Points of Controversy

16.9. Of Matter as belonging to the Material and the Immaterial Heavens.

Controverted Point: That matter belongs to (i.) the material heavens, (ii.) the immaterial heavens.

Theravādin: Then you must describe matter in terms descriptive of (i.) that is to say as seeking attainment in jhāna, as seeking rebirth on those planes, as living happily under present conditions, as accompanied by a mind that seeks that attainment and that rebirth, and that lives in that happiness; as coexistent with such a mind, associated, conjoined with it, one with it in genesis, in cessation, in physical basis, as having the same objects before it… and you must describe matter in terms descriptive of (ii.) that is to say in the same terms as we apply to (i.). But is not the contrary true as to both (i.) and (ii.)?…

Andhakas: But is not matter which is due to actions done in the world of sense-desires called “belonging to” that world? If that is so, then matter due to actions done in either of the other worlds of existence should surely be called “belonging to” either the Material Heavens or the Immaterial Heavens.