No-self and Rigpa

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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Dronma » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:24 am

Namdrol wrote:
Dronma wrote:
How can nothing manifest something?


It doesn't. The Dzogchen view is that everything is completely equivalent with an illusion.

"“Hey, hey, apparent yet non existent retinue: listen well! There is no object to distinguish in me, the view of self-originated wisdom; it did not exist before, it will not arise later, and also does not appear in anyway in the present. The path does not exist, action does not exist, traces do not exist, ignorance does not exist, thoughts do not exist, mind does not exist, discriminating knowledge does not exist, samsara does not exist, nirvana does not exist, vidyā itself does not even exist, totally not appearing in anyway.”
-- The Unwritten Tantra



Exactly! Please remember that I am always talking here about linguistic expression. I am sure there must be better words to express "this".
Well, according to my language which I have much better knowledge, I think that instead of κενότητα - emptiness, the word χάος - chaos is more closed to the concept of infinitum which has all potentialities but no inherent formation at all.
"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Dronma » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:31 am

Chaos (Greek χάος khaos) refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths.

Greek χάος means "emptiness, vast void, chasm, abyss", from the verb χαίνω, "gape, be wide open, etc.", from Proto-Indo-European *ghen-, cognate to Old English geanian, "to gape", whence English yawn.

Just a thought.... :meditate:
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:31 am

Dronma wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Dronma wrote:
How can nothing manifest something?


It doesn't. The Dzogchen view is that everything is completely equivalent with an illusion.

"“Hey, hey, apparent yet non existent retinue: listen well! There is no object to distinguish in me, the view of self-originated wisdom; it did not exist before, it will not arise later, and also does not appear in anyway in the present. The path does not exist, action does not exist, traces do not exist, ignorance does not exist, thoughts do not exist, mind does not exist, discriminating knowledge does not exist, samsara does not exist, nirvana does not exist, vidyā itself does not even exist, totally not appearing in anyway.”
-- The Unwritten Tantra



Exactly! Please remember that I am always talking here about linguistic expression. I am sure there must be better words to express "this".
Well, according to my language which I have much better knowledge, I think that instead of κενότητα - emptiness, the word χάος - chaos is more closed to the concept of infinitum which has all potentialities but no inherent formation at all.


Stong (སྟོང) in tibetan is related to stongs (སྟོངས), which means to empty out.
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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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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:32 am

Dronma wrote:[color=#000080][b]Chaos (Greek χάος khaos) refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths.



It is not this.
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
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Dronma » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:45 am

Namdrol wrote:
Dronma wrote:Chaos (Greek χάος khaos) refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths.



It is not this.



OK. Leave out the creation myths of universe. I don't know Tibetan, so Tibetan etymology has no value for me.
I am speaking from my experience and what I think it is more closed to my language.
Emptiness has the feeling of nothingness.
Chaos - which is also formless or void - has the feeling of openness.
Personally I prefer the latter, because the first notion leads to nihilism or zero, which is wrong.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:47 am

Dronma wrote:Personally I prefer the latter, because the first notion leads to nihilism or zero, which is wrong. [/color]


Emptiness is not nothingness since somethingness was not proposed to begin with.
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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: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Dronma » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:52 am

Namdrol wrote:
Dronma wrote:Personally I prefer the latter, because the first notion leads to nihilism or zero, which is wrong.


Emptiness is not nothingness since somethingness was not proposed to begin with.


We say almost the same thing with different words. :smile:
OK. Emptiness is a term which has been used by many Western translators for many decades.
I say that it is not the best term, and I am searching for a better one.....
That's all. Nothing more to say. :namaste:
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~ Padmasambhava ~
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:01 am

Dronma wrote:That's all. Nothing more to say. :namaste: [/color]


Doesn't exist. There is no better term, otherwise, I would be using it.
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
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Dronma » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:03 am

Namdrol wrote:
Dronma wrote:That's all. Nothing more to say. :namaste: [/color]


Doesn't exist. There is no better term, otherwise, I would be using it.


