Sunday, July 14, 2024

speaking of non profit orgs, which Buddhist ones good to bequeath or include in will?




speaking of non profit orgs, which Buddhist ones good to bequeath or include in will?

Post by frank k » Sun Jul 14, 2024 6:15 am
For the last 4 years I've been thinking of starting an NPO myself dedicated to preservation of authentic early buddhist jhāna teachings.

In the USA,
if you die unexpectedly, and you don't have a will, your wife and/or kids I believe will be entitled to your assets,
but if you don't have dependents, then the US govt. claims all of your property.

As I'm getting older, and I would like the remainder of my life savings to go to a good cause,

and I'm not aware of any current Buddhist organization dedicated to preservation of authentic early buddhist jhana teachings,

there's an urgent need to fill that void.

I'm sure there are probably other people in my same situation, getting older,
no dependents,
not wanting govt. to take all your assets when you die,
and not quite happy with the existing Buddhist organizations one can bequeath or include as part of one's will.

Anyone else interested?

It's not too hard or time consuming to form an NPO,
but I always have a maranassati mentality, would rather spend free time meditating or studying suttas.

But if some other people spur me on,
I'll finally stop dragging my foot and get it done.

What would this EBT jhāna NPO do?


Depending how much money we're working with,
building meditation halls,
publishing and teaching correct EBT jhāna,

and/or just passively investing cash and periodically as needed put some of it work with
monasteries and organizations that transmit correct EBT jhāna teachings,

for example, supporting some of the Ajahn Mun based Thai forest lineages.
contributing to Building meditation halls in some monasteries.
building kutis, or living subsistence financial support for monastics and 10 or 8 precept yogis that practice and teach authentic EBT jhāna.


 

Forum discussion

reddit 


dhamma wheel






Friday, July 12, 2024

Ven. Sujato revised his understanding of vitakka and jhāna in his new MN footnotes?

 

Ven. Sujato revised his understanding of vitakka and jhāna in his  new MN footnotes?

Let's take a look at some of his footnotes from key suttas:


MN 125: Dantabhūmisutta—Bhikkhu Sujato (suttacentral.net)

his second jhāna translation with vitakka as not 'thinking':
As the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, they enter and remain in the second absorption …
his footnote says:
The Pali version, in a unique presentation, has the four satipaṭṭhānas in place of the first absorption, 
which offers further light on the problem discussed in the previous note.
 The first absorption is characterized by seclusion from sensual pleasures, while vitakka is still present.
 Clearly one is not “thinking of sensual pleasures” at this point, but it is not clear that one is not having vitakka for the body (and feeling, mind, and principles).
 I have translated vitakka as “thought” here, but it could mean the application of the mind to a meditation such as the breath, in which case one would be “thinking of the body”.
 This provides additional support for the reading “thoughts connected with sensual pleasures”.
 Any conclusions on this passage, however, are tenuous, and it seems likely there has been some textual corruption.
 Indeed, the Chinese parallel here has all four absorptions as usual.


frankk comment:

He acknowledges that vitakka of first jhāna (in MN 125 explicitly equated with satipatthana), can be verbal thoughts connected to the body (or any of the 4 frames of satiapatthana), 
yet where he translated second jhāna, vitakka goes right back to not being a verbal thought, but "placing the mind". 

Why?

If you're going to admit MN 125 has verbal vitakka in first jhāna, then you need to translate vitakka in second jhāna above in the same way, because second jhāna is referring back to first jhāna's vitakka "thought", not "placing the mind".
And you can't just casually accuse MN 125 of being corrupt, and not back it up with some research and evidence. 
The Chinese parallel to MN 125 listing all 4 jhānas, does not lead to evidence of Sujato's unsubstantiated interpretation of vitakka as "placing the mind".
All it does is leave a crack in the door open for someone with an agenda to try to claim first jhāna's vitakka is different than the vitakka that appeared immediately prior.  
But by virtue of Theravada's MN 125 deliberately omitting first jhāna, 
creating a second satipatthāna explicitly containing thoughts (vitakka) not connected to sensuality (kāma), 
it is clear for anyone to see that was by choice, carefully designed and crafted.
It is absolutely not a transmission error or corruption,
but a very conscientious choice, a deliberate way for the Theravada oral reciters 
to unequivocally gloss first jhāna's kāma (judicious seclusion from sensuality) 
and vitakka (3 types of right verbal thoughts and resolves of sammā saṇkappa). 
By doing so, they are very consciously attempting to prevent any future Bhikkhus 
from claiming first jhāna's vitakka is different than the vitakka that appeared immediately in the sentence and paragraph before.
  

In MN 19 footnotes, which we'll visit shortly, Sujato conveniently fails to mention that the Chinese parallel omits the first jhāna, just as Theravada does in MN 125.
For the very same reason.
To gloss vitakka as the 3 types of right thought/resolve (sammā saṇkappa) as the same vitakka in first jhāna,
and to close the door on Buddhist monks trying to claim vitakka changes meaning when you attain first jhāna.







Sujato's footnotes here don't shed any light on justifying Sujato's dubious translation and interpretation of  vitakka, since first jhāna is never explicitly mentioned (just samādhi and ekodi, a coded way of referring to all four jhānas).

But there is one very interesting footnote here, about an interesting term, vitakka sankhāra.
He writes:
The unique phrase “stopping the formation of thoughts” (vitakkasaṅkhārasaṇṭhānaṁ) lends the sutta its title. Here saṅkhāra refers to the energy that drives the formation of thoughts. Understanding the cause helps to deprive it of its power.


Now recall that one of Sujato's justifications for redefining vitakka in first jhāna,
is that the Buddha lacked vocabulary to describe the subtle process of the volition of directing the mind prior to verbal thoughts.
So the Buddha "was forced" to redefine vitakka as "placing the mind", according to Sujato's reasoning.

Well, here in MN 20, is one of the words the Buddha supposedly didn't have in his vocabulary.
vitakka sankhāra.

There are other words that also "place the mind",  used in the suttas  in a samādhi and jhāna context as well. 
Mano sankhāra, citta sankhāra, cetana to name a few.
Yet, the Buddha (according to Sujato) had a limited vocabulary for the subtle aspects of samādhi, 
and had no choice but to confusingly redefine vitakka as "placing the mind" in first jhāna.
Interestingly, Sujato translates the aggregate of sankhāra as "choice", and citta as "mind".
citta sankhāra is used frequently in the suttas.
Isn't the "mind" having the ability to "choose" the same as "placing the mind"? 
So why was the Buddha forced to redefine vitakka in first jhāna, Ven. Sujato?




His first footnote says:
This discourse shows that a meditator must abandon unwholesome thought (vitakka) then wholesome thought (vitakka) before entering absorption. 

Sujato's comment on section in MN 19 "So I assigned sensual, malicious, and cruel thoughts":
By analyzing thoughts (vitakka), he is consciously developing the second factor of the noble eightfold path, right thought (sammāsaṅkappa). In this context, vitakka and saṅkappa are synonyms.

Frankk says:
Sujato makes several egregious errors of reasoning in his footnotes and justification for redefining first jhāna vitakka, 
but it suffices for now just to point out one very obvious one, 
a very gross error that anyone can clearly see and validate in just a few minutes of looking at the sutta pāḷi source.


Sujato in the first footnote cited, claims MN 19 says that even skillful vitakka must be completely removed before entering first jhāna, 
and therefore first jhāna vitakka must be something entirely different than the vitakka prior.

Yet, by his own admission in the second footnote cited, vitakka (verbal linguistic thoughts) and sankappa (resolves, 3 type of right thinking in sammā sankappo right resolves), 
are exactly the same in this context of MN 19 and MN 125,  4 jhānas.


