Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:38 am

Yudron wrote:Husung: The Dzogchen tradition does not have a dichotomy between relative and absolute truth.


So you personally believe in crow's teeth and turtle fur?
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:04 am

Furry turtle found in Sri Lanka!

http://www.gossiplanka-news.com/2012/06 ... amuwa.html

p.s. I've also seen horny rabbits! :tongue:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:05 am

Huseng wrote:
Yudron wrote:Husung: The Dzogchen tradition does not have a dichotomy between relative and absolute truth.


So you personally believe in crow's teeth and turtle fur?


I haven't come across references to crows feet and turtle fur, but in this amazing universe it wouldn't surprise me if something like that existed somewhere.

I believe what I see right now is just the result of having a human body with human eyeballs, brain, and nervous system. A tiny narrow band of reality.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:39 am

In Tibet, children are named after their birth, then they may receive a different name upon being ordained, and with further accomplishments receive other names. go figure...

It reminds me of the joke, how many children called John were born in the past year? None, all of them were Christened after they were born!

If we insist on being literal then why not go all the way? - clearly the idea of re-naming Tibetans in terms of their accomplishments is indicative of a kind of rebirth, taking seriously the doctrines of impermanence and rebirth - when the 14th Dalai Lama was born, surely it was the 13th Dalai Lama at that point in time, and was only named as the 14th Dalai Lama at a later date. As he was 15 when officially recognised then how can we claim that the 14th Dalai Lama was born of a womb - as we are being literal, then you need to explain how it is possible for a 15 year old to be born in this way.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:48 am

Yudron wrote:I haven't come across references to crows feet and turtle fur, but in this amazing universe it wouldn't surprise me if something like that existed somewhere.


Crow's teeth, turtle fur and flowers in the sky refer to phenomena that are never observed. This is from Indian philosophy.

The point is that arguing for the existence of phenomena that nobody has observed and that cannot be inferred as having occurred given reasonable evidence is foolish. It doesn't serve anyone's benefit to promote fantasy as reality and then conflate well defined Buddhist ideas with it to justify one's belief in the existence of phenomena nobody witnesses.

Plenty of people have ghost experiences or memories of past lives, which are evidence for the actual occurrence of such phenomena, but nobody witnesses infants literally conceived in lotuses and/or the sun being stopped in its tracks.

What occurs in the mental sphere of course is different. You can witness such things and they might hold great meaning, but our physical world conventionally operates on different principles.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:28 am

Well, truly--I ain't kidding--the idea of the two truths is strongly critiqued in the Dzogchen literature. This is a key point of Dzogchen.

And also, you may find folks who aspire to practice that path rather primitive.

The Mahayana is presentable to people, and the idea of the two truths is easily digestible with our thinking mind.

The inner tantras take the fruit as the path, and our practice is looking at the world and ourselves non-dualisticly, as a Buddha would. Seriously! Of course we lapse all the time... and my lapses are obvious.

So-- the sun does not stop "moving" in the sky, because human beings perceive that time is linear. Humans take a series of moments of the reflection of electromagnetic waves in the retina of a human eyeball... and make up a story that that "the sun is moving across the sky." It's just a concept.

Now--do some Vajrayana teachers leave out distressing ideas like 8 year-olds born on lotuses out of their public talks? Sure... probably most of them these days. But ngondro and deity practice is designed to make the mind more workable, more flexible... opening the possibility of a non-dual perspective.

Huseng wrote:
Yudron wrote:I haven't come across references to crows feet and turtle fur, but in this amazing universe it wouldn't surprise me if something like that existed somewhere.


Crow's teeth, turtle fur and flowers in the sky refer to phenomena that are never observed. This is from Indian philosophy.

The point is that arguing for the existence of phenomena that nobody has observed and that cannot be inferred as having occurred given reasonable evidence is foolish. It doesn't serve anyone's benefit to promote fantasy as reality and then conflate well defined Buddhist ideas with it to justify one's belief in the existence of phenomena nobody witnesses.

Plenty of people have ghost experiences or memories of past lives, which are evidence for the actual occurrence of such phenomena, but nobody witnesses infants literally conceived in lotuses and/or the sun being stopped in its tracks.

