Anatta analogy with the car


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    • #45914

      Hello everyone 

      I was thinking about the Anatta nature. A analogy with a car come to my mind. (Please correct me if i am wrong).

      A car was built for the purpose to transport someone on the road. The car can’t do anything else. The car cannot fly and we cannot takes the car like a boat even if we wish to drive on the water. The car was built only to transport on the road. Is uncontrollable (Anatta). We can guide the car on the road like turn, left right, park, stop etc. BUT even if we guide the car is always on the road. We cannot do that in the air or in the water. Is Anatta at the end. No matter the brand the car can only be drive on the road.

      The cycle of rebirth is similar. No matter what body we take we will end up leaving it. If we choose to stays in the Samsarā at some point we will inevitably fall in the apayas. If we choose the Lord Buddha’s path we will inevitably leave the cycle. We cannot have the cake and eat it. We cannot choose both at the same time anariya and ariya path in longer term. We will inevitably choose one path. An arahant cannot desire any rebirth just like a car can’t grow wings and take off like an airplane. In both cases we see the Anatta nature. A sotāpanna will attain the next 3 stages is uncontrollable. He can’t regress to the puthujjana state.

      (Sorry with the grammar mistakes english is not my first language (i am a french speaker) most of the time i use a translator on this forum to writting and even to read the article on pure dhamma)

    • #45915

      Hello Gad. Don’t worry. Your English is improving, and we can get the idea you are trying to convey.

      The analogy is not bad. 

      • However, a simpler version could be the following: Suppose someone buys a car expecting it to bring happiness by allowing visits to various places of interest. So, he is joyful and drives around to many such places. But, then, he runs out of places that he can reach by car. As you pointed out, he can no longer use it for his enjoyment because there are places (say overseas) that he cannot get to with the car. Finally, the car breaks down without fulfilling his desires. 
      • Anything of “seemingly of value” in this world is like that. It will not fulfill one’s expectations in the end. Unless we make progress on the Noble Path, we all will die after doing many activities that don’t leave us with any tangible benefit. 

      It is good to contemplate such analogies. That will help the “idea of anicca, dukkha, anatta nature” of anything in this world sink into one’s mind.

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