What is self ? What is soul ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
James Tan
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What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:22 am

Greetings to all ,

What does it mean , self and soul ?
When we said not self , is it similar to not soul ?
Can the translation of anatta be regarded as
Not self , No self , Not soul , No soul ?
Are they all same or different from each other ?

Thanks .

chownah
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by chownah » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:32 am

"Soul" is one idea of what a permanent self could be.
chownah

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No_Mind
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:51 am

Well in terms of Buddhism self is somewhat like this projection on the wall

Image

It seems to exists but does not .. it is coming together of the movie film strip, projector lens, screen and light that creates this illusion of something being there but nothing actual exists.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Sam Vara
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:19 pm

Both terms have such a wide range of definitions that people here on DW and elsewhere tend to talk past one another because they are very likely to be using very different conceptions. They are not simple concepts like "cup" or "table".

I'm sure there are many people who will be only too glad to provide you with their favourite definition of either or both these terms, but it probably makes more sense to ask the question "How is this term used in a particular defined context?"

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:28 pm

If the word "soul" simply refers to an incorporeal component in living things that can continue after death, then Buddhism does not deny the existence of the soul. Instead, Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul#Buddhism

Dinsdale
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:25 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:22 am
What does it mean , self and soul ?
A good question, but also a tricky one since there are different ideas about what is being negated by anatta.

Looking at how atman is described might help? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80tman_(Hinduism)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

thepea
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:07 pm

What is the immaterial part of soul include?
Is the immaterial permanent?

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:33 pm

Soul is a mystery, not denied in the scriptures,
it's only a mystery.

James Tan
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:42 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:19 pm
Both terms have such a wide range of definitions that people here on DW and elsewhere tend to talk past one another because they are very likely to be using very different conceptions. They are not simple concepts like "cup" or "table".

I'm sure there are many people who will be only too glad to provide you with their favourite definition of either or both these terms, but it probably makes more sense to ask the question "How is this term used in a particular defined context?"
Form(feeling perception volition consciousness) is anatta , Form etc is not atta (self) ?

Does atta here refer to self/permanent entity/soul/essence/fundamental principle ?

Does anatta here refer to Not (self/permanent entity/soul/essence/fundamental principle) ?

Thanks .
Last edited by James Tan on Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:44 pm

Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing
corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being.

James Tan
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:58 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:44 pm
Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing
corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being.
If you could refer me the sutta ?

James Tan
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:04 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:28 pm
If the word "soul" simply refers to an incorporeal component in living things that can continue after death, then Buddhism does not deny the existence of the soul. Instead, Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent entity that remains constant behind the changing corporeal and incorporeal components of a living being.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul#Buddhism
I think soul/spirit is not materiality and associated with essence that continues from one life to another .

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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:10 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:51 am
Well in terms of Buddhism self is somewhat like this projection on the wall

Image

It seems to exists but does not .. it is coming together of the movie film strip, projector lens, screen and light that creates this illusion of something being there but nothing actual exists.

:namaste:
Well , there is a background do you think not so ?
Perhaps we could take the whole of universes/multiverses is the totality of the aggregates , doesn't the empty space is the background ? But of course this is speaking in terms of materiality .

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:10 pm

Ananda Sutta: To Ananda
(On Self, No Self, and Not-self)
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

James Tan
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:35 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:10 pm
Ananda Sutta: To Ananda
(On Self, No Self, and Not-self)
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Here the last part of Ananda sutta :

“If, Ānanda, when I was asked by the wanderer Vacchagotta, ‘Is there a self?’ I had answered, ‘There is a self,’ would this have been consistent on my part with the arising of the knowledge that ‘all phenomena are nonself’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“And if, when I was asked by him, ‘Is there no self?’ I had answered, ‘There is no self,’ the wanderer Vacchagotta, already confused, would have fallen into even greater confusion, thinking, ‘It seems that the self I formerly had does not exist now.’”

The problem with this part is :

Why do you think that there was an inclination of the Buddha on making an Assumption on Vacchagotta that he was Incapable of Understanding his teachings ?
This doesn't really make sense , does it ?

Even everyone will ask this similar question !

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm

The Ananda sutta is emphasising not self, rather than no self.

If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?

James Tan
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by James Tan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:03 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm
The Ananda sutta is emphasising not self, rather than no self.
But wasn't the sutta stated No self ?

Here the translation from sutta central :

“If, Ānanda, when I was asked by the wanderer Vacchagotta, ‘Is there a self?’ I had answered, ‘There is a self,’ would this have been consistent on my part with the arising of the knowledge that ‘all phenomena are nonself’?”

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:06 pm

On Self, No Self, and Not-self



Silavant Sutta
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant… not-self.

For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant… not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry.

JohnK
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by JohnK » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:11 pm

Seems to me that "self" and "soul" are both conceptual fabrications/concoctions.
Seems that knowing that is of more importance on the path to ending suffering than is trying to understand the definitions/nuances of fabrications.
(Of course, I might be wrong.)
My reply is related to my signature block.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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cappuccino
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Re: What is self ? What is soul ?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:14 pm

Again… it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant… not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry.

?!

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