What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

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: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby trevor » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:29 pm

cloudburst wrote:mustn't advise sentient beings that drinking mirage milk and actual milk are same


Reminds me of Chandrakirti milking the painting of a cow :)
trevor
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:34 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:35 pm

White Lotus wrote:water is just water.
Not if it's Perrier!
"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
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10207
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:44 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
White Lotus wrote:water is just water.
Not if it's Perrier!


And not if it's Perrier accompanied with a conversation about Dharma with Greg Kavarnos while an old re-run of 'Dharma & Greg' is playing on the TV in the background.

:tongue:
asunthatneversets
 
Posts: 1431
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:13 pm

conebeckham wrote:Cloudburst said:
When investigated, the true appearance of things falls apart, and as such we can say that it is empty, totally dependent. Granting the status of existent, we make a distinction between an existent, something correctly known by mind, and aomething which exists by way of a nature, which is an impossibility.

Actually, appearances don't fall apart when one investigates them. Appearances continue to appear, but our conceptions of them may change, and ultimately may fall apart. Appearances, however, continue to appear--at least until the meditative equipoise of those on the first Bhumi.


What I said is that true appearance falls apart. If you don't make clear distinctions, you will run into trouble.

conebeckham wrote:"Something correctly known by mind" is an interesting phrase, as well.

I'm sure I know why you think so, but why don't you elaborate?
User avatar
cloudburst
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:06 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
and so I do. And I can explain their existence. They exist by way of mental imputation, as becasue of this, there is no need to assert independence.


Then there is no difference between fire circles and firebrands since they both depend on mental imputation.

Mate in one move.


correct, no difference in terms of the ultimate.
Conventionally, big big difference.

mustn't advise sentient beings that drinking mirage water and actual water are same


But since conventional imputations are deluded by definition, it is only from the point of view of the deluded that mirage water and "water" are different.

Checkmate.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12568
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Anders » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:36 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Anders Honore wrote: I see a lot of talk here about the status of phenomena, whether they lack essence, can be accurately cognised, and so forth, which to me looks like a kind of pseudo-ontology.


This is primarily a result of Tsongkhapa's over-intellectualization of Madhyamaka and his inability to differentiate between Candrakirti's POV and Bhavaviveka's, and his ideological commitment to the superiority of Candrakiriti's presentation.

The idea that Candra's presentation is superior to Bhava's is not unique, but what is unique is Tsongkhapa's simulataneous commitment to the language of logic as a tool to explain Madhyamaka, and as a result we see strange formulations such as "Prasangikas" do not refute valid cognizers and so on, when in fact they clearly do. In point of fact, that Prasangikas who do not reject valid cognizers are only the followers of Tsongkhapa. The rest, from Candrakirti, to Jayananda, and so on, do refute them.

Also, Buddhist logic never made significant inroads into Chinese philosophy, so much of this talk about valid cognition and so on would sound foreign to a Chinese Buddhist. But because of the trenchant polemics in India between Buddhists and non-Buddhists, there was much discussion of valid cognition and what entailed, since the whole field of pramana was adopted by the Buddhists defensively.

However, during the time of Nagarjuna there was no well developed school of Buddhist logic, and so we see in texts like Vigrahavyavartani a thorough rejection of the whole notion of valid cognizers since in the end the notion of a valid cognition depends on notions of inherency. So naturally the Chinese were not that interested.

However, in response to non-Buddhsits,Vasubandhu began to articulate the first epistemological responses to non-Buddhist criticism, his disciple,Dignaga, forumulized the foundations and Buddhist pramana, Dharmakirit elaborated it, and the rest is history. Pramana came to be regarded as one of the Panca Vidya, the five sciences with its understandable impact on Tibetan Buddhism.

Of course in Dzogchen, the principle is not the two truths, but simple vidyā and avidyā. By comparison, there is only one truth in Dzogchen teachings, vidyā. The rest, falling under the heading of avidyā (ignorance) is fundamentally false —— for example, in the same way that a jaundiced man sees everything as yellow, those who suffering from the jaundice of ignorance never see things as they truly are.


Thanks, Namdrol-la. That does connect a few historical dots.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:55 pm

Namdrol wrote:But since conventional imputations are deluded by definition, it is only from the point of view of the deluded that mirage water and "water" are different.


"Something correctly known by mind," perhaps, yet still deluded, and not the object of wisdom.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:44 am

Namdrol wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
Namdrol wrote:If you say the fire circle is illusory because it arises from the cause and condition of whirling a fire brand, for what reason is the fire brand not illusory, since it too arises from causes and conditions?


It is not said that the circle is an illusion becasue it arises from causes and conditions, it is said becasue there is no circle. The fire brand is not illusory because there is a firebrand.


There is a circle when it appears, because causes and conditions to produce that circle are present; likewise, when the causes and conditions of a firebrand exist a firebrand appears. In this way we can understand that all phenomena are equally and totally illusory because no phenomenon can appear in absence of causes and conditions for that phenomenon's appearance regardless of whether it is a fire circle or a fire brand.

Illusory means "apparent, yet unreal". So to, all phenomena are apparent, yet unreal.

N

there is never a circle there, the circle is not an object of enmgagement (‘jug-yul) in either nonconceptual or conceptual cognition.

a circle does appear to cognition, but only as an appearing object (snang-yul) of an invalid nonconceptual cognition that is engaging with the fire stick.

therefore, circle an illusion, reality not an illusion.

this is important because reality is not merely a set of appearances ie. internal objects. and even if mind-only turned out to in fact be the subtlest system, mind-only makes massive distinctions between the storehouse, object, and subject, such that it is not correct to say that the cake is an illusion. it would be like saying the cake does not truly exist.
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:06 am

5heaps wrote:it would be like saying the cake does not truly exist.


