Friday, March 1, 2019

assortment of insightful blog comments from William

You can reply to his comments and start a discussion here:

William Chu has left a new comment on your post "Case study on intellectual dishonesty, agendas, bi...": 

Telling even seemingly small fibs has a distorting effect on our inner cognitive perceptual apparatus. It creates cognitive dissonance (which often manifests as noises and confusion inside), compartmentalize reality unnecessarily (which obfuscates the simple elegance and directness of the Dhamma's approach to the complexity of life). The results of telling fibs, not to mention outright lies: your inner voice--that ultimate spiritual friend whose influence determines/undermines your spiritual success--becomes murky, equivocal, and untrustworthy; your discernment--the ability to see reality in terms of differing qualities, investment and rewards, and causality--is compromised; your ability to tap into that inner strength that comes from knowing that you're an uncompromisingly honest precept-holder, is diminished. 

William Chu has left a new comment on your post "MN 111 Bhikkhu Analayo, circular reasoning and red...": 

Analayo's argument here indeed is tenuous.
First, the lateness of MN111 is based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Second, to argue that MN111 has Abhidhammic elements is actually defeating his own purpose: late Abhidhamma has a tendency to posit that, since every moment of consciousness can only take up one single object, jhana (as a mental object) cannot coexist with another object (e.g. intention, energy, contact, and the other factors that MN111 lists). It is very odd that, if MN111 indeed is influenced by Abhidhamma reasoning, it would go against a very common late Abhidhamma assumption, which is to posit that jhana is a kind of singular absorption/trance that does not allow for reflection!
Third, MN111 is hardly the only sutta that talks about insight in jhana. Its position that jhanas contain both calm and insight is the rule rather than the exception in the early Buddhist canon. 

William Chu has left a new comment on your post "SN 40.1 impure jhāna is still jhāna, learner's jhā...": 

In developmental psychology, we know that very small children often learn how to perform a chore by repeating the verbal instruction they have received from their parents. They would repeat verbatim what they were told, even imitating the voice and mannerism in which that instruction was first given. To master a chore is a performative act, guided by a narrative, which serves as a guideline and a reminder. In the same way, novice meditators place themselves in a routine, guided by the dhamma lessons they have internalized, enunciated to themselves in the form of skillful vitakka and vicara. The psychic voice of the Buddha or awakened devas who speak to meditators, in a way, are metaphorical embodiments of the remembered Dhamma lessons, of one's conscience and the inner teacher that one has groomed over the course of practice. Vitakka and vicara in this understanding, play an indispensable and fundamental role in what is widely known in pedagogy, and also underscore why it is so important to be a "well-learned" disciple in the Buddhist context. A "well-learned" noble disciple is one who knows the lessons by rote, in their full breadth and scope, and has learned to instruct himself internally via vitakka and vicara. 

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