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 songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:01 am

Astus wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Another attempt to deflect the question, another round of dancing around the subject, another four pages without receiving a straight answer. :zzz:


So it is. Since I have presented both logical and canonical sources that literally state that there is no "true self" in Buddhism I see no need to keep repeating it. Let me know once someone has come up with a clear answer to what that self is they claim to exist.


So far your convictions seems to be built upon impermanence, suffering and what is not the self which marks all of the five aggregates. If this is what you believe to be the heart of the Buddha's teaching, doesn't it seem rather dismal to you? Where is redemption in this bleak outlook?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:03 am

songhill wrote:
Astus wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Another attempt to deflect the question, another round of dancing around the subject, another four pages without receiving a straight answer. :zzz:


So it is. Since I have presented both logical and canonical sources that literally state that there is no "true self" in Buddhism I see no need to keep repeating it. Let me know once someone has come up with a clear answer to what that self is they claim to exist.


So far your convictions seems to be built upon impermanence, suffering and what is not the self which marks all of the five aggregates. If this is what you believe to be the heart of the Buddha's teaching, doesn't it seem rather dismal to you? Where is redemption in this bleak outlook?


What are you trying to redeem? What is there to be redeemed from?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:10 am

Azidonis wrote:
songhill wrote:Let me reframe the question. Has the tathagata abandoned, in short, all of the five aggregates?


What is there to abandon anything? If the skandhas aggregate (easier than saying if the aggregates aggregate), and create a hologram, then what goes is the hologram.

To say that a Tathagata doesn't have thoughts, or sense impressions of any kind, would imply that a Tathagata is a synonym for corpse, and it isn't.

Nirvana means, "blowing out" or "blown out", and Tathagata means, "thus gone". Poof, no more hologram. No more personal reference point. The sense of individuality that makes us seem to appear as separate from the universe (ie. self vs not-self) is no longer there. The filter is gone. Likewise then, all preferences are gone, for preferences are based upon what is necessary to create and continually sustain the hologram, which is gone.


It seems to me that your response makes two points. First, life is a hologram and second the blowing out of the hologram that comes with biological death is somehow salvation. But I would like to go back to my reframed question, hopeful that you will give me a simple yes or no answer. Has the tathagata abandoned, in short, all of the five aggregates?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:15 am

Azidonis wrote:
What are you trying to redeem? What is there to be redeemed from?


I am using the term in its religious sense, that is, deliverance from bondage. Please ignore all of my comments if you don't find Buddhism to be, foremost, a religion of redemption. :tongue:
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:40 am

songhill wrote:It seems to me that your response makes two points. First, life is a hologram and second the blowing out of the hologram that comes with biological death is somehow salvation.


That is completely erroneous, and not even partially what I wrote.

songhill wrote:But I would like to go back to my reframed question, hopeful that you will give me a simple yes or no answer. Has the tathagata abandoned, in short, all of the five aggregates?


A tathagata has no impetus to abandon anything.

If you are asking if a tathagata had to abandon something order to 'become' a tathagata, then I have to say that your question is simply irrelevant to a tathagata.

songhill wrote:
Azidonis wrote:
What are you trying to redeem? What is there to be redeemed from?


I am using the term in its religious sense, that is, deliverance from bondage. Please ignore all of my comments if you don't find Buddhism to be, foremost, a religion of redemption. :tongue:


You are worried about this sense of bondage, and trying to medicate yourself by dealing with the symptoms of bondage instead of the cause of the bondage. The sense of self is the cause of the sense of bondage. You can take as many medications as you like, do sadhana until you are blue in the face, but you are not treating the illness itself, only its symptoms.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:09 am

Azidonis wrote:The sense of self is the cause of the sense of bondage. You can take as many medications as you like, do sadhana until you are blue in the face, but you are not treating the illness itself, only its symptoms.


At least from what the canon presents, strictly speaking, the "sense of self is not the sense of bondage" rather bondage lies in regarding the five aggregates as the self when they are not the self, or not my self (na meso attâ). In addition, there is bondage to thought, fancies and discursive consciousness. We are even in bondage to our delusions (moha), not to mention hatred, and volition.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:19 am

Azidonis wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:23 pages later and nobody has been willing to offer a serious answer to this question. It is probabaly the seventh time (at least) that it has been asked and it'll be the seventh time (at least) that it won't be answered.
:namaste:


That's why I asked it again. It seems this entire thread revolves around this one question, which those who want to continually maintain a definite existence of a self, or ghost in the shell, are dancing around constantly.
(AND)
Where is this "Self"?

Can anyone show it to me?


