On the retreat in Dec 2019 in Hamburg Ven. Sujato read DN 27 with us and proposed to read and interpret any sutta under 4 focuses:
- the literal understanding
- the understanding when discerning metaphoric aspects
- the understanding when assuming ethical impulse and teaching
- the attempt to discern transcendent messages/meanings
It is not difficult for me to work with the first three focuses, but I have (and had) no idea, what really is meant with having “transcendent dimension” ,“transcendent message”. I tried to remember all what I’ve learnt in school or in later readings about “transcendence” in philosophy, and are well aware of the the widely used phrase of “the transcendental buddha” and so - but I’ve always instinctively(?) taken distance from such discussions and elaborations, as already in school in the late 60ies as I felt deep grief with some philosophical junkies - in one case really nice person but seemingly lost in their ideal world …
But well, why not try now (being 66, being retired and having more space for philosophical pondering and learning) to get at least a basic understanding what is meant with such “transcendental message”/“transcendental aspect”.
On the retreat I didn’t find it appropriate to take too much time for such an obviously basic thing, so I let it aside there.
Could someone help me out here and now in the afterthought and reflection? For instance apply exemplarily that 4’th focus on some passages of the sutta, and tell/explain me what at all are there “transcendental meanings”? Maybe eventually I shall not second that explanations - but I would at least like to understand deeper, what it is all about when people ponder “transcendental aspect” …