kirk5a wrote: SamKR wrote:
I don't know about Thai. But isn't the idea of "no control" found in the Buddha's teaching itself?
"Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self. Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' And since consciousness is not-self
, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus
.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... nymo.html'
Well it doesn't say "no control." It's expressing a command - "Let my consciousness be thus" which suggests an almost magical, unrealistic wishful thinking. Like - "Make it so! Presto! Shazam!" Obviously nothing works like that. It might be how things worked if they were "self." But they aren't, and so they don't. There's no understanding of the conditions which cause something to be the way it is.
And there are varying shades of what we call "control." There's absolute, God-like omnipotent influence over something. Which we don't have. And then there are more realistic levels of "control" where it's not absolute, but we can guide things along.
It's like riding a horse. You can't just sit down and command "go over yonder!" You have to understand the horse, understand what prompts it to move left, move right, stop, go forward. You're not absolutely in control, but you have enough control (through understanding and practice, not raw will power) so that you can get to where you want to go. Helps to be friendly to the horse too.
The objective of a wish to control is to
actually achieve control. So the wish (based on wrong view) that 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus' happens with an objective to control over consciousness; it's not just a wish without any objective.
Now, let us make distinction between two types of control:
1. Control that happens just
due to wish of a self; that happens without any other
causes or conditions.
2. Control that happens due to causes or conditions; this type of control is not
due to any wish of an agent.
In the anatta-lakkhana sutta, as I understand it, the tathagata is referring to the first type of control and telling us that we cannot have it: we cannot control consciousness just by wanting 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus' . This type of control would be a real control
of the wisher (self). But this can never happen since the phenomena are not self.
The second type of control always happens, but then this is not a real control
(of an agent). It is a control that happens without a controller. It is actually an effect of some causes or conditions.
So, the only control that is really possible is the type of control based on causes and conditions. So, when the Dhammapada says "the wise control themselves" it means that in the wise person there are or should already have the causes and conditions for that control.
One should control oneself (as clearly taught by the Tathagata), but with
the understanding that when controlling oneself, one is not controlling in the sense of first control but in the sense of second control
also with the understanding that this sense of control one is having is actually an illusion due to avijja and sankhara.
SamKR wrote:By controlling you realize no control. Sounds like a strange paradox.
The way I look at it is that the control we have is limited, but it is enough that it can lead to awakening.
I would be interested to know how much limited is this control (the first type of control)? Is there any sutta reference about this limit?
I guess rather than thinking in terms of amount of control that leads us to awakening
, we should think upon the type of control that can lead us to awakening
My intention here is not to argue but to try to understand the puzzle of not-self and control.