4

Added: I am asking this because I am not sure if anything I observe would be considered "self" according to the Buddha. I don't have this problem with craving or suffering because I can observe/experience craving and suffering and it seems quite clear that they can be and are defined as such.

It seems to me I am unable to determine whether there is, isn't, what is or what isn't "self" because I don't know what aspect/s of reality the word "self" is defined as corresponding to.

I am wondering if it is possible to describe what aspect/s of reality the word "self" is defined as corresponding to.

It looks like the Buddha may have defined the aggregates as "not-self" so if there is a "self" (What is a "self"?) then according to the Buddha it's definitely not the aggregates. In my opinion this cannot simply be a "view for practicality" because then the Buddha would be a liar in that case.

  • A complication here is your use of the upper-case 'Self' in the question. The upper-case Self is not the lower-case self and it's the latter you're asking about. – PeterJ Oct 31 '18 at 12:30
  • @PeterJ Isn't the same word (atta) used for both "self" and "Self"? Or translated as both, or translated as one or the other, depending on the context? See e.g. this definition gives two meanings, 1) "soul" 2) "oneself". – ChrisW Oct 31 '18 at 12:32
  • @ChrisW - I was thinking of Indian religion where 'Self' would be Brahman and the Biblical 'I Am' while 'self' would be the non-existent ego-self. This confuses the question for me. – PeterJ Oct 31 '18 at 12:52
  • Okay I changed it. – Angus Oct 31 '18 at 12:55
  • Anattalakkhaṇasutta is a short sutta for "self" explanation. Brahmajālasutta is a long sutta. All abhidhamma, especially paṭṭhāna, is "non self" explanation. This is the longest explanation. If you can't understand "self" by all of these sutta, it means your pali skill is lacking. – Bonn Oct 31 '18 at 14:08
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I suppose that "self" is not easy to identify, especially since Buddhist doctrine is that everything is "non-self".

The words "atta" and "anatta" are used without much obvious definition, in the Anattalakkhaṇasutta (which is maybe the most fundamental sutta on the subject).

The a or an prefix there (i.e. which distinguishes anatta from atta) is just "the negative prefix" which implies the negative or absence of something (I think that's like in English, e.g. "theist" versus "atheist") -- you can't tell whether that means exactly (i.e. you can't usefully distinguish between) "non-self", "no self", "not self", "without self", "independent of self", "free of self-theory", etc. -- those are all more-or-less the same thing, in my opinion.


I asked this question on this site: What are examples of identity-view? (forgive or skip the long question, but perhaps the answers there will make sense to you).

I asked that question because it's (specifically) "identity view" that's listed as a "fetter".

"Identity view" is how people translate sakkāya-diṭṭhi -- you can find definitions of that, for example here

'personality-belief', is the first of the 10 fetters (samyojana).

It is entirely abandoned only on reaching the path of Stream-winning (sotāpatti-magga; s. ariya-puggala).

There are 20 kinds of personality-belief, which are obtained by applying 4 types of that belief to each of the 5 groups of existence (khandha):

  • (1-5) the belief to be identical with corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations or consciousness;
  • (6-10) to be contained in them;
  • (11-15) to be independent of them;
  • (16-20) to be the owner of them (M.44; S.XXII.1).

... and here.

I think it literally or etymologically means something like:

  • sa -- true or good or own (maybe it isn't clear what word this was)
  • kāya -- body
  • diṭṭhi -- view

In summary I think it's identifying with the aggregates, e.g. "I am this body", "I am the feeling", "I am this perception", etc. -- or "I am contained in this body", or "I am independent of this body", or "I am the owner of this body" -- IMO what these views all have in common is the view that "I am" or that "I" am.

An analogy is Gaddula Sutta: The Leash (SN 22.99) which implies that people are tied to it, keep running around it, like a dog might be tied by a leash to a post or stake.

I like Pirsig's description of "the old South Indian Monkey Trap" ...

... the most striking example of value rigidity I can think of is the old South Indian Monkey Trap, which depends on value rigidity for its effectiveness. The trap consists of a hollowed-out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut has some rice inside which can be grabbed through a small hole. The hole is big enough so that the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for his fist with rice in it to come out. The monkey reaches in and is suddenly trapped...by nothing more than his own value rigidity. He can’t revalue the rice. He cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than capture with it. The villagers are coming to get him and take him away. They’re coming closer—closer! -- now! What general advice...not specific advice...but what general advice would you give the poor monkey in circumstances like this?

