# Abyākata buddhism

This is a placeholder for a larger post but:

Buddhist Philosophy of mathematics

A = B
A is B

A != B
A is not B

A + B
A and B

A × B
Not A and not B

Replaced with

X
There is an X
suffering

X > Y
Xs depend on Ys
suffering > craving

Y < Z
Y elimination
eliminate craving

Z^
Z proof
Proof assertion:
There is a way to end craving

For
X Y Z

!(X =!+× Y)

Etc

Why it works with anything and not just “selves”:

I cannot be the person i was an hour ago
I cannot be the person i am now
I cant be both
I cant be niether

vs

The universe cant be the universe an hour ago
The universe cant be the universe now
The universe cannot be both
The universe cannot be niether

The fire at time T2 cannot be

Identical to the fire at T1
(T1 is a different time)

It cannot not be identical
(Otherwise they are different fires)

It cant be both
(How can a thing be in 2 different places at once?)

It cant be niether
(What would we even be talkimg about?)

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As a resource for your larger post, you can find unicode versions of math and logic symbols (e.g. ⇒) – which can be copy-pasted right into D&D posts – here:

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Abyakata Meditation:

Meditate on that which is not eternal, not temporary, not made of both temporary and eternal parts, nor anything neither temporary nor eternal.

Meditate on that which is not extended, not non-extended, not having both extended and non extended parts and not anything which is neither extended nor non extended.

Meditate on that which is not identical to the body, not different from the body, not both the body and something different to the body, nor any thing which is neither the body nor other than the body.
(and here we could append the other 4 aggregates)

Meditate on that which after this is not enduring, not ceasing, not both partly enduring and partly ceasing, and not anything neither enduring nor ceasing.

And that is to meditate on anything at all. (or at least practically anything in particular).

The next step is to not meditate on that which has arisen conditionally, nor on that which has not arisen conditionally, nor on anything that is both partly arisen and partly non arisen conditionally nor on anything neither arisen nor non arisen conditionally.

And that is to meditate on nothing in particular.
(even “nothing”)

Without any particulars being dwelt upon, there are no particulars about the dwelling.

Without particulars one cannot say of the subject (the mythical “One Who Dwells”) that it is eternal, temporary, spatial, abstract, real, unreal, etc etc, all with thier both and their neither.

Conceptual thought stills first
Then feelings/emotions still
Then pain and pleasure still

Observing that which is without conceptual thought, without feelings, without pleasure and pain, one enters and remains in the 4th jhana.

Knowing that it is a nonsense to say there that what remains endures or does not endure or both or neither.

There is knowledge of the liberation of dependence on conditions.

This unconditional freedom should not be said to be eternal, temporary, both, neither, spatially extended, infintesimal, both or neither, etc etc.

Abyakata Philosophy:

1. The whole point of the aggregates doctrine in the canon is to make the point that it dosen’t matter which category you pick; material bodies(including cosmoses and physical beings, perceptions, dispositions, feelings, consciousnesses, at the very least, (so a rather large range of phenomena), all the pile of examples you care to exhibit from, fail to be, in any demonstrably coherent sense;

Eternal (or temporal extension)

Momentary

Both an eternal part and a momentary part

Neither eternal nor momentary parts

Infinite (or spatial extension)

Infinitesimal

Both an infinite part and an infinitesimal part

Neither

Identical (to itself or anything else)

Different (to itself or anything else)

Both (a thing cant be both identical and different)

Neither (a thing cant be something that is neither identical nor different to another thing)

Real

Fictional

Both

Neither

(Real things can’t “cause” other real things)

.

1. The Southern School calls this observation “anatta” the Northern School calls it “sunyata” and I call it “abyakata”

2. That is to put it only slightly less succinctly it is not the case that anyone i ever heard of, including myself, has ever seen or heard or thought of, or been conscious of, or perceived, or been disposed or physically configured such that we may be certain that there are eternal, momentary, both, neither or infinite… Or identical… or real… things in the cosmos or ourselves, however you cut up that onion, that being the point in the first place.

3. The original argument, the undeclared points, and the discussion of it in the ebts is both chronologically and logically prior the anatta/aggregates material.

