Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:19 pm

heart wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Mariusz wrote:]Since these are all absent, suchness free of all these types of differentiation
appears in its one taste. This is what is referred to as “the subsiding of dualistic
appearance into emptiness.”...

everyone agrees that on the path of seeing all appearances beside emptiness cease. whats argued is what this means, how it happens, etc, and most importantly whether any one particular understanding of emptiness is the full understanding of emptiness or a partial understanding (of which various degrees are possible).


No, I don't agree that on the path of seeing you don't experience anything except emptiness if that is what you mean. Emptiness and appearances are not mutually excluding experiences this firmly established in the heart sutra for example.

/magnus


Good point. I agree.
What do you mean by "all appearances beside emptiness cease"? Emtpiness should be the last reference point, to be somehow protected during the full understanding?

I always like quoting Yogacara, the top of Mahayana: The Sutra That Unravels the Intention, the lineage of vast activity explains
that the imaginary nature is like being affected by the disease of blurred vision;
the other-dependent nature is like the manifestations that appear due to blurred
vision; and the perfect nature is like "the natural object" of clear vision upon being
cured
.


Don't worry :consoling: . There will be unlimited possibilities upon being cured, although no reference points at all - no longer blurred objects of imaginary. The "functional" seeming - the dependent arisen, no longer also, as the manifestations that appear due to blurred vision.

If you protect the "functional" seeming conventionally and lack of inherent nature ultimately, you only protect "dependent nature" reference points and "the imaginary" reference points. So you will be safe as the "the best and only" Prasangika free from some kind of "metaphorical" Cittamatra. Ok, your choice. But what will you do with these two kinds of reference points?
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Dharmaswede » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:31 pm

5heaps wrote:
heart wrote:No, I don't agree that on the path of seeing you don't experience anything except emptiness if that is what you mean.
really? then what else is ascertained at that time?


There are two truths; the ultimate and the conventional. These truths are two isolates of phenomena (or experience, in Ken McLeod's terminology) and - as Magnus points out - they are not mutually excluding.

Emptiness and appearances are not mutually excluding experiences this firmly established in the heart sutra for example.
the heart sutra speaks of actual objects, not merely appearances in a mental consciousness. [/quote]

This is an interpretation that was new to me, and I have to confess I have difficulties squaring it with Cittamatra and Svatantrika. (Then again, I am rather ignorant when it comes to these matters.)

Best Regards,

Jens
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:57 pm

Mariusz wrote:What do You mean by "all appearances beside emptiness cease"?
it means consciousness cannot take on the appearance of something other than emptiness.
Functional seeming, the dependent arisen, no longer also as the manifestations that appear due to blurred
those manifestations are LIKE blurred vision. in other words theyre illusory, its not that they are not there at all (as is the case with blurred objects - theres no such thing there at all).

Dharmaswede wrote:as Magnus points out - they are not mutually excluding.
did i say theyre mutually exclusive? thats theyre 2 isolates establishes my point, since at the time of the direct perception of one of them there are not appearances of both.
This is an interpretation that was new to me
i would argue that its not new, but thats it what every system teaches. its what mindonly teaches, what svatantrika teaches, and even what hinayana schools which accept the heart sutra teach
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:12 pm

Dharmaswede wrote:There are two truths; the ultimate and the conventional. These truths are two isolates of phenomena (or experience, in Ken McLeod's terminology) and - as Magnus points out - they are not mutually excluding.


Hmmm, the two truths isolated, but when? g e n d u n c h o p e l, the Gelug Prasangika "renegat" in his "t h e m a d m a n ’ s m i d d l e w a y" take it as paradox:

With regard to this so-called union of the two truths, if there were a time
when the wisdom of a noble being and the conception of a vulgar worldling
could be joined without contradiction, that time certainly would have come;
there has never been an opportunity for it to occur elsewhere.
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:23 pm

5heaps wrote:it means consciousness cannot take on the appearance of something other than emptiness.

consciousness only focus on objects -reference points
those manifestations are LIKE blurred vision. in other words theyre illusory, its not that they are not there at all (as is the case with blurred objects - theres no such thing there at all).

You want these illosory to protect, somehow free from the imaginary?
5heaps wrote:did i say theyre mutually exclusive? thats theyre 2 isolates establishes my point, since at the time of the direct perception of one of them there are not appearances of both.

According to Gelug Prasangika they are both exclusive indeed, isolated at the same time as g e n d u n c h o p e l pointed out, or not?
This is an interpretation that was new to me. i would argue that its not new, but thats it what every system teaches. its what mindonly teaches, what svatantrika teaches, and even what hinayana schools which accept the heart sutra teach

This it the original Indian Madhyamaka and Yogacara supportive. Madhyamaka Svatantrika and Prasangika make the same result. Yogacara supplement them. Cittamatra is misinterpetation of Yogacara for some kind of purpose, for example to show the "new" Prasangika as "the best and only".
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Dharmaswede » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:14 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Dharmaswede wrote:
There are two truths; the ultimate and the conventional. These truths are two isolates of phenomena (or experience, in Ken McLeod's terminology) and - as Magnus points out - they are not mutually excluding.


Hmmm, the two truths isolated, but when?


I use the word "isolates" in the same way as Geshe Tashi Tsering when he writes "The Two Truths are one entity, but different isolates". Sorry I wasn't clearer.

g e n d u n c h o p e l, the Gelug Prasangika "renegat" in his "t h e m a d m a n ’ s m i d d l e w a y" take it as paradox:

With regard to this so-called union of the two truths, if there were a time
when the wisdom of a noble being and the conception of a vulgar worldling
could be joined without contradiction, that time certainly would have come;
there has never been an opportunity for it to occur elsewhere.


I am only superficially aware of him and have not read him, but will definitely add him to my reading list. Thank you for the quote!

Best Regards,

Jens
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Dharmaswede » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:39 pm

Dharmaswede wrote:as Magnus points out - they are not mutually excluding.
did i say theyre mutually exclusive? thats theyre 2 isolates establishes my point, since at the time of the direct perception of one of them there are not appearances of both.


No, you didn't say it - it was my conclusion from what you were writing. The word "isolates" seems unfortunate in retrospect, and that's not how I meant to use it. I'll quote Newland from his "The Two Truths", which hopefully will clarify the point I am trying to make:

This does not mean that every concealer-truth is one entity with every ultimate truth. Rather, it means that for every given phenomenon, there must be a particular concealer-truth and a particular ultimate truth that are inextricably bound together, existing at the same place at the same time. For example, with regard to a table, the table itself is a concealer-truth and the table's emptiness of inherent existence is an ultimate truth.

This is an interpretation that was new to me
i would argue that its not new, but thats it what every system teaches. its what mindonly teaches, what svatantrika teaches, and even what hinayana schools which accept the heart sutra teach
[/quote]

I don't think my reply was very clear or helpful, and I apologize for that. We agree that the Heart Sutra certainly addresses both inner and outer phenomena. By interpretation, I was thinking of the terms "actual objects" and "merely appearances in the mental continuum", that seemed like a departure from the emptiness theme in the Heart Sutra - in particular the emptiness of phenomena. For instance, "actual objects" implies dualism and reification in my mind. But if they work for you or have another meanings to you, I do of course have no problem with that.

Language is treacherous!

Best Regards,

Jens
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby heart » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:25 pm

5heaps wrote:
heart wrote:No, I don't agree that on the path of seeing you don't experience anything except emptiness if that is what you mean.
really? then what else is ascertained at that time?

Emptiness and appearances are not mutually excluding experiences this firmly established in the heart sutra for example.
the heart sutra speaks of actual objects, not merely appearances in a mental consciousness.


Without form, no emptiness. Form is of course appearance, what else would it be?


"All these forms that appear to eyes that see,
All things on the outside and the inside,
The environment and its inhabitants
Appear, but let them rest where no self's found;
Perceiver and perceived when purified
Are the body of the deity, clear emptiness—
To the guru for whom desire frees itself,
To Orgyen Pema Jungnay I supplicate."

Supplication in seven chapters to Gurur Rinpoche

"Like a dream, like an illusion
Like a city of gandharvas,
That's how birth, and that's how living,
That's how dying are taught to be."

Nagajuna

http://www.ktgrinpoche.org/guru_rinpoche.html


/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:54 pm

heart wrote:Without form, no emptiness. Form is of course appearance, what else would it be?
appearances are mental activty (mind). therefore form is not an appearance.
even for the mindonly-leaning people who deny external objects, form is the same entity as the mental/sense consciousness cognizing, but still form differs from the appearance of form.

im not a translator though so i cant say what the actual word means in the sutra
Dharmaswede wrote:"actual objects" implies dualism and reification in my mind.
by actual object i mean actual form not merely an appearance of form. ie an appearance of form is not actual form. by "actual" i dont mean to imply anything about how the object exists, just what it is that exists.
it means that for every given phenomenon, there must be a particular concealer-truth and a particular ultimate truth that are inextricably bound together
you think this means that there are appearances of both on the path of seeing? that means, during full absorption of emptiness cups, elephents, tortoises, etc can appear?

Mariusz wrote:consciousness only focus on objects -reference points
sorry i couldnt understand the english
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby heart » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:36 pm

5heaps wrote:
heart wrote:Without form, no emptiness. Form is of course appearance, what else would it be?

appearances are mental activty (mind). therefore form is not an appearance.
even for the mindonly-leaning people who deny external objects, form is the same entity as the mental/sense consciousness cognizing, but still form differs from the appearance of form.



So for you the word appearance in this context is just thoughts? So you are saying that when you experience emptiness you have no thoughts?

Long time ago I spent some time in Dharamsala where I received teachings on a text by Nagarjuna by a Geshe. He insisted that, if you were on the path of seeing, if you where sitting on a railroad and you meditated on emptiness you will not see the train as it approach, neither could the train hurt you when it passed over you. So for him appearances was very much the actual object, the train in this case, that you didn't experience.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:07 pm

heart wrote:He insisted that, if you were on the path of seeing, if you where sitting on a railroad and you meditated on emptiness you will not see the train as it approach, neither could the train hurt you when it passed over you.
i agree with him. doesnt this contradict what you said, "I don't agree that on the path of seeing you don't experience anything except emptiness"?
So for you the word appearance in this context is just thoughts? So you are saying that when you experience emptiness you have no thoughts?
appearance refers to the minds capacity to create an aspect/hologram based on external stimulus / karma. for an eye consciousness, it gives rise to appearances of colours and shapes based on external stimulus / karma in order to cognize that form. for an ear consciousness its noises based on external stimulus / karma to cognize those sounds. etc.

in meditation in general there is withdrawal from the external senses until they are eventually 'inactive'. the path of seeing is by definition in deep meditation, so form cant be appearing due to an eye consciousness. even though the 5 sense consciousnesses might be inactive its worth investigating what might be going on with the mind
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby heart » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:31 pm

5heaps wrote:
heart wrote:He insisted that, if you were on the path of seeing, if you where sitting on a railroad and you meditated on emptiness you will not see the train as it approach, neither could the train hurt you when it passed over you.
i agree with him. doesnt this contradict what you said, "I don't agree that on the path of seeing you don't experience anything except emptiness"?


Well I don't agree with the Geshe and I obviously didn't misunderstand you. I have great difficulties in seeing emptiness as an object in itself I must say. Also my teacher have verified for me that this is not a correct view.

So for you the word appearance in this context is just thoughts? So you are saying that when you experience emptiness you have no thoughts?
appearance refers to the minds capacity to create an aspect/hologram based on external stimulus / karma. for an eye consciousness, it gives rise to appearances of colours and shapes based on external stimulus / karma in order to cognize that form. for an ear consciousness its noises based on external stimulus / karma to cognize those sounds. etc.

in meditation in general there is withdrawal from the external senses until they are eventually 'inactive'. the path of seeing is by definition in deep meditation, so form cant be appearing due to an eye consciousness. even though the 5 sense consciousnesses might be inactive its worth investigating what might be going on with the mind


All this "minds capacity to create an aspect/hologram" is just thoughts, what else could it be? But having no thoughts doesn't mean that you don't experience things directly through the eye consciousness. Emptiness is the natural state of any phenomena, you don't need to remove the phenomena for it to be empty. Emptiness don't need to be developed by meditation you just need to stop clinging to the relative experience of the phenomena, it's absolute nature is naturally present. If you withdraw your senses you actually hide from emptiness it is just the samdhi of the gods in the formless realm.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:46 pm

heart wrote:All this "minds capacity to create an aspect/hologram" is just thoughts, what else could it be?
it cant be just thoughts because for example the eye consciousness is a mind and is therefore creating appearances, but we cannot say that the eye consciousness has thoughts. the eye consciousness deals with appearances of colours and shapes. through this mental activity of appearance-making we can know the actual physical objects which these appearances were produced in the likeness of
Emptiness is the natural state of any phenomena, you don't need to remove the phenomena for it to be empty. Emptiness don't need to be developed by meditation you just need to stop clinging to the relative experience of the phenomena, it's absolute nature is naturally present.
that sounds good. it reminds me of one important topic in pramana, the difference between implicitly knowing something and explicitly knowing something
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby heart » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:03 pm

5heaps wrote:
heart wrote:All this "minds capacity to create an aspect/hologram" is just thoughts, what else could it be?
it cant be just thoughts because for example the eye consciousness is a mind and is therefore creating appearances, but we cannot say that the eye consciousness has thoughts. the eye consciousness deals with appearances of colours and shapes. through this mental activity of appearance-making we can know the actual physical objects which these appearances were produced in the likeness of


I never said that the eye consciousness have thoughts. It is non-conceptual in fact. However you said "appearances are mental activity" so obviously the appearances are a creation of the mind and that means thoughts.

/magnus
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:31 am

heart wrote:I never said that the eye consciousness have thoughts. It is non-conceptual in fact. However you said "appearances are mental activity" so obviously the appearances are a creation of the mind and that means thoughts.
oh i see. by mental activity i just mean mind (consciousness), which is what the eye consciousness is. it too has appearances but we cant say that they are thoughts, since they are colours and shapes and colours and shapes are not thoughts

my point is that appearances of form, which is to say internal colours and shapes, are different to actual form which is external.

if we are mindonly-leaning and dont accept external objects, we still cant say that that nonexternal form is the same as the appearance of nonexternal form

therefore we can say every buddhist system is negating a false appearance pertaining to actual objects, not a false appearance pertaining to just appearances of objects.
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:08 am

5heaps wrote:my point is that appearances of form, which is to say internal colours and shapes, are different to actual form which is external.

if we are mindonly-leaning and dont accept external objects, we still cant say that that nonexternal form is the same as the appearance of nonexternal form

therefore we can say every buddhist system is negating a false appearance pertaining to actual objects, not a false appearance pertaining to just appearances of objects.


Not every, but if we are some kind of sutrantika-leaning. The actual objects are "made" by sentient beings only. Even when you are some kind of sutrantika-leaning, it is not possible for you to totally "protect" the actual objects because they are interdependent arising from limitless causes/conditions since beginningless time, so they never were at the first place.

Please study the most fundamental reasonings of Nagarjuna to cure yourself from "the actual objects out there in front of yours eyes" until any blurred vission left but the "unblurred":
-there is no any cause for arising of phenomena because they do not arise from itself, other, both of these or neither of these (Vajra Slivers, the second reasoning of Nagarjuna)
-phenomena have been never created, it is not possible to have the actual objects (negating arising, the third reasoning of Nagarjuna) (Four Limits, the fourth reasoning of Nagarjuna)
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:44 am

5heaps wrote:
Mariusz wrote:consciousness only focus on objects -reference points
sorry i couldnt understand the english


sorry :mrgreen: I will try be better
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:06 am

heart wrote:
So for you the word appearance in this context is just thoughts? So you are saying that when you experience emptiness you have no thoughts?

Long time ago I spent some time in Dharamsala where I received teachings on a text by Nagarjuna by a Geshe. He insisted that, if you were on the path of seeing, if you where sitting on a railroad and you meditated on emptiness you will not see the train as it approach, neither could the train hurt you when it passed over you. So for him appearances was very much the actual object, the train in this case, that you didn't experience.

/magnus


Thank you for the story. The actual objects are "made" by sentient beings only. Hopefully "there are" Buddhas too, and there "is " the Path for us to "be" also Buddhas "like" them, no longer "functional" sentient beings.
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby 5heaps » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:12 am

Mariusz wrote:Please study the most fundamental reasonings of Nagarjuna to cure yourself from "the actual objects out there in front of yours eyes" until any blurred vission left but the "unblurred":
again, by "actual" i mean for example the difference between appearances of form and then the form itself. an appearance of form is not actual form, since only an instance of form is actually form.

if we cannot distinguish between objects and the appearances which cognize them then we have no business even saying Arya Nagarjuna's name.
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Re: Chittamatra and Svatantrika, which is more subtle?

Postby Mariusz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:33 am

5heaps wrote:
Mariusz wrote:Please study the most fundamental reasonings of Nagarjuna to cure yourself from "the actual objects out there in front of yours eyes" until any blurred vission left but the "unblurred":
again, by "actual" i mean for example the difference between appearances of form and then the form itself. an appearance of form is not actual form, since only an instance of form is actually form.

if we cannot distinguish between objects and the appearances which cognize them then we have no business even saying Arya Nagarjuna's name.


This is exactly the difference between the imaginary and the dependent to be cured from, but if you simplify it to the "mind-only" (cittamatra) of course there will be a problem for you.


Moreover, without the possibility of the "unblurred" there will be "no business even saying Arya Nagarjuna's name" indeed. This is what connect us with buddhahood during the Path, because of the Buddha nature, this perfect possibility and the skillful usage of "illusory" dependent during this Path. This "illusory "the dependent" of course is needed, not only yogacara says it, but svatantrika also.

The Center of the Sunlit Sky, p.470:
The imaginary nature is like mistakenly apprehending the visual appearances
that are caused by blurred vision to be floating hairs and such. Since this is nothing
but names and superimpositions, it does not exist at all. Therefore, the imaginary
nature is “the lack of nature in terms of characteristics.”

The other-dependent nature consists of dependently originating appearances,
like the plain visual appearances seen by someone with blurred vision.
These appear in an illusionlike manner but are without any nature of their own and do
not really arise. Therefore, the other-dependent nature is “the lack of nature in
terms of arising.”

The ultimate lack of nature of the perfect nature has two aspects. First,
although there is no personal identity, the perfect nature is what functions as the
remedy for the notion of a personal identity. Just as an illusory ship to cross an
illusory ocean, it serves
as the means to cross the ocean of cyclic existence to the
other shore of nirvanaa. This remedial aspect is actually contained within the
other-dependent nature, but it is the cause for realizing the ultimate. Therefore,
it is included in the category of “the ultimate lack of nature.” The second aspect
of the perfect nature is the one from which enlightenment is attained through
actively engaging in it. This aspect is undifferentiable from phenomenal identitylessness.
Like space, it is omnipresent and not established as anything whatsoever.
It can be compared to the free space that is the natural object of
unimpaired vision when the eye defect of blurred vision has been cured and one
realizes that what appeared as floating hairs never actually existed anywhere. This
aspect is “the ultimate lack of nature” per se.

The Sutra That Unravels the Intention. There,
the Buddha also says:
Having this threefold lack of nature in mind—the lack of nature in
terms of characteristics, the lack of nature in terms of arising, and the
ultimate lack of nature—I have taught, “All phenomena lack a
nature.


So-called "Mere Mentalists", for some kind of business, describe the perfect nature as the really existent other-dependent nature
being empty of the imaginary nature. They even say:
“the whole universe which consists of the three worlds is mere mind,” :shock:
"only mind is real and that everything in the universe is nothing other than mind and created by it." :rolleye:
I wonder if they are really cittamatrins or only provocative someones? They should be illusion-like eliminated :evil:
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