is there a conventional self who decides?

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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
equilibrium wrote:
robertk wrote:Is there a conventional self who decides?
Conventional self is the same as a deluded self, a self that is fabricated by wrong views.....all based on believe supported by the deluded mind.
A decision can be made either one is deluded or not. As the mind is deluded, one cannot be certain ones decisions are right.
It is a rather interesting question. If we are deluded, having to start from where we are, a state of delusion, how do we get undeluded all the while having to deal with a deluded mind, having to deal with a deluded sense of self?

In the cariyapitaka atthakatthaka, translated by bhilkhu bodhi p. 271
It stresses khanti, patience and links this to wisdom:

".
..And: 'When there is patience, the mind becomes concentrated, all formations appear to reflection as impermanent and suffering; all dhammas as not-self, nibbaana as unconditioned, deathless, peaceful, and sublime, and the Buddha-qualities as endowed with inconceivable and immearsurable potency. Then established in acquiescence in conformity, the groundlessness of all 'I-making' and 'mine-making' becomes evident to reflection thus: 'Mere dhammas alone exist, devoid of self or of anything pertaining to a self. They arise and pass away in accordance with their conditions. They do not come from anywhere, they do not go anywhere, they are not established anywhere. There is no agency in anything whatsoever.'..."
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:56 am

robertk wrote:In the cariyapitaka atthakatthaka, translated by bhilkhu bodhi p. 271
This is a stand alone translation? I'd like to look at what comes before and after the the bit you've quoted, but even that does not support this utterly astounding msg: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 60#p228510
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
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:21 am

"And: 'When there is patience, the mind becomes concentrated, all formations appear to reflection as impermanent and suffering; all dhammas as not-self, nibbaana as unconditioned, deathless, peaceful, and sublime, and the Buddha-qualities as endowed with inconceivable and immearsurable potency. Then established in acquiescence in conformity, the groundlessness of all 'I-making' and 'mine-making' becomes evident to reflection thus: 'Mere dhammas alone exist, devoid of self or of anything pertaining to a self. They arise and pass away in accordance with their conditions. They do not come from anywhere, they do not go anywhere, they are not established anywhere. There is no agency in anything whatsoever.'..."


Bh. Bodhi's Brahmajaala Sutta
and its Commentaries, p. 271)



Page 283 in the 1978 version, which I have. What preceeds the "And:" -- the context of the statement is: If, due to it cumulative force, anger caused by the wrongs of others should continue to overpower the mind, one should reflect: In otherwords this is a reflection, a way of altering a situation, conditions, a type of practice and it is part of a larger body of practices.
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
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:25 am

robertk wrote:
Some people have said that the Buddha's teachings on the aggregates constitute his analysis of what we truly are; and that because the aggregates are impermanent and interdependent, we have an impermanent, interdependent self. This sutta, however, shows that we can be analyzed into the aggregates only if we feel obsession or attachment for them. If we don't feel these things, there's no way we can be measured, classified, or defined.

Polabuddhist
This is rather unorthodox and I think not classical Buddhist. Perhaps you could begin a new thread in another forum to discuss these ideas.


What's the orthodox interpretation?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:32 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:In the cariyapitaka atthakatthaka, translated by bhilkhu bodhi p. 271
This is a stand alone translation? I'd like to look at what comes before and after the the bit you've quoted, but even that does not support this utterly astounding msg: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 60#p228510

:?:

It seems Robert was providing on-topic information directly pertaining to your question, "If we are deluded, having to start from where we are, a state of delusion, how do we get undeluded all the while having to deal with a deluded mind, having to deal with a deluded sense of self?"

...not trying to substantiate comments he made previously in different topics (i.e. off-topic)?

It seemed a good answer to me.

:coffee:

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:07 am

retrofuturist wrote: . . .
Whatever he is trying to say here is far less than clear, and really does not address the issue of going from a deluded mind to a non-deluded mind. Obviously, I must be a thick as a block of lead.


    Samyutta Nikaya III 144: "Bhikkhus [monks, the Buddha said, holding a fleck of dung], if even if that much of permanent, everlasting, eternal individual selfhood/metaphysical being [attabhava], not inseparable from the idea of change, could be found, then this living the holy life could not be taught by me."
What is interesting here to me is that change is possible because there is no attabhava. By our choices we can alter our conditioning, changing the course of our trajectory through life, which what the Buddha's teachings seem to me to be about. In other words, being deluded need not be an eternal prison, and that the "sense of self," with which by necessity of our ignorance we have to contend, is not a permanent block to awakening. Bit by bit we alter our conditioning by our choices, by what we do and don't do.
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
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby danieLion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:12 am

robertk wrote:
danieLion wrote:Tilt, RobertK, et al
Which "side" shall we put Gil Fronsdal on?
Self and Not-Self
You can do it! It's only a ten minute talk.

