Buddhism and What it Offers

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
inyenzi
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by inyenzi » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:13 am

The illusory self is just a process of chemical and electrical signals interacting with stimuli, the illusory self is an emergent phenomenon and once the chemical and electrical signals stop, the self or the illusion that is called self also stops. This process happens in all humans, from the crackhead in the gutter to the Buddha. In buddhist lingo, this would equate to the five skandhas ceasing. This happens naturally and without effort, it is the inevitability of all things.
I think something to keep in mind is that what we exist as, and all we know is the 'five skandhas', and it is a metaphysical theory to posit a material world that gives rise to, and sustains these skandhas. In Buddhism, my understanding is that metaphysical questions are not answered, but rather put to one side. The problem is not whether a material world exists or not, but rather dukkha - it's origin and cessation. As to rebirth, the nibbana before your birth was not eternal, so why would the nibbana at death be? What differentiates the two 'non-states' such that your birth arose from the first, but the second will be eternal?

binocular
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by binocular » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:19 am

seeker242 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:53 pm
People often fail to recognize that this also requires that the Buddha himself was just plain ignorant, or just lying. I don't know about others, but I find it a heck of a lot easier to believe in rebirth, than it is to believe the Buddha himself was just an ignorant fool or liar.
This type of thinking is relevant only to a committed Buddhist. But certainly not to an outsider who isn't even sure whether the historical Buddha existed or not.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

ToVincent
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by ToVincent » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:25 am

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:32 pm
allergies wrote: Since self is illusion
the teaching isn't "no-self"
the teaching isn't "self" either
______
allergies wrote: Since self is illusion, and all things are result of cause and effect, such that there is no inherent is-ness or self to anything.

The problem with @allergies, is that:
1. He misinterprets what the illusion really is.
The illusion is not the self; but the continuity (santāno - संतन् saṃtan) of a self.

Continuum (santāno) of self, is what is the illusion.
See SN 22.95
Etādisāyaṃ santāno,
māyāyaṃ bālalāpinī;
Vadhako esa akkhāto,
sāro ettha na vijjati.
Such is this continuum,
This illusion, beguiler of fools.
It is taught to be a murderer;
Here no substance can be found.


To unite or join one's self with (saṃtan - RV.), the external was the Upanishadic creed of the Eternalists.

The problem with @allergies, is that:
2. Because of the misinterpretation of the above, he fantasizes that nothing exists ("no inherent is-ness", as he puts it).

I have covered all this in a previous post:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35111&sid=3875aeda ... be#p525421

_____

Now Cappuccino, I think you are too obnubilated by the annihilationist/eternalist dichotomy, sa as to deflect subtle nuances.

In the following extract that comes from the Saḷāyatana Vaggasaṃyutta - Abyākata Vagga (SN 44.10):
Assuredly, my self that was (being), does not exist at present.
ahuvā me nūna (नूनम् nūnam [nū]) pubbe attā, so etarahi natthī’”ti.

Ahuvā is an imperfect with an imperfective aspect. It does not have the completed past tense aspect of the preterite.
Imperfect tense is also called the continuous tense.

So, what Buddha says is SN 44.10:
1. All dhamma are not self.
2. There is no continuity (संतन् saṃtan) in self.

Vachagotta is concerned by eternalism only. (Nuance).
"Not-self" or "non-self" is not just an Annihilationist's view. It is also an Eternalist's questioning.
This is why Ānanda says: "the wanderer Vacchagotta, already confused, would have fallen into even greater confusion" - (if the Buddha had said "there is no self").
.
.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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Bundokji
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:06 am

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:25 am
Continuum (santāno) of self, is what is the illusion.
Would you describe both "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum" as equally deluded?

If there is no continuum of any sort, then what makes a "self" what it is?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:21 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:06 am
ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:25 am
Continuum (santāno) of self, is what is the illusion.
Would you describe both "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum" as equally deluded?

