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Someone told me that Atma is nothing but energy which occupies the whole body. When the energy leaves the body ,the body dies.

I guess the argument is wrong. But can anyone point out the flaw in the argument that Atma is energy?

  • The Buddha has worked out there is no atman. So how could it be something at all? (There is, I think, a hinduistic stack exchange, where people discuss using the assumption of an existing atman.) – Gottfried Helms Jul 30 '18 at 15:19
  • @GottfriedHelms I know there is no atman. But what if somebody says there is atman and it is energy , then how do you refute it ? That was my question. I am not doubting Buddha. I am trying to convince those who believe that there is atma , that there is no atma. – Dheeraj Verma Jul 30 '18 at 15:42
  • Dheeraj - well, from where do you know there is no atman? Really, I do not know, I only can say: I've not seen it so far. - "Well", might be the answer, "but I have seen it, your senses are weak!" I think it is a good advice of the Buddha, never to pose as if I know more than I can know and show. I can improve my position in two ways: improving my senses (which might also include to get in contact to such people who claim to have the senses "to see" and check whether there is something I could learn) and/or trusting the Buddha, who claims that nobody has/had "better senses" and my ... – Gottfried Helms Jul 30 '18 at 20:58
  • ... (poor-mans) "not-finding-atman" agrees with the "not-finding-atman" of the Buddha (and his following arguments) which I find completely convincing - but we should never throw away our gentlemen-ness, reservation against full-mouth-claims, and the acceptance of the fact that we might not know such deepest conjectures/proposals like "existence-of-atman", "results-of-karmic-impulses" and so on. (Btw. thats one of the reasons that I don't like much to involve in this forum too much because there are so many people who "know" so many deep things and still are asking...) – Gottfried Helms Jul 30 '18 at 21:04
  • @GottfriedHelms Doubt is one of the hindrance. Sabbe Dhamma Anatta means all Dhammas or phenomenas are without Self. Uninterrupted flow knowledge is what I find on this site. I love it. – Dheeraj Verma Jul 30 '18 at 21:38
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Biological bodies are a kind of machine with an engine, so to speak. Just as a car uses oxygen to burn chemical energy (petrol), and then convert it to kinetic energy, the biological body too uses oxygen from breath, to convert chemical energy originating from food into other types of energy. The brain, the nervous system and endocrine system regulate the biological body systems, while the circulatory system circulates oxygen bound to red blood cells across the body, and collects the waste.

When any part of the body becomes diseased or damaged in such a way that the operation of this engine fails, the body stops generating the type of energy that keeps it alive and running. There is no supernatural energy that keeps it alive.

The counter the argument, you can also state the fact that healthy and fit people are more energetic than sedentary healthy people, while sedentary healthy people are more energetic than ill people. So, does this mean that the Atma changes based on the health status?

  • Exactly if Self was a supernatural source of Energy then why do we need to eat at all ? Energy seems to changeable and perishable(by turning into not useful energy) therefore not worth identifying as Self. I am not Energy . Energy is not mine. Energy is not myself. – Dheeraj Verma Jul 28 '18 at 17:52
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It's like asking if superman is an elf? The question itself is invalid. Atma does not exist and energy does not exist according to Buddhism. All you have are momentary experiences rising and dying instantly. They are of six kinds: seeing, hearing, smelling. tasting, touching and thinking.

  • I can understand that Atma is a false belief. But the person who believes in Atma says that Atma is energy which neither gets created or destroyed. Atma simply transforms from one energy state to another. Question is how do I disprove that. – Dheeraj Verma Jul 28 '18 at 13:12
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    How can you disprove that there's no teapot circling around Saturn or that there is no flying spaghetti monster? You can only explain to him that whatever he is believing in has no basis in experiential reality – Sankha Kulathantille Jul 28 '18 at 13:21
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If we describe Atma as flow of thoughts in mind, we can say thoughts have an energy as according to chitta niyama, thoughts control the things in world..that means thoughts have energy ,so atma also has energy.. When flow of thoughts or Vinnana or atma departs from us, we call that as death, so that atma is also not a certain thing in us, Due to that Buddha said world is anatatma..Like that we can describe atma as an uncertain energy..There may occur some differences of this definition according to the way we describe what's atma

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