On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:50 am

Gaoxing wrote:Atta = soul = self
Anatta= not-self = no-self

It takes a self to declare there's no self. The Buddha used his self to declare the things that are not self. He knew taht declaring there is no self would be absurd.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:57 am

binocular wrote:
danieLion wrote:I agree with the Buddha and William James about the self that even though the self isn't permanent or a soul it is nonetheless real.

I don't see how the Buddha is saying that.

And I'm not sure about William James either. Can you provide his reasoning that the soul is not permanent, but nevertheless real?

The Buddha did not deny the existence of selves affirming by implication they're real; not ontologically real, buy pragmatically real. James didn't believe in soul, so your question makes me think you misread my sentence.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Talking in terms of actual experience, the Buddha: . . .

No, "there is no self" claim here either; likewise, this topic would not exist without ourselves making it happen.
The claim that is being made in these texts -- and I would say the suttas as a whole -- is that the experienced self, however one might imagine it, is a derived construct of our experiential process. A sense of self is an experience we are stuck with until awakening. It is not an issue in these texts of some sort of ontologically self-existing entity. The suttas are really not doing that kind of philosophy. It is, rather, in dealing with the experiential process of what we are, we find no unchanging metaphysical self/thing within that experience.
And? I agree. W. James agrees. And to the OP, Thanissaro agrees.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:17 am

binocular wrote:
cooran wrote:Please show us all one Sutta, just one, where the Buddha clearly taught that there was a permanent Self or Soul.

False assumption. Nobody said that the Buddha taught there was a permanent self.
We're saying that "there is no self in the aggregates" is not the same as "there is no ontological self." That is all.
It's only if one proposes that all there is, are the aggregates, that "there is no self in the aggregates" is equivalent to "there is no self."

The reason why the Buddha was only concerned with what is not the self is because he realized that everything within range is not the self and there's simply nothing else to say about it because there is nothing else to say about. To assume anything beyond would be futile because it lies beyond range. There is the tendency to assume that there could be something beyond the all and that could possibly be a self of some kind but if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for such a statement, one would either have to admit that one is actually considering the aggregates and therefore assuming a self in the aggregates or one would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.
Sabba Sutta SN35.23 wrote:The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

binocular wrote:But if we are to believe that the aggregates are all there is, then nibbana either doesnt' exist, isn't real, cannot be attained, cannot serve as a goal, or is a mere aggregate.

We are not simply to believe that the aggregates are all there is but we have to understand that anything beyond the aggregates is beyond range and therefore nothing can be said about it. And nibbana isn't a thing like the aggregates and to compare it with the aggregates reveals a misunderstanding. Nibbana is described as the absence of something, generally the absence of greed, hatred and delusion. The absence of something is not a "thing" in itself, it lacks substance or existence of something. Like fire which has simply gone out. It hasn't become any-thing else but is simply absent.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:08 pm

danieLion wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Atta = soul = self
Anatta= not-self = no-self

It takes a self to declare there's no self. The Buddha used his self to declare the things that are not self. He knew taht declaring there is no self would be absurd.
Where is this self 'you' talk about? What does it consist of? Where did the Buddha say this?
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Judai » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:47 pm

Gaoxing wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Atta = soul = self
Anatta= not-self = no-self

It takes a self to declare there's no self. The Buddha used his self to declare the things that are not self. He knew taht declaring there is no self would be absurd.
Where is this self 'you' talk about? What does it consist of? Where did the Buddha say this?


The Buddha says that whatever is self does does not lead to suffering.
The Buddha also said that whatever is non self leads to suffering.

Then he proceeded to say that which is non self is suffering.

So ask the Buddha where the self is,ask the Buddha why he said that which has a self does not lead to suffering,while he said non self is suffering.
(if you need the quotes I can provide them)just ask.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:30 pm

Judai wrote:The Buddha says that whatever is self does does not lead to suffering.
The Buddha also said that whatever is non self leads to suffering.


Hmm.

MN 22 wrote:“Bhikkhus, you may well cling to that doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it. But do you see any such doctrine of self, bhikkhus?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Good, bhikkhus. I too do not see any doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it.
    "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]
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:33 pm

daverupa wrote:
Judai wrote:The Buddha says that whatever is self does does not lead to suffering.
The Buddha also said that whatever is non self leads to suffering.


Hmm.

MN 22 wrote:“Bhikkhus, you may well cling to that doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it. But do you see any such doctrine of self, bhikkhus?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Good, bhikkhus. I too do not see any doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it.