Sujato conveniently ignores


where his footnotes for MN 78 fail to mention that

the 3 right resolves (sammā sankappa) are still active in first jhāna.
Therefore, the 3 right vitakka must also be active in first jhāna, 
since by Sujato's admission vitakka = sankappa in this context.

My annotated translation of MN 78 pali + english side by side clearly show 
where first jhāna contains the 3 thoughts (sankappa and vitakka):

 MN 78.5 - (what are 3 akusalā saṅkappā? exact opposite of 3 aspects of right resolve, lust, ill will, harm)
        MN 78.5.1 - (Akusalā saṅkappā depend on 3 perceptions based on opposite of right resolves, lust, ill will, harm)
        MN 78.5.2 - (3 unskillful akusalā saṅkappā cease in first jhāna)
        MN 78.5.3 - (right effort does the work of removing akusalā saṅkappā within, and prior to first jhāna)
    MN 78.6 - (what are 3 kusalā saṅkappā? same 3 aspects of Right Resolve)
        MN 78.6.1 (kusalā saṅkappā depend on the 3 kusala perceptions)
        MN 78.6.2 - (kusalā saṅkappā cease in 2nd jhāna)
        MN 78.6.2.0 – (that means kusalā saṅkappā (and 3 right vitakka) are active in 1st jhāna!



Conclusion

 Comparing Sujato's footnotes from MN 125, MN 19, MN 78,
he's making several incoherent, contradictory claims.

He admits vitakka and sankappa are the same in jhāna context in MN 19,
admits that MN 125 is probably agreeing, but thinks MN 125 is a corrupt sutta,
and completely ignores MN 78 (and its Agama parallel) which supports MN 125.

He also ignores the chinese Agama parallel to MN 19, similar to MN 125 in that it explicitly removes first jhāna to reinforce the point that vitakka in first jhāna is verbal and linguistic, 
exactly the same as the vitakka of rights and wrong thoughts that happen just before first jhāna.


What's the proper correction for Sujato's translation?

Ideally it's time for Sujato to finally admit he's wrong on his interpretation of vitakka in first jhāna.
But if he's going to insist on his current incoherent interpretation,
he needs to  explain how vitakka in first jhāna becoming non-verbal non-linguistic "placing the mind" 
coexists simultaneously with the 3 sammā sankappa (right "thoughts") which are still active in first jhāna (MN 78).
And he needs to explain why MN 125 is corrupt when MN 78, MN 19 agama parallel are in agreement.










Tuesday, June 25, 2024

right view is not this

I highlighted (one of ) the problematic parts of the article below.

An example. So we should be non-judgmental, non critical, accepting and tolerant

when Hitler is killing millions in concentration camps?

 Quietly benevolent and accepting and non critical when Dhamma teachers teach wrong Dhamma?

Right view, Dhamma-vicaya, paññā indrya overlap in their duties.

One can be judiciously judgmental, critical, discerning skillful from unskillful Dhamma, 

without aversion or annoyance. 

Unskillful and untimely criticism and divisive speech is one thing, 


but the type of "right view" advocated below promotes stupidity and inaction when various kinds of right action and development of discernment and judgement are proper. 



‘Seeing’ Is a Mind That Doesn’t Move

Ajahn Sundara

This is Right View: seeing life as it is, knowing life as it is, experiencing life as it is and letting go. This is not ‘me’ doing something; it is a clear seeing. Awareness itself is what enables the mind to let go.

We use this teaching as an entry into learning. This approach is very tolerant and accepting, benevolent and compassionate. It’s not an approach that continues to divide, dissect, make judgments and criticize. It is an approach that is encompassing, whole, wholesome; an approach of non-contention, as Ajahn Sumedho would describe it. We are not contending with the reality of now, we are able to just see things as they are. But this is not easy.

To see something as it is, there need to be certain conditions. We need to learn to appreciate what it means to be still. Stillness is not an end to itself. But what does it mean to be still? It simply means that you stop moving with the movements of your mind. You stop agitating yourself with that which is agitated in yourself. You stop being confused with that which is confused in yourself. You stop being unhappy with that which is unhappy in yourself.

‘Seeing’ is the condition that arises naturally when we reach the place of ‘stopping’. ‘Seeing’ is a mind that doesn’t move. It has stopped. It is here, now.

This reflection by Ajahn Sundara is from the article, “On the Way to Liberation.

Posted June 24, 2024.

Read this and other reflections on the Abhayagiri Website.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

philanthropist and eccentric Allan Saxe

added to 

🔗📝 collection of notes on 'mudita' (rejoicing in skillful Dharmas)



Secular saint Allan Saxe (1939-2024)
Post by DNS » Wed Jun 19, 2024 10:24 am
Allan Saxe, co-chair of my doctoral committee during my university studies passed away yesterday. He was born Jewish, but didn't follow that religion or any other. He was a saint. He worked for 54 years as a college professor and over the course of his life donated at least $1 million to various charities. He also donated his time, doing meals on wheels and other charitable works.



Fort Worth Weekly

Class Dismissed
After more than half a century teaching UTA political-science students ----- some of whom went on to hold elected office ----- philanthropist and eccentric Allan Saxe is closing the book.


By Kathy Cruz - February 13, 2019 29
SHARE Facebook Twitter  


Photo by Lee Chastain.

Allan Saxe returned home from a night class several weeks ago and received no fewer than three phone calls from the campus police department.


Students had phoned officers in alarm after observing the associate professor of political science at UTA, who turned 80 on Monday, shuffling ever so slowly across an expansive parking lot to his car.
 The police department checked, double-checked, and triple-checked to make sure the professor was OK.


He was, and he wasn’t, and that’s why Saxe is closing the book on his 54-year teaching career.
 He will teach two summer classes if they make –– American Contemporary Civil Liberties and Texas State and Local Government –– but after that, he’s “out of here,” he said.


Jubilee_5-29_300x250
The mobility issues from when polio struck Saxe as a child have come back with a vengeance, cursing him in his old age just as the disease damned his youth.
 And for reasons he can’t explain, he now suffers from panic attacks and occasional bouts of head-spinning, stomach-churning vertigo.
 He usually manages to hide the panic attacks with the help of a Coke, but he once had a severe episode of vertigo while addressing a gathering of several hundred UTA retirees.
 It resulted in police, the fire department, and an ambulance being summoned.
 Saxe refused to be taken to a hospital, but the EMTs gave him an EKG there in the classroom.


“I said, ‘I’m OK, just get me a Coke,’ ” Saxe told me.
 “Two people held my hand, and then I threw up.
 There’s nothing like throwing up in front of 300 people, but that’s what I did, and the minute I did, I felt better.”


That feeling of well-being was short-lived, though.


“That was the beginning of a downhill spiral,” Saxe said.
 “After that, I fell a couple of times.
 I’m frail.
 You get frail when you get older.”


One of those falls occurred on a concrete landing in a stairwell at University Hall at 10 p.
m., he said.
 He was alone but fortunately was able to pick himself up.
 The recent incident involving the campus police, though, only proves what has become increasingly clear for Saxe:
 It’s time to go home.


“They didn’t know what was happening to me,” Saxe said of the students who made calls on his behalf.
 “Sometimes when I think of what people have done for me, I just want to cry.”


Saxe is something of a local legend, and not just because he has been a fixture in UTA’s classrooms for more than half a century and a go-to expert for journalists covering politics.
 He is known for giving away his money.
 Like, half his annual salary.
 And his retirement savings, which he drained in bits and pieces.
 And hundreds of thousands he inherited from his mother.
 Saxe isn’t sure how much he gave away over the decades but said the total is “in the millions,” especially considering that he gifted pricey artworks to both UTA and TCU.
 He has no more to give and will rely mostly on Social Security in retirement.


Saxe admitted that the main motivation behind his generosity was a craving for recognition.
 That insatiable desire wasn’t based on ego, he insisted, but rather a deep-seated inferiority complex –– another of polio’s gifts.


