Unconditioned

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:17 pm

Mahānidāna Sutta (DN 15) wrote: "To what extent, Ananda, does one delineate when delineating a self? Either delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, delineating a self formless and finite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, delineating a self formless and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and finite, either delineates it as possessed of form and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and infinite, either delineates it as possessed of form and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and infinite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and finite, either delineates it as formless and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and infinite, either delineates it as formless and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and infinite obsesses him.

"To what extent, Ananda, does one not delineate when not delineating a self? Either not delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one does not delineate that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, not delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one does not delineate that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, not delineating a self formless and finite, one does not delineate that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, not delineating a self formless and infinite, one does not delineate that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as possessed of form and finite, does not delineate it as possessed of form and finite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as possessed of form and infinite, does not delineate it as possessed of form and infinite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and infinite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and infinite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as formless and finite, does not delineate it as formless and finite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and finite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and finite does not obsess him.

"The one who, when not delineating a self, does not delineate it as formless and infinite, does not delineate it as formless and infinite in the present, nor does he delineate it as of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and infinite [in the future/after death], nor does he believe that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and infinite does not obsess him.

[...]

"As for the person who says, 'Feeling is not the self: My self is oblivious [to feeling],' he should be addressed as follows: 'My friend, where nothing whatsoever is sensed (experienced) at all, would there be the thought, "I am"?'"

"No, lord."


"Thus in this manner, Ananda, one does not see fit to assume that 'Feeling is not my self: My self is oblivious [to feeling].'

"As for the person who says, 'Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious [to feeling], but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling,' he should be addressed as follows: 'My friend, should feelings altogether and every way stop without remainder, then with feeling completely not existing, owing to the cessation of feeling, would there be the thought, "I am"?'"

"No, lord."


"Thus in this manner, Ananda, one does not see fit to assume that 'Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious [to feeling], but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling.'

User avatar
katavedi
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:42 pm

Re: Unconditioned

Post by katavedi » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:59 pm

Nicolas wrote:...
:goodpost:


Also:
MN 2 wrote:“This is how he attends unwisely: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what did I become in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I become in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the present thus: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where will it go?’

“When he attends unwisely in this way, one of six views arises in him. The view ‘self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘no self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive not-self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with not-self’ arises in him as true and established; or else he has some such view as this: ‘It is this self of mine that speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions; but this self of mine is permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and it will endure as long as eternity.’ This speculative view, bhikkhus, is called the thicket of views, the wilderness of views, the contortion of views, the vacillation of views, the fetter of views. Fettered by the fetter of views, the untaught ordinary person is not freed from birth, ageing, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; he is not freed from suffering, I say.
“But, Gotamī, when you know of certain things: ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to attachment; to diminution, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to socializing; to the arousing of energy, not to indolence; to simple living, not to luxurious living’ – of such things you can be certain: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’”

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:51 pm

davidbrainerd wrote: Rather, the fact that craving is said to be the cause of conditioned existence is the clue that there has to be an unconditioned and true self, because if there wasn't, then there would have been nothing to start the first round of craving that brought the conditioned into existence to begin with.

Dhammapada 347 "Those who are lust-infatuated fall back into the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This, too, the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all suffering and renounce the world."

If this is how it happens in between one life in samsara and another, why not at the beginning of the cycle? At some point craving first arose, the craving to be something other and alien to one's true nature, and the unconditioned self fell into the trap of samsara.
Moḷiyaphagguna Sutta (SN 12.12) wrote: "Lord, who craves?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'craves.' If I were to say 'craves,' then 'Who craves?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes craving?' And the valid answer is, 'From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.'"
Taṇhā Sutta (AN 10.62) wrote: “Bhikkhus, it is said: ‘A first point of craving for existence, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no craving for existence and afterward it came into being.’ Still, craving for existence is seen to have a specific condition.

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:37 pm

chownah wrote: Davidbrainerd,
For all I know you are right and I actuallly do have some "true self". Heck, maybe I have two or three "true selves"...I don't know. I think the question to explore is what did the buddha have to say about self. If the buddha wanted to teach that we have "true selves" then he did a very bad job of teaching us that....I think he would have just came out and said it...but he didn't. The buddha claimed to only teach about the end of dukkha....he claimed that if it helped to end dukkha he taught it and if it did not help in the end of dukkha then he did not teach it. So...to me, since the buddha did in fact have alot to say about the idea of self it seems that what the buddha actually said about self is what the buddha figured we needed to know about self to help us end dukkha....and....if there was some idea about self that would not help us to end dukkha then he did not teach that. Since the buddha did not teach about a "true self" then I guess that this means that the concept of "true self" will not help us to end dukkha...or...it is just incorrect.
If there is no true self there is no dukka. Everything is nothingness then like in Mahayana seems and since nothingness cannot experience suffering there is no suffering to be ended. So Buddha wasted his time teaching how to end a dukka that never was. He should have just said "nothing is real, you are not real, so your suffering is not real, the end."

