Appearances and mind

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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Pero » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:43 pm

padma norbu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Why wouldn't this be translated as "wisdom" rather than "ordinary mind?" I don't understand the way things are translated sometimes...

Tha mal gyi shes pa means ordinary mind and not wisdom.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:49 pm

padma norbu wrote:Who in the heck has ever put forth such a notion that it would actually need to be refuted?!


The Yogacara school in Ancient India. They reasoned that since everything was a mental projection, when that was recognized, dualistic appearances would collapse and so on.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:45 pm

Pero wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Why wouldn't this be translated as "wisdom" rather than "ordinary mind?" I don't understand the way things are translated sometimes...

Tha mal gyi shes pa means ordinary mind and not wisdom.


Namdrol wrote:Mind [sems] and ordinary mind [tha mal gyi shes pa] are two entirely different things. The latter is a yogi's term for wisdom [ye shes].


You appear to be contradicting each other. Namdrol clearly says here "that the latter is a yogi's term for wisdom."

So what does "ordinary mind" translate to here, wisdom or something else?

Everything's not true, not false,
Like moons in water, say the wise.
This ordinary mind itself
Is dharma expanse, the victor's essence.

[The comment says, "Thus, mahamudra is also nonfixation." So, ordinary mind = nonfixation = dharma expanse/victor's essence.]


Here are the 3 expanses we have so far and how they are described:
1. dharma expanse - ordinary mind, victor's essence, nonfixation (Vivid Awareness)
2. natural expanse - the realm of equalness, the natural state of rest that is unwavering and primordially pure. (Basic Space of Phenomena)
3. expanse of your mind - unconditioned primordial wisdom (Rangjung Rigpe Dorje)

Clearly, they are all refering to the same thing, yes?

Again, the other 2 quotes are...

Rangjung Rigpe Dorje:
Unconditioned primordial wisdom, the expanse of your mind, sees without hindrance into the three times.


Basic Space of Phenomena, page 83:
It is the ordinary confused mind that perceives sensory appearances to be something other than oneself...
The true nature of confusion is the realm of equalness, the natural state of rest—the natural expanse that is unwavering and primordially pure.
There is nothing to do and no effort to make—whether or not you are resting is irrelevant.


This last quote is how I arrive at my original "equation"...
    ordinary mind = nonfixation = dharma expanse/victor's essence [1] = true nature of ordinary confused mind = natural state of rest—the natural expanse that is unwavering and primordially pure [2] = unconditioned primordial wisdom, the expanse of your mind [3].

    [1] Vivid Awareness description
    [2] Basic Space of Phenomena description
    [3] Rangjung Ridpe Dorje description

Whether "ordinary mind" as it appears in Vivid Awareness should be wisdom or something else, the ordinary mind referred to in Vivid Awareness is clearly equivalent to these other descriptions.

So, if Namdrol says "ordinary mind" here should be wisdom, then the equivation becomes:
    wisdom = nonfixation = dharma expanse/victor's essence [1] = true nature of ordinary confused mind = natural state of rest—the natural expanse that is unwavering and primordially pure [2] = unconditioned primordial wisdom, the expanse of your mind [3].
And now that makes more sense and has a completely different connotation because what Basic Space of Phenomena is saying equates to "the true nature of what appears as confusion is wisdom in the natural state." It also helps clarify some of the other passages in Basic Space of Phenomena which say things like "it doesn't matter whether or not you are resting in the natural state" and "it doesn't matter if you are bound by dualistic perceptions of affirmation and denial" (I think) because this refers to when you are already in the natural state; in the natural state, you are not concerned with such things.

But, if you are suggesting "ordinary mind" should be translated here as something different than wisdom, please let me know what that is.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:57 pm

padma norbu wrote:
Pero wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Why wouldn't this be translated as "wisdom" rather than "ordinary mind?" I don't understand the way things are translated sometimes...

Tha mal gyi shes pa means ordinary mind and not wisdom.


Namdrol wrote:Mind [sems] and ordinary mind [tha mal gyi shes pa] are two entirely different things. The latter is a yogi's term for wisdom [ye shes].


You appear to be contradicting each other. Namdrol clearly says here "that the latter is a yogi's term for wisdom."


