What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

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

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:31 pm

Namdrol wrote:


No, not at all. Rolpa is always internal, never external.



Yeah...sorry.I didnt formuate the question in the right way.I didnt mean to say that tsal is becoming rolpa and rolpa remains external .

And would it be accurate to say that at the moment of rolpa the field of sambogakaya is being actualized ?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:18 pm

alpha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:


No, not at all. Rolpa is always internal, never external.



Yeah...sorry.I didnt formuate the question in the right way.I didnt mean to say that tsal is becoming rolpa and rolpa remains external .

And would it be accurate to say that at the moment of rolpa the field of sambogakaya is being actualized ?


Tsal, rolpa, and gdang refer to what the practitioner is able to experience. Tsal is at the nirnanakāya level, which mean it can be observed by ordinary people.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:10 pm

Namdrol wrote:
alpha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:


No, not at all. Rolpa is always internal, never external.



Yeah...sorry.I didnt formuate the question in the right way.I didnt mean to say that tsal is becoming rolpa and rolpa remains external .

And would it be accurate to say that at the moment of rolpa the field of sambogakaya is being actualized ?


Tsal, rolpa, and gdang refer to what the practitioner is able to experience. Tsal is at the nirnanakāya level, which mean it can be observed by ordinary people.


i'm sorry but i don't understand how this relates to my question .
what is the relationship between rolpa and sambhogakaya?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:52 pm

alpha wrote:
Tsal, rolpa, and gdang refer to what the practitioner is able to experience. Tsal is at the nirnanakāya level, which mean it can be observed by ordinary people.


i'm sorry but i don't understand how this relates to my question .
what is the relationship between rolpa and sambhogakaya?[/quote]

Rolpa is the energy of the base at the Sambhogakāya level.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby alpha » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:25 pm

Namdrol wrote:Rolpa is the energy of the base at the Sambhogakāya level.



thank you Namdrol . :smile:
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby White Lotus » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:13 pm

water that is perrier is perrier water.

reality is reality, existence is existence. the two are not necessarily the same, though seen with the dharma eye both are one. energy and dharmakaya are one. reality and dharmakaya are one, existence and dharmakaya are one. (i am elaborating).

going beyond nature (the dharma eye) reality is just reality. whatever we say in analysis about reality is an elaboration. it is just experienced, not known. i have heard Namdrol say before that even the term emptiness is a convevience and not necessarily accurate, a mere label.

anything we can say about reality... it is nature, it is emptiness, it is energy, it is dharmakaya is an elaboration. reality is reality. reality.

what is reality? reality... what does that mean? it means reality. anything else is an elaboration and speculation, based on an experience that may be seen as an elaboration beyond the basic direct experience of reality. to even say reality ''as it is'' is an elaboration that implies existence. ''is'' just is, to say that reality ''is'' is an elaboration. just reality. reality.

at least thats how i see things at the moment. in a week or twos time i may see things differently. i am not attached to this idea if it can be proven unhelpful.

''wherever you go, there you are'' puts it nicely.

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in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:09 pm

I'll have what he^ is having! Image
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 04, 2012 6:20 pm

Namdrol wrote:
cloudburst wrote: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.

N


Mirage water and water (I think no need for quotation marks here ) are different.
Sentient beings can drink one and not the other. There is no reason to suppose that Buddhas cannot know this

More relevant, the most important point of view in any case IS the point of view of the deluded beings towards whom these teachings are directed, such as you and myself. Since these teachings have no function for anyone BUT the deluded, it only makes sense that they should be expressed in ways that address the actual situation of those deluded beings at whom they are targeted. This is why Chandrakirti exhorts us not to contradict the valid perceptions of the worldly.

So in line with these perceptions, we indicate the difference between actual water and mirage water verbally, and this convention benefits. To attempt to overturn it is not only a mistake, but actually obscures that path. Je Tsongkhapa understood this and that's why his crystal clear exposition of the path was found to be so useful to so many, quickly surpassing older styles of presentation in popularity.

Your problem is that you can't see that you are in a continual state of self-contradiction, claiming in the same post that there is NO difference between the two, and also trying to make the claim that there IS a difference from the point of view of worldly convention.

Namdrol wrote:Checkmate.

N


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

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 04, 2012 6:22 pm

conebeckham wrote:
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,


yes

conebeckham wrote: yet still deluded, and not the object of wisdom.


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

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
Having simmered in the likes of Jizang and Sengzhao, the Two truths thing seems fairly straightforward to me - is it knowable or cognisable? If so, it is illusory and conventional. To analyse is also to pursue illusion.


