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One of the questions / answers recently posted here was about "storing" mental states for later.

Of course this isn't Buddhist, in the sense that it does not literally describe a selfless person.

But it could be metaphorical, couldn't it? The idea that the mind is like a computer, even though there are dis-analogous elements to that term, there are overlaps - like the way that persons have access to the past in memory, as if they were "stored".

So my question is: are any of the Buddhas actual teachings only metaphorical?

  • Yes. There are 2 truths; the relative and the ultimate. Thus, some are explicitly metaphorical or practical, and some "point out" the nature of mind. – sova Mar 9 '15 at 21:35
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This city (body) is built of bones, plastered with flesh and blood; within are decay and death, pride and jealousy. - [Dhp. 150]

The Dhammapada is full of metaphors, similes and comparisons. It is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. Here's a good article on that.

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From the Dhammapada verses 153-154:

I, who have been seeking the builder of this house (body), failing to attain Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana) which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, dukkha!

Oh house-builder! You are seen, you shall build no house (for me) again. All your rafters are broken, your roof-tree is destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned (i.e., Nibbana); the end of craving (Arahatta Phala) has been attained.

Who is the house builder? Does that refer to God? Click the link above to find out.

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