Points of Controversy

5.4. Of Assurance

Controverted Point: That one who has not made sure has the insight for entering the Path of Assurance.

Theravādin: If one who has not made sure has the insight for entering the Path of Assurance, then his opposite—one who has made sure—must have the insight for not entering it. If you deny, your proposition falls through. If, by it, you maintain that one who has made sure has not the insight for not entering that Path, then you imply that one who has not made sure has not the insight for entering thereon. Which, by your proposition, is wrong.

Again, if one who has not made sure has the insight for entering the Path of Assurance, do you then admit that one who has made sure is in the same intellectual stage? You deny. And if you admit, on the contrary, that one who has made sure has not i.e., no longer the insight for entering, then you must surely deny that insight also to one who has not made sure.

Again, in affirming that one who has not made sure has the insight for entering the Path of Assurance, do you admit that he has also the insight for not entering it? You deny, that is, you affirm he has not the insight for not entering it. Do you equally admit then that he has not the insight for entering it? You deny… .

Does your proposition mean that there is a Path of Assurance for one who has not made sure of entering? You deny. Yet you admit that there is insight for entering upon it! Does this insight consist in applications of mindfulness and all the other factors of Enlightenment? You must deny, and affirm that there is no such Assurance. How then can your proposition stand?

You do not grant to one who is only in the prior stage of adoption the insight of the First Path? Or to one who is practising for the insight of the First… Fourth Fruition the insight of that Fruition? How then can you allow the insight of entering on the Path of Assurance to one who has not made sure?

Uttarapāthakas: If I am wrong, you must on the other hand admit that the Exalted One knows that a person, M or N, will enter the true Path of Assurance, and is capable of penetrating the Truths.