Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

Do you agree with the test ?

Yes
3
19%
No
13
81%
 
Total votes: 16

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retrofuturist
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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:43 am

Greetings Circle5,
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:40 am
The big problem I find with this is what do they say about the existence of a self ? Both Nanavira and Nanananda believe in a self. How do they explain this and how does this fit in their overall view ?

This is the big problem that I find with them, since clinging to a theory about a self is what is keeing one from attaing stream entry. It's impossible to understand no-self if one is clinging to some views that say a self exist. So for the sake of understanding them better: How do they argue for the existence of a self ? How does this fit in their philosophy ? How do they differ from one another regarding this aspect ?
Neither do this... what you say here is unsubstantiated projection.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:43 am
Greetings Circle5,

Neither do this... what you say here is unsubstantiated projection.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"I do not say this, I do not say that, neither do I say this or that". And yet, what do they have to say about this ? How is Nanananda different than Nanavira when it comes to this ?

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:08 am

Greetings Circle5,
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:58 am
"I do not say this, I do not say that, neither do I say this or that". And yet, what do they have to say about this ? How is Nanananda different than Nanavira when it comes to this ?
Read their words for yourself. Until then, your strawmen are totally meaningless.

:strawman: :strawman:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by aflatun » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:43 am
Greetings Circle5,
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:40 am
The big problem I find with this is what do they say about the existence of a self ? Both Nanavira and Nanananda believe in a self. How do they explain this and how does this fit in their overall view ?

This is the big problem that I find with them, since clinging to a theory about a self is what is keeing one from attaing stream entry. It's impossible to understand no-self if one is clinging to some views that say a self exist. So for the sake of understanding them better: How do they argue for the existence of a self ? How does this fit in their philosophy ? How do they differ from one another regarding this aspect ?
Neither do this... what you say here is unsubstantiated projection.

Metta,
Paul. :)
As Retro said, neither do this.

Neither posits a self. If you want to trot out the quote in my signature as proof that phenomenological dhamma posits such a thing realize that 1) this has nothing to do with Nanananda, who is a hard line "no selfer" so leave him out of it unless you can cite a passage where he says otherwise 2) having read as much Nanavira as you claim to have read, you should understand what Ven. NN means and does not mean here with relative ease.
In the arahat's reflexion what appears reflexively is only pañcakkhandhā, which he calls 'myself' simply for want of any other term. But in the puthujjana's reflexion what appears reflexively is pañc'upādānakkhandhā, or sakkāya; and sakkāya (q.v.), when it appears reflexively, appears (in one way or another) as being and belonging to an extra-temporal changeless 'self' (i.e. a soul). The puthujjana confuses (as the arahat does not) the self-identity of simple reflexion—as with a mirror, where the same thing is seen from two points of view at once ('the thing itself', 'the selfsame thing')—with the 'self' as the subject that appears in reflexion—'my self' (i.e. 'I itself', i.e. 'the I that appears when I reflect'). For the puthujjana the word self is necessarily ambiguous, since he cannot conceive of any reflexion not involving reflexive experience of the subject—i.e. not involving manifestation of a soul. Since the self of self-identity is involved in the structure of the subject appearing in reflexion ('my self' = 'I itself'), it is sometimes taken (when recourse is not had to a supposed Transcendental Being) as the basic principle of all subjectivity. The subject is then conceived as a hypostasized play of reflexions of one kind or another, the hypostasis itself somehow deriving from (or being motivated by) the play of reflexions. The puthujjana, however, does not see that attainment of arahattā removes all trace of the desire or conceit '(I) am', leaving the entire reflexive structure intact—in other words, that subjectivity is a parasite on experience. Indeed, it is by his very failure to see this that he remains a puthujjana.


The question of self-identity arises either when a thing is seen from two points of view at once (as in reflexion,[a] for example; or when it is at the same time the object of two different senses—I am now both looking at my pen and touching it with my fingers, and I might wonder if it is the same pen in the two simultaneous experiences [see RŪPA]), or when a thing is seen to endure in time, when the question may be asked if it continues to be the same thing (the answer being, that a thing at any one given level of generality is the invariant of a transformation—see ANICCA [a] & FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE—, and that 'to remain the same' means just this). With the question of a thing's self-identity (which presents no particular difficulty) the Buddha's Teaching of anattā has nothing whatsoever to do: anattā is purely concerned with 'self' as subject. (See PATICCASAMUPPĀDA [c].)
Atta


It's stated provocatively for a reason. The time stamp and talk it is delivered in are given by me for a reason (i.e. context). And what he's saying assumes an understanding of the phenomenology of experience as articulated by Venerable Nanavira, and that phenomenology is not easily grasped. (In that talk Ven. NN is speaking to his students, who are also students of Ven. Nv.) It took me months of constant reading and reflection to make a dent, and not only have I been reading philosophy since before I had pubic hairs, but I had help. I wanted to understand, I approached people that could help me, and they helped me. See how that works? Despite all the intellectual dishonesty running rampant on this forum at the moment-and no its not just you, in fact I believe on some level you are trying to understand-there are wonderful people here who are motivated by a desire to understand even those things they ultimately don't agree with, people who are willing to help others in gaining that understanding. People who understand that we're all trying to walk this path and are willing to give a charitable reading of others who have committed to walking this path.

