11.What is “self”?

The word “self” is an anticipation of existence. That is an old belief of Brahmanism and has disguised itself in most of the Buddha’s teaching. It is taught that “spirit” or “mind” of all livings is permanent self (Atta). That is, it belongs to itself without reliance on other causes of creation.  Therefore, it will never come to an end no matter what is the cause of destruction. This is the origin of belief in devils, hell, heaven, and angels, including cycle of life, which has come to existence after death.  That is the principle of Brahmanism. However, Buddha said that all things are selfless (no-self) which on exception. 


12. Have we ever met ourselves?

  No, even though there has been a thoughtful review, ourselves has not been found. The old belief has been long rooted without any proof.  There are only unsounded stories told. If we look at the ultimate rule of the universe, it is found that selfness (or self) cannot exist.

   “Emptiness” (clear from self) is the basis of everything. All things have come from emptiness, lived in emptiness and changed in accordance with surrounding factors before they have returned to emptiness again. That is “as such as” (which has automatically turned around by it self). 


13. Are we not in existence?

  The face is that “we are in existence without us” our body has come from our mother (with the help of our father) and can stay alive because of proper food, water, warmth and care. If there are no father and mother, we could not exist or if there are no proper food, water, warmth and care, we shall die (pass away). Therefore, our body is not permanently selfness.


14. What is the mind?

Our mind consists of four elements: perception; felling; recognition; and thought.

The “perception” is a special element (abstract element) incurring in a living body like an electrical power and could exist in all living items (human, animals and plants). Perception is the basis of the livings on earth. If any item does not have perception, it is non-living item (a plant is a living item, some of them could respond if they are touched or contact. It means that the plant has a sense of perception).

“Feeling” is divided in there feeling (1) Happy feeling, (2) painful feeling (the feeling that is opposite to happy feeling or feeling of suffering) (3) no sensation feeling (the feeling in the mid-point between happiness and suffering).

 “Recognition” is the mental state that we could remember what we have contacted.  Recognition underneath our consciousness is “the memory of our existence in the world”.  We could remember that we are male or female, our name, surname, shape, voice, language, relatives or belongings. Such recognition is the result of our “memory” which has kept records of all things since we were born (The memory is relied on the storage in the brain. If the brain has malfunction, we can recognize nothing).

  “Thought” is the mental state that our mind is involved in the thinking process (which is dependent on the memory). Besides, thought is driven by both thirst (desire) and detachment (no thirst or desire).


15. Where is the center of mind?

“Mind” or “spirit” means perception with “feeling and thought”. Our mind is capable of memorizing and thinking without boundary.  In contrast, animals could memorize and think in a limited manner (the animals do things under guidance of there nature senses) because there brains compared to the body size is smaller than that of human.  Thus animals are unable to make any improvement while men are able to make an improvement.

The brain is a miraculous object, which retains enormous data and could rapidly make a computation similar to a computer.  “The brain has stored a number of memories to make a comparison whether the thing being perceived has been memorized and to make a computation.”  The mental though incurs in the brain (but the time of mental perception will incur and end at several spots on the body rapidly and continuously until it seems that the mental perception is forever.   Such misunderstanding has caused us to think that the mind is self). Therefore, the brain is the center of the work of the mind.  Besides, the brain also controls function of various organs in the body.  Speaking and physical movement are ordered by the mind at the brain. Thus the mind and the brain are inseparable: otherwise, both will come to end at once because the brain is the place where perception (spirit) incurs.  The perception has also included perception of information in the memory of the brain to “think” and “memorize”. If there is no brain, there is no mind.

  The brain organ seem to be a usual object but it is an amazing object as the modern technology could not find out its secret on how to keep the memory and how to think.  Even though it is a wonderful object, it is still under the rule of impermanence, suffering and no-self.  The mind relies on the brain to become in existence. So it is under the same rule of impermanence, suffering and no-self which have governed the brain.


16. How does the mind work?

The mind consists of four components, as mentioned earlier, that is perception, feeling, memory, and though.  If one component is missing, the mind is improper or is inexistence. For example, if there is no memory, we cannot memorize things and cannot think. Or, if there is no perception, we cannot perceive or feel anything. Thus, there is no mind or it means death.

 Originally, when there is no self, a sperm has fertilized with an egg to produce a living creature which grow up with hereditary qualities of its parents. When every living is created, there is no memory but there are perception and feeling only (no though).  That is the basis origin of all things.  There is no thought of self (with desire or thirst).  That is the “original mind” of human.

