...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:53 pm

Dhamma has many meanings, but the meaning always depends on context. For example, dhamma as meaning "the teaching" is obviously not what was meant in the context of "sabbe dhamma anatta". It can be translated as "everything" which makes sense in context of the quote and in context of the suttas. It also makes sense if you see that quote I gave above: all self assumptions lie in the aggregates, and as we know (at least theoretically) the aggregates are not self, then logically everything is not self.

Now I'm not in favor of letting it all depend on a single line of text and I do recognize "dhamma" can be interpreted a couple of ways, but to me there is no reason to call the interpretation "everything" to be ridiculous. Either way interpreting it differently (which I respect and will not call ridiculous...) says nothing directly about the existence of a self anyway. It is denying the self in "dhamma" (however one interprets it) but is not acknowledging the self in anything else. Just like denying the self in the body does not acknowledge it in any other aggregate.


I honestly don't know the quote where the Buddha says no self is wrong view, and I have read quite a lot of suttas. So please now I clarified myself, will you also do so, so people can get a balanced perspective on things?
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:13 pm

If there is absolutely no self wouldn't that be nihilism?

How can anyone explain the fact that Buddha could recall previous rebirths,
if there is absolutely no self. He connected the previous rebirths with his current
body. This by itself tells us that there is a connective agent between rebirths.

The statement that the aggregates are not self (which is true) does not imply that there is no self at all.
hgg2014.
User avatar
hgg
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:26 pm

hgg wrote: but the statement "What is unsatisfactory, that is not self", that I cannot understand.

Whatever arises is dependently arisen.
Whatever is dependently arisen, is subject to change and pass away and even cease (that is not-permanent).
Whatever is dependently arisen (ie., not-permanent), is Dukkha.
Whatever is dependently arisen (ie., not-permanent), is not-self (and, is not fit to be viewed as mine, I, my self).
Therefore, whatever is Dukkha (ie., dependently arisen, not-permanent) is not-self (and, is not fit to be viewed as mine, I, my self).
Whatever is not-self is, empty.

Self is a view, an assumption, a conceving due to ignorance - imposed upon the five aggregates. Being an assumption it is not a (metaphysical) "reality".
"This is self" is a wrong view.
"There is self" is a wrong view.
"There is no self" is a view (It can be merely a view, a wrong view, or a right view, depending upon the context).
"This is not self" is a right view.
We need to avoid views and wrong views, and only try to adopt right views.
Last edited by SamKR on Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SamKR
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:47 pm

hgg wrote:If there is absolutely no self wouldn't that be nihilism?

How can anyone explain the fact that Buddha could recall previous rebirths,
if there is absolutely no self. He connected the previous rebirths with his current
body. This by itself tells us that there is a connective agent between rebirths.

The statement that the aggregates are not self (which is true) does not imply that there is no self at all.


Yes the denial of self is considered Nihilism, the Hindu concept of an eternal soul Atman is considered Eternalism, that's why the buddha taught the middle path, denying Nihilism, or Eternalism.

The nihilistic, absolutely no self of any kind belief, does not allow for much of anything to pass on to the next life, so it is in essence almost no rebirth, ala almost Atheism

For something to pass on after birth, that something must almost have to be self, Mahayana tradititions are more literal about this, But a good section of Therevada are very strong believers in rebirth also.

Ive been in a month long debate on freesangha.com between mostly just two individuals, a strong no self supporter, and a strong self supporter, both very versed in scriptures, tons and tons of scriptural quotes, it really comes down to who are you going to believe, If you really want to live your life believing you have no self, go ahead, but I don't see how you would get anything done, as you have no self telling you to do it, In other words online I've never met a non self supporter that strikes me as having even overcome the 5 agreggates, on the other hand the vehemnetly pro self people don't seem any more enlightened either.

