Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby invisiblediamond » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:49 am

M.G. wrote:In some ways you could say that the base, path, and fruit are the same. Of course there is a progression in the trivial sense that you need to gain familiarity and stability, but there is no causation as such - the result is not a product of the path.


Wouldn't the causation (from the practitioner's perspective, anyway) be a) recognition of the state, b) the decision to practice, and c) undertaking practice?[/quote]
The causal paths are such bc of having to purify and accumulate merits as a prerequisite to wisdom. Whereas DC doesn't have this. The result as the path is causal actually. DC is path of self liberation.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:50 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
M.G. wrote:So from a conventional perspective there is a cause and result, but from the perspective of the base there isn't one?


cause and result makes perfect sense when you are talking about stuff like: hit your thumb with a hammer (cause), feel pain (result). Problems arise when you try to make things like the nature of reality/ourselves into a "result" and then try to find "causes" to bring it about. I would illustrate by altering slightly an old Zen story:

Monk is meditating.
Teacher asks, "what doing?"
Monk: "meditating to become a buddha"
teacher goes away, comes back with mirror and stone, sits down and starts rubbing stone on mirror.
monk, "what doing?"
teacher, "rubbing to make a mirror"
monk, "its already a mirror"
teacher "duh!"
(hopefully) the monk had an insight.


That's a good story in a certain sense, but in another sense, Buddhism (including Dzogchen, in my experience) is all about practice, practice, practice!
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby invisiblediamond » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:51 am

M.G. wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
M.G. wrote:So from a conventional perspective there is a cause and result, but from the perspective of the base there isn't one?


cause and result makes perfect sense when you are talking about stuff like: hit your thumb with a hammer (cause), feel pain (result). Problems arise when you try to make things like the nature of reality/ourselves into a "result" and then try to find "causes" to bring it about. I would illustrate by altering slightly an old Zen story:

Monk is meditating.
Teacher asks, "what doing?"
Monk: "meditating to become a buddha"
teacher goes away, comes back with mirror and stone, sits down and starts rubbing stone on mirror.
monk, "what doing?"
teacher, "rubbing to make a mirror"
monk, "its already a mirror"
teacher "duh!"
(hopefully) the monk had an insight.


That's a good story in a certain sense, but in another sense, Buddhism (including Dzogchen, in my experience) is all about practice, practice, practice!


This doesn't make DC causal.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:00 am

This doesn't make DC causal.[/quote]

At least from a conventional perspective the result seems to have a cause.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby invisiblediamond » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:02 am

M.G. wrote:This doesn't make DC causal.


At least from a conventional perspective the result seems to have a cause.[/quote]

Not even that. Conventionally teacher transmits directly.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:06 am

invisiblediamond wrote:
M.G. wrote:This doesn't make DC causal.


At least from a conventional perspective the result seems to have a cause.


Not even that. Conventionally teacher transmits directly.[/quote]

Would receiving and understanding the transmission be a cause? Or at least a catalyst, which could be likened to a cause?
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:12 am

" The causal paths are such bc of having to purify and accumulate merits as a prerequisite to wisdom. Whereas DC doesn't have this. The result as the path is causal actually. DC is path of self liberation."

I get what you're saying and this makes sense.
That said, if the result as the path is causal, wouldn't it be most accurate, if non-traditional, to say Dzogchen is in some sense causal and some sense non-causal?
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:21 am

M.G. wrote:" The causal paths are such bc of having to purify and accumulate merits as a prerequisite to wisdom. Whereas DC doesn't have this. The result as the path is causal actually. DC is path of self liberation."

I get what you're saying and this makes sense.
That said, if the result as the path is causal, wouldn't it be most accurate, if non-traditional, to say Dzogchen is in some sense causal and some sense non-causal?


Maybe a more modern terminology would be synthesis?
The causal path method for developing bodhicitta, for example, is to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. So its like gradually making a synthesis from component parts which will eventually give rise to a complete result.