“I want little things named after me because I’m so insecure,” he said.
 “I really mean that.
 Doing these things helps me a little bit because I feel I haven’t done anything.
 I believe life is very fleeting, short, and brutal, and I want to do some things before life is all gone.”
 

No children or grandchildren bear Saxe’s name, but he will leave behind plenty of non-mortal namesakes.
 A park on Russell Curry Road in Arlington is named after him, and the UTA Mavericks softball team plays at Allan Saxe Field.
 Mission Arlington has the Allan Saxe Dental Clinic, and TCU has the Allan Saxe Garden.
 UNT has Allan Saxe Drive, and Allan Saxe Parkway in Arlington leads to a city landfill.
 Saxe really milked the humor in that one.
 The dedication ceremony included dead flowers and the eccentric associate professor cutting the ribbon by driving a garbage truck through it.


Saxe is about to pay off an Allan Saxe waterfall at the Fort Worth campus of TCC, and he has made a stream of financial gifts to libraries, hospitals, and animal organizations.
 Grants, student loan programs, and charities bear his name, including the Allan Saxe Disabled Student Scholarship for physically challenged students who excel academically.
 The political scientist even donated money for Allan Saxe pencil sharpeners at UTA’s University Hall and has given away vans and trucks to various groups.


Saxe is so well-known and well-regarded throughout Arlington that for a time years ago the Whole Foods supermarket there sold a cookie named after him –– a fat-free ginger confection that he favored.
 J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill on East Abram Street has long featured the Allan Saxe Veggie Burger on its menu, an homage to the bistro’s beloved vegetarian customer.


News of Saxe’s impending retirement has spread, even making its way onto the Rate My Professors website.
 The word “legend” was used by more than one student who posted there, but not every review was positive.
 One student from the fall semester acknowledged Saxe’s fabled reputation but griped that he spent too much class time on a soapbox.
 Another student, though, praised Saxe as an “amazing professor” and gave others a heads-up that they had only one semester left to take one of his classes.


Online ratings of Saxe’s classroom skills include a lot of “awesome”s and a few “awful”s, but that pretty much sums up Saxe –– and smiling emojis far outnumber the frowning ones.
 Saxe said he has been disliked over the years by some students to whom he showed no sympathy when they claimed that lack of childcare or some other obstacle was the cause of their classroom absences and by professors who didn’t like his style of humor.


“I’m a comedian,” Saxe said.
 “It’s who I am.
 I’m a cross between George Carlin and Jerry Lewis.”


George Carlin and Jerry Lewis were from another era, and now, so is Saxe.
 He cringes almost as if in pain at today’s mandatory sensitivity trainings and political correctness and women’s marches.
 His disdain for those things may be why some online reviewers accused him of being anti-feminist.


“You can’t [even] look at a woman,” Saxe griped to me.
 “I went to [sensitivity training] where they were discussing hugging.
 If a woman doesn’t want to be hugged, she can get away from me.
 They don’t need these marches.”


Back in the day, Saxe’s sarcastic, politically incorrect humor had students “on the floor,” he said, even though it sometimes angered professors who heard about the jokes he made at their expense.
 He never named them, he said, but students knew who he was referring to –– word always got back to the academics.


“But you’d teach them something, too,” he told me.
 “You were making points.
 You could teach things through comedy.
 I’ve been a different voice on campus, and a lot of professors can’t take that.
 For the most part, they’ve tolerated me.”


Love him or not, Saxe has left his mark.
 It seems he can’t go anywhere without being recognized by a former student.
 A few weeks ago, a nurse blurted, “I know you!”
 when he arrived at a clinic for cataract surgery, he said.


Some of Saxe’s students have gone on to hold elected office as state legislators, mayors, city councilmembers, or county commissioners.
 Former students include Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and State Sen.
 Royce West, a Dallas County Democrat.
 

Devan Allen, the new Tarrant County commissioner for Precinct 2, said that her former professor showed up at her New Year’s Day swearing-in ceremony.


“He came in and took a seat, and after the program concluded, he came up for a picture and said, ‘I wouldn’t have missed this,’ ” she said.
 “It was very sweet.”


Penny Wilrich, who became the first African-American woman trial judge in Arizona and currently serves as dean and law professor at Arizona Summit Law School, said that Saxe was her “all-time favorite professor” when she was at UTA and that she tried to enroll in every class he taught.
 Wilrich attended the university from 1971 to 1977, earning degrees in political science and history.
 In 1976, she became the first black woman to be elected student body president at the university.


“Dr. Saxe was very instrumental in my career development and my pursuit of the law because he believed in me before I even believed in myself,” Wilrich said.
 “He has made a tremendous contribution to the lives of so many UTA students and graduates.”


When Saxe closes the door of Office 411 in University Hall for the final time in a few months, he will also shut the door on a period of UTA’s history.
 Ever the realist, Saxe figures he’ll quickly be forgotten, going the way of Humphrey Bogart and others who were household names in bygone eras.
 He has mentioned some of those celebrities in class only to be met with blank stares from students.


“That old statement ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ ” he said, “is really true.”



Online ratings of Saxe’s classroom skills include a lot of “awesome”s and a few “awful”s, but that pretty much sums up Saxe — and smiling emojis far outnumber the frowning ones.
 Photo by Lee Chastain.

*****

Customers queued up to the order counter at The Tin Cup cafe on West Abram Street not far from the UTA campus on a Friday afternoon in late January as I waited for Saxe to arrive.
 Sitting at a table, I reflected on the first time I had ever heard of him.
 It was sometime during the 1980s at the Dallas Morning News, where I was working at the time.
 I remember hearing one reporter advising another that a UTA political-science guy named Saxe could be contacted to provide expert commentary on deadline during the newspaper’s upcoming election night coverage.


It is a completely meaningless memory, yet for some reason it has remained with me over the years.
 That’s what I was thinking about when Saxe appeared in the doorway, his eyes searching for me in the lunch crowd.
 It quickly became clear that he hadn’t been lying when he told me on the phone that he is now feeble and shuffles very slowly.


I offered to order, but he insisted on walking with me (slowly, very slowly) to the counter.
 He also at first insisted on paying (“I’m a high roller!”
), but I slipped the cashier a 20 while Saxe was distracted by three young employees who appeared happy to see him.
 They remembered his favorite menu item (the Wyatt Veggie panini, named for Wyatt Earp) and laughed when Saxe relayed how clueless he was when someone tried to help him with a printer problem and asked if his office computer had cookies.
 The only cookies he understands, he said, are the ones that his sweet tooth drives him to eat too many of.


Before we could make it to our table in a quieter back room, Saxe was recognized again, this time by a table of diners.


After Saxe successfully made it across the diner (slowly, very slowly) and propped his cane against an extra chair at our table, he detailed how the polio first presented itself more than 70 years ago.


“I remember vividly when it hit,” he said.
 “I was waiting for a bus in Oklahoma City, the regular city bus, and all of a sudden I felt like somebody had come up behind me and hit me on the head with a block.
 I had a horrible headache.
 I struggled home.
 They diagnosed it as polio.”


Saxe said it was later that the disease impacted his legs.


“I spent a lot of time in hospitals, and I am a nervous wreck to this day,” he said.
 “I was a very introverted child and very lonely.
 I was also an observer of human life, not a participant.
 I remember little kids would come to my door in Oklahoma City and say, ‘Can Allan come out and play?’
 I said, ‘No, I don’t want to come play.’
 My mother wanted me to be popular, but I just wanted to read comic books or watch my tropical fish.”


After the diagnosis, the family moved to Stroud, where other relatives lived, a small town between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
 As a child forced to wear cumbersome leg braces, Saxe felt the sting of isolation.


