Misunderstanding emptiness

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:17 pm

yadave wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The emptiness of salt does not prove salt does not exist, it merely removes the claim that there is an existent called "salt" When salt is analyzed, no salt is found in salt. There is no entity among the components of salt that make salt salt.

Salt molecules are entities, conditioned entities, the smallest things we find that have properties we know of that make salt salt, make salty taste salty. What are you looking for?


If salt molecules are conditioned entities they are unable to act as salt alone. Hence there is no "salt" in the appearance we are labeling salt because the conditions which support the appearance of "salt" do not end at "salt molecules", do they? Salt molecules, we will readily, are conditioned entities upon which we lable the aggregate we are calling salt. But a salt molecule itself is an aggregate, and so and so forth. A salt molecule cannot act as salt, it must be in an aggregate to have that function. And a given salt molecule itself cannot function without the aggregate upon which it depends. And that dependence has both depth as well as extension i.e. not only does it depend on its own specific causes and conditions, but its dependence is lateral, since it depends the presence of the element of sodium, chloride, as has been mentioned above. Not only does salt molecule depend on these two elements, it depends on conditions of pressure, heat, and so on. So a great deal more goes into producing the appearance we are labeling salt mere salt molecules. In fact, the presence of salt molecules is dependent on every other phenoemena in the universe i.e. karana hetu or "creative cause" or the "dominant condition" the principle that all phenomena are causes for all other phenomena apart from themselves. When all of this is taken into consideration, as any proper analysis must, we find that in a very real sense salt is empty of salt just as persons are empty of persons, and just as all conditioned phenomena are empty of conditoned phenomena.

Whatever arises dependently, that is empty -- that is Nagarjuna's message -- there is no place where we say "Oh, we can stop our analysis here". If you stop your analysis, you are in effect making a claim of independence, at least, that is what Nagarjuna is trying to force you to admit.


Well I apologize, Namdrol, I know we've been through this, but we do find a basis for our labels.


Only if we arbitrarily limit our analysis of dependent relations. And if we limit that analysis, the Madhyamakas will try to force us to admit that we have made a claim about essences.


The only way I can make sense of your assertion is by imagining some kind of blocks world where we are looking for a smallest indivisible block to label. But we don't do this when looking for the smallest component of salt, we label this "salt molecule." For Padma's composite thunderstorm, we find a basis consisting of wind, rain, lightning, an array of composite entities that we collectively label "thunderstorm." We don't include "airplanes" in our collection because they are not required to have a "thunderstorm."


Airplains and all other phenomena are required, it is intrinsic to the logic of the six causes and four conditions, which are the six causes and four conditions that Nagarjuna sets out and dismantles completely in the first chapter of the MMK.

N
Last edited by Malcolm on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:25 pm

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Namdrol wrote: There is some disagreement among Tibetans as to what we are not supposed to find.


Tibetans put salt in their tea.



Is this really a helpful statement? If so how? If people spent less time being smart asses and trying to be clever, this conversation might be more worthwhile.


Tibetans put salt in their tea.
So, to a Tibetan, how "real' is salt?
As with adding salt to the ocean,
This comment doesn't make this conversation any more pointless than it already is.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:25 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Though you bridle, it is actually a form of obscurantism that you will not admit up front that you are using the term "existent" in a specialized sense. As a result, newbies can't figure out what you are saying.


I regularly qualify that in Madhyamaka the term "existent" is used in a very specific way. I discovered this through a close reading of Buddhapalita many years ago -- this is one of the reasons why I cite him more frequently than others.


Namdrol wrote:There is some disagreement among Tibetans as to what we are not supposed to find.


However, when we clearly identify that the object of our investigation is a truly existent pheneomena, for example, the body that we normally perceive with our faulty perception, all schools agree that it does not exist in any way. We all fail to find the same thing.


