Pleasure leads to preferences or pre-references, which lead to always wanting to be somewhere else, never being fully here now. How does a feelingfull person find a way out of the wheel of repetition?

Part Two
Pleasure leads to preferences and these pre-references influence the process of feeling and relating to life.

a) The different forms of wanting
b) The Process of Feeling and Preferences
c) Summary and the Truth of Repetition

2c) Summary and the Truth of Repetition

So, the 2nd and 3rd Truth (the origination and dissolution of dukkha), explain that the process of relating to life is not running smoothly, because wherever there are pleasurable things, personal preferences arise ...

and preferences can arise for objects, feelings, ideas, and self-identity. (i.e. to repeat feelings, and by repetition to confirm, identity and ideas etc.)

A preference is infact a pre-reference - we are talking about preconditions, preconceptions and expectations because these influence our sensing, understanding and our reactions.

For the process of listening to work well, we need to listen free of any personal wishes about what we will hear ...

Infact the slightest preference or inclination for or against what we hear, will influence how we hear the sound and how we understand it.

To see well and reliably, we also need to be free of all personal preferences.

Buddhism recognises 6 senses : the first 5 which we all know, and in buddhism, the 6th is the mind sensing thoughts ... there are many reasons for this, but one of the ways we can use the idea, is we can learn from hearing and seeing well, how to think well ... and so it follows and i believe most people would agree that thinking really works clearly (and creatively), when one is free of all preferences, preconceptions and preconditions about the outcome ...

And actually today, this seems nothing very mystical or metaphysical. It is an idea which to the modern mind seems easily understandable as a mixture of perceptive or cognitive psychology and scientific objectivity ; but 2,500 years ago it would have been revolutionary.

But Buddha went a bit further than psychology, his point was that:

Dukkha (things not running smoothly), starts or stops dependant on these preferences and pre-references.

The text says "it is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth"(5) (2) and while this maybe so; what we can witness every day is how all our little preferences, our pre-references, cause experiences and all our attitudes and responses to keep repeating.

Preferences always refer to previous experiences and they colour every actual event and thus lead to recurrence and repeats, but even more than that, we ouselves want to repeat pleasure, and avoid pain, and to be safe in what we already know.

In addition i would suggest "that craving which ... finds ever fresh delight, now here, now there"(5) is a reference to how our personal preferences lead us to always want to be somewhere else - never contented - never here now.

Simply: preferences pre-set us to boring repetitions and recurrances.

... and after considering my own suprise,... id like to ask others : could this really be one sense of what Buddha was talking about in the 4 Noble Truths? …

But questioning the guidance of our own personal preferences leads to a problem, because what could be more sensible than being guided by our own feelings of pleasure and pain? and then logically avoiding the pain and seeking the pleasure?

Maybe the only rational objection to the safety of repetition, is that this means we would also be led by our anxieties, but, according to the text buddha did not say this. Why not? maybe he found being here and now more important; or maybe simply to comply with the first truth.

Once the first truth about what life is, had developed from not running smoothly to mean only suffering; then logically the 2nd and 3rd truth could not repeat suffering as the reason for the suffering. So this left pleasure standing rather confused and alone in the 2nd and 3rd truth. ... there are sure to be other possibilities for the omission, but I feel sure buddha knew that both pain and pleasure lead to both craving or preferences.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd truth altogether talk about life not running smoothly and how this starts and stops (the origin and cessation of dukkha), and so far we are not asked to do anything about it, except maybe exercise our understanding.

His solution to the unavoidable human process he described, was not to fight it directly, with renunciation as in Hinduism; neither to indulge as normality does - but from a completely different angle, a third perspective, the Middle Way.

The way to end dukkha is the the eightfold path which is the 4th Truth.


The Noble Truths