I find it all closely related: the four noble truths and what or who we think we are, and how we experience or perceive ourselves. Self-views, self-perception, identification, me and mine making, it all plays a major role in the cause of suffering and in the end of it. The Buddha was such a great teachers because he describes this in detail.
I do not see a solution to suffering when one has still an idea or perception, or experimental taste, that it is a personal self, a subject, a me, who experiences, knows, lives, dies, suffers, is burdened, subject of pain and affliction. That suffering cannot end. I do not see how. Mind with a notion of self will always be burdened. That is because there is always conflict. Only when subject-object duality vanishes the mind becomes really one, really united and unburdened. Perceiver becomes perceived. I am notion vanishes. The subject and object pole in the mind disappear. Mystics know this, and wittness of it, Buddha, i belief, knew this too. The real dukkha is in this duality of subject and object, in this personal pole in the mind, this center of experience, that we experience as a kind of mental being inside, a kind of homunculus, ego, self.
well, obviously, why would you attain Nibbana then? If you look how Buddha explain qualities of Nibbana there are aspects that one experiences, no self = nothing = Nibbana impossible. No self will only lead to asanna realm
Not-self does not mean that there is nothing. It does not mean we do not exist. In the end it means that the nature of the mind, that what experiences, that what knows, is perceived in a distorted way as a kind of being, a subject, a Me. We all have the perception of an existing inner entity, which one can also call ego or self.
In earlier years they literally thought there is some kind of small creature in our heads who rules, a self, a Me, an ego, a subject. Those words all triy to indicate the same perception there is a kind of inner mental creature, a self.
What the Buddha discovered is that this is not really the nature of the mind. It is also just a defilement, like greed, adventitious to the nature of the mind, and it can cease. If it ends there is not nothing but there is truth about oneself, no-ego, avijja is finally gone. There is wisdom. Dhamma.
There is no need anymore to satisfy and feed this inner mental creatures needs, which is tanha. Those longings of pleasures, peace, annihilation, for continued existence, for status, for power, security, those are very closely connected to this perception of an inner mental being, the self.
If you do not experience it there is no need to preach it as right way as it’s mere belief system which Buddha Dhamma is not, neither no self or “not self” are not Buddha teachings but realizing how Paticca Samupadda works so one can be liberated
All that intellectual knowledge about Buddha-Dhamma is also not really knowing Dhamma. I am aware of this.
Consistency in this mountain of knowledge as a sign that one really understands Dhamma is, i belief, an untrue measurement. It only proofs that one is a strong intellectual and has a strong need for control, strong grasping tendencies, strong tanha. One wants to literally grasp anything with intellect.
That’s what i see in myself and others.
For me personally it feels like a burden, an addiction, a fetter. The need to graps everything with the intellect and the need for consistency. One starts to confuse clarity with consistency.
I do not think intellectual knowledge about Paticca Samuppada, four noble truths, in general the Dhamma, can liberate the heart. Maybe it might cool down the mind a bit because one feels like an expert, and feels one knows, but a real cooling down it is not, i belief.
In a sense all this knowledge becomes a cage. In stead of loosing weight one becomes more and more heavy. The heart-release? No, heart-problems. That’s what i see. In myself and others too. It is no real quality.
Also this socalled dhamma expertise can become an addiction, a fetter, even a cause for conflict, suffering, trouble, schisma, problems.