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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Could you please explain who this "us" is that you are representing? Also, perhaps you could tell us what lineage or teacher that you have, because all of the Tibetan lamas that I have met have taught about a view that is quite different than what you are enforcing. According to Longchenpa, Mipham, and Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche the hundred peacful and wrathful deities of the Guhyagarbha Tantra do not exist apart from us in any sense. There is no duality of us down here, and them up there in some pure realm.

"The Secret Essence Tantra explains that the entire universe-including our minds and winds-are the deity. Sounds, form, and space are all in the divine, enlightened state."
Khenchen Palden Sherab

The deities are actually symbolic of the purity of our aggregates and the elements, ect. The way I have been taught (from very Asian people, mind you) is that the deities in vajrayana are a symbol for our own enlightened nature.

"When you meditate on yourself as the deity, you are in fact meditating on your own true nature as represented by that form."
Gyatrul Rinpoche

This is not to say that the deities do not exist at all, for they are the sambhogakaya manifestations of enlightenment, which can take on any form. But to say that they are gods seperate from us goes against the whole teaching of vajrayana. Especially from the perspective of dzogchen there is nothing eternal about them, because they are just as illusory as everything else.

Also, who besides B. Allan Wallace are all of these scholars that we must accept as undisputed fact? Wallace is one person, and there are many equally intelligent and competant Buddhist thinkers out there that would disagree with him. So... are my teachers wrong too when they say that the deities are symbolic for the pure nature of our mind and experience, or are they just lying to us?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Astus wrote:
Samanthabhadra wrote:
First of all its not a fundamentalist approach, someone who goes with evidence is not a fundamentalist, stating that the earth is not flat is not a fundamentalist position. That's how silly your question is.


In Buddhist cosmology Jambudvipa is flat, surrounded by ocean, has Sumeru at its northern end and a huge tree in its centre. How does that match our modern understanding of a round Earth? It doesn't.


Do you know that according to Platonism, this world was made in the image of a more ideal real world existing in the platonic realm? So why do you assume when they mean Jambudvipa they are talking about this earth.

This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.

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My father is the intrinsic awareness, Samantabhadra (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ). My mother is the ultimate sphere of reality, Samantabhadri (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་མོ). I belong to the caste of non-duality of the sphere of awareness. My name is the Glorious Lotus-Born. I am from the unborn sphere of all phenomena. I act in the way of the Buddhas of the three times.

- PadmaSambhava.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:54 pm 
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My views are quite similar to the OP, and this thread makes me feel embarrassed.

I call troll.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:55 pm 
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CrawfordHollow wrote:
Could you please explain who this "us" is that you are representing? Also, perhaps you could tell us what lineage or teacher that you have, because all of the Tibetan lamas that I have met have taught about a view that is quite different than what you are enforcing. According to Longchenpa, Mipham, and Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche the hundred peacful and wrathful deities of the Guhyagarbha Tantra do not exist apart from us in any sense. There is no duality of us down here, and them up there in some pure realm.

"The Secret Essence Tantra explains that the entire universe-including our minds and winds-are the deity. Sounds, form, and space are all in the divine, enlightened state."
Khenchen Palden Sherab

The deities are actually symbolic of the purity of our aggregates and the elements, ect. The way I have been taught (from very Asian people, mind you) is that the deities in vajrayana are a symbol for our own enlightened nature.

"When you meditate on yourself as the deity, you are in fact meditating on your own true nature as represented by that form."
Gyatrul Rinpoche

This is not to say that the deities do not exist at all, for they are the sambhogakaya manifestations of enlightenment, which can take on any form. But to say that they are gods seperate from us goes against the whole teaching of vajrayana. Especially from the perspective of dzogchen there is nothing eternal about them, because they are just as illusory as everything else.

Also, who besides B. Allan Wallace are all of these scholars that we must accept as undisputed fact? Wallace is one person, and there are many equally intelligent and competant Buddhist thinkers out there that would disagree with him. So... are my teachers wrong too when they say that the deities are symbolic for the pure nature of our mind and experience, or are they just lying to us?


