Huseng wrote: our reality is a result of purposeful action. Specifically, the collective purposeful actions of beings.
No, my understanding is that our perception of reality and the way we relate to events are the result of purposeful action. Otherwise, someone would have to take credit/blame for rain.
When it rains, it rains.
Whether you run from it or go out and play in it is purposeful action.
This is because events have no intrinsic reality of their own.
So, while it is said, for example, that a person who is greedy in this life will be born in poverty in the next,
this has nothing to do with whether that person is reborn into a rich family or a poor one.
Even if he is born into a rich family, we will never be satisfied, and will always perceive that he doesn't have enough
whereas, as person who is generous, even if reborn into a poor family. will not experience a sense of deprivation.
The key word in the passage you quote is variety , which is a conditional thing,
referring to characteristics, thus imputed by the mind, by karma and preferences.
So, it is somewhat accurate to say that "all existence including the universe is a result of volition"
but only in the context that all existence,
including the universe, is empty of intrinsic reality.
Otherwise, one is establishing not only the intrinsic existence of things,
but taking credit for their existence,
which would need an existent self as a prerequisite.
To say that the universe was created by beings
means that you have to start with intrinsically self-arising beings!
The point isn't that the entire physical universe is a figment of your imagination,
rather, that your entire perception of the physical universe is a figment of your imagination,
tainted by clinging and grasping and so forth.
To say that a material or physical universe exists or does not exist,
either inside or outside of the mind,
whether created by volition or some other cause,
is to impute some kind of intrinsic reality to it that one must then try to deconstruct.
Setting things up in order to knock them down.
"setting things up" is what Vasubandhu is talking about.
"knocking them down" is the occupation of
the philosopher who takes things to be real to begin with.