Reasons for Conventional Reality

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:53 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Conventional reality is only appearance, that's true, but to say that it's an appearance only for the deluded means that Buddhas do not perceive conventional reality. This is refuted by Tsonghkapa and other authors.


And proven by Gorampa, etc.

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:18 pm

Here's the thing, and apologies to Astus, again.......it strikes me that those who assert Tsong Khapa's view, here on Dharma Wheel, as the final position are not familiar with the positions of Gorampa, Pawo Rinpoche, Karmapa Mikyo Dorje, etc.
However, those of us who question various points of Tsong Khapa's view ARE familiar with his positions--it's fairly hard not to be, if one has been studying the Dharma for more than a decade or so, as Tsong Khapa's position was the ONLY Indo-Tibetan interpretation you could find until fairly recently--or nearly so.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Astus » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:57 pm

conebeckham wrote:..and Astus, sorry for derailing the thread. I'm not sure that there are "good" Buddhist arguments for a certain view of conventional reality, as compared to other sorts of arguments. Karma, D.O., these things should appeal to those with a scientific mind, I think.


Maybe there are no such arguments. I've been looking into the Tattvasamgraha's arguments, but one of the major difficulties when it argues against materialists is that the modern view of the body is quite different from those in ancient India. But even if we put that aside, it is difficult to accept its explanations for instance for the body not being the basis for the mind when it falls to a reasoning applied to any sort of causal relation (one-many argument on p. 898).

Just to show how easily certain basic concepts are viewed as evident:
"The other aspect of looking at the relationship between appearances and mind is whether the body and mind are the same or different. Normally, we tend to think of them as different. Most people have a vague idea that their body is like the dwelling place of their mind—as though the body were the house and their mind were someone living in that house. In fact, they are indivisible, because the mind pervades the body." (Thrangu RInpoche: Ocean of Definitive Meaning, p. 110)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby catmoon » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:27 pm

conebeckham wrote:..and Astus, sorry for derailing the thread. I'm not sure that there are "good" Buddhist arguments for a certain view of conventional reality, as compared to other sorts of arguments. Karma, D.O., these things should appeal to those with a scientific mind, I think.


What? What? Did someone say "derailing the thread"? Oh, I am SO all over this!


:offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic:




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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:38 pm

So even though conventional truths are basically a product of delusion, but it is still a tool for us to realize enlightenment. We incorporate it into practice since we cannot separate ourselves from the environment that we live in.

Environment is the product of the mind. If we change the way we think and do things, we also change the appearance of our body and the people around us also. False thinking is we think for ourselves only and not others. The reason is due to ignorance. But now that we know, we can start thinking and act to benefit others-part of compassionate teaching. So basically we take conventional reality as it is and turn it around as we walk the path.

I hope I am not off topic.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby catmoon » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:41 pm

LastLegend wrote:I hope I am not off topic.



Relax, man. I'm just having an attack of the cat crazies today. Ooh! Ooh! There's a mouse under the fridge! Gotta go!
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:33 pm

Astus wrote:I've been looking into the Tattvasamgraha's arguments, but one of the major difficulties when it argues against materialists is that the modern view of the body is quite different from those in ancient India. But even if we put that aside, it is difficult to accept its explanations for instance for the body not being the basis for the mind when it falls to a reasoning applied to any sort of causal relation (one-many argument on p. 898).

Just to show how easily certain basic concepts are viewed as evident:
"The other aspect of looking at the relationship between appearances and mind is whether the body and mind are the same or different. Normally, we tend to think of them as different. Most people have a vague idea that their body is like the dwelling place of their mind—as though the body were the house and their mind were someone living in that house. In fact, they are indivisible, because the mind pervades the body." (Thrangu RInpoche: Ocean of Definitive Meaning, p. 110)

Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla are engaging in a grosser level of conventional analysis in their refutation of materialism than what Thrangu Rinpoche is talking about in the context of mahāmudrā vipaśyanā meditation.

Astus wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I'm not sure that there are "good" Buddhist arguments for a certain view of conventional reality, as compared to other sorts of arguments. Karma, D.O., these things should appeal to those with a scientific mind, I think.

Maybe there are no such arguments.

These arguments require understanding and accepting Śāntarakṣita's use of the pramāṇas of direct perception (pratyakṣa) and inference (anumāna), especially inference.

Astus wrote:the modern view of the body is quite different from those in ancient India.

Jackson addresses some of the modern materialist views in Is Enlightenment Possible? Dharmakīrti and rGyal tshab rje on Knowledge, Rebirth, No-Self and Liberation.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Sherab » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:34 am

Bodhisattvas on the 8th stage and beyond perceive appearances of buddhas don't they? Are these appearances of buddhas deluded?
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:43 am

Namdrol wrote:
MMK refutes both:

"Where is there an existent not included in inherent existence or dependent existence?
If an existent is not established, a non-existent is not established.
Those who perceive existents, non-existents,
inherent existence or dependent existence do not see the truth of the Buddha's teaching."

Madhyamaka therefore do not assert any views. Not asserting a view does not mean "incapable of engaging in conventional discourse", something you gelugpas seem to be afraid of.

N


Unless you rig the question by insisting that having a view can only mean accepting existence, non-existence, both,or neither, then having a view means any opinion about the nature of reality. In which case, what MMK is saying here is definitely a view: it is saying there is such a thing as the Buddha's teaching, and if you perceive X (which already assumes, and raises, all kinds of epistemological views), then you do not see it, etc.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:30 am

Sherab wrote:Bodhisattvas on the 8th stage and beyond perceive appearances of buddhas don't they? Are these appearances of buddhas deluded?



Their experience is divided in terms of meditation and post-meditation.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:31 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
MMK refutes both:

"Where is there an existent not included in inherent existence or dependent existence?
If an existent is not established, a non-existent is not established.
Those who perceive existents, non-existents,
inherent existence or dependent existence do not see the truth of the Buddha's teaching."

