Jnana wrote:Center of the Sunlit Sky
, p. 85:
There is no contradiction between, first, the explanation that the ultimate is taken as the object of the wisdom of noble ones and, second, the teaching in some sūtras and treatises that it is not the sphere of cognition.
ok, here is the context:Center of the Sunlit Sky
, p. 99:Dividing Space: Divisions of the Ultimate
Of course, there can be no divisions of the actual nature of the ultimate. How-
ever, in terms of a terminological classification, “nominal ultimate reality” is distinguished
from “nonnominal (or actual) ultimate reality.” The first is what is
approximately concordant with ultimate reality. On the subject side
, it is a reasoning
consciousness about emptiness that fulfills the criteria of inferential valid
cognition. On the object side, it is the emptiness that is characterized as a nonimplicative
negation. Such can be regarded as a reality, since it is undeceiving
from the perspective of analytical reasoning. It is, however, only a partial freedom
from reference points
. For example, the nonimplicative negation “nonarising”
that negates arising still involves the notion of nonarising. As Santideva says,
such notions must be let go too:
Through familiarity with the latent tendencies of emptiness,
The latent tendencies of entities will be relinquished.
Through familiarity with “utter nonexistence,”
These too will be relinquished later on.
Once neither entities nor nonentities
Remain before the mind,
There is no other mental flux [either].
Therefore, it is utter nonreferential peace.
326The actual and complete freedom from all reference points, such as arising,
nonarising, existence, and nonexistence, is called nonnominal ultimate reality.
The Treasury of Knowledge reminds us to be aware that all the various avenues of
analyzing the two realities in Centrist treatises are solely dealing with nominal
ultimate reality. Actual ultimate reality is by definition completely inaccessible to
any conceptual analysis.327
In terms of the object to be negated, nominal ultimate reality is further classified
as personal identitylessness and phenomenal identitylessness.328 In terms of
defining characteristics, it can be divided into the three “doors to liberation”:
emptiness, signlessness, and wishlessness329 (sometimes a fourth door, nonapplication,
330 is added). Among these, it is emptiness in particular that is further classified
in various ways in different scriptures.331
In conclusion, one may wonder whether the phenomena that are contained in
the two realities exist as knowable objects. In terms of the Centrists’ own system,
when such phenomena are analyzed and not found, obviously this question is
pointless. And when Centrists talk about these phenomena without analysis, they
do not describe them in such a way as to say that certain ones among them exist
as correct knowable objects and certain others do not. However, when speaking
about phenomena in adaptation to the common worldly consensus of others,
without analysis, Centrists in general say that all phenomena contained in the two
realities are suitable to be known as mental objects. As for those Centrists who
are beyond worldly experiences, in order to guide disciples and without analysis,
they just repeat what is the common worldly consensus of those who say that
knowable objects accord with dependent origination and are illusionlike. Again,
it is only from the perspective of such people that these Centrists say this.
the illusionlike “mere seeming” that originates under the influence of unafflicted
ignorance (the phenomena included in that aspect of the seeming which is the
consensus of noble ones within the context of the presentation of the two realities
as just something mutually dependent), these Centrists would say that, conventionally,
the phenomena of this mere seeming correctly exist as knowable
objects. All other phenomena do not exist as correct knowable objects of unmistakenness.
They include all phenomena of seeming reality that originate from and
are affected by afflicted ignorance as well as all appearances and ideas of those who
are affected by incidental causes for mistakenness, such as visual objects for people
with blurred vision or notions about a permanent self.