jeeprs wrote:asunthatneversets wrote:A truly existent thing is unintelligible. Doesn't even make sense, and so non-existence doesn't make sense either. This is freedom from eternalism and nihilism.
I'm almost on board with you. No individual thing is truly existent - it doesn't exist in and of itself. But it doesn't therefore follow that nothing is real. But 'what is real' is also beyond designation as this or that thing.
Nirvana, in the positive sense, I understand as waking up to reality, seeing the way things truly are. But in addition to the negative descriptions of Nirvana, there are also positive descriptions. That is why I am interested in studying 'In Praise of Dharmadhatu'. You might say that is not 'the same Nagarjuna', but according to the chapter I have been reading it is ascribed to Nagarjuna. In that, the Dharmadhatu is described in positive terms . Brunnholzl notes in his commentary, that there are quite a few expressions in such texts which are at variance with what the strictly Madhyamika interpretation is supposed to be.
Where are the negative descriptions of Nirvana though? I don't see this apparent dichotomy of the negative a positive... again, it's only 'negative' if we are trying to establish inherency somewhere. There is no inherency, if there were, there would be no movement, no fluctuation, no growth, no dynamism, nothing at all.
jeeprs wrote:asunthatneversets wrote:But a svabhāva is by definition unconditioned, not dependent on other entities, and not caused. Thus the existence of a svabhāva is impossible.
The way I interpret this is that, 'existence' is phenomenal realm, the manifest realm, the realm of existing things, you and I, self and other. Svabhāva, as it says, is not in this realm, being unconditioned. There is not also some other realm 'over there', because ultimately there is only one reality, but from the point of view of 'the wayfarer', they are different realms.
But I don't think I have any issue with any of those texts you have quoted.
No, no... there is no manifest realm of 'existent things' and then some other realm (you clarified that this isn't what you meant though so nevermind). That isn't what this is saying at all. Svabhāva, means something which exists inherently on its own, completely free from causes and conditions. Nāgārjuna is saying such a thing is impossible. There are no conditioned things, and therefore there's nothing which is unconditioned.