Dechen Norbu wrote:
I know what you mean, Greg. But you can't say that enlightenment is not possible without the experience of ignorance. That would be conditioning it, so not only speaking of it in relative terms but also defining it in experiential terms as dualistic.
No more than darkness conditions lightness. Initially, in experiential terms, the experience of enlightenment (or a moment of enlightenment) would be defined dualistically. That is our habitual mode of definition. Just because we define it dualistically does not mean that it is dualistic. We also define sensory experience as a dualistic process (object of sensation, subject that is sensing) but its not. So...
To begin the path one has to realize one's ignorance, only to do a full circle and understand enlightenment was there from the very beginning. It's not that I am disagreeing with your statement, only with the sentence that without ignorance one can't experience enlightenment as without cold one wouldn't know what heat is (and that is debatable). There are Buddhas who never were unenlightened, so never ignorant. Can you say that they are not enlightened? No.
I agree with you here, I did not say though that one cannot experience cold without having expereienced heat, but that the experience of the difference becomes more distinct if one has experienced both. Buddhas that were never unenlightened? Some examples please.
It seems an adequate simile like comparing enlightenment to awakening from a dream. It doesn't matter what your dream was. When you wake up, it's a different thing altogether. Being awake has nothing to do with the contents of the dream. It doesn't matter if you dream with a bird, a flower, a monster or even with being asleep and waking up.
But the expereince of wakefulness is understood as different from that of dreaming because of its different qualities. Even here there is a point of comparison.
It seems to me that this is the point where you go wrong. Enlightenment as the change of experience in relation to a deluded experience. The deluded experience is still the play of your energy. Enlightenment is already present.
I am aware of this, thgat is why I do not consider ignorance as a curse!
That would be possible even if you hadn't mistaken them for being independent.
I am not willing to make a statement like that, because, as long as I can remember i have been trapped in dualism (hell, I'm there now too), so I really can't say if your statement is true or not. And everything that I have described thus far has been through the limited prism of my own experience. In my experience it is like the blissful nature of mediative absorption becomes even more "appealing" when I compare it to the shallow drudgery (broken up by periods of emotional eruption) of daily existence.
Yes, but this doesn't mean ignorance is a prerequisite for enlightenment.
Didn't say it was, but it is definitely the starting point for everybody that I know. This is our current situation. This is the materials that we have to work with right now.
Rebirth is what some could consider a curse (that is the debate of this topic, right?), while others a blessing, not ignorance.
It depends, no? For those engaged in practice who haven't had the time to finish the path, it can be a "blessing". For those who will be ripening the fruits of unfavorable karma, it may look like a curse. But this discussion is a little silly I guess.
Aren't all beings in samsara ripening the fuits of unfavourable karma?