SuttaCentral

On Knowledge and Belief


#21

I’m guessing the confusion here is due to the concept of “anatta” . It has been translated as not-self rather than no-self. May be it’s better to put aside such question for a while and ask

Am i liable to suffer?
why?
what is the method to stop it ?


#22

:smiley:Also known as K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple…Silly! Gracias, With Metta, Namaste!


#23

You might be confusing the aggregates (or mind and body) being devoid of signs of a permanent self-extant Self, with there simply not being a Self (no mind/body).

Assume a child always thought Santa clause existed but turns out he doesn’t. However the Christmas remains cheerful and the presents don’t stop either despite finding out the truth as he never existed in the first place. So penetrating into not self, nothing really changes.


#24

Yes Mat, I am no doubt confused about…so many things. Whenever it’s convenient could explain the difference or provide a link for study?
Thanks, with lovin’ kindness!


#25

Thank you for the interesting discussion.

In my opinion, when knowledge and beliefs are discussed, the role of “feelings” is underestimated at best, and completely neglected at worst. I think this is partly because the knowledge we get through feelings appears to us as a kind of “truism”. We know that feelings of pain causes aversion and feelings of pleasure causes temporary happiness, but we don’t know why! So, when we try to track the origin of our knowledge, we end up with subjective values that cannot be completely understood rationally. It can always be explained as a biological function, but these explanations often has very little existential meaning.

The above might lead us to another distinction, which is between feelings and emotions. It seems to me that every emotion somehow includes a feeling, but not vice versa. I also think that the former is connected to the body, while the later is caused by the mind.


#26

Whether

Whether we like it or not I think we have to deal with anatta on almost every step of the way. Simply because ‘progress’ means to shed another layer of ‘skin’, at least temporarily.

The big distinction is the delusion of complete anatta, and a gradual experiential anatta. Plenty of people are just parroting “there is no atta, there is no atta”, as if repeating a sentence makes it magically true. If one says that one is either enlightened, or one is fantasizing.

Take just the first jhana for example. If you want to realize it you have to have a distance to ‘kama’ (sensual desire) and the hindrances. But these are not just words, they are part of the very fabric of ourselves. If we can pause them for a while we have distanced ourselves from a part of ourselves - that’s what I mean with gradual anatta.

Towards the second jhana we even have to distance ourselves from the movements of the mind (thoughts, pressure, micromovements) so that samadhi and unification can take place. But again, ‘the movements of the mind’ are not just words, they belong for most people to the core of their subjectivity. So if I manage to pause that I truly practiced another deeper layer of anatta, etc.

All the way the ‘full/complete anatta’ is just a fantasy. I have to work with whatever is available to me to distance ‘myself’ from it, and on to the next level, etc. Maybe at some point there is a reality of a ‘last layer’, but that is indeed not accessible to me anyway, and while conceptually interesting it should concern me not as philosophy/fantasy but as a surmountable mountain.


#27

Realisation of not-self isn’t tied up with attainment of jhana but some people do find the jhanas useful for that as well.


#28

Hence the use of ‘almost every step of the way’ and ‘for example’


#29

Ok. Some people understand not-self while doing walking meditation and others with vipassana. Others do it simply by wise contemplation or asubha meditation therefore it’s not a straightforward and cannot be subject to a formula of realisation.


#30

Hi Mat, I am not too bright, so could you describe what is ‘wise contemplation’? I appreciate you!


#31

What is ‘asubha’ please?


#32

If knowledge can be defined as a justified true belief, and if the teachings of the Buddha take the form of knowledge, then which theory of truth can help best describe it?

1- correspondence
2- coherence
3- pragmatic

Or is the teachings of the Buddha can be seen as a combination of the three? or one theory of truth can be best used to explain/understand certain aspects of the teachings? or none of the above?

For instance, some Buddhists view the teachings as “skillful means” hence the undogmatic nature of the dhamma (pragmatism). Some view the teachings on Annata as a statement corresponding to reality, and some Buddhists are system builders and claim that the teachings should be understood as one coherent unity without contradictions.

Or are the teachings on dependent origination go beyond the worldly theories of truth?


#33

Wise contemplation (yoniso manasikara) is a method of contemplating the world which leads to Buddhist wisdom:

Monks, contemplate the eye [seeing] with wisdom. Truly see the eye [seeing] as impermanent. When a monk does this, they grow disenchanted with seeing. When delighting ends with seeing, greed ends. When greed ends, delighting ends. When delighting and greed end, the mind is said to be fully released [enlightened]. SN35.158

Wise contemplation or rather the term yonisomanasika can be broad to include attention as well- as in ‘wise attention’. The opposite is unwise attention and subsequent contemplation where it makes one’s unwholesome qualities grow.


#34

Asubha means foul:

"And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu reflects on just this body hemmed by the skin and full of manifold impurity from the soles up, and from the top of the hair down, thinking thus: ‘There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, fibrous threads (veins, nerves, sinews, tendons), bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, contents of stomach, intestines, mesentery, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, solid fat, tars, fat dissolved, saliva, mucus, synovic fluid, urine.’ MN10


#36

Ah … “meditation on foul things; I could only think of ‘unclean meditation’. … It all depends on where the foulness is.


#37

Taking that which is foul as clean or pure or beautiful is an aspect of delusion (vipallasa/‘perversions’). We are reminded to look at the total body outside and in, to get a balanced view of the body.


#38

That nice diagram you left me has disappeared. :frowning:

What’s really interesting to me ATM is that while I was thinking in terms of grammar you were thinking in terms of ways of meditating. :smile:


#39

@Rosie
You might like this sutta.

Therefore, bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it; when you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. What is it that is not yours? Material form is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. Feeling is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. Perception is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. Formations are not yours. Abandon them. When you have abandoned them, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. Consciousness is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.

“Bhikkhus, what do you think? If people carried off the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burned them, or did what they liked with them, would you think: ‘People are carrying us off or burning us or doing what they like with us’?”—“No, venerable sir. Why not? Because that is neither our self nor what belongs to our self.”—“So too, bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it; when you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time. What is it that is not yours? Material form is not yours…Feeling is not yours…Perception is not yours…Formations are not yours…Consciousness is not yours. Abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.
MN22


#40

"Direct " knowledge!

Under DO, first word is "ignorance ".
Great majority of knowledge are "mundane "…ie under conditioned.

"Direct " knowledge is different, it is supra-mundane, can only be experienced beyond the “ALL”…unconditioned.


#41

Is this the same as saying that supra-mundane knowledge is strictly experiential? Is 'supra- mundane the same as extra-ordinary, or extraordinary?