Misunderstanding emptiness

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:59 pm

yadave wrote:
So you agree with MS and, for Candrakirti, a truth [satya] means an object, and each "object" is really two objects...


Not exactly, a truth is "an object of a cognition" -- you cannot leave the cognition part off since it is integral to the definition. A truth is not merely an object, it is an object defined as relative or utlimate depending upon whether the cognition is deceived or undeceived. One object, two natures, hence two cognitions, correct and false.

This is an development over the Abhidharmic concept of a truth, in which a truth [satya] is a cognition, for example, a cognition of water is a relative truth, whereas a cognition of the characteristics of water, limpidity, wetness and coolness, are ultimate truths.

In other words, here,in Abhidharma, an ultimate truth is defined as the irreducible cognition that remains after something (such as a cup or water) has been subjected to complete analysis.

There really isn't than much difference between this and the Madhyamaka definition. The Madhyamaka definition might run something like "...an ultimate truth is defined as the object of an unmistaken cognition that remains after something (such as a cup or water) has been subjected to complete analysis."

The emphasis in both causes, both in Abhidharma and Madhyamaka is on the cognition. So no, I do not agree with the MS discussion in all respects.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:39 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:So you agree with MS and, for Candrakirti, a truth [satya] means an object, and each "object" is really two objects...

Not exactly, a truth is "an object of a cognition" -- you cannot leave the cognition part off since it is integral to the definition.

That's just it: these are only words whose meanings are only definitions. Candrakirti chose definitions from his Tibetan day and age, we tried to translate it into our day and age, the result is unnecessarily obfuscated and you are left defending a translation rather than explaining the Dharma. I think we could easily leave this world's "reality" and "existence" alone and still formulate the Dharma. Then we don't confuse or frighten cowherders unnecessarily, we restore "shared reality" to its rightful place -- Candrakirti's definitions really don't know what to do with it -- and I don't believe Buddhism includes practices that allow you to change what I perceive anyway. Shared reality, reality, existence, objects, just words, all conventional, but today's conventions.

The only painful part of such reformulation might be abandoning the essentialism of essentialism, a concept that resembles an archaic metaphysical straw man. When modern people ask "What is saltiness?" they find mostly salt molecules and the search ends (aka prajna) because the parts of salt molecules are shared by too many nonsalts. Candrakirti's elaborate phenomenological deconstructions seem awkward or irrelevant in this rational, third person domain of inquiry. So the essence of salt is salt molecules. Big deal, so what? You still have dependent origination, salt is still empty, and I seriously doubt that one's ability to experience the parinispanna of salt (whatever that means) will do much to alleviate the suffering of sentient beings.

Anyway, that's my $0.02 on views (or values, but that might be another thread).

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:51 am

I cannot edit my posts so I will restate the context.

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:So you agree with MS and, for Candrakirti, a truth [satya] means an object, and each "object" is really two objects...

Not exactly, a truth is "an object of a cognition" -- you cannot leave the cognition part off since it is integral to the definition.

In other words, the Candrikirti interpretation you provide requires Buddhists to be antirealists -- like a big sign that says "stay away if your worldview includes an objective reality" -- antirealism is embedded in the definitions of the words. Antirealism was in vogue 1500 years ago. Modern rational people tend to be realists on steroids. In this sense, Candrikirti's 6th century formulation is ineffective and since, as you assert, effectiveness was Candrikirti's criterion for accepting or rejecting world conventions, Candrikirti would reject his own formulation today. QED.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:23 am

yadave wrote:In other words, the Candrikirti interpretation you provide requires Buddhists to be antirealists --


Not all Buddhists, just Madhyamakas.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:24 am

yadave wrote: Candrikirti would reject his own formulation today. QED.



You're reaching.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:42 am

Yup, us nasty, navel-gazing cowherders got better things to do. Fer Instance, I need to take a leak. Please notice how carefully I aim so it does not land on someone else's path.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:48 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:In other words, the Candrikirti interpretation you provide requires Buddhists to be antirealists --

Not all Buddhists, just Madhyamakas.

Guess I value a bigger Dharma, larger audience, higher number of liberated beings than you. ;)

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:Candrikirti would reject his own formulation today. QED.

You're reaching.

Yidam practice.

Catmoon, I'm standing clear, please proceed.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:50 am

catmoon wrote:Yup, us nasty, navel-gazing cowherders got better things to do. Fer Instance, I need to take a leak. Please notice how carefully I aim so it does not land on someone else's path.


My point was that this book is typical of Madhyamaka books these days that cannot escape the event horizon of Gelug -- but there is a whole neglected world of Madhyamaka out there that has nothing to do with Tsongkhapa and his opinions.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:03 am

yadave wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:In other words, the Candrikirti interpretation you provide requires Buddhists to be antirealists --

Not all Buddhists, just Madhyamakas.

