conebeckham wrote:Now....the IDEA of Buddha Nature is a thought, and nothing more. It is a concept--and empty of existence. See the 3rd Karmapa, again, earlier in this thread. Any "IDEA" we may have of Buddha Nature is just that.....
conebeckham wrote:...but so is any idea we may have of Emptiness.
Well ... what I wanted to stress with my elaborations above is the question whether there is an experiential correlate.
Although the term "emptiness" gets conceptual meaning through definition/elaboration only it is applied to both animate and inanimate phenomena.
And the question is: Is there an experiential correlate in the context of animate phenomena (sentient beings) or is it a mere idea?
There seems to be an experiential correlate in the context of sentient beings having as objects of investigation either themselves or inanimate phenomena. There is a correlate which is different from any other correlate that can be "known" by humans and that entails coalescence with conventional terms other than "emptiness". That is: the correlate of "emptiness" is unique and therefore the application of the term "emptiness" is logically
And what is the case with the term "buddha nature"? Is there an experiential correlate that is unique? Or has it just arisen due to the fact that the unique experiential correlate of "emptiness" can only arise in the context of there being "hearbeat, warmth and sentience"? If the idea "buddha nature" has only arisen due to the fact that the experience of the correlate of "emptiness" is embedded in an environment of "hearbeat, warmth and sentience" then "buddha nature" is not unique but the result of a mixture of different correlates. And if the application of the term "buddha nature" is restricted to sentient beings it is "inherently" self-referring
wheras emptiness is not so restricted but is "open" in that its correlate arises also when it refers to non-sentient objects. "Emptiness" is not self-referring at all.
Just to be sure:
I am focusing on the didactical and logical aspects of the linguistic terms "emptiness" and "buddha nature".
I am trying
to delineate an approach which is an actual buddhist approach.
It is not about who is right or wrong!
It is not about what does and what does not exist!
Once you have accepted that the (mind) objects the concepts are imputed to do not inherently exist the only thing in the context of conventional terms and terminology that remains to do is to ask whether there are experiential correlates that legitimate the application of terms.