On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:11 pm

Gaoxing wrote: If there is no 'I'' it is stupid to think "I have no self" so agreed with the Buddha.


I have no self = no self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.
Am I not = no I. The Buddha also called this inappropriate reflection.



If there is no 'I' it is stupid to think "am I not" so agreed with the Buddha. If there is no 'i' it is stupid to think "am I not" so agreed with the Buddha. But it is not agreed to that the Buddha refused to state that there is no-self. Ananda already new that but the Buddha also new Ananda was still suffering from a self-view.

Where self is, truth cannot be...Self is death and truth is life.


This doesn't say that "there is no self". This and other passages say that one should not speculate about the Self, even in sense of "Self doesn't exist".

In order to refute the idea of Self, you need to propose idea of Self to refute in the first place. So in that way there is still concern about conception of Self.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:12 pm

daverupa wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Kutadanta Sutta

'Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream that their selves are separate and self-existing entities.

This body will be dissolved
and no amount of sacrifice will save it.
Therefore, seek the life that is of the mind.
Where self is, truth cannot be;
When truth comes, self will disappear.
Therefore, let your mind rest in the truth;
propagate the truth, put your whole will in it, and let it spread.
In the truth you shall live forever.

Self is death and truth is life.
The cleaving to self is a perpetual dying,
while moving in the truth
is partaking of Nirvana
which is life everlasting.


The Kuttadanta Sutta I'm familiar with has no such poetry. Where is your selection from? Paul Carus' work The Gospel of the Buddha? I wonder what his source is... anyone?
No one was caught red-handed. :clap:
.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:17 pm

I have no self = no self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.
Am I not = no I. The Buddha also called this inappropriate reflection.
Nope it's not what it says. I have no self =self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Gaoxing wrote:
I have no self = no self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.
Am I not = no I. The Buddha also called this inappropriate reflection.
Nope it's not what it says. I have no self =self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.



"I have no self" = no self. Some attempt to say that "I have no self" means "atta has no atta" , but this is twisting the meaning too much and still means no self. "A has no A" means "no A".
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:36 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:
I have no self = no self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.
Am I not = no I. The Buddha also called this inappropriate reflection.
Nope it's not what it says. I have no self =self. The Buddha called this inappropriate reflection.



"I have no self" = no self. Some attempt to say that "I have no self" means "atta has no atta" , but this is twisting the meaning too much and still means no self. "A has no A" means "no A".

Nope its not twisting it. A has no B = A. It's like saying I have no bananas = I

The teaching of Atta (A) was something completely different to the teaching of Anatta (B) and still is.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby binocular » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:51 pm

cooran wrote:Please show us all one Sutta, just one, where the Buddha clearly taught that there was a permanent Self or Soul.


False assumption. Nobody said that the Buddha taught there was a permanent self.

We're saying that "there is no self in the aggregates" is not the same as "there is no ontological self." That is all.

It's only if one proposes that all there is, are the aggregates, that "there is no self in the aggregates" is equivalent to "there is no self."

But if we are to believe that the aggregates are all there is, then nibbana either doesnt' exist, isn't real, cannot be attained, cannot serve as a goal, or is a mere aggregate.


Further, the quoted suttas are not in contradiction with some doctrines from other religions that do claim there is a self.
For example, in the Hare Krishna doctrine, they have a strict view that the soul exists, and they believe that form, feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness - that that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change, is not proper to regard as soul or self.
So it is possible to conceive of a view that there is a self, even as one holds that form, feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness - that that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change, are not the self.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby binocular » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:59 pm

danieLion wrote:I agree with the Buddha and William James about the self that even though the self isn't permanent or a soul it is nonetheless real.

I don't see how the Buddha is saying that.

And I'm not sure about William James either. Can you provide his reasoning that the soul is not permanent, but nevertheless real?
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby binocular » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:21 pm

cooran wrote:Please show us all one Sutta, just one, where the Buddha clearly taught that there was a permanent Self or Soul.

Gaoxing wrote:Why do you say he doesn't say there is no self? How and where does he ever say there is a self?

It's not clear why you insist on this dichotomy: "Either the Buddha taught there is no ontological self, or he had to teach there is an ontological self" - as if those two would be the only two options in the matter.


Spiny Norman wrote:
cooran wrote:Please show us all one Sutta, just one, where the Buddha clearly taught that there was a permanent Self or Soul.

But is there a sutta where he clearly taught that there wasn't? In the Ananda Sutta he equates the no-self view with annihilationism, which is wrong view.

I think the Buddha's approach is sometimes the ex-negativo approach: he approaches a definition of something by definining what it is not; whereby it is not necessary to provide an exhaustive list of what it is not, but only those factors which one considers crucial for the contradistinction. With some things, it is simply more concise and simple to point out what they most certainly are not, than trying to establish what they are.
I think the teachings on not-self are a good example of this.


