The difference between causation and reflection

MalaBeads
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The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 12:52 pm

This is one of those important topics I think. While it is true that as soon as you open your mouth you are wrong (sorry, thats my zen background leaking out....) i would like to see more discussion of this. I am completely unequal to the task which is why I am starting this thread and asking for comment from others.

In another thread, chatter Holybla mentioned it and my own teacher Chorgyal Nhamkai Norbu has also brought it up but only briefly. Neurologists are now telling us that out ideas of causation function from an area of the brain that is inaccessible (ie what has often been called 'the unconscious') and consequently automatic and primitive. Consequently, when we assess 'what causes what' we are very likely to be in error. I wish i could think of an analogy but at the moment i can't.

If we can just make explicit and clear this one idea then we will have done a lot. But when I say explicit and clear, I realize we may have to go through a lot of blah, blah, blah conceptualization to get to the point where we can be brief, where anyone on the street could say "oh, why didn't i see that before?" Or better yet "Oh, everyone knows that." Philosophy has its place but not if it cannot connect with ordinary people.

Soooo......the difference between causation and reflection. What is it?
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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Grigoris
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby Grigoris » Tue May 14, 2013 7:59 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 9:17 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 9:51 pm

The other thing I would add is that it is fine with me if no one responds to this thread. I am happy enough to have asked the question.
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

T. Chokyi
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby T. Chokyi » Tue May 14, 2013 10:53 pm


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Grigoris
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby Grigoris » Tue May 14, 2013 10:58 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby Grigoris » Tue May 14, 2013 11:06 pm

Thanks T.Chokyi. It seems we were having terminology/language difficulties.

You mean what is the difference between apprehending phenomena through the Mirror-like wisdom (Skt. ādarśajñāna; Tib. མེ་ལོང་ལྟ་བུའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་, Wyl. me long lta bu'i ye shes) of Aksobhya instead of the karmically causal mental poison of aversion?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 11:18 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 11:21 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

T. Chokyi
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby T. Chokyi » Tue May 14, 2013 11:30 pm


T. Chokyi
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby T. Chokyi » Tue May 14, 2013 11:38 pm

Last edited by T. Chokyi on Tue May 14, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 14, 2013 11:43 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

T. Chokyi
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby T. Chokyi » Tue May 14, 2013 11:46 pm


MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Wed May 15, 2013 12:17 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

T. Chokyi
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby T. Chokyi » Wed May 15, 2013 2:52 am


MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Wed May 15, 2013 3:59 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

MalaBeads
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby MalaBeads » Wed May 15, 2013 5:18 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

krodha
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby krodha » Wed May 15, 2013 6:35 am

Malabeads here's a lot of blah, blah, blah conceptualization (or my blah, blah, blah conceptual interpretation I mean):

Causation would refer to the proliferation of the conditioned phenomena of dualistic mind. The phenomena of dualistic mind and ignorance originate dependently and therefore depend upon causes and conditions to exist. The condition is ignorance [avidyā], and the causation is the interdependent origination which occurs due to attachment and aversion. The mind beguiled by avidyā perceives duality and therefore acts and reacts from within that delusion. Those actions (of attachment and aversion), along with the subtle habits which sustain the ignorance, are one's karma. To overcome karma (causation) the mind which is trapped in delusion must be recognized as empty so that the foundation for karma's proliferation is disarmed. The knowledge which results from recognizing the mind's nature is vidyā [rig pa]. Stabilization and familiarization with vidyā will make it so a) new karma isn't being generated and/or b) the influence of karma which is being generated is greatly diminished. Once vidyā is stable, the latent karma, which resides in the form of propensities, then has to exhaust itself, the fuel which kept the fire going is removed so karma just burns out.