OK. No problem. Be happy! :smile:
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~ Padmasambhava ~
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Jax » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:00 am

Gad, perhaps it is true that nothing exists including this "conversation". On careful examination one will not be able to find a single existing dharma or thing. Everything is an arising flow of dependent origination in which nothing actually arises, persists or subsides. That is because no phenomena ever attains to the status of "existing" as some independently existent entity. Yet we could say there is on going experience... Yet that experience never reaches beyond the range of shunyata... Experience is the form of emptiness.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:21 am

Jax wrote:Gad, perhaps it is true that nothing exists including this "conversation". On careful examination one will not be able to find a single existing dharma or thing. Everything is an arising flow of dependent origination in which nothing actually arises, persists or subsides. That is because no phenomena ever attains to the status of "existing" as some independently existent entity. Yet we could say there is on going experience... Yet that experience never reaches beyond the range of shunyata... Experience is the form of emptiness.


thats all well and good, but at the end of the day, here we are. saying we and this conversation "don't exist" is just empty word-play. you can maybe say "we don't exist the way we think we do" or "our existence is contingent on x" but just saying we don't exist is dumb.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Jax » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:02 am

Gad, the "existent" is purely conceptual. Sure there is some "happening" going on, but the experience of the five senses is quite different than the mind's assumptions and labeling of pure sensory experience. Pure sensory experience contains no "events" or defined "observers". The mind conjures up those notions of things and beings observing those things. It is only at the level of the mind's efforts at categorizing, labeling and reification of pure experience that we can find " existing things" and "separate identities" as observers. When the mind collapses into it's basis, Rigpa, who can speak about existing things and separate observers? I am not being nihilistic here, there are continuing appearances, which we call lhundrup, yet they never attain to some status beyond their own emptiness. When free of all conceptualizing, how could this be described?
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:31 am

the fact of the existent is given. everything else, like defining just what the existent is or isn't, is conceptual.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Jax » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:58 am

No, no Gad! The whole point of this unique perspective, Mahdyamaka, is that there are no "factual" realities or "things". We can defer to quantum physics regarding "factual" things being only "probabilities" that only appear momentarily to be localized time/space entities based on the presence of an observer. When no longer "observed" things return to their super-position status as mere mathematical probabilities. Only conceptual grasping can bring about the seeming appearance of objective, factual existents. Conventional reality although quite convincing like a tooth ache, never attains some status beyond that of a tooth ache in a dream.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:19 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:the fact of the existent is given. everything else, like defining just what the existent is or isn't, is conceptual.


Interesting, Dante, I wouldn't have pegged you for being a realist.
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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: No-self and Rigpa

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:21 pm

not "the fact of existents", but "the fact of the existent". big difference. if we take a phenomenological approach, there is the irreducible presence of the here and now where we find ourselves. all the conceptualizations in the world cannot negate it. actually, to say "it exists" or " it doesnt exist" are conceptualizations. even to call it "here" and " now" are conceptualizations, as are "self" and "world" and all other labels. its what doesnt get reified into "things" when you stop reifing. sure, it is empty (ka dag), but just as surely, it's present (lhun grub). and, as if that werent enough, it even has a sense of humor (thugs rje). you can say its tapping you on the shoulder right now.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby Malcolm » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:32 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:there is the irreducible presence of the here and now where we find ourselves.


It's reducible, thank goodness.

In any event, what you are talking about is the famous "clarity" aspect of the mind, the famed Descartes trope, "I can doubt everything but that fact that I am doubting". But this hardly constitutes "the fact of the existent".
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
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby xabir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:56 pm

(Zen priest) Alex R. Weith:

A Zen Exploration of the Bahiya Sutta

"Just for the sake of clarification, I would like to make it clear that I never said that "these luminous self-perceiving phenomena which are craving-free and nondual are the Ultimate", if there could still be any ambiguity about that.

On the contrary, I said that what I used to take for an eternal, empty, uncreated, nondual, primordial awareness, source and substance of all things, turned out to be nothing more than the luminous nature of phenomena, themselves empty and ungraspable, somehow crystallized in a very subtle witnessing position. The whole topic of this thread is the deconstruction of this Primordial Awareness, One Mind, Cognizing Emptiness, Self, Atman, Luminous Mind, Tathagatgabha, or whatever we may call it,

As shocking as it may seem, the Buddha was very clear to say that this pure impersonal objectless nondual awareness (that Vedantists called Atma in Sanskrit, Atta in Pali) is still the aggregate of consciousness and that consciousness, as pure and luminous as it can be, does not stand beyond the aggregates.

"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'" (Anatta-lakkhana Sutta)."

...

"What I realized also is that authoritative self-realized students of direct students of both Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj called me a 'Jnani', inviting me to give satsangs and write books, while I had not yet understood the simplest core principles of Buddhism. I realized also that the vast majority of Buddhist teachers, East and West, never went beyond the same initial insights (that Adhyashanti calls "an abiding awakening"), confusing the Atma with the ego, assuming that transcending the ego or self-center (ahamkara in Sanskrit) was identical to what the Buddha had called Anatta (Non-Atma).

