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It's Elementary

Suttas Connected to Analysis of Elementary Data[1]

Outline (This is a fairly long "spell", and a good example of why these suttas should not be abbreviated...there is no place out there where this one is "spelled out" completely, and the latter half is very easy to ignore, but it is very big medicine.)

Data; element: Dhatu
Diversity; different, differentiation: Nanatta

Dhatu: The Different Data:

Eye, Visible Object, Eye-consciousness
Ear, Sounds, Hearing-consciousness
Nose, Scents, Smelling-consciousness
Tongue, Tastes, Tasting-consciousness
Body, Touch, body-consciousness
Mind, Ideas (Dhammas), Mental Consciousness

These are the different data.

Samphassa: Own-touch

dhātunānattam paṭicca uppajjati phassananattam
data-diversity rebound-a to-up-born touch-diversity

Different data give rise to differing touches. Or:
Because there are differing data, there is differentiated contact. Or:
The upshot of the percussion of differing data is differing touch.
Horner: Because of the diversity in elements, brethren, arises diversity of contact.
Bodhi: Bhikkhus, it is in dependence on the diversity of elements that there arises diversity of contacts.

Eye contact becomes, rebounding off eye-data. Or:
The upshot of eye-data-percussion is eye touch...etc.
Ear contact becomes, rebounding off ear-data
Nose contact becomes, rebounding off nose-data
Tongue contact becomes, rebounding off tongue-data
Body contact becomes, rebounding off body-data
Mind contact becomes, rebounding off mind-data

 


 

No ce tam:

Get it straight. As simple and straight-forward as this may seem, it is of absolutely vital importance when it comes to the way the ordinary common man's "sub-conscious" perceives the world and the self, which is exactly the other way around, that is: "Because I exist, the diversity of elements exists."
[It's 'because of the diversity of thought-data percussing the mind that there is the appearance of a thinking being; not that because of a thinking being there is the diversity of thought data.]

Unless the reader is very unusual, he will be thinking: 'But this is how I see this.'

This is the difference: the ordinary common man understands that 'different data give rise to differing touches' as a matter of conforming to the 'world' view of how things are. He thinks this is how he thinks because he identifies with thinking in words, not 'seeing' how he thinks by inference from how he behaves.

A person would be considered mad here to be running around saying 'Because I see, things exist.'

But what reveals his unconscious thinking — his true way of seeing things, is how he behaves, which is contrary to the way he would behave if he really believed that 'different data give rise to differing touches' was the reality: he is upset when he does not see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or think what he wants, as if there should be some power over these functions vested in him. His more sophisticated behaviors are built on these initial fundamental reactions, and so on.

Getting a grip on the way it really is is one of the fundamental building blocks to an understanding of 'Not Self'.

 


 

Dhātunānattaṃ paṭicca uppajjati phassanānattam//
no phassanānattaṃ paṭicca uppajjati dhātunānattaṃ// //

Data-diversity rebound to upborn touch-diversity//
not touch-diversity rebound to upborn data-diversity// //

It is because of the diversity in elements that there is differentiated contact;
it is not because of the diversity of contacts (for example eye concocting visible object, ear concocting sound, etc) that there is a diversity of elements.

This is the order in which it happens.

Vedana: Experience, Sense Experience, Feeling

Dhātunānattaṃ paṭicca uppajjati phassanānattam
phassanānattam paṭicca uppajjati vedananānattam

Data-diversity rebound-a to-up-born touch-diversity;
touch-diversity rebound-a to-up-born sense-experience diversity.

Different data produce the appearance of differing touches.
Different touches produce the appearance of differing sense experiences.

Eye-data rebounds born as eye-touch
eye-touch rebounds born as eye-sense experience

Different touches do not arise as a consequence of different sense experiences
Different data do not arise as a consequence of different touches.

 


 

The previous dealt with the matter from the starting point of the eye which is known as an "internal" element, so that section is said to have dealt with the issue from the point of view of the personal.

The following is the same issue stated from the point of view of the "external".

