Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

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SarathW
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Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by SarathW »

Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?
"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.

Or
Did Buddha say that the five aggregate is not fit to be taken as "this is mine, this is my self or this is I"?
"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" — "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."
.

What is the difference in the above two statements?

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mikenz66
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by mikenz66 »

I'm not sure why you have the paragraphs in opposite order to the sutta. If you just look at the sutta:
"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."
...
"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is notmine, this is not I, this is not myself.'
it seems clear that in the first paragraph I have quoted the Buddha is asking whether the form, etc, is fit to be regarded as mine, etc. And the answer is, of course no.

The second paragraph is just reinforcing the same message as the first.

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DooDoot
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by DooDoot »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:37 am The second paragraph is just reinforcing the same message as the first.
SarathW appears to be saying there is a Self outside of the five aggregates.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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SarathW
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by SarathW »

Thanks.
In that case, there should be something else to be taken as this is I, this is me and this is myself.
My understanding is Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.
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mjaviem
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by mjaviem »

Or perhaps saying we exist outside of clinging to the aggregates, it doesn't apply.
Last edited by mjaviem on Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DooDoot
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 am ... there should be something else to be taken as this is I, this is me and this is myself.....
SarathW appears to be continuing saying there is a Self outside of the five aggregates.
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 amMy understanding is Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.
The above sounds wrong and results from internet banter (gossip) rather than understanding sutta.

Those who slander the Buddha say the Buddha said this & that without even being able to quote sutta or specific Pali words.
"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."

Abhasita Sutta: What Was Not Said
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pegembara
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by pegembara »

Actually, the Buddha asked us to treat everything as not-self.
That even includes the Uncreated.

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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by form »

Recently I come across the part in DO in the SN sutta where "name and form" is fed back into consciousness. There is a note by Bhikkhu Bodhi in SN. The note said, commentary said that this is to indicate there is no consciousness other than that originated from name and form. I will interpret that as consciousness is from causes and conditions, there is no soul or a permanent self.
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by mikenz66 »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 am In that case, there should be something else to be taken as this is I, this is me and this is myself.
I don't think that follows logically. If you say "This is not a flying spaghetti monster, that is not a flying spaghetti monster, etc", it doesn't follow that "There must be a flying spaghetti monster somewhere".
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 am My understanding is Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.
I don't think that is logical either. By the same logic, the flying spaghetti monster must exist, since the Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.

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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by pegembara »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 am My understanding is Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.
A simple example of this.

You know that the USA doesn't truly exist but is a mere convention(mental creation).
And yet try to cross from Mexico to the US and tell the border patrol that the border only exists in our minds and see if you don't get thrown into a cell.

So the middle way is the skilful means of negotiating this.

An example of the Buddha's pragmatism is this.
"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'

"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."

"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by SarathW »

pegembara wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:37 am
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:44 am My understanding is Buddha did not go to two extremes of existence and non-existence.
A simple example of this.

You know that the USA doesn't truly exist but is a mere convention(mental creation).
And yet try to cross from Mexico to the US and tell the border patrol that the border only exists in our minds and see if you don't get thrown into a cell.

So the middle way is the skilful means of negotiating this.

An example of the Buddha's pragmatism is this.
"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'

"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."

"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'
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In absolute terms, there is no USA. But in the conventional sense, there is the USA.
We say there is no USA because there is the USA.
If I say there is no monster, there is a picture of a monster in my mind.
In the same way, there is no self in absolute terms but there is self in conventional terms.
So this has to be navigated carefully, otherwise, you will fall into existence and non-existence.
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:01 am In the same way, there is no self in absolute terms but there is self in conventional terms.
So this has to be navigated carefully, otherwise, you will fall into existence and non-existence.
The buddha did not teach the above. The Buddha's teaching of sunnata is not "non-existence".
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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mjaviem
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by mjaviem »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:57 am
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:01 am In the same way, there is no self in absolute terms but there is self in conventional terms.
So this has to be navigated carefully, otherwise, you will fall into existence and non-existence.
The buddha did not teach the above. The Buddha's teaching of sunnata is not "non-existence".
What does sunnata mean? What's the sunnatta teaching?
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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by confusedlayman »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:37 am I'm not sure why you have the paragraphs in opposite order to the sutta. If you just look at the sutta:
"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."
...
"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is notmine, this is not I, this is not myself.'
it seems clear that in the first paragraph I have quoted the Buddha is asking whether the form, etc, is fit to be regarded as mine, etc. And the answer is, of course no.

The second paragraph is just reinforcing the same message as the first.

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Re: Did Buddha ask us to treat five aggregate as "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self?

Post by Bundokji »

I think the second statement is trickier than the first. In the first statement, the Buddha is linking right understanding with regarding consciousness as: "This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self." so, the statement is assertive in a way.

The second statement is a bit trickier because it raises a set of questions that are framed to be answered as either/or. The monks answered by the negative. Usually, either/or questions has to with volition, and both answers have their own explanatory powers as well as their limitations.

Let us assume that the monks answered by the positive how would this explain phenomena?
1- "Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" — "permanent, venerable sir."
Consciousness can be said to be permanent when thought of as a non-local phenomena. Assume you do not know the path from point A to point B, you can ask another person, and rely on his/her verbal formation to reach your destination. Same things can be said about the legal property of individuals after death. By asking "which consciousness that continues?" one is attempting to localize it in order to negate it.
2- "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" — "Pleasing, venerable sir.?
What is impermanent can be said to be pleasing. The end of pain for example is pleasing. If it were not pleasing, people would not have sought new beginnings. It provides people with purpose and meaning. What is permanent on the other hand implies stagnation and boredom, not what is dynamic and playful.
3- "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'"? — "Yes, venerable sir."
Regarding it as mine, I or myself is a cause for changing it. If something is painful, and i take ownership of it, i seek to turn it into pleasure, or more enduring if it is pleasurable,

The above goes against the grain of the quoted sutta not only in answering the three questions in the positive, but in finding no necessary logical connection between the three and answering each question individually. The logical connection between the three questions is a by-product of answering them in the negative.

The moral of the story: every volitional action has a shadow, even when presented by the Buddha himself.
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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