To what extent is the doctrine of Anatta essential to the Buddhist understanding of the human condition?
The teaching of 'no self' is not just an interesting piece of Buddhist philosophy, but a vital necessity for Buddhist salvation. It is the belief in ourselves as separate selves that leads us to wrongly distinguish between one another. It makes us seek our own good rather than other peoples. This is all ignorance of the true nature of existence. Complete loss of this delusion of 'self' is equivalent to enlightenment. This teaching of 'no self', to the Buddhists is known as Anatta.
Around the same time as the Buddha, The Shramanas taught 'self' was a real part of the person. This 'real' pa…
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