The difference is that not all Tibetans agree that this is all we are supposed to find, i.e. the non-existence of a "chos bden par sgrub pa", a truly existent phenomena. Many Tibetans assert, and have done so for centuries prior to Tsongkhapa, that not only are we to not find truly existent phenomena, we are indeed to find no phenomena at all which exist according to any of the four extremes. If these Tibetans are incorrect, then how can we accept the realization of any Tibetans prior to Tsongkhapa, or in any school that differs in opinion with his view? How are we for example to accept the realization of Atisha, Milarepa, etc.?
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:37 pm

yadave wrote:Then I call reality the fact that both of us see and taste this white stuff on the table, we are not sleeping, and there must be something external causing us to agree. Your unqualified "reality" may mean something else, like a "nonconceptual ultimate reality" which nobody can see or conceive of, but I'm not sure what this has to do with salt.


The external world inferred from the perception of public accessibility is a world that can neither be seen nor conceived in any way, because it would be independent of experience by definition. So your own critique would apply.

We do not experience a mind-independent world. Nor is there a distinction intrinsic to experience between the internal and the external. In order to properly assess the state of things, such as salt, we must first cultivate an experience of things that is free of everything imputed. Working from the assumption that salt exists or salt exists as thoughts and so on are imputations not intrinsic to experience and thus dysfunctional to that end.

Thoughts and perceptions arise and cease, but salt remains on the table if we peek. If "essence of salt" is just "thought of salt", then it is easy to find, so I am probably misunderstanding you.


If we reduce the salt to its atomic components, any form of interaction, including measurement, annihilates them. Since they are constantly interacting, they are constantly being destroyed. Hence there are never two qualifiable instants where any physical aspect of the salt persists between both. Experientially, the photons and other electrical impulses that signal changes in texture, pressure etc. that we designate with the term "salt" are similarly destroyed the moment that they are registered by our sense organs. Since the photons that hit my eyes and those that hit yours are not the same, we literally cannot perceive the same salt.

Considering this, what reason do we actually have to say the salt remains on the table, if no component of it remains, nor can we define it in a way independent of its components?

P.S. And your "emptiness of salt" here is just emptiness of internal phenomena, I don't think you are saying anything about "emptiness of external phenomena." (This was a concern of mine here.)


An external phenomenon is a contradiction - a phenomenon is a subjective appearance. Emptiness refers to the emptiness of phenomena and nothing else. This does not mean that there may be an non-empty objective reality out there, but that if the emptiness of appearances is properly understood one no longer has a need to assume an objective reality out there.

This is just a representation of my understanding that is still in formulation. So, take it with a pinch of pepper.
...
Acchantika
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:04 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:21 am

Oh dear, thanks wisdom, don't know if I can keep up, will take one at a time.

wisdom wrote:To begin with, salt is an indeterminate truth. On the tongue, its salty. In a wound, its pain. For a slug, its death. For sea creatures its part of their natural environment. For the stomach, its a cause for illness. Hence, even the thing we call salt, due to its compounded nature, is found to be indeterminate.

Salt is the only constant in your examples. The only "indeterminate" here is what you mix it with.

wisdom wrote:If we narrow it to the tongue, and just the experience of "saltiness" that is still indeterminate. What is enough salt for me, is too much for you and too little for someone else. Even for you, what is too much salt today, might taste good tomorrow if you are craving it, and might be just right the next day.

"Enough" and other adjectives are subjective, salt is still salt.

wisdom wrote:The experience of saltiness arises purely as a result of a number of compounded entities. The salt itself (sodium chloride) coming into contact with the compounded entity of the tongues taste buds. That in turn is translated into electrical impulses which reach the brain, causing electro-chemical reactions, all of which are compounded entities, arising due to Dependent Arising, and lacking inherent existence. This is all experienced by the mind, and when the mind is delusional, it also is a compounded entity, with a belief in the existence of a self who experiences saltiness.

Agreed. Our experiencing of salt or saltiness is a complex process.

wisdom wrote:So saltiness is not only an indeterminate truth, meaning we cant even peg down what "saltiness" really is, but it arises entirely within conditions which are compounded phenomena, made up of other phenomena, and ultimately upon examination all these phenomena are discovered to be empty. The meaning of Dependent Arising is more or less this, that things appear to arise, they appear to abide, they appear to cease. They relate to one another in a relative, limited, indeterminate and conventional way. However all of it, the entire display, is just an illusion, like a dream, or the moon in water, it has no inherent and lasting existence.