In vidyā, the aspirant recognizes that ignorance and the deluded mind are causes and conditions for phenomena. This is because vidyā is knowledge of the basis [skt. sthāna, tib. gzhi] i.e. primordial wisdom [skt. jñāna, tib. ye shes]. The basis is incapable of ignorance, so it has never been involved in affliction at any time. The basis also doesn't depend upon causes and conditions, and so one could say the basis is uncaused, but usually the basis is termed as self-originated primordial wisdom. Self-origination can also be looked at as unafflicted dependent origination i.e. spontaneous natural formation which is completely unestablished in any way. Spontaneous natural formation is lhun grub, and because lhun grub is inseparable from ka dag (primordial purity); from the perspective of primordial wisdom there is no establishment nor unestablishment of anything at any time (freedom from the four extremes). That is why the analogy of reflection is often used, because a mirror's capacity to reflect is never adulterated or sullied by reflections, and in addition to being dynamic and able to appear as anything, the mirror's capacity to reflect is also inseparable from the reflections. Primordial wisdom is the same way: wisdom's capacity to manifest appearances is never adulterated or sullied by those appearances, and in addition to being dynamic and able to appear as anything, primordial wisdom is also inseparable from empty appearance (empty, meaning free from extremes i.e. illusory).

Something I wrote awhile ago...
"...The mirror-analogy is commonly used in attempting to describe the 'nature of mind' and there is a common misconception which tends to arise from this analogy because the implementation of a mirror seems to convey a substantiated background (or unchanging source). I was attempting to point out that the analogy isn't meant to explore the mirror in itself as an unchanging basis, but solely the mirror's capacity to reflect. So the capacity is the aspect the analogy is exploring. Equating the nature of mind to the mirror's reflective capacity (but not the mirror itself). That the reflections are inseparable from that capacity, just like AEN elucidated with the fire-to-heat and water-to-wetness examples. That capacity isn't a conceivable quality, it isn't something which can be 'known' as a substantiated suchness. The capacity (to reflect) cannot be rolled, thrown or bounced, it has no shape, color, location, weight or height. There is nothing there one can point to and declare 'there it is!'. Yet in it's elusiveness it is still fully apparent in the presence of the reflections themselves. The capacity is evident because of the reflections and the reflections are evident because of the capacity, in truth they co-emergent and mutually interdependent qualities which are completely inseparable. Evident, clear and pure, yet unestablished, ungraspable and ephemeral."

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche used the capacity aspect as well in one of his Longde books....

"Our primordial potentiality is beyond form, but we have a symbol, and when we have a symbol then we can get in that knowledge. It is very easy to understand with an example. If you want to discover the potentiality of a mirror, how can you go about it? You can neither see or touch the nature or potentiality of a mirror, nor can you have contact with it in any ordinary way, the only way is to look in a mirror, and then the reflections will appear and through the reflections you can discover it. The reflections are not really the potentiality of the mirror but they are manifesting through that potentiality, so they are something visible for us. With this example we can get in the knowledge of the potentiality of the mirror...."
- Chögyal Namkhai Norbu


"Why then do we have this symbol of primordial potentiality? Primordial potentiality in the Dzogchen teaching is explained with three principles: sound, light and rays. This does not mean that sound, light and rays are manifestations, but rather that these are the root of all manifestations. When you have this potentiality then there is always the possibility of manifestations. If we wonder, for example what the potentiality of a mirror looks like, we couldn't say very much, we could say for example that it is clear, pure, limpid and so forth, but we could not really have contact with it directly through our senses. In the same way sound, light and rays are the essence of potentiality. When we have this potentiality, if secondary causes arise, then anything can manifest.
What do we mean by secondary causes? For example, if in front of a mirror there is tree, or a flower or a person, the object instantly manifests. These are secondary causes. So if there is no secondary cause there is no manifestation. Thus in front of our primordial potentiality there are all the possibilities of manifestation of the secondary causes....."
- Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

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Grigoris
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby Grigoris » Wed May 15, 2013 7:56 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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heart
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Re: The difference between causation and reflection

Postby heart » Wed May 15, 2013 12:06 pm

The difference between causation and reflection is self-liberation. Self-liberation is the only approach that is free from activity.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)


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