The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby BFS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:18 pm

All is good, TMingyur. I just need a little bit of time, and I will try to offer some context.
If I don't run now, I am going to be in trouble! :lol: I will get back to it, asap, thanks.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby BFS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:02 pm

Ah back, and didn't get into trouble, just got cold and wet! :tongue:

BFS wrote:His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
" Now, whenever we engage in analysis, such as on the nature of mind or reality, if we proceed from the start already convinced that "it must be so and so," then due to our biases, we will be unable to see the actual truth and will instead see only our naive projection. It is therefore essential that the analyzing mind strive to be objective and not swayed by prejudices. What we need is a skeptical curiosity, our mind moving between the possibilities, genuinely wondering whether it is thus or some other way. We need to begin our analysis as objectively as possible. "


- TMingyur wrote: Now this is very true. However it seems to me that the reasoning above is not less biased:

Compare the premise

"The luminous and knowing aspect of a given state of consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness"

with his statement above

"if we proceed from the start already convinced that "it must be so and so," then due to our biases, we will be unable to see the actual truth and will instead see only our naive projection.".


I don’t know what you are talking about here, I really don’t. It seems to me that you have become stuck on the word, "must." ?

You underline the word must twice, why?
It is clear to me that His Holiness, when warning us that whenever we engage in analysis, we must keep an open mind if we want to see the actual truth and not just our naïve projection, is making a valid point, just as valid as the point His Holiness makes when he uses the word MUST in the context of consciousness coming from a prior moment of consciousness.
I see no problem there. He has come to that conclusion, after thorough investigation!

Once we have investigated thoroughly, even if we only have a conceptual understanding, that understanding is no longer a complete naïve projection, it no longer comes from our likes and dislikes and naïve based biases, we move on.
Once we have investigated thoroughly, our concluding that the luminous and knowing state of a given consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness, comes from that very investigation, it is right view, wisdom ( be it conceptual or not ) it is no longer purely naïve projection..It comes from investigating all the possibilities, thoroughly.
I don't see a contradiction or problem, or anything that needs further explaining?
Maybe it is just me! I am not a seasoned debater, so please take that into consideration.

However IMO prasangika reasoning betrays its own intention when after undermining the "ordinary" sense of reificationist "reality" it introduces "alternative" reificationist views "through the backdoor".

Now having said all this I concede that for whomever this kind of autonomous syllogistic reasoning is helpful that one should practice this kind of reasoning.
However one should beware of clinging to illusory inherent existence.


You are more than welcome to an opinion, again, I have to say I do not agree with your claim that "prasangika reasoning undermines reificationist reality and then introduces reificationist views through the back door." I have no idea how you come to those conclusions.

Your warning that one should be aware of clinging to "illusory inherent existence"? How can you cling to something that does not even exist? You can cling to an idea of an "illusion- like inherent existence" - for sure! ;)

But what do I know? I do know I have to go and start baking me illusion-like pies that function in making many people happy, for the holidays!


Thanks for the chat, TMingyur.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:57 pm

BFS wrote:I don’t know what you are talking about here, I really don’t. It seems to me that you have become stuck on the word, "must." ?

You underline the word must twice, why?
It is clear to me that His Holiness, when warning us that whenever we engage in analysis, we must keep an open mind if we want to see the actual truth and not just our naïve projection, is making a valid point, just as valid as the point His Holiness makes when he uses the word MUST in the context of consciousness coming from a prior moment of consciousness.
I see no problem there. He has come to that conclusion, after thorough investigation!

I don't agree with the outcome of his analysis. His outcome is no "must".


BFS wrote:Once we have investigated thoroughly, our concluding that the luminous and knowing state of a given consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness, comes from that very investigation, it is right view, wisdom ( be it conceptual or not ) it is no longer purely naïve projection..It comes from investigating all the possibilities, thoroughly.


The statement "that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable" begs the question "Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"

And not to provide any reason here shows that the outcome of the analysis has be determined before it even started.

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby BFS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:04 pm

TMingyur wrote:
BFS wrote:Once we have investigated thoroughly, our concluding that the luminous and knowing state of a given consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness, comes from that very investigation, it is right view, wisdom ( be it conceptual or not ) it is no longer purely naïve projection..It comes from investigating all the possibilities, thoroughly.


The statement "that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable" begs the question "Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"

And not to provide any reason here shows that the outcome of the analysis has be determined before it even started.

Kind regards


Not it does not. You want a reason - read the book, the quote is His Holiness's and it is from the book. The book will give you a complete breakdown that will prove that the outcome of the analysis was not determined before it even started, as you suggest.

