Empirical data and sunyata

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Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:00 pm

We assume that the laws or facts of nature are discovered, and say that they exist because they can be proven objectively. Anyone can grab a stone from the ground and drop it to perceive the forces of gravity. How can this be doubted?

Nevertheless the concept of gravity is deduced, not from empirical data, but from our conception of it. Knowledge is required in order to verify data as 'empirical'. What are these 'facts' apart from our cognition of it? Empirical data is according to wiktionary: "Data derived from reliable measurement or observation."

Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event.

Henceforth we may readily understand that gravity is not infact a force to which we are subject, but is infact our cognition of a concept, extended serially, so as to be perceived as 'gravity'.

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The reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:44 pm

I agree.

In current theory gravity, is considered not as it was once considered....From Wiki..."In 2009, Erik Verlinde disclosed a conceptual theory that describes gravity as an entropic force.[3] On January 6, 2010 he published a preprint of a 29 page paper titled "On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton".[4] Reversing the logic of over 300 years, it argued that gravity is a consequence of the laws of thermodynamics. This theory combines the thermodynamic approach to gravity with Gerardus 't Hooft's holographic principle. If proven correct, this implies gravity is not a fundamental interaction, but an emergent phenomenon which arises from the statistical behavior of microscopic degrees of freedom encoded on a holographic screen. The paper drew a variety of responses from the scientific community. Andrew Strominger, a string theorist at Harvard said “Some people have said it can’t be right, others that it’s right and we already knew it — that it’s right and profound, right and trivial."[5]"

A bit aside the topic that... but this.."Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event".
To my personal opinion it must be reinforced that any measurement or observation is cognition but only of a event.....That being a interactional relationship. Nothing is understood in isolation as everything is only in relationship.

We can never seemingly cognicize a thing seperate from its mileau as
how we observe and measure is of mileau. Is gravity itself as mechanism of action, a concept.....I'd say probably not. Gravity as name or solely considered for deductive purpose certainly is.
Can the conceptual focus of mind produce a conceptually assumed realm which appears all singular and thusly conceptual......certanly, I'd say that is our realm as perceived.
But also is that that would not speak to the absolute nature of things but only that absolute nature is a falsehood. So cognition of a singular object gravity is a falsehood. Is gravity understood as relationship a falsehood...no. Considering also that what we perceive we in a sense create, we perceive a singlular thing gravity doing a certain thing but that is invariably a construct or concept of what it is and does

So I agree with qualifier. Perhaps what is being stated is the same....I'm not absolutely certain so I add the qualifier.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby 5heaps » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:51 pm

i disagree :pig:

norman wrote:The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.
"moon" is an imputed name/concept, but the moon is what that words 'the moon' refer to.

sautrantika deals with "moon", emptiness deals with the moon.

the fact that sautrantika (Master Dharmakirti) goes on and on about how dunchis (don spyi) such as "moon" are imputed shows that this isnt emptiness, since noone asserts that sautrantika teaches emptiness, they teach selflessness. however, they do teach imputation on a coarser level, which is why they are so invaluable. Dalai Lama on coarse vs subtle imputation
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:11 pm

I offer my appologies and would withdraw my comment in total but would leave a blank spot of unknown origin.

If one is simply discussing what qualifies as a term or definition I won't participate.
I saw it in the heading but the content and place on the board in lounge... seemed to imply logical consideration as sole basis.
So I withdraw comment :oops:
My appologies.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:58 am

norman wrote:Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event.
Henceforth we may readily understand that gravity is not infact a force to which we are subject, but is infact our cognition of a concept, extended serially, so as to be perceived as 'gravity'.
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The reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.

There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:41 am

Sherab wrote:There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.


This assumption, this concept (perceived idea), is a cause of attachment in the Prajnaparamita.

On phenomena/appearances:

Their true nature is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature; for all dharmas have one mark only, i.e. no mark ... for there are not two natures of dharma, but just one single is the nature of all dharmas. And the true nature of all dharmas is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature. It is thus that all points of possible attachment are abandoned.


- Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines, chapter 8

That is, the true nature of phenomenal manifestation is no-nature, or of all ideas of 'reality', for all of 'that' are dharmas, concepts (moons and cars and bodhisattvas).

And the true nature of all dharmas is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature.

