No selfhood, no karma?

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No selfhood, no karma?

Postby starter » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:41 am

Hi friend, what's your opinion about the following:

“… any action performed with greed... performed with aversion... performed with delusion — born of delusion, caused by delusion, originating from delusion: wherever one's selfhood turns up, there that action will ripen. Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence. [AN 3.33]

"This awareness-release through good will should be developed whether one is a woman or a man. Neither a woman nor a man can go taking this body along. Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away. One [who practices this awareness-release] discerns, 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' Thus developed, awareness-release through good will leads to non-returning for the monk who has gained gnosis [breaking the five low fetters?] here and has penetrated to no higher release. [ AN 10.208]

To my understanding of these suttas, if one's selfhood does not turn up, then "that action" will not ripen and will not generate karma. If s/he realizes that 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' , then with Metta meditation one can become a non-returner. Am I seeing these teachings correctly? I suppose one has to remove the five fetters to become a non-returner, even though s/he has gained the above-mentioned insight with Metta. But this is not clearly mentioned in the sutta.

Well, if one's selfhood has been completely removed and has no "I"-making, "My-making" and self-centered views, s/he becomes an arahant (literally mean "selfless"?). I wonder if it's better to use the term "No Selfhood" instead of "No Self" for anatta ... Metta,

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Re: No selfhood, no karma -- an easy route to non-return?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:50 pm

Hi Starter

You are right. But there is no easy route to do this! Non- returners have Samma samadhi - Right concentration. This is often defined as one of the four jhanas and a well purified one at that. 'Awareness release' is a very special attainment which comes from removing of all defilements- in this case based on all consuming 24hr metta. Giving up sensual craving and all aversion is not an easy thing. You would have completed 75% of the path. If you have experience meditating in past lives or have extremely quick faculties, few defilements, very good kamma with few obstacles in life things might be a faster for you, but it will still take years. Don't make the mistake of choosing only the suttas you prefer and making the full case based on just that. If there was an easy path, many wise people who have gone before you would have found it. But Kudos for having your thinking hat on -it will take you far.

with metta

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Re: No selfhood, no karma -- an easy route to non-return?

Postby starter » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:46 pm

[quote="rowyourboat"] Don't make the mistake of choosing only the suttas you prefer and making the full case based on just that. If there was an easy path, many wise people who have gone before you would have found it. But Kudos for having your thinking hat on -it will take you far."

Hello RYB,

Your kind and sincere advice is most appreciated. I'll surely keep your advice in heart. I probably misinterpreted the sutta [AN 10.208] into: as long as one realizes that 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter' , then with Metta meditation, without selfhood, one becomes a non-returner. This gnosis is probably only a beginning which can lead to non-return.

As to Hanzze's question: "Could the "through good will" be wrong translated into english? Is compassion useable here?", I personally think "through good will" means metta. Cheers!

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Re: No selfhood, no karma -- an easy route to non-return?

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:30 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Starter

You are right. But there is no easy route to do this!

:thumbsup:
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: No selfhood, no karma!

Postby starter » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:00 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

I came back to this old thread because I've suddenly realized that we could potentially eliminate new karma from arising by constantly contemplating and realizing anatta, since the Buddha clearly taught us no selfhood no karma!

In addition to the constant awareness of anatta, I suppose we could probably even end the old karma that "we" have accumulated (during the uncountable lives) within this very life, by discerning 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body ["instructed" by this "stream of consciousness"] born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.'

By such discernment and will and by the constant awareness of anatta, it appears that we could end all our karma within this life. Without delusion and without karma, how could we be born again? Of course it's much easier to say than to do ... Also I'm afraid by so willing those with severely bad karma could really suffer dramatically this life. Probably there's a way to dissolve such bad karma, by metta, by merits and good deeds, ...?

Metta to all,

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Re: No selfhood, no karma?

Postby piotr » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:29 am

Hi,

Term for ‘selfhood’ here is attabhava.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: No selfhood, no karma?

Postby starter » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:35 pm

Hi piotr, thanks!

Forgot to mention that by being constantly aware of anatta (no delusion), greed and aversion could be avoided as well.

Metta to all,

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Re: No selfhood, no karma?

Postby starter » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:58 pm

piotr wrote:Hi,

Term for ‘selfhood’ here is attabhava.


Hi piotr,

Thanks for the info. Indeed no "attabhava" (no selfhood) is different from "anatta". "Anatta" means "no-self" in the formations and the five aggregates are "not-self", while "attabhava" means no conceit -- no sense/notion of "self". So only the realization of anatta without the removal of conceit won't really lead to no karma (as I understand now).

Metta to all,

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Re: No selfhood, no karma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:56 am

Being devoid of delusion means being devoid of permanence, satisfactoriness, self, wholesomeness (subha) and perhaps substantiality as well in relation to phenomena, as underlying assumptions when processing experience in the mind. This has to happen at a pre-conscious level for total eradication of avijja.
:anjali:
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