Own-being cannot be cognized

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Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:46 pm

Voidness is not a quality of objectivity, phenomena being their absence of themselves phenomenally as conceptual objects. Phenomena cannot be perceived at all, they are appearances integral in their perceiving, which is why they are called "void", or "dependently originated".

"Inherent existence", "objective existence", ”own-being”, "objectivity" (”the state or quality of being objective”), is not as such, i.e., a conceptual object; it is a mental act, the act of perceiving objects at all, as subject-perceiving-object.

Prajna manifests as the emptying of phenomena, the appearance of phenomena being their absence as objectively existing. Prajna is conceptually inexistent, and so cannot be cultivated, meditated upon, or anything else, unless it is treated as an object of thought. The emptying of phenomena is the emptying of mind, which is what they are.

The inseeing or understanding that phenomena are not 'There' to be emptied, is the very emptying of phenomena as what they are perceived to be phenomenally. The voiding of objectivity (as what it is conceived to be) is the very manifesting of prajna, which is the inseeing of phenomena as being objectively absent, but NOT the appearance as such.

Voidness is not, other than form (the appearing). It is noumenal, the functioning implied in the act of appearing (perceiving) of phenomena, as such. In short it could be said that the voidness of anything is the absence of itself as objects in mind. It is the absence of what is present, i.e., appearances, or form.

________


The words "voidness" and "absence", could be changed for "Dependent Origination”.
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:46 pm

Form”, that is without form. And why? Because no form exists in form; and this fact of its non-existence in itself, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond. For form is without the own-being of form; and this being without own-being, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond. For the non-own-being of form that is form; and this absence of own-being, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond. For form is not the range of form; and because it is not its range, form does not perceive or see form – this non-knowledge, this not seeing of form, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond. Nor does form cognize the own-being of form; it is this comprehension of the absence of own-being that is called the wisdom which has gone beyond. For form is not conjoined with form, nor disjoined from it; this absence of conjoining and disjoining, that is the perfection of wisdom which has gone beyond.

- The Questions of Suvikrantavikramin, Buddhist Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts


For form is without the own-being of form; and this being without own-being, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond (...) For the non-own-being of form that is form; and this absence of own-being, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond (...) It is this comprehension of the absence of own-being that is called the wisdom which has gone beyond.

The inseeing of the objective absence (own-being) of phenomena as perceived objects (i.e., phenomena), is the apperception that is called ”the wisdom which has gone beyond”. ”Own-being” is our perception; ”we” (via the skandhas) can NOT ”cognize the own-being of form. It is this comprehension of the absence of own-being [as a conceptual object] that is called the wisdom which has gone beyond”.

”Own-being”, as a concept, is integral in our perceiving. It is the implicit notion or perception, the state of mind, that appearances are actually perceived. The attempt to empty objects, meditate on objects, ”do” anything with objects, are all illusory.

The mere idea affirms the ”own-being”, the concept - since own-being cannot be perceived as an object of thought, being the act of perceiving - when all appearances are the "non-own-being" of appearances (forms), non-own-being being what they are.

"Own-being" is the phenomenon, the appearance. Its absence is the absence of itself as what it is, its phenomenality. "Emptied" of itself, "this comprehension of the absence of own-being (...) is called the wisdom which has gone beyond."
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:07 am

"Form itself does not possess the own-being of form, etc. Perfect wisdom does not possess the mark (of being) ‘perfect wisdom.’ A mark does not possess the own-being of a mark. The marked does not possess the own-being of being marked, and own-being does not possess the mark of [being] own-being."

- Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines

"Own-being" is therefore not cognizable as an object of thought.
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:57 pm

Hello, moderators, is it possible to move this thread into the Dharma-free-for-all? I see now that I put it into the Mahayana-forum.

Thank you.
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Heruka » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:15 pm

norman wrote:
"Own-being" is therefore not cognizable as an object of thought.


well in ignorance it is.



:popcorn:
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Kyosan » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:34 pm

norman wrote:Voidness is not a quality of objectivity, phenomena being their absence of themselves phenomenally as conceptual objects. Phenomena cannot be perceived at all, they are appearances integral in their perceiving, which is why they are called "void", or "dependently originated".

"Inherent existence", "objective existence", ”own-being”, "objectivity" (”the state or quality of being objective”), is not as such, i.e., a conceptual object; it is a mental act, the act of perceiving objects at all, as subject-perceiving-object.


I disagree that phenomena cannot be perceived. They can be perceived by both enlightened and unenlightened sentient beings. But the difference is that enlightened beings don't attach to the phenomena. They see forms just as we do but realize that the forms are creations of their mind. There are nothing wrong with the forms themselves because they are just descriptions of the suchness from a certain point of view. The problem is that we think of the forms as having a permanent self, but they don't.

Prajna manifests as the emptying of phenomena, the appearance of phenomena being their absence as objectively existing. Prajna is conceptually inexistent, and so cannot be cultivated, meditated upon, or anything else, unless it is treated as an object of thought. The emptying of phenomena is the emptying of mind, which is what they are.


One can conceive of Prajna but that conception is also empty. Prajna is cultivated by freeing oneself from attachments as described in the Prajna-paramita (Wisdom Perfection) Sutras.

.....The voiding of objectivity (as what it is conceived to be) is the very manifesting of prajna, which is the inseeing of phenomena as being objectively absent, but NOT the appearance as such.


