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 Astus » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:17 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:The True Self is the Dharmakaya,Buddha,Enlightenment,Pristine wisdom,clear light.
The Buddha is the "thing" that has these qualities(treasure storehouse)

If you had a cup of water,you would say the cup has water in it.
If you had a cup that had nothing in it you would say the cup is Empty,so what is the cup empty of?
It is empty of everything but itself.this is known as Other-Emptyness.
Would you say the cup is empty of Cup also?no you can say it is empty of water or anything you put into the cup,but the cup will still be the cup.
Like wise so is Enlightenment it is empty of everything but itself.
If you say all of Samsara,defilements,suffering are all impermenant and empty,then turn around and say the Buddha is empty also,you are putting the Buddha in the catogory of the created,conditioned and impermenant along with all of Samsara.doing this is known as Empty-Empty.


"The Buddha is the "thing" that has these qualities"

A buddha means a person without defilements.

What is a person?
The five aggregates.
What are the defilements?
Desire, anger, ignorance.
Do we reach a "true self" by removing clinging?
No.
Do we annihilate everything?
No.
Could this person without defilements be called free from all suffering and full of wisdom and compassion?
Yes.
Are the defilements permanently eliminated?
Yes.
Could this be called a permanent state of liberation?
Yes.
Is there really an actual thing or entity that is permanently free from defilements?
No.
"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 oushi » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:32 pm

greentara wrote:All are self, so where are the (ten thousand) others?
I think the key word is unity ....all one unit.

Maybe, the reordering will help here. Self is (like)all, nothing special in it. Every one of those ten thousand things change the self. Self is conditioned in the same way as chair is, but it is conditioned by everything that arises. In other words, ten thousand things make up the fabric of the Self. Self is all, because all makes Self. Nothing can be excluded, as the change takes place in the moment something appears. Everything that arise makes up the self. Buddha is not the Self, although there is no Self without buddha.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:41 pm

Astus wrote:

"The Buddha is the "thing" that has these qualities"
A buddha means a person without defilements.
What is a person?
The five aggregates.
What are the defilements?
Desire, anger, ignorance.
Do we reach a "true self" by removing clinging? No.
Do we annihilate everything? No.
Could this person without defilements be called free from all suffering and full of wisdom and compassion? Yes.
Are the defilements permanently eliminated? Yes.
Could this be called a permanent state of liberation? Yes.
Is there really an actual thing or entity that is permanently free from defilements? No.


Very nicely put.
I don't know if any of these quotes from various masters will matter to someone quoting from the Pali Canon,
but they express what is generally understood as what the Buddha taught.

If one asserts that a 'self' remains after the skhandas have been abandoned,
(or at least after clinging to them ceases)
If such a self is dependently arisen, it can't be a 'self'.

If it is not dependently arisen, and is what is referred to as 'atman',
then either what establishes it can only be determined
by contrasting it with whatever it is not,
and likewise can't be called a 'self'
or else it has no defining characteristics whatsoever,
and thus cannot be called a 'self'.

Any way you work it, no 'self' .
.
.
.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:51 pm

greentara wrote:The great Master Dogen said, "To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things." To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.


Dogen says "forget the self" from which you make "unity of the self and the ten thousand things". How so? Without self what do you unify? But if you have self to unify it is not forgotten.

On the other hand, Dogen continues with these words:

"To be confirmed by all dharmas is to cast off one's body and mind and the bodies and minds of others as well. All trace of enlightenment disappears, and this traceless enlightenment continues on without end." (Genjokoan)
"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 futerko » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:57 pm

Astus wrote:Is there really an actual thing or entity that is permanently free from defilements?
No.


This is the crux of the issue. Clearly there is some "self", but at the moment we reach directly for non-duality we re-enter the cycle. This "self" must be viewed as dependently originated and as a representative of Buddhadharma in relation to not-self (just aggregates) and emptiness. As Astus' quote shows, the very notion of a self IS the defilement - one cannot just directly become the embodiment of non-dual "emptiness" - Shakyamuni clearly realised this during his lifetime and that is precisely why he avoids making the kind of megalomaniacal claims we see from other esoteric practitioners.