But instead he says "I wandered through many lives seeking the house-builder...finally I have found you house-builder and you will not build me another house...."

Suffering is being stuck in the cycle of rebirth. The end of suffering is escaping it. If there is nothing to escape from the cycle then there was nothing in the cycle to begin with. In which case, since you're not real anyway, just be a nihilist.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:16 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
If there is no true self there is no dukka. .
Do tell us what this "true self" does. Does it act? Is it aware? Does it feel? Does it know? Does it gain knowledge? Does it change?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:
If there is no true self there is no dukka. .
Do tell us what this "true self" does. Does it act? Is it aware? Does it feel? Does it know? Does it gain knowledge? Does it change?
You mean, Does it act/feel/know/or be conscious of phenomenom in the phenominal/physical world without first craving for samsaric existence prompting the house-builder to build it a 'house' in samsara with which to do such things? I think that would be negatory. It does one of two things in its natural state: it is either content to just be what it is, or it craves phenominal existence.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:51 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:
If there is no true self there is no dukka. .
Do tell us what this "true self" does. Does it act? Is it aware? Does it feel? Does it know? Does it gain knowledge? Does it change?
You mean, Does it act/feel/know/or be conscious of phenomenom in the phenominal/physical world without first craving for samsaric existence prompting the house-builder to build it a 'house' in samsara with which to do such things? I think that would be negatory. It does one of two things in its natural state: it is either content to just be what it is, or it craves phenominal existence.
So, your "true self" chooses to act, and it is given to craving. Obviously, it is aware, conscious and it changes.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 1240
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:13 am

Why are you talking of a true self? A dream…

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:16 am

So, your "true self" chooses to act, and it is given to craving. Obviously, it is aware, conscious and it changes.
Not conscious in the sense of the consciousness that is an aggregate, however, since that one is the operation of the 5 senses, as Budhha describes the aggregate "consciousness" as eye-c, ear-c, nose-c, tongue-c, touch-c, things which obviously require a body. In English we use the same word 'consciouness' in too many ways.

Changing internally is not a problem because part of Buddha's proof that each aggregate is not the self is that it lacks the ability to control its own essential property. For example he says Form cannot morph itself into any form it wants. Therefore Form lacks control of its own essential property, i.e. form, and Buddha concludes it therefore cannot be the self. But the essential property of the true self is will, and it can change its own will, and is therefore not ruled out from being the self on the basis of lacking the ability to control its own essential property. (I have seen people confuse this in some of the intro to Buddhism type books as if Buddha said self must be able to control every other thing, like a self that is not form must be able to morph form, but this is confusing his argument that the self must be able to control its own essential property.)

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 1240
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:28 am

Awaken from the true self…

A matter of will, which is often unsatisfactory.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:28 am

But the essential property of the true self is will, and it can change its own will
Is the will conditioned?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

chownah
Posts: 7307
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Unconditioned

Post by chownah » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:35 am

davidbrainerd wrote: But the essential property of the true self is will, and it can change its own will, and is therefore not ruled out from being the self on the basis of lacking the ability to control its own essential property.
That "the essential property of the true self is will" is not found in the buddha's teachings. It is something that you have fabricated. Perhaps you are getting confused as to what is your fabrication and what is the buddha's teaching.

Also, with respect to your fabricated views, if your idea is that "the essential property of the true self is will" then it seems that you are saying that the essential properto of the "true self" is intention....and do you remember that the buddha taught that intention is kamma? So it seems that you are saying that kamma is the "true self". Is this what you are saying?
chownah

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:58 am

chownah wrote:Also, with respect to your fabricated views, if your idea is that "the essential property of the true self is will" then it seems that you are saying that the essential properto of the "true self" is intention....and do you remember that the buddha taught that intention is kamma? So it seems that you are saying that kamma is the "true self". Is this what you are saying?
chownah
AN 5.57 "There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?...[5] 'I am the owner of my actions [kamma], heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.'"

Its interesting to me in light of your question about intention being kamma that he says we should often reflect that "I am born of my kamma." So let's think about that.

First, let's assume there is no unconditioned/unborn self, that there is only conditioned/conventional self. What comes first, the conventional being or kamma? In other words, without an unborn self, a conventional being would have to be born before having any kamma, which means that in at least the first birth it was not true that "I am born of my kamma." That could only apply from the second birth onwards.