“I was always an outcast –– always,” he said.
 “At school, I sat in a corner.
 They didn’t include me for a lot of reasons.
 I was very little and very awkward.
 And still am.”


Saxe said he used to be 5’5” but is now 5’3”.

“It was almost as if I came from Mars,” Saxe continued, recalling his boyhood and those feelings of not fitting in.
 “I sometimes say, ‘I’m just visiting here.’
 A student gave me a pin one time that said, ‘I’m only visiting.’
 I loved that.”


Saxe’s father Eugene managed a hardware store for a time.
 He also spent years working in the Oklahoma oilfields.
 He was a smoker and died of a heart attack in his early 50s. Saxe’s mother Dora also worked in a hardware store, as a cashier, but Saxe doesn’t know if that’s how she met his father.
 Dora also occasionally cleaned houses.
 Saxe said his mother had friends who had children who were stockbrokers.
 Through the years she bought stocks in AT&T and other corporations.
 When she died in 1992 at the age of 84, Saxe found a stack of “brokerage papers” among her things.
 The value of the stocks totaled about $500,000.

“She’d accumulated all that stuff, and little Allan got it and promptly gave it away,” he said.


A thirst for recognition wasn’t Saxe’s only motive for giving away money.
 He said he gave this explanation when he was presented a philanthropy award in Fort Worth some years ago and was asked the reason for his generosity:
 “I said, ‘Well, I can’t do anything, so I give money away to people who can.”


He explained to me that he meant he couldn’t do things such as cure cancer or build a grand building.


“I can barely put gas in my car,” he said.
 “And now that I’m disabled, I really can’t do anything.”


Saxe arrived in Arlington in the summer of 1965, shortly after earning a master’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma.
 He was at the campus library one day when someone asked if he might be interested in teaching a summer government course at Arlington State College.
 That’s what UTA was called back then.
 The college was desperately seeking someone to fill in for another professor, just for the summer semester.


Young and single, Saxe accepted the gig, renting a modest apartment on Cooper Street for $99 a month –– furnished, all utilities paid.
 He was so eager to do well that he showed up at 6 a.
m. only to find the doors to the building locked.


At the end of the semester, the department chair called Saxe to his office.


“His secretary was sitting there, and she looked at me and said, ‘He’s going to make you a good offer!’
 ” Saxe recalled.


He said the department chair told him that reviews of his teaching had been good and that if he’d like to stay, “ ‘We’d love to have you.’
 ”

Saxe stayed and took root, even though he had offers over the years from other institutions.


“I was too lazy to pick up and go,” he said.
 “Once I get stuck, I’m there.
 I’m very glad I chose this one, as I look back on it.”


He went on to earn his Ph.
D. from OU while teaching in Arlington, writing his dissertation about the desegregation of Oklahoma.
 The civil rights era became “implanted” in his brain, Saxe said.
 He became vocal in demanding that rebel flags be removed from UTA’s Student Center, angering some old timers on campus and infuriating one particular history professor.
 After that, Saxe started noticing that more and more black students were enrolling in his courses.
 

“At that time, I was a radical liberal,” Saxe said.
 “Now I’m very conservative and very much of a libertarian but with a little bit of liberalism in the back of my brain, but my basic philosophy right now is ‘Leave me alone.’
 ”


Saxe:
 “I’m a comedian.
 It’s who I am.
 I’m a cross between George Carlin and Jerry Lewis.”
 Photo by Lee Chastain,
*****

“I got married a few months ago.”


I had just taken a bite of chicken salad when Saxe made that comment, and I wondered at first if it was a joke.
 I knew that he and Ruthie Brock had been together for many years but had assumed, apparently incorrectly, that they had married long ago.
 I guess they figured they’d better test the living arrangement for a half-century or so to be sure the relationship would last.


I was not surprised that Saxe couldn’t remember the date of their unceremonious marriage ceremony, which took place at the Tarrant County Sub-Courthouse on Abram Street, across the hall from where people stood in line to renew their car tags.
 Saxe said he has always viewed marriage as “really strange” because it involves a license, just like hunting or fishing.
 He saw no need for such silliness, at least not for the first 79 years of his life.
 He said that one day when he and Ruthie were “sitting around at home, bored,” he suggested that they get married.


Saxe said the two were introduced by a librarian at the UTA Library, where Ruthie still works today.
 They went to a hamburger joint on their first date.


“She didn’t like me,” Saxe said.
 “Nobody likes me initially, but I wooed her.”


Not only did Ruthie not pressure him to get married, she never stood in the way when he gave away money, Saxe told me.
 As he took a bite of his panini with its sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, I thought about what an extraordinary woman Ruthie must be.
 After all, they easily could have had their house paid off by now and could be enjoying retirement, going on cruises and trips to exotic places.
 Instead, Ruthie doesn’t get home from the library until 7 or 8 p.
m. every night, according to Saxe, and they still have a mortgage.


Saxe said that Ruthie walks with him to his office now and makes him carry a cell phone (which he rarely uses) in case he falls and needs help.


Ruthie has a son from a previous marriage, but Saxe said that he never wanted children of his own because he feels that the world, with its diseases and illnesses, is a cruel place.


“I think the best thing I’ve ever done is not bring any life into the world,” he said.
 “I wouldn’t bring a puppy in the world.
 Nothing. And some people hate me for it.
 People judge everything, and it’s primarily because they want their own life vindicated.”


Saxe said that in her youth Ruthie was a cheerleader and even appeared on Iowa’s American Bandstand.


Who would have thought that the scrawny, insecure boy with leg braces would end up with a cheerleader?


“She loves to dance, and I’ve never danced in my life,” Saxe said.
 “She’s not only patient with me in regard to giving away money.
 She’s been patient with other things, too.
 She’d love to go dancing.
 She loves a fun life.
 And I’m not fun.”



Saxe:
 “At that time, I was a radical liberal.
 Now I’m very conservative and very much of a libertarian but with a little bit of liberalism in the back of my brain, but my basic philosophy right now is ‘Leave me alone.’
 ” Courtesy of UTA.

*****

As the lunch crowd thinned out, I asked Saxe about death.
 He is, after all, 80 and, by his own admission, sickened by his advanced years and how fast they blew by.


“Are you afraid of death?”
 I asked.


“Yes, oh, absolutely,” he responded.
 “I’m like Ol’ Man River.
 I’m tired of living but scared of dying.”


Saxe said he is afraid of death because he knows it is drawing near and because he fears that there is nothing after this life, that he’ll simply be gone.


“Are you generally a person of faith?”
 I asked.


“No,” he said.
 “I used to be.”


Saxe said that he and his parents attended a variety of churches when he was a child, everything from Unitarian to Methodist, but he was never the type to simply accept their teachings.


“I questioned everything,” he said.
 “Everything, I questioned.
 But I wasn’t very bright, and I’m not very bright.
 I understand my limitations, but I have something that is a curse and a blessing at the same time but mostly a curse.
 I feel the world.
 It’s not just intellectualizing.
 I feel the absurdity and the cruelty of it, and if I was God, would I invent humans the way they are today?
 No! If I’m God, I can create anything.
 I don’t have to invent somebody who’s going to get cancer or heart disease.
 I would invent man very differently, where you don’t get vertigo, you don’t have panic attacks, you don’t worry about cancer and sickness.”


I asked Saxe if he considers himself an atheist.
 No, he replied, but he doesn’t know what he is.


“I believe anything is possible, so I don’t forgo anything,” he said.


What about near-death experiences?
 I asked.
 People who claim to have had them tend to give similar accounts.
 Does that give him hope that there is something beyond this life?


“I had that when I fainted two weeks ago,” he said, referring to the bright lights often described by those who return from the brink of eternity.
 “I saw orange colors and blue colors, but I was fainting.
 I take blood pressure medication, and I got very hot, and when you get very hot, you can faint if you’re on blood pressure medication.
 It’s the same thing.
 When people think they see these things, it’s a chemical deal.
 They’re having a chemical reaction.”


