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 Azidonis » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:01 am

oushi wrote:
ocean_waves wrote:
It's easy to understand. Place your hand on a piece of paper, and trace the outline of your hand with a pencil. Then remove your hand. Everything that is "inside" of the line is the same paper as everything that is "outside" of the line. It is all one piece of paper. But the line (self, sense of individuality, ego, hologram created by the skandhas, etc.) allows for a distortion, a separation between "inside" and "outside" of the line. The shape of the penciled form on the paper is different for everyone, as no two hands are exactly alike. The specific form of the individual is the "self".

But when you erase the line from the paper, there is no inside, no outside, no line, no self, and no form to be held by any concept whatsoever. Therefore, to continually cling to any words, phrases, images, or any idea at all, is to only give continuity to the pencil markings on the paper, to the sense of separation and individuality that has been fostered by culture and by society since the birth of the human being. That is the "I" structure, the ego, the illusion, and that is what goes.


this analogy rocks!!!!!

Second that.
Ps. but not the edited version.
Since it is an illusion, saying, "the illusion goes away" is actually an absurdity, as since it is an illusion, it was never 'there' to begin with.


Boy, you two read that quick!

As for the edit, it could probably use an actual explanation, at some other time, and possibly some further consideration on my part. Glad you two liked the analogy, though.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:41 am

Doesn't emptiness apply to conditioned things, since it's impossible to apply anything to the unconditioned - by definition?

So a statement like "you're saying Nirvana is empty" is nonsensical, because emptiness can only apply to conditioned things, as those are the only things i'm capable of applying labels to or conceptualizing in the first place. Once I start applying labels and conceptual thought to them - such as saying Nirvana is inherently arisen, then I am now in fact, describing something which is empty of inherent existence. If it was not, I could look at the thing, and I would find the "Nirvananess" there, which I can't once I label or even conceptualize it.

This seems to accord even with Pali Canon views of enlightenment as a fire going out etc...it can not be described in conditional terms, as it is lack of conditionality (lol is that a word).


If it is truth that NIrvana/BN/Dharmakaya/whatever is inherently existent, what are it's qualities?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:57 am

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that those who translate antiquarian religious texts have in the back of their brains an already developed theory of meaning. In other words, they have pretty much unconsciously decided in, advance, in the case of Buddhism, what it is about. I've seen this in the Pali texts. Translators like Bhikkhu Bodhi put Theravadin assumptions into their works. When it comes to the subject of "self/attâ" in such translations "attâ" is supposed to be a reflexive pronoun like "oneself" which is a signifer for the psycho-physical organism. This is the prevailing Theravadin interpretation translators are supposed to follow. A translaor who dares challenge the Thervadin Holy See [sic] is orstricized. When a translator comes across the famous pericope: "Make of yourself (attano) an island (dipam)" a translator dare not translate it: "Make of the Self (attano) an island (dipam)." Nor should a translator dare to translate this way using the reflexive pronoun!

Bhikkhus, form is not yourself. What is not yourself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
Feeling is not yourself... Perception is not yourself...Volitional formations are not yourself...Consciousness is not yourself. What is not yourself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’" (S.iii.22–23).


In this light, attâ is like a clown's wax nose: depending on the passage, you can have it as either a reflexive pronoun or as a nominative (the self) but only if it satisfies sectarian whims.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:56 am

In the Pali canon there are over 65 compounds with self or atta. They hardly ever make the light of day in an English translation which means the translator is either having major problems brining out the notion of the compound, is mediocre and doesn't care, or has sectarian biases. For the newbie, this ain't good. Good translators like Stephen Hodge are aware of this who, incidentally, doesn't find Bhikkhu Bodhi the best of translators. I would add to that, Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Tibetan Buddhism is a horse of a different color and there Stephen Hodge is one of the best (I have recommended one of his works to Greg, hope the gods give him some dough). I should mention I have extremely rare books by the great Dzogchen master, Yangthang Rinpoche. They are much different than what you buy online or at your local dharma bk store. But even the translator, with whom I was acquainted, was having problems with translating Yangthang's lectures. This is not to suggest that all translations suck, they don't. But you have to be sufficiently on the Bodhisattva path to use them correctly otherwise you'll be in deep doo-doo. The sectarian battles are not worth a tinker's dam. What is worth it is to see into your own pristine nature and release your psychic grip on the five aggregates—they're not yours. If you can just manage that, you're almost home free.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:36 am

