What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby conebeckham » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:25 pm

trevor wrote:
"Like an Illusion - Lives of the Shangpa Kagyu Masters":
The dakini Niguma does not say either that the mountain “really exists” or that she “made it appear.” She does not say that things are completely real, or that they are purely illusory: she says they are like an illusion.

from http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductExtr ... ?PID=10416


Well, first off, this commentary was not written by a master, but by the translator/author.
It's true that Niguma doesn't say that "she made it appear," nor that it "really exists."

What does it mean when we say something is "purely illusory," though? Doesn't that imply that there is a appearance, but with no existence that can be affirmed? Such, indeed is the situation, per Niguma, and per Sakyamuni as well.

I'm with Namdrol on this--"Like and Illusion" is a weak realism, because it allows for some sort of reality to be posited behind the illusion itself, though that reality is not what appears (therefore the appearance is "lke and illusion.") Mahayana Buddhist thought, and specifically Mahdyamika, does not conform to this scheme.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:57 pm

Like an illusion is clearly a realist position. It implies there's something there, but we just don't see it as it is. If we consider that there is something like an illusion, and not just an illusion, means that even if the resulting experience is dependent on both, there is something out there which must exist so that it plays a role in the formation of experience, something that has no other choice than being considered independent, although unknowable. We see a warped version of it, but this "it" must have some existence, otherwise it would only be an illusion instead of illusion like (that defines the experience instead of the object). How come that is not realism?
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:38 pm

Yes, except that we call the one illusive because it evaded our comprehension. How is it then that we can equate reality with illusion, and to add insult to injury, say that the Buddha's view is one of illusion, one of apprehending a deception? Say that reality is illusion and you nullify the very basis of distinction. You might as well say up is down.


What is illusion?
Why something is called illusion?

If you see a magician display the tiger, there are 2 things you will see:
1. The appearance of tiger at THAT MOMENT.
2. That appearances has no tiger inside.

Now if you see the real tiger. You will also see exactly these 2 things:
1. The appearance of tiger at THAT MOMENT.
2. That appearances has no tiger inside.

Not only for tiger, in whatever thing you see, you hear, you touch, you think, there is only these 2 aspect:
1. The appearances at that moment.
2. That appearances has nothing inside.

What is reality in Buddhism?
If you can understand what is illusion in the magic display, you will understand what is reality according to Buddhism.

If you see reality, you see illusions.
If you see illusions, you see reality.

But, if you see reality, but you see it as real, you are actually without knowing it, you have seen the self there.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:57 am

I think illusion is a god definition because, like in a dream, all you have are appearances. These however function and can be said to be conventionally existent. In spite of that, there's nothing beyond them. If there's anything beyond appearances, then a part of what makes the illusion could be said to have existence beyond the observer's experience. That seems realism to me.
Let me put it this way. If there are no sentient beings, there's no samsara. It's not like there's a samsara that somehow exists waiting to be filled with sentient beings that then experience it. Samsara is created by those same beings that experience it, it's an illusion created by karma.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:56 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:We see a warped version of it, but this "it" must have some existence, otherwise it would only be an illusion instead of illusion like (that defines the experience instead of the object). How come that is not realism?

cos realism refers to a truly existent reality.
and that is not what is asserted with a dependently arisen reality that is like an illusion ie, illusory

to call the dependently arisen 'an illusion' instead of 'like an illusion' would be nihilism, since everything was negated in its entirety
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:22 am

to call the dependently arisen 'an illusion' instead of 'like an illusion' would be nihilism, since everything was negated in its entirety


No.

If I say a dream is an illusion, I am not a nihilist
If I say a mirage is an illusion, I am not a nihilist
If I say a reflectionof moon in the water is an illusion, I am not nihilist.

For nihilist, they even don't acknowledge the appearance of dream, mirage etc. that is nihilism.

And the word illusion suggest there is, but nothing in.

The way the car exist is exactly same with the dream exist, isn't it?
The way your mind exist is exactly same with the mirrage exist, isn't it?
The way your body exist is exactly same with the rainbow exist, isn't it?

