question on no-self

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: question on no-self

Post by SarathW » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:18 am

mranonymous wrote:If there's no soul thatt gets reborn, is it possible at death for each bit of kamma to split off and and form a seperate being?
There are no beings as such.
Only the ignorant Citta continues.

Just observe your thoughts and see how it change from one thought to another.
If something change all the time, can you call it a being?
Can you split your thought into two parts?

Just look at a ticking clock.
Is that the same clock all the time? No
But we say it is the same clock in conventional terms.

Is self view, a self fulfilling prophecy?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: question on no-self

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:00 am

I find the translation, “Descending into the mother's womb (mātukucchismiṃ okkamissatha),” rather misleading. It might perhaps make sense if talking about the Bodhisatta passing away from the Tusita realm and taking rebirth in the human realm, but what about the case where a being escapes from the lower realms into the human realm? Wouldn't that be ascending into the womb?
Maurice Walshe translates as “Having entered the mother's womb,” which is better, but I would prefer to refer to consciousness, “Having arisen in the mother's womb.”

Okkamati in the PTS.

Translation is a real art form. When reading any translation, we need to have a broad knowledge of related discourses and Buddhist doctrine to avoid falling into error.

When reading the translations from the 1890's by T.W. Rhys Davids, or even more so by his wife C.A.F. Rhys Davids, or other translators from a different era, we have to be especially careful.

I am not a Pāli scholar, so my translations may sometimes be quite wrong, but I always try my best to convey the essence, rather than the literal meaning.
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Re: question on no-self

Post by SarathW » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:27 am

Citta (consciousness) is not subject to space and time.
So there is no time delay between one thought moments to the next.
(Choti Citta and Patisandi Citta)
No past, present ,future, no ups no downs or sideways.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: question on no-self

Post by mranonymous » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:19 am

santa100 wrote:
mranonymous wrote: If there's no soul thatt gets reborn, is it possible at death for each bit of kamma to split off and and form a seperate being?
If that was true, then there'd be some problem. Say, Mr. GB countless lifetimes ago created some wholesome kamma and some unwholesome one. The good chunk then splitted off and became the "good" branches of G1, G2,...Gn in subsequent lifetimes; while the bad chunk became the "bad" branches of B1, B2,...Bn in subsequent lifetimes. The last iteration of Gn culminated in the highest attainment of Siddhartha Gautama, while the last iteration of Bn resulted in...Devadatta. Here's the main problem: the "G" series would only experience the good fruits, not the bad ones; while the "B" series would experience the reverse; needless to say, this is not the case in real life where individuals experience both the good and bad fruits throughout their life. Beside, if "each bit" of kamma splitted off and form a separate being, everyone would've started off fresh with just 1 single good card or bad card in the next lifetime, this would never accumulate enough merits or de-merits for one to eventually become the Buddha or...Devadatta..
But then couldn't other bits of good kamma from other beings combine with the bits of bad kamma?

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Re: question on no-self

Post by pegembara » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:17 am

lyndon taylor wrote:So my memory of yesterday is all made up, a complete illusion??
Who is that in the mirror?
What do you think?

A dog or a small child looks into a mirror and thinks there is another being inside.
A grownup sees the image and sees himself in the mirror.
An enlightened person doesn't see himself in the mirror. He knows that which stares back is not who he really is.
Just that appearance alone is! In seeing just the seen, no seer.
“….Following the teaching of the Buddha, the practice is to know the known. To know what? What do Buddhists know? What does the “One Who Knows” know, anyway?

“The One Who Knows” knows that these changing conditions are not-self. There is not any eternal or soul-like quality, no substance in these things that one could call a permanent possession. “The One Who Knows” knows that if it arises, it passes away. You don’t have to know any more to be a Buddha.

Being the Buddha means knowing by observing, not by believing the Scriptures or me. See for yourself.

Just try to find a condition that arises that doesn’t pass away. Is there something that’s born that doesn’t die? Be that Buddha who knows, by putting energy into experiencing your life here and now, not by getting lost in the delusion of the idea of being Buddha – ‘I’m the Buddha; I know it all.’ Sometimes desire even takes the form of a Buddha. Actually, there is no one who knows, and to conceive of being Buddha is not just being Buddha….”

From “Listening to the mind” by Ajahn Sumedho
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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Re: question on no-self

Post by santa100 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:31 pm

mranonymous wrote: But then couldn't other bits of good kamma from other beings combine with the bits of bad kamma?
Then there still be some big issue: if Mr "GB" created G1, G2, B1, B2 good/bad deeds, and this got splitted into Mr/Ms K1 and K2 in future life. What and how do we decide which combinations of kamma to distribute? For K1 and K2 could have any combo: G1, G2, B1, B2, G1G2, G1B1, G1B2, G2B1, G2B2, G1G2B1, G1G2B2, etc.. Imgine Mr "GB" created millions of good/bad deeds in his life and he'd get reborn into K number of persons where K > 1, we'd face a combinatoric nightmare. Beside, if GB committed one of the Five Heinous crimes, would all K number of his incarnations suffer the most terrible punishments in the Avici Hell, or a few could get away with it and enjoy sensual pleasures up there in the Deva realms? You get the picture..

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Re: question on no-self

Post by Anagarika » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:51 pm

I recall before becoming a vegetarian that ground hamburger beef sold in the supermarkets was actually parts and pieces of over 100 cattle...bits and pieces all ground up in huge bins, and then separated into packages of ground meat. Eecchh.

I'm enjoying this discussion on the fragmenting of kamma, but have not seen in my years of poor scholarship any suggestion in the suttas of a fragmentation of kamma, akin to sundry DNA being split and replicating in various beings through time. When the Buddha meditated on his past lives while in jhana, it seems to me that the idea is that these past lives were rebirths from prior whole consciousness existence, rather than fragmentary pieces of kammic deeds by multiple disparate former lives reincorporated as pieces and parts into a singular reborn samsaric hamburger... My sense is it is whole kammic experiences embodied in one life, that, like the mango seed, evolve into a rebirth that is part and parcel, in whole, of a previous life form. The seed has the kammic DNA from many prior seeds, but it is one distinct seed that becomes the mango sapling.

I'm going to have another cup of coffee and think on this some more....

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