I think I can clearly state there is strong scriptural evidence to support both positions, but its harder to support a true self (not the agreaggets) position from purely Therevada pali canon scripture, its much hard to defend a completely non self position from many Mahayana scriptures. I think you have the absolute right to make up you own mind on this, and not feel like theres only one right way to view it. Its not like a teaching that almost all the schools agree on, like the 5 precepts or 8fld path, theres no disagreement on them, they are what Buddhism is about, no self on the other hand is a grey area, kind of like the debate on the higgs Boson or God particle, some people believe in it, some don't and some don't care.

Anyway all the schools seem to agree that the 5 agreaggetes do not constitute your real self, so concentrate on living without the belief that the 5 agreaggates are you and you're halfway there. IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:01 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:\
For something to pass on after birth, that something must almost have to be self, Mahayana tradititions are more literal about this, But a good section of Therevada are very strong believers in rebirth also.

For birth, there does not have to be "something" that is a (ontological) self. A lingering view of self is enough for birth and all Dukkha.
Last edited by SamKR on Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
SamKR
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:06 pm

hgg wrote:If there is absolutely no self wouldn't that be nihilism?

How can anyone explain the fact that Buddha could recall previous rebirths,
if there is absolutely no self. He connected the previous rebirths with his current
body. This by itself tells us that there is a connective agent between rebirths.


Nihilism would be "nothing exists" - views like that. But a view of no self is not denying that. It just says that no self exist. Other things may well exist.
"'Everything exists, this is one extreme [view]; 'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


A memory does not need an agent, it merely needs a connection. Things are connected without agent, without self or soul. This is what dependent origination describes, which I'm not going into detail here, but just to say this is what continues the quote above. And this is what happens always when the Buddha taught the middle way between 'existence' and 'non-existence' (eternalism/nihilism), he taught dependent origination; how things arise dependent upon each other (without a self).

"'Everything exists, this is one extreme [view]; 'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme.
Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata[10] teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations. etc. (describing dependent origination)




The statement that the aggregates are not self (which is true) does not imply that there is no self at all.

It does imply there is no self. Not in the statement itself, because philosophically people will always find ways around things. But if applied to your own meditation, it'll be more clear that you can't find anything outside of the aggregates. For one thing, because it's not possible to find something without consciousness, which itself is an aggregate.

This takes quite a deep meditation, to see honestly. Because when the mind is under the five hindrances, it will delude itself into seeing things that are not there. Assuming self in what is not a self, beauty in what is suffering, permanence in what is impermanent. But if you get an understanding by stilling the mind, you don't have to just assume a point of view based on texts or based upon intellectual reasoning.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:52 pm

I guess you are right about nihilism.

Having said that, you cannot prove a negative, so you cannot really say with 100% certainty that no self exists.
(you cannot prove that God does not exist, you cannot prove that green cats with pink ears do not exist)
Even if you cannot find anything outside the aggregates in deep meditation, this does not mean it does not
exist.

In the case of previous births and dependent origination, if there is no connective agent, then do you
mean that Buddha was able to describe previous rebirths by tracing back all the trillions causes and effects of its
current birth?
hgg2014.
User avatar
hgg
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby mal4mac » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:00 pm

"If one uses the concept of not-self to dis-identify oneself from all phenomena, one goes beyond the reach of all suffering & stress. As for what lies beyond suffering & stress, the Canon states that although it may be experienced, it lies beyond the range of description, and thus such descriptions as "self" or "not-self" would not apply."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html

To summarise Bhikku Thanissaro's main points:

1) When the Buddha is asked to take a position on the question of whether or not there is a self, he refuses to answer.

2) The passages which state there is no self covers all of describable reality.

3) Views that there is no self are ranked with views that there is a self as a "fetter of views", and both are best avoided.

4) The enlightened person sees a reality in which notions like self & no-self are redundant.

From this, it seems to me, that If you "dis-identify oneself from all phenomena" then you dis identify from any possible experience of "goodness within" or "Buddha mind". There is nothing you can point to, or talk about, as being "self" or "part of self".