Examples:
Health is the state in which there are no diseases present.
A vegan dish is one like for vegetarians, except no animal products at all (ie. no dairy and no eggs) are used.
Claude Debussy didn't want his music to sound anything like Richard Wagner's.
Only those students are eligible for the competition who do not have any F's.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:50 pm

Quoting Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu

Here, I'd like to go ahead to tell you that this nothingness or nihilism (natthikadiţţhi) is another meaning. Don't confuse the nihilistic teaching with the Buddha's teaching of suññatā (voidness). The correct word, voidness, still has existence, but nothing existing as a self. Everything is void of self. There is a big difference between nothingness and suññatā which holds that things exist void of selfhood. To mix up and confuse natthikadiţţhi with suññatā is to misunderstand Buddhism even more. Please distinguish the one group of views as natthikadiţţhi and keep it separate.

To remember easily: nothingness, no thing at all, is called " natthikadiţţhi "; existence or being without attā is called "suññatā." With natthikadiţţhi there is nothing. Suññatā exists but is void of self. natthikadiţţhi and suññatā are not the same thing. You must understand this properly.
Once again, don't confuse natthikadiţţhi with anattā or suññatā. Don't take nihilism to be anattā. These are totally different matters. Anattā, suññatā, and tathatā are, they exist, but their beings are not-self. They are anattā.

Now we come to the third question which they will ask: When there is no attā, then what is reborn? What or who is reborn? Forgive us for being forced to use crude language, but this question is absurd and crazy. In Buddhism, there is no point in asking such a thing. There is no place for it in Buddhism. If you ask what will be reborn next, that's the craziest, most insane question. If right here, right now, there is no soul, person, self, or attā, how could there be some "who" or "someone" that goes and gets reborn? So there is no way one can ask "who will be reborn?"Therefore, the rebirth of the same person does not occur. But the birth of different things is happening all the time. It happens often and continuously, but there is no rebirth. There is no such thing, in reality, as rebirth or reincarnation. That there is one person, one "I" or "you," getting reborn is what reincarnation is all about. If all is anattā, there is nothing to get reborn. There is birth, birth, birth, of course. This is obvious. There is birth happening all the time, but it is never the same person being born a second time. Every birth is new. So there is birth, endlessly, constantly, but we will not call it "rebirth" or "reincarnation."

While we have the chance, let's spill all the beans– there isn't much time left – there's no "person" or "being" (satva). What we call a person is merely a momentary grouping that does not last. It does not have any independent reality and is merely a stream or process of cause and effect, which is called the "dependent origination of `no person.'" Buddhism teaches dependent origination – this process of causes and effects, of things continuously arising out of causes, the causes being dependent on previous causes, the whole flow unfolding on and on. Thus, Buddhism is the teaching of "no man," the teaching of "no person." There's no person to live or to die or to be reborn. Now, there's no person. It's merely the grouping of body and mind, or of the five khandhas, or whatever you want to call it. But this grouping which temporarily appears according to causes and conditions is not a person. Would you please understand well that it is no person who makes kammas, who receives fruits of kammas, who is happy, who is dukkha, who dies, who gets reborn. These lives don't exist like that. There is no birth or incarnation of the same person.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:13 pm

Binoc wrote:But if we are to believe that the aggregates are all there is, then nibbana either doesnt' exist, isn't real, cannot be attained, cannot serve as a goal, or is a mere aggregate.
Neither the aggregates nor Nibbana exist as independent entities and that is not a problem at all. Nibbana is not a place to go to and it is neither a goal. The only goal in the Buddhas teaching is the end of suffering. Samsara and Nibbana are not dualities. Samsara does not exist seperate from Nibbana but is conditioned phenomena, delusion of reality. Reality is Sunnata namely voidness, void of self or any entity, thusness.

Samsara contains discriminating thought. There is no objective difference between Samsara and Nibbana. The difference between the two is only a subjective difference, it's only in the mind. Samsara and Nibbana are the same but seen from two different viewpoints. From the view of ignorance reality appears as samsara and from the viewpoint of insubstansiality, relativity and voidness reality is nibbana and without suffering. Nibbana is uncondistioned and transcended relative concepts, beyond conceptions and expressions beyond mind and consciousness.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:47 pm

daverupa wrote: Paul Carus' work The Gospel of the Buddha? I wonder what his source is... anyone?
His particular monistic philosophy.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19191
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: The Grasslands

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:53 pm

Gaoxing wrote:Nope its not twisting it. A has no B = A. It's like saying I have no bananas = I


There is no A for A = no A . The point is that "I have no self" is inappropriate reflection along with all other reflections that deal with "I" .

The Buddha refused to claim that "the self doesn't exist" even to venerable Ananda who could understand if misunderstanding of no self was the problem with Vaccha.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:07 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Nope its not twisting it. A has no B = A. It's like saying I have no bananas = I


There is no A for A = no A . The point is that "I have no self" is inappropriate reflection along with all other reflections that deal with "I" .