Azidonis nobody is dancing around your question for 23 pages this question has been answered repeatedly

WHO is seeking the Self?
WHO is asking for it to be shown to them?
the answer is the false worldy self that is based off the 5 aggregates of Dependent orgination is seeking.this WHO(you) is apart of Samsara itself.its that which clings to the 5 aggregates which are themselves derived from ignorance(one of the 3 poisons).
which is why I posted the Lotus sutra qoute to you.

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"

This qoute shows you that "you" "i" or any personality/identity that is based on the 5 aggreagates CANNOT understand the True Self which is Enlightenment for Enlightenment(True Self) is beyond observation of the "i" personaility conciousness based on the the 5 aggreagtes.

so when you or anyone asks us WHY "I" cant observe the Self,I simply point to the sutras that also tell you that the "i"(you) that is based on 5 aggreagtes CANNOT observe the True entity of all Phenomena cause (it) can ONLY be understood and shared between Buddhas(Enlightenened)

do you know why?this is because they(Buddhas/Enlightenment) are outside the 5 aggregates which have as their source Ignorance,as their origin Ignorance and are born and produced from ignorance.(look up and study 12 links of Dependent origination to see the 5 aggregates have their origin in ignorance,also look up the 3 poisons which states the Buddha has no (ignorance,greed,anger)the 5 aggregates consiuosness(you)are from ignorance,and the Buddha/Enlightenement is outside and beyond Ignorance(your 5 aggreagate conciousness)which is why the Lotus sutra chapt 2 states what it states.

Hence Enlightenent/True Self is outside your realm of preception=which is based on Dependent origination.

also i ask you
(1)is a Buddhas enlightenment Permenent or impermenant?(does the Buddha Lose his enlightenement)
(2)is the Buddhas Enlightenment Eternal/everlasting or does enlightenement cease?
(3)is Enlightenment unchanging or does it change?(note if it changes then that means it is apart of D.O since it changes dependent upon object/preception which would mean enlightenment has its origin in Ignorance)

Do you Azidonis accept that this question has not been "danced around" and that the answer that has been provided?

Peace and Love
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:26 am

Son of Buddha wrote:WHO is seeking the Self?
WHO is asking for it to be shown to them?
the answer is the false worldy self that is based off the 5 aggregates of Dependent orgination is seeking.this WHO(you) is apart of Samsara itself.its that which clings to the 5 aggregates which are themselves derived from ignorance(one of the 3 poisons).


Show it to me. Show me the "me who is a part of samsara".

Where is it? In the head? In the heart? In the right big toe?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:43 am

Azidonis wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:WHO is seeking the Self?
WHO is asking for it to be shown to them?
the answer is the false worldy self that is based off the 5 aggregates of Dependent orgination is seeking.this WHO(you) is apart of Samsara itself.its that which clings to the 5 aggregates which are themselves derived from ignorance(one of the 3 poisons).


Show it to me. Show me the "me who is a part of samsara".

Where is it? In the head? In the heart? In the right big toe?


well the you that is apart of Samsara is based on the 12 links of dependent origination (Conciousness/Name & form)and of as right now "you" are experienceing "you"

and of course the rest of you comment has actually nothing to do with the True Self(Enlightenment)

also you didnt answer my questions nor did you reply to the Lotus sutra passages which supports every single thing I am telling you.

oh by the way the blind man doesnt see the color red hmmmm.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:09 am

songhill wrote:Let me reframe the question. Has the tathagata abandoned, in short, all of the five aggregates?

Very good, Suhuti! Just as you say...
(sorry, your question reminded me of the Diamond Sutra)
The tathagatha has no need to either abandon nor not abandon the five aggregates.
Why is this?
Because the tathagata perceives that the five aggregates are insubstantial.
They are like an illusion.
therefore, they are nothing to to either abandon nor not abandon.
perceiving that the five aggregates are insubstantial
is essentially the same as not clinging to them.
there is nothing in them that can be called "me' or "mine".

abandoning nor not abandoning, these two extremes,
can only be considered if one regards them as having some substantial quality to begin with
which can be either abandoned nor not abandoned.

But, you are never going to agree to this.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby jeeprs » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:16 am

A never-ending debate. If only there w a way to convert the heat into energy, we would finally have a Perpetual Motion machine.
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:54 am

Son of Buddha wrote:well the you that is apart of Samsara is based on the 12 links of dependent origination (Conciousness/Name & form)and of as right now "you" are experienceing "you"


Right now "I' am experiencing what appears to be "I".

Son of Buddha wrote:and of course the rest of you comment has actually nothing to do with the True Self(Enlightenment)


You keep saying there is a self, but you cannot prove it. The best you have come up with so far is an equivalent of Tat tvam asi.

