Emptiness and Nothingness

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Punya » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:03 am

shel wrote:
kirtu wrote:There's a big difference between no-thingness, nothingness and emptiness.

Kirt

Alright, why don't we try no-[inherent]-thingness. Is that working for you yet? :tongue:


I know all of these words are imperfect translations but maybe if you explain why you prefer no-thingness. Personally I prefer empty of inherent existence but in the context of what conebeckham is saying in the other thread: that conceptual mind cannot know reality.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
User avatar
Punya
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby shel » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:29 am

Punya wrote:
shel wrote:
kirtu wrote:There's a big difference between no-thingness, nothingness and emptiness.

Kirt

Alright, why don't we try no-[inherent]-thingness. Is that working for you yet? :tongue:


I know all of these words are imperfect translations but maybe if you explain why you prefer no-thingness. Personally I prefer lack of inherent existence but in the context of what conebeckham is saying in the other thread: that conceptual mind cannot know reality.

I do not prefer it, and I did not use the term. Some back reading may be helpful to anyone interested. It seems I just have extraordinary powers of inference. :tongue:

So concepts are not real?
shel
 
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:31 am

Gampopa says that phenomena could only be said not to exist if they had existed in the past. Since phenomena have never existed, they are not non-existent.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby oushi » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:02 am

shel wrote:Nihilism is about lack of meaning, quite different.

Could you elaborate more on that?
Emptiness is seeing that meaning is empty, lacking solidity.
Nihilism is grasping the meaning of nothingness and applying it to everything. If you drop meaning, you are far away from nihilism.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby shel » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:08 pm

oushi wrote:If you drop meaning, you are far away from nihilism.


I don't see how it could be any other way.
shel
 
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:40 pm

oushi wrote:
shel wrote:Nihilism is about lack of meaning, quite different.

Could you elaborate more on that?
Emptiness is seeing that meaning is empty, lacking solidity.
Nihilism is grasping the meaning of nothingness and applying it to everything. If you drop meaning, you are far away from nihilism.
He's got a point.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby shel » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:10 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:
shel wrote:Nihilism is about lack of meaning, quite different.

Could you elaborate more on that?
Emptiness is seeing that meaning is empty, lacking solidity.
Nihilism is grasping the meaning of nothingness and applying it to everything. If you drop meaning, you are far away from nihilism.
He's got a point.


Emptiness necessarily applies to everything.

What exactly does Oushi mean by the "meaning of nothingness" ?
shel
 
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby wisdom » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:13 pm

Oushi appears to be talking about "Sealing the view with the object of emptiness". This means that once a person has realized the truth of emptiness, rather than abiding within that emptiness without any conceptualization about it, they start labeling everything as "empty". This is empty, that is empty, I am empty, look at all the empty things! But that is a contradiction because emptiness implies the non-existence of things whatsoever, so its just a continuation of previous mental imputation onto non-existent objects.

This in turn leads to Nihilism because such a person has not realized Dharmakaya. Emptiness has become an object of mental fixation, rather than an experience of abiding in the true nature of reality itself without fixations. This creates many problems because such a person often thinks they really do understand, they gain a great deal of confidence in their faulty view and as a result it can be hard to extricate a persons mind from that mistake.

In terms of meaning, Nihilists believe there is no meaning to anything because its all empty. This is also a wrong view because they are not recognizing the inseperability of the ultimate nature and appearances. They are only seeing that appearances are non-existent, but they are not seeing what is unchanging, all pervasive, infinite, eternal, and so forth.

Furthermore, if you impute that the qualities of Dharmakaya (unchanging, all pervasive, infinite, eternal, indestructible and so forth) are real objects of the mind and reality, then you fall into the trap of eternalism.

So what is the meaning of reality and life? It is inexpressible. In this sense there is still no meaning because the ultimate nature of reality remains indeterminate and beyond mental expression, but it is a lack of meaning that is wonderful, full, and spontaneously acts for the benefit oneself and others. Of course, I'm just a deluded sentient being with many afflictions, so this is just all my personal opinion based on studying the writings of the Great Masters.
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby invisiblediamond » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:47 pm

You could say nothing is a word for not thinking of something. You can interchange the words nothingness and emptiness. Of course these words need context and that context is your friends. If you doubt that, try talking to people who have no background in your religious lingoes. Then, try to alter the lingoes a bit among your friends. If you are not the leader, you will be ousted. Language is political.

