Not Everything is Impermanent

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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:31 am

smjc wrote:Enlightenment is not a paradigm, attitude, or concept. It is an experience.


I think it's a realization, and that 'realization' is different to 'experience'. I previously quoted Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on the difference between realization and experience. Experience pertains to existence, realization pertains to reality, the difference being that experience implies the division of experience and experiencer, subject and object, whereas reality is inclusive of both. Other than that I generally agree with the points you are making.

That is why even though it is true that:

Astus wrote:Nevertheless, experience is something that happens in one of the six sensory gates. Even if we talk about the subtlest mental phenomena, they are impermanent. There is no seventh sensory gate beyond the six. And if any of them were permanent we would experience it constantly.


Buddhism is not about any particular experience, but the nature of all experience, about the causes that give rise to, and make experience possible; what is behind all experiences. And that is why the teaching is on a completely different level to that of 'experience'. It consists of realizing the true nature of experience, specifically that it is always subject to 'conditioned origination' and so on.

That is not something that takes place on an intellectual level - which is why even if we have a lot of knowledge of sutras and teachings, it doesn't necessarily translate into actual realization.

smjc wrote:No, Buddha Nature is the essence of mind, before subject and object. It can never be taken as an object of consciousness anymore than the retina of your eye can see itself.


I agree with that. And 'uncovered' is the right way to put it - that is another way of distinguishing 'realization' and 'experience'. 'Realization' is 'of that which is always already the case'.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby smcj » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:49 am

jeeprs wrote:
smjc wrote:Enlightenment is not a paradigm, attitude, or concept. It is an experience.

I think it's a realization, and that 'realization' is different to 'experience'. I previously quoted Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on the difference between realization and experience. Experience pertains to existence, realization pertains to reality, the difference being that experience implies the division of experience and experiencer, subject and object, whereas reality is inclusive of both.

That's evidently a semantic distinction that Traleg R. makes, which he is perfectly welcome to do. I don't think other teachers or translators necessarily subscribe to it. Realization does seem less ambiguous, but I don't see a problem with talking about Dharmic experience as long as it is clearly understood as such.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby oushi » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:19 am

undefineable wrote:How is it otherwise with 'realisation', come to that?

Could you rephrase this question. I didn't get it.
undefineable wrote: You've quoted sutra passages on other threads that describe not-knowing, but there are also sutra passages which describe how each of us has a 'tathagatagarbha' (as if this were some kind of soul )

I will try with this one. This not-knowing does not prevent anything, quite contrary, it is the source of everything. Letting go of the chase after knowing does not make one dumb or silent, quite contrary, it releases creativity. Thus you may find many descriptions of it, many interpretations. Those may be means to address different audience, at different places and times, as you said. I do not talk about those, because I don't see myself as competent in any way to guide anyone. Thus I see no point in adjusting my words to the capacity of others. If you try to compare teachings with each other, you will often see how the contradict each other.
undefineable wrote:However, if your interpretation of one scripture flatly contradicts most of the other scriptures out there, then it's logical to question whether that interpretation was intended to be the definitive, universally applicable one, or one that applies provisionally to your own particular mind.

I don't know, and I assume that nobody does until we define the goal. Now, the goal is defined by the teaching itself. There are many different goals. That may be surprising, because people think that there is only one awakening, always the same. It is multifaceted entity, and teachings often target only one specific aspect.
undefineable wrote: I still suspect that your 'without knowing' quote means that the mind without knowing is the mind that becomes enlightened; beyond this, who knows?

It is not limited to any specific mind. Look:
"The Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, “Just as the Tathāgata is inconceivable, ordinary beings are also inconceivable.” Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, ordinary beings are also inconceivable?” The Buddha said, “They are also inconceivable. Why? All characteristics of the mind are inconceivable.” Mañjuśrī said, “If it is as you say and the Tathāgata is inconceivable, then innumerable disciples fatigue themselves in seeking the Nirvāṇa of the buddhas. Why? The inconceivable Dharma is itself Nirvāṇa, and they the same without any difference. Mañjuśrī continued, “As such, ordinary beings are inconceivable, and the buddhas are inconceivable.”
undefineable wrote:n any case, how would a truth simple enough to be put into a few words -e.g. 'there can be no knowledge'- be a final Truth about such a complex Reality?

