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Re: Origin of Sense of Self

Oct 12, 1995 03:09 AM
by Jerry Schueler

<< But the
<< teaching of a very subtle sense of separation at the highest level
<< can be found in Mahayana Buddhism and other nondualistic
<< schools, if not theosophy.
<I am not aware of this teaching in Mahayana Buddhism. Can you think of a
<handy source for this idea? I'd like to check it out.

Lots and lots of sources, but I have little time available. According to
A. David-Neel, "The Buddhist creed, as a matter of fact, consists of
two short, incisive statements:

"All aggragates are impermanent"

"All things are devoid of a self (atman: "ego" or "soul")"."
(Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhists Sects, p 45.)

In other words, Mahayana Buddhists don't believe in atman, Rich.

The Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation, by
Takpo Tashi Namgyal (Shambala) is highly recommended to anyone
who wants to learn about Buddhist meditation. Here we find:

"What is described as the self [atman] is the essence or the inborn
entity, the existence of which does not depend upon external conditions.
Selflessness [anatman] is without such a self" (p 54)

"By conceivning the self,
One perceives the existence of others.
Differentiating between self and others
Causes attachment and hatred."
(p 55)

"When one perceives nonselfhood in the perceptive base,
The seed of cyclic existence will cease to exist." (p 55)

"Assertion of the reality of "I" and "mine" is a distortion
of the sacred truth." (p 57)

"Even the mind is not an entity" (p 62)

etc. etc. etc. Buddhists simply refuse to believe in the
existence of an atma (or atman)and teach the doctrine
of anatman (selflessness). They also refuse to accept
manas or any of the 7 principles as "real." They are,
in fact, maya.

Jerry S.

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