The Determined System and Liberation


In my opinion and understanding of Dhamma, the Path only uproots inner unvoluntairiness, compulsiveness, fettering. The thinking, grasping, me and mine making, ways of speech, conceiving, passion, acting that arises in a habitual compulsive way. It is caused by a subconscious starting chain of reactions. Like a mental snowball effect. Instinctive, reactive of nature, overwhelming and blinding. Out of force of habit. Slavery, unfreedom, fettering.

This determined system is governed by avijja and tanha. It is like a blindly and blinding ruling process. It is described by Paticca Samuppada which can be applied to this very life and over many lifes. In both cases it describes a determined unfree development.

I believe when avijja and tanha ceases this determined system is brought to a halt. The mind is now without compulsiveness, inner floods, drifts, freed.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that the mind is now without an ability that: emotions can arise, thoughts, conceivings, mental proliferation can happen, imagination, reasoning, passion, plans, intentions, me and mine making?

I do not believe so. What ends is unvoluntairy me and mine making. What ceases is instinctive grasping at phenomena as me, mine, my self. But, i believe (it shows, i feel) that does not mean that a Buddha is without any thought of me and mine. If a Buddha makes a trip he also knows and sees ‘i will become tired’. If he starts teachings, he images: ‘if nobody will understand me, that will be tiresome for me’.
He also still has a sense of a future me who will get to reap the consequences.

Such thoughts are normal and do not illustrate that a Buddha is totally without all ideas of me and mine. But i believe this situation is very different from an instinctive unvoluntairy me and mine making of khandha’s. It is, as it were, a liberated me and mine-making.

But i do not think a Buddha has totally no clue or ideas of me and mine anymore. I believe this is a misinterpretation and also is really impossible. Being without any ideas of me and mine…think about it…it cannot be wise! It leads to much suffering because it is childish. Like a child who does not yet see and understand that deeds will have consequences he/she will get to feel.

I also believe a Buddha can still become impatient or loose temper, like a good and loving parent also can with a child that again again does not listen and makes the same mistakes and a mess. To call somebody a fool is i believe a sign of this. But this is not the same as becoming angry as result of triggered anusaya and a result of reactiveness.

Liberation is, i believe, not some fixed state without any thought about me and mine, without any ability to become emotional or passioniate, without any conceiving, imagination, but all these things are freed from being unvoluntairy and compulsive, part of a determined system. I believe that is what it means to be freed of tanha and avijja.

I also believe this the meaning of the unconditioned. The conditioned refers to the compulsive process, the slavery, fettering. The determined system. Like one sees and knows that animals are just conditioned to show certain behaviour again and again. This is the nature of the unfree mind. It is rigid. Not pliant, not easy to apply, overwhelmed. It is ruled by blind and blinding processes. This is no judgement about these animals or humans.

I feel there are just different way in which conceiving, imagening, thinking, emotions, passion, speech, actions can arise. And i think it is most reasonable to assume that only the unvoluntairy way, the compulsive way, the habitual and determined way things arise, ceases. Avijja and tanha supports this determined system. With the unconditioned this determined system is brought to a halt.

The idea that a liberated mind cannot have any ideas of me and mine in regard to the khandha’s, show never any impatience, have no passion at all, i think is not oke. The uprooting of anusaya, asava, avijja and tanha is like cutting of the determined system, the slavery, fetters. Not about inability.

In this sutta this is described:

"Bhikkhus, if a person immersed in ignorance generates a meritorious volitional formation, consciousness fares on to the meritorious; if he generates a demeritorious volitional formation,
consciousness fares on to the demeritorious; if he generates an imperturbable volitional formation, consciousness fares on to the imperturbable. But when a bhikkhu has abandoned ignorance
and aroused true knowledge, then, with the fading away of ignorance and the arising of true knowledge, he does not generate a meritorious volitional formation, or a demeritorious volitional
formation, or an imperturbable volitional formation. Since he does not generate or fashion volitional formations, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Not being agitated, he personally attains NibbBna. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’ (SN12.51)

It does not mean, i believe, that someone who has attained Nibbana, has no will at all. But Dhamma is always about weakening and removing unvoluntairiness, compulsiveness, the drifts.
But a Buddha is not will-less, i believe. If he wants he can enter at will jhana, travel to realms we do not know and see etc. He can use and apply mind, direct mind as willed.

So, also in the case of will it are only the unvoluntairy volitional formations that cease. Those that represent compulsiveness in our thinking, tending, inclining, speaking, acting. The unfreedom part.

By the way i do not have a problem with applying the message of this sutta in real time, or in the context of rebirth. I feel, both apply. I also believe, Knowledge of the end of rebirth relies on how (kamma- or karmically active) vinnana in this very life does not grow and establish anymore in the mind. Vinnana becomes in this very life anidassanam. Meaning: Although there is seeing, hearing etc, there are no unvoluntairy eye-ear…mind catching moments anymore. If this does not happen, one also does not see nor can trace vinnana’s. Those are not felt, i believe.

What do you think, bhikkhus, can a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed generate a meritorious volitional formation, or a demeritorious volitional formation, or an imperturbable volitional formation?" “NO, venerable sir.” “When there are utterly no volitional formations, with the cessation of volitional formations, would consciousness be discemed?”"No, venerable sir” (SN12.51)

The commentary says this refers to rebirth consciousness, but i believe that in general it refers to a karmically active vinnana, a kamma-vinnana. Not a mere seeing, hearing, knowing moment, but an engaged seeing, hearing, knowing moment. The rebirth vinnana is also a karmically active or loaded vinnana. The fact that knowing is loaded with energy of abhisankhara’s is why it has a potential to bring things forth. Like a seed that has the potential to bring forth a complete tree.

So, i believe this fragment can be applied to this very life too.

I think i see that often vinnana is not really used to describe a bare knowing because the vinnana arises based upon energetic loaded formations, abhisankhara’s which also cause a loaded knowing moment. Loaded with like or dislike, with a sense of me knowing, or with a sense of mine regarding what is known, or a view of my self in regard to what is known or in regard to knowing.

In that sense, vinnana that establishes based upon these tendencies (anusaya) also represent a distorted way of knowing. This is gone when there are not taints. But knowing, seeing etc. is not gone ofcourse.

Avijja activates as it were these defiling inner drifts and causes a distorted knowing moment (vinnana).

So, i feel, vinnana translated as consciousness is a bit tricky because in general it represents more then that. In a still defiled operating mind it represents also defilement, engagement, fixation of mind, energy-load, contact, distortion of knowing, never seeing things as they really are.

The cessation of kamma vinnana is bliss because, i believe, mind does not become loaded anymore.

PS always describes kamma vinnana, because the vinnana arises based upon avijja and the energetic load of sankhara’s. If one understand this over 3 lifes or in 1 life, i think that does not really matter. Both apply.