... though obviously that's not canonical.

See also MN 44 which associates identity view with craving, as defined in the four noble truths:

Then the layman Visākha went to see the nun Dhammadinnā, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to her: “Ma’am, they speak of this thing called ‘identity’. What is this identity that the Buddha spoke of?” “Visākha, the Buddha said that these five grasping aggregates are identity. That is: form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness. The Buddha said that these five grasping aggregates are identity.”

Saying “Good, ma’am,” Visākha approved and agreed with what Dhammadinnā said. Then he asked another question: “Ma’am, they speak of this thing called ‘the origin of identity’. What is the origin of identity that the Buddha spoke of?” “It’s the craving that leads to future rebirth, mixed up with relishing and greed, taking pleasure in various different realms. That is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving to continue existence, and craving to end existence. The Buddha said that this is the origin of identity.”

“Ma’am, they speak of this thing called ‘the cessation of identity’. What is the cessation of identity that the Buddha spoke of?”

“It’s the fading away and cessation of that very same craving with nothing left over; giving it away, letting it go, releasing it, and not clinging to it. The Buddha said that this is the cessation of identity.”

It uses the word "self" (atta) to define "identity view", without defining the word "self":

But ma’am, how does identity view come about?”
“Kathaṃ panāyye, sakkāyadiṭṭhi hotī”ti?

“It’s when an uneducated ordinary person has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve not seen good persons, and are neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the good persons.

They regard form as self, self as having form, form in self, or self in form.
rūpaṃ attato samanupassati, rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ, attani vā rūpaṃ, rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ.

They regard feeling … perception … choices … consciousness as self, self as having consciousness, consciousness in self, or self in consciousness. That’s how identity view comes about.”


Another aspect of "self" is pride, apparently, i.e. conceit or māna.

I asked about that here: How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? The answers there are fairly easy to understand.

See also perhaps Sakkāya Ditthi is Personality (Me) View?, which emphasises a distinction between the two fetters.


Another topic I found helpful was: How is it wrong to believe that a self exists, or that it doesn't? -- not that there is or isn't a self, but that any "view of self" leads to suffering.

I was taught history-of-science at school; I think that, to a scientist, a "view" or "theory" is like a description of something. You can choose any view[s] you like, but some views fit better with other views, fit the empirical observations better, are more useful or make better predictions -- so anyway I don't see "is there or isn't there a self?" as being a question of fact, I see it as a question of whether "self" is helpful theory (and Buddhism suggests that it isn't, that it's a hindrance).


I think that another helpful hint as to what the concept of "self" includes can be found towards the end of the Anattalakkhaṇasutta:

“So you should truly see any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: all form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’

“Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, yaṃ kiñci rūpaṃ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṃ ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā oḷārikaṃ vā sukhumaṃ vā hīnaṃ vā paṇītaṃ vā yaṃ dūre santike vā, sabbaṃ rūpaṃ: ‘netaṃ mama, nesohamasmi, na meso attā’ti evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabbaṃ.

In other words there's "self" in the idea of possession or ownership -- i.e. the view that "that is mine" implies that there's a "me" or a "self".


Another way to approach it is in Buddhist descriptions of "a being" -- e.g. "a sentient being". Take the parable of the chariot for example (e.g. "what you call a chariot is a mere assemblage of parts") -- see the Vajira Sutta.

I think that too related to the idea of self (e.g. "I am a being"), though maybe other fetters too (e.g. bhava "becoming").


Is self even a theory? What is it even postulating?

I think it's postulates like these, which Buddhism declares to be wrong views:

A thicket of wrong views (quoting from MN 2)

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person... does not discern what ideas are fit for attention, or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention, and attends instead to ideas unfit for attention... This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones... discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention... He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices."

I think that "self-views" include:

  • I exist
  • I don't exist
  • I will die
  • I will live forever
  • etc.

People sometimes also distinguish between "existing relatively or conventionally" versus "existing absolutely".

I called that a "theory" (or "like a scientific theory") because, per my understanding of the first paragraph of this answer ...

A view is taking something to be true, whereas conceit falls in the category of a simple experience, which one may or may not hold to be valid. It is similar with greed; one may want something without believing it proper to want, and one may likewise feel conceit ("I am better", etc.) without actually believing in a self. This is seen when, after the arising of a conceited thought, one mentally discards it as being based on delusion rather than accepting it as valid.

