What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

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

Postby trevor » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:30 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
maybay wrote:How is it then that we can equate reality with illusion...?

Because the real cannot be found on analysis.


Too far. the real cannot be found upon analysis, but one can nourish one's body with food, but not with an illusion of food created by a magician. Therefore similar in some respects, but non-equivalent.


Illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression. Real cannot be found on analysis, but most people have the impression that it can be found. Therefore it fulfills the definition of illusion.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:53 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Too far. the real cannot be found upon analysis, but one can nourish one's body with food, but not with an illusion of food created by a magician. Therefore similar in some respects, but non-equivalent.



Who is the "one" nourishing "one's" own body ?

When we say "the real cannot be found on analysis" it doesn't mean that there is or is not a good definition of the word "real". It means that whatever you are talking about, the object or the subject, whether it is the physical arising cake or some generalized mental concept of cake, everything is composed of temporary events, every particle can be divided and so forth.
The fact that "real" cannot be found upon analysis is not because "nothing is real" but because "real" itself is a misleading concept, a bogus category.

Discussing whether cake is "real' is like asking if cake is loud.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:39 pm

Cloudburst, your assertions and examples apply on the level of conventionality. Convention, by definition, is the realm of experience of sentient beings. We can talk about correct and incorrect cognitions, etc., on the level of the seeming, but not on the level of the True, which is the realm of "being" of Buddha.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby maybay » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:50 pm

conebeckham wrote:
maybay wrote:Behind the illusory appearance is the emptiness, and we cannot speak of reality without emptiness. So when you say reality is illusion you're leaving out emptiness and that's why it doesn't look like Madhyamika. Conversely we cannot say that reality is emptiness because then we leave out appearances, and this does not conform to our experience.


There is no "emptiness behind things."

Who are you quoting? Dreyfus translates 'vastu' as 'things', which is not what I meant. Can we agree on the importance of nomenclature at least? I don't know maybe its just because I'm Capricorn I need all this structure.

How about this:
Reality = Dharma
Unreality / Imaginary = Adharma / Atma

Now you know how the Yogacarins speak of the triple division of the imaginary, the dependent, and the absolute.
So by this, reality is the dependent and the absolute, or conventional truth and absolute truth, or samsara and nirvana.

In the Diamond Sutra again, Buddha says to see 'this fleeting world'. So he means samsara. He cannot mean nirvana because nirvana does not change. So he didn't say to see reality as an illusion, only to see what changes as an illusion. See the dependent as an illusion.

So there're two things going on here. The one is the difference between Dharma and self. This is the bigger issue.
The other is the difference, within Dharma, between the dependent and the absolute.

The Hinayana teaching came first. These emphasised the bigger issue. Its only in the Diamond Sutra, which is a Mahayana Sutra, that a finer distinction is made, and we start talking about the dream-like quality of things. But this dreamy, illusory, psychedelia doesn't feature in the Pali Canon. Why? Because the self doesn't appear. It doesn't even appear, nor is it empty. Why? Because it isn't real. It is pure imagination.

Forgetting this, these fundamental teachings of the Hinayana, we dance into Mahayana scriptures and Madhyamika and whatever else and start substituting words like 'real' with 'exists'.
2500 years later some technocrat race is using this vague word: Illusory. And what do we think it means, from our own side? Its our word after all. Do we think it means
1. Imaginary? In this case we cannot say reality is illusion because clearly Dharma is not Atma.
2. Unimportant? In this case Dharma is worth our attention and Atma not. Reality cannot be illusion.
3. Apparent? If emptiness is the inner nature, then appearance is the outer display. The show. In this case I concede to 'reality is illusory'. It appears.
4. Deceptive? In this case something is illusory when it defies analysis, inspection etc. This is how it was used in the Diamond sutra, since nirvana is not deceptive and was not implied. (Perhaps the reason we often find 'like an illusion' is to protect against the nihilism of option 2, that illusions have no meaning and don't matter) You could contest that since reality includes both deceptive and non-deceptive elements (eg nirvana), it is surely still deceptive and therefore 'reality is illusory'. I don't believe this. When a Bodhisattva enters on the 1st bhumi he has captured the essence of the Dharma. Surely there are objects of knowledge beyond the 1st level Bodhisattva, but they cannot deceive him. As they appear he immediately understands them. Therefore 'Reality is illusory' cannot apply for the Bodhisattva much less the Buddha.

