NO self

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Re: NO self

Postby DAWN » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:30 am

Find !

SN 35.1 p.1133

"Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'This is not mine, this is I am not, this is not my self. "


I dont know if it's change something (actualy i'am not sure that this debate about 'no self' or 'not self' or 'notself' or 'nonself' can change the practice), but my mind have catched this 'nonself' (actualy i mistake, first time i wrote NOself, and not NONself), so i post it this. :thinking:

Friendly :namaste:
Last edited by DAWN on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NO self

Postby Nyana » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:34 am

danieLion wrote:The psychologically healthy self-structure knows it's neither permanent nor unchanging.

Well, I'm not so sure of that. Worldlings can be "psychologically healthy" by societal standards, yet still hold any number of different identity views that are rejected in the Nikāyas, including views of a permanent unchanging self or soul. A stream entrant, on the other hand, has abandoned identity views, yet still has the underlying tendency of "I am."

Another point you mentioned previously about your concerns regarding "no self": The psychological self-structure doesn't fill the criteria of a "self" in the Nikāyas, therefore I think it's fine to say that the Buddha taught that there is no self. The only caveat I would add is that this isn't something to be dogmatically clung to either.
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:03 am

DAWN wrote:Find !

SN 35.1 p.1133

"Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'This is not mine, this is I am not, this is not my self. "


I dont know if it's change something (actualy i'am not sure that this debate about 'no self' or 'not self' or 'notself' or 'nonself' can change the practice), but my mind have catched this 'nonself' (actualy i mistake, first time i wrote NOself, and not NONself), so i post it this. :thinking:

Friendly :namaste:

It's okay. I get confused too, like right now, absorbing Nana's last post. And for all I know, Rev. Bodhi has translated it "no self" somewhere.
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:08 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:The psychologically healthy self-structure knows it's neither permanent nor unchanging.

Well, I'm not so sure of that. Worldlings can be "psychologically healthy" by societal standards, yet still hold any number of different identity views that are rejected in the Nikāyas, including views of a permanent unchanging self or soul. A stream entrant, on the other hand, has abandoned identity views, yet still has the underlying tendency of "I am."

Another point you mentioned previously about your concerns regarding "no self": The psychological self-structure doesn't fill the criteria of a "self" in the Nikāyas, therefore I think it's fine to say that the Buddha taught that there is no self. The only caveat I would add is that this isn't something to be dogmatically clung to either.

By the criteria in the Nikayas you mean a "self" as the aggregates, right?
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Re: NO self

Postby Nyana » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:04 pm

danieLion wrote:By the criteria in the Nikayas you mean a "self" as the aggregates, right?

I mean a self that would be:

1. not prone to dis-ease
2. fully self-determining (be in complete autonomous control of itself)
3. permanent
4. satisfactory

These four criteria can easily be inferred from the dialogue in SN 22.59.
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:21 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:By the criteria in the Nikayas you mean a "self" as the aggregates, right?

I mean a self that would be:

1. not prone to dis-ease
2. fully self-determining (be in complete autonomous control of itself)
3. permanent
4. satisfactory

These four criteria can easily be inferred from the dialogue in SN 22.59.

Very good, then. I appreciate the help and clarification.
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Re: NO self

Postby Dan74 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:32 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:By the criteria in the Nikayas you mean a "self" as the aggregates, right?

I mean a self that would be:

1. not prone to dis-ease
2. fully self-determining (be in complete autonomous control of itself)
3. permanent
4. satisfactory

These four criteria can easily be inferred from the dialogue in SN 22.59.


Sorry to interject, folks, but I'd be grateful for some feedback on the following observations.

The self implies something pertaining to an individual, something personal. Many Mahayana and Theravada masters when they talk about the self, the mind, the Unborn, etc etc don't seem to mean something personal, some unchanging essence of an individual, but rather the unconditioned uncaused undisturbed is-ness that is all-pervading and immanent in all ever-changing phenomena. This is-ness, this permanent radiant perfect self is no-self in that it is entirely non-personal, not something to possess or attain, but rather what manifests when the obscurations/defilements/delusion are seen through for the mirages that they are and when the clinging and the identifications are let gone of.

This language of self, of mind, of Buddha-nature, etc does not contradict Buddha's injunction that no self can be found in the aggregates. Because it is not of the aggregates, it includes the aggregates as well as everything else even the non-existent delusions. It is in fact nothing but a description of nibbana and an encouragement to realize it here and now because it is nowhere else.

So I am always left wondering in these debates what is this self that is affirmed? What is the self that is denied?
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:35 pm

Dan74 wrote:...Buddha-nature...
The Buddha didn't teach Buddha-nature.
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Re: NO self

Postby Dan74 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:43 pm

danieLion wrote:
Dan74 wrote:...Buddha-nature...
The Buddha didn't teach Buddha-nature.


And?

I don't think the Buddha taught the sound of silence meditation either, but it doesn't mean that it is not Dhamma or not useful for liberation.

