Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

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santa100
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by santa100 »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:59 pm
santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:53 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:41 pm I think you are missing the point. The All is the Totality of what can be known, and it’s all empty of self.
I think your mistaken the narrower context of "The All" for its broader one. Ven. Bodhi's citing Comy's explanation to address this exact point in "Connected Discourses":
Spk: The all (sabba) is fourfold: (i) the all-inclusive all (sabbasabba ), i.e., everything knowable, all of which comes into range of the Buddha’s knowledge of omniscience; (ii) the all of the sense bases (aatanasabba), i.e., the phenomena of the four planes; (iii) the all of personal identity (sakkyasabba ), i.e., the phenomena of the three planes; and (iv) the partial all (padesasabba), i.e., the five physical sense objects. Each of these, from (i) to (iv), has a successively narrower range than its predecessor. In this sutta the all of the sense bases is intended.
So, again, you keep reenforcing my original point about the Five Aggregates as being empty of Self.
What? That actually supports what I said.
Did you even read my quotes, how can you say it supports what you said while it only covers 2 levels out of 4, while you seem to imply the All as "the All All"! It does support what I said though.
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Bundokji
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Bundokji »

The self is the most universal aspect of the human mind hence the teachings on not-self. The universality of the self makes it persisting, habitual and sharping the human experience. Therefore, the teachings on Anatta is both a point of emphasis and a statement of truth. As a point of emphasis, it is suitable to be taught to humans because of the universality of the self in the human realm. In other realms, it might not be as suitable hence no need to emphasize it but remains a statement of truth nonetheless.

When the Buddha is asked by a human whether there is no self whatsoever, the correct teachings to the human mind would be the middle path, that is, acknowledging the ultimate nature of the mind, which is empty, and at the same time shaking the human mind out of its habits of seeing things through self view which shapes the human experience. Had the Buddha answered there is no self whatsoever, he would be denying the way the empty mind shapes the human experience through a self. Had the Buddha emphasized a self, he would have not shaken the human mind out of its ways. As such, the Buddha taught the middle path (not-self) to humans and remained silent when asked to deny the existence of a self.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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rightviewftw
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by rightviewftw »

Loop7 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:32 pm "In fact, the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... self2.html
the first statement, Buddha has explained why he didn't answer. What can be inferred from his explanation is that the person was essentially asking because he wanted to know which of the two was true;
1. Eternalism; annihilation of 'an existent being' being impossible
or
2. Annihilationism; annihilation of 'an existent being' being possible.

Both of these are false doctrines because they assume that 'a being' exists as a real thing, this are based on an underdeveloped understanding of the senses & of what the senses present.

It is therefore a matter of context in which the question was posed, therein Buddha was asked which of two wrong views was the correct one and answering was inappropriate.

Dhamma doesn't affirm 'an existent being' to be a truth, an element among elements. It is like your name being thought of as a thing but not a thing among your 'real' things passport, computer and food. Or Spiderman not being a true person among people. Likewise according to the Buddha, as i understand it, a self or a person is a not a truth or reality, it can not be pinned down as such.
Loop7 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:32 pm "Anatta is a central doctrine of Buddhism. ... According to the anatta doctrine of Buddhism, at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is no "eternal, essential and absolute something called a soul, self or atman""
This statement just makes up a new word for self here, namely 'human beings'. Does nothing to explain what a human being is and can't establish it a truth or reality repudiating the All. Therefore it becomes evident that this statement assumes that 'human being' is a real thing among things included in the allness of all things. As i understand Buddhisms this is false because whatever is spoken of as 'a human being' is just like a name of a person, it is not something you can throw in a river and is not a real thing in that sense. You can throw a human being into a river but one can say that you just threw flesh & bones, which one is 'a human being', is it the blood, the feelings, the information that is the human being, by these lines of reasoning 'a self' or 'atman' or 'human being' can not be established as true elements among true elements.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:09 pm, edited 6 times in total.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
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cappuccino
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by cappuccino »

Loop7 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:32 pm "there is no something called a soul, self or atman"


seem extremely contradictory, if someone can reconcile
no self is a doctrine about the self


rather don't identify with the body, mind, etc
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Ceisiwr »

santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:03 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:59 pm
santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:53 pm
I think your mistaken the narrower context of "The All" for its broader one. Ven. Bodhi's citing Comy's explanation to address this exact point in "Connected Discourses":

