chownah wrote:I have a lot of agreement for what you are saying......
Yes, I think we do. We might use slightly different language to say it, and might even mean slightly different things by it, but there is a lot of overlap.
but.....to understand my posts you should understand that my belief system is very different from most posters here. For me having no doctrine of self is probably the key concept. In working toward no doctrine of self I start from the opposite side from most. My default belief is that there is no self in me or in the world anywhere....
I can understand seeing it that way, though when I find the Buddha talking about how the world is empty of self I have heard him defining "the world" in terms of the aggregates, or in terms of sense data -- so, once again, I think it's self he's talking about. That ends up a bit circular: the world is empty of self = self is empty of self, but it seems to me that is what he is saying.
This is not me arguing that the world outside of us *has* a self -- that's not what I'm saying. But I have, in the past, tended to interpret the Buddha as saying "nothing in the world has any inherent nature" (aka "nothing in the world has a self") and, on study, I don't actually find him overtly saying that, though I think it is still there as subtext, or at the very least that we can infer it through observation of how *we* have no inherent self and the same principal applies to everything we see around us (so he doesn't have to say it in the texts for it to be a Buddhist concept -- if it is drawn from the things he points out to us, and we can see it in the world around us, it's logically "Buddhist" as far as I can see).
SN 35.85 [pts S iii 54]
"It is, Ananda, because it is empty of self and of what belongs to self that it is said, 'Empty is the world.' And what is empty of self and of what belongs to self? The eye, Ananda, is empty of self and of what belongs to self."
and of course this view is in fact a doctrine of self. But I can not just snap my fingers and change my views so I continue to firmly be of the view that ther is no self anywhere.
I agree, it is a doctrine of self. Isn't it easier to relax and understand that there is no inherent self, but that it is something we construct? It's a concept? I find this helps with the "walking around the world behaving like there is a self" problem. As long as we are mindful that it's something we're building...
I believe strongly in The All and The World as the Buddha defined them in the suttas.......but unlike most people I fully believe that understanding experience as being just that is a major key in moving toward the goal....this means that I tend to deny the existence of the "external world" as most people view it.....if I must give an opinion about the external world I would say that it's existence is just conjecture.
But wiser to just set its reality or lack thereof aside? What matters is what we can know, which is experience, including the experience of dukkha?
Do understand that I do typically walk around feeling like a self and seeing others as being selves but I see this as just my state of delusion... so I'm not a slack jawed drooler.
Glad to hear it! ; )
All of this about me is to show you how hard it is for me to reply to what you are saying. You talk about whether a self should work towards it's future happiness and my most honest answer to this is that all a self ever does is to work towards it's future happiness and this is a strong indication of why we should have no doctrine of self.
Yes! That seems to be its function in life, even if, in its ignorance, it isn't very good at it.
You talk about saving the world and I think you mean the external world and my view is that it's existence is just a conjecture and it is better to see the world in more definite terms I.e. as the sum total of our life's experience and nothing more.....on other words it is a product of the self.
This might be where I go wrong in my wording, because I tend to use "the world" in a multi-layered way, sort of the way I see the Buddha using it. If the external world gets saved (bees and oceans and plants and air) that's a good thing and a byproduct of saving people from their selves (world = self, in that case). Aloka inserted "the whole" into the phrasing I used at one point -- I said something about the Buddha being out to save the world and she repeated what I said back to me as "the whole world" which I think confused the point.
So, I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I have to decode it into my belief structure, formulate an answer, code it back onto your belief structure, and then express it in writing...
I am sorry it takes so much effort but I am glad you persist.