Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:18 pm

wtompepper wrote:Try reading the MMK, particularly the chapter where Nagarjuna discusses nirvana.

I would ask you to consider why you feel the need to ask me for sources, but never other commenter?
Because I have read and studied Nagarjuna and do not remember him saying anything of the sort. I never considered that asking for further information so that I could increase/clarify my knowledge would be construed of as negative.
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Indrajala » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:26 pm

wtompepper wrote:Gregkarvanos: That Nirvana is a conditioned state, a relationship to the conventional and not transcendent, is Nagarjuna's position. I take him to be a Buddhist--if you don't see him as Buddhist, you might have a lot of work convincing people of that.


He doesn't have a position.

The whole point of the MMK is to eradicate views.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:38 pm

25. Investigation of Nirvana
(Nirvana)
1. /gal te 'di dag kun stong na //'byung ba med cing 'jig pa med//gang zhig spong dang 'gags pa
las//mya ngan 'da' bar 'gyur bar 'dod/
1. If everything were empty, there would be no arising and perishing. From the
letting go of and ceasing of what could one assert nirvana(-ing)?
2. /gal te 'di kun mi stong na //'byung ba med cing 'jig pa med//gang zhig spong dang 'gags pa
las//mya ngan 'da' bar 'gyur bar 'dod/
2. If everything were not empty, there would be no arising and perishing. From the
letting go of and ceasing of what could one assert nirvana(-ing)?
3. /spangs pa med pa thob med pa //chad pa med pa rtag med pa //'gag pa med pa skye med pa
//de ni mya ngan 'das par brjod/
3. No letting go, no attainment, no annihilation, no permanence, no cessation, no
birth: that is spoken of as nirvana.
4. /re zhig mya ngan 'das dngos min//rga shi'i mtshan nyid thal bar 'gyur//rga dang 'chi ba med
pa yi //dngos po yod pa ma yin no/
4. Nirvana is not a thing. Then it would follow that it would have the characteristics
of aging and death. There does not exist any thing that is without aging and death.
5. /gal te mya ngan 'das dngos na //mya ngan 'das pa 'dus byas 'gyur/ /dngos po 'dus byas ma
yin pa//'ga' yang gang na yod ma yin/
5. If nirvana were a thing, nirvana would be a conditioned phenomenon. There does
not exist any thing anywhere that is not a conditioned phenomenon.
6. /gal te mya ngan 'das dngos na //ji ltar myang 'das de brten min//dngos po brten nas ma yin
pa//'ga' yang yod pa ma yin no/
6. If nirvana were a thing, how would nirvana not be dependent? There does not
exists any thing at all that is not dependent.
7. /gal te mya ngan 'das dngos min//dngos med ji ltar rung bar 'gyur//gang la mya ngan 'das
dngos min//de la dngos med yod ma yin/
7. If nirvana were not a thing, how could it possibly be nothing? The one for whom
nirvana is not a thing, for him it is not nothing.
8. /gal te mya ngan 'das dngos min//ji ltar myang 'das de brten min//gang zhig brten nas ma
yin pa'i//dngos med yod pa ma yin no/
8. If nirvana were nothing, how could nirvana possibly be not dependent? There
does not exist any nothing which is not dependent.
9. /'ong ba dang ni 'gro ba'i dngos//brten tam rgyur byas gang yin pa//de ni brten min rgyur
byas min//mya ngan 'das pa yin par bstan/
9. Whatever things come and go are dependent or caused. Not being dependent and
not being caused is taught to be Nirvana.
10. /'byung ba dang ni 'jig pa dag //spang bar ston pas bka' stsal to//de phyir mya ngan 'das par
ni//dngos min dngos med min par rigs/
10. The teacher taught [it] to be the letting go of arising and perishing. Therefore, it is
correct that nirvana is not a thing or nothing.
11. /gal te mya ngan 'das pa ni//dngos dang dngos med gnyis yin na//dngos dang dngos po med