I don't see the value or the precedence for option 3. It seems utterly redundant to say that appearances are apparent. When I hear the word illusion I think option 4. The scriptures are the authority on language since it is their meanings we wish to acquire, but in the end its really up to you.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby trevor » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Time to unleash Namdrol :popcorn:
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby cloudburst » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:41 pm

conebeckham wrote:Cloudburst, your assertions and examples apply on the level of conventionality.


Exactly. Buddha's examples, too, are on the level of convention. Unless you think the five aggreagates, bubbles and plantains are the ultimate.

conebeckham wrote:Convention, by definition, is the realm of experience of sentient beings.


A better and more accurate definition is a truth for an obscurer.

conebeckham wrote:We can talk about correct and incorrect cognitions, etc., on the level of the seeming,


That's exactlty what we are doing. The discussion as I read it is about whether things are like an illusion or are an illusion. These things that are being discussed are conventional things.

conebeckham wrote:but not on the level of the True, which is the realm of "being" of Buddha.


To be more accurate, Buddha's abide in both truths. The truth body has both an ultimate and a conventional dimension, the enjoyment and emanation bodies are conventional truths.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:49 am

trevor wrote:Illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression. Real cannot be found on analysis, but most people have the impression that it can be found. Therefore it fulfills the definition of illusion.

thats the only sense in which existing things are an illusion: things themselves existing in impossible ways is a complete illusion.
however to say that things themselves are an illusion is nihilism.

in other words the former is talking about the object of negation, the latter is talking about the dependently arisen
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:28 am

trevor wrote:Time to unleash Namdrol :popcorn:


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

Postby trevor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:17 am

5heaps wrote:
trevor wrote:Illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression. Real cannot be found on analysis, but most people have the impression that it can be found. Therefore it fulfills the definition of illusion.

thats the only sense in which existing things are an illusion: things themselves existing in impossible ways is a complete illusion.
however to say that things themselves are an illusion is nihilism.

in other words the former is talking about the object of negation, the latter is talking about the dependently arisen


Why is "existing in impossible ways" the only sense? I don't see it.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:47 am

asunthatneversets wrote:[i]Suchness (nature of reality) free of all types of differentiation (all ignorance) appears in its one taste (beyond reference points) when these are all absent

and? because none of those things can be ascertained when seeing ultimate truth, this means what? that those unascertained things dont exist ie. are illusions? or that they are like illusions because their mode of existence was previously misunderstood?

If you listen to "external sounds" and then produce a thought, you'll find that they both appear the same way, you only take one to be internal because through habitual reification and conditioning this has become "commonsensical"... however that does not mean it's true, and earnest empirical investigation will reveal it to be a fallacy.

i see, you lean towards the mind-only position which denies external objects

yes, the cake isnt external, yet cake is still not asserted as being an appearance. when i say appearance i generally am referring to main minds. for example in the case of seeing a red flower, the appearance is the red mental aspect of the flower ie. the eye consciousness. likewise the cake that you put in your mouth is not a main mind, nor a mental factor, but physical form. because of this cakes are not illusion-cakes, appearance cakes, but actual cakes.

trevor wrote:What's wrong with "producing a misleading impression"?

are you trying to get rid of mistaken impressions about the cake, or the cake?
the cake is like an illusion means the cake is exaggerated with mistaken impressions, such as permanence or true existence.
the cake being an illusion means theres no cake there at all to call permanent or truly existent.
Namdrol said thats not what being an illusion means, because mirages of cakes are still something, namely produced mirages. but i think that just like you dont have a cake with the mirage-cake, neither can you have production with mirage-production
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby trevor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:10 am

5heaps wrote:
trevor wrote:What's wrong with "producing a misleading impression"?

are you trying to get rid of mistaken impressions about the cake, or the cake?
the cake is like an illusion means the cake is exaggerated with mistaken impressions, such as permanence or true existence.
the cake being an illusion means theres no cake there at all to call permanent or truly existent.


