Self vs Kamma

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:05 am

Greetings OcTavO,

OcTavO wrote:Others may set me straight on this, but while I enjoy (and mostly agree with) Thanissaro, I don't believe his interpretation of Anatta is in line with the orthodox Theravadin take on it.

Why not?

I thought it was his take on nibbana that was deemed problematic in certain quarters.

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: Self vs Kamma

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings OcTavO,

OcTavO wrote:Others may set me straight on this, but while I enjoy (and mostly agree with) Thanissaro, I don't believe his interpretation of Anatta is in line with the orthodox Theravadin take on it.

Why not?

I thought it was his take on nibbana that was deemed problematic in certain quarters.

Metta,
Retro. :)

i'm pretty sure it's his no self strategy thing, he gets seen as an eternalist or something..

orthodox Theravada though is a funny term, which orthodox Theravada would we be talking about? Thai , Burmese, Sri Lankan?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:16 am

Greetings JC,

jcsuperstar wrote:i'm pretty sure it's his no self strategy thing, he gets seen as an eternalist or something..

The only people who seem to object to Thanissaro's stance on anatta are those who insist anatta means "no self" rather than "not self". Some accuse him of not being sufficiently ardent in denying the existence of an ontological self, and that simply saying there is no self to be found in the aggregates somehow leaves open the door for an atman to exist 'out there'.

Thanissaro explains well that he takes it to the same extent the Buddha did... namely that there is no self to be found within the loka of experience and that anything beyond that is unverifiable metaphysical speculation, and this is why the Buddha remained silent on the metaphysical angle.

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: Self vs Kamma

Postby OcTavO » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Why not?
I thought it was his take on nibbana that was deemed problematic in certain quarters.


Hi Retro,

I can't say I'm well read enough to convincingly argue why not, but I remember lauding his view a few years ago back on Esangha (when it particularly appealed to me), and Dhammanando stepped in and slapped me upside the the head. :lol:
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby octathlon » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:36 am

hgg wrote:Hello,
I am a new member and I have the following question:

a) Buddhism holds the view that there is no real self identity in each of us.
(The fact that all materiality is fluid and without any identity is understood.)

b) Kamma is a universal law that follows every decision and action we make.
It actually keeps track of ethical decisions like killing, lying etc and responds in analogy.
(Killing a human will most likely drop you to the hell realms etc.)

If then the identity changes in every rebirth (and every moment), although kamma will follow,
what is the purpose of being ethical since the consequences of our actions
will "strike" a different identity, a different person?

Thank you,
George.


The understanding I currently have is: the physical and mental elements of a person are dependent on each other and constantly changing -- arising and passing away each moment. Memories, etc. which are dependent on the body, contribute to a sense of identity which seems to be a permanent self, but is not. When that body dies, another immediately arises mutually interdependent with that mental element. I don't have a good concept of how that happens, but one (lame) analogy might be one lightning bolt (body) forming after another in conjunction with an electrical storm (mind). So the next body doesn't have the memories or personality of the previous one, hence it's a different "person", but the mental element is still that same "storm" system, even though it is still constantly changing like before, it continues experiencing/suffering the fruits of kamma, and there is still the false identification of it as the "self".

So I guess the rebirth is both you and not you..., but even what I said is all wrong and it's totally not you, why not be nice and give "whoever it is" the best kamma you can. :D
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby hgg » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:54 am

Hi,

Dear Bikkhu Pesala,
Thank you for the updated PDF link of "The Debate of King Milinda".
You are doing a great job translating these texts in order to be studied by more people!

Goofaholix, useful links. Thanks.
It seems to me that the approach Thanissaro is taking is a correct and useful one.

This suggests that, instead of being an assertion that there is no self, the teaching on not-self is more a technique of perception aimed at leading beyond death to Nibbana — a way of perceiving things with no self-identification, no sense that 'I am,' no attachment to 'I' or 'mine' involved.


Furthermore, maybe we can think of the "self" or the "not-self" as a continuous flowing river with
many course marks called birth and death. I am not sure though what happens when all the rivers
reach the sea. :)

George.
hgg2013.
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby nitthuracitta » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:34 am

self, not-self, self, not-self... :D i am this.. i am that... i am not this.. i am not that.. :D
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:46 am

nitthuracitta wrote:self, not-self, self, not-self... :D i am this.. i am that... i am not this.. i am not that.. :D



And your point is Nitturacitta.?. :smile: You will find I think that cryptic is not the house style..
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby nitthuracitta » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:23 am

PeterB wrote:
nitthuracitta wrote:self, not-self, self, not-self... :D i am this.. i am that... i am not this.. i am not that.. :D



And your point is Nitturacitta.?. :smile: Yohttp://www.dhammawheel.com/posting.ph ... 6&p=74288u will find I think that cryptic is not the house style..


the eightfold path ist the road(66) :D :D to the end of questions...
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:45 am

So we can all pack up and turn off our PC's ?
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:46 am

I think I will take a wee forum holiday.

:anjali:
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:22 pm

hgg wrote:If then the identity changes in every rebirth (and every moment), although kamma will follow,
what is the purpose of being ethical since the consequences of our actions
will "strike" a different identity, a different person?

The purpose of being ethical is so that different person will experience pleasant consequences and avoid unpleasant ones.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Self vs Kamma

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:24 pm

hgg wrote:But I have already mentioned what I've meant by Soul.
That "Individuality" spoken above.

I don't want to create a debate, but I think that Jagaro paragraphs (a) & (b) show that this is a very
difficult subject indeed.

Okay but why do you want something which is expressed through the word "individuality" then call "soul"? I mean you can call it whatever you like, e.g. "stone", "ship", "bartender" or "pasjgovipµ" as long as it maintains the meaning of what "individuality" means. It's just changing of a designation. But if you want to call it "soul" because you think that "individuality" is you, when you think that "individuality" is what you are, when you think "individuality" is yours because you think it is your soul, then I would suggest to not call that "individuality" "soul" because it's not your "individuality", it's not you, not yours, it's not your soul and it is not-self. You should definitely not call that "individuality" "soul" if you want to apply the usual meaning of "soul" to "individuality" because that's not the case.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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