Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

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thecowisflying
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Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by thecowisflying »

Why do Gelugs claim this (or maybe I’m getting confused about what they teach)? It seems contradictory to what Nāgārjuna and the Sutras taught. How can he claim things exist like that when the Mahāyāna teahces dharma are inherently not born and phenomena are like empty flowers seen by sick people that disappear when cured?
Jeff H
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Jeff H »

thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this (or maybe I’m getting confused about what they teach)? It seems contradictory to what Nāgārjuna and the Sutras taught. How can he claim things exist like that when the Mahāyāna teahces dharma are inherently not born and phenomena are like empty flowers seen by sick people that disappear when cured?
Coming from Gelug training and now (for about a year) transitioning to Dzogchen, here's my understanding of it.

The Gelug lamrim is a Sutrayana path from the perspective of ordinary beings, whereas Vajrayana paths take the perspective of enlightened beings. Tsongkhapa's lamrim always points directly to Vajrayana, as expressed in the Foundation of All Good Qualities prayer:
Tsongkhapa wrote: Having become a pure vessel by training in the general path,
Please bless me to enter
The holy gateway of the fortunate ones:
The supreme vajra vehicle.
In Sutrayana one considers all the groundwork necessary to prepare oneself for Vajrayana. It is said that following the Sutrayana path to completion requires 3 great eons whereas in Vajrayana enlightenment is possible in one lifetime. My own take on that is that whoever achieves enlightenment in one lifetime necessarily spent many prior lifetimes preparing for it.

Regardless, the teaching of inherent existence in Gelug is intended to help people like me, who come to Buddhism thinking they already, and naturally, understand impermanence. In learning about inherent existence, the problem I encountered was understanding that, in fact, I do reify the phenomena I perceive. I thought, “Of course everything changes! What’s the big deal?” But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.

The claim that “emptiness means things exist without self nature” does not mean that substantial “things” have real “existence”. It is meant to help people distinguish artificially imposed inherency from the mere fact that our very awareness, which can’t be refuted, presents us with apparent objects, even though those objects have no substantial existence whatsoever.

The Gelug term “mere existence” refers to the nominal appearance of dependently arisen phenomena; it absolutely does not posit any “real” existence.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
Malcolm
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Malcolm »

thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this
They do not claim that things exist without self-nature. They claim that things exist dependent on imputations made upon a collections of parts.

They claim that the emptiness taught by the Buddha is simply the emptiness of true existence that is the absence of the inherent existence of things.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Lzr likes to say: "things don't exist from their own side"
thecowisflying
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by thecowisflying »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:23 pm
thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this
They do not claim that things exist without self-nature. They claim that things exist dependent on imputations made upon a collections of parts.

They claim that the emptiness taught by the Buddha is simply the emptiness of true existence that is the absence of the inherent existence of things.
So from what I Kbow about TB much of it is focused on Nāgārjuna so how does Tsongkhapa explain non-arising as only the absence of inheritent existence? If something is non-arisen how can it exist at all even if it does so without inherent existence?
ItsRaining
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by ItsRaining »

Jeff H wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:32 pm
thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this (or maybe I’m getting confused about what they teach)? It seems contradictory to what Nāgārjuna and the Sutras taught. How can he claim things exist like that when the Mahāyāna teahces dharma are inherently not born and phenomena are like empty flowers seen by sick people that disappear when cured?
Coming from Gelug training and now (for about a year) transitioning to Dzogchen, here's my understanding of it.

The Gelug lamrim is a Sutrayana path from the perspective of ordinary beings, whereas Vajrayana paths take the perspective of enlightened beings. Tsongkhapa's lamrim always points directly to Vajrayana, as expressed in the Foundation of All Good Qualities prayer:
Tsongkhapa wrote: Having become a pure vessel by training in the general path,
Please bless me to enter
The holy gateway of the fortunate ones:
The supreme vajra vehicle.
In Sutrayana one considers all the groundwork necessary to prepare oneself for Vajrayana. It is said that following the Sutrayana path to completion requires 3 great eons whereas in Vajrayana enlightenment is possible in one lifetime. My own take on that is that whoever achieves enlightenment in one lifetime necessarily spent many prior lifetimes preparing for it.

Regardless, the teaching of inherent existence in Gelug is intended to help people like me, who come to Buddhism thinking they already, and naturally, understand impermanence. In learning about inherent existence, the problem I encountered was understanding that, in fact, I do reify the phenomena I perceive. I thought, “Of course everything changes! What’s the big deal?” But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.

