Searching for a reference 'Like a rope..." (SN7.6)

Hi everyone,

In the 10-day course of S.N Goenka, he said that the Buddha gave a simile for the proses of getting liberated from the defilements.
He says that the Buddha compared it to a twisted rope that gets untwisted when one just stops twisting it! :slight_smile:

Have you ever seen such or similar simile in the suttas?

Many thanks!


Jata Sutta: The Tangle SN 7.6


Hmm. Although stopping twisting is important, quite often, as with tangled hair, a cut is required to be done in this very life.

SN7.6:4.1: Those in whom greed, hate, and ignorance have faded away; the perfected ones with defilements ended— the tangle has been untangled. Where name and form cease with nothing left over; and impingement and perception of form: it’s there that the tangle is cut.

An infant is born without tangled hair, yet the underlying tendency to greed, hate and delusion lies within them.

MN64:3.3: For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘identity’, so how could identity view possibly arise in them? Yet the underlying tendency to identity view still lies within them.

Right Effort comes before Right Freedom.

:haircut_man: :haircut_woman: :scissors: :eyes:

(and thank you @paul1 for showing me SN7.6)


I’ve heard that vipallāsa, used generally as “distortion” or “perversion” can also be used to describe the twisting of a rope or bending an object out of shape. That makes sense in light of AN 4.49


Great, thanks everybody.

“Where name-&-form,
along with perception
of impingement & form,
totally stop without trace:
that’s where the tangle
is cut.”

‘Name and form’ refers to conventional reality, which begins when the baby is named, an arbitrary label, yet the future is constructed around it. Conventional reality is merely a support system for the body, yet purports to be ultimate reality. The way the tangle is cut is to reverse the priority and restore ultimate reality to its rightful position. Note this does not mean rejection of conventional reality entirely, which has the limited authority of human consensus developed over civilization.

What is it that overwhelmed[18] everything? What is it that nought else excels? What is it that to which one thing Everything else its course doth bend? 'Tis name that has overwhelmed everything Nought else exists that excels name And Name itself is that one thing Beneath whose sway all others came.[19]

— SN 1.61
See note 19.

This is what the Buddha says, the place where the tangle is cut is the recognition of conventional reality and its separation from ultimate reality.

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