Conceptuality in Buddhism

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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby devilyoudont » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:40 am

Even with a causal world, with karmic chains, how can a person know for certain what will happen next? Can you explain that?

Simplifying: According to Buddhist phenomenology, not only are there no hairs on your head, there is no real head. YOU SEE hairs on your head. How many hairs you see on your head is determined by your karma. Your karma is affected by your past intentions, all of which are known to a "being" that is not bounded by ego attachments. Why? Because of his infinite empathy, a Buddha's consciousness penetrates all past, present and future minds, pervading the universe like the sky covers the earth, like space is omnipresent without either clinging or pushing away. (a terrible metaphor after General Relativity) See my previous post. Therefore, a Buddha knows how many hairs will manifest on your head. This is orthodox Mahayana Buddhism as I understand it. Please feel no compulsion, on that account, to believe it or to reject it.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:30 pm

RichardLinde wrote:
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?



If you want to know what Mahāyānist believe, Mr. Trevor Solway-Linde, then you should consult texts authored by Mahāyānists, instead of making things up based on your own limited reasoning.

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?


Centuries of Mahāyānists who wrote commentaries on this sutra in India, China, Tibet and Japan.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby wisdom » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:50 pm

RichardLinde wrote: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).


Who decides that these authorities are fallible on the subject? Who decides they are false authorities? Who decides whether or not these people are using their reasoning in deciding to cite an authority? Is it you? Are the the grand arbiter of who is fallible and who is not? The judge, jury and executioner in regards to who is true and who is false? Do you know the minds of all so that you know when people are using their reasoning, and when they are not?

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


Actually an academic forum should be largely devoid of purely personal opinions unsupported by academic sources. This means if you state a position, you need to be ready to cite from where that position is derived. Thats why its called academic, because research has been done and hence, an opinion has been formed based on authorities. If people quote Nagarjuna or some Sutra, they are not "appealing to authority", they are engaging in academic discussion, using authorities to support their arguments. A point that is apparently completely lost on you.

You wouldn't go to a Christian theological debate and yet know nothing about the Bible, let alone Christian theologists and their writings, but constantly make claims about "what the bible is really about" and pretend to understand Christianity. You wouldn't go to a debate on western philosophy having never read Plato, and complaining and flailing around whenever anyone quoted Aristotle. You would look ridiculous. Why is it any more appropriate to act like when discussing Buddhist philosophy?

RichardLinde wrote: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?


Lines of questioning like this and your railing against authority sound childish, like a teenager rebelling against "the man".

"says who? huh? says who? your not the boss of me!" :rolling:
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:35 pm

So that you fellows know, RichardLinde has been banned. This account was a sockpuppet as many of you had already figured.
Carry on, please.
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:37 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:So that you fellows know, RichardLinde has been banned. This account was a sockpuppet as many of you had already figured.
Carry on, please.



He'll be back.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Thug4lyfe » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:41 am

Without busy bodies to feed the trolls they could not possibily exist. Just like gangstas attract gangstas and saints attract nobel friends...
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:04 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:Without busy bodies to feed the trolls they could not possibily exist. Just like gangstas attract gangstas and saints attract nobel friends...


Ummm, you do realize this post counts as a troll, right?
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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 Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:07 pm

"When one is not in accord with the true view
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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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Thug4lyfe » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:56 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Without busy bodies to feed the trolls they could not possibily exist. Just like gangstas attract gangstas and saints attract nobel friends...


Ummm, you do realize this post counts as a troll, right?

I neva!!!
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby tobes » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:29 am

Yontan wrote:A buddha in a vacuum would have nothing to say, nothing to do.
Confusion and suffering present themselves and buddha activity responds in a completely harmonious way, but there's no intention or craft on the part of the buddha. We provide the conceptual framework for our own learned teaching, our own received compassionate activity. This isn't that hard to grasp.


Right, I grant that we (i.e. non buddhas) provide the conceptual framework. I agree that that part of the equation isn't hard to grasp.

What I am inquiring into is the implication that when a buddha engages with a non-buddha on a discursive level, he/she must be able to apprehend that framework, and must be able to utilise the (conventional) phenomena of which it is comprised - in order to speak, such that an understanding may be imparted.

i.e. a buddha must be able to apprehend concepts, even if, they do not generate them or perceive reality mediated by them.

I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

:anjali:
Last edited by tobes on Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby LastLegend » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:31 am

Yes, tobes Buddha is not limited by the conventional means.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:13 pm

tobes wrote:I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

Either that, or you have done an excellent job of avoiding my answer!
gregkavarnos wrote: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.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
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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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Mr. G » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:13 pm

tobes wrote:I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

:anjali:


Is this not an acceptable answer?:

As a result of intense vows and the development of compassion while following the Bodhisattva path to full Buddhahood, upon achieving the state of a Buddha it is no longer necessary actually to apprehend beings themselves in order to help them. Through aeons of practice, compassion has become automatic, in fact spontaneous. In achieving Buddhahood the ability to help has been perfected too. None of this requires actually apprehending any person who is helped, or indeed any situations requiring help. As we have seen in looking at the 'Perfection of Wisdom' literature, a Bodhisattva who sees a being who is actually helped is roundly declared by the Buddha to be no true Bodhisattva at all.

- Professor Paul Williams - Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations (2nd ed)
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby tobes » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:22 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
tobes wrote:I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

Either that, or you have done an excellent job of avoiding my answer!
gregkavarnos wrote: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.


Sorry, I don't recall seeing that; I must have missed it.

