Mystical Unity and Kensho

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:08 am

Astus, you can not apply the logic of the conditioned world to make a complete estimation of the illogical nature of the unconditioned, There still may can be a non dual aspect of what you experience as Mind that is existent in a manner that is not within what Buddha defined as phenomena. Trying to pin down what unconditioned really is, is just an unsolvable mind game. Seeing your own mind as Buddha is seeing it as not dual, empty of all change and yet it appears to be awareness, appears to be what we are. I think the question of how there could be anything past phenomena, in the unconditioned, that could be experienced or how there could be anything like a mind that experiences, is misplaced. What should be taken into account is recognizing your own nature/mind is the least subject object, dualistic experience there is.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:42 am

desertman001,

You talk as if there were something unconditioned outside of the conditioned. If that were the case, as conditioned beings we'd had nothing to do with it at all. Thus such an unconditioned has no relevance to any of us.
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:09 am

How to account for sayings such as the Nibbana Sutta?

There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.


(from Access to Insight)

There's a related verse given as

The born, come-to-be, produced,
The made, the conditioned, the transient,
Conjoined with decay and death,
A nest of disease, perishable,
Sprung from nutriment and craving's cord —
That is not fit to take delight in.

The escape from that, the peaceful,
Beyond reasoning, everlasting,
The not-born, the unproduced,
The sorrowless state that is void of stain,
The cessation of states linked to suffering,
The stilling of the conditioned — bliss.


I have always thought it was the insight into this 'unborn' which constitutes kensho. That is why I understand the symbol for prajñāpāramitā to be the letter 'a-'. which signifies un-, and in 'unborn, unfabricated'.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:39 pm

jeeprs wrote:How to account for sayings such as the Nibbana Sutta?

I have always thought it was the insight into this 'unborn' which constitutes kensho. That is why I understand the symbol for prajñāpāramitā to be the letter 'a-'. which signifies un-, and in 'unborn, unfabricated'.


That Nibbana Sutta has been misused by atman believers so often. While in fact all it says is that by the elimination of desire suffering does not arise any more. And that's an unconditioned "state" as there is no cause of pain any more. But not actually a state that is achieved or developed or discovered, otherwise it would be conditioned.

As I said before, it's not possible to find an unconditioned state, because finding it makes it conditioned. What is always instructed in Zen is to let go of conceptual and emotional attachments, to see that they are empty of substance and exist dependently. There is nothing else to be found beyond that.
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:34 pm

Astus wrote:desertman001,

You talk as if there were something unconditioned outside of the conditioned. If that were the case, as conditioned beings we'd had nothing to do with it at all. Thus such an unconditioned has no relevance to any of us.


Your position reads like the Sautrântika view, i.e., nirvana/asamskrita is abhava (absence of klesas, etc.) being essentially nothing in and for itself which, I hasten to point out, Buddhaghosa attacked like a junkyard dog unchained, arguing that for an arahant it would amount to mere extinction which is a no-no. It appears that Stephen Batchelor has taken the Sautrântiaka position with regard to nirvana/asamskrita. I find it interesting.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:27 pm

Astus, the quotes provided by jeepers make it obvious that some type of mind exists after the conditioned, without claiming an atman exist, since no separate existence is implied. I get the logic you imply but that logic cannot escape the conditioned.
If the unconditioned state is unaware how could it be any different from sleep. If that state has no awareness why are we even talking about it as relief from stress?
Astus:
"You talk as if there were something unconditioned outside of the conditioned. If that were the case, as conditioned beings we'd had nothing to do with it at all. Thus such an unconditioned has no relevance to any of us."

The unconditioned is your nature even when living in the conditioned.


In Mahayana we describe a true nature but Buddha's refusal to address the subject makes more and more sense to me. The question will not be resolved until Kensho or Satori allow each person to reach their own conclusion.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:30 pm

jeeprs wrote:How to account for sayings such as the Nibbana Sutta?

There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.


