conebeckham wrote:OK, attempting to get back on track, and keeping in mind the original question as noted in my title, as well as Namdrol's question above...
It would be interesting to hear what you call ultimate or really existing as neither you nor Namdrol have defined what you mean by those words.
When I read the texts at hand I for example do not see any ultimacy there. I just see that the author says that certain things are there and others are not.
Mahayanasamgraha, II,32:In the other-dependent, the imaginary does not exist.
The perfect exists in it.
Therefore, as for these two, in it,
Nonobservation and observation occur together.
If the perfect exists in it, does that mean the dependent is necessarily ultimate?
The meaning is apparent when you look up in the text. In the same paragraph it says
How should the natures of these dharmas be explained? - In the dependent nature , the imaginary nature does not exist but the absolute nature is present.(MGS, II,32)
So what is said here is simply that our imaginations about the world do not truly represent the dependent nature (pratityasamutpada). But the absence of duality is present there - there is emptiness. Or again in other words: in the interplay of cittas, cetasikas and rupas there is the absence of the two-fold self.
In case you wonder why I say that dependent-nature is not (only) the Alaya I say this because Asanga himself states that. He says
What is the dependent nature ?(...)
v) tadupabhoktṛvijñapti: the concept which knows the preceding(ibid II,1)
So the dependent nature includes the 6 sense-consciousnesses. He also states
The real meaning of conditioned production is (...) the fact of dependency (paratantrārtha) (Abhidharmasamuccaya 22,7)
The last line of my quote seems to indicate, to me, that nonobservation of the imaginary and other-dependent occurs, as does observation of the perfect nature (once one is liberated from afflicted phenomena).
The texts states
Thus, by someone who does not see the truth and by someone who does see it, these two natures, imaginary and absolute, are simultaneously not perceived or perceived as existent and non-existent respectively.(MGS II,32,ii)
So what the verse says in a rather convoluted manner is that in a Worldling there is perception of the imaginations but not perception of how it truly is and in the saint there is no perception of the wrong imaginations but there is perception of how it truly is.