Spiny Norman wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:I think rendering the Pāli anattā into English as "identityless" and "identitynessless" really seems to express more easily the actual practice associated with cultivating a right-view on anattā. A doubting of permanent identity. The halting of grasping at identities. The halting of the formation of identities. What is actually discarded in Buddhism? We can say "the self is discarded", and that sound very mystical and profound and "Buddhisty" to an English speaker, but if we say "identity is discarded", I think that communicates what is actually meant in a clearer way, albeit less mystical and profound sounding.
Obviously someone could still misinterpret and develop wrong-views from hearing the word "identityless" as a part of anattā-teachings in English, I am thinking specifically that it could be interpreted by someone not informed about Buddhism as implying that we are all a group-consciousness, but people already make that misunderstanding with the terminology we currently use anyways.
It's an interesting approach. Would you say that "identity" is equivalent to self-view ( sakkāya-diṭṭhi )?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_ ... science%29
I assume you don't mean that individuality is also discarded?
The problem being Indian philosophers in 20th century (to whom Sanskrit and thus Pali was almost first language) agree that anatta means no soul. So it cannot be flawed translation.
A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 1-5, Surendranath Dasgupta. Click and read Chapter V - Buddhisy Philosophy (link to Vol I below).
He was a meticulous and brilliant academic in early 20th century with two Masters Degrees (one in Sanskrit) and two PhDs in Philosophy (one from Cambridge). His understanding of Buddhism was independent of any translation because he could read and understand Pali as easily as you and I read New York Times.
As the five volume work shows, his grasp over English was no less.
I agreed with what ancientbuddhism wrote in Anatta Thread, because Surendranath Dasgupta -- for whom I have the highest regard -- wrote the same thing back in 1921 -- Buddha Dhamma teaches no soul.
P.S -- If anyone wants to have a nice, neat understanding of Indian Philosophy before Buddha, I would recommend Chapter I - IV.
For Jainism Chapter VI.
For Advaita Chapter X and XI (XI being in A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 2
This would give anyone a good idea of the spiritual landscape before Buddha, at the time of Buddha and Sramanas, after Buddha, and principal arguments of Advaita, the main Hindu counter-thrust to Buddhism in about 600 pages and puts everything in context.
Please do not mistake it as an attempt to proselytize. Well written, relatively short, 600 page summary of Indian Philosophy till Advaita is quite rare. So thought I would share it.