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self - Dhamma Wheel

self

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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jajas
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self

Postby jajas » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:43 am


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Re: self

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:55 am


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Re: self

Postby Reductor » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:12 am


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jajas
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Re: self

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Re: self

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Re: self

Postby Virgo » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:49 pm



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Re: self

Postby Reductor » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:04 pm


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Re: self

Postby Virgo » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:08 pm



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Re: self

Postby Reductor » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:20 pm


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Re: self

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:15 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: self

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:24 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: self

Postby Reductor » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:36 pm

:goodpost:

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Goedert
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Re: self

Postby Goedert » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:22 am

Vacchagotta the Wanderer went to visit the Exalted One, and said:

"Now, master Gotama, is there a self?" At these words the Exalted One was silent.

"How, then, master Gotama, is there not a self?" For a second time the Exalted One was silent.

Then Vacchagotta the Wanderer rose from his seat and went away.

Now not long after the departure of the Wanderer, the Venerable Aananda said to the Exalted One:

"How is it, lord, that the Exalted One gave no answer to the question of the Wanderer Vacchagotta?"

"If, Aananda, when asked by the Wanderer: 'Is there a self?,' I had replied to him: 'There is a self,' then, Aananda, that would be siding with the recluses and brahmins who are eternalists.

"But if, Aananda, when asked: 'Is there not a self?' I had replied that it does not exist, that, Aananda, would be siding with those recluses and brahmins who are annihilationists.

"Again, Aananda, when asked by the Wanderer: 'Is there a self?,' had I replied that there is, would my reply be in accordance with the knowledge that all things are impermanent?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Again, Aananda, when asked by Vacchagotta the Wanderer; 'Is there a self?,' had I replied that there were not, it would have been more bewilderment for the already bewildered Vacchagotta.

"He would have said: 'Formerly indeed I had a self, but now I have not one any more.'"

— SN 44.10

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Re: self

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:30 am

:goodpost:
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Re: self

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:29 am

With the Vacchagotta dialogues we need to be careful about what is being talked about in terms of self. In Vacchagota case I think what is being pointed to is a more metaphysical understanding, less the sense of self that we must deal with on an everyday basis. Both the everyday sense of self and the metaphysical self, however, greatly overlap, but we need to be very care about running around saying we have no self, which is not quite empirically true.

There is a sense of self that we have which is real: "I feel," "I want," "I am." The problem with this sense of self is that it assumes it is more real than it is, that it does not change, that it is an independent agent, but the insight that arises from the Dhamma practice allows us to see that this "self" is both conditioned and conditioning. It does not exist independently of the rise and fall, the ever-changing flow of conditions of the mind/body process. There is a delusion we suffer from which is the assumption, the radical feeling, that we are in our heart of hearts, in the very core of our being, a singular independent thingie, a real and independent agent.

The radical insight of the Buddha is that we are not that. We are, rather, a dynamic interdependent process were choice, feelings, sensations, and the whole catastrophe can play itself out without a need for a sense of self, no matter how rarified the concept may be. Though we may believe this, the practice of the Buddha's teachings is a matter of cultivating the mindfulness that gives rise to the insight into what it is that the Buddha taught about self.

In the mean time we have to start from where we are; we have to deal with this sense of self that seems so real. We can tell it where to get off, we can pretend it is not real, but being stubborn, recalcitrant, it won't get off; it persists. So we in a real sense, via the teachings of the Buddha, we cultivate it, we train it, we tame it via learning the teachings, via practicing the precepts and meditative practice, and through giving and lovingkindness practice.

All this helps to thin the walls of delusion of permanence with which we surround the our feeling of self, allowing us to see the self's actual interdependent nature, which allows us to let go of that sense of self-ness that we seem to think is so real.

The Buddha's insight into this is radical and uncompromising in that it cuts to the very depths of what we imagine we are and if any sense of independent self as being what we truly are lingers, we are to that extent not awake.

The Buddha taught not-self as a methodology for gaining insight into our nature which has no independent self. Not-self is no more a independent thing than is self. The truth of what we are lies in the very rise and fall of our very experience, but in the mean time we have to start from where we are.

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Re: self

Postby Shonin » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:16 am

There are real bodily processes. There are real mental processes. There is a real sense of self (created by mental processes). But none of these processes constitutes a real self. We do exist - as the collection of these processes - but we don't exist in the way that most people feel they exist - as something continuous and distinct, a transcendent ego.

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Re: self

Postby Goedert » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:36 pm


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Re: self

Postby chandrafabian » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:18 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: self

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:53 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: self

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:26 pm

I think there is a danger in considering atta as just the soul. Because then the solution is to not believe in a soul, yet there might still be a sense of 'me' as a person being in existence. This is also illusory. It is nothing but a string of causes and effects. There is no doer.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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