re: gnlaera 2017-02-13 14:40:39 UTC #19
Or are questions relating the philology et al to practice not proper here?
I brought up this question before. …"
My reference to practice is meant more specifically to idea of using phenomenological evidence in conjunction with philological evidence, i.e. as additional means of evaluation. The various alternative philological hypotheses at times would seen to correlate with alternative experiential possibilities.
For instance, the “body-kaya of the whole breath” vs the “whole body-kaya breathing” (to paraphrase). My “teacher” Thanissaro B. insists it should be the latter, but my “teacher” U. Jagara insists it can be the former – both referring to in-vivo experience as well as the semantic possibilities. And in my own experience I can re-create both versions, albeit in different frames-of-reference (modes of meditation). On the one hand, with pursuing jhana using the PaAuk method (U. Jagara has spent the last two decades at that monastery), the mind becomes so intensely focused (starting with the breath sensations as the nostrils/upper lip) that the breath becomes
the entirety of “physical” scope of awareness, so to speak the whole of bodily awareness at the moment; and after absorption the mind becomes so sharp that insight naturally follows. On the other hand, using Thanissaro’s (Ajahn Lee’s, actually) infusing the entire organism with breath awareness, and then with “qi and blood” awareness (using the Chinese medical equivalents for what Lee calls the breath through the nerves and vessels), and finally the “still-points” of the breath (these three levels actually closely correspond to the classical Chinese jing-qi-shen levels). Then the meditation (of Thanissaro’s sort) I find to resemble Mahasi’s vipassana-khanikha-samadhi – matching every arising phenomenon with concentrated penetrating knowledge.
The point being that alternative philological interpretations might be also verifiable phenomenologically, or perhaps in some cases, dis-proven or at least rendered less likely. Minus some kind of rubber-meets-the-road evaluation along these lines the philology risks degrading into “mere” scholasticism – abhidhamma in the pejorative
sense used at times by those who haven’t bothered to understand it.
More examples have some to mind (in following various discussions), and might be worth starting a separate thread here – unless this runs against the grain of SuttaCentral conventions.