Attachment to non-attachment

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
justindesilva
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by justindesilva » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am

SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.

SarathW
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SarathW » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:05 am

justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.
:goodpost:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

chownah
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:08 am

justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.
It seems like you are saying that a sotapanna has no attachments.....is that what you are saying?
chownah

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:59 am

justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.
Does that mean that you are categorically differentiating belief in being a person (this is the meaning of 'sakkaya ditthi', right?) from self identity belief?

From my perspective self identity belief (i.e. believing the aggregates to be 'me' or 'mine') causes both, belief in being a person and attachment to the idea/concept (!!) of non-attachment and if anatta is attained then that attainment is what is called 'arhat'.

btw your "seeing anatta clearly" seems to be another oxymoron similar to 'knowledge of anatta'

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Jeff_
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Jeff_ » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:03 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:57 pm
I offer the Vallicella article for those who might appreciate it or benefit from it. It pretty much stands as it is, but I'm quite happy to discuss issues arising from it, providing they refer to the substance of the article or are otherwise intelligently referenced.
OK, here are the issues I see arising from it:
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:17 am
Maverick Philosopher Bill Vallicella musing about the perils of non-attachment in his latest blog post. It might be of interest to some.
The solution is not to abandon the ideal, but to pursue it with detachment from the outcome, the outcome being either your success or your failure in meeting its demand.
Suppose part of your ideal of self-mastery is keeping the precepts. But then you don’t keep them, for one reason or another. By the demands of the ideal of self-mastery, you have failed. In other words, you broke your promise to yourself. What would it even mean to keep an ideal but not be concerned (be “detached”) from keeping it successfully?

The idea that success and failure are equally OK only apples to things where it doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. For cases where it does matter, the solution is to become even more attached to the outcome, in this way: There are other people who have done this successfully; why not me? If you wipe away renunciation-based distress as a source of motivation because of the supposed problems of "desiring not to desire," these semantic games that philosophers love, you really do a disservice to people intent on safety.
So subtle are the dialectics of the self and the demands of the moral life.
It’s not that subtle at all, unless you’re a Maverick Philosopher and need lots of stuff to Philosophize about on your Blog. True self vs ego, innermost identity vs worldly identity, not self being applied at the wrong time and in the wrong way: from the point of view of Dhamma this whole blog post is a poisonous mess. Perhaps it would fit better in Connection to Other Paths?

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:24 am

SteRo wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:59 am
justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.
Does that mean that you are categorically differentiating belief in being a person (this is the meaning of 'sakkaya ditthi', right?) from self identity belief?

From my perspective self identity belief (i.e. believing the aggregates to be 'me' or 'mine') causes both, belief in being a person and attachment to the idea/concept (!!) of non-attachment and if anatta is attained then that attainment is what is called 'arhat'.

btw your "seeing anatta clearly" seems to be another oxymoron similar to 'knowledge of anatta'
I have looked into it again:
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
Sakkaya Ditthi in Theravada glossary... « previous · [S] · next »
Self identification view. The view that mistakenly identifies any of the khandha as "self"; the first of the ten fetters (samyojana). Abandonment of sakkaya ditthi is one of the hallmarks of stream entry (see sotapanna).
Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

'personality-belief', is the first of the 10 fetters (samyojana).

It is entirely abandoned only on reaching the path of Stream-winning (sotāpatti-magga; s. ariya-puggala).

There are 20 kinds of personality-belief, which are obtained by applying 4 types of that belief to each of the 5 groups of existence (khandha):

(1-5) the belief to be identical with corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations or consciousness;
(6-10) to be contained in them;
(11-15) to be independent of them;
(16-20) to be the owner of them (M.44; S.XXII.1).

See prec., ditthi, upādāna 4.
Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Sakkaya (Sa or Santo, that means which really exists, and Kaya, aggregate) means the five aggregates which really exist. Ditthi means 'wrong view'. These two words constitute Sakkaya Ditthi.
Source: This is Myanmar: The Doctrine of Paticcasammupada
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/sakkaya-ditthi

So we have here a mixture of terms like 'self' and 'personality'.
'personality-belief', is the first of the 10 fetters (samyojana).

