Mind versus Self?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby jeeprs » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:30 am

"WITH REGARD TO SELF:, it is the phenomenon that is true,real,permenant,abiding,sovereign,immutable,and unchangeable...


I think this must be an incorrect translation, because 'the true, real, permanent' etc, is not 'amongst phenomena'. So I wonder what the original term was?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:32 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:Buddha nature is simply the term that is used to discribe Enlightenment that is still under the cover of GREG(YOU) and TIM (ME)"i'/5 aggregates)when the "i' ends the pure mind/ENlightenement will be the only thing left.
So what you are saying is that enlightenment is the characteristic by which "Self" is defined? I am "Self" because I am enlightened?


yes (True)Self is Enlightenment

the Buddha is (True)Self or the Truth of all phenomena

simply said self that is in relation to the 5 aggregates is false self it is conditioned and impermenant subject to cease.this is our current "personality" our currect "identity"

True(Self) is a label that is given to that which is True and unconditioned there is no "ME" or "MY" Identity in the Buddha
so in this sense the ("I" Identity")self does not exist,but to say the Buddha is also impermenant is to place the Buddha in the conditioned.hence the two emptinesses and the idea of the two selves.so while the Buddha has no "I" self in it,the SELF of the Buddha is its attributes that do not change(has permenantly ended greed,anger,ignorance,has complete compassion for all sentient beings ect ect..... so Self in this context is the body of attributes of a Buddha(Dharmakaya)
which is why you see Dharmakaya almost everywhere you see Tathagatagarbha.(hope I didnt confuse)

pretty much a word game
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:38 am

jeeprs wrote:
"WITH REGARD TO SELF:, it is the phenomenon that is true,real,permenant,abiding,sovereign,immutable,and unchangeable...


I think this must be an incorrect translation, because 'the true, real, permanent' etc, is not 'amongst phenomena'. So I wonder what the original term was?



this translation comes from the Mountain doctrine commentary,If I posted it from my sutra I usually present the chapter and the pg.

as far as the translation goes Phenomenon(Dharma)/existance/IT/Buddha. the point is it is trying to discribe the (((((IT))))) that is true,real,permenant,abiding,sovereign,immutable,and unchangeable.

its hard to pick a word to discribe the truely undiscribable.

peace and love
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby jeeprs » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:06 am

Well, I agree, but 'phenomena' is not one of them. In regards to this question it is especially important because we are talking of what is 'beyond words' in the first place. The Buddhist lexicon has terms for such matters but they are hard to put into English - but I would definitely shy away from using 'phenomenon' in that context.

Anyway I don't want to start going around in circles again. I think Futerko gave what I understand as the definitive view in this post

Futerko wrote:the Buddha did not give an answer to the question of whether there is an eternal "self" or not because its the wrong question. It is irrelevant whether there is something actually there or not, because as soon as we enter into a subject-object relationship with it, we create the very illusion that we could somehow grasp the truth in that way.

To form the illusion of self/identity requires both an observer and a perceived object, neither of which have any consistency, yet an illusion of consistency is formed by the relationship between them, as if the "self" and its object were something other than an original unity of appearance and essence.

That "there is no self to be found" therefore means that whether there is a self or not, it definitely cannot be taken as an object for consciousness.


I did a Master's Thesis (Buddhist Studies) on this topic during 2012, and that was the conclusion I also came to. The key statement was a response by Sariputta to the question '"With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, is it the case that there is not anything else?"

Sariputta wrote: "The statement, 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?' objectifies non-objectification.


From the Kottihita Sutta.

My comment on it was:

The phrase ‘objectifies non-objectification’ (vadaṃ appapañcaṃ papañceti) is key here. As Thanissaro Bikkhu notes in his commentary, ‘the root of the classifications and perceptions of objectification is the thought, "I am the thinker." This thought forms the motivation for the questions that Ven. Maha Kotthita is presenting here. The very action of thinking ‘creates the thinker’, rather than vice versa. In effect, the questioner is asking, ‘is this something I can experience?’ And to do so, tends towards eternalism. To speculate about what lies ‘out of range’, as the Buddha has declared it - to name it, or speculate about it, all amount to ‘objectifying non-objectification’.


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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:18 am

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:This nature, as in Buddha-nature, is not a sheer vacuum:

The atman is the Tathagatagarbha. All beings possess a Buddha Nature: this is what the atman is. This atman, from the start, is always covered by innumerable passions (klesha): this is why beings are unable to see it. — Mahaparinirvana-sutra


Then give the definition of what buddha-nature is and not what it is not.