The claim that “emptiness means things exist without self nature” does not mean that substantial “things” have real “existence”. It is meant to help people distinguish artificially imposed inherency from the mere fact that our very awareness, which can’t be refuted, presents us with apparent objects, even though those objects have no substantial existence whatsoever.

The Gelug term “mere existence” refers to the nominal appearance of dependently arisen phenomena; it absolutely does not posit any “real” existence.
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.
What do you mean by this?

Edit: I'm the same poster as OP, I lost the password for that account but is still logged in on my ipad where I made the post.
zerwe
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by zerwe »

thecowisflying wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:15 am
Malcolm wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:23 pm
thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this
They do not claim that things exist without self-nature. They claim that things exist dependent on imputations made upon a collections of parts.

They claim that the emptiness taught by the Buddha is simply the emptiness of true existence that is the absence of the inherent existence of things.
So from what I Kbow about TB much of it is focused on Nāgārjuna so how does Tsongkhapa explain non-arising as only the absence of inheritent existence? If something is non-arisen how can it exist at all even if it does so without inherent existence?
Things are empty of inherent existence, because they arise depending upon causes and conditions. Also, it is because things are empty of inherent existence that they are able to appear to us at all.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.
What do you mean by this?
Try thinking about it like this:

Who here hasn’t seen a very attractive person and thought to themselves, “Now that is the real deal”?

In so doing you are imposing an idea of a qualitative essence on the person, even though you intellectually know their desireability is impermanent.

(In a post such as this I will confidently make the claim to speak from first hand experience withoutthe need for supporting citation.)

:D
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Jeff H »

ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Jeff H wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:32 pm
thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this (or maybe I’m getting confused about what they teach)? It seems contradictory to what Nāgārjuna and the Sutras taught. How can he claim things exist like that when the Mahāyāna teahces dharma are inherently not born and phenomena are like empty flowers seen by sick people that disappear when cured?
Coming from Gelug training and now (for about a year) transitioning to Dzogchen, here's my understanding of it.

The Gelug lamrim is a Sutrayana path from the perspective of ordinary beings, whereas Vajrayana paths take the perspective of enlightened beings. Tsongkhapa's lamrim always points directly to Vajrayana, as expressed in the Foundation of All Good Qualities prayer:
Tsongkhapa wrote: Having become a pure vessel by training in the general path,
Please bless me to enter
The holy gateway of the fortunate ones:
The supreme vajra vehicle.
In Sutrayana one considers all the groundwork necessary to prepare oneself for Vajrayana. It is said that following the Sutrayana path to completion requires 3 great eons whereas in Vajrayana enlightenment is possible in one lifetime. My own take on that is that whoever achieves enlightenment in one lifetime necessarily spent many prior lifetimes preparing for it.

Regardless, the teaching of inherent existence in Gelug is intended to help people like me, who come to Buddhism thinking they already, and naturally, understand impermanence. In learning about inherent existence, the problem I encountered was understanding that, in fact, I do reify the phenomena I perceive. I thought, “Of course everything changes! What’s the big deal?” But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.

The claim that “emptiness means things exist without self nature” does not mean that substantial “things” have real “existence”. It is meant to help people distinguish artificially imposed inherency from the mere fact that our very awareness, which can’t be refuted, presents us with apparent objects, even though those objects have no substantial existence whatsoever.

The Gelug term “mere existence” refers to the nominal appearance of dependently arisen phenomena; it absolutely does not posit any “real” existence.
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.
What do you mean by this?

Edit: I'm the same poster as OP, I lost the password for that account but is still logged in on my ipad where I made the post.
Phenomena, including things, feelings, thoughts, etc., come into our awareness and interact with each other through dependent arising. That is the sole nature of their existence, but it is not existence in the sense that we usually mean it. There is absolutely nothing about any phenomenon that exists independently of its confluence of dependencies. Most of us hear that and think, “so you’re saying it doesn’t exist because phenomena have no sustaining substance.” Gelugpas respond, “phenomena don’t exist substantially, as they appear, but neither can their apparent presence and effectiveness be denied.”

In order to teach that, Tsongkhapa made a distinction between mere existence, which is the appearance to awareness, and inherent existence, which is the reification of appearances. First, he said, identify this fictional inherency which you created, then thoroughly negate it with reason, and then recognize the dreamlike quality of appearances whose only mode of being is nominal.

There is a common pitfall of learning that nothing exists, and perhaps feeling rather fearful of that. Then, upon understanding that, regardless, the conventions of samsara carry on as before, there can be a sense of relief such as, “ah, so things are basically just as they’ve always been.” That fallacy is like applying permanence subconsciously while thinking everything is impermanent. Once dependent arising is applied, things are not “the same”.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
Malcolm
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Malcolm »

thecowisflying wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:15 am
Malcolm wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:23 pm
thecowisflying wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm Why do Gelugs claim this
They do not claim that things exist without self-nature. They claim that things exist dependent on imputations made upon a collections of parts.

