Conceptuality in Buddhism

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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Mariusz » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:10 am

Namdrol wrote:
Acchantika wrote:Only if we consider unimpeded knowledge of all phenomena to be the same as knowing all details about everything with certainty.


Yes, that is the Mahāyāna definition of omniscience.


Yes, according to my studies for example "the center of sunlit sky", for me also it works as I wrote here:

The two truths division is only from deceiving perspective of students (the seeming): conventional- it is not possible to know by them the infinitive cause/cognitions of any object, ultimate-is not possible for sentient beings to have the freedom from all reference points.

For buddha, who no longer limited sentient being, there is no such division: if buddha would know precisely the seeming (omniscience) it will be the total freedom from all reference points.


It also explains my other posts: the object-side perspective as not soteriologically efficient for sentient beings. In contrast to: a Buddha do not need to catch anything because already "self-liberated" which means "the omniscience=unblurred unimpaired vision".
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:58 am

RichardLinde wrote:It doesn't help to appeal to the imagined "Mahayana definition", which doesn't even exist.


Apparently, you are completely and totally ignorant of Mahāyāna positions.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:13 am

devilyoudont wrote:My understanding comes straight from the Diamond Sutra: It is because the mind is unreal that all past, present and future minds are known to the Tathagata.


This is just your interpretation of the Sutra, rather than what the Sutra actually says.

Knowing past, present, and future minds is NOT the same as knowing all the details of past, present, and future events.

For example, it's possible to know the thing called "the future" without knowing any of the details of future events. Likewise it's possible to know of "minds" without knowing any of the details of those minds.

Buddhas cannot know square circles. There are countless things Buddhas cannot know because those things are impossible to know.

Now you might believe that such a state is unattainable


I don't "believe" it is unattainable, I know that it is unattainable. It is you who believe it to be attainable.

And I say again, if you can't provide reasons then you don't have a case.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:16 am

Namdrol wrote:Apparently, you are completely and totally ignorant of Mahāyāna positions.


Where can I read the official Mahayana position? Who decides what the official Mahayana position is? Is there a team of people who get together and decide which Sutras are to be held to be authoritative, and exactly how those Sutras are to be interpreted?
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:34 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Apparently, you are completely and totally ignorant of Mahāyāna positions.


Where can I read the official Mahayana position? Who decides what the official Mahayana position is? Is there a team of people who get together and decide which Sutras are to be held to be authoritative, and exactly how those Sutras are to be interpreted?


Would you care then to provide at least one quote from a Mahayana specific commentary which explicitly supports your position.

I had thought the Mahayana position on omniscience was summed up nicely in the quote from Ornament of Clear Realisation that I referenced quite a few posts ago.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:35 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Apparently, you are completely and totally ignorant of Mahāyāna positions.


Where can I read the official Mahayana position? Who decides what the official Mahayana position is? Is there a team of people who get together and decide which Sutras are to be held to be authoritative, and exactly how those Sutras are to be interpreted?



Well, for starters you can read the Long PP sutra and its commentaries connected with the Abhisamaya-alamkara.

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.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:36 am

Tom wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Apparently, you are completely and totally ignorant of Mahāyāna positions.


Where can I read the official Mahayana position? Who decides what the official Mahayana position is? Is there a team of people who get together and decide which Sutras are to be held to be authoritative, and exactly how those Sutras are to be interpreted?


Would you care then to provide at least one quote from a Mahayana specific commentary which explicitly supports your position.

I had thought the Mahayana position on omniscience was summed up nicely in the quote from Ornament of Clear Realisation that I referenced quite a few posts ago.


Kevin Solway aka Richard Linde is famous for making things up as they go along.
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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.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:00 am

Tom wrote:I had thought the Mahayana position on omniscience was summed up nicely in the quote from Ornament of Clear Realisation that I referenced quite a few posts ago.


Perhaps you didn't see my response. I don't believe you understood the text you were quoting. I will respond again.

"a final exalted wisdom consciousness perceiving all modes and varieties of objects of knowledge." It mentions 146 exalted wisdom consciousnesses of the wisdom truth body, three of which are the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the past, the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the present, and the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the future."


"Unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge" does not refer to all the things that are impossible to know, but only to "all objects of knowledge".

There is a huge difference between "all objects of knowledge" and "all details of all things", since there are countless things that cannot be known - such as all details about future events.

In other words the Sutra is correct, but you are wrong.

Would you care then to provide at least one quote from a Mahayana specific commentary which explicitly supports your position.


If you can't correctly interpret the words you read from Sutras such as the above then what's the point of quoting from commentaries, since you wouldn't be able to interpret the commentaries either. Would you want to go to commentaries on commentaries of the Sutras? Or to commentaries on commentaries on commentaries of the Sutras?

What is important are reasons, and since, according to Catmoon, this academic forum is about providing reasons, rather than appealing to authority (which is a logical fallacy) - then you need to present reasons to support your position.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:04 am

RichardLinde wrote:[
I don't "believe" it is unattainable, I know that it is unattainable.


It is an odd position to not believe what you "know".
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:06 am

Namdrol wrote:Richard Linde is famous for making things up as they go along.


