Misunderstanding emptiness

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:04 am

Paul wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
conebeckham wrote: The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.


YEAH!


That reminds me of a thread that Namdrol once started in E-Sangha that started off a real atom of posts - the original post being something very terse like "Reality is a cognitive error". People went a bit crazy - it was very amusing. :rolling:



"Sentient beings are nothing more than cognitive errors".
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:57 am

yadave wrote:1. Reality is mind-independent.
2. Knowledge is mind-dependent.
3. Therefore mind cannot perceive reality?

Non sequitur.


This is the argument:

P1) All knowledge is mediated by experience.
P2) The objective is not mediated by experience.
C1) Therefore, the objective cannot be known.

P1 is the principle of empiricism i.e. science. P2 is superficially true by definition. Therefore, a [scientific] realist, in short, has to explain how something non-experiential gives rise to something experiential and/or contest P2.

Wiktionary, annihilation …


The point is that no quanta can be measured twice e.g. no photon is ever seen twice. So any hypothesis of essential, objective salt is derived from changing, subjective not-salt.

In neither case is your sample of salt measurably changed.


You have to define and establish that aspect of salt that is essential in order to qualify whether or not it has changed between measurements. The “sample of salt” is a perception of yours, not, by your own definition, the objective causative thing you want to measure. Even if we assume the objective, then that perception is caused by things other than salt i.e. photons hitting your retina etc. If that proposed thing behind all this could not change, it could not interact i.e. with your sensory system, therefore you could not know about it, nor have reason to posit it.

Particles are not objects, they are packets of energy. This energy dissipates into heat when it interacts with cells in your eyes that are photosensitive.


It depends how you look, you can see particle or wave behavior.


Exactly, the act of measurement changes what you are looking at. Therefore reality is not independent of observation and realism is refuted.

I'm not sure what we were arguing but Khenchen Thrangu distinguishes internal from external in his presentation of mahamudra and emptiness.


Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:46 am

Acchantika wrote:
Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.


How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:17 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


This is slightly off topic but speaks to your question asunthatneversets. Try this: hold your hand in front of your face and ask yourself this question: is your hand inside you or outside you?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:41 am

MalaBeads wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


This is slightly off topic but speaks to your question asunthatneversets. Try this: hold your hand in front of your face and ask yourself this question: is your hand inside you or outside you?


I'm not sure what you're proposing is the me with which to gauge an inner or outer with. And even if this alleged me was somehow located; how then could an idea exist inside or outside another idea? And how could they exist simultaneously? If they somehow were to manifest as distinct entities and exist simultaneously, then where could one establish a dividing line? Or where could a container be found one could utilize to place one within so the other remained outside? There are infinitesimal possibilities within the realm of the imagination, and I cannot successfully answer your question.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:00 am

Cone, your posts are all clear, thanks. I especially like your description of differences between Madhyamaka and Mahamudra and surely must dig into a good Thrangu Rinpoche Madhyamaka text, when time permits, judging from the amount I've blathered on.

Some quick thoughts here, hopefully with a similar theme.

wisdom wrote:NaCl is only known through observation. This can be done with sight, taste or touch, and possibly smell but I am unsure as I have never tried to smell salt.

I can also read about salt in a salt book. I can learn what it would do to a snail without being a snail or trying it myself. Is this knowledge of salt?

asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?

Acchantika wrote:P1) All knowledge is mediated by experience.
P2) The objective is not mediated by experience.
C1) Therefore, the objective cannot be known.

If the objective cannot be known, how do we know it is not mediated by experience?

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:22 am

yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?


Regards,
Dave.


We, my friend... are concepts.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:30 am

Oh and MalaBeads I wrote infinitesimal in my initial response and meant 'infinite' (no way to correct other than this).
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby wisdom » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:54 am

yadave wrote:I can also read about salt in a salt book. I can learn what it would do to a snail without being a snail or trying it myself. Is this knowledge of salt?


Yep, because someone observed it with their eyes at some point and recorded it in a book as a fact. Of course its not the same kind of knowledge as if you were to see it done for yourself. In the same way you can learn about France, but actually being there is a different experience. So in essence its still known through observation, in this case your eyes observing words and your mind comprehending them.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:07 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?

We, my friend... are concepts.

That's great. Without a subject/object there's really not a damn thing to talk about and that seems incredibly funny for some reason so it must be way past bedtime. Ciao.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:33 am

yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:We, my friend... are concepts.

That's great. Without a subject/object there's really not a damn thing to talk about and that seems incredibly funny for some reason so it must be way past bedtime. Ciao.

Regards,
Dave.


Well then perhaps look at it this way;
It appears that thoughts arise but there is no thinker. Likewise it appears seeing is happening but there is no seer. And all the way down the line for all the senses. So whatever this is that we label as experience is spontaneously self-appearing. It appears to no one, so to say "we experience concepts" is true conventionally. But in truth the concept in it's appearance as letters or thought or verbal utterance doesn't point to anything. And in fact any-thing conceivable IS a concept. Apart from the conceptual overlay of experience we have the incredibly long breakdown I posted on the previous page having to do with the suchness and one-taste of experience in-and-of-itself. I tried to conceptually get as nonconceptual as I could by making that post experimental with actual experience. But getting back to the concepts, when you think or say "we", the sound "we" just appears and is self-liberated in the very same moment. The error is that via the faculty of memory experience is extended into what appears to be time. And time gives the feeling that there is a subject which experiences an arising such as a concept which is conceived to be separate(from said subject). Time is an illusion. The subject is an illusion. Likewise the object is then negated as well. The concept in whatever form it appears IS experience itself. The notion that "we" experience anything is product of delusion. Experience just "is"... Seamless, timeless and whole in this ever-presence. Another short and potentially confusing way to put it is; the totality of all that is appearing in this very moment is what you are, and "you" are a concept. (And experience is empty.)

