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About No-Self - Dhamma Wheel

About No-Self

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
creekist
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About No-Self

Postby creekist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:09 pm

I'm curious about this, did the Buddha ever really teach that there was No-Self?

To be honest I never had an explicit "there is no self" realization that did not seem very forced.

What do you think?

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Cittasanto
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Re: About No-Self

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:47 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

santa100
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Re: About No-Self

Postby santa100 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:44 am

Ven. Thanissaro wrote a great essay about it called "No-Self or Not-Self":

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... self2.html

Chi
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Re: About No-Self

Postby Chi » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:01 am

Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

dhamma_newb
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Re: About No-Self

Postby dhamma_newb » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:08 am

I liked Robert Kearney's talk on not-self:
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
Walt Whitman

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manas
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Re: About No-Self

Postby manas » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:19 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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ground
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Re: About No-Self

Postby ground » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:33 am


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cooran
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Re: About No-Self

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:57 am

Hello all,

This might be of assistance:

No Inner Core - Anatta by Sayadaw U Silananda
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha215.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Buckwheat
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Re: About No-Self

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:06 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Aloka
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Re: About No-Self

Postby Aloka » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:21 am


rahula80
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Re: About No-Self

Postby rahula80 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:23 am

Hi,

What does this phrase means? ".....It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self....."(MN 2)

Thanks,
Rahula

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Aloka
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Re: About No-Self

Postby Aloka » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:34 am


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contemplans
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Re: About No-Self

Postby contemplans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:31 pm

Anatta means not-self. An- as a prefix means not. It does not mean no. We have this same prefix etymologically in English -- Un-. Unaware means not aware, not never having no awareness. Sometime this can be translated as "-less", but "no self" is just bad translation. Clearly in the context of the Buddha's teachings this statement was not supported. The not-self doctrine is a corrective to our normal modes of thinking. It is a perception you use for the path. They key word is perception.

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reflection
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Re: About No-Self

Postby reflection » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:54 pm

Ok, so no-self, non-self, not-self, selfless, anatta, there is no difference between them, it is a matter of translation to me. Other traditions call it emptyness, also ok. I agree however, that some translations may be better than others. Of course there is not really no self, because that would be nihilism. It's quite obvious you exist, because you are right there behind your computer reading this. Denying that would be a bit strange. And that's not what the Buddha did, he denied this view of nihilism. We should be careful not to go there. What he did teach is already explained and quoted to by other members here.

However, to hook into another subject that is brought up, that to creekis realizations of non-self seems very forced. If it feels like that, than don't do it that way. Forcing views upon yourself is not an intelligent way of losing wrong views. As long as you use 'yourself' to get to the 'non-self', that's obviously a contradiction. It will never work; maybe until you give up totally. In any case, insights into the non-self nature will occur spontaneously, you can't force them.

Also, sometimes it may even be better to see "the self" in experiences. For example, when you are angry, not always useful to say to yourself "there is nobody angry, there is just anger..", because that might end up in "NOBODY ANGRY !#)*#$&".. then it's better to recognize you're angry and apply some loving kindness.

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contemplans
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Re: About No-Self

Postby contemplans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:08 pm


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cooran
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Re: About No-Self

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:39 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

vinasp
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Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: About No-Self

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:26 pm

Hi Chris,

Just a short note: My Buddhist Dictionary ( BPS fourth revised edition 1988)
has;

ANATTA: 'not-self', non-ego, egolessness, impersonality, is the last of the
three characteristics of existence ...

Perhaps it's been revised again.

Regards, Vincent.

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cooran
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Re: About No-Self

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:37 pm

Hi Vincent,

Could you give a link please? I'd like to look it up online.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

vinasp
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: About No-Self

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Hi Chris,

Sorry, I should have made it clear that I was looking at my printed copy.
I do not know if that edition is available online.

Regards, Vincent.

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cooran
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Re: About No-Self

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:05 pm

Hello Vincent,

I think it is here - would this be how entry continues?

The anattā doctrine teaches that neither within the bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance. This is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible. It is the only really specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist doctrines may, more or less, be found in other philosophic systems and religions, but the anattā-doctrine has been clearly and unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known as the anattā-vādi, or 'Teacher of Impersonality'. Whosoever has not penetrated this impersonality of all existence, and does not comprehend that in reality there exists only this continually self-consuming process of arising and passing bodily and mental phenomena, and that there is no separate ego-entity within or without this process, he will not be able to understand Buddhism, i.e. the teaching of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca, q.v.), in the right light. He will think that it is his ego, his personality, that experiences suffering, his personality that performs good and evil actions and will be reborn according to these actions, his personality that will enter into Nibbāna, his personality that walks on the Eightfold Path. Thus it is said in Vis.M. XVI:

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;

The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;

Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;

The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

......................]
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/bud-dict/dic3_a.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---


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