Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

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James Tan
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Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by James Tan » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:53 am

Greetings ,

Without accumulating knowledge is there possible for the self to arise ?
Say for example , if a child living in the surrounding of animals , would s/he has a sense of self ?
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:22 am

My initial problem here is that the terms "knowledge" and "self" are both subject to multiple interpretations.

Would a child raised surrounded by animals (i.e. untended by humans) not have knowledge? It would presumably know "This animal is like this"..."That animal does that"...etc., even if it cannot express that knowledge in a way we can understand. Animals themselves have knowledge.

Do you mean "without self-knowledge"? i.e. without the ability or inclination to formulate a view of oneself, to objectify oneself, then one cannot have a self?

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robertk
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:45 am

The kilesa have three levels :
Anusaya, latent; pariyutthana, arising but only at the level of thinking and finally vitikakama-kilesa which is the level of akusala kammapatha- the most serious level.
Usually young children and animals wouldn't have the last level, but they certainly have the anusaya level. If given to reflection they might on occasion, possibly have the pariyutthana level I guess.

James Tan
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by James Tan » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:22 am
My initial problem here is that the terms "knowledge" and "self" are both subject to multiple interpretations.

Would a child raised surrounded by animals (i.e. untended by humans) not have knowledge? It would presumably know "This animal is like this"..."That animal does that"...etc., even if it cannot express that knowledge in a way we can understand. Animals themselves have knowledge.

Do you mean "without self-knowledge"? i.e. without the ability or inclination to formulate a view of oneself, to objectify oneself, then one cannot have a self?
OK, from childhood we started to accumulate knowledge , from our parents and others .
What if we let the child eat and sleep without any contact of outside world including their parents ?!
First , there is Knowledge , such as calling our parents "pa" , "ma" which is taught by them.
Later , gradually we accumulated enough knowledge then the "ego" came into the picture .
Here, identification creep in.
The sense of " I " or self started to arise .
The knowledge give us comparison that this is such name , that is such name. All the labeling then further our "division" in our mind by dividing into this body and outer surrounding hence give rise to the self .
Without all this knowledge to divide , the identification does not occur .
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:25 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:22 am
OK, from childhood we started to accumulate knowledge , from our parents and others .
What if we let the child eat and sleep without any contact of outside world including their parents ?!
First , there is Knowledge , such as calling our parents "pa" , "ma" which is taught by them.
Later , gradually we accumulated enough knowledge then the "ego" came into the picture .
Here, identification creep in.
The sense of " I " or self started to arise .
The knowledge give us comparison that this is such name , that is such name. All the labeling then further our "division" in our mind by dividing into this body and outer surrounding hence give rise to the self .
Without all this knowledge to divide , the identification does not occur .
Yes, this is why I made the point that "knowledge" is subject to different interpretations. The child in your example would not have language-based knowledge ("This is called 'ma'...That is called 'pa'..." ). But the child would presumably have knowledge in the sense of understanding its experiences, just as some animals do. Animals can "know" that they are not allowed on the sofa, that a bell ringing means dinner, that their owner is angry, or that they have just had a bad experience.

Whether any of this gives rise to a self is again dependent upon what we mean by the term. Any being has a self in the sense of being the self-same being from one moment to the next. Any being with memory is aware of that sense of selfhood. But for there to be a self-view, there does I think need to be sufficient language so as to enable that being to reflexively refer to itself. The child in your example would not be able to formulate such a view.

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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:55 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:53 am
Greetings ,

Without accumulating knowledge is there possible for the self to arise ?
Say for example , if a child living in the surrounding of animals , would s/he has a sense of self ?
Mozart at the age 4 wrote a master piece of music. Sankaracarya is believed to have started his writings on advaita vedanta at the age 12 ,while there are more similar examples shown in web www.reincarnation- research.com
Then Carl S jung writes ( as I remember in Memories dreams and reflections) that one of his grand daughters advises predicts about burials at a certain instant. When not heeding to this advise when the pit was made ( in europe) they found skeletons dating back to about 5 generations.
Prince siddartha himself sat in lotus position engaged in ana pana sathi as an infant during a royal ploughing ceremony.
An unrecorded incident is worth mentioning here during a bana ceremony in panadura sri lanka early 1950s. As usual the introducing gatha for the sermon being delivered by the priest was met with a laugh by a 4 year old child. On being questioned later by the priest delivering the sermon the 4 yr. old child pointed a mistake in the gatha ( pali verse) which was admitted by this priest. The child had further stated that the priest and the child were at the parinivana pyre of buddha and they were together at the time.
These child prodigies and other experiences show details of knowledge and character , while they appear in researches of Dr. Ian stevenson ( researcher of rebirths)

