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four imaginary characteristic functions

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Re: four imaginary characteristic functions

Postby robertk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:16 pm

"'The perception of not-self in what is stressful, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said. ... .than.html

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Re: four imaginary characteristic functions

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:27 pm

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Re: four imaginary characteristic functions

Postby Sylvester » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:18 am

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Re: four imaginary characteristic functions

Postby sphairos » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:51 am

Dear Sylvester,

As I know Pāli and Sanskrit, I don't need any translations.

Uccheda-diṭṭhi and sassata-diṭṭhi and the early Buddhist problem of self are well-studied (Jayatilleke, Collins, Oetke, Bronkhorst etc.)

"Oetke comes to the conclusion that the idea that early Buddhism rejects the existence of a subject underlying experiences and states of consciousness, rests on an extremely feeble basis (p.152). But nor did early Buddhism accept the existence of a substance that carries these mental states. Oetke's analysis brings some equilibrium in a field of research where rather extreme positions have been confronting each other..."
(Bronkhorst, WZKS, 1989, 33)

Those diṭṭhis are clearly defined in the Pāli texts:

"Sabbam atthi’ti kho, Kaccana, ayameko anto. ‘Sabbam natthi’ti ayam dutiyo anto". (also "atthitañ c'eva natthitañ ca", existence and non-existence (SN 12. 15))

""All exists", Kaccana, this is one exteme. "Nothing exists", this is second extreme".

Uccheda-diṭṭhi also encompasses vibhavadiṭṭhi (and so sassata-diṭṭhi encompasses bhavadiṭṭhi)


See also below.

Your argument concerning "bhavissati" makes no sense to me, because there still is "me (bhavissati)" = "I", "for me" etc. Also I suppose that it is simply a typo (there should be "na bhavissāmi" and "na bhavissati me")

Dear Sylvester, here

"Clearly, in the Pali, the present tense construction is also used to indicate the future (see Warder, pp.12-13), and this coincides very neatly with the Annihilationist's view "no cassaṃ no ca me siyā na bhavissāmi' na me bhavissati", where cassam is the optative of ca which is used for forward-looking statements".

I'd like to ask: do you know Pāli?

Because there is no verb/verb root *ca in the Pāli canon (as well as in Sanskrit), and "cassaṃ" is just a conjunctive "ca" + first person singular optative form of the verb "asti"/atthi" (root "as"), and the presentation of your argument suggests that you don't understand this.

Of course, in all great historical languages (Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Babylonian etc.) the present tense can mean many things: past as well as future (and also perfect, imperfect etc). But it's not the case with the verb "atthi".

It seems that you don't know that there is a huge difference between hoti/bhavati and asti/atthi in Pāli as well as in Sanskrit texts.

As Warder put it: "Thus siya is used quite frequently in philosophical discourse to assert a possibility, in contrast to the categorical atthi and n'atthi". (Lesson 14, p .98)

"Atthi" and "n'atthi" are categorical philosophical statements based on the static root *as ("asti/atthi"), which is the opposite to the dynamic *bhū ("hoti/bhavati"). "Atthi" and "n'atthi" never mean anything "future" in Pāli texts. For instance: "'natthi ayaṃ loko, natthi paro loko" ("'this world does not exist, the next world does not exist" (K.N. Jayatilleke's transl., D. I.55).

See also Fuller's arguments and Gethin's rendering:
"Will I exist in the future? Will I not exist in the future? What will I
be in the future? How will I be in the future?' Or he is uncertain about
himself in the present, 'Do I exist? Do I not exist? What am I? How am
I? From where has this being come, and where will it go?' To one reflecting
inappropriately in this way one of six views occurs. The definite and
firm view arises, 'I have a self' or, 'I do not have a self' or, 'By the self
I perceive what is self' or",
R. Gethin, Foundations of Buddhism. 1998, p. 149.

"To one reflecting inappropriately in this way one of six views occurs.
The view:
View 1: ‘I have a self’ arises firmly as the truth.
View 2: ‘I do not have a self’ arises firmly as the truth.
View 3: ‘By the self I perceive what is self’ arises firmly as the truth.
View 4: ‘By the self I perceive what is not self’ arises firmly as the truth.
View 5: ‘By what is not self I perceive what is not self’ arises firmly as
the truth."
As I suggested in the Introduction, wrong-views, expressed by the ideas of
uccheda and sassata-dihi, were considered in the early texts, to be particularly
destructive. These classifications have already been met in the discussion of
sakkāya-dihi. One explanation of these two views is the following from the

"To state that, ‘I have a self’ (atthi me attā vā) is the view of eternalism
(sassata-diṭṭhi) which assumes the existence of a self at all times. However,
to state ‘I have no self’ (n’ atthi me attā) is the view of annihilationism
(uccheda-diṭṭhi) because it assumes the annihilation of an existing being".136

This suggests that the view ‘there is no self’ is as much a wrong-view as the
view ‘there is a self’.
To posit or deny a self are wrong-views. To say that right view
is the understanding of anattā is quite different".
P. Fuller. Notion of diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism. 2005. pp. 33, 38.

Also, I suppose that it is a "cosmological attā" which is a "hypostatised" thing, not the common sense "I-ness".

As for Alagaddūpama, I think it is clear, that it is concerned with the brahmanic eternal divine self, of which the Buddha clearly disapproves.

So there is nothing "odd" here.

But, still, despite everything, we all got to have a self-respect, as the Buddha says:

‘‘yāvakīvañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhū... hirimanā bhavissanti..., vuddhiyeva, bhikkhave, bhikkhūnaṃ pāṭikaṅkhā, no parihāni (Mahāparinibbānasutta, 139, Thai edition)

"Monks, as long as monks continue to have... self-respect... then they can be expected to prosper, not to decline". ;) (Gethin's curious translation)
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?

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Re: four imaginary characteristic functions

Postby Sylvester » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:50 am

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