Podcast | Studying And Practicing With “The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta — An Analysis Of The Bases Of Power”: Summary, Findings, Observations And Comparisons (7 of 7)

Series introduction:

While I reference some non-Buddhist material most everything in the notes and podcasts for this series on The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta are solely my effort to relate considerations, questions, experiences, explorations, suggestions, interpretations and practices involved and associated with this sutta.

This series comes via seven categories/blog posts/podcasts:

  1. Introduction; the key encapsulation/encoding/summary paragraph of the whole sutta which includes and weaves in the four powers; and a reading of one of two translations for the sutta
  2. Unpacking of the hindrances and the other of two translations for the sutta
  3. A (type of) situational awareness
  4. 32 parts of the body
  5. Perceptions of night, daytime and light
  6. “Psychic Powers,” practice combinations and miscellany
  7. Summary, findings, observations and comparisons

In more detail, the four Iddhipāda — sometimes translated as bases of psychic power, bases of power, base of spiritual power, wings to success, accomplishments, or roads to power — are:

  1. chanda: desire; enthusiasm; purpose; wish
  2. viriya: persistence; energy; effort; will
  3. citta: intent; consciousness; knowing mind; mental development; devoting mind to; heart-mind
  4. vīmaṃsā: investigation; inquiry; discernment; discrimination; reason; interest; intelligent curiosity; [(perhaps a new contribution, or for chanda:) balanced and helpful enthrallment, fascination]; feedback and fine tuning, adjustment; learn from doing

Along with aiding our even mundane accomplishments and mastery, perhaps the Iddhipāda play a significant role in approaching will — the way one decides on and initiates action — and at the core of The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta is an analysis of will along with instructions for its training, development, and use.


Part Seven: Summary, Findings, Observations And Comparisons

  • If “The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta — An Analysis Of The Bases Of Power” is (mostly) for monastics, what would be any significant difference(s) for a lay version?

Iddhipāda development instructions left out of the “The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta — An Analysis Of The Bases Of Power”

I also discovered towards the end of producing this series the “the practice that leads to the development of the bases of psychic power”:

And what is the practice that leads to the development of the bases of psychic power?

It is simply this noble eightfold path, that is:

right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.

This is called the practice that leads to the development of the bases of psychic power.”

Selection from Linked Discourses 51, 2. Shaking the Stilt Longhouse, 19. A Teaching on Psychic Power, Etc.

A fulcrum for knowing Anicca, inconstancy?

For the section:

“…perceiving what is in front and behind so that what is in front is the same as what is behind, and what is behind is the same as what is in front.”

Or translated:

“…perceiving continuity: as before, so after; as after, so before”

Could this also be somehow related to helping with seeing, knowing and discerning the arising and passing nature of phenomena and/or (a type of pivot point between) past and future, aka the present moment due to keeping a “. . . perception of what is in front & behind … well in hand, well-attended to, well-considered, well-tuned [‘penetrated’] by means of discernment,” or “the perception of continuity is properly grasped, attended, borne in mind, and comprehended with wisdom”?


Extrapolating a take on encrypted Esoteric instructions and teachings (in the subtext)

“There is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion, thinking, ‘This desire of mine will be neither overly sluggish nor overly active, neither inwardly constricted nor outwardly scattered.’ He keeps perceiving what is in front & behind so that what is in front is the same as what is behind, what is behind is the same as what is in front. What is below is the same as what is above, what is above is the same as what is below. (He dwells) by night as by day, and by day as by night. By means of an awareness thus open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind.

Woo woo and run on sentence alert:

Why would the Buddha initially give somewhat cryptic instructions in “An Analysis of the Bases of Power — Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta” then go on to explain them in ways where some don’t seem immediately obvious and/or related to the initial cryptic instructions? Could this be a nod to various occult(ed) means to power using some of the same kind of imagery while at the same time decrypting in a manner that could be critical to/of established occult systems (for those with eyes to see and ears to hear)? And/or even going so far as to the initial cryptic instructions actually being what is only taught secretly to some occult initiates then saying there’s deeper layers of decoding while critically commenting — by reading between the lines and in the subtext — on (the) existing occult schools and systems, ie. not with some kind of reformulated, recreated, homogenized, special 360 vision for “perceiving what is in front & behind so that what is in front is the same as what is behind, what is behind is the same as what is in front”; nor by (somehow) purifying the body by rituals (because internally it’s “full of various kinds of unclean things”); and by dwelling so “what is below is the same as what is above, and what is above is the same as what is below,” means not something such as combining heaven, hell and earth, or emphasizing ((symbolic) spats over) various hierarchies, but by mindfulness to/of/for — in a kind of way — the immediate everyday human reality of being trapped in/with a meat suit body composed of foul things.

[In the podcast I say the Buddha was critical of other teachings. I don’t know if this is a fair stand-alone statement as I’ve heard he also praised some of the Jain stuff and also points out flaws in others criticizing and quarreling with others over teachings]


Inversions and contradictions?

Why would the Buddha draw attention to, and give instruction to invert something, anything — in this instance to dwell or “meditate as by day, so by night; as by night, so by day. . . [by developing] the basis of psychic power that has immersion due to enthusiasm [ /energy/ mental development/ inquiry], and active effort, with the same features, attributes, and signs by day as by night. And they develop it with the same features, attributes, and signs by night as by day.” Are there other instances where the Buddha specifically instructs inversions this explicitly?

Are these the proper translations? If so then is following passage from https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN4.html a paradox in need of resolving?