As I have already stated, you don't have to agree with anything.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby muni » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:08 pm

:namaste: http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductExtr ... ?PID=19464 This book (first post) can certainly clarify for interested ones.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:09 pm

BFS wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
BFS wrote:Once we have investigated thoroughly, our concluding that the luminous and knowing state of a given consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness, comes from that very investigation, it is right view, wisdom ( be it conceptual or not ) it is no longer purely naïve projection..It comes from investigating all the possibilities, thoroughly.


The statement "that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable" begs the question "Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"

And not to provide any reason here shows that the outcome of the analysis has be determined before it even started.

Kind regards


Not it does not. You want a reason - read the book, the quote is His Holiness's and it is from the book. The book will give you a complete breakdown that will prove that the outcome of the analysis was not determined before it even started, as you suggest.

As I have already stated, you don't have to agree with anything.



This Reasoning:
"The essential point is this: The luminous and knowing aspect of a given state of consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness.

A subject may come to this conclusion observing himself (consciousness observing itself), but this conclusion is not valid.

It follows, therefore, that it must also beginningless.

Not valid. Merely subjective projection. How is this different from the play of the "I"? Does "consciousness" "feel" more "real"?

For were a beginning to the continuum of the luminous and knowing aspect of consciousness posited, we would then have to concede that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable. "

This is the ungrounded premise upon which the whole is based.

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:11 pm

"Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby BFS » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:12 pm

These few quotes, that you have given, as a basis for your argument, don't even fill up one page from the book! You want to come to a conclusion, based on a few quotes? Wow. Well each to his own, I guess.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:14 pm

What answer does he provide for this question:

"Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:17 pm

BFS wrote:These few quotes, that you have given, as a basis for your argument, don't even fill up one page from the book! You want to come to a conclusion, based on a few quotes? Wow. Well each to his own, I guess.



Let me know just this:

What answer does he provide for this question:

"Why is what is considered to be "not commensurate" not commensurate?"


Does he write even one sentence as an answer to this question? If so then please quote.


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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:34 pm

See for comparison the beautiful simplicity of the prasangika "in-a-nutshell" approach:


There appears a conventional phenomenon, which is validly established by non-analytical conventional cognition. But if one analytically seeks to find it, one cannot find it.
Period.

:tongue:
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:06 am

TMingyur wrote:See for comparison the beautiful simplicity of the prasangika "in-a-nutshell" approach:

See for comparison the beautiful simplicity of the prasangika "in-a-nutshell" approach:

There appears a conventional phenomenon, which is validly established by non-analytical conventional cognition. But if one analytically seeks to find it, one cannot find it.
Period.

:tongue:


Now this has been too simplistic and therefore misleading. Sorry ...

Therefore the re-edited version:

See for comparison the beautiful simplicity of the prasangika "in-a-nutshell" approach:

There appears a conventional phenomenon, which is validly established by non-analytical** conventional cognition. But if one analytically** seeks to find it, one cannot find it.
Period.


Comment:
** the distinction non-analytical vs analytical in this context refers exlusively to the analysis logically investigating the mode of existence.

____________
Further comment:

Of course a conventional phenomenon is validly established in Prasangika also by means of analysis, i.e. logic. However this kind of analysis only focuses on conventional entities, their properties and on conventional definitions.
So if one concedes that this reasoning
"The essential point is this: The luminous and knowing aspect of a given state of consciousness must come from a prior moment of that consciousness. It follows, therefore, that it must also beginningless. For were a beginning to the continuum of the luminous and knowing aspect of consciousness posited, we would then have to concede that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable. "

establishes merely the conventional, merely nominally existent, phenomenon "consciousness" and its property "beginningless" then the property "beginningless" has to be grounded on reason since it is not commonly held that the conventional phenomenon "consciousness" is "beginningless" (see for example today's materialistic scientific view).
The reason provided is this premise:
For were a beginning to the continuum of the luminous and knowing aspect of consciousness posited, we would then have to concede that consciousness arose from a cause that is not commensurate with it, which is untenable. "

which assert nothing but "only 'consciousness' as a cause is commensurate with 'consciousness' arising from a cause".
However even according to conventional analysis (not analysing the mode of existence) this premise begs the question: "Why is what is considered "not commensurate" not commensurate? What is the reason?" E.g. materialistic science asserts exactly that consciousness arises from matter.
But neither can materialistic science prove that "consciousness" arises from "matter" nor can buddhists who assert "beginningless consciousness" prove that "consciousness" is "beginningless", i.e. that one moment of "consciousness" can arise only from a preceding moment of "consciousness".

