Do you really think existence is an illusion

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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:04 am

Hello,

mudra wrote:If it were merely an illusion then it would invalidate the Buddha's teachings - beginning with Four Noble Truths. There would be no point in all our efforts in the Dharma.


I don't understand why it would invalidate the four noble truths? Suffering has an origin (samudaya/kun 'byung) which is ultimately ignorance (avidyā/ma rig pa). Ignorance of what? Selflessness (anātman/bdag med). Since selflessness is a characteristic of all dharmas we can't really show any of them to be existant can we?

Wishing you all the best.
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“In order to completely liberate the mind, cultivate loving kindness.” -- Maitribhāvana Sūtra
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby mudra » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:53 am

If the 4 Noble truths, as existing phenomena, were merely illusion (=not really there), then why bother teaching them? They would have no existence whatsoever there would be only an illusion.

The question was is existence an illusion? I.e. not really existing.

On the other hand if it is illusory/illusion like, (and remember when we talk about sunyatta we are not talking non-existence, we are talking existing dependently-and-thus-not independently), the illusory quality arises on the mind positing phenomena to be truly (inherently) existing of their own accord. Thus the 4 noble truths exist, but not in the way we think they do. We work with them, and eventually get to the point where we experience the illusory quality, and then we go beyond. But simply saying Evrything is Illusion and doesn't exist gets you nowhere.
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:50 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Why? Because phenomena can be directly experienced...
Really? How can phenomena be directly experienced?

Thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.

Actually they are always directly experienced even if not training in this way taught by the Buddha, even in worldly preception phenomena are directly experienced. It is just that what is directly experienced is merged with feeling and fabrication and the thusly effected attachment in the context of worldly preception.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Or do you consider them to be just metaphorical? If metaphorical for what do they stand?
Which "them" are you referring to? The aggregates or the kaya? The question is not clear enough.
:namaste:


To make a potentially long conversation short: The aggregates and the kayas actually refer to the same. It is just the the names of the particular aggregates are closer to conventional language since they are grounded on direct experience accessible to everyone. The kayas are just metaphors for the direct reference the aggregates stand for.


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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:51 am

Yeshe wrote:I think you may have the history confused here. Sanskrit was around long before Buddha, let alone Pali:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit#History

It may be that one was written down before the other, but the terminology within Sanskrit would certainly predate Pali IMHO, by many hundreds of years.
All these years I have been living under the misinformed delusion that Pali was an older language than Sanskrit, now it seems that Sanskrit predates Pali by some 1400 years!!! Boy, what a Stooge! I am sorry for any confusion that I have caused others by flouting my ignorance as knowledge. I sincerely apologise (I can think of at least two people that I have to go personally apologise to) :?

But, it seems, it still stands that the "original" Buddhist Canon was transcribed in Pali and not Sanskrit, so that Buddhist terminology was initially recorded in the Pali language? Or maybe I am mistaken here too? :shrug:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:04 am

TMingyur wrote:Thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.

Actually they are always directly experienced even if not training in this way taught by the Buddha, even in worldly preception phenomena are directly experienced. It is just that what is directly experienced is merged with feeling and fabrication and the thusly effected attachment in the context of worldly preception.
I think that maybe it would be more correct to say that they are directly perceived rather than directly experienced. Perception requires only the sense organ, the sense object and (in some cases) the correct conditions for perception to occur (light, in the case of seeing) but experience also includes mind: memories, feelings, categories, emotions, etc... If one can avoid the layers of cognition, added to the inital perception at a later stage by mind then, yes, an object may be directly perceived, but unless one is an Arhat or a Buddha then it is unlikely that they can directly experience an object as cognitive projection will exist after the initial perception.

To make a potentially long conversation short: The aggregates and the kayas actually refer to the same. It is just the the names of the particular aggregates are closer to conventional language since they are grounded on direct experience accessible to everyone. The kayas are just metaphors for the direct reference the aggregates stand for.
When you refer to the aggreagtes what exactly are you talking about? The skhanda?
So are you saying that the Dharmakaya is merely a misperception of the aggregates (skhanda)? Do you base this idea on the theory that there are actual independently existing Maharupa as the constituents of the aggregates?

This conversation may turn out to be longer than you anticipated! :tongue:
:namaste:

PS This whole thread could be "solved" if the question was "Do you really think that existence is illusion-like (or like an illusion)?" This is the way most TB schools frame the situation.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:15 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.

