Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:05 am

Hi Retro,

Here's how I see things:
1. The 'Three Characteristics' are a later teaching - not found in the nikayas.
2. They seem to be a mis-interpretation of certain nikaya passages.
3. Nowhere does the Buddha instruct anyone to 'see no - self '.

4. The Buddha teaches that certain things should be 'regarded' as not-self. The term 'regarded' is used in connection with views and means 'thinking' or 'understanding'. One already has a self - a mentally constructed self. This has been built-up over many years by regarding certain things as 'my self'. It is these things which should now be regarded as not-self, in order to de-construct this 'self'.

So not-self is something you train yourself to think, and apply to all those things which you previously regarded as my self. It removes the mentally constructed self.

So not-self is something you think, not something you should see.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:39 am

vinasp wrote:Hi Retro,

Here's how I see things:
1. The 'Three Characteristics' are a later teaching - not found in the nikayas.
Found in the Nikayas:
277. "All conditioned things are impermanent" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

278. "All conditioned things are unsatisfactory" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

279. "All things are not-self" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification. - Dhammapada
It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard any formation as permanent." But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard a formation as permanent.
It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard any formation as a source of happiness. But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard a formation as a source of happiness.
It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard anything as a self.fn 20 But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard something as a self.
(I, xv, 1-3) 37-8 Numerical Discourses of the Buddha Nynaponika and Bodhi
Anguttara Nikaya III 134 (i 286):

Whether Tathagatas arise in the world or not, it still remains a fact, firm
necessary condition of existence, that all formation are impermanent ...
that all formations are subject to suffering ... that all dhammas are
anatta
V wrote:2. They seem to be a mis-interpretation of certain nikaya passages.
So you claim, but so you do not show us.
V wrote:3. Nowhere does the Buddha instruct anyone to 'see no - self '.
The Buddha clearly talks about the perception of anatta.
the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now."[/b] Ud 37 (4.1)


V wrote:4. The Buddha teaches that certain things should be 'regarded' as not-self. The term 'regarded' is used in connection with views and means 'thinking' or 'understanding'. One already has a self - a mentally constructed self. This has been built-up over many years by regarding certain things as 'my self'. It is these things which should now be regarded as not-self, in order to de-construct this 'self'. So not-self is something you train yourself to think, and apply to all those things which you previously regarded as my self. It removes the mentally constructed self.
The perception of anatta is not an intellectual/conceptual process.

V wrote:So not-self is something you think, not something you should see.
When ignorance has been got rid of and knowledge has arisen, one does not grasp after sense pleasure, speculative views, rites and customs, the theory of self. - MN I 67.
Thinking "no self" is a speculative, which is not what the Buddha is asking us to do.
Bhikkhus, form (feeling... perception ,,, voltional formations ... consciousness) 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 not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' When one sees this as it really is with correct wisdom, the mind becomes dispassionate and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging.

If. bhikkhus, a bhikhu's mind [citta.m] has become dispassionate towards the form element (the feeling element ... the perception element ... the volitional formations element ... the consciousness element), it is liberated by nonclinging.

By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains nibbaana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.' SN III 45
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:41 pm

Hi Tiltbillings,

Vincent: Here's how I see things: 1. The 'Three Characteristics' are a later teaching - not found in the nikayas.
Tilt: Found in the Nikayas: [ quotes various passages]

My reply: Points 1, 2 and 3 were merely opinions to stimulate discussion. My main argument was point 4.
I was not claiming that there are no passages which speak about 'impermanance', 'suffering' and ' not-self'. Indeed they are frequently found. What I meant was:
a) They are not called 'the three marks' in the five nikayas.
b) If 'the three marks' is just a later name for such passages, then I have no objection.
c) If there is some later doctrine associated with the three marks, then it could differ from what is said in the nikayas [ I do not know if there is such a doctrine].

Dhammapada 277, 278 and 279.
This is a book in verse, and the language is not precise. The Buddha was not a philosopher - he was not making propositional statements about reality. He was teaching, and his teachings are 'strategic'. These verses show how an unenlightened person should view things in order to become enlightened. It is not how they will see things after they are enlightened. I submit that 'wisdom' is the same as 'right view' and that 'seeing with wisdom' is equivalent to the 'regarding' of one who has right view.