This is exactly the difference between the idea of Buddha and of God. With the idea of God there is some kind of totality which is actual. With Buddha the idea of an actual totality is always a step away and must remain so - the moment one reaches for it, one falls straight back into a cyclical rebirth.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:08 pm

oushi wrote:
greentara wrote:All are self, so where are the (ten thousand) others?
I think the key word is unity ....all one unit.

Maybe, the reordering will help here. Self is (like)all, nothing special in it. Every one of those ten thousand things change the self. Self is conditioned in the same way as chair is, but it is conditioned by everything that arises. In other words, ten thousand things make up the fabric of the Self. Self is all, because all makes Self. Nothing can be excluded, as the change takes place in the moment something appears. Everything that arise makes up the self. Buddha is not the Self, although there is no Self without buddha.
:stirthepot:

:good:
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:23 pm

It bears repeating that our self is not exhausted by the five aggregates which means we have the ability to transcend them. Still we continue to grasp the aggregates, cling to them and imagine ourselves to consist in them even though the aggregates are suffering (S.iii.158)
(edit) S.iii. 158 Quite clearly the focus in the teaching is the craving for, and clinging to, the aggregates as the source of suffering, and not the aggregates themselves.
I. PORTIONS
103 (1) Portions
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, there are these four portions. What
four? [158] The portion of identity, the portion of the origin of
identity, the portion of the cessation of identity, the portion of the
way leading to the cessation of identity.
"And what, bhikkhus, is the portion of identity? It should be
said: the five aggregates subject to clinging. What five? The form
aggregate subject to clinging, the feeling aggregate subject to
clinging, the perception aggregate subject to clinging, the volitional
formations aggregate subject to clinging, the consciousness
aggregate subject to clinging. This is called the portion of identity.
"And what, bhikkhus, is the portion of the origin of identity? It
is this craving that leads to renewed existence, accompanied by
delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving
for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.
This is called the portion of the origin of identity.
"And what, bhikkhus, is the portion of the cessation of identity?
It is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same
craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance
on it. This is called the portion of the cessation of identity.
"And what, bhikkhus, is the portion of the way leading to the
cessation of identity? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right
view ... right concentration. This is called the portion of the way
leading to the cessation of identity.
"These, bhikkhus, are the four portions."

... which is the first noble or ariyan truth. There is nothing redeeming about these aggregates. They equated with Mara the demon.

"When there is form, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed. Therefore, Radha, see form as Mara, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumor, as a dart, as misery, as really misery. Those who see it thus see rightly. When there if feeling ... When there is perception ... When there are volitional formations ... When there is consciousness, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed" (S.iii.189) (trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi.)


When we cling to the aggregates not only are we clinging to suffering but we are clinging to Mara. Some have yet to realize that it is easier to know what I am not (e.g., the five aggregtes) than what I am. With the former we can thoroughly abandon desire for whatever is not our self whereas to imagine what the self or my self consists in, is never certain. More than likely it is one of the aggregates which ends up being a wrong view of my self. What I imagined my self to consist in turned out to be transient and suffering rather than permanent.

It is difficult to see where the current theory is going that, fundamentally, there is no self. It paints a very unsystematic and confusing picture of the Buddha's teachings which sounds more like materialism. It is much easier to take the position that my self is greater than the sum of the aggregates; which is not bound by their limitations. This ends up making Buddhism systematic and not confusing.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:30 pm

songhill wrote:It is much easier to take the position that my self is greater than the sum of the aggregates; which is not bound by their limitations. This ends up making Buddhism systematic and not confusing.