  When a man is created, his body will be equipped with organs for contact in six manners. (1) Eye (contact with image), (2) Ear (contact with sound), (3) Nose (contact with smell), (4) Tongue (contact with taste), (5) Body (all tissues of the body for physical contact with items such as coldness, heat, softness, strength, pain, ache, excitement, etc), (6) Spirit (contact with things could be mentally contact. That is contact incurred after other contacts with eye, ear, nose, tongue and body, memory, recognition and though of the mind).

  The organ used for contact has caused contact with various items. When a contact incurs, there is perception. When there is perception, there is feeling with the contacting item (but the feeling incurring is dependent on how the contacting item could cause a feeling). When the feeling incurs, there is recognize the contacting item.  When such item is contacted again, there is recognition of such item, when there are a lot of memories, such memories have been modified (combined) in various manners.

When we are asleep without any dreams only the body and the sense are in function (the body has caused the sense and the sense has caused the systems in the body to function such as the heart keeps beating, the lung keeps breathing and the stomach keep digesting.  This may be called “unconsciousness” or no mind). However, if we have a dream, the mind has improperly incurred (no intention, no control or “subconsciousness”).  When we wake up, the mind is proper (having intention and control or “consciousness”).

The point is the thought. If we think, our mind incurs a feeling of “desire” (the feeling of thirst means what has caused our mind dirty and fluctuated. The thirst could be divided into three categories (1) Desire to have such happiness keep flowing to self more and in a consistent manner (2) Desire to destroy or run away from the suffering contact (3) Uncertain or undecided feeling against the non-happy-or-painful feeling contact. In brief, it is called satisfied-dissatisfied-uncertain). The mind is aggravated, tired, worried or tortured (the level of the feeling is dependent on the desire incurring). That is suffering which has happened after the feeling from the first contact.

If we can think without the feeling of desire (because of the knowledge in no-self state and concentrated mind), our mind will not suffer.  When the mind has no suffering, it is calm, clear, smooth and comfortable. That is the character of “clear mind” (clear of desire). Buddhism presumably calls this type of mind “nirvana” or “cold”.

The desire or thirst is caused by the “habit” of our mind which is accustomed to desire instigated when the mind has contacted items or objects (the mind is satisfied with happiness, dissatisfied with suffering and uncertain with non-happy-or-painful feeling) as it has retained this habit for a long time.

Initially, the desire is caused by the “sense of self” which has incurred with all livings since there birth (the new born have a slight sense of self). This sense has caused a number of different senses.

When the mine has contacted a number of things, the desire has increased (and the sense of self has also gone up) and it has been retained in the memory of our subconsciousness (this incident has incurred beyond control or without intention). It is called our habit.

When the mind is possessed with desire, this sense will fully take control of the mind and has caused the mind to be satisfied, dissatisfied or uncertain. Then, there is a sense of self (our existence) incurred at once.

When there is a sense of self, “selfishness” has followed. The people with strong selfish behavior or the “evil” have a tendency to take advantage of other people. The people with slight selfish behavior or the “good” may feel sympathy for, help or may not take advantage of other people. The evil could simple make a bad thing but hardly make a good deed. The good could simple make a good thing but hardly mark a bad deed. Every time when a bad thing is committed, there is an evil consequence such as uneasiness, discomfort or sorrow (as applicable) when the act is being committed and after it is committed for a while. However, when the good deed is committed, there is a good consequence such as happiness, comfort and pleasure. That is, good deed-good, bad deed-bad. The good or the bad thing is dependent on what is being committed (good or bad is not the object or money). That is the real concept of Buddhism.

When the mind is held with selfness, the mind is filled with suffering (the level of suffering is subject to the amount of desire or selfness) because we are holding on the body which is getting old, sick or dead or the beloved person or item which is being apart or the hated person or item person encountered or disappointment for failure. Such mind is unable to avoid suffering.  That is the conclusion of human’s suffering, which is caused by selfness. If there is no selfness, there is no suffering.


17. What is the advantage of the knowledge on the “no-self state”?

Those who have no idea on the “no-self state” would hold on selfness and always end up with suffering (presumably theirs). That is a pure stupid person even though he has learned a lot in other areas; he is unable to get rid of his mental suffering properly. That is, he cannot to be free from all suffering.

For those who are knowledgeable about the “no-self state” he cannot to be free from all sufferings because he has found a proper way to get rid of the suffering. Even though he has a family life with some desire, his suffering is reduced because he does not firmly hold on to selfness for a level practical to him (that is, compliance with the four noble truths and having temporary nirvana). Whenever he could fully comply with the four noble truths, he could release himself from selfness and does not have a sense of selfness in his mind (presumably being self), permanently (that is permanent nirvana).