It is impossible, O monks, and it cannot be that a person possessed of right view should regard any formation as permanent." But it is possible for an uninstructed worldling to regard a formation as permanent. (I, xv, 1-3) 37-8 Numerical Discourses of the Buddha Nynaponika and Bodhi.

Wordlings by definition regard formations as permanent. Why does the 'person possessed of right view' not regard formations as permanent? Because he has been training himself to regard formations as impermanent. That is part of the cultivation or development of right view. Regarding formations as permanent is wrong view.
What is meant by a 'person possessed of right view'? Obviously not an enlightened person because for him there are no formations. So how could he regard them as permanent or impermanent?

Anguttara Nikaya III 134 (i 286) - Again, this is not to be read as a description of some objective reality. It is how one should train oneself to view things.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vincent: 2. They seem to be a mis-interpretation of certain nikaya passages.
Tilt : So you claim, but so you do not show us.

I submit that the passages under examination are being mis-interpreted if anyone thinks that 'no-self' is something that you need to 'see'. By 'see' I mean seeing what is actually there. A 'view' is a 'way of seeing' which projects conceptual content onto what is really there. It is something you 'add', something which you construct - not what is already there. One develops right view to counter or neutralise wrong view. One removes the view of self by developing the not-self view. At enlightenment both views disappear.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vincent : 3. Nowhere does the Buddha instruct anyone to 'see no - self '.

Tilt : The Buddha clearly talks about the perception of anatta.

"... the perception of impermanence should be cultivated ..." [/b] Ud 37 (4.1)

So should the perception of 'suffering' and the perception of 'not-self'. They all reinforce each other. But 'perception' is not 'seeing what is really there'. It is conceptual projection again. Wholesome perception is developed to counter unwholesome perception.

Tilt : The perception of anatta is not an intellectual/conceptual process.

My reply: We seem to disagree on this point. My opinion is that the term 'sanna' is not used in a consistent way in the five nikayas - so discussion would be difficult.

For me, the central question here is : What, exactly, is meant by 'regarding' ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:30 pm

vinasp wrote:. . .
There really not much of an argument here other than you think you know better than the tradition brought forward by those who actually practice it and know the the language involved. When you can actually formulate an exegetical argument, I'll be more than happy to respond.
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: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:52 pm

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:Here's how I see things:
1. The 'Three Characteristics' are a later teaching - not found in the nikayas.
2. They seem to be a mis-interpretation of certain nikaya passages.

I believe the actual word "ti-lakkhana" doesn't exist in the suttas, but I see this term as no more than a classification or grouping of anicca, anatta and dukkha. I do not see any distortion arising from this grouping, nor do I find it unusual for them to be treated together, as they are often discussed collectively in the suttas, even if they are not given a collective label.

vinasp wrote:3. Nowhere does the Buddha instruct anyone to 'see no - self '.

No problem here... I too understand anatta to be not-self as distinct to no self, and I do not consider those terms synonymous.

vinasp wrote: 4. The Buddha teaches that certain things should be 'regarded' as not-self. The term 'regarded' is used in connection with views and means 'thinking' or 'understanding'. One already has a self - a mentally constructed self. This has been built-up over many years by regarding certain things as 'my self'. It is these things which should now be regarded as not-self, in order to de-construct this 'self'.

So not-self is something you train yourself to think, and apply to all those things which you previously regarded as my self. It removes the mentally constructed self.


I agree with that, but don't agree that your conclusion necessarily follows...

vinasp wrote:So not-self is something you think, not something you should see.


Perhaps it can be a mode of perception/interpretation as well as something directly seen? I don't see these two as mutually exclusive possibilities.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:32 pm

Anatta is not an object of insight. Phenomena are objects of insight (meditation) ie vipassana. Anatta is an insight which arises as a consequence of this practice.

The purpose? Apart from what has been mentioned here- it allows the deepest letting go. There will be no deeper progress into deeper levels of insight knoweldge without seeing anatta at the sammasana nana level. There cannot be breaking through into the unconditioned (at stream entry) without being able to let go of the aggregates with this realization.

It also allows for later dealing with defilements- as when defilements are clung to as me or mine it becomes difficult to wipe them out. Finally it allows for letting go of conceit and all suffering.