Actually they are always directly experienced even if not training in this way taught by the Buddha, even in worldly preception phenomena are directly experienced. It is just that what is directly experienced is merged with feeling and fabrication and the thusly effected attachment in the context of worldly preception.
I think that maybe it would be more correct to say that they are directly perceived rather than directly experienced. Perception requires only the sense organ, the sense object and (in some cases) the correct conditions for perception to occur (light, in the case of seeing) but experience also includes mind: memories, feelings, categories, emotions, etc... If one can avoid the layers of cognition ,added to the perception, by mind then, yes, an object may be directly perceived, but unless one is an Arhat or a Buddha then it is unlikely that they can directly experience an object as cognitive projection will exist after the initial projection.

There is no difference between "perceiving" and "experiencing" if one accepts this:
"
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.


gregkavarnos wrote:This conversation may turn out to be longer than you anticipated! :tongue:

Only if I decided to engage in it further.

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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:33 am

TMingyur wrote:There is no difference between "perceiving" and "experiencing" if one accepts this:
"
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.
I think you will find (I don't know if you gave my statement anything but a cursory glance) that this is exactly what I said. ie I essentially agreed with you. I merely added that most sentient beings, in their ignorance, do not do this and that is where the problems begin.
Only if I decided to engage in it further.
Ditto!
:namaste:
PS You didn't answer my other questions.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:21 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Yeshe wrote:I think you may have the history confused here. Sanskrit was around long before Buddha, let alone Pali:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit#History

It may be that one was written down before the other, but the terminology within Sanskrit would certainly predate Pali IMHO, by many hundreds of years.
All these years I have been living under the misinformed delusion that Pali was an older language than Sanskrit, now it seems that Sanskrit predates Pali by some 1400 years!!! Boy, what a Stooge! I am sorry for any confusion that I have caused others by flouting my ignorance as knowledge. I sincerely apologise (I can think of at least two people that I have to go personally apologise to) :?

But, it seems, it still stands that the "original" Buddhist Canon was transcribed in Pali and not Sanskrit, so that Buddhist terminology was initially recorded in the Pali language? Or maybe I am mistaken here too? :shrug:
:namaste:


Greg, the original sangha of the Buddha's time eventually spit off into 18 major schools, and Theravada is but one of those. Some of the others recorded the Buddha's teachings in Sanskrit, and I believe some may have used various Prakrits and Apabramsa. It's just that the only one of these 18 schools whose full Vinaya, Sutta, and Abidharma pitakas that are still extant are the Theravadin tradition's, so we're used to thinking of them as though they were the original school. We have limited stuff from other schools, such as from the Vaibhashikas and Sautrantikas of the Sarvastivadin tradition, like mainly their Vinaya (followed by all Tibetan schools and I think some others) and their Abidharmas and maybe a couple commentaries.
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:33 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Greg, the original sangha of the Buddha's time eventually spit off into 18 major schools, and Theravada is but one of those. Some of the others recorded the Buddha's teachings in Sanskrit, and I believe some may have used various Prakrits and Apabramsa. It's just that the only one of these 18 schools whose full Vinaya, Sutta, and Abidharma pitakas that are still extant are the Theravadin tradition's, so we're used to thinking of them as though they were the original school. We have limited stuff from other schools, such as from the Vaibhashikas and Sautrantikas of the Sarvastivadin tradition, like mainly their Vinaya (followed by all Tibetan schools and I think some others) and their Abidharmas and maybe a couple commentaries.

Thank you for that clarification!
So the original Kadampa Vinaya lineage brought to Tibet by Gampopa has eclipsed in its country of origin?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:34 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Only if I decided to engage in it further.
Ditto!
:namaste:
PS You didn't answer my other questions.


That would be to take the decision to engage in it further. just contemplate for yourself or leave it.

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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:45 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Greg, the original sangha of the Buddha's time eventually spit off into 18 major schools, and Theravada is but one of those. Some of the others recorded the Buddha's teachings in Sanskrit, and I believe some may have used various Prakrits and Apabramsa. It's just that the only one of these 18 schools whose full Vinaya, Sutta, and Abidharma pitakas that are still extant are the Theravadin tradition's, so we're used to thinking of them as though they were the original school. We have limited stuff from other schools, such as from the Vaibhashikas and Sautrantikas of the Sarvastivadin tradition, like mainly their Vinaya (followed by all Tibetan schools and I think some others) and their Abidharmas and maybe a couple commentaries.