Guess I value a bigger Dharma, larger audience, higher number of liberated beings than you. ;)



There is a term Madhyamikas, including Gelugpas, use for other Buddhist schools below Madhyamaka "dngos po smra ba" (vastuvadins) which roughly means "those who advocate things as real". This assumes of course that Madhyamaka is the ultimate Buddhist perspective.

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.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Virgo » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:05 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:In other words, the Candrikirti interpretation you provide requires Buddhists to be antirealists --


Not all Buddhists, just Madhyamakas.

N

No one knows it as good as you, Nam!

(I'm being serious).

Some Buddhists believe that some phenomena are real.

It's not easy to find people who understand this.

(I personally am not a realist).

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:44 am

I think that terms such as 'real' need some clarification.
Sometimes a statement is right for one reason but wrong for another reason.
My understanding is that nothing can be said to be truly existent;
truly existent meaning self arising;
self arising meaning not depending on relative conditions;
relative conditions meaning divisible circumstances;
thus, every particle and every bit of space between particles in the universe
as well as their duration (time)
can be divided infinitely.

However, to discuss even the tiniest particles is to bring them into existence
at least conceptually
and in this sense, they are real.
If there is no reality whatsoever (even conditionally) to phenomena
then there is no teaching about the non-reality of phenomena either
because such a teaching would be phenomenal.

To quote the poem "On Believing in Mind"
By Seng-t'san, third Chinese patriarch of Zen:

The denying of reality is the asserting of it,
And the asserting of emptiness is the denying of it.

.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:10 am

Namdrol wrote:My point was that this book is typical of Madhyamaka books these days that cannot escape the event horizon of Gelug -- but there is a whole neglected world of Madhyamaka out there that has nothing to do with Tsongkhapa and his opinions.

The feeling of being neglected.

Namdrol wrote:There is a term Madhyamikas, including Gelugpas, use for other Buddhist schools below Madhyamaka "dngos po smra ba" (vastuvadins) which roughly means "those who advocate things as real". This assumes of course that Madhyamaka is the ultimate Buddhist perspective.

The feeling of being higher or better.

The terms "real" and "unreal" do not form a hierachy of higher and lower, they are flip sides of the term "reality," maybe right side and left side.

It is tricky though. If "Buddhism" means many schools of equal status, and these schools hold contrary (or opposite!) views on something, then any claim to "Buddhist truths" might lose all meaning, people might say "Those Buddhists can't agree on anything, they're as bad as Congress!" and join the Tea Party or something awful.

I'm too tired to redesign religions. The feeling of fatigue. Sleep well.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:21 am

If "Buddhism" means many schools of equal status


It doesn't. Madhyamaka is definitive, the rest are not.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:27 am

yadave wrote:I'm too tired to redesign religions. The feeling of fatigue. Sleep well.


If you wish to understand Madhyamaka, then I, among others can help you here. Some of us, like myself, have formal training in the field.

But there is nothing in Buddhism to redesign. Buddhism is all about understanding dependent origination. Some people's understanding of dependent origination is deeper than that of others. Those who still cling to existents as real necessarily have shallower understanding of dependent origination than those who understand that the final implication of dependent origination is that existents, though apparent, are not real in any meaningful and ultimate sense.

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: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Virgo » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:33 am

Namdrol wrote:Those who still cling to existents as real necessarily have shallower understanding of dependent origination than those who understand that the final implication of dependent origination is that existents, though apparent, are not real in any meaningful and ultimate sense.

N

And thus we have Madhyamaka. :anjali:

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:57 am

Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Those who still cling to existents as real necessarily have shallower understanding of dependent origination than those who understand that the final implication of dependent origination is that existents, though apparent, are not real in any meaningful and ultimate sense.

N

And thus we have Madhyamaka. :anjali:

Kevin



Well, the main point is to help people overcome limitations, not erect a school.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:46 pm

Namdrol wrote:Those who still cling to existents as real necessarily have shallower understanding of dependent origination than those who understand that the final implication of dependent origination is that existents, though apparent, are not real in any meaningful and ultimate sense.


Are those people really clinging? I mean, Really?
Is the fact of ignorance real?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:00 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Those who still cling to existents as real necessarily have shallower understanding of dependent origination than those who understand that the final implication of dependent origination is that existents, though apparent, are not real in any meaningful and ultimate sense.


Are those people really clinging? I mean, Really?
Is the fact of ignorance real?


No, ignorance is just as illusory as buddhahood.

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: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:12 pm

Namdrol wrote:
No, ignorance is just as illusory as buddhahood.

N


Is that really true?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:29 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
No, ignorance is just as illusory as buddhahood.

N


Is that really true?



Word games. Not interested.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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