Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

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devaloka
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Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by devaloka » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:00 pm

Excellent read for all those that wish to deepen their understanding of Anattā

http://www.holybooks.com/no-inner-core- ... ne-annata/

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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Monkey Gift of Honey
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by Monkey Gift of Honey » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:43 am

The best read for all those that wish to deepen their understanding of Anattā

Anatta-lakkhana sutta
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.59

Sunnata Vagga - Majjhima Nikaya
https://suttacentral.net/mn
As a mother watches over her child, willing to risk her own life to protect her only child, so with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings, suffusing the whole world with unobstructed loving kindness. Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, during all of one's waking hours, one should sustain this heart and this way of living.
- Karaniya Metta Sutta

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by LmH » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:16 pm

No inner core to aggregated existence only what is imputed by spirit. We would be wrong to treat ourselves as having no inner core to the point of abuse.

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srivijaya
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by srivijaya » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:00 pm

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.

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:32 am

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...
A claim based on guesswork of the Ānanda Sutta (SN. 44.10) no doubt. Is it yours or are you regurgitating the surmise of another?
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:23 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:
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...
A claim based on guesswork of the Ānanda Sutta (SN. 44.10) no doubt. Is it yours or are you regurgitating the surmise of another?
The surmise of the Buddha.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:39 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:
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...
A claim based on guesswork of the Ānanda Sutta (SN. 44.10) no doubt. Is it yours or are you regurgitating the surmise of another?
The surmise of the Buddha.
Please explain for us how that is.
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by cjmacie » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:17 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.
Silananda Sayadaw was Burmese, so might come across as a bit doctrinaire. He was something of a heavy-weight (accomplishments, writings, etc.), though, and founder of the Tathagata Meditation Center, 12 miles from here in San Jose, California.

If you're bent on dissing his interpretations, good luck. ;)

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:37 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:A claim based on guesswork of the Ānanda Sutta (SN. 44.10) no doubt. Is it yours or are you regurgitating the surmise of another?
The surmise of the Buddha.
Please explain for us how that is.
Simply because the Buddha explains that there is a proper way to deal with people who ask questions like "Is there a self" as evidenced by the very suttas you often cite when coming up against such people who subscribe to such ideologies that would cause them to ask the question "Is there a self", namely, the Ānandasutta and Vacchagottasutta.

I wont pretend to completely and objectively understand your motivations for arguing the way you do here sometimes, but suffice to say that it is in my own beliefs that the position "The Buddha viewed the notion of 'There is no self' as a wrong-view" is often considerably more subtle and nuanced than you are willing to admit or allow, because it was comes from a statement in the Buddhavacana that is simply objectively there no matter how many problems it causes for some. It arises out of a very specific context to meet a specific function, namely, the instruction of Vacchagota and those like him.

In my experience in reading your posts here I can already predict that you may very well respond with something like "This is just more drivel of Thanissaro's regurgitated", which makes me somewhat disinclined to put too much effort into critical engagement when I am almost sure I will be received with nothing but quippery for any efforts I put in, but perhaps I am wrong and judging too quickly and harshly based on some perhaps-out-of-context posts I have read from you.

You often come out with statements like this:
ancientbuddhism wrote:"There is a self" is a wrong view. "There is no self" is a wrong view. Yes, these are the wrong views of the puthujjana .
But I think you are not considering the vital fact that many people come to DhammaWheel because they are utterly unexposed, or lack significant access, to real living Buddhism as it is actually practiced. Such people are in the position of, in fact, being de facto puthujjana, whether andha or kalyāna. In fact, more people are actually puthujjana can would claim to be, due to the obvious shame associated with honestly admitting that that definition applies to you.

Elaborating on the subject of puthujjana, using myself as an example, have I attained the 4 stages of holiness? How am I to know? I suspect not, given that I still smoke and drink and engage in all sorts of behaviour that is bad for me, despite contradictorily knowing that it is bad for me. In fact, maybe I am being foolishly egotistical and/or naive, but I think that is the position that most people are in: we [using an abstract we, not necessarily referring to you] know certain things are bad for us, yet we pursue these temporary pleasures, doomed to falling as they rose, nonetheless. This means that we don't actually believe in impermanence on some, perhaps unconscious, level, despite nominally pledging adherence to the nobles truths and the marks of existence.

For instance, its easy to "know", on an abstract and theoretical level, that lust for material rebirth is a fetter. It is quite something else, quite a more extravagant feat, to actually root out attachment and honestly truly not want for this samsaric existence to continue. Most of the people who you are having anattā-debates with are puthujjana. In all honesty you are probably engaging in dialogue with one quite literally right now as you read this sentence, as honourable and honest as I hope my practice is. I could make the leap to call myself a kalyānaputhujjana, adding a nice fancy prefix to such a title, but even that is far to egotistical, since for all I know I am a fish jumping into the air in the vain hope that I will land on the moon. And that would only be grabbing for a new artificial identity, like this artificial identity here: the username Coëmgenu.