Pero is telling you is that the literal translation of tha mal gyis shes pa is "ordinary mind". It is a yogi's term. It means wisdom. So, in translations tha mal gyis shes pa is generally given it's literal rendering; but one is to understand the term through its meaning i.e. wisdom.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:12 pm

Namdrol wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Who in the heck has ever put forth such a notion that it would actually need to be refuted?!


The Yogacara school in Ancient India. They reasoned that since everything was a mental projection, when that was recognized, dualistic appearances would collapse and so on.


Hmmm. That suddenly sounds more sensible and I believe I recall thinking that myself. In fact, now that you've worded it this way, I am wondering, how does that differ from this description in Vivid Awareness from my first post...

appearance is mind and understand that your mind is the root of all phenomena. In this context, you must distinguish between appearance (nangwa) and the perceived object (nang-yal).

The mere presence of visible forms, sounds, and so forth, that are the objects of the six types of consciousness is called "perceived objects." Thoughts of attachment, anger, or delusion based on the "perceived objects" are "appearances," for example, the feeling of attachment to a pleasant object, the feeling of anger toward an unpleasant one and the indifferent feeling toward something neutral. You must understand that such appearances are the functions of your own mind.

Perceived objects, such as form, sound, and so forth, have appeared due to mind, but they are not mind--they are the shared appearances of sentient beings and do not possess any true existence, besides being phenomena of dependent origination.


Where do all the sentient beings and perceived objects dependently originate from if not ultimately mind? Is there not a semantic distinction between Mind and mind, one referring to dharmakaya and one referring to discursive mind? Any such perception seems to be some sort of "mind stuff," confused or otherwise. Appearances arise and are perceived entirely by the mind, the root of the minds of sentient beings are ultimately all one thing, dharmakaya, which is called Absolute Mind (sems nyid). If discursive mind collapsed, the natural state still be left.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:Pero is telling you is that the literal translation of tha mal gyis shes pa is "ordinary mind". It is a yogi's term. It means wisdom. So, in translations tha mal gyis shes pa is generally given it's literal rendering; but one is to understand the term through its meaning i.e. wisdom.


I understand, but wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. Thanks. My question about why they didn't just translate it as "wisdom" was meant as a kind of frustrated rhetorical question, actually. They are writing for an English audience, so it would make a lot more sense to avoid a literal translation for one that makes more sense to the audience. Nobody but a scholar would understand that "ordinary mind" is a yogi's term for "wisdom." It's funny, too, because in the Translator's Introduction, he makes the point to say he has used translated ye shes as wisdom and goes on to explain how that translation is not entirely accurate and why, but he makes no mention of "ordinary mind" whatsoever.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:36 pm

padma norbu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Pero is telling you is that the literal translation of tha mal gyis shes pa is "ordinary mind". It is a yogi's term. It means wisdom. So, in translations tha mal gyis shes pa is generally given it's literal rendering; but one is to understand the term through its meaning i.e. wisdom.


I understand, but wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. Thanks. My question about why they didn't just translate it as "wisdom" was meant as a kind of frustrated rhetorical question, actually. They are writing for an English audience, so it would make a lot more sense to avoid a literal translation for one that makes more sense to the audience. Nobody but a scholar would understand that "ordinary mind" is a yogi's term for "wisdom." It's funny, too, because in the Translator's Introduction, he makes the point to say he has used translated ye shes as wisdom and goes on to explain how that translation is not entirely accurate and why, but he makes no mention of "ordinary mind" whatsoever.



Well, the reason why they continue to translate it literally is that there is an important explanation connected with tha mal gyi shes pa. In this context tha mal means something like original, or uncontrived, and shes pa means awareness. So it is really talking about being in the experience of the nature of the mind. But you won't get this from book which is why it is important also to have the oral instructions.

N
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:03 pm

Thank you for this discussion. After reading and responding to your answer, Namdrol, about Yogacara, for some reason I felt compelled to open up the Supreme Source, thinking it might make more sense to me now that I have years more foundation under my belt. First thing I opened up to gave me the impression that all these little questions I'm coming up with are explained therein, so a second reading is in order. I will be reading this before I move on to any other books.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:10 pm

padma norbu wrote:Where do all the sentient beings and perceived objects dependently originate from if not ultimately mind? Is there not a semantic distinction between Mind and mind, one referring to dharmakaya and one referring to discursive mind? Any such perception seems to be some sort of "mind stuff," confused or otherwise. Appearances arise and are perceived entirely by the mind, the root of the minds of sentient beings are ultimately all one thing, dharmakaya, which is called Absolute Mind (sems nyid). If discursive mind collapsed, the natural state still be left.