It must be noted that practically seeing anatta comes in a flash (or whimper) initially, later there is work to be done to remove the remaining 'scent' of atta from the aggregates. This gives a clue as to why anatta sanna is intentionally developed (Girimananda sutta).

with metta
With Metta

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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:34 am

Hi everyone,

Excellent contributions from all. Some of what I said must be incomplete:

"Why does the 'person possessed of right view' not regard formations as permanent? Because he has been training himself to regard formations as impermanent."

Developing a 'view of impermanence' will weaken and reduce an existing 'view of permanence', but there is more to it than that. Understanding dependent origination reveals that the mentally constructed self (sakkaya) is dependently arisen and will
therefore cease completely if ignorance is destroyed by insight. This understanding is itself an insight into the impermanence of sakkaya.

In DN 14. 2. 21 the bodhisatta Vipassi thinks "I have found the insight way to enlightenment, namely: ... " [D.O. formula follows]

But perhaps I should not be discussing this in the 'meditation' section ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby Freawaru » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:16 am

Hi retro,

retrofuturist wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Why is it that my atta cannot be dukkha? Cannot be anicca? Why is it that things which are dukkha and/or anicca are not fit to be called my atta?

My take would be that the assumptions underlying self-view hold that atman is permanent and blissful.

Interestingly, I've never heard it suggested otherwise, which is presumably why it passes by as an unstated assumption.


It is one of my main problems with the interpretation of an-atta, too. I don't really know what atta means. There seem to be a lot of unstated assumptions regarding atta and without knowing them an-atta does not make much sense.

I don't know enough about the historical context at the time of the Buddha to know how people defined atta or atman then. Today, in Advaita Vedanta atman is defined as that what merges (with an object). For example when merging with the meditation object (such as breath) during samadhi it is atman that merges. Thus it is not a "soul" that collects kamma but something external to samsara. It is the perspective, the view. The problem (according to Advaita Vedanta) is that we are not aware of this atman, we are only aware of what it is merged with, the object. Usually we are merged with an object, a personality, a being of samsara, but this being is not atman. To discern between atman and being leads to knowing atman, that is supposed to be blissful and not changing - similar to sunnata. But this is Advaita Vedanta, a recent branch of Hinduism and if you ask me strongly influenced by Buddhism.

But we also have the an-atta as the teaching of recognising something as "this is not me, I am not it, it is not mine". Less theory and more experience. When, say, an intention arises we can experience this in two ways: either as "my intention" or as an automatic process that we observe. In the latter case the impression of "mine" is reduced, the identification is less with the intention itself and more with the space in that the intention arises. While not yet Liberation I think that to keep the identification with this "space" in that the processes happen is a good starting point for both insight and an-atta meditation.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Freawaru wrote:Hi retro,

retrofuturist wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Why is it that my atta cannot be dukkha? Cannot be anicca? Why is it that things which are dukkha and/or anicca are not fit to be called my atta?

My take would be that the assumptions underlying self-view hold that atman is permanent and blissful.

Interestingly, I've never heard it suggested otherwise, which is presumably why it passes by as an unstated assumption.


It is one of my main problems with the interpretation of an-atta, too. I don't really know what atta means. There seem to be a lot of unstated assumptions regarding atta and without knowing them an-atta does not make much sense.

I don't know enough about the historical context at the time of the Buddha to know how people defined atta or atman then. Today, in Advaita Vedanta atman is defined as that what merges (with an object). For example when merging with the meditation object (such as breath) during samadhi it is atman that merges. Thus it is not a "soul" that collects kamma but something external to samsara. It is the perspective, the view. The problem (according to Advaita Vedanta) is that we are not aware of this atman, we are only aware of what it is merged with, the object. Usually we are merged with an object, a personality, a being of samsara, but this being is not atman. To discern between atman and being leads to knowing atman, that is supposed to be blissful and not changing - similar to sunnata. But this is Advaita Vedanta, a recent branch of Hinduism and if you ask me strongly influenced by Buddhism.


