[L. 38 | 45] 18 July 1962

That the puthujjana does not see aniccatā is evident from the fact that the formula, 'Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing', which is clearly enough the definition of aniccatā, is used only in connection with the sotāpanna's attainment: Tassa...vītamalam dhammacakkhum udapādi. Yam kiñci samudayadhammam, sabbam tam nirodhadhamman ti.[1] Aniccatā is seen with the sotāpanna's dhammacakkhu, or eye of the dhamma. I am glad, nevertheless, that you are managing to turn your mind towards aniccatā at times, though of course you will not really see it until you know yourself to be a sotāpanna.

Your book as it stands has the merit of being to a great extent consistent (quite apart from whether or not it is correct). This is perhaps due in part to the fact that you are, in your own words, 'standing on Dahlke's shoulders'; and Dahlke, undeniably, is consistent (though I admit I have not read him for many years). Unfortunately, though he is consistent, I consider him to be mistaken; and, in particular, I do not see that my ideas on intentionality can in any way be reconciled with Dahlke's views.

What I feel, then, is this: that so long as you are concerned with making corrections and modifications to your book in preparation for a second edition it would be worse than useless for you to embark on a study of what I (or anyone else) have to say on the subject of intentionality. In the first place, intentionality cannot be introduced into your book without bringing with it profound inconsistencies (I have already said that the entity, and therefore the concept, must be reinstated before intentionality can be understood; and this would be in direct conflict with your Chapter II). In the second place, so long as you are occupied with your book you are committed to Dahlke's views (otherwise you would scrap it), and any attempt to reconcile intentionality with Dahlke in your own mind would result in confusion. For these reasons I think it would be better for you to finish revising your book and to have the second edition published (since this is your intention) before investigating intentionality. The subject, in any case, is not to be rushed.[2]

Returning to the beginning of your letter. You say of the arahat, 'To him now everything is: "This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self"' (p. 301). But this describes the sekha (sotāpanna, sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī), not the asekha (arahat). For the sekha, thoughts of 'I' and 'mine' still arise, but he knows and sees that they are mistaken, and therefore he is one who says, 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self'. The asekha or arahat, on the other hand, does not have thoughts of 'I' and 'mine', and consequently he has already, while still living, come to an end of saying 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.' The puthujjana thinks: 'This is mine...'; the sekha thinks: 'This is not mine...'; and the asekha thinks neither.

Editorial notes:

[38.1] Tassa...: '...the clear and stainless Eye of the Dhamma arose in him: "Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing."' (at e.g. Sacca Samy. 11: v,423) See L. 1. [Back to text]

[38.2] not to be rushed: Mr. Wettimuny abandoned his plans for a second edition. His two subsequent books were both dedicated to the Ven. Ñānavīra Thera. [Back to text]