I scribbled down a few notes this time.
There was a fair bit of discussion about the literal, moral, metaphorical and transcendental interpretation scheme. This actually sounded somewhat familiar to me (I think this actually cropped up when Bhante was in Dublin during his Europe/US tour late last year).
There were several questions relating in one way or other to translation/interpretation.
There was a comment that quite a few prominent teachers, for some reason, have engineering backgrounds, which perhaps goes with an inclination to have a precise unambiguous meaning! I guess the four-way interpretation scheme might be a bit of an antidote to that.
A Schrodinger’s cat (the quantum physics thought experiment where a cat in a box is simultaneously live and dead until someone looks into the box and collapses the wave state) metaphor was described for translation. Basically, translators are continually killing Schrodinger’s cats during the translation process and they are continually collapsing ambiguities to zero!
Some questions on the pros and cons of some translation choices, e.g. “mendicant” for “Bhikkhu” (quite a bit about that and possible alternatives), and later about active/positive v passive/negative translations for Pali words, e.g. “non-ill will” v “kindness”, and correspondence between modern Pali words in languages like Sinhalese and their ancient equivalents.
There was a question too on sense restraint, which led onto a discussion of various miscellaneous related topics like the heavy cognitive load in modern life, browser ad blockers and a story about a tarantula!
Iti43 prompted a lot of discussion (perhaps unsurprisingly). The ontologically negative but psychologically positive angle mentioned earlier was argued for. Though a nice reminder was that nibbana in its perhaps simplest formulation is about cessation of greed, hatred and delusion. Iti49 was mentioned in that if one is not a little scared/uncomfortable about the idea of cessation, then perhaps one is not considering it fully.
The final few minutes was a rather compressed attempt to answer a question about free will as time was running out. I found this an interesting topic. The general argument was that this was something of a non-problem in the East (more a leftover issue from Western theism). Humean causality was also mentioned. Must study the few notes I scribbled down on this and think about it some more. Interesting but complex.