Now, let's analyze it with an unconditioned/unborn self, whose nature is will. So, as you say, the nature of will is to generate intention, and intention is kamma. So now we have kamma coming first and the first birth being caused by kamma, so it is true even in the first birth that "I am born of my kamma."

That's pretty impressive. Then we also have the statement 'I am the owner of my kamma.' With nothing existing but only a conventional being we have a different conventional self in each life with no self existing at all in the intermediate state between death and rebirth, so there is no 'I' to own that kamma between death and birth, so there is no 'I' to be "born of my kamma" as a result of owning it. I think the true self having the ability to create kamma actually works, and it explains how the cycle of rebirth ever got started to begin with. With only a conventional self it seems everything falls apart.

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:18 am

Why do you assume a "first birth"?
Avijjā Sutta (AN 10.61) wrote:Bhikkhus, this is said: ‘A first point of ignorance, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no ignorance and afterward it came into being.’ Still, ignorance is seen to have a specific condition.
Taṇhā Sutta (AN 10.62) wrote:“Bhikkhus, it is said: ‘A first point of craving for existence, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no craving for existence and afterward it came into being.’ Still, craving for existence is seen to have a specific condition.

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Unconditioned

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:40 am

Bhikkhus, it is said: [begin quote of someone else]‘A first point of craving for existence, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no craving for existence and afterward it came into being.’[end quote of someone else] Still, craving for existence is seen to have a specific condition.

I say, bhikkhus, that craving for existence has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment.
This reminds me of "You have heard it said an eye for an eye, but I say...." Buddha is quoting what someone else (from Mahavira, Brahmanism?) says in order to disagree. Paraphrase: "It is said that there is no first point or beginning of craving for existence but that it just always was, but obviously it has a specific condition, so I say it is not without a nutriment (and what requires a nutriment cannot arise without the nutriment coming beforehand)." In other words, (paraphrase) "I disagree. It does have a beginning."

chownah
Posts: 7307
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Unconditioned

Post by chownah » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:22 am

davidbrainerd wrote: AN 5.57 "There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?...[5] 'I am the owner of my actions [kamma], heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.'"

Its interesting to me in light of your question about intention being kamma that he says we should often reflect that "I am born of my kamma." So let's think about that.

First, let's assume there is no unconditioned/unborn self, that there is only conditioned/conventional self. What comes first, the conventional being or kamma? In other words, without an unborn self, a conventional being would have to be born before having any kamma, which means that in at least the first birth it was not true that "I am born of my kamma." That could only apply from the second birth onwards.

Now, let's analyze it with an unconditioned/unborn self, whose nature is will. So, as you say, the nature of will is to generate intention, and intention is kamma. So now we have kamma coming first and the first birth being caused by kamma, so it is true even in the first birth that "I am born of my kamma."

That's pretty impressive. Then we also have the statement 'I am the owner of my kamma.' With nothing existing but only a conventional being we have a different conventional self in each life with no self existing at all in the intermediate state between death and rebirth, so there is no 'I' to own that kamma between death and birth, so there is no 'I' to be "born of my kamma" as a result of owning it. I think the true self having the ability to create kamma actually works, and it explains how the cycle of rebirth ever got started to begin with. With only a conventional self it seems everything falls apart.
Except for your first paragraph and one sentence in your second paragraph all that you say is your fabrication. None of it is the teaching of the buddha. I'll repeat what I posted before: "That "the essential property of the true self is will" is not found in the buddha's teachings. It is something that you have fabricated. Perhaps you are getting confused as to what is your fabrication and what is the buddha's teaching." And then I'll add that it seems that you keep fabricating your own ideas and then seemingly think that this is what the buddha taught....in this post you have done more of the same. I am not going to try to point out all the things that seem to be your misconceptions and then discuss the meaning of your fabrications. That seems to be what some posters have done but I don't want to take so much of my time to discuss your fabrications...I think discussing what the buddha taught is a better use of my time.

If you want to fabricate stuff like this then that is ok with me....I have absolutely no problem with that...no problem whatsoever. I just think it is best if you and everyone else realizes that these are just your fabrications and not what the buddha taught.
chownah

Dinsdale
Posts: 5602
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:01 am

davidbrainerd wrote:But the essential property of the true self is will, and it can change its own will, and is therefore not ruled out from being the self on the basis of lacking the ability to control its own essential property.
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I have seen this "true self" idea proposed by some in the Mahayana camp, but it isn't something I've come across in the suttas. Is there anything in the suttas you can point to which clearly supports the "true self" idea?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

User avatar
The Thinker
Posts: 805
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:12 pm
Location: UK

Re: Unconditioned

Post by The Thinker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:05 am

and what before man/women ? space or the unseen force behind it, does this have the ability to think? I often feel we try to justify our mind instead of excepting that we are different, yes connected but a by-product of nature that will pass etc

I am nihilistic in a sense, I admit that, but the vanity of our existence sometimes get the better of us!
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:05 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Bhikkhus, it is said: [begin quote of someone else]‘A first point of craving for existence, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no craving for existence and afterward it came into being.’[end quote of someone else] Still, craving for existence is seen to have a specific condition.