Your claim here would mean that one cannot know the ultimate, which contradicts both scripture and logic. OF course Buddha Shakyamuni, Nagarjuna and Aryadeva both analyzed and encouraged analysis, so it seems to me you are sawing off the branch that is supporting you.


Anders Honore wrote: Ergo, lay your machinations and ideas to rest asap and the rest will naturally clarify of its own accord.


I'll follow Buddha's advice instead.

Anders Honore wrote:This stuff is only confusing to those who do not follow the inevitable conclusion of Madhyamika and lay their conceptualisation to rest and instead continue to proliferate about "the two truths", "ultimate truth" and "reality beyond concepts."


I suppose I agree. We must lay our conceptualization to rest and end proliferations, but this will not happen without correct analysis. Otherwise simply relinquishing conceptuality will leave us peaceful and spacious, and stuck.

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,


you'll see a lot of this in Nagarjuna and Aryadeva as well.

Anders Honore wrote:As I see it, Madhyamika is eminently simple - Have a preliminary think about dependent origination until you are satisfied conceptually that the mind interpolates 'existence' and non'-existence' upon your experience which is the source of all your problems and that all views are fundamentally absurd and illusory. Henceforth, solve this root problem by emptying the mind of all views and ideas and abiding nowhere. Emergence of Prajna will resolve the rest.


best of luck.


Anders Honore wrote:Madhyamika is at heart therapeutic. It doesn't actually care about all the implications that can be philosophically extrapolated from its deconstructive presentation. Or, to use a phrasing from Jizang: Madhyamika does not present a correct teaching (and does not care to). It present a corrective one that refutes what is misleading. No more or less.


not bad


Anders Honore wrote: whereas in Tibet it has been mostly a dialectic tradition used to establish right view


This is it's proper function

Anders Honore wrote:and justify doctrinal positions, but taking a distinct backseat to tantrayana in the realm of practical application (even if these tantric practises are based on the 'view' of Madhyamika). Used for different purposes.


yes, probably too much doctrinal justifying going on, agree. I'm not sure about "backseat" though, in Je Tsongkhapa's tradition, it goes hand in hand with Mantrayana. We use Madhyamaka as a meditative technique, not just for refutation and proof. We practice the union of Sutra and tantra, and it is understood that there will be no Buddhahood without Tantra.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Fri May 04, 2012 6:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:
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.


Still waiting on those citations.

Namdrol wrote:Also, Buddhist logic never made significant inroads into Chinese philosophy,

And I'm afraid it shows


Namdrol wrote: and so we see in texts like Vigrahavyavartani a thorough rejection of the whole notion of valid cognizers


Still waiting on those citations.

Namdrol wrote:since in the end the notion of a valid cognition depends on notions of inherency.

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

Postby conebeckham » Sun May 06, 2012 3:55 pm

cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote: yet still deluded, and not the object of wisdom.


yes.


Well, if wisdom is only that which knows what is real, what exists, then......you've agreed that conventional appearances to mind are non-existent. Well done!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Mon May 07, 2012 9:13 pm

conebeckham wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote: yet still deluded, and not the object of wisdom.


yes.


Well, if wisdom is only that which knows what is real, what exists, then......you've agreed that conventional appearances to mind are non-existent. Well done!


Clever Cone. Very silly!

My claim is that conventional appearances are like illusions, although they are not themselves illusions.
If you fail to make the distinction, as Chandrakirti et al did, that there is a difference between an illusion and a barren woman's child, you are lost.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Mon May 07, 2012 9:33 pm

cloudburst wrote:Clever Cone. Very silly!

My claim is that conventional appearances are like illusions, although they are not themselves illusions.
If you fail to make the distinction, as Chandrakirti et al did, that there is a difference between an illusion and a barren woman's child, you are lost.


A barren woman's child does not "appear," except as a theoretical idea to the mind--a wholly imaginary concept. 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. 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. All such conventional experiences are illusions, with no existence, and all such conventional experiences are not the objects of Wisdom, i.e, for Wisdom, they do not exist. Without doubt, however, the appearances of samsara are myriad, manifold, and undeniable.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Mon May 07, 2012 10:56 pm

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.


true.

conebeckham wrote:
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.


so true.

conebeckham wrote:Without doubt, however, the appearances of samsara are myriad, manifold, and undeniable.
Without a doubt.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Mon May 07, 2012 11:27 pm

conebeckham wrote: To talk of various modes of "Existence" or "Reality" on the level of convention is misleading, at best.


Nagarjuna says in Ratnavali


"It is said that both the self and that which belongs to the self exist. They do not exist in an ultimate sense."


conebeckham wrote:...without positing any sort of existence or "reality" on the level of conventions.