What it is is through realization; not through verbal expressions or conceps.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby greentara » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:26 am

Astus, Does that mean I think the sky is blue. I go up in a plane and don't see blueness anywhere. I return to earth and look up and again the sky is blue. Is this all illusion or can this 'small' insight wake us up?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:37 am

Astus wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Astus wrote: However, it is meaningless to say that "nirvana is hidden in every being", unless we are using a metaphoric or poetic language


Yeah, that's pretty much what it is.


And that's why I said buddha-nature is a skilful means.


BN is not, per se, upaya or skillful means. Upaya applies to the means of realizing BN, or the same, reaching the other shore.>
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:52 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Okay, this is a question of mine that has yet to be answered: let's say that Tathagatagarbha is "Self". What is the Tathagatagarbha, or what is it about the Tathagatagarbha, that makes it capable of being referred to as something that defines an individual (as a "Self")? I mean the skhanda are obviously not the "Self" because they are ultimately empty, lacking solidity, shared by all minds, insubstantial, impermanent, etc... What is it about the Tathagatagarbha, or what is the Tathagatagarbha so that it can be defined as a "Self"? What is it that makes it definable as a "Self"?
:namaste:

For what it's worth, here's how the Mahayanasutralamkara [trans. by the AIBS team w/ commentary by Vasubhandu] reconciles the 3rd turning with the other 2 turnings of Dharma:

Chapter 6 Thatness pgs. 49-51

A verse refuting the error of the view of self: 2. The self-notion itself does not have the identity of a self, nor does the (selfish being's) deforming habit; their natures are different. Apart from these two there is no other (self,) so it arises only as an error; liberation is therefore the termination of a mere error.

The self-notion itself does not have the nature of a (substantial) self, nor does the (selfish being's) deforming habit. Their nature differs from the (absolutist's) imaginatively constructed self. (The deforming habit) consists of the five appropriative bodymind systems, for it is produced from the mental addictions and negative instinctual conditionings. Nor is there (any self) found apart from those two (with the) nature of an (absolute) self. Therefore, there is no self, and the self-notion is born of error. Moreover, it should be understood that because there is no self, liberation is merely the termination of error, and there is no (substantial person) at all who has been liberated.
Two verses on the criticism of such error:

3. How is it that beings rely on what is merely an error and do not realize that the nature of suffering is constant? How is it they are unaware and aware, suffer and do not suffer, and are objective and not objective?

4. How is it that beings, directly aware of the relativistic origin of things, still resort to some other creator? What kind of darkness is this through which the existent goes unseen and the nonexistent is observed?


How is it that people rely on the view of a self which is nothing but an illusion and do not see that the nature of suffering is always connected to creations? They are not intellectually aware of this intrinsic suffering (although) they are experientially aware of suffering. They suffer because suffering has not been eliminated; but, because of the nonexistence of a self which possess that suffering, they do not (really) suffer. They are objective, since there is no self in persons; there are only objects. Yet again they are not objective, for there is objective selflessness.

When people directly perceive the relational occurrence of things, (in the form) "There occur such and such things in dependence upon such and such conditions," how is it then that they resort to the view that seeing and the like are created by some other creator and are not contingent occurrences? What kind of darkness is this which makes people not see the relationally occurrent which exists, and see the self which does not exist? Darkness could make it possible for the existent to be unseen, but not for the nonexistent to be seen!

Chapter 9 Enlightenment pgs. 82-83

23. In pure voidness buddhas achieve the supreme self of selflessness, and realize the spiritual greatness of the self by discovering the pure self.

This shows the supreme self of the buddhas in the uncontaminated realm. Why? Because hers is the self of supreme selflessness. Supreme selflessness is completely pure suchness, and that is a buddha's "self," in the sense of "intrinsic reality." When this is completely pure, buddhas attain superior selflessness, a pure self, Therefore by attaining a pure self buddhas realize the spiritual greatness of self. Thus it is with this intention that buddhas are declared to have a supreme self in the uncontaminated realm.

24. That is why buddhahood is said neither to exist nor not to exist. When such inquiries are made about a buddha, the way of impredicability is preferred.

For that reason, buddhahood is not said to exist, for suchness is characterized by the (ultimate) nonexistence of persons and things. Since buddhahood has such a nature, it is also not said that it does not exist, for it exists in the nature of suchness. Therefore, when inquiries are made about the existence or nonexistence of a buddha, such as whether or not a transcendent lord exists after death impredicability is preferred.

25. Like the fading of heat in iron and of shadows in visions is (the fading of delusions) in the buddha's mind and intuition; it cannot be declared as either existent or nonexistent.