(from Access to Insight)

There's a related verse given as

The born, come-to-be, produced,
The made, the conditioned, the transient,
Conjoined with decay and death,
A nest of disease, perishable,
Sprung from nutriment and craving's cord —
That is not fit to take delight in.

The escape from that, the peaceful,
Beyond reasoning, everlasting,
The not-born, the unproduced,
The sorrowless state that is void of stain,
The cessation of states linked to suffering,
The stilling of the conditioned — bliss.


I have always thought it was the insight into this 'unborn' which constitutes kensho. That is why I understand the symbol for prajñāpāramitā to be the letter 'a-'. which signifies un-, and in 'unborn, unfabricated'.


The commentarial literature to the 8th chapter from The Udana Commentary (Paramatthadipani nama Udanatthakatha), informs us that "nibbana, whose own nature is that of being unconditioned." The commentarial literature also tells us that abandoning defilements by way of suppression instead of extirpation, doesn't work. For understanding extirpation, the commentary tells us: "there has to be an object, with an own nature the converse of both of these [conditioned dhammas as it object and having conventional truth as object], for that knowledge associated with the ariyan paths that does effect the abandonment of these [two] by way of extirpation—this being the unconditioned element" (Masefield trans.). (Brackets and emphasis are mine.)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Koji wrote:Your position reads like the Sautrântika view, i.e., nirvana/asamskrita is abhava (absence of klesas, etc.) being essentially nothing in and for itself which, I hasten to point out, Buddhaghosa attacked like a junkyard dog unchained, arguing that for an arahant it would amount to mere extinction which is a no-no. It appears that Stephen Batchelor has taken the Sautrântiaka position with regard to nirvana/asamskrita. I find it interesting.


What relevance is there of two Hinayana systems - those that believe nirvana to have svabhava - and the ideas of a materialist? Look at Nagarjuna's Middle Treatise, and what it says in chapter 25 on nirvana is what I mean too.

"The phenomenal universe and Nirvana, activity and motionless placidity - all are of the one 'substance'. So also are the worlds and with the state that transcends worlds. Yes, the beings passing through the six stages of existence, those who have undergone the four kinds of birth, all the vast world-systems with their mountains and river, the Bodhi-Nature and illusion - all of them are thus. By saying that they are all of one substance, we mean that their names and forms, their existence and nonexistence, are void. The great world-systems, uncountable as Ganga's sands, are in truth comprised in the one boundless void. Then where can there be Buddhas who deliver or sentient beings to be delivered? When the true nature of all things that 'exist' is an identical Thusness, how can such distinctions have any reality?"
(The Zen Teaching of Huang-Po, p. 109)
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:10 pm

desertman001 wrote:Astus, the quotes provided by jeepers make it obvious that some type of mind exists after the conditioned, without claiming an atman exist, since no separate existence is implied. I get the logic you imply but that logic cannot escape the conditioned.
If the unconditioned state is unaware how could it be any different from sleep. If that state has no awareness why are we even talking about it as relief from stress?


This radical separation of conditioned and unconditioned is what I'm calling false and not established. Appearances are already empty as they are, they don't need to be emptied nor one needs to switch to an empty state.

Awareness cannot be cut off from what it is aware of. An independent mind cannot exist because it would have no connection to anything and it couldn't know of anything. It doesn't mean that everybody is unconscious. Quite the opposite. Consciousness exists together with all forms of phenomena, it is present in every experience.
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:44 pm

Astus wrote:
jeeprs wrote:How to account for sayings such as the Nibbana Sutta?

I have always thought it was the insight into this 'unborn' which constitutes kensho. That is why I understand the symbol for prajñāpāramitā to be the letter 'a-'. which signifies un-, and in 'unborn, unfabricated'.


That Nibbana Sutta has been misused by atman believers so often. While in fact all it says is that by the elimination of desire suffering does not arise any more. And that's an unconditioned "state" as there is no cause of pain any more. But not actually a state that is achieved or developed or discovered, otherwise it would be conditioned.

