Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness by Nyanaponika Thera

By Nyanaponika Thera

The Abhidhamma, the 3rd nice department of early Buddhist instructing, expounds a progressive approach of philosophical psychology rooted within the dual Buddhist insights of selflessness and established origination. based on the liberative thrust of early Buddhism, the program organizes the whole spectrum of human attention round the poles of Buddhist doctrine - bondage and liberation, Samsara and Nirvana - the place to begin and the ultimate target. It thereby maps out, with impressive rigour and precision, the internal panorama of the brain to be crossed throughout the functional paintings of Buddhist meditation.

In this ebook of groundbreaking essays, Venerable Nyanaponika Thera, one in all our age's most desirable exponents of Theravada Buddhism, makes an attempt to penetrate underneath the bold face of the Abhidhamma and to make its ideas intelligible to the considerate reader of this present day. His aspect of concentration is the realization bankruptcy of the Dhammasangani, the 1st treatise of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Basing his interpretation at the exact checklist of psychological elements that the Abhidhamma makes use of as a consultant to mental research, he launches into daring explorations within the a number of dimensions of conditionality, the character of awareness, the temporality of expertise, and the mental springs of non secular transformation. cutting edge and wealthy in insights, this ebook doesn't in simple terms open up new avenues within the educational examine of early Buddhism. by means of treating the Abhidhamma as a fountainhead of idea for philosophical and mental inquiry, it demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Buddhist suggestion to our such a lot astute modern efforts to appreciate the elusive but so intimate nature of the brain.

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Extra info for Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time

Example text

Why can’t they, if they all exist already, with exactly the same characteristic natures that they will come to have when they are present? If they cannot, then there is something about their natures that is unable to produce results, which means that they will never be able to produce results without altering their natures. But if they will never “act” any more than they can act now, they are not “future” events, but nonevents. Notice the resonances between this argument and the argument against the S khya view of change.

The traditional Vaibh ika answer to this is that, on the contrary, what makes a tatsabh ga eye organ “present” is not its present causal production of a future result, but its present “taking on” or “grasping” (pratigraha a) of its own existence as a result, which is applicable to all eye organs. ”40 Having drawn out these details of the Vaibh ika view, Vasubandhu indicates a problem. Surely the eye that does produce the next in a series also serves as the “grasper” of its own existence as a causal result.

To say that a thing di ers in di erent contexts is a proof that it does not exist. It is proof that what seems to be a substantial entity is only a convention, a name, or an appearance. The positions advocated by Vasubandhu’s Sarv stiv da opponents are thus used to display the di culties with the position that “everything exists”—meaning, that everything that ever has existed, and ever will exist, exists. Vasubandhu also uses various arguments to indicate mistaken assumptions that, once corrected, suggest paths to greener pastures.

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