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sketch for a proof of rebir th

well as those, more complex, that appear only when my attitude is more evidently emotional—beauty, ugliness, hatefulness, fearfulness, and the like—; but the list is endless) are simply the various modes of existence of the resistances involved in all action or intention, of the inevitable delays while lower fields arbitrarily change sign. A tiger is terrible because I am fearing; a bucket is heavy because I am lifting; a leaf is visible (i.e. coloured and spatial) because I am looking. These qualities fall into five main groups, and it is thus we can speak of having five senses; and since qualities from different groups freely combine in mixed fields we can speak of having a mind (the whole of my nature is involved in the least of my actions). Action, as we have described it, appears to be essentially conservative; yet we normally think of it as just the opposite—to act is to change something. But there is no contradiction. Action changes the present world by withdrawing its protection from unpleasant fields: it ceases not to doubt, when the gradient of feeling at some level arbitrarily changes sign, that the present world at that level completely changes. See appendix vii. (Volition or voluntary action—essentially a reflexive intention to be intending—here, as elsewhere, complicates the situation but does not alter the principle. Any description of memory must involve at least this order of complexity.) Thus the continued existence of an oriented (significant) and variegated temporal world is nothing else than the consequence of the progressive encounter of the present orientation of the world—our senses and mind—with adventitious changes of feeling. Our world is always a hierarchy of fields, whose present orientation is the sum total of all past reorientations, that is to say, of past action; for action, in changing the present world by restricting the level of its change, is ceaselessly reorienting it. And since an orientation only exists when a subordinate orientation is changing (the orientation, for example of a particular verse to other verses or to a poem as a whole, only exists so long as the orientation of the present word to the verse is changing, that is, by the fact of my hearing a poem recited—appendix vii will make this clearer), it is action that keeps an oriented world in being; and were action to cease so would the world. The price of our world is perpetual action.10 ‘Which, monks, is old action? The eye is old action…, the ear… the nose…the tongue…the body…the mind is old action… And which, monks, is new action? It is the action that is done at present by body, speech, or mind… And which, monks, is cessation of action? It is the attaining of release by cessation of body-action, speech-action, and mind-action… And which, monks, is the practice leading to the cessation of action? It is just 10.  [Remainder of this appendix crossed out in pencil.]


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...

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