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April 01, 2015


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Elsewhere in the Pali the purification of mind (cultivation) is likened to refining metal. This does not suggest an immediate division between pure enough and not pure enough to be considered Arya, but a process since forgotten time. Attaining non returning status seems to be a clearer division than noble or non noble status on the way. It is said we have bled enough through so many lifetimes as to fill an ocean; our bones, if piled together would be as a mountain. At what point do we become noble in such a staggering number of lifetimes? The noble nature is always there, I would argue, but concealed, until at some point those of pure enough mind can recognize this in themselves and others. The worldling cannot recognize their own noble nature, nor that of others. The noble one has established enough good roots to bring the practice of perfections to flower, and may then begin to understand the higher teachings. This is how I contemplate Buddha's discourse on Arya.


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