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 7:31 am

futerko wrote:
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.


I don't wish to wander down the path of metaphysics entering into the realm of thought-forms which is what generally happens in such discussions. I think I know your position. It seems to be: the five aggregates are the alpha and omega. There is no beyond.

The point I made earlier that there is no need to establish the transcendent is pivitol for understanding the via negativa. Otherwise we are in the world of the via positiva and the aggregates which then become the meteric. The Buddha's words should be very clear: abandon desire for whaterver does not belong to self. And we know what is not the self or anattâ. I don't think it gets any clearer.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:54 am

Son of Buddha wrote: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)


"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]."
...and then you claim it is not a thing - for me the word "phenomenon" is the same as a "thing", hence the confusion.

As for the questions on Enlightenment, they are all based upon a false dualism, so I am unable to give an answer. The categories of change and permanence do not apply.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:00 am

songhill wrote:I don't wish to wander down the path of metaphysics entering into the realm of thought-forms which is what generally happens in such discussions. I think I know your position. It seems to be: the five aggregates are the alpha and omega. There is no beyond.

The point I made earlier that there is no need to establish the transcendent is pivitol for understanding the via negativa. Otherwise we are in the world of the via positiva and the aggregates which then become the meteric. The Buddha's words should be very clear: abandon desire for whaterver does not belong to self. And we know what is not the self or anattâ. I don't think it gets any clearer.


On the contrary, I see the five aggregates viewed as such as a misperception due to ignorance. You seem to be suggesting that by abadoning desire for what does not belong to the self - it implies that there is nevertheless some desire for what does belong to the self.
We aren't talking metaphysics or ontology here, simply the limits of mind - The non-dual is said to be not immanent and not transcendent, not neither, nor both, nevertheless within the sphere of consciousness there is the appearance of a pure transcendent immanence.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:13 am

songhill wrote:They only thing you are saying to me is that you've never actually read the Pali Nikayas.

"Therefore, Ananda, stay as those who have the self as an island (attadîpâ), as those who have the self as refuge (attasaranâ), as those who have no other refuge; as those who have the dharma as an island, as those who have dhamma as refuge, as those who have no other refuge" (Mahaparinibbana Sutta).

Here is still another:

Therefore, Ânanda, go along having Self as lamp, Self as refuge and none other refuge; having dhamma as lamp, dhamma as refuge, and none other refuge" (S.vi.162–163; cf. S.v.164; D.ii.100) (Coomaraswamy & Isaline Blew Horner, The Living Thoughts of Gotama the Buddha, p. 153)


From Wapola Rahula's What The Buddha Taught:

https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawhatthebuddha/the-doctrine-of-no-soul#_ftnref129

Chapter 6 The Doctrine Of No-Soul: Anatta

...Those who seek a self in the Buddha’s teaching quote a few examples which they first translate wrongly, and then misinterpret. One of them is the well-known line Attā hi attano nātho from the Dhammapada (XII, 4, or verse 160), which is translated as ‘Self is the lord of self’, and then interpreted to mean that the big Self is the lord of the small self.

First of all, this translation is incorrect. Attā here does not mean self in the sense of soul. In Pali the word attā is generally used as a reflexive or indefinite pronoun, except in a few cases where it specifically and philosophically refers to the soul-theory, as we have seen above. But in general usage, as in the XII chapter in the Dhammapada where this line occurs, and in many other places, it is used as a reflexive or indefinite pronoun meaning ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘himself’, ‘one’, ‘oneself’, etc.

Next, the word nātho does not mean ‘lord’, but ‘refuge’, ‘support’, ‘help’, ‘protection’.[138] Therefore, Attā hi attano nātho really means ‘One is one’s own refuge’ or ‘One is one’s own help’ or ‘support’. It has nothing to do with any metaphysical soul or self. It simply means that you have to rely on yourself, and not on others.

Another example of the attempt to introduce idea of self into the Buddha’s teaching is in the well-known words Attidīpā viharatha, attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā, which are taken out of context in the Mahāparinibbāna-sutta.[139] This phrase literally means: ‘Dwell making yourselves your island (support), making yourselves your refuge, and not anyone else as your refuge.’ Those who wish to see a self in Buddhism interpret the words attadīpā and attasaraṇā ‘taking self as a lamp’, ‘taking self as a refuge’.

