M.G. wrote:A philosophical question:
Why is Dzogchen the path beyond cause and effect? Aren't the fruits of practice an effect?
Homage to the Dzogchen Masters.
Lots of good responses.
The conventional answers have already been well given (though personally I like the blueberries on granola- but why be choosy - a sliced up banana also works for me, and I also recommend sprinkling a little bee pollen for color, flavor, and extra vits.)
My 2 cents.
Perhaps it is better to refer these types of questions to Dzogchen Masters and for me, not to say anything -
Because Dzogchen is beyond words, or any attempt at any description through language, this would be a correct answer, but this doesn't answer the question for most people, and most people are too shy to ask the Masters.
So please have patience with my lack of experience and clarity if I foolishly try to put minds at rest through the use of well-intentioned words.
When conventional language is applied to speak about why Dzogchen is the path beyond cause and effect, from within the conventional point of view, for example: "why are not the fruits of practice an effect of practice?", it is clear that FROM THIS POINT OF VIEW, AND USE OF LANGUAGE, that Dzogchen is not beyond cause and effect.
It is only from within the extremely precise use of language from within the Dzogchen direct experience (to which language cannot adhere, and which does not posit ANY point of view or duality) that stating that Dzogchen is a path beyond cause and effect makes sense and can be understood. In the "instant presence," the natural state beyond all dualities, the issue, or question, of cause and effect does not arise. This, and ALL mental / emotional fabrications would be like writing on air or water, in the sense that there is no place for the thought / feeling to stick to.
In the natural state, whatever arises is co-emergent with its liberation, in a non-dual way. The example of a snake untying its own knot is used, but even this example is using a duality to point to a non-dual experience. All words can only point to this experience, hence the entry door of Dzogchen is being introduced to the natural mind by a Dzogchen Master, through direct introduction. The experience of Dzogchen cannot be found through books or on DW.
So, while in the conventional use of language, you might say that direct introduction is the cause of the students gaining the direct experience of their natural mind, but from within Dzogchen, the question does not arise, because words and logic do not apply.
That said, a lot has been written about the experience of Dzogchen, using specialized non-conventional use of language, so that those outside of this experience can relate to this experience beyond words. So the sources cited, are references to words about a subject to which words do not apply.
Isn't it amazing!
There are many DW threads that have looked at this issue. Here are 2 from among the many.viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8489&p=103015&hilit=vajra+laughs#p102643viewtopic.php?f=48&t=10185&hilit=vajra+laughs#p128254
I would refer you to the 12 Vajra Laughs and the 9 Amazing Things AND /OR "The Marvelous Primordial State", for direct sources as to how Dzogchen refers to itself regarding cause and effect. These words used to be considered secret, and given that they are now searchable on the web, / openly available, it may seem senseless to ask the reader to do the search, but out of respect for the views of others I will ask the reader to make the search.
Perhaps the new "secret" is that words about Dzogchen are self-secret until you get the direct experience to unlock what they are pointing to.
Please recall that these are words which come from within the Dzogchen experience, and conventional language / logic cannot enter that amazing dimension beyond words.
Yes, this is amazing and cannot be understood by language, reason, or logic. If you still have any questions about these issues, please refer them to Dzogchen Masters.
And I should mention that I, too, have greatly benefited from studying the gradual paths of Buddhism. They all go beyond words.
May this help the minds of those who read this (and those who do not) to rest in the natural state beyond words.
Hope this helps,