“There are some contemplatives & brahmans, brahman, who have the perception of ‘day’ when it is night, and of ‘night’ when it is day. This, I tell you, is their being in a dwelling of delusion. As for me, I have the perception of ‘day’ when it is day, and of ‘night’ when it is night. . .”

Or translated:

“There are some ascetics and brahmins who perceive that it’s day when in fact it’s night, or perceive that it’s night when in fact it’s day. This meditation of theirs is delusional, I say. I perceive that it’s night when in fact it is night, and perceive that it’s day when in fact it is day. . .”

https://suttacentral.net/mn4/en/sujato

If this is an inversion though could the subtext involve (inversions on) how day and night came to be (altered) in this world (thus could such a type of instruction help invert an inversion for restoration)? [see: https://ascensionglossary.com/index.php/Earth%27s_Axial_Tilt]

To me the phrase “turning upright what had been overthrown” or “righting the overturned” from a popular refrain ending plenty of suttas is pretty close to inverting an inversion.

“Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms. I go to Master Gotama for refuge and to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of bhikkhus. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge for life.”

Or translated:

“Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, Master Gotama has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn4/en/sujato

Implications of light

Also, could doing practices or developing perceptions as mentioned in this sutta like “the perception of light, the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day] well in hand & well-established” make one a very bright light (so to speak) and so maybe dwelling by day as by night is helpful to not draw so much attention to oneself?


Out of this placement of King and Priest as the highest offices of this world emerged the restatement of the ancient ritual of establishing two pillars at the entrance of every temple, oriented to the rising sun (rising son = Horus Rising or Horizon) coming over the horizon on the first day of spring on the vernal equinox. These two pillars represent the Line of the King and the Line of the Priest, who established their lineages to control the Land and the Law throughout history to the present time.

The storyline of the Isis and Osiris mystery cult is simple and quite instructive. There are nine godheads in the primary Egyptian Pantheon known as the Ennead. Anu sits at the top of the Council of Nine (the Ennead). Below him are two sets of brother/sister twins (husband and wife) that embody the physical Earth in its primordial elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Out of these emerge another two sets of brother/sister twins (husband and wife), representing the polarity of dark and light in the false light matrix of the hologram containment field. These are Isis and Osiris on the light side, from who emerges the prodigal Sun/Son Horus, who rises in the east at the Horizon (Horus Rising). Set and Nephthys counter the light as it is extinguished on the western horizon by Set as he removes the light of the day at Sun-Set and gives it over to his sister/wife to cover the Night. Light and Dark, Black and White, the never-ending polarity, displayed for all to see on every Masonic temple floor, in Westminster Abbey and many more.

from p.43 and p.104 of An Overview of the World System of Bondage and Separation from Life

Maybe having “the perception of light, the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day] well in hand & well-established” is a boosted illumination of consciousness to neutralize forces of “light and darkness” especially when added to the sort of swapping of perceptions for day and night. Such day and night perception swapping, coupled with the perception of light allows for light to prevail amongst what some say are now unnatural/manipulated periods of sunlight and no sunlight on earth where others say in a far ancient time the earth had two suns and no darkness. And perhaps this also lends skillful perceptions of night, unlike some symbolic representations of night like a nuclear winter or dark ages or a worldwide virus.


BTW, 10 perceptions helpful to some who are ill:

  • inconstancy
  • not-self
  • unattractiveness
  • drawbacks
  • abandoning
  • dispassion
  • cessation
  • distaste for every world
  • undesirability of all fabrications
  • mindfulness of in-and-out breathing

Not mentioned in the podcast

Protection strategies

Perhaps the four protective meditations on foulness, death, loving-kindness and the Buddha are helpful to address non-benevolent powerful forces not so keen on the rise in power of those whom align with more benevolent intents.

Meditation on death could perhaps deter those who threaten with death to invoke (and feed on the subsequent) fear. Death meditation could also deter those who would like to keep on and on with tactic after tactic to block progress with the faulty reasoning that one’s current existence is eternal so what’s the big deal with messing around with someone if doing so is only a blip in the grand scheme of things.

Loving-kindness can protect against mischievous beings only crying out for kindness (and not really realizing it); for those who still have a conscience but have temporarily forgotten it; and towards those who seek to provoke anger, violence, ill-will and retaliation (as fuel).

Meditation on death and loving-kindness may protect against any harmful actions of nihilists since they resonate with death and the energy of loving-kindness may be a reprieve from their bleakness.

And of course meditation on the Buddha — and the true pinnacle of awareness represented thereby — appeals as a deterrent for more seemingly middle of the road, non-benevolent forces, especially those who seek to connive using (false) knowledge, deception, distractions, deterrents, tricks, foolery, games, etc.

Finally meditation on foulness can deter (those forces appealing to) lust, seduction and misuse of sexual energy.


Much of this series seems to present the four Iddhipāda as objects. However, perhaps perceiving the Iddhipāda more as features, aspects, and/or characteristics will help add further vistas and dimensions of the Iddhipāda for greater meaning and inner/over/understanding



Audio: Studying And Practicing With “The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta — An Analysis Of The Bases Of Power”: Summary, Findings, Observations And Comparisons (7 of 7)

Published by josh dippold

IntegratingPresence.com

7 thoughts on “Podcast | Studying And Practicing With “The Iddhipāda-Vibhaṅga Sutta — An Analysis Of The Bases Of Power”: Summary, Findings, Observations And Comparisons (7 of 7)

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