pa dag//thar par 'gyur na de mi rigs/
11. If nirvana were both a thing and nothing, it would follow that it would be a thing
and nothing. That is incorrect.
12. /gal te mya ngan 'das pa ni //dngos dang dngos med gnyis yin na//mya ngan 'das pa ma
brten min//de gnyis brten nas yin phyir ro/
12. If nirvana were both a thing and nothing, nirvana would not be not-dependent,
because it would depend on those two.
13. /ji ltar mya ngan 'das pa ni//dngos dang dngos med gnyis yin te//mya ngan 'das pa 'dus ma
byas//dngos dang dngos med 'dus byas yin/
13. How could nirvana be both a thing and nothing? Nirvana is unconditioned;
things and nothings are conditioned.
14. /ji ltar mya ngan 'das pa la//dngos dang dngos med gnyis yod de//de gnyis gcig la yod min
te//snang ba dang ni mun pa bzhin/
14. How could nirvana exist as both a thing and nothing? Those two do not exist as
one. They are like light and dark.
15. /dngos min dngos po med min pa//mya ngan 'das par gang ston pa//dngos po med dang
dngos po dag//grub na de ni grub* par 'gyur/
15. The presentation of neither a thing nor nothing as nirvana will be established
[only] if things and nothings are established.
16. /gal te mya ngan 'das pa ni//dngos min dngos po med min na//dngos min dngos po med min
zhes//gang zhig gis ni de mngon byed/
16. If nirvana is neither a thing nor nothing, by who could “neither a thing nor
nothing” be perceived?
ka dang//gnyis min zhes kyang mi mngon no/
17. After the Bhagavan has entered nirvana, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as
“existing,” likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or
“neither”.
18. /bcom ldan bzhugs par gyur na yang//yod par mi mngon de bzhin du/
/med do zhe'am gnyis ka dang//gnyis min zhes kyang mi mngon no/
18. Even when the Bhagavan is alive, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as “existing,”
likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or “neither”.
19. /'khor ba mya ngan 'das pa las //khyad par cung zad yod ma yin//mya ngan 'das pa 'khor ba
las //khyad par cung zad yod ma yin/
19. Samsara does not have the slightest distinction from Nirvana. Nirvana does not
have the slightest distinction from Samsara.
20. /mya ngan 'das mtha' gang yin pa//de ni 'khor ba'i mtha' yin te//de gnyis khyad par cung
zad ni //shin tu phra ba'ang yod ma yin/
20. Whatever is the end of Nirvana, that is the end of Samsara. There is not even a
very subtle slight distinction between the two.
21. /gang 'das phan chad mtha' sogs dang//rtag la sogs par lta ba dag//mya ngan 'das dang phyi
mtha' dang//sngon gyi mtha' la brten* pa yin/
21. Views about who passes beyond, ends etc. and permanence etc. are contingent
upon nirvana and later ends and former ends.
22. /dngos po thams cad stong pa la//mtha' yod ci zhig mtha' med ci//mtha' dang mtha' med ci
zhig yin//mtha'dang mtha' med min pa* ci/
22. In the emptiness of all things what ends are there? What non-ends are there?
What ends and non-ends are there? What of neither are there?
23. /de nyid ci zhig gzhan ci yin//rtag pa ci zhig mi rtag ci//rtag dang mi rtag gnyis ka ci//gnyis
ka min pa ci zhig yin/
23. Is there this? Is there the other? Is there permanence? Is there impermanence? Is
there both permanence and impermanence? Is there neither?
24. /dmigs pa thams cad nyer zhi zhing//spros pa nyer zhi zhi ba ste//
sangs rgyas kyis ni gang du yang/su la'ang chos 'ga’* ma bstan to/
24. Totally pacifying all referents and totally pacifying fixations is peace. The
Buddha nowhere taught any dharma to anyone.
mya ngan las 'das pa brtag pa zhes bya ba ste rab tu byed pa nyi shu lnga pa'o // //
http://info.stiltij.nl/publiek/meditati ... karika.pdf
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Jikan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:08 pm