Anyway, what I meant by the sentence, the final analytic is nothingness is just that you can never finally analyze anything. There is always more to talk about. There is no final idea, therefore, the final analytic doesn't exist. "Doesn't exist" is nothing, no there, nothingness, what have you. Having "realized" nothing is final, you give up pursuing it. So that is a samadhi, the relaxation to not reckoning anything out, because the mind naturally feels expansive when it's not focused.

I was being provocative a bit with the phrase. And my "what?" comment was to see if you were going rap dogmatic in a buddhisty way. Trained parrots repeat stuff they heard. Philosophers try to rephrase and see if there's something more at play than just what we think we mean by the words we say. I don't know where we are with that on this thread though.

BTW, there are plenty of pith instructions that have been written down in books that say emptiness is a special kind of nothingness. Goes something like, "You have to learn to see this 'nothingness." It's a a nothingness where the 'ness' is used to negate the itself a little bit, so that while no things are found, neither is nothing. It doesn't take much to understand this in a way that doesn't lead to depression. To avoid feeling crappy about living in a line drawing, one comes to understand the lines are drawn by our attitudes. So that having a positive attitude makes the nothingness appear in all kinds of nice ways to be happy about.
invisiblediamond
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby shel » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:22 am

wisdom wrote:Oushi appears to be talking about "Sealing the view with the object of emptiness". This means that once a person has realized the truth of emptiness, rather than abiding within that emptiness without any conceptualization about it, they start labeling everything as "empty". This is empty, that is empty, I am empty, look at all the empty things!

Everything is empty, according to Buddhism. How could one thing be empty but not something else?

But that is a contradiction because emptiness implies the non-existence of things whatsoever, so its just a continuation of previous mental imputation onto non-existent objects.

It means they don't exist in the sense of being independent or permanent and unchanging.

This in turn leads to Nihilism because such a person has not realized Dharmakaya. Emptiness has become an object of mental fixation, rather than an experience of abiding in the true nature of reality itself without fixations.

Nihilism does not mean any particular sort of mental fixation, such as fixation on the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

In terms of meaning, Nihilists believe there is no meaning to anything because its all empty.

According to Buddhism everything is empty, so if what you're saying is true then all Buddhist who haven't realized and 'abide' in emptiness are nihilists.That isn't right, right?
shel
 
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:16 am

invisiblediamond wrote:Anyway, what I meant by the sentence, the final analytic is nothingness is just that you can never finally analyze anything. There is always more to talk about. There is no final idea, therefore, the final analytic doesn't exist. "Doesn't exist" is nothing, no there, nothingness, what have you. Having "realized" nothing is final, you give up pursuing it. So that is a samadhi, the relaxation to not reckoning anything out, because the mind naturally feels expansive when it's not focused.
At last, an explanation of the OP!!! :woohoo: Thank you.
BTW, there are plenty of pith instructions that have been written down in books that say emptiness is a special kind of nothingness. Goes something like, "You have to learn to see this 'nothingness." It's a a nothingness where the 'ness' is used to negate the itself a little bit, so that while no things are found, neither is nothing.
Could you please quote the source? Maybe it is just a "bad" translation?
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby oushi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:34 pm

shel wrote:What exactly does Oushi mean by the "meaning of nothingness" ?

Definitive explanation of phenomena as nonexistent. Before reaching the end of the path one claims that there is nothing at the end of it. Such a view is premature, insincere and dishonest.
wisdom wrote:In terms of meaning, Nihilists believe there is no meaning to anything because its all empty.

