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...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self... - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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reflection
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:53 pm

Dhamma has many meanings, but the meaning always depends on context. For example, dhamma as meaning "the teaching" is obviously not what was meant in the context of "sabbe dhamma anatta". It can be translated as "everything" which makes sense in context of the quote and in context of the suttas. It also makes sense if you see that quote I gave above: all self assumptions lie in the aggregates, and as we know (at least theoretically) the aggregates are not self, then logically everything is not self.

Now I'm not in favor of letting it all depend on a single line of text and I do recognize "dhamma" can be interpreted a couple of ways, but to me there is no reason to call the interpretation "everything" to be ridiculous. Either way interpreting it differently (which I respect and will not call ridiculous...) says nothing directly about the existence of a self anyway. It is denying the self in "dhamma" (however one interprets it) but is not acknowledging the self in anything else. Just like denying the self in the body does not acknowledge it in any other aggregate.


I honestly don't know the quote where the Buddha says no self is wrong view, and I have read quite a lot of suttas. So please now I clarified myself, will you also do so, so people can get a balanced perspective on things?

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hgg
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:13 pm

If there is absolutely no self wouldn't that be nihilism?

How can anyone explain the fact that Buddha could recall previous rebirths,
if there is absolutely no self. He connected the previous rebirths with his current
body. This by itself tells us that there is a connective agent between rebirths.

The statement that the aggregates are not self (which is true) does not imply that there is no self at all.
hgg2016.

SamKR
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:26 pm

Last edited by SamKR on Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:47 pm

18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

SamKR
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby SamKR » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:01 pm

Last edited by SamKR on Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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reflection
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:06 pm


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hgg
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:52 pm

I guess you are right about nihilism.

Having said that, you cannot prove a negative, so you cannot really say with 100% certainty that no self exists.
(you cannot prove that God does not exist, you cannot prove that green cats with pink ears do not exist)
Even if you cannot find anything outside the aggregates in deep meditation, this does not mean it does not
exist.

In the case of previous births and dependent origination, if there is no connective agent, then do you
mean that Buddha was able to describe previous rebirths by tracing back all the trillions causes and effects of its
current birth?
hgg2016.

mal4mac
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby mal4mac » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:00 pm

"If one uses the concept of not-self to dis-identify oneself from all phenomena, one goes beyond the reach of all suffering & stress. As for what lies beyond suffering & stress, the Canon states that although it may be experienced, it lies beyond the range of description, and thus such descriptions as "self" or "not-self" would not apply."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html

To summarise Bhikku Thanissaro's main points:

1) When the Buddha is asked to take a position on the question of whether or not there is a self, he refuses to answer.

2) The passages which state there is no self covers all of describable reality.

3) Views that there is no self are ranked with views that there is a self as a "fetter of views", and both are best avoided.

4) The enlightened person sees a reality in which notions like self & no-self are redundant.

From this, it seems to me, that If you "dis-identify oneself from all phenomena" then you dis identify from any possible experience of "goodness within" or "Buddha mind". There is nothing you can point to, or talk about, as being "self" or "part of self".

If I start worrying whether I have "enough goodness" inside or "have I experienced Buddha mind?" then I worry that I will be just making more suffering for myself; I feel it would just lead me to more confusion. So the "Buddha's silence", and dis-identifying from all phenomena (including possible intimations of "goodness" and "Buddha mind"...) seems the best path for me, today :)
- Mal

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reflection
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:09 pm


santa100
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby santa100 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:18 pm


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daverupa
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby daverupa » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:45 pm

Last edited by daverupa on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:48 pm

One of the main points i would like to make is that "self" is just a word, a word that can have a lot of meanings, both in the buddha's time(atman) and today(self), for us to assume we understand exactly what self(atman) meant to the Buddha, and that it is the same as what self (english) means to us, may be a big mistake. And just to assume that what self means to the OP, and what self means to Reflection, and what self means to me are the same thing, once again may be a big mistake, the word self might have totally different meanings to all of us.

Even within the Therevada tradition and most definetly within the Mahayana tradition, there are devout, even enlightened teachers that believe in some kind of self, and at the same time there are other devout, even enlightened teachers that believe there is no kind of self whatsover. That is a fact, i am not making this up.

So it might seem that denying the existence of any kind of self whatsoever, is possible, and your right to believe, but it definetly is not a prerequisite for enlightenment, because there are both enlightened teachers that see it one way or the other.

The one thing they do seem to agree on is that the 5 agreaggates are not a part of the self, so as I said before if we concentrate on that, we are halfway there.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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hgg
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:49 pm

hgg2016.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:10 pm

18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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lyndon taylor
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:39 pm

I've actually taken this idea of anatta meaning not mine instead of not self, and started a new thread, so i'll retreat form this thread a bit and welcome anyone to read and comment on my new thread; What if Anatta(non self) actually means Not Me, Not Mine
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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hgg
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:53 am

hgg2016.

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tiltbillings
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 am


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reflection
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:41 am

There is no double negation. "Suffering" is the more common translation for what you call unsatisfactory; the word is dukkha. Dukkha is all suffering from the very coarse to the tiniest. And dukkha is explained in multiple ways, one of them being this very "what is impermanent is dukkha". So impermanence and dukkha are almost synonymous to each other: if you understand one you understand the other. In other words, everything that is inconstant, that arises and passes away is suffering, is not real happiness and will not be able to provide that either. Impermanence does not just mean things being replaced by something else, it also means things have the potential for passing away totally. In other words, the aggregates can totally disappear and so they can't be a self (not self is not a thing but simply the negation of a self) and so they hold no potential for real happiness.

But as I've said before, and as tiltbillings also explains here above, it has to come from looking at your own experience. The Buddha was indeed trying to explain something beyond words. As the suttas say, it is beyond conjecture/logical reasoning. You can have 100 explanations and 100 translations but not be any closer to understanding.

:anjali:

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hgg
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby hgg » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:24 am

There was a double negation but with the first substitution its much better.
The word suffering (Dukkha) is more appropriate. That was the easy part. Now,

What is suffering, that is not self.
(what is suffering, that is the negation of a self)

Do you really understand the above sentence?
I don't.

The only alternative that makes sense to me is the following:
-suffering is the illusory self-
hgg2016.

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daverupa
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Re: ...what is unsatisfactory, that is not self...

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:31 am

Did you read the links I posted earlier? Did they not help?

(Also, trying to massage these sentences in these ways without using the Pali is going to be disastrous.)


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