As I said before, it's not possible to find an unconditioned state, because finding it makes it conditioned. What is always instructed in Zen is to let go of conceptual and emotional attachments, to see that they are empty of substance and exist dependently. There is nothing else to be found beyond that.


Thanks for explaining your view so clearly, but I really don't accept your interpretation. There is an unconditioned state, which is said many times in many places. The reason it is put in such oblique terms is so as not to create a verbal representation of it, which becomes an idol. That is Buddhism's distinct difference from 'the atman believers' and many other religious types. But 'release' is indeed 'going beyond', it is a higher state, transcendent. I believe nirvana is a radical realization, a completely transformed state of being, not simply a state of intellectual equilibrium which rests on verbal arguments and intellectual understanding.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:57 pm

jeeprs wrote:The reason it is put in such oblique terms is so as not to create a verbal representation of it, which becomes an idol. That is Buddhism's distinct difference from 'the atman believers' and many other religious types.


You mean, in your interpretation the only difference between Buddhism and atmavada teachings is that Buddhism fails to speak plainly and straightforwardly about it? The idea sounds to me similar to those who claim that Buddhism says nothing about God but one can just believe in whatever supreme deity one likes to; while actually there are numerous teachings refuting the possibility of such a being.

As for the atman vs anatman issue, this topic is now available again for reading.
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:10 pm

Astus wrote:You mean, in your interpretation the only difference between Buddhism and atmavada teachings is that Buddhism fails to speak plainly and straightforwardly about it? The idea sounds to me similar to those who claim that Buddhism says nothing about God but one can just believe in whatever supreme deity one likes to; while actually there are numerous teachings refuting the possibility of such a being.


It is not simple. Buddhism rejects 'speculative metaphysics', but the teaching is nevertheless metaphysical. The 'law of dependent origination' is metaphysical. 'Ignorance' is a metaphysical term, for which there is no English equivalent, and no counterpart in Western thought, philosophy or science, as to all intents it describes 'the human condition'. 'The release from the cycle of birth and death' is literally a transformation to a higher state of being. This is why the Buddha is described as 'lokkutara', 'world-transcending'. It means 'not being subject to re-birth', i.e. not being on the same level as all the beings that come into and go out of existence. As this state cannot be understood by the worldly mind, it can only be described in negative terms, but it is not mere absence, mere cessation.

I will quote the passage from Suzuki again:

The term “emptiness” is apt to be misunderstood for various reasons. The hare or rabbit has no horns, the turtle has no hair growing on its back. This is one form of emptiness. The Buddhist sunyata does not mean absence.

A fire has been burning until now and there is no more of it. This is another kind of emptiness. Buddhist sunyata does not mean extinction.

The wall screens the room: on this side there is a table, and on the other side there is nothing, space is unocccupied. Buddhist sunyata does not mean vacancy.

Absence, extinction and unoccupancy — these are not the Buddhist conception of emptiness. Buddhists’ Emptiness is not on the plane of relativity. It is Absolute Emptiness transcending all forms of mutual relationship, of subject and object, birth and death, God and the world, something and nothing, yes and no, affirmation and negation. In no Buddhist Emptiness there is time, no space, no becoming, no-thing-ness; it is what makes these things possible; it is zero full of infinite possibilities, it is a void of inexhaustible contents.


'The nothing that is everything', almost equivalent to the gnostic 'pleroma'.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:00 am

A lot of the interpretive difficulties in this question are based around the problems with representational thinking, and how that relates to the non-verbal insight of Zen. Representational thinking, or discursive thought, is the process whereby states, things, conditions, and so on, are represented in consciousness in verbal and symbolic terms. It involves a particular part of the brain and a particular type of mental operation which is specific to human thinking.

However 'higher states' or 'higher truths' are imperceptible to the verbal/symbolic mind. Hence the emphasis in Buddhism on dhyana which is, among other things, the suspension of discursive thinking. I am sure this is why there is a constant repetition of 'nothingness', 'emptiness', 'non-existence' and so on, in Buddhist, and especially Zen, teaching and polemics.