That is not at all true. All I ask is that people use reason to support their arguments, rather than relying on the fallacy of appeal to authority (false authority, usually).

That's not much to ask on an academic forum, is it?

Where can I read the official Mahayana position? Who decides what the official Mahayana position is? Is there a team of people who get together and decide which Sutras are to be held to be authoritative, and exactly how those Sutras are to be interpreted?


Well, for starters you can read the Long PP sutra and its commentaries connected with the Abhisamaya-alamkara


Who is it who decides that the Long PP sutra is valid? And who decides which commentaries are valid? And who decides how the commentaries are to be interpreted?
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:07 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote:I had thought the Mahayana position on omniscience was summed up nicely in the quote from Ornament of Clear Realisation that I referenced quite a few posts ago.


Perhaps you didn't see my response. I don't believe you understood the text you were quoting. I will respond again.

"a final exalted wisdom consciousness perceiving all modes and varieties of objects of knowledge." It mentions 146 exalted wisdom consciousnesses of the wisdom truth body, three of which are the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the past, the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the present, and the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the future."


"Unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge" does not refer to all the things that are impossible to know, but only to "all objects of knowledge".

There is a huge difference between "all objects of knowledge" and "all details of all things", since there are countless things that cannot be known - such as all details about future events.



You misinterpret the text because you conflate impossible entities with future objects. The text is quite explicit and it refutes your position. I am not sure what why you think that you can better explain a sanskrit term used in a text better than the explanation given by the oral tradition.

I know that you say you have logic to show future objects are impossible entities but this is not a case of reason and logic it is a case of a correct interpretation of a mahayana texts. In any case in one breath you provide lectures on epistemology and demand reasons and than in the next you demonstrate you do not understand the basic relationship between truth, belief and knowledge. What I have found is that often a little humility goes a long way in helping me not project my ideas onto a particular text. In this way the intended meaning becomes less obscured.

RichardLinde wrote:
In other words the Sutra is correct, but you are wrong.


If you can't correctly interpret the words you read from Sutras such as the above then what's the point of quoting from commentaries, since you wouldn't be able to interpret the commentaries either. Would you want to go to commentaries on commentaries of the Sutras? Or to commentaries on commentaries on commentaries of the Sutras?



Your interpretation of the sutra was shown to be incorrect. I was amused when Will provided the alternate translations which supported the hunch I had about the correct way to interpretation text.

It is because you can't interpret correctly the words of the Sutra that you need commentaries.

Again, please provide at least one Mahayana scriptural reference for your position
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:37 am

Tom wrote:You misinterpret the text because you conflate impossible entities with future objects.


No, I most definitely do not conflate impossible entities with future objects.

As I stated in my previous response to you, there most definitely will be a future. This is a certainty. And this future is a future object. In addition, all the objects in that future are future objects. This much it is possible to know. But knowing the details of which particular objects there will be, and where and what they will be doing, with certainty, is absolutely impossible.


The text is quite explicit and it refutes your position.


No, it is perfectly consistent with my position.

You are conflating "objects of knowledge" with "things that are impossible to know".

The two are completely different, and should not be confused with one another.


I was amused when Will provided the alternate translations


Will only provided translations that fitted with his own uninformed belief. The academic thing to do would be to go to the original sanskrit and see what it says.

If you thought a translation was telling you to throw yourself under a bus, I think you would take it at face value.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:47 am

As a considered future object draws from a present. As objects can not appear or disappear in empty space as such must draw from a present event a considered future event. If the present event is studied with completness is it not possible to predict a future event?
I drop a penny in a still lake and see one the first wave reach the shore of the lake cannot I see a pattern in this thing and if scientifically inclined determine the exact height and size of the next and future waves from this penny dropped?

On what basis then this statement...."But knowing the details of which particular objects there will be, and where and what they will be doing, with certainty, is absolutely impossible."

what basis this claim of impossibility then?
"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: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:00 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote:You misinterpret the text because you conflate impossible entities with future objects.


No, I most definitely do not conflate impossible entities with future objects.

As I stated in my previous response to you, there most definitely will be a future. This is a certainty. And this future is a future object. In addition, all the objects in that future are future objects. This much it is possible to know. But knowing the details of which particular objects there will be, and where and what they will be doing, with certainty, is absolutely impossible.


The text is quite explicit and it refutes your position.


No, it is perfectly consistent with my position.

You are conflating "objects of knowledge" with "things that are impossible to know".

The two are completely different, and should not be confused with one another.


I was amused when Will provided the alternate translations


Will only provided translations that fitted with his own uninformed belief. The academic thing to do would be to go to the original sanskrit and see what it says.

If you thought a translation was telling you to throw yourself under a bus, I think you would take it at face value.


Well you provided the quote in defense of your position. So it seems it is in your interest to reference the original sanskrit. If you can not do the translation then provide me the line in sanskrit and I would be happy to provide a translation word for word. We will see if your interpretation still stands.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:15 am

ronnewmexico wrote: As objects can not appear or disappear in empty space as such must draw from a present event a considered future event. If the present event is studied with completness is it not possible to predict a future event?
I drop a penny in a still lake and see one the first wave reach the shore of the lake cannot I see a pattern in this thing and if scientifically inclined determine the exact height and size of the next and future waves from this penny dropped?