... a "view" is some kind of long-lived "belief" and not just a short-lived "perception".

I am asking this because I am not sure if anything I observe is considered "self" or not. I don't have this problem with craving or suffering because I can observe/experience craving and suffering and it seems quite clear that they can be and are defined as such.

Well ... good, then, all for the better?

I think there are maybe two kinds of meaning in the word "self":

  1. "Eternal soul" (see e.g. theories of transmigration)
  2. Oneself (e.g. as used in a sentence "you must know for yourself whether something is true")

I think that the first of type of meaning (i.e. "soul") was a topic of debate or argument at the time, between different sects of wanderers -- see e.g. the 64 views described in DN 1.

The other kind of meaning (which I think of as "conventional, worldly") is alright maybe as far as it goes -- but it's more than only a matter of grammar, I think that "self views" can lead to various forms of suffering, like "self-pity" ("woe is me!"), "self-aggrandisement", "selfishness", and so on.

And I think it (i.e. the "self" concept) is related to craving and attachment ("I want X", "I have X", "I don't have X", "I have lost X", etc.).

Perhaps it's for the better though if you can or do see that without "I-making".


Lastly, Samana Johann wanted me to mention papañca and to reference The Arrows of Thinking.

In summary, I think that papañca may refer to excessive verbalization, possibly "discursive thinking", of a style that you might want to avoid -- because it isn't restful, because it's obstacle to truly seeing the world as it is, and so on -- possibly related to the "thicket of views" that I mentioned earlier above.

And the suttas also use papañca in the description of why people argue with each other.

See also What is papañca -- some of the answers to that question reference Nagarjuna's doctrine of emptiness, which I think says something like "our descriptions or definitions of things (of any and everything) is not the way in which everything 'really is'" -- which maybe agrees with you and with what I said at the ouset, i.e. that "self" is difficult to define or to identify in reality.


Did the Buddha ever define what he meant by "self"?

Maybe the definitions of non-self are better. From the Anattalakkhaṇasutta perhaps we can infer that if there were a self then it would be ...

  • Controllable (if it were me I could control it -- I could tell it to do this or that, or to be this or that)
  • Permanent
  • Pleasurable rather than unsatisfactory

... which the Anattalakkhaṇasutta says that the aggregates are not.

Also I think that anatta is taught for an effect: e.g. to effect dispassion, renunciation, "this isn't me, isn't mine, isn't my self", a turning away, a release (i.e. the opposite of the attachment and craving).

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"Self" is this highly childish, simplified, vague, unexamined idea in your mind: "This is me". It's not a concrete thing, it's an overall thing, it's a blob: "I am such, overall". It's an overgeneralization and an oversimplification.

It exists exactly because it's unexamined, and because it exists it attracts all kinds of funny ideas. For example, you may assume that "I am a good person" or "a bad person" or "a horrible person", or smart, or stupid, or ugly and so on. Self is like a Christmas tree on which we keep hanging all these ideas - but if you look carefully, there is no tree. It's all made of the decorations, or ideas - hanging on each other!

That is the point!

We acquire an opinion about politics, or some kind of judgement about the world and we add it to the tree. Then we identify with it so completely that this opinion becomes our second nature. It is natural to us to think that (put some popular controversy here). So once there is self, once there is this Christmas tree of ideas we have internalized and identified with - about ourselves, the world, and everything in between - we begin to see things a certain way, a certain reality arises in our mind.

But this reality is not THE reality. This reality is a projection of the Christmas tree! It's a shadow or a reflection of our conglomerate of ideas.

So when Buddhism talks about no-self in practice it first and foremost means getting rid of this deep fundamental assumption that reality we see is actual reality, and our idea of self is actually a truthful representation of how things are.

To this goal we are instructed to examine our immediate experience (thoughts, emotions, interpretations, perceptions etc.) until we see how the Christmas tree is made.

Then of course we see that what we thought were our "choices" and "actions" were actually knee-jerk reactions and impulses coming from the Christmas tree. We realize that all speak of free-will is nonsense when we are in fact driven by our ideas like sheep, and freedom is only possible when we un-identify from all that and learn to be nothing (yeah, like Arya Stark).

When we are nothing, we are free, because there is nothing one can point to and say this is us. When this happens, the notions of death etc. are no longer applicable - because the object it was supposed to apply to only exists in the unenlightened mind, but we don't have to hold on to that.

