Not arising, not ceasing

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Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:55 am

I read this brief saying of Milarepa in one of the other threads, quoted by 'Andrew108':

'The true nature of appearances is that they've never been born. If birth seems to happen it's just clinging, nothing more.'
and
'I've gained confidence that there is no arising.'


I have noticed this teaching in several places over the years. It is the idea that, whilst we ourselves and everything we know, seems to be constantly 'arising and ceasing', in fact 'nothing is ever born', if we 'see things truly as they are'.

I would like to know some more sources for this teaching, and some elucidation of the idea, if anyone here is familiar with it.

Thanks

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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:01 pm

It means that appearances have no singular intrinsic reality.
It's like when you watch a movie, there appears to be motion
but in fact, what is happening is a series of still pictures shown in rapid succession
(24 per second, if the movie has sound).
Appearances, likewise, is rapid-firing of consciousness.
Or, if you want to go digital,
a photo made up of millions of pixels,
little squares of solid color.
Only in the mind does it become an image of something.
.
.
.
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Easy to say. What has the character of 'arising and ceasing' includes 'the universe'.

I notice an intriguing parallel with Greek philosophy here.

'Genesis-and-destruction, as Parmenides emphasizes, is a false opinion.' (From the Wikipedia article on Parmenides.)
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Astus » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:23 pm

Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease

Nagarjuna: Investigation of Birth, Abiding and Perishing

"all Dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced, not destroyed, not defiled, not pure; and they neither increase nor diminish."
Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

"Though the person exists in the dream, when [the dreamer] awakens, there is nothing that can be grasped. Like an [illusory] flower in the sky that vanishes into empty space, one cannot say that there is a fixed place from which it vanishes. Why? Because there is no place from which it arises! Amidst the unarisen, all sentient beings deludedly perceive birth and extinction. Hence this is called the turning wheel of birth and death."
The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment

"Good son, the nature of the Tathaagata is really without any birth or death. It is for the sake of transforming sentient beings that he makes a show of being born or dying."
The Great Parinirvana Sutra
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:12 pm

In the end you see that we don't really have experiences.
The contents of the universe and the container aren't different things. Neither can be established.
Effortless means going with the flow. There are no traces.
The universe is in a state of instant release. And we are too.

Since nothing can abide as a thing then what can arise or cease?
We don't need books. Just click your fingers.
See how appearances are never the same. Moment to moment they are always super fresh.
We don't deny that appearances appear. We just don't block them. Why block spontaneous release?

There is no preference in the natural state. No place where non-arising happens.
You don't have to be Milarepa to have knowledge of this.
Just stay fresh in 'moments flow' seeing directly that it is nothing whatsoever.
There's no background awareness that we need to get at. It's all included. Sacred and profane.
No colors in the natural state and it's impossible to hold on.

Although this poem is guaranteed to annoy, there is something in it.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:19 pm

Ideas about reality arise and cease, reality flows. When there is perceivable change in this flow, mind grasps it and applies meaning upon it. This creates point of arising. Still, this arising exists only in the sphere of meaning, like metadata about reality.
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby takso » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:55 am

The two sides of Truth

We have to realise that there are two sides of truth in existence i.e. the conventional truth and the ultimate truth. When addressing a problem, in the first place, we need to ensure whether our point of view is from the conventional perspective or from the ultimate perspective.

For example, from the conventional perspective, we agree that duality or multiplicity does exist. Therefore, Nibbana is a phenomenon because we are speaking as a subject on the other side of the object or matter. In other words, the subject is pondering on the object or matter - phenomenon arises. However, from the ultimate perspective, we would then agree that no duality or multiplicity arises. Therefore, Nibbana is not a phenomenon (also applies on all other things) because there is no subject to ponder on the object or matter. In other words, no phenomenon arises if we speak from the ultimate perspective.

Conventional truth is a subjective and a relative truth. This means the truth orientation is dependent on the observer (i.e. the subject’s mind) to provide with the description, definition, recognition, valuation, etc. on the other side of the object or matter. And the truth conclusion varies among different observers or minds.

