conebeckham wrote:A barren woman's child does not "appear," except as a theoretical idea to the mind--a wholly imaginary concept.
The child of the barren woman represents a non-existent. But of course non-existents DO appear, you'll have to agree, otherwise how could Samsara appear? Why would Buddha teach about true appearance, the appearance of an object as truly existent? Non-existent things appear continuously to us.
conebeckham wrote: Appearances, and specifically "form," appear to the visual consciousness, etc.
On the conventional level, no one equates a theoretical idea borne in mind (Barren woman's child), with the appearance of a "form" ("The cake I see on the table"). A distinction is certainly made-on the level of convention.
There really is no need to say on the level of convention
here, becasue there is no other level on which to make distinctions between things like cakes and children. Ultimately, there are no cakes and children, as all agree. That understood, you can simply proceed with "a distinction is clearly made," and you have arrived at my point.
conebeckham wrote:But all conventional experiences, whether mere ideas, or so-called "perceptions of form" or other appearances (sounds, etc.), are of the nature of mind, not the objects of Wisdom.
I would prefer to say that all conventions are the nature of awareness, some are mundane awarenesses, and some are exalted awarenesses, such as the wisdom realizing emptiness. I think I agree with what you are saying here, although I would quibble about using the term mind in this specialized way without clarifying, as of course objects of wisdom means objects of wisdom-mind, which is a type of mind, or awareness.
conebeckham wrote:All such conventional experiences are illusions, with no existence,
Here you are, in trouble again. All such conventions, let's say a cake, are surely like illusions, but are not illusions of a cake. You simply can't say "with no existence" or you are a nihilist, at least verbally. There no difference between a 'cake with no existence' and a 'non-existent cake,' unless by 'existence' you mean a particular type of existence, ie essential existence. In that case, you should say so, otherwise you will confuse the issue tremendously.
conebeckham wrote:and all such conventional experiences are not the objects of Wisdom, i.e, for Wisdom, they do not exist.
conebeckham wrote:Without doubt, however, the appearances of samsara are myriad, manifold, and undeniable.
Without a doubt.