Discussion on anatta, non-self

I had this conversation with Sarah Abbott in Hyde Park July 20th 2019

Alan: What is meant by reality in Buddhism?

Sarah: That which has a characteristic and which can be known. For example visible object that which can be seen. Whereas table is thought about but it doesn’t have a characteristic which can be known.

Alan: This moment is under conditions. The is a meaning of anatta. What are some other the meanings of anatta, not-self?

Sarah: Not subject to anyone’s mastery or control. No one, no thing there just a reality. Void of self, void of thing.

Emptiness. Empty of self, empty of something. It is from the same root as dhamma and dhatu. That which bears a characteristic (dharati: to bear). That’s the point of studying is to understand that all dhammas are anatta.

I am this kind of person, I am that kind of person. Without the details the idea of someone who is to be better, someone to be different, cannot be uprooted. The truth is in the details we need to learn about the details in order to uproot the idea of self. If you just hear, seeing sees visible object, hearing hears sound, this is not enough to uproot the idea of self. We need the details.

Written on August 20, 2019