 


 

This is the diversity of data:

Visible-object data
Sound-data
Scent-data
Taste-data
Touch-data
Idea-data

Saññā. Perception

Different data rebound born as different perceptions
Because of different perceptions, different sankappas[2]

Bhikkhu Bodhi: "intentions".

Because of different principles, different wishes (chanda)
Because of different wishes, different passions (pari'āha.)[3]

Because of different passions, different satisfaction-seeking[4]

And again, but even more important:

It is not the difference in satisfaction seeking that leads to different passions;
It is the difference in passions that leads to the differences in satisfaction seeking.

It is not the difference in passions that leads to the difference in wishes;
it is the difference in wishes that leads to the difference in passions.

It is not the difference in wishes that leads to the difference in principles;
It is the difference in principles that leads to the difference in wishes.

It is not the difference in principles that leads to the difference in perceptions;
It is the difference in perceptions that leads to the difference in principles.

Because of visible-object data visible object perception
Because of visible object perception, visible object principles[5]
because of visible object principles, visible object wishes
because of visible object wishes, visible object passions
because of visible object passions, visible object satisfaction seeking.

Contact:

Because of differing satisfaction-seekings, differing outcomes.

 


 

Seven data-sets:

Light
Beauty
Limitless Space
Limitless Consciousness
No-Thing
Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception
The Ending of Perception and Sense Experience

The Light element is made known by darkness
The beauty element is made known by repulsivity
Limitless Space is made known by objects
Limitless Consciousness is made known by Limitless Space
No-Thing(ness) is made known by Limitless Consciousness
Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception is made known by No-Thing(ness)
The Ending of Perception and Sense Experience is made known by Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception.

Directly knowing the light, beauty, limitless space, limitless consciousness, and no-thing elements is accomplished through sharpened perception.

Directly knowing the neither-perception-nor-non-perception element is attained by
saŋkhārāvasesasamāpatti
saŋkhāra avasesa samāpatti

confounding-remaining-attainment.

Bhikkhu Bodhi: "an attainment with a residue of formations"
Rhys Davids: "by attainment in the remaining activities of mind"

Bhikkhu Bodhi takes his meaning from Buddhaghossa.

We do have the formula for arriving at this stage elsewhere in the letting go of the Realm of No-Thing There. We also know that even this high jhana is said to be "sankaramed", so I do not see why we should think of the sankhara here as anything other than what it usually is: the intentional act of creating the personal experience of a thing and the outcome of that action. And I would just leave it at that.

The sphere of the Ending of Perception and Sense Experience is directly known through the attaining of "ending".

 


 

Nidāna: Downbound

Downbound to something, thinking lustful thoughts arises;
not not downbound.
Downbound to something, thinking angry thoughts arises;
not not downbound.
Downbound to something, thinking cruel thoughts;
not not downbound.

Downbound to what?

Downbound to Lust-data; lust-perception arises;
Downbound to lust-perception, lust principles;
Downbound to lust principles; lust wishes;
Downbound to lust wishes; lust passions;
Downbound to lust passions; lust satisfaction-seeking.

Seeking lust satisfaction the untamed, untrained, uneducated common man performs low acts of body, speech and thought.

Seeking anger satisfaction the untamed, untrained, uneducated common man performs low acts of body, speech, and thought.

Seeking cruel satisfaction the untamed, untrained, uneducated common man performs low acts of body, speech, and thought.

In the same way as if a man were to throw down a lit torch in a dry-grass waste. If he were not to act quickly to extinguish that torch, the resulting fire would destroy the lives of all those creatures living in that wasteland.

In the same way any shaman or brahmin who does not quickly extinguish thoughts of lust, anger and cruelty will soon be seen to be acting badly here with aggravation, trouble and despair to follow and at the break up of the body at death he will find consciousness again in some no-good rebirth.

 


 

Downbound to something, thoughts of letting go arise;
not not downbound.
Downbound to something, thoughts of non-harm arise;
not not downbound.
Downbound to something, thoughts of non-cruelty arise;
not not downbound.

Downbound to what?