I think we pegged saltiness to the interaction of salt molecules with a tongue earlier. I concur with your dependent arising points, I love dependent arising. Your final comment borders on antirealism so would need to explore further before commenting.

wisdom wrote:Furthermore saltiness only exists in a specific compounded form interacting with another specific compounded form. Sodium or Chlorine by themselves are both deadly poisons, which are in turn just arrangements of protons, electrons and neutrons, which are in turn just arrangements of sub atomic particles, quantum particles, mathematical abstractions, and finally they are realized to be completely empty.

Right, but this is why we stopped looking for salt beyond a salt molecule earlier because all the smaller stuff isn't salty.

wisdom wrote:What does it mean to say "salt exists conventionally"? It means that salt exists only relative to other conventional, compounded entities. To admit of a things conventional existence is the same as saying that it does not exist at all. Why? Because once we are making a distinction that something is conventional, we are also acknowledging that ultimately it has no absolute, inherent reality. This does not mean that conventionally the salt is "non existent", it means precisely what it says. Salt only exists as a compounded, indeterminate and temporary appearance whose nature is emptiness.

I have taken issue with the "does not exist at all" part, am not sure these unqualified "exist" terms referring to some ultimate inconceivable are helpful or even relevant to external phenomena.

wisdom wrote:People want to nitpick the idea that "it exists" conventionally as meaning somehow that someone is saying "it exists absolutely". Whats happening though is that people are taking the word "exist" to always indicate absolute existence. Thats why we modify our meaning with the words "conventional" and "absolute" or "inherent" so as to be clear that we are not making a claim that would fall into Eternalism, the idea that salt is an inherently existent entity which has some kind of eternally existing quality called "saltiness".

Yes. We asked earlier how "absolute existence" was a helpful concept if it contained nothing, like an empty set.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:36 am

yadave wrote:Right, but this is why we stopped looking for salt beyond a salt molecule earlier because all the smaller stuff isn't salty.



This is why for you saltiness is an inherent quality and intrinsic characteristic. But if you try to find salty in a salt molecule, you will not find it.

Look at the examination of intrinsic characteristics in the MMK.

but it is hopeless, you already decided you are a "realist" and that things "really exist".

Madhyamaka is not antirealist, Madhyamaka is beyond the extremes of "real" and "unreal".

Madhyamaka can be considered "antirealism" to the extent that realism is a wrong view, but not because Madhyamaka proposes there are "unreal" things.

To change the terms a little, "It is not that we claim that things are unreal, we merely remove claims of real things".

Salt is merely an imputation on a collection, but there is no real salt in salt. Dave is likewise an imputation on a collection, but there is no Dave in Dave. If would look for Dave in the collection called "Dave", where are we going to find it? In your head, brain, heart, liver, hand, etc? Apart from your head, liver, etc.? The same analysis of the person, by which we discover that persons are merely designations on a collection, must be extended to phenomena. That is the intent of Madhyamaka. In other words, just as the term car is merely a designation on a collection of parts, and not car is found in a car, likewise, we can make the same observation for all compounded phenomena. People are not one case and cars and salt another.

N

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:32 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The emptiness of salt does not prove salt does not exist, it merely removes the claim that there is an existent called "salt" When salt is analyzed, no salt is found in salt. There is no entity among the components of salt that make salt salt.

Salt molecules are entities, conditioned entities, the smallest things we find that have properties we know of that make salt salt, make salty taste salty. What are you looking for?

If salt molecules are conditioned entities they are unable to act as salt alone.

I think if we place one salt molecule on a snail and watch under a microscope we will see tiny bubbles. Not sure what you mean yet.

Namdrol wrote:Hence there is no "salt" in the appearance we are labeling salt because the conditions which support the appearance of "salt" do not end at "salt molecules", do they?

