Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:16 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:
Mariusz wrote:There are some, such as Gorampa and Shākya Chokden, who say that this verse [verse 6.75 of the Entrance] proves that Chandrakīrti holds, from his own perspective, that self-awareness exists conventionally. They also say that in Chandrakīrti’s tradition the all-base, self-awareness, outer objects, and the per-
son all exist conventionally, but they do not exist as “conventional phenomena that can withstand analysis.”

These positions are untenable. The master Chandrakīrti does not, as his own position, accept any phenomenon as existent or nonexistent in either ultimate or conventional truth


Stupid outsider question here that I am sure has been covered a thousand times in the endless Prasangika/Svatantrika debates, but what exactly is wrong with saying that things exist conventionally? How could there even be language if we did not play along with the convention that things exist?


This is all nauseating hair-splitting by Tibetan scholars with nothing better to do with their time.


That's good to know, in regards to the perspective to take on this anyway. I am just a bit curious, really.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Mariusz » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:This is all nauseating hair-splitting by Tibetan scholars with nothing better to do with their time.
Listening, reflection, meditation. Whatever you meditate the view is the first. As masters always advise, be careful whatever view you buy. Investigate it for yourself.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Virgo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:26 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:This is all nauseating hair-splitting by Tibetan scholars with nothing better to do with their time.
Listening, reflection, meditation. Whatever you meditate the view is the first. As masters always advise, be careful whatever view you buy. Investigate it for yourself.

I believe Loppon has, and has determined that Tibetan scholars made Madhyamaka more complicated than need be and split too many hairs, thus his disinterest. However, I may be entirely wrong.

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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Mariusz » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:28 pm

Anders Honore wrote:Like I said, stupid outsider. I've not seen a big deal made of this in east-asian madhyamika so there are several lines of reasoning I am not schooled in here. At a glance, I don't really get how your quote relates to the asserted problem of existence as convention.
As long as you are a sentient being there is not the problem. The problem starts during the Path to "be" a buddha.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Mariusz » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:33 pm

Virgo wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:This is all nauseating hair-splitting by Tibetan scholars with nothing better to do with their time.
Listening, reflection, meditation. Whatever you meditate the view is the first. As masters always advise, be careful whatever view you buy. Investigate it for yourself.

I believe Loppon has, and has determined that Tibetan scholars made Madhyamaka more complicated than need be and split too many hairs, thus his disinterest. However, I may be entirely wrong.

Kevin
Yes. And the Loppon advises to learn tibetan to look what Gorampa wrote for yourself.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:51 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:Like I said, stupid outsider. I've not seen a big deal made of this in east-asian madhyamika so there are several lines of reasoning I am not schooled in here. At a glance, I don't really get how your quote relates to the asserted problem of existence as convention.
As long as you are a sentient being there is not the problem. The problem starts during the Path to "be" a buddha.


That's a very insidey answer to me. Think I am gonna go with Namdrol-la's recommendation here and let split hairs lie.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:46 am

Anders Honore wrote:
Mariusz wrote:There are some, such as Gorampa and Shākya Chokden, who say that this verse [verse 6.75 of the Entrance] proves that Chandrakīrti holds, from his own perspective, that self-awareness exists conventionally. They also say that in Chandrakīrti’s tradition the all-base, self-awareness, outer objects, and the per-
son all exist conventionally, but they do not exist as “conventional phenomena that can withstand analysis.”

These positions are untenable. The master Chandrakīrti does not, as his own position, accept any phenomenon as existent or nonexistent in either ultimate or conventional truth


Stupid outsider question here that I am sure has been covered a thousand times in the endless Prasangika/Svatantrika debates, but what exactly is wrong with saying that things exist conventionally? How could there even be language if we did not play along with the convention that things exist?



There is nothing wrong with saying that things exist conventionally, because they do, as appearances to mind. The problem with conventional truth is that it is false, in that these mere appearances (conventional truths) present themselves to be inherently existent due to the imprints of self-grasping ignorance in our mind, and are then conceived to exist in that way. The appearance of conventional truths being inherently existent is a mistaken appearance, and the conception of things beings inherently existent is a wrong awareness and the source of all our suffering. By removing the delusion obstructions and the obstructions to omniscience from our mind by meditating on ultimate truth, emptiness, firstly the conception of conventional truths being inherently existent is removed, and then finally even the appearance of inherent existence is removed and conventional truths are experienced as being of one nature with ultimate truth. This is the union of the two truths and is the direct experience of Buddhas.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:15 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:There is nothing wrong with saying that things exist conventionally, because they do, as appearances to mind............

