August 19, 2019 at 8:50 am #24380Tobias GParticipant
when I read the Wikipedia text about the Cosmological Argument there are some points why a first cause is necessary. But in your post you say in #1:
“The idea of a Creator as “the First Cause” has a long history … Logically it cannot be defended, but it has come to be a belief for those who have faith in a Creator.”
Why do you think so?
August 19, 2019 at 9:16 am #24382
Of course, those who believe in a cReator think that a “First Cause” is necessary.
But that idea of a “First Cause” is not an accepted theory or principle. It is made up by those believers! As I explained, it runs against the Principle of Causality. That is the point.
P.S. Please post a link a to the relevant post at puredhamma.net. Here the post in question is: “Wrong View of Creationism (and Eternal Future Life) – Part 2“.
Also, the title of the post should be started with “Post on xxxxx”. Otherwise, there could be problems with the search box. I have changed the topic of this thread so that it will be clear.
August 19, 2019 at 10:39 am #24385
The sutta’s also talk about: …” an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned” (Udana 8.3)
Does this not go against causality?
Some teach (i think correctly) that this unmade is from beginningless time the real nature of mind once freed from any greed, hate and delusion. In others words, it is only the natural effect of hate, greed and delusion due to which we identify with the conditioned domain (khandha’s) and start believing we are humans, living beings, and do exist in some personal way.
All such views as…’I am this or that’…I am a living being… I am a human… only arise due to (wrong) identification with khandha’s, not without. That’s why ‘being a human or living being’ is not absolute truth.
I belief, the real issue is: seeing that personal-existence does start any moment and ends any moment, due to causes and conditions (lobha, dosa, moha).
August 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm #24387
Siebe wrote: “The sutta’s also talk about: …” an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned” (Udana 8.3)
Does this not go against causality?”
No. It does not. I have explained this before, but since this is very important, I will lay it out one more time. If there are any questions, please ask them now after reading the following carefully.
1. There are six causes for things to arise in this world: lobha, dosa, moha and alobha, adosa, amoha.
– Akusala kamma (immoral actions) done with lobha, dosa, moha give rise to births in the four lowest realms or apayas.
– Punna Kamma (moral deeds) done with alobha, adosa, amoha give rise to births in the human and higher (good) realms.
2. However, even births in good realms do not solve the problem of suffering, because based on one’s temptations, one could do kamma with lobha, dosa, moha and then be born in the apayas.
3. When one comprehends 1 and 2 above, one would have realized the anicca nature: That existence in any realm WILL NOT bring permanent happiness, or more correctly it will not REMOVE future suffering.
4. When one understands that, thereafter any punna kamma will automatically become KUSALA kammma.
– KUSALA kamma are better than PUNNA kamma. Instead of leading to rebirth in the good realms, they lead one to Nibbana.
– This is a point that is hard for many people to understand. With the comprehension of Tillakkhana (that anicca nature leads to dukkha, which in turn leads to anatta or helplessness), one AUTOMATICALLY does kamma without any (hidden) expectation of a “good return in terms of good birth”.
– That is because one has understood that even births in the good realms WILL NOT solve the problem of future suffering.
5. When one proceeds this way, lobha, dosa, moha are removed in four stages: Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant.
– By the time one gets to the Arahant stage, one has removed lobha, dosa, moha completely.
– By that time, one has also removed any contamination of alobha, adosa, amoha as well. That is because one would have seen the futility of getting births in those good realms also.
6. Therefore, Nibbana (Arahanthood) is attained by REMOVING ALL SIX ROOT CAUSES.
– However, since an Arahant still has a live physical body, previous kamma vipaka can still result in bring bodily pains like injuries or body pains or sicknesses. However, any mental suffering would be gone.
– Then that Arahant attains Parinibbana (full Nibbaba) when the physical body dies at his death.
– AT that point, full Nibbana is realized and NO MORE SUFFERING will ever materialize.
7. It is important to understand that Nibbana IS NOT REACHED due to causes. Nibbana is reached when all six root causes are REMOVED.
– That is what is meant by asankata, unborn, unmade, unconditioned, etc. for Nibbana.