Whereas, an ultimate truth is a reality that exists beyond mind and beyond concepts and words in the sense that it is beyond our usual ways of perceiving things. Language and conception only imply that things exist in distinct manners i.e. wise person, dumb person, saint, devil, etc. - in such well-defined and independent categories. Perceiving ultimate reality is seeing that things do not exist in these fantasised, impossible ways, in black and white categories.

In absence of the mind, things would appear as in the deepest facts per se i.e. no label, no boundary, no name, no activity, no shape, no description, etc. This is because there is no existence in relative to each other as appearances. An enlightened mind is able to discern the deepest fact about things in crystal clear and without hesitation after getting rid of the wave of dependent phenomenon.

No duality or multiplicity would arise in the non-existence of the mind. This is because there is no subject to ponder on the object or matter. When there is no mind arising, no phenomenon would arise. When there is no phenomenon arising, no dependent nature would arise. When there is no dependent nature, there would be no perception, no conception, no label, no boundary, no name, no activity, no shape, no relation, no description, no stereotyping, no beginning, no ending, etc.

When we talk on seeing into emptiness, we talk about the progressive realisation of the mind on the reality of things. Therefore, emptiness can be realised into stages as below: -

Stage 1 Elementary Realisation
• All things and phenomena are lack of core essence.
• Nothing is unchanging and permanent.
• Everything is inter-related.

Stage 2 Intermediary Realisation
• Ability to differentiate the way things are perceived to exist and the way things really exist.
• Only seeing without believing.

Stage 3 Advance Realisation
• No dualism of the subject and object, and no appearance of multiplicity.
• All things and phenomena rise and fall within a singular condition.
• Only uniformity exists.

Stage 4 Ultimate Realisation
• All dependent arising are completely blown off or extinguished.
• No string attached, and nothing is left remaining.
• Infinite, unchanging, permanent, and unconditional.
• Exists beyond all conventional phenomena.

Right now, let us analyse into emptiness. Emptiness corresponds to two distinct scenarios:

1. It corresponds to the inherent existence (due to unchanging nature) that all conventional phenomena lack.

It means that if we focus purely on seeing emptiness, it cannot be segmented or dissected further to see the real origin. Emptiness exists in the way it appears in direct perception and does not constitute some false appearances concealing a lack of inherent existence. Therefore, it has an unchanging nature that all conventional phenomena lack. This conclusion is made from the ultimate perspective - seeing into the within of the within.

2. It corresponds to the dependent arising (a conditional phenomenon) i.e. subject to the same lack of inherent existence as every other object or phenomenon. This is referred to as the emptiness of emptiness.

It means that emptiness would not exist without a dependent partner. If there were no objects to analyse, then emptiness as such could not be realised. Without objects, there can be no emptiness - a circumstance that points to emptiness of emptiness. This conclusion is made from the conventional perspective - seeing as a subject on the other side of the object or matter.

Once again, why is there duality or multiplicity in the dependent nature? It is because there is a mind. Why is there a mind in the dependent nature? It is because there is energy aggregate. Why is there energy aggregate in the dependent nature? It is because there is emptiness. Why is there emptiness in the dependent nature? It is because there is an emptiness of emptiness. In other words, the emptiness of phenomena is both the cause and consequence of the dependent nature of phenomena.

Emptiness of phenomena exists in the way it appears in direct perception and without the need to reference of any other entity. It is completely defined by its own nature. In other words, emptiness of phenomena is an inherent existence that is uncaused. It is indestructible and eternal. It is unchanging when viewed externally and cannot undergo any internal changes of state. It has no constituent parts and nothing can be thrown out or removed from it. Nothing can be added to it and no change in the external conditions can affect it.

The ultimate realisation of emptiness by the mind would mean a phase of perfect intermediation being accomplished by the mind. A perfect intermediation would mean a comprehensive absence of any or all units under consideration. It is also known as a complete neutralisation of conditional phenomena. But an absence of any or all units under consideration is not equivalent to nothingness of any or all units under consideration. For instance, while we say form is empty, there are still basic elements remaining. Just like when we do declare a vessel as empty, it does not literally mean nothing inside the vessel – still, there could be air, radiation, dust, viruses, etc. that cannot be discerned by our naked eyes.