If there is no continuum of any sort, then what makes a "self" what it is?
:goodpost: Good question.

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seeker242
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by seeker242 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:54 am

binocular wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:19 am
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:53 pm
People often fail to recognize that this also requires that the Buddha himself was just plain ignorant, or just lying. I don't know about others, but I find it a heck of a lot easier to believe in rebirth, than it is to believe the Buddha himself was just an ignorant fool or liar.
This type of thinking is relevant only to a committed Buddhist. But certainly not to an outsider who isn't even sure whether the historical Buddha existed or not.
I would say it's also relevant to people who want or aspire to be committed Buddhists.

ToVincent
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by ToVincent » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:56 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:06 am
Would you describe both "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum" as equally deluded?
How do you describe "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum"?!?! - (before we hop on the nonsense merry-go-round, once again).
.
.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------

https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:05 am

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:56 am
Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:06 am
Would you describe both "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum" as equally deluded?
How do you describe "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum"?!?!
.
.
I wouldn't want to speak for Bundokji here, but for me the latter would mean an everlasting or eternal entity like a "soul" or "atman", whereas the former would mean a limited temporal and spatial transcendental unity of apperception, such that there is something that differentiates my experiences from those of others, and which links my past experiences to my present experience. It's the continuity of experiences in space and time by which we identify persons.

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Bundokji
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:07 am

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:56 am
How do you describe "continuity of a self" and "continuity of a self ad infinitum"?!?! - (before we hop on the nonsense merry-go-round, once again).
The Buddha said:
There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.
Who does not realize that one day we all must die? Someone who believes that self continuity is ad infinitum.

Who does realize that one day we all must die? Someone who believe that self continuity is not ad infinitum.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by ToVincent » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:59 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:07 am
The Buddha said:
There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.
Who does not realize that one day we all must die? Someone who believes that self continuity is ad infinitum.
Who does realize that one day we all must die? Someone who believe that self continuity is not ad infinitum.
?!?!
Which comes to prove that you haven't the slightest idea about the Vedic philosophy around Buddha's time.

Or that you're just engaging into some sort of trivial red herring.

This is why I said previously:
"So one should first, be aware of the Upanishadic philosophy of the time; then of what the maintenance and the establishing of consciousness in the khandhas of Nāmarūpa nidāna really means - so as to understand what "not yours" really means."
(viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35111&sid=53cdf947 ... fc#p525421)

Then one understands what "continuity" (santāno) of a self means.

(Nothing to do with the fact that one is going to die one day - Multiple deaths might just be a small part of that Vedic philosophy; but that part is a very insignificant one - To make it simple, it had to do with a liberation in "what is yours" - Impossible, said Buddha- "It's not yours").
______

The tiny note in the post below might also help:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=35085&p=525533#p525533
.
.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------

https://justpaste.it/j5o4

Dan74
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Dan74 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:18 pm

Image
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:49 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:05 pm

It's interesting that you bring history into it. Historical facts usually have multiple sources of corroborating evidence, otherwise they are not facts, but theories. Prof Gombrich's or other scholars' literary analysis is no proof of authorship by the Sakyan prince Siddhartha. In fact we hardly have any real evidence that the Buddha ever existed. If you ask a historian, I think they will tell you that shared belief is very poor source of evidence and stylistic and literary analysis may provide rough evidence of the date and common source of the literary piece, not the actual authorship, nor is it always possible to tease apart what are insertions, corruptions and what is 'original'.
I'll be brief because this (the first bit, anyway) has the potential to derail the topic, and if interested you might want to start a new thread.

