Points of Controversy

21.2. Of Experience as Inseparable from Personality

Controverted Point: That an ordinary person is not exempt from experiencing the phenomena of all the three spheres of life.

Theravādin: You imply that an ordinary person is inseparable from the contacts, the feelings, perceptions, volitions, cognitions, faiths, efforts, mindfulnesses, samādhis, understandings, belonging to all three spheres? You deny; but what else can you mean?

Again, you imply that when he makes a gift, say, of cloth, etc , at that moment he is enjoying not only the giver’s consciousness, but also the Rūpa-consciousness of the Four jhānas, the Arūpa-consciousness of the four Arūpa-jhānas.

Opponent: But is an ordinary person capable of distinguishing whether his actions leading to a Rūpa-world or Arūpa-world? If not, then surely he cannot be separated from actions leading to all three spheres.