If I start worrying whether I have "enough goodness" inside or "have I experienced Buddha mind?" then I worry that I will be just making more suffering for myself; I feel it would just lead me to more confusion. So the "Buddha's silence", and dis-identifying from all phenomena (including possible intimations of "goodness" and "Buddha mind"...) seems the best path for me, today :)
mal4mac
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:47 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:09 pm

hgg wrote:I guess you are right about nihilism.

Having said that, you cannot prove a negative, so you cannot really say with 100% certainty that no self exists.
(you cannot prove that God does not exist, you cannot prove that green cats with pink ears do not exist)
Even if you cannot find anything outside the aggregates in deep meditation, this does not mean it does not
exist.

In the case of previous births and dependent origination, if there is no connective agent, then do you
mean that Buddha was able to describe previous rebirths by tracing back all the trillions causes and effects of its
current birth?

From an intellectual point of view you can't say something like that with certainty, but you can't apply this logic to meditation. It is not just seeing the aggregates are no self, but also how the view of self is always constructed upon them and not on something else, how it arises, why it was sustained, what it sustains; all these things that with all intellect in the world somebody won't understand or even come to think about.

I mean a memory arises from causes and conditions that are also not self. A memory is a fabrication that is perceived. You can sort of see that when you are remembering something that is a bit vague in your memory, you start to construct things based upon other things, adding and removing things, slowly putting together the memory. A clear memory is not too much different. Also things like personality, preferences and such are all not stored in a central self, they are just patterns that occur, based upon conditions. The recollection of previous lives is on another level, but in a similar way it is possible without a self, because the recollection itself is a process that occurs due to conditions. If the conditions are not there, the recollection is not there.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby santa100 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:18 pm

hgg wrote:In the case of previous births and dependent origination, if there is no connective agent, then do you
mean that Buddha was able to describe previous rebirths by tracing back all the trillions causes and effects of its
current birth?


The Buddha's teaching avoids the 2 extremes of eternalism and nihilism. From MN 11 ( http://palicanon.org/index.php/sutta-pi ... ion-s-roar ):
Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being

Ven. Bodhi noted:
The view of being (bhavadiṭṭ) is eternalism, the belief in an eternal self; the view of non-being (vibhavadiṭṭhi) is annihilationism, the denial of any principle of continuity as a basis for rebirth and kammic retribution. The adoption of one view entailing opposition to the other ties up with the earlier statement that the goal is for one who does not favour and oppose.


So, denying the principle of continuity will lead one to Nihilism while attaching the eternal "self" label onto it will lead one to Eternalism. Contemplating the 3 characteristics based on paticcasamuppada(dependent arising) will allow one to tread safely on the middle path..
santa100
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby daverupa » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:45 pm

hgg wrote:
"since a self is, by definition, satisfactory unto itself,"


But who defined that?


The character of the self in ancient India

A Note on Attā in the Alagaddūpama Sutta

In short: everyone else the Buddha had discourse with. The Buddha was responding to these views, as well as discussing the fetters of sakkayaditthi and asmimana, when speaking on the self; his main objective was to ensure that people knew about efficacious action, since in general the various self-theories entailed that some part of oneself was beyond being affected by action. The Buddhist training program displays idapaccayata, by contrast.
Last edited by daverupa on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:48 pm

One of the main points i would like to make is that "self" is just a word, a word that can have a lot of meanings, both in the buddha's time(atman) and today(self), for us to assume we understand exactly what self(atman) meant to the Buddha, and that it is the same as what self (english) means to us, may be a big mistake. And just to assume that what self means to the OP, and what self means to Reflection, and what self means to me are the same thing, once again may be a big mistake, the word self might have totally different meanings to all of us.

Even within the Therevada tradition and most definetly within the Mahayana tradition, there are devout, even enlightened teachers that believe in some kind of self, and at the same time there are other devout, even enlightened teachers that believe there is no kind of self whatsover. That is a fact, i am not making this up.