We cannot understand the full meaning and significance of the advice of the Buddha to Ānanda, unless we take into consideration the background and the context in which these words were spoken.

....Surely, Ānanda, if there is anyone who thinks that he will lead the Sangha, and that the Sangha should depend on him, let him set down his instructions. But the Tathāgata has no such idea. Why should he then leave instructions concerning the Sangha? I am now old, Ānanda, eighty years old. As a worn-out cart has to be kept going by repairs, so, it seems to me, the body of the Tathāgata can only be kept going by repairs. Therefore, Ānanda, dwell making yourselves your island (support), making yourselves, not anyone else, your refuge; making the Dhamma your island (support), the Dhamma your refuge, nothing else your refuge.’

What the Buddha wanted to convey to Ānanda is quite clear. The latter was sad and depressed. He thought that they would all be lonely, helpless, without a refuge, without a leader after their great Teacher’s death. So the Buddha gave him consolation, courage, and confidence, saying that they should depend on themselves, and on the Dhamma he taught, and not on anyone else, or on anything else. Here the question of a metaphysical Ātman, or Self, is quite beside the point.

Further, The Buddha explained to Ānanda how one could be one’s own island or refuge, how one could make the Dhamma one’s own island or refuge: through the cultivation of mindfulness or awareness of the body, sensations, mind and mind-objects (the four Satipaṭṭhānas). There is no talk at all here about an Ātman or Self.

[138]The commentary on the Dhp. Says: Nātho ti patiṭṭhā ‘Nātho means support, (refuge, help, protection).’ (Dph. A III (PTS), p. 148.) The old Sinhalese Sannaya of the Dhp. paraphrases the word nātho as pihiṭa vanneya ‘is a support (refuge, help)’. (Dhammapada Purāṇasannaya, Colombo, 1926, p. 77). If we take the negative form of nātho, this meaning becomes further confirmed: Anātha does not mean ‘without a lord’ or ‘lordless’, but it means ‘helpless’, ‘supportless’, ‘unprotected, ‘poor’. Even the PTS Pali Dictionary explains the word nātha as ‘protector’, ‘refuge’, ‘help’, but not as ‘lord’. The translation of the word Lokanātha (s.v.) by ‘Saviour of the world’, just using a popular Christian expression, is not quite correct, because the Buddha is not a saviour. This epithet really means ‘Refuge of the World’.

[139] Dīpa here does not mean lamp, but it definitely means ’island’. The Dīgha-nikāya Commentary (DA Colombo ed. p. 380), commenting on the word dīpa here says: Mahāsamuddagataṃ dīpaṃ viya attānaṃ dīpaṃ patiṭṭhaṃ katvā viharatha. ‘Dwell making yourselves an island, a support (resting place) even as an island in the great ocean.’ Saṃsāra, the continuity of existence, is usually compared to an ocean, saṃsāra-sāgara, and what is required in the ocean for safety is an island, a solid land, and not a lamp.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/vonglasenapp/wheel002.html#fn-1

Vedanta and Buddhism: A Comparative Study by Helmuth von Glasenapp

The present treatise by Prof. Dr. H.V. Glasenapp has been selected for reprint particularly in view of the excellent elucidation of the Anatta Doctrine which it contains. The treatise, in its German original, appeared in 1950 in the Proceeding of the "Akademie der Wissenschaften and Literatur" (Academy of Sciences and Literature). The present selection from that original is based on the abridged translations published in "The Buddhist," Vol.XXI, No. 12 (Colombo 1951). Partial use has also been made of a different selection and translation which appeared in "The Middle Way," Vol. XXXI, No. 4 (London 1957).

The author of this treatise is an eminent Indologist of Western Germany, formerly of the University of Koenigsberg, now occupying the indological chair of the University of Tuebingen. Among his many scholarly publications are books on Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and on comparative religion.

— Buddhist Publication Society

....(2) It is of decisive importance for examining the relation between Vedanta and Buddhism, clearly to establish the meaning of the words atta and anatta in Buddhist literature.