All this quibbling over empty words, fetishizing "debate" about verbal puzzles and minutiae, putting the "letter" in a position that eclipses the "spirit," and willy nilly ascribing things to people who have devoted their lives to the practice without any regard for their actual words let alone their f&%cking meanings...again no its not just you...but its all quite disheartening when one comes here looking for like minded individuals who want to do this thing.

Sorry, but it needs to be said.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Circle5
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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:09 am

Thank you for the quote, indeed I now see where these whole problems come from. A person speaking like Nanananda did there is clearly not an open believer in a self. The problem is, the angle of looking presented in that quote is a wrong one. I do not know if such an angle of looking could ever bring one to understanding no-self, I have big doubts about that. It is of course not the angle of looking that we find in the suttas. And there are also some wrong things said there. Let's take them one by one:
In the arahat's reflexion what appears reflexively is only pañcakkhandhā, which he calls 'myself' simply for want of any other term. But in the puthujjana's reflexion what appears reflexively is pañc'upādānakkhandhā, or sakkāya; and sakkāya (q.v.), when it appears reflexively, appears (in one way or another) as being and belonging to an extra-temporal changeless 'self' (i.e. a soul). The puthujjana confuses (as the arahat does not) the self-identity of simple reflexion—as with a mirror, where the same thing is seen from two points of view at once ('the thing itself', 'the selfsame thing')—with the 'self' as the subject that appears in reflexion—'my self' (i.e. 'I itself', i.e. 'the I that appears when I reflect'). Since the self of self-identity is involved in the structure of the subject appearing in reflexion ('my self' = 'I itself'), it is sometimes taken (when recourse is not had to a supposed Transcendental Being) as the basic principle of all subjectivity. The subject is then conceived as a hypostasized play of reflexions of one kind or another, the hypostasis itself somehow deriving from (or being motivated by) the play of reflexions.
This is not exactly how self-view appears. This is claiming self-view appears because the subjectivity of experience, subjectivity that appears because of this or that. In other words, the subjectivity of experience that exist there is produced through this response to the reflection between the 2 elements that are causing this supposed reflexion. In other words, it is claiming that this feeling of subjectivity, this feeling that "this is mine" is the thing giving rise to the opinion that "there is a self". Otherwise, why would such as feeling as this one ever appear ?

In reality, this feeling is a result of conceit. Conceit is a tendency that exist since forever. Just as one might have a tendency towards anger and feel angry all the time. Or when one might have a tendency towards peacefulness and feel peaceful all the time. No matter what will appear, that feeling of peacefulness will be there even at very subtle levels if he has this tendency developed to a high degree. It will be with him all the time.

In the same way, this tendency towards conceit is with us all the time. This tendency is what gives rise to the feeling of "this is mine" or "this is me" that is there all the time. The existence of this tendency towards conceit is what causes the existence of this "subjectivity of experience", it is not the so called "reflection" act between the 2 elements described by Nanananda. Notice how Buddha never looked at things from this western philosophy angle cause it was not a good one. He looked at things in this rather trait-focused style. But leaving this aside, this is not all the story. Because such a feeling caused by conceit exists, this feeling gives rise to the opinion that "there is a self".
The puthujjana, however, does not see that attainment of arahattā removes all trace of the desire or conceit '(I) am', leaving the entire reflexive structure intact—in other words, that subjectivity is a parasite on experience. Indeed, it is by his very failure to see this that he remains a puthujjana.
Indeed that "tendency towards conceit" called "subjectivity" in Nanananda vocabulary is like a parasite. But it is not because of his failure to see that conceit is bad that he remains a puthujjana. He remains a puthujjhana because of not understanding the higher dhamma and not understanding that there is no self. The self view that he has caused by conceit and by the feeling of "subjectivity" caused by conceit, the existence of that self view is what is keeping one a utthujjana.
The question of self-identity arises either when a thing is seen from two points of view at once (as in reflexion,[a] for example; or when it is at the same time the object of two different senses—I am now both looking at my pen and touching it with my fingers, and I might wonder if it is the same pen in the two simultaneous experiences [see RŪPA]), or when a thing is seen to endure in time, when the question may be asked if it continues to be the same thing (the answer being, that a thing at any one given level of generality is the invariant of a transformation—see ANICCA [a] & FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE—, and that 'to remain the same' means just this).
The reason why it actually appears is the existence of conceit that is causing that feeling we spoke before appear at a particular moment. Then, the person will ask "since there is this feeling existing, it means there must be a self, otherwise why could such a feeling appear?"
"Now that assumption is a fabrication. What is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by the feeling born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing & seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.
Notice not only is Buddha always looking at things from a different angle than western philosophy, but there is also a particular way that he explains things, a way that "leads to" understanding it. There is a lot of focus on repeating how every little thing is conditioned and impermanent. This is not for the sake of the information, since the person knows that already. This is for the sake of contemplating and understanding it better. Every passage like that needs to be contemplated, it's not put there for the sake of the information or just being uselessly repetative every sutta.