I wonder if "there is no self" fits the doctrine of self.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Judai » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:42 pm

daverupa wrote:
Judai wrote:The Buddha says that whatever is self does does not lead to suffering.
The Buddha also said that whatever is non self leads to suffering.


Hmm.

MN 22 wrote:“Bhikkhus, you may well cling to that doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it. But do you see any such doctrine of self, bhikkhus?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Good, bhikkhus. I too do not see any doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it.


yea the pali canon says many things,how do these passages go with your quote?

SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."
SN 22.68 "Bhikkhu you should abandon desire for whatever is non self"
SN:22.69 "Bhikkhu,you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self."

SN 22.59
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Blessed One was living in the deer park of Isipatana near Benares. There, indeed, the Blessed One addressed the group of five monks.
"Form, O monks, is not-self; if form were self, then form would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.'
"Feeling, O monks, is not-self; if feeling were self, then feeling would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since feeling is not-self, therefore feeling leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus.'
"Perception, O monks, is not-self; if perception were self, then perception would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since perception is not-self, therefore, perception leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus.'
"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to suffering and it does not obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my mental formations be thus, may my mental formations not be thus.'
"Consciousness, O monks, is not-self; if consciousness were self, then consciousness would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since consciousness is not-self, therefore, consciousness leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus.'
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:48 pm

Judai wrote:SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."


That and other similar quotes do not state that Atta does not exist. It merely says that 5 aggregates are not Atta and should not be considered to be Atta.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby reflection » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:21 pm

The aggregates encompass all. To those who think there is some room for a self/soul outside of aggregates, outside of the six senses - try to define it, or find it in your own experience. You'll find you can't, because such a thing does not exit. So by saying there is no self/soul in the aggregates, the Buddha said there is no self/soul at all. To take the aggregate that is the most clear: What sort of self/soul could exist without consciousness? Without consciousness you can't speak of such things.

I know Thanissaro defines some sort of consciousness outside of the aggregates, but in my eyes that is just being evasive. The suttas say all types of consciousness whatever fall under the aggregate. If there was something outside, surely the Buddha would make it exceptionally clear every time he taught anatta, but he didn't.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Judai wrote:The Buddha says that whatever is self does does not lead to suffering.
The Buddha also said that whatever is non self leads to suffering.


Hmm.

MN 22 wrote:“Bhikkhus, you may well cling to that doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it. But do you see any such doctrine of self, bhikkhus?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Good, bhikkhus. I too do not see any doctrine of self that would not arouse sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair in one who clings to it.



I wonder if "there is no self" fits the doctrine of self.

Yes, it does and it leads to suffering not to the end of suffering.
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Judai » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:38 pm

acinteyyo wrote:Yes, it does and it leads to suffering not to the end of suffering.

SN 22.59
"Form, O monks, is not-self; if form were self, then form would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.'

that which is self would not lead to suffering
that which is non self leads to suffering also non self is said to be suffering.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Judai » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:48 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Judai wrote:SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."


That and other similar quotes do not state that Atta does not exist. It merely says that 5 aggregates are not Atta and should not be considered to be Atta.


I agree with you
I believe its an old Buddhist Pudagala teaching.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:54 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Judai wrote:SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."


That and other similar quotes do not state that Atta does not exist. It merely says that 5 aggregates are not Atta and should not be considered to be Atta.
But let us not forget that the Buddha states that any idea of atta is derived from the khandhas.
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.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:02 am

Equating impermanence with suffering and no-self is for kindergarten classes where the illusion of a self, which does exist and is not denied by the Buddha, is very prominent. The Buddha does not deny the existence of illusions, he does not deny Zeus, the tooth fairy nor Father Christmas.

Impermanence is only an occasion to suffering and not the cause of suffering and is suffering when there still is a self present. This is ignorance and ignorance is the illusion of a self. The self is to be lost in order to find the relief from suffering. The Bikkhus the Buddha spoke with were still delusional therefore context is important but practice is much more important. Having a fundamentalists illusion can not eradicate suffering.

What seems to lack is the very basics of meditation practice. With a self present there is birth and death i.e. suffering, Samsara.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Judai wrote:SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."


That and other similar quotes do not state that Atta does not exist. It merely says that 5 aggregates are not Atta and should not be considered to be Atta.
But let us not forget that the Buddha states that any idea of atta is derived from the khandhas.


Right. What I believe was the intention is that we need to practice treating everything as not-self rather than get into metaphysical positions of Atta exists or doesn't. IMHO.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:24 am

Judai wrote:I believe its an old Buddhist Pudagala teaching.