I say, bhikkhus, that craving for existence has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment.
This reminds me of "You have heard it said an eye for an eye, but I say...." Buddha is quoting what someone else (from Mahavira, Brahmanism?) says in order to disagree. Paraphrase: "It is said that there is no first point or beginning of craving for existence but that it just always was, but obviously it has a specific condition, so I say it is not without a nutriment (and what requires a nutriment cannot arise without the nutriment coming beforehand)." In other words, (paraphrase) "I disagree. It does have a beginning."
"It is said", when used in this formulation (without any reference), implies a reference to the Buddha, to things he said or taught.
Other examples:
Paṭha­ma­san­diṭṭhi­ka Sutta (AN 6.47) wrote:‘The Dhamma is visible here-&-now, the Dhamma is visible here-&-now,’ it is said.
Paññāvimutta Sutta (AN 9.44) wrote:‘Released through discernment, released through discernment,’ it is said.
Ubhatobhāgavimutta Sutta (AN 9.45) wrote:‘Released both ways, released both ways,’ it is said.
Kolita Sutta (SN 21.1) wrote:It is said, “noble silence, noble silence.”
Suññaloka Sutta (SN 35.85) wrote:It is said, ‘Empty is the world, empty is the world.’
... while "still" has the meaning of "nonetheless". Both are true. Craving cannot come out of non-craving. At any time there is craving, there was craving previously. One might think that therefore craving for existence has no condition, that it is always there, but no, craving for existence has a specific condition, this condition is ignorance. Ignorance does not come into being after a point of non-ignorance. But ignorance has a specific condition. etc. When the condition is not, then craving is not. Dependent origination.
davidbrainerd wrote:Dhammapada 153 "Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house. Repeated birth is indeed suffering!"
Arahanta Sutta (SN 1.25) wrote: “When a bhikkhu is an arahant,
Consummate, with taints destroyed,
One who bears his final body,
Is it because he has come upon conceit
That he would say, ‘I speak,’
That he would say, ‘They speak to me’?”

“No knots exist for one with conceit abandoned;
For him all knots of conceit are consumed.
Though the wise one has transcended the conceived,
He still might say, ‘I speak,’
He might say too, ‘They speak to me.’
Skilful, knowing the world’s parlance,
He uses such terms as mere expressions.”
Also, in the Khemaka Sutta (SN 22.89), there is no "I am" to be spoken of connected to the aggregates or apart from the aggregates.

Some other sutta quotes:
Ānanda Sutta (SN 22.83) wrote:It is by clinging, Ānanda, that the notion ‘I am’ occurs, not without clinging.
Samanupassanā Sutta (SN 22.47) wrote:Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who regard anything as self in various ways all regard as self the five aggregates subject to clinging, or a certain one among them.
There were some other quotes I mentioned which you haven't fully addressed:
  1. MN 1: He should not conceive himself as Nibbāna, he should not conceive himself in Nibbāna, he should not conceive himself apart from Nibbāna, he should not conceive Nibbāna to be ‘mine.’
  2. Iti 90 (also AN 4.34): To whatever extent there are phenomena conditioned or unconditioned, Nibbana is the foremost.
  3. DN 15: One who delineates a formless and infinite self, this fixed view of a self obsesses him.
    + Where nothing whatsoever is sensed (experienced) at all, would there be the thought, "I am"?'" No.
    + Should feelings altogether and every way stop without remainder, then with feeling completely not existing, owing to the cessation of feeling, would there be the thought, "I am"?'" No.
  4. SN 12.12: Who craves? Not a valid question.
You also didn't answer this question: What is your definition of "self"? What are the characteristics of an "unconditioned self", what would make the unconditioned a "self"?

If none of this is convincing to you, then it is probably best we agree to disagree :anjali:

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Unconditioned

Post by Nicolas » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:24 am

Finally:
Alagaddūpama Sutta (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.
[...]
“Bhikkhus, there being a self, would there be for me what belongs to a self?”—“Yes, venerable sir.”—“Or, there being what belongs to a self, would there be for me a self?”—“Yes, venerable sir.”—“Bhikkhus, since a self and what belongs to a self are not apprehended as true and established, then this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’—would it not be an utterly and completely foolish teaching?”

“What else could it be, venerable sir, but an utterly and completely foolish teaching?”

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], cfekete, DooDoot, ginko, Zom and 111 guests