The angle of looking and the way of explaining of the Buddha is the path one needs to go in order to understand no-self.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by aflatun » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:50 am

Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:09 am
The quote was from Ven. Nanavira. Check the link after the passage :)
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Circle5
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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:49 am

aflatun wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:50 am
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:09 am
The quote was from Ven. Nanavira. Check the link after the passage :)
The problem with looking at things from the wrong angle, trying to arrive at the same conclusion or understanding following a different route, is that you might not arrive there. You might not understand the non existence of a self and end up with Nanavira understanding that there is a self, only that we should change the name for it from "self" to "not-self" - like that would somehow show that we understood it. This is the result of a person wanting to understand that there is no self, but simply being unable to do it following the route that he took. And then, trying to find a way to convince himself that he understood it.

Can you answer me or provide quotes for the following problems regarding nanavira ? :

1) Giving the passage you have quote and what we have spoke about it, what is the continuation of the story ? How does Nanavira claim that self-view is removed ? How does he claim that conceit is removed ?
2) What is his deffinition of stream entry ? What fetters are removed at stream-entry according to him ?

And even more important: If he claims there is a self only that he thinks we should use simply use a different term when speaking about this self that exists - then where is this self located ? If this self is that "focal point" spoken about in your signature, then is this focal point permanent or impermanent ?

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by pulga » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:19 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:40 am

The big problem I find with this is what do they say about the existence of a self ? Both Nanavira and Nanananda believe in a self. How do they explain this and how does this fit in their overall view ?
Ven. Ñanavira takes self to be a mirage, though as a mirage it is very real.
In this connection, your implication that the Buddha asserted that there is no self requires modification. What the Buddha said was 'sabbe dhammā anattā'—no thing is self—, which is not quite the same. 'Sabbe dhammā anattā' means 'if you look for a self you will not find one', which means 'self is a mirage, a deception'. It does not mean that the mirage, as such, does not exist. [L. 37 | 44] 8 July 1962
I recommend reading his Shorter Note on Sakkāya to gain some understanding of the distinction he makes between individuality and personality. Both puthujjana and arahat alike are individuals, yet the puthujjana sees himself as a person without being able to distinguish the two.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by aflatun » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:05 pm

I want to be clear about something. We're talking about your attributions of solipsism and attavada to Ven. Nanananda and Nanavira, not whether your understanding of dhamma is better. Not about whether I am full bore espousing the view of either monk (I am not). I am trying to disavow you of those attributions so that we can finally move forward into constructive conversation, we can talk about the latter somewhere else. Agreed? Let's please stay on topic. We don't need to debate the particulars of the analysis, I just want you to see that the analysis does not posit a self. OK?
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:49 am

Can you answer me or provide quotes for the following problems regarding nanavira ? :

1) Giving the passage you have quote and what we have spoke about it, what is the continuation of the story ? How does Nanavira claim that self-view is removed ? How does he claim that conceit is removed ?
2) What is his deffinition of stream entry ? What fetters are removed at stream-entry according to him ?
I can try but we shouldn't go there yet, because I believe you haven't yet understood the passage I posted. We need to back track and stay on that point until you understand what he's saying, not agree with what he's saying, but understand it, so your criticisms will be meaningful and actually criticizing what he's saying.
This is claiming self-view appears because the subjectivity of experience, subjectivity that appears because of this or that. In other words, the subjectivity of experience that exist there is produced through this response to the reflection between the 2 elements that are causing this supposed reflexion.
That's where your misunderstanding is I think. I have no idea where you are getting this reflection between two elements. What does this mean?

Ven. Nanavira's position is closer to what you assert later:
The existence of this tendency towards conceit is what causes the existence of this "subjectivity of experience"
Yes exactly! Experience as such as actually not subjective at all in Ven. Nv's terminology, Its ignorance that creates the illusion of subjectivity, similar to what you said. This note on Atta is describing WHAT the puttujhuna takes as his self. That subjectivity appears because he seizes upon the identity disclosed in the structure of any given experience, seizes upon it because of ignorance, taking is "as the basic principe of all subjectivity."
Ven. Nanavira wrote:The puthujjana confuses (as the arahat does not) the self-identity of simple reflexion—as with a mirror, where the same thing is seen from two points of view at once ('the thing itself', 'the selfsame thing')—with the 'self' as the subject that appears in reflexion—'my self' (i.e. 'I itself', i.e. 'the I that appears when I reflect'). Since the self of self-identity is involved in the structure of the subject appearing in reflexion ('my self' = 'I itself'), it is sometimes taken (when recourse is not had to a supposed Transcendental Being) as the basic principle of all subjectivity.
And even more important: If he claims there is a self only that he thinks we should use simply use a different term when speaking about this self that exists - then where is this self located ? If this self is that "focal point" spoken about in your signature, then is this focal point permanent or impermanent ?
This "focal point" is 100% impermanent, suffering and not self. There is no "self that exists" in this tradition, except in the delusions of the puthujjana.

