Wesley1982 wrote:Put in simplified terms - isn't dharma the same thing as the life force of the universe? . .
If you imagine that there is something called the life force of the universe
and you draw parallels between how you define that term,
and qualities by which you ascribe the word 'dharma"
then for you, a similarity exists.
But beyond that,
It's like asking "isn't it the same as god" or "isn't it like the ways french fries taste when they are still really hot" or whatever. "dharma" is a word that has a lot of meanings depending on the context. Look at the beginning of this thread.
I love to eat kim chee, which is a Korean food made from a spicy, sort of pickled cabbage.
My mother used to call it "Korean sauerkraut" even though it isn't sauerkraut at all.
but she called it that because she didn't really understand what kim chee is but she knew what sauerkraut is,
and they both come in a jar and they are made from cabbage and you eat them and so on.
But they are not the same thing.
Saying "is the dharma like this?" or "is emptiness the same as that" is the same game as calling kim chee "sauerkraut".
People make these kinds of comparisons when talking about the dharma
but it doesn't don't really make sense to do that
because in doing so, one isn't really gaining a true understanding of things,
but only tweaking some understanding of something else that they already hold in the mind.