Chandrakirti says in Prasanapada

Qualm: Even so, their views are similar in one way because nihilists consider the absence of an essence in things to be non-existence
Reply: This is not so. They are not similar because Madhyamikas assert that things without essence exist conventionally; these nihilists do not assert them at all."

conebeckham wrote:Appearances do function according to D.O., and the law of Karma, but there is nothing "real" or "existent" about any of this.


Chandrakirti says in the Avatarabhyasa

"What is this "reality?" It is the nature of things such as these eyes. And what is their nature it is that in them which is neither fabricated nor dependent upon something else; it is their identity as known by knowledge free from the impairment of ignorance. Does it exist or not? If it did not exist, for what purpose would the bodhisattvas undergo hundreds of hardships in order to know reality?"

conebeckham wrote:We do not deny appearances, but Indian Madhyamika, and the majority of subsequent Tibetan interpreters, don't posit any sort of qualified "existence" at the conventional level.


Buddha Shakyamuni says in the Perfection of Wisdom in 25,000 lines

"Subhuti answered, Venerable Shariputra, there is attainment and also celar knowledge, but not in a dualistic sense. Venerable Shariputra, attainment and clear knowledge exist as worldly conventions. Also stream-enterers, once-returners, never-returners, arhats, solitary realizers, and bodhisattvas exist as worldly conventions. Ultimately, however, there is no attainment, and there is no clear knowledge."


conebeckham wrote:But to assert a sort of "existence" apart from the so-called "inherent existence" is needless conceptualization


Nagarjuna's Praise of the Transcendent

You have taught action and agent
In a conventional way. You accept that they exist
in mutual dependence
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby asunthatneversets » Mon May 07, 2012 11:58 pm

cloudburst wrote: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.


Ok I'd have to respectfully disagree, how does a non-existent appear? A seeming error occurs, but that doesn't mean the subsequent erroneous misconception appears as anything other than an error. There was only ever a rope, the snake never appears, only an error of imputation which creates the illusion of a snake, which is only illusion. Samsara is the same way, it has never appeared as anything other than an error, you could argue that the error and samsara are synonymous, but within the error nothing is established other than ignorance, illusion, delusion(which is in truth likewise unestablished). The buddha taught certain things in order to create an accurate path to follow but it doesn't mean the elements of the teaching are existent. Nothing appears to anyone, only illusion/delusion which dissipates upon the establishment of correct knowledge.


cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote: Appearances, and specifically "form," appear to the visual consciousness, etc.


true.


I'd disagree with this as well, but I think my objection just comes down to differing view.


cloudburst wrote: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.


How is "awareness" any better than "mind"?

cloudburst wrote:
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.


The nihilist or eternalist aspects of the teaching address attachment to a view, which creates the illusion of someone who is attached. Saying the cake has no existence doesn't make one anything depending on how said observation is related to. Denying the use of a phrase such as "with no existence" is also denying something (just as denying the cake is denying something). If he's a nihilist for denying the cake you would likewise be one for denying the denial of the cake. It all comes down to how the view is related to, the true and accurate view stands alone. Accepting and rejecting anything, including acceptance and rejection themselves is still a product of delusion.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 08, 2012 12:32 am

cloudburst wrote:
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.


You seem to be forgetting the second part of the tetralema. Samsara is not a non existent. Non existents don't appear. This being a non affirmative negation doesn't imply the existence of samsara. Samsara is not existent, not non existent, both or neither.

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.

Of course you can. When you eat a cake in a dream where you are caveman, does the cake exist? You have the experience, but neither the cake or the caveman exist. Then can you say that the cake does not exist? It does, in the dream, or else how could you (the caveman) have tasted it? So after all can you say that the cake exists? If it exists, where is it when you wake up? The same goes for samsara that should be seen as a deluded experience. A mirage, a dream made of appearances that are empty. You are part of the mirage, like the caveman in the dream. When you wake up (realize enlightenment) there's no you or cake left anywhere. The mirage vanishes. There's no longer the deluded experience that creates samsara, which is not more than appearances, like those of a dream.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 08, 2012 2:25 am

All of this argument about relative truth is merely trying to choose one delusion over another.

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

Postby conebeckham » Tue May 08, 2012 3:12 am

I'd like to say it's merely semantics...and I do think it's all delusion; but any sort of qualified "existence" tends toward a reification of appearances. There's ultimately no need to posit anything behind appearances, as they are the unexamined experience of worldly beings. It is existence, in any form, as a conceptual overlay, which is utterly mistaken.

The charge of nihilism that is made against those who "hold" to the view of convention as illusion is based on a subtle materialism, or a lack of understanding that appearance can be asserted merely as convention, at the level of no analysis.

I don't know that I can explain it any more clearly than that- you all may hold your own views.
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