Archive for September 12th, 2008

The Anatta concept

Friday, September 12th, 2008

QUESTION: Masters, I wish first to thank you for the teachings and messages that you bring to us. I have studied the teaching of Buddha and have a question about “anatta” (or no soul). How does the concept fit into the idea of a soul that carries on (reincarnation)? Is it just my concept of what I perceive a soul to be that is getting in the way of my understanding this question?

ANSWER: Buddha provided many ponderings for the mind as well as disciplines for the body. All the modern compilations that have brought his words to the current age have suffered a little in translation. He was a master not only at stimulating spiritual growth but also affording a complete understanding of the bodily experience that allows us to use his teachings.

Each age, race, creed, and religion has a series of core beliefs called its belief system. These common understandings define the opinions, practices, feelings, and yearnings with which people may identify to be a part of the desired group. Similarly, all human beings have a belief system by which to conduct their individual life.

Unless you blindly accept the entire package of a group, your belief system comes from many sources: your upbringing, community, schooling, reading, and religious affiliation. Your confusion arises because your belief system has become complicated by semantics.

Buddha spoke of the essence deep inside with which you seek to connect to reach enlightenment. Organized religions refer to this essence as the soul. They speak of the soul as being indestructible and the aspect of you that is the recipient of reward and punishment for your decisions made during each lifetime. This is a mixture of Buddha’s “essence” and the chain (reward and punishment) that religions use to control their flocks.

The physical ego that exists solely for judging each aspect of life prevents an understanding of Buddha’s words. We Masters use the term “soul” to speak of the essence within the human body that is part of Source and never ends. To understand the full meaning of “soul” you must divorce yourself from the hold of ego and go inside to the place of evaluation where there is only knowledge and wisdom; it is the place of “no soul” to religions.