Interesting. Your "like" version is now exactly the definition of illusion (object exaggerated with mistaken impressions).
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:14 am

5heaps wrote: and? because none of those things can be ascertained when seeing ultimate truth, this means what? that those unascertained things dont exist ie. are illusions? or that they are like illusions because their mode of existence was previously misunderstood?


If an alleged object or appearance is finally understood to have never existed in the first place due to it's initial "existence" being nothing more than a delusional misapprehension; does said object or appearance therefore transfer to a different mode of existence so that it could be characterized as "previously misunderstood"? I'd argue that the initial delusion(object/appearance) never was... it never existed in the first place... so it can't be previously misunderstood because the initial object or appearance was a figment of one's imagination. In the end, if I had to choose between the titles of 'illusion' or 'like an illusion' to describe the nature of the initial misapprehension, I'd have to say 'illusion' would be most accurate.

5heaps wrote:i see, you lean towards the mind-only position which denies external objects

I surely do not, and I'm not sure how you derived that conclusion from anything I wrote. You're still coming from a position where the external/internal dichotomy is considered an inherent aspect of experience. From your point of view, yes, this duality appears as if it's being subjected to "denial" but that is only because you genuinely believe that your body is a container and your skin represents a dividing line between two worlds.

5heaps wrote: yes, the cake isnt external, yet cake is still not asserted as being an appearance. when i say appearance i generally am referring to main minds. for example in the case of seeing a red flower, the appearance is the red mental aspect of the flower ie. the eye consciousness. likewise the cake that you put in your mouth is not a main mind, nor a mental factor, but physical form. because of this cakes are not illusion-cakes, appearance cakes, but actual cakes.

While I wouldn't classify the cake under any of those designations you listed, I'll play devils advocate for a moment... when the only access one has (or will ever have) to a cake is via sensory perception, why and how would the cake you put in your mouth be a physical form? I'm not sure how you're delineating any sort of physicality or actuality. You're saying the taste of the cake is in the cake itself? The texture of the cake is in the cake itself? The cake possesses these properties?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:35 pm

5heaps wrote:
trevor wrote:Illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression. Real cannot be found on analysis, but most people have the impression that it can be found. Therefore it fulfills the definition of illusion.

thats the only sense in which existing things are an illusion: things themselves existing in impossible ways is a complete illusion.
however to say that things themselves are an illusion is nihilism.

in other words the former is talking about the object of negation, the latter is talking about the dependently arisen


Illusions are also dependently arisen.

"Things themselves existing in impossible ways" implies that things themselves can exist in POSSIBLE ways. We say, whatever appears is conventional "truth." Illusions appear, otherwise we could not talk about them or conceptualize them.

Madhyamika does not deny appearances. To do so would be foolishness. but neither does Madhyamika ascribe any "existence," whatsoever, to appearances, on any level of analysis. When examined, all conditioned phenomena are found to be illusory appearances with no reality.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:27 pm

maybay wrote:Who are you quoting? Dreyfus translates 'vastu' as 'things', which is not what I meant. Can we agree on the importance of nomenclature at least? I don't know maybe its just because I'm Capricorn I need all this structure.

How about this:
Reality = Dharma
Unreality / Imaginary = Adharma / Atma

Now you know how the Yogacarins speak of the triple division of the imaginary, the dependent, and the absolute.
So by this, reality is the dependent and the absolute, or conventional truth and absolute truth, or samsara and nirvana.


First of all, I was not quoting anyone, but taking your statement about "Emptiness behind the appearance" and running with it. You did say there was "emptiness" behind the appearances....right?

I don't know that we need to bring Yogacara into this, but I understand your point--your assertion is that the dependent is "samsara," or "things," or the dependently-arisen phenomena. Let's just stick with the latter term, as it's most specific, I think? Also, not sure of the need to make things more complicated by bringing Yogacara into this discussion about the "reality of dependently-arisen phenomena," in my view, but since you have, I'll try to comment from my limited understanding.