It would seem therefore that the Buddha had realized the Self at a certain stage of his acetic years (it is not that difficult after all) and was not yet satisfied. As paradoxical as it may seem, his "divide and conquer strategy" aimed at a systematic deconstruction of the Self (Atma, Atta), reduced to -and divided into- what he then called the five aggregates of clinging and the six sense-spheres, does lead to further and deeper insights into the nature of reality. As far as I can tell, this makes me a Buddhist, not because I find Buddhism cool and trendy, but because I am unable to find other teachings and traditions that provide a complete set of tools and strategies aimed at unlocking these ultimate mysteries, even if mystics from various traditions did stumble on the same stages and insights often unknowingly. "

...

This also means that the first step is to disembed from impermanent phenomena until the only thing that feels real is this all pervading uncreated all pervading awareness that feels like the source and substance of phenomena. Holding on to it after this realization can hower become a subtle form of grasping diguised as letting go.

The second step is therefore to realize that this brightness, awakeness or luminosity is there very nature of phenomena and then only does the duality between the True Self and the appearences arising and passing within the Self dissolve, revealing the suchness of what is.

The next step that I found very practical is to push the process of deconstruction a step further, realizing that all that is experienced is one of the six consciousness. In other words, there is neither a super Awareness beyond phenomena, not solid material objects, but only six streams of sensory experiences. The seen, the heard, the sensed, the tasted, the smelled and the cognized (including thoughts, emotions, and subtle thougths like absorbtion states, jhanas).


At this point it is not difficult to see how relevent the Bahiya Sutta can become.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:13 pm

Not existent, otherwise suffering would be indestructible.
Not non-existent, otherwise there wouldn't be the need for a path.
Neither existent nor non-existent: the view.
The path: to free all sentient beings from suffering.
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Re: No-self and Rigpa

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:25 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:there is the irreducible presence of the here and now where we find ourselves.


It's reducible, thank goodness.

In any event, what you are talking about is the famous "clarity" aspect of the mind, the famed Descartes trope, "I can doubt everything but that fact that I am doubting". But this hardly constitutes "the fact of the existent".


one needs to "take a step back" from the display, to notice that there is a display in the first place. That perspective is already not in the display, otherwise it would be like the naive participation in a dream taking it for really existent, and during which you are unaware that it is a dream. "Lucid dreaming" means realizing that you're dreaming, i.e. you are taking a step back from the dream and now, from a perspective outside the dream yet still seeing the dream, understanding the dream-nature of the dream. "Lucid waking" means taking a step back from the display as we are perceiving it, realizing it is an illusory display. This perspective must be already from outside the display, for the same reason as mentioned above. It is this "ground" from which we are aware of the illusory nature of the display, its (the display's) contingency and the fact that there even is a display and not nothing, that I am referring to. This is our real nature. As it says in Crystal and the Way of Light (pg 89):

"The Base, or gzhi in Tibetan, is the term used to denote the fundamental ground of existence, both at the universal level and at the level of the individual, the two being essentially the same; to realize one is to realize the other. If you realize yourself, you realize the nature of the universe."

You can either emphasize the ineffability of the base, or talk around it forever (which is a lot of fun actually), but either way the first thing is recognizing it. ChNNR seems to be campaigning for an adjustment of Dzogchen terminology, where "rigpa" is no longer to be used also as a synonym for the base itself (as it often is in the old texts) but is to be reserved for our knowledge of the base. What does this knowledge "look like"? It can not be conceptual, otherwise just reading sentences like the quote above would be rigpa. It's not simple shamata or vipasyana, and its not the "famous clarity aspect of the mind" or the one-sided emptiness view of fundy madhyamakas. It is exactly what it says: one's knowledge of the base, the "ground of existence". This base is not even acknowledged in the lower yanas, and the lower yanas often accuse Dzoghchen of not even being Buddhist. In fact, Dzoghchen has always been a Buddhist tightrope act trying not to fall off into vedanta or, even worse, into theism. While these distinctions are interesting and important on one level, its nothing to jihad over. After all, if its beyond "existing" or "not existing" than anything you say about it is going to be partial, incomplete, already said too much. The point is not which historical philosophical system you want to pledge allegiance to, which label you want to sew onto your jacket, but one's knowledge of the "ground of existence, both at the universal level and at the level of the individual".

maybe its better to say that noticing "the irreducible presence of the here and now where we find ourselves" is a doorway through which we can first glimpse the basis.
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