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"Until such a time as I had understood the senses,
understood the origin of the senses,
understood the ending of the senses,
understood the way to the ending of the senses, beggars,
I did not consider myself completely awake;
but when I had understood the senses,
understood the origin of the senses,
understood the ending of the senses,
understood the way to the ending of the senses, beggars,
I considered myself completely awake."
[— SN 4.35.13]




Saṃyutta Nikāya
Nidāna Vagga
Dhātu Saṃyutta



Translator's Introduction

Although it may not be immediately obvious, this is the most important set of suttas (this and the following related suttas) corroborating my exposition of what I have called 'Pajapati's Problem'.

I have described dimensions of Pajapati's problem in discussions contained on this site: Pajapati's Problem and Pajapati's Problem 2

To my mind this problem, namely the notion of 'One and only one God' who is also The Creator is the single most mentally debilitating force in the United States today. It may be so also in the rest of the world, but I do not know this from experience. It does not matter here whether one was raised a Christian a Catholic Christian or fundamentalist Babtist Christian or Mormon or Muslim or an Atheist or an Agnostic or a Hindu or even Buddhist for that matter. The notion is drummed into us from our earliest schooling as an 'advance in the thinking of mankind.' It is not an advance, it is a perversion.

To free ourselves from the fear instilled by this pernicious point of view, even without becoming aware of the method for its complete abandonment would release a mental energy of incalculable dimensions. Make the effort my friends!

The simple, but mind-altering key is found here in the following suttas and can be summarized with the following quote from another discussion here which uses a slightly different set of terms for the translation:

Different data give rise to differing touches. Or:
Because there are differing data, there is differentiated contact. Or:
The upshot of the percussion of differing data is differing touch.

Horner: Because of the diversity in elements, brethren, arises diversity of contact.

Bodhi: Bhikkhus, it is in dependence on the diversity of elements that there arises diversity of contacts.

Eye contact becomes, rebounding off eye-data. Or:
The upshot of eye-data-percussion is eye touch ... etc.
Ear contact becomes, rebounding off ear-data
Nose contact becomes, rebounding off nose-data
Tongue contact becomes, rebounding off tongue-data
Body contact becomes, rebounding off body-data
Mind contact becomes, rebounding off mind-data

Get it straight. As simple and straight-forward as this may seem, it is of absolutely vital importance when it comes to the way the ordinary common man's "sub-conscious" perceives the world and the self, which is exactly the other way around, that is: "Because I exist, the diversity of elements exists."

[It's 'because of the diversity of thought-data percussing the mind that there is the appearance of a thinking being; not that because of a thinking being there is the diversity of thought data.]

Unless the reader is very unusual, he will be thinking: 'But this is how I see this.'

This is the difference: the ordinary common man understands that 'different data give rise to differing touches' as a matter of conforming to the 'world' view of how things are. He thinks this is how he thinks because he identifies with thinking in words, not 'seeing' how he thinks by inference from how he behaves.

A person would be considered mad here to be running around saying 'Because I see, things exist.'

But what reveals his unconscious thinking — his true way of seeing things, is how he behaves, which is contrary to the way he would behave if he really believed that 'different data give rise to differing touches' was the reality: he is upset when he does not see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or think what he wants, as if there should be some power over these functions vested in him. His more sophisticated behaviors are built on these initial fundamental reactions, and so on.

For a Buddhist, one seeking full awakening of the mind:

Getting a grip on the way it really is one of the fundamental building blocks to an understanding of 'Not Self'.

That's really all I have got to say. That is really all I have ever had to say. I have been saying this since I first perceived the solution to the problem one day in 1984. Few listen. I understand that underlying what appears to be a colossal mental laziness is fear. I sympathize; but I have no sympathy. Few even try. God helps those who help themselves! (That's a little joke).

You say hello,
I say goodbye,
Hello, hello, hello, hello,
I don't know why you say hello,
I say goodbye.

Best of luck to all of you!

Los Altos


The Olds Translation
The Pāḷi
The Rhys Davids/Woodward Translation
The bhikkhu Bodhi Translation



See: Pajapati's Problem
Pajapati's Problem 2
Its Elementary

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