Element wrote:To me, Buddhagosa's higher teachings do not have the flavour of Buddha-Dhamma. To me, they are philosophical and, most notably, very convoluted. The Buddha taught fluently and perfectly.
For example, the Buddhagosa quote made often: "There is no sufferer only suffering".
The Buddha's predominant teaching was about removing the "I" and "mine". Why? The "I" and "mine" are the essense of suffering. Thus, to say there is no sufferer and only suffering is problematic. Suffering is intimately linked to "the sufferer".
To say there is "no sufferer and only suffering" has the flavour of nihilism. These are the words of an unrealised being.
I would like to stick a very-uneducated
oar in the water here. As an old, lazy Zennie, I don't mean to offend anyone.
I like the line, "there is no sufferer, only suffering." To my mind, it just means there is only enlightenment. Before there is some recognition of this fact, an effort is required of the imagined sufferer. Everything appears separate and uncertain. Things change and, as the bumper sticker wisely observes, "shit happens." And within this framework, sentient beings make their best efforts. Often it's a matter of blood, sweat and tears. It is no joke: All the talk in the world cannot compare with this good effort. And yet there is someone striving for something.
To infer that when no one strives for anything that it is somehow nihilistic is an obvious intellectual conclusion. The problem is that intellectual conclusions seldom bring peace to the heart. They may be good as far as they go, but the problem is that they don't go far enough.
It may feel insulting to all those with fine intellects and a good grasp of concepts, but a sneeze is really pretty instructive. When you sneeze, where is the sufferer you were so concerned about a moment ago? Seriously, take a look. Intellectually, we can say "I sneeze," but when sneezing, where is this "I" we talk about after the fact? And likewise we can say "I suffer," but where is this "I" we talk about with such confidence after the fact?
In the midst of sneezing, as in the midst of suffering, it's not nothing and yet it's not exactly something either. It's just sneezing, isn't it? It's just suffering, isn't it? If you call it "suffering," that's OK. If you call it "enlightenment," that's OK. But there is no need to believe it just because you say it or think it or emote about it or dissect it. Sneezing is sneezing ... what could possibly be missing? You want to write a book about it? OK. You want to build a philosophy around it? OK. But whatever you do, you still sneeze, don't you? Sneezing ... isn't that wonderful?
As I say, I don't want to disrespect anyone with these words. I just liked "there is no sufferer, only suffering."