Anicca & Anatta

Welcome! Forums Meaning of Key Pāli Words Anicca & Anatta

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #15392
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      I suddenly have this thought that I wish to express here. Anicca and Anatta are like a pair of conjoined twins. Their parents are cause(s) and condition(s). We experience Anicca because of Anatta. Similarly, we experience Anatta because of Anicca. Everything in this world is conditioned and arose due to cause(s) and condition(s). Any effort to prove otherwise is futile. The end result can only be dukkha.

    • #15420
      Embodied
      Spectator

      You certainly got to such insight long time ago however, sometimes it happens that things that we already knew since long surface only later.

      So you’re totally right – imo.
      Anatta “nourishes” Anicca and vice-versa…

    • #15421
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      I would like to add on further by focusing a bit on Anatta. Again on the conjoined twins simile. One of the conjoined twins is yearning to get into a relationship. She sees other girls having boyfriends and feels envious of them. We know that Anatta implies there is no core essence in anything, both mental and physical. So, even if there is cause(s) and condition(s) for this girl to meet someone she likes and get into a relationship, the Anicca nature is going to be cruel to her. The availability (or the lack of) of cause(s) and condition(s) conveys a sense of vulnerability and helplessness to this girl. When there is no fate for her to meet a guy, she suffers. When she finally has the fate to meet someone she likes and fall in love, she suffers in another way. Either way, she suffers. Look deeper into Anatta and we see that she does not reign power over her whims and fancies. Why? Because the evil twin sister Anicca is at work! The love she is yearning for doesn’t come from nothing. It has to come from cause(s) and condition(s). And it is this very reason that all conditioned things must be Anicca as much as being Anatta.

    • #15423
      Embodied
      Spectator

      OK. And what should she do “to reign power over her whims and fancies” ?

      • #15424
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        There is nothing she can do. She should contemplate on the danger of clinging to sense pleasures and give up hope on chasing her dream. All worldly things are not worth pursuing.

        • #15430
          Embodied
          Spectator

          “There is nothing she can do.”

          Johnny, see the suttas for lay people as Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta. Me I couldn’t find any interdiction on relationships for lay people.

          Lay people can “live their life ” as much as they avoid debauchery, as much as honesty chairs the relationship process.

          Moreover, the suffering will be proportional to the individual’s degree of greed and propensity to attachment.

          Obviously all the above applies only to lay people that “don’t intend” to attain the highest Nibanna.

          • #15432
            Johnny_Lim
            Participant

            Embodied,

            We should try to strive to the best of our ability even as a lay person. I applaud religious lay people who, despite being a family man or woman, have a dedicated room where they can practise meditation and do prayers and chanting. Basically, they treat this room like a cave. They don’t really go out and socialise with people unnecessarily. No party, no movie, no music. Meditate and contemplate. But of course, they would still carry out their family responsibilities dutifully. The Buddha said there are 2 mistakes one can make in the spiritual path: One, is not to embark on this spiritual journey at all. The other is not to go all the way.

    • #15426
      y not
      Participant

      Johnny:

      ‘Should’ is a big word even for one on the Path, let alone for this girl who, I take it, is not.

      y not

    • #15429
      y not
      Participant

      Johnny:

      A comment on your first entry here.

      If one starts off with the contemplation of any one of the three, the other two will follow. They are three aspects or manifestations of one thing really.

      My own experience is this: seeing the anicca nature, (1) and the suffering that that causes through the sense of unsatisfactoriness and therefore the disappointment that is there (2) can this be what ultimate existence is all about EVENTUALLY? (3). And the suffering here is only the one we experience now in this life, not the dukkHA that extends into future lives, the contemplation of which strengtens the relevance and meaning of Anatta even more.

      In my case,it is seeing the Anatta nature in its sense of imperfection that comes naturally. 3) first, followed by 2), and then then 1). But the three are really one.

      As a child I used to ask, myself and others: ‘Where is perfection? everything I see here is imperfect’ The reply from my parents ran something like: ‘ are YOU perfect?’ Naturally, I knew I was not. The implication of course was: first become perfect yourself, then you will find that Perfection. So with me, even then, the first I saw was the Anatta nature, without of course refering to it by that word.

      Now all that has come to have meaning AND purpose.

      y not

      • #15431
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        y not,

        “And the suffering here is only the one we experience now in this life, not the dukkHA that extends into future lives, the contemplation of which strengtens the relevance and meaning of Anatta even more.”

        Agreed! We are truly helpless to find a way to end future suffering. We don’t even know such possibility exists until the Buddha arrived.

    • #19129
      sybe07
      Spectator

      I can see there is a longing for perfection. A longing that anything goes well and stays well. It is a longing that is born from anxiety and delusion (unrealistic view of life). Scared for this life with it’s characteristics of sudden change, instabililty, decay, sickness, death, pain, confusion. Insecure in an unsafe world.

      This insecurity and longing for safetey drives us to control the conditioned. When anything goes to wish, then that comes with a feeling of security, of control, of happiness.

      In the need to control, i am at the end of the scared ones, the anxious, always worried about things going wrong, with myself, others, parents, material stuf etc. I also feel life becomes more and more complicated and unsafe. Having a bank-account is unsafe, nowadays hackers try to steal your money. Hospitals cannot function without computers. It can go wrong anytime with anything. This sense of vulnerability is always present within me.

      In the end i cannot rely on anything in the world. So my fear/anxiety is not really wrong, it is not unrealistic, but it is afcourse a burden.

      Seeing this, and really making a change is a very very big difference, i know from experience. One can see that it is a mission impossible to seek for safety in the world, and still long very much for control. One can tell oneself over and over again about the truths of anicca, dukkha and anatta, but emotionally one has still this strong need for safety, refuge, craving for safety.

      I wonder what you think, but i think that without any sense of an already present perfection/stability/refuge inside us, how can one ever make this change?

      Siebe

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.