More on the anusaya's ( underlying tendencies ).
MN 148. 28 talks about the anusaya's in relation to the three feelings.
MN 64. 3 and 64. 6 are very relevant to this discussion. This sutta seems to be mainly about the five lower fetters, and the path to their abandonment.
64.3 : Explains that there is an anusaya for each of the five lower fetters. A "young tender infant" is said to have these anusaya's, but not yet the five lower fetters.
64. 5 : Talks about the "untaught ordinary person" and says that he :
"..abides with a mind obsessed and enslaved by identity view, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from the arisen identity view ; and when that identity view has become habitual and is uneradicated in him, it is a lower fetter" ( identity view = sakkaya ditthi ).
64. 6 : Compares the preceding with " the well-taught noble disciple", he :
"... does not abide with a mind obsessed and enslaved by identity view ; he understands as it actually is the escape from the arisen identity view, and identity view together with the underlying tendency to it is abandoned in him".
Quotations are from : Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. Bhikkhu Bodhi. 1995. Wisdom Publications. Boston.
So, sakkaya ditthi ( view of self ) arises and when it becomes habitual then it is the first of the five lower fetters. The problem is in the next section about the "well-taught noble disciple", who is meant here ? It can not be a stream-winner because all five fetters have been abandoned. It must be either a non-returner or an arahant. If, as I suspect, it is an arahant which is meant, then it tells us nothing about when or where on the path view of self is abandoned. Except that those who have completed the noble eightfold path have abandoned the view of self.
So these passages can be understood in two ways. The puthujjana can see here a non-returner who has broken the five lower fetters. He understands this to be a "stage" on the noble eightfold path. On the other hand, the ariya savaka can see here an arahant, which fits with his understanding that there are no "stages" on the noble eightfold path.
These passages appear to be an explanation of the non-returner, as a stage on the noble eightfold path, intended for puthujjana's, but open to another interpretation.
Those of you who have read my other thread will know that I reject the four paths and four fruits, and the four pairs of noble persons. Also, I reject the explanation of these four "stages" by means of the five lower, and five higher fetters.
The noble eightfold path is just the elimination of sakkaya ditthi - nothing else, although everything which depends on it is also eliminated.
I do not understand MN 64. it raises many problems, could it be that five fetters were introduced first, as an explanation of the non-returner, intended for puthujjana's ? And that it was later elaborated, first by saying that the stream-winner has broken the first three fetters. Then by the addition of the five higher fetters, and finally an extra stage was squeezed in, the once-returner. Who knows ? Perhaps a more important question is why is all this false teaching needed. If we could understand that, then perhaps everything would become clear.
I still do not understand the anusaya's, but it seems clear that they are not relevant to our main problem on this thread.
Best wishes, Vincent.