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Giving up the "I"

JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

Shantideva said...

If you don't drop the fire,
The burning cannot be stopped.
Like that, if you don't give up the I,
Suffering cannot be abandoned.

BunksShoshinSnakeskin

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    Make sure you know exactly where and what the I is so you don't abandon the wrong thing.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited March 23

    I like this analogy. Water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, when those come together a water molecule is formed. There isn't some preexisting thing called water that the atoms belong to.

    The self is the same way, it arises when all the necessary causes and conditions come together, there isn't some thing that exists outside of those causes and conditions that belong to the self. It isn't YOUR body or YOUR mind, you ARE the body and mind.

    So what we are giving up isn't the body and mind that we are, we are giving up the false idea that there is a self aside from the body and mind.

    BunksJaySonKerome
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Far too much wisdom on this thread....... ;)

    lobsterJaySonShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I await @Shoshin's contribution with more speech-marks and inverted commas than you can shake a stick at.... :lol:

    In the meantime, it all stands as a good reminder.... <3

    JaySonKeromeShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    No I in Happi?

    Wisdom is now resumed ...

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @person said:

    So what we are giving up isn't the body and mind that we are, we are giving up the false idea that there is a self aside from the body and mind.

    The "I" is just a concept, a label merely imputed by the mind, a label that your mind projects onto this combination of aggregates.

    In the same way, the mind projects the label "table" onto a slab of wood with four slabs of wood connected to it. The mind projects the label "table" onto its base.

    Label. Table. Hey, that rhymes.

    KeromepersonSnakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    “I” like this thread :p

    Very pithy and yet educational.

    JaySonSnakeskin
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Wonderful to imagine you could "give up" what you never had in the first place ... a bit of imagining that supports rather than clarifies the very thing you claim to be reducing. In the army, we used to label such activities as a "clusterfuck."

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @person said:

    So what we are giving up isn't the body and mind that we are, we are giving up the false idea that there is a self aside from the body and mind.

    The "I" is just a concept, a label merely imputed by the mind, a label that your mind projects onto this combination of aggregates.

    In the same way, the mind projects the label "table" onto a slab of wood with four slabs of wood connected to it. The mind projects the label "table" onto its base.

    Label. Table. Hey, that rhymes.

    I think we're saying basically the same thing in different ways. My false idea = your mental label.

    JaySon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    ""I" am just a thought who thinks "I" am thinking ...but "I" am just a thought"

  • @JaySon said:
    Shantideva said...

    If you don't drop the fire,
    The burning cannot be stopped.
    Like that, if you don't give up the I,
    Suffering cannot be abandoned.

    Likewise if you don't give up identification with the 5 aggregates
    the I cannot be abandoned and suffering will not end.

    You can't give up identification because you don't realise that:

    "Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?

    "The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.

    "The ear is burning, sounds are burning...

    "The nose is burning, odors are burning...

    "The tongue is burning, flavors are burning...

    "The body is burning, tangibles are burning...

    "The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.nymo.html

    JaySon
  • Contemplating the body according to reality contradicts the notions that it is or belongs to the I. Some of it, like movement or respiration, appears subject to direct control, but otherwise happens and stops independent of the I. Other aspects, like the heart, may only be influenced indirectly. Volition associated with the I is just one of many conditions influencing the body. Bodies are born, age and die. In that, as it’s come to be, the I has no say.

    Such contemplation reinforces the notions that the body neither is nor belongs to the I. Clinging to it is futile and causes suffering. Persistence plants and nurtures the seeds of disenchantment with the body until dispassion towards it sprouts and clinging to it grows cold. The body as the I is given up.

    Contemplating feelings according to reality….

    personJaySon
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Snakeskin said:
    Contemplating the body according to reality contradicts the notions that it is or belongs to the I. Some of it, like movement or respiration, appears subject to direct control, but otherwise happens and stops independent of the I. Other aspects, like the heart, may only be influenced indirectly. Volition associated with the I is just one of many conditions influencing the body. Bodies are born, age and die. In that, as it’s come to be, the I has no say.

    Such contemplation reinforces the notions that the body neither is nor belongs to the I. Clinging to it is futile and causes suffering. Persistence plants and nurtures the seeds of disenchantment with the body until dispassion towards it sprouts and clinging to it grows cold. The body as the I is given up.

    Contemplating feelings according to reality….

    You seem well versed in Theravada. Do you have any thoughts on how volition relates to the sense of self? And how some ideas of our lack of free will relates to the Buddhist notion of volition and anatta?

    I'm not expecting a doctoral thesis, just whatever comes to mind.

  • @person, I’m just versed enough to misrepresent Theravaden perspectives. :p I'd agree with a "lack of free will" in that I think the concept of free will should be set aside for that of conditioned will. Volition and, I think, the sense of self, goes onto the formations heap. Like the others, they’re conditioned and not self. They’re also the second link in the 12 of dependent origination. They’re conditioned by ignorance and lead to suffering.

    How does that not completely contradict the Buddha’s teachings on intentional action?

    When the conditions are right to recognize suffering and seek a solution, the conditions for hearing the Dhamma are present. Hearing or, in the case of the Buddha, rediscovering the Dhamma is the condition for conviction, which is the condition for joy, rapture, tranquility, happiness - a whole lot of conditioning carrots -, which are the conditions for concentration, seeing things as they are, disenchantment, dispassion, release, knowledge and vision of release.

    In that there’s no free will or persistent self. There’s just the samsaric loop of conditioned arising and, when the right fork, such as a human birth, appears, there’s the potential for transcendental dependent arising. It implodes the loop. Free in a different sense: free from.

    person
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