Son of Buddha wrote:also you didnt answer my questions nor did you reply to the Lotus sutra passages which supports every single thing I am telling you.


I didn't answer it because you used it as a support for your ghost in the shell ("True Self") argument.

You say it is there, an actual tangible 'thing' called the "True Self", and I say it is not.

There is an appearance of a 'self' (or thinker), that is created by the aggregation of the aggregates. But you cannot take that 'self' out of someone's body, and actually examine it. It is not an actual thing. The image of a self that you have - the 'you' that you call 'you' is just that - an image.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:27 am

Son of Buddha wrote: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 canonly be understood and shared between Buddhas"
I think we can agree on this statement, so in the light of this, which version seems more feasable?

This idea of some eternal "true" self like a soul as opposed to the aggregates - is that difficult to understand or not? Compare that to what PadmaVonSamba wrote;

PadmaVonSamba wrote:You can put the label "self" on anything you like,
but if you define 'self' as an independently arising state of cognition
you cannot arrive at any final point that is the self.
If you want to know
"who is the one that is aware (buddha) of its own "non-self" nature?
at that point, there is no distinction between that which perceives and that which is perceived
so the question then becomes moot.
There is no arising of 'self' because anything which would stand in relation to that 'self',
and which would thus define it,
is also "understood" as having no intrinsic self (likewise doesn't arise) either.
Even the "understood' part does not arise as a conceptual thing.

The first is dualistic and gives us something to cling to, the second is non-dual and gives us nothing to cling to.

So we have one idea which is pretty straightforward and another which is not so easy to understand - which do the sutras refer to?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:31 am

futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: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 canonly be understood and shared between Buddhas"
I think we can agree on this statement, so in the light of this, which version seems more feasable?

This idea of some eternal "true" self like a soul as opposed to the aggregates - is that difficult to understand or not? Compare that to what PadmaVonSamba wrote;

PadmaVonSamba wrote:You can put the label "self" on anything you like,
but if you define 'self' as an independently arising state of cognition
you cannot arrive at any final point that is the self.
If you want to know
"who is the one that is aware (buddha) of its own "non-self" nature?
at that point, there is no distinction between that which perceives and that which is perceived
so the question then becomes moot.
There is no arising of 'self' because anything which would stand in relation to that 'self',
and which would thus define it,
is also "understood" as having no intrinsic self (likewise doesn't arise) either.
Even the "understood' part does not arise as a conceptual thing.

The first is dualistic and gives us something to cling to, the second is non-dual and gives us nothing to cling to.

So we have one idea which is pretty straightforward and another which is not so easy to understand - which do the sutras refer to?


The second, imo.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:44 am

Moreover, the idea that "the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self" (Ananda Sutta) could also be read two ways;

Firstly we could say that one cannot find oneself in phenomena, and yet this "self" still exists elsewhere in the ether - again a simple idea that results in dualism and gives us something to cling to.

Or we could read it as meaning that nothing whatsoever establishes a self-identity, which is also consistent with dependent origination - and which results in a rather harder to fathom non-dual idea which leaves us with nothing to cling to.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:13 am

Azidonis wrote:Where is this "Self"?

Can anyone show it to me?

When I look for it, all I see are thoughts about thought, and thoughts about a Self.

I do not see a Self, about which there are thoughts.

That doesn't mean that there's not some human body sitting here typing. It just means that there is no central core inside of that body, that one might call a Self.


Maybe you should ask, "Where is the Tathagatha?" after he has abandoned all of the five aggregates which he does in the Aggivacchagotta Sutta (a short version of it is on Accesstoinsight http://goo.gl/hspU1). It's fairly safe to say not only can we not describe the self in terms of the aggregates, we can't describe the Tathagata either. This is rather astonishing. :sage:
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:46 am

songhill wrote:
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.


I agree with you that this is indeed an important step - to seperate oneself from the mass of views, but at the same time it cannot be the ultimate due to the fact that it clings to a fixed and seperate point of reference. The Mula Sutta,

The Blessed One said, "Monks, if those who have gone forth in other sects ask you, 'In what are all phenomena rooted? What is their coming into play? What is their origination? What is their meeting place? What is their presiding state? What is their governing principle? What is their surpassing state? What is their heartwood? Where do they gain a footing? What is their final end?': On being asked this by those who have gone forth in other sects, this is how you should answer them:

"'All phenomena are rooted in desire.
"'All phenomena come into play through attention.
"'All phenomena have contact as their origination.
"'All phenomena have feeling as their meeting place.
"'All phenomena have concentration as their presiding state.
"'All phenomena have mindfulness as their governing principle.
"'All phenomena have discernment as their surpassing state.
"'All phenomena have release as their heartwood.
"'All phenomena gain their footing in the deathless.
"'All phenomena have Unbinding as their final end.'