Outstanding summation. Many thanks.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby maybay » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:34 am

Anders Honore wrote:what exactly is wrong with saying that things exist conventionally? How could there even be language if we did not play along with the convention that things exist?


'The apple is on the table.' - nothing wrong here. Describes a relationship between an apple and a table.
'The apple exists [on the table/in the room/for me].' - from a normal person to a normal person this works out fine since we assume a dependency even if it wasn't said.
'The apple exists full stop.' - ...but introduce someone concerned with deeper meanings - the ontological philosopher or the visionary priest - and you have recipe for miscommunication on the conventional level. Where is pratityasamutpada in 'The apple exists.' ? Someone had a brain fart and conspired to describe the ultimate in words.

Philosophers try to game language and the religious try to control it. To say nothing of their intentions, this is how the drama plays out. Through his kindness the Guru rescues us from these rabbit holes.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Mariusz » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:36 am

Here I have an answer for all of you based on my previous posts in Dharmawheel:

"Nagarjuna and Candrakirti demonstraded so extensilvly is precisely that nothing makes sense when it is analyzed". And it is should be realized until not reference points at all, the total freedom from all the seeming where all divisions started, whatever conventional or ultimate. In contrast, if you want locate the "perceived object" precisely (e.g. a table) even conventionally, it is impossible for you sentient being, because infinite causes/conditions since beginigless time. What is called a sentient being is nothing but the very mistakenness that makes up such a distinctions. Nothing functions, nothing makes sense for you sentient being. But you can try endlessly. If you find anything here, congratulations, but unfortunately it will be just one more reference point which harms your realization. Any meditation based on it will be waste indeed because not soteriologically efficient. Nagarjuna wrote:"For those for whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible".
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:57 am

maybay wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:what exactly is wrong with saying that things exist conventionally? How could there even be language if we did not play along with the convention that things exist?


'The apple is on the table.' - nothing wrong here. Describes a relationship between an apple and a table.
'The apple exists [on the table/in the room/for me].' - from a normal person to a normal person this works out fine since we assume a dependency even if it wasn't said.
'The apple exists full stop.' - ...but introduce someone concerned with deeper meanings - the ontological philosopher or the visionary priest - and you have recipe for miscommunication on the conventional level. Where is pratityasamutpada in 'The apple exists.' ? Someone had a brain fart and conspired to describe the ultimate in words.

Philosophers try to game language and the religious try to control it. To say nothing of their intentions, this is how the drama plays out. Through his kindness the Guru rescues us from these rabbit holes.


"The apple is on the table" is basically the same as saying "the apple exists on the table." Being and existence are functional synonyms (and being is often used to render Svabhava). This is conventional reality. We can not perceive anything distinct without isolating it into discrete existent entities.

That is what I am curious about. That there are someone who would object to the notion of dealing with apparently existent objects at the conventional level, since conventional reality has existence and non-existence built into it by design.

Madhyamika tells us all this is mere appearance and is ultimately empty of such existence but playing along with conventional reality, whether by ignorance or recognising it as mere appearance, I am not sure how one can possibly avoid existence and non-existence. To even speak of an 'apple' is to have utilised existence, at the linguistic level anyway. To have a concept of something is to utilise the idea that 'it is', whether believed or not.

I suppose someone might try and argue that the apple really exists at a conventional level but that seems to me an obvious contradiction in terms.
Last edited by Anders on Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:04 pm

Mariusz wrote:Here I have an answer for all of you based on my previous posts in Dharmawheel:

"Nagarjuna and Candrakirti demonstraded so extensilvly is precisely that nothing makes sense when it is analyzed". And it is should be realized until not reference points at all, the total freedom from all the seeming where all divisions started, whatever conventional or ultimate. In contrast, if you want locate the "perceived object" precisely (e.g. a table) even conventionally, it is impossible for you sentient being, because infinite causes/conditions since beginigless time. What is called a sentient being is nothing but the very mistakenness that makes up such a distinctions. Nothing functions, nothing makes sense for you sentient being. But you can try endlessly. If you find anything here, congratulations, but unfortunately it will be just one more reference point which harms your realization. Any meditation based on it will be waste indeed because not soteriologically efficient. Nagarjuna wrote:"For those for whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible".