I did not say that there can be no knowledge! I just negate the validity of knowledge as such. If you perceive knowing as having information about something, then in this complex reality you have a lot to learn. But if you see that the nature of knowing is always empty, you have nothing to learn. There is nowhere to go, and no place to stay. Complex reality becomes simple one, with only one aspect, which is inconceivability.
a person is [*]supposed[*] to know that their perspectives generally come nearer to truth than they did before.

I can say, from my experience, that certainty is a natural state of no search. Being closer to the "truth" you do not know more, but look for less.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:23 pm

jeeprs wrote:However I am of the view that the dharma itself is not amongst 'the things that are impermanent'. The idea of 'eternal law' is not often spoken of in Buddhist teaching but one case is Dhammapada 1:5

"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

Yea everything that is Impermanent is what is of Mara.

From Bhikkhu Bodhi Translation in book form found on PAGE 989 in the Samyutta Nikaya
in the Khandhavagga section
the Radhasamyutta chapter 2
under the 1. The First Mara Subchapter

(SN 23.24)
4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.

... "Radha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Mara ' .. [199] ". for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature for whatever is suffering ...
for whatever is of a painful nature for whatever is nonself ' .. for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing ... for what¬ever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Radha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to ces¬sation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seein thus ' .. He understands:
there is no more for this state of being.''
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby undefineable » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:33 am

oushi wrote:
undefineable wrote:How is it otherwise with 'realisation', come to that?

Could you rephrase this question. I didn't get it.
It was a 'rhetorical question' I guess - Just as people can't always tell the degree to which they're in love with someone else rather than with a false impression of that person, people can't often tell the degree to which they've come to understand Reality in general. I just get the impression that this uncertainty about one's level of certainty -as well as the uncertainty itself- tends to diminish with dharma practice, whereas you seem to be claiming that it increases. However, if you're just referring to the intellectual level of understanding that's involved in claiming -for example- that thoughts are electrical impulses in the brain, then I'd have to agree.
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oushi wrote:This not-knowing does not prevent anything, quite contrary, it is the source of everything. Letting go of the chase after knowing does not make one dumb or silent, quite contrary, it releases creativity. Thus you may find many descriptions of it, many interpretations.
It seems to me that while 'letting go of the chase after knowing' might be good advice for an academic, cerebral character, it would otherwise be little use or relevance - even to those more artistic intellectuals who may in any case be habitually creative already. {Let's remember that in the US schoolyard classification of the Realms of sentient beings, arty and 'techie' types both belong to the hell realm of 'geeks' _ } So perhaps the fact of many interpretations, here, has less to do with intellectual stress relief (your interpretation being the original) than with the fact that different minds step onto the Path in very different places and so must take very different routes. It's more about tailoring a method than about interpretation. Hence:
oushi wrote:the goal is defined by the teaching itself. There are many different goals. That may be surprising, because people think that there is only one awakening, always the same. It is multifaceted entity, and teachings often target only one specific aspect.
On the other hand, just because different minds are out of control in very different ways doesn't mean that the teachings and the Path they signpost do not (through all the layers of application to individual and conventional realities) eventually converge on a central 'gist'.
oushi wrote:“Just as the Tathāgata is inconceivable, ordinary beings are also inconceivable.”
A subject that's too subtle to be grasped by any conceptual structure (a possibility that many -scientists for example- refuse to accept of course) might still be fully appreciated by other means.
oushi wrote:If you perceive knowing as having information about something, then in this complex reality you have a lot to learn.
Only the simplest of knowing conveys data.
oushi wrote:I just negate the validity of knowledge as such.
Well if all things are empty, then logically there are no valid objects of knowledge, and therefore no valid knowledge of particulars - without those particulars having to have 'noumena' beyond the scope of mind. But this itself opens up the possibility of an overall understanding that -since it involves no search- makes simple knowing far more straightforward than it was before.

