Soul theories and the Dhamma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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srivijaya
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by srivijaya » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:13 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Here's the translation
In this body are hairs, down, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bone, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, membrane, spleen, lungs, bowels, mesentery, stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine, and goes on to meditate after that on the human skeleton [as covered by] skin, flesh and blood. and he goes on after that to discern the unbroken flux of human consciousness established both in this world and in another world.
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn28/75
It doesn't appear to be a very common term, but perhaps there are other variations...

:anjali:
Mike
Interesting sutta. The next section is revealing.
and he goes on after that to discern the unbroken flux of human consciousness established both in this world and in another world and he goes after that to discern the unbroken flux of human consciousness as not established either in this world or in another world.

This is the fourth degree of discernment.

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srivijaya
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by srivijaya » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:16 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Thats why I suggested that the English word "identity" is closer to the Buddhist conception of "attā" than "self". The equivalent of the English term "self" is "mindstream" in Buddhist terminology, that is just my opinion though. Denying the mindstream is ucchedavāda as far as I know, by most orthodoxies.
Identity and mindstream have the advantage that they can be viewed as an ever-changing process rather than a "thing".

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Twilight
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by Twilight » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:01 pm

Response to soul theories posted here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 19#p410708

@cappuccino
"It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"
Yamaka Sutta
And neither is nibbana the opposite of anihilationism. That is why Buddha said anihilationism is the best out of wrong views.
As for the quote in question, it refers to the fact that there is no self that gets destroyed because there was never a self to begin with. There was just the opinion that there exist a self and this opinion is the one that disappears when achieving stream entry. Then, there exist conceit that exist until attaining arahanthip. As I have explained earlier:
Difference between nibbana and anihilationism:

1. Anahilationist claim it all ends at death and you have to do nothing to stop a round of rebirth.

2. Anihilationist claim that there is a self and this self is destroyed. Buddha claims there was never any self to begin with, just the 5 aggregates.

3. According to Buddha, nibbana is pleasant. Accoding to anihilationist view, it is neutral.
@davidbrainerd:
So much time time and energy is wasted trying to prove there is no self when in reality Buddha was only attacking the idea of viewing the body as the self because it militates against ascetism. Who would enter monasticism and live a celibate life thinking they are only the body? And who that might on a quirk do so would be consistent in it? These are rhetorical questions BTW, because not many people would or could, so the idea of the self being the physical thing, the body or aggregates is a hindrance to monasticism. Its really that simple.
I do not know where you got the idea that if the self is not found it consciousness it must be found in the body. Buddha said neither of the 5 aggregates is self.

The reason these kind of arguments are not even responded but simply moved into this topic is because they show a complete lack of understanding of buddhist doctrine. It is like people who never read the biology book having strong opinions about what is written in the biology book, saying things like humans been made out of metal etc. This is why in such cases a reading of the biology book is recommended not a debate.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:34 am

Ananda Sutta: To Ananda
(On Self, No Self, and Not-self)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“Life is anxiety”

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mikenz66
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:47 am

You mean this bit?
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?"
Mike

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Twilight
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by Twilight » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:59 am

cappuccino wrote:Ananda Sutta: To Ananda
(On Self, No Self, and Not-self)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
What have I told you when you have asked about anihilation ? Have I told you anihilationis believe there is a self that gets destroyed while Buddha said there never was a self to begin with ?

And you yourself have brought the sutta to explain it. From your sutta:
"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:08 am

If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness].
“Life is anxiety”

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:14 am

all phenomena are not-self
“Life is anxiety”

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Twilight
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by Twilight » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:49 am

Yes, because anihilationist believe that there is a self that gets destroyed. While Buddha says there never was a self to begin with. And that is why there is another passage just after the one that you have quoted in the same sutta to further clarify things to make sure nobody misinterprets the sutta:
"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:51 am

self, would be conforming with eternalism

no self, would be conforming with annihilationism

all phenomena are not-self
“Life is anxiety”

SamKR
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by SamKR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:25 am

cappuccino wrote:self, would be conforming with eternalism
There is a version of "Self" which is not eternalism.
cappuccino wrote:no self, would be conforming with annihilationism
There is a version of "No self" which is not annihilationism.
cappuccino wrote:all phenomena are not-self
True. But in my opinion practice based on "no self" (without wrong view of annihilationism) is a good approach (because then it is the same as "not-self" approach).

:namaste:
Last edited by SamKR on Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:29 am

Last edited by cappuccino on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Life is anxiety”

SamKR
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by SamKR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:40 am

cappuccino wrote:Alternatives to the Ananda sutta?
Not alternative to Ananda sutta. But an alternative meaning of the word "self" used in "Ananda sutta". The whole confusion regarding "self" and "no self" arises because of spectrum of meaning of this single word. In the context of Ananda sutta "self" has its specific meaning.

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cappuccino
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:48 am

self
noun
1.
a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

synonyms: ego, I, oneself, persona, person, identity
“Life is anxiety”

SamKR
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Re: Soul theories and the Dhamma

Post by SamKR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:10 am

Unfortunately, that is just one meaning out of many. There are many meanings and definitions; for example Upanishads have their own definitions of "Self" which are usually completely different from the above meaning.

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