Besides how can you be so sure?
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Re: NO self

Postby DAWN » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:46 pm

danieLion wrote:
DAWN wrote:Find !

SN 35.1 p.1133

"Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'This is not mine, this is I am not, this is not my self. "


I dont know if it's change something (actualy i'am not sure that this debate about 'no self' or 'not self' or 'notself' or 'nonself' can change the practice), but my mind have catched this 'nonself' (actualy i mistake, first time i wrote NOself, and not NONself), so i post it this. :thinking:

Friendly :namaste:

It's okay. I get confused too, like right now, absorbing Nana's last post. And for all I know, Rev. Bodhi has translated it "no self" somewhere.


It possible :anjali:

And what is concern Buddha- nature, Lord Buddha dont teach about this concept, but Buddha teach about the freedom concept.

What is difference of conception? Perharps some little color of atta in Buddha-nature
What is difference of attainment and practice? There is no difference.

So if there is the same way, it is the same destination? Yes.
So the name of destination have any importance? No.

I dont know if you speak french, but saying that:
- Buddha dont teach 'Buddha-nature', Buddha teach 'Freedom'.
Is the same like saying:
- Buddha dont teach 'chaise' (fr.), Buddha teach 'chair'
:roll:

IMO.
Friendly :anjali:
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Re: NO self

Postby Nyana » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:This language of self, of mind, of Buddha-nature, etc does not contradict Buddha's injunction that no self can be found in the aggregates. Because it is not of the aggregates, it includes the aggregates as well as everything else even the non-existent delusions.

This type of language isn't found in the Nikāyas & Āgamas Dan, and this type of view is connected to more than one wrong view described in DN 1. For example, the views of eternalism:

    The self and the world are eternal.... And though these beings roam and wander (through the round of existence), pass away and re-arise, yet the self and the world remain the same just like eternity itself.

And the fourth view of partial eternalism:

    [T]hat which is called "mind" (citta) or "mentality" (mano) or "consciousness" (viññāṇa) — that self is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and it will remain the same just like eternity itself.

Dan74 wrote:It is in fact nothing but a description of nibbana and an encouragement to realize it here and now because it is nowhere else.

It's not a description of nibbāna.

Dan74 wrote:So I am always left wondering in these debates what is this self that is affirmed? What is the self that is denied?

In the Nikāyas & Āgamas no transcendent or innate self-nature is ever affirmed. And I'm not saying this as some sort of dogmatic fundamentalist. It's simply not a part of the view expressed in these texts which are almost exclusively apophatic when describing what awakened awareness is like. The Buddha and other speakers in these texts are far more concerned with teaching the path than in describing the fruition of that path. In this sense the Nikāyas are almost the reverse of the Mahāyāna sūtras, which like to go on about awakening at great length.
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Re: NO self

Postby chownah » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:33 pm

HI,
It's been awhile since I last posted....I haven't read the entire thread but what I have read seems to be alot of attempts at conceptualizing a doctrine of self....and althought there is a diversity of opinion about what the Buddha was saying concerning self (non vs. not vs. none vs. etc.) I think that there is pretty much agreement upon the meaning of the Buddha's teaching that we should have no doctrice of self whatever....so I guess it is interesting to discuss what various doctrines of self there might be but it seems clear that the Buddha indicated it is best to not adopt any of these personally....I guess....don't know for sure.....put another way....the more effort put into delineating a doctrine of self will result in more effort in describing something that should be discarded.....again I'm only guessing and don't really know for sure.....
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Re: NO self

Postby Dan74 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:20 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:This language of self, of mind, of Buddha-nature, etc does not contradict Buddha's injunction that no self can be found in the aggregates. Because it is not of the aggregates, it includes the aggregates as well as everything else even the non-existent delusions.

This type of language isn't found in the Nikāyas & Āgamas Dan, and this type of view is connected to more than one wrong view described in DN 1. For example, the views of eternalism:

    The self and the world are eternal.... And though these beings roam and wander (through the round of existence), pass away and re-arise, yet the self and the world remain the same just like eternity itself.

And the fourth view of partial eternalism:

    [T]hat which is called "mind" (citta) or "mentality" (mano) or "consciousness" (viññāṇa) — that self is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and it will remain the same just like eternity itself.



You are the authority on the type of language found in the Nikayas, Ñāṇa, so I defer to your expertise. I am not sure what this proves though except that we don't have evidence that the Buddha used language like this. The reasons for us not having such evidence or for the Buddha not using such language if indeed he didn't, could be manifold.

As for being connected to wrong views, I don't think what is expressed are even views or positions, but simply metaphors for liberation.
Ñāṇa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:It is in fact nothing but a description of nibbana and an encouragement to realize it here and now because it is nowhere else.

It's not a description of nibbāna.


Why not? What is it a description of then?

Ñāṇa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:So I am always left wondering in these debates what is this self that is affirmed? What is the self that is denied?