Once again, the reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon and the stars are not "up there", they are exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive them:
integral in their perceiving, for there are not two natures of dharma, but just one single is the nature of all dharmas.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:59 am

Sure, the true nature of all phenomena is their no-nature. Because of no-nature, there can be illusory appearances with illusory characteristics. But this need not mean that the illusory characteristics are "exactly where and how we perceive them." Why? Because even when a sentient being dies, the illusory characteristics will still be 'out there'.

norman wrote:
Sherab wrote:There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.


This assumption, this concept (perceived idea), is a cause of attachment in the Prajnaparamita.

On phenomena/appearances:

Their true nature is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature; for all dharmas have one mark only, i.e. no mark ... for there are not two natures of dharma, but just one single is the nature of all dharmas. And the true nature of all dharmas is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature. It is thus that all points of possible attachment are abandoned.


- Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines, chapter 8

That is, the true nature of phenomenal manifestation is no-nature, or of all ideas of 'reality', for all of 'that' are dharmas, concepts (moons and cars and bodhisattvas).

And the true nature of all dharmas is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature.

Once again, the reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon and the stars are not "up there", they are exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive them:
integral in their perceiving, for there are not two natures of dharma, but just one single is the nature of all dharmas.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby 5heaps » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:16 am

norman wrote:This assumption, this concept (perceived idea), is a cause of attachment in the Prajnaparamita.
so the meaning of "Their true nature is a no-nature" is that external objects are not actually external objects, rather than that external objects have no inherent/true existence?
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:18 am

5heaps wrote:
norman wrote:This assumption, this concept (perceived idea), is a cause of attachment in the Prajnaparamita.
so the meaning of "Their true nature is a no-nature" is that external objects are not actually external objects, rather than that external objects have no inherent/true existence?

Some will choose to interpret that external objects have no inherent existence (thereby leaving dependent existence untouched). Others will choose to interpret that external object have no existence (both inherent and dependent existence).
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby 5heaps » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:59 pm

Sherab wrote:
5heaps wrote:
norman wrote:This assumption, this concept (perceived idea), is a cause of attachment in the Prajnaparamita.
so the meaning of "Their true nature is a no-nature" is that external objects are not actually external objects, rather than that external objects have no inherent/true existence?

Some will choose to interpret that external objects have no inherent existence (thereby leaving dependent existence untouched). Others will choose to interpret that external object have no existence (both inherent and dependent existence).
poignantly said

but since sautrantika already realizes a level of imputation, there therefore exists one level of "inherent existence" as identified by them. this usage of inherent existence is not what prasangika means when it says inherent existence. in fact their tibetan are completely different: rang-rkya thub-pa’i rdzas-yod versus rang-bzhin-gyis grub-pa

if we take inherent existence as meaning the former, then the nonexistence of the dependent existence of external objects is indeed subtler than the level of the merely mentally constructed.

however if we can take the meaning of inherent existence as the latter, then dependent existence as understood by nonaryas is merely one level within inherent existence.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:12 pm

Sherab wrote:Sure, the true nature of all phenomena is their no-nature. Because of no-nature, there can be illusory appearances with illusory characteristics. But this need not mean that the illusory characteristics are "exactly where and how we perceive them."


A perceiver, in this case, Sherab, perceives that illusory characteristics are not where and how they are perceived, i.e. his perceiving informs 'him' exactly how and where this understanding is apprehended.

Two thousand years ago someone might have maintained that the moon is made of cheese; today we say it's made of rock. In either case it's our concept. The moon, as such is untouched by such notion, infact there's no other moon than our-perceiving-the-moon. Its location, size, weight, etc, its total appearance, is decided by "where and how we perceive it".

Sherab wrote:Why? Because even when a sentient being dies, the illusory characteristics will still be 'out there'.


Do you mean because it will be perceived by other people?
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:41 pm

5heaps wrote:So the meaning of "Their true nature is a no-nature" is that external objects are not actually external objects, rather than that external objects have no inherent/true existence?


Because an object is not inherently existent, it does not exist AS an object. It neither exists nor does it not exist AS an appearance. The Heart Sutra says: "Emptiness is nothing but form, and form is nothing but emptiness. Apart from emptiness there is no form, and apart from form there is no emptiness."

That is: "Apart from our world there is no Void, and apart from the Void there is no world."

Voidness then, is ABSOLUTELY nothing, is absent as any object of thought, and this total absence is absolutely everything. It is because the world is not, that anything can appear to be. Voidness is NOT voidness of something. Apart from our world there is no Void.

Voidness, emptiness, is phenomenally ABSENT,
Total absence is all conceivable presence.

