"One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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dzogchungpa
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by dzogchungpa »

It's kind of amusing that a thread which began with a reference to the idea that all phenomena are expressions of an originally pure and undifferentiated one mind has proven to be so contentious.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by coffeebeans »

dzogchungpa wrote: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:47 am It's kind of amusing that a thread which began with a reference to the idea that all phenomena are expressions of an originally pure and undifferentiated one mind has proven to be so contentious.
Difficult to blame anything other than our own Western culture for that.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

coffeebeans wrote: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:09 am
dzogchungpa wrote: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:47 am It's kind of amusing that a thread which began with a reference to the idea that all phenomena are expressions of an originally pure and undifferentiated one mind has proven to be so contentious.
Difficult to blame anything other than our own Western culture for that.
Have you studied Buddhist polemics?
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Re: Response to Bernie

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:58 pm
Sherab wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:26 pm
Refute the above argument if you can. If not, do not make wild allegations of misrepresentation of your position as it only serves to diminish your status.
Nāgārjuna states:

Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained;
without realizing the ultimate, nirvana will not be obtained.


Candrakīriti states in the Madhyamakāvatāra:

"Because all entities can be seen correctly and falsely,
entities possess a dual nature;
the correct perception of any object is true;
the false perception is called "realtive."
Also false perception is asserted to be of two kinds,
clear sense organs and faulty sense organs."


The point here is that one must have an entity in question in order to have a correct or incorrect perception. And those entities are themselves established on the basis of worldly convention which we are not supposed to contravene. The two truths are also conventions, as Candrakīrti states in his commentary on the 70:

Relative truth and ultimate truth are conventions used by the noble ones.


And:

Here, these are true through the power of a worldly, undistorted consciousness, and are defined as ultimate truth through the power of this absence of distortion.

And:

"Uimate truth" is expressed on the basis of worldly convention."

The reason we can say that ultimate truth is conventional is that is it is functional. If ultimate truth was not functional, its perception could not lead to liberation.

I suspect that you are conflating "truths," which are subjective perceptions, with emptiness. All objects have an ultimate nature, emptiness, which is a truth for those who can see it and is conventionally expressed as such. Also emptiness can be an object of distorted consciousness, which is why there are warnings about not apprehending it incorrectly.

Moreover, Candra says:

Any fabricated entity which appears as true
is that which the Muni called relative truth."


In other words, the perception that entities that arise from cause and conditions are true is what we call relative truth. The perception that they are not true because they are empty is what we call ultimate truth.

Below the path of seeing that ultimate truth can only be a conventional truth because that perception is merely an approximation of the actual lack of inherent existence or absence of the four extremes for a given thing. Such a mundane perception of the ultimate truth of emptiness may be tinged with delusion because it is relative, but since it is functional in bringing about realization, it is conventional.

Finally, the two truths are in union because they exist as aspects of any given entity. There is no ultimate truth beyond entities that are known to the world.
Do you realize what you are doing here? You are arguing from authority without addressing the incoherence in your position that I have pointed out.

Even when you use argument from authority, you don't realize that they don't lead to the argument that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

For example, you quoted Nagarjuna "Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained". It does not follow from the Nagarjuna's statement that the ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

Another example is your argument via functionality of truths by citing authority. I have already shown previously how this argument cannot be used to conclude your position that " even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth". Let me repeat my argument that clearly did not get through to you previously: " that which is veridical (ultimate) and that which is non-veridical (conventional) are both functional (in the context of this discussion). But your position effectively implies that what is veridical is non-veridical, which is incoherent."

To avoid incoherence in your position, it would be better for you to argue that the ultimate truth is like conventional truth in that it is a mere label. Labels can be applied to any appearance regardless of whether that appearance (or non-appearance as in the case of the ultimate) is based on a veridical cognition or non-veridical cognition.

In summary, it is okay to say that the ultimate truth is a convention (the mere placement of a label) on an "appearance" that has been examined with direct perception and that conventional truth is a mere placement of a label but without verification of its underlying nature that gives rise to the conventional appearance. In addition, "not seeing" any appearance via direct perception of any phenomenon, does not imply that the ultimate truth is the same as conventional truth, and does not prevent the giving of a conventional label to the ultimate truth.

However, it is incorrect to say that the ultimate truth is a conventional truth as this leads to incoherence with the definition of what constitute an ultimate truth and what constitute a conventional truth.

It is really puzzling for me how someone like you who clearly understands that in terms of strength of an argument, the least is one that relies on authority, followed by one the relies on logical and valid reasoning, with the strongest being one that relies on direct perception. You should have realized that something must be wrong if you have to rely on authority to trump an argument based on logical and valid reasoning. The only way that you could have trumped my argument is that you said that you have verified your position with direct perception. Then, I would have no means to contradict your position since I don't have the ability to perceive phenomena directly.
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Re: Response to Bernie

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:27 pm
It is really puzzling for me how someone like you who clearly understands that in terms of strength of an argument, the least is one that relies on authority, followed by one the relies on logical and valid reasoning, with the strongest being one that relies on direct perception.
I think you not really understand well the content of the authorities in our discussions, preferring instead to rely on your own musings— this is why with you, I insist on bringing up the texts, because you never reason based on citations. As Āryadeva notes in the 400, since we share the same school, citations are appropriate. If we did not, I would not use citations at all.

Now, from what I can see, you seem to think that an ultimate truth is something other than a cognition of an object. Thus we have a basic disagreement over terminology.

