Tsongkhapafan wrote: Malcolm wrote:
How could it not? if it is not, it is unknowable and unrealisable.
The unconditioned cannot be a direct object of the mind. It can only be inferred by the mind. Unconditioned space is an absence of obstruction. It cannot be directly perceived. Cessation is the absence of a cause. It also cannot be perceived directly. Likewise, emptiness— the absence of inherent existenc in your preferred parlance— cannot be directly perceived. All three of these types of unconditioned phenomena (there are no others in Buddhadharma) can only be inferred.
Therefore, the emptiness meditated upon below the path of seeing is merely a conceptual stand in for actual emptiness. The emptiness meditated above the path of seeing is not an object of the mind, since it is actual emptiness. That meditation is a nonmeditation because it is completely free from all objectification.
The unconditioned is a direct object of mind.
Absence of obstruction can be directly perceived (waves hand through empty space)
That "empty space" is not empty. Your perception of it is faulty. When you wave your hand, you displace gases, etc. There is no true "absence of obstruction" in this example, though the medium through which you move your arm is less dense than, say, water. Your example is also an inference, as you take your hand moving as the basis for deducing "empty space."
The absence of inherent existence can be directly perceived since it is mere absence of all the phenomena we normally see or perceive
Conceptually, one can understand the absence of an inherent table while still perceiving that phenomenon we label as "table." Again, this horse is glue, but just to be clear, it is not an "inherent table" we take as the normal phenomenon, it is the table.
The emptiness that is meditated upon below the path of seeing is a generic image of emptiness that leads, through familiarity, to the direct non-conceptual experience of emptiness. That meditation from the path of seeing onwards is not a non-meditation but a direct experience of the object emptiness in which experientially the perceiving subject does not appear, however there is still a subject/object relationship between emptiness and the mind realising emptiness. Emptiness does not realise itself!
This "generic image" is a construct of the conceptualizing mind, and is not a "direct perception of emptiness." You can call it a place holder, or a construct, or prapanca. From the Path of Seeing onwards, direct perception of emptiness occurs, during meditative concentration, while in post concentration phenomena appear while understood as illusions.