4. Nagarjuna appears, at least in MMK, to be a conservative reader of the abyakata material and merely points out some of the quite (arisotealean or common sense or whatever) obvious logical consequences of the view.

5. There are two major difficulties in demonstrating this, first we need to recover the abyakata as the foundational philosophical argument of the Buddha by presenting the canonical material and showing how it can be interpreted more broadly than being simply about the aggregates.

6. Then we need to show how Nagarjuna restates the same philosphical argument and provides a “deconstruction” of the illegitimately substantitive schools of the north and south at the time.

7. Once a person accepts that the abyakata is prior to and provides the correct reading of annata it becomes apparent that the gulf between Nagarjuna, Mahayana as for example in the large perfection of wisdom sutra, and a conservative reading of anatta in relation to abyakata is a good approximation of the earliest Buddhism, while the southern school, despite preserving the earliest material, represent a scholastic orthodoxy posterior to the time of the buddha, not much evidenced in the canon except where that canon diverges substantivesly between schools, while nagarjuna returns to the philosophical spirit, there to see in the very texts the southern school still now preserves and declares to be the Buddhas word.

8. The conversation starts at DN9/DA28 where we have 4 questions, the answer to each being, that is “not our view” the four questions are permanent impermanent both neither, infinite finite both neither, identical, different, both neither, and finally a special case, what about the case of enlightenment, does something, nothing, both or neither “endure”.

9. These four headings, allowing 16 cases is expanded when one accounts for the questions being equally applicable to either the self or the world giving four questions where there where 2, but the process seems pointless as the given examples cover a LOT.

THE ARGUMENT:

So starting at the beginning;

DA 28:

6.“Gautama, sometimes a wanderer would say, ‘A person’s conceptions arise without cause or condition, and they cease without cause or condition.’

1. “Gautama, sometimes a wanderer would say, ‘It’s because of the identity that conceptions arise, and they cease when it departs.’

2. “Gautama, sometimes a wanderer would say, ‘What was said before isn’t possible. There’s a great demon spirit who possesses great power. It takes conceptions away and brings conceptions with it. When it takes them away, one’s conceptions cease. When it brings them, one’s conceptions arise.’

3. “A thought occurred to me because of this. I thought, ‘The ascetic Gautama surely knows about this subject. Surely, he would know conceptions well and know about the attainment of cessation.’”

Here we have the abyakata given in a slightly unorthodox form by pothapada:

Are conceptions determined by

The indeterminate?

(Chaos, Chance, Uncaused, Random etc)

By themselves?

(perhaps; “I myself am the things i think and the things i think make themselves”)

By an other?
(thoughts don’t come from me they come from somewhere else, maybe God)

The missing limb here is by both themselves and another. But we get the idea.

DN 9:

Tatrekacce evamāhaṁsu:

‘A person’s perceptions arise and cease without cause or reason. Here perception is not identified with the “person” (purisa), but rather belongs to them (cf. etaṁ mama, “this is mine”). In the discussion to follow, the Buddha only directly addresses this theory, while the remainder are included by inference.

‘ahetū appaccayā purisassa saññā uppajjantipi nirujjhantipi.

When they arise, you become percipient.

Yasmiṁ samaye uppajjanti, saññī tasmiṁ samaye hoti.

When they cease, you become non-percipient.’

Yasmiṁ samaye nirujjhanti, asaññī tasmiṁ samaye hotī’ti.

That’s how some describe the cessation of perception.

Ittheke abhisaññānirodhaṁ paññapenti.

But someone else says:

Tamañño evamāha:

‘That’s not how it is, good sirs! This idiom is also at SN 47.19:1.10.

‘na kho pana metaṁ, bho, evaṁ bhavissati. Variant: pana metaṁ → na kho nāmetaṁ (pts1ed)

Perception is a person’s self, The self is defined as perception (eso me attā), one of the five aggregates. Compare the various theories of the self and perception at DN 1:2.38.0.

Saññā hi, bho, purisassa attā.

which enters and departs.

Sā ca kho upetipi apetipi.

When it enters, you become percipient.

Yasmiṁ samaye upeti, saññī tasmiṁ samaye hoti.

When it departs, you become non-percipient.’ Implying that at such times a person lacks a “self”. This is perhaps related to the Upaniṣadic theories of the self when asleep and dreaming.