– On the other hand sankata (things in this world) arise due to those six causes. Words like born, made, conditioned, are associated with sankata.
So, it is very important to understand the difference between punna kamma and kusala kamma.
– Until one comprehends the anicca nature, all moral deeds are just PUNNA kamma. After comprehension of Tilakkhana, any moral deeds will automatically be KUSALA kamma.
See, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma“.
P.S. Today, I re-wrote the above post.
August 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm #24389
For Christians, the Creator, the First cause, created everything at a point in time, the Creator himself being of course causeless and timeless.
As a boy I used to ask myself: so what of the eternal time prior to that event? However long creation lasts, even if forever, it cannot be longer than all the time in the past without creation. Both ‘the void’ and creation would be infinite (one-way) in time. As far as duration goes, the work of this God would not surpass the state of non-existence (prior to the act of creation).
And having spent eternity in inactivity, what was it that all at once gave him the urge to create? So that we here, on the one planet in the universe that harbours life (!), 4,000 years after creation, would be saved by his only son! Really?
One of the many charges of heresy levelled against Giordano Bruno by the ‘Holy’ Inquisition was, besides his belief in the ‘transmigration of souls’, even to animals, was his affirmation of the ‘plurality of worlds’ and of an infinite number of inhabited planets in an infinite universe. The trouble with that, as far as the Roman Church was concerned, was that Christ would have to eternally ‘go doing the rounds’, as it were, being crucified time after time, saving one humanity after another endlessly! Bruno was burned at the stake in the year 1600, a martyr to free thought and defiance of dogmatic ecclesiastical authority. He dabbled in occult, mysterious literature – and I wonder where exactly he got his ideas from.
August 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm #24405
Lal, do i understand you correct that you teach that Nibbana is something individual, personal and local? It is just the cognitive proces (or mind) definitely freed from lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa and amoha?
It is not beyond space and time like some say?
Another question: Why does a personal lifestream have no beginning? It is has an end why does it not have a beginning?
August 20, 2019 at 3:09 pm #24406
“Lal, do i understand you correct that you teach that Nibbana is something individual, personal and local?”
Nibbana is ragakkhaya, dosakkhaya, mohakkhaya.
That is what is in the Tipitaka and that is what I have explained.
“It is just the cognitive proces (or mind) definitely freed from lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa and amoha?”
“Why does a personal lifestream have no beginning? It is has an end why does it not have a beginning?”
I have explained in this post that according to the principle of Causality, there cannot be a beginning to life. The Buddha kept recalling his past lives and could not see a beginning.
August 21, 2019 at 6:51 am #24413
I find it confusing. It seems like Nibbana can refer to the cognitive proces freed from the six roots. That is something personal and of this world. On the other hand Nibbana is also refered to as not-of-this-world, or even unmade, unbecome and unconditioned. A cognitive proces is not unmade and not unconditioned and of this world. So, how can a cognitive proces ever refer to Nibbana?
I still find it a strange and unstatisfying idea that there have always been a certain number of lifestreams without any origin. They just have been always there. I have to digest this some way.
August 21, 2019 at 7:06 am #24414
“Every blade of grass eventually attains ‘Enlightenment’ “.
As we know, the various Mahāyāna schools contain tenets that are contradictory to Buddhadhamma, but, at the same time, they retain and at least profess to abide by, what is in the Tipitaka as well.
I ask this because, seeing that Nibbana has a beginning but no end, I was not sure whether to continue ‘… and sansara has no beginning but has an end’
Now a blade of grass is not a sentient being. But what about sentient beings? Is it inevitable that a being eventually attains Nibbana? Or can some or many or most – I do not know- linger on in sansara indefinitely?
As far as I can make out, it will depend in each and every case entirely on an individual being’s capacity to understand Dhamma (through persistent effort spanning many a bhava) when the right conditions are there. That there is an infinite time ahead available does not mean that a being MUST attain Nibbana sooner or later as a matter of course.
……already we have spent an infinite time in sansara AS IT IS- and we are still here – a million or multiple billions more bhava in sansara will not make our stay in sansara ‘more’ infinite. This is the basis.
Does the Tipitaka say anything about this?
