Common Anatta Question

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:04 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
not exactly.
the experiencer arises from the interaction of awareness and objects of awareness,
and has no intrinsic reality.

There is no actual experiencer reading this post.
Why should one suddenly appear upon the realization of no self?
.
.
.


Yes, but that doesn't negate the existence of a mere self that is merely imputed by mind. There is still a validly imputed experiencer.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Malcolm » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:16 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Is there a person in Nirvana? What kind of person?


A mere person, otherwise nirvana is the extinction of existence and the extreme of nothingness.[/quote]

Upon what is this mere person imputed in absence of aggregates? If there is no basis of imputation, what is the difference between this mere person and horns on a rabbit?
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby dude » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Is there a person in Nirvana? What kind of person?


A mere person, otherwise nirvana is the extinction of existence and the extreme of nothingness.


Upon what is this mere person imputed in absence of aggregates? If there is no basis of imputation, what is the difference between this mere person and horns on a rabbit?[/quote]

Do you believe in nirvana?
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Yes, but that doesn't negate the existence of a mere self that is merely imputed by mind. There is still a validly imputed experiencer.


So, are you saying that an imagined self imagines itself as having attained nirvana,
and that nirvana is just another figment of the imagination?
That's what it sounds like to em
but maybe I am thick-headed,
so could you please elaborate?
.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Malcolm » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:07 pm

dude wrote:
Do you believe in nirvana?



That rather depends on who is defining it, why and how.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby dude » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:29 pm

So that means as you would define it?
And how would that be?
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Upon what is this mere person imputed in absence of aggregates? If there is no basis of imputation, what is the difference between this mere person and horns on a rabbit?


So do you believe that when someone attains nirvana, their mind goes out of existence and therefore there is no basis of imputation and no person? That would be extinction. Who would strive to become non-existent?

The mere person is imputed on their mind and body which is mere appearance, one nature with emptiness. That explains why there are no aggregates in nirvana, there is just the appearance of them and the appearance of a person imputed on them. Emptiness is appearing as these phenomena, although that's not someone's constant experience until they attain enlightenment - there is an appearance of inherently existent aggregates until the imprints of the delusions are removed and omniscience is achieved.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:46 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Yes, but that doesn't negate the existence of a mere self that is merely imputed by mind. There is still a validly imputed experiencer.


So, are you saying that an imagined self imagines itself as having attained nirvana,
and that nirvana is just another figment of the imagination?
That's what it sounds like to em
but maybe I am thick-headed,
so could you please elaborate?
.
.
.


That's more or less what I'm saying, yes. Everything is just dream-like appearance, including nirvana. It is no more real than anything else.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Sherab » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:46 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Upon what is this mere person imputed in absence of aggregates? If there is no basis of imputation, what is the difference between this mere person and horns on a rabbit?


So do you believe that when someone attains nirvana, their mind goes out of existence and therefore there is no basis of imputation and no person? That would be extinction. Who would strive to become non-existent?

The mere person is imputed on their mind and body which is mere appearance, one nature with emptiness. That explains why there are no aggregates in nirvana, there is just the appearance of them and the appearance of a person imputed on them. Emptiness is appearing as these phenomena, although that's not someone's constant experience until they attain enlightenment - there is an appearance of inherently existent aggregates until the imprints of the delusions are removed and omniscience is achieved.

Imputation occurs due to lack of realization, so when you have realization, the act of imputation disappears.

There is no mind as you know it know in nirvana. And you don't need to be a Mahayanist to believe that.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
36. "When a monk's mind is thus freed, O monks, neither the gods with Indra, nor the gods with Brahma, nor the gods with the Lord of Creatures (Pajaapati), when searching will find[36] on what the consciousness of one thus gone (tathaagata) is based. Why is that? One who has thus gone is no longer traceable here and now, so I say."


And nirvana is permanent, whereas consciousness is impermanent.
SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885 Ven Bodhi translation
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:02 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Upon what is this mere person imputed in absence of aggregates? If there is no basis of imputation, what is the difference between this mere person and horns on a rabbit?


