Identity View

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DarrenM
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Identity View

Post by DarrenM » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:01 pm

I’m reading MN44- Cūlavedalla Sutta (The Shorter Series of Questions and Answers). I’ve read before about the twenty kinds of identity view but struggle to grasp the last 2 of the group of 4 for each aggregate.

Taking material form for example I understand how 1. One may regard material form as self, and 2. Self as possessed of material form, but I cannot grasp 3. Material form as in self, or 4. Self as in material form.

I have read Ven. B. Bodhi’s notes in his MN book but still cannot understand. It says if 3. As the scent is in the flower, and 4. As a jewel is in a casket.

I think some further examples would help clear it up for me. And would this cover the other Aggregates of Feeling, Perception, Formations and Consciousness? Or would they require different examples?

Regards
Darren

Circle5
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Re: Identity View

Post by Circle5 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:19 pm

The idea of the sutta is that nothing can be considered self, that there is no self whatsoever. Same as there is no self in a computer, which is a good example. There is just the metal, the plastic, the software, etc. but there is no self inside. You can not say that the metal of the computer belongs to some self of the computer, that the software of the computer belongs to someone, that there is some self within the software or some self apart from the software, etc. The reason the sutta is worded like that is so that it makes the idea as clear as possible, it tries to stress this idea.

Of course, this will never help you understand no-self. No self can only be understood through reading and contemplating the higher dhamma - which is chapter 2 (book of causation), chapter 3 (book of aggregates) and half of chapter 4 (book of sense bases) of SN (connected discourses volume of the 4 nikayas, the one with the blue cover). They also should be read in order, not randomly.

Without doing that, it is simply impossible to understand no-self no matter how much one tries. That would amount to being a self-made buddha, which is something statistically unlikely to happen. There is no need to rediscover the theory of relativity when you already had Einsteine - not to mention it's statistically unlikely to succeed. Similarly, there is no need to rediscover the dhamma when there already was a guy that did it before and now it is available.
Last edited by Circle5 on Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JohnK
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Re: Identity View

Post by JohnK » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:24 pm

I seem to recall once creating a table with aggregates as columns and these four possibilities as rows; I then put a check mark in each cell where I thought I might hold such a view to some extent. I recall that, for me anyway, the "checked" views varied by which aggregate I was considering. So, one example for your #3 and one for your #4 might not work well across all aggregates.

Considering your #4 for form (the jewel in the casket), that seems like a fairly common view -- e.g. One has a "soul" that is not material form but in some mysterious way is somewhere/somehow located in this material body.

Okay, your #3, seems to be if one imagines one's self or soul to be transcendent of and larger than the body, so material form is (again mysteriously) somehow within the larger self/soul.

It seems like there could be value in considering each of the "cells" in the table and what the "view" might actually look like.
(I suspect some scholars have done this with regard to views held at the Buddha's time which he counters with this formulation.)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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DooDoot
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Re: Identity View

Post by DooDoot » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:23 pm

DarrenM wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:01 pm
One may regard material form as self, and 2. Self as possessed of material form, but I cannot grasp 3. Material form as in self, or 4. Self as in material form.
(1) I am this body; (2) this is my body; (3) my self includes this body; (4) my self/soul exists/dwells within this body/material form.

Just guessing. :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: Identity View

Post by cappuccino » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:19 pm
The idea of the sutta is that nothing can be considered self, that there is no self whatsoever.
no self isn't correct

On Self, No Self, and Not-self

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DooDoot
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Re: Identity View

Post by DooDoot » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:28 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:25 pm
no self isn't correct

On Self, No Self, and Not-self
Sounds like discipleship of Vacchagotta and viewing Buddhism using the ideas of the bewildered Vacchagotta. :tongue:

DarrenM
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Re: Identity View

Post by DarrenM » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:21 pm

JohnK wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:24 pm
I seem to recall once creating a table with aggregates as columns and these four possibilities as rows; I then put a check mark in each cell where I thought I might hold such a view to some extent. I recall that, for me anyway, the "checked" views varied by which aggregate I was considering. So, one example for your #3 and one for your #4 might not work well across all aggregates.

Considering your #4 for form (the jewel in the casket), that seems like a fairly common view -- e.g. One has a "soul" that is not material form but in some mysterious way is somewhere/somehow located in this material body.

Okay, your #3, seems to be if one imagines one's self or soul to be transcendent of and larger than the body, so material form is (again mysteriously) somehow within the larger self/soul.

It seems like there could be value in considering each of the "cells" in the table and what the "view" might actually look like.
(I suspect some scholars have done this with regard to views held at the Buddha's time which he counters with this formulation.)
Hi John, that makes sense and has helped me understand. I did a table after reading and see what you mean by the example not fitting across the Aggregates. But I’ve ticked a few of the boxes and it’s somethimg to work with.

DarrenM
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Re: Identity View

Post by DarrenM » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:22 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:23 pm
DarrenM wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:01 pm
One may regard material form as self, and 2. Self as possessed of material form, but I cannot grasp 3. Material form as in self, or 4. Self as in material form.
(1) I am this body; (2) this is my body; (3) my self includes this body; (4) my self/soul exists/dwells within this body/material form.

Just guessing. :smile:
Thanks Doot, I’ve added your explanations to my table and I think your order of wording is what’s helped with my understanding.

justindesilva
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Re: Identity View

Post by justindesilva » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:22 pm

DarrenM wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:22 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:23 pm
DarrenM wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:01 pm
One may regard material form as self, and 2. Self as possessed of material form, but I cannot grasp 3. Material form as in self, or 4. Self as in material form.
(1) I am this body; (2) this is my body; (3) my self includes this body; (4) my self/soul exists/dwells within this body/material form.