James Tan
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by James Tan » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:37 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:25 am


Whether any of this gives rise to a self is again dependent upon what we mean by the term. Any being has a self in the sense of being the self-same being from one moment to the next. Any being with memory is aware of that sense of selfhood. But for there to be a self-view, there does I think need to be sufficient language so as to enable that being to reflexively refer to itself. The child in your example would not be able to formulate such a view.
That's why I said that the knowledge give rise to self (view) . Now , it is clear that the self is the product of the knowledge . It is clear that the self is a "mirage" is an illusion arising caused by knowledge atmospheric conditions .
:reading:

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Bundokji
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:37 pm
That's why I said that the knowledge give rise to self (view) . Now , it is clear that the self is the product of the knowledge . It is clear that the self is a "mirage" is an illusion arising caused by knowledge atmospheric conditions .
Self view is a necessary condition for the arising of worldly knowledge, not the opposite.
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Saengnapha
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm
Self view is a necessary condition for the arising of worldly knowledge, not the opposite.
Worldly knowledge is necessary for self view. You are not born with self view. You develop it through the contact of the senses with things. You then synthesize a concrete experiencer out of this knowledge of things. But there is never really a self in spite of what we think and feel. There are only processes, not even a mind. This is a trap of language that reinforces the notion of a self.

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Bundokji
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:38 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm
Self view is a necessary condition for the arising of worldly knowledge, not the opposite.
Worldly knowledge is necessary for self view. You are not born with self view. You develop it through the contact of the senses with things. You then synthesize a concrete experiencer out of this knowledge of things. But there is never really a self in spite of what we think and feel. There are only processes, not even a mind. This is a trap of language that reinforces the notion of a self.
You might be equating knowledge with consious thought, but I don't think this is accurate. When a child is born, she seeks her mother breast which is an instinctive activity necessary for SELF preservation. However, try to talk to someone dead (an activity of conveying knowledge) does that cause self view to arise in him?

If knowledge was the necessary condition for self view to arise, it would have risen in the dead or in a stone when you talk to them. So mind (self) is the necessary condition, not knowledge. I would say that knowledge localize self view, but does not create it
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Saengnapha
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:05 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:38 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm
Self view is a necessary condition for the arising of worldly knowledge, not the opposite.
Worldly knowledge is necessary for self view. You are not born with self view. You develop it through the contact of the senses with things. You then synthesize a concrete experiencer out of this knowledge of things. But there is never really a self in spite of what we think and feel. There are only processes, not even a mind. This is a trap of language that reinforces the notion of a self.
You might be equating knowledge with consious thought, but I don't think this is accurate. When a child is born, she seeks her mother breast which is an instinctive activity necessary for SELF preservation. However, try to talk to someone dead (an activity of conveying knowledge) does that cause self view to arise in him?

If knowledge was the necessary condition for self view to arise, it would have risen in the dead or in a stone when you talk to them. So mind (self) is the necessary condition, not knowledge. I would say that knowledge localize self view, but does not create it
Do you think that there is such a thing as self view apart from consciousness and the sense bases? An instinctive activity is one thing, a self view seems to me a perceptive activity associated with brain function. Perhaps we are talking about two different things. Your breathing is involuntary as is your heart beat. You don't need a self view in order for these to function. If you are equating a self view with function, we are talking about two different things.

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Bundokji
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:16 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:05 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:38 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Worldly knowledge is necessary for self view. You are not born with self view. You develop it through the contact of the senses with things. You then synthesize a concrete experiencer out of this knowledge of things. But there is never really a self in spite of what we think and feel. There are only processes, not even a mind. This is a trap of language that reinforces the notion of a self.
You might be equating knowledge with consious thought, but I don't think this is accurate. When a child is born, she seeks her mother breast which is an instinctive activity necessary for SELF preservation. However, try to talk to someone dead (an activity of conveying knowledge) does that cause self view to arise in him?

