'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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discussionbuddhist
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by discussionbuddhist » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:47 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:12 pm
discussionbuddhist wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:40 pm
Move to a realization of no-self? Isn't that ucchedavada?
So according to you the teaching of anatman nihilistic?

You better go inform the Buddha then.

I guess we are down to Three Dharma Seals then?

I thought the Buddha was silent when asked if there is "No Self"
Ananda Sutta

I'm not saying at all anatman is nihilistic. Some translations I read say that anatman/anatta is 'Not Self' as opposed to 'No Self'. In fact, doesn't the Mahaparinirvana say:

"Those Charvaks (nihilists) who espouse a no-Soul doctrine quickly for
Hell are bound"--- [Taisho T .374, trans. Dr. Kosho Yamamoto. .
Published 1973 Karibunko press Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra] verse
1802

(Yamamoto uses the English word Soul for Atman in his translation)

cappuccino
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by cappuccino » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:01 pm

the teaching is to regard everything as not your self

different than regarding yourself as having no self

smcj
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by smcj » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:14 am

Nothing immutable about yourself. Your present identity is only a temporary configuration of your energies.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Grigoris
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:16 am

smcj wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:14 am
Nothing immutable about yourself. Your present identity is only a temporary configuration of your energies.
^^^This^^^.

I think the term anatman is not properly translated when it talks about no/not self. I think the term atman is closer to the term "soul", than "self". But when when it comes to reflection upon the five skandha then, for those of us from western Abrahamic and materialist/scientific backgrounds, it is quite obvious it is talking about a core identity of types, with the closest equivalent term being self or 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."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:20 am

discussionbuddhist wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:47 pm
I thought the Buddha was silent when asked if there is "No Self"
Probably because he got tired of answering the same question over-and-over and expected better from Ananda. The Sutta does not describe Buddha's expression when he remained silent, I imagine it was a bit like this:


dawg.jpg
dawg.jpg (27.78 KiB) Viewed 359 times
"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

discussionbuddhist
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by discussionbuddhist » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:20 am
discussionbuddhist wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:47 pm
I thought the Buddha was silent when asked if there is "No Self"
Probably because he got tired of answering the same question over-and-over and expected better from Ananda. The Sutta does not describe Buddha's expression when he remained silent, I imagine it was a bit like this:



dawg.jpg
It was actually Vachagotta that asked the Buddha if there is/isn't Atta. The Buddha actually told Ananda his reasons for being silent.

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Grigoris
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:01 pm

discussionbuddhist wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm
It was actually Vachagotta that asked the Buddha if there is/isn't Atta. The Buddha actually told Ananda his reasons for being silent.
I was just being silly (don't know if you noticed).
"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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Grigoris
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:06 pm

But really, the answer to the question is given in a number of teachings. The Daruka-khandha Sutta: The Log, for example.
"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

discussionbuddhist
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by discussionbuddhist » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:26 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:01 pm
discussionbuddhist wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm
It was actually Vachagotta that asked the Buddha if there is/isn't Atta. The Buddha actually told Ananda his reasons for being silent.
I was just being silly (don't know if you noticed).
No I did, and saw the dog pic. But thought you meant Vacchagotta instead of Ananda.

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tomschwarz
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:58 pm

steveb1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:18 am
(Sincere question and playing a bit of a Devil's Advocate here, but I keep running into this question and feel that I have to ask it:)

That is, first you're nothing, a mere illusion, and then the patterns that "I" created will ripple through time to create a "reasonable facsimile" of "me" in some karmically-designated "format"; a format that only resembles me, but will not be me.

I have, however, an instinctual intuition that my view of this issue must be wrong - my understanding must be incomplete or misinterpretive, because:

1) If I'm illusion, why should I practice right action and compassion toward myself? I'm just a temporary cipher composed of impermanent processes, which at death will be scattered anyway. So - 'Why Bother?"

2) Ditto re: other sentient (non-) beings: why should I regard them any more highly or with any more reality than I regard myself? Like me, they are all illusions, empty of form/self-nature, temporary ciphers; how can a non-being spiritually assist or obstruct another non-being? So again the question - "Why Bother?"

....
Wow really great work communicating and digging into the logic of your experience in the context of Buddhism. All the respect to you....

So the answer is super complex. ...lets set the stage.... this is hard, so start with your super intellect steveb. In a nutshell, the answer complies with all of your thoughts. So first please take a moment to recall and accept everything you felt and understood and rejected and accepted when you wrote that OP.

