Perceiving the sensual world

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    • #46876
      Yash RS

      I would suggest that everyone should watch this video, I got to know something unique about Dhamma, thanks to Gad he sent me.

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    • #46893

      Thank you, Yash and Gad!

      1. I listened to most of the discourse. It is good. In particular, after around the 1-hour mark, Thero’s discussion of the “origins of the sensual pleasures” is excellent. As he explains it is made up by the mind. That is what I called “distorted saññā” in my recent posts.

      • He discusses how “distorted saññā” arises. For example, the actual origin of a “taste” is a chemical signal that the brain receives. That signal is taken as a “pleasurable” by the mind. Based on that, the mind attaches with raga, dosa, and moha, and generates a “defiled saññā.”


      2. The critical point here is that the receptiors in a pig’s tongue are wired differently compared to a human’s. 

      • Thus, while a a piece of rotten meat will taste great for a pig, it tastes yucky/disgusting for a human.
      • In the same way, rotten meat or feces will smell bad for a pig, but a human finds that smell repulsive.
      • It is just a matter of how sensory receptors are wired differently in a pig versus a human.


      3. The second critical point is: That “wiring” is done by kammic energy.

      • The “wiring” matches the “gati” of each sentient being.
      • I will discuss that in upcoming posts.


      4. Therefore, that discussion will help you understand my recent posts discussing “distorted saññā” and “defiled saññā.”


      5. There is nothing intrinsically “tasty” or “disgusting” in a piece of rotten meat or anything else! 

      • The same holds for all sensory inputs. A given object that looks desirable to one species may appear repulsive to another species. We don’t find grass to have any appeal, but a lush patch of grass looks appealing to cows. Even among humans, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” as the commonly used saying goes.
      • How “distorted saññā” gives rise to “mind-made vedanā” may be hard to believe but that is the truth discovered by the Buddha.


      6. Types of vedanā (including “mind-made vedanā”) are discussed in many posts : For example, “Does Bodily Pain Arise Only Due to Kamma Vipāka?” and “Vēdanā and Samphassa-Jā-Vēdanā – More Than Just Feelings.”


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    • #47037
      Yash RS

      Does an Anagami forget how a particular pleasure feels?

      For example, the Taste of a vanilla ice cream, normal people recall how it tastes and then start craving for it. But how does an Anagami respond to it? Can he recall the taste but still not attach/want it or will he not be able to recall it’s taste at all?

      Does this affect the memory power/recalling power of the Anagami?

      I know taste is mind-made feeling but I still want to confirm.

    • #47038

      I don’t think normal people can recall the taste of ice cream as taste is a very difficult thing to recall. The same is true of smells and tactile sensations, which is why we value having physical bodies to the degree that we do; so we can make contact with those things. By contrast, you can recall sights and sounds, although, they will of course be distorted.

    • #47042

      Yash asked: “Does an Anagami forget how a particular pleasure feels?”

      An Anagami or Arahant would still taste the flavor of ice cream. They still get the “distorted sanna” of the flavor of ice cream or the lovely smell of a rose.
      – But their minds don’t get to the next step of attaching to that and making it a “defiled sanna/vinnana.”
      – Their minds have comprehended the fact that the “flavor of ice cream” or the “beauty of a person” is made up the mind according to the existence (bhava.) That is why while humans experience a “foul odor” from rotten meat/feces, a pig loves that odor and tastes it delicious too. Please read the new post carefully.

      “Does this affect the memory power/recalling power of the Anagami?”
      – No.

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    • #47051
      Yash RS

      Whenever we see let’s say chocolate, we can recall/feel it’s taste through the past memory of the chocolate’s flavour, we remember how it tastes, we can feel it on our tongue just by thinking about it.
      This is “Defiled Vinnana”, right?

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    • #47052

      It is correct to say that thiniking about chocolate can recall the “chocolate taste.”
      – Even an Arahant can recall that taste. However, it is only a “DISTORTED sanna” for an Arahant. Arahant’s mind KNOWS that it is a MIRAGE and thus would not attach to it.
      – For a puthujjana, that “distorted sanna” instantaneously leads to a “DEFILED sanna” and a “DEFILED vinnana”. The mind automatically adds raga and moha (for chocolate taste), and that is why it becomes DEFILED.

      The Buddha said that the mind is the fastest entity in the world.

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    • #47079
      Yash RS

      So does it mean that an Anagami or Arahant would still be able to recall even sexual pleasure/feeling but still won’t get triggered by it? 


    • #47082

      Of course.

      • They can also watch an “X-rated movie” without generating any lust. They can see “beautiful people” as such (just like a puthujjana), but their minds don’t get any “pleasure” from that illusion. It’s the same with tasty food. They taste the food to be ‘”tasty” because that is how their physical bodies originated (that is explained with the “uppatti bhavanga” but it is not necessary to understand the mechanism;  if one is knowledgeable in Abhidhamma that also can be understood.)
      • There is no difference between that and recalling one’s own previous experiences.

      They fully understand that “beauty, taste, etc.” are mind-made. 

      • It is like uncovering the “trick” involved in a magic show. Then one can see it is just a “trick” and the ‘magic show” will not bring any pleasure.
      • However, enjoying a magic show is temporary and does not have drastic consequences. Enjoying “sensory pleasures based on distorted sanna” can be deadly. That is because people tend to engage in immoral activities (stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and even killing) as a consequence of such “distorted sanna.” Such actions (kamma) will bring their consequences (kamma vipaka) in this life itself, and also rebirths in the apayas.
      • Once fully comprehended (with the breaking of both ditthi vipallasa and sanna vipallasa), a mind will not see any value in enjoying “sensory pleasures.”
      • That is why it is all about learning the true teachings of the Buddha. That knowledge (panna) itself is enough to break all samsaric bonds and attain Nibbana in this life itself. That is the same as “uncovering the pabhassara mind” by removing the layers of dirt/defilements. It all happens with the cultivation of knowledge (panna.)
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