Non affirming negation

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Non affirming negation

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:00 pm

:quoteunquote:

Why is it important?

"Lack of inherent existence" doesn't seem to me to be a very good conceptual emptiness because we already know unicorns have no inherent existence - but they are also empty.

A unicorn is already non-affirmatively negated. But this analysis has not realized the emptiness of unicorns.

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:37 am

I would say, the unicorn is not negated. "Unicorn" is not a valid verifiable thing, so there is nothing to be negated. The idea of a unicorn is the only thing existing that is negatable...
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Dexing
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Dexing » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:45 am

"Lack of inherent existence" is usually understood in the Hinayana sense of emptiness as impermanence (dependent origination, etc.), i.e. an object exists but only dependent upon causes and conditions and will cease when those causes and conditions cease. Therefore it is said to have no inherent existence. This is an affirming negation, because it still implies an affirmation of the existence of an object, albeit dependently originated and impermanent.

"Non-affirming negation" is the Mahayana understanding that all such existence is an illusion. Even dependent origination which itself is based on illusory objects is therefore also an illusion. This type of negation does not affirm that there is something to exist or not exist in any fashion.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:16 am

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

muni
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby muni » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:11 am

"There are two kinds of negatives; -affirming ones in which other positive phenomenon is implied in place of the object of negation and non affirming negatives in which no other positive phenomenon is implied in place of the object of negation. Emptiness is the latter." Dalai Lama.

To mind is this appearance not nothingness. Production-creation of idea Catmoon is pointing. Non conceptual cognition of voidness in clarity. Truthlessness of painting concepts.

"Clear vacuity accompagnied by the mere thought."

Cupness. Hehe.
Last edited by muni on Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:12 am

Left

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Dexing
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Dexing » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:00 pm

nopalabhyate...

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:43 am

@Dexing:


I find the cup to be valid and verifiable.

It is labelled "valid" because it is verifiable.

It is labelled "verifiable" for several reasons.


1. It is functional. It can hold tea.
2. Other people can see the cup.
3. It is logically consistent. It does not, for instance, spontaneously transform into the Dalai Lama.
4. Happily it is also impermanent and dependently originated, which one can see without reference to emptiness.

Both terms, "valid" and "verifiable", are quite iffy if one brings emptiness into the discussion. I'm not sure if they can hold, if emptiness is brought in.

To signify that emptiness is NOT being brought into the discussion, one might use terms like "conventionally valid" and "conventionally verifiable". Maybe I should start doing that.

I find it worrisome that these discussions require such extremes of precise speech. It's more like doing mathematics than talking!


Next topic. Non affirming negation.

I have not less than three different versions of this idea circulating in my head. Each version entails intricate logic and each version uses the same words, but in each version the the words are being used to signify very different things, so the potential for confusion when trying to sort them all out is enormous.
I am not sure I want to attempt this.

But if I read the above correctly, the Dalai Lama can be paraphrased as follows:

There are two kinds of negation.
There is negation with replacement, in which the negated thing is replaced with something else.
There is negation without replacement, in which nothing replaces the negated thing.
Emptiness is of the latter type.

Now if you throw in my view that there are no negatable things, only negatable ideas, and replace "negated things" with "negated ideas" you may have a self consistent view. This does require a little reclassification though. In this view, the world is composed of things and ideas, with no overlap between the two classes. So it's clearly dualistic, and an idea cannot be seen as a "thing" in this view.
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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:10 am

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

Clueless Git
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Clueless Git » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:31 am

Interesting conversation :bow:

Minds me of the old chestnut about Samuel Johnson (I think it was?) kicking a rock with the words "I refute the idea thusly!"

Also minds me of something I read by TNH about looking deeply at things .. If I read him correctly then the idea is to see a cup and know that in the present moment it is a cup but that it once wasn't a cup and, at some point in time, once again it won't be?

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:39 am

Also brings to mind the story of the Zen master and the teacup. If I may grossly paraphrase, the teacup was exceedingly beautiful and only brought out for honored guests. One such guest remarked on the beauty of the teacup and the master replied, "Yes, it is beautiful, and in my mind, I have seen it fall to the floor and smash many times".

If we were to view our wealth, our relationships, our loves and passions, our faiths and beliefs in this way...
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:38 am

Left

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Dexing
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Dexing » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:44 am

nopalabhyate...

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Dexing
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Dexing » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:52 am

nopalabhyate...

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:04 pm

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:09 pm

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Dexing
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby Dexing » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:27 pm

nopalabhyate...

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florin
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby florin » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:28 pm

so is it then that the existence of a cup cannot be denied and those who think that they are involved in denying the exsitence of a cup are merely involved in denying the idea of a cup?
"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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catmoon
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:12 pm

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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florin
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Re: Non affirming negation

Postby florin » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:51 pm

"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"


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