It is because we are not, that we appear to be.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:34 am

Norman, this is what I am trying to say:

When you see a dog, what you see is merely an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing done by your eyes and brain. When your friend sees the external dog, he merely sees an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing of his eyes and brain. The image of the dog in your mind and the image of the dog in your friend's mind are different.

When your friend focus his sight on something else, the image of the dog disappears from his mind but the external dog does not disappear. As a result, it is still possible for you to see the dog. Supposing a cat now sees the dog. The image of the dog in the cat's mind will be even more different from the image of the dog in a man's mind.

So it is clear that there can be no real dog in anyone's mind.

But does the external dog really exists? Yes, in the sense that it is a dependently arisen phenomenon upon which the image of the dog in your mind is generated. But is this dependently arisen phenomenon call (external) dog has any kind of true existence or true self nature? The answer is no because it is dependently arisen.

The next question then is whether dependent arising itself is a truly existing phenomenon. The answer is no according to Nagarjuna. However, without the phenomenon of dependent arising, there can be no appearances. Without appearances, there can be no cognition/miscognition/labelling/mislabelling of the appearances.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:51 am

Sheaps, I rely on Nagarjuna for my understanding.

Nagarjuna said:
"Never are any existing things found to originate
From themselves, from something else, from both, or from no cause."

"Certainly there is no self-existence (svabhava) of existing things in conditioning causes, etc;
And if no self-existence exists, neither does "other-existence" (parabhava)."

So following Nagarjuna, svabhava and parabhava are subsets of bhava, or inherent existence and dependent existence are subsets of existence.

Negation of inherent existence alone is fine if one remembers that without inherent existence there cannot be dependent existence. So when inherent existence is negated, all real existences are negated. The danger then is not subsuming dependent existence within inherent existence. To avoid this danger, it would be better to just negate existence.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:13 pm

As long as we have this dharma, this idea, that there is a world out there, in any shape, or form, we are deluded. That is only going half the way.

The Void is objectively inexistent except as form, as the apparent universe.
But the apparent universe is not, except as voidness; which is void of objectivity.
Therefore, all phenomenal manifestation is not, as what, where, and how we think it is.

What, where, and how we conceive the world, is not what the world is, since it isn't, except as voidness of all objectivity.

That is, perceiving a world 'out-there', except as an appearance, is misunderstanding what is being said. The same may be said with the rest of the skandhas: they constitute what may be said about us, as phenomenal beings, but they are not, either.

Perceiving the voidness of objects, in itself, is futile. It's just mind-games.
There is no world out-there to be emptied, in the first place.

Sherab wrote:Norman, this is what I am trying to say:

When you see a dog, what you see is merely an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing done by your eyes and brain. When your friend sees the external dog, he merely sees an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing of his eyes and brain. The image of the dog in your mind and the image of the dog in your friend's mind are different.

When your friend focus his sight on something else, the image of the dog disappears from his mind but the external dog does not disappear. As a result, it is still possible for you to see the dog. Supposing a cat now sees the dog. The image of the dog in the cat's mind will be even more different from the image of the dog in a man's mind.

So it is clear that there can be no real dog in anyone's mind.

But does the external dog really exists? Yes, in the sense that it is a dependently arisen phenomenon upon which the image of the dog in your mind is generated. But is this dependently arisen phenomenon call (external) dog has any kind of true existence or true self nature? The answer is no because it is dependently arisen.

The next question then is whether dependent arising itself is a truly existing phenomenon. The answer is no according to Nagarjuna. However, without the phenomenon of dependent arising, there can be no appearances. Without appearances, there can be no cognition/miscognition/labelling/mislabelling of the appearances.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby catmoon » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:01 pm

Sherab wrote:
norman wrote:Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event.
Henceforth we may readily understand that gravity is not infact a force to which we are subject, but is infact our cognition of a concept, extended serially, so as to be perceived as 'gravity'.
______________________
The reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.

There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.


I'd go farther. There has to be thing before there can be an appearance of the thing. It may not be inherently existing, be it has to be there. It's what separates dreams from valid cognitions. It's the reason we refer to things as illusion-like and dream-like instead of simply calling them dreams and illusions.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby norman » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:45 am

Isn't it referred to as illusion-like, because it's assumed to exist objectively, i.e. without our cognition of it, whereas it's the exact opposite? That is, its illusion-like nature is due to it being an appearance, not something factual. How many times you break an object into pieces you never find anything but surfaces.

