Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who am I?

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ven. Karunananda, Ph.D., Wisdom Quarterly
But I am. I am this I am! "I think; therefore, I am"! I am my thinking, no, the Thinker, right?
Continued from Explaining the Parable of the Raft. All we see is an illusion, seeming to be what it is not: seeming to be stable, seeming to be able to satisfy/fulfill us, seeming to be a thing (when it is really a composite).

A composite? Things are not single-things but amalgamations of things. We can see it all around us, as things fall apart. So long as they seem solid, we repeatedly forget that they are something else.
But what we never see, never dream, are never told, are never taught except that a buddha rediscovers and teaches the world is that ALL things are impersonal. "I" is an aggregate-thing, "ego" is a thing, "self" ("soul") is a thing. What is it composed of?
Self/No-self (gingernutdesigns/
It is composed of FIVE HEAPS of things (and those things themselves are things, dharmas, composite-aggregates of other things). 

1. Forms, 2. sensations, 3. perceptions, 4. formations, and 5. consciousnesses are the categories of heaps, things, bundles of phenomena that keep giving rise to the illusion, "SELF," the idea or assumption that there is a "self" and, likewise, that there are others. And we never see, or more correctly, and never is seen. What is not known-and-seen? We never awaken to what is real. Nirvana is real.

Why do we neglect the highest good, the ultimate goal of knowing-and-seeing? There are many reasons, which seem private and idiosyncratic. But for all they come down to the defilements (āsavas, the inflows and outflows that swirl in samsara). So why are we surprised that we feel disappointed, empty, unfulfilled, desperate, miserable, alone, out of control? All of that is dukkha.
Budai (Hotei) hears, sees, speaks no harm.
The "defilements" are of different kinds: taints of [clinging to] sensuality, being, views, and delusion. The Buddhist scholar Isaline Horner translates the original terms kāmā-, bhavā-, diṭṭhā-, and avijja-āsava -- quoted by Padmasiri De Silva in An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology (2000) -- as the "cankers" of "sense-pleasure, becoming, false views, and ignorance." The word canker suggests something that corrodes or corrupts slowly. These figurative meanings perhap describe facets of the Buddha's conceptual teaching of āsava: kept long in storage, oozing out, [seeping in], taint, corroding, and so on.

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