I don't get it...

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I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:08 pm

Atman as described here differs from Emptiness only by erring on the side of "is" more often than "is not", although it vehemently defies both. Is this typical of Advaita?

PS. Perhaps a more careful reading will reveal some form of subtle reification. (I seriously doubt they promote annihilation) Dunno.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:07 pm

devilyoudont wrote:Atman as described here differs from Emptiness only by erring on the side of "is" more often than "is not", although it vehemently defies both. Is this typical of Advaita?

PS. Perhaps a more careful reading will reveal some form of subtle reification, or that these statements take themselves to be Truth. (annihilation) Dunno.


The Advaita philosophy of Sankara was heavily informed by Buddhist Madhyamaka philosophy, its methods were too. Emptiness is not a ground of being, unlike the Brahman posited by Advaita. To really get into the important difference you have to go beyond philosophy to the method of practice. Emptiness can also be thought of as a name for a method. Here you don't look, grasp, like, etc. Then, the practice of buddhist meditation and resulting bliss is easy to understand.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:59 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Emptiness is not a ground of being, unlike the Brahman posited by Advaita.

Nonetheless, dharmas can be said to abide in non-abidance. While Emptiness is not a ground of being, it is not a non-ground-of-being either. Moreover, the Avadhuta Gita explicitly rejects both "is" and "isn't", so how can its Atman be a one-sided storehouse of "is"?

deepbluehum wrote:To really get into the important difference you have to go beyond philosophy to the method of practice. Emptiness can also be thought of as a name for a method.

The Buddha indeed taught a set of skillful means without a Dharma since the Buddhadharma cannot be taught, but Emptiness cannot be boiled down to a method of practice. Otherwise "Emptiness" would be a dharma consisting of actions and/or inactions, perhaps with accompanying mental states, and would thus transcend itself.

deepbluehum wrote:Here you don't look, grasp, like, etc.

Provisionally, sure, but as a method, this can never be Emptiness, because where does it end? Why is it that you do not look and yet you do breathe? Is Emptiness an arbitrary ritual? If, in Emptiness, one neither looks nor breathes nor eats nor sleeps, then this statement reflects a perfect understanding of Emptiness. Otherwise, this is not a perfect understanding because I can say it's not so. If I can point at X and say it isn't Emptiness, X cannot be Emptiness. That is why all ultimate negations of "Emptiness" (or anything else for that matter) represent a stage in the realization of Emptiness, whereas Emptiness that even averts characterization as "Emptiness(es)" can never be denied.

deepbluehum wrote:Then, the practice of buddhist meditation and resulting bliss is easy to understand.

Pardon my misunderstanding of your intent, because if things were as simple as you make them appear to my clouded mind, Emptiness would be nothing more or less than a ritual of inaction. Ultimately, Emptiness cannot be clarified by comparing it to sensory dharmas. Eg. "Platonic Buddhism" is an understandable philosophy: ultimate Emptiness, relative Platonism. But "Platonic Emptiness" is merely Platonism. This can be generalized to "X Emptiness" is X, Emptiness being the negation of ultimate X. There is no way around this, because Emptiness is simply that which cannot be negated.

Of course, all your statements can be understood as skillful means leading to the realization of Emptiness, but so can the Avadhuta Gita. (especially my inadequate reading of it)
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:27 am

The mind cannot be conceptualized or imagined. You will immediately have an identity or self when you imagine or conceptualize what emptiness of the mind is like. Language has its limitation, as soon as we give a word to describe a state of mind such as emptiness, we are falling under form. But since we communicate by language, we have to use it. So look at your mind, it is empty. It cannot be grasped or seen. You cannot get behind it. But that's what you have.

So if you conceptualize or imagine, you are giving it an identity or self.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:26 am

LastLegend wrote:So if you conceptualize or imagine, you are giving it an identity or self.

If you do not imagine, you are doing the same.

Are you talking about me or the AG? My question deals with what the AG, at least initially, teaches about the nature of Atman. I myself have specifically rejected conceptualized Emptiness(es) as perfect Emptiness. To my mind, Emptiness can be summed up as "no definitive synthesis; no enduring analysis." (which ultimately negates itself) Emptiness is the rejection, not just of conceptualized telicity, but of conceptualizable telicity. You can't hide from it by deliberately shrouding your mind in unawareness, because absolutely anything can be declared to be nonconceptual. Which, of course, they are: Since the mind is nonconceptual, conceptualized Emptiness(es) are true Emptiness! Dogs are nonconceptual, therefore dogs are Emptiness. Mu! If you understand these statements as ultimate negations by way of relative affirmation, they are perfect reflections of true Emptiness. If not, you are giving in to conceptual proliferation. An unthinking ritual cannot be Mahayana Emptiness, just as a class of sentient organisms cannot.