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby muni » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:55 am

Buddhism is not "beating others" with "our knowledge", but to inspire each other. Something like this I saw in another post. I bow for this with warm heart. :bow:

There is no lack on tolerance and not really a different approach, but it looks like indeed. Still our responsability is to take here by the teaching of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and to protect the Dharma for all. :buddha1:

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:28 pm

muni wrote:Buddhism is not "beating others" with "our knowledge", but to inspire each other.

I wholeheartedly agree.

But buddhism is also about honesty and open-mindedness. And applying reason should be done honestly and open-minded and unbiased because otherwise this reasoning mind which is one of the most auspicious conditions for this precious human life is discredited.

I am making my comments so that others who know better may show me where my reasoning approach is faulty. And my reasonings are based on the Prasangika approach taught by the tradition of the Dalai Lama.

muni wrote:Still our responsability is to take here by the teaching of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and to protect the Dharma for all.

I do not really understand what you are meaning here. ??
Protecting the dharma means protecting the truth of Buddha's teachings.
How is this done?
Through honest and open-minded and unbiased reasoning and practice and realization.
Who is the supporter of such a kind of reasoning?
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:42 am

Hm. I don't think we are getting anywhere here. Either that or I just can't follow the thread. I still read the OP and am still perplexed.

If consciousness had no beginning and no end, it seems to me it must then be unchanging. Is there any argument with this?

If consciousness is unchanging, then the word must be being used to designate something other than sense impressions or mind activity. These are in chaotic change.

For similar reasons consciousness must be other than the conventionally perceived "observer".

Is consciousness the thing observed? It might so, since the things observed are empty and dependent on thought for their existence. So what do you think of the idea that consciousness is the stream of things observed? This stream is not unchanging.. but.... might be endless.

Or consciousness might be something else entirely. I really don't know.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:49 am

Take e.g. this (taken from another forum)

Question
How does the mind go from one body to another?

Answer
Think of it being like radio waves. The radio waves, which are not made up of words and music but energy at different frequencies, are transmitted, travel through space, are attracted to and picked up by the receiver from where they are broadcast as words and music. It is the same with the mind. At death, mental energy travels through space, is attracted to and picked up by the fertilized egg. As the embryo grows, it centers itself in the brain from where it later "broadcasts" itself as the new personality.


"Are transmitted", "travel through space", "attracted and picked up", "mental energy travels" ...
The issue is: There are actually no verbal models that do not imply a continuity because the intention of all verbal objectivying models is to imply continuity. And "continuity" necessarily implies "permanence". But the intention is right because it conforms with right view. What is right view? Right view is the inevitable basis of all activities leading to liberation.
In all compassionate explanations it is alway one phenomenon connecting two existences: The phenomenon that enters the next existence is the phenomenon that leaves the former existence. Sometimes this phenomenon is called "consciousness", sometimes "energy", sometimes "waves" (s. example above). The most "naive" (not meant offensive) approach is certainly to call this phenomenon "consciousness" - but it is also the most intuitive approach, because we all believe to experience what is called "consciousness". A trial to somehow hide this naivety is to add qualifiers like "subtle" or "subtlest". In the latter case it is not that what we believe to experience as "consciousness" but it is asserted to be something "deeper" or "hidden" to ordinary experience but since the same word "consciousness" is applied we may intuitively feel more "affirmed" or "satisfied".

The cause of such explanations is not a shortcoming of the teachers but it is the shortcoming of the students.

Having said this I do not in the least deny "re-birth" or the teachings of karma.

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby muni » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:43 pm

:namaste: I add this general explanation. Here: http://www.perryland.com/Noteworthy9.shtml

And some notes:

"In the empty nature of your mind,
You cannot find a basis for samsara.
Samsara's root, a timeless purity,
Is undeluded wakefulness which cannot fall."

"Mind's innate qualities" (luminosity, clarity, awareness) are not consciously created or deliberately constructed, they are rather given aspect of "mind". Dynamic processes. They are not the product of circumstancial conditions. Sometimes innate its' meaning is defined as permanence as never ending continuum (no begin, no end); sometimes as impermanent as processes composed of instances.

Dalai Lama.
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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:22 pm

Well this seems a complex issue. From my limited layepersons view.....

Consciousness may be thought of as a object. Personally I think of it as a quality. Without a object to be aware of we can not be aware. As per Shantideva...

61. If consciousness is that which does not know.
It follows that a stick is also conscious
Therefore, in the absence of a thing to know,
It is clear that consciousness will not arise.