August 21, 2019 at 4:22 pm #24428
has Nibbana a beginning?
August 21, 2019 at 9:22 am #24419
Siebe wrote: “So, how can a cognitive process ever refer to Nibbana?”
Who said that Nibbana (after Parinibbana) is a cognitive process?
– When Parinibbana (at the death of an Arahant) is attained, the cognitive processes (as we know it) ceases.
– Until then the cognitive process gets better as one gets to higher magga phala.
The cognitive process in “this world” is associated with citta, cetasika, and rupa. All those cease to exist at Nibbana.
There are four ultimate realities: citta, cetasika, rupa, and Nibbana.
– The first three are associated with “this world”.
– When one transcends (overcome) this world, one gets to Nibbana, where there is no suffering.
– See, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhammā – Introduction“.
y not wrote: “Every blade of grass eventually attains ‘Enlightenment’ “.
These Mahāyāna concepts are not worthy of discussion.
– There are totally inert things like rocks. There are living “things” like grass and plants. And there are living “beings” like animals and humans.
Buddha Dhamma can explain the origin of living “things” and living “beings”. That is what we will discuss in detail in the new “Origin of Life” series.
P.S. Actually, Buddha Dhamma explains the origin of inert things too: “The Origin of Matter – Suddhātthaka“.
August 21, 2019 at 9:59 am #24420
I was asking for Tipitaka reference that a being’s stay in sansara can last forever – i.e, that it may be that Nibbana is never attained, despite an eternity of time in the future to attain It:
-“Is it inevitable that a being eventually attains Nibbana? Or can some or many or most – I do not know- linger on in sansara indefinitely? “- ….and following.
I of course refute the opening quotation; it only leads to the question via connection.
August 21, 2019 at 10:21 am #24421
y not wrote: “I was asking for Tipitaka reference that a being’s stay in sansara can last forever”.
One will stay in sansara until one attains Nibbana. We don’t need a Tipitaka reference to see that.
Think about this: We all have so far stayed in sansara for eternity since there is no logical beginning to life. Buddha himself tried to look back at a “beginning” but could not see. Of course, he was able to see “himself” getting “niyata vivarana” from Buddha Deepankara some trillions of years ago! See, “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?“.
There are infinite beings trapped in sansara right now. In any future time, there will still be infinity of beings in sansara.
– Infinity minus infinity is still infinity!
– Infinity is a very complex subject. Luckily, mathematicians have studied it in detail and have come to that last conclusion. See, “Infinity – How Big Is It?“.
That is why the Buddha advised not to think about such “imponderable issues”. Each person should be just focused on ending suffering. We have only a limited time in this life. We should spend that precious time on important things.
– One may question whether my recent posts on the origin of life are relevant to get rid of suffering. That broad picture or world view can help one get rid of the sakkaya ditthi.
August 21, 2019 at 11:04 am #24422
I stop questioning those things about Nibbana. Thanks.
August 21, 2019 at 2:58 pm #24426
–”One may question whether my recent posts on the origin of life are relevant to get rid of suffering” . Well, per se they are not, on your own admission and the Buddha’s word. I was a bit surprised that you intend to dedicate a whole series of posts to the subject – hence my venturing to contribute to the discussion(s).
But: “That broad picture or world view can help one get rid of the sakkaya ditthi.” Indeed.
with deepest Gratitude,
P.S. Perhaps a more clear idea of what I have been trying to say is that the ‘Infinite Monkey Theorem’ does not hold. Just because there is an infinite time ahead available does not mean that a monkey will eventually hit all the right keys on a typewriter to produce the text of any given book, likewise a being does not of neccessity attain Nibbana in the infinite future. This topic about the Infinite Monkey Theorem was touched upon at the very time when you set up the Forum, or thereabouts if I remember correctly.
August 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm #24429
y not wrote: “I have been trying to say is that the ‘Infinite Monkey Theorem’ does not hold. Just because there is an infinite time ahead available does not mean that a monkey will eventually hit all the right keys on a typewriter to produce the text of any given book, likewise a being does not of neccessity attain Nibbana in the infinite future..”
That is right.