songhill wrote:I think emptiness is better understood in connection with svabhâva (= own-being/the very nature of a thing). Svabhâva cannot be a produced, cannot be dependent on something else, and cannot be relative to other than itself which means it is unconditioned. Madhyamika only accepts this kind of svabhâva. A svabhâva that is produced, depedendent, relative to something else in a contradiction in terms. When the cup is broken its svabhâva is gone. But it never had a svabhâva in the first place. So we say that the cup is empty of svabhâva. And it is so with the five aggregates. Form is empty of svabhâva. The Buddha even says form is like foam. Truth be told, our psycho-physical organism has zero svabhâva! If you've ever served in the military, then you've seen enough dead, mangled and burned bodies to know there is no svabhâva in them. But this is only the teaching of conditioned reality which is svabhâva-sunya, that is, empty of svabhâva. The highest emptiness reveals the non-conceptual nature of the absolute which is unconditioned. Finally, we dispense with emptiness, itself. We cannot hypostatize emptiness. The teaching of emptiness aims at abolishing all conceptions (samkalpa).


You seem to be mistakenly thinking that svabhâva exists elsewhere. Yes, the "cup" has gone, but the foam that produced the appearance of the cup goes nowhere, there are still pieces of broken china on the floor.
If you dream of an elephant that becomes a cup than then turns into a mountain, then it is all made of the same "stuff" which is nothing but foam. As you also say, there is no svabhâva in the aggregates either, so the dreamer and the dream is just foam dreaming about foam - this is your True Self - the self-identity of foam perceiving foam.
    "Being obsessed with entities, one's experiencing itself, which discriminates each cause and effect, appears as if it were cause and condition."
Mañjusrîmitra. Primordial experience. An Introduction to rDzogs-chen Meditation, pp. 60, 61
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:32 am

and even in the Nikayas (e.g., the self is an island)
It was clearly shown that the passage you refer to is from a bogus translation of the Nikaya. A translation that is intentionally formulated to support the theory of a "True Self" a theory to which there is no reference to at all in the Nikaya.
Bhikkhus, form is not yourself. What is not yourself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’
Feeling is not yourself... Perception is not yourself...Volitional formations are not yourself...Consciousness is not yourself. What is not yourself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’" (S.iii.22–23).
You will be pleased to know that the cyber god has dropped a version of the Samyutta Nikaya onto my laptop. Thing is that it is a different translation to the Bhikkhu Bodhi version. So, like you have been asked to do, provide the Sutta name so I can check the quote against the translation I have acquired. I am letting this one instance slip, given that you have provided direct links up until now.
(I have recommended one of his works to Greg, hope the gods give him some dough)
Gods do not give dough, bakers do. ;)
When a translator comes across the famous pericope: "Make of yourself (attano) an island (dipam)" a translator dare not translate it: "Make of the Self (attano) an island (dipam)." Nor should a translator dare to translate this way using the reflexive pronoun!
They do not dare to do it, because it is a faulty/wrong translation to do so. because it is not what the text means. Only somebody with a manic obsession to prove the obviously false as true would go so far as to make faulty/wrong translations to support their theories. Like I said here.

People will do anything and twist the Budha teachings in any way they can just to satisy their ego. Check this* out for example. Now what sort of sick and twisted mind would corrupt the teachings of the Buddha in this manner? How bent out of shape would one need to be?
:namaste:
*Contains link to site with material that (due to its ideology) may be considered offensive by any sane and logical person.
"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 Son of Buddha » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:18 pm

Hey Greg

I looked at your link the website was massive,I saw many translations that looked wonkie,and I saw what looked like combineing of many different views into one.

