Awareness and Self

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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Myotai
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Awareness and Self

Postby Myotai » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:33 am

Hello,

I struggle to reconcile how there can be awareness without 'self'.

Who or what is it that experiences qualia for example. The constant inner narrative and experience though transient seems to appear to 'me'. No matter how many times I try to refute this there is still an 'I' that seems to acknowledge the experience or apprehend the sense experience.

Can someone help me understand my error in thinking p[lease?

Thanks,

M...

SarathW
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby SarathW » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:27 pm

Buddha said it is not appropriate to take five aggregate as I, me and myself.
Qualia is the feeling and perception of the five aggregate hence that should not be considered I, me or myself.

As lay people we only can eliminate the self view.
Self view only be fully eliminated by Arahant.

This is not easy to understand unless you are mindful all the time.

Qualia reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Nicolas
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby Nicolas » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:01 pm

An empty movie theatre playing a film: the images appear on the screen, and the sound comes out the speakers, but no one is watching, and there is no projectionist either.

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Myotai
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby Myotai » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:08 pm

Nicolas wrote:An empty movie theatre playing a film: the images appear on the screen, and the sound comes out the speakers, but no one is watching, and there is no projectionist either.


But there is. Thats my point. There is someone that hears the tree fall in the middle of a woods... ;)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:32 pm

Myotai wrote:But there is. Thats my point. There is someone that hears the tree fall in the middle of a woods... ;)


Of course there is a someone, but that someone is changing according to conditioning, not a fixed permanent essense (atta).

A computer can also be aware of what's happening inside it's environment, it doesn't think it's a self.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

dhammarelax
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby dhammarelax » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:51 pm

Myotai wrote:Hello,

I struggle to reconcile how there can be awareness without 'self'.

Who or what is it that experiences qualia for example. The constant inner narrative and experience though transient seems to appear to 'me'. No matter how many times I try to refute this there is still an 'I' that seems to acknowledge the experience or apprehend the sense experience.

Can someone help me understand my error in thinking p[lease?

Thanks,

M...


Dont confuse no self with not self. All phenomena are not self.

Smile
Dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

SarathW
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby SarathW » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:56 pm

[/quote]
An empty movie theatre playing a film: the images appear on the screen, and the sound comes out the speakers, but no one is watching, and there is no projectionist either.


A computer can also be aware of what's happening inside it's environment, it doesn't think it's a self.]



There is someone that hears the tree fall in the middle of a woods... ;)


Non of those analogies are correct.
Buddha reject both existence and non-existence.
He taught Dependent Origination.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SamKR
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby SamKR » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:06 am

Myotai wrote:
Who or what is it that experiences qualia for example. The constant inner narrative and experience though transient seems to appear to 'me'. No matter how many times I try to refute this there is still an 'I' that seems to acknowledge the experience or apprehend the sense experience.

"If there are qualia there must be someone having those qualia". This statement is the belief that is held by almost all people in the world, and that is a very sticky belief, and it is the root ignorance, the cause of all suffering.

What if the following is happening?
* There is a flow of qualia or appearances - vividly and undoubtedly appearing without need of any thought.
* There arises a thought that says "these appearances appear to me". This thought itself appears as a part of that flow of appearances.
* With the strong belief on that thought, there appears the experience or feeling that "I am present, and I am experiencing the appearances". This experience itself appears as a part of the flow of experiences.

Thus based on the three points above there is only experience/awareness without the inherently existing self ("inherently existing self" is a non-existent referent of mere thoughts, and these thoughts themselves arise as part of the experience/awareness).

pegembara
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby pegembara » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:21 am

Myotai wrote:Hello,

I struggle to reconcile how there can be awareness without 'self'.

Who or what is it that experiences qualia for example. The constant inner narrative and experience though transient seems to appear to 'me'. No matter how many times I try to refute this there is still an 'I' that seems to acknowledge the experience or apprehend the sense experience.

Can someone help me understand my error in thinking p[lease?

Thanks,

M...



Turn it around and ask where is the "I" without the experiences.
Without thoughts, there is no thinker.
Without experiences, there is no experiencer.
They are dependently co-arisen phenomena.

A language problem. You "think" the "thinker" think thoughts but the thinker is not separate. Ergo there is no thinker(self). You mistake the thinker to be real and existing.

What is going on is merely seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, feeling, thinking arising and passing away moment to moment.

In many ways, friend, the Blessed One has said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'"


"If anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the eye are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self.' So the eye is not-self.



Because we fail to note these acts of consciousness, we tend to identify them with a person or individual. We tend to think that it is `I' who is imagining, thinking, planning, knowing (or perceiving). We think that there is a person who from childhood onwards has been living and thinking. Actually, no such person exists. There are instead only these continuing and successive acts of consciousness. That is why we have to note these acts of consciousness and know them for what they are. That is why we have to note each and every act of consciousness as it arises. When so noted, it tends to disappear. We then go back to noting the rising and falling of the abdomen.

http://www.tathagata.org/DhammaTalks/In ... ction.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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robertk
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Re: Awareness and Self

Postby robertk » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:32 am

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.12


“Venerable sir, who makes contact?”

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “I do not say, ‘One makes contact.’ If I should say, ‘One makes contact,’ in that case this would be a valid question: ‘Venerable sir, who makes contact?’ But I do not speak thus. Since I do not speak thus, if one should ask me, ‘Venerable sir, with what as condition does contact come to be?’ this would be a valid question. To this the valid answer is: ‘With the six sense bases as condition, contact comes to be; with contact as condition, feeling.’


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