The mere person is imputed on their mind and body which is mere appearance, one nature with emptiness. That explains why there are no aggregates in nirvana, there is just the appearance of them and the appearance of a person imputed on them. Emptiness is appearing as these phenomena, although that's not someone's constant experience until they attain enlightenment - there is an appearance of inherently existent aggregates until the imprints of the delusions are removed and omniscience is achieved.


If there are no aggregates in nirvana, how can there be an appearance of aggregates? It seems you are suggesting that in fact that the appearance of aggregates in nirvana are like the appearance of horns on a rabbit. In other words, these aggregates, which you now agree do not exist in nirvana, appear there due to a false imputation. Is this correct? But if this is so, you also agree that Buddhas make this false imputation, and as Candrakirti observes, they would not then transcend samsara because whoever makes false imputations cannot be considered a Buddha.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:32 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:That's more or less what I'm saying, yes. Everything is just dream-like appearance, including nirvana. It is no more real than anything else.

Why do you think "buddha" means "awakened"?
If you think that confused beings and Buddhas both
manifest awareness and perceive the objects of awareness,
you are right.
The difference, however,
is that confused beings experience the appearances as real
and a buddha knows that they are, as you say, dreamlike.
The phenomena does not change
and the ground of awareness does not change.
but when the dreaming ends, the causes of suffering are severed, that is nirvana.
Suggesting that nirvana is just another dream-like state is both a misunderstanding,
and actually, still an assertion of an intrinsic 'self'.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby dude » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:43 am

"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"
- Ananda Sutra

With deep appreciation to duckfiasco for linking the essay where I found this passage. I had forgotten where it was.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Sherab » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:49 am

dude wrote:"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"
- Ananda Sutra

With deep appreciation to duckfiasco for linking the essay where I found this passage. I had forgotten where it was.

I don't think the quote you provided necessarily implies that there is a self. There is another option, and that is, that there is individuality where the uniqueness of self makes no sense.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby dude » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:51 am

Indeed it doesn't.

""Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

"No, lord."
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:20 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:That's more or less what I'm saying, yes. Everything is just dream-like appearance, including nirvana. It is no more real than anything else.

Why do you think "buddha" means "awakened"?
If you think that confused beings and Buddhas both
manifest awareness and perceive the objects of awareness,
you are right.
The difference, however,
is that confused beings experience the appearances as real
and a buddha knows that they are, as you say, dreamlike.
The phenomena does not change
and the ground of awareness does not change.
but when the dreaming ends, the causes of suffering are severed, that is nirvana.
Suggesting that nirvana is just another dream-like state is both a misunderstanding,
and actually, still an assertion of an intrinsic 'self'.
.
.


Quite the opposite - do you believe that nirvana is somehow real, existing outside the mind? It's just pure appearance to a pure mind.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:58 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: do you believe that nirvana is somehow real, existing outside the mind? It's just pure appearance to a pure mind.


It isn't a matter if nirvana "existing" anywhere, inside or outside the mind.
Nirvana is awareness arising in perfect clarity.
Mind is merely the experience of that clarity
free of delusions when awareness arises with objects of awareness.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:42 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: do you believe that nirvana is somehow real, existing outside the mind? It's just pure appearance to a pure mind.


It isn't a matter if nirvana "existing" anywhere, inside or outside the mind.
Nirvana is awareness arising in perfect clarity.
Mind is merely the experience of that clarity
free of delusions when awareness arises with objects of awareness.
.
.
.


