I was reading this comment which included ...
I guess I'm perhaps not entirely aware of what the basic problem which affects me is. I feel that in many ways, I'm either backwards or not fully satisfied with my experience, and I feel Buddhism has a lot of answers; but, as you say, across the years I'm still a bit clueless. I will say, though, that recently I'm less motivated and derive less pleasure from my activities and experience.
... and I thought ...
Isn't that the observation of Buddhism -- like 'rule number one' (the four noble truths -- i.e., that "experiences" aren't "fully satisfying", and that "motivations" may be temporary (conditioned)?
From which there's then the eightfold path, starting with right view, seeing the true worth of everything ('seeing things as they really are'), isn't that right?
My question here though is based on the Kimattha Sutta (AN 11.1)
"What is the purpose of skillful virtues? What is their reward?"
"Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, Ananda, and freedom from remorse as their reward."
"And what is the purpose of freedom from remorse? What is its reward?"
- Is it fair to see the "absence of remorse" as relatively unconditioned, and therefore permanent (compared with other maybe-more-mundane sensual contacts which are more transient)?
- Metaphysically, is an absence (e.g. of remorse), possibly emptiness, reliably (seemingly paradoxically) present or existent -- conversely any presence (sense-contact) is not "reliably" present or existent?
- Am I right in thinking that the following bits of dhamma support this theory:
- Sīlānussati being one of the anussatis AN 6.10
- The Dana sutta (AN 7.49 or is it AN 7.52), translated as saying that it's a "support" for the mind? That's sometimes also translated "ornament" or "requisite" -- or cittālaṅkāracittaparikkhāra: "adornment or improvement (making fit?) and equipping of thinking?"
- How does that (i.e. its being a reliable support) fit with Buddhist doctrine about "groundless" -- or 'trackless' or 'footless' -- or is that something else entirely?
- What about "skilful virtue" or "skilful ethics" then, kusalāni sīlāni, concentrating on those words: is the meaning of that non-obvious, is it quite specific and closely defined, or does it mean just what you might expect it to mean?
I notice that AN 6.10 says,
Furthermore, a noble disciple recollects their own ethical conduct, which is unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred, liberating, praised by sensible people, not mistaken, and leading to immersion (samādhisaṃvattanikāni: "conducive to concentration").
That reminds me a bit of problems people sometimes say they have, of being "unable to concentrate". So might you explain this quote a bit: how is "ethical conduct" and "remembering ethical conduct" is related to concentration? Is that actually informative or prescriptive, or are they (e.g. "remembering" and "concentration") merely synonyms?