Flakes of Englightenment (1)
We are agentive instrumental
The Buddhad’s non-self teaching can be understood through a linguistic approach, the agentive instrumental. As, for example, in Tibetan language, the expression of "the Buddha teaches Dharma" is made as:sangs rgyas kyis chose bstanNote the word Buddha is in instrumental case. However, the phrase can not be interprated as "the Dharma is taught by the Buddha"! For here clearly the Buddha is the teacher. Therefore, this kind of expression is called agentive instrumental.
We are in transformation, and we are the transformation
A common ground for Indian thoughts are the shared theory of rebirth. However, the difference is made on whether there is a being (or person, soul, self) experiencing the rebirth. Liberation from suffering and enlightenment are like transformation. The Brahmans maintain that there is a permenant sould that takes the long journey of transformation, and until one realizes the non-duality of one-self (atman) and the All (brahman), one is bound in samsara or the circle of rebirth and suffering. The Buddha takes a different approach and says: "No, there is no a self; no person, no soul." But the negation of self does not negate the experience. In fact, the experience is in transformation. We are but experience, and by this realization and a wisdom engaging in righteous actions, we transform into the enlightenment state, and we are the transformation.
Chuang Tzu (Zhuang Zi) ones had a dream in which he transformed into a butterfly. Vividly he was a butterfly in the dream. By the time he awoke and found himself as the one named Chuang, vividly, he was struck by a question: How can he be sure that his own being is not a dream of a butterfly?