In Dzogchen, there is nothing to be synthesised. Of course one still has to work with one's karmic vision, but not to manufacture or fabricate anything other than what is already there.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:29 am

futerko wrote:
M.G. wrote:" The causal paths are such bc of having to purify and accumulate merits as a prerequisite to wisdom. Whereas DC doesn't have this. The result as the path is causal actually. DC is path of self liberation."

I get what you're saying and this makes sense.
That said, if the result as the path is causal, wouldn't it be most accurate, if non-traditional, to say Dzogchen is in some sense causal and some sense non-causal?


Maybe a more modern terminology would be synthesis?
The causal path method for developing bodhicitta, for example, is to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. So its like gradually making a synthesis from component parts which will eventually give rise to a complete result.

In Dzogchen, there is nothing to be synthesised. Of course one still has to work with one's karmic vision, but not to manufacture or fabricate anything other than what is already there.


Yes, this makes sense. Dzogchen is the path where there is nothing to be created or synthesized.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:32 am

M.G. wrote:
invisiblediamond wrote:This doesn't make DC causal.


At least from a conventional perspective the result seems to have a cause.

It's all conventional. Anything delineated conceptually is a convention.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:34 am

One more question.

The conventional phraseology is that Dzogchen is a superior path to tantra. Could one plausibly argue that for people of a particular disposition and capacity, tantra, with its fabrication and magical creation, might be the superior path?
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:36 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
M.G. wrote:
invisiblediamond wrote:This doesn't make DC causal.


At least from a conventional perspective the result seems to have a cause.

It's all conventional. Anything delineated conceptually is a convention.



Yeah, pretty much. I'm just striving to find definitions which facilitate my understanding but are philosophically correct.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:40 am

M.G. wrote:One more question.

The conventional phraseology is that Dzogchen is a superior path to tantra. Could one plausibly argue that for people of a particular disposition and capacity, tantra, with its fabrication and magical creation, might be the superior path?


not superior, but appropriate/suitable
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:47 am

M.G. wrote:One more question.

The conventional phraseology is that Dzogchen is a superior path to tantra. Could one plausibly argue that for people of a particular disposition and capacity, tantra, with its fabrication and magical creation, might be the superior path?


Of course, even the sutra path is better for some. Superior isn't intended to mean better in a dualistic sense. My understanding of it is concerning the overview you get from the various perspectives, and I personally find that tantric practices make a lot more sense to me having gained that kind of perspective to understand why you are doing the various stages and where they are supposed to lead to, etc.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:26 am

OK, really the last question:

Generally, for what sorts of persons of which temperaments would sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen respectively be considered the superior path?
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:37 am

M.G. wrote:OK, really the last question:

Generally, for what sorts of persons of which temperaments would sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen respectively be considered the superior path?


people who like or feel drawn to the sutra approach should do sutra, people who like tantra should do that, and people who like Dzoghchen should do Dzogchen! Actually, Dzogchen includes the other two, so you get the best of all yanas!
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:39 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
M.G. wrote:OK, really the last question:

Generally, for what sorts of persons of which temperaments would sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen respectively be considered the superior path?


people who like or feel drawn to the sutra approach should do sutra, people who like tantra should do that, and people who like Dzoghchen should do Dzogchen! Actually, Dzogchen includes the other two, so you get the best of all yanas!



That's actually a good answer and I'm tempted to leave it lie, but realistically, I think time constraints make it tough for most people to really devote themselves to progressing on one path, let alone three. So in practice, I think most people are probably just going to focus on one path.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:05 am

M.G. wrote:OK, really the last question:

Generally, for what sorts of persons of which temperaments would sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen respectively be considered the superior path?


Lol, are you trying to cause trouble? :stirthepot:

I think maybe the pace at which you go might be a factor to consider, maybe also your view on "reality" in terms of how much of a "shake-up" you are prepared for. I've kind of said the same thing twice there.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby M.G. » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:16 am

futerko wrote:
M.G. wrote:OK, really the last question:

Generally, for what sorts of persons of which temperaments would sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen respectively be considered the superior path?


