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 seanpdx » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
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.


Brahmins believe[d] it to be quite meaningful. The Buddha, of course, disagreed with the brahmins. Enter anattā. See also the jain's jīva.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:44 pm

seanpdx wrote:
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"


It typically does, unless you are a stream winner. As Thanissaro Bhikkhu points out, even Arahants have a sense of self in that they know to put food in their own mouths rather than other people's mouths. But identity view is as simple as regarding anything at all as "'This is mine, this is I, this is my self."

"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta

Note that he isn't invoking any brahmanic concept of an eternal soul, big self, small self, whatever. He's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

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

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:07 pm

Greetings Meindzai,

A stream-entrant has Right View about anatta, but it's only upon Arahantship that the last vestiges of residual tendency (anusaya) to think in terms of I (asmi) are eradicated. Hence, perception of anatta is still important to the sekha.

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

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:16 pm

meindzai wrote: As Thanissaro Bhikkhu points out, even Arahants have a sense of self in that they know to put food in their own mouths rather than other people's mouths. But identity view is as simple as regarding anything at all as "'This is mine, this is I, this is my self."

-M
[/quote][/quote]
Hi M :)

In fact they (Arahants) don't. They simply know that feeding the body will cause that particular organism which others see as a "being" to subsist longer, causing less pain to loved ones or any one who might care about the Arahant. They know fully that there is nothing, "I-ish" about said organism, but that it is perceived to be a being by other self-perceived beings that have feelings.

Does it make sense?

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

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:27 pm

Virgo wrote:
In fact they (Arahants) don't. They simply know that feeding the body will cause that particular organism which others see as a "being" to subsist longer, causing less pain to loved ones or any one who might care about the Arahant. They know fully that there is nothing, "I-ish" about said organism, but that it is perceived to be a being by other self-perceived beings that have feelings.

Does it make sense?

Kevin


I'm not talking about their motivation for doing so. They are not eating out of greed or desire. I know that. But they have an awareness that they are feeding themselves as opposed to someone else. They know that they still experience painful feelings, pleasant feelings, and neutral feelings, and not that somebody else is experiencing these feelings, yet they don't make an "I" or "mine" out of them. They are arahants, not Borg. :tongue:

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

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:32 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Meindzai,

A stream-entrant has Right View about anatta, but it's only upon Arahantship that the last vestiges of residual tendency (anusaya) to think in terms of I (asmi) are eradicated. Hence, perception of anatta is still important to the sekha.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes. I guess my point was that with any kind of self-view, you're not even getting started towards arahantship.

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

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 pm

meindzai wrote:
Virgo wrote:
In fact they (Arahants) don't. They simply know that feeding the body will cause that particular organism which others see as a "being" to subsist longer, causing less pain to loved ones or any one who might care about the Arahant. They know fully that there is nothing, "I-ish" about said organism, but that it is perceived to be a being by other self-perceived beings that have feelings.

Does it make sense?

Kevin


I'm not talking about their motivation for doing so. They are not eating out of greed or desire. I know that. But they have an awareness that they are feeding themselves as opposed to someone else. They know that they still experience painful feelings, pleasant feelings, and neutral feelings, and not that somebody else is experiencing these feelings, yet they don't make an "I" or "mine" out of them. They are arahants, not Borg. :tongue:

-M


Painful feelings and pleasant feelings are for all intents and purposes equivalent for Arahants. Pain arises, but it is known as pain not belonging to some individual. Therefore, there would be no mental anguish due to the arising of painful sensations for an Arahant. Likewise, pleasant sensations which normal people enjoy, Arahants too are indifferent to, fully understanding that a\\ feeling arises but no being experiences it. Thus, Arahants know to feed "themselves" rather than someone else, yet they still do not have the wrong view that they are feeding any being at all. They are still aware that delusion sees phenomena as relating to a self in other mind streams and those mind streams refer to "themselves" as well as the Arahant as a "being" with a self. For purely practical purposes only do they even bother to feed themselves. What practical purposes? The purpose of preserving the body because others will lament it's passing, and the purpose of preserving the body so that puthujanas (unenlightened people) may make merit honoring it, worshiping it, and making extensive offerings to it, and if they are very lucky, hearing about anatta dhammas arising based only on conditions, as well as other facets of Dhamma from it.

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

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:19 pm

seanpdx wrote:
Brahmins believe[d] it to be quite meaningful.
To state the obvious, but given a Buddhist response, not terribly meaningful, if at all.
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 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:16 am

meindzai wrote:
"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta

Note that he isn't invoking any brahmanic concept of an eternal soul, big self, small self, whatever. He's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

-M


And you know this how, exactly? What is recorded in the pali is: "etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā". That particular sutta was given to the "bhikkhus of the group of five". How do you think they would have understood his words, knowing their background? That he's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself"?

How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
Brahmins believe[d] it to be quite meaningful.
To state the obvious, but given a Buddhist response, not terribly meaningful, if at all.


Of course, the Buddha spoke to many people who believed it to be quite meaningful. Thus what's recorded in the suttas are conversations and teachings directed towards people who believed it to be quite meaningful. But buddhists are, of course, free to take his teachings entirely out of context if that's their wish.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:29 am

seanpdx wrote:
meindzai wrote:
"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta

Note that he isn't invoking any brahmanic concept of an eternal soul, big self, small self, whatever. He's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

-M


And you know this how, exactly? What is recorded in the pali is: "etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā". That particular sutta was given to the "bhikkhus of the group of five". How do you think they would have understood his words, knowing their background? That he's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself"?

