Mind versus Self?

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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:33 am

Bodhidharma, Wake-up Sermon, Red Pine translation wrote:If you understand anything, you don’t understand. Only when you understand nothing is it true understanding. Understanding is neither understanding nor not understanding.
The sutras say, "Not to let go of wisdom is stupidity." When the mind doesn't exist, understanding and not understanding are both true.

So, being scientifically trained I like to use experiments to prove a point, maybe you will indulge me? You will try to let go of wisdom and I will try to continue cultivating wisdom and we'll meet up in, let's say five years time, and compare notes on our progress towards realisation. Sound cool to you?
:namaste:
PS I would like to see a reference to the sutra quoted in the Red Pine translation, surely it must exist somewhere as a footnote.
PPS There is something else that is gained via realisation: boundless compassion.
"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 oushi » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:50 am

So, being scientifically trained I like to use experiments to prove a point, maybe you will indulge me? You will try to let go of wisdom and I will try to continue cultivating wisdom and we'll meet up in, let's say five years time, and compare notes on our progress towards realisation. Sound cool to you?

I can wait, no problem with that :smile: . I wish you good luck!
PS I would like to see a reference to the sutra quoted in the Red Pine translation, surely it must exist somewhere as a footnote.

I would love to see it too, but unfortunately this version doesn't have it. Maybe somebody reading this thread will know more about it. That would be great.
PPS There is something else that is gained via realisation: boundless compassion.

Unconditioned and undifferentiated by meaning, or importance. How marvelous.

With best wishes:
When the mortal mind appears, buddhahood disappears. When the mortal mind disappears, buddhahood appears. When the mind appears, reality disappears. When the mind disappears, reality appears. Whoever knows that nothing depends on anything has found the Way. And whoever knows that the mind depends on nothing is always at the place of enlightenment. - Bodhidharma
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:57 am

oushi wrote:Unconditioned and undifferentiated by meaning, or importance. How marvelous.
:zzz:
PS I would be willing to bet that the Red Pine translation is a bit off in choosing the term wisdom instead of knowledge. If the term knowledge was used the Bodhidharma quotes would make more sense from a canonical perspective.
"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 PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:08 pm

That Book by Red Pine The Zen Teachings Of Bodhidharma reprints the actual Chinese book pages along with English Translation. But it is helpful to read that whole book, you you get a better understanding of Bodhidharma's style of expressing what he means. He is both straightforwardly blunt, at the same time, just the words alone cannot be taken at face value. So, when he says something like, "If you understand anything, you don’t understand" you have to read that in context.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby anjali » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:46 pm

greentara wrote:Anjali, You're quoting Ramana Maharshi. He is often spoken of as an Advaitic sage but his devotion was just as pronounced. Certainly his love for Arunachala was total.
"What did it profit thee to choose me from all those struggling in samsara. Ocean of grace even to think of thee puts me to shame'

I'm a bit surprised that a number of people here seem to be rather familiar with Ramana Maharshi and his teachings. Yes, most people don't realize how beautiful his devotional side was. His Marital Garland of Letters and other hymns to Arunachala are truly touching in their devotional outpouring. A reminder that wisdom and devotion go hand in hand.

But this takes us a bit off topic...
  • The object of the game is to go on playing it. --John Von Neumann
  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby anjali » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:50 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
anjali wrote:Apparently, the problem is that it is simple. In fact, it's too simple and we don't believe it! A long time ago I read a quote by an advaita sage that made a lasting impression on me, "A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts." :rolling:

Here is the full quote, "There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be the day you laugh is also here and now."

:cheers:


Yes, and those that are looking for a buddha outside Buddhism need look no further than this sage, Shri Ramana Maharshi. Anyone with the slightest experience of mahamudra or dzogchen understanding will immediately recognize what he is pointing to time and again.