Yasmiṁ samaye apeti, asaññī tasmiṁ samaye hotī’ti.

That’s how some describe the cessation of perception.

Ittheke abhisaññānirodhaṁ paññapenti.

But someone else says:

Tamañño evamāha:

‘That’s not how it is, good sirs!

‘na kho pana metaṁ, bho, evaṁ bhavissati.

There are ascetics and brahmins of great power and might. The commentary says these were devotees of āthabbaṇa, i.e the practices preserved in the Atharvaveda. This “fourth Veda” is mentioned only once by name in the early Pali (Snp 4.14:13.1), where, as here, it is associated with the performance of magic and the casting of spells. The commentary fairly drips with contempt: “Allegedly, the Āthabbaṇa practitioners cast a spell, showing a creature’s head as if cut off, or their hand as if cut off, or as if dead. Then they show them back to normal; imagining so, they say, ‘From cessation they have arisen.’”

Santi hi, bho, samaṇabrāhmaṇā mahiddhikā mahānubhāvā.

They insert and extract a person’s perception. See DN 29:16.20 for upakaḍḍhati and apakaḍḍhati in this sense.

Te imassa purisassa saññaṁ upakaḍḍhantipi apakaḍḍhantipi.

When they insert it, you become percipient.

Yasmiṁ samaye upakaḍḍhanti, saññī tasmiṁ samaye hoti.

When they extract it, you become non-percipient.’

Yasmiṁ samaye apakaḍḍhanti, asaññī tasmiṁ samaye hotī’ti.

That’s how some describe the cessation of perception.

Ittheke abhisaññānirodhaṁ paññapenti.

But someone else says:

Tamañño evamāha:

‘That’s not how it is, good sirs!

‘na kho pana metaṁ, bho, evaṁ bhavissati.

There are deities of great power and might.

Santi hi, bho, devatā mahiddhikā mahānubhāvā.

They insert and extract a person’s perception.

Tā imassa purisassa saññaṁ upakaḍḍhantipi apakaḍḍhantipi.

When they insert it, you become percipient.

Yasmiṁ samaye upakaḍḍhanti, saññī tasmiṁ samaye hoti.

When they extract it, you become non-percipient.’

Yasmiṁ samaye apakaḍḍhanti, asaññī tasmiṁ samaye hotī’ti.

That’s how some describe the cessation of perception.

Ittheke abhisaññānirodhaṁ paññapenti.

Here we have the same 3 limbs, oddly split into 4 verses, giving deities double duty with warlocks.

1. “‘Self and the world are permanent. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and the world are impermanent. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and the world are permanent and impermanent. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and the world are neither permanent nor impermanent. This is true; anything else is false.’

2. “‘Self and the world have limits. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and the world are limitless. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and world have limits and are limitless. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘Self and the world are neither limited nor limitless. This is true; anything else is false.’

3. “‘The soul is the body. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘The soul is one thing, and the body is another. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘The body and soul are neither different nor not different. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘There’s no soul and no body. This is true; anything else is false.’

4. “‘The Tathāgata dies. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘The Tathāgata doesn’t die. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘The Tathāgata dies and doesn’t die. This is true; anything else is false.’ ‘The Tathāgata neither dies nor doesn’t die. This is true; anything else is false.’”

5. The Buddha told the wanderer, “I don’t explain these views

then what do you make of this: ‘The cosmos is eternal. This is the only truth, anything else is wrong’?” This is the famous list of ten “undeclared points”, which are found throughout the suttas (eg. MN 63, MN 72, and the whole of SN 44). They seem to have functioned as a kind of checklist by which philosophers could be evaluated and classified. | The word loka occurs in a number of senses, but here it refers to the entire “cosmos” of countless worlds.

kiṁ pana, bhante, ‘sassato loko, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti?

“This has not been declared by me, Poṭṭhapāda.”

In the Pali it is slightly shortened but there is no reason to think they are not the same list.

“Abyākataṁ kho etaṁ, poṭṭhapāda, mayā:

‘sassato loko, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti.

“Then what do you make of this: ‘The cosmos is not eternal. This is the only truth, anything else is wrong’?”

