Reply To: Perceiving the sensual world


Excellent. You are on the right track. Let me highlight some critical issues.

1. You like to eat ice cream and smoke because that gives you “mind-made” pleasure. If ice cream has an innate “deliciousness,” all living beings should have the desire to eat it. Not even all humans like to smoke. These are habits (part of gati) that we cultivate.

  • Even the desire for sex is the same. Only those in kama loka see it as “giving pleasure.” To cultivate jhana and to be born a Brahma, one must see it as a hindrance to getting to a “higher stage.”
  • As long as we crave those things, we will be trapped in the kama loka. Paticca Samuppada (“pati icca leading to sama uppada” means such cravings are perpetuated in the rebirth process.)

2. Such cravings can lead to worse outcomes if we engage in immoral deeds to “have more of them.” 

  • For example, some people take bribes to make more money in seeking more sensory pleasure. Since that is an immoral deed, it could lead to a birth matching that lowly deed by being born a pig. Since that birth corresponds to “distasteful actions,” pigs crave feces. They get to reap the fruits of their actions. 
  • Those who commit violent deeds (killing) are likely to be born lions, tigers, etc., who have to depend on the flesh of other animals. Rebirths are, according to gati.

3. The release from cravings comes from developing a deeper understanding of these Paticca Samuppada processes. 

  • It is not easy to give up cravings because those are built into our births. But the only way out is to fully understand this vicious cyclic process: Births are according to gati, and gati are hard to break, so one gets trapped!
  • As one’s understanding grows, it becomes easier to give up cravings. I know by experience.
  • When one begins to understand why the Buddha called “sanna a mirage” and “vinnana a magician,” one’s mind will voluntarily give up those cravings. Here, “sanna” is the “innate sense/feeling” that ice cream or smoking can provide pleasure.
  • Again, I refer to the post “Fooled by Distorted Saññā (Sañjānāti) – Origin of Attachment (Taṇhā)” and other posts in the section “Sotapanna Stage via Understanding Perception (Saññā).” 


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