So, again, you keep reenforcing my original point about the Five Aggregates as being empty of Self.
What? That actually supports what I said.
Did you even read my quotes, how can you say it supports what you said while it only covers 2 levels out of 4, while you seem to imply the All as "the All All"! It does support what I said though.
If the All is all that is knowable and that All is empty of self then we cannot say that a self exists anywhere.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
SarathW
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by SarathW »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:06 pm
santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:42 am
It also prevents one from falling into the two extremes of Eternalism (things exist) and Nihilism (things do not exist).
That is not what the sutta is saying. It’s criticising the Upanishadic concept of Sarvām asti not notions of existence or non-existence in relation to the dhammas.
I think OP is trying to understand the meaning of Anatta.
If you say there is a self it will be eternalism.
If you say there is no self, it will be nihilism.
Buddha taught the Dependent Origination.
There is a Dependent Origination due to ignorance and people take the DO to be the self.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Ceisiwr »

SarathW wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:58 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:06 pm
santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:42 am
It also prevents one from falling into the two extremes of Eternalism (things exist) and Nihilism (things do not exist).
That is not what the sutta is saying. It’s criticising the Upanishadic concept of Sarvām asti not notions of existence or non-existence in relation to the dhammas.
I think OP is trying to understand the meaning of Anatta.
If you say there is a self it will be eternalism.
If you say there is no self, it will be nihilism.
Buddha taught the Dependent Origination.
There is a Dependent Origination due to ignorance and people take the DO to be the self.
Santa however got it dead wrong.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
Mr. Seek
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Mr. Seek »

I think Santa did well by bringing to OP's attention the Kaccayanagotta / Channa Sutta.
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
santa100
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by santa100 »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:55 pm If the All is all that is knowable and that All is empty of self then we cannot say that a self exists anywhere.
Flawed logic. Seems like you have no clue what your talking about. All that is knowable to a cat, a dog, or even a human cannot be automatically generalized/applied to the All All. You are deliberately ignoring Ven. Bodhi's clarification that explicitly addressed the exact mistake that your're making.
Last edited by santa100 on Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Ceisiwr »

Mr. Seek wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:04 pm I think Santa did well by bringing to OP's attention the Kaccayanagotta / Channa Sutta.
How so?
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
Mr. Seek
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Mr. Seek »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:06 pm
Mr. Seek wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:04 pm I think Santa did well by bringing to OP's attention the Kaccayanagotta / Channa Sutta.
How so?
It relieves a lot of confusion and fills in the gaps, clearing doubt, particularly for people who:
  • are reluctant to give up on the notion of self, perhaps guided by the idea that the Buddha taught anatta as an apophatic method for coming across the real self, i.e. by rejecting everything that is likely not-self (think Advaita Vedanta)
  • are reluctant to give up on the notion that there is no self, no selves, firmly holding onto that belief, not letting it go, perhaps guided by the idea that the not-self teaching is accurate and absolute truth, i.e. not a raft to use for crossing over to the far shore and then let go, like all other aspects of the Dhamma (think hardcore Buddhist scholar monks)
It's said in the sutta itself:
By & large, Kaccāna, this world is supported by [takes as its object] a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, “non-existence” with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, “existence” with reference to the world does not occur to one.

By & large, Kaccāna, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on “my self.” He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, only stress is passing away. In this, one’s knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccāna, that there is right view.
Last edited by Mr. Seek on Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
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rightviewftw
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by rightviewftw »

People have one main case of cognitive dissonance by default;
1. Nature is everything, i am part of nature. Derived from this; we are all one; something is anything.
2. I am me, i am neither everything nor anything, i am not you, you are not me; we are not one; something is not anything.

Since they hold contradictory statements to be true in the same context, they are confused immensely. When something is anything one can start making new systems of understanding the world which are essentially same old broken system with new terminology. In this way Dhamma terminology is adopted by people who have self-view but think they are Ariya. These people can spend rest of their life in this state of confusing themselves and others.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
freedom
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by freedom »

Loop7 wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:32 pm Can someone please reconcile the two following ideas for me:

"In fact, the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... self2.html

and....