By the way, you can find that thread by typing, “Infinite Monkey Theorem” in the Search box for the forum (not the at the main site Search box).
Siebe asked: “has Nibbana a beginning?”
Yes. The full and complete Nibbana starts at the death of an Arahant (at Parinibbana). No more suffering forever after that.
August 22, 2019 at 5:50 am #24441
I have always understood Nibbana is asankhata. Does this not also mean that it has no beginning? It does not arise at any moment?
AN3.47 explains that the charateristic of the unconditioned are opposite to the conditioned, i.e. ..”no arising is evident, no vanishing is evident, and no change while persisting is evident”. (translation bhikkhu Sujato)
I have asked another question but maybe this is lost in the thread and unseen. Can you please answer this? The question: does the concept of lifestream in essence not refer to PS?
August 22, 2019 at 6:09 am #24442
Perhaps this will help you in reviewing your question:
Nibbana as Nibbana can have no beginning, and, of course, no end as well. An infinite number of beings have attained it (in the past), and an infinite number will attain it in the future. It was always there to be attained, though for any particular being ‘It does not exist’ until attained. So, It has a beginning only as far as any being in particular is concerned.
I leave to Lal the fuller explanation as well as your last question.
August 22, 2019 at 7:03 am #24443
Siebe wrote: “I have always understood Nibbana is asankhata. Does this not also mean that it has no beginning? It does not arise at any moment?”
I have also explained Nibbana as asankata. I stated above that it has a beginning, that it arises at the death of an Arahant. Why are you going in circles?
– Sankata means something prepared or something that arises due to causes. Any sankata arises due to lobha, dosa, moha and that is what we will be discussing in the new series on “Origin of Life”. That translates to something prepared with the four great elements.
– Anything that is prepared with the four great elements of patavi, apo, tejo, vayo (or atoms/molecules in modern science) come to existence, change during its existence, and eventually destroyed.
– That is what is stated in AN 3.47, “..arising of a sankata is evident, vanishing of a sankata is evident, and during its existence that sankata keeps changing”.
– Think about any sankata in this world: a tree, animal, human, Sun, Earth, etc. They all have those three characteristics. A tree comes to life as a little bud. It grows (i.e., changes). Then it dies. Let me know if you can name one thing in this world that does not have those three features.
On the other hand, Nibbana is asankata. It does not arise due to causes. It is not prepared with atoms/molecules (or the four great elements) or anything else. It arises when all root causes are removed.
– When all sankata are stopped from arising, Nibbana results. Very simply, that means a life-stream will end. No more rebirths in this world.
– Nibbana has no ending. Therefore, it does not have those last two characteristics of a sankata. – But it has a beginning: the death of an Arahant. That life-stream ends and “full Nibbaba” or Parinibbana starts.
Siebe asked: “does the concept of lifestream in essence not refer to PS?”
Why do you say that?
– A lifestream is a sankata, and any sankata can be explained in terms of (akusala-mula) Paticca Samuppada (PS).
– It is just that a beginning to the first step of a life-stream, “avijja paccaya sankhara” cannot be discerned, i.e., the beginning of any given life-stream (you or me or anyone else) cannot be discerned.
– As I have also explained, that is consistent with the Principle of Causality.
Akusala-mula Paticca Samuppada (PS) leads to and sustains the continuation of a life-stream. When one existence ends, another starts. A given existence is called a sankata. For a life-stream, as soon as one existence (sankata) ends, another (sankata) starts. There is no end until Arahanthood is attained.
– Kusala-mula Paticca Samuppada (PS) leads to Nibbana.
August 22, 2019 at 7:21 am #24444ChristianParticipant
First it’s crazy what kind of attitude and approach people have here sometimes. It’s like ants trying to figure it out something beyond their capability. Most people are not able to understand simple math but go into discussion based on their own limited view about world beginning, creation – it’s waste of time. Lal is clearly explaining what we can understand and make logical sense in relation to Dhamma, if you can not understand it do not try to substitute with your own ideas about it. Those matter are related closely to getting rid of hate, greed and lust – without that one will never understand those things because one does not have contrast or layout (Nibbana) to relate to it. What you have is only bunch of thoughts of “what I think” without any substance on ground. Somebody need put some people in check as it will bring endless conversation without any resolve. :D
First this speculation is only speculation is obvious acinteyya but let’s try to make logical sense out of it with some simplicity.
