On not-self, existence, and ontological strategies

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Which army of Mara are you fighting right now?
You can vote up to three options.


I was listening to our friend and scholar @dougsmith 's excellent youtube talk on “The Buddha on Self and Non-Self” and thought I’d share it today, here.


Yes, I think the annihilationist view is also based on the assumption of something existing. It exists for a while and is then annihilated, ie it ceases to exist. Meanwhile the eternalist view assumes that something exists indefinitely.


My understanding of the history is something like this:

Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s teachers in the Thai Forest Tradition teach that there is a consciousness for (a what-its-like-to-be) an arahant. This got kind-of sloppily worded as “there does exist a permanent consciousness” which then gets questioned and criticized by scholars for being contrary to “viññana anicca” / “sabbe dhamma anatta.” Thanissaro Bhikkhu finds himself “having” to defend his tradition, so he concocts a slightly tortured argument to provide academic coverage for his lineage.

Is this an accurate understanding of the history here?