ancientbuddhism wrote:By this reasoning why not take taṇhā and the entire pathway to dukkha out of the equation? …since this is interrupting your meditation.
Even better still, why don't we just reduce anatta to a strategy and just talk ourselves out of dukkha.
I think you (and TMingyur) missed this... "apart from the conventional usage."
Try to think of it in this way:
Person #1 keeps on saying this for each of the aggregates, "This is not god. This is not god. This is not god... this is not god... this also is not god." (Like a broken record.)
Person #2 replies, "OK... now that we figured that out... why not just dump 'god,' so that we might study these aggregates for what they really are?"
Person #1 says, "No way! Saying that these are 'not god' is a crucial part of the practice..."
The only problem is... "god" is the delusion here. As long as this person #1 continues his "not god" thing, this idea of "god" will continue, forever. We can't
do away with "god" or else we won't be able to say, "not god." The person #1 is basically insisting on viewing this practice through the lens of a delusion, and doesn't seem to know it
This "atheist" can't seem to shake off the "god" thing... why not? It's like a bad comedy, with super-glue...
The point of this practice is that when you finally see something as a delusion, you let
that fall away... and you do not pick it up again, ever
... after this, "god" becomes an irrelevant part of the practice. There's a complete ending of that very delusion... and therefore, you don't have to be bothered with it, again.
When I was growing up (since I was little), I was always mystified why people would ask me whether I thought that "God" existed or not. I always said, "I don't know." I didn't understand why people would never seem to accept this answer... they wanted me to make up
an answer about this, one way or other. What for?
When the idea of "self" becomes irrelevant (i.e., when you stop trying to use the idea of a "self" to view things)... what reason
could there possibly be to continue with the use of "anatta"? Other than that there is still the idea of a "self" lingering? That, is why one shouldn't try to make up
a self... just for the sake of using "anatta."