As I see it there is no inherantly existant object, "consiousness" which travels from here to there and remains aware. There is a quality of consciousness to things which we call sentinent beings. That quality is consciousness but not eternal. As per the not being able to be aware of something that does not exist, ths conscious quality would not exist if there were no objects with which to be aware of.
But as our consciousness works....the five major and minor attributes of consciousness, the habitual formation aspect of consciousness has retention as a composit. As such the retention forms the object for the elicitiation of awareness. So we establish a continum of consciousness based on how our consciousnesses work. Not on eternal aspect of consciousness. As perhaps water is wet, always, a eternal observation. But it is a observational quality of water not a self inherant aspect. Water is not eternal, but when water is present it is always wet.

In other words it is our own consciousness which provides the object which causes a continum of consciousness to exist. If we could provide a first place or uncaused realm of some sort with no habitual tendency present we could provide cause for a consciousness which is not present yet may become present when a object presented. Observationally we already exist where a cause for the elicitation of awareness and consciousness has been present. As far as we know no other theoritical realm may exist with no first cause. Death is not that, as sleep is not that. LIke all objects perceived being only mind preceived...such a realm of no cause or no past consciousness cause is likely impossible. It contradicts all appearence is mind, a thing we know to be true, which is another subject but related in fashion.

It is not that consciousness or awareness is eternal. It is that due to how our awarenesses work they are functionally always present seemingly eternal to our view.

They are not inherantly existant as are no things. But as they function they create the conditions which functionally produce a eternal appearence.

So the quality of consciousness is eternal..we sentinent beings always have that. It differentiates us from rocks or stone. We may produce inantimate objects and they are not seperate from our consciousnesses but that also is another matter. They are not capeable of being aware seperate from a sentinent beings relationship to those objects. As our hair or nails are produced by our body but not capeable of awareness. We are but a microcosm, but again another issue.

Consicouness as quality not thing. So this being quality is always present and functionally due to aspect of how consciousness works eternal. So the quality like water is wet is always there, but nothing is inherantly existant in either case. But as we are this water is always there.

So this quality we call consciousness is always there and cannot as qualities are, be removed. So as quality it is permenant and not elicited by circumstance(as water when it presents as water is always wet). Consciousness may or theoritically not be there, so as object it is indeed elicited by circumstance. A self propogated perhaps circumstance but circumstance nevertheless. That is how the two are compatible.

Just my personal way of looking at it.

And "whew"....that was quite a lot of words. Ya gotta love Shantideva. Ch 9...Verses 151-167 plainly bring me to tears.
"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: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ground » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:41 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:It is not that consciousness or awareness is eternal...
Consicouness as quality not thing. ...
So this quality we call consciousness is always there and cannot as qualities are, be removed. So as quality it is permenant

Sorry but you cannot establish a "quality" without having established an entity that displays that quality before. It appears to me that you are just playing with words and I assume the reason being your intention to assert something that actually cannot be asserted validly. Why not be honest and refrain from reificationist ungrounded assertions?
Being trapped in one's subjective experiencing is no valid reason for such kind of assertions.

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Re: The Middle Way - H.H. the Dalai Lama

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:46 pm

Well I do not maintain that I am doing any such thing as this....

"Why not be honest and refrain from reificationist ungrounded assertions?"

I suggest a one line retort fairly rarely suffices to refute contentions made that approximate the better part of a page. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, but I'd suggest only in a dream world in which we reach dream conclusions on dream suibjects will such simplistic retorts suffice as valid claim to point furthured or point initiated in discussion. Or pehaps on national US talking head visual media with pointed view which is not actually discussion or debate but play,(as a aside) .

To invalidate my claims and assertations it is actually necessary to engage with or into my discussion and point on specifics on how my elaborated points are lacking in logic or likewise deficient. To simply make blatent wholescale claim of such with only validations substance being a personal opinion, serves little.

This is the internet and anyone can do and say whatever they may feel at the moment. I do reserve the personal right to catagorize claims and statements made in a personal manner as is perhaps necessary in this particular environment. So I do state quite emphatically and firmly.....nonsense.

Or as they say....put up or shut up.

I stand by my comments and find them not refuted nor challenged, nor do I find point initiated that was not inclusive in my original statement.
Basically nothing has been stated, and thusly I offer no additional point nor point of rebuttal.

I do wonder perhaps how many times reificationist is to be uttered in this discussion, as in..."Why is such invalid and reificationist thought possible based on what may be claimed to be "objective analysis"?
It appears I lie not alone in being suchly accused.

Good day to you sir.
Now perhaps we may hear a real argument that challenges claims made, not this useless drivel of personal opinion.

I await a reasoned response.
"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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