But this negation ought not to be interpreted as referring to mere nothingness, non-being, simple absence, or cessation, in itself. It simply acts as the 'gateless gate' to the higher realm (which is actually 'this realm' seen without the habitual conditions and verbal associations through which we habitually see it). But the problem, which Buddhism in particularly is very alive to, is as soon as you say 'higher realm' or even just 'that', the discursive mind immediately says 'you mean that, as distinct from this. Oh, that.' So it immediately begins to incorporate what it thinks it understands into the verbal/symbolic web of meaning. And it is not a part of that web, because it can never be 'brought down' to the level of symbolic mind and representational consciousness.

That is the sense in which kensho really is a glimpse into the realm of mystical unity.

In Zen it is said "the Buddha preached forty nine years and yet his "broad tongue" never moved once'. It is also said, The instance you speak about it, you miss the mark'. In Zen there is nothing to explain by means of words or theory, nothing to be learned as holy doctrine. The essence of Zen is, in fact, 'unspeakable'. Thus to a question raised by a monk 'What is the cardinal meaning of the Buddha Dharma?', Lin-Chi immediately responded with a shout, 'Katsu!. But since Zen is concerned with the truly unspeakable, it rejects not only speech, but mere silence as well. Consequently in his discourse Te Shan used to swing his big stick saying 'Though you can speak, thirty blows!'….. Zen always expresses the 'unspeakable' Reality which is beyond affirmation and negation, speech and silence, in a direct and straightforward way, and presses us to present our understanding of this reality through the injunction 'speak! Speak!'

But Zen does not point to the 'unspeakable' solely by means of cutting off all the possibilities (speech or silence, affirmation or negation) which are available to the student…. Lin-chi's Katsu!, for example, while on the one hand and absolute negation which cuts off every conceivable response to the questioner, is at once a radical affirmation of the 'unspeakable'. This affirmation of the 'unspeakable' is quite crucial in Zen…

…Zen always aims at grasping the living Reality of life which cannot be entirely captured by intellectual analysis. This, however, …must not be taken as mere anti-intellectualism. Although Zen transcends the human intellect, it does not exclude it. A so-called Zen 'realisation' or satori which degenerates or disappears when grasped and expressed intellectually or philosophically must be said to have been inauthentic from the outset. Authentic Zen realisation or satori, even should it undergo rigorous intellectual analysis and philosophical reflection, will never be destroyed; on the contrary, analysis will serve to clarify that realisation and confirm it more definitively in oneself, further enabling one to convey the depth of that realisation to others, even through the medium of words.


Zen and Western Thought Masao Abe, p22-23
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:37 am

jeeprs wrote:Buddhism rejects 'speculative metaphysics', but the teaching is nevertheless metaphysical.


What do you mean by metaphysics here?

As this state cannot be understood by the worldly mind, it can only be described in negative terms, but it is not mere absence, mere cessation.


So, either one has a non-worldly mind or one doesn't say anything meaningful. Do you see how that undermines what you or anyone says?

I will quote the passage from Suzuki again:


Emptiness is the negation of substance and affirmation of dependent origination. Suzuki's quote sounds like he interprets emptiness as a universal substance, and that is contrary to the very meaning of emptiness.

However 'higher states' or 'higher truths' are imperceptible to the verbal/symbolic mind. Hence the emphasis in Buddhism on dhyana which is, among other things, the suspension of discursive thinking.


From the second dhyana on there is no discursive thinking, however, rarely any Mahayana school or teacher emphasises deep absorptions. Also, while calming meditation does not require conceptual thinking, insight practice does. That is, you cannot reach liberation without actually understanding how the mind works. And that understanding is not some mystical revelation or state, it is looking at things and seeing them for what they are. If one just suspends discursive thinking the result is a blank vegetative stare and a dumb mind. This is what Dahui criticised as "silent illumination", and this is how Chan is misinterpreted in Tibet as Hashan's heresy. This negation of discursive thinking is mistaking emptiness for nothingness.

