Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Postby srivijaya » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:03 am

Coëmgenu wrote:I think you are confusing metaphysical existence, ontological existence, and phenomenological existence.

Hi Coëmgenu, Interesting observation. Not something I think I'm doing but I'll defer to your judgement on that.

from a phenomenological angle, the Buddha does thoroughly dismiss selfhood, notions and realizations thereof, etc.

Absolutely agree.

If something does not exist phenomenologically, such as the self, it does not exist for me, for you, for anyone, other that someone who can see reality "as it is",

Yep. The only issue I have sometimes encountered (not implying that this is anything you have stated or done) is that this can be conflated with opinion. What I mean is that it's relatively easy to acquire a doctrinal (intellectual) belief in the existence or non-existence of a self. A fine example is the snippet from the sutta ancientbuddhism linked
‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’—this too he regards thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’

Although most people don't push their "self" belief to such a detailed doctrinal extent, I happen to think that belief in self (however it's defined) is a useful starting point for anyone, as we all have a default "self" modus. I think the onus is thus on a person to seek, identify and establish this "self".

The key issue is how this investigation is conducted. If it's done using logic and analysis, then a conclusion is reached. If it is done using right concentration, a direct discovery is made. The nature of these is completely different; the former being an inferior antidote to self-grasping (if an antidote at all). My point being that if Buddha states "This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ it's born of direct realization, rather than a conceptually constructed doctrine. Not saying that you shouldn't have such a doctrine, just that there's a fundamental difference.

From the phenomenological-Buddhist perspective, the Buddha is silent on issue of selfhood, but only because from this perspective, he is silent on the existence or non-existence of anything, selfhoods included. Look into the lists of all of the things that are called "not the self".


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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Postby srivijaya » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:06 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:
srivijaya wrote:The linked suttas do not appear to contain speculative doctrinal expositions on the existence/non-existence of atta. If they do, then please make it more explicit. I would like to see why you consider they do.

You may be forgetting what you were claiming as speculation. This is your post I responded to above:

srivijaya wrote:"He proclaimed that He teaches anattà, that is, when He denied the existence of atta."
Buddha never affirmed or denied the existence of such...

Indeed, the linked sutta contains nothing speculative at all, is there? Rather it is a definite, sweeping refutation of an attā that is “…permanent, stable; of the nature to endure for eternity.” ( nicco dhuvo sassato avipariṇāmadhammo). A realisation of which the noble adherent of the Tathāgata knows such an attā as ‘non-existent’ (asat).

“... of the perspective ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

netaṃ mama, nesohamasmi, na meso attā’ti samanupassati

“Since he is of this perspective he is not vexed by what is non-existent.”

So evaṃ samanupassanto asati na paritassatī”ti. (MN. 22)

The metaphysical speculations you keep alluding to are the caution to the puthujjana, given in the Sabbāsava Sutta (MN.2), which are those views on self of the puthujjana, who wrongly considers a personal existence ‘for me’ – ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? (ahosiṃ nu kho ahaṃ atītamaddhānaṃ, na nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ) … ‘I have a self’ … I do not have a self’ (atthi me attā’tinatthi me attā’ti).

Thanks, that's made your position clearer.

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Postby devaloka » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:38 am

srivijaya wrote:The intro states:

"He proclaimed that He teaches anattà, that is, when He denied the existence of atta."

Buddha never affirmed or denied the existence of such. He wasn't into affirmation or denial of metaphysical speculation.

It goes on to state:

"In the absolute sense, the anattà doctrine denies any and all psychological entities or agents inside the person."

Doctrines are all about affirmation and denial. Anatta is an uncovered truth, rather than a "doctrine".

I would have to spend some time on the contents to appraise it properly but the intro seems a bit off the mark.

Anatta is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible. It is the only really specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist doctrines may, more or less, be found in other philosophic systems and religions, but the anattā-doctrine has been clearly and unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known as the anattā-vādi, or 'Teacher of Impersonality'.


Wikipedia also lists it as doctrine

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nibbàna is, but not the man who enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Postby paul » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:22 pm

The argument that the Buddha uses to explain anatta in SN 22:59 the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta is that it is derived from anicca, impermanence:
"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
So the essential teaching is impermanence.

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Postby cappuccino » Sat May 06, 2017 9:44 pm

Have you ever felt like someone was in the room…
you turn around and no one is there?
The standard description of nibbana after death is,
"All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here."

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