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Self, rebirth, etc. - tactics of the Buddha?

Many people are of the view that the Buddha's denial of the self was simply to urge people to drop selfishness - and not to be interpreted as a metaphysical problem. Likewise, rebirth was a tactic he used to make people do good deeds.

So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to: seeing life as a conditioned phenomena (samsara), and an end to this phenomena (which happens naturally at death) as nibanna. Which would imply that the greatest saint and the greatest sinner will both attain nibanna, regardless of their deeds, thoughts, etc.

Discuss.

Comments

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    seems like you need to study and understand what Buddha taught again. i will suggest you browse over internet for Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Brahm, there are many videos from Ajahn Brahm in which he describes about Buddha's teachings - these may help you to understand Buddha's teachings.
    karmablues
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited August 2013
    betaboy said:



    So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to: seeing life as a conditioned phenomena (samsara), and an end to this phenomena (which happens naturally at death) as nibanna. Which would imply that the greatest saint and the greatest sinner will both attain nibanna, regardless of their deeds, thoughts, etc.

    Yes, it would imply that. That is why the Buddha taught that this idea, calling it "Annihilationism" (ucchedavaada), is a wrong view and taught about karma.



    riverflow
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    betaboy said:

    So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to....

    I think a good starting point for "basic Buddhism" would be the Four Noble Truths.
    MaryAnneriverflowpegembara
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    betaboy said:

    So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to....

    I think a good starting point for "basic Buddhism" would be the Four Noble Truths.
    Apparently, so did Buddha.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    betaboy said:

    Many people are of the view that the Buddha's denial of the self was simply to urge people to drop selfishness- and not to be interpreted as a metaphysical problem.

    I think it was because he saw how everything is connected through karma/causation and taught against an independent self with all the bells and whistles that goes with it. The middle way suggests self exists just as much as a drop of rain exists before and after it hits the ocean.
    Likewise, rebirth was a tactic he used to make people do good deeds.
    I believe Buddha knew we don't have to be tricked into being decent. More like we have to unlearn past tricks and heal from the us and "them" disease. He knew things worked according to karma and felt there was continuation. If there is a continuation, it only makes sense that it will also follow the laws of causation.
    So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to: seeing life as a conditioned phenomena (samsara), and an end to this phenomena (which happens naturally at death) as nibanna. Which would imply that the greatest saint and the greatest sinner will both attain nibanna, regardless of their deeds, thoughts, etc.

    Discuss.
    Basic Buddhism is a process that eventually eliminates suffering. The version above only has getting used to suffering as the way to rid us of it and offers no revelation.

    riverflowperson
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    betaboy said:

    Many people are of the view that the Buddha's denial of the self was simply to urge people to drop selfishness - and not to be interpreted as a metaphysical problem. Likewise, rebirth was a tactic he used to make people do good deeds.

    So, without these and other concepts, basic Buddhism can be reduced to: seeing life as a conditioned phenomena (samsara), and an end to this phenomena (which happens naturally at death) as nibanna. Which would imply that the greatest saint and the greatest sinner will both attain nibanna, regardless of their deeds, thoughts, etc.

    Discuss.

    It seems rather that reincarnation was a concept invented to support the caste system in India, so it doesn't make people do good deeds, it keeps people in their place.
    riverflow
  • Buddhism didn't say to drop the self. He said to drop self clinging. Even if you walk an old lady across the street it doesn't destroy ego craving. You could miss the fact that generosity is not something you did rather it was something that came to you perhaps from the universe as it met you.
    riverflowVictorious
  • Which would imply that the greatest saint and the greatest sinner will both attain nibanna, regardless of their deeds, thoughts, etc.
    The saint will attain the "deathless" but the sinner will merely attain death when the body breaks up.
    I think that the discovery that we do not die is the most valuable and important discovery made in the history of the human race. Is there any other discovery that can match it? Even to call it the most valuable and important world heritage is insufficient. However, unfortunately, most of the great number of people living in the world do not know of this great discovery. Whenever the New Year comes people think they have grown a year older and a year closer to death. But this is a big mistake. Where is that which has grown a year older, where is that which has made another step toward death? Shakyamuni pursued this question relentlessly. And he realized that this thing called the “self” had neither shadow nor form nor color nor smell nor weight nor anything at all. He realized that this “self” was no more than an image that human beings had arbitrarily produced in their heads. If “self” and “person” are no more than concepts, then “the death of a person” is no more than a concept formed from the workings of the mind. One speaks of “dying” but the “one” dying does not exist. To put it clearly, from the start “death” itself does not exist.

    And, to push the argument even further, what has just been said about “death” applies in just the same way to “life.” If death does not exist, then one cannot say that life exists. In the statement above I made about Shakyamuni’s discovery let me replace the word “death” with “life”. “To put it very simply we can say that Shakyamuni’s discovery was that ‘we are not born’.”

    Life and death are concepts; life and death have no substance. Nevertheless, most people find this hard to believe. Yet, life and death really do not exist. To express the essence of life and death, one can say being happy is life and being sad is death. Being in pain is life and being content is death. Walking is life and running is death. The rain falling is life and good weather is death. Mountains are life and rivers are death.

    Yamada Ryoun- abbot of Sanbo-Kyodan



    'Open are the doors to the
    Deathless
    to those with ears.
    Let them show their conviction.
    Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
    I did not tell people
    the refined,
    sublime Dhamma.'


    Ariyapariyesana Sutta MN26
    Jeffrey
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