The meaning of the word attan (nominative: atta, Sanskrit: atman, nominative: atma) divides into two groups: (1) in daily usage, attan ("self") serves for denoting one's own person, and has the function of a reflexive pronoun. This usage is, for instance, illustrated in the 12th Chapter of the Dhammapada. As a philosophical term attan denotes the individual soul as assumed by the Jainas and other schools, but rejected by the Buddhists. This individual soul was held to be an eternal unchangeable spiritual monad, perfect and blissful by nature, although its qualities may be temporarily obscured through its connection with matter. Starting from this view held by the heretics, the Buddhists further understand by the term "self" (atman) any eternal, unchangeable individual entity, in other words, that which Western metaphysics calls a "substance": "something existing through and in itself, and not through something else; nor existing attached to, or inherent in, something else." In the philosophical usage of the Buddhists, attan is, therefore, any entity of which the heretics wrongly assume that it exists independently of everything else, and that it has existence on its own strength.

The word anattan (nominative: anatta) is a noun (Sanskrit: anatma) and means "not-self" in the sense of an entity that is not independent. The word anatman is found in its meaning of "what is not the Soul (or Spirit)," also in brahmanical Sanskrit sources (Bhagavadgita, 6,6; Shankara to Brahma Sutra I, 1, 1, Bibl, Indica, p 16; Vedantasara Section 158). Its frequent use in Buddhism is accounted for by the Buddhist' characteristic preference for negative nouns. Phrases like rupam anatta are therefore to be translated "corporeality is a not-self," or "corporeality is not an independent entity."

As an adjective, the word anattan (as occasionally attan too; see Dhammapada 379; Geiger, Pali Lit., Section 92) changes from the consonantal to the a-declension; anatta (see Sanskrit anatmaka, anatmya), e.g., Samyutta 22, 55, 7 PTS III p. 56), anattam rupam... anatte sankare... na pajanati ("he does not know that corporeality is without self,... that the mental formations are without self"). The word anatta is therefore, to be translated here by "not having the nature of a self, non-independent, without a (persisting) self, without an (eternal) substance," etc. The passage anattam rupam anatta rupan ti yathabhutam na pajanati has to be rendered: "With regard to corporeality having not the nature of a self, he does not know according to truth, 'Corporeality is a not-self (not an independent entity).'" The noun attan and the adjective anatta can both be rendered by "without a self, without an independent essence, without a persisting core," since the Buddhists themselves do not make any difference in the use of these two grammatical forms. This becomes particularly evident in the case of the word anatta, which may be either a singular or a plural noun. In the well-known phrase sabbe sankhara anicca... sabbe dhamma anatta (Dhp. 279), "all conditioned factors of existence are transitory... all factors existent whatever (Nirvana included) are without a self," it is undoubtedly a plural noun, for the Sanskrit version has sarve dharma anatmanah.

The fact that the Anatta doctrine only purports to state that a dharma is "void of a self," is evident from the passage in the Samyutta Nikaya (35, 85; PTS IV, p.54) where it is said rupa sunna attena va attaniyenava, "forms are void of a self (an independent essence) and of anything pertaining to a self (or 'self-like')."
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:20 am

Azidonis wrote:
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.


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"

again the question is already answered by the Lotus sutra,do you not accept the Lotus Sutra?do you not accept that "you" cannot understand the True entity of all phenomena which can only be understood and shared between Buddhas.
you keep asking me to prove something the SUTRAS themselves state neither i nor you can understand/observe or prove.
do you wish to state the Lotus sutra is a liar when it says I and you cannot observe and understand the true entity of all phenomena?
if it is not a lair then why keep asking me to prove something that can only be understood amongst Buddhas.


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.

"Azidonis"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.


ummm yes thats the point,I use a sutra to support what i am telling you.
no I never said I beleived in an actual tangible "thing" called the true self I ALSO SAY IT IS NOT.
you simply misrepresent my views and also misrepresent the Views of the Buddha Nature sutras.
(Mahaparinirvana sutra Chapter 3)read the qoute i previously posted

the Buddha Nature sutras clearly state the True Self is not an actual tangible 'thing'
and again the rest of what you are saying has nothing to do with the actual True Self or my views,i never said you can take the self out of some ones body,never said you can actually examine it(did you even read the Lotus sutra passage I sent you if you did you wouldnt be accuseing me of this)
never said it is an actual thing(the Nirvana sutra also makes this clear)

AND YOU STATED:"The image of a self that you have - the 'you' that you call 'you' is just that - an image"