In the end, we could declare that form is empty in the real sense because there is no core essence within it except for the basic elements i.e. energy, matter and space that orientate and evolve constantly under the influence of external conditions. What our naked eyes view as form is actually the matter and it is also known as concerted, aggregated or concentrated or wrapped energy. Since we can’t see energy with our naked eyes, we would say that the innermost of form is empty in the real sense.

Therefore, every single ‘thing’ that exists is empty because there is no essence to anything and nothing has ever existed in its own quality – nothing is permanent and unchanging. All objects exist conditionally without an eternal essence. They only exist in relation to each other as appearances that in turn vary as per the perceptions of the beholders. Energy is the underlying element for all existences and it is dependent on the conditional phenomena.

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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:47 am

Hmmm. I am OK with the top half of that post, regarding Two Truths. But I am not so sure about the lower half, specifically the identification of entities with 'wrapped energy'.

Therefore, every single ‘thing’ that exists is empty because there is no essence to anything and nothing has ever existed in its own quality – nothing is permanent and unchanging.


I would put it another way, which is that no particular thing exists in its own right, but only as a result of causes and conditions, and in relation to other things, and also in relation to the viewing intelligence which designated it and identifies it. But note that whilst no particular thing or entity is permanent or unchanging, this condition of 'impermanence' is always the case!

So I am inclined to say that the realm within which laws are effective is not something impermanent, but it is also not an existing thing. It is also not really a 'realm' except for the purposes of having to discuss such matters. So this 'realm' is on a different level to the realm of phenomenal objects. I understand it as 'the formal realm', which is the realm of laws, such as logical and mathematical laws, and so on. And I don't think this is what is designated as 'impermanent'. So

For instance, while we say form is empty, there are still basic elements remaining. Just like when we do declare a vessel as empty, it does not literally mean nothing inside the vessel – still, there could be air, radiation, dust, viruses, etc. that cannot be discerned by our naked eyes.


I think this is still an attempt to 'objectify' and 'reify'. We are still thinking here in terms of something or nothing - something that either exists, or doesn't. Whereas the 'realm of law' does not consist of 'things that either exist or don't exist'. Laws, such as logical laws, etc, always obtain within their realm of applicability.

Also I don't see how this model allows for 'mind'. I don't think 'mind' is something that can be conceived of as something consisting of 'energy'.

But this is a deep topic. We are discussing metaphysics.
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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby takso » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:40 am

The Theory of Everything

Why is it so difficult for one to know and see the ultimate truth? Why are we here - breathing, thinking and talking, right now? Why is there the beginning and then the ending? Why something, why not nothing?

For one to see into the ultimate truth, one has to unwind everything back to the moment of the origin. We do know things and happenings exist because it can be known and felt by our senses. And our mind interprets event or happening as a condition that one has to go through, to persevere with, to soldier on with, to carry on with or to undertake with, inevitably. In other words, what exists is defined as that which can be known. If it cannot be known by the mind, then it does not exist and things can exist as in fallacy or in reality. Since things and happenings existed long before we have the slightest opportunity to recognise and understand it well, we are bound to suffer ignorantly. However, as human beings, we have the wisdom to make identification or recognition on the entire cycle of events or happenings.

From direct experience, we know that humans and things cause pleasure and pain, and that they can help and harm. Therefore, phenomena certainly do exist but the question is how? They do not exist in their own quality but only have an existence dependent upon many factors, including a consciousness that conceptualises them. But in what way is consciousness mistaken? Because all phenomena appear to exist in their own quality, all of our ordinary perceptions are mistaken. We have taken in a wrong sense that living beings, things and phenomena appear to exist in and of themselves. It seems that phenomena could be established in their own right or quality, and from the object’s side upon conceptualising our consciousness. Unfortunately, with this false mode, we are hindering ourselves from recognising the discrepancy between appearance and reality.

Nevertheless, one could train oneself to develop wisdom and eliminate one’s ignorance on the ultimate truth. Upon seeking through in-depth analysis, one could find inherent existence of whatever object one is considering — oneself, another person, one’s body, one’s mind, or anything else is completely lacking. For example, when you examine an object such as car, its inherent existence is negated, but what is left is a body dependent on an engine, seats, lamps, window glasses, tires, gases, etc. In other words, what is left after the analysis is a dependently existent phenomenon.

