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January 06, 2013

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chris fourie:

The Zennist has a goodly number of blogs on Rahula's book. Right now in Thailand the smart Theravadins, who contend that nibbana is the attâ, appear to be winning.

In fairness, your readers need to know that not only "dumb buddhists" on forums believe in "no self". See "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula, pp 51 - 66. Regards, Chris

The problem goes further because those who believe in the letter of the Palicanon are on the wrong track, too. They would then place animals in the realm below humans as they are trapped in suffering. Indeed the first noble truth tells one otherwise, if taken literally, because animals do not have the five aggregates, they lack a differentiating mind and consciousness that is the basis of human suffering, according to Buddha's definition. Therefore animals cannot be trapped in suffering as they simply cannot know what it is. Their suffering is just that, as the suffering of a human would be if he has overcome thinking in categories and judging what is happening to him.

One site and the other is misled by words.

The book "Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin" should be mandatory for all Buddhists.

Having participated in a few Buddhist forums over the last three or four years, I completely agree with you on this and still find it astonishing that self-proclaimed Buddhists can so poorly misinterpret the source material. Don't get me wrong, I've done it myself too but, as you said, having your uneducated opinions corrected is a joy yet so few seem willing to accept it!

The misinterpretation of Anatta as "No Self", rather than "Non-self" also baffles me since it's pretty clear, regardless of the vehicle, that the Buddha did not teach this; the less said about how some have interpreted "emptiness" the better...Ha!

Thoroughly enjoying your blog btw.

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