So it might seem that denying the existence of any kind of self whatsoever, is possible, and your right to believe, but it definetly is not a prerequisite for enlightenment, because there are both enlightened teachers that see it one way or the other.

The one thing they do seem to agree on is that the 5 agreaggates are not a part of the self, so as I said before if we concentrate on that, we are halfway there.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:49 pm

reflection wrote:
hgg wrote:I guess you are right about nihilism.

From an intellectual point of view you can't say something like that with certainty, but you can't apply this logic to meditation. It is not just seeing the aggregates are no self, but also how the view of self is always constructed upon them and not on something else, how it arises, why it was sustained, what it sustains; all these things that with all intellect in the world somebody won't understand or even come to think about


That is the correct statement I think. That in meditation you will see how the aggregates construct the illusion of self all the time.
As I said before, I am not talking about that kind of illusory self. There might be another kind of self, not eternal, totally unknown to us
which is the backbone of dependent origination. It might even have a different name. There must be a connection between all rebirths.
If the connection is just the dependent arising, then the act of finding out information about past rebirths is an amazing feat indeed!
hgg2014.
User avatar
hgg
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:10 pm

daverupa wrote:
hgg wrote:
"since a self is, by definition, satisfactory unto itself,"


But who defined that?


The character of the self in ancient India

A Note on Attā in the Alagaddūpama Sutta

In short: everyone else the Buddha had discourse with. The Buddha was responding to these views, as well as discussing the fetters of sakkayaditthi and asmimana, when speaking on the self; his main objective was to ensure that people knew about efficacious action, since in general the various self-theories entailed that some part of oneself was beyond being affected by action. The Buddhist training program displays idapaccayata, by contrast.


The conclusion of the second citation above;

E. J. Thomas states,27 in the Anattalakkhaṇa-sutta the Buddha does not
specifically deny the existence of the attā. The sutta is merely a denial that the khandhas
were ātman, whatever that term means. It may be true to say that the Buddha does not
specifically deny the existence of the attā anywhere in the Pāli canon, in the sense that he
does not state explicitly ‘The attā does not exist’. As stated above, however, in the AS he
does speak of the men who grieve over the loss of his attā as grieving about something
which does not exist internally. He also draws attention to the folly of someone who
holds the view that the world and the attā are the same if it can be shown that attā and
some thing belonging to attā are not to be found, and he then goes on to prove to the
satisfaction of his audience that they are not to be found.

now a thought popped into my head about the meaning to the Buddha of atta(self)

just for the sake of arguement, what if atta meant not self, but me, mine, then the whole discourse would not be a denial of self but rather that anything was mine, or truly belongs to me, that would make perfect sense to me, we do not own our bodies, we do not own our senses or what our senses perceive, we do not even own our thoughts or our mind.

I'm not saying this is the meaning of atta, but suppose it was, what if atta(self) has been mistranslated and had a completely dfferent meaning than we thought it did to the Buddha, while 100,000s of monks can actually read some pali, it is basically a dead language that hasn't really been spoken for almost 2000 years, maybe some meanings were lost along the way, who knows, that's why its important to work out these things in meditation and contemplation, and get them to make sense to you, not just accept them because such and such a translation(which may be incorrect) says so.

Buddhism was traditionally taught by enlightened or somewhat enlightened teachers to students, not from reading pali scriptures, because the lay people mostly couldn't read pali, nor could the novice monks, this internet idea of learning Buddhism from often completely unenlightened lay people who like to quote this or that translation of scripture, and belittle those that speak from there own learning and aren't able to quote sutra and verse, has gone a bit too far IMHO Do your best to sort out this whole non self business, but in the big picture, there are really basic teachings like the 4 noble truths, the Lay precepts, and the 8 fold Path, and most importantly practising love and compassion. these things are much much more important than which guru or Ajahn's version of the no self teaching you follow, its just not as important as the basic stuff, Once you excel at all the basic stuff, by all means turn your attention to non self, until then, you have no need to worry your"self" about it, IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:39 pm