In the Diamond Sutra again, Buddha says to see 'this fleeting world'. So he means samsara. He cannot mean nirvana because nirvana does not change. So he didn't say to see reality as an illusion, only to see what changes as an illusion. See the dependent as an illusion.
Right. All dependently-arisen phenomena, in other words, as illusion. Not "like" an illusion. Those who directly perceive reality perceive the Truth of the Illusory nature of Samsara, this "fleeting world," whereas those who do not directly perceive reality can only conceptually understand the illusory nature of Samsara. So, to say dependently-arisen phenomena are "like" an illusion, implies a subtle clinging to some sort of "reality" of dependently-arisen phenomena. In Madhyamika, the "existence" of phenomena on the conventional level is only spoken of on the level of the "seeming," the level of no analysis. Mere Appearance. At any level of analysis, there is no "existence" that can by posited on dependently-arisen phenomena. From a Yogacara POV, as I understand it these days, we could say "existence" is a function of the Imaginary ("existence" as a concept imputed on the Dependent), and the Absolute is the Dependent purged of the Imaginary. Where does that leave the Dependent? Why, as sheer mere appearance, I think, which is all that can be said from our POV, as anything else we say about it is conceptualization, proliferation, and therefore of the Imaginary. But again, perhaps best to leave Yogacara out of this?

So there're two things going on here. The one is the difference between Dharma and self. This is the bigger issue.
The other is the difference, within Dharma, between the dependent and the absolute.

The Hinayana teaching came first. These emphasised the bigger issue. Its only in the Diamond Sutra, which is a Mahayana Sutra, that a finer distinction is made, and we start talking about the dream-like quality of things. But this dreamy, illusory, psychedelia doesn't feature in the Pali Canon. Why? Because the self doesn't appear. It doesn't even appear, nor is it empty. Why? Because it isn't real. It is pure imagination.

Agreed, the focus of the Pali Canon, as I understand it, is on the fundamental nonfindability of the Self. Mahayana expanded the analysis, if you will, to include so-called "external phenomena," which are equivalent to dependently-arisen phenomena.

Forgetting this, these fundamental teachings of the Hinayana, we dance into Mahayana scriptures and Madhyamika and whatever else and start substituting words like 'real' with 'exists'.
2500 years later some technocrat race is using this vague word: Illusory. And what do we think it means, from our own side? Its our word after all. Do we think it means
1. Imaginary? In this case we cannot say reality is illusion because clearly Dharma is not Atma.
2. Unimportant? In this case Dharma is worth our attention and Atma not. Reality cannot be illusion.
3. Apparent? If emptiness is the inner nature, then appearance is the outer display. The show. In this case I concede to 'reality is illusory'. It appears.
4. Deceptive? In this case something is illusory when it defies analysis, inspection etc. This is how it was used in the Diamond sutra, since nirvana is not deceptive and was not implied. (Perhaps the reason we often find 'like an illusion' is to protect against the nihilism of option 2, that illusions have no meaning and don't matter) You could contest that since reality includes both deceptive and non-deceptive elements (eg nirvana), it is surely still deceptive and therefore 'reality is illusory'. I don't believe this. When a Bodhisattva enters on the 1st bhumi he has captured the essence of the Dharma. Surely there are objects of knowledge beyond the 1st level Bodhisattva, but they cannot deceive him. As they appear he immediately understands them. Therefore 'Reality is illusory' cannot apply for the Bodhisattva much less the Buddha.

I don't see the value or the precedence for option 3. It seems utterly redundant to say that appearances are apparent. When I hear the word illusion I think option 4. The scriptures are the authority on language since it is their meanings we wish to acquire, but in the end its really up to you.


Okay, here's where we get to to crux of this whole "Illusion vs. Illusion-like" issue. No one is saying "REALITY is ILLUSORY." What people are saying is that dependently-arisen phenomena are illusory," or, in other words, that which we posit as phenomenal reality, things, objects, and even sentient beings, truly have no reality upon analysis. But Reality, qua reality, is not merely illusory appearance. However, the Mind of the Buddha is the sole realm of understanding Reality. We, unfortunately, have only appearance and conceptual proliferation about it.

