I have questions about some things that I don’t really understand.
It is said that there are three kinds of feelings: pleasant, painful, neither pleasant nor painful (or neutral).
And in one sutta the Buddha says neither pleasant nor painful feelings are included in pleasant feelings. (MN 59)
There are the four jhanas. There is Nibbana after death.
In one Sutta Sariputta says that because there is nothing felt it is happiness. (AN 9.34)
In many Suttas the Buddha teaches that the fourth jhana is more pleasant than the jhanas before even though there is no pleasure or pain.
The Buddha also teaches that cessation of feeling and perception is the highest happiness.
As far as I know it is also said that every experience is dukkha, not only because it doesn’t last it is also dukkha in the moment it is experienced, is that correct?
(I don’t know the sutta)
So my questions are:
How can there be pleasure in fourth jhana when it is said there is no more pleasure or pain?
When it is said that neutral feeling is more pleasant than pleasant feeling, then either pleasant feeling cannot truly be called pleasant because it is worse than neutral feeling or neutral feeling is not truly neutral because there is still some form of pleasure. (even though it might be a different, better kind than that of pleasant feeling)
When Nibbana is the cessation of experience then there is either something ineffable going on here which explains why it is still pleasant. Or there is really nothing in the ordinary sense, which means that every experience is in fact suffering and there is no
real happiness that is more then the mere absence of suffering and there never was any.
So as far as I know there are two possible explanations.
1.:There is suffering and there is happiness and what is called neutral is a finer form of happiness and final nibbana is the finest form of happiness but it is different than nothing in the sense that atheists understand nothing which happens after death, because happiness remains.
2.:There is only suffering and everything we call happiness is also suffering and final nibbana is nothing in the sense that atheists understand nothing which happens after death. So it seems there either never was any true happiness to begin with or happiness is simply a word for the absence of suffering but there is no happiness in the sense that it is truly pleasant and more than the absence of suffering instead of simply nothing.
I hope I don’t annoy anyone with these kinds of questions but I truly want to understand the teaching.