What occurs in the mental sphere of course is different. You can witness such things and they might hold great meaning, but our physical world conventionally operates on different principles.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:55 am

Yudron wrote:Well, truly--I ain't kidding--the idea of the two truths is strongly critiqued in the Dzogchen literature. This is a key point of Dzogchen.


The two truths or the negation thereof does not render fantasy a reality.



So-- the sun does not stop "moving" in the sky, because human beings perceive that time is linear. Humans take a series of moments of the reflection of electromagnetic waves in the retina of a human eyeball... and make up a story that that "the sun is moving across the sky." It's just a concept.


Conventionally the sun rises and sets. Ultimately there is no sun that could ever rise. The rejection of both truths renders speech insufficient, hence to speak of fantasy as a reality by virtue of negating the two truths is truly fallacious.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:30 am

Your suggestion is, that the lamas of the Nyingma lineage should condemn all the parts our lineage history that aren't believable to people in modern developed societies, and move toward promoting a Vajrayana that does not believe in siddhis... past, present, or future.
Yudron
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Sherlock » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:38 am

I am on my phone right now so it's not easy to link or quote from different threads but I'd like to point out Malcolm's posts in the Translating Dzogchenpa thread.

If you find faith in literal interpretations of miracles that important, go ahead. I definitely don't discount all miracles but evolution of narratives show very clearly that many of them have been exaggerated and amplified over the course of centuries. The biographies of Milarepa clearly show that, to cite an example outside of "Nyingma" proper.
Sherlock
 
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:21 am

Yudron wrote:Your suggestion is, that the lamas of the Nyingma lineage should condemn all the parts our lineage history that aren't believable to people in modern developed societies, and move toward promoting a Vajrayana that does not believe in siddhis... past, present, or future.


The evolution of hagiographical literature should be understood.

This is not to say that extraordinary and supermundane abilities do not and cannot exist, but for ordinary beings the sun rises and sets. To say it really did get literally stopped one day is simply ludicrous (as I said show me in ancient records another example where people witnessed the sun halting, which would have been a very big deal for the astronomers and historians of Europe, India and China).

On the other hand, there might be a symbolic or mystical purport behind such narratives where the sun is halted. It also might have been a vision given to disciples or something to that effect.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:43 am

Huseng wrote:
Yudron wrote:Your suggestion is, that the lamas of the Nyingma lineage should condemn all the parts our lineage history that aren't believable to people in modern developed societies, and move toward promoting a Vajrayana that does not believe in siddhis... past, present, or future.


The evolution of hagiographical literature should be understood.

This is not to say that extraordinary and supermundane abilities do not and cannot exist, but for ordinary beings the sun rises and sets. To say it really did get literally stopped one day is simply ludicrous (as I said show me in ancient records another example where people witnessed the sun halting, which would have been a very big deal for the astronomers and historians of Europe, India and China).

On the other hand, there might be a symbolic or mystical purport behind such narratives where the sun is halted. It also might have been a vision given to disciples or something to that effect.


The idea that literal interpretation somehow corresponds to ordinary beings' perceptions just seems a bit wrong. I'm not even sure it could really be said to come under the heading of relative truth.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:56 am

futerko wrote:The idea that literal interpretation somehow corresponds to ordinary beings' perceptions just seems a bit wrong. I'm not even sure it could really be said to come under the heading of relative truth.


If so, the sun did not get stopped in the sky at least as far as ordinary beings' perception goes. In which case there is no point advocating that this really did happen as far as conventional reality goes.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:04 am

Huseng wrote:
futerko wrote:The idea that literal interpretation somehow corresponds to ordinary beings' perceptions just seems a bit wrong. I'm not even sure it could really be said to come under the heading of relative truth.


If so, the sun did not get stopped in the sky at least as far as ordinary beings' perception goes. In which case there is no point advocating that this really did happen as far as conventional reality goes.


