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32

When most people think of "self" they think of some abstract core that is the subject of all experience and the agent of all actions. Buddha taught (and modern cognitive science tends to agree) that upon careful examination there is no such single core. Instead experiences result from interactions of multiple perceptory functions. Similarly, our actions are ...


17

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. No, in fact, the meaning of not-self, as others have pointed out, is that the object in question is not self :) The Visuddhimagga offers some good explanations: All that [materiality] is “not-self in the sense of having no core.” In the sense of ...


15

How is it possible that he had past lives? Because until he became the Buddha he hadn't eliminated craving. Craving leads to clinging, clinging leads to becoming, becoming leads to birth. how did he know they were his? What defines them as his? Do you remember your childhood? If so, why do you call it your childhood? Because your current existence(...


12

The principle of not-self is not saying "No self", it's saying a specific kind of thing: "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self... "Bhikkhus, perception is not-self... etc. From Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic Upon the greater question of "does some kind of self other than the aggregates exist", the Buddha refused to ...


11

Anatta means that there is no permanent self, not that there is no self at all. That would be just silly and contradict observation. Imagine the self as a car. Every day one part of the car is replaced with another. One day the right headlight, the other day the windscreen, the third day the rear left wheel. And so on. At some point, all the pieces of the ...


10

Well, here's my take on Identity view. I think it's relatively compatible with the Sutras, but should not be considered an exposition of them. First, what is this "self"? One answer is that it's your reaction when contemplating the following questions... 1. When you feel pride in an accomplishment, what is the recipient of this pride? 2. When you feel ...


10

I would like to answer this not from the perspective of a knowledgeable Buddhist, but from the perspective of someone who has been clean and sober for over 9 years. Disclaimer: I am a recent Buddhist and know very little about the mechanics or the theory of it all. I simply practice daily meditation with the intent of awakening someday in this lifetime (or ...


9

According to Buddhism, even when I am typing these words and seeing the screen, there is no one there. The 'person' isn't an existing thing, it is just a label we put on things to describe how things work, and the label of person refers to a large group of many different mental and physical processes. If there is ultimately no self, does that mean that all ...


8

"I'm just trying to understand the concept of anatta better here. Buddhism tells me there is the concept of no-self (anatta) [...] (correct me if I'm wrong)." I'll quote @suminda's sucint description of anatta here: Saying there is no self is a bit of a mistranslation or abbreviated translation. A better translation would be "there is nothing you can ...


8

tl;dr: I think it is normal, you just need time to get used to it. It will pass. I think it will be useful for you to investigate, why do you feel the desire to be "normal"? What part of you feels insecure? I can only offer my anecdotal support - yes, I've felt like this too. At one point I couldn't even fill out the "About me" section of my social media ...


8

Let’s get this straight. This is the problem when your mind is active and you’re reading all this stuff and thinking about it. The mind can only be confused. Because “moving above your intellect” is enlightenment, nirvana and all that jazz. Right now you seem stuck with your intellect, which can only dissect stuff and make you operational in this world which ...


8

It essentially doesn't change anything. If you look hard, that "I" was always an illusion. No matter where you try to draw a boundary - it is artificial: Does the body belong to the self or not? How about that constant flow of matter and energy in and out - at what point does it even belong to the body? Do thoughts belong to the self or not? You are ...


7

From my perspective, when it comes to eradication of identity view, there is analytical level, and then there is the level of day-to-day intuitive action. On analytical level, it is a clear direct understanding that: the boundaries of ("external") entities are conventional designations; thoughts come from perceptions plus associative memory, not "I think"; ...


7

Whether you believe in a 'self' or not, suffering is very real. You experience it on a daily basis. It is this suffering that makes beings look for an end to it. There's only one permanent end to suffering and that is Nibbana. That is why you should care about striving for it. Craving is what prevents you from accomplishing this. Ignorance is what causes ...


7

It is wrong view because of the "I" (bolded): "I have no self". This view still believes in self. It thinks: "myself has no self". This is the wrong view of the befuddled wanderer Vacchagotta in SN 44.10. This wrong view is similar to the nihilistic view in MN 102, where it states: Just as a dog bound by a leash tied to a post or pillar keeps running and ...


