Not Self or No self or No no Self?

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Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:34 am

I would like your opinion on this.

In the suttas, it is regarded by Buddha that the view " i have no self" and " i have a self" are maintained as wrong views. Therefore, how does one cultivate right view according to the no self doctrine when the expression i have no self is also a wrong view? Clarification needed.

With metta, mike
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:42 am

Hi Mike,

If you look in the suttas, you'll find passages like:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
...
"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'

I take this as indicating that we should examine our experience to see whether there is anything that should be taken as self. Simply asserting "there is no self", is just taking a particular view, whereas this examination of experience leads to actually letting go of the sense of self.

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:44 am

Greetings Mikes,

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby santa100 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:26 am

Ven. Thanissaro wrote a great essay on this topic:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... self2.html
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:00 am

Micheal Kush wrote:I would like your opinion on this.

In the suttas, it is regarded by Buddha that the view " i have no self" and " i have a self" are maintained as wrong views. Therefore, how does one cultivate right view according to the no self doctrine when the expression i have no self is also a wrong view? Clarification needed.

With metta, mike

Hi Mike,
What is being refered in the text are the extremes, the eternal and nhialistic views.
I sometimes like to render it impersonal when refering the the Anatta doctorine.

but if you look at the Dhammapada there is a chapter called atta or self, in which the Buddha is pointing to this being we are, what we do... to put it one way conventionally there is a self, there is something acting in this pressent moment, but ultimately this is made up of parts with no intrinsic owner so impersonal, not worth regarding as oneself.

if you have seen the Adam Sandler film anger management there is a simple yet difficult question asked "tell us who you are?" and every answer is wrong because the answers are saying what he does, or some other non-answer to the question, and this sort of Q&A points to what the Buddha was saying (I Believe).
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:04 am

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

Anatta or soul-lessness by Narada Thera
http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell09.htm

ANATTA THE CONCEPT OF NO-SELF IN BUDDHISM by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/awa ... oself.html

Anatta and Nibbana by Nyanaponika Thera
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh011-p.html

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby James the Giant » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:16 am

Micheal Kush wrote:Therefore, how does one cultivate right view according to the no self doctrine when the expression i have no self is also a wrong view?

I wouldn't bother trying to intellectually grasp it. In my experience it's one of those things that makes absolutely no sense until you've had an experiential glimpse of it.
Just practise, meditate, and eventually you'll see.
How about that for an unsatisfying answer, eh! Sorry.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:07 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Micheal Kush wrote:I would like your opinion on this.

In the suttas, it is regarded by Buddha that the view " i have no self" and " i have a self" are maintained as wrong views. Therefore, how does one cultivate right view according to the no self doctrine when the expression i have no self is also a wrong view? Clarification needed.

With metta, mike

Hi Mike,
What is being refered in the text are the extremes, the eternal and nhialistic views.
I sometimes like to render it impersonal when refering the the Anatta doctorine.

but if you look at the Dhammapada there is a chapter called atta or self, in which the Buddha is pointing to this being we are, what we do... to put it one way conventionally there is a self, there is something acting in this pressent moment, but ultimately this is made up of parts with no intrinsic owner so impersonal, not worth regarding as oneself.

if you have seen the Adam Sandler film anger management there is a simple yet difficult question asked "tell us who you are?" and every answer is wrong because the answers are saying what he does, or some other non-answer to the question, and this sort of Q&A points to what the Buddha was saying (I Believe).


Yes i remember that part exactly. Very funny movie. I believe after reading the suttas and Thanissaro Bhikku's essay up there shows the silence against the ontological position on the notion of self.

It seems rather odd that he declares to practically cultivate a not self view then recommends us to not attach to the view of no self. Solution to this would probably be that perhaps Self in one way does exist(im not taking a stance here) yet the absence of any notion of self or non self would apply to one who eradicated all defiling fetters. I think its one of those things that is put on metaphysical speculation and one of those things that should be avoided.

Well thanks for the comments

With metta, mike
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:31 pm

Micheal Kush wrote:Yes i remember that part exactly. Very funny movie. I believe after reading the suttas and Thanissaro Bhikku's essay up there shows the silence against the ontological position on the notion of self.

It seems rather odd that he declares to practically cultivate a not self view then recommends us to not attach to the view of no self. Solution to this would probably be that perhaps Self in one way does exist(im not taking a stance here) yet the absence of any notion of self or non self would apply to one who eradicated all defiling fetters. I think its one of those things that is put on metaphysical speculation and one of those things that should be avoided.

Well thanks for the comments

With metta, mike

The Buddhas Teachings are practical rather than hypothetical* and doesn't ignore the application or the conventional needs. One such case is that there is pain and someone who feels it, yet it is not-personal (anatta).

I personally find it easier to think of things as processes. Take gravity as an example, how we choose to believe gravity operates or doesn't, does not effect how gravity operates because it is completely seperate from us. However, if we take the body as another example, we only have limited control over it, we can move it, but it can do all sorts of things without any control. our organs function without us controlling them, and our muscles can tense up without the need for us to decide to do something.
* I use hypothetical rather than philosophical because philosophy does (or did) try to find the answer, so uses hypothesis and practical experimentation rather than hypothetical mind games which are at times idealized and not workable.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Not Self or No self or No no Self?

Postby manas » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:06 pm

Hi Michael

I will add two more articles by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html (The Not-self Strategy) and http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html (Questions of Skill)

Also I highly recommend (Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View):

Dwelling at Savatthi... Then Ven. Kaccayana Gotta approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


:namaste:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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