But this negation ought not to be interpreted as referring to mere nothingness, non-being, simple absence, or cessation, in itself. It simply acts as the 'gateless gate' to the higher realm (which is actually 'this realm' seen without the habitual conditions and verbal associations through which we habitually see it).


It is not nothingness but in order to see clearly one has to nevertheless remove thinking. If you are saying that one should not be attached to concepts and ideas, I agree. If you mean that one should stop thinking completely, the above applies.

And it is not a part of that web, because it can never be 'brought down' to the level of symbolic mind and representational consciousness.


Words are just words. An apple is not identical to a noun. Is that mystical?
"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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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:51 am

Astus wrote:Suzuki's quote sounds like he interprets emptiness as a universal substance, and that is contrary to the very meaning of emptiness.


It is true that his interpretation is opposed to yours, but I think his is correct, which is why I quoted it. Suzuki would never propose a 'universal substance', the fact that you read his quotation like that indicates an intepretive problem in my opinion.

What do you mean by metaphysics here?


What I mean is that 'the chain of dependent origination' cannot be described in scientific or even objective terms. It is a metaphysical concept. Buddhists don't use the word 'metaphysics', which strictly speaking belongs to the Aristotlean tradition of Western philosophy, but in terms of Western equivalents, the nearest to the Buddhist term for 'mind' would undoubtedly be the nous of neo-Platonism.

Plotinus wishes to speak of a thinking that is not discursive but intuitive, i.e. that it is knowing and what it is knowing are immediately evident to it. There is no gap then between thinking and what is thought--they come together in the same moment, which is no longer a moment among other consecutive moments, one following upon the other. Rather, the moment in which such a thinking takes place is immediately present and without difference from any other moment, i.e. its thought is no longer chronological but eternal. To even use names, words, to think about such a thinking is already to implicate oneself in a time of separated and consecutive moments (i.e. chronological) and to have already forgotten what it is one wishes to think, namely thinking and what is thought intuitively together.


Source

That passage would not be out of place in most Zen texts. And Plotinus is the origin (along with Aristotle and Plato) of metaphysics. Certainly Zen criticizes metaphysics, but only insofar as it has become a verbal representation of non-conceptual realities, or a dogma (dṛṣṭi).

You are too intent on 'demystifying' the subject to acknowledge that it really is mystical. That is why I keep talking about the context. The context of this conversation is a Buddhist forum, and Buddhist philosophy, more generally. Within that context, 'mind' sounds matter-of-fact, empirically obvious, like it is something which is evident to common sense. But it really isn't that. Even the Theravada don't talk about 'mind' in the sense that it is understood in Zen. There is no counterpart for the Buddhist understanding of mind in Western thinking, outside metaphysics, or Jung (who is anyway part of the Western metaphysical tradition).

And that understanding is not some mystical revelation or state


Of course it is. Othewise why put yourself through the arduous hardships of learning Zen?
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:22 pm

jeeprs wrote:It is true that his interpretation is opposed to yours, but I think his is correct, which is why I quoted it. Suzuki would never propose a 'universal substance', the fact that you read his quotation like that indicates an intepretive problem in my opinion.


It is opposed to what I say if it claims a universal substance ("it is what makes these things possible; it is zero full of infinite possibilities, it is a void of inexhaustible contents"). But if he means what Nagarjuna says I can only agree: "Those for whom emptiness is possible, for them everything is possible. Those for whom emptiness is not possible, for them everything is not possible." (MMK 24.14)

What I mean is that 'the chain of dependent origination' cannot be described in scientific or even objective terms. It is a metaphysical concept.


You can't describe the joy of dancing in objective or scientific terms but it doesn't make it metaphysical in its philosophical sense. Dependent origination can be called "Buddhist metaphysics" if you want, as the ontological basis of the universe as causal processes. But unlike philosophy, the teachings are not meant to find the true reality of the world but to bring about liberation, and therefore every teachings is provisional (unlike in metaphysics).

the nearest to the Buddhist term for 'mind' would undoubtedly be the nous of neo-Platonism


Mind in Buddhism is understood only as a stream, as momentary successions of mental phenomena. It is dependently originated. It is not a background, basis or container of mental events, but the mental events themselves. So it doesn't seem to fit the idea of nous.

