Reply To: AN1.310


I belief understanding tilakkhana, at least to a beginners level, means one has become more realistic, less dreaming, with less high expactations of life. It is like one discards the inner childishness. The inner childishness, the naif part of our understanding of life.

When the Buddha saw the messangers, the death person, the sick person, the old person, his naif understanding of life was suddenly challenged. This is what the messangers do with people today too.
But often there is the attitude we have to go further with life and our ambitions, plans and forget the messangers.

Anyway with a basis understanding of tilakkhana, i feel, one also understands that craving can never ever be helpful. One understands that all those present habitual forces of mine-making, greed, of hate, of conceit, jaloesy, etc. it is of no use at all. Still, it is there so one has to deal with it in a wise manner.

-Seeing permanence in the impermanent can be seen when we think we are in controll. Everything is like we wishes it to be. The computer functions. The body is not ill. The car has no defects. One feels like everything goes well and all is under control. At that moment one sees permanence in the impermanent. One has a sense of safety while in fact there is still unsafety. This is a very common tendency, right? But it will all end, also this status quo will change. The body will become ill, the computer will crash etc. But one cannot denie that the deluded view of being in controll comes with a nice feeling of happiness.

We like things to be permanent and stabel. No crashes of computer, no illnesses of the body, no problems. This tendency is very strong with me.
I am frightened of how life is. During the years, i have become more and more frightened because i have experienced nothing can really be trusted or relied upon. One has to find a mode in which one does not resist this fact of life. No one can help you with this, is my experience, because everybody in the world is denying this fact of life of tries to comfort you and tries to let you see it is not that bad. The Buddha does not. He saw that it is indeed the truth that there is no refuge in this world of conditioned phenomena. There is no safety to be found. So, the anxiety, stress, fears are not bad messangers. It shows there is understanding, but still limited ofcourse, because the refuge is still not yet seen or found. That’s the work to do.

Seeing self in what is not -self is, for example, when one sees feelings, the body, energy, habitual forces, odeurs, tastes, visuals, etc. mental formations etc as “this is mine, this is who i am, this is my self’.

Seeing attractiveness in what is not attractive can be seen when we think something will make us happy while it can’t. A nice picture Lal uses is that of bait. We do not see the hook. Therefor it looks attractive but in fact it is very unattractive. The happiness of sense-pleasure also look very attractive when you suffer. For one suffering the happiness that come with drug, liquor, porn, computergames, candy etc look very attractive. The Buddha did not denie this according the sutta’s. It is because there is happiness in experiences that beings become stained. But ofcourse, those things are not really attractive, they only look that way. It’s gonna turn out bad when we take the bait.

Seeing happiness in what is suffering can relate to the former, but i think it can also relate to any existence. Some will see happiness in deva existence, but probably others will see suffering in any existence. That i have lived many lives, and have shed many tears and blood, left many bodies is not really appealing to me (yet). I know, some students become motivated to escape samsara when they think about such matters, but i notice, to be honest, it is not in my system.