Common Anatta Question

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: Buddhas impute 'I' upon the Truth Body, which is their valid basis of imputation and is therefore not wrong.


How is this different than Advaita Vedanta?

Further, how can Buddhas impute anything? The dharmakāya is the "mind" of a Buddha, and is completely free of all concepts. How can there be imputation when there is no conceptuality?

Further, how are the body and mind "valid" bases for imputing an I? No self can be found in either.

I am afraid you have long since abandoned any form of Madhyamaka, let alone "Prasanga".

Since all of the dried fire wood of knowledge objects
have been burned, that peace is the dharmakāya of the victors;
at that time there is no arising, no cessation;
that cessation of the mind is the direct perception of the kāya.


Candrakirti comments upon this that cessation of mind and mental factors is conventionally termed "direct perception" of the kāya.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:16 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
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.


Nagarjuna exactly outlined the difference between "in mind" and "beyond mind".
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:44 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: 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.


Your view seems to be that nirvana is just a better dream than samsara.
My view, and I think the one most widely accepted,
is that nirvana is waking up from the dream altogether.
.
.
.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: Buddhas impute 'I' upon the Truth Body, which is their valid basis of imputation and is therefore not wrong.


How is this different than Advaita Vedanta?

Further, how can Buddhas impute anything? The dharmakāya is the "mind" of a Buddha, and is completely free of all concepts. How can there be imputation when there is no conceptuality?

Further, how are the body and mind "valid" bases for imputing an I? No self can be found in either.

I am afraid you have long since abandoned any form of Madhyamaka, let alone "Prasanga".

Since all of the dried fire wood of knowledge objects
have been burned, that peace is the dharmakāya of the victors;
at that time there is no arising, no cessation;
that cessation of the mind is the direct perception of the kāya.


Candrakirti comments upon this that cessation of mind and mental factors is conventionally termed "direct perception" of the kāya.


I am struggling to understand how this is not nihilism. If it is the complete cessation of all concepts and the end of 'the person' how is this state different from non-existence?
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:27 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: 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.


Your view seems to be that nirvana is just a better dream than samsara.
My view, and I think the one most widely accepted,
is that nirvana is waking up from the dream altogether.
.
.
.


Waking up to what?
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:43 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote: Waking up to what?

selfless awareness.

If there is a self, as you suggest, either dependently arising, or independently arising,
where does it go when thoughts change from moment to moment?

Does the 'self' remain separate from those thoughts?

If it remains separate from those thoughts, as those thoughts come and go,
then you are asserting a permanent, unchanging self, which Buddhist teachings reject.

If the 'self' you assert is not separate from those thoughts,
but changes along with the thoughts as they change from moment to moment,
then there is no thing that can be separately identified as a self, as you suggest.

Go ask Nagarjuna about that one.
.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:How is this different than Advaita Vedanta?


Because the self is not asserted as permanent. A Buddha's self is imputed on the Truth Body which consists of the perfect union of the Wisdom Truth Body (Buddha's omniscient mind, which is a functioning thing) and the Nature Body (which is the emptiness of Buddha's mind).

Further, how can Buddhas impute anything? The dharmakāya is the "mind" of a Buddha, and is completely free of all concepts. How can there be imputation when there is no conceptuality?


Buddhas can impute non-conceptually. They perceive the mere appearances of all phenomena - past, present and future - inseparable from emptiness.

Further, how are the body and mind "valid" bases for imputing an I? No self can be found in either.


It is a valid basis for imputing an I just as the parts of a car are a valid basis for imputing 'car' even though no car can be found in any of the parts of the car. The car, as a conceptual imputation, functions. So it is with the I or self - it functions in dependence upon being imputed upon the body and mind, otherwise it would be non-existent. I fear you've taken the self to the extreme of non-existence.

I am afraid you have long since abandoned any form of Madhyamaka, let alone "Prasanga".


I was thinking the same about you - your view sounds like nihilism, not the middle way.

Since all of the dried fire wood of knowledge objects
have been burned, that peace is the dharmakāya of the victors;
at that time there is no arising, no cessation;
that cessation of the mind is the direct perception of the kāya.


Candrakirti comments upon this that cessation of mind and mental factors is conventionally termed "direct perception" of the kāya.


This verse is often misinterpreted. An alternative translation of the last line is Since minds have ceased, it is experienced directly by the body but even in your version it means that, since all conceptual minds have ceased (not mind per se), the Truth Body is experienced directly by the body of non-conceptual wisdom. It is absurd to suggest that Buddhas do not have minds.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:50 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: Waking up to what?

selfless awareness.


Selfless awareness - No self at all, and no object of that awareness? Impossible!
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:51 pm

jeeprs wrote:I am struggling to understand how this is not nihilism. If it is the complete cessation of all concepts and the end of 'the person' how is this state different from non-existence?


What do you do, immediately at the very split second that you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer?
Is it a direct perception, or do you form concepts about it?
.
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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.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:03 am

The notion that nirvana is annihilation of the self is close to nihilist. Buddhism often sails very close to nihilism and attracts many people who have nihilist views. It's a very delicate matter. I don't think Buddhism is nihilist, but it's a very difficult question.

As regards the notion of the 'eternal soul' - Bikkhu Bodhi's commentary on the Brahmajala Sutta says, in effect, that the 'doctrine of eternalism' is directed against 'brahmins and recluses' who, having recalled one, or several, or hundreds, or thousands, of previous lives, form the view that 'self and world' is something that will always exist, i.e. be reborn in perpetuity, for ever and ever. I suppose that is rather like the view that one will 'live in heaven forever'. Some readings of Vedanta seem to suggest that idea. The teaching of 'no-self' was to avoid fixation on such ideas. But it doesn't say there is no self, but that nothing is self. Everything is 'a-natta', 'without self'. The term is used adjectivally throughout the Pali sources.