This, generally, is the overall context in which these conversations about No-Self happen in (Mahayana) Buddhism. At least, this is how it is from my perspective, but mine is not final of course. For example in Theravada, the no-self talk is primarily ordered around Five Aggregates, which from Mahayana perspective is nothing but a didactic device to provide an alternative functional interpretation of Everything that would not involve a notion of single agent or single observer. So Theravada is slightly more concerned with the low-level phenomenology of observation and action while Mahayana is more concerned about the higher-level (social and psychological) manifestations of the same illusion of a single solid entity.

Anyway, what's important to understand for a beginner is that "self" is this unexamined blob, which seems like you until you start analyzing it. I am this, I am such, I like this, I hate this, This is right, This is wrong - all this stuff bundled together into one "This is who I am and this is why I do what I do" - is the self.

  • That is similar to how I see it. Did the Buddha ever explain it like that? Imo the idea of "self" or "I" is only used and found in thoughts to mean "this person not another person" but for some reason language isn't like that. – Angus Nov 2 '18 at 10:18
  • In Mahayana we study the words of teachers who were the students of teachers who were the students of Buddha. So we primarily study the live tradition, not just the Pali texts. The way I explain it, is the way I understood from my teachers and from the many books written by their teachers. Self, in Mahayana, is an idea that "this" is special and separate from "all that". If you're looking for a book about this, try Maitreya's Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Madhyāntavibhāga), with comments by Thrangu Rinpoche. – Andrei Volkov Nov 3 '18 at 16:51
  • @Angus H. H. the Dalai Lama says something like that here: youtu.be/IUEkDc_LfKQ?t=124 – ChrisW Nov 3 '18 at 23:14
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Yes puthujjanas who love to qualify themselves of rationalists crave definitions of terms. they think that definitions makes thing clear and it is possible to define things in the first place and once people agree on definition, they will communicate clearly. Of course, to this day, they still have not provided one single definition of any term, of all terms they strive to define. It is one of the most moronic views created by puthujjanas.

In which case it seems the Buddha is defining the aggregates as "not-self"

The buddha does not define anything. At best the buddha says something like "why is XXXX called XXXX? XxX is called XXX, because it does XXXX." [like he does for vinnana, vedana and so on]

There are two little suttas about atta:

There is a little summary for each sutta.

  1. Etaɱ Mama Suttaɱ, III.203

    The Buddha states that the view that some thing belongs to the self, or that some thing is the self arises from not understanding the impermanent and painful nature of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making, and consciousness and the seen, heard, sensed, cognized, acquired, investigated, or turned over in mind.

  2. So Attā Suttaɱ, III.204

    The Buddha states that the view that that which is the self and that which is the world for one will become stable in the hereafter arises from not understanding the impermanent and painful nature of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making, and consciousness and the seen, heard, sensed, cognized, acquired, investigated, or turned over in mind.

A puthujjana has zero difficulty to ''have a sense of self'' like some puthujjana speculating about anatta phrase it. The most common and toxic experience for a puthujjana is when the puthujjana thinks and says

'This is mine; this am I; this is the self of me'"

When this experience is expressed as a view, it is called sakkaya ditthi.

The other famous word on which puthujjanas struggle a lot is the word satta, typically called being. The puthujjanas embarrass themselves by speculating and trying to tie some static thing to it. The problem of the word being is that it is a word created by puthujjanas and as usual there is zero definition to that word. Puthujjanas love to create words, then to wonder for thousands of year what is this word as an experience or, for the most intellectual, what is the entity behind this word.

The claim of the buddha is that there is zero difference between a being and craving. When you experience craving, you experience ''being'' or ''being a being''/. Since experiencing a being is a weird phrase, you can say that ''you create a being'' as long as there is craving.

The buddha rephrase fully the vague word ''satta' created by puthujjanas and that no puthujjana know what it means into fully knowable and universal experience called craving:

Satta Sutta: A Being (SN 23.2)

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.

All puthujjana on earth knows what craving is. Zero puthujjana on earth knows what ''satta' means (because it means nothing).

But the puthujjanas who are philosophers and daydreamers and creators of views despise that. they prefer to continue to speculate, to create and share their little views and sciences that they call ontology, epistemology, metaphysics.

And the buddha is always clear with what must be done with what is conditioned, because there is zero way to turn a conditioned thing into a unconditioned thing,

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Unbinding."