Just guessing. :smile:
Thanks Doot, I’ve added your explanations to my table and I think your order of wording is what’s helped with my understanding.
Good guess, I suppose. Samyutta 34.16.11 explains sakkaya ditthi , well. Our natural process of existence as with paticca samuppada leads our selves towards sakkaya ditthi. The pancaskanda that leads our vinnana with tanha is the cause of sakkaya ditthi. Our defiled consciousness ( vinnana arising with loba dosa moha) makes us meet pancaskanda as pleasurable. An insight to the effect that pancaskanda with defiled consciousness has to be freed from klesha, per paticca samuppada nirodha sutta will free us from , sakkaya ditthi ( 1st samyojan) leading us towards sotapanna state. Arya ashtanga marga is the only path to salvage one from sakkaya ditthi.

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Zom
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Re: Identity View

Post by Zom » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:42 am

They regard form as self, self as having form, form in self, or self in form.
(MN 44, Sujato)


1. Body is a self.
2. A self has (some material) form.
3. A self is something bigger than body and so it includes body.
3. A self is something smaller than body and hides inside a body.

pegembara
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Re: Identity View

Post by pegembara » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:32 am

Taking material form, for example, I understand how 1. One may regard material form as self, and 2. Self as possessed of material form, but I cannot grasp 3. Material form as in self, or 4. Self as in material form.
4. Self as in material form like a soul within the body

3. Material form as in self. This is the ultimate Self/Atman within which contains the body with its feeling, perception, thoughts and consciousness. "That" within which arises the 5 aggregates or Sabbe sankhara anatta. "I am" not the 5 aggregates.

Contrast with the actual term sabbe dhamma anatta(all things are not self). 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'
Give up all questions except one, "Who am I?" After all the only fact you are sure of is that you "are". The "I am" is certain, the "I am this" is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality

Be content with what you are sure of. And the only thing you can be sure of is "I am". Stay with it and reject everything else. This is Yoga.

I Am That
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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budo
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Re: Identity View

Post by budo » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:53 am

Imho no-self is overcomplicated by many. There are actually two versions.

1) No-self because all you are is composed of the 5 aggregateas, and in reality the self is just your memories.

This the Buddha didn't bother to entertain because it leads to the debate between eternalism vs annihilationism/nihilism. You have to remember that the Buddha didn't care for objectivity, he only cared for what is useful in stopping suffering. Trying to figure out the objective paradox's that doesn't stop suffering is a waste of time. Mental masturbation that leads nowhere.

2) No-self as in "not mine"

This is what the Buddha meant because this is actually useful.

Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

Suppose you're feeling bliss like in Jhana, all you have to remember is

Will this bliss end? (Impermanent), Then it's not worth it / unsatisfying (Dukkha), then I will not hold onto it, I will not possess it (Anatta), and thus will let it go.

You let it go and then enter the next jhana with less bliss, and so on and so forth until you reach a state that meets the conditions 1) Does not end 2) Is worth it / satisfying 3) Is worth holding on to or possessing - Nibbana

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cappuccino
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Re: Identity View

Post by cappuccino » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:22 pm

no self is a self doctrine

the breakthrough is not self

pegembara
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Re: Identity View

Post by pegembara » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:13 am

Even when the 5 aggregates are taken as not-self, there still remains the perception of "I am".
"Friend Khemaka, this 'I am' of which you speak: what do you say 'I am'? Do you say, 'I am form,' or do you say, 'I am something other than form'? Do you say, 'I am feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness,' or do you say, 'I am something other than consciousness''? This 'I am' of which you speak: what do you say 'I am'?"

"Friends, it's not that I say 'I am form,' nor do I say 'I am something other than form.' It's not that I say, 'I am feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness,' nor do I say, 'I am something other than consciousness.' With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, 'I am' has not been overcome, although I don't assume that 'I am this.'

"Friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession

"In the same way, friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

arunam
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Re: Identity View

Post by arunam » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:24 am

[nettippakarana; nanamoli]

There are two types of identity view; Annihilationism - Form is self

Eternalism - Self as possessed of form
Form as in self
Self as in form
-------------------------------------------------------
In the case of annihilationism ; If form is the self when form is destroyed the self must be annihilated.
In the case of eternalism; An eternal self(unconditioned) is assumed.

Both have been rejected as corruption by view.

What is right view?

[Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta]

"Monks, do you see, 'This has come to be'?"
"Yes, lord."
"Monks, do you see, 'It comes into play from that nutriment'?"
"Yes, lord."
"Monks, do you see, 'From the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation'?"
"Yes, lord."

(In short, Dependant-orination in forward and reverse order)

"Now, monks, knowing thus and seeing thus, would you run after the past, thinking,
'Were we in the past?
Were we not in the past?
What were we in the past?
How were we in the past?
Having been what, what were we in the past'?"

"No, lord."

"Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you run after the future, thinking,
'Shall we be in the future?
Shall we not be in the future?
What shall we be in the future?
How shall we be in the future?
Having been what, what shall we be in the future'?"

"No, lord."

"Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking,
'Am I?
Am I not?
What am I?
How am I?
Where has this being come from?
Where is it bound'?

"No, lord."
A path is made by walking on it

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