The very fact that someone would ask a question "Is there a self", which is actually a very bizarre question that would never be asked unless someone had anattā-teachings thrown at them with no context and a lack of sufficient grounding in the teaching, pays testament to the fact that you are talking to a puthujjana in that instance, even if it is considered impolite to call people that. Everyone wants to be a noble follower. If some of the stigma around this term, which is not synonymous with "garbage person", were to be removed, maybe a lot of us could be more publically honest about where we are on the path.

The Buddha thought that "there is no self" was not a suitable answer to the question "is there a self" on account of the context in which that question was asked, indeed (and this following half of the sentence is my own mere opinion, informed or uninformed), the only context in which that question can possibly be formulated to be asked.

But I am not always the best communicator. Look at it this way instead. Someone who is doubting "there is no self" first needs to learn what is not the self before they can honestly and coherently ascribe to the position of "there is no self", since they are obviously still looking for the self in things that are well-established to not be that very self. No one wants to encourage "leave your brain at the temple door" Buddhism. If people are to be expected to actually coherently come to any critically informed knowledge that "there is no self" they first need to learn what is not the self, which is outlined and explained in the Buddhavacana. If they are asking "is there a self [in X or Y]" than they haven't yet learned what is not the self. If fact, I do not think it is completely irrational to believe possibly that Buddha's reason for avoiding making clumsy statements like "There is no self", which would be highly redundant in the context of his teaching, may well have been for this very fact, that many people, puthujjana unexposed to the teaching, would misunderstand it and conclude, based on that misunderstanding, that the Buddhadharma was nonsense. And, on one level, one of the purposes of ministry is to bring in the puthujjana.

So when such questions arise should we not follow the example set by the Buddha in how to deal with them? I don't claim to be a dhamma-doctor, quite the opposite, but this just seems to make sense from the context in which the questions appear in the Buddhavacana and what is considered an appropriate way to deal with them in the Buddhavacana.

-Caoimhghín
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by srivijaya » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:41 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
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...
A claim based on guesswork of the Ānanda Sutta (SN. 44.10) no doubt. Is it yours or are you regurgitating the surmise of another?
Hi ancientbuddhism, I'm not sure what you mean by guesswork in the context of the link you provided?

There are no suttas where Buddha engages in metaphysical speculation on "self/no-self", despite having the opportunity to do so. In fact many ancient philosophers would have expected him to hold a doctrine on such matters.

This avoidance of doctrine did not prevent some Mahayana sects from engaging in this kind of assertion and denial and in some respects I can sympathise with the need and wish to do so, as they were countering other (somewhat cruder) views. But it's a slippery slope in dhamma terms.

It's just not what Buddha taught, otherwise we would have these teachings in the suttas and we don't.

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by srivijaya » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:45 pm

cjmacie wrote: Silananda Sayadaw was Burmese, so might come across as a bit doctrinaire. He was something of a heavy-weight (accomplishments, writings, etc.), though, and founder of the Tathagata Meditation Center, 12 miles from here in San Jose, California.

If you're bent on dissing his interpretations, good luck. ;)
Thanks for the background info cjmacie. I would have to carefully read the book before making any definitive comments, which I can't do time-wise at the moment. It was merely something which I noted in the introduction. :anjali:

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:08 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Simply because the Buddha explains that there is a proper way to deal with people who ask questions like "Is there a self" as evidenced by the very suttas you often cite when coming up against such people who subscribe to such ideologies that would cause them to ask the question "Is there a self", namely, the Ānandasutta and Vacchagottasutta.
This answer is fair enough if it does not stray outside the context of the puthujjana.
Coëmgenu wrote:"This is just more drivel of Thanissaro's regurgitated"
Yes, et al.
Coëmgenu wrote:Elaborating on the subject of puthujjana, using myself as an example, have I attained the 4 stages of holiness? How am I to know? I suspect not…
This statement and much of what follows meets the general reason why the Tathāgata was cautious with Vacchagotta in this oft misunderstood encounter.

You responded outside the context of the statement my question to srivijaya was with reference to:
srivijaya wrote:Buddha never affirmed or denied the existence...
…of attā.

The aim of the book introduced in the OP is with reference to the Tathāgata’s denial of an enduring attā. To say that “Buddha never denied…” such is a baseless claim, and even more specious when using the Ānanda Sutta of SN.44.10 as a proof as so many have done for the last century.

As cjmacie said of U Sīlananda Sayādaw “He was something of a heavy-weight...” and unlike Ṭānissaro, his writing is unimpeachable.
Coëmgenu wrote:So when such questions arise should we not follow the example set by the Buddha…
Again, the context of this thread is with reference to U Sīlananda’s book, written by and directed to a suitable audience for the anattā teachings of the Tathāgata. For those outside, there is the ‘thicket of views’ 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).
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:17 pm

srivijaya wrote:There are no suttas where Buddha engages in metaphysical speculation on "self/no-self", despite having the opportunity to do so.
Carefully read The Simile of the Snake (Alagaddūpama Sutta MN.22). There are oodles more examples, but this one is the most direct.
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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by srivijaya » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:55 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:Carefully read The Simile of the Snake (Alagaddūpama Sutta MN.22). There are oodles more examples, but this one is the most direct.
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.
:anjali:

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Re: Book about Anattā - No Inner Core

Post by ancientbuddhism » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:25 pm

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).
Last edited by ancientbuddhism on Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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