vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
It seems that the traditional Theravada interpretation of the Buddha's use
of the term "person" (puggala) in SN 22.22, is that it was merely a lapse
into the use of conventional speech.
On the other hand, the Personalists taught that this puggala was neither
true in the ultimate sense nor just conventional speech. Also, that this
puggala was neither identical with, nor different from, the five aggregates.
The term "person" (puggala) is frequently used in the Sutta Pitaka, including
when refering to an arahant. I assume that all such references are understood
to be merely conventional speech, in line with the orthodox interpretation.
Theravadins would just write off the idea of a puggala which is not separate from but not different than the 5 aggregates as a mere concept, nothing other than mere concept, just like all other concepts. Nama and rupa arise, not-self, conditioned along by 24 paccaya (conditions). This would explain how the "puggala" goes from life to life and so on. However, the Puggalavadins, not following such an Abhidhamma scheme which is meant to explain such things while having a person keep right view, imo, felt the need to explain things away with this kind of proliferation that actually makes much less sense than the Theravada explanation does, imo. Past and future doesn't exist, so why the need to explain away realities that arose in the past or may arise in the future, just need to know those at this exact moment and the conditions that keep them arising again and again in a sequence.