If knowledge was the necessary condition for self view to arise, it would have risen in the dead or in a stone when you talk to them. So mind (self) is the necessary condition, not knowledge. I would say that knowledge localize self view, but does not create it
Do you think that there is such a thing as self view apart from consciousness and the sense bases? An instinctive activity is one thing, a self view seems to me a perceptive activity associated with brain function. Perhaps we are talking about two different things. Your breathing is involuntary as is your heart beat. You don't need a self view in order for these to function. If you are equating a self view with function, we are talking about two different things.
Without self view, how can there be suffering? A newly born baby suffers and cries when she feels hungry before any social conditioning takes place.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Saengnapha
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:09 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:16 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:05 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:38 pm


You might be equating knowledge with consious thought, but I don't think this is accurate. When a child is born, she seeks her mother breast which is an instinctive activity necessary for SELF preservation. However, try to talk to someone dead (an activity of conveying knowledge) does that cause self view to arise in him?

If knowledge was the necessary condition for self view to arise, it would have risen in the dead or in a stone when you talk to them. So mind (self) is the necessary condition, not knowledge. I would say that knowledge localize self view, but does not create it
Do you think that there is such a thing as self view apart from consciousness and the sense bases? An instinctive activity is one thing, a self view seems to me a perceptive activity associated with brain function. Perhaps we are talking about two different things. Your breathing is involuntary as is your heart beat. You don't need a self view in order for these to function. If you are equating a self view with function, we are talking about two different things.
Without self view, how can there be suffering? A newly born baby suffers and cries when she feels hungry before any social conditioning takes place.
I think I see where we are diverging. There is physical pain and psychological suffering. The baby is an organism ruled by physical urges and evolution. Everything is physical to the developing child until the psychological is developed later on. I don't see that there is any self or self view involved with physical evolution or instinctual needs, only with psychological development. A view, after all, needs a brain to actualize it. A brain needs experiences to synthesize any view of anything. Without experience, there are no perceptions or views about anything at all. Suffering is psychological, not physical. Pain is physical. There seems to be a difference between the two. There is no psychological suffering in the baby because it has not developed the faculties that will suffer until later in their development. It is perception, memory, and cognition that get distorted and create a self view, and hence, suffering. It is all psychological.

santa100
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by santa100 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:13 pm

James Tan wrote:Say for example , if a child living in the surrounding of animals , would s/he has a sense of self ?
A sense of self is not something that simply pops up out of accumulated training and knowledge. It's always been there. The fact that a being still get reborn again as a child is the obvious proof that "self-identity" still exists. Otherwise, there's no coming back if one's totally removed all notions of "I", "mine", "myself" (ie. the arahants). Now that child in your scenario might not develop the proper vocabulary to label the various surrounding objects due to lack of educated knowledge, but that has no bearing on his "sense of self". When he grows up and becomes an adult, if he sees another man flirting with a beautiful young woman in the forest, without a single bit of prior education, there're still all kinds of emotions like curiosity, rage, lust, envy, etc. arisen in him, those without "self-identity" wouldn't have arisen at all, like the case of an arahant.

Saengnapha
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Re: Without the knowledge , is there a self ?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:25 pm

santa100 wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:13 pm
James Tan wrote:Say for example , if a child living in the surrounding of animals , would s/he has a sense of self ?
A sense of self is not something that simply pops up out of accumulated training and knowledge. It's always been there. The fact that a being still get reborn again as a child is the obvious proof that "self-identity" still exists. Otherwise, there's no coming back if one's totally removed all notions of "I", "mine", "myself" (ie. the arahants). Now that child in your scenario might not develop the proper vocabulary to label the various surrounding objects due to lack of educated knowledge, but that has no bearing on his "sense of self". When he grows up and becomes an adult, if he sees another man flirting with a beautiful young woman in the forest, without a single bit of prior education, there're still all kinds of emotions like curiosity, rage, lust, envy, etc. arisen in him, those without "self-identity" wouldn't have arisen at all, like the case of an arahant.
I think you are equating physical processes with a sense of self. Self identity is psychological. That is where suffering resides. No dhammas have a sense of self. A sense of self is an assumption not an ultimate reality. You equate rebirth with a self that dies and takes rebirth. This is not Buddhism.

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