MY REPLY: I 100% AGREE(of course none of this is actually what the True Self is nor is it my view at all)that view is the view of the false worldy self.
do you even know what the True Self is?have you ever read the Tathagatagarbha Sutras(Buddha Nature sutras)????
you do know the Buddha Nature is the True Self dont you?
do you beleive in Buddha Nature? then you also beleive the Buddha Nature sutras when they tell you the Buddha Nature is the True Self correct?
or are you going to tell me that the sutras that BROUGHT you Buddha Nature are wrong about what Buddha Nature is.

also you didnt answer my questions i asked 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)
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:24 am

songhill wrote:According to the Buddha "you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self" (http://goo.gl/BGpgN).
Sounds pretty outside of its context, it would be interesting if you posted the entire Sutta it is referring to.
: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 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:27 am

So here's a question that you may be able to reply to: Do we all "possess" the Tathagatagarbha right now?
"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 Lotus_Bitch » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:28 am

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 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).


https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawhatthebuddha/the-doctrine-of-no-soul#_ftnref139

Walpola Rahula's What The Buddha Taught Chapter 6 The Doctrine of No-Soul: Anatta

It is therefore curious that recently there should have been a vain attempt by a few scholars[129] to smuggle the idea of self into the teaching of the Buddha, quite contrary to the spirit of Buddhism. These scholars respect, admire, and venerate the Buddha and his teaching. They look up to Buddhism. But they cannot imagine that the Buddha, whom they consider the most clear and profound thinker, could have denied the existence of an Ātman or Self which they need so much. They unconsciously seek the support of the Buddha for this need for eternal existence – of course not in a petty individual self with small s, but in the big Self with a capital S.

It is better to say frankly that one believes in an Ātman or Self. Or one may even say that the Buddha was totally wrong in denying the existence of an Ātman. But certainly it will not do for any one to try to introduce into Buddhism an idea which the Buddha never accepted, as far as we can see from the extant original texts.

Religions which believe in God and Soul make no secret of these two ideas; on the contrary, they proclaim them, constantly and repeatedly, in the most eloquent terms. If the Buddha had accepted these two ideas, so important in all religions, he certainly would have declared them publicly, as he had spoken about other things, and would not have left them hidden to be discovered only 25 centuries after his death.

People become nervous at the idea that through the Buddha’s teaching of Anatta, the self they imagine they have is going to be destroyed. The Buddha was not unaware of this.

A bhikkhu once asked him: ‘Sir, is there a case where one is tormented when something permanent within oneself is not found?’

‘Yes, bhikkhu, there is,’ answered the Buddha. ‘A man has the following view: “The universe is that Ātman, I shall be that after death, permanent, abiding, ever-lasting, unchanging, and I shall exists as such for eternity”. He hears the Tathāgata or a disciple of his, preaching the doctrine aiming at the complete destruction of all speculative views … aiming at the extinction of “thirst”, aiming at detachment, cessation, Nirvāṇa. Then than man thinks: “I will be annihilated, I will be destroyed, I will be no more.” So he mourns, worries himself, laments, weeps, beating his breast, and becomes bewildered. Thus, O bhikkhu, there is a case where one is tormented when something permanent within oneself is not found.’[130]

Elsewhere the Buddha says: ‘O bhikkhus, this idea that I may not be, I may not have, is frightening to the uninstructed world-ling.’[131]

Those who want to find a ‘Self’ in Buddhism argue as follows: It is true that the Buddha analyses being into matter, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness, and says that none of these things is self. But he does not say that there is no self at all in man or anywhere else, apart from these aggregates.

This position is untenable for two reasons:

One is that, according to the Buddha’s teaching, a being is composed only of these Five Aggregates, and nothing more. Nowhere has he said that there was anything more than these Five Aggregates in a being.

The second reason is that the Buddha denied categorically, in unequivocal terms, in more than one place, the existence of Ātman, Soul, Self, or Ego within man or without, or anywhere else in the universe. Let us take some examples.....

....In the Alagaddūpama-sutta of the Majjhima-nikāya, addressing his disciples, the Buddha said: ‘O bhikkhus, accept a soul-theory (Attavāda) in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation. But, do you see, O bhikkhus, such a soul-theory in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation?’

