Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:The first discipline is phenomenology, the branch of philosophy that deals with phenomena as they are directly experienced, in and of themselves. There are many schools of modern phenomenology, and it is not my purpose to try to equate the Buddha's teachings with any one of them. However, the Buddha does recommend a mode of perception that he calls "entry into emptiness (suññatā)" [see MN 121], in which one simply notes the presence or absence of phenomena, without making further assumptions about them. This approach resembles what in modern philosophy could be called "radical phenomenology," a mode of perception that looks at experiences and processes simply as events, with no reference to the question of whether there are any "things" lying behind those events, or of whether the events can be said really to exist [see passages §230 and §186]. Because of this resemblance, the word "phenomenology" is useful in helping to explain the source of the Buddha's descriptions of the workings of kamma and the process of dependent co-arising in particular. Once we know where he is coming from, it is easier to make sense of his statements and to use them in their proper context.
SN 35.23: Sabba Sutta wrote:"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."
"As you say, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
chownah wrote:So, if everything we observe is outside our self then what is inside our self?
PsychedelicSunSet wrote:... everything that we observe is outside of our "self", and therefore "what I observe is not me."
PsychedelicSunSet wrote:chownah wrote:So, if everything we observe is outside our self then what is inside our self?
I don't think that the use of this perspective includes an answer to that question. However, I'm also not sure if an answer to that question is entirely a necessary one, and therefore I wouldn't consider the lack there of as a fault. Although I'm sure others disagree.
chownah wrote: I think the Buddha taught that we should have no doctrine of self and it seems to me that saying something is outside of our self is creating the idea that there is a self with an inside and an outside and I guess something that separates the inside from the outside etc.........and this seems like a doctrine of self which the Buddha would have us guard against. chownah
boris wrote:chownah wrote: I think the Buddha taught that we should have no doctrine of self and it seems to me that saying something is outside of our self is creating the idea that there is a self with an inside and an outside and I guess something that separates the inside from the outside etc.........and this seems like a doctrine of self which the Buddha would have us guard against. chownah
Your reasoning is quite good, but the idea of self is not something that can be corrected just by simple advice: "you should have no doctrine of self" - where you answer: 'OK, done". You just can not help and start from idea of self. And here advice that whatever is present to you as an object should be treated as not self, is in itself the heart of Dhamma. Following it you do not embody yourself, you avoid any positive identification, and this practice may lead you to insight and loss of sakkaya-ditthi.
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