Wednesday, February 27, 2019

halo effect, and "Sujato's article on vitakka and vicara is still undefeated!"

The user Buddha Vacana has a nice critique of Ven. Sujato's
mistranslation of vitakka here:

And a few interesting excerpts from his discussion thread

halo effect

Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana
Post  by Buddha Vacana » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:53 pm

I just stumbled upon this article that seems relevant to this thread: ... ?r=US&IR=T
It turns out that if you want to convince someone that your explanation for something is the best way to explain it, you might want to tack on some useless (though accurate) information from a tangentially related scientific field.

It turns out that when you tack on additional information from a respected field of study, people think that makes an explanation more credible.


And while this is a new finding, it's just one of several cognitive biases we have in favor of certain types of explanations. We think longer explanations are better than short ones and we prefer explanations that point to a goal or a reason for things happening, even if these things don't actually help us understand a phenomenon.

Not just pamojja is a mental trigger. Pīti,

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana
Post  by frank k » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:20 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:
I have updated a part of the article:

What is possible, on the other hand, is that the mind would be still, the hindrances would be largely reduced, but the first jhana would still not kick in, because one is not skilled in inducing pāmojja (serene joy), which is an essential trigger for the first jhana, as described in many suttas.

frank replied:
Not just pamojja is a mental trigger. Pīti, which appears in the first two jhanas and prior to first jhana in the 7 awakening factors as the piti-sambjjhanga, has the same function as pamojja. I.e. being a mental trigger, something we develop to help cause first jhana to happen. See SN 46.2 and SN 46.3 for very explicit and obvious use of vitakka and vicara in the verbal type of thinking sense in a causal chain leading to jhana.

SN 47.10 then shows, by differentiating between "directed" and "undirected" development how the mental trigger of piti+pamojja happens with V&V (vitakka & vicara) and without V&V.

The main problem with Ajahn Brahm's camp on their understanding of V&V is they're not looking at the relevant EBT sutta passages relating to V&V objectively to see what the possible range of meaning is. They're already starting off with an assumption of Jhāna being of the Visuddhimagga type, and then cherry picking EBT passages to support that understanding, and ignoring the many passages where it's very clear V&V in fist jhāna is a verbal type of thinking. Their defense and counter argument against the verbal thinking of EBT first jhāna is also based on that unproven assumption. They don't offer any evidence, textual or experiential, to show why very profound states of samādhi experienced and taught by Ajahn Lee, Bhante Gunaratana, Thanissaro, Arahant Upatissa (Vimuttimagga) are not genuine EBT jhāna.

Bhante G, Ven. T (thanissaro) on the other hand, have written very clearly and show EBT textual evidence why their interpretation is correct, and clearly show the evidence why the Vism. interpretation of V&V in first jhāna is a redefinition of the term jhāna, vitakka, and vicara.

Sujato's article on vitakka and vicara is still undefeated!

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Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana
Post  by frank k » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:33 pm

Someone on the thread posted a few times, hilariously, that "Sujato's article on vitakka and vicara is still undefeated!"

This reminds me of what Michael Jordan said about himself. Jordan is considered by many basketball experts/historians to be the greatest basketball player of all time, because he had no weakness in his complete game. I'm paraphrasing from memory, but this is what Jordan said on why he thinks he's the greatest: "Because I can score on my guy any time I want, he can't stop me from scoring. And I can shut him down and keep him from scoring."

Similarly, if you're going to be the MIchael Jordan of the V&V argument, you need to show EBT passage evidence of why your interpretation is correct, and you need to show EBT evidence on why the other guy's interpretation is incorrect. If you just cherry pick and score a few empty points, but can't stop the onslaught of points from the opponent, you won't be "undefeated" for long.

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