And just like for satta, the buddha says in the two little suttas above, that ''there is a sense of self'' to phrase it like people say today and which is the view:

'This is mine; this am I; this is the self of me'.

is fully the craving, the dependence on something, which means, for rupa for instance,

There being a body, brethren, by clinging to body, depending on body,

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Yes:

Eye, it's object, touch at it, recognising on the eye, felling, and all what arises around it, is not self, no refuge, has no hardwood in it, nothing of real worth, making no "sense".

The ear, it's object,... the nose..., the tongue... the body..., the intellect, it's object, touch at it, recognising on the intellect, felling, and all what arises around it, is not self, no refuge, has no hardwood in it, nothing of real worth, making no "sense". Why? Because not real, changing, insecure and sick, stress and suffering.

Try it, look for yourself to know as it comes into existence and decays.

How to use the food for beyound is good nourished here: Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta.

Oh, and Nyom Chris, there is stille something missing in Nyoms answer, something importand: " The Arrows of Thinking - Papañca & The Path to End Conflict" 🏃 🚶 🚹 💨

A serial of Self-definitions: Ditthi-samyutta — Views - 25. Okkanta-samyutta — Entering and at near least the Dhatusutta 💹


🔁❓I am asking this because I am not sure if anything I observe is considered "self" or not.

➥❓Who considers observed? Others? Is there anything beside aggregats, senseobjects, dathus... observed? if ⇨ ❎ No ⇨ then go on, cutting away one after another, "no refuge, not self, of no worth, senseless..." while sticking to the basics, formost Sila, firm. Support: The Essence of the Dhamma 🚣

[Note: The gift of Dhamma is not thought for any trade or wordily exchange]

  • Thank you for the reference to papañca -- I may read that soon, to see how I might add that to "my" answer. – ChrisW Oct 31 '18 at 14:47
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    Mudita and mainly much insight and release with it. – Samana Johann Oct 31 '18 at 14:51
  • I think that Veiculo longo and Dhammadhatu are different people, though their posting style is slightly similar in some ways. That observation doesn't belong in your answer though (it doesn't help to answer the question) so I'm trying to delete it. – ChrisW Oct 31 '18 at 14:52
  • That's fine. Thinking sometimes also, for relexation, relativation of troubles. – Samana Johann Oct 31 '18 at 14:59
  • Just to understand Vunerables new "how can I break Silas" idea: dhammawheel.com/… Nyom @ChrisW. Maybe liking to check the dates if feeling doubts, this or that. – Samana Johann Oct 31 '18 at 16:32
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When I perceive something outside of myself, whose perspective is it really? The nature of self and everything else has always intrigued me and I am overjoyed by the question and the many answers posted. Did I create this joy by thinking thus? Am I the self I believe I am? Who am I?

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In my current simplified understanding I have come to see not-self in two ways:

  • Mind self
  • Physical self

They are both intrinsically connected - meaning they both symbiotically inform each other of being an isolated 'one' and thus separate from all other physical and mental circumstances. Body informs mind and mind informs body only because of conditioned momentum.

It's not important to know that there is or isn't a self. in fact, this could be more of a hindrance. How so? Adopting a belief of there is a self or there isn't a self is to use your conditioned state to govern the mental abstraction of itself thereby falling back into that which one must non-judgmentally observe. This is because belief is rooted in the absence of fact and can, therefore, only exist as mind structures. This can be likened to you being punched in the face and then handing your assailant a user feedback form. That being: the conditioned you creates your discontent only to refer back to the conditioned you for a remedy to that discontent.

It is important to see that it works in that way but from outside the context of your conditioned frame of reference. The issue here is that this cannot be done in one thought moment or even several.

So, what of mind self and physical self? Using the Four Noble Truths and The Three Mark of Existance we can understand from a place that is slightly more distilled from our conditioning and dismantle what appears to be a static form; ourselves. In the Satipatthana sutta, section five states:

And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body, however it be placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: "There are in this body the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, the element of wind."

Contemplating the elements in this way loosens up the sense of the physical self being independent from all other forms. It's not possible to say that the water in your body is yours or the heat in your body is yours. It's just passing through you from somewhere else. Likewise for the other two. In this physical sense, you are not you; the elements are impermanent, unsatisfactory and therefore not-self.

Furthermore, in the Satipatthana sutta there is the contemplation of mental objects; the contemplation of the aggregates (saṃjñā and saṃskāra are really critical here) and the contemplation of consciousness.

In The Sabbasava Sutta the Buddha discouraged monks from speculating about the notion of a self...

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

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