It's not just modern hinduism. The basic concept has been around for a while -- at the very least, since the early upanisads. IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:23 pm

Freawaru wrote: Today, in Advaita Vedanta atman is defined as that what merges (with an object). For example when merging with the meditation object (such as breath) during samadhi it is atman that merges. Thus it is not a "soul" that collects kamma but something external to samsara. It is the perspective, the view. The problem (according to Advaita Vedanta) is that we are not aware of this atman, we are only aware of what it is merged with, the object. Usually we are merged with an object, a personality, a being of samsara, but this being is not atman. To discern between atman and being leads to knowing atman, that is supposed to be blissful and not changing - similar to sunnata. But this is Advaita Vedanta, a recent branch of Hinduism and if you ask me strongly influenced by Buddhism.
So, what does this "atman" do? Does it feel? Does it act? Does it perceive? Does it change? Does it know?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:45 pm

It's not just modern hinduism. The basic concept has been around for a while -- at the very least, since the early upanisads. IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.


Why is this? There is no value in clearly comprehending "yourself" as an impersonal causal process?
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby Freawaru » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:38 pm

Hi Sean,

seanpdx wrote:
It's not just modern hinduism. The basic concept has been around for a while -- at the very least, since the early upanisads. IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.


Yes and no. Yes, the upanishads are old but as we know interpretation of scripture changes through the ages. It is quite possible that during the time of the Buddha the text was differently interpreted than today by Advaita Vedanta teachers.

Discussing samadhi I once asked a teacher from Advaita Vedanta regarding the name of "that what merges" ("that what merges" sounds somewhat silly). I was VERY surprised when he said "self". It didn't agree with how the term "self" is used in my own, german, culture. It also does not agree with my experiences of multiple simultaneous samadhis - a splitting self???

Then, in Mahayana, one gets this definition of Self (atta, atman) not needing anything else but itself for existance. When something needs something else it cannot be called a self (according to Aryadeva). Err, what??? Hu??? They also talk a lot about substance (without ever defining what a "substance" is) - there are a lot of assumptions here that are very alien to my culture and never explained.

I also cannot find anything like that in the Christian doctrine. The Christian "soul" origins in God, thus it is a bad translation for Aryadeva's idea of self not to mention the one of the Upanishads. If at all the Christian God might fit the definition of Aryadeva's atta (not his but his definition) because of the "I am what I am" - but I never heard any Christian calling God "myself". (Well, the mystics claim Unio Mystica but I guess that is something different).

So for me the definition of atta both in Hinduism and Buddhism remains a mystery unsolved.

But fortunately theoretical knowledge is not necessary for meditation. :)
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby vinasp » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:41 pm

Hi everyone,

I have changed my mind. I now see things in a different way as a result of a passage which Tiltbillings drew to my attention:

" the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now."[/b] Ud 37 (4.1)

I think that this is an early passage and is using 'perception' in a general sense which means 'seeing - in the sense of understanding'. In this passage 'perception' is clearly a good thing which can lead to enlightenment (in contrast to many later discourses). So, replacing 'perception' with 'understanding' results in the following:

"For when one understands impermanence, the understanding of not-self is established."

If impermanent means: dependently arisen, subject to destruction, vanishing - then since the formations are still present for one who is not yet enlightened, understanding impermanence can only mean understanding that the formations can
vanish. But the mentally constructed 'self' (sakkaya) is included in those formations. So, understanding impermanence results in understanding that there can be no-self.

Words like 'perception' and 'seeing' suggest knowledge of what is already present. But if 'understanding' is meant, then it can include what is possible.

If 'perceiving' impermanence means understanding that formations can vanish, then 'perceiving' no-self means understanding that 'the self' can vanish.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby Freawaru » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:31 am

Hi Tilt,

I just said I am clueless and now you ask me for specifics of how THEY think ??? ;)

I will rather tell you what I do not understand:

tiltbillings wrote:
Freawaru wrote: Today, in Advaita Vedanta atman is defined as that what merges (with an object). For example when merging with the meditation object (such as breath) during samadhi it is atman that merges. Thus it is not a "soul" that collects kamma but something external to samsara. It is the perspective, the view. The problem (according to Advaita Vedanta) is that we are not aware of this atman, we are only aware of what it is merged with, the object. Usually we are merged with an object, a personality, a being of samsara, but this being is not atman. To discern between atman and being leads to knowing atman, that is supposed to be blissful and not changing - similar to sunnata. But this is Advaita Vedanta, a recent branch of Hinduism and if you ask me strongly influenced by Buddhism.
So, what does this "atman" do? Does it feel? Does it act? Does it perceive? Does it change? Does it know?


As far as I understand it neither. There are faculties such as "the Knower", states one can merge with and are useful but Atman itself does not know or have any kind of attribute one can speak about.