‘Certainly not, Sir.’

‘Good, O bhikkhus. I, too, O bhikkhus, do not see a soul-theory, in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation.’[135]

If there had been any soul-theory which the Buddha had accepted, he would certainly have explained it here, because he asked the bhikkhus to accept that soul-theory which did not produce suffering. But in the Buddha’s view, there is no such soul theory, and any soul-theory, whatever it may be, however subtle and sublime, is false and imaginary, creating all kinds of problems, producing in its train grief, lamentation, suffering, distress, tribulation and trouble.

Continuing the discourse the Buddha said in the same sutta:

‘O bhikkhus, when neither self nor anything pertaining to self can truly and really be found, this speculative view: “The universe is that Ātman (Soul); I shall be that after death, permanent, abiding, ever-lasting, unchanging, and I shall exist as such for eternity” – is it not wholly and completely foolish?’[136]

Here the Buddha explicitly states that an Ātman, or Soul, or Self, is nowhere to be found in reality, and it is foolish to believe that there is such a thing.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:29 am

"Son of Buddha"
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)


"futerko" "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]."
...and then you claim it is not a thing - for me the word "phenomenon" is the same as a "thing", hence the confusion.

As for the questions on Enlightenment, they are all based upon a false dualism, so I am unable to give an answer. The categories of change and permanence do not apply.



you do realise that Enlightenement is described in the suttas/sutras don't you?since you do not wish to answer my question would you please tell me how the SUTRAS discribe Enlightenement?

also does the Sutras ever discribe Enlightenement as being permenant/eternal/everlasting/and unchanging?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:47 am

Son of Buddha wrote:you do realise that Enlightenement is described in the suttas/sutras don't you?since you do not wish to answer my question would you please tell me how the SUTRAS discribe Enlightenement?

also does the Sutras ever discribe Enlightenement as being permenant/eternal/everlasting/and unchanging?


Yes they do, and this clearly from the point of view of the relative rather than absolute.
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 8:52 am

Lotus_Bitch wrote:
Here the Buddha explicitly states that an Ātman, or Soul, or Self, is nowhere to be found in reality, and it is foolish to believe that there is such a thing.


The sutta is talking about attavādupādānaṃ, that is, grasping at a theory of self. In the same sutta, further on, he tells his monks to put to put away what is not yours which happens to be all of the five aggregates. In other suttas, for example, the Buddha's disciples regard material shape and the rest of the aggregates as: ‘This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self. This is clearly the via negativa.
Last edited by songhill on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:53 am

futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:you do realise that Enlightenement is described in the suttas/sutras don't you?since you do not wish to answer my question would you please tell me how the SUTRAS discribe Enlightenement?

also does the Sutras ever discribe Enlightenement as being permenant/eternal/everlasting/and unchanging?


Yes they do, and this clearly from the point of view of the relative rather than absolute.


Please Explain(also can you source where in the sutra or tantras this view comes from)
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:54 am

So nobody is going to answer my question? It's too difficult?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:12 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
futerko wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:you do realise that Enlightenement is described in the suttas/sutras don't you?since you do not wish to answer my question would you please tell me how the SUTRAS discribe Enlightenement?

also does the Sutras ever discribe Enlightenement as being permenant/eternal/everlasting/and unchanging?


Yes they do, and this clearly from the point of view of the relative rather than absolute.


Please Explain(also can you source where in the sutra or tantras this view comes from)


I have a wooden table in front of me, if I torch the table then the idea of "this table" is gone, but does the ash disappear from existence? I have no idea what you mean by impermanent outside of the concept itself. Of course there is change and impermanence in relative terms, but in absolute terms nothing has come into or gone out of existence. Therefore the idea of permanence and impermanence is a purely relative concept.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:47 am

Son of Buddha wrote:you keep asking me to prove something the SUTRAS themselves state neither i nor you can understand/observe or prove.
do you wish to state the Lotus sutra is a liar when it says I and you cannot observe and understand the true entity of all phenomena?
if it is not a lair then why keep asking me to prove something that can only be understood amongst Buddhas.


I'm just asking you to look at it, and tell me what you see. What you will see has no inherent qualities. It is formless. You don't have to be a "buddha" to grasp that.