Saxe insisted that he is not anti-religion and admitted that he still prays now and then “when things are bad” or when he just wants to make it home safely.
 He lives in Arlington near Mansfield and Kennedale.
 The drive to and from campus takes him about 45 minutes because he drives “like a little old man, which I am.”


He hopes to volunteer at a variety of places once he retires, but he will probably rely on Uber.
 Driving, like his mobility, is becoming more of an issue.


I asked how he wants to be remembered.


“As just a nice, kind person,” he replied.
 “But you don’t know how people are going to regard you.
 Everybody has multiple sides to them.”


The cynicism kicked in again.
 

“But we’re all forgotten,” he added.


A waitress came to remove the baskets that had contained our sandwiches.
 We realized that the restaurant was empty and that its afternoon closing time was approaching.
 We began wrapping up the interview, going back to the topic of Saxe’s looming retirement.
 He said he doesn’t want a party.
 He just wants to slip away very quietly.


“I think a lot of people are glad that I’m retiring, I really do,” he said.
 “Because I don’t know what cookies are.”


TAGSALLAN SAXEALLAN SAXE FIELDARLINGTONDEVAN ALLENFEATURESFORT WORTH MAYOR BETSY PRICEJ.
 GILLIGAN’S BAR & GRILLLIFELOCALPENNY WILRICHPEOPLEPHILANTHROPYPOLITICAL SCIENCERUTHIE BROCKSTATE SEN.
 ROYCE WESTUNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTONUTA
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29 COMMENTS
Charlotte Ponder Bichsel February 15, 2019 at 10:
49 am
Wonderful article about a wonderful man!
 Proud to say he was my professor in the 80’s. What a legend!


Reply
Dottie Swan Applegate February 15, 2019 at 5:
19 pm
So true!
 He is the only professor I remember!


Reply
Vicki Lamb February 15, 2019 at 6:
19 pm
Wow, EXCELLENT article about an icon of a man!


Reply
Peggy Quinn, Assistant Professor of Social Work February 15, 2019 at 6:
58 pm
He was one of the most patient student advisor I ever observed.
 He never lost his ability to offer one more option to students who had unlimited excuses for not signing up for required courses.


Reply
Charles McRae February 15, 2019 at 10:
10 pm
Sorry Mr.
 Saxe, but you will be remembered for as long as your former students are alive.
 I was an engineering student, but I remember you the most from UTA.


Reply
Brandon February 16, 2019 at 2:
01 am
Well written piece about a fantastic educator and very good man.


Reply
Kaye Groves Brown February 16, 2019 at 8:
00 am
He was my professor in the late 70’s! I enjoyed his classes.
 One of my favorite memories was when he invited our class to a “get together” at his home.
 It was an A-frame (in North Arlington) and I’ll never forget he told us to park on the street anywhere we wanted.
 He said the streets belong to the city not the people in the houses!
 He always was a rebel!
 Also my dad thought the world of him (and Ruthie too)

Reply
Linda Bush Hand February 16, 2019 at 9:
32 am
Well-written article about a fascinating and generous human.
 I, along with others in the early 70’s, always found his classes thought provoking.
 Thank you for your life of service to others.
 You have been a model citizen;
 our world could certainly use more like you.

Linda Bush Hand
alum 1971

Reply
Jeanie February 16, 2019 at 11:
38 am
Praying someone shares with him how much God loves him and about how there is life after death on this old earth and shares with him how he can spend eternity in Heaven with God by believing that Jesus died on the cross for him….
and Ruthie and others.


Reply
Valerie Leige February 16, 2019 at 1:
11 pm
I remember Dr.
 Saxe well.
 I loved the energetic debates and discussions we would have, both between and during his government class I took while a student at UTA a decade or so ago.
 He had a wonderful way of making a lecture feel like a conversation between friends, or an entertaining story you’d pull up a chair at a party to hear told.
 I wish him well in his retirement.
 The university should send him and Ruthie on a vacation somewhere nice.


Reply
Jerry Debo February 16, 2019 at 3:
02 pm
One of the best lecturers I have had the privilege to enjoy!
 I encouraged my kids to take his class during summer break from SMU.
 He peaked my interest in public service and shaped the views I took with me as mayor of Grand Prairie during the 80s. I was always excited to see him and even more so if he was speaking.
 Thank you Dr Saxr for the positive influence on so many pliable minds.
 Jerry debo Uta student 1967 -1971

Reply
SDL February 16, 2019 at 3:
23 pm
Dr.
 Saxe was my pre-med advisor, and played a big role in my being accepted to medical school.
 I am eternally grateful to him for his mentoring, and his challenging my conviction that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine.
 I’m sad to hear about his struggling to get around, but hope he finds fulfillment in his well deserved retirement.


Reply
Judy Reck February 16, 2019 at 4:
23 pm
I was a student of Mr Saxe back in the 70’s. I loved going to his class.
 He knew how to “stir” up your political ideas and thoughts.
 He certainly will be missed.
 As a retired educator I have wonderful remembrances of his classes.
 He will be missed not only from the university but the many students lives he touched.


Reply
Sherry February 16, 2019 at 6:
46 pm
I took a poly sci class he taught and that man is funny and I never laughed as much as I did in his class.
 He is a great man and the many who have been blessed to know him are fortunate and those that won’t get to take a class he teaches will miss out on a great experience.
 As long as I am alive, I will remember Allan Saxe and it will be in a great way.


Reply
Xuan February 17, 2019 at 9:
40 am
He is a great man!
 I took his political science class and he offered extra credit if you volunteered at a non-profit agency so I picked the Allan Saxe dental clinic and that experience inspired me to become a dental hygienist.
 I’ve been a hygienist for 10 years now thanks to him!


Reply
Tom Ha February 17, 2019 at 1:
48 pm
Doctor Saxe is a genius and you will never find another Allan Saxe on this earth.
 His everlasting smile on his face is his trademark and from the time I took his class in the 1970’s until I recently met with him at a function at TCC, it never crossed my mind that he had polio;
 I had polio too, so we are in the same boat at least, Doctor Saxe.


I think Dr.
 Saxe will be living forever in the hearts and the minds of his students, friends, acquaintances and people who don’t even realize of his impacts on their lives.


UTA should have an Allan Saxe day where student could come to their classes on that day and could do anything they like from singing a song, drinking a beer or just walking around the campus.


See you around, Doctor Saxe.


Reply
David Kaplan February 18, 2019 at 9:
22 am
Prof.
 Saxe could be the subject of a Robert Caro biography and there would still be stuff left out.
 Don’t forget his funding 30 years sgo of the Dora Saxe Sanctuary at Congregation Beth Shalom in Arlington.
 This man is a true mensch in every sense of the word.


Reply
Beth B February 18, 2019 at 8:
32 pm
Delightful article!
 I feel like I know Saxe, have visited with him, when I have never met him…but anyone who has lived in Arlington over the decades knows his name and quirky reputation!


Reply
Bill Moore February 18, 2019 at 10:
07 pm
Thanks for the article.
 It captured the mad professor that I recall from the early 80s, except for one thing.
 You didn’t mention that the more excited he’d get, the higher and higher his voice would get, and the more he would spray saliva, in total exasperation about politics, humans, the world in general, especially the Dallas Cowboys and MOST especially, Roger Staubach.
 I honestly don’t remember if Allan taught me single thing about political science, but he challenged my young beliefs and made me laugh.
 That was good enough.
 Praying for his conversion and a happy death, both of which will probably make him wretch.
 At least that’s what he would have said back in the day.
 In a very, very spitty, shrieky voice.
 And if you were writing for the Shorthorn, on deadline, and you needed a great quote to liven up your copy, about ANYTHING, he was your go-to guy.
 Blessings, mate.


