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May 12, 2010

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There is constant change. "That which changes" is the "changing Self". What is that which changes? Is it the same or different than the Housebuilder who builds the house (image) of the Self from the rafters and ridgebeam of the aggregates?

To the extent that there is a "that which changes" than that is the "changing self." To the extent that there is not a thing which changes then the "changing self" is not a thing. To speak of "the Self" that "is always itself and never other than itself" is to speak of "Self" as any other synonym for Dharmakaya, Sunyata, Tathagata, True Suchness, etc. That "Self" is not a self, and the word "Self" (like the other synonyms) is only used to bring one to the limit of words in order to jump off the 100 foot flagpole of words.

In your "correction" you just reiterated what the blog stated: that the "changing khandhic self" is anatta, or non-self. The discernment between the fair Self and the foul self is that the former is the Self and the latter not, being of a changing nature (and therefore never even self-consistent much less Self-consistent). And so "changing self" as you confirmed, is a problematic doctrine, as in the common rote mistaken assertion "The Buddha neither taught of a permanent atman, nor of the nonexistence of atman, but of an ever-changing self." Because it asserts that the Buddha's "middle way" holds the five khandhas as the self.

Your claim that: "At least for the Buddha the idea of a “changing self” was a contradiction in terms"

is incorrect doctrinally, in any translation.

The changing khandhic self (namorupa, anatta, svakaya), the empirical self as the syn. for change (bhavacabhava, =samsarati) is a key point in doctrine.

All noble metaphysics speak of the "two selves", one empirical/khandhic, the other syn. with the Absolute and the "Mahatman". Of course the "other Self" is the "only refuge", the Atman which is "light (jotim) and sanctuary for the buddha (saranam)" {Dn 2.514}

This is the discernment between the Great Self (mahatta) and little self (alpatman); or the fair Self (kalyanatta) from the foul self (papatta).

The "changing self" is well established in sutta. I recommend you re-examine sutta for your correction.

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