Gombrich's point is not that the authorship is attributable to the Sakyan prince Siddhattha (even the name is extra canonical) but that it is the work of one man.The former requires two valid inferences, the latter only one.
Yes, except not all of the suttas. Which ones does Gombrich believe stem from the same brilliant mind, which one's not? Is it the entirety of the former verbatim or the main message, as he sees it? Do you see the issues I am getting at?
The Dhamma, as I see it, is about a practice, a yoga, that leads to liberation. Should we choose to base our faith primarily in the purported fact of its authorship by one who was completely awakened, similarly to the divine authorship of the Bible, with no corroborating evidence except the brilliance of the scriptures? Or should we take the brilliant scriptures as the guide, just like mathematicians used Euclid's Elements, unperturbed by the uncertainty of Euclid ever existing? Or somewhere in between?


I would personally favour somewhere in between. The factual historicity of the Buddha would be an absolute guarantor of the possibility of human liberation, as opposed to mere wishful thinking. If I don't have faith that it's been done, then I can't have faith that it can be done. I'm neither that clever nor optimistic.
The factual historicity of the Buddha's awakening is a matter of belief and for us, skeptical Westerners,can never be truly convincing until one tastes the fruits of practice or perhaps even liberation a tiny bit, confirming the truth of the scriptures experientially.

Of coure, critical folks like our friend, binocular, will correctly object that believers tend to experience whatever it is that their religion says they should, thereby casting doubt on any sense of an objectivity of the said experience. My take on that is that the experience itself matters little, it is more the aftermath. So visions, sense of anatta, etc. etc are only a good as how they affect one's day to day functioning.
My take, FWIT, is that the Buddha, as the potential for awakening is alive in us right now. It seems to me to be more likely than not that the historical Buddha existed, but fundamentally it is about the mind here-and-now. A belief, an opinion, no matter how erudite or cleverly constructed is not where it's at. When I bow to the Buddha, I bow to our shared potential to awaken and in gratitude for the guidance given to us in the Dhamma through the Sangha across the centuries. The Sakyan prince and his story are powerful and they live on through the way we live, through the way we practice. That's the true homage to Shakyamuni, not our arguments, beliefs and opinions.
That's fine, and I wish you success with it.
[/quote]

Thank you. We do our best, don't we?
_/|\_

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Bundokji
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:33 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:59 am
Which comes to prove that you haven't the slightest idea about the Vedic philosophy around Buddha's time.

Or that you're just engaging into some sort of trivial red herring.

This is why I said previously:
"So one should first, be aware of the Upanishadic philosophy of the time; then of what the maintenance and the establishing of consciousness in the khandhas of Nāmarūpa nidāna really means - so as to understand what "not yours" really means."
(viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35111&sid=53cdf947 ... fc#p525421)
I am not aware that understanding the Vedic or Upanishadic philosophy at the Buddha's time is a necessary requirement to understand the Buddha's teachings. It might be your approach, which is perfectly fine.
Then one understands what "continuity" (santāno) of a self means.

(Nothing to do with the fact that one is going to die one day (and quarrels!?!? - Multiple deaths might just be a small part of that Vedic philosophy; but still a very insignificant one - To make it simple, it had to do with a liberation in "what is yours" - Impossible, said Buddha- "It's not yours").
Earlier, i asked you a question which you chose not to answer:
If there is no continuum of any sort, then what makes a "self" what it is?
My question was based on the following input from your good self:
The illusion is not the self; but the continuity (santāno - संतन् saṃtan) of a self.
Now, as far as things exist ("Vedic" eternalism) or don't exist ("Vedic" annihilationism), Buddha expounded his theory of the middle way: they exist (arise) and don't exist (fade away).
Between arising and fading away, there is persistence (temporal continuity). This begets differentiating two types of continuity:

1- Continuity that is ad infinitum (not temporal) which is delusional and not inline with the middle way as you described it
2- Continuity that is temporal, which denying it seem to be equally delusional and not inline with the middle way as you described it.