26. For buddhas, in the immaculate realm there is neither unity nor plurality, because they are incorporeal like space and yet still accord with their previous bodies.



Granted this is Cittamatra, so I'm not trying to make a case of comparison to/or against Madhyamaka and the Prajnaparamita Sutras.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:13 am

Son of Buddha wrote:yes (True)Self is Enlightenment

the Buddha is (True)Self or the Truth of all phenomena

simply said self that is in relation to the 5 aggregates is false self it is conditioned and impermenant subject to cease.this is our current "personality" our currect "identity"

True(Self) is a label that is given to that which is True and unconditioned there is no "ME" or "MY" Identity in the Buddha
so in this sense the ("I" Identity")self does not exist,but to say the Buddha is also impermenant is to place the Buddha in the conditioned.hence the two emptinesses and the idea of the two selves.so while the Buddha has no "I" self in it,the SELF of the Buddha is its attributes that do not change(has permenantly ended greed,anger,ignorance,has complete compassion for all sentient beings ect ect..... so Self in this context is the body of attributes of a Buddha(Dharmakaya)
which is why you see Dharmakaya almost everywhere you see Tathagatagarbha.(hope I didnt confuse)

pretty much a word game
A pretty pointless and ridiculous word game as basically you are saying that "Self" is anatman (ie you say that Atman is anatman). At the same time others are saying that "Self" (Atman) is atman. So when you all can come up with a coherent and unfied designation of what this "Self" is then please come back so we can seriously discuss the issue.
:namaste:
PS Realistically though, the whole thing smacks of (non-dual) Advaita Vedanta, all you need to do is replace the term "Self" with Brahman. Replacing it with Buddha is just an extraordinarily transparent disguise.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:53 am

songhill wrote:What it is is through realization; not through verbal expressions or conceps.


That means you are arguing for something that you cannot explain or describe. You could as well argue for the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:12 pm

greentara wrote:Astus, Does that mean I think the sky is blue. I go up in a plane and don't see blueness anywhere. I return to earth and look up and again the sky is blue. Is this all illusion or can this 'small' insight wake us up?


Even physically the blue sky is an illusion, a result of the coming together of light, aerial conditions, the human eye and language. Not too long ago, before aeroplanes and such, in certain cultures people believed there is an ocean above our heads or a heavenly structure. From the personal perspective, even when you are looking at the sky you don't see it uninterruptedly in a continuity but there are moments of perception following each other, both physically and mentally. You don't keep the thought "blue sky" constantly in mind and you can't really keep your eyes open for long. There are further topics one can go through, like whether the sky is inside or outside, whether it is one or many, etc., as you can find in traditional Buddhist works. The result is that the "blue sky" is simply a dependently originated conceptual phenomenon.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:21 pm

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:What it is is through realization; not through verbal expressions or conceps.


That means you are arguing for something that you cannot explain or describe. You could as well argue for the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.


I am arguing for something that is ineffable and non-conceptual which transcends the mundane whirl, and is realizable—but is not like the hairs of a tortoise. Our Buddha-nature is truly real, the secular world that runs away from the teaching of Buddha-nature is not.

"O good man! I call such as the following secular truth: a being’s life, knowledge, growing up, manhood, the doer [of deeds], the recipient [of karmic consequences], a mirage in the hot season, a gandharvan castle, the hairs of a tortoise [i.e which do not exist], the horns of a hare [which again do not exist], a circle of flame, all such things as the five skandhas, the eighteen realms, and the twelve spheres" (Mahaparinirvana Sutra).
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:36 pm

Astus wrote: That means you are arguing for something that you cannot explain or describe. You could as well argue for the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.


Apparently, you are familiar with something that is the color pink.
So, how would you explain, or describe, or argue what that is to a blind person?
I think you cannot, yet you yourself can experience it.

If you want to know what direct, non-conceptual experience is,
just wait until the next time you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer.
You will immediately know without knowing.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:54 pm

songhill wrote:I am arguing for something that is ineffable and non-conceptual which transcends the mundane whirl, and is realizable—but is not like the hairs of a tortoise. Our Buddha-nature is truly real, the secular world that runs away from the teaching of Buddha-nature is not.



If it is beyond the six senses it is irrelevant to our life, it does not solve the problem of suffering, and no being can experience it. If it is within the six senses it is necessarily impermanent and empty. There is no third option.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:00 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you want to know what direct, non-conceptual experience is,
just wait until the next time you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer.
You will immediately know without knowing.