For the Arya there is no self, and there never was. The point is, WHAT the puthujjana takes as his "self" is the background or invariant that appears within that reflexive structure that is meaningful experience. It's not located anywhere because its a phenomenological negative, its "always behind your look" as Venerable N. Nanamoli says in his talks. Even when he embraces the Buddha's teaching and becomes "too quick to say there is no self, there is no self," the non Arya has likely not yet seen WHAT it is that he's still taking as self while he's busily proclaiming the impermanence of everything that appears in front of him, i.e. foreground. That's the point, and that's what Ven. N Nanamoli is getting at. It's not the impermanence of "seeing, seeing," that reveals anatta. Its the fact that "I am seeing, I am seeing" is determined by what is impermanent, and hence impermanent and not self. If we're going to relinquish self view, first we have to find WHAT we are taking as a self. This is what the practice of Sati-Sampajanna aims at in the phenomenological tradition. To address your question #1 above, self view is removed through Sati-Sampajanna and the contemplation of the higher dhamma as you put it, e.g. paticcasamuppada. But this all presupposes sila and samadhi, so there is no simple answer to the question. All three fetters break.

For Ven. Nv the Ariya knows that this background or invariant is not his, is NOT self. Why? Because it is determined by the impermanent particulars that appear in that same reflexive structure. It is entirely contingent upon, and a structural feature of, there being a point of view. A passage pulga quoted recently in another thread from Venerable Bodhesako is on point here:
Ven. Bodhesako wrote:Since on each higher level of generality there is no change at all we can say that from a point of view within any one level the next higher level is eternal. Or, better, extra-temporal. Just as change is perceptible only against a background of non-change, so too impermanence (temporality) is perceptible only against a background of extra-temporality. But that extra-temporality exists only in relationship to its less general foreground, and it is thus not independently extra-temporal. Its extra-temporality is due entirely to a particular point of view. And since points of view are invariably temporal, that extra-temporality will cease and be utterly ended when the perspective of the experience changes and no longer gives support to eternity. Thus, the extra-temporal exists only with temporality as its condition — a point to which we shall return. -- Change: 3. The structure of time (emphasis added)
Taking it from another angle, we could say that entire structure is determined by the impermanent arrangement of consciousness-name and form which allow that structure in the first place. But knowing that doesn't remove the reflexive structure of experience, it deflates it and reveals it for what it is. Without it, there is no experience to speak of, no intentional activity, no individual (NOT a person or self). Hence, "there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

So that apparent focal point-apparent because it is something that appears, and this is what we're being warned to not deny-is impermanent and determined (or conditioned if you prefer), therefore not self.

Hope that helps.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Circle5
Posts: 441
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:14 am

Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:41 pm

Ven. Ñanavira takes self to be a mirage, though as a mirage it is very real.
Buddha does not take the self to be a mirage. There was never a self to begin with, not even a self that is a mirage. There was only self-view - the opinion that there is a self. There was never any self that gave rise to this opinion, there was only the contact between 3 elements that caused this opinion to appear.
That's where your misunderstanding is I think. I have no idea where you are getting this reflection between two elements. What does this mean?
It said this self-view depends on the reflection going on between what we might call "external world" or "objects" and the perception of it. I have claimed this is not how self-view originates.
Yes exactly! Experience as such as actually not subjective at all in Ven. Nv's terminology, Its ignorance that creates the illusion of subjectivity, similar to what you said. This note on Atta is describing WHAT the puttujhuna takes as his self. That subjectivity appears because he seizes upon the identity disclosed in the structure of any given experience, seizes upon it because of ignorance, taking is "as the basic principe of all subjectivity.
Experience is subjective as long as the tendency towards conceit is still present, meaning until attaining arahantship.

As for that appearing due to "seizing upon identity disclosed in the structure of any given experience" ask yourself for a moment if that is really something true, something that you can "see" or if it is just a theory with no backing in real world. Now, compare that theory to the explanation Buddha gave regarding this and you will see Buddha explanation actually can be "seen" or "seen with wisdom". It's simply the correct one.

According to Buddha, this subjectivity appears because of the existence of the tendency towards conceit, not because of ignorance. This tendency towards conceit is craving, it is craving itself. This craving is what is behind this tendency towards conceit, it is this that it is based upon. And this is why craving has to be eliminated for attaining arahantship. In Nanananda view, the solution is different and more close to "thinking your way to enlightenment". In Nanananda view you can't really fit the removal of craving and practicing of austerities. If you do that, you just do because you want to or because it's considered something good to do, not because of having a real explanation for why that is required. It's something hard to fit into his philosophy because according to him, conceit is not based on craving and is not craving itself, conceit is actually dependent on other things so other methods than those of the Buddha are required to eliminate it.
This "focal point" is 100% impermanent, suffering and not self. There is no "self that exists" in this tradition, except in the delusions of the puthujjana.