Maybe it was a particularly dull talk and time appeared to stand still? :tongue:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:26 am

The "ordinary" view is that things only appear a certain way and that there is in fact some real/literal Truth behind them, variously explained by ideas such as; God, the Devil, luck, fate, witchcraft, the C.I.A., the Illuminati, etc. etc., and is exactly what is refuted by the doctrine of emptiness.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:55 am

futerko wrote:Maybe it was a particularly dull talk and time appeared to stand still? :tongue:
Yeh, he probably started on that jaded old story: "remember that time I burnt down the Sandal Wood Forest..."

Actually, I find it hard to conceive of Guru padmasambhava giving a boring talk. But then again, I am a groupie! :tongue:
: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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9241
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:55 am

futerko wrote:The "ordinary" view is that things only appear a certain way and that there is in fact some real/literal Truth behind them, variously explained by ideas such as; God, the Devil, luck, fate, witchcraft, the C.I.A., the Illuminati, etc. etc., and is exactly what is refuted by the doctrine of emptiness.


Emptiness refutes the possibility of self-nature (sva-bhava).
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:38 pm

The sun appears to stop in the sky for three days at the solstices:

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120309124255AA64x93

So, the modern lama you envision could say--what a marvelous synchronicity that this event happened to occur at a Solstice!
Yudron
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby futerko » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:46 pm

Huseng wrote:
futerko wrote:The "ordinary" view is that things only appear a certain way and that there is in fact some real/literal Truth behind them, variously explained by ideas such as; God, the Devil, luck, fate, witchcraft, the C.I.A., the Illuminati, etc. etc., and is exactly what is refuted by the doctrine of emptiness.


Emptiness refutes the possibility of self-nature (sva-bhava).


...and yet you still insist on some kind of independent consistency to conventional "reality" - if someone sees the sun stand still then that is what they see, arguments concerning the objective truth about the sun are based entirely on the possibility of the idea of self-nature.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:07 pm

Huseng wrote:
Yudron wrote:Well, truly--I ain't kidding--the idea of the two truths is strongly critiqued in the Dzogchen literature. This is a key point of Dzogchen.


The two truths or the negation thereof does not render fantasy a reality.



So-- the sun does not stop "moving" in the sky, because human beings perceive that time is linear. Humans take a series of moments of the reflection of electromagnetic waves in the retina of a human eyeball... and make up a story that that "the sun is moving across the sky." It's just a concept.


Conventionally the sun rises and sets. Ultimately there is no sun that could ever rise. The rejection of both truths renders speech insufficient, hence to speak of fantasy as a reality by virtue of negating the two truths is truly fallacious.


I don't think Yudron is talking about fantasy or reality. I'm not sure who you're debating in that sense.

Apropos of the two truths, it's worth observing that Dzogchen is not the only Buddhist tradition in which the two truths are, shall we say, recontextualized. Tendai Daishi's teaching on the three truths suggests that the division of two truths is itself a provisional teaching. Ultimately, the truth is Buddhahood, immanent in all of samsara & nirvana. (I always thought that sounds a bit Dzogchen-y.) This gets expressed in "inherent enlightenment" (hongaku shiso) teachings in Japan.*

My point is that we are working with a point of tension in Mahayana traditions of practice generally. This is not an academic problem but a practical one because these doctrinal positions reflect different approaches to practice.

*I'm not claiming that hongaku shiso is fungible into Dzogchen, or that Chih-i was a Dzogchenpa... merely that Dzogchenpas are not the only ones who find the "two truths" framework entirely inadequate to practice.
Thanks to the help of generous sponsors (most of them from DharmaWheel), I'm doing a Vajra Armor (Dorje Kotrab) self-retreat this summer. May the merit be yours!
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4975
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Termas and Cultural Paradigms

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:51 am

futerko wrote:...and yet you still insist on some kind of independent consistency to conventional "reality" - if someone sees the sun stand still then that is what they see, arguments concerning the objective truth about the sun are based entirely on the possibility of the idea of self-nature.


Conventional reality has much observed consistency to it. Fire warms. Water moistens. The sun rises and sets. All organisms die.

There is no benefit in denying this.

The point really is that all of it lacks inherent existence, ergo it is empty. Emptiness itself being imputed, therein lay the middle way.

It is via analysis that things are empty that we halt grasping via reification. The sun still rises and sets, albeit observed with a different perspective.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

PreviousNext

Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

>