7

If you want to know the truth about reality, you have to learn how to make impartial observations of nature. When you ask questions like "Who is waking up? Who is witnessing?", you have already made the assumption that there is an entity involved. The moment you do that, you drift away from reality and the experiment becomes biased. It's the same as asking "...


6

The "answer" seems to be more like a glass of water being taken from a river and then being poured back into the river. Can the exact same glass of water ever be drawn from that river? Possibly, but extremely improbable, but another glass of water may be drawn from the river, a river that has been influenced by the actions of the first glass of water. ...


6

This is a question of kings! Many many years ago, a king asked the same question of a monk. Here is the dialogue from Sutta Central The king said: ‘Where there is no transmigration, Nāgasena, can there be rebirth?’ ‘Yes, there can.’ ‘But how can that be? Give me an illustration.’ ‘Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp from another lamp, can it be said ...


6

You start by saying, "I don't want to consult any doctor about my obsession". I suggest that what you want (and what you don't want) are part of the problem: and should not be considered as a reliable guide for what you ought to be doing. It is your using "what I want" as a guide that has led you into this situation, from which you find it difficult to ...


6

One must be very careful with the idea that there is no self. This is not quite what the early Buddhist texts say. What they say is that when one examines one's experience (the five khandhas: form, sensations, perceptions, volitions and cognitions) one does not find a self, nor anything that belongs to a self (Alagaddupama Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya, Sutta no.22)...


6

In suttas Buddha says this to people feeling remorseful about their past: there is no use worrying about the past you can't change. Focus on acting with skill going forward. One of the most underappreciated techniques in Buddhism is weaving useful narratives. This is when you tell yourself a story about yourself in a way that induces and sustains the good ...


6

If society is collectively wrong about me then ,myself is an error , illusion or dream, not just for me but for the entire society... Yes. Correct. The Buddha said: 174. Blind is the world; here only a few possess insight. Only a few, like birds escaping from the net, go to realms of bliss. Lokavagga From Buddha's point of view if Self is Mara ...


6

This is a very famous line of argumentation in Buddhism, especially in Theravada, about no-self. The basic idea is that according to common sense, we can control ourselves by the power of will - move our limbs etc. - but we can't control external objects. From this it follows that this notion of control can be used to help clarify the boundary between "me" ...


6

The two contradict only to a "confused" (=normal) mind - in which "self" and "others" are two separate things. To the enlightened mind, what's good for one is good for the other, because they dependently-co-emerge. Even in a regular worldly sense, if you think about it, it's impossible to 100% neglect one and only care about the other. If you attempted to ...


5

"Presumably, 'eradication of identity-view' is more than simply claiming, 'Yes, there's no self anywhere!!'" From [my understanding of] the Theravada standpoint, in terms of practice, it is definitely more than simply claiming something like that. "So, how should one understand what 'identity-view' is" [edited]: I suppose there is no other way but to ...


5

Is identity-view the same then as being aware that skandhas exist? The same as being attracted to (clinging to) sense-objects? Isn't the answer to that, "No that's not true, because 'sensual desire' is the fourth fetter"? The Samanupassana Sutta might help you in answering some of the questions you asked above. I think the Samanupassana Sutta makes ...


5

First, you need to understand that Buddhist texts operate on two levels of description: the conventional truth and the ultimate truth. The contradiction disappears when you realise that anatta (the non-existence of self) is an ultimate truth, while the rebirth is a conventional truth. In other words, Buddhists believe that people linked by a chain of ...


5

Buddhism doesn't have the concept of sin. It's more of a concept of unskillful or unwholesome action (Akusala Kamma). There is no God to please. There is no "thing" that needs to be done to gain approval. What there is, is bad karma and that the person will experience that karma and the worsening spiral of those problems until they let go of the attachment ...


5

You should not believe or hold a view that: there is a self there is not self But whatever you consider as self is not worthy of being called self as: you cannot control it to your will it is impermanent Since if you take a being as parts in terms of the 5 aggregates or 6 faculties each part which constitute a being is not self. E.g. the eye is not self, ...


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