That's because thought wants a bottom line, some kind of totality, to grasp the truth, to secure a system. Confusion shows that one has moved beyond the limits of thought.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:49 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If it is not dependently arisen, and is what is referred to as 'atman',
then either what establishes it can only be determined
by contrasting it with whatever it is not,
and likewise can't be called a 'self'
or else it has no defining characteristics whatsoever,
and thus cannot be called a 'self'.

Any way you work it, no 'self' .


Take for example then this quote from the Karling terma:

Padmasambhava wrote:As for this sparkling awareness, which is called "mind,"
Even though one says that it exists, it does not actually exist.
(On the other hand) as a source, it is the origin of the diversity of all the bliss of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara.
And as for its being something desirable; it is cherished alike in the Eleven Vehicles.
With respect to its having a name, the various names that are applied to it are inconceivable (in their numbers).
Some call it "the nature of the mind" or "mind itself."
Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."
The Sravakas call it the doctrine of Anatman or "the absence of a self."
The Chittamatrins call it by the name Chitta or "the Mind."
Some call it the Prajnamita or "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Some call it the name Tathagatagarbha or "the embryo of Buddhahood."
Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."
Some call it by the name "the Unique Sphere."
Some call it by the name Dharmadhatu or "the dimension of Reality."
Some call it by the name Alaya or "the basis of everything."
And some simply call it by the name "ordinary awareness."


Look to the meaning, not just to the words.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:54 pm

The Satta Sutta (SN III.189 / 23.2) says that one should "Practice for the ending of craving for form. ... feeling. etc.", and while it says that "smash, scatter, & demolish form ... feeling. etc.", the point is to remove craving toward form, etc., and not to remove form itself. Removing form would mean that immediately one would become incorporeal, something that did not happen to the Buddha and his disciples.
"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 songhill » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:13 pm

futerko wrote:
songhill wrote:It is much easier to take the position that my self is greater than the sum of the aggregates; which is not bound by their limitations. This ends up making Buddhism systematic and not confusing.


That's because thought wants a bottom line, some kind of totality, to grasp the truth, to secure a system. Confusion shows that one has moved beyond the limits of thought.


Thought (mano, manoviññāṇaṃ) is trying to see what my self is as something determinate—a posited thing. Needless to say this project always fails. Thought (mano, manoviññāṇaṃ) nor the senses nor the aggregates can be, for us, a metric. Even thought is to be abandoned (S.iv.16-17). The Buddha teaches us dharma for abandoning (pahânam) all (sabbm) through direct knowledge and full understanding (abhiññā pariññā) (ibid). Rather thought is a confusion maker, for want of a better term.

(edit) S.iv. 16-17
Siv 16-17.jpg
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:27 pm

Astus wrote:The Satta Sutta (SN III.189 / 23.2) says that one should "Practice for the ending of craving for form. ... feeling. etc.", and while it says that "smash, scatter, & demolish form ... feeling. etc.", the point is to remove craving toward form, etc., and not to remove form itself. Removing form would mean that immediately one would become incorporeal, something that did not happen to the Buddha and his disciples.


S.iii.189 (Mārasuttaṃ) speaks seeing rightly, for the purpose revulsion, which is for dispassion, which is for liberation and the purpose of liberation is for nibbana/nirvana. Accesstoinsight's citation is incorrect. The PTS for the Sattasuttaṃ is S.iii.190 in regard to "smash, scatter, & demolish form, etc.
(edit) S.iii. 190 Quite clearly the Budha advises to overcome craving, lust and desire for the aggregates.
2 (2) A Being
At Savaltru. Sitting to one side, the Venerable Radha said to the
Blessed One: [190] "Venerable sir, it is said, 'a being, a being.' In
what way, venerable sir, is one called a being?"
"One is stuck, Radha, tightly stuck, in desire, lust, delight, and
craving for form; therefore one is called a being. One is stuck,
tightly stuck, in desire, lust, delight, and craving for feeling ... for
perception ... for volitional formations ... for consciousness;
therefore one is called a being.
"Suppose, Radha, some little boys or girls are playing with
sand castles. So long as they are not devoid of lust, desire, affection,
thirst, passion, and craving for those sand castles, they cherish
them, play with them, treasure them, and treat them possessively.
But when those little boys or girls lose their lust, desire,
affection, thirst, passion, and craving for those sand castles, then
they scalter them with their hands and feet, demolish them, shatter
them, and put them out of play.
"So too, Radha, scatter form, demolish it, shatter it, put it out
of play; practise for the destruction of craving. Scatter feeling ...
Scatter perception ... Scatter volitional formations ... Scatter consciousness,
demolish it, shatter it, put it out of play; practise for
the destruction of craving. For the destruction of craving, Radha,
is Nibbana."
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:52 pm

