The Tathagata’s flawed method
Stripping the onion of its sheaths to recover its essence,
or, reductio ad absurdum
“There is, monks, something unborn, not caused, not made, not created. If, monks, this something not born, not caused, not made, not created did not exist, then a getting out of this born, this caused, this made, this created could not be found. But because there is something not born, not caused, not made, not created, therefore a getting out of the born, the caused, the made, the created may be found.” Ud. 8: 1-3
The Tathagata proposed that if and when the conditioned, or compounded, and impermanent, in a word, the born, and which causes death, and on the way to death pain, is eliminated, the unconditioned, or un-compounded, and permanent, in a word, the deathless (because lifeless), and which does not cause pain, would remain. Or, when the painful relative is eliminated the painless absolute remains.
The proposition is primitive, naïve. It is speculative since not derived from factual observation. It’s designed to serve as rationale for dropping out – and staying out.
When relativity is eliminated by means of gradual (or sudden) reduction, relationship, i.e. communication ends; then no observation (and statement) can be made. The Vedantins make the point that the nirguna Brahman (i.e. the un-relativised whole or ground) cannot be accessed (hence described) in any way, but, according to them can be experienced (i.e. as ‘I am real’).
To end relativity and experience the affect of relativity ending, namely the (assumed) essence (or atta, i.e. one’s wholly own, unique, original, hence true property), a relative unit (or unit of relativity) needs to be ended suddenly via collision with another relative unit (or unit of relativity).
At collision, the relative (i.e. the conditioned) is compressed out (to produce a relativity vacuum) and the not-same (i.e. difference = the unconditioned = essence = atta) of both strike @one and present (i.e. strike with their) their difference made absolutely real by contact.
It is the real imprint of (one’s) difference upon the other, in other words, actual karmic residue that is one’s essence = atta (read: ‘spirit made flesh’).
Fortunately for non escapists, unfortunately for the wandering beggar Tathagata, who sought to end life and “no more renewal of being”, the contact that transmits one’s differential state (Sanskrit: chittva) and makes it real (Sanskrit: sattva), and which results in sheer awesome bliss (Sanskrit: ananda), is only momentary, moreover comes at a high price (in suffering). To wit, “No pain, no gain!”