It is entirely abandoned only on reaching the path of Stream-winning (sotāpatti-magga; s. ariya-puggala).
So here 'personality-belief' seems to be equated with "self identity view" The latter is defined here:
"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.

"This, monk, is how self-identity view comes about."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... iew]mn.109

Also Access to Insight has
Sakkaya-ditthi (self-identity view, personality-belief)
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#s


So while above I have said
From my perspective self identity belief (i.e. believing the aggregates to be 'me' or 'mine') causes both, belief in being a person and ...
... the Theravada defines "belief in being a person" and "self identity view" to be the same, there being no causal relationship.

So as to personality-belief and self-identity belief I am holding a view that is different from Theravada view since "from my perspective self identity belief causes belief in being a person".

So through responding
justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:56 am
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
An attachment to non attachment to is a result of sakkaya ditthi. One who sees anatta clearly will not have such a vision or such micca ditthi. Hence with such an attachment one cannot attain even a sotapanna stage.
... justindesilva seems to agree with my statement he responds to. Where we might disagree is that justindesilva seems to be saying that one must have attained anatta in order to attain sotapanna which from my perspective would entail the absurd consequence that one must have attained arhat in order to attain sotapanna.

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DooDoot
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:17 am

SteRo wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:24 am
one must have attained anatta in order to attain sotapanna which from my perspective would entail the absurd consequence that one must have attained arhat in order to attain sotapanna.
arahant (not 'arhat') has had such a deep experience of anatta that self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) can never arise again

sotapanna has had a very comprehensive experience of anatta but not enough so that self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) can never arise again. however the sotapanna comes to the unshakable belief/conviction there is no true or real self (sakkāyadiṭṭhi)

the point is the anatta must be seen in the aggregates so there is a "alien" ("para") quality about the aggregates

for example, the breathing is experienced so lucidly that the mind clearly comprehends "the body breathes" rather than "I breathe". the breath function is discerned so clearly that the idea of "my breathing" ceases

rapture is experienced so alien, detached & separate from consciousness or the experiencer that it is clearly see "there is no self in feelings" (because the subtle sense of self that may remain in a sotapanna is totally separate from the substance or element of feelings)
They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as unsatisfactory, as diseased, as an abscess, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self.

So yadeva tattha hoti rūpagataṃ vedanāgataṃ saññāgataṃ saṅkhāragataṃ viññāṇagataṃ te dhamme aniccato dukkhato
rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato samanupassati.
Last edited by DooDoot on Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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sentinel
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by sentinel » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:31 am

self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) weren't included in the ten fetters model list .
:coffee:

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DooDoot
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:34 am

sentinel wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:31 am
self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) weren't included in the ten fetters model list .
it appears the same as 'mana' ('conceit')
And how is a mendicant a noble one with banner and burden put down, detached?

Kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyo pannaddhajo pannabhāro visaṃyutto hoti?

It’s when a mendicant has given up the conceit ‘I am’, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it, so it’s unable to arise in the future.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno asmimāno pahīno hoti, ucchinnamūlo tālāvatthukato anabhāvaṅkato, āyatiṃ anuppādadhammo.

https://suttacentral.net/mn22/en/sujato

asmimāna
masculine
the conviction ‘I am’, the conviction of individuality; egotism.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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sentinel
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by sentinel » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:37 am

Mana appear included in the ten fetters list but not (attānudiṭṭhi) .
:coffee:

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:57 am

In other words ...


1. As far as self view as the effect of self-identity-views is concerned ...
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:17 am
SteRo wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:24 am
one must have attained anatta in order to attain sotapanna which from my perspective would entail the absurd consequence that one must have attained arhat in order to attain sotapanna.
arahant (not 'arhat') has had such a deep experience of anatta that self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) can never arise again

sotapanna has had a very comprehensive experience of anatta but not enough so that self-view (attānudiṭṭhi) can never arise again. however the sotapanna comes to the unshakable belief/conviction there is no true or real self (sakkāyadiṭṭhi)
Ok, that makes sense.
Putting aside "depth of experience of anatta" for the time being and in other words:
the characteristic mark of 'arahant' is irreversibility of anatta and the characteristic mark of 'sotapanna' is reversibility due to lack of "depth" of insight. However on the level of conceptuality the sotapanna does not believe in delusional self experiences anymore, no doubt about it will ever arise anymore.