Yes, indeed. :smile:
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  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:05 pm

"futerko"]
Son of Buddha wrote: No the person is an identity or personality.
it is that identity/personality which is clung to the 5 aggregates that makes a worldy person
This aspect is two-fold. Belief that objects have self/identity and are consistent and unchanging from moment to moment sets up a division between subject and object where both are mistakenly seen as consistent.
By contrast "true Mind" views all of these apparent phenomena in a state of interdependent flux. This incidentally answers the OP.


yes the True Self/True Mind(inheriently arisen) view all dependent arisen phenomena in a state of interdependent flux(impermenance)

futerko
Son of Buddha wrote: really so believing that there is an ultimate essence is ignorance and the very cause of Samsara. I could of swore anything that was dependently arisen/dependent origination was ignorance and the very cause of Samsara.the 12 links of dependent origination has as its root and source ignorance,everything that is dependently arisen is rooted and produced in ignorance
The cause of samsara is in failing to perceive dependent origination. Dependent origination and "essence" are the same. Its essence is that nothing ever arises but is mere appearance - ignorance is a failure to realize this.


the cause of samsara isnt failing to preceive dependent orgination.
WHO is failing to precieve D.O.?you are implying that there IS a false self(tainted personality/identity"i" ego)that exists for itself to preceive dependent orgination.)
hence you are Saying that what IS D.O. IS preceiveing D.O. and that once this D.O. preceives D.O it will be the end of Samsara.even though what is preceiving D.O is actually D.O itself.
what you are saying is the cause of Samsara is the personality self("I" ego) that is itself dependently originated is failing to preceive the rest of dependent origination.

futerko
Son of Buddha wrote: it is not the True Self I speak of which is the Dharmakaya the body of attributes that which is NOT dependently arisen from Ignorance.
Dharmakaya is non-dual, empty of conceptuality, and free of all characteristics, hence NOT self.


yes Dharmakaya is free from all the characteristics of the compounded Samsara that is based on everything that is Dependently Arisen.
every thing that is Dependently arisen is impermenant,none eternal,none everlasting and IS subject to change these are all the characteristics of what a self is not
so we can say Dependent origination/dependent ariseing does not fit the discription of what the self is.it is fact the opposite.

SO is the Dharmakaya that which is dependently arisen(D.O)????is Dharmakaya impermenant,not eternal,not everlasting,and is the Dharmakaya subject to change?
NO the Dharmakaya is Permenant,eternal,everlasting,and is not subject to change=it is the True Self.

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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:20 pm

Be careful not to mix up "caused by" and 'results from".
For example, samsara results (partly) from not perceiving dependent origination.
But not perceiving dependent origination doesn't "cause" samsara.

Likewise the statement,
"everything that is dependently arisen is rooted and produced in ignorance"
more accurately, would be:
"everything that is dependently arisen is rooted results from ignorance",
as 'ignorance", being the absense of wisdom, doesn't actually produce anything.

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careful wording often prevents needless disagreement

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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:50 pm

"Astus"
Son of Buddha wrote:No the person is an identity or personality.
it is that identity/personality which is clung to the 5 aggregates that makes a worldy person

That is your interpretation, not mine. If there were a self beyond the aggregates it had nothing to do with the aggregates themselves, could not even cling to them. That is because such a self would exist separately from the aggregates and wouldn't need them for its existence at all, nor have the attributes of the aggregates. That includes attachment itself, which is a function of the fourth aggregate (samskara).


Yes a True Self that exists beyond the aggreagates.
clinging to aggregates is listed as apart of dependent orgination which is rooted in ignorance.
the aggreagates themselves are apart of dependent origination the 5 aggreagates have as their souce ingorance,ignorance as their origin,they are born and produced from ignorance.
so if the 5 aggreagates are actually sourced,originate,anbd are born and produced from ignorance how does that fit into your views?

Astus
Son of Buddha wrote:really so believing that there is an ultimate essence is ignorance and the very cause of Samsara. I could of swore anything that was dependently arisen/dependent origination was ignorance and the very cause of Samsara.the 12 links of dependent origination has as its root and source ignorance,everything that is dependently arisen is rooted and produced in ignorance
so in your view if the Buddha/Emptiness is dependently arisen then he is produced from ignorance.