Madhyamaka therefore do not assert any views. Not asserting a view does not mean "incapable of engaging in conventional discourse", something you gelugpas seem to be afraid of.

N


Unless you rig the question by insisting that having a view can only mean accepting existence, non-existence, both,or neither, then having a view means any opinion about the nature of reality. In which case, what MMK is saying here is definitely a view: it is saying there is such a thing as the Buddha's teaching, and if you perceive X (which already assumes, and raises, all kinds of epistemological views), then you do not see it, etc.



"It is not that we claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents"

-- Buddhapalita.

Madhyamakas do not have views.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:07 am

Bodhisattvas have wisdom, and therefore they must know that even wisdom does not inherently exist so there is nothing to cling to (thus producing their non-existing wisdom). So, if even wisdom is not to be clung to as it doesn't inherently exist, what use are views?

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:44 am

conebeckham wrote:Here's the thing, and apologies to Astus, again.......it strikes me that those who assert Tsong Khapa's view, here on Dharma Wheel, as the final position are not familiar with the positions of Gorampa, Pawo Rinpoche, Karmapa Mikyo Dorje, etc.
However, those of us who question various points of Tsong Khapa's view ARE familiar with his positions--it's fairly hard not to be, if one has been studying the Dharma for more than a decade or so, as Tsong Khapa's position was the ONLY Indo-Tibetan interpretation you could find until fairly recently--or nearly so.


I'm familiar with Gorampa's position, and frankly, it's not very sophisticated compared with Tsongkhapa's view. 'All conventional truths are objects of deluded minds' is a pretty crude and wrong statement as it conflates conventional existence with inherent existence, but the point is that conventional truths are not established by the mind of self-grasping ignorance, they are established by valid cognizers such as valid eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousnesses as explained by Dharmakirti. They are established by valid minds, and then subsequently incorrectly conceived to exist inherently by the mind of self-grasping. It's only the perception and conception of phenomena being inherently existent that's deluded, not the perception of phenomena per se, unless they are non-existents such as seeing a face in a mirror as a real face, seeing a mirage as water, and so forth.

Gorampa is unable to distinguish between phenomena that exist as valid karmic appearances to mind and the appearance and conception of those phenomena as inherently existent as incorrectly projected by the mind of self-grasping, and thus he falls into the extreme of non-existence by denying the validity of conventional truths, which is a wrong view.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:47 am

Namdrol wrote:
"It is not that we claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents"

-- Buddhapalita.

Madhyamakas do not have views.

N


Yes they do. 'phenomena do not exist inherently' is a Madhyamika view. It's not possible to follow a spiritual path without possessing correct views.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:54 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
All conventional truths are objects of deluded minds' is a pretty crude and wrong statement


This is Candrakirti's definition in Madhyamaka-avatara.

If you want to consider it crude, as compared to a Tibetan's POV, well, that is your problem.

N
Last edited by Malcolm on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:55 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
"It is not that we claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents"

-- Buddhapalita.

Madhyamakas do not have views.

N


Yes they do. 'phenomena do not exist inherently' is a Madhyamika view. It's not possible to follow a spiritual path without possessing correct views.


Correct view is no view.

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:57 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Gorampa is unable to distinguish...blah blah blah


The Gelug misunderstanding of madhyamaka is tragic.

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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Sherab » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:15 am

Namdrol wrote:
Sherab wrote:Bodhisattvas on the 8th stage and beyond perceive appearances of buddhas don't they? Are these appearances of buddhas deluded?



Their experience is divided in terms of meditation and post-meditation.

I take it that you are saying that their perception of buddhas occur ONLY in post-meditation and these appearances are therefore deluded.
And, that while in meditation, these bodhisattvas can NEVER perceive ANY appearances of buddhas.

Let me know if I understood you wrongly.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby swampflower » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:40 am

It seems to me we are missing the baby in a dirty tub of bathwater.
The baby is there but we are not seeing it due to the clouded perceptions of conventional existence.
The Buddhas Noble Eightfold Path holds the answers to the question.
We must view conventional reality with ethical, moral, and unclouded eyes.
Viewing conventional reality with unclouded eyes will show that conventional reality is delusion and also that we must live out that conventional reality following the Buddha's path. Or if one is not Buddhist then by following another moral and ethical path.
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Re: Reasons for Conventional Reality

Postby Quiet Heart » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:17 am

:smile:
Does that mean "the unenumerated ultimate truth is" incomprehensible, or do we lack words and phrases to express it? If it is comprehensible but inexpressible, who can comprehend it?


Just my personal take on the quoted point:

1. Yes....that quote is correct.
2. It is comprehensible but "words and phrases" can not express it adequately. They are merely "pointers"... like a "finger pointing at the moon reflected in a still pond" (to use a Zen reference). It can not be comprehended by words alone, it requires a deeper level understanding, an "actualization" of that event,
3. Who can comprehend it? I take it on faith alone that it can only be comprehened by the "truely awakened mind". (if I ever get there I'll send you a postcard...but don't stay awake waiting for that postcard...it may take a while) :smile:
4. Regarding "perception". It needs to be understood that perception by any observer is a complex process. First there is the "object"...which might also be called a "object/time/perception essence point" location. Then there is also the observer...another "object/time/perception essence point" location. These two, "object" and "observer", interact in the "mind" of the observer....and that interaction generates a seperate point, a 3rd "ob/ti/per essence point" location. This 3rd point also includes the preconceptions of the mind of the observer as reaction to the preconcieved nature of the object.

From #4 you see this discussion goes deep and complex very quickly...far to deep and too long to attempt to discrribe for a short posting.
:smile:
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