Ritualized Zen can be understood as a kind of "Taoist Buddhism" that tends to favor praxis over theoria at the level of relative truth. Emptiness, favoring nothing, rejects action too, utterly destroying either, both and neither, dominating over realms of thought and nonthought alike with its blazing adamantine sword of indiscriminate fury. Taking any method or comparison to be Emptiness is to mistake the finger for the moon. There is no way around this, and it's pointless to argue about it in a manner not aimed at the further illumination of both minds. In the end, all conceptualization and ritual must be negated in order to arrive at true understanding. This is why laying too much stress on thought or action or Platonic ideal forms may ultimately become counterproductive.

None of the preceding words can tell you what Emptiness is, unless they are used as tools to get at the intent behind them. Uncompassionate, uncharitable, nonempathetic minds cannot reach that immeasurable field where all beings are Buddhas. Those unwilling to learn can be brainwashed, but cannot be made to understand. They will invariably discover shady groves alongside the path that promise afternoons of blissful contentment. The Buddhadharma cannot be taught.
Last edited by devilyoudont on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:01 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:05 am

devilyoudont wrote:
LastLegend wrote:So if you conceptualize or imagine, you are giving it an identity or self.

If you do not imagine, you are doing the same.


Look at your mind, you will see it is empty.

Are you talking about me or the AG? My question deals with what the AG, at least initially, teaches about the nature of Atman. I myself have specifically rejected conceptualized Emptiness(es) as perfect Emptiness. To my mind, Emptiness can be summed up as "no definitive synthesis; no enduring analysis." Emptiness is the rejection, not just of conceptualized telicity, but of conceptualizable telicity. You can't hide from it by deliberately shrouding your mind in unawareness, because absolutely anything can be declared to be nonconceptual. Which, of course, they are: Since the mind is nonconceptual, conceptualized Emptiness(es) are true Emptiness! Dogs are nonconceptual, therefore dogs are Emptiness. Mu! If you understand these statements as ultimate negations by way of relative affirmation, they are perfect reflections of true Emptiness. If not, you are falling under conceptualization. An unthinking ritual cannot be Mahayana Emptiness, just as a class of sentient organisms cannot.


No, you cannot get behind mind. You cannot get behind emptiness. But you have tried anyway through reasoning. Reasoning cannot get behind the mind either.

Ritualized Zen can be understood as a kind of "Taoist Buddhism" that tends to reject theoria in favor of praxis at the level of relative truth. Emptiness, however, rejects action too, utterly destroying either, both and neither, dominating over realms of thought and nonthought alike with its blazing adamantine sword of indiscriminate fury. Taking any method or comparison to be Emptiness is to mistake the finger for the moon. There is no way around this, and it's pointless to argue about it in a manner not aimed at the further illumination of both minds. In the end, all conceptualization and ritual must be negated in order to arrive at true understanding. This is why laying too much stress on thought or action or Platonic ideal forms can ultimately become misleading.


You are still imagining or reasoning what emptiness is.

None of the preceding words can tell you what Emptiness is, unless they are used as tools to get at the intent behind them. Uncompassionate, uncharitable, nonempathetic minds can never reach that immeasurable field where all beings are Buddhas. Those unwilling to understand can be brainwashed, but cannot be made to understand. They will invariably discover shady groves alongside the path that promise afternoons of blissful contentment. The Buddhadharma cannot be taught.


Therefore, you have said "I don't get it..."

Look at your mind or meditate.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:10 am

That's fine dude, you can keep to your Emptiness of unthinking bliss and I'll "keep to" my inconceivable Buddhadharma. All I'm saying is, I can deny yours, but you literally cannot deny mine. All you can do is try, and it's beneficial for all beings for you to do so. Keep it up.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:17 am

devilyoudont wrote:That's fine dude, you can keep to your Emptiness of unthinking bliss and I'll "keep to" my inconceivable Buddhadharma. All I'm saying is, I can deny yours, but you literally cannot deny mine. All you can do is try, and it's beneficial for all beings for you to do so. Keep it up.


Whatever you think about the mind or emptiness arises from your conditioned self of thinking. This is the reason why you cannot get behind emptiness plus Western philosophy of thinking. Too much reasoning is not good for you.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:25 am

Thanks, I'll keep your kind words in mind.

Now, doesn't anyone have any opinions on the teachings of the AG? Read it, that's not that bad. I kinda liked it. :thinking:

LL, don't you have any opinions about the topic at hand? Or will having opinions violate your Emptiness? :tongue:
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:34 am

devilyoudont wrote:Thanks, I'll keep your kind words in mind.

Now, doesn't anyone have any opinions on the teachings of the AG? Read it, that's not that bad. I kinda liked it. :thinking:

LL, don't you have any opinions about the topic at hand? Or will having opinions violate your Emptiness? :tongue:


Right now Emptiness is not my concern and I am not bothered by it.
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Re: I don't get it...

Postby devilyoudont » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:55 am

Waaah, come back LL! :tantrum:
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