“Kiṁ pana, bhante, ‘asassato loko, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti?

“This too has not been declared by me.”

“Etampi kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā abyākataṁ:

‘asassato loko, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti.

“Then what do you make of this: ‘The cosmos is finite …’ …

“Kiṁ pana, bhante, ‘antavā loko …pe…

‘The cosmos is infinite …’ …

‘anantavā loko …

‘The soul and the body are the same thing …’ …

‘taṁ jīvaṁ taṁ sarīraṁ …

‘The soul and the body are different things …’ …

‘aññaṁ jīvaṁ aññaṁ sarīraṁ …

‘A Realized One still exists after death …’ …

‘hoti tathāgato paraṁ maraṇā …

‘A Realized One no longer exists after death …’ …

‘na hoti tathāgato paraṁ maraṇā …

‘A Realized One both still exists and no longer exists after death …’ …

‘hoti ca na ca hoti tathāgato paraṁ maraṇā …

‘A Realized One neither still exists nor no longer exists after death. This is the only truth, anything else is wrong’?”

‘neva hoti na na hoti tathāgato paraṁ maraṇā, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti?

“This too has not been declared by me.”

“Etampi kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā abyākataṁ:

‘neva hoti na na hoti tathāgato paraṁ maraṇā, idameva saccaṁ moghamaññan’”ti.

MORE TO COME:

I mean take poetry, someone shows youna wonderful poem, say homer, or dante, or whatever and we ask?

Is it true? No
So is it false? No
Is it partly true and partly false? No
Is it something else? No.

Try it for yourself!

How about just the faculty of language?

Are the words the things they point to?
Are the words one thing and the things completely different?
Are words both the things they point to and the other things
Are words niether identical nor non identical with the things they name?

We would deny all those propositions.

It is the same with kamma and the ripening of kamma
we may worry; perhaps this heart flutter and chest pain is the ripening of my deeds in death!
but we cannot say

actions determin thier consequences or
actions do not determine thier consequences or
actions both do and don’t determine thier consequences or
actions niether determine nor do not determine thier consequences.

nevertheless we can say

concequences depend on there having been actions
if there where no actions there would be no consequences

and if we like to elaborate

the path to the cessation of consequences is by the cessation of actions

and for as for an actor, well, where there are no actions there is no actor to be found.

so without having to worry about some things being real, unreal, both or neither we can still explain the difference between correct reasoning (by was of the dependence relation) without appealing to notions such as:

temporality
spatiality
mereology
physically
mentally
etc

the commentarial tradition of explaining things by appeal to distinctions between real things like aggregates and unreal things like selves is a manifestly dismal descent into exactly the type of metaphysical nonsense the buddha wanted us to leave behind.

In early Buddhist logic, it was standard to assume that for any state of affairs there were four possibilities: that it held, that it did not, both, or neither.

But this is clearly wrong in the Buddhist case, the Buddha claims that none of the 4 possibilities can possibly hold, at least for a wide range of phenomena involving temporal or spatial extention, wholes and parts and notions of identity and difference.

It cant be a logic if it never applies, it is rather a set of constraints on any logic that could apply.

The buddhist claim is that the dependent logic of types and thier dependence on other types does not suffer from mistaking types for things that are eternal, momemtary, extended or not, etc etc.

The dependence relation appears to my uneducated mind at least to be potentially amenible to some sort of formalisation that would meet the contemporary definition of a “logic” and probably resemble something like Per Martin Loff’s constructive type theory.

The 4 undeclarables are simply not a system of logic, rather a claim about what any system of logic could be in a phenomenal world without recourse ro metaphysical, non phenomenal, claims like “eternal” or “identical”.

Again,

Is the actor identical to the beneficiary? No.
Is the actor a different person to the beneficiary? No.
Is there both a real but different actor and a real but different beneficiary? No.
Is there something that is niether the actor nor the beneficiary that is real and responsible for both action and consequence? No.

None of these answers require any particular or formal “logic” and certainly the refusal to endorse any of the four claims does not violate any principle of aristotealian logic.

Also as i have pointed out the critique is in no way confined to actors and actions but can be applied, and is applied in the ebts, to a much wider class of phenomena.