catmoon wrote:swampflower wrote:Ha, Ha - truly there is no "thing" to have an identity. So what is this "identity".
However, this sounds like name and form. Name and form support each other. There can be no name without form and no form without name. So how does this identity exist alone?
Ho ho, Swampie strikes again!
I find it helpful to visualize the "I" as a label badly applied. Like a kangaroo with a license plate tied to it's tail. The license plate has little if any relevance to the actual kangaroo and is a positive nuisance besides.
However, the name and form stuff raised an eyebrow here. We seem to be quite good at creating labels that have no referents. And certainly not every form has been named, or each dust mote would have a name. So I'm not sure what this means, although I have some suspicions. Care to clarify?
ps come to think of it, the first line quoted above shows an example of a name that has no associated form.
§ 29. NAME AND FORM.
§ 29 a.--Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xvii.).
By "Name" are meant the three Groups beginning with Sensation [i.e., Sensation, Perception, and the Predispositions]; by "Form," the four elements and form derivative from the four elements.
§ 29 b.--Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xviii.).
Name has no power of its own, nor can it go on of its own impulse, either to eat, or to drink, or to utter sounds, or to make a movement. Form also is without power and cannot
p. 185 [Vis.xviii
go on of its own impulse. It has no desire to eat, or to drink, or to utter sounds, or to make a movement. But Form goes on when supported by Name, and Name when supported by Form. When Name has a desire to eat, or to drink, or to utter sounds, or to make a movement, then Form eats, drinks, utters sounds, makes a movement.
To make this matter clear they give the following illustration:
It is as if two men, the one blind from birth and the other a cripple, were desirous of going traveling. And the man blind from birth were to say to the cripple as follows: "See here! I am able to use my legs, but I have no eyes with which to see the rough and the smooth places in the road." And the cripple were to say to the man blind from birth as follows: "See here! I am able to use my eyes, but I have no legs with which to go forward and back." And the man blind from birth, pleased and delighted, were to mount the cripple on his shoulders. And the cripple sitting on the shoulders of the man blind from birth were to direct him, saying, "Leave the left and go to the right; leave the right and go to the left."
Here the man blind from birth is without power of his own, and weak, and cannot go of his own impulse or might. The cripple also is without power of his own, and weak, and cannot go of his own impulse or might. Yet when they mutually support one another it is not impossible for them to go.
In exactly the same way Name is without power of its own, and cannot spring up of its own might, nor perform this or that action. Form also is without power of its own, and cannot spring up of its own might, nor perform this or that action. Yet when they mutually support one another it is not impossible for them to spring up and go on."
§ 29 c.--Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xx.).
And he knows as follows:
"No heap or collection of material exists for the production of Name and Form; nor are Name and Form sprung
p. 186 [Vis.xx
from any such heap or collection of material; and when Name and Form cease, they do not go to any of the cardinal or intermediate points of the compass; and after Name and Form have ceased, they do not exist anywhere in the shape of heaped-up material. But, just as when a lute is played upon, there is no previous store of sound; and when the sound comes into existence, it does not come from any such store; and when it ceases, it does not go to any of the cardinal or intermediate points of the compass; and when it has ceased, it exists nowhere in a stored-up state; but having previously been non-existent, it came into existence in dependence on the body and neck of the lute and the exertions of the performer; and having come into existence passes away: in exactly the same way, all the elements of being, both those with form and those without, come into existence after having previously been non-existent; and having come into existence pass away.