There are the twelve links of dependent origination but it is only a specific instance of dependent origination/interdependency. The Buddhist path itself is based on causes and effects, however, it leads to liberation and not suffering. The cause of enlightenment is the path of morality, meditation and wisdom, the direct cause is the very realisation of dependent origination.


So WHO is the one that is realising dependent orgination?
YOU STATED:(down below) "Again, I don't speak of any self that clings to the aggregates, it is something you do"
you rely more on this tainted self than i do my friend,"i" cannot realise Dependent origination,"i" cannot realise enlightenement for the "i" itself IS the property of Samsara.your view is of a self that is realising something as if the "I" truely is real.


Astus
Son of Buddha wrote:also the "self" you speak of that clings to the 5 aggreagates is the worldly "i" personality/identity that thinks Astus will always be permenant,everlasting and unchanging this is called the super ego where one views his SELF as "I" have attained the highest.
this is the false self
it is not the True Self I speak of which is the Dharmakaya the body of attributes that which is NOT dependently arisen from Ignorance.

Again, I don't speak of any self that clings to the aggregates, it is something you do. Perhaps it is not clear for you what the aggregates actually are. They cover all the physical and mental functions that exist. That is, the five sensory faculties of the body, and every mental phenomenon from basic feelings and thoughts through complex ideas up to consciousness. There is in fact nothing else in this whole world. But if you think there is, well, let me know. Personally I have no knowledge of anything that is either not a physical object, a mental object or consciousness. Of course, if it is something else, nobody can see it, hear it, feel it or know about it.


im clear the the 5 aggregates themselves have as their source Ignorance,they have ignorance as their origin,they are born and produced from ignorance.

oh yes there is nothing else in this wolrd but the worldly impermenance of dependent origination.of course "you" wouldnt have knowledge of anything that is either not a physical object a mental object or consciousness.
"i" also have no knowledge of such things.

"Astus" "Again, I don't speak of any self that clings to the aggregates, it is something you do"
for not speaking of any self that clings to worldly dependent orgination you sure do rely on it alot.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:51 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote: "everything that is dependently arisen is rooted results from ignorance",
as 'ignorance", being the absense of wisdom, doesn't actually produce anything.


I have to disagree with this gloss of avidya. Avidya is a vitiated knowing, not an absence of knowing. If it was a total absence of knowing, it could not be experienced. From the point of view of dependent origination, avidya is certainly the necessary condition for samskara to arise.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:57 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote: "everything that is dependently arisen is rooted results from ignorance",
as 'ignorance", being the absense of wisdom, doesn't actually produce anything.
famous fortune cookie says:
careful wording often prevents needless disagreement



Majjhima Nikaya Culasihanada sutta 11(Ven Bodhi translation)
dependent Orgination(its lists the links)"have ignorance as their source,ignorance as their origin,they are born and produced from ignorance.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Punya » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:20 pm

wayland wrote:
SittingSilent wrote:However, as a student of Buddhism I am learning that the self doesn't exist, something which I am willing to accept,
Ethan

Hi Ethan,
Much gets said about what exists/doesn't exist in Buddhism, most of which is a complete waste of time in my opinion. Self is very simple to witness and anyone who pays some attention will see that it is a process, a response. When we are offended, we recoil in anger. When desirous objects appear to us, we want them, and so on. It's not intellectual, the same responses can be seen in insects etc.

In Buddhism we speak of a self-grasping mind or clinging and this is exactly what we do. We take ownership of this response/process. It is 'ours' and we define ourselves by it. We think that we are a certain kind of person who likes/dislikes certain things etc.

In meditation this grasping, this tightness loosens. We start to relinquish our ownership of the whole thing. We come to see it as 'not-self' - nothing to do with us - something we can let go of.

This makes me think of the Zen koan "What becomes of the fist when the hand is unclenched?"

If the simplicity of this is not seen we may find ourselves asking where the fist went. Did it exist, or didn't it exist? Does it both exist and not exist? Does it neither exist nor not exist... or am I just asking idiotic self-defeating questions? :smile:
:namaste:


Thank you for this post wayland. For me it's a very helpful explanation of self.
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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:25 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:I have to disagree with this gloss of avidya. Avidya is a vitiated knowing, not an absence of knowing. If it was a total absence of knowing, it could not be experienced. From the point of view of dependent origination, avidya is certainly the necessary condition for samskara to arise.
It's an absence of "correct" knowing.
: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 Karma Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:30 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:I have to disagree with this gloss of avidya. Avidya is a vitiated knowing, not an absence of knowing. If it was a total absence of knowing, it could not be experienced. From the point of view of dependent origination, avidya is certainly the necessary condition for samskara to arise.
It's an absence of "correct" knowing.
:namaste:


No, it's confused knowing... mistaking what doesn't exist for existent. Ignorance is not a mere absence, it is an active cognitive decision.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:43 pm

:zzz: viewtopic.php?f=77&t=10864&start=380#p146476 If you're going to engage in discussion it is a good idea to read all of the discussion. Now where have I said that before? :thinking:
"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 Karma Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:24 pm

gregkavarnos wrote::zzz: viewtopic.php?f=77&t=10864&start=380#p146476 If you're going to engage in discussion it is a good idea to read all of the discussion. Now where have I said that before? :thinking:


And what part of "I disagree with you" are you missing in what I wrote, exactly?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:22 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote: "everything that is dependently arisen is rooted results from ignorance",
as 'ignorance", being the absense of wisdom, doesn't actually produce anything.
famous fortune cookie says:
careful wording often prevents needless disagreement



Majjhima Nikaya Culasihanada sutta 11(Ven Bodhi translation)
dependent Orgination(its lists the links)"have ignorance as their source,ignorance as their origin,they are born and produced from ignorance.


I am not disagreeing with this point.
But what is "ignorance"?
As an English language word, it means not knowing (gnosis)
What is the Pali that is translated as ignorance? avijjānusaya.
So, whether you say it is a lack of knowing. or vitiated (impaired) knowledge,
the point is not having the correct knowledge.
This results in samsara, but it is not a producing thing.
"not knowing" isn't composed of anything.
It's a hole.
It's like, when you are out of money, you can't say,
"how much money don't I have?
Hmmm..I cannot buy a fleet of battleships, so I must really not have a whole lot of money".
.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:44 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:And what part of "I disagree with you" are you missing in what I wrote, exactly?
Aha... Now this is where the problem lies you see. It is not a matter of disgreeing with me, I do no make up the defintions of the terms, you may wish to take up that issue with some 2500 years of Buddhist practitioners and scholars. I am not even a pimple on the butt of all of this my friend! I don't make this stuff up, I couldn't claim to even have 1/1000,000th of the capacity to do that! You, unfortunately for both of us, are shooting the messenger.
: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 Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:48 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am not disagreeing with this point.
But what is "ignorance"?
As an English language word, it means not knowing (gnosis)
What is the Pali that is translated as ignorance? avijjānusaya.
So, whether you say it is a lack of knowing. or vitiated (impaired) knowledge,
the point is not having the correct knowledge.
This results in samsara, but it is not a producing thing.
"not knowing" isn't composed of anything.
It's a hole.
And where does wrong view fit into this then? The prerequisite of wrong view is ignorance. So ignorance, while being a lack of knowing, seems to be the precondition or cause of "mis-knowing" or vitiated knowledge as our friend Karma Dorje (we have the same Dharma name you know, 'ccept mine has a sherab before the dorje ;) ) so correctly called it.
: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 Karma Dorje » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:23 am

The point I am trying to make is that avidya is not a mere absence of correct knowledge where there is no knowledge present but rather it is a kind of knowledge so exuberant that it loses track of itself and mistakes one of its products for itself. It brings to mind the line (from an upadesha whose name I can't recollect):

"Homage to the light that illuminates even ignorance."

It's true that ignorance is not a substantive cause, because phenomena do not in actuality unfold from it but merely appear to, but conventionally we can speak of it producing the mental formations arising from it because it is their necessary condition.
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