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How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Heavenstorm
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Heavenstorm » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:22 pm


JD32
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby JD32 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:01 pm

"In my opinion, Atman/Brahman is some inaccurate Vedas' rip off theory from Theravada's distant cousin, Mahayana and its doctrine."

No, it didn't. It is quoted in the Pali Canon as the view of some sects (probably pre-Upanishadic since it isn't expressed in the Atman/Brahman terminology):

""He assumes about the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. 8 After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity': 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"In the abhidharma, our mental consciousness (ignoring the first five), after analysis and dividing, are nothing more than seventeenth moments of thoughts which are also subject to arising and cessation. In the other words, they are conditioned and cannot be a permanent unchanging self like Atman is defined as."

Traditional Theravadins are going to hate me for this, but I think they would be better off by jettisoning the Abhidhamma as it is rather illogical and leaves them susceptible to attack from other traditions (You can pretty much destroy the Abhidhamma when armed with Kant's Transcendental Unity of Apperception. Modern scholars have also destroyed the notion that it came from the Buddha).

As I indicated in the previous posts, Ajahn Thanissaro's approach totally destroys the Upanishadic positions. It's too bad that traditional Theravadins hate the guy.

Abyss
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Abyss » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:04 pm


Heavenstorm
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Heavenstorm » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:38 pm


JD32
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby JD32 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:50 pm

"I, on the other hand, just find your objection of abhidhamma misplaced or unrelated to the current topics at hand."

It is certainly interesting and I wouldn't advocate that we throw all of it away. I just don't find the bundle theory (similar to Hume's views) that it advocates to be that convincing. We can throw out language such as soul, self, atman, etc., but I think Kant is ultimately right: there is some undefinable "something" outside of space-time that provides the condition for the unification of the "mind" and its functions in space-time:

"In conjunction with his analysis of the possibility of knowing empirical objects, Kant gives an analysis of the knowing subject that has sometimes been called his transcendental psychology. Much of Kant's argument can be seen as subjective, not because of variations from mind to mind, but because the source of necessity and universality is in the mind of the knowing subject, not in objects themselves. Kant draws several conclusions about what is necessarily true of any consciousness that employs the faculties of sensibility and understanding to produce empirical judgments. As we have seen, a mind that employs concepts must have a receptive faculty that provides the content of judgments. Space and time are the necessary forms of apprehension for the receptive faculty. The mind that has experience must also have a faculty of combination or synthesis, the imagination for Kant, that apprehends the data of sense, reproduces it for the understanding, and recognizes their features according to the conceptual framework provided by the categories. The mind must also have a faculty of understanding that provides empirical concepts and the categories for judgment. The various faculties that make judgment possible must be unified into one mind. And it must be identical over time if it is going to apply its concepts to objects over time. Kant here addresses Hume's famous assertion that introspection reveals nothing more than a bundle of sensations that we group together and call the self. Judgments would not be possible, Kant maintains, if the mind that senses is not the same as the mind that possesses the forms of sensibility. And that mind must be the same as the mind that employs the table of categories, that contributes empirical concepts to judgment, and that synthesizes the whole into knowledge of a unified, empirical world. So the fact that we can empirically judge proves, contra Hume, that the mind cannot be a mere bundle of disparate introspected sensations."

http://www.london-oratory.org/philosoph ... ental.html

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tiltbillings
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:52 pm


JD32
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby JD32 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:26 pm

Tiltbillings,

As John Dewey pointed out, I think process metaphysics is just as susceptible to criticism as substance metaphysics and doesn't really address the problems:

"Not only the Parmenidean but also the Heraclitean branch of Greek philosophy falls to Dewey's criticisms. Even philosophers who emphasized the ever-changing condition of the world tended to "deify" change itself and turn it into an absolute category. (45)"

http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Amer/AmerLown.htm

Heavenstorm
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Heavenstorm » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:30 pm


Sanghamitta
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:57 pm

Just call me Mrs Simple Minded (again ) but going back to the OP I cant see why anyone gives a fig what a Vedantist ot Hindu thinks about Atman.
Rastafarians think that Haillie Sallassie was God. Should I worry about that ? Why not just let people get on with what gives them comfort on a dark night. Buddhadhamma doesnt need defending.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

JD32
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby JD32 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:48 pm

"One thing that people failed to understand about the thought process in Abhidhamma is that it is never intended to be philosophical or psychological theory behind the workings of our mind. It is meant to be a form of investigation into the underlying reality of our five aggregates or a search for the mysterious and non existing ego. In the other hand, it is meant to be a support for the vipassana mediation."

Sorry, I don't think you can have one without the other. Your philosophic starting point is ultimately going to guide you in framing appropriate questions and where you think the practice will end. You can see this in the huge divide between the Thai Forest Tradition and other Theravada traditions such as the Burmese.

Paññāsikhara
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:15 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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christopher:::
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby christopher::: » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:29 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:37 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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tiltbillings
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:09 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:55 am


Paññāsikhara
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:07 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Sanghamitta
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:36 am

Absolutely correct when it comes to our views. Or in discussions with other Buddhists. However the OP is about a Hindu's understanding of Atman, which is an aspect of his own religion. I dont think that is a Buddhists business.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Sanghamitta
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:41 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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tiltbillings
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:13 am


Heavenstorm
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Re: How to deny Atman - Help defending Buddhadhamma

Postby Heavenstorm » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:30 pm



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