We have to look at it?

Namdrol wrote:Salt molecules, we will readily, are conditioned entities upon which we lable the aggregate we are calling salt. But a salt molecule itself is an aggregate, and so and so forth. A salt molecule cannot act as salt, it must be in an aggregate to have that function. And a given salt molecule itself cannot function without the aggregate upon which it depends.

Any given salt molecule has the properties of salt and is ready to go to work doing its salt-thing. Not sure the point here.

Namdrol wrote:And that dependence has both depth as well as extension i.e. not only does it depend on its own specific causes and conditions, but its dependence is lateral, since it depends the presence of the element of sodium, chloride, as has been mentioned above. Not only does salt molecule depend on these two elements, it depends on conditions of pressure, heat, and so on.

Right, there's probably no salt on the Sun because it is too hot.

Namdrol wrote:So a great deal more goes into producing the appearance we are labeling salt mere salt molecules.

Well sure, but a great deal more goes into producing and labeling anything. The only constant must be the presence of a salt molecule, otherwise we would be producing and labeling a football or something.

Namdrol wrote:In fact, the presence of salt molecules is dependent on every other phenoemena in the universe i.e. karana hetu or "creative cause" or the "dominant condition" the principle that all phenomena are causes for all other phenomena apart from themselves. When all of this is taken into consideration, as any proper analysis must, we find that in a very real sense salt is empty of salt just as persons are empty of persons, and just as all conditioned phenomena are empty of conditoned phenomena.
...
Airplains and all other phenomena are required, it is intrinsic to the logic of the six causes and four conditions, which are the six causes and four conditions that Nagarjuna sets out and dismantles completely in the first chapter of the MMK.

I would need to study Chapter 1 before commenting on this Gaia-like notion, Namdrol. In the meantime, I recall some questions raised about it in "MoonShadows," page 167,

Mark Siderits wrote:One sometimes hears it said that the Madhyamaka claim about emptiness amounts to the view that everything is connected to everything else. This is thought by some to offer a basis for a specifically Buddhist environmental ethic. Others see it more generally as a welcome corrective to an excessively individualistic worldview. The normative consequences are dubious. More important though, it is far from clear that a Madhyamika should say that everything is connected to everything else. This cannot be ultimately true, and it does not appear to be conventionally true, either. At least, it does not appear to reflect the epistemic practices whereby we come to a more useful understanding of the world. About this more later. For now, let us simply take it that there may be a connection between what we say about conventional truth and what we say about the nature of things. If we agree that there is only conventional truth, then in order to avoid the dismal slough, we may have to deny that our world is aptly characterized by the metaphor of Indra’s net.

Cowherds, The (2010-12-24). Moonshadows : Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy (p. 168). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.


Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:43 am

yadave wrote:I think if we place one salt molecule on a snail and watch under a microscope we will see tiny bubbles. Not sure what you mean yet.



Salt molecules do not produce this effect all by themselves. You need a snail for that.

The rest is pointless to respond to.

I was not making a Madhyamaka claim, but the way with pointing out the karana hetu. Karana hetu (what you mistook as a Gaia statement) is a Abhidharma claim which Madhyamakas assert is merely a convention that cannot withstand analsyis, like salt.

The point of that description however, was that conventionally speaking, Madhyamakas are general considered to accept production from another, even if this does not withstand ultimate analysis, it is the conventional mode Madhyamakas are comfortable with because it accords with dependent origination. Thus salt a dependent collection upon which term salt is applied, the same goes for cars, persons and everything else without the need for some non-dependent entity to exist which can serve as a basis for designation.

Salt molecules are not independent entities, so "salt" therefore, is just a dependent designation on a collection, like "Dave" and "Malcolm".

The absolute truth of salt, Dave and Malcolm is emptiness i.e that when salt, dave and malcolm are sought as distinct entities in their respective collections, nothing can be found apart from a designation upon a collection.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:04 am

Acchantika wrote:The external world inferred from the perception of public accessibility is a world that can neither be seen nor conceived in any way, because it would be independent of experience by definition.