On what basis then this statement...."But knowing the details of which particular objects there will be, and where and what they will be doing, with certainty, is absolutely impossible."

what basis this claim of impossibility then?


While we can be certain that all events have effects, we can't know for certain what those effects will be.

For example, when you drop a penny into a still lake, there is no guarantee that there will be ripples. Nor is there any guarantee that the lake will still exist, or that the penny will still exist. That's not to say that things don't have effects, because they do. It's the knowing exactly what those effects will be, ahead of time, that we can't possibly do with certainty.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby RichardLinde » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:39 am

For those who like lots of words (which is not me), the following may be of interest. Lots of references and stuff.

http://www.westernbuddhistreview.com/vol4/was_the_buddha_omniscient.html

Of particular interest is this bit:

Monks, the world is fully comprehended by a Tathaagata. From the world a Tathaagata is released. Monks, the arising of the world is fully comprehended by a Tathaagata; the arising of the world is abandoned by a Tathaagata, the ending of the world is fully comprehended by a Tathaagata; the ending of the world is realized by a Tathaagata. Monks, the practice going to the ending of the world is fully comprehended by a Tathaagata; the practice going to the ending of the world is made to become by the Tathaagata.[16]


This context makes the scope of the Buddha’s claim much clearer. He is not claiming to know all facts. The ‘world’ indicated here is clearly the world of the unenlightened being, the being immersed in dukkha (suffering). The Buddha claims to know how this world arises and how to make it come to an end. In other words, he knows why people suffer, he knows too that suffering can be overcome, he knows how to overcome suffering, and he communicates a means of overcoming it.


The Buddha claimed to see into the real nature of experience and phenomena, he did not claim to be some sort of transcendental know-all. Such a claim obscures the spiritual significance and orientation of his insight.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:45 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote:You misinterpret the text because you conflate impossible entities with future objects.


No, I most definitely do not conflate impossible entities with future objects.



You object to the Buddha's omniscience because you claim that certain future objects are unknowable. You compared them to a square circle. Which suggested you considered them impossible and non existent entities

Now, maybe I misunderstood you because I had assumed you really meant round square when you said square circle ... maybe you actually did mean that knowing future objects is like the mathematical problem of squaring the circle... but I can not see the link at all ... maybe your conflating your round squares and square circles :-)!!
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby devilyoudont » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:12 am

Look, quoting random bits of scripture like a Protestant missionary is not likely to be productive. There are plenty of sutras and shastras that put the above sound bite in a much broader context, and the fact remains that traditionally, Mahayana taught that enlightenment leads to omniscience, as you can find out from a cursory study of the literature. In fact, if they did not believe this, many great teachers may not have devoted their lives to Buddhism. Of course, you are free to believe whatever you like and you can still learn from Buddhism to the extent that it helps you in your practice, but it's delusional to conflate your beliefs with the Buddhist tradition. From the Mahayana perspective, you're also slandering the Buddha by suggesting that he was some ignorant, forest-dwelling renunciant dude who discovered "spiritual omniscience" which, since it isn't what it purports to be, is essentially a way to feel superior to others. Frankly, I'd rather you said that Shakyamuni was honestly mistaken. That happens. Less understandable is going out of your way to attain Bullshit New Age Guruhood.

Constructive suggestion: If you don't want to believe that a Buddha's realization literally leads to omniscience, all you need to do is posit a reality of some sort, specified or unspecified, knowable or unknowable, that is higher than consciousness. Suppose, for instance, that materiality and time really exist. In that case, the supremacy of karmic causality evaporates and mental states become reducible to chemical reactions. (which may be deterministic or nondeterministic, may or may not admit of conscious will, its independence, effects, etc.) Now, magically, there come into being vast branches of knowledge that are not immediately available to one with a Buddha's realization. Eg. Without a causal world characterized by reliable karmic chains, a Buddha cannot know what will happen next after any given instant. He may still know the initial, medial and final minds before, during and after an event, but it becomes impossible from this realization to predict how various minds are interconnected, and therefore what phenomenon will manifest when.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:18 am

Namdrol wrote: Kevin Solway aka Richard Linde is famous for making things up as they go along.

Oh no not Kev again :shrug:
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:51 am

Dear Kev/Trev/RichardLinde (all the same person BTW), your fatal flaw in this discusion is in assuming that there is an existent phenomenon known as the future. Theoretically, when one goes beyond dualism, imputed categories of past-present-future have as much relevance as all other dualistic properties, ie none what so ever.

I think you will find that past and future, far and near, yours and mine, etc... are mere projection and completely irrelevant for a fully enlightened being. It is not that using these relative/conceptual terms is evidence that a Buddha is trapped in relativity/conceptuality, but it is like a grown adult talking to a child. The language the adult uses is not a reflection of their capacity/level of knowledge but it is utilised to inform a child based on the childs level of capacity of understanding/level of knowledge/grasp of language.

Now do you mind taking your pathological obssession somewhere else and leaving us in peace?

Pretty please?
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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