Nibbana tangent parts 1 & 2 (Agnosticism)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Sunday, May 26, 2024, 17:07 (59 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I’m sorry, but I find this confusing, so please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood something. Firstly, I see no way in which the self can be “unconditioned”: it is conditioned by a variety of factors, including heredity, upbringing, society etc. and, very importantly, experience, which is why it is NOT continuous but is a reality subject to changes. Secondly, there is no way it can be synonymous with consciousness, since vast areas of our self – including the organs of the body and the subconscious “mind” – function quite independently of consciousness. I have no idea what is meant by literally touching the bottom of consciousness, but of course if our self dies with our body, it is discontinuous in the sense that it comes to an end.

I'm going to be repeating myself here, so I'll be concise, and if you want more detail, I've already posted it. The "bottom of consciousness" is Nibbana. The stages of meditation as described on my 2nd/3rd posting on this thread outlines the snapshots in time that one progresses through on the way towards that final "reaching bottom." Once you reach Nibbana, my interpretation is that conditioned existence stops for that person. All the way through those stages, the self becomes less and less, and in several teachings attributed to the Buddha, the hardest and last thing to go is that final thread connecting the mind to what I've been calling "I AM."

Look, let me be honest, understanding Nibbana is hard even for many Buddhists, the only thing I can tell you is that it is absolutely true that the deeper and more peaceful the meditation, the more my sense of self gets silenced, and the longer it takes for it to return. There's a "there" in that compass point. When I'm in that state, thoughts don't intrude on my attention, and I can call up things at will, and it's even easier to solve logic problems for work. Whatever your understanding of Nibbana is, delete it, and start from what I'm just telling you in this paragraph. I've been very careful to refer to Nibbana as the extinguishing of the sense of self throughout this exchange.

MATT (to me): You in particular define a 'self' that is sometimes conscious of itself, and sometimes isn't, my interpretation is that the only time that you ARE "yourself" is precisely when you're conscious of it. The rest of the time, you're mentally some amorphous thing. I am puzzled by the insistence.

--
\"Why is it, Master, that ascetics fight with ascetics?\"

\"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.\"


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