Thus it is not that you come to understand that the object or phenomenon does not exist but rather, you find that its inherent existence is unfounded. This is the ultimate discovery about the orientation of the nature. Nature is a system of existence fully occupied with factors that rise and fall dependently in continuum. At the end of the day, dualism of the subject and object, and the appearance of multiplicity arises out of our ignorance on the true nature would vanish once emptiness is realised. We could then differentiate the way things are perceived to exist and the way things really exist.

The first step for one to understand the ultimate truth is to conduct an in-depth analysis into the nature. What is a ‘nature’ then? 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 dependent and the inherent aspects. These two aspects would exist concurrently and can be illustrated in a mathematical equation as below: -

Two Facets of the Nature

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 arises, that arises.

... + (0) + ... = this ceases, 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.

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

Right now, what could be the key ingredients of the nature? Precisely, the answer would be energy and emptiness. When one sees into energy, one sees into emptiness; when one sees into emptiness, one sees into energy. This is the rationale for the saying, ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.’ The principle in effect: seeing into form is seeing into matter, seeing into matter is seeing into energy and seeing into energy is seeing into emptiness. But what constitute energy and emptiness? Energy is described as the ability to cause change or do work. Energy causes things to happen around us. In other words, when we talk about energy, we talk about the so-called ‘ability’ and without energy, there would be no changing or becoming processes and no activities would arise in the dependent nature. As for emptiness, it is understood as absence in the static entity and devoid of inherent existence for all created objects or things.

Meanwhile, conditional phenomenon is a necessary pre-requisite for energy to exist; without it, the existence would be impossible. On another front, emptiness is a necessary pre-requisite for any object to exist; without it, the object would be impossible. When there is no dependent nature arising, no energy or emptiness would arise. Likewise, when there is no energy or emptiness arising, no dependent nature would arise. This is how the conventional reality works i.e. not in-linear but in inter-dependence, inter-woven and inter-relation since the dawn of time in a very comprehensive and complicated network of existence.

In the dependent nature, the existence of energy would give rise to the mind that in turn conjures up perceptions, conceptions, labels, boundaries, names, activities, shapes, relations, descriptions, stereotyping, beginning, ending, etc. The mind is a necessary pre-requisite for the circumstances of duality or multiplicity. As such, we shall be clear by now that mind is the forerunner of all states. These circumstances of duality or multiplicity are merely the end result of various aggregated activities being observed by the mind under the influence of conditional phenomena.

And only when there is a balance circumstance, there is a chance for the integration process i.e. under a balance phenomenon, one could witness shapes or forms arised; under an imbalance phenomenon, one could see no shapes or forms arised - and the cycle of conditional phenomena continues. Therefore, it is correct to mention that all objects are empty and exist conditionally without an eternal essence. They only exist in relation to each other as appearances that in turn vary as per the perceptions of the beholders.

When one ponders as a subject on the other side of the object or matter, one would notice that energy takes on various forms and reborn all the time in the dependent nature. However, the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant or never changes because energy can neither be created nor destroyed as per the Law of Conservation of Energy. This would mean that energy corresponds to the inherent existence as well due to its unchanging nature as described above. It is the same case scenario for emptiness. Emptiness corresponds to both the dependent arising and the inherent existence concurrently. While emptiness could not exist without a dependent partner, emptiness in direct perception cannot be segmented or dissected further to see the real origin because it does not constitute some false appearances concealing a lack of inherent existence. Therefore, it has an unchanging nature that all conventional phenomena lack.

As a summary, we could conclude that energy and emptiness are essential qualities that exist everywhere in the dependent and the inherent nature. In the dependent nature, everything or anything (physical or non-physical) that exists is nothing but energy. And energy is nothing but a mere element of vibration. The basic level of a matter is energy. The basic level of energy is vibration. Therefore, matter is a vibrating mass of energy (referring to the electron particles that vibrate in a standing wave pattern) in which the different rate of vibration would determine the shape and the size of it. Just like ice, water and steam are different appearances derived from the orientation of H2O properties under the influence of the external conditions. So energy and matter are simply two aspects of the same thing - both reflected in different forms per se. Just like cause and effect are the same things - both reflected in a different time of events.