Reminds me of what Satan says in Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger which is actually incredibly on point. There's a creepy claymation adaptation of this scene in a old Tom Sawyer film you can find on YouTube. But anyways, Satan says:

"Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists except empty space and you, and you... are but a thought"
Last edited by asunthatneversets on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:38 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Acchantika wrote:
Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.


How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


It equates ultimately in the sense that they are both arbitrary distinctions. Tentatively, what is external to oneself is still a projection of mind, distinct from the objective. A realist doesn't claim that the external is equal to the objective, they claim that what is represented externally by a mind is an approximation of the objective and caused by it.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:44 am

yadave wrote:
Acchantika wrote:P1) All knowledge is mediated by experience.
P2) The objective is not mediated by experience.
C1) Therefore, the objective cannot be known.

If the objective cannot be known, how do we know it is not mediated by experience?


Because objective means independent of experience. Something mediated by experience is something dependent on experience.

yadave wrote:Without a subject/object there's really not a damn thing to talk about and that seems incredibly funny for some reason


    Since everything is an illusion -
    with some more perfect than others -
    with no relationship to good or bad,
    being or not-being,
    one might as well
    laugh from beginning to end.

    - Lonchenpa
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby catmoon » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:23 pm

Then there is the interesting case of Virgil, and man blind since birth, who had an operation to remove severe cataracts. The results were not as expected:

Virgil told me later that in this first moment he had no idea what he was seeing. There was light, there was movement, there was color, all mixed up, all meaningless, a blur. Then out of the blur came a voice that said, "Well?" Then, and only then, he said, did he finally realize that this chaos of light and shadow was a face -- and, indeed, the face of his surgeon. […]


Virgil would stare at the cat as it walked around the room, not knowing what it was until it either meowed or jumped in his lap, when he would exclaim "ah! the cat!". The rest of the story of Virgil's journey to learn to see is in Oliver Sack's book, "An Anthropologist on Mars".

This might be relevant to to the earlier discussion on vision and seeing.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:55 pm

catmoon wrote:Then there is the interesting case of Virgil, and man blind since birth, who had an operation to remove severe cataracts. The results were not as expected:

Virgil told me later that in this first moment he had no idea what he was seeing. There was light, there was movement, there was color, all mixed up, all meaningless, a blur. Then out of the blur came a voice that said, "Well?" Then, and only then, he said, did he finally realize that this chaos of light and shadow was a face -- and, indeed, the face of his surgeon. […]


Virgil would stare at the cat as it walked around the room, not knowing what it was until it either meowed or jumped in his lap, when he would exclaim "ah! the cat!". The rest of the story of Virgil's journey to learn to see is in Oliver Sack's book, "An Anthropologist on Mars".

This might be relevant to to the earlier discussion on vision and seeing.


Right! It took the auditory and tactile sensations being present for successful identification... I like that it's also about a cat... Very fitting coming from you :tongue:
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Paul » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:04 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Paul wrote:That reminds me of a thread that Namdrol once started in E-Sangha that started off a real atom of posts - the original post being something very terse like "Reality is a cognitive error". People went a bit crazy - it was very amusing. :rolling:



"Sentient beings are nothing more than cognitive errors".


That's the one. I seem to remember it went down well with some, but not at all well with others...
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:50 am

Paul wrote:That reminds me of a thread that Namdrol once started in E-Sangha that started off a real atom of posts - the original post being something very terse like "Reality is a cognitive error". People went a bit crazy - it was very amusing. :rolling:
Namdrol wrote:"Sentient beings are nothing more than cognitive errors".

That's the one. I seem to remember it went down well with some, but not at all well with others...

Maybe yet another language feature. "Cognitive error" is Buddhist jargon, like "existence," but this one is personal. If you tell someone on the street that "Something is wrong with your mind, you have an error," they might think "Wait a minute, I didn't do anything wrong!" and become upset or start crying. So it's funny, possibly pretentious, and will be changed in my forthcoming edition of MMK.

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:13 am

Yadave-
The fault is not with them. Or, if it is, you can't know it.
The cognitive error is your responsibility.
When you are free of cognitive error, sentient beings do not exists....there are only Buddhas. :sage:
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:26 am

Yes, Cone. It may have been better to keep my mouth shut. Your reply contains so many issues, enough for another thread, and we're already close to crashing the server with this one (woo hoo!). Anyway, stumbling through another read of sunshine's piece and wanted to include this modern article on William Molyneux's Problem for interested readers, future ref, etc.,

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2 ... .html?etoc

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:30 am

yadave wrote:Yes, Cone. It may have been better to keep my mouth shut. Your reply contains so many issues, enough for another thread, and we're already close to crashing the server with this one (woo hoo!). Anyway, stumbling through another read of sunshine's piece and wanted to include this modern article on William Molyneux's Problem for interested readers, future ref, etc.,

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2 ... .html?etoc

Regards,
Dave.


That's cool they revisited that! So what are the issues with what cone is saying? Because they fall in line with the entire theme of this thread and are accurate in my opinion.
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