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-1- What the Buddha Taught

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  1. -1-What the Buddha Taught A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by Oxford Soto Zen Suggested by Les Kaye Led by Jimmyle Listenbee Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

  2. -2-Lecture 9Chapter 6‘No-Soul’: Anatta

  3. -3- What is Atman? Soul, Self, Ego, (Sanskrit: Atman) These terms suggest that in man there is a permanent, everlasting and absolute entity, which is the unchanging substance behind the changing phenomenal world. DISCUSSION

  4. -4-Hindu < Notions of Soul > Christian Each Individual has a Separate Soul, Created by God, Which, after death, lives eternally in heaven or hell, depending on the judgment of its creator. Each Individual has a Separate Soul, Which goes through many lives until purified, then is united with God/ Brahmin/Universal Soul/Atman, from which it originally emanated.

  5. -5- What does the So-called Soul/Self Do? It is the • Thinker of thoughts, • Feeler of sensations, • Receiver of rewards and punishments for all its actions, good and bad. • Such a conception is nothing but the idea of ‘Self’, and the repository of the 5 Aggregates.

  6. -6- Buddhism Uniquely Denies theExistence of Such a Soul/Self/Atman • ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’; • Selfish desire, craving, attachment; • Hatred, Ill-will; • Conceit, Pride, Egotism. DISCUSSION This Imaginary, False Belief is The Source of all Evil in the World, which Produces Harmful Thoughts of:

  7. -7- Psychological Source of ‘God’ and ‘Soul’ Two needs are deeply rooted in mankind’s psyche: • Self-protection (for which he has created God) • Self-preservation (for which he has created the notion of the Immortal Soul) In our weakness, fear, ignorance, and desire, we need these two consolations, so we cling to them deeply and fanatically. DISCUSSION

  8. -8-Buddhism Strikes at their Root • Calls them false and empty. • Although they are highly developed as theories, they are only extremely subtle mental projections, clothed in intricate metaphysical and philosophical phraseology. DISCUSSION

  9. -9-Buddha’s Own Doubt About Teaching • The doctrine of ‘No-soul’ is the natural result, the corollary to the Understanding of the 5 Aggregates and Conditioned Genesis. • He knew most people would hate this message, • Knew it was ‘against the current’, • Decided to teach to the ‘Wise Few’ anyway.

  10. -10- The Five AggregatesProvide Analytical Method of Arriving at ‘No-soul’ READ bottom of p. 52: “We have seen earlier… Or any unchanging, abiding substance.” (Review/discuss 5 Aggregates, pp. 20 – 23)

  11. -11- Conditioned GenesisProvides Synthetical Method of Arriving at ‘No-soul’ READ 1-8, p. 53 This is how life arises, exists and continues. This formula in reverse leads us to cessation. DISCUSSION

  12. -12- Free Will • READ: “The question of free will…even the very idea of free will is not free from conditions.” pp. 54-5

  13. -13- Conventional & Ultimate Truth • Such expressions as ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘being’, ‘individual’, ‘person’, etc. are designations – not references to reality or substance. • DISCUSSION

  14. -14- • All schools of Buddhism agree on Anatta. • Rahula chides certain scholars for trying to “smuggle” a ‘soul’ into Buddhism. • Better for the individual to assert his/her own doubt or say “The Buddha was wrong!” than to attribute this notion to Buddhism. • DISCUSSION

  15. -15- R.W. cites several dialogs attributed to Buddha and various disciples addressing doubts & arguments about Anatta: [also see examples in footnotes p.64] • Torment of nothing permanent w/in one’s ‘self’ with a disciple: pp. 56-58; • Refutation of soul theory to disciples: pp 58-60; • Deathbed instructions to Ananda: pp 60-61; • Parable of the young princes & the woman: pp 61-62; • Buddha explains his dialog with Vacchagotta to Ananda: pp 62-63; • Khemaka’s struggle with “I AM” pp 65-66.

  16. -16- Variety of Budda’s Speech • A practical teacher, Buddha always spoke with wisdom and compassion in various levels and registers of speech geared to the individual student, bearing in mind his or her • Level of development, • Tendencies, • Mental make-up, • Character, • Capacity to understand a particular question.

  17. -17-Buddha’s Four Ways of Treating Questions • Answer directly; • Answer by way of analysis; • Answer by counter-questions; • Answer by putting the question aside.

  18. -18-Several Ways of Putting a Question Aside: To say that a particular question is “not answered or explained”; Silence; Remind ourselves, each other, to see conditionality in all things.

  19. -19-If No Self, who gets the results of karma? DISCUSSION

  20. -20-Is “No-soul” negative? DISCUSSION