Certainly Zen criticizes metaphysics, but only insofar as it has become a verbal representation of non-conceptual realities, or a dogma (dṛṣṭi).


There are views (dṛṣṭi) and there is correct view (samyagdṛṣṭi).

Q: What is the right view?
A: To perceive without perceiving any object whatsoever is the right view.

Q: What does "to perceive without perceiving any object whatsoever" mean?
A: Perceiving all sorts of things without grasping -- that is, not being clouded by the arising of any thought of love or hate, etc. -- is perceiving without any objects. If one can see without seeing any object whatsoever, that is using the Buddha-Eye, which is like no other eye. On the other hand, if one sees all sorts of things that cause thoughts of love and hate, etc., to arise, that is known as "perceiving objects" with ordinary eyes, and sentient beings have no other kind of eyes. This is true, likewise, with all of the other sense organs.

(Ta-Chu Hui-Hai: Treatise On Entering The Tao of Sudden Enlightenment)

It is not that one does not recognise and know what one perceives, but one is not moved by them, there is no attachment or aversion.

Othewise why put yourself through the arduous hardships of learning Zen?


Disillusionment.
"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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Astus
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:35 pm

Astus wrote:
desertman001 wrote:Astus, the quotes provided by jeepers make it obvious that some type of mind exists after the conditioned, without claiming an atman exist, since no separate existence is implied. I get the logic you imply but that logic cannot escape the conditioned.
If the unconditioned state is unaware how could it be any different from sleep. If that state has no awareness why are we even talking about it as relief from stress?


This radical separation of conditioned and unconditioned is what I'm calling false and not established. Appearances are already empty as they are, they don't need to be emptied nor one needs to switch to an empty state.

Awareness cannot be cut off from what it is aware of. An independent mind cannot exist because it would have no connection to anything and it couldn't know of anything. It doesn't mean that everybody is unconscious. Quite the opposite. Consciousness exists together with all forms of phenomena, it is present in every experience.


Here you're saying it is false and not established there is a "radical separation" between conditionality (samsara) and unconditionality (nirvana). Who is claiming the separation is radical when it appears to be very much spiritual? A good analogy might be made of the difference between a pot of clay and clay itself or of a gold lion and gold.

As for the rest of your comments I interpret you as telling us we would be wrong to believe in the luminous Mind in which the adventitious defilements have been removed since it would, at that point, have no further connection with the defilements!

Reading your comments you seem to be championing samsara/conditionality and maculate minds over nirvana/unconditionality and immaculate minds. I also read you as supporting the theory that nirvana is not real (sabhava), and the immeasurable liberation of mind (appamana cetovimutti) can't be. I look forward to your response.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Practice » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:13 pm

Good discussion, thanks to all contributors.
My question is:
What about a “universal non-substance”? We all share a Buddha nature, is that universal?
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:16 pm

Koji wrote:A good analogy might be made of the difference between a pot of clay and clay itself or of a gold lion and gold.


And for that a good explanation is Candrakirti's sevenfold reasoning of the chariot. Or, to make it more complicated, there is Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion. Candrakirti shows how no essence can be established anywhere, Fazang shows how emptiness and phenomena are inseparable and interpenetrated.

Reading your comments you seem to be championing samsara/conditionality and maculate minds over nirvana/unconditionality and immaculate minds.


As above, not established and interpenetrated. The dichotomy of samsara and nirvana is only a skilful means, but there is no nirvana outside of samsara.
"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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Astus
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Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:21 pm

Treetop wrote:What about a “universal non-substance”? We all share a Buddha nature, is that universal?


Universal non-substance is emptiness, no-self, i.e. nothing has a substance. Buddha-nature has many interpretations, it generally refers to the capability to attain buddhahood and not some hidden soul.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4248
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

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