By Paul J. Griffiths
Paperback booklet released through Open court docket Publishers, 3rd Printing, 1991
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Additional resources for On Being Mindless : Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem
Along with these two essentially enstatic contexts for the unit of tradition describing the attainm ent of cessation, there are also some interesting contexts w herein an attem pt is m ade to com bine these enstatic practices w ith the analytic m ethods w hich I have suggested provide the other basic m odality of soteriological practice in Theravada Buddhism . The m ost com m on way in w hich this is do n e is by inserting, at the very en d of the standard fivefold unit of tradition, a small pericope45 describing the application of w isdom (panha) to the practitioner's condition.
I am food! I am the eater of food! I am the eater of food! I am the eater of food! I am a verse-maker! I am a verse-maker! I am a verse-maker! I am the first-bom of the cosm ic order, Earlier than the G od s in the navel of immortality! W h o gives m e aw a y has in d eed aided me! I, w h o am food, eat the eater of food! 32 16 The A ttainm ent of Cessation In The Theravâda Tradition This view of salvation is paradigm atically ecstatic: the gnostic's know ledge reaches beyond self an d gives pow er to m anipulate the universe, to m etaphorically consum e it.
The pow er of insight, it ap p ears, is u sed to review the characteristics o f the altered states attain ed by w ay of tranquillity, a n d to m ake ju d g em en ts about them ; this, it w o u ld seem , is a second-order activity, one that m ay be useful, even essential, for the practitioner's full developm ent of the capacity to analyze p h e n o m e n a a n d com e to an u n d ersta n d in g of their nature, b u t not for th e ability to sim ply en ter the altered states in question. Similarly, in o rd er to m ake correct ju dg em en ts about the processes involved in ru n n in g a four-m inute mile I am likely to need certain analytic capacities a n d to be p o ssessed of certain pieces of know ledge — such as kn o w led g e ab o u t the physiological m echanism s by w hich T he A ttainm ent of Cessation In The T heravada Tradition 27 oxygen intake is processed—b u t it is far from clear that I n eed such capacities or such k now ledge in o rder to actually ru n a four-m inute mile.