tobes wrote:Jnana is characteristically spot on.

I like the ethos and political trajectory of Speculative Non-Buddhism - but due diligence with respect to basic Buddhist philosophy (and indeed, sociology and anthropology) is never sufficient. Too many loose and unjustified claims are made - not only in relation to Buddhist thought, but also to Buddhist practice (in the west, and in other places).

That just weakens the whole project and approach.

If the Pali canon or Nagarjuna was read as closely and carefully as Althusser, very fruitful things could emerge.

But if the former are read through the interpretative lens of the latter, they become reduced to mere ideological tools for theoretical point scoring. Maybe that's the point?

I actually think there is potentially more at stake - but this requires a little more scholarly effort.

:anjali:


Nice to see you back here, tobes.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Jikan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:17 pm

wtompepper wrote:Try reading the MMK, particularly the chapter where Nagarjuna discusses nirvana.

I would ask you to consider why you feel the need to ask me for sources, but never other commenter?


In fairness to both of you: many of us make this move quite a lot on this board. It's not unlike analyzing any other kind of argument: we look for claims, evidence, and warrants (at least I do, and I know I am not the only one). It's not personal.

:cheers:
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Jnana » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:02 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:24. Totally pacifying all referents and totally pacifying fixations is peace.

Indeed.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby floating_abu » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:24 pm

Thus-gone wrote:Thich Nhat Hanh's use of the phrase "true self" or words like "permanent" or "eternal" is nothing new, and has precedent in the Zen tradition. A lot of Buddhists who are well-read in the scriptures and commentaries find this disturbingly similar to Vedanta. The problem is that, in Zen, we do not consider Buddhism a philosophical system but an experience, and, furthermore, regard all scriptures and commentaries as expedient means rather than as a body of definitive or normative doctrine. While Buddhists whose practice is primarily based on scriptural exegesis tend to emphasise the philosophical differences between Buddhism and other traditions, those whose practice is experience-oriented tend to accentuate the shared qualities of realisation. Thus, we use whatever language or idea suits the occasion.

I personally find the mad dash to reify the differences between Buddhism and other traditions ridiculous and comical. You have people of the same species (human) doing the exact same thing (sitting in meditation) using the exact same techniques (breath work, energy work, visualisation, inquiry, open awareness) and coming to remarkably similar experiences (liberation, unconditional happiness, freedom from suffering, spontaneous compassion, death of the ego) - and yet, because of our petty tribal mentality, we still have to put barriers between our "superior" culture/tradition and that of the barbarians, and all on the basis of language instead of actual experience. What baffles me is how otherwise intelligent people don't see the blinding animalistic stupidity this all is. Well, what else could expect from this species...


I guess until everyone tastes an apple, the definition of 'taste an apple' seems to be of paramount importance to many...

Meanwhile at the grocery store...
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby jeeprs » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:37 am

A minimalist interpretation of this topic:

The need to say anything whatever is regrettable. In fact the original meaning of 'muni', usually translated as 'sage', is 'silent one'. Often when people went to see a sage, nearly all the time he would be completely silent, as were the audience.

Secondly the truth is always already the case. It is not as if when the truth is realized, something has changed. The only thing that has changed is your misperception of what has always been the case. 'What has always been the case' is not any particular thing, state, or being. But for the purposes of pointing out one's misperception, teachers might use particular terminologies, and conventions of speech can be developed as a result. So coming to realize truth might be spoken of as realizing 'the true self', but that is also only a figure of speech, simply a concession to the requirements of verbal communication.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:22 am

Thus-gone wrote:Thich Nhat Hanh's use of the phrase "true self" or words like "permanent" or "eternal" is nothing new, and has precedent in the Zen tradition. A lot of Buddhists who are well-read in the scriptures and commentaries find this disturbingly similar to Vedanta. The problem is that, in Zen, we do not consider Buddhism a philosophical system but an experience, and, furthermore, regard all scriptures and commentaries as expedient means rather than as a body of definitive or normative doctrine. While Buddhists whose practice is primarily based on scriptural exegesis tend to emphasise the philosophical differences between Buddhism and other traditions, those whose practice is experience-oriented tend to accentuate the shared qualities of realisation. Thus, we use whatever language or idea suits the occasion.

I personally find the mad dash to reify the differences between Buddhism and other traditions ridiculous and comical. You have people of the same species (human) doing the exact same thing (sitting in meditation) using the exact same techniques (breath work, energy work, visualisation, inquiry, open awareness) and coming to remarkably similar experiences (liberation, unconditional happiness, freedom from suffering, spontaneous compassion, death of the ego) - and yet, because of our petty tribal mentality, we still have to put barriers between our "superior" culture/tradition and that of the barbarians, and all on the basis of language instead of actual experience. What baffles me is how otherwise intelligent people don't see the blinding animalistic stupidity this all is. Well, what else could expect from this species...


:good:

It's not just tribalism. Often the inception of this rivalry involved considerable stake in the patronage of the ruling class. Much was made of distinctions without difference by scholars whose livelihood depended on showing their own view to be preeminent. Meanwhile, the yogis in their forest and mountain retreats had little time but collegial respect and appreciation for their peers regardless of the which flag they were flying.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby ground » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:45 am

Jikan wrote:I'd like to learn what others think.

