not self

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Billy5000
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not self

Post by Billy5000 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:45 pm

Buddhism doesn't say there is no self, it says there is no permanent self right? Buddha spoke of what is not self, not about what is self. Please correct me if I'm wrong because this does not seem profound or new to me. I have never believed there is a permanent self. Just some thoughts, feelings, sensations etc coming and going. Who actually believes there is a permanent self besides the billions of christians and muslims etc who believe in some kind of soul and after life. If one is an atheist then Buddhist teachings seem perfectly natural.

SarathW
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Re: not self

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:08 pm

Buddha said the ignorance exist.
We identify ignorance as self.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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dhammacoustic
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Re: not self

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:35 pm

The five khandhas are empty of self.

At one time in Sāvatthi, Venerable Radhā went to the Blessed One, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting, he said to the Blessed One: “Not-self, not-self, I hear said Venerable. What pray tell does not-self mean?”

“Just this Radhā; form is not-self, sensations are not-self, perceptions are not-self, formations are not-self, consciousness is not-self. The instructed noble disciple, Radhā, sees thus, and turns away from form, from sensations, from perceptions, from formations, from consciousness. Turning away, he loses passion, losing passion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge; 'RELEASED'; birth is destroyed, the Brahman life has been fulfilled, what must be done has been done, there is no beyond after this world.”

─ SN 23.17
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

Dinsdale
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Re: not self

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:24 am

Billy5000 wrote:If one is an atheist then Buddhist teachings seem perfectly natural.
That's right, there is no "soul" in Buddhist teaching. Though some Buddhists like soul music. ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Dan74
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Re: not self

Post by Dan74 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:39 am

Billy5000 wrote:Buddhism doesn't say there is no self, it says there is no permanent self right? Buddha spoke of what is not self, not about what is self. Please correct me if I'm wrong because this does not seem profound or new to me. I have never believed there is a permanent self. Just some thoughts, feelings, sensations etc coming and going. Who actually believes there is a permanent self besides the billions of christians and muslims etc who believe in some kind of soul and after life. If one is an atheist then Buddhist teachings seem perfectly natural.
Hi Billy :hello:

We don't just believe in a self, we actively identify with and invest in so many things. I believe that I am a mathematician, a father, a husband, a Buddhist, etc etc. All these 'hats' or identities furnish a sense of self, never mind the belief. We also hang on and depend on them, on our beliefs, personalities, memories, on circumstances of our lives. So it is not so much a matter of belief, we deeply feel that there is a 'me' and 'mine', and we are firmly invested in these. And when one of them is taken away, we suffer.
_/|\_

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The Thinker
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Re: not self

Post by The Thinker » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:57 am

This is just a personal reflection, not the Dharma,

We are all individuals, animals, species, capable of mastering our cravings, but before birth and after death, I contemplate that we are all part of the Dark matter or all part of the same family of the substance of the universe. We are one! :namaste:
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: not self

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:49 pm

Spiny wrote:
That's right, there is no "soul" in Buddhist teaching. Though some Buddhists like soul music. ;)"
Please note there is filet of sole and there are shoe soles. Shoes can also be sold, and resoled. Then there is "old Sol" and "Ole Solo Mio",but, alas, no "soul". I am "Anatta" kidding you. Hard for many to believe, but true, none the less. :buddha1:

Now that you have this soul concept down pat, recommend you closely examine "emptiness" and tell us what you think. :coffee:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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cobwith
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Re: not self

Post by cobwith » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:21 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:
[color=#EA0000 wrote:"Buddha?!?!?!"[/color]]
what must be done has been done, there is no beyond after this world.”
─ SN 23.17
I could not help but comment your translation of SN 23.17.

Sāvatthi­nidānaṃ. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho āyasmā rādho bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: “‘anattā, anattā’ti, bhante, vuccati. Katamo nu kho, bhante, anattā”ti? “Rūpaṃ kho, rādha, anattā, vedanā anattā, saññā anattā, saṅkhārā anattā, viññāṇaṃ anattā. ‘khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyāti pajānāmī’ti.

Your way to translate nāparaṃ itthattāyāti pajānāmī’ti as 'there is no beyond after this world' is quite dubious.

Please, see below some other translations:

"I have nothing more to wish'.” Sister Uppalavana
"There is nothing further for the sake of this world." Thanissaro
"There is no more for this state of being." Bodhi
Last edited by cobwith on Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: not self

Post by cobwith » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:22 pm

While I am at it:
Billy5000 wrote:Buddha spoke of what is not self, not about what is self.
Not so sure:

Self is a pure product of Paticcasamupada (or Dependent Origination). It is clearly defined in SN 22.47-Samanupassana Sutta

He ("the wrong guy") assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.
"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling.
"He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception.
"He assumes fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications.
"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"Thus, both this assumption & the understanding, 'I am,' occur to him. And so it is with reference to the understanding 'I am' that there is the appearance of the five faculties — eye, ear, nose, tongue, & body (the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, & touch).


