Compendium of Phenomena

2.1 Arising of Mind

2.1.3. Good In Relation To The Universe Of The Formless

The Four Jhānas connected with Formless Existence

1. The Sphere of Unbounded Space

Which are the states that are good?

When, that he may attain to the Formless heavens, he cultivates the way thereto, and so, by passing wholly beyond all consciousness of form, by the dying out of the consciousness of sensory reaction, by turning the attention from any consciousness of the manifold, he enters into and abides in that rapt meditation which is accompanied by the consciousness of a sphere of unbounded space—even the Fourth Jhāna, to gain which all sense of ease must have been put away, and all sense of ill must have been put away, and there must have been a dying out of the happiness and misery he was wont to feel—(the rapt meditation) which is imbued with disinterestedness, and where no ease is felt nor any ill, but only the perfect purity that comes of mindfulness and disinterestedness—then the contact, etc… . cf. §165the balance that arises, these … are states that are good.

2. The Sphere of Infinite Intellection

Which are the states that are good?

When, that he may attain to the Formless heavens, he cultivates the way thereto, and, having passed wholly beyond the sphere of boundless space, enters into and abides in that rapt meditation which is accompanied by the consciousness of a sphere of infinite intellection —even the Fourth Jhāna, to gain which all sense of ease must have been put away, etc.

Continue as in previous section.

3. The Sphere of Nothingness

Which are the states that are good?

When, that he may attain to the Formless heavens, he cultivates the way thereto, and, having passed wholly beyond the sphere of infinite intellection, enters into and abides in that rapt meditation which is accompanied by the consciousness of a sphere of nothingness—even the Fourth Jhāna, to gain which all sense of ease must have been put away, etc.

Continue as in §265.

4. The Sphere where there is neither Perception nor Non-perception

Which are the states that are good?

When, that he may attain to the Formless heavens, he cultivates the way thereto, and, having passed wholly beyond the sphere of nothingness, enters into and abides in that rapt meditation which is accompanied by the consciousness of a sphere where there is neither perception nor non-perception —even the Fourth Jhāna, to gain which all sense of ease must have been put away, etc.

Continue as in §265.

The Four Jhānas connected with Formless Existence may be developed in sixteen combinations.