For the Arya there is no self, and there never was. The point is, WHAT the puthujjana takes as his "self" is the background or invariant that appears within that reflexive structure that is meaningful experience. It's not located anywhere because its a phenomenological negative, its "always behind your look" as Venerable N. Nanamoli says in his talks. Even when he embraces the Buddha's teaching and becomes "too quick to say there is no self, there is no self," the non Arya has likely not yet seen WHAT it is that he's still taking as self while he's busily proclaiming the impermanence of everything that appears in front of him, i.e. foreground. That's the point, and that's what Ven. N Nanamoli is getting at. It's not the impermanence of "seeing, seeing," that reveals anatta. Its the fact that "I am seeing, I am seeing" is determined by what is impermanent, and hence impermanent and not self. If we're going to relinquish self view, first we have to find WHAT we are taking as a self. This is what the practice of Sati-Sampajanna aims at in the phenomenological tradition. To address your question #1 above, self view is removed through Sati-Sampajanna and the contemplation of the higher dhamma as you put it, e.g. paticcasamuppada. But this all presupposes sila and samadhi, so there is no simple answer to the question. All three fetters break.
The removal of self view means the removal of a simple opinion. In Nanavira view, he confuses the removal of the opinion that there is a self (stream entry) with the removal of conceit.(arahantship). And it is only normal for him to do so since he has not removed self view for himself and can not understand things in a diferent way.

About the first part of your quote, there is nothing I find wrong with it, other than not being voiced as clearly as Buddha did. The way to look at this from a Buddha angle requires understanding of consciousness. Consciousness is not some form of big ball that sees everything. (that is how people believing in a self see it). Consciousness should be seen like a string of pictures that run one after the other, like the way cartoons used to be built. Every second there is a different consciousness that exists. One moment it is eye-consciousness, the next moment it might be ear-consciousness of a sound that appeared, etc. This is why the Buddha said that one would be wiser to take the body to be the self rather than consciousness cause counsciousness changes every moment.

While the way of understanding the problem and the angle of looking of Nanavira might not be good, what he has complained about is indeed a problem. Most people can easily see how their body is not their self. The body did not exist before, it was in one way when it was a baby body, it is changing right now and will be eatern by worms in the future. Therefore most assume the self is something different from the body, like something that sees it all. This is why the huge majority of people, including Nanananda, take consciousness to be the self, or consider the self to be something that exists apart from the aggregates, or consider the aggregates as a whole to be the self. But most commonly it is consciousness that they consider to be the self.
Taking it from another angle, we could say that entire structure is determined by the impermanent arrangement of consciousness-name and form which allow that structure in the first place. But knowing that doesn't remove the reflexive structure of experience, it deflates it and reveals it for what it is. Without it, there is no experience to speak of, no intentional activity, no individual (NOT a person or self). Hence, "there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."
Of course knowing that doesn't remove conceit, understanding the higher dhamma only removes the opinion that there is a self. Conceit will still continue to exist because it is a tendency and it is actually craving itself. Only when craving will be fully removed will this tendency towards conceit cease to exist. What Nanananda wants to do is think his way into removing conceit, not knowing it is based on craving and actually is craving itself.

From what you wrote here, it would appear that Nanananda is taking the 5 aggregates that make up a being, parts of an engine that works in a specific way, a small part of it being presented in Patticasamupada (that's just 1 sutta out of 1500 of higher dhamma) - and considering these aggregates as a whole to be a self, and then saying they are impermanent too and therefore are not-self. This is how we get to "there is a self, and that self is impermanent therefore not-self either".

Have you ever seen the Buddha speak like that ? No, you will never hear him say that there is a self and that self is impermanent and therefore not-self. That is, as I said, a doctrine believing in a self. Even if you say "I have no self" - you are claiming there is a self that has no self. This is why Buddha was always so careful when speaking about no-self and constantly complained about people trying to misinterpret him. He was aware of this problem.

This is why I claim they believe in a self, a self that is not-self. A thing that has never been claimed by the Buddha because it is of course wrong. That focal point that he considers to be the self, the aggregates as a whole and the rules that govern their behaviour (patticasamupada etc.) do not make up a self. Same as a computer with it's metal, it's plastic, it's software, the rules that govern it's behaviour - still does not have a self. It is just an amalgamation of different components, not a self that is made out of these components.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:20 pm

Greetings Circle5,

I see you're still presenting more ridiculous misrepresentations of ven. Nanananda's perspective. You have been told by multiple people he does not advocate self-view but you cling to your perverse misrepresentations...

:strawman:

How someone who cannot comprehend or bother to read the views of others thinks they are fit to declare what those others are or what they believe, is a mystery to me!

:alien:

As it is, I trust no one is foolish enough to take your misrepresentations as accurate... If anyone is interested in what ven. Nanananda actually says, then rather than listen to someone who hasn't even bothered to read his works, I trust they'll have the intelligence to take advantage of the fact his works are freely available online and find out for themselves.