I was interested in that they claim have to complete translations of all the Nikayas.
Seeing as I havent finished the KN (which i can only find in parts)and have never even seen an AN,it does peak my intrest to finish reading the rest of the Nikayas.

Um you did mention the website was offensive,while I disagree with the views on the site I didnt see where it was offensive(mabey I missed it what was offensive about the site?)

Hey also check out SN 44 where the god saka goes to war against the asuras dude its halarious.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:43 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:Seeing as I havent finished the KN (which i can only find in parts)and have never even seen an AN,it does peak my intrest to finish reading the rest of the Nikayas.
Yes, well, I wouldn't recommend finishing reading the rest of the Nikayas by utilising this site. Unless, of course, you like being purposefully deluded.
Um you did mention the website was offensive,while I disagree with the views on the site I didnt see where it was offensive(mabey I missed it what was offensive about the site?)
I'll leave this up to you to figure out.
: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 PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:33 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:People will do anything and twist the Budha teachings in any way they can just to satisfy their ego. Check this out for example. Now what sort of sick and twisted mind would corrupt the teachings of the Buddha in this manner?


WOW I haven't seen a spread like that for a long time.
To even sit there and input all of that stuff, it's really a bit obsessive.
I noticed that one of the books endorsed by that website is The Living Thoughts of Gotama the Buddha,
cited by Songhill, which I commented on earlier.
Not only are many of the translations of Buddhist texts faulty because of the English language words chosen as poor equivalents of Buddhist concepts, but also, during the first half of the twentieth century, a lot of "research" and writing, including translation work, was being done by people who had an agenda of their own, who were coming from the spiritualist movements of the 1920's and so forth, searching for "mysterious and arcane knowledge" ...the precursor to today's New Age movement. And as today, it was quite a big deal, and a very profitable industry as well, especially if you could pass yourself off as some kind of swami, lead a seance or whatever. Convinced of the existence of a "soul", they referenced all sorts of writings, especially from Indian sources, including Buddhist texts, always translated is such a way as to support a forgone conclusion.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Azidonis » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:03 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:People will do anything and twist the Budha teachings in any way they can just to satisfy their ego. Check this out for example. Now what sort of sick and twisted mind would corrupt the teachings of the Buddha in this manner?


WOW I haven't seen a spread like that for a long time.
To even sit there and input all of that stuff, it's really a bit obsessive.
I noticed that one of the books endorsed by that website is The Living Thoughts of Gotama the Buddha,
cited by Songhill, which I commented on earlier.
Not only are many of the translations of Buddhist texts faulty because of the English language words chosen as poor equivalents of Buddhist concepts, but also, during the first half of the twentieth century, a lot of "research" and writing, including translation work, was being done by people who had an agenda of their own, who were coming from the spiritualist movements of the 1920's and so forth, searching for "mysterious and arcane knowledge" ...the precursor to today's New Age movement. And as today, it was quite a big deal, and a very profitable industry as well, especially if you could pass yourself off as some kind of swami, lead a seance or whatever. Convinced of the existence of a "soul", they referenced all sorts of writings, especially from Indian sources, including Buddhist texts, always translated is such a way as to support a forgone conclusion.
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.
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Then what are the 'real' translations? Or do we all have to learn Sanskrit/Pali?
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:14 pm

Here is a link for sources of reliable translations of the Pali Canon, it is from our sister site dhammawheel.com
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby songhill » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:11 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Here is a link for sources of reliable translations of the Pali Canon, it is from our sister site dhammawheel.com
:namaste:


Please provide a suitable link[s] by which to see what Suttas Dhammawheel.com has available. By the way, Greg, glad to see you're reading some of the Pali Suttas.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:04 pm

Not only do I read Pali Canon Sutta, I have also translated a wad of them into Greek.