Thank you for that clarification!
So the original Kadampa Vinaya lineage brought to Tibet by Gampopa has eclipsed in its country of origin?
:namaste:


I'm not familiar with a Kadampa Vinaya lineage; the Kadam school is of Tibetan origin. It was founded by Atisha's Tibetan disciple Dromtonpa. Atisha apparently possessed the Mahasanghika Vinaya lineage, but that never took hold in Tibet. I seem to vaguely remember Atisha being requested to pass on this Vinaya lineage to the Tibetans when he was invited to reinvigorate the Dharma in Tibet after the persecution of King Langdarma. I may be remembering it wrong, but I believe he was said to respond by praising the master Shantarakshita and glory of the Sarvastivadin lineage he originally bestowed upon the Tibetans and so Atisha declined and suggested the Tibetans request the Saravastivadin Vinaya from a master of that lineage. This is my hazy, probably imperfect memory.
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:04 am

TMingyur wrote:That would be to take the decision to engage in it further. just contemplate for yourself or leave it.
Don't start something you can't or won't finish! It's bad etiquette.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:16 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
TMingyur wrote:That would be to take the decision to engage in it further. just contemplate for yourself or leave it.
Don't start something you can't or won't finish! It's bad etiquette.
:namaste:


Sorry but I consider all postings and threads "unfinished". Obviously your perception is that there is something that can be finished but that is not my perception.

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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:12 pm

TMingyur wrote:Sorry but I consider all postings and threads "unfinished". Obviously your perception is that there is something that can be finished but that is not my perception.
Let me teach you a nifty trick to apply when having a conversation, it works wonders everytime, I personally use it quite often: When you don't have a clue about something you admit that you do not have a clue. It is a wonderful method that actually helps one to learn. You see, we are not Buddhas, thus we do not possess omniscience. Nobody here expects you (and me) to know everything so you (and I) don't have to pretend that you (or I) do. We are all here to learn. So drop the posing and come over here and join us plebs (I think I said this to you another time in another thread as well).
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby muni » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:14 pm

Sherab wrote:When existence is an illusion, then one can understand why the Buddha said 'existence' and 'non-existence' as not occurring to him.
When existence is an illusion, then one can understand that dharmas/things/phenomena are neither conditioned nor unconditioned.
When existence is an illusion, then one can understand why "samsara" and "nirvana" is neither same nor different.
When existence is an illusion, then one can understand the progression from the first to the third turning and therefore no contradictions in the Dharma.
When existence is an illusion, then one can make sense of all the paradoxical statements found in the sutras.
When existence is an illusion, then one can make sense of tantric practices.
That is how it seems to me.


Illusory agreement as momentary illusion.
~~Writing language on water~~
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby ground » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:33 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Sorry but I consider all postings and threads "unfinished". Obviously your perception is that there is something that can be finished but that is not my perception.
Let me teach you a nifty trick to apply when having a conversation, it works wonders everytime, I personally use it quite often: When you don't have a clue about something you admit that you do not have a clue. It is a wonderful method that actually helps one to learn. You see, we are not Buddhas, thus we do not possess omniscience. Nobody here expects you (and me) to know everything so you (and I) don't have to pretend that you (or I) do. We are all here to learn. So drop the posing and come over here and join us plebs (I think I said this to you another time in another thread as well).
:namaste:


My postings are just offerings.


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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:47 pm

I wrote a really long relpy about Sanskrit and its history - and it's disappeared! :(

Ah well, in essence the concepts of Buddhism are not all new, and as you would expect the Vedas and writers such as Kapila raised similar issues. The greatest difference of course is in separation from the priestly caste and the concept of Atman.

Some early Sanskrit textst share the problem of later Pali texts - written down long after they originated, so difficult to date, but some seem to predate Buddha by about 1,000 years, such as the Laws of Manu.

In the context of this thread we are dealing with a title full of immeasurables - ''you' 'think' existence' 'illusion'.

'There is' . Perhaps this phrase avoids duality of self and other which leads to debate of who observes what and how.

Perhaps the pre-Buddhist statement of 'Tat Tvam Asi' may indicate the way in which this topic was considered:

http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/cgi-bin ... t_Tvam_Asi
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:28 pm

TMingyur wrote:My postings are just offerings.
So was the food Cunda the metal worker gave to the Buddha.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Rael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:27 pm

rolling stones shattered runs in background.....


shattered...my buddhist history is shattered....
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Re: Do you really think existence is an illusion

Postby Rael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:40 pm

TMingyur wrote:
My postings are just offerings.


Kind regards

sounds metaphysical...i love it
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