Reply
Jim Rushing February 19, 2019 at 9:
23 pm
I will always remember Allen as my sole mate in the band in highschool.
 We were both bad clarinet players and as such we set in the last row in the clarinet section.
 We commiserated a lot about our place in the band.
 We both went on to OU and then into the big world.
 After graduation we both ended up in the DFW area.
 Later on I would see him on the local tv news talking about some politician or other.


Reply
Rollie Pohlman February 20, 2019 at 12:
56 pm
Old teachers never die they just fade away!


Reply
Ron Bridges February 26, 2019 at 9:
07 pm
I was a student of Dr Saxe in 1970.
Trust me, he is not forgotten.


Reply
Grady W Smithey February 26, 2019 at 10:
09 pm
Allen was a great political science professor at UTA.
 I spoke to his class once when I was USDA’s Dallas Regional Director of the Food Stamp Program.
 UTA had a number of memorable political science professors including Allen, Sherman Wyman and Del Tabel.
 They had a lot of effects on local government in our area.


Reply
Susan Stiles February 27, 2019 at 12:
11 pm
Dr Saxe was my govt professor in the 1970’s and he was funny.
 Once he turned around to write on the chalk board and his jean jacket had little ducks swimming across his back.
 Cute! Later when I was an AISD 4th grade teacher at Berry Elem.
, he sponsored an award to one of my hispanic students.
 I have so much respect and admiration for him.
 He will never be forgotten.


Reply
Linda Yarbrough March 3, 2019 at 2:
16 pm
Dr.
 Saxe has touched thousands of humans and animals in his 80 young years;
 his compassion for all creatures will NEVER be lost in time.
 When you see a homeless dog, think WWAD?
 Stop and help him of course!
 UTA won’t be the same without him but while he is still on this planet, we should all feel lucky to have him around!


Reply
Chris '11 April 15, 2019 at 8:
05 pm
I’m so happy I thought of Allan Saxe this evening and decided to google his name 12 years after taking two of his summer courses.
 This was a great article about one of my most memorable professors.
 Thanks to Kathy Cruz and to Dr.
 Saxe for sitting for the interview.
 What a character!
 Good for you for creating such a legacy.
 We should all be so productive.
 You won’t be forgotten after impacting so many minds, to say nothing of having your name plastered all over everything in town!


Cheers Dr.
 Saxe. Enjoy retirement

Reply
Antonia May 3, 2019 at 4:
52 am
Thanks for this great article.
 I had just one class with Allan Saxe about 25 years ago, and I still think of him and pray for him quote often!
 That man is a real human being…he is an electric spark of laughter and life!
 He shared not only his knowledge and wisdom with us students, but his compassion and HIMSELF.
 With his humility, self-giving love for people and animals, his curiosity, wit, and hilarious outlook on life…Allan Saxe may not believe in God consciously, but he is a friend of God in the deepest sense.
 He wears his soul on his sleeve.
 We are better people for having known him, even for the briefest time.
 God bless you in your retirement, Allan, and Ruthie, too!


Reply
Jorge A.
 Ledezma September 13, 2019 at 1:
06 pm
I had this inferior white pervert-sexist-trumper for Texas government last fall, he is every bit as bad as people say!
 He only donates for his own ego not because he cares, he truly doesn’t like minorities, POC, and especially any academic program for students needing help!
 He used to talk so much s**t about the student success center and about other professors and good role models because people cared about them because of their honest and caring actions comparing them to his own dishonest and I’ll-intent actions/“donations”.
 The man is a closet-racist who disrespects POC, just activists, & ESPECIALLY strong woman unlike the submissive ones from his bygone era of pre-MAGA nitwits!
 I can wait to hear one day that this filth has passed away!
 Maybe the city of Arlington can name the landfill after him, that would be a perfect place to name the trash that is Allan Saxe.


Unrespectful,

Jorge A.
 Ledezma

Reply
CJ August 14, 2020 at 9:
36 pm
Big Al!
 In his big 4×4. Best professor ever.
. Never missed his class.
 Glad they mentioned his pencil sharpeners.
 I can still hear his voice… UTA class of 97..



Former UTA professor Allan Saxe, believed to have donated more than $1M, dies at 85

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2024/06/18/former-uta-professor-allan-saxe-believed-to-have-donated-more-than-1m-dies-at-85/
Saxe donated “in the range of seven figures” over his life, had numerous buildings, scholarships named after him.


Saxe himself had estimated that he had given away around $1.5 to $2.5 million.
 I think Saxe's estimate is more accurate because he was giving away all the time and mostly large amounts.


Here is the article text:


Allan Saxe, the frugal philanthropist and former longtime political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, died Monday of pancreatic cancer, his widow Ruthie Brock told The Dallas Morning News.


Saxe, 85, donated at least $1 million throughout his life to various Arlington causes and was a founder of the Arlington Life Shelter, which helps create a path to self-sustainability for homeless individuals.
 From 1965 to 2019, he was a political science professor at UTA after several years at the University of Oklahoma in his native state.


Tarrant County Commissioner Alisa Simmons was among many posting about Saxe’s death on Facebook.
 Numerous scholarships and buildings at UTA, including the campus softball field, are named in Saxe’s honor.


UTA President Jennifer Cowley said in a statement the university is “forever grateful” for Saxe’s time as a UTA professor.


“For nearly six decades, Allan Saxe has been a Maverick institution — one of our best known and most beloved professors,” Cowley said.
 “He was engaging, smart, funny, and opinionated, and his classes were considered can’t miss by generations of UT Arlington students.
 He was so popular that when our university magazine asked Mavericks a few years ago to share their favorite Allan Saxe memories, hundreds of alumni submitted entries.
 His legacy of overwhelming generosity and kindness is visible across our campus and our region — with parks, gardens, softball fields, patios, and traffic circles bearing his name.
 My condolences go out to his family and friends — of which he had many.”


Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, a longtime friend, wrote in 2018 for Arlington Today that Saxe donated “in the range of seven figures.”
 Saxe himself estimated his contributions to be $1.5 million to $2.5 million over about 55 years.


Greene said in a phone call Wednesday afternoon that Saxe was a “one of a kind” role model and central figure in the Arlington community.
 Greene said over the years, there may have been people who have donated more money to Arlington, but nobody gave away all their money like Saxe did.


“I said, ‘Allan, you’re giving away all of your money, I’m not sure you can support yourself and pay your monthly bills when you’re giving it all away,’” Greene said.
 “He said, ‘Well, there’s people who need it more than I do.’

Former UT Arlington associate professor Allan Saxe served as the Grand Marshal of the City.
..
Former UT Arlington associate professor Allan Saxe served as the Grand Marshal of the City of Arlington Annual 4th of July Parade in downtown Arlington on July 4, 2011.(David Woo / Staff Photographer)
Brock said she met Saxe in the 1970s when she was a librarian at UTA.
 His quirky sense of humor and dry wit are what made her fall in love with him, she said.
 They were both divorced when they met and not eager to remarry.
 They dated for roughly 40 years before tying the knot in 2018.

”He was one of a kind,” Brock said.
 “I am so glad that many of his experiences, I was able to share with him.”


Saxe compared himself, physically, to Woody Allen and had a yearning to be liked and remembered.


According to a profile in The Shorthorn, UTA’s student newspaper, Saxe dedicated his life to charity following a near-death experience with polio as a child.
 A Dallas Morning News article from 1993 said upon his mother’s death in 1992, Saxe decided to donate his entire $500,000 inheritance to a variety of charities, and had been donating roughly half his salary to charity for 15 years before that.


His mother, who lived in an Oklahoma City apartment after working for years as a cashier, socked away stocks and bonds and left her son six figures in artwork, real estate and other assets, The News reported in 1993.