When did I ever said that the deities of Vajrayana exists separate from me? I am a non-dualist, please kindly see my signature.

_________________
My father is the intrinsic awareness, Samantabhadra (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ). My mother is the ultimate sphere of reality, Samantabhadri (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་མོ). I belong to the caste of non-duality of the sphere of awareness. My name is the Glorious Lotus-Born. I am from the unborn sphere of all phenomena. I act in the way of the Buddhas of the three times.

- PadmaSambhava.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:57 pm 
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This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


So the earth, solar systems and stars just magically came into existence with fully formed humans eh? Before there was any "life" to speak of, the conditions for life had to be developed, which suggests that "out there" does exist independently of the mind. Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.

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"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Quote:
even science is giving us additional valid reasons to believe that Vajrayana Buddhism is the true Buddhism.


I'm just going to chalk all of this up to a debate between absolutism or fundamentalism and, I suppose, those that practice here with an open mind and heart. I have always taken from the Dharma the sense that there are no dogmas, no sins, no strict absolutes. There is Dharma, and then there is the lamp that we hold unto ourselves, and use this Dharma as a guide through the samsaric world. The minute that I begin to argue that my lamp is bigger or brighter than your lamp, I start to miss the point, and the light grows more dim, and we start to lose our way. Sorry for the bad metaphors...best I can do in the afternoon with no coffee.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:59 pm 
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ghost01 wrote:
Quote:
This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


So the earth, solar systems and stars just magically came into existence with fully formed humans eh? Before there was any "life" to speak of, the conditions for life had to be developed, which suggests that "out there" does exist independently of the mind. Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.

This is not a very good argument, since it presupposes a materialist viewpoint.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:03 pm 
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This is not a very good argument, since it presupposes a materialist viewpoint.


Quote:
Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.


I personally dislike materialism, but I can't prove otherwise.. can you?

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"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Well, saying that the Buddha and the deities exist in an "eternal platonic realm" sounds pretty dualistic to me. The notion that they are "up there" and the ture believers "down here" can communicate with them also sounds pretty dualistc.

Either way, maybe you could answer a few of my questions that I posted.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:08 pm 
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ghost01 wrote:
Quote:
This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


So the earth, solar systems and stars just magically came into existence with fully formed humans eh? Before there was any "life" to speak of, the conditions for life had to be developed, which suggests that "out there" does exist independently of the mind. Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.



I think in terms of Buddhist cosmologies and modern physics, the question here is is what constitutes sentience...there were no living beings as we define them, but our view of what constitutes that might be misleading. For instance the Five Pure Lights seems to be an idea of origin that maybe fits fairly well within modern physics yet, still holds to a viewpoint where mind is ultimately responsible for reality.

Just mention it because the subject is interesting, I think the OP is a troll or just isn't thinking quite straight.

P.S. there are whole essays on "Buddhism vs. Platonism", I don't think it's very controversial that they are quite a bit different - in huge ways.

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"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:12 pm 
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ghost01 wrote:
Quote:
This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


So the earth, solar systems and stars just magically came into existence with fully formed humans eh? Before there was any "life" to speak of, the conditions for life had to be developed, which suggests that "out there" does exist independently of the mind. Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.


Have you ever heard of idealism? I think the observers came first and then the big bang happened.

Do you think I'm just playing around here without any evidence?

What we call reality is only a state of mind.

Its not my problem if the majority of the people in this world are ignorant of recent developments in science and religion.

_________________
My father is the intrinsic awareness, Samantabhadra (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ). My mother is the ultimate sphere of reality, Samantabhadri (Sanskrit; Tib. ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་མོ). I belong to the caste of non-duality of the sphere of awareness. My name is the Glorious Lotus-Born. I am from the unborn sphere of all phenomena. I act in the way of the Buddhas of the three times.

