What is the relationship between objectification and delight?

The hare- krishna devotees talk about sense-gratification. They use the term ‘karmy’ to refer to a human being whose life is completely devoted to sense-gratification. Karmy would be a synonym of ‘puttujhana’ (worldling).

‘Karmy’ is related to the notion of karma-kanda*.

Objectification is something we are all familiar with. It’s when the mind is compulsively drawn-into perceptions of the ‘delightful’ - and vice versa.

It’s implicated in the choices we make, in what we find interesting, unsettling, disturbing or, boring etc.

Objectification creates the impression/delusion of being drawn-out through the senses to an object ‘out there’.

What actually ‘happens’ is something else - entirely?

The mind habitually objectifies - it’s an object-junkee! Externalising ‘delight’ is a mental fabrication, a complete invention, a fantasy. It’s like dreaming in the waking state.

We are constantly drawn into a dream-like state while we are conscious - when we objectify. This can be dangerous! I know this through first-hand experience.

So many important details can be overlooked when the mind is compelled to objectify.

We may blame others for problems we ‘create’ - without assistance. If objectification is our modus-operandi, if it’s sustained, the wheels are bound to come off!

Ajahn Sujato said he drove of a cliff once in a drug-induced stupor. Objectification is a stuporous - dream like - state of being.

I guess this is the difference between an awakened being and a deluded being. With awakening the conditioned tendency to objectify experience has vanished?

If, there’s no ‘object’ who is the subject? Subject/object dualism collapses? There’s no object/thing ‘in itself’.

Subject/object dualism is a co-arising. Like the three-fold training. The three aspects of thr training lean on each other like a tripod. Remove one prop and the other two collapse.

All forms of prejudice and intolerance, racism, divisiveness, is due to objectifying others. It’s a humungous problem! It may be the whole problem - in a nutshell - and we are the nuts that need crackin?

Can there be real joy and fulfillment without objectification? The end of suffering is true happiness. Nibbana is the highest bliss?

Can we come out of the cause of suffering - finish with it - sooner rather than later. Clarity is all that’s required , in the seeing just the seeing…

*The Vedas are composed of karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā- kāṇḍa.

Do ‘objects’ exist ‘outside’ ‘ourselves’? If there’s an ‘object’ does there have to be a ‘subject’, which is a Self? :wink:

Perhaps this miss the point, but if ‘objectification’ is used to translate ‘papanca’ (like in Ven. Thanissaro translation of AN 4.173), there is a very nice article on papanca called “CONCEPT AND REALITY in Early Buddhist Thought” by Bhikkhu Nanananda.

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There are objects and there is a ‘point of view’.

But to say that they exist outside,inside ourselves, both inside and outside, or neither inside nor outside, is to have an assumption of them.
The question itself assumes a self somewhere in relation to other things already and so its a ‘wrong’ question.

What we experience is that there are objects , regardless of where I think I am in relation to them.
There are objects, and there is also ‘a point of view’ from where they are experienced.
One may be in doubt where the self is in relation to the object or point of view, but one cannot doubt that those two things are there, and that there is doubt about where the self is.

I could try and imagine a scenario where objects exist without being known from this ‘point of view’, without being made manifest by mind, attention, directional awareness.
But that imagination also arises with mind, or relation to a point of view.
To think that there is a pure object or pure subject, an object which arises independent of anything else is a speculation, an assumption, a ‘upadana’.
A view based on ignorance which overlooks what is actually happening

There cannot be ‘attention’ without that which is attended to, and vice versa
With this, this is.
No thing(dhamma) without that which determines(sankhara) it also being there.

There is, however, this assumption of self, an obscure sense of self hanging around, and if one can have a proper perspective of experience, then that obscure sense of self will be seen as unnecessary.
Unnecessary for this conscious -body and name-and-form externally. A lingering bad smell…which will eventually have to disappear.

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Views based on ignorance are unavoidable until there’s awakening - IMO.

An exception may happen if somebody doesn’t have any fixed views - steady convictions.

It’s my guess, that only the fully-awakened don’t require any view about the way it is? They simply ‘see it’ for what it is!

In the EBT’s, we read about the four stages of awakening. I am not sure when a capacity to see and understand things with pristine clarity takes place.

Perhaps, it’s only a fully-awakened being who has direct ‘knowledge and vision’ of the way it is - on the most fundamental level? Only, the realisation of complete-awakening would make this question answerable - directly.

We need to keep in mind that what we ‘believe’ about these matters is invariably a point of view. A view that is informed by our own progress of insight or, the lack of.

