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This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my Self ", is not intended to make directly for goodness but for truth and insight. "And since neither self nor aught belonging to self, brethren, can really and truly be accepted, is not the heretical position which holds: This is the world and this is the self, and I shall continue to be in the future, permanent, immutable, eternal, of a nature that knows no change, yea, I shall abide to eternity!-is not this simply and entirely a doctrine of fools?" 1
And now that the later or scholastic doctrine, as shown in the writings of the greatest of the Buddhist scholastics, becomes accessible, it is seen how carefully and conscientiously this anti-substantialist position had been cherished and upheld. Half-way to the age of the Commentators, the Milinda-pañho places the question of soul-theory at the head of the problems discussed. Then turning to Buddhaghosa we find the much more emphatic negation of the Sumangala Vilasinī (p. 194): "Of aught within called self which looks forward or looks around, etc., there is none ! " matched in the Atthasālinī, not only by the above-given definition of d hamma's, but also by the equally or even more emphatic affirmation respecting them, given in my n. 1 to p. 33: "There is no permanent entity or self which acquires the states. . . these are to be understood as ultimates (sabha vatṭhena). There is no other essence or existence or personality or individual whatever." Again, attention is drawn in the notes to his often-reiterated comment that when a disposition or emotion is referred to cittam, e.g. nandirago cittassa,2 the repudiation of an ego is thereby implied. Once more, the thoughts and acts which are tainted with " Āsavas" or with corruptions are said to be so in virtue of their being centred in the soul
1 M. i, 138.
2 p. 277, n. 2; also pp. 129, n. 1; 298, n. 3, etc.; and cf. p. 175, n. 1. See also on dhātu, p. lxxxv.
or self,1 and those which have attained that “ideal Better and have no "beyond" (a n- uttara) are interpreted as having transcended or rejected the soul or self.2
To appreciate the relative consistency with which the Buddhists tried to govern their philosophy, both in subject and in treatment, in accordance with this fundamental principle, we must open a book of Western psychology, more or less contemporary, such as the De Animá, and note the sharply contrasted position taken up at the outset. The object of our inquiry," Aristotle says in his opening sentences, is to study and ascertain the nature and essence of the Psyche, as well as its accidents . . . It may be well to distinguish. . . the genus to which the Psyche belongs, and determine what it is . . . whether it is a something and an essence, or quantity or quality . . . whether it is among entities in potentiality, or whether rather it is a reality .. Now, the knowledge of anything in itself seems to be useful towards a right conception of the causes of the accidents in substances . . . But the knowledge of the accidents contributes largely in its turn towards knowing what the thing essentially is... Thus the essence is the proper beginning for every demonstration ..
The whole standpoint which the Buddhists brought into question, and decided to be untenable as a basis of sound doctrine, is here accepted and taken as granted. A phenomenon, or series of phenomena, is, on being held up for investigation, immediately and unhesitatingly looked upon under one of two aspects: either it must be a substance, essence, reality, or it belongs to one of those nine other Categories "quantity, quality, etc.-which constitute the phenomenon an attribute or group of attributes cohering in a substance.
It is true that Aristotle was too progressive and original a thinker to stop here. In his theory of mind as eidos or "form", in itself mere potentiality, but becoming actuality
p. 294, n. 7; p. 327, n. 1.
p. 336, n. 2.
as implicate in, and as energizing body, he endeavoured to transform the animism of current standpoints into a more rational conception. And in applying his theory he goes far virtually to resolve mind into phenomenal process (De An., III, chaps. vii, viii). But he did not, or would not, wrench himself radically out of the primitive soil and plant his thought on a fresh basis, as the Buddbist dared to do. Hence Greek thought abode, for all his rationalizing, saturated with substantialist methods, till it was found acceptable by and was brought up into an ecclesiastical philosophy which, from its Patristic stage, had inherited a tradition steeped in animistic standpoints.
