Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

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Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:27 am

Greetings


In relation to my on going debate again, how does logical thought get explained in Buddhism in relation to Anatta/Voidness


Its not something ive really thought about before


My view at the moment is that since its anicca its still dukkha and anatta but how does it get explained without appeal to a self in Buddhism? (since logical thought naturally makes us feel there is a doer"

metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:59 am

sabbe dhamma anatta
S iii.133
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Individual » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:12 am

clw_uk wrote:Greetings


In relation to my on going debate again, how does logical thought get explained in Buddhism in relation to Anatta/Voidness


Its not something ive really thought about before


My view at the moment is that since its anicca its still dukkha and anatta but how does it get explained without appeal to a self in Buddhism? (since logical thought naturally makes us feel there is a doer"

metta

I disagree that logical thought makes us feel there is a self. However, Skeptical doubt, which might masquerade as logical thought, might make us feel there is a self. Notself is perfectly logical, as we can all clearly examine evolution and neurochemistry for ourselves, in addition to the moments of experiencing notself during moments of extreme emotion, stress, or concentration. Now, you may note the bit "for ourselves," and that's a problem of language. Language and consciousness is self-referential by nature (see the book "I Am a Strange Loop" for more on this), and yet if this fact contradicts empirical reality, it would seem to be illogical to say that this overrules reality, but rather, it is merely a limitation of language and of consciousness.

And so, there is nothing "natural" at all about the view of self. The view of self is something that is artificially created, a mental fabrication, a defilement, a delusion.

Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anatta
S iii.133

Translation: "All things are notself."
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:13 am

clw_uk wrote:In relation to my on going debate again, how does logical thought get explained in Buddhism in relation to Anatta/Voidness

Why does logical thought require a self any more than walking requires a self?

"For there is suffering, but none who suffers;
Doing exists although there is no doer;
Extinction is but no extinguished person;
Although there is a path, there is no goer."

Visuddhimagga, XVI, 90.


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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:20 am

Individual wrote:
Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anatta
S iii.133

Translation: "All things are notself."


More correctly, all phenomena (which include thoughts) are not-self. All phenomena, mundane and supramundane are not-self and conversely, a self cannot be found to exist anywhere, not even within Nibbana.

sabbe dhammā aniccā :the whole of the visible world, all phenomena are evanescent
--Nyanaponika Thera, Pali-English Dictionary
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Individual » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:21 pm

Ben wrote:
Individual wrote:
Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anatta
S iii.133

Translation: "All things are notself."


More correctly, all phenomena (which include thoughts) are not-self. All phenomena, mundane and supramundane are not-self and conversely, a self cannot be found to exist anywhere, not even within Nibbana.

sabbe dhammā aniccā :the whole of the visible world, all phenomena are evanescent
--Nyanaponika Thera, Pali-English Dictionary

Ah, thanks for the clarification.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:15 pm

clw_uk wrote:since logical thought naturally makes us feel there is a doer

this isn't a logical thought. what do you think what makes you feel there is a doer?
in case of beeing strict logical no thing (dhamma) can be found which is a "doer".
but with ignorance (avijjā; this is obviously not beeing logical) quite anything (but mostly one or all of the five aggregates of grasping (pañc’upādānakkhandhā)) can be seen as a "doer" contrary to logical thinking. it's a very subtle act because avijjā protects itself from seeing avijjā as avijjā. (a better explanation §24 P.33 "Clearing the Path") but the question is not about avijjā so for me there's nothing more to say for now except for:
Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā;
sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā;
sabbe dhammā anattā.
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:43 am

Greetings Craig,

clw_uk wrote:In relation to my on going debate again, how does logical thought get explained in Buddhism in relation to Anatta/Voidness

Its not something ive really thought about before

My view at the moment is that since its anicca its still dukkha and anatta but how does it get explained without appeal to a self in Buddhism? (since logical thought naturally makes us feel there is a doer"


Do you mean like "mind consciouness" or the mental aspect of "nama-rupa".

Each of which are of course anicca, anatta and dukkha.

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: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:11 am

In relation to my on going debate again, how does logical thought get explained in Buddhism in relation to Anatta/Voidness... My view at the moment is that since its anicca its still dukkha and anatta but how does it get explained without appeal to a self in Buddhism? (since logical thought naturally makes us feel there is a doer"

Hi clw_uk

Logical thought doesn't get explained in relation to anatta. Anatta is not a logical premise, as it voids the first law of logic, that of identity or A = A. Anatta is alogical, that is it stands outside (or beyond) the laws of logic.

Shunyata is zero-self, an alternate means of expressing anatta, it is not 'voidness' or 'emptiness'. It too does not come within the purview of logic for the same reasons.

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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:14 am

Can you give a canonical reference for your view Kannada ?
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:30 am

For what? Anatta or Shunyatta.

The view af anatta is based on the laws of logic.