A-thing-before-the-appearance-of-the-thing seems to me to be the implied notion of an inherent object (objectively existing) in disguise.

catmoon wrote:
Sherab wrote:
norman wrote:Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event.
Henceforth we may readily understand that gravity is not infact a force to which we are subject, but is infact our cognition of a concept, extended serially, so as to be perceived as 'gravity'.
______________________
The reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.

There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.


I'd go farther. There has to be thing before there can be an appearance of the thing. It may not be inherently existing, be it has to be there. It's what separates dreams from valid cognitions. It's the reason we refer to things as illusion-like and dream-like instead of simply calling them dreams and illusions.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby neverdowell » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:35 pm

Taking this from another angle, in the Heart Sutra it says that Avalokitesvara saw that all 5 skandhas are empty, and thus freed himself from all ills and suffering. If there is something "out there", then there is something "in here" as well - the feelings, thoughts, etc, including suffering. The Heart Sutra says there is no suffering. I don't understand how you can be freed from suffering if you believe suffering "exists but is dependently arisen".

My take is that nothing exists. Dependently arisen or not, you cannot believe anything exists if you want to be liberated from suffering. For whatever reason that different sentient beings may see a dog in the same place, ie, a valid conventional cognition, it does not mean that anything exists out there. Just as in a dream, it is only projected by the mind.

I am not saying that things are non-existant. I am saying things are not existant. Do not give objects the status of existant to begin with, and you won't have to "non-exist them". All skandhas are appearances, laugh at them, call BS on them. It's the way to be free from suffering. All other sentient beings are suffering just because they ascribe a level of existence to the skandhas, whether a large or small level. Have compassion on them.

To develop bodhichitta, which is the actual practice, you need to develop such compassion that you simply cannot bear others being tormented by suffering. But in order to develop this compassion, you must know exactly how you yourself are plagued by suffering. And you must understand that the whole of samsara is by nature suffering. But first you must fear the lower realms, for without this you will have no repudiation of celestial and human happiness. You must therefore train your mind in the small- and medium- scope parts of the path. -- Pabongka Rinpoche
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby Sherab » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:52 am

catmoon wrote:
Sherab wrote:
norman wrote:Any measurement or observation is cognition of an event.
Henceforth we may readily understand that gravity is not infact a force to which we are subject, but is infact our cognition of a concept, extended serially, so as to be perceived as 'gravity'.
______________________
The reason for perceiving the so-called voidness of objects is NOT that 'things' are empty.
The moon is not "up there", in the first place, it is exactly WHERE and HOW we perceive it.

There has to be an appearance first before there can be cognition/mis-cognition, labelling/mislabelling etc.


I'd go farther. There has to be thing before there can be an appearance of the thing. It may not be inherently existing, be it has to be there. It's what separates dreams from valid cognitions. It's the reason we refer to things as illusion-like and dream-like instead of simply calling them dreams and illusions.

Catmoon, if you have really understood my reply to Norman, you would not use illusion-like and dream-like but illusions and dreams.
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Re: Empirical data and sunyata

Postby catmoon » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:59 am

Sherab wrote:Norman, this is what I am trying to say:

When you see a dog, what you see is merely an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing done by your eyes and brain. When your friend sees the external dog, he merely sees an image of the external dog produced in dependent on the processing of his eyes and brain. The image of the dog in your mind and the image of the dog in your friend's mind are different.

When your friend focus his sight on something else, the image of the dog disappears from his mind but the external dog does not disappear. As a result, it is still possible for you to see the dog. Supposing a cat now sees the dog. The image of the dog in the cat's mind will be even more different from the image of the dog in a man's mind.

So it is clear that there can be no real dog in anyone's mind.

But does the external dog really exists? Yes, in the sense that it is a dependently arisen phenomenon upon which the image of the dog in your mind is generated. But is this dependently arisen phenomenon call (external) dog has any kind of true existence or true self nature? The answer is no because it is dependently arisen.

The next question then is whether dependent arising itself is a truly existing phenomenon. The answer is no according to Nagarjuna. However, without the phenomenon of dependent arising, there can be no appearances. Without appearances, there can be no cognition/miscognition/labelling/mislabelling of the appearances.


Hi there 5 heaps. Is this the post you were referring me to?

I think I see an error in it. If as you say,
However, without the phenomenon of dependent arising, there can be no appearances.


Then no one would ever be able to see anything. It also contradicts my present experience, which is filled with appearances.
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