Lol, are you trying to cause trouble? :stirthepot:

I think maybe the pace at which you go might be a factor to consider, maybe also your view on "reality" in terms of how much of a "shake-up" you are prepared for. I've kind of said the same thing twice there.



Hehehe. No, not trying to start any fights with this. :smile:

That's a pretty good answer.
I only ask because while I have studied Dzogchen, I feel I've benefitted a lot from gradual paths.
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Re: Why is Dzogchen the Path beyond Cause and Effect?

Postby oldbob » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:28 am

M.G. wrote:A philosophical question:

Why is Dzogchen the path beyond cause and effect? Aren't the fruits of practice an effect?


:namaste: Homage to the Dzogchen Masters.

Lots of good responses. :good: :good: :good:

The conventional answers have already been well given (though personally I like the blueberries on granola- but why be choosy - a sliced up banana also works for me, and I also recommend sprinkling a little bee pollen for color, flavor, and extra vits.)

My 2 cents.

Perhaps it is better to refer these types of questions to Dzogchen Masters and for me, not to say anything - :smile: Because Dzogchen is beyond words, or any attempt at any description through language, this would be a correct answer, but this doesn't answer the question for most people, and most people are too shy to ask the Masters. :smile:

So please have patience with my lack of experience and clarity if I foolishly try to put minds at rest through the use of well-intentioned words.

When conventional language is applied to speak about why Dzogchen is the path beyond cause and effect, from within the conventional point of view, for example: "why are not the fruits of practice an effect of practice?", it is clear that FROM THIS POINT OF VIEW, AND USE OF LANGUAGE, that Dzogchen is not beyond cause and effect.

It is only from within the extremely precise use of language from within the Dzogchen direct experience (to which language cannot adhere, and which does not posit ANY point of view or duality) that stating that Dzogchen is a path beyond cause and effect makes sense and can be understood. In the "instant presence," the natural state beyond all dualities, the issue, or question, of cause and effect does not arise. This, and ALL mental / emotional fabrications would be like writing on air or water, in the sense that there is no place for the thought / feeling to stick to.

In the natural state, whatever arises is co-emergent with its liberation, in a non-dual way. The example of a snake untying its own knot is used, but even this example is using a duality to point to a non-dual experience. All words can only point to this experience, hence the entry door of Dzogchen is being introduced to the natural mind by a Dzogchen Master, through direct introduction. The experience of Dzogchen cannot be found through books or on DW.

So, while in the conventional use of language, you might say that direct introduction is the cause of the students gaining the direct experience of their natural mind, but from within Dzogchen, the question does not arise, because words and logic do not apply.

That said, a lot has been written about the experience of Dzogchen, using specialized non-conventional use of language, so that those outside of this experience can relate to this experience beyond words. So the sources cited, are references to words about a subject to which words do not apply.

Isn't it amazing!

There are many DW threads that have looked at this issue. Here are 2 from among the many.

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8489&p=103015&hilit=vajra+laughs#p102643

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=10185&hilit=vajra+laughs#p128254


I would refer you to the 12 Vajra Laughs and the 9 Amazing Things AND /OR "The Marvelous Primordial State", for direct sources as to how Dzogchen refers to itself regarding cause and effect. These words used to be considered secret, and given that they are now searchable on the web, / openly available, it may seem senseless to ask the reader to do the search, but out of respect for the views of others I will ask the reader to make the search.

Perhaps the new "secret" is that words about Dzogchen are self-secret until you get the direct experience to unlock what they are pointing to. :smile:

Please recall that these are words which come from within the Dzogchen experience, and conventional language / logic cannot enter that amazing dimension beyond words.

Yes, this is amazing and cannot be understood by language, reason, or logic. If you still have any questions about these issues, please refer them to Dzogchen Masters.

And I should mention that I, too, have greatly benefited from studying the gradual paths of Buddhism. They all go beyond words.

May this help the minds of those who read this (and those who do not) to rest in the natural state beyond words.



Hope this helps,

ob
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