On how the skandhas are self

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

On how the skandhas are self

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:30 pm

Human beings, and other beings, have different selves, they have different identities.These are mental events of identifying with form, sensation, conceptualization and volition skandhas ( first four among the five aggregates). Identity itself is mainly conceptualisation (samjna) and volition (samskara) skandhas.
These selves are for example:
Nationality self
Species self; you are human, or you are dog, horse, fox, vulture, snake, etc.. or you are a deva, asura, naga, rakshasa and so on...
Racial self; you are white, yellow, black, red, or something else,
Professional self; you are a plumber, airplanemechanic, salesperson, schoolteacher, nurse, military person, etc...
Political self
Religious self
Sexual self
Sports self
Hobby self
etc...
You are these selves even in your dream state.

In the end, when you get old, and when you die, these selves gradually dissolve, they become nothing, you yourself become nothing, these selves turn out to be without permanent reality,...
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1577
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby White Lotus » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:13 pm

there is a mundane self, impermanent and impure.
with cessation of the mundane self is the Self, true self/mind/own nature.

sutta nipata 761. the holy ones know it as highest bliss, the cessation of the self. repugnant to worldly folks, but not to those that clearly see.

fundamentally there has never been a self of any kind, not a thing. to speak of a self is to speak discriminatively about a dream, an illusion.

conventional truth is negated by fundamental truth.

rgds white lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby ground » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:36 am

What a question "On how the skandhas are self"?

The skandas have been taught to negate the thought "self", "I" and "mine" and replace it through "aggregates". Thus it is an affirming negation.

The Mahayana philosophers have delved into absurdity when asking "In what way are the skandhas self?" or asking "Why are the skandhas not self?"

The Mahayana philosophers compare to someone entering a shop and asking "What do you have to sell?" and after having been told "Nothing" they say "Okay, please sell me three pounds of that nothing."


kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby Aemilius » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:13 pm

TMingyur wrote:What a question "On how the skandhas are self"?

The skandas have been taught to negate the thought "self", "I" and "mine" and replace it through "aggregates". Thus it is an affirming negation.

The Mahayana philosophers have delved into absurdity when asking "In what way are the skandhas self?" or asking "Why are the skandhas not self?"

The Mahayana philosophers compare to someone entering a shop and asking "What do you have to sell?" and after having been told "Nothing" they say "Okay, please sell me three pounds of that nothing."


kind regards


There is no absurdity, because you still are something, you are a human. you have a passport, you have a nationality, you have a familytree, you have a profession, you have a social class, and so on...
For the purposes of meditating on selflessness you first of all have to understand what the self is, how it exists, in the skandhas.
Many buddhists who nominally claim selflessness will react angrily if they are called "negro", "gypsy", "russian", "swede", and so on...( providing that you don't have one of these identities, or selves, ofcourse!).
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1577
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:51 pm

Aemilius wrote: There is no absurdity, because you still are something, you are a human. you have a passport, you have a nationality, you have a familytree, you have a profession, you have a social class, and so on...
For the purposes of meditating on selflessness you first of all have to understand what the self is, how it exists, in the skandhas.
Many buddhists who nominally claim selflessness will react angrily if they are called "negro", "gypsy", "russian", "swede", and so on...( providing that you don't have one of these identities, or selves, ofcourse!).


Yes, you are provisionally the name on your passport. Your are, provisionally and conventionally, that shape you call your body. But so what?

let's say you're a particular human being. Any particular human being is reducible to the five skandhas, which is to say, isn't really a coherent identity at all in an ultimate sense, it's a coincidence of five categories of impermanence.

my point: it would help to understand the Two Truths if you want to understand a Mahayana position on this topic
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5793
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:41 am

If I have understood him, Lama Zopa says that the self exists, at least in some sense. He defines the self as a label applied to the association of mind and body. Since this label is commonly used and understood, it has a tenuous sort of existence, as a label. He also points out that since the label "self" is applied to an association of mind and body, it is a collective label, like the words "forest" and "army". There really is no separate thing from the trees called "forest" and there really is no separate thing from the soldiers called "army". Thus the existence of forests and armies are wholly dependent on the existence of soldiers and trees. Take away the trees and the forest does not remain.

In the same way, the trees and soldiers are dependent on their constituent parts, and those parts depend on their parts, all the way down. An independently existing part is never found.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: On how the skandhas are self

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:31 pm

Jikan wrote:
Aemilius wrote: There is no absurdity, because you still are something, you are a human. you have a passport, you have a nationality, you have a familytree, you have a profession, you have a social class, and so on...
For the purposes of meditating on selflessness you first of all have to understand what the self is, how it exists, in the skandhas.
Many buddhists who nominally claim selflessness will react angrily if they are called "negro", "gypsy", "russian", "swede", and so on...( providing that you don't have one of these identities, or selves, ofcourse!).


Yes, you are provisionally the name on your passport. Your are, provisionally and conventionally, that shape you call your body. But so what?

let's say you're a particular human being. Any particular human being is reducible to the five skandhas, which is to say, isn't really a coherent identity at all in an ultimate sense, it's a coincidence of five categories of impermanence.

my point: it would help to understand the Two Truths if you want to understand a Mahayana position on this topic


I don't know whether we disagree or not ? What I'm saying is that all identities I have mentioned ( nationality, ethnic group, family, profession, social class, sexuality, etc... ) are levels in Name and Form. And that it is useful to know them in order to understand what name and form signifies. They are subtly (or evidently) visible in your form, and they each have a name.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1577
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 12 guests

>