Therefore, if a dream, a mortgage, a rainbow is illusion, why dont say this body, mind, car not the illusion?

What is the use of word LIKE?

It is redundant and it serve no purpose at all.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:40 am

DarwidHalim wrote:No.

If I say a mirage is an illusion, I am not a nihilist

thats because mirages dont actually exist
if you were to then not distinguish between mirages and things that are not like mirages, such as reality, that would be nihilism

For nihilist, they even don't acknowledge the appearance of dream, mirage etc. that is nihilism.

they do. they say reality is just an appearance and therefore there is no difference between behaving morally and immorally.
for example the chravakas or some modern scientists who deny the mind, they say there is just an appearance of the mind, not an actual functioning thing that is a mind
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:30 am

5heaps wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:No.

If I say a mirage is an illusion, I am not a nihilist

thats because mirages dont actually exist


So in here, you actually accept that mirage don't actualy exist.

Reality is precisely like that.

Reality doesn't actually exist. That is why reality is illusion.

If something which doesn't actually exist is said like an illusion, you have to say that

Mirage too is like an illusion.
Dreamn too is like an illusion.
Rainbow too is like an illusion.

It is odd to say something which is illusion as like an illusion.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:03 am

DarwidHalim wrote:So in here, you actually accept that mirage don't actualy exist.

Reality is precisely like that.

ok, but thats nihilism, for the reasons i gave ie. just as a mirage of a tree denies an actual tree, a mirage of reality denies an actual reality (dependent arising)
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:28 am

5heaps wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:So in here, you actually accept that mirage don't actualy exist.

Reality is precisely like that.

ok, but thats nihilism, for the reasons i gave ie. just as a mirage of a tree denies an actual tree, a mirage of reality denies an actual reality (dependent arising)


Indeed dependent arising deny the true existence of anything. Because you cannot have any chance in dependent arising that can give you something as true arising, consequently everything is exactly same with mirage, rainbow, reflection.

For someone who accept reality is like an illusion, but not illusion, if you trace them, you will find that they have te notion of self somewhere out there.

Please don't confuse between nihilist and someone who say things are illusions.

It is true thr for nihilist they say things are not there sinyhey can kill and do whatever they want anytime, such as killing, lying etc.

But if you ask them, since you are nihilist, please give me your hand to my hungry dog, please give me your eyes for this particular reason, they will not give it to you.

They are ready to do anything outside, but they are not ready to do anything inside.

They have ignorant.

Nihilist can do anything, but if the fire of hell burn them, they will scream like hell asking for help. In this case, if you tell them oh the fire that is burnin you is also illusion, so what is the problem you are asking for help? You think it will work? It won't work.

Knowing there is no self is different without knowing there is nothing.

If you can realize no self perfectly, you can now take a fire and burn your hand. If you are absolute ok with that, you have removed your innate ignorant of self. If you can give your eyes at anytime to any stranger, you probably have reached the state of realizing no self.

Even if you need to visit hell or go to the hell, if the fire of hell doesn't give you any problem because you realize there is no fire in that fire and no visitor in that visitor, you have realized there is no self.

Buddha can kill anytime, because there is no killing for him. Buddha can also lie anytime because there is no lying for him. There is example for this, that you kill someone because you have no choice since the killer want to kill hundred people. Since you realize noself, karma cannot touch you.

But for nihilist, even they see everything is illusion, they have innate ignorant that they hold self of I. Karma is definitely work for them. For sure as well, they are not ready with fire.

None of Buddha scared with fire.
But none of nihilist does not scared with fire.


Padmashambava let the villager burn him alive. But he scared nothing, and let the villager burn him alive. But he realize no self and the fire and his body is just illusion, he didn't scream asking for help.

If you do that to nihilist, it is a dream if they don't ask for help even you tell them please use your view this fire and this body is illusion. It won't work. They have innate self, even they mouth tell you it is illusions.

