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Buddhism in context: Anatta - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhism in context: Anatta

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Shonin
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Shonin » Wed May 19, 2010 3:32 pm

Right. I'm not saying that understanding the Upanishads is needed to become an Arahant or a Stream Enterer or any such thing. However, in order to not be confused by some of the arguments (e.g. the ones I pointed out) Buddha makes, we need to understand something about the view that those arguments are directed at.

In brief, without understanding that Buddha was talking to people who believed in an Atman which is meant to be an inherently unchanging, permanent, blissful and conscious self then reading that phenomena are impermanent and thus unsatisfactory and thus not an Atman-type self and that seeing this we should become dispassionate about them doesn't make sense.

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Aloka
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Aloka » Wed May 19, 2010 5:29 pm

Please forgive me if I've been rude and jumped into the thread suddenly - but I saw a book which looked interesting and which explores different interpretations of anatta. Its called "Early Buddhism : A New Approach - The I of the Beholder " by Sue Hamilton. Has anyone read it ?
There's some of it available to read at Google books here:


Freawaru
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Freawaru » Thu May 20, 2010 6:41 am


Freawaru
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Freawaru » Thu May 20, 2010 6:56 am


Shonin
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Shonin » Thu May 20, 2010 4:57 pm

Freawaru,

From the perspective of Buddhism, you are making a fundamental error of attributing an Atman/Self where there is no such thing to be found. The quote you gave has been taken out of context and misunderstood. Buddha does not teach any kind of Atman, True Self or Second Consciousness. Buddhism (especially early/Pali Buddhism) is unambiguous about the matter of non-self and that includes the kind of viewpoint you are expressing. I don't really have time to go through this point by point now and it is clearly a tangent to the original post. I suggest you find a good book on Theravadan and/or early Buddhism and work through it.

This one would be ideal if you can get hold of it:
The Three Signs - Anicca, Dukkha & Anatta in the Buddha's Teachings by Ven. Phra Brahmagunabhorn (P.A.Payutto) and Suriyo Bhikkhu

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beeblebrox
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby beeblebrox » Fri May 21, 2010 1:53 am


Shonin
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Shonin » Fri May 21, 2010 5:46 am

I think you're right beeblebrox. According to the Three Signs book I mentioned above 'uncontrollability' or 'nonconformance to one's desires' is an aspect of the nature of Dukkha. So, the logic follows. On the other hand, most people in the west would look puzzled at the suggestion that things might be other than 'not absolutely under our control'. Surely it is only when the notion of an Absolute Self is prevalent that this observation has much relevance? - since it is because Atman is absolute Self (at microcosmic and macrocosmic level) that Atman is supposed to be the opposite of Dukkha - Bliss. Buddha and his audience would have been quite familiar with these ideas.

Sanghamitta
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri May 21, 2010 12:38 pm

On the contrary, the Buddhadhamma starts with the realisation that there is absolutely nothing that we need to control apart from our selves.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Jason
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Jason » Fri May 21, 2010 2:48 pm

Self (atta), in the philosophical sense as opposed to it's conventional usage, is defined as that which is "permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change" (SN 24.3). Our sense of self, the ephemeral "I," on the other hand, is merely a mental imputation, the product of what the Buddha called a process of "I-making and my-making."

In the simplest of terms, the Buddha taught that whatever is inconstant is stressful, and whatever is stressful is not-self—with the goal being to essentially take this [analytical] knowledge, along with a specific set of practices such as meditation, as a stepping stone to what I can only describe as a profound psychological event that radically changes the way the mind relates to experience. That doesn't mean, however, that the teachings on not-self are understood to deny individuality () or imply that the conventional person doesn't exist (). The way I understand it, they merely break down the conceptual idea of a self — i.e., that which is satisfactory, permanent and completely subject to our control — in relation to the various aspects of our experience that we falsely cling to as "me" or '"mine'" ().

So in essence, the Buddhist teachings on not-self aren't merely assertions that we have no self; they are a method for deconstructing our false perceptions about reality, as well as an important tool in removing the vast net of clinging that gives rise to suffering.

This may be a bit of nonsense, but in one of the ways I like to look at it, the conventional viewpoint (sammuti sacca) explains things through subject, verb and object whereas the ultimate viewpoint (paramattha sacca) explains things through verb alone. In essence, things are being viewed from the perspective of activities and processes. This, I think, is incredibly difficult to see, but perhaps what happens here is that once self-identity view (sakkaya-ditthi) is removed, the duality of subject and object is also removed, thereby revealing the level of mere conditional phenomena, i.e., dependent co-arising in action. This mental process is "seen," ignorance is replaced by knowledge and vision of things as they are (yatha-bhuta-nana-dassana), and nibbana, then, would be the "letting go" of what isn't self through the dispassion (viraga) invoked in seeing the inconstant (anicca) and stressful (dukkha) nature of clinging to false refuges that are neither fixed nor stable (anatta).
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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Jason
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Jason » Fri May 21, 2010 3:01 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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Shonin
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Shonin » Fri May 21, 2010 3:43 pm


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Jason
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Jason » Fri May 21, 2010 5:30 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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Shonin
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Re: Buddhism in context: Anatta

Postby Shonin » Mon May 24, 2010 8:26 pm



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