All the five physical senses are non-conceptual, states like coma, swoon and deep sleep are without concepts, and meditative absorptions beyond the first level are without concepts too. A non-conceptual experience is not an "eternal self" or anything full of miraculous abilities. Not grasping on concepts, realising emptiness, prajnaparamita, that is also not a "pure being".
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:20 pm

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:I am arguing for something that is ineffable and non-conceptual which transcends the mundane whirl, and is realizable—but is not like the hairs of a tortoise. Our Buddha-nature is truly real, the secular world that runs away from the teaching of Buddha-nature is not.



If it is beyond the six senses it is irrelevant to our life, it does not solve the problem of suffering, and no being can experience it. If it is within the six senses it is necessarily impermanent and empty. There is no third option.


The five aggregates are the noble or ariyan truth of suffering (S.v.425) subject to clinging consisting of material shape, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness. As long as we cling to them (the aggregates) we doom ourselves to endless suffering. We have to transcend them. In addtion, besides being suffering the origin of suffering concerns the five aggregates.

(edit)S.v.425
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"The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origination of suffering" (M.i.191). (Emphasis added.)


(edit)M.i.191
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:51 pm

songhill wrote:The five aggregates are the noble or ariyan truth of suffering (S.v.425) subject to clinging consisting of material shape, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness. As long as we cling to them (the aggregates) we doom ourselves to endless suffering. We have to transcend them. In addtion, besides being suffering the origin of suffering concerns the five aggregates.

"The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origination of suffering" (M.i.191). (Emphasis added.)


Clinging is the cause of suffering, not the aggregates. Removing clinging doesn't mean the elimination of the aggregates. It is understanding that there is no permanent thing, there is no self but only dependent aggregates that is the knowledge removing clinging. Imagining there is a real self inside or outside the aggregates is the ignorance causing clinging.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:06 pm

Lotus_Bitch wrote:What do you guys think?
Well... I must admit that it wasn't exactly crystal clear to me. But what it left me with was a sense that it verified my claim, some 8 pages back, that the true self is no-self. That's what I go out of it anyway.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:15 pm

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:The five aggregates are the noble or ariyan truth of suffering (S.v.425) subject to clinging consisting of material shape, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness. As long as we cling to them (the aggregates) we doom ourselves to endless suffering. We have to transcend them. In addtion, besides being suffering the origin of suffering concerns the five aggregates.

"The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origination of suffering" (M.i.191). (Emphasis added.)


Clinging is the cause of suffering, not the aggregates. Removing clinging doesn't mean the elimination of the aggregates. It is understanding that there is no permanent thing, there is no self but only dependent aggregates that is the knowledge removing clinging. Imagining there is a real self inside or outside the aggregates is the ignorance causing clinging.


Disagree. I don't find the gist of your argument in the Pali Nikayas.

"And these five aggregates affected by clinging are dependently arisen. The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origination of suffering" (M.i.191). (Emphasis added.)


In addition,

"The removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for these five aggregates affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering. At this point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu" (M.i.191). (Emphasis added.)


In simple English, the five aggregates are suffering. The origin of the suffering comes by way of the five aggregates insofar as we desire them. The cessation of suffering is the removal of desire for the five aggregates. As for the means:

"This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these five aggregates subject to clinging, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning" (S.v.61).


(edit)Full quote S.v.61
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So how does the instructed disciple deal with these five aggregates?

"But monks, an instructed disciple of the pure ones...taking count of the true men...well trained in the dhamma of the true men, regards material shape as: ‘This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self;’ he regards feeling as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards perception as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards the habitual tendencies as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards consciousness as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ And also he regards whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognised, reached, looked for, pondered by the mind as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’" (M.i.136).


(edit)Full quote of M.i.136
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Bottom line, the five aggregates are the bad boys (they also belong to Mara the Buddhist devil).
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:27 am

I think the quotes that you (Songhill) provided actually support Astus' position.
The aggregates have no substance of their own. They are empty of any true existence.

As you have cited: "dependently arisen"
So how can they be the cause of the problem?
It is the perception of the aggregates as substantial which is the essence of clinging.
As you have cited: ...the abandonment of desire and lust for these five aggregates... .

How can you abandon form, or sensation, perception, mental formations, or consciousness?
Where can you go that they won't follow you?
But you can abandon clinging to them as substantial, as "me" or "mine"
As you have cited: "...regards material shape as: ‘This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self..."

You can't actually abandon them
unless you think they really exist in the first place
and if that is the case, how can you let go of them?
and this is self-contradictory.

If you see that the skandhas have no substance to begin with, then,
there is nothing to cling to, and nothing to let go of,
and non-clinging is spontaneously the path of liberation.
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