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agencies, or, to speak less in abstractions, the characteristic quality of those kinds of conduct, by which well-being or ill-being might respectively be entailed.
The Buddhist, then, was a Hedonist, and hence, whether he himself would have admitted it or not, his morality was dependent or, in the phrase of British ethics, utilitarian, and not intuitionist. Hedonist, let us say, rather than eudæmonist, because of the more subjective (psychological) import of the former term. And he found the word sukham good enough to cover the whole ground of desirability, from satisfaction in connexion with sense-compare Buddhaghosa's traveller refreshed obtaining both joy and case 1-up to the ineffable "Content" of Nirvana.2 He did not find in it the inadequacy that some moral philosophers have found in our "Pleasure". His ethical system was so emphatically a study of consequences of karma and vipaka (effect of karma) of seeing in every phenomenon a reaping of some previous sowing--that the notion of good became for him inevitably bound up with result. As my late master used to say (ex cathedra): "If you bring forward consequences-how acts by way of result affect self and others you must come to feeling. Thence pleasure becomes prominent. And did not folk suffer loose, lower associations to affect their judgment, there would be no objection to Hedonism. For pleasures are of all ranks, up to that of a good conscience."
A reflection may here suggest itself to readers in this country who have, at the feet of Spencer, Bain, and Leslie Stephen, learnt to see, behind Nature's device of Pleasurable Feeling, the conservation of the species--" quantity of life, measured in breadth as well as in length: -as the more fundamental determinant of that which, in the long run, becomes the end of conduct. Namely, that there seems a strange contradiction in a philosophic position which is content to find its fundamental spring of moral action in the
1 Below, p. 12, n. 3.
2 Santuṭṭhi. See p. 358, n. 2.
avoidance of pain and the quest of pleasurable feeling, while, at the same time, it says of life-apart from which would admit no feeling to be possible that the attainment of its last phase is the one supremely happy span. Pleasurable feeling, from the evolutionist's standpoint, means, and is in order to, the increase, "intensive and extensive," of life. Yet to the Hedonistic Buddhist, the dissolution of the conditions of renewed existence is a happy event, i.e. an event that causes pleasurable feeling in the thoughtful spectator.
I believe that the modern ethics of evolution would have profoundly interested the early Buddhists, who, after their sort and their age, were themselves evolutionists. And I believe, too, that they would have arisen from a discussion with our thinkers on this subject as stanch Buddhists and as stanch Hedonists as they had sat down. I admit that with respect to the desirableness of life taken quantitatively, and in two dimensions, they were frankly pessimistic. As I have already suggested,1 and have put forward elsewhere,2 to prize mere quantity of living stood by Gotama condemned as ignoble, as stupid, as a mortal bondage, as one of the four Ásavas or Intoxicants. The weary, heartrending tragedies immanent in the life of the world he recognized and accepted as honestly and fully as the deepest pessimist. The complexities, the distractions, the burdens, the dogging sorrow, the haunting fear of its approaching tread, inevitable for life lived in participation of all that the human organism naturally calls for and human society puts forward as desirable all this he judged too heavy to be borne, not, indeed, by lay followers, but by those who should devote themselves to the higher life. To these he looked to
1 See above, pp. lxix, lxx.
2 In an article " On the Will in Buddhism : JRAS., January, 1898; also On the Value of Life in Buddhism": Buddhism, Rangoon, 1908; Buddhism, Home Univ. Library, London, 1912, pp. 165 f.
3 Cf. below, p. 290 et seq.
exemplify and propagate and transmit his doctrine. Theirs it was to lift the world to higher standpoints and nobler issues. Life in its fullness they at least could not afford to cultivate.
But if we take life of a certain quality where selective economy, making for a certain object, cuts off some lines of growth but forces others on-then Buddhism, so far from "negating the will to live" that kind of life, pronounced it fair and lovely beyond all non-being, beyond all after-being. If final death, as it believed, followed inevitably on the fullest fruition of it, it was not this that made such life desirable. Final dissolution was accepted as welcome, not for its own sake, but as a corollary, so to speak, of the solved problem of emancipation. It merely signified that unhealthy moral conditions had wholly passed away.