Son of Buddha wrote:(did you even read the Lotus sutra passage I sent you if you did you wouldnt be accuseing me of this)


I'm not "accusing you" of anything. I'm simply trying to hold a dialogue with you. Unfortunately for us both, it does not seem to be working out so well. And no, I didn't read the Lotus Sutra passage. I was under the impression I was having a conversation with you, not the Lotus Sutra.

Son of Buddha wrote:the sutras that BROUGHT you Buddha Nature


Are you trying to tell me that if the sutras did not exist, then people would not have "Buddha Nature"?

The term, "True Self" implies an actual being. The term, "Buddha Nature", does not.

And since you mention that we all have Buddha Nature, which I agree we all have, how do you propose to reconcile that very sentiment with the statement that something can only be understood between Buddhas? From the point of view you seem to be approaching it, you give the impression that you will never be able to understand it, as you are not a Buddha. Why sell yourself short?

Son of Buddha wrote:also you didnt answer my questions i asked 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)


Surely you know the answers to these.

songhill wrote:
Azidonis wrote:Where is this "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:


Use of a well-placed pronoun does not make you a sage.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:52 am

futerko wrote:I have a wooden table in front of me, if I torch the table then the idea of "this table" is gone, but does the ash disappear from existence? I have no idea what you mean by impermanent outside of the concept itself. Of course there is change and impermanence in relative terms, but in absolute terms nothing has come into or gone out of existence. Therefore the idea of permanence and impermanence is a purely relative concept.


I would say that it doesn't matter what the object is.

If you have a table in front of you, the term 'table' is just a term for correspondence. The term means nothing to the object itself, and only means anything to the humans that understand what the term means.

What goes is not the object in front of you, but the term 'table', the mental image, the measurement of one image against the next, such measurements being dualistic in their nature (ie. table/not-table).

That's how I understand it, anyway.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:27 pm

Azidonis wrote:
futerko wrote:I have a wooden table in front of me, if I torch the table then the idea of "this table" is gone, but does the ash disappear from existence? I have no idea what you mean by impermanent outside of the concept itself. Of course there is change and impermanence in relative terms, but in absolute terms nothing has come into or gone out of existence. Therefore the idea of permanence and impermanence is a purely relative concept.


I would say that it doesn't matter what the object is.

If you have a table in front of you, the term 'table' is just a term for correspondence. The term means nothing to the object itself, and only means anything to the humans that understand what the term means.

What goes is not the object in front of you, but the term 'table', the mental image, the measurement of one image against the next, such measurements being dualistic in their nature (ie. table/not-table).

That's how I understand it, anyway.


Yep.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:So here's a question that you may be able to reply to: Do we all "possess" the Tathagatagarbha right now?

Yes, but, the word "possess" makes it sound like an element in a set, whereas I would suggest it may be more accurate to say it is the name of the set.



Nice postings Lotus_Bitch, very insightful.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:10 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
Mahaparinirvana sutra chapter 3(end of the chapter) ...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!"


The issue is like asking whether or not wine is just spoiled grapes.
When wine is made, a transformation takers place.
What was previously regarded, by its component parts, as 'a "grape" is abandoned.
What remains is something totally different, yet not totally separate from grapes.

So, it is as though we are a bunch of grapes having this discussion
and to regard wine in the same way that we regard ourselves as grapes is totally misleading.
Any notion that we entertain, of "self" or 'atman' ---grapewise, that is, is pointless.
So, if we ask, does that tathagatha wine have some kind of characteristics
we can answer, yes. We can say it is forever unchanging
(which, for wine in a bottle compared with a grape on a vine, is true).
We can use our very limited terminology to describe something
which is not separate from who we are,
but which does not contain any notion of "self" as we know it
precisely because all definitions of 'self' as we can imagine them are inadequate.
If the question is asked, "is enlightenment eternal"
the answer, as I understand it, is that enlightenment goes beyond any notion of eternal vs.temporary.
It's a whole different ball game
just as wine is different from grapes.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:48 pm

futerko wrote:Yes, but, the word "possess" makes it sound like an element in a set, whereas I would suggest it may be more accurate to say it is the name of the set.
Yes, well, that's why I put it in quotation marks... So when you say the "name of the set" what exactly does this set consist of? AND coz, it is kind of important, is it part "of the set" right now?
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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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