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A Poll on How to Translate Anattā

anattā
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#103

From an evolutionary standpoint, we have at best an experience of “rockness” that is not a penalty in terms of fitness.

Animals who depend on rocks to live and procreate probably experience “rockness” in a way that maximizes their fitness. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like, but a guess might be it feels like it does for us about things that are close to our own fitness.

Anyway, our human capabilities are superior for living in the niche that humans do. Lizards and insects are superior at living like lizards and insect; insect would beat us at burrowing under rocks, lizards would beat us at catching catching flies with the mouth.

However, it seems that the human sensory-cognitive apparatus is special in that it can be repurposed for liberation, it’s flexible enough to do other things than just survival and procreation.

For example in an4.159, food, craving and conceit – all necessary things for evolution – are repurposed for the spiritual pursuit; however, sex cannot be repurposed for this aim according to the sutta.


#104

Just found this in my notifications of unread posts. Sorry if this is no longer relevant but I noted something:

“perception is without a self” seems to me to be more inclusive. For example, “perception has no self” does not exclude perception being self. The former seems to cover more logical permutations of the self problem - there’s no self involved whether possessor or possessee, etc. Perhaps due to that it is safer.