The way I see it there are several different and not consistent definitions of atman used:

1) Atman as that what moves from incarnation to incarnation - I guess this is why some translate it as "soul".

2) Atman as that what merges - this can be directly experienced and is a useful definition for meditation purposes and not in the slightest like the Christian concept of soul.

3) Atman=Brahman, merging with "The universal ALL" including All-Knowledge. Meaning, Atman is Creator God. Called: samprajnata-samadhi (not leading to Liberation according to the lore)

4) Atman being Advaita, non-dual, transcending the subject-object duality: asamprajnata-samadhi (this is leading to Liberation according to the lore).

(and there might be more ...)

Now, which of these definitions did the Buddha use when saying: "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self..."

1) Feeling is not that what moves from incarnation to incarnation ?
2) Feeling is not that what merges ?
3) Feeling is not God ?
4) Feeling is not non-dual ?

Or did he use another definition, yet? Or one that is not found in the Veda?
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:38 am

Greetings,

seanpdx wrote: IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.

IMO, if you have any tendency to think in terms of "I" (which you do, unless you're an arahant) then the anattā teaching is far from pointless.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:37 pm

Kenshou wrote:
It's not just modern hinduism. The basic concept has been around for a while -- at the very least, since the early upanisads. IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.


Why is this? There is no value in clearly comprehending "yourself" as an impersonal causal process?


I don't think so. Nothing above and beyond what not craving/clinging can provide.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:45 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

seanpdx wrote: IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.

IMO, if you have any tendency to think in terms of "I" (which you do, unless you're an arahant) then the anattā teaching is far from pointless.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thinking in terms of "I" does not perpetuate dukkha. Craving, clinging.... that is what perpetuates dukkha.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:00 pm

seanpdx wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

seanpdx wrote: IMO, if you don't hold the brahmanic/upanisadic (or similar) concept of ātman, then the anattā teaching is nearly pointless.

IMO, if you have any tendency to think in terms of "I" (which you do, unless you're an arahant) then the anattā teaching is far from pointless.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thinking in terms of "I" does not perpetuate dukkha.


Identity view is a fetter. It is one of the three fetters that are dropped at stream entry.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... ml#fetters

"And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views, uncertainty, grasping at precepts & practices, sensual desire, & ill will. These are the five lower fetters. And which are the five higher fetters? Passion for form, passion for what is formless, conceit, restlessness, & ignorance. These are the five higher fetters."

— AN 10.13


"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks. — MN 118


Craving, clinging.... that is what perpetuates dukkha.


Yes, and craving and clinging are tied directly to self-identity.

"'The origination of self-identity, the origination of self-identity,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identity is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identity described by the Blessed One."
— MN 44

-M
meindzai
 
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:59 pm

Freawaru wrote:
As far as I understand it neither. There are faculties such as "the Knower", states one can merge with and are useful but Atman itself does not know or have any kind of attribute one can speak about.
Then it can have no relationship to anything. What good is it? Why postulate such a thing? If what you say is true - and what you say is incoherent given that having no attributes is an attribute -, it is meaningless, having no relationship to who and I am at any level.

The way I see it there are several different and not consistent definitions of atman used:

1) Atman as that what moves from incarnation to incarnation - I guess this is why some translate it as "soul".

2) Atman as that what merges - this can be directly experienced and is a useful definition for meditation purposes and not in the slightest like the Christian concept of soul.

3) Atman=Brahman, merging with "The universal ALL" including All-Knowledge. Meaning, Atman is Creator God. Called: samprajnata-samadhi (not leading to Liberation according to the lore)

4) Atman being Advaita, non-dual, transcending the subject-object duality: asamprajnata-samadhi (this is leading to Liberation according to the lore).

(and there might be more ...)
Just words, having no meaning.

Now, which of these definitions did the Buddha use when saying: "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self..."

1) Feeling is not that what moves from incarnation to incarnation ?
2) Feeling is not that what merges ?
3) Feeling is not God ?
4) Feeling is not non-dual ?

Or did he use another definition, yet? Or one that is not found in the Veda?
Draw out your point here, please. It is not at all clear.
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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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:08 pm

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Thinking in terms of "I" does not perpetuate dukkha.


Identity view is a fetter. It is one of the three fetters that are dropped at stream entry.


"thinking in terms of 'I'" != "identity view"
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