And what is meaning? Meaning vs no meaning, both share the same illusive nature of solidity. Both are fake and people get deluded by saying like "true meaning".
Like you said, there is no definitive idea. If there is no definitive truth there is no grasping for ideas in search of truth. Nihilism has its truth, eternalism has its truth , that's why both are false.
Emptiness has no rocky bottom. Nothing to cling to. No truth, no here or there, no now or later.

shel wrote:Nihilism does not mean any particular sort of mental fixation, such as fixation on the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

Mixing the concept of nihilism with Tathagata is dangerous. Don't throw out the baby with the bath.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:38 pm

oushi wrote:Emptiness has no rocky bottom. Nothing to cling to. No truth, no here or there, no now or later.
Yes, well, actually it does. It has the infinite array of apparent phenomena as its (supposed) rocky bottom. Plenty there to cling to! ;)
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Nothing » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:01 pm

oushi wrote:Nihilism
Eternalism

Emptiness has no rocky bottom


Can anyone "SEE" the difference here?.....and more importantly.....WHY?
User avatar
Nothing
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:39 pm

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:12 pm

shel wrote:Nihilism does not mean any particular sort of mental fixation, such as fixation on the Buddhist concept of emptiness.
Really?
Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism There's plenty of mental fixation happening there. Craploads of it!
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby oushi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:20 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:Emptiness has no rocky bottom. Nothing to cling to. No truth, no here or there, no now or later.
Yes, well, actually it does. It has the infinite array of apparent phenomena as its (supposed) rocky bottom. Plenty there to cling to! ;)

Infinity and rocky bottom cannot coexist. I presume that you know that rocky bottom should not be taken literally here. There is no stopping point. Even if you focus on rocky bottom, there will be no end to it. We can say that emptiness has not only infinite appearances, but also infinite depth of experiencing them. Don't get poisoned by a snake while grasping something that definitely appeared like rope. But you probably already know that. All is empty, including emptiness. That's why it cannot be grasped, and as mind grasps ideas through meaning (finding their rocky bottom - meaning), emptiness cannot be grasped. Ingraspability and inconceivability of Tathagata was taught by many. If you can conceive emptiness, then it is an idea which will end up as nihilism or eternalism.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:29 pm

oushi wrote:Infinity and rocky bottom cannot coexist. I presume that you know that rocky bottom should not be taken literally here. There is no stopping point. Even if you focus on rocky bottom, there will be no end to it. We can say that emptiness has not only infinite appearances, but also infinite depth of experiencing them. Don't get poisoned by a snake while grasping something that definitely appeared like rope. But you probably already know that. All is empty, including emptiness. That's why it cannot be grasped, and as mind grasps ideas through meaning (finding their rocky bottom - meaning), emptiness cannot be grasped. Ingraspability and inconceivability of Tathagata was taught by many. If you can conceive emptiness, then it is an idea which will end up as nihilism or eternalism.
You are making the mistake of trying to seperate emptiness from phenomenal reality. You cannot. It just doesn't work like that. You cannot reduce emptiness to some ideal absolute. That is nihilism. ;)

Not enjoying
the purity of things
practicing emptiness only,

you're like a crow
sent from a ship,
who lands back on deck again*.

*Indian sailors would send a crow from the ship to find land; if the crow returned, it had found none. Similarly the yogin who contemplates emptiness without also enjoying things in their purity or developing compassion, will not arrive at their destination, for enlightenment requires practices involving both emptiness and form, wisdoma and method.
Saraha in Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time 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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby oushi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:39 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:Infinity and rocky bottom cannot coexist. I presume that you know that rocky bottom should not be taken literally here. There is no stopping point. Even if you focus on rocky bottom, there will be no end to it. We can say that emptiness has not only infinite appearances, but also infinite depth of experiencing them. Don't get poisoned by a snake while grasping something that definitely appeared like rope. But you probably already know that. All is empty, including emptiness. That's why it cannot be grasped, and as mind grasps ideas through meaning (finding their rocky bottom - meaning), emptiness cannot be grasped. Ingraspability and inconceivability of Tathagata was taught by many. If you can conceive emptiness, then it is an idea which will end up as nihilism or eternalism.
You are making the mistake of trying to seperate emptiness from phenomenal reality. You cannot. It just doesn't work like that. You cannot reduce emptiness to some ideal absolute. That is nihilism. ;)

"All is empty" is separating emptiness from phenomenal reality? :roll:
Please clarify it, and quote precisely those parts you disagree with.

To practice emptiness, you need to know how to distinguish it from the rest. This betrays duality.
Last edited by oushi on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:41 pm

Please see the edit to my previous post.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9628
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness and Nothingness

Postby oushi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Please, see the edit to my post ;)
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>