They claim that the emptiness taught by the Buddha is simply the emptiness of true existence that is the absence of the inherent existence of things.
So from what I Kbow about TB much of it is focused on Nāgārjuna so how does Tsongkhapa explain non-arising as only the absence of inheritent existence? If something is non-arisen how can it exist at all even if it does so without inherent existence?
Arising from conditions means nothing arises inherently, that is, without a cause. Arising from causes is imputed upon parts. Things exist as dependent designations, thus, they are still nonarising.

M
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Malcolm
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Malcolm »

ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
ItsRaining
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by ItsRaining »

Jeff H wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:31 pm
ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Jeff H wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:32 pm
Coming from Gelug training and now (for about a year) transitioning to Dzogchen, here's my understanding of it.

The Gelug lamrim is a Sutrayana path from the perspective of ordinary beings, whereas Vajrayana paths take the perspective of enlightened beings. Tsongkhapa's lamrim always points directly to Vajrayana, as expressed in the Foundation of All Good Qualities prayer:
In Sutrayana one considers all the groundwork necessary to prepare oneself for Vajrayana. It is said that following the Sutrayana path to completion requires 3 great eons whereas in Vajrayana enlightenment is possible in one lifetime. My own take on that is that whoever achieves enlightenment in one lifetime necessarily spent many prior lifetimes preparing for it.

Regardless, the teaching of inherent existence in Gelug is intended to help people like me, who come to Buddhism thinking they already, and naturally, understand impermanence. In learning about inherent existence, the problem I encountered was understanding that, in fact, I do reify the phenomena I perceive. I thought, “Of course everything changes! What’s the big deal?” But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.

The claim that “emptiness means things exist without self nature” does not mean that substantial “things” have real “existence”. It is meant to help people distinguish artificially imposed inherency from the mere fact that our very awareness, which can’t be refuted, presents us with apparent objects, even though those objects have no substantial existence whatsoever.

The Gelug term “mere existence” refers to the nominal appearance of dependently arisen phenomena; it absolutely does not posit any “real” existence.
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
But in studying and meditating on Tsongkhapa’s distinction between inherent existence and mere existence, I eventually came to recognize how it is that I superimpose permanence even while I think I realize nothing could possibly be permanent.
What do you mean by this?

Edit: I'm the same poster as OP, I lost the password for that account but is still logged in on my ipad where I made the post.
Phenomena, including things, feelings, thoughts, etc., come into our awareness and interact with each other through dependent arising. That is the sole nature of their existence, but it is not existence in the sense that we usually mean it. There is absolutely nothing about any phenomenon that exists independently of its confluence of dependencies. Most of us hear that and think, “so you’re saying it doesn’t exist because phenomena have no sustaining substance.” Gelugpas respond, “phenomena don’t exist substantially, as they appear, but neither can their apparent presence and effectiveness be denied.”

In order to teach that, Tsongkhapa made a distinction between mere existence, which is the appearance to awareness, and inherent existence, which is the reification of appearances. First, he said, identify this fictional inherency which you created, then thoroughly negate it with reason, and then recognize the dreamlike quality of appearances whose only mode of being is nominal.

There is a common pitfall of learning that nothing exists, and perhaps feeling rather fearful of that. Then, upon understanding that, regardless, the conventions of samsara carry on as before, there can be a sense of relief such as, “ah, so things are basically just as they’ve always been.” That fallacy is like applying permanence subconsciously while thinking everything is impermanent. Once dependent arising is applied, things are not “the same”.
Thanks!
ItsRaining
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by ItsRaining »

Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 pm
ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
Thank you. What are the other points of view on this controversy? Do say Nyingmas present a different view?
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by WeiHan »

Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 pm
ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
The nuance in argument is so subtle that I can't stop wondering if the point of dispute is simply semantic.

Did the traditional interpretation before Tzong Khapa negates relative truth i.e. the cup? Or Tzong Khapa's point is that the traditional interpretation self contradicts by maintaining that there is a relative yet it does not exist?

Thankyou Malcohm for your clear synopsis.
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Josef »

WeiHan wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:44 am
Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 pm
ItsRaining wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:34 am
Thanks for clearing things up. But when someone perceives something to be existent like a cup, normally they wouldn't be projecting inherent existence but rather just existence in general. Or am I getting them mixed up somehow?
There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
The nuance in argument is so subtle that I can't stop wondering if the point of dispute is simply semantic.

