“This is how he attends unwisely: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what did I become in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I become in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the present thus: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where will it go?’
“When he attends unwisely in this way, one of six views arises in him. The view ‘self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘no self exists for me’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive not-self with self’ arises in him as true and established; or the view ‘I perceive self with not-self’ arises in him as true and established; or else he has some such view as this: ‘It is this self of mine that speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions; but this self of mine is permanent, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and it will endure as long as eternity.’ This speculative view, bhikkhus, is called the thicket of views, the wilderness of views, the contortion of views, the vacillation of views, the fetter of views. Fettered by the fetter of views, the untaught ordinary person is not freed from birth, ageing, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; he is not freed from suffering, I say.“
I often here that the Buddha taught that there is no Self. but my understanding from the above is that the view “there is no self” is explicitly repudiated as a kind of personality view. As I understand it the Buddha taught the giving up of personality views, views that affirm a self, views that deny a self, views that both assert and deny a self, views that neither assert nor deny a self. That is what it means to give up personality views, it is to give up ALL such views, positive and negative. It seems similar to me to the other questions that the Buddha refused to answer, the infinitude or finitude of the cosmos, the question as to whether the body and the mind are the same or different, the Buddha was opposed to taking up views about such things because they led to intractable entanglement and dispute, but also, I think, because they all make metaphysical commitments that run counter to conditionality or dependence or whatever you want to call it. Would be curious to hear what people think, and also would love to get examples or quotes of Buddhist writers who make statements to the effect that the buddhas position was that there is no self, in contradiction to the above quote, and if any of them address the above directly.