I don't think I've ever seen "public accessibility" so have no idea what you are talking about.

Acchantika wrote:We do not experience a mind-independent world. Nor is there a distinction intrinsic to experience between the internal and the external. In order to properly assess the state of things, such as salt, we must first cultivate an experience of things that is free of everything imputed. Working from the assumption that salt exists or salt exists as thoughts and so on are imputations not intrinsic to experience and thus dysfunctional to that end.

Huh?

Acchantika wrote:If we reduce the salt to its atomic components, any form of interaction, including measurement, annihilates them.

This is nonsense. If you look at salt under a microscope, it does not suddenly explode.

Acchantika wrote:Considering this, what reason do we actually have to say the salt remains on the table, if no component of it remains, nor can we define it in a way independent of its components?

Because we looked and it is still on the table?

Acchantika wrote:An external phenomenon is a contradiction - a phenomenon is a subjective appearance.

Take your complaint up with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

Acchantika wrote:Emptiness refers to the emptiness of phenomena and nothing else. This does not mean that there may be an non-empty objective reality out there, but that if the emptiness of appearances is properly understood one no longer has a need to assume an objective reality out there.

Well if your emptiness is restricted to internal phenomena, I think we're in agreement, Acchantika. Your assertion that emptiness of internal phenomena obviates the need or utility of a realism might require a separate discussion.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:12 am

cloudburst wrote: Too much smartassery in Buddhist circles.

Better smart than tight, I always say.
:rolling:
yadave wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:but most accurate might be, "there is no finite point at which salt can be said to occur".
...finite meaning unconditional.

But then we are back to simply saying salt is conditioned, to which I totally agree.


So then, the question becomes: "to what may one apply the term "exist" ?
...and you are saying that "exist" can apply to conditionally arising phenomena,
...and (I believe) Namdrol is saying that it is erroneous to apply the term "exist" to conditionally arising phenomena.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:21 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
So then, the question becomes: "to what may one apply the term [b][i]"exist?"
...and you are saying that "exist" can apply to conditionally arising phenomena,
...and (I believe) Namdrol is saying that it is erroneous to apply the term "exist" to conditionally arising phenomena.
.
.
.


As the Buddha specified:

Dvayaṃnissito kho'yaṃ kaccaana loko yebhuyyena atthita–ceva natthita–ca
Kaaccana, this world abides in duality, normally abiding in ‘is’ and ‘is not’.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:21 am

yadave wrote:
Well if your emptiness is restricted to internal phenomena ------


What do you mean by internal vs. external phenomena? Where is the dividing line?
As Carl Sagan used to say, "we are made of the stuff that stars are made of"

...unless you mean the activity of the mind is internal, and everything else is external
in which case, it seems that you are suggesting that cognition is not rooted in physical matter.

I seem to recall that this is not your position on things.

.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:46 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:Right, but this is why we stopped looking for salt beyond a salt molecule earlier because all the smaller stuff isn't salty.

This is why for you saltiness is an inherent quality and intrinsic characteristic. But if you try to find salty in a salt molecule, you will not find it.

Saltiness arises when we combine salt molecules with a tongue. I get that. If we look at all the tastes a tongue provides and ask which ones are salty, what do we find? Salt molecules. In this sense, saltiness is an inherent quality of salt molecules, guilty as charged.

Namdrol wrote:Look at the examination of intrinsic characteristics in the MMK.
but it is hopeless, you already decided you are a "realist" and that things "really exist".

I will study more if time permits, and "it" is probably hopeless, and I think some form of realism is gonna make explaining "shared reality" a whole lot simpler at least from what I've seen so far.

Namdrol wrote:Madhyamaka is not antirealist, Madhyamaka is beyond the extremes of "real" and "unreal".

Madhyamaka can be considered "antirealism" to the extent that realism is a wrong view, but not because Madhyamaka proposes there are "unreal" things.

To change the terms a little, "It is not that we claim that things are unreal, we merely remove claims of real things".