“He distributed the money here and there, sometimes on a whim.
 He gave it to people he hardly knew, to institutions he had no connection with,” The News’ article said.


Despite his wealth, Saxe drove a 1985 Oldsmobile for several years.
 His selflessness continued even after he donated the first half-million within a year of his mother’s death.


A 2009 Associated Press article reported that the career professor continued to give out of his fixed income:
 “And he keeps giving.
 Last year, he donated $84,450, well over half his income, primarily to charities, hospitals, humane societies, universities and nonprofit groups.”


That same article listed just a fraction of the places and things that bear his name:
 “There’s Allan Saxe Park, the Allan Saxe Parkway, the Allan Saxe Dental Clinic, and, at the University of Texas at Arlington, Allan Saxe Field for softball, not to mention the Allan Saxe pencil sharpeners in University Hall.”


He relinquished one namesake, urging for the onetime Allan Saxe Stadium, where UT Arlington’s baseball team played, to be named after late coach Clay Gould, who died of cancer at 29.

Brock said Saxe was enthusiastic and happy to give away all his money and was apt to identify a problem in the community and find a way to solve it.
 Saxe’s philanthropy allowed him to get involved with local politics, she said, which further allowed him to find outlets for his donations.


When he decided to give away his mother’s inheritance, Brock said she told him to save some of the money and invest it to give away later.


But Saxe didn’t listen and soon had given it all away.
 He continued to give from his own pockets once the inheritance had run dry.


”It blew my mind,” Brock said.
 “He was obsessed with giving away money.
 He couldn’t stand to have it in his bank account, he was not a person who liked to buy things.


”The experience of giving away money, it made him so happy and enthusiastic,” Brock said.
 “He wanted to do more of it.”


The modest Oklahoman was revered on UT Arlington’s campus for his “quirky lectures.”
 Students flocked to his class for a slice of his wisdom.
 There was always a wait list for his classes, Brock said.
 She remembers walking by and often hearing his class erupt in laughter at something he said.
 His wit and beliefs were captured in multiple TEDx talks.


The author and former radio commentator grew up in Oklahoma City and in the 1960s, spent nearly a decade at OU earning his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate.
 In a 2020 Dallas Morning News story, Saxe revealed he had been living with Parkinson’s.
 He also shared with the paper he’d planned to match a donation of up to $10,000 to the shelter he helped start.


“If they can raise just a couple of dollars, then that’s great,” Saxe said.


Greene said Saxe will always be remembered in Arlington.


“His legacy is forever,” Greene said.
 “He will not be forgotten.
 His name is all over the community as a reward for his generosity.
 There’s not enough media time or ink to cover the life of Allan Saxe.
 There’s so much to be described about it all.”



Friday, June 14, 2024

AN 5.196 can arahants and Buddhas dream?

I don't see why not, but I can't think of any suttas to support that right now.



Re: Which sutta says arahant dreams
y frank k » Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:05 am

frank k wrote:

Thu Jun 13, 2024 4:27 amin AN there's a sutta where the Buddha had a symbolic dream, and he gave an interpretation of the dream after waking up.


(later I googled to find which AN sutta it was...)
AN 5.196
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... .than.html
I was wrong though, buddha was unenlightened at the time.





Friday, June 7, 2024

SN 48.40 Ven. Thanissaro comments on Ven. Sunyo's analysis



This was Ven. Sunyo's analysis of SN 48.40:


https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2024/05/exciting-news-honest-ebt-scholars-like.html



And here is Ven. Thanissaro's response to that analysis:

I think there’s a better way to tackle the issue of SN 48:40 than by appealing to the oldest layers of commentarial literature.


That way is to point out that SN 48:40, as we have it,
doesn’t pass the test in DN 16 for determining what’s genuine Dhamma and what’s not.
There the standard is, not the authority of the person who’s claiming to report the Buddha’s teachings,
but whether the teachings he’s reporting are actually in accordance with the principles of the Dhamma that you know.


So the simple fact that those who have passed the Buddha’s teachings down to us say that a particular passage is what the Buddha actually taught
is not sufficient grounds for accepting it.
In the case of the jhānas—the point at issue here—
we have to take as our guide the standard formula for the jhānas,
and test any further statements about the jhānas against that formula.


When we do, we find that the discussion of the third and fourth jhānas in SN 48:40 doesn’t pass the test.
It says that the third jhāna is where sukha—physical pleasure—ceases without trace,
and that the fourth jhāna is where somanassa—mental pleasure—ceases without trace.
However, the formula for the third jhāna says that one experiences sukha while in it,
and that even though one is equanimous, one has a sukha-vihāra, a pleasant abiding.

As for the fourth jhāna, its formula says that it’s where sukha, together with dukkha, ends,
similar to the way in which somanassa and domanassa—mental pain—had ended earlier.
This last statement strongly implies that somanassa ends sometime earlier in the jhāna sequence,
and not upon entry into the fourth jhāna.
Given the way the third jhāna is described—an equanimous state with a sukha-vihāra,
the third jhāna is the most likely candidate for where somanassa ends:
You experience physical pleasure, but not mental pleasure.

This means that SN 48:40’s descriptions of where sukha and somanassa end
are not in line with the standard jhāna formula,
and so don’t pass the test for what should and shouldn’t be accepted as genuine Dhamma.


The question is:
How did this sutta, as we currently have it, get accepted into the Canon when it doesn’t pass the test?
Here we have little to go on aside from conjecture, but the title of the sutta provides a possible clue.
Uppaṭika (or uppaṭipaṭika) means “in irregular order.”


The structure of the sutta as we have it discusses, in order, where dukkha, physical pain;
domanassa, mental pain;
sukha;
somanassa;
and upekkhā, equanimity, all end without trace.
The jhāna attainments where these feelings end, it says, fall in proper sequence:
first jhāna, second jhāna, third jhāna, fourth jhāna,
and then skipping to the cessation of perception and feeling.
There is nothing irregular about this order.


However, given the formula for the third jhāna,
that would be the logical place to identify as where somanassa ends.
And given the formula for the fourth jhāna,
that would be the logical place to identify as where sukha ends.
So if we placed these formulae in their logical places,
the actual sequence would be this:
dukkha ends in the first jhāna, domanassa in the second, sukha in the fourth, and somanassa in the third:
1,2, 4, 3. This would be an irregular order.

So perhaps the original sutta identified the fourth jhāna as where sukha ends,
and the third jhāna as where somanassa ends, but somewhere along the line,
after the sutta was given its current title and before the Commentary was written,
the irregularity of the order—1, 2, 4, 3—
offended someone’s sense of propriety,
and the discussions were changed to put things back into standard order: 1, 2, 3, 4.
This, admittedly, is conjecture.
But what is clear is that the sutta, as we have it,
is not consistent with the standard jhāna formula, and so,
in line with the Great Standards mentioned in DN 16,
it has to be regarded as not genuine Dhamma.



A Question of Order


(frankk note: separate document from Ven. Thanissaro, added a few days later:
I reformatted adding line breaks, otherwise same as original here)


A sutta in the Saṁyutta Nikāya—SN 48:40—presents two puzzles.
 The first and more important of the two is that 
 it makes claims about the third and fourth jhāna 
 that are clearly inconsistent with the standard description of those jhānas found at many points throughout the suttas.
 The second is that it makes a claim about the first jhāna that appears to contradict another passage in the suttas, found in AN 5:176.
The second puzzle is hard to resolve, 
in that the standard description of the jhānas doesn’t clearly adjudicate as to whether SN 48:40 is more or less correct than AN 5:176 on the point on which they differ.

As for the first puzzle, 
we have to take the standard description of the jhānas as more authoritative than SN 48:40, 
as that description deals with matters that the Buddha cited 
as among the most important of his teachings and is repeated so many places in the Canon.
 This would be grounds for rejecting SN 48:40, 
 as we currently have it, as being genuine Dhamma, 
 using as our guide the Buddha’s own standards for deciding what is and isn’t genuine Dhamma, as found in DN 16. 
The title of SN 48:40, though, suggests a way in which the inconsistency at the heart of the first puzzle could be resolved.