Here we may be getting to the point of my curiosity. I suppose if there are some who argue that it is possible to precisely pin down an object at the conventional level that it might make sense to argue against such existence at the level of the conventional. Though going from the quote I originally bolded, I am not sure that is the case. The Karmapa seems to find fault with the notion "[things exist conventionally] but they do not exist as “conventional phenomena that can withstand analysis.”
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby maybay » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:05 pm

Mariusz wrote:Here I have an answer for all of you based on my previous posts in Dharmawheel:

"Nagarjuna and Candrakirti demonstrated so extensively is precisely that nothing makes sense when it is analyzed".

No. The act of analysis makes sense of anything, but then do you know the original or what has been made for your senses out of your own analysis? Its precisely the fact that it becomes sensible that you know you've missed the mark.

Rather, no object of knowledge can withstand analysis. I can't authenticate myself. You want proof, but I'm just an onion. Doesn't mean I don't have feelings. At least you tried - no one's perfect - I'll never understand women etc.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:17 pm

When we say "Things exist conventionally" are we just saying they exist by convention, that they are said to exist only because we agree to call things existent?

Or

Do we mean that they actually have an existence at the conventional level?
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:26 pm

catmoon wrote:When we say "Things exist conventionally" are we just saying they exist by convention, that they are said to exist only because we agree to call things existent?

Or

Do we mean that they actually have an existence at the conventional level?


This is a contradiction in terms, cm. If we believe something actually exists, convention doesn't come into it. The only problem in the realm of conventional reality is the beings don't recognise it as being conventional.

If one were to propose "things actually have an existence at the conventional level" it should simply be stated as: "Things actually exist." Which is the MO for all us unawakened beings.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:33 pm

Convention DOES come into it. A Catholic and a Hindu could have a conversation about souls. They would be agreeing on the existence of souls as they did so, and the agreement would be nothing more than convention.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:48 pm

catmoon wrote:Convention DOES come into it. A Catholic and a Hindu could have a conversation about souls. They would be agreeing on the existence of souls as they did so, and the agreement would be nothing more than convention.


well yes, in the obvious sense than agreement and convention are largely the same here. But your example touches on the social aspect, not the ontological. For either party, the agreement is tertiary. The reality of the soul for either party is not contingent on the other's agreement to this.

When you talk about a 'conventional' reality, we're talking about santa and whether we believe in him or not. If I believe santa is actually real, then convention plays no part. There is no game of ideas being played along with here, no pacts that need be honoured to uphold its reality. If Santa is real he of course is real regardless of what we agree about him. Whereas, for the guy who nods his head and says 'I suppose this santa could be a nice guy' but isn't buying, for him Santa is only a convention of others that he may or may not adopt himself for whatever reason, but nevertheless he is clear that he adopts a convention when talking about Santa, since he doesn't believe in an actual Santa.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:14 pm

Anders Honore wrote:I am not sure how one can possibly avoid existence and non-existence.


This is the purpose of dependent origination.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:22 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
maybay wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:
Madhyamika tells us all this is mere appearance and is ultimately empty of such existence but playing along with conventional reality, whether by ignorance or recognising it as mere appearance, I am not sure how one can possibly avoid existence and non-existence. To even speak of an 'apple' is to have utilised existence, at the linguistic level anyway. To have a concept of something is to utilise the idea that 'it is', whether believed or not.

I suppose someone might try and argue that the apple really exists at a conventional level but that seems to me an obvious contradiction in terms.


It depends what you think the goal of Madhyamaka is, and that seems to vary from school to school.

From the Prasagika point of view of Tsongkhapa's school It's not in question that an apple exists because it's appearing to a valid mind (we find the apple where we see it on the table, and it performs the function of an apple) but the question is more HOW the apple exists. For Tsongkhapa the purpose of Madhyamaka is not to deny existence but to deny inherent existence, although there is also a lot of disagreement about this between the different Buddhist schools. The apple exists but not outside the mind. Its appearance and functionality is like a wave arising from the ocean of the root mind. Conventionally it appears, but ultimately it can't be found.
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Re: Gorampa untenable according to Karmapa

Postby Virgo » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:33 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:From the Prasagika point of view of Tsongkhapa's school It's not in question that an apple exists because it's appearing to a valid mind (we find the apple where we see it on the table, and it performs the function of an apple) but the question is more HOW the apple exists. For Tsongkhapa the purpose of Madhyamaka is not to deny existence but to deny inherent existence, although there is also a lot of disagreement about this between the different Buddhist schools. The apple exists but not outside the mind. Its appearance and functionality is like a wave arising from the ocean of the root mind. Conventionally it appears, but ultimately it can't be found.

Tsongkhapafan help me understand this once and for all. What is the difference between Geluk Prasangika and other schools, from your point of view?

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