To briefly address your four points: First, Dependently-arisen phenomena are not "imaginary," in the sense I take for your first point--they appear externally, as do illusions. Yogacara posits the "Dependent" and, as far as I can tell, the Dependent appears, even when "purged" of the Imaginary. (How, and from whence it appears, is another thing entirely--but let's leave that out, eh?--Yogacara might say "they APPEAR to appear externally"- :smile: ) From the Madhyamika POV, Appearance is unquestioned, unanalyzed, the realm of normal sentient beings-but Madhyamika does not deny Appearance, at the level of the Seeming.

Taking "Illusion" to be unimportant is not appropriate, either. This is because we, as illusory Sentient Beings, ignorant and mired in Samsara, must abide by the Law of Karma, and Dependent Origination. Conceptual understanding of the emptiness of dependently-arisen phenomena, the fact that they are illusions, is not sufficient to banish the illusion--you may understand that a movie is a projection of light and color onto a two-dimensional screen, but while experiencing the movie you will likely be moved, emotionally, and will conceptualize the plot, characters, etc. The Movie Still Appears, and causes reactions and results.

Now, with regard to "reality" being "apparent," well--only dependently-arisen phenomena "appear" to us, as sentient beings. Emptiness does not. Therefore, we cannot say that "reality is (merely) apparent." Appearances, which are dependently-arisen phenomena, are not the sum total of "reality," if we are to believe the Buddha, Nagarjuna, etc. Correct? We can, however, say that Appearances are Illusions, and not write off reality entirely, because Buddhism teaches that there is "something" (for lack of a better word, and because of the limitations of language,) beside that which appears. This does not negate appearance. Neither does it ascribe "reality" to appearance. Buddhism asserts a direct experience of Reality, beyond mere appearance of things.

Finally, with regard to "reality" being deceptive, this absolutely cannot be the case, following from my points above. Reality is Truth. Truth is the realm of the Buddha Mind. Appearances, however, of themselves, are ultimately deceptive, if they are viewed as the total of reality, as sentient beings habitually view them. However, if one has a conceptual understanding of the illusory nature of appearances, this is a step forward toward the Truth, and Reality. Ultimately, though, direct experience of Truth, Reality, transcends conceptuality and appearances--but it never negates them, per se.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:30 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:You're still coming from a position where the external/internal dichotomy is considered an inherent aspect of experience.

not an inherent aspect of experience, just an existing aspect of experience.
however since you think neither objects nor experiences of objects "ever existed in the first place", you negate both inherent and general experience.

trevor wrote:Your "like" version is now exactly the definition of illusion (object exaggerated with mistaken impressions).

no, because its not the cakes fault that there is exaggeration.
the exaggeration comes from the apprehending mind which is viewing the actual (not-an-illusion) cake.
and when people say "the cake is an illusion", thats an ontological statement about the cake.

conebeckham wrote:Illusions are also dependently arisen.

thats what Namdrol said, but is that really true?

noone will accept that in an illusion of a cake there is a cake.
so what does this mean? that the causes and conditions that brought about the mere appearance of a cake are not illusions, with the main point being just that the cake is an illusion because it is merely an appearance?

or do we also want to say that the causes and conditions are illusions? in which case, how can something which isnt there function to bring about the illusion of a cake?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:48 pm

5heaps wrote:noone will accept that in an illusion of a cake there is a cake.
so what does this mean? that the causes and conditions that brought about the mere appearance of a cake are not illusions, with the main point being just that the cake is an illusion because it is merely an appearance?

or do we also want to say that the causes and conditions are illusions? in which case, how can something which isnt there function to bring about the illusion of a cake?


The causes and conditions that brought about the cake are as illusory as the cake, as are all conditioned phenomena, since beginningless time. Results, causes, all partake equally of the rootlessness of dependent origination, and all are equally illusory.

5Heaps, you assert that no one will accept that "in the illusion of a cake, there is a cake." Yet, we do this all the time. When you watch a movie-going back to one of my favorite examples- you feel the existence of real human beings, you partake of emotional responses, you follow the plot, make judgements about the characters, etc. All the while, you're merely perceiving two-dimensional images projected onto a screen. You know, when you think about it, that this is the truth of the matter, but when you are merely watching the movie, not analysing it, you certainly buy into the illusion as a reality.

