Circle5 wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:10 am
Warplanes from WW2 were also fragile, unstable and could not trusted, yet people still used them to achieve their goal with success. First cars that were invented were the same.
Not sure if your analogy is relevant. You can use the conditioned to attain a conditioned goal, but to attain the unconditioned is where the paradox lies. How can we use something constantly changing to attain a changeless state.
You're losing yourself in words. Impermanence is not an element, it is a characteristic, it is a property. Everything that exists is impermanent and everything that will ever exist will always be impermanent. It is a universal characteristic that aplies to all elements that exist or will ever exist. If you want do to some verbal jugglerly and say "impermanence is a permanent characteristic therefore it contradicts itself, cause characteristics are supposed to be impermanent too" - then you are just finding paradoxes through using verbal jugglerly. A property can only apply to elements not to the property itself.
You forgot the reason why words and language was invented in the first place. It was invented for the purpose of describing the word and communicating to one another, not for the purpose of losing ourselves in words. If I want to communicate to you that everything that existed, exists or will ever exists is impermanent, I will say "everything is impermanent" hoping you will get the idea I am trying to communicate, not doing verbal jugglerly like "oh but how about impermanence itself, does it apply to it too ?" - no, cause that is not something that exists so that it could have things apply to it, impermanence is a property of things that exist, not a thing that exists. That is what the word is meant to describe in english language.
If we would could communicate through sonar like dophins, sending images to one another similar to telephaty, then this kind of verbal jugglerly paradoxes would never happen. We would instead forget that those images are meant to communicate something and are not that something itself and we would then have problems losing ouselves in immage jugglerly instead of verbal jugglerly.
A lot of assertions, with no substance. The idea of impermanence exists as any other idea evident by the fact that we are both using it and reaching different conclusions about it! If your assertion that it is a property of a thing that exists, but does not exist in itself, then how your mind is capable of understanding its meaning? If what you are describing is accurate, then the meaning of the word "impermanent" would have alluded you, would it not?
My point is quite simple and based on evidence of this very discussion. If the term impermanence means anything to you, that very meaning implies a separate existence in your mind, and it seems to have a meaning in your mind by the mere fact that you are arguing about it. Therefore, it can be a property of things that exists, and it also exists
as a separate idea. In my reply to you in my previous post, i was quite clear:
The idea of impermanence is inherently paradoxical, because it is in itself is impermanent (which makes impermanence permanent).
So, instead of addressing my point, you denied the existence of impermanence as an idea claiming that it is only a property that applies to elements but not to property, shooting yourself in the foot in the process.
To be fair to you, i don't deny the accuracy of your claims, but with your attempt to avoid the simple fact that some truths cannot be put into words without falling into paradoxes.
Buddha said there never was a self. Show me where he said there is a self that is impermanent. The idea that there never was a self to begin with is the most fundamental teaching of the Buddha. This is what sets an enlightened teacher apart from other teachers. Even atheist believe there is a self that gets anihilated at death. Buddha was the only one in the world to claim that there never was a self to begin with and it was just a delusion, a simple opinion that there is a self. A wrong opinion that is one of the 3 fetters removed at stream entry.
Another half truth. May i share with you the following by Ven. Thanissaro:
The second mistaken inference is that, given the thoroughness with which the Buddha teaches not-self, one should draw the inference that there is no self
. This inference is treated less explicitly in this discourse, although it is touched upon briefly in terms of what the Buddha teaches here and how he teaches.
In terms of what: He explicitly states he cannot envision a doctrine of self that, if clung to, would not lead to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair.
He does not list all the possible doctrines of self included under this statement, but MN 2 provides at least a partial list:
I have a self... I have no self
... It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self... or... This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
Thus the view "I have no self" is just as much a doctrine of self as the view "I have a self." Because the act of clinging involves what the Buddha calls "I-making" — the creation of a sense of self — if one were to cling to the view that there is no self, one would be creating a very subtle sense of self around that view (see AN 4.24)
. But, as he says, the Dhamma is taught for "the elimination of all view-positions, determinations, biases, inclinations, & obsessions; for the stilling of all fabrications; for the relinquishing of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Suffering arises due to believing in a self that is not subject to change
. The view "i have no self" is equally invalid as per the above.
Nobody is going to be liberated. There was never a self to begin with. For example a computer is made out of plastic, metal, hardware, software etc. There is no self inside, no "self of the computer" - there is just the metal, the plastic, etc. In the same way, there is no self inside humans, there are just the 5 aggregates that make it up like in the case of a computer.
If a computer is destroyed, if the metal, plastic etc. - would disappear without a trace
, with not even a molecule remaining of them: In that case, would it be correct to ask: "who has been vanished ? How can a conditioned computer know the unconditioned ? etc." - nope, there is no conditioned computer self knowing the unconditioned. There is just the metal, plastic etc. that have disappeared without reminder. There is no computer-self feeling anything, experiencing any unconditioning or etc. There never was a computer self, there always was just the plastic, the metal, etc. that are now no more. There is just nothing left whatsoever. So it is incorrect to ask "is the computer-self experiencing the unconditioned right now?" - nope, there is nothing left and there was never a computer-self to begin with.
As for who gets reborn, imagine taking a candle, then lighting up another candle with it and then ending the fire on the first candle. This flame of the new candle that is lightened up right now, the only one lightened up, is it the same flame or is it a different flame ? It is neither of the two. It is rather that conditioned by fire, by oxigen, by moving the candle, etc. the phenomenon described above took place. Picture it more like a chain of conditions, an uninterupted chain of conditions that goes on. This is why you can not answer the question of weather it is the same flame or a different flame.
There is also the story of the fisherman who believed it is the same consciousness that gets reborn and was scolded by the Buddha and other monks: https://suttacentral.net/en/mn38
The above is an over simplification. We can argue all day that there was never a self to begin with, and yet, suffering is real. Your computer analogy is a poor one and not really relevant. Computers does not seem to suffer, humans do. According to the teachings, the root cause of suffering is ignorance, and release is caused by insight, which is knowledge. Usually, knowledge is stored in the memory and retrieved for use when needed. Memory itself is unreliable. Also knowledge, by definition, implies time. You know something if you have seen it or experienced it before. If you see something or someone for the first time, you simply declare that you don't know it/him.
Due to the inseparability of knowledge from time and memory, the question rises: how can knowledge bring about a permanent state of peace? Even if you claim that this can be understood only in negative terms, that enlightenment is the disappearance of wrong views, this begs the question of how wrong views can disappear without replacing it with right views. Even if you say that by seeing the danger of this cycle, the cycle is ended, again, how knowledge (or its effects) either positive or negative can be permanent.
In relation to the candle and flame analogy, it serves to avoid the difficult question: which part of the aggregates that goes to the next life? By the way, i do have sympathy with the fisherman, because self
consciousnesses seems to be pretty persistent, and if have to pick one of the aggregates to be reborn into a next life, it would be that.
This has nothing to do with what the historical Buddha taught. The label "buddhist" has been used over time and continues to be used on so many ideas and practices that have nothing to do with what the historical Buddha taught and most of the times are contrary to that.
That is an appeal to authority, which i happen to agree with, but for the sake of objective discussion, we will have to pretend to be neutral.