So what is it that is doing "the grasping and generating of negative Karma" if the I does not exist? Call this the "real I".
Originally Posted by Paulclem
I was checking out the Wikipedia article on the Four Noble Truths and wonder where in these Four Noble Truths, or elsewhere in the original Buddhist canon, one finds the non-existence of the I?
Under the 2nd truth the article lists kinds of craving which is the "origin" of suffering and includes the following as a "craving":
Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.
When one engages in meditation to become aware of the non-existence of the I, is the part of us that is aware of our non-existence included in that non-existence? If it is, how does this differ from the "craving not to be"?
My suspicion is that if such a meditation actually worked to remove suffering in someone by making the person aware of their non-existence, what it really did was generate a victim who is now in denial that he or she is actually suffering but cannot admit it because to do so would admit their meditation is failing. It does not actually help the person remove the cause of the suffering.
I do see an interpretation of the idea of the "self" that seems to fit your description which I can accept. I assume you acknowledge that our material bodies exist. Although changing and temporary, they are not illusions. The "self" in this context is the relationship between our bodies and the environments we live in along with mental ideas of that relationship. We each have our self image and it should change with changes in the environment. Suffering could be considered a clinging to an old self that needs to be reinvented. That is different than the non-existence of the self. Beyond that there is still the "I" which is conscious of the various selves that we each invent throughout our lifetimes.
I'm just trying to conceptualize the problem I'm having with this.