Again, I'm not asserting that a buddha is trapped in relativity/conceptuality ~ I'm not making the claim that because a buddha speaks to a non-buddha, that grants evidence for a similarity of capacity.

All I'm saying - to use your own example - is that when an adult communicates with a child, that adult must have knowledge of the child's language; its meanings, its contexts, its structures, and it must make use of the knowledge in order to communicate effectively.

The fact that the meanings, contexts and structures of a child's language are all conventional phenomena, means that the adult must be able to apprehend those conventions.

:anjali:
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby tobes » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:30 am

Mr. G wrote:
tobes wrote:I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

:anjali:


Is this not an acceptable answer?:

As a result of intense vows and the development of compassion while following the Bodhisattva path to full Buddhahood, upon achieving the state of a Buddha it is no longer necessary actually to apprehend beings themselves in order to help them. Through aeons of practice, compassion has become automatic, in fact spontaneous. In achieving Buddhahood the ability to help has been perfected too. None of this requires actually apprehending any person who is helped, or indeed any situations requiring help. As we have seen in looking at the 'Perfection of Wisdom' literature, a Bodhisattva who sees a being who is actually helped is roundly declared by the Buddha to be no true Bodhisattva at all.

- Professor Paul Williams - Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations (2nd ed)


Not really, because I was posting in a Madhyamika thread, and it has since been moved to a thread on conceptuality per se.

Your quote is premised on the Prajnaparamita (seems to me to be the Vajracchedika which Williams is referring to), which I think has quite a different approach to this question than Madhyamika.

:anjali:
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:21 am

tobes wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
tobes wrote:I feel like everyone has done an excellent job of avoiding the question......

:anjali:


Is this not an acceptable answer?:

As a result of intense vows and the development of compassion while following the Bodhisattva path to full Buddhahood, upon achieving the state of a Buddha it is no longer necessary actually to apprehend beings themselves in order to help them. Through aeons of practice, compassion has become automatic, in fact spontaneous. In achieving Buddhahood the ability to help has been perfected too. None of this requires actually apprehending any person who is helped, or indeed any situations requiring help. As we have seen in looking at the 'Perfection of Wisdom' literature, a Bodhisattva who sees a being who is actually helped is roundly declared by the Buddha to be no true Bodhisattva at all.

- Professor Paul Williams - Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations (2nd ed)


Not really, because I was posting in a Madhyamika thread, and it has since been moved to a thread on conceptuality per se.

Your quote is premised on the Prajnaparamita (seems to me to be the Vajracchedika which Williams is referring to), which I think has quite a different approach to this question than Madhyamika.

:anjali:


Williams also sources Santideva to put forward the same position (and in my opinion a dubious reading of "acitta"). I thought I mentioned this some time ago ... maybe not ...

You suggest Prajnaparamita and Madhyamaka have different approaches to this topic, is there something specific you had in mind?
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:28 am

tobes wrote:All I'm saying - to use your own example - is that when an adult communicates with a child, that adult must have knowledge of the child's language; its meanings, its contexts, its structures, and it must make use of the knowledge in order to communicate effectively.

The fact that the meanings, contexts and structures of a child's language are all conventional phenomena, means that the adult must be able to apprehend those conventions.
Obviously, but just because an adult talks about the big ugly monster that will come and eat the child if it doesn't go to bed immediately, does not mean that the adult actually believes that there is a big ugly child eating monster. So where is your problem?
:namaste:
PS Just read the last three posts, now think I get your drift.

I imagine it would be like dreaming, knowing you are in a dream, but still trying to have wholesome behaviour whilst in the dream.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
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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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby tobes » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:18 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
tobes wrote:All I'm saying - to use your own example - is that when an adult communicates with a child, that adult must have knowledge of the child's language; its meanings, its contexts, its structures, and it must make use of the knowledge in order to communicate effectively.

The fact that the meanings, contexts and structures of a child's language are all conventional phenomena, means that the adult must be able to apprehend those conventions.
Obviously, but just because an adult talks about the big ugly monster that will come and eat the child if it doesn't go to bed immediately, does not mean that the adult actually believes that there is a big ugly child eating monster. So where is your problem?


The issue is not whether the child's concepts are granted validity (i.e. epistemic truth) because the adult can understand them; what I am questioning and what is at stake is the claim that buddhas, by virtue of being buddhas, cannot even perceive conventional phenomena (because it disappears completely upon apprehension of the ultimate).

I am suggesting that because they enter into discursive relations with ordinary beings, buddhas must be able to apprehend particular conventional structures such as grammer, the conventional meaning of signifiers and so forth; it does not follow that they hold those conventional structures as real or true. Only that they must have the capacity to know them as they are - conventionally appearing phenomena, which has some causal efficacy for beings who exist within those conventions.

:anjali:
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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:09 am

Tell you what, instead of wasting our precious time in intellectual mutual masturbation, let's put all our effort into reaching enlightenment and whoever get's there first can come back and tell the other one exactly what goes on inside the mind of a Buddha.
Of course there's always the chance that the one that has not reached enlightenment won't be able to comprehend the enlightened one, in which case the enlightened one will be forced to utilise conceptual/relative language, and the unenlightened one will then surmise that the enlightened one still has a conceptual mind. :?

Did anybody catch what colour underwear the archer was wearing?
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
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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Re: Conceptuality in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:59 am

Greg, this is the Academic discussions forum, not the Dharma-free-for-all. :smile:
Mind the rules of debate here, please.
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