yadave wrote:... I call reality the fact that both of us see and taste this white stuff on the table, we are not sleeping, and there must be something external causing us to agree.
Just because two or more individuals share the same experience (of salt, if you wish) does not mean that the salt is not therefore conditionally arising.
We could likewise both share the experience of being in a thunderstorm. Of course, a thunderstorm is not a single thing at all. It also arises from multiple conditions (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure , etc.) all coming into play at the same time. The 'emptiness' of a thunderstorm is much easier to perceive. With something like salt, it is much harder to perceive.
Salt too occurs where it does, when it does and as
it does either experienced by a living witness or not, depending on arising conditions. In other words, salt is not really a thing at all, but an event
taking place very slowly.
Names and labels such as "salt" are merely conveniences by which we freeze-frame parts of a constantly unfolding, endlessly transforming now
according to the dictates of our limited perceptions.
The conditions which make salt describable (white & alkaline) only occur when they do as a result of dependent conditions. For example, salt has no color when dissolved in water. As a solid, it only has color when viewed from a distance (salt is actually clear, not white) and then only when reflecting light. Salt in an unlit salt mine has no visual characteristics at all.
Similarly, conditions can be shown to be necessary for its alkaline (salty taste) quality.
It can be said that the potential
for (what we call) salt to be seen and tasted in exactly the same way by multiple individuals (white & salty) is a result of events occurring on molecular level. But none of these events are "salt".
But the main point is that, while lots of people can share the same experience of something, that doesn't mean it is, what you might say, "truly" or objectively
happening. Is salt white & salty if nobody is looking at it or tasting it? No.
Consider the appearance of star constellations such as the Big Dipper. Millions of people have seen this formation for centuries, but when viewed from any viewpoint other than Earth, it ceases to have that shape at all. It doesn't "really" exist.
Furthermore, there are stars that we "see" which in fact may have ceased to "exist" billions of years ago...their light only now reaching our solar system.
With regards to your quote, it isn't something external causing us to agree
. It is karma, which for us upper primates in what we call the "Human Realm" is amazingly similar.