Reply To: SN 35.95 Malunkyaputta Sutta: To Malunkyaputta

y not

“our gati are AUTOMATICALLY taken into account via our RELATIONSHIP with the object that we see.”

It does not even have to be a relationship with that person or object. That person or object may act only as a trigger. For instance, we may be attracted to an object because it resembles one we were in contact with or possessed before. Yes ,gati comes in just the same.

It becomes more complex when it comes to persons. We are attracted or repulsed by something about a person, and immediately a person we actually know in this life may come to mind. It may well turn out to be that person in fact. If a real person does not come to mind, then it will be that we knew some one with a like physical feature or characteristic in past lives.

I see this happening mostly in relationships. Speaking now as a man, we have this ‘dream girl’ image built over many lives. This is how I see it. But what normally happens is that when we meet a woman with something of that dream girl about her, we at once project ALL of the dream girl onto her. Now we expect the woman to live up to that dream girl image; but, of course, the woman is real, not a dream; she can never fulfill those expectations. You will try to ‘make adjustments’ to her to conform to that image; on her part, if she is intent on pursuing the relationship further, she will try to adjust. But it cannot work. The only way for it to work is for both to accept the reality of the other as he and she is and make the best of it.

Then there is the case of ‘recognition’ rather than of projection. We KNOW ‘at first sight’ that we know that person (“our gati are AUTOMATICALLY taken into account via our RELATIONSHIP with the object that we see.”). Here the gati of both are involved; in the case of projection, for the most part it is the gati of the one doing most of the projection. If now you ask me, how to tell one kind of attraction from the other: one can tell, but not to another.

I wonder how others see this.