It's still only a way of seeing the situation. When the perception of emptiness becomes habitual, would there be much need for it?
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:58 am

I don't know if the fact that things are empty of own-being means that there is no valid knowledge. One can have conventional knowledge of mundane realities - in fact it is indispensable.

The being of the individual is a dependent being as it is a complex of the five skandhas, and it is not anything unconditioned or independent. Milk, for example, is a complex of colour, smell, taste and touch; it is not anything in itself. Nor is it a non-entity, purely illusory like a second head or a third hand. In that case there could not have been any such thing as the components of milk; this is admitted even by those who tend to dismiss individuality as a mere name without anything corresponding, not recognizing the individual as a conditioned entity. To hold that there are only the skandhas and no individual at all is an error in regard to the mundane truth...

...The Buddha's teaching that there is the self and that there is no self are of this kind (i.e. 'taught in accordance with the audience's standpoint'). The intention of the former teaching is to remove the doubt of the people in regards to the next birth, in regard to sin and merit, and it is intended to save them from committing evil deeds and falling into the heresy of negativism. The other statement that there is no individual is intended to remove the wrong notion that the self exists as an absolute entity, that the individual is an unconditioned being, which is a false notion, a fall into the heresy of eternalism.


Nāgārjuna's Philosophy, K Venkata Ramanan Pp 138-139.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:16 am

Lets assume for a moment that there are two mechanisms involved. One responsible for analysing and managing incoming sense data, and the other classifying them according to their solidity in the sense of truth. If something is absolutely true it is absolutely solid.
Now, how does this solidity develops? How do we make things more true? First, through repetition of experience. If we saw something 30 times we are more certain of it, then of something we saw once. Secondly, through argument, which in nothing more than providing a connection to thing we already hold as true.
If this is how mind operates, then there is no absolute Truth available. Truth is made of few layers of experience. Since experience is effortless, the whole process is effortless. Effort arises in the moment we claim something to be true. Holding a view requires effort, because we have to defend its solidity.
Now, I do not question the experience, but later use of it. As I see it, there is nothing solid in truth, so truth is not really truth. Perception of emptiness cannot become habitual through repetition, or argument, unless it releases all experience knots we hold as true (knowledge). In other words, emptiness redefines truth. It is not a stack of experiences anymore, but rather the nature of experience itself. But this nature should not be known, as we would fall into the same hole again. Perception of emptiness is absolutely effortless process devoid of the need to know or not to know. Probably this is why relaxation is so broadly used in practice.
Not-knowing is the only pointer from intellectual point of view. But we tend to treat not knowing as a hole in knowing. This is not accurate, thus created delusions. But, stick you head in this hole by dropping all your views. I used to do it by thinking about Black Hole. What's inside? Since my mind is not contaminated with scientific explanations in that subject, I had to honestly answer "I don't know". If you do it properly you will be immediately shifter do the "slimmest" experience available, which is Here and Now. In this moment true analysis of the mind start, and it will behave like after computer reboot, slowly going back to it's habitual grasping. Now is the moment to ask why, and how? Analyse the nature of knowing, grasping, clinging, and... suffering.
Ok, I went into careless brainstorming here :D , trying to write down something so vague. Still, it may work a pointing through argument.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:45 am

I see the sense of what you're saying. And even though this is a Buddhist forum, let's not forget the example of Socrates. :tongue:
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:26 am

jeeprs wrote:I see the sense of what you're saying. And even though this is a Buddhist forum, let's not forget the example of Socrates. :tongue:

Yes, Greeks had also something valuable to say (and show) about it. Socrates, Pyrrho, Epicurus and others, made Dharma riddles solvable. Not that those are unsolvable within Buddhism doctrine, but those hints from outside make it much easier, at least for me.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:46 am

Well, Epicurus is the odd man out there, being a materialist, but let's not drag the thread into the History of Western Philosophy.

