Illusions in truths?

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Illusions in truths?

Postby flowerbudh » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:05 am

If there is no real 'self' only evanescent essence isn't re-incarnation a misnomer? If no self is constant from one life to the next, how is karma built up? Isn't the presence of Being, of Awareness that all sentient things share, One thing... is this the True Self underlying everything? If matter can be neither created nor destroyed, does that not then mean that there is no beginning or end to anything? Very new to Buddhism, would love for you all to share your shining wisdom. :namaste:
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Illusions in truths?

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:47 am

If essence is evanescent, then aren't the ideas of "presence of Being" and of a "True Self underlying everything" misnomers?

Karma is built up by mistaking the former for the latter, clinging to existence, which then produces strong emotional responses, setting up a vicious cycle.

As for reincarnation, I'm passing the buck to this thread - viewtopic.php?f=77&t=14246&start=0
or you could do a search here and find many similar discussions, usually with PadmaVonSamba giving some nice analogies.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Illusions in truths?

Postby jeeprs » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:51 am

This is a controversial topic and generates a lot of debates here and elsewhere. Do don't expect what follows to be definitive, but it is one answer.

'No self' or anatta does not really mean 'there is no self' in the obvious way that it might seem. It is actually generally used as an adjective, that is, 'everything is anatta'. And 'everything' includes the five aggregates, material form, and so on. All these are anatta, not self, and also sunya, empty of own-being.

But on the level of conventional truth and day to day reality, there are agents, doers of actions, who suffer or benefit from the consequences of such actions. This is so even if ultimately the doer, like everything else, is empty of own-being. Perhaps you could say, the aim of realizing no-self and emptiness is to overcome the sense of identifying with, and clinging to, all the various objects of perception - your role, identity, status, and so on - which you invest with significance because you think 'this is mine, this is me, this is what I am'. So you could see the no-self teaching as an antidote to clinging to those things, which are always transitory and don't lead to the cessation of suffering. So the sense in which such things are 'illlusory' is not that they're non-existent, it is that they don't offer the substantiality that we invest them with. They are unreal in the sense that clinging to money, power, and so on, is ultimately frustrating as they cannot bring any real satisfaction.

As I say, a difficult question, and others might have very different answers, but that is my understanding.

:anjali:
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Illusions in truths?

Postby smcj » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:18 am

flowerbudh wrote:If there is no real 'self' only evanescent essence isn't re-incarnation a misnomer?

No.

If no self is constant from one life to the next, how is karma built up?

When a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly, what is constant? (A rhetorical question, I don't really want a biology lesson.) The fact that nothing is unchanged means everything can change. If you like you can think of 'no-self' as a fundamental freedom to change.
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Re: Illusions in truths?

Postby muni » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 am

I read your signature. :smile:

There is no wind blowing without the empty space, there is no water flowing without the empty space...no snow, no ice...

We need an understanding of what is called the conventional truth in order to understand the absolute or ultimate truth, what is then revealing how the two are. If not we risk to dive in extremes like nihilism - absolutism.

"There are many ways of positing the two truths".
http://buddhism.about.com/od/mahayanabu ... Truths.htm
http://www.kagyu.org/kagyulineage/buddh ... /cul03.php
And more.
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