The difference is that the appearance and the apparent object are different, whereas in the Yogacara school, the apparent object itself is not held to exist apart from the mind, hence the sobriquet, "mind-only".
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Where do all the sentient beings and perceived objects dependently originate from if not ultimately mind? Is there not a semantic distinction between Mind and mind, one referring to dharmakaya and one referring to discursive mind? Any such perception seems to be some sort of "mind stuff," confused or otherwise. Appearances arise and are perceived entirely by the mind, the root of the minds of sentient beings are ultimately all one thing, dharmakaya, which is called Absolute Mind (sems nyid). If discursive mind collapsed, the natural state still be left.


The difference is that the appearance and the apparent object are different, whereas in the Yogacara school, the apparent object itself is not held to exist apart from the mind, hence the sobriquet, "mind-only".


Oh, right! Nagarjuna refuted this. New agers everywhere still believe it. Thanks again!

I guess what I'm referring to is something that can not be understood outside of the given terms we've got. If I use a term like "mind stuff" you all will say "well, what do you mean by that?" and if I say sems nyid, you will say, "well that's different from mind." I guess I only continue to do this because dharmakaya is still rather foreign to me, so I keep trying to find English words I understand in a way that makes sense to me... but, of course, that is pretty senseless, I guess, in the great scheme of things. And asking other people to try to figure out what I'm saying and then tell me if I'm right becomes a convoluted mess. This conversation has clarified quite a bit for me, though it might not be apparent how or why. :namaste:
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby mzaur » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:50 am

Namdrol wrote:The difference is that the appearance and the apparent object are different, whereas in the Yogacara school, the apparent object itself is not held to exist apart from the mind, hence the sobriquet, "mind-only".


What do you mean by 'apparent' object separate from appearance? Are you saying that an objective object, and thus an objective reality exists? And knowing this objective reality directly and not subjectively through the mind is 'wisdom'?
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:02 am

mzaur wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The difference is that the appearance and the apparent object are different, whereas in the Yogacara school, the apparent object itself is not held to exist apart from the mind, hence the sobriquet, "mind-only".


What do you mean by 'apparent' object separate from appearance? Are you saying that an objective object, and thus an objective reality exists? And knowing this objective reality directly and not subjectively through the mind is 'wisdom'?



It's the old mode of appearance as opposed to mode of existence thing. For example, there is a glass of water -- it is perceived differently by beings of the six realms. If we say that the object, a glass of water is only a mental projection, there is no point is proposing that one object is perceived differently by different beings of the six realms.

Now then, we can dismiss the idea of an objective reality without dismissing the idea of objects per se.

Longchen rejects that idea that objects are mind because if they were, mountains should disappear when we cease to perceive them. But by the same token, objects, when analyzed, also cannot be found.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby mzaur » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:04 am

Namdrol wrote:
mzaur wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The difference is that the appearance and the apparent object are different, whereas in the Yogacara school, the apparent object itself is not held to exist apart from the mind, hence the sobriquet, "mind-only".


What do you mean by 'apparent' object separate from appearance? Are you saying that an objective object, and thus an objective reality exists? And knowing this objective reality directly and not subjectively through the mind is 'wisdom'?



It's the old mode of appearance as opposed to mode of existence thing. For example, there is a glass of water -- it is perceived differently by beings of the six realms. If we say that the object, a glass of water is only a mental projection, there is no point is proposing that one object is perceived differently by different beings of the six realms.

Now then, we can dismiss the idea of an objective reality without dismissing the idea of objects per se.

Longchen rejects that idea that objects are mind because if they were, mountains should disappear when we cease to perceive them. But by the same token, objects, when analyzed, also cannot be found.