I am interested in the attribution for the dialogue you quoted above - which Sutra was that?

Son of Buddha wrote:Yea everything that is Impermanent is what is of Mara.


That is certainly one way of understanding it. Perhaps that the 'realm of phenomena' is the playing field for Mara.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:59 am

jeeprs wrote:Well, Epicurus is the odd man out there, being a materialist, but let's not drag the thread into the History of Western Philosophy.

I am interested in the attribution for the dialogue you quoted above - which Sutra was that?

Son of Buddha wrote:Yea everything that is Impermanent is what is of Mara.


That is certainly one way of understanding it. Perhaps that the 'realm of phenomena' is the playing field for Mara.


Its from the "what is Subject to mara" sutta.....its a list of idea/things to abandon which belong to or are subject to Mara.

I have Anouther quote about Impermenance I was going to post from the Queen Srimala sutra...but I have to look it up.
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby oushi » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:42 pm

jeeprs wrote:I am interested in the attribution for the dialogue you quoted above - which Sutra was that?

Mahaprajnaparamita Manjuśriparivarta Sutra
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Re: Not Everything is Impermanent

Postby takso » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:12 am

Two Facets of the Nature

Nature is originally referred to essential qualities or innate disposition; related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals, and other features of the world develop of their own accord. These essential qualities of the nature can be divided into two categories i.e. inherence and dependence. Both of these qualities as observed by the mind would exist concurrently in a harmonious orientation. Therefore, it is imperative for one to understand that the nature is sufficiently universal and infinite in its original disposition and is governed by the universal laws. In other words, there are two aspects of the nature - the dependence and the inherence. These two aspects would exist concurrently and can be illustrated in a mathematical equation as below: -


Facet 1 --> ...(-2+2) + (-16+16) + (-832+832) + (-133+133) + (0) + (-54+54) + ...., etc. = 0 <-- Facet 2

References: -

Facet 1
= dependent arising.
= the existence of mind - that conjures up perceptions, conceptions, labels, names, descriptions, shapes, values, languages, etc.
= the existence of rising and falling phenomena.
= the existence of beginning and ending processes.
= all subjects and objects are created i.e. inherent existence is devoid.
= the emptiness could be realised in various stages.

Facet 2
= inherent existence.
= the absence of mind to conjure up perceptions, conceptions, labels, names, descriptions, shapes, values, languages, etc.
= the absence of beginning and ending processes.
= the absence of conditional phenomena.
= nothing has ever been created or changed.
= the Buddha nature.

Zero (0) = intermediation = absence = emptiness but not nothingness.
= a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.
= the absence of any or all units under consideration.

...(-2+2) + ... + (-133+133) ... = values of fluxes that are dependent arising.

... + (-2+2) + (-54+54) + ... = this arising, that arises.

... + (0) + ... = this ceasing, that ceases = the stage of enlightenment.
= all dependent arising are completely blown-off or extinguished.
= a stage of perfect intermediation = a stage of absence = a complete realisation of emptiness.

(....) = the Law of Karma = the universal law of balancing.

-2+2 or -133+133 = the Law of Attraction.

From the above mathematical equation, one could summarise the conclusion as below: -

1. Nature is a system of constant with a factor of intermediation or absence. It means that nature would orientate towards a state of balance, intermediation or absence at all times.

2. When things run off-balance or when one stirs up in the nature - be it in volitional or non-volitional sense, the law of nature would take its course to balance it in one way or another across time and plane of existence.

3. Anything that inherently exists would not involve change and created objects cannot inherently exist since that would involve change.

4. The dependent nature is similar to the inherent nature.



An extract from the movie – Avatar: -

Neytiri: Our great mother does not take sides, Jake; she protects the balance of life.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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