:reading:

If anyone needs any help finding them, or recommendations on where to start, feel free to PM me.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by aflatun » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:59 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:20 pm
Greetings Circle5,

I see you're still presenting more ridiculous misrepresentations of ven. Nanananda's perspective. You have been told by multiple people he does not advocate self-view but you cling to your perverse misrepresentations...
Even better he's doing so on the basis of quotations from Venerable Nanavira. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence. :toilet:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by aflatun » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:24 pm

As I said:
aflatun wrote:I want to be clear about something. We're talking about your attributions of solipsism and attavada to Ven. Nanananda and Nanavira, not whether your understanding of dhamma is better. Not about whether I am full bore espousing the view of either monk (I am not). I am trying to disavow you of those attributions so that we can finally move forward into constructive conversation, we can talk about the latter somewhere else. Agreed? Let's please stay on topic. We don't need to debate the particulars of the analysis, I just want you to see that the analysis does not posit a self. OK?
In your response you proceed to return to your usual espousing of your personal philosophy, and your usual attempts to pull me into a debate. I have no interest in either. I made my intentions for posting clear, and nowhere did I assert my opinion on "how it really is," so you're wasting your breath.
Circle5 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:41 pm
It said this self-view depends on the reflection going on between what we might call "external world" or "objects" and the perception of it. I have claimed this is not how self-view originates.
No it does not say that. Not even close. We're still at square one. If you don't understand reflexion you don't understand anything Ven. Nanavira has to say. Its the easiest and most fundamental thing he writes about. Not surprising that everything else you wrote is a tango with a straw man. Its almost as if you've never read him, much like you've never read Nanananda...
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:43 am

aflatun wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:24 pm
No it does not say that. Not even close. We're still at square one. If you don't understand reflexion you don't understand anything Ven. Nanavira has to say. Its the easiest and most fundamental thing he writes about. Not surprising that everything else you wrote is a tango with a straw man. Its almost as if you've never read him, much like you've never read Nanananda...
To be fair, it doesn't help that Nanavira takes the word reflexion, which nowdays is usually thought of as simply an archaic spelling of reflection, and narrows the definition down to a particular technical meaning:
The faculty of self-observation or reflexion is inherent in the structure of our experience.
http://www.nanavira.org/libraries/ctp_book_v1.pdf page 34
In immediate experience the thing is present; in reflexive experience the thing is again present, but as implicit in a more general thing. Thus in reflexion the thing is twice present, once immediately and once reflexively. This is true of reflexion both in the loose sense (as reflection or discursive thinking) and a fortiori in the stricter sense (for the reason that reflection involves reflexion, though not vice versa).
See Mano and also Vinnana [d].
http://www.nanavira.org/libraries/ctp_book_v1.pdf page 52
:thinking:

Reading the above carefully, it is possible to make sense of statements like:
Atta

In the arahat’s reflexion what appears reflexively is only pancakkhandha, which he calls ‘myself’ simply for want of any other term.
But in the puthujjana’s reflexion what appears reflexively is panc’upàdànakkhandha, or sakkaya;
and sakkaya (q.v.), when it appears reflexively, appears (in one way or another) as being and belonging to an extra-temporal changeless ‘self’ (i.e. a soul).
http://www.nanavira.org/libraries/ctp_book_v1.pdf page 52
Cleary Nanavira is not saying that the arahant takes the khandhas as a self, but of course the arahant can examine "his/her" khandas, and may need to refer to them as "myself" when speaking to others.

And we can see from these passages why he wants to have a technical term, reflexion, rather than saying self-observation, which would add even more confusion...

:heart:
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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:15 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:43 am

To be fair, it doesn't help that Nanavira takes the word reflexion, which nowdays is usually thought of as simply an archaic spelling of reflection, and narrows the definition down to a particular technical meaning:
I couldn't find a good definition of reflexion to illustrate what nanavira is talking about.

INstead I googled "reflexive" and I think its definition will help in understanding what he is saying.
chownah

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:41 am

aflatun wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:59 pm
retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:20 pm
Greetings Circle5,

I see you're still presenting more ridiculous misrepresentations of ven. Nanananda's perspective. You have been told by multiple people he does not advocate self-view but you cling to your perverse misrepresentations...
Even better he's doing so on the basis of quotations from Venerable Nanavira. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence. :toilet:
I said "Nanananda" instead of "Nanavira" out of mistake.
To be fair, it doesn't help that Nanavira takes the word reflexion, which nowdays is usually thought of as simply an archaic spelling of reflection, and narrows the definition down to a particular technical meaning:
Indeed I have misunderstood him. I still don't know 100% sure what he is reffering to despite reading the whole page in your link. I believe he is refering to the quality of self-obserence not to simple self-observance. For example one might be "more conscious" or "more self-observent" or "more mindfull" when he is sober than compared to when he's drunk. This quality of being more or less self-observant is what I think he is refering to.