The Buddha refused to claim that "the self doesn't exist" even to venerable Ananda who could understand if misunderstanding of no self was the problem with Vaccha.
Nope! The Buddha taught why no-self. no-self is not something that can be thought of conceptually, it's not an easy matter. It's first of all not a theoretical issue. The work needs to be done in a pragmatic way. Meditation works a lot but not all.

A has no B= A Thicket of views.

Ananda was shocked at the Buddha's silence.
Last edited by Gaoxing on Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:10 pm

danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Talking in terms of actual experience, the Buddha: . . .

No, "there is no self" claim here either; likewise, this topic would not exist without ourselves making it happen.
The claim that is being made in these texts -- and I would say the suttas as a whole -- is that the experienced self, however one might imagine it, is a derived construct of our experiential process. A sense of self is an experience we are stuck with until awakening. It is not an issue in these texts of some sort of ontologically self-existing entity. The suttas are really not doing that kind of philosophy. It is, rather, in dealing with the experiential process of what we are, we find no unchanging metaphysical self/thing within that experience.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19191
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: The Grasslands

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Talking in terms of actual experience, the Buddha: . . .

No, "there is no self" claim here either; likewise, this topic would not exist without ourselves making it happen.
The claim that is being made in these texts -- and I would say the suttas as a whole -- is that the experienced self, however one might imagine it, is a derived construct of our experiential process. A sense of self is an experience we are stuck with until awakening. It is not an issue in these texts of some sort of ontologically self-existing entity. The suttas are really not doing that kind of philosophy. It is, rather, in dealing with the experiential process of what we are we find no unchanging metaphysical self/thing within that experience.
Fully agree. There are many philosophies around and in Buddhism but Buddhism is not a philosophy.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:04 pm

Gaoxing wrote:Nope! The Buddha taught why no-self.


The Buddha taught anatta, and rejected natthatta when speaking to Ananda.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:17 am

Greetings,

Gaoxing wrote:Fully agree. There are many philosophies around and in Buddhism but Buddhism is not a philosophy.

Well I agree with Tilt too, but wonder how you resolve your "no self" position with that, given that what Tilt is saying is very much about "not self".

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14622
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:20 am

Alex123 wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Nope! The Buddha taught why no-self.


The Buddha taught anatta, and rejected natthatta when speaking to Ananda.

I'll be honest. I don't have the original texts so I won't really know. I can only know what corresponds to my own experience, thus only taking as truth which agrees with my practical experience, that is mostly my meditation experience and a little practical people relations where I've seen anatta happen.

All I know is that the Buddha rejected sassatadiţţhi and natthikadiţţhi due to his teachings of sammādiţţhi. The Buddha rejected the extremes of sassatā and natthikā. To my understanding this (sassatadiţţhi and natthikadiţţhi) corresponds somewhat to the philosophical view of either an ontological self or not and a ontological existence and non-existence which the Buddha rejected.

The Buddha taught an atta of everething but it is not the same as the atta of the Brahmins and others at that time. It is also not the same as the Advaita 'consciousness is all' teaching and it's not the same as animistic attas. The Buddha new that his insight was not that kind of atta or attas but anatta. Thus the atta which the Buddha taught is anatta and best seen in sunnata. The Buddha taught dependent origination, cause and effect, and rejected any independent view of a separate entity or essence. It is therefore impossible to accept the modern word 'self' as being the same as both the atta that is not anatta and is also not the same as the atta which is anatta. IMO it's best to collect a list of all atta teachings from the time of the Buddha that was not Buddhist to fully understand the uniqueness of anatta. As far as I can see the Buddhas 'revelation' is very unique, even today.

"Anattā, suññatā, and tathatā are, they exist, but their beings are not-self. They are anattā."

The problem with atta or self is that there are as many attas and selves as there are people and differing opinions. Anatta is very precise compared to all the attas there are, beyond fabrications, formations and concepts.

As for natthatta, as far as I can see, would have been rejected by the Buddha as natthikadiţţhi.

The Buddha spoke of himself as the Tathagata (One who thus is and the one who has thus gone). Here the word 'thus' is important. It's something dynamic and real. Without attachment or clinging, without transmigration and carnation or reincarnation. Alive and ever changing awake-ness.
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Gaoxing wrote:Fully agree. There are many philosophies around and in Buddhism but Buddhism is not a philosophy.

Well I agree with Tilt too, but wonder how you resolve your "no self" position with that, given that what Tilt is saying is very much about "not self".

Metta,
Retro. :)

If you read my post to Alex above you'll see that I actually reject both not-self and no-self and also self. :anjali:
User avatar
Gaoxing
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:08 pm
Location: China

Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby kirk5a » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:16 am

Gaoxing wrote:The Buddha spoke of himself as the Tathagata (One who thus is and the one who has thus gone). Here the word 'thus' is important. It's something dynamic and real. Without attachment or clinging, without transmigration and carnation or reincarnation. Alive and ever changing awake-ness.

Whatever is inconstant is dukkha.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1746
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests