Mind versus Self?

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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:20 am

Son of Buddha wrote: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.


Yes, that is exactly whay I am saying, that when dependent origination perceives itself as such, then this is what is called Tathatā.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:04 am

futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: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.


Yes, that is exactly whay I am saying, that when dependent origination perceives itself as such, then this is what is called Tathatā.


Please be so kind as to post the canonical source of your view that "dependent origination perceives itself." I can hardly wait for your response.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:27 am

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: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.


Yes, that is exactly whay I am saying, that when dependent origination perceives itself as such, then this is what is called Tathatā.


Please be so kind as to post the canonical source of your view that "dependent origination perceives itself." I can hardly wait for your response.

What canon? It's not a sutrayana view.

edit: if you want a reference, I suggest reading Mipham's Beacon of Certainty - he makes it clear how the two truths are not seperate.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:50 am

futerko wrote:
edit: if you want a reference, I suggest reading Mipham's Beacon of Certainty - he makes it clear how the two truths are not seperate.


I would prefer the older, more traditional canon. It should be easy to find something in the Nikayas or the Agamas that mentions d.o. perceives itself.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:14 am

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:
edit: if you want a reference, I suggest reading Mipham's Beacon of Certainty - he makes it clear how the two truths are not seperate.


I would prefer the older, more traditional canon. It should be easy to find something in the Nikayas or the Agamas that mentions d.o. perceives itself.


It would seem a pretty basic consequence of the doctrine of no-self - what is it that perceives causality? - is if isn't consciousness then where does it state that it is something other than consciousness?

edit: If we approach it from the opposite angle - how is it possible for anything outside the causal chain to have any perception of causality? If something "eternal" was to come into contact with causality - then it would be changed by it, and therefore no longer eternal/unchanging.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:15 am

Son of Buddha wrote: 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?


You believe in a true self beyond the aggregates, that is fine for a Hindu or some other religion, but in Buddhism there is no such thing. See the explanation in Nagarjuna's main work: Investigation of Self and Things.

Also, from Mipham:

"If there were an independent self distinct from the five aggregates, it should be observable, but since no such self can be observed, we must deny its existence. Were there a self transcending the conditioned aggregates, it would not have the characteristics required to perform actions or to experience happiness and suffering, and so on; rather, it would be unconditioned, like space, beyond either benefit or harm."
(Individual Selflessness)

Son of Buddha wrote: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.


Speaking in English without using personal pronouns is possible, although weird. The difference is whether one takes "I" as something eternal, substantial, independent and real or just as a conventional word.
"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 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:03 pm

futerko wrote:
It would seem a pretty basic consequence of the doctrine of no-self - what is it that perceives causality? - is if isn't consciousness then where does it state that it is something other than consciousness?

edit: If we approach it from the opposite angle - how is it possible for anything outside the causal chain to have any perception of causality? If something "eternal" was to come into contact with causality - then it would be changed by it, and therefore no longer eternal/unchanging.


Please don't assume that I can follow you. Right now your thoughts about Buddhism are unclear to me. At least for me, they lack conceptual clarity. First, it would be helpful to tell me what you base your confidence upon with regard to the no-self doctrine outside of your beliefs and assumptions. You might provide me with a few credible references from the Nikayas as to what no-self really means, hopefully, from reputable translators like Bhikkhu Bodhi or I.B. Horner. Then we can go from there and have a conversation about your unusual theory.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:32 pm

Astus wrote:You believe in a true self beyond the aggregates, that is fine for a Hindu or some other religion, but in Buddhism there is no such thing.


This comes across to me as somewhat of put down. For those of us who have read reputable Buddhist scholars such as Pande and Hajime Nakamura, to name just a few, the doctrine of no-self was not in the original canon. It is part of postmortem Buddhism. Of the discourses I have read in the Samyutta-Nikaya, for example, the Buddha makes a clearcut distinction between the aggregates and his self. Self has nothing to do with the aggregates. In this sense the Buddha's self is beyond the reach and range of the aggregates. This also comports with the general English definition of "transcendent" of going beyond or exceeding usual limits. In this case, the limit would be the five aggregates which the Buddha says are "not my self."
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:47 pm

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:
It would seem a pretty basic consequence of the doctrine of no-self - what is it that perceives causality? - is if isn't consciousness then where does it state that it is something other than consciousness?

edit: If we approach it from the opposite angle - how is it possible for anything outside the causal chain to have any perception of causality? If something "eternal" was to come into contact with causality - then it would be changed by it, and therefore no longer eternal/unchanging.


Please don't assume that I can follow you. Right now your thoughts about Buddhism are unclear to me. At least for me, they lack conceptual clarity. First, it would be helpful to tell me what you base your confidence upon with regard to the no-self doctrine outside of your beliefs and assumptions. You might provide me with a few credible references from the Nikayas as to what no-self really means, hopefully, from reputable translators like Bhikkhu Bodhi or I.B. Horner. Then we can go from there and have a conversation about your unusual theory.

I'm not going to go over the whole of the Pali canon, neither is there a simple one-liner which describes the whole canon, and moreover, were I to provide a reference it would still be open to interpretation. The only thing I can really do is explain my understanding to you...

The aggregates of self, including consciousness are dependently originated. All form is dependently originated. So there are two possibilites here - either consciousness realises that it is part of the greater stream of dependent origination, or it doesn't realise this and believes itself to be a seperate, independent "self".

This is a complete theory of transcendence, it doesn't require an additional "true self" to be outside of the process, and the idea that there is some other, outer, true self, is exactly what is called "God" by other religions. If you want to add that then that is fine, but it makes the theory dualistic, theistic, and eternalistic, which is exactly what is refuted in the canon.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:21 pm

songhill wrote:This comes across to me as somewhat of put down. For those of us who have read reputable Buddhist scholars such as Pande and Hajime Nakamura, to name just a few, the doctrine of no-self was not in the original canon. It is part of postmortem Buddhism. Of the discourses I have read in the Samyutta-Nikaya, for example, the Buddha makes a clearcut distinction between the aggregates and his self. Self has nothing to do with the aggregates. In this sense the Buddha's self is beyond the reach and range of the aggregates. This also comports with the general English definition of "transcendent" of going beyond or exceeding usual limits. In this case, the limit would be the five aggregates which the Buddha says are "not my self."


I don't know what original canon you mean. Mahayana has a few large collections of canonical works and a number of generally accepted masters like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga and Vasubandhu. A self beyond the aggregates is accepted by none of them, nor even by Theravada.

There are the four seals of Dharma that define the minimum requirements of a doctrine to be considered in harmony with the Buddha's teachings. Here's a little explanation of it by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche: Buddhism in a Nutshell: The Four Seals of Dharma. And here's a short sutra summing it up: The Dharma-Seal Sutra Spoken by the Buddha for Ocean Dragon King.

You may insist on an ultimate self, but it contradicts the very basics of Buddhism. And to quote Mipham:

"If the self existed, the path to liberation would be impossible, because any system that professes belief in a self can not include a path for eliminating attachment to the self. If our attachment to self is not eliminated, our attachment to ‘mine’ will ensure that we never part from our clinging to the three realms, and it will therefore be impossible for us to find a means to gain freedom from samsara."
"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 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:18 pm

futerko wrote:I'm not going to go over the whole of the Pali canon, neither is there a simple one-liner which describes the whole canon, and moreover, were I to provide a reference it would still be open to interpretation. The only thing I can really do is explain my understanding to you...

The aggregates of self, including consciousness are dependently originated. All form is dependently originated. So there are two possibilites here - either consciousness realises that it is part of the greater stream of dependent origination, or it doesn't realise this and believes itself to be a seperate, independent "self".

This is a complete theory of transcendence, it doesn't require an additional "true self" to be outside of the process, and the idea that there is some other, outer, true self, is exactly what is called "God" by other religions. If you want to add that then that is fine, but it makes the theory dualistic, theistic, and eternalistic, which is exactly what is refuted in the canon.


I have problems with your terms such as "aggregates of self" The aggregates don't belong to the self. There is no such concept in the Pali canon. The term "attâ" when it is used in conjunction with the five aggregates by the Buddha is meant by him to be distinguished from them. The aggregates are said, by the Buddha, to be anattâ; not attâ. Scholars have noted this sharp distinction, the use of which by the Buddha is not outside of the bounds of the via negativa. In addition, the five aggregates are treated always in a pejorative way throughout the canon whereas self is not. They are even identified with Mara if you've read The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:32 pm

The aggrgates are not the self, the self is imputed onto the aggregates due to ignorance of the dependent originaion of phenomena. This same ignorance is being played out when you impute "Self" onto Buddhahood.

One can say that Buddhahood is dependently arisen if one takes the Upanisa Sutta teaching as explaining Buddhahood, but that's another Pandoras Box.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Astus wrote:
I don't know what original canon you mean. Mahayana has a few large collections of canonical works and a number of generally accepted masters like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga and Vasubandhu. A self beyond the aggregates is accepted by none of them, nor even by Theravada.


The oldest canon is arguably the Pali Nikayas and the Agamas (some Sutras have been put back into Sanskrit). The self/attâ/âtma is never associated with the five aggregates, i.e., the finite psycho-physical organism which worldlings crave continually. I am familiar enough with the Mahayana canon to know, without a doubt, that it teaches transcendence.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:49 pm

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:I'm not going to go over the whole of the Pali canon, neither is there a simple one-liner which describes the whole canon, and moreover, were I to provide a reference it would still be open to interpretation. The only thing I can really do is explain my understanding to you...

The aggregates of self, including consciousness are dependently originated. All form is dependently originated. So there are two possibilites here - either consciousness realises that it is part of the greater stream of dependent origination, or it doesn't realise this and believes itself to be a seperate, independent "self".

This is a complete theory of transcendence, it doesn't require an additional "true self" to be outside of the process, and the idea that there is some other, outer, true self, is exactly what is called "God" by other religions. If you want to add that then that is fine, but it makes the theory dualistic, theistic, and eternalistic, which is exactly what is refuted in the canon.


I have problems with your terms such as "aggregates of self" The aggregates don't belong to the self. There is no such concept in the Pali canon. The term "attâ" when it is used in conjunction with the five aggregates by the Buddha is meant by him to be distinguished from them. The aggregates are said, by the Buddha, to be anattâ; not attâ. Scholars have noted this sharp distinction, the use of which by the Buddha is not outside of the bounds of the via negativa. In addition, the five aggregates are treated always in a pejorative way throughout the canon whereas self is not. They are even identified with Mara if you've read The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi.


Firstly, a minor point, but Bhikkhu Bodhi practices Theravada, so it may not facilitate a simple equivalence of terms.

More importantly, I agree that the aggregates are anattâ, but as consciousness is one of these aggregates what do you mean by the word "self"? I have no concept of the word self that exists in the sense in which you seem to be using it. The aggregates include everything that constitutes the concept of a person/individual/subject/identity/being - so if we are talking about a via negativa, then the designation "true self" would seem to misrepresent that completely.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:05 pm

I do wonder, if Buddha told people he took his tea with no sugar - did they ask how many no-sugar he wanted in his tea!!!
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby oushi » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:20 pm

futerko wrote:I do wonder, if Buddha told people he took his tea with no sugar - did they ask how many no-sugar he wanted in his tea!!!

Without sugar, but sweet.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

futerko wrote:
Firstly, a minor point, but Bhikkhu Bodhi practices Theravada, so it may not facilitate a simple equivalence of terms.

More importantly, I agree that the aggregates are anattâ, but as consciousness is one of these aggregates what do you mean by the word "self"? I have no concept of the word self that exists in the sense in which you seem to be using it. The aggregates include everything that constitutes the concept of a person/individual/subject/identity/being - so if we are talking about a via negativa, then the designation "true self" would seem to misrepresent that completely.