Life have no beginning but have an end (Nibbana), Nibbana have beginning but have no end. This make perfect sense in terms of how mechanics and nature works.
Laws of nature, mechanics of it and how life is created and destroyed does not need to be created by the first cause. It can be seen in human development the deeper insight into mechanics and outcomes and more technological advanced we became. There is whole spectrum of invisible world which we can not see so one having materialist world view and in general world view will have hard time figure it out thinking that all it is. Even pure materialist will see it true that there are many invisible factors that come into play even in development of matter, human scientific/material progress etc. which can be explained probably never be.
Stop thinking that you are that smart that you can figure it out. We are not more then ants or even less that just are pushed by hate, greed and lust. We will never know it but we can only make logical sense to Dhamma teachings and how Buddha explained it. It’s to connect some dots not to speculate, so stop speculating as it will make no sense and you will pile up the wrong views like fat on wrong diet.
August 22, 2019 at 8:31 am #24445
I do understand why many people (not many at this forum), have a “mental block” on the following:
They think that Nibbana is the extinction of a “person”. P.S. That is a version of sakkaya ditthi. The wrong view of an “everlasting self” or “sassata ditthi” that I discussed in the new series on “Origin of Life”.
When one understands Paticca Samuppada (PS), one will realize that there is no such “unchanging person”. There are only causes and effects. Kamma vipaka are brought by past kamma AND conditions.
– Each good or bad life is the result of a past (good or bad) kamma.
– But the hard part is that until one comprehends that, there will always be the sanna of an “unchanging self” or a “soul” or an “atma” (in Hinduism).
– Each “person” is subjected to unimaginable suffering in the rebirth process due to this wrong view and wrong sanna.
– Hopefully, the new series on “Origin of Life” will help clarify this a bit more clearly.
– The key point, of course, is that there is really “no unchanging person”, as discussed in the above post. But, as long as one has sakkaya ditthi, one thinks there is such an “unchanging-self”.
– If one is reborn an animal, is that still the same “me”? Is it worthwhile to be born an animal?
– Think about the suffering of an animal. Other than domesticated animals, others suffer so much. A bird may appear to live an easy life. But a bird is in constant fear of being eaten. There are no “old animals” in the wild. As soon as they start approaching the old age, they get slow and are eaten. They get eaten alive!
– Of course, the suffering in the other three realms in the apayas can be much worse.
August 23, 2019 at 3:53 pm #24469cubibobiParticipant
“They think that Nibbana is the extinction of a “person””
From my experience, when talking to people who view Nibbana as “extinction”, I sense an unease in them: there is no one left to “enjoy” Nibbana.
To make matters worse is the translation of “Parinibbana” in my native language. “Parinibbana” is translated as “Enter Nibbana”. Thus the Buddha’s Parinibbana is translated as: “The Buddha entered Nibbana”. This gives the imagery of Nibbana as a “place” of eternal happiness, like an eternal heaven.
If this happens in your native languages, then beware of it. At puredhamma.net, we are fortunate to have Lal explain Dhamma concepts in Pali terms. After the concepts sink in, we can contemplate Dhamma concepts directly with Pali.
For me, a great example of this is Lal’s explanation of Paticca samuppāda (pati + ichcha leading to sama uppada). With that understanding, looking at “Paticca samuppāda”, we can see the meaning staring right at us, without resorting to a rendering to another language such as “dependent origination”, “dependent co-arising”, etc. In my native language, it is rendered “twelve-link conditionals”. (As an aside, “anatta” is also literally “no self” in my language).
One more thing to be wary of: in “sabbe dhammā anatta”, some very well-known teachers include Nibbana in here (dhammā), and that anatta is “no self”; and thus consequently “Nibbana is no self” . I know this for a fact, since I saw this time and time again prior to puredhamma.net, and I’m still seeing it taught this way, as I’m sure you are too.
If we make the effort to learn the Pali words (at least the key ones), we can cut down on a lot of overthinking.
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