How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?


Again, the Buddha here has said nothing about a Brahmanic self, cosmic self, whatever. He's talking about the aggregates. That can mean anything. "Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'"

"Any form whatsoever" can mean the computer that's in front of you now, the money you spent yesterday, the breakfast you get tomorrow. If you regard it as belonging to you, you're still caught up in clinging.

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

Postby Virgo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:43 am

meindzai wrote:
"Any form whatsoever" can mean the computer that's in front of you now, the money you spent yesterday, the breakfast you get tomorrow. If you regard it as belonging to you, you're still caught up in clinging.

-M


And how do we not regard these forms as mine? Simply by understanding them. Anything that arises also passes away without our control. It is not me, it is not mine.

Elements arise and fall. Colors arise and fall. There is one moment of sense impression, then another, and another, and so on. They just arise. They just keep arising. Tell me, does the next moment of seeing arise because you choose it to or does it just arise? It simply arises. There are conditions for it's arising.

Thoughts just arise. They too are to be seen as "not me, not myself, not belonging to me". We see a photo. A thought arises about that photo that is connected to that photo. The conditions were there for it to arise: there was a visual object, contact was made, we have a sense organ that apprehends the visual object, so then a thought arose in the chitta, it was colored about that object by past impressions left in the chitta that arose based on their own conditions. The next time we think it may be conditioned by that experience we just had with the photo. Then sound arises, touch, and so on. There are reactions to these based on what is stored in the chitta.

It is an illusion. We do not have control. Making decisions is just a conditioned reaction as well.

Why? Because all dhammas are anatta. It is so simple. Yet, the habitual pattern of seeing things as self, of having a self, of having some sort of control is so deep from so many lifetimes of delusion.

We need wisdom on the level of understanding, then the ground is set for wisdom on the basis of penetrating the anatta aspect of arising dhammas is set to happen with objects as they arise, naturally, proper conditions arising for those objects such as color, sound, and so on to arise.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:17 am

seanpdx wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
Brahmins believe[d] it to be quite meaningful.
To state the obvious, but given a Buddhist response, not terribly meaningful, if at all.


Of course, the Buddha spoke to many people who believed it to be quite meaningful. Thus what's recorded in the suttas are conversations and teachings directed towards people who believed it to be quite meaningful. But buddhists are, of course, free to take his teachings entirely out of context if that's their wish.
And your point is?
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 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Of course, the Buddha spoke to many people who believed it to be quite meaningful. Thus what's recorded in the suttas are conversations and teachings directed towards people who believed it to be quite meaningful. But buddhists are, of course, free to take his teachings entirely out of context if that's their wish.
And your point is?

You're a smart guy. If you think I have a point worth making, you can figure it out on your own -- if you haven't already. And if you don't, then it's a bit like beating a dead horse were I to explain it further.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby seanpdx » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:07 pm

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
meindzai wrote:Note that he isn't invoking any brahmanic concept of an eternal soul, big self, small self, whatever. He's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

And you know this how, exactly? What is recorded in the pali is: "etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā". That particular sutta was given to the "bhikkhus of the group of five". How do you think they would have understood his words, knowing their background? That he's simply talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself"?
How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?

Again, the Buddha here has said nothing about a Brahmanic self, cosmic self, whatever.

Again: How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:26 pm

seanpdx wrote:
Again: How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?


If you insist on asking the same question I'll give you the same answer. The Buddha is talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

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

Postby seanpdx » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:18 pm

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
Again: How do you differentiate "eso me attā" as it relates to the brahminic concept of attā, and "eso me attā" as it doesn't relate to the brahminic concept?


If you insist on asking the same question I'll give you the same answer. The Buddha is talking about regarding anything as "I, mine, myself."

-M


Except that you aren't answering the question. So be it.
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Re: Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:33 pm

I answered the question and you didn't like the answer, so you kept asking the same question. That isn't my problem.

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

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:21 pm

seanpdx wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Of course, the Buddha spoke to many people who believed it to be quite meaningful. Thus what's recorded in the suttas are conversations and teachings directed towards people who believed it to be quite meaningful. But buddhists are, of course, free to take his teachings entirely out of context if that's their wish.
And your point is?

You're a smart guy. If you think I have a point worth making, you can figure it out on your own -- if you haven't already. And if you don't, then it's a bit like beating a dead horse were I to explain it further.

Smart guy and good looking to boot, but damdifino if you are or are not making a point.
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 vinasp » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:01 pm

Hi everyone,

"In conceiving form, venerable sir, one is bound by Mara: by not conceiving it one is freed from the Evil One.
In conceiving feeling ...
In conceiving perception ...
In conceiving volitional formations ...
In conceiving consciousness one is bound by Mara; by not conceiving it one is freed from the Evil One. [ SN 22. 64]

I see nothing wrong in simply conceiving form. What must be meant here is conceiving form as self or related to self. In this way one acquires a 'self'. When one has such an 'acquired self' one becomes subject to death, or Mara the Lord of Death.

" But I teach a doctrine for getting rid of the gross acquired self ..." [DN 9. 40].

Best wishes, Vincent.
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