THE THIRD TRUTH
Buddhist texts are often confusing. The text misses out a few steps.
Delight and pleasure don't cause craving, they cause attraction. When the attraction repeats, craving can happen.
It's the repetitions, the karma, which lead to craving. And freedom from karma is the goal of Buddhism.
The Third Noble TruthMost versions of the Third Truth are short summary versions and they state that renunciation is the truth.
However the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutra's Third Truth: The Cessation of Dukkha; tells us that Dukkha will cease when craving ceases, and craving may be eradicated wherever in the world there is delight and pleasure.
The want or craving for worldly delight and pleasure can be stopped by most forms of meditation, prayer, selflessness, renunciation, letting go, devotion, worship, or love. The Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna's version of The Third Truth could include all of these possibilities and more.
The subject matter in the full text of the Third Truth (and the Second) of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna, is incredibly long-winded. But it connects the Aggregates (now expanded to a list of Ten Aggregates), to each of the six senses; it lists sixty steps in the sensory process. It describes something which happens not only with the mind, but also with the eye, the ear, the nose, the mouth and the tactile sense.
It is emphatically all about the senses and the sensory process.
Panoramic sensing is a way of relating to the world without wanting anything from it. It belongs to the list of conditions which fulfil the Third Truth.
It is doubtful that the words to differentiate between focusing and panoramic sensing were available in Buddha's pre-literate times. The written word allowed language to diversify. In modern Western times, the term "panorama" was first used in 1796. It was first incorporated in a Spanish dictionary in 1884.
The Way To Sukkha
This last section explores the contrast between First Principle Buddhism (there! i've given it a name) and Modern Western Buddhism.
So far Dukkha will correctly appear as one thing with different depths. At one extreme it's every small repetition; at the other it's craving and clinging.
Modern Western Buddhism
Modern Western Buddhism draws from a vast range of ancient Buddhist texts. One of these is the Pali Cannon.
The Pali Cannon is the oldest text, the first written. It is known as Old School Buddhism – narrow minded and pure. The new schools are where Buddhism combined with Hindu, Tibetan, and among many other local folk beliefs, Chinese and Japanese (to give Zen).
I don't intend to analyse the differences throughout the entire Buddhist world. Most believe that desire, attachment, clinging, or craving are the problem, and most believe that death, old-age and sickness etc. are the principle characteristics of suffering.
First Principle Buddhism
The First Truth is that our sensory apparatus is Dukkha. The Aggregates are problematic.
The Second Truth is that objects and events which cause pleasure lead to wanting – wanting means: wanting to repeat that pleasure. After a series of repetitions, this can develop into desire, attachment, clinging, or craving.
The Crunch Comes with The Third Truth
The release from Dukkha, the development of Sukkha, and freedom from karma.
There is a great difference involved in overcoming and eradicating – craving, clinging and attachment, the extreme outcomes after a long series of repetitions; and overcoming the first or last repetition.
Desire and The Monkey Mind
When desire is seen as the problem then we practice renunciation.
But, following first principles, desire is only the focus point of our thoughts. Desire is just the manifest part of the repetitions.
If the primary problem is the monkey mind wandering, remembering and reconstructing, memories and hopes, in a word, thinking; we practice focused mindfulness in one-pointed concentration.
This is like tying the monkey up. It's karma, the repetitions, which are the problem.
Getting the repetitions of the mind to run smoothly, is described underneath in 'Thinking'.
The most direct way to completely stop the minds repetitious wanting, the simplest way to be without any new desire even starting, is with panoramic sensing.
With pure panoramic sensing as vulnerable animals use it, it is not possible to start thinking or wanting.
It is directly doing and being at the same time. It is built and evolved in order to be ready and waiting, on the lookout, aware, alive, mindful.
Attachment and Detachment
A widely held modern view is that pleasure and wanting lead primarily to attachment, and so we practice detachment, non-attachment, or letting go to overcome this.
The idea behind this is that due to impermanence and change, any hope of fulfilment or security through attachments is illusory. However with panoramic sensing, we witness impermanence and change as normal and there is fulfilment and security in just being open to sensing it.
Panoramic sensing involves non-attachment and letting go, but they're not the primary aim.
In addition, the aims of detachment or non-attachment fail to recognise the energy behind the karmic repetitions. The energy of thinking is a part of this.
Once we realise that pleasure and wanting lead primarily to repetition, we need to practice getting the repetitions of the mind running smoothly and generating wholesome karma, as described in Right Effort, the sixth step of The Fourth Truth.
If we see death, old age, and illness, as dukkha... we are blind to the actual dukkha these days in the material civilised world where the repetitions have taken on new dimensions e.g. inflation, pollution, and the individual development of self image, (see Chapter 3). And therefore we overlook the relevance and importance of Buddhism today, to help understand and counteract our modern global chaos.
To repeat: worldly delight, and pleasure, can be stopped in various ways, "meditation, prayer, selflessness, renunciation, letting go, devotion, worship, or love".
It will often be necessary to use extreme methods to eliminate the extreme results of countless compulsive repetitions. However, to some extent all of these extreme methods involve following trains of thought, new directions of focused thought or activity.
With panoramic sensing, we can channel the first seed of attraction; at least temporarily interrupt the extremity of craving; and probably extinguish the last remnants of 'the little self'.
It is the complete fading away and cessation of this very craving, forsaking it and giving it up; the liberation from it, leaving no place for it. But where may this craving, monks, be eradicated; where may it be extinguished? Wherever in the world [of mind and matter] there is something enticing and pleasurable: there this craving may be eradicated and extinguished."
Please continue with Right Effort, the sixth step of The Fourth Truth