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en:lib:authors:thanissaro:talking_nibbana [2019/08/04 06:36]
Johann span v2
en:lib:authors:thanissaro:talking_nibbana [2019/08/12 11:51] (current)
Johann p first
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 So the questions in both cases — the question seeking a description of unbinding and the question seeking a description of the status of the arahant — try to apply classifications of thought that don’t properly apply in either case. At the same time, they come from states of mind that cause suffering and — if clung to — would get in the way of reaching unbinding. So there are both formal reasons — related to definitions and ways of reasoning — and strategic reasons for refusing to answer these questions. So the questions in both cases — the question seeking a description of unbinding and the question seeking a description of the status of the arahant — try to apply classifications of thought that don’t properly apply in either case. At the same time, they come from states of mind that cause suffering and — if clung to — would get in the way of reaching unbinding. So there are both formal reasons — related to definitions and ways of reasoning — and strategic reasons for refusing to answer these questions.
  
-<p class="​first">**But when we look** at other passages in the Canon, we find that its strategies in treating these two topics — unbinding and the status of the arahant — diverge. On the one hand, the Buddha and his arahant disciples consistently refuse to describe the status of the arahant after death. In fact, this refusal is so insistent that in [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​sn:​sn22:​sn22.086.than|SN 22:86]] the Buddha points out that the arahant can’t be properly defined even when alive. And in the same sutta, the Buddha rejects the idea that the arahant after death could be described not only in any of the four ways — collectively called the tetralemma, because it covers four alternatives — but also in any other way at all.+<span first>​**But when we look** at other passages in the Canon, we find that its strategies in treating these two topics — unbinding and the status of the arahant — diverge. On the one hand, the Buddha and his arahant disciples consistently refuse to describe the status of the arahant after death. In fact, this refusal is so insistent that in [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​sn:​sn22:​sn22.086.than|SN 22:86]] the Buddha points out that the arahant can’t be properly defined even when alive. And in the same sutta, the Buddha rejects the idea that the arahant after death could be described not only in any of the four ways — collectively called the tetralemma, because it covers four alternatives — but also in any other way at all.</​span>​
  
 On the other hand, though, there are times when the Buddha and his arahant disciples //do// give descriptions of unbinding. [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_1|Ud 8:1]] and [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_2|Ud 8:2]] state unequivocally that unbinding exists. [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_1|Ud 8:1]] also describes it as a dimension or sphere //​(āyatana).//​ Other passages describe it as a state //(pada// — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Iti/​iti43|Iti 43–44]]; [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Dhp/​Ch17#​dhp228|Dhp 228]]; //​ṭhāna//​ — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​sn:​sn6:​sn6.01|.thanSN 6:1]]) and as a property or element //(dhātu// — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Iti/​iti44|Iti 44]]; [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud5_5|Ud 5:5]] = [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​an:​an08:​an08.019.than|AN 8:19]]). On the other hand, though, there are times when the Buddha and his arahant disciples //do// give descriptions of unbinding. [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_1|Ud 8:1]] and [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_2|Ud 8:2]] state unequivocally that unbinding exists. [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud8_1|Ud 8:1]] also describes it as a dimension or sphere //​(āyatana).//​ Other passages describe it as a state //(pada// — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Iti/​iti43|Iti 43–44]]; [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Dhp/​Ch17#​dhp228|Dhp 228]]; //​ṭhāna//​ — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​sn:​sn6:​sn6.01|.thanSN 6:1]]) and as a property or element //(dhātu// — [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:​Iti/​iti44|Iti 44]]; [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​kn:/​Ud/​ud5_5|Ud 5:5]] = [[:​en:​tipitaka:​sut:​an:​an08:​an08.019.than|AN 8:19]]).
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 So this paradoxical awareness, without object or support, is another feature of the goal. So this paradoxical awareness, without object or support, is another feature of the goal.
  
-<p class="​first">**These are just a few** of the descriptions of unbinding found in the Canon. The question is, why did the Buddha refuse to describe the arahant after death and yet give so many descriptions of unbinding? He himself never says, but a number of answers can be inferred from what the Canon itself says about definition and description in general. Those answers fall into two sorts:+<span first>​**These are just a few** of the descriptions of unbinding found in the Canon. The question is, why did the Buddha refuse to describe the arahant after death and yet give so many descriptions of unbinding? He himself never says, but a number of answers can be inferred from what the Canon itself says about definition and description in general. Those answers fall into two sorts:</​span>​
  
 <​blockquote>​ <​blockquote>​
en/lib/authors/thanissaro/talking_nibbana.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/12 11:51 by Johann