Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

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Tohunga
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Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by Tohunga »

So one (Hinduism) believes there is atman true spiritual self soul and the other buddhism believes there is no soul or spirit which one is correct and why?

[Mod note: Topic title changed in order to prevent comparative discussion.]
Last edited by Ayu on Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Queequeg »

Buddhism, obviously.

Look where you posted that question.

Seriously, though, because what Buddha taught about the lack of self so far makes sense to me and stands up to examination.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
Tohunga
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by Tohunga »

So do you believe that it is possible to be full of a god? Even though we are inherently empty.
Tohunga
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Tohunga »

Is there a difference between true nature buddhism and true self hinduism
tkp67
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:45 am Buddhism, obviously.

Look where you posted that question.

Seriously, though, because what Buddha taught about the lack of self so far makes sense to me and stands up to examination.
Me too but there is still a consciousness.

Could they be mistaking soul as this consciousness?
Tohunga
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Tohunga »

I personaly believe through experience that the true nature is empty and good, that you can become one with a spirit that enters you be it demon or god through the use of entheogens which the hindus use and which they see as the true self.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

It depends on what your definition of “atman” is.
This isn’t to say that there’s not a universally accepted definitive meaning somewhere. But it suggests that not everyone holds such a definition as their own. For some, concepts such as soul, atman, spirit, self, and so on, are rather vague terms used to label the individual experience of personal continuity each of us has. “I” was here 30 seconds ago, this is still “me” and when “I” die...”
It’s not all that specific what is talked about.

However, in Buddhist theory, what is described as any sort of truly existent self is very specific. Buddhism doesn’t deny that the experience of a continuous self, an individual “me” occurs, or that it even occurs from one lifetime to another. In fact, this experience is precisely what being trapped in the cycle of samsara is.

What Buddhist theory asserts is that nothing can be found which is in any way the essence , material, spiritual, in any way, shape or form that one can identify as an ultimate “self” component in one’s being.

One’s true nature is Buddha-nature. But this is not identifying some essential thing. It’s a bit like talking about the wind. Yes, you can feel the wind. Yes, the wind blows the leaves around. Yes, the wind incorporates air. But there’s no thing, no essential element of wind. It’s just a type of motion.

Furthermore, it is argued that any such thing, if it was truly a self, or atma existed, then by definition it would have to be constant, unchanging, and not affected in any way by extraneous circumstances. What this means is, where the Hindu would argue that one’s ultimate self (atman) reincarnates from one life to the next, the Buddhist argues that a constant, unchanging, unaffected entity reincarnating from one life to another as the result of karma is an oxymoron, a self-contradictory theory, and instead, that it is precisely because no ultimate self exists, that rebirth occurs.

Then what is it that is reborn?
The illusion of self.
The illusion is the basis of the suffering.
The suffering is what propels rebirth in samsara.
You cut through the attachment to the illusion of the self as real, and you cut off the cause of suffering and rebirth at the root.
That’s the whole point!

If someone who asserts the existence of atman wishes to bring forth some proof, I think most Buddhists would be eager to see it. But one common contemplation in vipassana meditation is to examine and try to find where the self that we feel exists really exists. So far, after some 2,600 years of looking for it, nobody has found it.

...
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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Grigoris »

tkp67 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:07 amCould they be mistaking soul as this consciousness?
More likely somebody is mistaking consciousness for a soul.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
muni
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by muni »

Tohunga wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:33 am So one believes there is atman true spiritual self soul and the other buddhism believes there is no soul or spirit which one is correct and why?
Atman is the idea of being on itself and having characteristics by itself - while - atman is living on its own in a world which exist as well on its own. Then our thoughts experience of being on our own, interact with that world on its own by grasping, clinging, craving to the objects of this world. By that aversion, attachment, indifference arise and by that actions by habitual tendencies. These tendencies (actions by illusions) flow further in another experienced life.

There are some metaphors like reflections in a mirror or like moon reflection in a pond, these show emptiness in which all can plays without any tangibility to grasp. So is the Awaken Mind. Therefore Anatman is not nihilism.

The so called world is nothing other than play of own Awaken Mind, but atman is very clever, it is the most clever illusion, by which our illusions remain flowing.

Perhaps it is belief what keeps atman going on? Belief in thoughts........?
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Or maybe the buddha didn't like to make ontological statements (think 14 questions) and was really just saying for the disciples to 'not view the aggregates as a self' because it isn't a skillful view ?

