dharmas are not inexistent; what about the self?

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Re: dharmas are not inexistent; what about the self?

Postby klqv » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:44 pm

retrofuturist wrote:As sunyata pertains to the Dharma, it accordingly pertains to the phenomenological, and not to concerns of existence and non-existence. As I understand it, this is the thrust of Nagarjuna's work on sunyata.

If you mean that literally [that nagarjuna does not mean to say anything about existence and non existence] then i do not understand. the commentaries on nagarjuna mention existence so many times!



going back to the OP... it is true is it not that in theravada the doctrine of selflessness is just a conventional truth or "raft" that does not describe the goal [because nothing does] and which is to be abandoned when there. assuming that buddhas know reality, doesn't that mean that reality is not without a self?
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Re: dharmas are not inexistent; what about the self?

Postby Jesse » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:24 pm

catmoon wrote:So the question remains.... if the self "really really" does not exist, who is writing your posts?


catmoon wrote:It also neatly explains the Zen experience. You know the saying- first there was a mountain, then there was no mountain, then there was just a mountain. The key thing is that little word "just". No essence, no attributes, no qualities, it's just there, whether appearance or not. Suchness.


First there was a self, then there was no self, then there was just writing forum posts

haha.. I'm sorry.. had to. :yinyang:
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: dharmas are not inexistent; what about the self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:55 pm

"self" is like soup. Of course you can find a can of soup in any grocery store. You can make soup. But there is nothing that soup is made out of that is "soup". The water isn't soup, the vegetables are not soup, the meat is not soup, the noodles are not soup, and the spices are not soup. This doesn't mean there is no soup. There is plenty of soup. There is all kinds of soup. It has qualities. You can taste it. It might be hot or cold, thick or thin, and you can't eat soup very well with your fingers.

Likewise, I am here, you are here, and there is continuity over time from one post to the next. As with soup, you can find people in any grocery store. But there is nothing that the "self" is made of that is "self".
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Re: dharmas are not inexistent; what about the self?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:41 pm

Greetings klqv,

klqv wrote:If you mean that literally [that nagarjuna does not mean to say anything about existence and non existence] then i do not understand. the commentaries on nagarjuna mention existence so many times!

Only to point repeatedly out that cognition of existence and non-existence are distortions, as far as I'm aware. He didn't speak in favour of it. (Again, happy to be corrected).

klqv wrote:going back to the OP... it is true is it not that in theravada the doctrine of selflessness is just a conventional truth or "raft" that does not describe the goal [because nothing does] and which is to be abandoned when there. assuming that buddhas know reality, doesn't that mean that reality is not without a self?

Be a little careful not to be too loose with your distinctions here. In the original suttas, of which the Sutta Pitaka is one compilation thereof, the Buddha teaches the emptiness of all dhammas, but in the classical Theravada Abhidhamma tradition it is later believed that dhammas "exist" and "not exist" with great rapidity - billions in the blink of an eye, or somesuch. Classical Theravada came to regard sunnata as virtually synonymous as anatta, signifying merely that there was no self in any thing.

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