To say this is just:

seems authoritative!

Finally, someone has arrived on the scene who is free of views based on ignorance - what a blessing! Assuming, this is not the case, what are we to make of the assertion that preceded the last quote (see below):

Assuming that the ‘source’ of this statement, is also not seeing things with absolute clarity, we are then faced with a crisis of confidence.

Is the statement just another assumption/view based on:

We need to make distinctions between ‘logical inferences’ that may lead to an educated guess and, actually seeing the way it is, with complete clarity.

We may have a fanatical commitment to our ‘logical inferences’ and still be completely mistaken. It happens all the time - it’s sad but true.

We need to remain open to unique/new discoveries. We need to be prepared to walk away from - at the drop of a hat - all our cherished assumptions about the way it is. We need to be open to surprise.

Then, the (clinging) ‘upadana*’ is nowhere to be seen - not before! :slight_smile:

*“Upādāna is a Vedic Sanskrit and Pali word that means ‘fuel’, material cause, substrate that is the source and means for keeping an active process energized’. It is also an important Buddhist concept referring to “attachment, clinging, grasping”.” - Internet Definition

Why do you assume that what was written came from someone who has no clarity?

What if it is authoritative?

An ariyasavaka, if asked to describe the Dhamma would describe it confidently, he would not be using terms like ‘perhaps it’s like this’, ‘its my guess’, I’m not sure’, ‘i assume it’s like this’, etc,in regards to the Dhamma.

Someone’s confidence or authoritative sounding description is not necessarily a sign that he is ignorant or crazy.

Unless one is an ariyasavaka.

That’s not what was said or implied!

This is what was said:

This has nothing to do with me assuming anything about you - does it?

I didn’t say: I make this assumption - did I? It’s really a question about what follows, if such an assumption was made.

I have no idea about your clarity or, otherwise, not the foggiest. It just appeared as if you had made a ‘matter of fact’ statement i.e

Perhaps, this view - see above - isn’t a matter of fact statement about the way it is? If not, then what kind of declaration is it?

It could be but, what criteria are we going to use in order to come to this conclusion?

All we ‘seem’ to have - to work with - is a statement about something made by ‘x’. Mr. X seems to have written this information down as a consequence of what - exactly?

Is it possible that Mr. X had inferred some kind of cause and effect relationship or, did he ‘see’ something ‘directly’? Something he believes is unequivocally the case - it’s always the case?

If, Mr. X was a fully-awakened being then, he may be ‘seeing’ something that is: always the case, unequivocally true and correct. However, we cannot ‘know’ with absolute certainty until we are also fully awake - why?

Because inference is not the same as seeing something directly - is it?

We are merely inferring something until we clearly ‘see’ it for ourselves, through ‘direct’ knowledge and vision.

I think this is the difference between: A Priori and A Posteriori*.

*“A Priori and A Posteriori… For example, the proposition that all bachelors are unmarried is ‘a priori’, and the proposition that it is raining outside now is ‘a posteriori’. The distinction between the two terms is epistemological and immediately relates to the justification for why a given item of knowledge is held.” - Internet Definition

Ajahn Brahm said this: those who have no expectations are never disappointed and, they are ‘often’ pleasantly surprised.

It’s a statement about wrong view.

We could use the suttas as criteria.
The statement was written as a consequence of wanting to respond to Mat, and the reason why that exact statement was made is because it’s true.

No it’s not same. Ignorance and knowledge are not the same.

Is it a ‘matter of fact’ statement about wrong view? Or, is it just a view about wrong view? Were you expressing an opinion or, were you saying: this is necessarily so?

Are we meant to take what you wrote as a statement of fact or, a conjecture, an inference, an educated opinion, what, exactly? You tell me!

It looks like a statement about an actual state of affairs. Like, it’s raining outside - an ‘A Posteriori’ statement about the way it is?

If this is so, the question arises on what basis is this ‘matter of fact’ statement about ‘wrong view’ made?

You provided an answer: it’s in the Sutta’s.

What we read in the Sutta’s is ‘indirect’ knowledge. It’s information about stuff - processes, various forms of relationships, cause and effect etc.

We infer a relationship between what is recorded in the discourses and something else i.e. the actual ‘state of affairs’ - the way it is!

The actual state of affairs is the basis of awakened understanding - insight. So, which is it - an indirect inference that is ‘referred’ to in the Sutta’s or, a direct insight - beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Something that is simply-so? How do you know?