"On being asked this by those who have gone forth in other sects, this is how you should answer."


This seems to make it quite clear that Buddha is not talking about salvation for a seperate eternal self which rejects the phenomenal finite world.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:05 am

futerko wrote:
This seems to make it quite clear that Buddha is not talking about salvation for a seperate eternal self which rejects the phenomenal finite world.


The via negativa rests solidly on the ground that one does not have to establish the transcendent (the via positiva), whatever we wish to call it, names, being only signifiers. According to the Buddha "you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self" (http://goo.gl/BGpgN). This is clearly a recipie for the via negativa which is a means of escaping from the painful five aggregates and rebirth.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:07 am

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:
This seems to make it quite clear that Buddha is not talking about salvation for a seperate eternal self which rejects the phenomenal finite world.


The via negativa rests solidly on the ground that one does not have to establish the transcendent (the via positiva), whatever we wish to call it, names, being only signifiers. According to the Buddha "you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self" (http://goo.gl/BGpgN). This is clearly a recipie for the via negativa which is a means of escaping from the painful five aggregates and rebirth.


So this still leaves the same issue. The idea that the transcendent is the via positiva, also called the "true self" is not necessarily a consequence of such reasoning. It is entirely plausible that there is no positive "other" dimension, and that what is called "transcendence" here is not an actual escape to somewhere else - the description I gave of consciousness recognising itself as dependently originated and not seperate is already transcendent and immanent at the same time, hence non-dual.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:27 am

futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote: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 canonly be understood and shared between Buddhas"
I think we can agree on this statement, so in the light of this, which version seems more feasable?

This idea of some eternal "true" self like a soul as opposed to the aggregates - is that difficult to understand or not? Compare that to what PadmaVonSamba wrote;

PadmaVonSamba wrote:You can put the label "self" on anything you like,
but if you define 'self' as an independently arising state of cognition
you cannot arrive at any final point that is the self.
If you want to know
"who is the one that is aware (buddha) of its own "non-self" nature?
at that point, there is no distinction between that which perceives and that which is perceived
so the question then becomes moot.
There is no arising of 'self' because anything which would stand in relation to that 'self',
and which would thus define it,
is also "understood" as having no intrinsic self (likewise doesn't arise) either.
Even the "understood' part does not arise as a conceptual thing.

The first is dualistic and gives us something to cling to, the second is non-dual and gives us nothing to cling to.

So we have one idea which is pretty straightforward and another which is not so easy to understand - which do the sutras refer to?


Mahaparinirvana sutra chapter 3(end of the chapter)
it is [also] said that there is the Self. This is as in the case of the learned Doctor, who knows well the medicinal and non-medicinal qualities of milk. It is not as with common mortals, who might measure the size of their own self. Common mortals and the ignorant may measure the size of their own self and say, 'It is like the size of a thumb, like a mustard seed, or like the size of a mote.' When the Tathagata speaks of Self, in no case are things thus. That is why he says: 'All things have no Self.'
Even though he has said that all phenomena [dharmas] are devoid of the Self, it is not that they are completely/ truly devoid of the Self. What is this Self? Any phenomenon [dharma] that is true [satya], real [tattva], eternal [nitya], sovereign/ autonomous/ self-governing [aisvarya], and whose ground/ foundation is unchanging [asraya-aviparinama], is termed 'the Self' [atman]. This is as in the case of the great Doctor who well understands the milk medicine. The same is the case with the Tathagata. For the sake of beings, he says "there is the Self in all things" O you the four classes! Learn Dharma thus!"

I never said the True Self was a "thing" and neither does the Buddha Nature sutras say the Self is a "thing"
to say I beleive this is to misrepresent my view and to misrepresent the views of the Buddha Nature sutras themselves concering the True Self.
simply said you guys are claiming this is my view(when it is NOT)then you turn around and are trying to refute a view that wasnt even mine to begin with.

also i asked you a question that you didnt answer:
(1)is a Buddhas enlightenment Permenent or impermenant?(does the Buddha Lose his enlightenement)
(2)is the Buddhas Enlightenment Eternal/everlasting or does enlightenement cease?
(3)is Enlightenment unchanging or does it change?(note if it changes then that means it is apart of D.O since it changes dependent upon object/preception which would mean enlightenment has its origin in Ignorance)
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