danieLion wrote:nibs wrote:Ok. Where does it say in the suttas a 'sense of self' does not dissapear for good at full awakening?
Where does it say it does?
The Buddha wanted us to examine our assumptions about self, not come to ultimate conclusions about the ontological (metaphysical) status of self/selves.
No argument here. But if one examines the assumptions about 'self' and thus stops construing it from the 5 aggregates, how and why does it still arise as an ongoing experience of 'self' in your opinion? The felt sense of existing...the affective feeling of existing, is it not a fabrication of mind in your opinion? Why not?
Let's start with a passage from MN 22, Alagaddupama Sutta: The Water-Snake Simile"And when the devas, together with Indra, the Brahmas, & Pajapati, search for the monk whose mind is thus released, they cannot find that 'The consciousness of the one truly gone (tathagata) is dependent on this.' Why is that? The one truly gone is untraceable even in the here & now.
"Speaking in this way, teaching in this way, I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by some brahmans and contemplatives [who say], 'Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.' But as I am not that, as I do not say that, so I have been erroneously, vainly, falsely, unfactually misrepresented by those venerable brahmans and contemplatives [who say], 'Gotama the contemplative is one who misleads. He declares the annihilation, destruction, extermination of the existing being.'
"Both formerly and now, monks, I declare only stress and the cessation of stress.
I don't think I said a 'self' exists to be annihilated. Beyond the 5 aggregates being (mis) read as 'self, what exists? If there is no 'self' seen in the aggregates, there is no 'self' being experienced, no? This idea of annihilation is an idea that holds weight when someone holds the view that there is some 'self' to be annihilated, right? If from the outset, there is no 'self' seen in the aggregates, then why is there still such a tangible felt sense of 'existing/self/being/me-ness'? How and why does it arise? What is triggering that experience? I know Thanissaro likes to talk about causes and seeing what causes this and that.
If one trains the mind to simply recognize pure sense contact, the very moment an 'object hits the sense door to give rise to that sense consciousness, there is no tangibly felt sense of 'me-ness' experienced in that fleeting moment', and when the mind is trained to recognise those moments more and more, the experience of pure sense contact void of any tangibly felt sense of existing lengthens, and one sees, my goodness, there is no felt sense of 'self' arising, how illusory it is, and my goodness, there is no mental unsatisfactoriness arising at all due to its absence, well, one may have a different opinion on what 'stress' is.
How is this not what the Buddha is pointing to for Bahiya in your opinion?
"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."Bahiya sutta
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." Sabba Sutta
If no 'self' is seen in any of the 'all', then what 'self' is there? If perception is righted and no 'self' is construed from such phenomena, then how and why would it still arise, if one has dispassionately (via seeing the 3 C's in it all) not construed any of it anymore? Why would a a tangibly felt sense of 'self' be still part of the experience if one had ceased construing it from the aggregates?
In terms of what: He explicitly states he cannot envision a doctrine of self that, if clung to, would not lead to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair. He does not list all the possible doctrines of self included under this statement, but MN 2 provides at least a partial list:
I have a self... I have no self... It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self... or... This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
Thus the view "I have no self" is just as much a doctrine of self as the view "I have a self." Because the act of clinging involves what the Buddha calls "I-making" — the creation of a sense of self — if one were to cling to the view that there is no self, one would be creating a very subtle sense of self around that view (see AN 4.24). But, as he says, the Dhamma is taught for "the elimination of all view-positions, determinations, biases, inclinations, & obsessions; for the stilling of all fabrications; for the relinquishing of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding."
I agree. If one is not pulling it all apart and seeing in real time in one's practice and one simply decides there is no 'self', then what is this 'view' based on but ignorance and more 'I' making. Clinging to the view that there is no self versus seeing in real time no self in the aggregates are two different things, no?
Have you ever experienced the cessation of all 'me-ness' and then its re-arising? One's notion of 'stress' may change if so. As you can already tell, I'm an Ayya Khema fan:
"The path moment doesn't have any thinking or feeling in it. It is not comparable to the meditative absorptions (jhana). Although it is based upon them because only the concentrated mind can enter into a path moment, it does not have the same qualities. the meditative absorptions have — in their initial stages — the ingredients of rapture, happiness and peacefulness. Later on, the mind experiences expansion, nothingness and a change of perception. The path moment does not contain any of these states of mind."
"It has a quality of non-being. This is such a relief and changes one's world view so totally that it is quite understandable that the Buddha made such a distinction between a worldling and a Noble One. While the meditative absorptions bring with them a feeling of oneness, of unity, the path moment does not even contain that. The moment of fruition, subsequent to the path moment, is the understood experience and results in a turned-around vision of existence."
"The new understanding recognizes every thought, every feeling as stress (dukkha). The most elevated thought, the most sublime feeling still has this quality. Only when there is nothing, is there no stress. There is nothing internal or external that contains the quality of total satisfactoriness. Because of such an inner vision, the passion for wanting anything is discarded. All has been seen for what it really is and nothing can give the happiness that arises through the practice of the path and its results."
"The Nibbanic element cannot be truly described as bliss, because bliss has a connotation of exhilaration. We use the word "bliss" for the meditative absorption, where it includes a sense of excitement. The Nibbanic element does not recognize bliss because all that arises is seen as stress. "The bliss of Nibbana" may give one the impression that one may find perfect happiness, but the opposite is true. One finds that there is nothing and therefore no more unhappiness, only peace.
To look for path and fruit will not bring them about, because only moment to moment awareness can do so. This awareness will eventually culminate in real concentration where one can let go of thinking and be totally absorbed. We can drop the meditation subject at that time. We need not push it aside, it falls away of its own accord, and absorption in awareness occurs. If there has to be an ambition in one's life, this is the only worthwhile one. All others will not bring fulfillment." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .html#ch12
Thanks for all the references. I guess we just have different ways of looking at it.