Of the 'five remembrances' (Upajjhatthana Sutta)
From the Abhidhamma:I am the owner of my actions, heir of my actions, actions are the womb (from which I have sprung), actions are my relations, actions are my protection. Whatever actions I do, good or bad, of these I shall become the heir.
The two passages appears to aim at different points, but how are they not in conflict with each other?The truth is that in the bodily movement of going, the consciousness that motivates it is no
person or being, no woman or man, not he, not I, not human, not a deva. It is only the
element of consciousness (citta or vinnana). The act of going caused by the consciousness
of going, is physical phenomena set in motion. Apart from mentality-materiality there
exists no person, no being, no personal entity, no soul, no individual life, no woman, or
man, neither he nor I, that goes. So also there is the coming but no one who actually
comes; there is the standing but no one who stands; there is the sitting but no one who sits,
there is the sleeping but no one who sleeps, there is the speaking but no one who speaks.
In any act there is only the action but no one who acts. There is no doer, no subject by way
of a living entity. And there is no creator. There is only the arising of physical phenomena
expressing themselves as going, coming, sitting, sleeping, speaking, etc., under the
motivating force or impulse of consciousness which is the true cause of all such arisings.
To be able to discern this truth is Knowledge in comprehending the Law of Causality.
To me, the not-self doctrine has an intellectual and practical significance, which at least appears to be in conflict. Intellectually, all phenomena are 'not mine', 'not I', etc. Practically however, how should one apply this to ones own actions? The first passage above appears to encourage one to actually take possession of ones actions, and place upon them the importance that they deserve, e.g. through honing one's virtue. Is there any danger of unskillful self-view here? Or does the second passage not agree with how one should relate to ones actions? How do we parse that sentence, which explicitly states "I am the owner of my actions", compared to "In any act there is only the action but no one who acts. There is no doer, no subject by way of a living entity"