Page 46

seeking the path

appendix vi Two successive fields of the same order are mutually exclusive, since each is the opposite of the other. They cannot co-exist, therefore. And this is why intention, in keeping a field in being, cannot admit the possibility of an alternative field; for to envisage an alternative field is, precisely, to bring it into being. There is no delay at all. No sooner do I seriously propose to be doing something than I find (if I look) that I am doing it, whether it is to be imagining a bath or to be taking one (in the second case I find myself already engaged in picking up my soap and towel and so on). Now, the relationship between a given field and its more general background field is that of a means to an end (and that end is itself a means to an end of still higher order, and so on8 until the field ‘having-to-do with existence’ is reached; but this is the limit, since existence is not a means to anything). Thus intention, in preserving a field, is keeping in being a means to an end. And is this not the definition of action? Action, as it actually takes place, is precisely the continued existence of one particular means to an end, and of one only: if a means to an end is kept in existence, then action is taking place (whatever the resistances may be), and the necessary condition for this is that no contrary action should also be taking place. Two fields of the same order are mutually exclusive: two different means to the same end cannot co-exist. It is inherently impossible for me to be going from A to B by two routes at the same time. I can only be raising my arm if I am intending to be raising it (we are not speaking of volition, which is essentially of a more complex order), that is to say if I am not in the least suspecting that there is any other possibility—that, in any one of a multitude of different ways, I am not raising it. When I act there is resistance; action, that is to say, is not distinct from temporalization: a resistant (or material) world and a temporal world are the same thing. But conversely there is no resistance unless I act: only if I have some end in view can there be any obstacle to overcome. If9 I am intending to be lifting a bucket of water there is a resistance, and this resistance appears as heaviness. Similarly, but more subtly, all the qualities or distinctive features that make up the variety of my world (colours, shapes, timbres, flavours, textures, temperatures, to give some of the simplest; as 8.  [Remainder of this sentence is crossed out, partly in pencil and partly in pen, apparently on three separate occasions. Over ‘until’ is penned:] indefinitely; though reflexively. 9.  [From here to end of paragraph:] Needs Revision.


Early Writings (Seeking the Path - Ñāṇavīra Thera)  

Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you