Ground of Being

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Ground of Being

Postby mint » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:47 pm

If everything has a cause, who/what caused the ground of being (Base)?
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:01 pm

mint wrote:If everything has a cause, who/what caused the ground of being (Base)?


The basis has no cause because it is just emptiness.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:17 pm

mint wrote:If everything has a cause, who/what caused the ground of being (Base)?


That is a good question, but it reflects a misunderstanding of things.
There isn't a "thing" that is caused.
the word "everything" is misleading.
Don't be fooled by words of convenience!
How much "everything" can you squeeze into this very second?
Because that's all there is,
the continuous, infinite unfolding of right now.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby swampflower » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:20 am

The Buddha suggested that some questions are not worth asking.

Excerpts from:
Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: "How is it, Master Gotama, does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if he holds the view 'the cosmos is eternal...'... 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless,' he says '...no...' in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?"

"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding."


That being said the logical conclusion under the philosophy of dependent origination is that there can be no beginning to the chain of cause and effect. Through our ignorance we perceive this dream of existence to be past, present, and future but it is truly just "now".
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Sherab » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:00 am

swampflower wrote:The Buddha suggested that some questions are not worth asking.

Personally, I think certain Buddhists tend to use this to stop people from asking questions that they themselves cannot provide an answer. To me, it is an indirect way of telling you to stop using your intellect, put your brain aside, just believe what I tell you, etc.

swampflower wrote:Excerpts from:
Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: "How is it, Master Gotama, does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if he holds the view 'the cosmos is eternal...'... 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless,' he says '...no...' in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?"

"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding."


That being said the logical conclusion under the philosophy of dependent origination is that there can be no beginning to the chain of cause and effect. Through our ignorance we perceive this dream of existence to be past, present, and future but it is truly just "now".
I see this as Buddha saying that the view 'the cosmos is eternal' is wrong, and not as telling the questioner that the question is not worth asking.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:40 am

mint wrote:If everything has a cause, who/what caused the ground of being (Base)?


"everything has a cause" is an incorrect statement.
it is a misleading assumption.
This is not because the appearance of continuous phenomena is not caused by conditions,
indeed, the appearance of continuous phenomena is caused by conditions, and always has been.
It is an incorrect starting point because in this assumption, "everything" is regarded as some kind of result.
"everything" is dharmakaya, the totality of all appearances, including the appearance of all causes and results
as well as the dissolving of all appearances.
That is why "ground of being" is sometimes referred to as "original mind".
So, you can't start off by saying "everything" and then exclude, or identify something outside of 'everything" as some kind of external cause. There is no external condition, nothing outside of "everything" or it wouldn't be "everything".

When Buddha talked about how some questions were not worth answering,
on the one hand, those questions were not ones that would lead to the end of suffering.
But also, they were questions which did not reflect the actual situation of things.
It's like asking "how many is a fire?" or "which way is a cookie?"

The point isn't that questions don't deserve answers,
but rather, if the question is wrong, no correct answer can be given.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:44 am

Namdrol wrote:
mint wrote:If everything has a cause, who/what caused the ground of being (Base)?


The basis has no cause because it is just emptiness.


As soon as you use the term "basis" you are talking Dzogchen view, not Madhyamaka, in which case its not just ka dag (empty), its also lhun grub (manifest) and thugs rje (responsive). And besides, "*shunyatatvamatra" is barbaric. :tongue:
Last edited by gad rgyangs on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Josef » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:46 am

Circuitous evangelism?
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby mint » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:57 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
"everything has a cause" is an incorrect statement.
it is a misleading assumption.
This is not because the appearance of continuous phenomena is not caused by conditions,
indeed, the appearance of continuous phenomena is caused by conditions, and always has been.
It is an incorrect starting point because in this assumption, "everything" is regarded as some kind of result.
"everything" is dharmakaya, the totality of all appearances, including the appearance of all causes and results
as well as the dissolving of all appearances.
That is why "ground of being" is sometimes referred to as "original mind".
So, you can't start off by saying "everything" and then exclude, or identify something outside of 'everything" as some kind of external cause. There is no external condition, nothing outside of "everything" or it wouldn't be "everything".


I am confused. All of reality is conditional, right? "Everything" as in everything is conditional - vertically, horizontally, diagonally, multi-dimensionally conditional?
So, dharmakaya is the foundation of all "reality"? Anything that "is" is actually just a manifestation of dharmakaya?
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:34 am

mint wrote:
I am confused. All of reality is conditional, right? "Everything" as in everything is conditional - vertically, horizontally, diagonally, multi-dimensionally conditional?


"reality" is a tricky term. "phenomena" is a better term.

mint wrote:
So, dharmakaya is the foundation of all "reality"? Anything that "is" is actually just a manifestation of dharmakaya?

This is my limited understanding:
"Dharmakaya" is not a "thing" in itself, not some underlying force or god or "thing" but it is a word that describes truth (dharma) and body (kaya), meaning that it is essentially the true nature of phenomena. Dharmakaya describes the way everything really is, which is infinite, meaning that you cannot ever get to the very center of an onion. All particles can be divided, all space (between particles) can be divided, all time can be divided, infinitely.

