Thanks for the clarification, Ven. @sujato. The “riddle” idea is interesting. Would you say that, when describing this view, the Buddha wasn’t referring to “annihilationism” in general, but a particular sort of practice that existed in India at the time (which is kinda what Ven. Analayo was suggesting)? It seems like there other other suttas (e.g., mn 110) where the Buddha describes a more morally nihilist, kamma-denying form of annihilationism as quite a harmful belief.
Hmm, I have interpreted the passage something like, «It was not inevitable that this should exist, and it was not inevitable that it should belong to me. It is inevitable that it will cease to exist, and it is inevitable that it will cease belonging to me». Am I way off base there?
It seems to me this kind of thing is a little ambiguous to fix it very strongly to any one philosophy.
If you compare with similar wisdom sayings today, they’re pretty portable. Something like, say, “If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no-one there to see it, does it make a sound?” It comes from Zen, but is it specifically restricted to that? I don’t think so.