I've browsed the book a little more since you posted the link. Many parts are simply losing himself in words. As I said before, it's like one would take the 2+2=4 and start saying: All 3 numbers have equal significance in relationship to themselves and to the equation as a whole. Since all 3 numbers have equal significance, none can be said to have priority over another. Yet, the third number, (nr 4) can be said to superimpose itself on the other 2 numbers, being the sum of them. Through this superimposition, number 4 can be said to be the parent of the other 2 numbers, the thing that conditions their existence. Therefore, one might conclude that it is not that 2+2=4, but rather that "2" and "2" would not exist in the first place if it were not for the 4 superimposing itself on them and therefore the whole equation is meaningless as far as significance is concerned.

It is this kind of thinking that I is called "losing yourself in words". You might end up with a theory that simply has nothing to do with reality and, more importantly, it's just not useful for anything. The problem here, besides the losing yourself in words, is the wrong angle of looking at the problem to begin with. Have we ever seen Buddha speak in this way and look at things from this angle ? No, we see him look at things from a different angle and explain things in a different way.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by pulga » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:17 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:15 am

I couldn't find a good definition of reflexion to illustrate what nanavira is talking about.
Husserl's concept of apperception is helpful in understanding what Ven. Ñanavira means by reflexion:
Apperception (Apperzeption, Vergegenwärtigung)â•… See also appresentation, presentification

For Husserl, an apperception (Apperzeption) always presupposes and is founded on a perception (see CM § 55). To apperceive means to grasp something over and above what is actually perceived. Apperceptions accompany and form part of perceptions. The term ‘apperception’ is used by Descartes, Kant and Leibniz. In Brentano, an apperception is founded
on a perception. In perception, there is a direct experience of the selfgivenness of the object. In apperception, there is a sense that the object is mediated through something else that is presented immediately. For instance, in all perception of a physical object, direct perception is of the facing side of the object, the hidden sides of the object are apperceived or
appresented in an empty manner. Perception involves a horizon of sense that is co-intended and appresented. In his Passive Synthesis lectures, Husserl defines apperception as ‘a consciousness of having something that is not present in the original’ (APS, 367; Hua XI 234). Apperception involves a certain awareness of properties, profiles, horizons that are not
sensuously given in the perceiving itself, e.g. if I am in a room, I am aware not only of the objects that are inside the room, but also of the building in which I am. This connection between presence and absence is crucial for phenomenology. There are not only apperceptions of the things and the world but also of the self and others. Our interests, customs, convictions, judgements, etc. are grasped ‘apperceptively’ (Crisis, § 59). Husserl employs the term ‘presentiation’ or ‘presentification’ (Vergegenwärtigung) to cover a huge range of experiences including memories, fantasies, anticipations,
awareness of the hidden side of a physical object, and so on: ‘There are sense’ (CM § 50, 111; Hua I 141). Husserl says that an apperception does not involve inference (CM § 51). For Husserl, seeing another living body as a subject or cogito is a typical example of an apperception. -- Husserl Dictionary

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by SDC » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:50 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:41 am
Therefore, one might conclude that it is not that 2+2=4, but rather that "2" and "2" would not exist in the first place if it were not for the 4 superimposing itself on them and therefore the whole equation is meaningless as far as significance is concerned.
So you're on the right track, but not exactly.

In terms of Ven. Nv's model of fundamental structure, if you have "2" and "2" there together, you would not, in a typical linear fashion, surmise "4". Structurally speaking, no matter how many "2" you have you can only conclude "2" when describing the nature of how "2" appears in this situation. See
Ven. Nanavira wrote:Let o represent a thing.

If we wish to represent another thing, not o, we must represent it by another symbol; for we cannot distinguish between o and o except by the fact of their being spatially separated, left and right, on this page; and since this is a representation, not of a structure in space (i.e. of a spatial object), but of the structure of space (amongst other things), which structure is not itself spatial, such spatial distinctions in the representation must not be taken into account. Thus, whether we write o once or a hundred times still only one thing is represented. -Notes on Dhamma, Fundamental Structure: Static Aspect
There is no mention of a thing "not existing in the first pace" (stop trying to insist this). This is not the denial of mathematics (nor of existence), but the point is not to accept the linear arrangement of things at face value, as the only way to see experience. Yes that linear arrangement is still relevant, but linear and temporal dependence are not the primary focus of PS, nor is it the only view available (you and I have discussed this with the simile of the reeds: SN 12.67, the relationship between the two reeds is a structural relationship and has nothing at all to do with time). So to say that "2" with "2" is "4", and say nothing else, only serves to diminish the significance of the meaning of "2". So whether "4" is responsible "2" and "2" or vise versa, it should not affect the significance of either. Both have significance. And that is the point of the reeds sutta is that neither reed takes temporal/linear precedence over the other.