It is this innate instinct of self that need to be eliminated. So deep and and so innate that even in your dream, we are acting we have self.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby 5heaps » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:03 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Indeed dependent arising deny the true existence of anything. Because you cannot have any chance in dependent arising that can give you something as true arising, consequently everything is exactly same with mirage, rainbow, reflection.

maybe you dont understand what a mirage or an illusion is.

mirages/dreams/illusions of cakes dont just negate the true existence of cakes, they deny cakes altogether. i dont like the sound of that

For someone who accept reality is like an illusion, but not illusion, if you trace them, you will find that they have te notion of self somewhere out there.

not true--you can for example have a cake established through mental labeling which is not a mirage nor an illusion. this cake is not a mirage or an illusion since its 100% real, whereas illusions/mirages are 0% real. nevertheless this real cake is like an illusion, since it seems to truly exist whereas actually it does not
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:22 am

mirages/dreams/illusions of cakes dont just negate the true existence of cakes, they deny cakes altogether. i dont like the sound of that


You said the illusion of cake denies the cake altogether.

Does illusion deny the appearance of cake?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby maybay » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:45 am

Namdrol wrote:
maybay wrote:How is it then that we can equate reality with illusion...?


Because the real cannot be found on analysis.

Can it be found at all?
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby muni » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:07 am

The concept of reality is in English called reality. Sure my real colors about are not helping others. Since we have not the same conceptual dreams.

Oh yes and we are not using the same spoon for our soup. As long as the soup is digesting.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby trevor » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:12 am

5heaps wrote:this cake is not a mirage or an illusion since its 100% real, whereas illusions/mirages are 0% real.


opposite of real is illusory

IOW, cake is not an illusion since its 0% illusory, whereas illusions are 100% illusory.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:30 pm

5heaps wrote:
to call the dependently arisen 'an illusion' instead of 'like an illusion' would be nihilism, since everything was negated in its entirety


This is mistaken: illusions also depend on causes and conditions to arise, hence whatever arises dependently is illusory. The same mirages, dreams, fire wheels, etc.

When one removes the causes and conditions for an illusion, it vanishes. When one removes the causes and conditions of something dependently originated, it vanishes.

The eight examples of illusion show that the dependently arisen is merely illusory and not real.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:33 pm

illusions occur.
.
.
.
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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.
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:01 pm

There is a very good book "Twelve Examples of illusions", published by Oxford university where the content is about traditional examples in Buddhism Of illusions with The current science in explaining how that illusions occur.

In that book, there is a small and simple experiment showing us that even what we see now is illusion and not as real as what we have been thinking about.

The more we understand illusions, the more we understand this reality.

A highly recommended book.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:34 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:illusions occur.
.
.
.


But that does not make them real. Likewise, phenomena occur, but this also does not make them real.

Something real does not need to occur because it has always been real from the beginning.

The problem with most people's understanding of dependent origination is that they actually conceive of dependent origination as "dependence on something else". But you see, Nāgārjuna clearly shows that other dependence (parabhāva) as a merely guise for svabhāva. Things do not derive reality from being dependent anymore than illusions derive reality through being dependent.
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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.

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Re: What is the concept of "reality" in Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:54 pm

Namdrol wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:illusions occur.
.
.
.


But that does not make them real. Likewise, phenomena occur, but this also does not make them real.

Something real does not need to occur because it has always been real from the beginning.

The problem with most people's understanding of dependent origination is that they actually conceive of dependent origination as "dependence on something else". But you see, Nāgārjuna clearly shows that other dependence (parabhāva) as a merely guise for svabhāva. Things do not derive reality from being dependent anymore than illusions derive reality through being dependent.


Oh, I am in total agreement with you.
I don't like to use the word "real". It has too much baggage, too many definitions.
That is why I prefer to talk about whether things do or do not "have inherent existence".
"Real" in Buddhist thinking is a point that can no longer be divided, and is the same regardless of its relativity to anything.

But we call our experiences of things "real" even though they are not.
Illusions result from causes, and can influence results.
So I say illusions occur. It doesn't mean they have inherent existence, or a finite truth to them, or that they are "real".

.
.
. :arrow:
If illusions did not occur, they wouldn't be the topic of this sentence.
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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.
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