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Thread: The Contemplation of Dualities

  1. #1

    The Contemplation of Dualities

    Today I came across a sutta that I don't recall reading previously. Its Sn 3:12 The Contemplation of Dualities.

    Its quite long, and here's a Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation:

    Also, here's an excerpt translated by Andrew Olendzki - and he's written some notes before the excerpt.

    Forms and sounds and flavors and smells
    And touches and all mental states,
    Are wished for, cherished and pleasing,
    As long as it's said that "They're real."

    For the world and for its devas
    These are equal to happiness;
    Whereas when they come to an end...
    This for them is equal to pain.

    'Happiness,' viewed by the nobles,
    Comes from restraining the ego.
    This is just the opposite of
    How it is seen by all the world.

    That which is pleasant for others,
    For the noble ones is painful.
    And what for others is painful,
    The noble ones know as pleasant.

    Behold! A teaching hard to know.
    The deluded are confused here.

    Any comments ?

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I've read this a number of times as it's central to what we need to work on if we want to follow a programme designed to weaken attachment to our present views about the world and our relationship with it.

    There are different strategies you can use. If you are so inclined, renunciation of the kind in Sn 3.12 is rather powerful as you get a more immediate feedback to other, more subtle, ways of working on this aspect of the path.

    Another is to contemplate such things during insight meditation, which is just as effective in the long run but requires a deal of practice following structured programmes such as can be found in the Satipatthana Sutta.

  3. #3
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    I have never read this sutta before, however I do recognize its subject matter as I have received similar teachings. It's has been explained to me as such.

    If we look at our dualistic thoughts of mental projections we engage with there is self and others. This is the dualistic mind. When engaged in object of self and others in ones mind seeing this projections as reality is the ordinary mind that causes suffering and are karma to be reborn again and again.

    When one looks at all phenomena as dependently arisen based upon their proper causes and conditions one begins to see beyond dualism beyond such false projections and is free of all suffering caused by attachment to ones self and aversion to others and ignorance to the intrinsic nature of reality.

    Sorry I do not have a link to post as this was how I was taught personally and directly from my precious holy friend and guide. In accordance with my limited understanding of the rules here I do not wish to promote my guru. I only wish to sharing my understanding of his commentaries in a hope that its benifitial in relationship to this sutta.

    Love and Light

  4. #4
    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Hello Aloka,

    I do not have a comment about this. Just thinking about dualistic thinking this morning and came across this thread.

    As always, you post material that makes me reflect.

    Thank you!


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