Modern science, however, has been gradually training the popular mind to a phenomenalistic point of view, and joining hands in psychology with the anti-substantialist tradition of Hume. So that the way is being paved for a more general appreciation of the earnest effort made by Buddhism—an effort stupendous and astonishing if we consider its date and the forces against it to sever the growth of philosophic and religious thought from its ancestral stem and rear it in a purely rational soil.
But the philosophic elaboration of soul-theory into Substantialism is complicated and strengthened by a deeply important factor, on which I have already touched. This factor is the exploitation by philosophy, not of a primitive Weltanschauung, but of a fundamental fact in intellectual procedure and intellectual economy. I refer to the process of assimilating an indefinite number of particular impressions, on the ground of a common resemblance, into a "generic idea" or general notion, and of referring to each assimilated product by means of a common name. Every act of cognition, of coming-to-know anything, is reducible to this compound function of discerning the particular and of assimilating it into something relatively general. And this process, in its most abstract terms, is cognizing Unity in Diversity, the One through and beneath the Many.
Now no one, even slightly conversant with the history of philosophy, can have failed to note the connexion there has ever been set up between the concept of substratum and phenomena on the one hand, and that of the One and the Many on the other. They have become blended together, though they spring from distinct roots. And so essential, in every advance made by the intellect to extend knowledge and to reorganize its acquisitions, is the co-ordinating and economizing efficacy of this faculty of generalizing, that its alliance with any other deep-rooted traditional product of mind must prove a mighty stay. A fact in the growth of religious and of philosophic thought which so springs out of the very working and growth of thought in general as this tendency to unify must seem to rest on unshakeable foundations.
And when this implicit logic of intellectual procedure, this subsuming the particular under the general, has been rendered explicit in a formal system of definition and predication and syllogism, such as was worked out by the Greeks, the breach of alliance becomes much harder. For the progress in positive knowledge, as organized by the logical methods, is brought into harmony with progress in religious and philosophic thought.
This advance in the West is still in force, except in so far as psychological advance, and scientific progress generally, tell on the traditional logic and philosophy. Psychological analysis, for instance, shows that we may confuse the effective registration of our knowledge with the actual disposition of the originals. That is to say, this perceiving and judging, by way of generalizing and unifying, is the only way by which we are able to master the infinite diversities and approximate uniformities of phenomena. And it is true that through such procedure great results are attained. Conceptions are widened and deepened. Laws are discovered and then taken up under more general laws. Knowledge groups all phenomena under a few aspects of all but
supreme generality. Unification of knowledge is everywhere considered as the ideal aim of intellect.
But, after all, this is only the ideal method and economy of intellect. The stenographer's ideal is to compress recorded matter into the fewest symbols by which he can reproduce faithfully. Limitations of time and faculty constrain us to become mental stenographers. We simplify concrete reality by abstractions, we compress it by generalizations. And the abstract and general terms become symbols which perhaps are not adequately the mirrors of the real and the true.
Now whatever be our view as to the reality of an external world outside our perception of it, psychology teaches us to distinguish our fetches of abstraction and generalization for what they are psychologically-i.e. for effective mental shorthand-whatever they may represent besides. The logical form of Universal in term and in proposition is as much a token of our weakness in realizing the Particular as of our strength in constructing what is at best an abstract and hypothetical whole. The philosophical concept of the One is pregnant with powerful associations. To what extent is it simply as a mathematical symbol in a hypothetical cosmos of carefully selected data, whence the infinite concrete is eliminated lest it "should flow in over us "1 and overwhelm us?
Now, the Buddhistic phenomenalism had also both the one and the other member of this great alliance of Noumenon and Unity to contend with. But the alliance had, so far at least as we know or can infer, not yet been welded together by a logical organon, or by any development in inductive science. Gotama and his apostles were, to some extent, conversant with the best culture of their age, yet when they shape their discourse according to anything
1 Infra, § 1345:
"Yam . . . pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyum." Cf. Maudsley, Body and Will, p. 225.