I don't know what exactly you mean. There is an interesting sutta:

The Blessed One said, "And which is the burden? 'The five clinging-aggregates,' it should be said. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. This, monks, is called the burden.

"And which is the carrier of the burden? 'The person,' it should be said. This venerable one with such a name, such a clan-name. This is called the carrier of the burden.SN22.22


and
Then a certain brahman approached the Blessed One; having approached the Blessed One, he exchanged friendly greetings. After pleasant conversation had passed between them, he sat to one side. Having sat to one side, the brahman spoke to the Blessed One thus:

“Venerable Gotama, I am one of such a doctrine, of such a view: ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer.’”[1]

“I have not, brahman, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view. How, indeed, could one — moving forward by himself, moving back by himself [2] — say: ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’? What do you think, brahmin, is there an element or principle of initiating or beginning an action?”[3]

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“When there is an element of initiating, are initiating beings [4] clearly discerned?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, brahmin, when there is the element of initiating, initiating beings are clearly discerned; of such beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. [5]

“What do you think, brahmin, is there an element of exertion [6] ... is there an element of effort [7] ... is there an element of steadfastness [8] ... is there an element of persistence [9] ... is there an element of endeavoring?” [10]

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“When there is an element of endeavoring, are endeavoring beings clearly discerned?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, brahmin, when there is the element of endeavoring, endeavoring beings are clearly discerned; of such beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. I have not, brahmin, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view as yours. How, indeed, could one — moving forward by himself, moving back by himself — say ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’?”

“Superb, Venerable Gotama! Superb, Venerable Gotama! Venerable Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been turned upside down, revealing what had been concealed, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark: ‘Those who have eyes see forms!’ Just so, the Venerable Gotama has illuminated the Dhamma in various ways. I go to Venerable Gotama as refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the assembly of monks. From this day, for as long as I am endowed with breath, let Venerable Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge.”AN6.38
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:19 am

Context is very important.