Keeping in view, then, the notion of Good in thought, word, and deed, as a means entailing various kinds of felicific result, we may see in Book I of our Manual, first, the kind of conscious experience arising apart from systematic effort to obtain any such specific result, but which was bound, none the less, to lead to hedonistic consequences, pleasant or unpleasant (pp. 1–42). Next, we see a certain felicific result deliberately aimed at through self-cultivation in modes of consciousness called Good (pp. 43-97). And, incidentally, we learn something of the procedure adopted in that systematic culture.
The Commentary leaves us no room to doubt whether or not the phase rūpūpapattiya maggam bhāveti ("that he may attain to the heavens of Form he cultivates the way thereto ") refers to a flight of imaginative power merely. "Form = the rupa-bh a v o," or mode of existence so called. "Attainment = nibbatti, jāti, sañjāti” ---all being terms for birth and re-birth.1 So for the attaining
1 Asl. 162. See below, pp. 43 et seq., 71 et seq.
to the Formless heavens. Through the mighty engine of "good states", induced and sustained, directed and developed by intelligence and self-control, it was held that the student might modify his own destiny beyond this life, and insure, or at least promote, his chances of a happy future. The special culture or exercise required in either case was that called Jhana, or rapt contemplation, the psychology of which, when adequately investigated, will one day evoke considerable interest. There was first intense attention by way of "an exclusive sensation ",1 to be entered upon only when all other activity was relaxed to the utmost, short of checking in any way the higher mental functions. After a time the sensation practically ceases. The wearied sense gives out. Change, indispensable to consciousness, has been eliminated; and we have realized, at all events since Hobbes wrote, how idem semper sentire et non sentire ad idem recidunt. Then comes the play of the "after-image", and then the emergence of the mental image, of purely ideational or representative construction. This will be, not of the sense-object first considered, but some attenuated abstraction of one of its qualities. And this serves as a background and a barrier against all further invasion of sense-impressions for the time being. To him thus purged and prepared there comes, through subconscious persistence, a reinstatement of some concept, associated with feeling and conation (i.e. with desire or aspiration), which he had selected for preliminary meditation. And this conception he now proceeds by a sort of psychical involution to raise to a higher power, realizing it more fully, deepening its import, expanding its application.
Such seems to have been the Kasiņa method according to the description in the Visuddhi Magga, chap. iv.,3 but
1 See above, p. lxxvii. 2 Cf. Vibhanga, 1904, xvii f.
3 Translated in Warren's Buddhism in Translations ", p. 293 et seq. Cf. below, Book I, Pt. I, Chap. II. Cf. also Rhys Davids' Yogavacara's Manual, Introduction.
there were several methods, some of which, the method e.g. of respiration, are not given in our Manual. Of the thoughts for meditation, only a few occur in the DhammaSangani, such as the "Divine States" of thought-love, pity, etc.1 But in the former work we find numerous lists for exercise in the contemplative life, with or without the rapt musing called Jhāna.
In the exercises calculated to bring out re-birth in the world of Form, it was chiefly necessary to ponder on things of this life in such a way as to get rid of all appetite and impulse in connexion with them, and to cultivate an attitude of the purest disinterestedness towards all worldly attractions. If the Formless sphere were the object of aspiration, it was then necessary, by the severest fetches of abstraction, to eliminate not only all sense-impression, but also all sensory images whatever, and to endeavour to realize conditions and relations other than those obtaining in actual experience.2 Thus, in either method, a foretaste of the mode of re-becoming aspired after was attempted.
But besides and beyond the sort of moral consciousness characterizing these exercises which were calculated to promote a virtuous and happy existence in any one of the three worlds, there were the special conditions of intellect and emotion termed lok'uttaram cittam.3 Those exercises were open to the lay pupil and the bhikkhu alike. There was nothing especially "holy", nothing esoteric, about the practice of Jhana. The diligent upāsaka or
1 See below, p. 65.
2 In translating the formula of the Third Aruppa or meditation on Nothingness, I might have drawn attention to Kant's development of the concept of None or Nothing, in the Kritik der reinen Vernunft (end of Div. i of Transc. Logic). Some great adepts were credited with the power of actually partaking in other existences while yet in this, notably Mahā Moggallana (e.g. M. i). Gotama tells of another in the Kevaddha Sutta (D. i, 215), but tells it as a story".
3 P. 82 et seq. Cf. n. 2 on p. 81, and M. i, 455.