Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Is Non-doership Anatta? & No Agency

Anthony Goh
Just a v quick question I was curious about. Does having what you guys call the substantial I AM or I AM EVERYTHING realisation lead to the permanent sense of "no doer"? i.e. everything in a total state of automatic flow? Or to total disidentifaction from thoughts i.e. none of your thoughts seem 'yours' anymore? Thanks
Like · · November 3, 2013 at 7:45am

    Soh It is easy at the I AM stage with a bit of pointing to see non-doership and impersonality... but not the no-doer or no-agent of anatta. In the case of non-doership, there is still an Ultimate Self, but there is no control.

    Session Start: Saturday, March 07, 2009

    (1:49 AM) AEN: i tink wat he said is like wat u said in stanza 1... except that its more on spontaneous arising but without mentioning conditions
    (1:50 AM) AEN: actually he did mention conditioning a bit also
    (1:52 AM) Thusness: yes more on that but only the no doership.
    not seeing that there is no agent as a phenomena.
    (1:53 AM) Thusness: and not seeing DO
    (1:53 AM) AEN: oic..
    wat u mean 'no agent as a phenomena.'
    (1:54 AM) Thusness: means seeing there is no agent, that is without the subject in experience.
    (1:55 AM) Thusness: rather than there is no controller, no co-ordinator, no agent that links
    (1:55 AM) Thusness: means on phenomena
    not only doership
    that there is no agent and phenomena
    (1:55 AM) Thusness: only phenomena exist
    get it?
    that is different from no doership
    (1:56 AM) Thusness: means one, just that doing
    (1:57 AM) Thusness: means seeing the actual phenomena that there is no agent, just phenomena
    get it?
    (1:57 AM) AEN: oic..
    ya i tink longchen realised no doer first rite b4 seeing non dual
    the no agent is the non dual?
    (1:58 AM) Thusness: no agent as no doership...means in terms of controlling, coordinating
    (1:59 AM) Thusness: means there can be an agent, but that agent has no control
    this means no doership
    (1:59 AM) Thusness: the other is the absence of an agent in phenomena
    usually there are 2, the subject and the object
    (1:59 AM) Thusness: get it?
    (2:00 AM) AEN: oic..
    yea i remember
    galen sharp talked about
    u are the watcher, but there is no doer
    so thats only seeing the no doer aspect rite
    (2:00 AM) Thusness: not no doer
    no doership
    (2:01 AM) AEN: ya
    (2:01 AM) Thusness: one is referring to the phenomena as an entity
    one is referring to whether we have control over anything
    that is different
    (2:01 AM) AEN: oic..
    (2:02 AM) Thusness: means i do not see 2, i only see 1
    in no doer
    (2:02 AM) Thusness: while no doership is seeing spontaneity without control
    get it?
    (2:03 AM) AEN: yeah
    so no doer = no agent + no doership
    (2:03 AM) AEN: ?
    (2:03 AM) Thusness: yeah
    November 3, 2013 at 8:28am · Edited · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński Joel Agee
    November 3, 2013 at 8:40am · Like
    Joel Agee Thanks Piotr! We were just talking about this a few hours ago.

    Soh (or John Tan), I think it would be helpful to clarify on a semantic level what is meant by “agent” as distinct from “doer,” and “agency” as distinct from “doership.” In their conventional dictionary meaning, the terms are interchangeable.
    November 3, 2013 at 1:12pm · Like · 2
    Soh I might do a more thorough reply when I have the time incidentally I just came across a related post on Dhammawheel.

    Bhikkhu Pesala:


    After the Buddha taught the Dhammacakka Sutta the group of five ascetics became Stream-winners and thus eradicated self-view (atta-diṭṭhi) or personality-view (sakkāya-diṭṭhi). However, it was only after listening to to the Discourse on Not-self that they all became Arahants, abandoning all forms of cling to self such as pride and conceit.

    Four Kinds of Clinging to Self
    There are four kinds of clinging to self arising out of the belief in a self or soul.

