In that sutta, anatta is not said explicitly. The words there are 'micchaadi.t.thii'/wrong views; and 'sammaadi.t.thii/right views, which both include views on atta.starter wrote:MN 8 Sallekha Sutta:(11)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.htmlstarter wrote:I was puzzled by the following paragraph: "Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'"
Buddha was born into long established traditions and language, and I'm sure the assumption was already there. Atta was believed to be unchanging [?], with arguments between various Hindu sects about it's exact relationship to Brahma. Because by definition it was unchanging, Buddhists can never say we have a changing 'Atta', even though we can say conventionally that we have a changing 'soul/self' [i.e. not-self/Anatta/no-soul]I'm also puzzled by the inference/logic of the sutta to conclude that the five aggregates are not "mine", not "I", "not myself" based upon the assumption that the "self" [Atta] would be permanent/not subject to change, would be pleasant/not lead to affliction, and would be under one's control. If there's no such a "self" at the first place, then how can one make the above-mentioned inference based upon such an assumption?
"If there's no such a "self" in the first place, then how can one conclude that the five aggregates are not "mine", not "I", "not myself" based upon the assumption that the "self" would be permanent, would not lead to affliction, and would be under one's control?"
I use self to avoid confusion with conventional-permanent soul. I guess the best choice depends on what the majority of our closest peers believe at that time, and what that belief sounds like.I tend to prefer "soul" to "self", to avoid the confusion with the conventional self.
starter wrote:Hi friend, thanks a lot for helping me with my previous posts. I've learned a lot from this forum. I've gotten an idea about mind which I'd like to share with you. Your comments/critics and suggestions will be always appreciated.
One “mind” in four states: active, passive, quiescent and released
o Active consciousness [defiled and cease upon death]: “mind” in active mode of operation (processing the mental data received by “mind consciousness aggregate”, including all the active processes of the mind), like the heavily disturbed lake with lots of big waves; dependent upon the body (brain and nerves); include the so-called “formation/fibrication/volition aggregate, perception aggregate and feeling aggregate”.
o Passive sensory consciousness [defiled and cease upon death]: “mind” in passive mode of operation; the “light illuminating the stage of the magic show”, bare cognization of physical and mental phenomena without further processing, but the light of awareness makes all experience possible; like the slightly dagitated lake with little waves; dependent upon the body (brain and nerves); these are the so called “six sense consciousness aggregates”.
o Quiescent consciousness or Subconsciousness [defiled and bound]: “mind” in quiescent mode of operation, like the peaceful lake without waves [so called “soul”]; not dependent upon the body (brain and nerves); can preserve the underlying tendencies – the impression/habit of our experiences, and our karmic impressions; transmigrating entity which flows on to a new mode of existence; however, this “soul” is not an unchanging eternality, instead, it’s subject to change [therefore it’s inconstant / stressful / Not-self]
o Released consciousness [pure, steady and released]: as the water is no longer in the lake and has been transformed to a pure diamond, so it won’t be agitated by wind and won’t have any waves anymore; has entered nibbana; it's the “Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around”.
"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."
"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]
By the way, I remember reading such a post about MN 8 Sallekha Sutta: “Other people may believe in a living soul or an ego-entity, but we will hold the right view that there are only mind and matter. We will practise effacement." However, I searched the sutta translated by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, and another translation by Thanissaro, where I only found "(11) ‘Others will be of wrong view; we shall be of right view here’: effacement should be practiced thus." Are there any suttas where the Buddha clearly states no soul/self instead of non soul/self? Sometimes "no soul/self" could actually mean "not soul/self", which is probably a matter of translation. I tend to prefer "soul" to "self", to avoid the confusion with the conventional self.
Some of you might feel it's not so necessary to discuss this topic; what's important is to use the teachings of the Buddha in the right way as suggested in the snake simile to remove our defilements/attachments/fetters. But clear understanding of this topic is important to decide which teachers not to reject due to their "partially eternalist view".
lojong1 wrote:After a little more digging, I've seen I wrote some BS up there. 'Changing atta' is fine. Whatever word is used, there is the same danger of clinging to some aspect of something.
Maybe this is where the kink lies--I think I clarified your question:"If there's no such a "self" [atta] in the first place, then how can one conclude that the five aggregates are not "mine", not "I", "not myself" based upon the assumption that the "self" [atta] would be permanent, would not lead to affliction, and would be under one's control?"
Buddha was following the monks' own answers. Are you saying you would answer affirmatively to Buddha's line of questioning? Then, again by definition, you would be talking about the conventional-changing Atta. Either way, there is no Atta other than Anatta, which we sometimes conventionally call Atta anyway.
It's all semantics. Like any paradox, the problem is in belief moving slower than the tongue, not in the reality itself.
the assumption of the non-changing atta which was used as the basis
starter wrote: Are there any suttas where the Buddha clearly states no soul/self instead of non soul/self?
lojong1 wrote:the assumption of the non-changing atta which was used as the basis
"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful (because it is inconstant), subject to change (also redundant) as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"
This is where we define atta. If it is fitting to call what is inconstant 'atta', then atta is inconstant. If it is not fitting to call what is inconstant 'atta', then atta is necessarily constant. There is no thing [atta] being observed or defined; this is where we define our conventional language to change our semantic habits.
There is no assumption about the characteristics of atta other than the meaning we give it right now.
Starter, what is your answer? Is it fitting to call what is inconstant 'Atta'?