10 minutes is time I don't have. Could you cite the important parts.

When you hear...teachings about not-self, make sure they are being offered in the context of tremendous respect for yourself and who you are--a sense of value of yourself and who you are, and a sense of the possibility of who we are.... If you do hear the teaching that there's no self, you don't need to be confused; meaning, 'Well, then, what foot am I supposed to stand on? How am I supposed to be if I’m not going to be a self?' or 'What self am I supposed to be if there's no self?' You can be a self. Please, be a self! And be a strong self, be an upright self.... Be a strong person. Value yourself. Consider yourself as an important and efficacious person. Please, by all means, it's true. And then use the mindfulness practice to learn to...shed all the extra ways which we hang on and get attached to concepts of self, all the extra ideas we add on top of that, that are not really needed.... It is not a teaching meant to diminish us or leave us empty handed in some kind of way that we feel less than, or feel like we can't show up, or we can't stand there on our own two feet, upright, independent, clear, and confident in a certain kind of way.

5:28-7:14, 8:04-8:22
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 pm

hi Daniel
any kusala citta can never come with unpleasant feeling. Often it comes with pleasant feeling(or at worst neutral).
So any wise reflection related to anatta will at those very moments be relaxing and , I dare say, confidence building. If it is not then somewhere along the way something has got twisted and it is not a genuine wise reflection.
Secondly contemplation of anatta (speaking here about basic intellectual level ) goes together with understanding the momentariness of life: we die every second. So this is also a way of Dhammanusati, a type of samatha that is very freeing and leads to fearlessness. There is nothing in life than can really panic one anymore, after all we have died so many times already.
so in that sense I think Gil's comments about having a strong confident self are redundant.
The confidence and joy are a part and parcel of developing the perception of anatta. Even the beginning is good...

Nevertheless I know it is very hard and takes a long time for most people to get their heads around anatta. So any help, such as Gil is giving, is valuable I think.
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:50 pm

tiltbillings wrote:... but we are stuck with it until there is sufficient insight, not conceptual thinking about it, but actual insight into the nature of the "self," into the conditioned co-produced nature of the khandhas.


I tend to try observe the sense of self directly - and of course it keeps changing. ;)
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby kirk5a » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:36 pm

One could grasp the teachings of anatta by the tail, as the metaphor goes, and decide they mean there is no self-doer.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby danieLion » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:21 am

robertk wrote:hi Daniel
any kusala citta can never come with unpleasant feeling. Often it comes with pleasant feeling(or at worst neutral).
So any wise reflection related to anatta will at those very moments be relaxing and , I dare say, confidence building. If it is not then somewhere along the way something has got twisted and it is not a genuine wise reflection.
Secondly contemplation of anatta (speaking here about basic intellectual level ) goes together with understanding the momentariness of life: we die every second. So this is also a way of Dhammanusati, a type of samatha that is very freeing and leads to fearlessness. There is nothing in life than can really panic one anymore, after all we have died so many times already.
so in that sense I think Gil's comments about having a strong confident self are redundant.
The confidence and joy are a part and parcel of developing the perception of anatta. Even the beginning is good...

Nevertheless I know it is very hard and takes a long time for most people to get their heads around anatta. So any help, such as Gil is giving, is valuable I think.

Thanks again. Very helpful. I often wonder if anatta is related to the common ideas of not taking things so personally and not being so self absorbed? Can it include these things, and if so, how far beyond these ideas does the Buddha's anatta go?
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:03 am

Another great question . Indeed The understanding of Anatta should lessen self-absorption and taking things personally. But these are entrenched ways to most of us so it takes a very long time. Also conceit, which is different from the wrong view of self, still remains even once all self-view is gone.....and that plays its toxic role too.
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby danieLion » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:43 am

robertk wrote:...these are entrenched ways to most of us so it takes a very long time...conceit...plays its toxic role too.
Oh boy don't I know it. However, it helps me keep in mind the strong relationshiop between Anatta and Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood--how they work together and reinforce each other. I find dealing with people to be a much better test of my attempts to live by the Dhamma than seclusion practices. I tend to reclusiveness and shyness, and am "naturally" introspective. Seclusion practice can help me work on my self-monitoring skills, but I don't see the point of developing them if they're not useful for relationships. It's said that sitting practices are hard, but I think practicing the Dhamma in "daily life" is way harder. Anatta is much more evident when I'm quiet and alone, but the more entrenched "I-making" and "my-making" happens in my dealings with others, which to me implies that that is where the bulk of my not-selfing and conceit up-rooting efforts had better be attempted.

That was kind of "ranty" so feel free to critique it.
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Re: is there a conventional self who decides?

Postby robertk » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:47 am

sounds good to me, 'self-awareness' in the sense of seeing our wrong ways, is a must!
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