I can tell you made an effort and it gives us an actual opportunity to discuss him rather than play games. But to take a quick look a Nanavira's writing and come here and say he is lost in his words sounds more like you got lost in his words. And you aren't the first to say this - it is an easy excuse not to read him.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Circle5 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:25 pm

In terms of Ven. Nv's model of fundamental structure, if you have "2" and "2" there together, you would not, in a typical linear fashion, surmise "4".
No wonder.
Structurally speaking, no matter how many "2" you have you can only conclude "2" when describing the nature of how "2" appears in this situation. See
There is no mention of a thing "not existing in the first pace" (stop trying to insist this). This is not the denial of mathematics (nor of existence), but the point is not to accept the linear arrangement of things at face value, as the only way to see experience. Yes that linear arrangement is still relevant, but linear and temporal dependence are not the primary focus of PS, nor is it the only view available (you and I have discussed this with the simile of the reeds: SN 12.67, the relationship between the two reeds is a structural relationship and has nothing at all to do with time). So to say that "2" with "2" is "4", and say nothing else, only serves to diminish the significance of the meaning of "2". So whether "4" is responsible "2" and "2" or vise versa, it should not affect the significance of either. Both have significance. And that is the point of the reeds sutta is that neither reed takes temporal/linear precedence over the other.
What is funny here is that my 2+2=4 example was not intended to have anything to do with Nanavira, it was intended as a satire. It was just an example about how one can simply look from a different angle at a thing, get himself lost in words and simply do an useless thinking exercise and nothing more.

It is no surprise Nanavira has an opinion similar to my satire about 2+2=4. Starting to look at the problem from a wrong angle and conclude that, at least when looking from this wrong angle, you can say "Structurally speaking, no matter how many "2" you have you can only conclude "2" when describing the nature of how "2" appears in this situation." (to quote you) - this is simply a thinking exercise like Sudoku or integrams. Not only is it the most useless exercise in the world, but you will also get lost in words and make wrong conclusions.

What sudoku exercises like that will do is to end you up with different sudoku theories, theories that can not be seen in reality. For example when I say that the tendency towards conceit is responsible for that "feeling of subjectivity" to use Nanavira vocabulary, such a statement you can actually "see with wisdom". You can lie 5 minutes on the couch, think about it and see if it is like that or not. When it comes to sudoku games, you can never see those things in reality. Like when Nanavira says that things that appear "impose themselves" on subjective experience. You can never see that with wisdom and very it. If one were to say the reverse thing, that subjective experience is imposing itself on things that appear, nobody could tell which one of the 2 opposing opinions is correct. And more importantly: it''s a totally useless angle of looking at things that will get you nowhere.

Let me give you a better simile. Imagine a car arrives at a mechanic with a problem at the turbine. A normal mechanic would start looking at different symptoms of the car, will look at how the pieces of the car work and relate to each other, etc. He would look at the turbine, at the intercooler pipe, at the electrovalve, etc.

An intellectual sudoku paying mechanic would do another thing. He would start thinking "this car is a French car, therefore it must be something related to electricity". or "this car is black, therefore it must be something related to the car enduring more hear than a normal car" etc. Or even worse: "Does this car exist in the first place? Does the turbine exist in the first place since we are not even sure about the car?" He would start looking at things from the wrong angle, totally divorced from reality and would never fix the turbine. He would get lost in theories that can be created about the car instead of looking from the right angle, looking at the intercooler, at the electrovalve, etc.

This is why looking from the right angle at things is so important. Postmodernist in particular are known for getting lost in words and sudoku theories. But even logical positivist and other more respectable philosophers many times are simply looking from the wrong angle, never finding out how this world works. Buddha 5 aggregates model is something that can be seen. The aggregates can be seen just like one can see the intercooler, electrovalve etc. The way they work can be seen just like the way the engine of the car can be seen. This is the difference between looking from the right angle and getting lost in sudoku theories that can not be seen in real life, that can never be verified through seeing them with wisdom. Weather a particular sudoku theory or it's opposite is true, it can never be verified since both are divorced from reality like the second mechanic theories are.

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Re: Is this a proper test for solipsism ?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:26 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:15 am
I couldn't find a good definition of reflexion to illustrate what nanavira is talking about.
In the Oxford Dictionary it’s Reflexion definition #8.c
Frederick Furnivall and his Merry Men wrote: Philos. The mode, operation, or faculty by which the mind has knowledge of itself and its operations, or by which it deals with the ideas received from sensation and perception.

1690 Locke Hum. Und. ii. i. §4 By Reflection then,‥I would be understood to mean, that notice which the Mind takes of its own Operations, and the manner of them.
1692 Norris Refl. Locke's Ess. Hum. Und. 61 Ideas of Reflection are but a Secondary sort of Ideas [etc.].
1797–1803 Foster in Life & Corr. (1846) I. 177 A knowledge of sensation more than of reflexion.
1847 Lewes Hist. Philos. (1867) I. 98 Was there nothing to guide man but the reports of his senses? Democritus said there was Reflection.
1853 Abp. Thomson Laws Th. §48 Reflection is ascertainment of points of resemblance and points of difference.

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