Buddhism cannot be critical since it is religion. :sage:
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Huifeng » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:28 am

wtompepper wrote:Gregkarvanos: That Nirvana is a conditioned state, a relationship to the conventional and not transcendent, is Nagarjuna's position. I take him to be a Buddhist--if you don't see him as Buddhist, you might have a lot of work convincing people of that.


bhaved abhāvo bhāvaś ca nirvāṇam ubhayaṃ katham|
asaṃskṛtaṃ hi nirvāṇaṃ bhāvābhāvau ca saṃskṛtau|| MMK_25,13

How could nirvana be both existence and non-existence?
Nirvana is unconditioned, and existence-non-existence is conditioned.
(trs. my own; ref. Kalupahana pg. 363; Inada pg. 156)

Ref: Zhong Lun,
《中論》卷4〈25 觀涅槃品〉:
「有無共合成  云何名涅槃
 涅槃名無為  有無是有為」
(CBETA, T30, no. 1564, p. 35, b29-c1)

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Dan74 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:29 am

Karma Dorje wrote:
Thus-gone wrote:Thich Nhat Hanh's use of the phrase "true self" or words like "permanent" or "eternal" is nothing new, and has precedent in the Zen tradition. A lot of Buddhists who are well-read in the scriptures and commentaries find this disturbingly similar to Vedanta. The problem is that, in Zen, we do not consider Buddhism a philosophical system but an experience, and, furthermore, regard all scriptures and commentaries as expedient means rather than as a body of definitive or normative doctrine. While Buddhists whose practice is primarily based on scriptural exegesis tend to emphasise the philosophical differences between Buddhism and other traditions, those whose practice is experience-oriented tend to accentuate the shared qualities of realisation. Thus, we use whatever language or idea suits the occasion.

I personally find the mad dash to reify the differences between Buddhism and other traditions ridiculous and comical. You have people of the same species (human) doing the exact same thing (sitting in meditation) using the exact same techniques (breath work, energy work, visualisation, inquiry, open awareness) and coming to remarkably similar experiences (liberation, unconditional happiness, freedom from suffering, spontaneous compassion, death of the ego) - and yet, because of our petty tribal mentality, we still have to put barriers between our "superior" culture/tradition and that of the barbarians, and all on the basis of language instead of actual experience. What baffles me is how otherwise intelligent people don't see the blinding animalistic stupidity this all is. Well, what else could expect from this species...


:good:

It's not just tribalism. Often the inception of this rivalry involved considerable stake in the patronage of the ruling class. Much was made of distinctions without difference by scholars whose livelihood depended on showing their own view to be preeminent. Meanwhile, the yogis in their forest and mountain retreats had little time but collegial respect and appreciation for their peers regardless of the which flag they were flying.


Very often I think it is a simple matter of semantics. After all it is not the people who have had the realizations who tend to argue, but the ones who haven't. And since we haven't even glimpsed the moon, we go "my pointing finger is better than yours" etc... Attachment to words, to views, to positions.

And sometimes it can even be reasonable - some positions are more likely to lead one down the garden path than others... And of course mine is the most direct and profound one!
Last edited by Dan74 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby jeeprs » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:33 am

Huifeng wrote:How could nirvana be both existence and non-existence?
Nirvana is unconditioned, and existence-non-existence is conditioned.


I found the 'Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra', which states in part:

It is not existent--even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
It is not nonexistent--it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, be realised.

If one says, "This is it," there is nothing to show.
If one says, "This is not it," there is nothing to deny.
The true nature of phenomena,
which transcends conceptual understanding, is unconditioned.
May conviction he gained in the ultimate, perfect truth


Source
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:08 am

The passage is not talking about Nirvana, it is talking about the nature of mind: the basis of nirvana and samsara.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Critical Buddhism and "full strength anatman"

Postby muni » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:58 am

Full strenght anatman. I have not the right feeling about the meaning of full strenght other than it is something about curd regarding wiki. Cannot be the case here I suppose. But it sounds powerful, bit extreme through my habits.

There is the example by the skandhas.

Then can you push something between a raindrop and wetness?
Me and others is clinging to I, an existence on its own, its biased dicrimination is others. Self and others are mind. Nondual nature; not two not one. Mind and its reflections, water and the moon reflection.

How can you be in two places at once if you are not anywhere? (could read something like this)

Compassion, is the problem? Goodness maybe? But goodness cannot be separate from emptiness and in that primordial goodness is no one who is good and who regulate the goodness. It is like the wetness and the raindrop- dependence-empiness
In Primordial Goodness/Primordial Wisdom (same) is no room for a concept which is dividing empty nature-compassion. Since it is all its selfless being. It is not like 'goodness' we know through apprehension/clinging.

This can help us: a negation of a nonexistence, a nonexistence of a thing on itself with characteristics. But when that thing is seen as a merely created concept, how can there be nothing when that isn't?


Trying to find out full strengt anatman-half strenght anatman. But without guidance and practice it remains concepts.


:namaste:
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