Songhill,

What do you say for this? "Removing form would mean that immediately one would become incorporeal, something that did not happen to the Buddha and his disciples."
"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 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:54 pm

"Now, there are forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, he is said to be a monk freed from forms cognizable by the eye. He has not gone over to Mara's camp; he has not come under Mara's power. The Evil One cannot do with him as he wills.

"There are sounds cognizable via the ear...

"There are aromas cognizable via the nose...

"There are flavors cognizable via the tongue...

"There are tactile sensations cognizable via the body...

"There are ideas cognizable via the intellect — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, he is said to be a monk freed from ideas cognizable by the intellect. He has not gone over to Mara's camp; he has not come under Mara's power. The Evil One cannot do with him as he wills."
This still does not say that one abandons form and mind, it says that one abandons relishing, cherishing and fastening.
:namaste:
"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: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:09 pm

Astus wrote:Songhill,

What do you say for this? "Removing form would mean that immediately one would become incorporeal, something that did not happen to the Buddha and his disciples."


This is not something the Buddha said. The Buddha might say that form is not my self (ditto with the rest of the aggregates). We are already incorporeal but clinging to the aggregates and believing that we consist of aggregates (sakkaya) has made it seem otherwise for us. It a way, we have to give up the illusion of being particulate (khandha).
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:46 pm

Its an odd thing - suddenly threads all over the board are converging on a single topic - the nature of the self.

What does everyone think of the idea of locking them all and starting a new thread that would get everyone under one roof?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:54 pm

catmoon wrote:Its an odd thing - suddenly threads all over the board are converging on a single topic - the nature of the self.

What does everyone think of the idea of locking them all and starting a new thread that would get everyone under one roof?


selfish?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:56 pm

songhill wrote:This is not something the Buddha said. The Buddha might say that form is not my self (ditto with the rest of the aggregates). We are already incorporeal but clinging to the aggregates and believing that we consist of aggregates (sakkaya) has made it seem otherwise for us. It a way, we have to give up the illusion of being particulate (khandha).


You interpret the Buddha's teaching on the aggregates in a way that it becomes eliminating the aggregates themselves, it is not something the Buddha himself said. And he could have never said it anyway. Why? Because speaking requires functioning aggregates.
"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 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:57 pm

catmoon wrote:Its an odd thing - suddenly threads all over the board are converging on a single topic - the nature of the self.

What does everyone think of the idea of locking them all and starting a new thread that would get everyone under one roof?


If you are happy to bring all raised issues under one thread without making the OP a huge one it sounds fine.
"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 PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:50 pm

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:This is not something the Buddha said. The Buddha might say that form is not my self (ditto with the rest of the aggregates). We are already incorporeal but clinging to the aggregates and believing that we consist of aggregates (sakkaya) has made it seem otherwise for us. It a way, we have to give up the illusion of being particulate (khandha).


You interpret the Buddha's teaching on the aggregates in a way that it becomes eliminating the aggregates themselves, it is not something the Buddha himself said. And he could have never said it anyway. Why? Because speaking requires functioning aggregates.


YES!!!
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