2. As far as self-identity-views and phenomena are concerned ...
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:17 am
the point is the anatta must be seen in the aggregates so there is a "alien" ("para") quality about the aggregates

for example, the breathing is experienced so lucidly that the mind clearly comprehends "the body breathes" rather than "I breathe". the breath function is discerned so clearly that the idea of "my breathing" ceases

rapture is experienced so alien, detached & separate from consciousness or the experiencer that it is clearly see "there is no self in feelings" (because the subtle sense of self that may remain in a sotapanna is totally separate from the substance or element of feelings)

They contemplate the phenomena there—included in form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness—as impermanent, as unsatisfactory, as diseased, as an abscess, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self.

So yadeva tattha hoti rūpagataṃ vedanāgataṃ saññāgataṃ saṅkhāragataṃ viññāṇagataṃ te dhamme aniccato dukkhato
rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato samanupassati.
... aggregates/phenomena are still affirmed by sotapanna BUT they do appear kind of alienated because they are perceived as being completely empty of (personal) self, detached. However even this has to be reversible because sotapanna has not abandoned sensual desire yet.

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:17 am

As a summary of the above: the sotapanna has irreversible conceptual realizations free from doubt but only reversible non-conceptual realizations while the arahant has irreversible non-conceptual realizations.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:28 am

Jeff_ wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:03 am
OK, here are the issues I see arising from it:
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:17 am
Maverick Philosopher Bill Vallicella musing about the perils of non-attachment in his latest blog post. It might be of interest to some.
The solution is not to abandon the ideal, but to pursue it with detachment from the outcome, the outcome being either your success or your failure in meeting its demand.
Suppose part of your ideal of self-mastery is keeping the precepts. But then you don’t keep them, for one reason or another. By the demands of the ideal of self-mastery, you have failed. In other words, you broke your promise to yourself. What would it even mean to keep an ideal but not be concerned (be “detached”) from keeping it successfully?

The idea that success and failure are equally OK only apples to things where it doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. For cases where it does matter, the solution is to become even more attached to the outcome, in this way: There are other people who have done this successfully; why not me? If you wipe away renunciation-based distress as a source of motivation because of the supposed problems of "desiring not to desire," these semantic games that philosophers love, you really do a disservice to people intent on safety.
So subtle are the dialectics of the self and the demands of the moral life.
It’s not that subtle at all, unless you’re a Maverick Philosopher and need lots of stuff to Philosophize about on your Blog. True self vs ego, innermost identity vs worldly identity, not self being applied at the wrong time and in the wrong way: from the point of view of Dhamma this whole blog post is a poisonous mess. Perhaps it would fit better in Connection to Other Paths?
Thanks for some interesting points, Jeff.

When Bill Vallicella talks of pursuing an ideal with detachment for the outcome, he doesn't mean that one doing so would "not be concerned with keeping it successfully", or that "success and failure are equally OK". He means that one should pursue the ideal to the very best of one's ability, but one should not get upset or worried about one's perceived inability or lapses. Strive to avoid the lapses, but don't be distressed by them. That's presumably why he asks the question
Is it the ideal you honour, or your self-image?
I can see a clear distinction between these two options, the first being completely consistent with MN 137 and the idea of renunciant distress, and the second one being something to avoid. The distress of the renunciant is yearning for deliverance, whereas that arising from self-image is, as BV says, to do with the diminution of self-distinction; an unskillful use of an ideal to measure oneself with, rather than to strive for.