I see, we have different views. For me, mind and awareness are synonyms, along with cognizer and thought. It's utterly impossible to have awareness without mind because, as Dharmakirti defined, mind is that which is clarity and cognizing. Nothing but mind can be the nature of clarity or function to cognize or be aware, and there cannot be a mind without a person. I find it curious that nirvana is awareness without mind because in my system, and in the system of Dharmakirti, such a thing is impossible. It's also impossible that there is no person associated with nirvana because awareness cannot exist on its own because of dependent relationship. Such a stand alone awareness would be inherently existent and totally contrary to Nagarjuna's teachings.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:45 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: It's utterly impossible to have awareness without mind because, as Dharmakirti defined, mind is that which is clarity and cognizing.


The pivotal word in your statement is have, which indicates a possession
and that requires an intrinsically existing possessor.
yes, Dharmakirti is correct, mind is that which is clarity and cognizing
and since cognizing depends on objects of awareness (something to "cognize")
another way of saying this i:s awareness+ object of awareness = mind.
from that springs forth the appearance of a person.

What you are saying is that mind produces awareness,
and doing this is dependent on cognition of objects.

Tsongkhapafan wrote:there cannot be a mind without a person.

person is an object of awareness.

Tsongkhapafan wrote:awareness cannot exist on its own because of dependent relationship.

awareness of objects of awareness cannot happen without objects of awareness.

But don't confuse ordinary 'sensory awareness', (e.g., being "aware" of a dog barking)
with the fundamental ground of awareness (dzogchen).

This doesn't contradict Nagarjuna at all.


What you are saying, is that first there is a person, and then that person either attains nirvana or doesn't.
This is still maintaining the notion of an inherently existent self (atman)
Which mean that the object of awareness produces itself as well as the awareness of itself.
Its like saying the mirror creates the lamp that is reflected in it.
How does that make any sense?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:54 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:But don't confuse ordinary 'sensory awareness', (e.g., being "aware" of a dog barking)
with the fundamental ground of awareness (dzogchen).

This doesn't contradict Nagarjuna at all.


What you are saying, is that first there is a person, and then that person either attains nirvana or doesn't.
This is still maintaining the notion of an inherently existent self (atman)
Which mean that the object of awareness produces itself as well as the awareness of itself.
Its like saying the mirror creates the lamp that is reflected in it.
How does that make any sense?
.


What is this 'ground of awareness'? Is it the same as Dharmata, a term I have heard?
How does it differ from the example you gave of being aware of a dog barking? Surely awareness is awareness?

I know that some schools assert an Alayavijana or 'consciousness basis of all' which becomes purified - is this then the 'ground of awareness'? I don't accept the existence or need for an Alayavijana as it's an invention of the Chittamatrin school and unnecessary - there are only six primary minds or consciousnesses. The function of holding the repository of karmic potentials is performed by the very subtle mind which is just the most subtle level of mental consciousness; there is no need to assert a separate consciousness. The very subtle mind was explained by Buddha Vajradhara in the Tantras.

There is no problem with asserting a self that attains nirvana - this is not an inherently existent self, since such a self does not exist; it's a merely imputed self on the basis of the appearance of a pure body and mind. Nirvana is not the end of existence or of the self, it is simply the end of the continuum of impure self, a self that is created by and governed by delusions. When the delusions are removed from the mental continuum, the mental continuum itself becomes pure and so is the person imputed upon it.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:If there are no aggregates in nirvana, how can there be an appearance of aggregates? It seems you are suggesting that in fact that the appearance of aggregates in nirvana are like the appearance of horns on a rabbit. In other words, these aggregates, which you now agree do not exist in nirvana, appear there due to a false imputation. Is this correct? But if this is so, you also agree that Buddhas make this false imputation, and as Candrakirti observes, they would not then transcend samsara because whoever makes false imputations cannot be considered a Buddha.


There are correct imputations and incorrect imputations. Imputing 'I' upon a body and mind is not a false imputation as the body and mind is a valid basis for imputing I. The problem is grasping that self to be inherently existent, which is the function of ignorance, and imputing that 'I' on impure aggregates that gives rise to delusions and karma, which keeps the wheel of samsara turning. Buddhas impute 'I' upon the Truth Body, which is their valid basis of imputation and is therefore not wrong.
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