    1.Clinging to Self as the Master (Sāmi Atta)
    2.Clinging to Self as an Abiding Soul (Nivāsī Atta)
    3.Clinging to Self as the Doer (Kāraka Atta)
    4.Clinging to Self as the Experiencer (Vedaka Atta)

    Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw:



    There are four kinds of self-clinging arising out of belief in self or soul.

    (1) Sami atta clinging: Believing that there is, inside one's body, a living entity, who governs and directs every wish and action. It is this living soul which goes, stands up, sits down, sleeps, and speaks whenever it wishes to.

    "Sami atta clinging is belief in a living entity in one's body, controlling and directing as it wishes."

    The Anattalakkhana Sutta was taught by the Blessed One particularly to remove this Sami atta clinging. Now, as this Sutta was first taught to the group of five Bhikkhus who had become by then Stream Enterers, may it not be asked whether a Stream Enterer is still encumbered with self-clinging?

    "Stream Enterer has abandoned self- clinging, but still holds on to conceit."

    At the stage of Sotapanna, Stream Enterer, the fetters of personality-belief (false view of individuality), doubts and uncertainty, and adherence to rites and rituals have been completely eradicated. But a Stream Enterer is not yet free from Asmi-mana, the I-conceit. To take pride in one's ability and status, "I can do; I am noble," is to hold on to the I-conceit. But a Stream Winner's conceit relates only to the genuine qualities and virtues he actually possesses and is not false pride based on non-existing qualities and virtues.

    The Stream Enterer has, therefore, to continue on with the practice of Vipassana in order to remove the I-conceit clinging which is still a fetter for him. When Vipassana knowledge (i.e. insight-knowledge) is considerably developed, this I-conceit becomes attenuated and is partially removed by the Sakadagami stage. But it is not completely abolished yet. The Anagami stage further weakens it, but this stage also could effect only partial removal. It is only the final Arahatta magga that could completely eradicate the I-conceit. Thus it could be regarded that the Anattalakkhana Sutta was taught by the Blessed One in order to bring about total eradication of the I-conceit clinging which was still lingering in the persons of the group of five Bhikkhus, although they had attained the stage of Stream Enterer.

    (2) Nivasi atta clinging: Believing that there is a living entity permanently residing in one's body.

    "Nivasi atta clinging is belief in a living entity permanently residing in one's body."

    It is the common belief of people that they exist permanently as a living being from the moment of birth to the time of death. This is the Nivasi atta clinging. Some hold that nothing remains after death; this is the wrong view of annihilism. Yet others believe in the wrong view of eternalism which holds that the living entity in the body remains undestroyed after death, and it continues to reside in a new body in a new existence. So long as one clings to the belief that there exists permanently a living entity or a soul, so long would one hold that one's body is amenable to one's control as one wishes. It is understood that the Anattalakkhana Sutta was delivered to remove not only the Sami atta clinging but also the Nivasi atta clinging. Once the Sami atta clinging is removed, other types of self-clinging and wrong views are simultaneously eradicated completely.

    (3) Karaka atta clinging: Believing that it is the living entity, the soul that effects every physical, vocal, and mental action.

    "Karaka atta clinging is belief in a living entity that is responsible for every physical, vocal and mental action."

    This Karaka atta clinging is more concerned with the aggregate of formations. We shall deal more fully with it in the aggregate of formations.

    (4) Vedaka atta clinging: Believing that all sensations whether pleasant or unpleasant are felt by a self.

    "Vedaka atta clinging is belief in that all sensations whether pleasant or unpleasant are felt by the living entity or the self."

    This Vedaka atta clinging is concerned with the aggregate of feelings which is explained fully in the Five Aggregates. The aggregate of material body is not self or a living entity, it is but non-self. It has been adequately expounded, but it still remains to explain how meditators engaged in Vipassana meditation come to perceive the nature of non-self. We shall proceed with an explanation of how it comes about.
    Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Self vs Soul
    November 3, 2013 at 3:52pm · Edited · Like · 4 · Remove Preview
    Soh Just to be clear when I think of agent I think of all the four views about self
    November 3, 2013 at 4:29pm · Like · 2

    (Please also read this well-written clarification by Piotr Ludwinski which makes it much clearer: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2014/02/anatta-and-sentient-being.html)

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