All of the bolded words above are part of the links that belong to Paticcasamuppada; namely Form (rupa) in Nama-Rupa, Feeling and Perception as mental determinations of the Sankhara link, verbal fabrications (a.k.a. determinations) of the Sankhara link, and Consciousness.


Self ("I am") is a wrong view created by the dependently originated Avijja, Sankhara, Viññana and Rupa.
“... this way of regarding things and the notion ‘I am’ have not vanished in him. As ‘I am’ has not vanished, there takes place a descent of the five faculties" (translation-Bodhi)

The appearance of the five faculties (salayatana) triggers the rest of the forward (anulomam) links of Paticcasamupada (namely contact, feeling, craving, holding.)
Then the motion reverses itself in a backward move (patilomam) towards Viññana; (viz. holding (upadana)>craving (tanha)>feeling (vedana)>contact (phasso)>six sheres of senses (salayatana)>nama-rupa>viññana), where it is said that it stops and turns back at nama-rupa (SN 12.65;) from where the anulomam motion resumes itself in an endless reinforcement (anulomam/patilomam).

Then the self is viewed (by the even wronger guys) as if it is produced by the Khandas; due to this Paticcasamuppada (dependently arising)/paticcasamuppana (dependently arisen phenomena) moves.

-------
Buddha wrote: "If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know that, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."
MN 72 Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
self (substance) is like fire; running on the wood of Nama-Rupa. Get the wood out, and there will be no more fire (unbound). Get rid of the dependently arising Nama-Rupa, and the illusory self will go out (unbound).

-----

As far as "Self" (essence) is concerned [a Self that would approach the Atman of the vedic Brahmins,) the all logic behind Buddha's teaching is to show that there is nothing in this world that can relate to a Self (essence) or a self (substance/whose contrary is anatta - anatta means "without self," "void of self").
That does not mean that a "Self" cannot exist. Only that what is called (given a name - sankhya) in this world pertains only to this world. The rest is out of range.
What one must understand, is that anything called in this world is a fabricated (determined) view upon condition (avijja).
Hence, the "Self" of the Buddhists, if it exists, should rather be called "?", or not be called at all (no naming); and be subject to no condition.
Buddha wrote: The Buddha:

As a flame overthrown by the force of the wind goes to an end that cannot be classified,
so the sage free from naming activity goes to an end that cannot be classified.

Upasiva:

He who has reached the end: Does he not exist,
or is he for eternity free from dis-ease?
Please, sage, declare this to me
as this phenomenon has been known by you.

The Buddha:

One who has reached the end has no criterion by which anyone would say that — for him it doesn't exist.
(other translation: Gone out, he cannot be reckoned, the words he was spoken about are not present))
When all phenomena are done away with, all means of speaking are done away with as well.
Snp 5.6: Upasiva-manava-puccha
Also MN 72 SN 44.1 and the Avyakata-samyutta.
Last edited by cobwith on Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:34 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Pinetree
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Re: not self

Post by Pinetree » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:05 pm

There are practical ways to understand noself:

- what I like isn't necessarily good for me and what I dislike isn't necessarily bad for me

- I have no control over the mind, the life happenings, etc
(if I am happy, I cannot force myself to become unhappy, and if I am unhappy, I cannot force myself to become happy. Also, stilling the mind for even few minutes is quite a challenge for most of us)

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dhammacoustic
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Re: not self

Post by dhammacoustic » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:35 pm

cobwith wrote:I could not help but comment your translation of SN 23.17.
Right on, thanks.

(not my translation though, quoted from one of my pdf files)
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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cobwith
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Re: not self

Post by cobwith » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:50 pm

dhammacoustic wrote: not my translation though, quoted from one of my pdf files
Not an excuse!
You will recite two "pater" and six "ave Maria" for your punishment.
Come on; go to the corner!
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Pinetree
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Re: not self

Post by Pinetree » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:43 am

That does not mean that a "Self" cannot exist. Only that what is called (given a name - sankhya) in this world pertains only to this world. The rest is out of range.
What one must understand, is that anything called in this world is a fabricated (determined) view upon condition (avijja).
Hence, the "Self" of the Buddhists, if it exists, should rather be called "?", or not be called at all (no naming); and be subject to no condition.
So how does this translate into English ?

My understanding is, not sure if it's wrong: if a soul would exist, it cannot be known ?

But to be accurate, we should say we don't have proof that the soul has been known yet.

Because I've been thinking about this: if we have a video camera, it can see the world (actually light), but it cannot see itself. And merely this fact does not imply that the essence of the camera does not exist.

