Porkchop: you're a very careless reader. Where do I claim that Nagarjuna never quotes sutras? I said that sutras are not "evidence" of anything; rather, their truth must be argued for--which Nagarjunas does at great length.
Oh, I freely admit the reading comprehension of an ADHD kindergartener on crack, but the point i was trying to make was this:
you said, and I quote
We see this attachment most strongly when someone quotes sutras as “evidence” of a truth, for instance.
to quote Nagarjuna:
25. Those who see essence and essential difference
And entities and nonentities,
They do not see
The truth taught by the Buddha.
26. The Victorious One, through knowledge
Of reality and unreality,
In the Discourse to Katyayana
Refuted both “it is” and “it is not”.
27. The Victorious Conqueror has said that whatever
Is deceptive is false.
are all deceptive.
Therefore they are all false.
We see here that Nagarjuna quotes Sutra as "evidence" for a truth, ie. that compounded phenomena are deceptive and therefore they are false.
According to you this denotes attachment, but you then go on to say that Nagarjuna did not do this.
If you have a definition of "permanent" other than "lasting unchanged indefinitely", then my use of term may indeed seem "suspect" to you--I used the term in its ordinary sense, assuming that would be clear enough.
My issue was with this quote:
The dominant approach here seems to be what I call the "half-strength" version of anatman, which still believes in some kind of essence or consciousness that is permanent and separate from the phenomenal world--and while it may be possible to persuade someone of this version of anatman with kind words (I think Thich Nhat Hanh has succeeded at doing so for many Americans), this is not a goal I would be interested in, because it seems to me that it only makes it that much harder to later accept the full-strength understanding of anatman.
Because I disagree with the assessment that TNH teaches anatta as "lasting unchanged indefinitely".
Heck, TNH's "Interbeing" explicitly states "impermanence". http://spot.colorado.edu/~chernus/Nonvi ... atHanh.htmhttp://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... st%204.htm
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:
Dear Thay, yesterday you spoke about contemplating impermanence in accordance with the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. My question is this: when we contemplate impermanence, do we include in that contemplation the phenomena of time and space? Should they also be considered as impermanent?
We know that when we really touch the nature of impermanence, we also touch the nature of interbeing. Impermanence makes life possible, makes things possible. To be impermanent means not to be the same thing in two consecutive moments, and there is always something coming in and something going out. Every thing is interacting with every other thing, and therefore touching impermanence is also touching interbeing. Interbeing means you don’t have a separate existence, you inter-are with everything else.
When we contemplate space, we know that space cannot be space by itself alone. Space has to interbe with time and matter, and everything. When we look into the nature of space, we also touch the nature of impermanence, we also touch the nature of interbeing, and we can see everything else in space. We can see matter in space; we can see time in space. Suppose we talk about spring. What is spring? Spring sounds like time—spring is followed by summer, then fall and winter—but spring is very much involved with space, because when it is spring here in Europe, it is not spring in Australia. So we know that in space there is time, and in time there is space. Even what we call the present moment cannot be by itself alone. The present moment has to be with past moments and future moments.
When you look at the sun in the morning—where I sit in the morning I always see the sun rising from the horizon—you might think that you are seeing the sun of the present moment; but scientists tell us that that is the sun of eight minutes ago. The image of the sun you see is an image sent by the sun to you eight minutes ago. So the present moment has to do with space, not only with time. But you can still live in the present moment even if you know that this is the image of the sun eight minutes ago. The present moment has to do with the "here", and therefore time and space are not separate entities, and looking into the one, we see the all. The insight of interbeing helps us to understand better the nature of non-self, the nature of impermanence.
Many teachers, many philosophers, spoke about impermanence. Heraclitus and Confucius also spoke about impermanence, but the impermanence spoken of by the Buddha is not a philosophy. It is an instrument for your practice of looking deeply. So use the key of impermanence in order to unlock the door of reality, and when you use the key of impermanence you unlock the nature of interbeing, of no self, of emptiness. That is why you should not look on impermanence as a notion, a theory, or a philosophy, but as an instrument offered by the Buddha so that we can practice looking deeply and discover the true nature of reality.