It is the worldling who produceds the five aggregates according to the Buddha. By the same token the Buddha and his disciples spiritually disassociate themselves from them. Following this out, when a worldling asks, "What is self?" the metric for cognizing the self is never other than the aggregates (e.g., shape, feeling, or perception, etc.). Right away we can see a major problem. The aggregates can neither judge nor perceive—even know—the self. So enters the necessity of the via negativa. I will abandon desire for whatever is no-self/anâtta which are the five aggregates. Is Futerko, rupa on down to vijñâna? No, he is not. The authentic first-person, when stripped of the aggregates by the via negative, becomes itself and not other.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:16 pm

songhill wrote:It is the worldling who produceds the five aggregates according to the Buddha. By the same token the Buddha and his disciples spiritually disassociate themselves from them. Following this out, when a worldling asks, "What is self?" the metric for cognizing the self is never other than the aggregates (e.g., shape, feeling, or perception, etc.). Right away we can see a major problem. The aggregates can neither judge nor perceive—even know—the self. So enters the necessity of the via negativa. I will abandon desire for whatever is no-self/anâtta which are the five aggregates. Is Futerko, rupa on down to vijñâna? No, he is not. The authentic first-person, when stripped of the aggregates by the via negative, becomes itself and not other.
It becomes no-self not itself. There is no self outside of the five aggregates, the Buddha teaches this quite clearly.
"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 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:21 pm

songhill wrote: Is Futerko, rupa on down to vijñâna? No, he is not. The authentic first-person, when stripped of the aggregates by the via negative, becomes itself and not other.


Suppose, for each of you those aggregates have been stripped away,
what elements or characteristics or components,
at that stripped-down point,
distinguishes the "true self" of Futerko
from the "true self" of Songhill?
If there are any such distinguishing differences
then these must also be components and thus not really the true self after all.
If there are no such distinguishing differences
then Futerko and Songhill are the same "true self"
and thus, no characteristic that can be regarded as a "self".
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:46 pm

"Astus"
Son of Buddha wrote: 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?


You believe in a true self beyond the aggregates, that is fine for a Hindu or some other religion, but in Buddhism there is no such thing. See the explanation in Nagarjuna's main work: Investigation of Self and Things.

Also, from Mipham:

"If there were an independent self distinct from the five aggregates, it should be observable, but since no such self can be observed, we must deny its existence. Were there a self transcending the conditioned aggregates, it would not have the characteristics required to perform actions or to experience happiness and suffering, and so on; rather, it would be unconditioned, like space, beyond either benefit or harm."
(Individual Selflessness)


(1) the 5 aggreagates themselves are apart of D.O and are from ignorance so are you saying Enlightenement is apart of D.O and ignorance?if not then they are beyond the 5 aggreagates which are produced from Ignorance.
what?? it wouldnt be observable thats the reason its outside the 5 aggreagates that one would USE to observe.this doesnt make any sense,how would "I" observe the Self/Enlightenement when it is outside the observable(5 aggreagates)?as the Lotus sutra says (chapter 2) "I will say no more.Why?Because what the Buddha has acheived is the rarest and most difficult to understand Law.The true entity of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between Buddhas"

okay....then your statment continues to go on and say "since no self can be observed,we must deny its existance" REALLY so i suppose I must deny the existance of Enlightenement since it(Enlightenment) CANNOT be understood by me or anyone who is NOT enlightened(as is what the Lotus sutra says).why stop there I cannot observe many things in life or in Buddhism should i deny them also?

then your statement continues to go on saying that this self outside of the 5 aggreagtes would be unconditioned(as if being unconditioned is a bad thing)
you do realise that enlightenement is Unconditioned dont you?this in fact supports what i am saying.


"Astus"
Son of Buddha wrote: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.


Speaking in English without using personal pronouns is possible, although weird. The difference is whether one takes "I" as something eternal, substantial, independent and real or just as a conventional word.


agreed the "i" that clings to the 5 aggreagates is D.O. the 5 aggregates themself are D.O and come from ignorance.
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