In the Nikāyas & Āgamas no transcendent or innate self-nature is ever affirmed. And I'm not saying this as some sort of dogmatic fundamentalist. It's simply not a part of the view expressed in these texts which are almost exclusively apophatic when describing what awakened awareness is like. The Buddha and other speakers in these texts are far more concerned with teaching the path than in describing the fruition of that path. In this sense the Nikāyas are almost the reverse of the Mahāyāna sūtras, which like to go on about awakening at great length.
[/quote]

There is no concept of transcendent self-nature in Mahayana and I am surprised that a learned person like yourself would even posit such a straw-man. Transcend what? Not even delusion is transcended but seen through as a mirage that it is. But surely you know this much better than me.

As for innate self-nature, this is not there either, why would it be innate? This is Emerson, not Mahayana.

The sutras that I am familiar with are very instructive. "Apophatic" is a great word and I have a lot of time for remaining silent. But sometimes it can be appropriate to say something too.

So I am still left wondering if what is being refuted has any bearing on what appears to be affirmed. All these seeming affirmations are provisional after all and are refuted when appropriate. But at the end of the day we have nibbana which must mean something even if that something is an absence. It has characteristics and this invites descriptions to point out both as a path as a way of being since the path and the effort are themselves in a sense delusory - it is samsara that takes a lot of effort to keep going!
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Re: NO self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:52 am

Dan74 wrote:Many Mahayana and Theravada masters when they talk about the self, the mind, the Unborn, etc etc don't seem to mean something personal, some unchanging essence of an individual, but rather the unconditioned uncaused undisturbed is-ness that is all-pervading and immanent in all ever-changing phenomena. This is-ness, this permanent radiant perfect self is no-self in that it is entirely non-personal, not something to possess or attain, but rather what manifests when the obscurations/defilements/delusion are seen through for the mirages that they are and when the clinging and the identifications are let gone of.
But it is not what the suttas teach, and it is language that is all too easily misunderstood.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: NO self

Postby alan » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:45 am

Plus, Dan, you used three negatives in a sentence trying to prove an assertion. That never works.
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Re: NO self

Postby Nyana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:14 am

Dan74 wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
It is in fact nothing but a description of nibbana and an encouragement to realize it here and now because it is nowhere else.

It's not a description of nibbāna.

Why not? What is it a description of then?

Nibbāna means extinguishment and refers to the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. The same meaning can be found in Mahāyāna sources.

Dan74 wrote:There is no concept of transcendent self-nature in Mahayana and I am surprised that a learned person like yourself would even posit such a straw-man.

Well, you're the one who said there is a "self that is affirmed."

Dan74 wrote:Transcend what? Not even delusion is transcended but seen through as a mirage that it is.

Actually, even in the Mahāyāna systems delusion has to be eliminated. There is no fruition of buddhahood without such elimination.

Dan74 wrote:As for innate self-nature, this is not there either, why would it be innate? This is Emerson, not Mahayana.

Here, the reference was to innate (connate, co-emergent) awareness (i.e. sahajajñāna) that is always present in the mental continuum, and related ideas from tathāgatagarbha sources.

Dan74 wrote:So I am still left wondering if what is being refuted has any bearing on what appears to be affirmed. All these seeming affirmations are provisional after all and are refuted when appropriate.

Yes, there's a lot that could be said on this subject (but this forum isn't the proper place for it). At any rate, the main Indian Mahāyāna versions of Buddhist hermeneutics treat negations as definitive and affirmations as conventional and provisional.
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:25 am

chownah wrote:I think that there is pretty much agreement upon the meaning of the Buddha's teaching that we should have no doctrice of self whatever....

I've never had a doctrine of self. Guess I was born without one. I'm astonished anyone would have a doctrine of self.
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Re: NO self

Postby danieLion » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:31 am

Dan74 wrote:As for innate self-nature, this is not there either, why would it be innate? This is Emerson, not Mahayana.

Reverend Thanissaro wrote:If you're primed to look for innate natures, you'll tend to see innate natures, especially when you reach the luminous, non-dual stages of concentration called themeless, emptiness, and undirected. You'll get stuck on whichever stage matches your assumptions about what your awakened nature is. But if you're primed to look for the process of fabrication, you'll see these stages as forms of fabrication, and this will enable you to deconstruct them, to pacify them, until you encounter the peace that's not fabricated at all.

Freedom From Buddha Nature
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Re: NO self

Postby Nyana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:33 am

danieLion wrote:I've never had a doctrine of self. Guess I was born without one. I'm astonished anyone would have a doctrine of self.

Most of the Indian philosophical schools are considered Ātmavāda, except the Buddhists and the materialists. That is, all of the others schools posit a existent self (i.e. soul).
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Re: NO self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:39 am

danieLion wrote:
chownah wrote:I think that there is pretty much agreement upon the meaning of the Buddha's teaching that we should have no doctrice of self whatever....

I've never had a doctrine of self. Guess I was born without one. I'm astonished anyone would have a doctrine of self.
We all have "doctrines of self," and we are pretty much born with it. Very few, indeed, bother -- or are able -- to elucidate their self doctrine, but that does not mean that we don't have one. It is right there behind "I want this and I don't want that."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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