'Non-Self'

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

'Non-Self'

Postby ReadyFeet » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:35 pm

A quick question;

I am familiar with the concept of 'non-self' and understand that with impermanence and constant change being the true nature of reality, a 'self' in the Western sense is an imagined concept and causes more pain and suffering than happiness. I am curious how one can feel comfortable and assured that one is conducting ones 'self' in a way true to a set of values ie. Right Speech etc without having a consequent notion of 'who I am' or 'My personality'. I may be answering this in the first statement but I just feel that through developing my own perceptions of 'Non-Self' and accepting that there is no concrete 'I' in the typical sense I cant help but personalize this new outlook...which is rather annoying.

Thanks for reading.

Stefan
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby Kenshou » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:25 am

ReadyFeet wrote:...I cant help but personalize this new outlook


Yeah, it's tricky, the habit to keep self-ing latches onto whatever it can.

I think that getting familiar with the five aggregates and at understanding/watching them in real-time is a good way to develop anatta. All the better taken in the context of dependent origination on the whole. The more time you spend picking yourself apart like this and trying to find out exactly where a self is hiding, the more you'll notice upon what it is that you are assuming self-hood, and through that you'll get an idea of how to stop doing it... but then try not to get twisted around again in identifying yourself as "the one who perceives not-self".

It's all a real sticky mess. If you had a big tangled knot, if it happened to be made of distinctly colored strings it'd be easier to take it apart, and the aggregates serve that function. Unlike the knot comparison though, self-view isn't so stuck and tight, it's a habitual thing that we are doing over and over again, and we've gotten so used to doing it that we don't even notice it anymore. The remedy for this is mindfulness, watching closely to see how self-view changes, how and upon what it reasserts itself, how it fluctuates, and the spaces inbetween it's reassertion.
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:48 am

Hi ReadyFeet,

seems to me that you're on a good way.
ReadyFeet wrote:...I cant help but personalize this new outlook

Don't worry, keep in mind that only an arahant is free from the conceit "I am".
You may take a look at "mama".

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby cooran » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:12 am

acinteyyo wrote:Hi ReadyFeet,

seems to me that you're on a good way.
ReadyFeet wrote:...I cant help but personalize this new outlook

Don't worry, keep in mind that only an arahant is free from the conceit "I am".
You may take a look at "mama".

best wishes, acinteyyo

Hello acinteyyo,

My understanding is that the Sotapanna eradicates Self View.

A Stream-Winner is no more a worlding (puthujjana), but an Ariya (Noble).
On attaining this first stage of Sainthood, he eradicates the following three Fetters (samyojana) that bind him to existence -- namely,

1/- Sakkāya-ditthi (sati + kāye + ditthi) -- literally, view, when a group or compound exists. Here kāya refers to the five Aggregates of matter -- feeling, perception, mental states, and consciousness. The view that there exists an unchanging entity, a permanent soul, when there is a complex-compound of psycho-physical aggregates, is termed sakkāyaditthi. Dhammasangani enumerates twenty kinds of such soul-theories. [7] Sakkāya-ditthi is usually rendered as self-illusion, theory of individuality, or illusion of individualism.

2/- Vicikicchā -- Doubts. They are doubts about (i) the Buddha, (ii) the Dhamma, (iii) the Sangha, (iv) the disciplinary rules (sikkha), (v) the past, (vi) the future, (vii) both the past and the future, and (viii) Dependent Origination (Paticca-Samuppāda).
3/- Sīlabbātaparāmāsa -- Adherence to (wrongful) rites and ceremonies.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=au

QUALITIES OF ARIYA PERSONS
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyas4.htm

I think the mana that the Arahat eradicates is that of conceit and pride.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:15 am

Greetings Cooran,

I think you're both saying the same thing.

In other words, the belief of self-view is broken with stream entry... and conceit (mana) or the tendency (anusaya) to perceive "I am" (asmi) broken with arahantship.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby cooran » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:35 am

Hello all,

This may also be of interest:


sakkāya-ditthi

'personality-belief', is the first of the 10 fetters (samyojana).

It is entirely abandoned only on reaching the path of Stream-winning (sotāpatti-magga; s. ariya-puggala).

There are 20 kinds of personality-belief, which are obtained by applying 4 types of that belief to each of the 5 groups of existence (khandha):
(1-5) the belief to be identical with corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations or consciousness;
(6-10) to be contained in them;
(11-15) to be independent of them;
(16-20) to be the owner of them (M.44; S.XXII.1).
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_ ... ditthi.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:25 am

Greetings, cooran and retro,

I think we all three together are saying the same thing. :tongue: :twothumbsup:

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby chownah » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:23 pm

It is not clear to me whether completely abandoning 'personality-belief' means that one no longer has any experience which one interprets throught the delusional lens of "self" or whether one still has that delusional experience of self but when one is mindful of the experience one is aware that it is delusional because there is no view supporting any idea of "self".
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Re: 'Non-Self'

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:31 pm

chownah wrote:It is not clear to me whether completely abandoning 'personality-belief' means that one no longer has any experience which one interprets throught the delusional lens of "self" or whether one still has that delusional experience of self but when one is mindful of the experience one is aware that it is delusional because there is no view supporting any idea of "self".

Completely abandoning of sakkāyaditthi means one still has that delusional experience of self but one is aware that it is a deception, there is no supporting belief of self (attavada).

The one who doesn't belief in a self , regards nothing as a self, but still there is or rather can be the notion of "I am".

The puthujjana says: "This is mine, this am I, this is my self". The puthujjana thinks: "This or that is my self, I am this or that". He believes in a self (attavada) this is why the puthujjana establishes the personality-view (sakkāyaditthi), the view that he is in essence somebody.

The sotāpanna says: "Not, this is mine; not, this am I; not, this is my self." The sotāpanna thinks: "Not, this or that is my self; Not, I am this or that." He doesn't believe in a self and doesn't establish the personality-view, he doesn't believe that he is in essence somebody. The sotāpanna knows and sees for himself that notions of "I" and "mine" are deceptions. But they still are there, even though the sotāpanna negates them.

The arahant free of the belief in a self, not having the personality-view and not having notions of "I" and "mine", fully freed of the pride that says "I am" (asmimāna), the pride of self doesn't even say or think: "Not, this is mine; not, this am I; not, this is my self." (because there's nothing left to negate like the sotāpanna and the other two sekhā would do)

If you are interested in further info take a look at Ven. Ñanavira Thera's shorter notes on mama and sakkāya

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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