Downbound to letting-go data; letting-go perception arises;
Downbound to letting-go perception; letting-go principles;
Downbound to letting-go principles; letting go wishes;
Downbound to letting-go wishes; letting go passions;
Downbound to letting-go passions; letting go satisfaction-seeking.

Seeking letting go-satisfaction the well tamed, well trained, well-educated student of the aristocrats acts well in body, speech, and thought.

Seeking non-harm satisfaction the well-tamed, well-trained, well-educated student of the aristocrats acts well in body, speech, and thought.

Seeking non-cruelty satisfaction the well-tamed, well-trained, well-educated student of the aristocrats acts well in body, speech, and thought.

In the same way as if a man were to throw down a lit torch in a dry-grass waste but were to quickly extinguish it. The creatures living in that dry-grass waste would not come to harm because of that.

In the same way any shaman or Brahman who quickly extinguished thoughts of lust, harm and cruelty will not be seen to act badly here or suffer aggravation, trouble and despair as a consequence, and at the breakup of the body at death he will find consciousness again in some happy condition.

 


 

It is because of data that perceptions, views, and thoughts arise.

 


 

Then Kaccayana asks: "How is it that the view arises of one who is not Consummately Self-Awakened that he is consummately self-awakened?"

It is the mighty blindness data.

 


 

Data can be classified as low, middling, and excellent.

Travelling through (as it were) the low data-strata are low perceptions, low views, low thoughts, low-mindedness, low pasturage, resolve, low people, and low talk; low is what is declared, preached, made-known, made food for thought, revealed, analyzed, and made manifest.

Travelling through the middling data-strata are middling perceptions, middling views, middling thoughts, middling mindedness, middling pasturage, middling resolve, middling people, and middling talk; middling is what is declared, preached, made known, made food for thought, revealed, analyzed and made manifest.

Travelling through the high data-strata are high perceptions, high views, high thoughts, high mindedness, high Satisfying Pastures, high resolve, high people, and high talk; high is what is declared, preached, made known, made food for thought, revealed, analyzed and made manifest.

Birds of a feather:

It is through a data-strata in common, beggars, that beings meet and flow on together.

Beings of low tastes (muta, the intuitive senses associated with taste, touch and smell) meet with and flow on together with other beings of low tastes.

Beings of middling tastes meet with and flow on together with other beings of middling tastes.

Beings of high tastes meet with and flow on together with other beings of high tastes.

 


[1][SN 2 14 1-14] Samyutta-Nikaya, Nidana-vaggo, Dhatu-samyuttam

[2]Remember Samma Sankappa? High Principles? SAN=own; Kappa=fit-n-proppa. The more-frequently encountered translation is "aims".

[3]Old Pali: all-round-etclala-haha

[4]PED: Pariyeṭṭhi: search for D I.222; A I.93
Pariyeti [pari+i] to go about, to go round, encircle, encompass; ger. paricca.
Pariyena [fr. pari+i, cp. Sk. *paryayana] going round, walking round; of a ship: sailing round, tour, voyage.
Pariyesati [pari+esati, cp. BSk. paryesate to investigate AvSH I.339. The P. word shows confusion between esati and icchati, as shown by double forms -iṭṭhuṃ etc. See also anvesati] to seek for, look, search, desire D I.223
Pariyesanā (f.) and -na (nt.) [fr. pariyesati] search, quest, inquiry.
Pariyesita [pp. of pariyesati] searched, sought for, desired.

[5]What is a visible-object principle? Such a principle would be a high principle or a low principle. What would a low principle be? Formulating the principle in mind that should the occasion permit intentional acts with regard to getting or getting away from (in other words, sankaraming), Grasping, not letting go would be permitted; harming would be permitted; causing mental pain would be permitted. What would high principles be? Formulating the principle in mind that should the occasion permit intentional acts with regard to getting or getting away from, letting go would be the principle; harming would not be permitted; causing mental pain would not be permitted.

 


 

References:

PTS: The Book of the Kindred Sayings, II:xiv: Kindred Sayings on Elements, Rhys Davids, trans., pp101;
WP: Connected Discourses of the Buddha, Volume 1: II:iii: Connected Discourses on Elements, I.627


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