This is why what i quoted is relevant, otherwise, the Buddha would not have made the distinction between those who realize that one day we all must die (recognizing the temporal nature of self continuity) and those who don't (the deluded ones).
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

ToVincent
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by ToVincent » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:05 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:33 pm
I am not aware that understanding the Vedic or Upanishadic philosophy at the Buddha's time is a necessary requirement to understand the Buddha's teachings. It might be your approach, which is perfectly fine
.
It is just not "fine" - It's also the only way.
____
Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:33 pm

1- Continuity that is ad infinitum (not temporal) which is delusional and not inline with the middle way as you described it
2- Continuity that is temporal, which denying it seem to be equally delusional and not inline with the middle way as you described it.

I am not asking you to give me the definition of santāno (continuum/continuity,) as per YOUR denominational philosophy (and red herring tendencies). I am just asking you to give me the definition of santāno - (संतन् saṃtan/santan), as per correct lexicography of this word, and the Indian philosophy in Buddha's time.

Etādisāyaṃ santāno ,
māyāyaṃ bālalāpinī;
Vadhako esa akkhāto,
sāro ettha na vijjati.
Such is this continuum,
This illusion, beguiler of fools.
It is taught to be a murderer;
Here no essence can be found.
SN 22.95

Note that सार sāra, as the agt. of √ सृ sṛ, means: to flow.
But sāra also means "substance". And where there is no substance, there is no essence (no essential part).
In other words, if this is "not yours", there is no essential part, no essence of a self. There is no flow, no continuum possible.
This is Buddha's answer to the philosophy of his time (that believed in the continuity of the self).


Therefore, I repeat:
So one should first, be aware of the Upanishadic philosophy of the time (for instance); then of what the maintenance and the establishing of consciousness in the khandhas of Nāmarūpa nidāna really means - so as to understand what "not yours" also means."
(viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35111&sid=53cdf947 ... fc#p525421)


And I am off riding your nonsense (red herring) merry-go-round. It's picking up speed, and I am a bit indisposed by now.
Hope you don't mano?

.
.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------

https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Bundokji
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:41 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:05 pm
It is just not "fine" - It's also the only way.
There are other ways, such as approaching them as what the Buddha came to describe as wrong views or extremes. Focusing on them being Vedic or Upanishadic might be impressive from scholarly point of view, but i fail to see why labeling them as such is necessary to understand the Buddha's teachings.
I am not asking you to give me the definition of santāno (continuum/continuity,) as per YOUR denominational philosophy (and red herring tendencies). I am just asking you to give me the definition of santāno - (संतन् saṃtan/santan), as per correct lexicography of this word, and the Indian philosophy in Buddha's time.
The language I and you are using to communicate is denominational where we attempt to use it skillfully. From that perspective, what constitutes "correct lexicography of the word "santāno"" is a mere sophistry.
Etādisāyaṃ santāno ,
māyāyaṃ bālalāpinī;
Vadhako esa akkhāto,
sāro ettha na vijjati.
Such is this continuum,
This illusion, beguiler of fools.
It is taught to be a murderer;
Here no essence can be found.
SN 22.95

Note that सार sāra, as the agt. of √ सृ sṛ, means: to flow.
But sāra also means "substance". And where there is no substance, there is no essence (no essential part).
In other words, if this is "not yours", there is no essential part, no essence of a self. There is no flow, no continuum possible.
This is Buddha's answer to the philosophy of his time (that believed in the continuity of the self).
Those who realized that one day we all must die (the temporal continuity of the self) are free from the cycle of rebirth (the endless/infinite continuity of the self). The word "im-permenant" implies temporal continuity (or both exist as arising and does not exist as fading away as per your description) which leads to seeing dukkha and anata in conditioned phenomena. Seeing the three marks of existence is liberation according to the Buddha
And I am off riding your nonsense (red herring) merry-go-round. It's picking up speed, and I am a bit indisposed by now.
Hope you don't mano?
No, i don't mano :popcorn:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

ToVincent
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Re: Buddhism and What it Offers

Post by ToVincent » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:56 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:41 pm
...
Ah Ok !
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... - In this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------

https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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