Author Topic: Dependent arising and anatta  (Read 3642 times)

Middleway

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Dependent arising and anatta
« on: February 08, 2015, 06:42:38 PM »
Dependent arising (origination) doctrine explains anatta (non-self). Anicca does not explain anatta. As an example, for a flower to bloom, it needs dirt, water, nutrients, sunshine, gardener etc. without which it cannot come into existence. If any one those are not present, the flower does not come into being. So, it can be said that flower has no self. Similarly, all phenomena have no self (i.e cannot arise without cause and conditions). If a phenomena were to have a self, it would arise without depending on other causes and conditions. So, all dhammas are without self (in other words they are empty). This self is nothing to do with the human self awareness which we call ego (or ego-self) which is an illusion.

Thoughts arise dependent on their own causes and conditions. Our bodies come into being and change due to causes and conditions. When we accept that our thoughts arise due to their own causes and conditions, we realize we cannot control them. In essence we are letting go (of our ego response) to control them and drop our ego. It is not correct to say that since we cannot control our thoughts, the thoughts are not self. Anyways, for those who are interested in reading a bit more on dependent arising, here is a good link. Enjoy!

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books6/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Paticcasamuppada.htm
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Goofaholix

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 07:33:10 PM »
I think you are splitting hairs.

Can you think of something that arises according to causes and conditions, but does not pass away? ie is permanent.

Can you think of something that is impermanent that does not arise and pass away according to causes and conditions?

Of course not, it's the same teaching but using different words.  Anything that arises according to causes and conditions also ceases according to causes and conditions, this is a anicca.

That doesn't mean it explains anatta either, anatta is a characteristic of existence just as anicca is a characteristic of existence.  Reflecting on one can lead to insight into another.  Uncontrolled thought exhibit the process of impermanent dependantly arising conditions quite clearly, are you suggesting uncontrolled thoughts are self?

Middleway

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2015, 12:09:21 AM »
That doesn't mean it explains anatta either, anatta is a characteristic of existence just as anicca is a characteristic of existence.  Reflecting on one can lead to insight into another.  Uncontrolled thought exhibit the process of impermanent dependantly arising conditions quite clearly, are you suggesting uncontrolled thoughts are self?

You are still stuck in a rut and therefore asking the wrong question. All thoughts are phenomena. All phenomena are without self. Therefore, all thoughts are without self. Self is not the human ego-self in this context. Take chemistry for example, the difference between elements and compounds. Elements consist of only one kind of atom and exist independent of other elements. Compounds consist of two or more elements bound together. Phenomena are equivalent to compounds. They cannot exist independent of other phenomena. Therefore, all phenomena are without self.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Goofaholix

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2015, 12:44:21 AM »
You are still stuck in a rut and therefore asking the wrong question.

I don't think one can judge someone else's rutness or lack thereof on the internet

All thoughts are phenomena. All phenomena are without self. Therefore, all thoughts are without self. Self is not the human ego-self in this context. Take chemistry for example, the difference between elements and compounds. Elements consist of only one kind of atom and exist independent of other elements. Compounds consist of two or more elements bound together. Phenomena are equivalent to compounds. They cannot exist independent of other phenomena. Therefore, all phenomena are without self.

I don't disagree with any of the above, so what's the problem?

Exactly what part of the teaching of anicca is mutually exclusive with the teaching of dependant origination in your opinion?

Is anything you described above permanent? Of course not.

Middleway

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2015, 01:58:06 AM »
I don't think one can judge someone else's rutness or lack thereof on the internet.

I agree. I suggest you read your posts on this subject and be your own judge.

Exactly what part of the teaching of anicca is mutually exclusive with the teaching of dependant origination in your opinion?

Dependent origination explains anatta and anicca does not explain anatta.

You may have the last word on this.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Goofaholix

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 02:37:16 AM »
I agree. I suggest you read your posts on this subject and be your own judge.

I did, I still don't see what you're taking issue with.

Dependent origination explains anatta and anicca does not explain anatta.

Why the need to explain it? nobody asked for an explanation of the reason or root cause of anatta. 

We had beginner who seemed a bit confused about denying self and I offered a way of reflection for her to try, I did not offer an analysis of the root cause of anatta, even if such a thing is possible I don't see how it would help the OP.

You may have the last word on this.

I think the Buddha should have the last word...
Quote
"Now, that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change, is it proper to regard that as: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?"

"Indeed, not that, O Lord." SN 22.59

If it's good enough for him it's good enough for me.

Middleway

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 11:05:43 AM »
Buddha did indeed had the last word. It is up to each of us to carefully consider the context of his words and reflect on their meaning.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 07:17:27 PM »
I always wonder how much insight can be derived from using words in such a way.

Goofaholix

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 09:21:55 PM »
I always wonder how much insight can be derived from using words in such a way.

Words point out where and how to look into our experience, looking into our experience gives rise to insight.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 11:39:23 PM »
It definitely gives us a foundation and a springboard, but words also seem very limited past a certain point.

Goofaholix

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Re: Dependent arising and anatta
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 02:02:51 AM »
It definitely gives us a foundation and a springboard, but words also seem very limited past a certain point.

As far as communicating on the internet is concerned, in the words of the Beegees "It's only words, and words are all I have"

 

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