Did the traditional interpretation before Tzong Khapa negates relative truth i.e. the cup? Or Tzong Khapa's point is that the traditional interpretation self contradicts by maintaining that there is a relative yet it does not exist?

Thankyou Malcohm for your clear synopsis.
I've always found Tsongkhapa's points on this not to be in any kind of actual contradiction to the traditional interpretation of emptiness but rather an additional detail that may help some people avoid the extreme of nihilism. Basically, it can be useful but is unnecessary.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Losal Samten »

WeiHan wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:44 am
Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 pm There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
The nuance in argument is so subtle that I can't stop wondering if the point of dispute is simply semantic.

Did the traditional interpretation before Tzong Khapa negates relative truth i.e. the cup? Or Tzong Khapa's point is that the traditional interpretation self contradicts by maintaining that there is a relative yet it does not exist?

Thankyou Malcohm for your clear synopsis.
http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/colle ... _22_05.pdf
Last edited by Losal Samten on Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Malcolm »

WeiHan wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:44 am

The nuance in argument is so subtle that I can't stop wondering if the point of dispute is simply semantic.

Did the traditional interpretation before Tzong Khapa negates relative truth i.e. the cup? Or Tzong Khapa's point is that the traditional interpretation self contradicts by maintaining that there is a relative yet it does not exist?

Thankyou Malcohm for your clear synopsis.
No, but the four-fold negation can make it seem like conventional appearances are being negated.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by WeiHan »

Josef wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:18 pm
I've always found Tsongkhapa's points on this not to be in any kind of actual contradiction to the traditional interpretation of emptiness but rather an additional detail that may help some people avoid the extreme of nihilism. Basically, it can be useful but is unnecessary.
There is a difference in that Tsongkhapa's presentation respect human logic a little more. His presentation does not refute both existence and non-existence at the same time unlike traditional approach. Human logic will require that something cannot be both not existing and not non-existing at the same time. However, the traditional approach, by refuting both (actually 4) existing and on-existing is pointing that the mode of reality is beyond concepts (human logic).

If my above conclusion is correct, then in another words, Tsongkhapa is proposing that the mode of reality should/can be understood through conventional human logic while the traditional approach points out, right at the start, that mode of reality is beyond human logic (i.e. a cup can both non existing and not non existing (existing) at the same time).
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Josef »

WeiHan wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Josef wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:18 pm
I've always found Tsongkhapa's points on this not to be in any kind of actual contradiction to the traditional interpretation of emptiness but rather an additional detail that may help some people avoid the extreme of nihilism. Basically, it can be useful but is unnecessary.
There is a difference in that Tsongkhapa's presentation respect human logic a little more. His presentation does not refute both existence and non-existence at the same time unlike traditional approach. Human logic will require that something cannot be both not existing and not non-existing at the same time. However, the traditional approach, by refuting both (actually 4) existing and on-existing is pointing that the mode of reality is beyond concepts (human logic).

If my above conclusion is correct, then in another words, Tsongkhapa is proposing that the mode of reality should/can be understood through conventional human logic while the traditional approach points out, right at the start, that mode of reality is beyond human logic (i.e. a cup can both non existing and not non existing (existing) at the same time).
That makes sense, in that the Gelug view tends to assert that one CAN understand and fully comprehend the mode of reality through intellect and that this can indeed lead to total realization. It is a unique feature of the Gelug view and practice.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
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Re: Why does Gelug school claim emptiness means things exist without self nature?

Post by Lukeinaz »

Losal Samten wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:10 pm
WeiHan wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:44 am
Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 pm There is a controversy here. Tsongkhapa maintains that it is very important to identify what he terms the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, because the coarse object of negation, existence, is an over-negation.


In other words, the cup is designated dependent on its parts. If you negate the existence of the cup, you are contradicting your own perception of the cup. If you negate only the cup's inherent existence however, you can maintain the conventional value of the cup that you perceive, but by understanding its lack of inherent existence, you can also acknowledge the cup is something which arises from conditions, since nothing that arises from conditions can be held to inherently exist—arising from conditions is simply a convention.
The nuance in argument is so subtle that I can't stop wondering if the point of dispute is simply semantic.

Did the traditional interpretation before Tzong Khapa negates relative truth i.e. the cup? Or Tzong Khapa's point is that the traditional interpretation self contradicts by maintaining that there is a relative yet it does not exist?

Thankyou Malcohm for your clear synopsis.
http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/colle ... _22_05.pdf
Essential reading. Thanks!
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