As to Buddhism and Vedanta - Buddhism has in common with Vedanta the idea of the 'eternal round of birth and death' from which liberation is only possible by way of spiritual transcendence. Even though the terminology and teachings are different, both traditions come from a similar cultural background and they have much more in common with each other, than either do with the Semitic religions. The Buddha adapted many ideas from the Vedic culture, but gave it his own interpretation, i.e. 'karma' was no longer something to be accrued through the performance of rites and rituals but through beneficial intentions and good actions; the 'true brahmin' was not made that way through birth-right but through ethical excellence (as detailed in Richard Gombrich 'What the Buddha Thought').
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Sherab » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:15 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Buddhas can impute non-conceptually.

Oxymoronic.

Tsongkhapafan wrote:They perceive the mere appearances of all phenomena - past, present and future - inseparable from emptiness.

It is debatable whether appearances appear for Buddhas. Having realized the causes for the arising of appearances to oneself, there is no more causing of phenomena to arise for a Buddha. That's how I understand it.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:20 am

Sherab wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:Buddhas can impute non-conceptually.

Oxymoronic.

Tsongkhapafan wrote:They perceive the mere appearances of all phenomena - past, present and future - inseparable from emptiness.

It is debatable whether appearances appear for Buddhas. Having realized the causes for the arising of appearances to oneself, there is no more causing of phenomena to arise for a Buddha. That's how I understand it.


I remember Malcolm saying only sentient beings, you know delusional beings can see Buddhas, that made me stop and think. I have always wondered if a Buddha can see another Buddha! I think I got my answer ….EDIT….nope didn't get my answer...holy moly, maybe it's all our imagination or maybe that's why there can only be one Buddha at a time. Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:20 am

reddust wrote:I remember Malcolm saying only sentient beings, you know delusional beings can see Buddhas, that made me stop and think. I have always wondered if a Buddha can see another Buddha! I think I got my answer ….EDIT….nope didn't get my answer...holy moly, maybe it's all our imagination or maybe that's why there can only be one Buddha at a time. Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?

There are no Buddhas.

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:24 am

Virgo wrote:
reddust wrote:I remember Malcolm saying only sentient beings, you know delusional beings can see Buddhas, that made me stop and think. I have always wondered if a Buddha can see another Buddha! I think I got my answer ….EDIT….nope didn't get my answer...holy moly, maybe it's all our imagination or maybe that's why there can only be one Buddha at a time. Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?

There are no Buddhas.

Kevin


Kevin that's the course my reasoning came to as well! wow :sage:
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:26 am

reddust wrote:
Kevin that's the course my reasoning came to as well! wow :sage:

Yes. Also no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind.

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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:58 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:How is this different than Advaita Vedanta?


Because the self is not asserted as permanent.


Perhaps you missed my questions:

If there is a self, as you suggest, either dependently arising, or independently arising,
where does it go when thoughts change from moment to moment?

Does the 'self' remain separate from those thoughts?


and subsequent statement suggesting some inconsistency in your understanding:

If it remains separate from those thoughts, as those thoughts come and go,
then you are asserting a permanent, unchanging self, which Buddhist teachings reject.

If the 'self' you assert is not separate from those thoughts,
but changes along with the thoughts as they change from moment to moment,
then there is no thing that can be separately identified as a self, as you suggest.
.
.
.
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 Sherab » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:20 am

reddust wrote:Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?

My understanding is that all Buddhas are identical to one another. Therefore it is redundant to have more than one Buddha appearing at any one time.
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:27 am

Sherab wrote:
reddust wrote:Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?

My understanding is that all Buddhas are identical to one another. Therefore it is redundant to have more than one Buddha appearing at any one time.


Maybe a Buddha is nothing more than a delusional thought from sentient beings? Gads that just sounds wrong, like some of the Zen folk who put a bag of garbage up on a table and say it's Buddha. When we no longer are delusional, no conditioning to hold all that we think is me and mine together, there will be no Buddha to see because we will be Buddha…oh my head is feeling really empty again.

Time to start banging my pots and pans, I've been tied down today with sick ones to take care of and they need food. :namaste:
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby LastLegend » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:03 am

reddust wrote:
Sherab wrote:
reddust wrote:Can there be two Buddhas in the same time line?

My understanding is that all Buddhas are identical to one another. Therefore it is redundant to have more than one Buddha appearing at any one time.


Maybe a Buddha is nothing more than a delusional thought from sentient beings? Gads that just sounds wrong, like some of the Zen folk who put a bag of garbage up on a table and say it's Buddha. When we no longer are delusional, no conditioning to hold all that we think is me and mine together, there will be no Buddha to see because we will be Buddha…oh my head is feeling really empty again.

Time to start banging my pots and pans, I've been tied down today with sick ones to take care of and they need food. :namaste:

I enjoy your humor. :heart:
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Re: Common Anatta Question

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:27 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:How is this different than Advaita Vedanta?


Because the self is not asserted as permanent.


Perhaps you missed my questions:

If there is a self, as you suggest, either dependently arising, or independently arising,
where does it go when thoughts change from moment to moment?

Does the 'self' remain separate from those thoughts?


and subsequent statement suggesting some inconsistency in your understanding:

If it remains separate from those thoughts, as those thoughts come and go,
then you are asserting a permanent, unchanging self, which Buddhist teachings reject.

If the 'self' you assert is not separate from those thoughts,
but changes along with the thoughts as they change from moment to moment,
then there is no thing that can be separately identified as a self, as you suggest.
.
.
.


Who said there was anything that could be identified separately as a self? I didn't say that. The self is mere appearance - it doesn't come from anywhere and it doesn't go anywhere, nevertheless, it exists and can create actions and experience effects.
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