On the The Snake / Rope Analogy 1

Oh, now, I am writing this post as I hope it will perhaps illuminate for you why the “Emptiness” teachings are of paramount importance with regards to Buddhism … especially the “emptiness of self” which, probably, from a conventional “western” POV sounds totally implausible or simply Crazy eh ? LOL !!! 😀

It may even give rise to “Fear” but fortunately this is merely a mistaken notion as the following excellent excerpt illustrates :

In a dark room, a rope may be mistaken to be a snake, along with all the descriptions about snakes that the mind contains. We feel anxiety, fear and our adrenalin and blood pressures go up, as well as heart beat.

But if we look closely at the rope in brighter light, we won’t be able to find a snake within the rope, or upon the rope, nor outside of the rope. That leaves only the imagination as its residence. It’s the same regarding our snake-self. Our body-mind is like the rope. The mind infers a self as a personal “me” upon and within the body-mind in the darkness of confused mental functioning. We have real feelings felt about this imaginary “me” that create moods, altered bio-chemistry and sense of a “suffering me”. But if we introspectively look within our mental events, we won’t find a “me” anywhere; not in the body, not in the mind; we only find thoughts and feelings ABOUT a self, but no self is discovered. Then the lights go on and suddenly the subconscious mind ceases to generate the mistaken “me” belief. The personal self or “me” was no more real than the imaginary snake! There is no “liberation or enlightenment” beyond this direct insight and cessation of this cognitive error, and none without it.

Quoted from Jackson Peterson’s “Anatta” Group post (here)

One comment on “On the The Snake / Rope Analogy

  1. Reply Simon Oct 20,2019 7:47 pm

    Ah, you may be interested to read of the equivalent “principle” as it is viewed from the Vedantic position eh ? 😉

    Shankara, the great philosopher-sage of seventh-century India, used the example of the rope and the snake to illustrate the concept of maya. Walking down a darkened road, a man sees a snake; his heart pounds, his pulse quickens. On closer inspection the “snake” turns out to be a piece of coiled rope. Once the delusion breaks, the snake vanishes forever.

    Similarly, walking down the darkened road of ignorance, we see ourselves as mortal creatures, and around us, the universe of name and form, the universe conditioned by time, space, and causation. We become aware of our limitations, bondage, and suffering. On “closer inspection” both the mortal creature as well as the universe turn out to be Brahman. Once the delusion breaks, our mortality as well as the universe disappear forever. We see Brahman existing everywhere and in everything.

    Quoted from the Vedanta Society of Southern California’s article “The Concept of Maya

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