Salt is merely an imputation on a collection, but there is no real salt in salt. Dave is likewise an imputation on a collection, but there is no Dave in Dave. If would look for Dave in the collection called "Dave", where are we going to find it? In your head, brain, heart, liver, hand, etc? Apart from your head, liver, etc.? The same analysis of the person, by which we discover that persons are merely designations on a collection, must be extended to phenomena. That is the intent of Madhyamaka. In other words, just as the term car is merely a designation on a collection of parts, and not car is found in a car, likewise, we can make the same observation for all compounded phenomena. People are not one case and cars and salt another.

Thanks, Namdrol. I do not want to waste your time. I like your comments on Madhyamaka being beyond "real" and "unreal", maybe I will grok this if time permits further exploration. I'm easily in agreement with you on the no Dave part, I get that Madhyamaka wants to extend this to so-called external things and am not ready to accept that one yet for reasons I've tried to clarify earlier.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:51 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:I think if we place one salt molecule on a snail and watch under a microscope we will see tiny bubbles. Not sure what you mean yet.

Salt molecules do not produce this effect all by themselves. You need a snail for that.

Right. There is one snail and one salt molecule under the microscope.

Namdrol wrote:The rest is pointless to respond to.


Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Tom » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:15 am

yadave wrote: In this sense, saltiness is an inherent quality of salt molecules, guilty as charged.


Quick question for Dave, and apologies if this interrupts the flow of debate - it is a quick one ...

I'm interested to know if you consider substances, say for example salt, that bear qualities, in this instance saltiness, to be more than conceptual fictions?
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:16 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
cloudburst wrote:Too much smartassery in Buddhist circles.

Better smart than tight, I always say. :rolling:

LOL. Sorry.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
yadave wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:but most accurate might be, "there is no finite point at which salt can be said to occur".
...finite meaning unconditional.

But then we are back to simply saying salt is conditioned, to which I totally agree.

So then, the question becomes: "to what may one apply the term "exist"?

Yes, that is and has been an important question because the specialized sense we frequently use in these Buddhism discussions is so far from "reality." As cloudburst nicely puts it, it creates a mystical zing. As I put it, it leads to confusion which leads to questioning whether the teacher is rational or just selling Avon; there is no way to tell and Western students have less faith than their predecessors.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:17 am

yadave wrote:
Saltiness arises when we combine salt molecules with a tongue. I get that. If we look at all the tastes a tongue provides and ask which ones are salty, what do we find? Salt molecules.


HI dave, that's just not true. Monosodium glutamate is not salt. But it produces a salty taste.

There are lots of things that taste salty, that have no salt in them.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:21 am

Tom wrote:
yadave wrote: In this sense, saltiness is an inherent quality of salt molecules, guilty as charged.


Quick question for Dave, and apologies if this interrupts the flow of debate - it is a quick one ...

I'm interested to know if you consider substances, say for example salt, that bear qualities, in this instance saltiness, to be more than conceptual fictions?

Hi Tom.

Yes.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:24 am

yadave wrote:
Tom wrote:
yadave wrote: In this sense, saltiness is an inherent quality of salt molecules, guilty as charged.


Quick question for Dave, and apologies if this interrupts the flow of debate - it is a quick one ...

I'm interested to know if you consider substances, say for example salt, that bear qualities, in this instance saltiness, to be more than conceptual fictions?

Hi Tom.

Yes.

Regards,
Dave.


I think the real question is, do you accept that these substances are intrinsically real, qualitatively real.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12033
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:29 am

Where the hell am I? Nowhere! OK, that makes sense.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
yadave wrote:Well if your emptiness is restricted to internal phenomena ------

What do you mean by internal vs. external phenomena? Where is the dividing line?

Internal phenomena includes my personal experience, thoughts, feelings, skandhas, that stuff. External phenomena is so-called shared reality, stuff you and I both can see and point to or bump into in our effort to emulate advanced yogis.

This seems obvious, I mean it seemed obvious to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche's editors, what is your point?

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kilaya. and 10 guests

>