The translation of Shunyata is based on Sanskrit translation. Shunya = 'zero' atta = 'self'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_numerals
Last edited by kannada on Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:34 am

Can you give a Buddhist canonical reference to support your view of Anatta or Shunyata, specifically their not being subjecct to logic, I dont mean a restatement of your view or a definition of the words, i know their meaning.
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:02 am

Sanghamitta wrote:Can you give a canonical reference to support your view of Anatta or Shunyata, specifically their not being subjecct to logic, I dont mean a restatement of your view or a definition of the words, i know their meaning.

I don't see the relevance of the question, neither have I read all of the Theravada teachings. As I've stated they are my views, based on the rules of linguistics and logic in answer to clw_uk's introductory post.
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:30 am

The relevance is surely that this being a Theravada Forum it is not unreasonable to ask that views expressed should be demonstrably in line with the teachings of the Buddha, and that the definitive way to demonstrate that that are in line with the Buddha's teaching is to point to the canonical reference that supports that view. That seems extremely reasonable to me.
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:40 am

Sanghamitta wrote:The relevance is surely that this being a Theravada Forum it is not unreasonable to ask that views expressed should be demonstrably in line with the teachings of the Buddha, and that the definitive way to demonstrate that that are in line with the Buddha's teaching is to point to the canonical reference that supports that view. That seems extremely reasonable to me.

I am well aware of what forum I am on, I need no reminding. I would think the relevance of my statement to be obvious, after all that is why I posted in the first place.

Anatta is a statement of no-self (not-self, non-self).

The mind thinks in terms of concepts that stand for things.

How could a thinking mind ascertain that which is not a thing.

Therefore logical thought cannot ascertain anatta...
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:45 am

kannada wrote:
Sanghamitta wrote:The relevance is surely that this being a Theravada Forum it is not unreasonable to ask that views expressed should be demonstrably in line with the teachings of the Buddha, and that the definitive way to demonstrate that that are in line with the Buddha's teaching is to point to the canonical reference that supports that view. That seems extremely reasonable to me.

I am well aware of what forum I am on, I need no reminding. I would think the relevance of my statement to be obvious, after all that is why I posted in the first place.


Precisely!

Kannada, to be absolutely clear, you are welcome to discuss this subject here.

Kind regards


Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:59 am

Thank you Ben,

Your kindness is admirable...

Best wishes

k
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Macavity » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:59 pm

kannada wrote:Anatta is not a logical premise, as it voids the first law of logic, that of identity or A = A. Anatta is alogical, that is it stands outside (or beyond) the laws of logic.


This isn't the Buddha's teaching of anatta as it's preserved in the Pali suttas. The Buddha taught that "rupa (vedana, sañña, etc.) are not self," which is not at odds with any law of logic at all. The Buddha's statement of anatta isn't saying that A is not A. What it's saying is that when A is seen correctly, it will be seen to lack one of the properties that we deludedly attribute to it.

Had the Buddha intended to "void the first law of logic" he would have said "rupa is not rupa, vedana is not vedana... etc."

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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby kannada » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:03 am

Hi Ciarán, Thanks for your comment,
Macavity wrote:
kannada wrote:Anatta is not a logical premise, as it voids the first law of logic, that of identity or A = A. Anatta is alogical, that is it stands outside (or beyond) the laws of logic.


This isn't the Buddha's teaching of anatta as it's preserved in the Pali suttas.

No, it is part of my response to clw_uk's post. There is no attempt to re-write Buddhist teachings, just a view expressed on what they mean.

The Buddha taught that "rupa (vedana, sañña, etc.) are not self," which is not at odds with any law of logic at all.

“All things (dhammas) are not self” means that a thing is not a thing, it has no self-nature, it is a compound of other things - reductio ad absurdum. Logic deals in identities (id-entities), concrete asserted 'thingness' or dhammas. Logic and anatta are polar opposites to each other on this issue.

The Buddha's statement of anatta isn't saying that A is not A. What it's saying is that when A is seen correctly, it will be seen to lack one of the properties that we deludedly attribute to it.

We are not discussing how things are seen, we are discussing the conceptual processes post-seeing, correct seeing has no follow-up conceptual processes.

Conceptual superimpositions are the corner-stone of delusion, for they either implicitly define a 'self' and explicitly define 'other', explicitly define a self while implicitly defining 'other', or explicitly define both. Not one property but all properties aimed at defining the visual spectrum are indeed delusory. Only non-conceptual clarity defines neither.

Had the Buddha intended to "void the first law of logic" he would have said "rupa is not rupa, vedana is not vedana... etc."

As above... If “all things are not self” then surely rupa and vedana are not self either.''

Best wishes

k
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Re: Logical Thought and Anatta/Voidness

Postby Dan74 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:25 am

The problem comes from conflating the categories.

In the conventional sense there are dharmas, in the ultimate sense there aren't.

The language of prajnaparamita (insight into emptiness) is a tool for dislodging the notion of existing dharmas. Dharmas (things) are useful designations, in that sense they are real, it the ultimate sense they are all empty of any self-nature, interdependent, ever-changing and therefore don't exist (as separate entities).

So there is no logical contradiction nor any paradox, just wrongly entrenched notions of existence, separateness, permanence and self.

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