"Anatta is a central doctrine of Buddhism. ... According to the anatta doctrine of Buddhism, at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is no "eternal, essential and absolute something called a soul, self or atman""

I found that googling something.

These two things seem extremely contradictory, if someone can reconcile them please explain it to me

thanks
To me, self is the "I, me". To understand we can try to search for what is "I"?

Assumed that you are an American named John. You are an engineer and you are Bill's father. You are 5'8".

I am John.
I am an engineer.
I am the Bill's father.
I am an American.
I am 5'8".
I am 56 years old.
...

So, which one is "I"? Can we pin point exactly what is "I"? Is "John" the "I"? Is "engineer" the "I"? Is "father" the "I"?...

However, can you say that you do not exist? If so, who asked this question?
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.
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rightviewftw
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by rightviewftw »

rightviewftw wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:22 pm People have one main case of cognitive dissonance by default;
1. Nature is everything, i am part of nature. Derived from this; we are all one; something is anything.
2. I am me, i am neither everything nor anything, i am not you, you are not me; we are not one; something is not anything.
It's peculiar because acting on #2 a person cultivates cruelty thinking; 'another's loss is my gain' and this cruelty is then applied more so to oneself because one also holds that 'we are all one' and in that 'another's loss is my loss'; there is no mental mechanism to stop that cruelty element from coming into play onto another and not coming into play onto oneself because there is cognitive dissonance, neither position is king and one's behavior will be an expression of both positions coming into play.
freedom wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:26 am So, which one is "I"? Can we pin point exactly what is "I"? Is "John" the "I"? Is "engineer" the "I"? Is "father" the "I"?...

However, can you say that you do not exist? If so, who asked this question?
If we have not isolated a self element, then 'who asked' does not apply. What we can agree upon is that something occurred and now this occurs.

We can agree upon some shared reality. Ie there being a universe, light, eye and seeing for me and you. There is a difference between a lightning that we both see and a lightning that i imagine. In former case we say that was a real lightning because we both see it, in the latter case we say it's imaginary.

It is peculiar because according to even special relativity we do not ever see the same lightning because the particles of light that hit your retina are not the same as hit mine and the mental visualization is essentially a mental conception of this or that person and equal in that to the imaginary lightning, the difference is actually in them being very similar and occuring similarly in case of seeing a lightning both.

Therefore when we talk about 'a question being asked' we can first agree upon this truth of something having occured, we call it 'a question having been asked' for reference only not for inference. Then we delineate & infer elements that were the inferable requisite conditions for the occurrence of 'the asking of a question.'

We can easily delineate what has to do with electromagnetic process, physical elements, the periodic table, the existence of the eye and it can be demonstrated that one is sometimes conscious sometimes unconscious whilst otherwise the same and this too we can agree upon being an element of consciousness that comes into play.

We won't find a self anywhere, neither in feelings, thoughts, nor in the electromagnetic process or periodic table. Therefore until the element of self is established as a truth & reality there is no ground to ask 'who asked' in terms of looking for a truth. One can only ask in the context of grasping an element with wrong view in terms of the doctrine of self which is the basis for existence and root cause delusion.

Eye is an eye whether we think it's self or not, it is known by it's function and how it interplays with other true elements. We can demonstrate that eye is a requisite for seeing ie. The self element can not be known to ever come into play, we can't demonstrate it to be a real thing, we can't demonstrate that something is personal, like you can't show me your name, it does not mean that your name is an illusion or that it is nothing, it means that your name is thinking about a thing and is not the thing that is thought about. I can not show you rightviewftw, i can only show you what can be spoken of as rightviewftw. Things that are spoken can be true or false and the doctrine of self and explaining elements in terms of that doctrine is categorically delusional but it is possible to speak of a falsehood as falsehood and that would be speaking a truth. The only way Buddhism affirms of a self is that there are wrong and right views and there is a class of wrong view called doctrine of self, this grasping with wrong view is a cause for delusional directing of mind.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
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Re: Can someone reconcile these two Buddhist concepts of self for me please

Post by Zom »

Can someone please reconcile the two following ideas for me:

"In fact, the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer."
Hello. He refused to make a direct statement, because direct statement would lead the listener to "more bewilderment", as this sutta explains later.
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