...ok so from there.... first stop, buddhahood.... you wrote, and good on you:
is, first you're nothing, a mere illusion, and then the patterns that "I" created will ripple through time to create a "reasonable facsimile" of "me" in some karmically-designated "format";
This is something that anyone with the slightest ability to think for theselves will consider when diving into the four noble truths: the fourth truth, the truth of the path, is two way. Daa. Of course it is two way. And i can go straight to hell (am human now). That fact alone is proof that the path to enlightenment also serves as the path to hell.

So maybe that is enough. What do i really know about the actual origin of the first link of dependent origination? Everything, because its all here in my mind. And you know everything also. So my advice is pratyyeka buddha path, focus on prooving and disproving all ideas that you and others have.

Well, i will say one more thing...
If I'm illusion, why should I practice right action and compassion toward myself?
You know the answer to this.... ..... not only are you a real human being (as opposed to an illusion, see second of two truths), inside your mind/brain still lives the sensitive child that you once were. And you can make an #$% of yourself and hurt that childs feelings, or you can share lovng kindness (based in part on compassion).
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

Bundokji
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by Bundokji » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:31 pm

"Not self" is descriptive, not prescriptive, hence its open to interpretations, and the way you interpret it, says nothing about it, but more about the quality of your mind. This is why Kamma works!
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
If you interpret it as: "why bother" would that lead to the end of your suffering? The choice is yours. You can always try :smile:

steveb1
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by steveb1 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:10 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:58 pm
steveb1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:18 am
(Sincere question and playing a bit of a Devil's Advocate here, but I keep running into this question and feel that I have to ask it:)

That is, first you're nothing, a mere illusion, and then the patterns that "I" created will ripple through time to create a "reasonable facsimile" of "me" in some karmically-designated "format"; a format that only resembles me, but will not be me.

I have, however, an instinctual intuition that my view of this issue must be wrong - my understanding must be incomplete or misinterpretive, because:

1) If I'm illusion, why should I practice right action and compassion toward myself? I'm just a temporary cipher composed of impermanent processes, which at death will be scattered anyway. So - 'Why Bother?"

2) Ditto re: other sentient (non-) beings: why should I regard them any more highly or with any more reality than I regard myself? Like me, they are all illusions, empty of form/self-nature, temporary ciphers; how can a non-being spiritually assist or obstruct another non-being? So again the question - "Why Bother?"

....
Wow really great work communicating and digging into the logic of your experience in the context of Buddhism. All the respect to you....

So the answer is super complex. ...lets set the stage.... this is hard, so start with your super intellect steveb. In a nutshell, the answer complies with all of your thoughts. So first please take a moment to recall and accept everything you felt and understood and rejected and accepted when you wrote that OP.

...ok so from there.... first stop, buddhahood.... you wrote, and good on you:
is, first you're nothing, a mere illusion, and then the patterns that "I" created will ripple through time to create a "reasonable facsimile" of "me" in some karmically-designated "format";
This is something that anyone with the slightest ability to think for theselves will consider when diving into the four noble truths: the fourth truth, the truth of the path, is two way. Daa. Of course it is two way. And i can go straight to hell (am human now). That fact alone is proof that the path to enlightenment also serves as the path to hell.

So maybe that is enough. What do i really know about the actual origin of the first link of dependent origination? Everything, because its all here in my mind. And you know everything also. So my advice is pratyyeka buddha path, focus on prooving and disproving all ideas that you and others have.

Well, i will say one more thing...
If I'm illusion, why should I practice right action and compassion toward myself?
You know the answer to this.... ..... not only are you a real human being (as opposed to an illusion, see second of two truths), inside your mind/brain still lives the sensitive child that you once were. And you can make an #$% of yourself and hurt that childs feelings, or you can share lovng kindness (based in part on compassion).
Thanks for your sensitive comments. Yeah, I do experience myself as a human being, the Buddha addressed human beings, not phantasms. Something new for me to think about.

steveb1
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Re: 'No Self' = 'Why Bother?'

Post by steveb1 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:11 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:31 pm
"Not self" is descriptive, not prescriptive, hence its open to interpretations, and the way you interpret it, says nothing about it, but more about the quality of your mind. This is why Kamma works!
Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
If you interpret it as: "why bother" would that lead to the end of your suffering? The choice is yours. You can always try :smile:
Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I'll always keep trying.
:)

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