At this point, saying dharmakaya is everything and saying it is the way everything is pretty much amounts to the same thing.

Ordinary sentient beings do not experience dharmakaya, do not directly see the infinite nature of phenomena because of clinging, wrong view, and so forth. As a result, suffering.

A Buddha experiences Dharmakaya and is in fact a manifestation of dharmakaya, of the infinite way that things are. As a result, no suffering.

That is why, if you ask, "what creates the ground of being", you are looking for a single cause,
but phenomena is "single-causeless".

All apparent phenomena, what you would call "reality" whether perceived or unknown arises from infinite causes and dissolves when those causes change. So, yes, everything arises conditionally. But the 'ground of being' isn't a "thing" that arises or dissolves. It isn't conditional.

Let's use a really simple analogy. Let's say there is a book on a table (forget for a moment that the book and table are "empty" or whatever). That's the fact of the matter, the situation: the book is on the table. So, that is the truth of that situation. That describes the whole picture. Now, let's add to that picture: the car is in the garage, the pot is on the stove, the dog is three years old, the piano is out of tune, there is a hole in the coat pocket, a new galaxy is forming somewhere, and so on and so on until we have listed "everything", to use your term. Everything as it is, coming and going, becoming and ceasing, even stretching time as we know it, black holes, the whole works. All this truth about what is happening. The dharmakaya is the fact of everything, infinitely.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Sönam » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:42 am

Sherab wrote:
swampflower wrote:The Buddha suggested that some questions are not worth asking.

Personally, I think certain Buddhists tend to use this to stop people from asking questions that they themselves cannot provide an answer. To me, it is an indirect way of telling you to stop using your intellect, put your brain aside, just believe what I tell you, etc.



Agree ... sutra style!

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Re: Ground of Being

Postby muni » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:00 am

Sherab wrote:[
........telling the questioner that the question is not worth asking.



Not worth asking? Or possible Buddha kept silence when the answer on the moment could be misunderstood. Silence can be the right teaching.

Or in case of not expressible. Having ones mouth full of rice and then someone asks; well, tell me, how is it tasting?

Wo....pffffffffffffooooooooooth! Oops!
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Malcolm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:17 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:It is an incorrect starting point because in this assumption, "everything" is regarded as some kind of result.


Everything is some kind of result.

All causes are results, all results can be causes.

N
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:04 pm

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:It is an incorrect starting point because in this assumption, "everything" is regarded as some kind of result.


Everything is some kind of result.

All causes are results, all results can be causes.

N


Yeah, that is true.
Within the context of everything, all results have causes.

But nothing ever had to have ever happened.
There is no reason why "existence" ever needed to "exist" in the first place,
for any depth of space or duration of time to have ever occurred.
However, as things turned out, everything did happen,
and is happening.


So, for 'everything" to have started happening,
as opposed to nothing having ever happened,
a cause would have to precede it.

So, how can a cause pre-exist everything?
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby White Lotus » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:18 pm

the ground of being is 'not', it never has been. some speak of energy, some of love... however all things are appearances of not a thing. in sutra studies we are told that all is dependently causal effective... however, when you see you realise that all things are non existent appearances, mirages... that there is no effect to have been caused. this non existence is highly intelligent and creative. thus all things we see.

best wishes, Tom.
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Malcolm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:19 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:So, how can a cause pre-exist everything?


There was no beginning.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Jesse » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:47 pm

mint, I have been wondering something similar, from what I'm reading, (probably incorrectly), it's as namdrol says,

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/heartstr.htm
"Oh, Sariputra, Form Does not Differ From the Void,
And the Void Does Not Differ From Form.
Form is Void and Void is Form;
The Same is True For Feelings,
Perceptions, Volitions and Consciousness."


http://www.diamond-sutra.com/diamond_sutra_text/page3.html
"All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated."


"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby mint » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:25 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:So, for 'everything" to have started happening,
as opposed to nothing having ever happened,
a cause would have to precede it.


Sounds dangerously close to theism.

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:So, how can a cause pre-exist everything?


There was no beginning.


Infinite regression? or beyond infinite regression? (Infinity can seem awfully constraining.)
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Malcolm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:48 pm

mint wrote:
Infinite regression? or beyond infinite regression? (Infinity can seem awfully constraining.)


Infinite regression.

There are no beginnings.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Ground of Being

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:42 pm

Each and every phenomenon one could ever think of is dependently originated--we impute singular "thingness" onto "things" which are really aggregations of multiple parts and causes and conditions, and each of those parts are likewise aggregations of multiple parts and causes and conditions, ad infinitum... No thing can be found anywhere that exists by the power of its own essence, made up only of itself, with no dependence on anything else. That being the case--that is, since all phenomena depend for their conventional "existence" on our imputing "thingness" and existence onto them--where can one find anything at all to have begin to exist, endured for a time, and then disintegrated?

At the same time, despite this emptiness, where can one find any cause at all that fails to bear a result, and who can be found that doesn't experience samsara as the Buddha said we do?
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