If you click on the "Here" in my last post it takes you directly to the site that I have linked to.
"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 Azidonis » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:22 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Here is a link for sources of reliable translations of the Pali Canon, it is from our sister site dhammawheel.com
:namaste:


Thank you for this. I have been using Access to Insight.

It is interesting that dukkha is sometimes transliterated as stress.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:32 am

Azidonis wrote: It is interesting that dukkha is sometimes transliterated as stress.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Matt J » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Overall, this thread seems like an argument between Shentong and Rangtong.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://zenanddao.blogspot.com/
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:10 pm

"Johnny Dangerous"
Doesn't emptiness apply to conditioned things, since it's impossible to apply anything to the unconditioned - by definition?


I AGREE :twothumbsup: Empiness cannot be aplied to Nirvana since Nirvana is unconditioned,hence why we(Shentong) say all conditioned things is empty,but Nirvana(the unconditioned) is not empty.


"Johnny Dangerous"
So a statement like "you're saying Nirvana is empty" is nonsensical, because emptiness can only apply to conditioned things


AGREED :twothumbsup: but you see the "Nirvana is empty" is actually the Rantong view and is the view that Greg,Astus,futuro are defending,so if you disagree with them why are you debateing against me? :tongue:

"Johnny Dangerous"
Once I start applying labels and conceptual thought to them - such as saying Nirvana is inherently arisen, then I am now in fact, describing something which is empty of inherent existence. If it was not, I could look at the thing, and I would find the "Nirvananess" there, which I can't once I label or even conceptualize it.


that which is inherently arisen is unconditioned not brought into being and not dependently originated(Nirvana),that which is dependently arisen is conditioned and is brought into being through the conditions of dependent origination(Samsara)

Now concerning finding the "Nirvananess there" tell me can a blind man see the color red?
likewise every Buddhist Mahayana sutra will tell you the blind man(man that is of dependently originated Samsara) cannot see the color red(Enlightenment)

for only Enlightenement experiences Enlightenement the "I" or "you" is not and cannot ever be Enlightened the "you" is always apart of Samsara(it is the fire going out)

"Johnny Dangerous"
This seems to accord even with Pali Canon views of enlightenment as a fire going out etc...it can not be described in conditional terms, as it is lack of conditionality (lol is that a word).


AGREED the Fire that is going out is "you" the dependently originated self that is apart of Samsara hence this "false existance" ceases
anouther analogy is the wood(dependently originated Samsaraic human) is burned with the fire(the path to end Samsara),both the fire and wood cease to exist what is left is the Ashes(Enlightenement)this accords with the Pali Canon view of the Raft being left behind as one crosses over to the other shore.(the samsaric being ceases and th path that was used ceases what is left is the unceaseing the unconditioned the not brought into being Enlightenment)


"Johnny Dangerous"
If it is truth that NIrvana/BN/Dharmakaya/whatever is inherently existent, what are it's qualities?


well ALL words used to discribe anything is based on duality,they very purpose of words is to seperate one thing from anouther(hence all words themselves are a dualality) so no matter what words are used by any of us to describe what IS nirvana or what IS NOT Nirvana will always be based on the duality of he words themselves.

BUT I have a list of qualities which come from page 226 from Dolpopas Mountain Doctrine
the list itself is pretty long so I will post it when I can find a link for the material that i can use to copy and paste from(otherwise i will have to type it all out by hand)


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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:22 pm

"If nirvana were a thing, nirvana would be a conditioned phenomenon. There does not exist any thing anywhere that is not a conditioned phenomenon."

"If nirvana were a thing, how would nirvana not be dependent? There does not exists any thing at all that is not dependent."

Nagarjuna sums up my inklings towards all this true self stuff.

It's not nothing, and it's not a thing. This accords with the flavor of the teachings in the Pali canon to my ears too. Truth is outside of ontology, on the other hand, your argument clings to ontology, it lives in ontology..it IS ontology. Reading your arguments is like watching an endless game of racquetball with the concept of being.

