows?
Monday, June 13, 2005
Kamma & Rebirth
K = habits > compulsions > obsessions; accumulating tendencies.
Starts off as a successful solution to a real problem: ends up as a rebirth
conditioning factor. A jumped to conclusion & resulting assumptions (unspoken & unquestioned) proliferating all the while, both for good & bad actions.
Rising to the Occasion.
A very general principle in Buddhism is Dependant Origination.
On the night of his Enlightenment the Buddha investigated a variation of the
formal Dependant Origination formula in which Consciousness doubled back on
itself from Avija ignorance/delusion. (See Nyanamoli's "Life of the Buddha").
He saw that these two factors where mutually suportive or conditioning. His
breakthrough was just in this simple realisation, this was the factor of Wisdom, previously missing, but now resulting in the total release from the Kammic predicament: it meant the end of Avija & the World as we know it.
Bava=becoming; accumulating tendencies; the room or environment
Kilesas arise in the heart according to the state of the heart, & in turn
condition the following state of the heart, having arisen therein. Hence the
concepts of Anicca & Kammic accumulations as well as the difficulty of breaking free of delusion & the need for Kammic windows of opportunity in doing this.
Kammic windows of opportunity arise when Kilesas are temporarily
dormant. This can be after emerging/withdrawing from Jhana or in the small
hours of the night after awakening bright & alert from a deep refreshing
sleep. Investigating dhammas at such times can be very useful
This is also handy for the Samana because, for example lust/cupidity & greed
conditions in general, he can intentionally bring up hatred for that condition.
Thereby changing the state of the heart to a condition which is completely
hostile to any greed type Kilesas: though at the same time, cultivating unskillful states due to an implied 'self view', necessary for any hatred to arise.
However, since this is done consciously, the Samana can cease the effort as soon as the desired result has been obtained.
Thus, for Greed types, hatred can be a powerful precision-tool, though for
Hate types, such a strategy would be disastrous, these people need to develop
Dhamma is such a powerful force on the heart that the motive behind it's
propagation has to be utterly pure. If the expounding Samana is an Arahant then there is no problem. But if he is less than that then his motive must be totally free of any Kilesa based self referencing. Even teaching for the benefit of the listener is not pure enough. The only motive that will work is the honest desire to further develop the Samana's own practice in some way. He has to identify an opportunity and go for it.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Proliferation > Subjectivity > Wrong conclusions & assumptions
Anicca > Objectivity > Right conclusions & assumptions
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
The Micro Processor Citta. Currently CPUs run at Ghz speeds. This means they can do an opperation in a billionth of a second, or a billion operations in one second. If this passes for multi tasking, how much more-so for the very much faster Citta; which, also, can only do one thing at a time.
On a Computer you can watch a full length feature film: whereas the Citta gives us the entire Cosmos as an analog display. Thus the Citta's _Annica_ characteristc compares well with the M/P's digital nature for purposes of comparison.
So that the assumed analog nature of the Cosmos is very limmiting. Given that a Samana can drop out of an apparently solid, or self identifying, experience with total ease, it is often useful to regard the Cosmos as _digital_ in nature.
However, for those who prefer to think of it as analog, they can still use the time honored 'sword of wisdom' concept: which is fairly straight forward if _Annica_ is well enough understood.
This is possible because _Annica_ is not quite discrete nor is it continuous, nor is it both , nor is it neather.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Q: Does the Citta do everything?
A: It is multi tasking & takes on the attributes of every function. Functions are discussed & described as entities in their own right, but this is just a manner of speaking for the sake of clarity when describing a sequence of events or some process-or-other.
The bottom line, however, is that the high speed tornado, the Citta, is doing everything sequentially: each instantanious manifestation conditioned by the previous one & in its turn conditioning the next.
However, this does not include the sources of sense impression, except where the Citta itself produces Nimitas. Nor does it include Feelings, these are bodily responses to Citta activity & the six types of sense impression.
All sentient beings are nodes on a cosmic flux of conciousness. This explains both synchronistic & telepathic phenomena, ie., IChing & the general inter-connectedness of the cosmos: ie why astrology & palm reading actually work; why the cut of a deck of cards or the pattern of a sudden cracking of a turtle shell are some kind of a snapshot of the cosmos at that moment in time. However, this is called a conventional view of the cosmos because it depends on the concepts of space & time. That is to say, there is nothing absolute nor direct about this view.
Asking the question, "If this is me, then who is it that knows?" or some other ploy that will objectify a subjective experience when such are presumed to be internally originated. Thus if the subjectivity of the experience continues, it is most likely to be an externally originated nimita.
External Nimitas are picked up by the conscious faculty of the mind/heart in much the same way that a radio picks up signals via an aerial. So that mental raw data impinges on the mind in much the same way that physical raw data impinges on any of the physical sense bases corresponding to the radio's aerial.
In either case the mind takes this raw data and interprets it in much the same way. Thereby constructing a model that we take to be the real world: an unspoken & unquestioned assumption; an experience.
As such it is almost impossible to distinguish between internal & external nimitas. So that ploys, which use some kind of logical reasoning to effect a change from subjectivity to objectivity, are required.
Thus any apparent correspondence between subjectivity and objectivity, whether internal or external, is thereby invalidated.
The Citta manifests as functions of both Intuition and Logic, though not at the same time. Thus it is important to have both in harmony for a well integrated personality.
Problem is when through education one dominates at the expence of the other. If Logic dominates then cut back on sleep & get fatigued & confused. Logic can't handle this & Intuition can assert itself.
If Intuition dominates then fix something eg., a broken clock etc., or design & build something, even if it is only with a computer. This is because the Citta is not discrete nor is it continuous, nor is it both , nor is it neather: it is _Anicca_.
Problems with above:
The concepts are 'space/time' ie conventional, not direct. Regardless of how well developed &/or balanced, they are still dissatisfying, incomplete, not free from the possibility of any future degredation. They do not solve the problem of Dukkha, do not point out delusion in any way: in fact are a continuation of it.