I've actually taken this idea of anatta meaning not mine instead of not self, and started a new thread, so i'll retreat form this thread a bit and welcome anyone to read and comment on my new thread; What if Anatta(non self) actually means Not Me, Not Mine
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:53 am

I think that the initial question has not yet been answered.
"Material form monks, is impermanent. Whatever is impermanent, that is unsatisfactory.
What is unsatisfactory, that is not self. What is not self, should be regarded, 'This is not
mine, I am not this, this is not my self.' One should discern it as it really is through perfect
wisdom." - S.iii.21


I keep coming back because I think this paragraph is repeated quite a lot in the suttas in one form or the other
and I think that is an important one.

The problem is that Buddha uses a double negation in the same sentence "unsatisfactory" and "not self"
without defining either of the positive terms, especially "self". From other writings if we assume that "self"
is the illusion constantly created by the five aggregates, then what exactly is "not self" ???
(which can also have a property like the unsatisfactoriness)

Further, I am also starting to question the previous statement "whatever is impermanent, that is unsatisfactory"
It looks to me that if pain or sorrow are impermanent then they are not exactly unsatisfactory because they will
end, but they are not satisfactory as well because we are experiencing them now.

The main point that Buddha is trying to make is that "Material form ... is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self"
but I cannot understand how he concludes that, since even the statement "is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self"
is self contradictory. (e.g "I am not this", since there is no "I" how can "I am not this"? etc)

All this confusion is the result of not properly explaining the terms that he used like unsatisfactory and not-self.
Maybe he was trying to express in words something that could not really be expressed by language.

Does anybody know if there exist any other Pali translations for the same or a similar statement?

Thank you.
hgg2014.
User avatar
hgg
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 am

hgg wrote: The main point that Buddha is trying to make is that "Material form ... is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self"
but I cannot understand how he concludes that, since even the statement "is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self"
is self contradictory. (e.g "I am not this", since there is no "I" how can "I am not this"? etc)
The problem is that we are stuck with the sense of "I" until we attain some degree of ariya status. Basically, what the Buddha is asking you to do is to take a look at what you are experiencing. And we start from where we are, which is from a place of "I." That cannot be helped, and so we have what might seem to be contradictory. The "I" cannot be wished away or thought away, you can tell it where to get off, but it won't. It is a matter, however, of paying attention to it in a number differing ways that exposes the nature of the "I," allowing one to eventually see it for what it is in fact, and allowing us to bit by bit let go of it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19911
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:41 am

There is no double negation. "Suffering" is the more common translation for what you call unsatisfactory; the word is dukkha. Dukkha is all suffering from the very coarse to the tiniest. And dukkha is explained in multiple ways, one of them being this very "what is impermanent is dukkha". So impermanence and dukkha are almost synonymous to each other: if you understand one you understand the other. In other words, everything that is inconstant, that arises and passes away is suffering, is not real happiness and will not be able to provide that either. Impermanence does not just mean things being replaced by something else, it also means things have the potential for passing away totally. In other words, the aggregates can totally disappear and so they can't be a self (not self is not a thing but simply the negation of a self) and so they hold no potential for real happiness.

But as I've said before, and as tiltbillings also explains here above, it has to come from looking at your own experience. The Buddha was indeed trying to explain something beyond words. As the suttas say, it is beyond conjecture/logical reasoning. You can have 100 explanations and 100 translations but not be any closer to understanding.

:anjali:
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:24 am

There was a double negation but with the first substitution its much better.
The word suffering (Dukkha) is more appropriate. That was the easy part. Now,

What is suffering, that is not self.
(what is suffering, that is the negation of a self)

Do you really understand the above sentence?
I don't.

The only alternative that makes sense to me is the following:
-suffering is the illusory self-
hgg2014.
User avatar
hgg
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:31 am

Did you read the links I posted earlier? Did they not help?

(Also, trying to massage these sentences in these ways without using the Pali is going to be disastrous.)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests