CrawfordHollow wrote:Dependant-origination, which is Buddha's teaching is definitely about cause and effect. The twelve links of dependent-origingation, which is propelled by ignorance is what makes samsara go round. It is not that this elaborate show of cause and effect is non-existant, as if nothing is there, it is mere appearance, illusion. What is dependently arisen is empty, and vice versa. This does not mean non-existant, though. So cause and effect is for sure part of the Buddhist teaching. Once again (I think for the fourth time?) I will post this quote that I have become quite fond of at this point:
Such foolish and arrogant people who do not know the various meanings of the Dharma say, "There is no karma and no effects of karma. In suchness there is nothing. It is like space," and they abandon virtuous deeds and indulge in evil deeds. Those are nihilists and not followers of the Dharma.
Longchenpa, Chapter 4 Shingta Chenpo
I guess I don't follow you. Who was talking about "scientific questions of causality?" The only point that I was trying to emphasize is that the highest and most esoteric teachings, the teachings of dzogchen, do not tell practitioners to neglect karma and virtuous conduct. We are affected by karma right up until the end, even if the intricate web of cause and effect is nothing more than illusion.
The main point I agree with you, one cannot give up virtuous conduct. My point about cause and effect is that dependent orig is not a cause and effect like chemical reactions or something happening in a petri dish looked at under a microscope. Here one's own mind is the microscope and one's own mind is the objects being looked at. So it's a totally different thing. What I was getting at is it seems Buddha didn't get into what is a cause and effect. Again I say in disagreement though, karma does not mean 'cause' it means 'action.' That's a different meaning. Action doesn't mean acting upon or because of something else necessarily. Like dep orig, these twelve factors are simultaneous. They are all in the mind. They are like facets of a jewel, not really something going on out there. That's why they are illusions; they only appear to be acting like something. These twelve factors are only feelings more or less. Sure they can have consequences... What's different is that people want to cross-ref buddhism and science all the time. I see that in this thread. People say cause and effect, cause and effect, and it sounds scientific. But Buddha meant something completely different. He's saying, we are self-generating this whole dream. Not that it comes from somewhere.
So, if it doesn't come from somewhere, then dharma newbies think it can be disregarded and one can do as one likes. But then they are missing the point about self-generation of the dream. If the mind is polluted you get deranged appearances. When the mind is pure, there are pure appearances.
I summarize: the key is not to look outward at facts, or semi-inward at ideas and analysis. But to look inward at the mind itself. That's where all these teachings become about something.