And the fact that the video camera is not self-aware doesn't seem to hinder the point I
want to make, it just avoids unnecessary complications.

***

Talking about essence, can't we say that our soul is desire (the skill of clinging ) ?

Isn't this what the dependent origination is talking about ?

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Re: not self

Post by cobwith » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:36 pm

Pinetree wrote:So how does this translate into English ?
My understanding is, not sure if it's wrong: if a soul would exist, it cannot be known ?
Having to deal with english as a second language, as well as with the idiosyncrasy of the Pali idiom, makes it hard for me to formulate clearly something that is, for the least, inferential.
But you got it allright.
Pinetree wrote:Because I've been thinking about this: if we have a video camera, it can see the world (actually light), but it cannot see itself. And merely this fact does not imply that the essence of the camera does not exist.
To refer to your example (viewed under a different angle,) the light is not able to talk about the attributes of the camera. That what Buddha seems to say. Might the camera exist or not.
Pinetree wrote:Talking about essence, can't we say that our soul is desire (the skill of clinging) ?
This is the view of Brahmanic vedism (myth of the creation of the world by Brahma).
"Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit."

Buddha does not talk about a soul that acts upon desire, but about suffering that is acted upon by ignorance.
Pinetree wrote:Isn't this what the dependent origination is talking about ?
Dependent origination is talking about how, through delusion, we (the wrong guys) arrive to the conclusion that there is a ("substantial") self and, how we reinforce this delusion through contacts.

On the side, the same, or some other wrong guys, think that we can classify (sankhya) an (essential) Self with the properties of this world; while this "stuff", if it exists, cannot be classified with the properties of this world.

This is my humble opinion (upon Buddha's own sayings;) and you all know how humble I am.

Metta.
Last edited by cobwith on Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: not self

Post by Thisperson » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:57 pm

Pinetree wrote:Talking about essence, can't we say that our soul is desire (the skill of clinging ) ?

Isn't this what the dependent origination is talking about ?
There's no "me" out there that is craving. Craving leads to the fabrication of a sense of "me". It's a causal process. A process which is dependent on conditions, hence the term dependent origination. Being that it is dependent on conditions, the process can end.

The Loka Sutta may be helpful in understanding.
Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises ear-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises nose-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises tongue-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises body-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the intellect & mental qualities there arises intellect-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. Now, from the remainderless cessation & fading away of that very craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering. This is the ending of the world."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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dhammacoustic
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Re: not self

Post by dhammacoustic » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:09 pm

Pinetree wrote:My understanding is, not sure if it's wrong: if a soul would exist, it cannot be known ?

But to be accurate, we should say we don't have proof that the soul has been known yet.
The ever-dynamic five khandhas are empty of self or anything pertaining to a self, I believe that's all one needs to understand.

Monks, whatever contemplatives or brahmans who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them.
─ SN 22.47

Image

Those who regard non-essence as essence and see essence as non-essence, don't get to the essence, ranging about in wrong resolves. But those who know essence as essence, and non-essence as non-essence, get to the essence, ranging about in right resolves.
─ The Buddha, Dhp 11-12
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: not self

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:25 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:Those who regard non-essence as essence and see essence as non-essence, don't get to the essence, ranging about in wrong resolves. But those who know essence as essence, and non-essence as non-essence, get to the essence, ranging about in right resolves.
─ The Buddha, Dhp 11-12
So what is the "essence" here? An actual essence or the essential nature of things?
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Re: not self

Post by dhammacoustic » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:54 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:So what is the "essence" here? An actual essence or the essential nature of things?
The essence is stillness - what I refer to as 'absolute'. An arahā (one who is liberated by wisdom) has attained it as a result of living by the Majjhimā paṭipadā, and they cannot fall, because the state is absolute (unconditional).

The rest are dependent on external phenomena, which means there is motion, hence causality.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: not self

Post by SarathW » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:01 pm

The Thinker wrote:This is just a personal reflection, not the Dharma,

We are all individuals, animals, species, capable of mastering our cravings, but before birth and after death, I contemplate that we are all part of the Dark matter or all part of the same family of the substance of the universe. We are one! :namaste:
Thinking "we are one", also a self view.
However you are in a higher level .
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: not self

Post by Thisperson » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:05 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
dhammacoustic wrote:Those who regard non-essence as essence and see essence as non-essence, don't get to the essence, ranging about in wrong resolves. But those who know essence as essence, and non-essence as non-essence, get to the essence, ranging about in right resolves.
─ The Buddha, Dhp 11-12
So what is the "essence" here? An actual essence or the essential nature of things?
If I may throw in my own two cents, I believe essence in this context refers to the holding of views in regard to what is essential vs non essential. In other words, getting caught up in the world and pursuing worldly things vs renunciation and pursuit of the Dhamma.

See this link for further explanation.
http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/ve ... ?verse=011

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