(Parts from MN 22.15-16 - Alagaddupama Sutta - The Simile of the Snake, Translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi)
I would like to share some reflections which I hope someone can share thoughts about. An untaught ordinary person has this stance:
“Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary person, who has no regard for noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, […] And this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’ – this too he regards thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.
It is now tempting to guess that the noble one, practically, will give rise to another “better view”, like this view: “That which is the self is _not_ the world; after death I shall _not_ be permanent, everlasting, eternal, _and I will be_ subject to change; I shall _not_ endure as long as eternity”, but this is not the case as we will see:
“Bhikkhus, a well-taught noble disciple who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, […] And this standpoint for views, namely, ‘That which is the self is the world; after death I shall be permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change; I shall endure as long as eternity’ – this too he regards thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.
Look how the view in treatment is still the same. The difference is that the noble one relates to the very same view in a different way – in a non-self way.
* The important thing seems to be the way one relates to the view, not the actual view.
* It seems like the view in question still can be produced in a noble one, but that the noble one abandons it.
* The minds tendency to create this view has not been removed. Is it so that the tendency is actually never removed in a noble one, and that the only focus is not on removing the view, but to foster an active non-self relation towards this view. (I do not know if a noble one is an enlightened one).
* I read (SN BB's translation - The Book with Verses - Marasamyutta (Introduction), pp. 79-80) and understand that Mara “visited” Buddha even after his enlightenment, but that the Buddha always disclosed and defeated Mara. I am thinking of the same with views: views still arise, but the fully enlightened one always “defeat” the view.
The comment (MN. BBs translation, n. 259) says: “This is a full-fledged eternalist view arisen on the basis of one of the earlier, more rudimentary types of personality view; here it becomes itself an object of craving, conceit and the false view of self.”
I would like to take this one step further by aligning the previous quotes with other parts of the same passage:
The undisciplined one: “He regards formations thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is myself.’”
The noble one: “He regards formations thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself.’”
The danger herein must be the temptation to _view_ formations as non-self. The noble one is not merely viewing formations as non-self, but he must be doing something else.
* A misconception in the students mind should possible here: we think that we regard formations as non-self in the correct way, but we actually append a _view_ of non-self which is not the correct way. To “regard formations as non-self” should involve something else.