My inclination is, as it's you guys asserting a true self, it's you guys responsible for producing one. No matter how many times people ask, you can't produce one single characteristic of true self, and the threads turn into all this comparing of this to that, word games, endless Sutra- one up manship etc.. It seems to drift farther and farther from the center. Not only does this say something to me conventionally about the usefulness of this kind of argument, it also says something about the importance, and maybe inseparability of methods used when pointing to the truth.

You think (wrongly as far as I can see) that others are actively stating a thing does not exist by not positing it's existence, it's merely an investigation of what can be found..not an inherent statement of non-being of a thing. That would just be the flipside (nihilism) of what you are doing..the point is the middle way.

So basically, if you can't convince an un-edu-macated rube like me, it's not surprising to me at all that you don't convince people with far more experience and realization than me, ironically the argument lacks substance Get it? Get it? Hah!
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:58 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:26 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
"Johnny Dangerous"
So a statement like "you're saying Nirvana is empty" is nonsensical, because emptiness can only apply to conditioned things


AGREED :twothumbsup: but you see the "Nirvana is empty" is actually the Rantong view and is the view that Greg,Astus,futuro are defending,so if you disagree with them why are you debateing against me? :tongue:
I think you've misunderstood. There are no conditioned things, dependent arising means that nothing arises. The argument that nirvana is not empty means that it must be able to absolutely exist and not-exist. That is clearly nonsense.
The idea that something is unborn is the same as saying it is neither existing nor non-existing. If nirvana is not empty, it cannot thereby be unborn, but must have a starting and end point.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:42 pm

"Lotus_Bitch"]
lowlydog wrote:Prove it. :smile:


From the Alagaddupama Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.nypo.html:

"There can be, monk," said the Blessed One. "In that case, monk, someone has this view: 'The universe is the Self. That I shall be after death; permanent, stable, eternal, immutable; eternally the same shall I abide in that very condition.' He then hears a Perfect One expounding the Teaching for the removal of all grounds for views, of all prejudices, obsessions, dogmas and biases; for the stilling of all (kamma-) processes, for the relinquishment of all substrata (of existence), for the extirpation of craving, for dispassion, cessation, Nibbaana. He then thinks: 'I shall be annihilated, I shall be destroyed! No longer shall I exist!' Hence he grieves, is depressed and laments; beating his breast, he weeps, and dejection befalls him. Thus, monk, is there anxiety about unrealities, in the internal."


This is refering to the universal self(that is based on Samsara)(the "i" "me")this is what we calll the False Self


actually continue reading the SAME sutta you posted
From the Alagaddupama Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.nypo.html:

Not Yours[44]
40. "Therefore, monks, give up whatever is not yours.[45] Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Feeling is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long bring you welfare and happiness. Perception is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Mental formations are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Consciousness is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness.[46]
41. "What do you think, monks: if people were to carry away the grass, sticks, branches and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burnt them or did with them what they pleased, would you think: These people carry us away, or burn us, or do with us as they please?" — "No, Lord." — "Why not?" Because, Lord, that is neither our self nor the property of our self." — "So, too, monks, give up what is not yours! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality... feeling... perception... mental formations... consciousness are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness."(give up everything that is Dependently originated)

Here check this out.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html

Having taken a seat to one side, Vacchagotta the wanderer said to the Master, 'Now then, Venerable Gotama, is there a self?' When this was said, the Master was silent.
'Then is there no self?' For a second time the Master was silent.
Then Vacchagotta the wanderer got up from his seat and left.
Then, not long after Vacchagotta the wanderer had left, the Venerable Ananda said to the Master, 'Why, sir, did the Master not answer when asked a question asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer?'
'Ananda, if I, being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self, were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism (i.e., the view that there is an eternal soul). And if I... were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism (i.e., that death is the annihilation of experience). If I... were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?
'No, Lord.'
'And if I... were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: "Does the self which I used to have, now not exist?"'
— S XLIV.10
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