- PadmaSambhava.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Samanthabhadra wrote:
ghost01 wrote:
Quote:
This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


So the earth, solar systems and stars just magically came into existence with fully formed humans eh? Before there was any "life" to speak of, the conditions for life had to be developed, which suggests that "out there" does exist independently of the mind. Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.


Have you ever heard of idealism? I think the observers came first and then the big bang happened.

Do you think I'm just playing around here without any evidence?

What we call reality is only a state of mind.

Its not my problem if the majority of the people in this world are ignorant of recent developments in science and religion.


Hey you know what else Buddhism teaches? To not act like you are in this thread.

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"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:14 pm 
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ghost01 wrote:
Quote:
This is not a very good argument, since it presupposes a materialist viewpoint.


Quote:
Unless you can somehow prove mind can exist without life.


I personally dislike materialism, but I can't prove otherwise.. can you?

I cannot definitively prove it either way, but at least we experience "mind" directly. "Matter" is a theoretical construct.
And since we are on a Buddhist forum, I would like to mention that materialism is definitely not a Buddhist position.

CrawfordHollow wrote:
Well, saying that the Buddha and the deities exist in an "eternal platonic realm" sounds pretty dualistic to me. The notion that they are "up there" and the ture believers "down here" can communicate with them also sounds pretty dualistc.

Either way, maybe you could answer a few of my questions that I posted.

Actually, I have been curious about this for ages. Tantric deities are just representations of our innate nature, just our mind. But doesn't this apply to everything we experience? What exactly is the difference here between tantric deities and, say, devas or even other humans?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Samanthabhadra wrote:
This empirical reality, the earth, the sun, the solar system, the trees, the buildings do not exist out there in the physical world. It is all inside your mind and it is only a state of mind. Vajrayana is not concerned with this world at all.


In that case what does it matter what kind of imaginary world one lives in? A round planet, a flat peninsula, or a disc resting on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle as it slowly swims through space.

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:18 pm 
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We don't realize our own purity, and deities are an expression of the purity itself. I am certaintly not the best person to be answering this, but I would also say look into the meaning of the sambhogakaya.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Samanthabhadra wrote:

Vajrayana Deities are gods with whom you can have a dialogue with. That's what tantric Buddhism is. There is no arguing there. Of course the deities are to be considered in an emanationist sense.

Image



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanationism

Emanationism

http://www.kheper.net/topics/worldviews ... ionism.htm

"Emanationism understands the more subtle and spiritual realities as preceding and generating the grosser and more material ones, and not vice-versa as materialism assumes; and that moreover those grosser realities are the result of an out-flowing from the subtle, rather than being created ex nihilo - out of nothing - as the Theistic religions claim."


Emanationist

http://www.kheper.net/topics/cosmology/emanation.htm


"The Emanationist position then, is based, not a single Creator-Created Dichotomy, but rather on a series or "hierarchy" of realities or "Worlds", arranged "vertically" (inverted commas are used because these terms are simply metaphoric, and should not be taken literally). Each higher world "generates" the one below it through a process of emanation, and each therefore stands in the position of "God" or "Creator" to the level or grade below it. Thus, Creation is not Creation out of nothing, but creation out of the being of the higher hypostasis."

:pig:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:23 pm 
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So how can a hierarchy be non-dualistic?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:26 pm 
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CrawfordHollow wrote:
So how can a hierarchy be non-dualistic?

Well, isn't Trikaya system a hierarchy of sorts?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:35 pm 
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mirage wrote:
CrawfordHollow wrote:
So how can a hierarchy be non-dualistic?

Well, isn't Trikaya system a hierarchy of sorts?
No.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:35 pm 
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I think in terms of Buddhist cosmologies and modern physics, the question here is is what constitutes sentience


I suppose that is what it boils down to, but until science evolves quite a bit we don't have any real evidence outside our personal experiences. I'm really not trying to take the materialist perspective, actually I always welcome evidence contrary to it. But, yes it definitely is an interesting topic. :P

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