The Within of the Within

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The Within of the Within

Postby takso » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:31 am

Everything that exists is empty because there is no essence to anything and nothing has ever exists in its own quality – nothing is permanent and unchanging. All objects exist conditionally without an eternal essence. They only exist in relation to each other as appearances that in turn vary as per the perceptions of the beholders.

Energy is the underlying element for all existence and it is dependent on conditional phenomenon. And phenomenon is thing that appears to or is perceived by senses and therefore, it is empty as well.

At the end of the day, we could summarise that emptiness is the beginning for all existence. Every existence is empty and emptiness is in every existence.

Emptiness Everywhere

From direct experience, we know that humans and things cause pleasure and pain, and that they can help and harm. Therefore, phenomena certainly do exist but the question is how? They do not exist in their own quality but only have an existence dependent upon many factors, including a consciousness that conceptualises them.

But in what way is consciousness mistaken? Because all phenomena appear to exist in their own quality, all of our ordinary perceptions are mistaken. We have taken in a wrong sense that living beings, things and phenomena appear to exist in and of themselves. It seems that phenomena could be established in their own right or quality, and from the object’s side upon conceptualising our consciousness. Unfortunately, with this false mode, we are hindering ourselves from recognising the discrepancy between appearance and reality.

Nevertheless, one could train oneself to develop wisdom and eliminate one’s ignorance on the ultimate truth. Upon seeking through in-depth analysis, one could find inherent existence of whatever object one is considering — oneself, another person, one’s body, one’s mind, or anything else is completely lacking.

For example, when you examine an object such as car, its inherent existence is negated, but what is left is a body dependent on an engine, seats, lamps, window glasses, tires, etc. In other words, what is left after the analysis is a dependently existent phenomenon. Thus it is not that you come to understand that the object or phenomenon does not exist but rather, you find that its inherent existence is unfounded. This is the ultimate discovery about the orientation of the nature. Nature is a system of existence fully occupied with factors that rise and fall dependently in continuum.

At the end of the day, dualism of the subject and object, and the appearance of multiplicity arises out of our ignorance on the true nature would vanish once emptiness appears. We could then differentiate the way things are perceived to exist and the way things really exist.

Why is there an existence at all? Why not nothingness?

Emptiness is a necessary pre-requisite for any object to exist; without it, the object would be impossible. Upon in-depth analysis, we could discover that emptiness corresponds to two distinct scenarios:

1. It corresponds to the inherent existence (due to unchanging nature) that all conventional phenomena lack.

2. It corresponds to dependent arising (a conditional phenomenon) i.e. subject to the same lack of inherent existence as every other object or phenomenon. This is referred to as the emptiness of emptiness.

The above is a rather strange paradox but still logical because emptiness is a universal or infinite phenomenon. Therefore, it is evident that object could arise out of emptiness due to the 2nd scenario clarified as above.

As a summary, the emptiness of phenomena is both the cause and consequence of the dependent nature of phenomena. It is comparable to scientific term of a singularity and also the beginning of the nature or existence. In other words, emptiness is an inherent quality of existence and is considered the ultimate truth because it inherently exists exactly as it is perceived when it is perceived directly by an enlightened mind. And discovering the ‘ultimate truth’ is the key to overcoming the ignorant state of mind.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: The Within of the Within

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:41 am

Phenomena appear to arise. They neither exist nor not exist. Nevertheless, because of causes and conditions, there are results from actions, so we must "watch how we tread". The causes and conditions are there, and the results of our actions do manifest, but likewise the causes and conditions and the results (which are themselves causes and conditions) are empty and only appear to arise. Nevertheless, with ignorance, we experience them as real and feel real pain (which doesn't inherently exist).

Is this correct?

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Re: The Within of the Within

Postby ground » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:17 am

takso wrote:Everything that exists is empty


Actually "existence" is a fantasy as is "emptiness". No need to defeat one fantasy by means of another.


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Re: The Within of the Within

Postby el_chupacabra » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:01 am

takso wrote:1. It corresponds to the inherent existence (due to unchanging nature) that all conventional phenomena lack.

2. It corresponds to dependent arising (a conditional phenomenon) i.e. subject to the same lack of inherent existence as every other object or phenomenon. This is referred to as the emptiness of emptiness.


You've said the same thing twice here. Something inherently existing would be an infinite object, ie. not an effect of any external cause. Dependent arising means that all causes are themselves effects, which are causes, which are effects, ad infinitum.

takso wrote:The above is a rather strange paradox but still logical because emptiness is a universal or infinite phenomenon. Therefore, it is evident that object could arise out of emptiness due to the 2nd scenario clarified as above.

As a summary, the emptiness of phenomena is both the cause and consequence of the dependent nature of phenomena. It is comparable to scientific term of a singularity and also the beginning of the nature or existence. In other words, emptiness is an inherent quality of existence and is considered the ultimate truth because it inherently exists exactly as it is perceived when it is perceived directly by an enlightened mind. And discovering the ‘ultimate truth’ is the key to overcoming the ignorant state of mind.


The emptiness of emptiness means the exact opposite. Emptiness is not infinite (though it can appear as such from a relative perspective), and it is not the cause of dependent nature ( though it could be said to be the reason for that appearance). It is not an inherent quality of existence because it is itself empty, it is lacking all substantive qualities. It is the ground - the opening if you like, within which any appearance can appear at all.

This may all make a bit more sense if you consider the idea that its not really about the truth of external reality because any perception of the external and any idea about it comes under the general heading of mental content. To put it really crudely, what really causes the appearance of anything at all is the space between your ears.
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Re: The Within of the Within

Postby takso » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:16 am

Phenomena appear to arise or are perceived by our senses to arise in and of themselves, but they are not. All phenomena, including emptiness, are dependent-arising. Emptiness, however, did correspond to both inherent existence and dependent arising due to its universal qualities.

Thus, phenomena do not exist inherently as this or that from their own sides, unrelated to the consciousness that perceives them. Phenomena exist as this or that - are dependent on the spectators.

Now, we need to look at the definition of existence. What exists is defined as ‘that which can be known’. If it cannot be known, then it does not exist. The fact is that things do not exist in the ways that concepts and languages imply they do.

In addition, we shall realise that the deepest fact about things does exist. It is beyond mind and beyond concepts and words in the sense that it is beyond our usual ways of perceiving things. Language and conception only imply that things exist in distinct manners i.e. wise person, dumb person, saint, devil, etc. - in such well-defined and independent categories.

Thus, when we say that the deepest fact about things is that they exist in a way that is beyond mind and beyond words, we are referring to the fact that things do not exist in the ways that concepts and language imply they do.

Perceiving reality is seeing that things do not exist in these fantasised, impossible ways, in ‘black and white’ categories.
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~
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Re: The Within of the Within

Postby el_chupacabra » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:41 am

takso wrote:Now, we need to look at the definition of existence. What exists is defined as ‘that which can be known’. If it cannot be known, then it does not exist. The fact is that things do not exist in the ways that concepts and languages imply they do.


Yes, you are right about the distortions of language and concepts. We may define existence as what can be known, but that tends towards a realist viewpoint of considering what is "out there", and is itself a distortion of language/concept that you mention. If you limit yourself to purely positive phenomena that can be grasped then you limit yourself to objects for consciousness and can never get an overview of consciousness itself.
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