Views about self?

The misconception is “My self does not exist” (natthi me attā). It still suffers from underlying self-referentiality and many people (like Vacchagotta) interpreted it in annihilationist terms.

When dependent origination and conditionality are penetrated you cannot make that argument either.

I’ll make a final point:
Think of a car. Most people have the underlying assumption that a car is a “thing”, that there is some essence to it, but in reality it’s only a functional assembly of various parts (engine, wheels, seats etc…). So it’s not correct to say that cars exist. But can you say cars don’t exist?

With the self it’s even more problematic, because the whole idea and word “self” is a designation for a permanent, stable essence, so you cannot even say “The self is an assembly of parts (the aggregates)” as that would defeat the whole idea of a self as a self-existing entity. So the idea is to drop all ideas about the self and recognize that they are all distortions. The way to do that is to simply see everything as empty. That is my understanding.

“Look upon the world as empty,
Mogharājā, ever mindful.
Having uprooted the view of self,
you may thus cross over death.

Anyway, like I said the internet is full of discussions on these points. If we could realize these things through an Internet forum there would be no need to renounce everything, practice the Eighfold Path and we would all be arahants already. :sweat_smile:


May I share this Diṭṭhigatasutta Iti 49 with you? :smiley:

This was said by the Buddha, the Perfected One: that is what I heard.

“Overcome by two misconceptions, mendicants, some gods and humans get stuck, some overreach, while those with vision see.

And how do some get stuck? Because of love, delight, and enjoyment of existence, when the Dhamma is being taught for the cessation of existence, the minds of some gods and humans are not eager, confident, settled, and decided. That is how some get stuck.

And how do some overreach? Some, becoming horrified, repelled, and disgusted with existence, delight in ending existence: ‘When this self is annihilated and destroyed when the body breaks up, and doesn’t exist after death: that is peaceful, that is sublime, that is reality.’ That is how some overreach.

And how do those with vision see? It’s when a mendicant sees what has come to be as having come to be. Seeing this, they are practicing for disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding what has come to be. That is how those with vision see.”

The Buddha spoke this matter. On this it is said:

“Those who see what has come to be as having come to be, transcending what has come to be, are freed in accord with the truth, with the ending of craving for continued existence.

They completely understand what has come to be, rid of craving for rebirth in this or that state, with the disappearance of what has come to be, a mendicant does not come back to future lives.”

This too is a matter that was spoken by the Blessed One: that is what I heard.