1.
“Natthi attakāro, natthi parakāro.” Some people might have expected the Buddha to have approved highly of this naïve negative doctrine. The fact that he very succinctly and effectively refutes it is extremely instructive and of great significance for gaining a better understanding of the depth, subtlety, and holism of the Buddha’s actual teaching. Although the Buddha taught that there is no permanent, eternal, immutable, independently-existing core “self” (attā), he also taught that there is “action” or “doing”, and that it is therefore meaningful to speak of one who intends, initiates, sustains and completes actions and deeds, and who is therefore an ethically responsible and culpable being. It should be quite clear from its usage in this sutta, and from the argument of this sutta, that kāra in atta-kāra must be an agent noun, “doer, maker”: this is strongly entailed, for example, by the Buddha’s statement: “ārabbhavanto sattā paññāyanti, ayaṃ sattānaṃ attakāro ayaṃ parakāro”, “initiating beings are clearly discerned: of (such) beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer” (AN iii.338). (This is perhaps even clearer than the term hāra in bhāra-hāra meaning “bearer” (“burden-bearer”) in SN 22.22 (Bhāra Sutta: The Burden; PTS SN iii.25). SN 22.22, which describes the “bearer” of the “burden” of the “five clung-to aggregates” (pañc-upādāna-kkhandhā) as the “person” (puggala), is arguably very closely related to AN 6.38 in meaning and implications. See SN 22.22 and also SN 12.61, note 1.) Atta-kāra could mean that one motivates oneself, or that one acts upon oneself; para-kāra could refer to the atta-kāra as seen from a third-person perspective, or to one who acts upon another being or thing. In each one of these cases, there is necessarily an all-important moment of initiation of action (see also footnotes 2 and 3, below). As for the form of the term atta-kārī, which occurs in the title of this sutta, compare the expression: “yathā-vādī tathā-kārī”, “one who speaks thus, one who does thus”; or, in other words, “he does as he says”, “he practises what he preaches” (compare, for example, PTS DN iii.135, AN ii.24, Sn 359).
2.
Sayaṃ abhikkamanto: “moving forward by oneself”; sayaṃ paṭikkamanto: “moving backward by oneself”. Sayaṃ means “self; by oneself”. The example seems to suggest the action of someone who intentionally takes a step forward, and then intentionally takes a step back again. This example leads directly to the next statement, and thus emphasises the idea of initiating an action (see [3] below): when someone takes a step forward or backward, the origin and impetus of this action must, so to speak, come from “somewhere” or “something”. In other words, it really is an intentionally initiated action (kiriya, kriyā), and not merely the arbitrary mechanical “effect” of some prior mechanical “cause” in a deterministic chain of mechanical push-and-pull. The sense, here, can be better understood if one also consults AN 2.33 (Aññataro Brāhmaṇo: A Certain Brahmin; PTS AN i.62), where the Buddha describes himself thus: “I am one who asserts that which ought to be done... and one who asserts that which ought not to be done.” (“Kiriyavādī cāhaṃ... akiriyavādī cā'ti.”) There, it is made very clear that doing and non-doing are morally significant and morally effective. Similarly, in several other suttas, such as in MN 95 (Caṅkī Sutta; PTS MN ii.164), the Buddha is described thus: “The venerable recluse Gotama is truly one who asserts the doctrine of kamma, one who asserts the doctrine of what ought to be done. . .” (“Samaṇo khalu bho gotamo kammavādī kiriyavādī. . .” (MN ii.167).) Again, in MN 71 (Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta; PTS MN i.481), the Buddha humorously recounts that in the last ninety-one aeons, no ājivaka, or “fatalist” who denies the power of volitional acts, has ever gone to heaven, except one, who happened to follow the doctrine of kamma and of morally effective deeds (“sopāsi kammavādī kiriyavādī”, MN i.483).
3.
Ārabbha-dhātū. Dhātū can mean “constituent element, property, natural condition, state, root principle”. Ārabbha (also spelt ārambha) has the primary meaning of “beginning, undertaking”. In Sanskrit, the verbal root ā-rabh means “to take hold of; gain a footing; undertake, begin”; and in both Sanskrit and Pali ārambha has the meaning of “beginning, origin, commencement; inception of energy”; it can also mean “effort, exertion”. The commentary glosses ārambha-dhātū with “ārabhanavasena pavattavīriyaṃ”, “the energy of setting something in motion by means of the power of beginning or initiating it” (PTS Mp iii.366).
4.
Ārabbhavanto sattā. This phrase is in the plural.
5.
The sense here would seem to be as follows: We clearly discern initiated actions (in ourselves and in others); so we clearly discern that there are initiating beings who initiate those actions; and the “self-doer” and “other-doer” are just particular beings amongst that set of beings (who may be described, for example, from a subjective or objective perspective, respectively).
6.
Nikkama-dhātu. This term, and the four terms that follow, could be translated with a wide variety of different nuances; yet, the overall integrity of sense that is implied would remain quite clear and consistent throughout. Together with the already discussed ārabbha-dhātu, they make a set of six inter-related terms. What is in question here, most essentially, is the intentional attitude and effort of conscious, volitional beings.
7.
Parakkama-dhātu.
8.
Thāma-dhātu.
9.
Ṭhiti-dhātu.
10.
Upakkama-dhātu.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby binocular » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:34 am

acinteyyo wrote:The reason why the Buddha was only concerned with what is not the self is because he realized that everything within range is not the self and there's simply nothing else to say about it because there is nothing else to say about. To assume anything beyond would be futile because it lies beyond range. There is the tendency to assume that there could be something beyond the all and that could possibly be a self of some kind but if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for such a statement, one would either have to admit that one is actually considering the aggregates and therefore assuming a self in the aggregates or one would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.
Sabba Sutta SN35.23 wrote:The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

binocular wrote:But if we are to believe that the aggregates are all there is, then nibbana either doesnt' exist, isn't real, cannot be attained, cannot serve as a goal, or is a mere aggregate.

We are not simply to believe that the aggregates are all there is but we have to understand that anything beyond the aggregates is beyond range and therefore nothing can be said about it. And nibbana isn't a thing like the aggregates and to compare it with the aggregates reveals a misunderstanding. Nibbana is described as the absence of something, generally the absence of greed, hatred and delusion. The absence of something is not a "thing" in itself, it lacks substance or existence of something. Like fire which has simply gone out. It hasn't become any-thing else but is simply absent.

In that case, why claim that there is no ontological self?


reflection wrote:The aggregates encompass all.

Do you have a canonical reference for this?


To those who think there is some room for a self/soul outside of aggregates, outside of the six senses - try to define it, or find it in your own experience. You'll find you can't, because such a thing does not exit.

If we don't find it, it could be because it doesn't exist, or because we are not enlightened / are in maya. In fact, that is the line of reasoning that some Hindu schools give for how come that an ordinary (!) person cannot perceive the soul.

The argument that simply because an unenlightened person doesn't see something, this means that said thing doesn't exist: that's very poor reasoning.


I know Thanissaro defines some sort of consciousness outside of the aggregates,

Please provide a reference where he says that.
binocular
 
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