Malcolm wrote: David N. Snyder wrote:
The most widespread school of Buddhism in ancient India were the Pudgalavadins, who insisted, based on the hinayana sutras. That there was an inexpressible self that was different than the aggregates
Correct, however it was still anatta/emptiness, in their view, just their interpretation of it.
I don't see how you can say that. It certainly was not how their opponents saw it
If anyone is interested, here is an article/book about the Pudgalavadins http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documen ... estely.pdf
An excerpt from the conclusion:
"... the Pudgalavadins did not actually reject the doctrine of non-self; they interpreted it according to their own understanding of what the Buddha intended. While the other schools denied the existence of the self in any way except as a useful (if dangerous) fiction, the Pudgalavadins denied the existence of the self as anything either identical with the aggregates or different from them. In their view, all dharmas (including Nirvana) are non-self, and there is no self to be found that is separate from these. They would agree that the doctrine of non-self is one of the defining doctrines of Buddhism, since it indicates the true nature of the self and so distinguishes the Buddhist position from those of the eternalizes on the one hand and the annihilationists (or materialists) on the other..."
I suspect they are referring to suttas that reference the 'allness of the all' (the 5 clinging aggregates), and the references to Viññanam anidassanam or "consciousness without feature", which apparently does not partake of the 'allness of the all'.
For any smart people - how exactly, then, is this different than talking about a mindstream? Malcolm, I have read you post that Buddhism asserts that all mindstreams are distinct - how is this different than this 'self' outside of the aggregates? Why can't you equate the two?
It also seems somewhat reminiscent, to me, of the message found in (for example) the uttaratantrashastra.
I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to an older fish and says: “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?” the older fish says, “that’s what you’re in right now.” “This”, says the young fish, “this is water. What I want is the ocean!”