One may ask: what’s the point in all this? Why is this important, why ‘bother’ pointing this out? What does it have to do with the progress of insight - that which liberates?

The answer is this: if we are confused about the difference between what we know ‘for-sure’ and what we are merely convinced about, without insight, we are not going to wake up to the way it is - why?

Because, seeing-this is the difference between realising the Dhamma and, inference - beliefs/ideology.

Being open to surprise - the unknown - the unexpected, is a prerequisite for discovering something/anything that is unprecedented.

Aryan attainments are unprecedented happenings - how could it be otherwise?

Oh I see what you mean, your concern is about Where the statement(above) came from rather than WHAT it means.

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This difference makes ‘all’ the difference. If it comes from insight into the Dhamma then, that’s what we’re interested in.

That’s what makes all the difference in our lives.

The fact that so-and-so said something-or-other doesn’t make much of a ‘real’ difference in our lives unless, it’s reflected in our way of ‘being’ in the world.

The Dhamma that liberates isn’t vicarious experience, it’s not inference, it’s not an article of faith in a belief system.

This is what waking up to the way it is really means?

IMO, awakening is nothing but an unfiltered, unconditional ‘openness’ to the way it is?

No attachment to assumptions and, no objectifying, no projection of biases, no prejudice, no perversion. This enables clear seeing, clear comprehension.

It’s not a state of knowing something-or-other. It’s a freedom from the ‘known’. We have many ideas about the Dhamma but awakening is not like this!

The known/past is just the left behind, the future is the yet unreached. Attend to each Dhamma as it arises ‘now’, know that and, be sure of that. In the seeing, just the seeing, in the hearing, just the hearing… In the thinking, just the thinking.

Bare awareness has no history, there’s no ‘story’, no dead-concepts, no knowledge that can keep up with it. It has already moved on before it can be pinned down, located, owned, recognised, known.

A state of perpetual wonder without a knower. The Arahant cannot be ‘located’ in this world or, anywhere else.

How could this have anything to do with different locations in space? What you called: a point of view? The Arahant cannot be ‘located’ in this world or, anywhere else?

The Arahant is not the physical body’ - the body is not-self, this has been realised. The Arahant is not the mind’ - the mind is not-self, this has been realised.

There has to be a vantage point to have a point of view. An Arahant is not “here or, there nor, in-between the two.” - the Buddha

The Arahant is nobody going nowhere and, so are we! An Arahant doesn’t find this confusing but we are confounded by it - that’s the difference.

Do you see - no subject/object dualism? No objectification and no subjectivity. Game over - no more coming to any state of being.

If there’s no objectification, objective-world for the Arahant then, where is the attention going to ‘land’ to become a so-called ‘somebody’ - a case of mistaken identity? :slightly_smiling_face:

The Arahant is stainless, blameless, in a state of ‘innocence’, newness - without a history, energised, clinging to nothing, not weighed-down by the past.

The Arahant is completely open to whatever comes and goes, identifying with nothing. There’s no regret, remorse or, grief.

No anxiety, no trepidation, no worry about what may come to pass.

We need knowledge - conceptualisation - to identify with something, anything at all. The Arahant is beyond conception, fabrication, creation.

An Arahant is free of all this, there’s the knowing of empty phenomena rolling on but, no identification with it.

Utterly free from the taint of being - great wonder!

This is ‘projection’ of your imagination - you will only know what it’s like when you become one yourself. This is how ‘fantasies’ are projected eg: grass is greener…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s not. Staying with not knowing is honest…


True - this is inference not true seeing - very good. It’s important not to confuse inference with direct-seeing.

This is why many professional scholars misunderstand the Dhamma - IMO. They mistake it for philosophy - some kind of Asian ideology.

There are many forms of Buddhism that are ideological creations but, the Dhamma - that is realised by the wise - is something else, entirely.

The Dhamma is more than an intellectual pursuit. It’s a way of being in the world. We have to ‘live it’ before we realise it’s true meaning.

Atheists and theists often blur the distinction between fact and opinion due to their ideological commitments.

We need to avoid getting ‘caught up’ in conjecture and speculation - as best we can.

We should be completely aware of what we are doing when we are merely repeating views and opinions.

We should not seek certainty and security where there is none. It’s a false refuge - a mirage. We need to see things clearly.

This is part of Dhamma-vicaya, we need to understand our relationship to the ideas we entertain. It’s a form of mental-hygiene.

This is why I emphasise the need for an open-mind. An openness to surprise, the unexpected, realisations without precedent.

“Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don’t accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace." - Ajahn Chah

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