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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 3,171
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Atman vs. Anatman
    #3220984 - 10/06/04 12:53 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Hindu Yogis believe that the human consciousness is a microcosm contained within the universal God consciousness of Brahma. They call this soul which is at once the source of individual experience but also a manifestation of Brahma the "Atman", the soul, or the true self. They believe that by realizing the Atman you realize the omnipotent God consciousness of Brahma and that is the way to liberation.

Buddhism has a concept known as "Anatman" which in Sanskrit means "no self". They maintain that the human existence is a composite of interdependent causes and conditions and that there is no independently existent "soul". They believe that all things are one in 'Emptiness" and that their is no independent identity.

Interestingly the Hindu definition of "Atman" means the individual manifestation of the Universal consciousness, while in Buddhism the concept of Form is used to describe apparent seperateness of things even though they are all one. If Emptiness and Anatman really mean a oneness with the universal consciousness and negation of ego isn't that really the same thing? One calls the it God and the other calls it Emptiness. If the Atman is Brahma, then it is no different than Emptiness which seems identical to Brahma.

Are there any real differences? And possibly more importantly, what is the more effective approach to Enlightenment (for a Western mind), Emptiness or God Realization?


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
Stranger
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 10,344
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Re: Atman vs. Anatman [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3221363 - 10/06/04 02:19 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

"what is the more effective approach to Enlightenment (for a Western mind)"

Getting fried and dancing around naked.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Atman vs. Anatman [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3221743 - 10/06/04 07:51 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Even a great Lama like the late Anagarika Govinda would point out that the Atman formulation of Hindus as promulgated by Sri Ramana Maharishi (the great Non-Dualist or Advaitist) is simply a different formulation of the Self-same Reality.

At some point in Hinduism, not only ritual but metaphysical concepts had rigidified and in so doing, became poor symbols. The Atman had come to be identified with the Jivatman - the individual 'self.' There is also a confusion with Ahamkara - the 'I-sense.' In the West, there has long been serious confusion along parallel lines between soul, spirit and nous as the highest spiritual faculties in human beinghood. In one sense, the Atman-Brahman formula is parallel to the Son-Father formula. The Enlightened One Realizes that Atman and Brahman are One, and that Union is Realized in the human psyche of jivatman, ahamkara, mans (mind). Likewise, the Union of Christ and the Father is Realized by the Christian. 'We' are neither Atman or Christ - both represent the 'Immanent' or 'indwelling' (a Christian term) aspect of GOD, whereas the Brahman or the Father are utterly 'Transcendent' and unknowable by the human psyche except through the mediational effect of the Son's or Atman's Realization.

Buddha's formulation of Anatman (or Anatta in Pali) was intended to undo the fossilized concept of Atman into an eternally enduring individual 'soul' which would transmigrate literally into different humans. The Anatman formulation was intended to restore the Boundless Nature of the Primordial Consciousness called "Self-Effulgent" in the Upanishads and later called Sunyata (Void) or Clear Light in Buddhism. Void is not supposed to mean 'nothing,' like the En Soph (Limitless) of Kabbalism, the Ultimate Reality is 'no thing' - it is beyond limit and beyond definition. Because of these definitions, all attributes, including personal attributes which ascribe personality to Ultimate Reality were not acknowledged. This is why there is no personal GOD in Buddhism. For convention-sake however, the Dalai Lama uses the word GOD when talking to Westerners. Hinduism has the insight to recognize both Saguna Brahman (GOD-with-attributes) and Nirguna Brahman (GOD-without-attributes). Only the latter concept was acknowledged by Buddhism. GOD cannot be 'less-than' personal (impersonal), since human beinghood is personal, but can be thought of as Transpersonal - transcending personality. Likewise En Soph and the Father.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineTodcasil
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Registered: 08/09/99
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Re: Atman vs. Anatman [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3221998 - 10/06/04 11:35 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

i would love to tell you this...

it is the same.

i could climb the ladder, or i could wait for the apple to fall. in the end im getting the apple.

i could run to the end of the road or i could walk backwards until i get to that same spot.

just two dofferent ways to achieve the same state, one not being better than the other. the above post was very well put i might add.

peace


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 3,171
Loc: The Shining Void
Last seen: 9 years, 6 months
Re: Atman vs. Anatman [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #3223446 - 10/06/04 05:55 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
Even a great Lama like the late Anagarika Govinda would point out that the Atman formulation of Hindus as promulgated by Sri Ramana Maharishi (the great Non-Dualist or Advaitist) is simply a different formulation of the Self-same Reality.

At some point in Hinduism, not only ritual but metaphysical concepts had rigidified and in so doing, became poor symbols. The Atman had come to be identified with the Jivatman - the individual 'self.' There is also a confusion with Ahamkara - the 'I-sense.' In the West, there has long been serious confusion along parallel lines between soul, spirit and nous as the highest spiritual faculties in human beinghood. In one sense, the Atman-Brahman formula is parallel to the Son-Father formula. The Enlightened One Realizes that Atman and Brahman are One, and that Union is Realized in the human psyche of jivatman, ahamkara, mans (mind). Likewise, the Union of Christ and the Father is Realized by the Christian. 'We' are neither Atman or Christ - both represent the 'Immanent' or 'indwelling' (a Christian term) aspect of GOD, whereas the Brahman or the Father are utterly 'Transcendent' and unknowable by the human psyche except through the mediational effect of the Son's or Atman's Realization.

Buddha's formulation of Anatman (or Anatta in Pali) was intended to undo the fossilized concept of Atman into an eternally enduring individual 'soul' which would transmigrate literally into different humans. The Anatman formulation was intended to restore the Boundless Nature of the Primordial Consciousness called "Self-Effulgent" in the Upanishads and later called Sunyata (Void) or Clear Light in Buddhism. Void is not supposed to mean 'nothing,' like the En Soph (Limitless) of Kabbalism, the Ultimate Reality is 'no thing' - it is beyond limit and beyond definition. Because of these definitions, all attributes, including personal attributes which ascribe personality to Ultimate Reality were not acknowledged. This is why there is no personal GOD in Buddhism. For convention-sake however, the Dalai Lama uses the word GOD when talking to Westerners. Hinduism has the insight to recognize both Saguna Brahman (GOD-with-attributes) and Nirguna Brahman (GOD-without-attributes). Only the latter concept was acknowledged by Buddhism. GOD cannot be 'less-than' personal (impersonal), since human beinghood is personal, but can be thought of as Transpersonal - transcending personality. Likewise En Soph and the Father.




Excellent post! I think that answered my question to a fair degree. I would be interested in what PED would say, but I haven't seen him around for a while.


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Invisibleredgreenvines
irregular verb
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Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 21,868
Re: Atman vs. Anatman [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3223470 - 10/06/04 05:59 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Huehuecoyotl said:
"what is the more effective approach to Enlightenment (for a Western mind)"

Getting fried and dancing around naked.



to approach enlightenmemt you will probably be further ahead to dance than to make riddles.
some riddles are an enlightening dance and enjoyable too.

I like to see how we are already enlightened


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