But first, some background.

SN 48, the saṁyutta in which SN 48:40 appears, is devoted to indrīyas, or faculties.
 It begins by focusing on the five faculties listed in the bodhipakkhiya-dhammas, or wings to awakening:
 the faculties of conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and discernment.
 Beginning with SN 48:22, however, the saṁyutta begins to treat other lists of faculties as well.
 SN 48:31 to 48:40 deal with a list of five feeling faculties:
 the faculty of pleasure (sukha), the faculty of pain (dukkha), the faculty of happiness (somanassa), the faculty of distress (domanassa), and the faculty of equanimity (upekkhā).
 These faculties are defined as follows:
 sukha refers to physical pleasure, dukkha to physical pain, somanassa to mental pleasure, domanassa to mental pain, and equanimity to a feeling of neither comfort nor discomfort that could be either physical or mental.
 
SN 48:40 states that a monk should understand each of these faculties, its origin, its cessation, and where it ceases without remainder.
 In the course of its discussion, it states that 
 the faculty of dukkha ceases without remainder when one enters the first jhāna;
 the faculty of domanassa, when one enters the second jhāna;
 the faculty of sukha when one enters the third jhāna;
 the faculty of somanassa when one enters the fourth jhāna;
 and the faculty of equanimity, when one enters the cessation of perception and feeling.

It’s in its description of where the faculties of sukha and somanassa cease—
respectively in the third and fourth jhānas—
that the sutta is at odds with the standard description of the jhānas.
 
Here’s that description:

“With the fading of rapture, one remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses sukha with the body.
 One enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, 
 ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a sukha abiding.’ …
 
“With the abandoning of sukha & dukkha—
as with the earlier disappearance of somanassa & domanassa—
one enters & remains in the fourth jhāna:
 purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither sukha nor dukkha.”
 — DN 2

 The contradictions are obvious.
 The standard description of the third jhāna mentions twice that it is characterized as sukha, 
 whereas SN 48:40 states that sukha ceases without remainder in the third jhāna.
 The standard description of the fourth jhāna states that 
 somanassa and domanassa disappeared before one enters the fourth jhāna, 
 whereas SN 48:40 states that somanassa ceases only on entering the fourth jhāna.

Here it’s important to recall the Buddha’s standards for deciding what is and is not genuine Dhamma.
 He sets forth four standards in DN 16, with minor variations among the four, 
 each stating the principle that when someone claims to be reporting 
 what is “Dhamma, Vinaya, the Teacher’s instruction,” 
 his claim is to be judged, not by the authority of the person or people he cites as the source of the claim,
 but by whether the report is consistent with what one knows to be the suttas and Vinaya as you know it.
 Here’s an example:

“Then there is the case where a monk says this:
 ‘In a monastery over there dwell many learned elder monks who know the tradition, 
 who have memorized the Dhamma, the Vinaya, and the Mātikā.
 Face-to-face with those elders I have heard this, face-to-face have I received this:
 This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.’
 His statement is neither to be approved nor scorned.
 Without approval or scorn, take careful note of his words and make them stand against the suttas and tally them against the Vinaya.
 If, on making them stand against the suttas and tallying them against the Vinaya, you find that they don’t stand with the suttas or tally with the Vinaya, you may conclude:
 ‘This is not the word of the Blessed One;
 this monk has misunderstood it’—and you should reject it.
 But if, on making them stand against the suttas and tallying them against the Vinaya, 
 you find that they stand with the suttas and tally with the Vinaya, you may conclude:
 ‘This is the word of the Blessed One;
 this monk has understood it rightly.’” — DN 16
 
This statement was set forth before the suttas as we know them were collected, 
so the simple fact that a sutta has been included in the Sutta Piṭaka 
does not mean that it has to be accepted as genuine Dhamma, 
especially if it conflicts with sutta passages that carry more authority.
 On these grounds alone, it’s enough to note that, because SN 48:40’s description 
 of where the faculties of sukha and somanassa cease without remainder 
 is inconsistent with the standard descriptions of the jhānas, 
 what SN 48:40 has to say on this point can be rejected as not genuine Dhamma.

However, as I stated above, 
the title of the sutta suggests a way in which this issue could be resolved.
 It’s called Uppaṭika or Uppaṭipaṭika, which means Irregular Order.
 The question is, is the organization of the sutta really irregular?
 On the one hand, the five feeling faculties are not listed in the same order as they are in SN 48:31–39. 
 In those suttas, the list is:
 sukha, dukkha, somanassa, domanassa, and upekkhā.
 In SN 48:40, the list is:
 dukkha, domanassa, sukha, somanassa, and upekkhā.
 So in that sense, the order in SN 48:40 is irregular.
 On the other hand, there is still a certain regularity to the list of feeling faculties here:
 negative physical, negative mental, positive physical, positive mental, neutral.
 
As for the jhānas, they’re listed in a totally regular order:
 first, second, third, fourth, and then skipping to the cessation of perception and feeling.
 
However, if we introduced a little more irregularity into the sutta, 
it would actually resolve the inconsistency between SN 48:40 and the standard description of the jhānas, 
at the same time making the title of the sutta even more appropriate.

The way to do it would be this:
 (1) Instead of saying that sukha ends with the third jhāna, we could say that it ends with the fourth.
 That would fit with the description of the third jhāna, 
 which mentions sukha in that jhāna twice.

 (2) Instead of saying that somanassa ends with the fourth jhāna, 
 we could say that it ends with the third:
 where one is equanimous (apparently in mind) but experiences sukha with the body.
 That would then fit with the statement in the standard description of the fourth jhāna 
 that both domanassa and somanassa had already ended earlier.

Transposing things in this way would introduce more irregularity into one of the two lists:
 of feeling faculties or of jhānas.

If we kept the order of the feeling faculties as it is, 
that would require ordering the four jhānas as:
 first, second, fourth, and third.
 If we kept the order of the jhānas as it is, 
 the order of the feeling faculties would become even more irregular:
 negative physical, negative mental, positive mental, positive physical, neutral.

Perhaps the original sutta was ordered in either of these two more irregular ways, 
and at some point in time—after the sutta had been given a title, 
but before the commentary to the sutta was composed—
someone changed the order to make it seem a little more proper.
 
This proposal is purely conjectural, 
but it has the advantage of organizing the sutta in such as way that it would salvage this part of the sutta,
allowing it to “stand” with the rest of the Sutta Piṭaka.
   
As for the second puzzle:
 AN 5:176 makes the following claim about 
 five things that are impossible when one enters in rapture and seclusion—
 which is apparently a coded reference to the first jhāna:

“Lord, when a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, 
there are five possibilities that do not exist at that time:
 The dukkha & domanassa dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time.
 The sukha & somanassa dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time.
 The dukkha & domanassa dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time.
 The sukha & somanassa dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time.
 The dukkha & domanassa dependent on what is skillful do not exist at that time.
 When a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, these five possibilities do not exist at that time.”

If this is a coded reference to the first jhāna, 
it would appear to leave no room for domanassa of any kind to exist in the first jhāna.
 Alternatively, if it’s actually referring to a form of concentration milder than the first jhāna, 
 it would be stating that this milder form of concentration has no room for domanassa even before entering the first jhāna.
 Either way, this passage contradicts SN 48:40, 
 which does allow for domanassa to exist in the first jhāna.
 
However, because the standard description of the jhānas makes no mention 
of where in the practice of jhāna domanassa ends, 
there are no objective textual grounds for privileging one of these two suttas over the other.
 This would be an issue that could be resolved only through actual practice.