Hi Namdrol,

How can objects when not perceived still exist and yet there not be an objective reality? To me, objective reality just means the world still exists when we don't perceive it, like mountains not disappearing when we fall asleep. Of course that specific perception of mountains is gone since it dependently originates through human perception, but surely 'something' is still there which that perception is representative of, no?
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:22 pm

mzaur wrote:Hi Namdrol,

How can objects when not perceived still exist and yet there not be an objective reality? To me, objective reality just means the world still exists when we don't perceive it, like mountains not disappearing when we fall asleep. Of course that specific perception of mountains is gone since it dependently originates through human perception, but surely 'something' is still there which that perception is representative of, no?


I am not Namdrol, but if you read this about tsal, dang and rolpa, it might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzogchen#T ... _of_energy
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby mzaur » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:13 am

Thank you.

"Tsal is the manifestation of the energy of the individual him or herself, as apparently an "external" world."

Hmm... is that really the Dzogchen view? How is that not solipsism? If all of the world is my dream world, then what's the point of compassion to save other beings? Perhaps this quote is wrong then. There has to be a world outside of the individual full of beings.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby muni » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:24 am

mzaur wrote:Thank you.

"Tsal is the manifestation of the energy of the individual him or herself, as apparently an "external" world."

Hmm... is that really the Dzogchen view? How is that not solipsism? If all of the world is my dream world, then what's the point of compassion to save other beings? Perhaps this quote is wrong then. There has to be a world outside of the individual full of beings.

In *fixation on temporary phenomena* like in thoughts, only those near by us, or those liked get compassion/love. Me inside my head, others outside. Listen to the birds, are they in my head...

Wise who teach us, are 'seeing naked consciousness' in which is no fixation to phenomena; all naturally lose solidity or is free without mind's fixation/grasping.

All discriminations of ordinary mind aren't, the unlimited genuine compassion is not cultivated but aspect of naked nature, all what manifestate in it. and so deep compassion for us beings, thinking "to exist on our own and a world outside".

Moon in water. Clouds in sky. Free reflections in our nature.

By merely ideas by words one cannot understand, as words are temporary phenomena. Therefore many misunderstandings arise.
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby padma norbu » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:06 pm

mzaur wrote:Thank you.

"Tsal is the manifestation of the energy of the individual him or herself, as apparently an "external" world."

Hmm... is that really the Dzogchen view? How is that not solipsism? If all of the world is my dream world, then what's the point of compassion to save other beings? Perhaps this quote is wrong then. There has to be a world outside of the individual full of beings.

I don't think Wikipedia had the best explanation since it was rather brief. If you read a little further down on the page where it makes comparisons to the Heart Sutra, you might start to understand a little better. The Heart Sutra says there are no beings, no cause and no effect... well, Dzogchen teachers still talk about conventional relationships and karma because in our experience we still appear in the relative dimension. As long as we have the perception of self and others, we have the methods to rid of us habitual self-cherishing and service to others and we have the method of resting in naturalness free of the separation into self and other. One method is working with concept and still generating thoughts and distinctions, the other one isn't. I won't bother to copy and paste, but what Wikipedia has to say on Nondualism and Solipsism is kind of good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondualism ... _solipsism

BTW, can anyone tell me if I've just broken samaya? I'm thinking there must be a reason Namdrol didn't reply now...
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Sönam » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:13 pm

padma norbu wrote:
mzaur wrote:I'm thinking there must be a reason Namdrol didn't reply now...


As I understood Namdrol has personnal reasons not to be so present ...
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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby White Lotus » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:30 pm

normal awareness is nakedly conscious, all experience and all realisations are pearls on the thread of normal concsciousness. there is nothing that needs to be realised. just see, just hear, just smell in your normal way. crap is crap, mountains are mountains, clouds are clouds, in the naked awarness we see all these things. they are all empty, yet we taste them, smell them and see them. yuk.

naked consciousness!

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Re: Appearances and mind

Postby Paul » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:38 pm

mzaur wrote:Thank you.

"Tsal is the manifestation of the energy of the individual him or herself, as apparently an "external" world."

Hmm... is that really the Dzogchen view? How is that not solipsism? If all of the world is my dream world, then what's the point of compassion to save other beings? Perhaps this quote is wrong then. There has to be a world outside of the individual full of beings.


The difference between the Dzogchen view(s) and solipsism is something I'm very interested in understanding.

I also don't see the problem with mountains etc only existing when perceived. It's certainly the case for dreams and hallucinations etc.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
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