See the footnote on page 99 of Bronkhorst's Two Traditions.
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by White Sakura »

I find this question very interesting. But cannot give an answer to it. Because: Theoretically there is a big difference.In Buddhist scripts there are a lot of debates against Hindu tenet systems. But practically, the realization of emptiness and the big support I have because I have the "right" religion, should make it easier for me to overcome the negative emotions.
And I am not better at doing this, than a Hindu friend I have and another friend I have who is sort of "free-spirited" but also talks of god. I feel not more spiritually developed than they are.
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by muni »

What means Atman in Hinduism would ask a respectful talk with Hinduism. Since words have different meanings. If it means what is sometimes called "True Self" ( no independent self idea) or "Nature like it is", then...anyway again I would not talk from a stand point of "me right, you wrong" but listen.

Words are as well dependent.
Last edited by muni on Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
tkp67
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by tkp67 »

Grigoris wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:19 am
tkp67 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:07 amCould they be mistaking soul as this consciousness?
More likely somebody is mistaking consciousness for a soul.
In my mind the wording worked out the same since it is posed from the hindu perspective (assumed not an actual hindu), but yes.

This is one of those things that always seemed to me was the same thing across all of these beliefs. That consciousness is what is the real "thing" being referred to albeit limited to the realms which for me makes buddhism so poignant.
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Queequeg
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by Queequeg »

Tohunga wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:16 am I personaly believe through experience that the true nature is empty and good, that you can become one with a spirit that enters you be it demon or god through the use of entheogens which the hindus use and which they see as the true self.
If that's how you see it, that some spirit enters you, this is not what Buddha taught. Whether others teach such a thing is not our business here.

From a Buddhist view, what you propose is nonsense.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

as i understand it, even if one has individuality one cannot find really an ultimate proof of a self, there aint anything concrete, there is nothing, no center, no border, no definitions nor delimitations, etc. .as i see, individuals arent't phenomena.

some individuals mistake the meditational symbols that might arise as if they where objects, individuals or sort of definitive thing (brahma, god, ishvara, soul, mind, dharmakaya, whatever, etc.), using different concepts. so there can be much confusion mainly due to the panic that can be felt when don't are firmly grabbed at something. Beliefs are the main blocking thing for the meditator.

i hope buddha meant something like this haha.
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by cjdevries »

I recommend the book Sukhavati, by Wong Kiew Kit. On page 36, the author writes about his understanding of a soul. https://www.amazon.com/Sukhavati-Wester ... 9834087934

He writes: "Theravadins fail to appreciate that the doctrine of non-soul is an expedient means to help aspirants attain the Cosmic Soul or Nirvana, and not a rigid dogma claiming souls do not exist, just as the doctrine of suffering is an expedient means to help aspirants achieve eternal joy, not a dogma insisting that joy is lacking."

Wong Kiew Kit is a qigong master, in the Shaolin tradition.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

If you look at two separate rivers, you can say, “this river is over here, that river is over there” and identify them as two individual rivers, and on that basis, impute each of them with its own identity. This is how we distinguish individual beings from each other. From that basis, one can form the idea that, For example, this thing happens to me because of my karma that things happens to you because of your karma and along with that believe in the idea of Adema of some kind of agent that is doing all this stuff.

But Buddhist theory rejects that type of reasoning ad essentially faulty. Because, if you look at the rivers individually, there is nothing that is constant about them even for one second they are always in motion. They are nothing but a collection of uncountable elements in constant motion. Likewise with individual beings.
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by cjdevries »

I'm not saying Wong Kiew Kit is right, but he provides an interesting point of view coming from his years of spiritual practice. I like reading about spiritual teachers' personal experiences because usually they reveal that what we can comprehend as normal humans is just a tiny bit of the ultimate. For advanced practitioners, their experience of emptiness or the "ultimate" seem to grow and deepen; and their level of understanding does too. I read that Nisargadatta said he had come to much more profound realization of truth after "I am That". He said something like "my experience has grown so much deeper since "I am That"" to the point where I think it would have been a different book had they interviewed him years later. I believe he also said that because of his deepening realization, his understanding had grown a lot deeper.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh
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Grigoris
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Re: Why is it correct not to believe in a soul?

Post by Grigoris »

cjdevries wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:53 pmHe writes: "Theravadins fail to appreciate that the doctrine of non-soul is an expedient means to help aspirants attain the Cosmic Soul or Nirvana, and not a rigid dogma claiming souls do not exist, just as the doctrine of suffering is an expedient means to help aspirants achieve eternal joy, not a dogma insisting that joy is lacking."

Wong Kiew Kit is a qigong master, in the Shaolin tradition.
Wong Kiew Kit is (badly) misinterpreting basic Buddhist tenets to fit his (wrong) view.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: Buddhism vs Hinduism

Post by Varis »

cjdevries wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:53 pm Wong Kiew Kit is a qigong master, in the Shaolin tradition.
Wong Kiew Kit's "southern Shaolin" lineage is a mythical one. There never was a southern Shaolin temple.
And for that matter, Qigong is a mundane practice, equally as mundane as riding a bicycle.
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