Are you saying the cake truly exists?
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12568
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:55 am

Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote:it would be like saying the cake does not truly exist.


Are you saying the cake truly exists?


A cake truly existed at my house yesterday
but by tonight most of it didn't exist any more.
:rolling:
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:25 am

Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote:it would be like saying the cake does not truly exist.


Are you saying the cake truly exists?

meh i was talking from mind-only pov... no truly existing cake = nihilism.

i bring up mind-only because people speak about this "appearance-only" bs. and who is closest to appearance-only than mind-only when they deny external objects?
yet if even they, who are outright nihilists with regard to external objects, are not willing to say that physical cakes that you eat are an illusion, whats the point in someone who accepts external objects saying every thing about cakes is an illusion?
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:06 pm

5heaps wrote:who is closest to appearance-only than mind-only when they deny external objects?


The difference is that we do not posit some substratum like the ālayavijñāna to account for those appearances. Nor are we denying the appearance of external objects. We are merely stating the obvious i.e. that those appearances are not real, and hence are completely equivalent with illusions. The charge of nihilism is not appropriate because we are not denying appearances. The charge of eternalism is not appropriate because those unreal appearances cannot be found on analysis. We are saying that appearances are not false, because they appear, but they are not true, because they cannot be found, just like the appearance of a moon in the water. We are saying that all phenomena are like that. Similarly illusions too are not false, because the elephants, and so on of the illusion appear, but they are not true, because when examined they cannot be found. This approach to the two truths is called the upadesha transmission of Madhyamaka. It is much superior to the Madhyamaka of analysis which is focused on rejecting wrong views of the lower tenet systems.

In fact, according to Rongzom, the purpose of the affirming negation is reject the views of an opponnent, while affirming your own, in the form of a proof. The purpose of the non-affirming negation is merely to eliminate the point of view of an opponenent.

Madhyamaka only has non-affirming negations, and does not make use of affirming negations at all.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12568
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:10 pm

Is the intent of the example of a firebrand and a circle that it makes to show that:

A firebrand is like 'actual'-water.

A circle that a firebrand makes is like mirage-water.

:?:

It seems that there are a few levels that can be considered here:

A hare's horn for example is an illusion that doesn't even appear except for in the imagination.

Mirage-water is an illusion that appears to the imagination and the eyes, but has no useful function for sentient beings other than perhaps getting used for examples like hare's horns, firebrands & fire-circles, ropes getting mistaken for snakes, etc.

'Physical' water appears and has a useful conventional function for sentient beings, even though it too is no less illusory than mirage-water.
User avatar
Lhug-Pa
 
Posts: 1428
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:10 pm

what is "dependent arising" if not causality? "When this arises, that arises. When this subsides, that subsides". Either the one arising causes the other, or they are completely unrelated. If caused, what is the mechanism? If unrelated, then whence karma, rebirth, and other core Buddhist doctrines? If oak trees do not arise from maple seeds, then theres still something governing the illusory manifestations, and they are not arbitrary. Since this is the case, again, what is the mechanism, if not causality?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 807
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:16 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:what is "dependent arising" if not causality? "When this arises, that arises. When this subsides, that subsides". Either the one arising causes the other, or they are completely unrelated. If caused, what is the mechanism? If unrelated, then whence karma, rebirth, and other core Buddhist doctrines? If oak trees do not arise from maple seeds, then theres still something governing the illusory manifestations, and they are not arbitrary. Since this is the case, again, what is the mechanism, if not causality?


Relatively speaking, cause and effect are neither the same nor are they different. If they are the same, this is a problem, if they are different, this is a problem -- the sole solution and the one advanced by Candrakirit, et all in commenting on MMK is the one I just mentioned.

Anyway, cause and condition are thoroughy deconstructed in MMK 1.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12568
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:20 pm

deconstructed, but still only oak trees, and not maple trees, arise from oak seeds. sure, neither the seeds nor the trees are found upon analysis, but nevertheless, there they are, growing in your yard. So basically, the world we know, with people, things, causes and effects, is left intact on the level we experience (indeed, is our experience), or it disappears completely, upon analysis. The question is, what good does that do us? The only benefit that can come from this is to reduce and eventually eliminate any significance we assign to anything in our experience, just as we don't normally assign any significance to things that happen in our dreams or in hallucinations. They happen, then we wake up. This life happens, then we die.

By eliminating the significance, we eliminate grasping, and that reduces or (perhaps) eventually eliminates suffering altogether. That's the theory anyway. Based on my limited experience, I would say it seems to work that way.

So, things arise and disappear in our experience, and causes and conditions are fully operational, again in our experience. This would only change if experience were eliminated altogether. Does this happen when we die? Who knows (of course we know what various religions and philosophies say about this question, but ultimately thats besides the point if one is interested in "reality" as opposed to hearsay). Is there something called "enlightenment" in which experience disappears completely? Again, various religions and philosophies have theories about this, which, along with $2.25 will get you on the subway.

Right now, I assume that anyone reading this is neither dead nor "enlightened". So we all walk around and stop at red lights so we don't get squished. Causes and conditions. That's where we are.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 807
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:30 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:Causes and conditions. That's where we are.


Yes. But we don't have to remain there.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12568
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:35 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:Causes and conditions. That's where we are.


Yes. But we don't have to remain there.


wherever you go, there you are.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 807
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:31 pm

gad rgyangs wrote: wherever you go, there you are.

Wherever you are, there you were.
:tongue:
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:02 am

alpha wrote:Is tsal becoming rolpa once rigpa has been brought forth ?
Gotta love tech talk! :smile:
"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
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10207
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

>