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 [Dhamma Talk]


Perception Beyond Existence

AN 10.7

In response to a question by Ananda, the Buddha confirms that there is perception beyond existence.

Mrs. Rhys Davids scoffs at this sutta and states that Sariputta could never have said such a thing. With this she begins her major deviation into what amounts to Mahayana Buddhism. Her difficulty stems from her not having thoroughly worked out in her mind the notion of what 'existence' meant in this system: that is that it is, in precisely the way it is stated in one version of Quantum Physics, only upon experience by an individual that a thing comes into existence.

Again: the concept of existence is limited to that which is experienced by the individual as an individual. Without the notion of individuality, there is perception. This, by the way is something that I have not heard explained by the Quantum Physicists, that is how it comes to be that a thing is perceived by an individual and by that brought into existence without there being a prior perception of that thing. The eye comes into contact with a visible object and visual consciousness arises. For that to become an individualized experience of seeing, that visual-consciousness must be perceived by an already identified-with mind. (We don't ask where that first identified-with mind came from. Not even Buddhas perceive that. But if we push for some sort of explanation of it's origin it is explained as a function of thirst, desire followed on by blindness as to the consequences.

Mind, perceiving pleasant objects, experiences sensation and desire to repeat that sensation arises. For it to be experienced by the mind with the desire, some sort of identification (location in Time and Space) of the mind that is to experience the experience must be made.

How about we call it: "Me" and say that the experience from that perspective is the experience of an "I", or is "My experience." Oops! How do I get out of here?!!




See especially: [AN 6.38] Self-doer, Olds trans, introductiona and translation.
See also:
MN 147
MN 148.
AN 10.6. High-Getting, Olds translation.
Is Nibbana Conditioned?Acharya Buddharakkhita [Maggavagga: The Path];
Nyanaponika Thera [Seeing Things as They Are];
Bhk. Bodhi [Anicca Vata Sankhara Numerical Discourses, Ones #268,269];
Bhk. Thanissaro [The Not-self Strategy]
SN 2 12 1 Rhys Davids
AN 3.32 The Pali
DN 15
DN 15 § 22 The Pali
DN 15 § 22 Olds
KD.UD.1-7: Aja, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans., footnote 1
SN 2.12.15
DN 15 'Extent' Olds
DN 34 3s Rhys Davids
AN 3.76 and 77.
AN 3.71-80 The Pali
DN 22 Olds translation
MN 38 The Pali
— AN 11.7 Olds translation
DN 1, Olds translation, conclusion
Viññāṇa Anidassana
MN.038 Bhk Thanissaro translation n2
AN 1: Panihita vagga
SN 03.22.53
AN 7.16, 17
SN 3.22.28 Note the description of Nibbana here as 'dwelling with a heart (center/mind) out of the flow, unyoked, let loose, made without boundry-lines.' nissaṭā visaññuttā vippamuttā vimariyādi-katena cetasā viharantī.
[SN 2.21.2] For those who object to my translation of 'saŋkhāra' as 'own-making' note the presence in this sutta of the terms 'ahiŋkāra' and 'mamaŋkāra': 'I-making' and 'My-making.' If these, why not 'own-making'? The reason, of course is simply the weight of the tradition of past translations and academic authority over common sense.

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