According to the Einstein’s formula, E = mc2, energy can be generated by enforcing a matter into a circumstance of extremely high rate of vibration. At the same time, a matter can be formed by compressing energy into a circumstance of extremely low rate of vibration. In the material Universe, this is how we clarify that something arises as in object is not out of nothing but arises out of the energy elements that exist in a system. Since we can’t see energy with our naked eyes, we would call it empty instead of nothing. And dependent nature of phenomena is a necessary pre-requisite for energy or matter to exist; without it, the energy or the matter would be impossible.

As such, every existence does contain with the three basic elements - energy, matter and space. These basic elements would subject to the balance and the imbalance phenomena. Under a balance phenomenon, these elements would start to integrate with each other to create an aggregate activity. Under an imbalance phenomenon, these elements would start to disintegrate from each other to create a segregate activity. Let us now glance into the following cycle of dependent origination: -

The Cycle of Dependent Origination

Balance leads to stability. Stability leads to aggregation. Aggregation leads to agitation. Agitation leads to information. Information leads to knowledge. Knowledge leads to representation. Representation leads to memory. Memory leads to compulsion. Compulsion leads to ignorance. Ignorance leads to blindness. Blindness leads to disorientation. Disorientation leads to confusion. Confusion leads to irrationality. Irrationality leads to impulse. Impulse leads to sparkle. Sparkle leads to inkling. Inkling leads to volition. Volition leads to awareness. Awareness leads to consciousness. Consciousness leads to manas. Manas leads to mind and body. Mind and body lead to sensation. Sensation leads to six sense bases. Six sense bases lead to conductivity. Conductivity leads to contact. Contact leads to stimulation. Stimulation leads to feeling. Feeling leads to experience. Experience leads to craving. Craving leads to grasping. Grasping leads to clinging. Clinging leads to unsettling. Unsettling leads to becoming. Becoming leads to creation. Creation leads to birth. Birth leads to energising. Energising leads to mobility. Mobility leads to hauling. Hauling leads to aging. Aging leads to draining. Draining leads to death. Death leads to fragility. Fragility leads to segregation. Segregation leads to diffusion. Diffusion leads to imbalance. Imbalance leads to adjustment. Adjustment leads to alignment. Alignment leads to new balance.

The principle in effect: -

A stream of balance phenomena would conjure up aggregate activity,
A stream of aggregate activities would conjure up information,
A stream of information would conjure up memory,
A stream of memories would conjure up ignorance,
A stream of ignorance would conjure up volitional impulse,
A stream of volitional impulses would conjure up consciousness,
A stream of consciousness would conjure up body and mind,
A stream of body and mind would conjure up six sense bases,
A stream of six sense bases would conjure up contact,
A stream of contacts would conjure up feeling,
A stream of feelings would conjure up craving,
A stream of cravings would conjure up clinging,
A stream of clinging would conjure up becoming,
A stream of becoming would conjure up birth,
A stream of births would conjure up aging,
A stream of aging would conjure up death,
A stream of deaths would conjure up segregate activity,
A stream of segregate activities would conjure up imbalance phenomenon,
A stream of imbalance phenomena would conjure up new balance phenomenon.

Thus the conditional phenomena would continue repeatedly to depict the rising and the falling activities in the dependent nature. At the end of the day, it is difficult for one to see into the ultimate truth because the mind is dependent arising and the presence in the waves of dependent phenomena has clouded the mind from discerning the reality of circumstances i.e. ignorance arises. Nevertheless, the wise Buddha has laid emphasis that one should see in all angles of things or matters while searching for the ultimate truth or reality. Without it, any conclusions made out of one’s observation would not be balance or in a wholesome nature.

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Re: Not arising, not ceasing

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:45 am

That is an encyclopaedia article, not a post. There were some points from your previous post I thought worth discussing but this is too much. Look up 'prolixity'.
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