I think of phenomena as being neither there nor absent. The point is, not forming any deluded ideas of what the phenomena are. We already see the suchness; we just need to remove the deluded thoughts added by our minds. There is nothing wrong with seeing forms, in fact, it is necessary for living in the world. But we must realize that these forms are empty creations in our minds. They describe the world from a certain point of view, but have no permanent self.
:namaste:
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Malcolm » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:49 pm

norman wrote:"Form itself does not possess the own-being of form, etc. Perfect wisdom does not possess the mark (of being) ‘perfect wisdom.’ A mark does not possess the own-being of a mark. The marked does not possess the own-being of being marked, and own-being does not possess the mark of [being] own-being."

- Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines

"Own-being" is therefore not cognizable as an object of thought.


Well, it can be an object of thought as an abstraction i.e. as a mere name. But a svabhāva cannot be perceived since there is no such thing.
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Malcolm » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:50 pm

Kyosan wrote:
I disagree that phenomena cannot be perceived.


He is saying there are no phenomenna qua phenomena, rather, there are only appearances.
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Kyosan » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:47 am

Namdrol wrote:
Kyosan wrote:
I disagree that phenomena cannot be perceived.


He is saying there are no phenomenna qua phenomena, rather, there are only appearances.

I think you are right. It's not clear to me in the first paragraph, but is in the second from last paragraph of the first post.

norman wrote:The inseeing or understanding that phenomena are not 'There' to be emptied, is the very emptying of phenomena as what they are perceived to be phenomenally. The voiding of objectivity (as what it is conceived to be) is the very manifesting of prajna, which is the inseeing of phenomena as being objectively absent, but NOT the appearance as such.

:namaste:
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Sherab » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:56 am

norman wrote:Phenomena cannot be perceived at all, they are appearances integral in their perceiving, which is why they are called "void", or "dependently originated".

Question for your Norman:
Since "appearances (are) integral in their perceiving", I take this to mean that appearances are dependent on perceiving and perceiving is dependent on appearances.
If so, appearances and perceiving arise and cease together.

How then would you explain the joint arising and ceasing of appearances and perceiving, and how would you explain the phenomenon of causality?
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:29 pm

Heruka wrote:
norman wrote:
"Own-being" is therefore not cognizable as an object of thought.


well in ignorance it is.



:popcorn:


"Ignorance", and "own-being" are aspects of the same same 'thing'.

Ignorance is the state of mind that things are perceived, and own-being is the perceiving of the thing perceived.
We could say that "own-being" is a functioning of "Ignorance".
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:33 pm

Hi, Kyosan. Yes, what Namdrol said: phenomena as appearances. There are no other phenomena other than appearances. Nor are there any appearances other than phenomenal or conceptual; and this applies to Buddhas, bodhisattvas, all the doctrines, etc, just like the Heart Sutra says.

Kyosan wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Kyosan wrote:
I disagree that phenomena cannot be perceived.


He is saying there are no phenomenna qua phenomena, rather, there are only appearances.

I think you are right. It's not clear to me in the first paragraph, but is in the second from last paragraph of the first post.

norman wrote:The inseeing or understanding that phenomena are not 'There' to be emptied, is the very emptying of phenomena as what they are perceived to be phenomenally. The voiding of objectivity (as what it is conceived to be) is the very manifesting of prajna, which is the inseeing of phenomena as being objectively absent, but NOT the appearance as such.

:namaste:
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby norman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:25 pm

Hi, Sherab, sorry for not responding earlier.

Arising-and-ceasing, as a concept, is an appearance.

There is nothing factual about concepts at all. Conceptuality in itself is not a concept, since what conceptuality is is the conceiving-act as such. We cannot conceive the act-of-conceving, because that would require another act-of-conceiving to conceive its own conceiveing as a concept. Conceptuality cannot be explained from within conceptuality.

No form [concept] exists in form [conceptuality]; and this fact of its non-existence in itself, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond [the apperception]. For form [conceptuality] is without the own-being of form [concept]; and this being without own-being, that is the wisdom which has gone beyond.

On causality:
Appearances are not the source of appearances. Phenomenally there are only effects, and these we re-cognize as appearances, but the apperances as conceptual objects, are not perceived. Nothing is appearing, the appearing (the becoming-apparant) is the act of the cognizing-of-appearances (via the skandhas). The cognizing act is the phenomenon cognized.

Objectifying/reifying appearances, their causes are merely effects of some other cause that itself is another apparant effect, and so on. But cause/effect is itself a conceptual appearance.



Sherab wrote:
norman wrote:Phenomena cannot be perceived at all, they are appearances integral in their perceiving, which is why they are called "void", or "dependently originated".

Question for your Norman:
Since "appearances (are) integral in their perceiving", I take this to mean that appearances are dependent on perceiving and perceiving is dependent on appearances.
If so, appearances and perceiving arise and cease together.

How then would you explain the joint arising and ceasing of appearances and perceiving, and how would you explain the phenomenon of causality?
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:41 am

the thread title made me remember something that hannah arendt, a modern existentialist and student of heidegger once said: that trying to understand ourselves is like trying to jump over your own shadow
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm

Beatzen wrote:the thread title made me remember something that hannah arendt, a modern existentialist and student of heidegger once said: that trying to understand ourselves is like trying to jump over your own shadow


This is not accidental. Much of the translation of Buddhist texts into English is worked into the same patois used to translate phenomenologists. "own-being" &c
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Re: Own-being cannot be cognized

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:25 am

Your own-being cannot be cognized.

Fire cannot burn itself.

Teeth cannot bite themselves.

The eye cannot see itself.

You cannot outrun your own shadow.

:tongue:
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