I cried at the end of "Old Yeller." How about you? :shrug:
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby trevor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:51 pm

5heaps wrote:
trevor wrote:Your "like" version is now exactly the definition of illusion (object exaggerated with mistaken impressions).

no, because its not the cakes fault that there is exaggeration.
the exaggeration comes from the apprehending mind...


All illusions are exactly like that, aren't they? The illusion itself is never at fault, because only a mind can exaggerate. Or can you give an example where it is not so?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:33 pm

trevor wrote:
5heaps wrote:
trevor wrote:Your "like" version is now exactly the definition of illusion (object exaggerated with mistaken impressions).

no, because its not the cakes fault that there is exaggeration.
the exaggeration comes from the apprehending mind...


All illusions are exactly like that, aren't they? The illusion itself is never at fault, because only a mind can exaggerate.

yes illusions are always like that. in other words, dependently arisen objects are never illusions, theyre always validly existing, possessing natural nirvana. the illusion is always contained in the mind and so at best what we can say about valid objects is that they are like an illusion because of the pure fantasy inside the mind apprehending them. nevertheless, from the point of view of the fantasy inside the mind, everything is an illusion, or worse, "there is no body", "there is no mind", "there is no suffering", etc. gas doesnt make the car run, going to work doesnt make you money, lying at work doesnt get you the promotion, etc.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:58 pm

cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote:We can talk about correct and incorrect cognitions, etc., on the level of the seeming,


That's exactlty what we are doing. The discussion as I read it is about whether things are like an illusion or are an illusion. These things that are being discussed are conventional things.

conebeckham wrote:but not on the level of the True, which is the realm of "being" of Buddha.


To be more accurate, Buddha's abide in both truths. The truth body has both an ultimate and a conventional dimension, the enjoyment and emanation bodies are conventional truths.


Well, the topic of the thread is "concept of reality in Buddhism." I think we can say that Reality cannot be known conceptually, but only directly, as the object of the Mind of Buddha, so to speak. So, we remain, indeed, on the conventional dimension, agreed! This dimension is the one we experience, and the one where phenomena appear. My understanding of Buddhism, in general, is that conventional things, including appearances, are illusory. Nevertheless, they do appear, as does an illusion.

My understanding of Buddhism also leads me to say that the "Buddha" does indeed have two dimensions, as you note--but in fact, the Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya are "illusory" bodies--at all times inseperable from the Dharmakaya, which is the Truth body, or the Body of Reality, of course, but nonetheless illusory appearance.

A concise statement that may be subject to disagreement is that, in Reality, only the Absolute Truth is True, while the conventional truth is provisional, and therefore not ultimately real.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:50 am

5heaps wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:You're still coming from a position where the external/internal dichotomy is considered an inherent aspect of experience.

not an inherent aspect of experience, just an existing aspect of experience.
however since you think neither objects nor experiences of objects "ever existed in the first place", you negate both inherent and general experience.


You assume it's an existing aspect of experience, and I don't doubt that it may legitimately seem that way. But is it really an existent aspect? Or could it be that in your presence everything simply seems to appear without claiming to be anything in particular? Imputation delegates all divisions, borders, dichotomies, dualities etc. and experience then conforms to those specifications.

Objects (and experiences of objects) certainly seem to exist and their presence is no doubt compelling, however just as others have suggested in this thread: these objects really don't stand up to thorough investigation. Experience is multi-faceted and can appear in a myriad of ways. Though it may seem to be concretely solidified and endowed with it's own innate laws and principles which govern the way it manifests, this is not the case. Reality is flexible and malleable, able to appear in one manner when influenced a certain way and another when an alternate perception is taken. All fully dependent on the point of view and perception championed. If one is (as it seems you suggest) merely a pawn subject to the rules and regulations of a separately existent reality, established and alien to us as individuals, then how could liberation and enlightenment be possible? Why would the great conquerors claim to have passed beyond the clutches of birth and death, transcending limitation, delusion, affliction and suffering? They didn't accomplish this feat by escaping the trap, but by seeing that there was no trap to begin with. And this realization flowered upon the discovery that the trap and trapped were indeed the very same illusion. The only obstacle to freedom is oneself.
asunthatneversets
 
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