The subtlety which BV talks about at the end of his post is not to do with this point at all, but the rather deeper issue of attachment to an ideal of attachment. (Not all ideals, as per his first paragraph.) One's ideals are ultimately anatta, not to be clung to. BV has a lively understanding of the notion of Dhamma as a raft.

Seen in this way, this seems mainstream Theravada to me. People might disagree with his interpretation, of course, but within Theravada, people often disagree. I'd be happy to pick up on the ad hominem stuff about him being a philosopher and the need to fill blogs, because it's very far from the truth, but at the moment it would only obscure the above points.

form
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by form » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:26 pm

This is technically not renunciation. Truth is beyond thoughts in words.

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Jeff_
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Jeff_ » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:51 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:28 am
He means that one should pursue the ideal to the very best of one's ability, but one should not get upset or worried about one's perceived inability or lapses.
The very best of one’s ability is not a fixed quantity or a known variable. And one’s inabilty or lapses are not just “perceived,” they actually are inabilities or lapses. With regard to which, if one doesn’t worry about them, why would one overcome the inability or prevent the lapse from happening again?

This is why good teachers, especially Dhamma teachers, exhort, rouse, encourage, gladden, inspire; they don’t provide excuses for failure ahead of time, or introduce unnecessary complexity. They might clarify a point so that something the student was worried about, he or she no longer worries about. Or they might break a daunting and complex goal into more manageable and straightforward sub-goals. But they know students tend to adjust their efforts to suit themselves anyway (students never really listen to the teacher completely, without bias), and so they avoid doing it for them.
BV wrote:Is it the ideal you honour, or your self-image?
Actually it doesn’t matter that much if either of these gets you to strive. Practicing the Dhamma is hard enough without worrying if you are doing it for perfectly pure motives or for your self-image. The self-image problem eventually takes care of itself, whereas the dangers of detaching from an ideal before realizing it thoroughly do not.

From Ajaan Lee’s autobiography:
A number of other events also helped to keep me alert. One night when the moon was bright, I made an agreement with one of the other monks that we’d go without sleep and do sitting and walking meditation. (That rainy season there were six of us altogether, five monks and one novice. I had made a resolution that I’d have to do better than all the rest of them. For instance, if any of them were able to get by on only ten mouthfuls of food a day, I’d have to get by on eight. If any of them could sit in meditation for three hours straight, I’d have to sit for five. If any of them could do walking meditation for an hour, I’d have to walk for two. I felt this way about everything we did, and yet it seemed that I was able to live up to my resolution. This was a secret I kept to myself.)

At any rate, that night I told my friend, ‘Let’s see who’s better at doing sitting and walking meditation.’ So we agreed, ‘When I do walking meditation, you do sitting meditation; and when I do sitting meditation, you do walking meditation. Let’s see who can last longer.’ When it came my turn to do walking meditation, my friend went to sit in a hut next to the path where I was walking. Not too long afterwards, I heard a loud thud coming from inside the hut, so I stopped to open the window and peek in. Sure enough, there he was, lying on his back with his folded legs sticking up in the air. He had been sitting in full lotus position, gotten sleepy, and had simply fallen backwards and gone to sleep. I was practically dropping off to sleep myself, but had kept going out of the simple desire to win. I felt embarrassed for my friend’s sake—’I’d hate to be in his place,’ I thought—but at the same time was pleased I had won.

All of these things served to teach me a lesson: ‘This is what happens to people who aren’t true in what they do.’
Notice that the lesson isn’t that his self-image was out of control at this point in his training, and now he knows better, or anything like that.
The subtlety which BV talks about at the end of his post is not to do with this point at all, but the rather deeper issue of attachment to an ideal of [non-]attachment.
What I’m saying is this is not a deep issue, nor subtle, and in any case it’s not “attachment” to the ideal that’s the problem, but attachment to everything else that stops one from experiencing what’s ideal.
One's ideals are ultimately anatta, not to be clung to. BV has a lively understanding of the notion of Dhamma as a raft.
You let go at the end, not before. And no one who hasn't attained the goal really has an understanding of the raft simile, because they don't see what exactly they have crossed over until they see it from the other side.

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