For some time I have been considering the feasibility of an online ontology (OWL, RDF + Reasoner + NLP… stack) of the Buddha’s teaching in the Suttas. I’m not happy with the structure of the Abhidhamma. It’s supposed to be a sort of ontological analysis of the Suttas—but it’s not terminologically consistent or ontologically coherent enough for behavioral computer analysis and natural-language interface. I wanna be able to talk with the Buddha in VR! Continue reading Neo-Abhidhamma and VR
So the Buddha’s teaching inspires us to develop equanimity, turning away from the world of manifestation, impermanence and suffering by regarding it as a disease, an affliction. And he advises us to turn towards amataṃ, the Deathless, Nibbāna. This is the essence of meditation. Any effort we can invest in this endeavor is beneficial for us. Even if we can’t realize Nibbāna in this life, we can easily destroy the five lower fetters: Continue reading Nibbāna 28: Attaining Insight
Now how does the Stream-entrant attain these four factors: confirmed confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha, and virtue? Let’s expand the context of the quote given at the beginning:
“[A well-taught noble disciple] sees those states of feeling, perception, fabrications and consciousness as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumor, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not-self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: ‘This is peaceful, this is sublime, the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving; dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.’
“If he is steady in that, he attains destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain destruction of the taints because of that desire for the Dhamma, that delight in the Dhamma, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters he becomes qualified to reappear spontaneously in the Pure Abodes, and there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world. This is the Path…”
— Mahā-mālunkya Sutta (MN 64)
First we need to understand the four levels of enlightenment or stages of deliverance according to the Buddha’s teaching: Stream-entry, Once-returner, Non-returner and Arahant. A Stream-entrant has almost destroyed three lower fetters. A Once-returner has almost destroyed the five lower fetters. A Non-returner has destroyed the five lower fetters completely, and partially destroyed the five higher fetters as well. An Arhant has completely destroyed all the ten fetters. Continue reading Nibbāna 26: Advancing on the Path
The Buddha’s teaching is:
1. Apophatic: Nibbāna is the unstated ‘elephant in the room’.
2. Fractal: Every Sutta reflects the same design or image.
3. Ontologically coherent:
• The Suttas are all based on the Four Noble Truths.
• They all point to the same ineffable, inexplicable state.
• Each one is an extended metaphor about the indefinable.
No other tradition or system of thought—including modern science—can make this claim.
Buddha reached Nibbāna & delivered Suttas over 2600 years ago. Implementations were based on social & psychological conditions at the time. Those implementations are certainly obsolete, unworkable. Organizations based on them are static, hierarchical, authoritarian. We need to hack the Dhamma and create many new implementations. We want to be free to pursue maximum interestingness—not enslaved by maintaining obsolete implementations.
“This is peaceful, this is excellent: the stilling of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all assets; the destruction of craving; detachment, cessation, Nibbāna.” — Mahā-Mālunkya Sutta (MN 64)
There is a reason most people can’t experience Nibbāna and reach enlightenment. ‘Buddhist’ religious organizations have oversimplified, distorted and obscured the original teachings of the Buddha. If this continues much longer, the practices that brought the Buddha and his original disciples to enlightenment may be lost forever. Continue reading Nibbāna 25: Part 2 Introduction and Summary