1) An enumerated ultimate truth can only be a conventional truth, and this is something that all Madhyamaka masters accept. The so-called non-enumerated ultimate truth cannot be explained in words at all since it is the ārya's direct perception of emptiness.

2) When an ordinary, worldly person engages in analysis to ascertain emptiness, that enumerated ultimate truth, their perception of an inferential emptiness, is simply a convention which means, "I have reached the limit of my ability to analyze this object, and all I can come up with is that it is empty of inherent existence." That perception of emptiness, while designated an ultimate truth, is confined to conventional truth because it is the inferential perception of a mundane person. Thus, even this ultimate truth is non-veridical since it is an inference and not a direct perception. How are inferences non-veridical? for example, it is like mistaking mist for smoke and inferring there is a fire, or perceiving a mirage and inferring there is water. Even the common direct perceptions (mist, mirage) of the worldly are no insurance that their cognitions are veridical.

3) When an ārya explains their yogic direct perception of emptiness to worldlings, this ultimate truth is still a conventional truth i) because it is expressed in words and ii) because the perception of worldlings is by definition non-veridical. Why do we call this ultimate truth a conventional truth? Because it is functional in assisting the direct perception of emptiness. Āryas use either consequences or syllogisms to induce conceptual understanding of emptiness — but that is still an enumerated ultimate truth and thus, by definition, is a part of conventional truth. But as already stated, it is not part of false relative truth because conventional truths are functional. When we see a car, we can drive it. When we study the path, we can traverse it

If the enumerated ultimate truth is not a conventional truth, there is no way ordinary people can realize the non-enumerated ultimate truth, in other words, there is no way they can move from an inferential perception of emptiness on the path of application to the direct perception of emptiness on the path of seeing because ordinary people's cognitions are always deluded with respect to the true existence of things— even after they have analyzed phenomena and found them to be conventionally empty. That conventional emptiness is an ultimate truth, but as it does not have the power to still proliferation on its own, hence, it is also part of conventional truth.
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Re: Response to Bernie

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:15 am
Sherab wrote: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:27 pm
It is really puzzling for me how someone like you who clearly understands that in terms of strength of an argument, the least is one that relies on authority, followed by one the relies on logical and valid reasoning, with the strongest being one that relies on direct perception.
I think you not really understand well the content of the authorities in our discussions, preferring instead to rely on your own musings ...
Previously, you equate my logical and valid reasoning with misrepresentation of your position. Now, you equate logical and valid reasoning to musing? Really? Wow! What a brilliant debating tactic to win an argument.

Since logical and valid reasoning cannot sway you in any way because clearly for you, citing of authority (regardless of whether you interpret or use them correctly or not) trumps logical and valid reasoning, I have no wish to continue with this discussion with you. Enjoy your own monologue if that pleases you.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

Here is another way to look at the ultimate truth - conventional truth conundrum that I have pointed out:

If ultimate truth is conventional truth, then since conventional truth is deceptive, the ultimate truth must also be deceptive. If the ultimate truth is not deceptive, then the conventional must also be not deceptive. If the ultimate truth is both deceptive and not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is an incoherent truth. If the ultimate truth is neither deceptive or not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is indeterminate.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by thomaslaw »

Dharma Flower wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:14 am
Grigoris wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:56 pm When there is an aversion to the Mahayana concept of the One Mind, this might be due to its apparent similarity to the Hindu concept of Atman and Brahman. The Mahayana and Hindu teachings, however, are not the same.
How are they different?
The biggest difference, at least for me, is that the One Mind does not include such concepts as a creator god, personal god, theistic god, etc. The One Mind is not a god.
[/quote]

Brahman in Hinduism is not 'a personal/creator god' , although Brahma is. Brahman in Hinduism is 'the soul of the universe/cosmos'. Brahman and Atman ('the individual soul/self') are ultimately identical in Hinduism. Does the One Mind in Mahayana concept is the true self of all individual self?
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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coffeebeans wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:13 pm There is no experience without faculties of perception and an object to experience. "Direct experience" of an ultimate or unconditioned are indeed a fantasy
Says you. Ever heard of Kenshō (見性)? No? What are you doing in the East Asian Buddhism sub-forum then?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by ItsRaining »

Grigoris wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:11 am
coffeebeans wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:13 pm There is no experience without faculties of perception and an object to experience. "Direct experience" of an ultimate or unconditioned are indeed a fantasy
Says you. Ever heard of Kenshō (見性)? No? What are you doing in the East Asian Buddhism sub-forum then?
Seeing the Nature doesn't mean there are truly existent objects and subjects, it's just a conventional description. In fact, Dogen even criticised the usage of the word as he thought it misled people to believe the seen and seer are separated and established.

"The true source is tranquil and void, the sea of awakening is pure, cutting off the extremes of names and forms, without the traces of subject and object"

-Zongjinglu
"Virtuous man, one who practices Complete Enlightenment of the causal ground of the Tathagata realizes that [birth and extinction] are like an illusory flower in the sky. Thus there is no continuance of birth and death and no body or mind that is subject to birth and death. This nonexistence of [birth and death and body and mind] is so not as a consequence of contrived effort. It is so by its intrinsic nature.

The awareness [of their nonexistence] is like empty space. That which is aware of the empty space is like the appearance of the illusory flower. "
-Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:51 am Here is another way to look at the ultimate truth - conventional truth conundrum that I have pointed out:

If ultimate truth is conventional truth, then since conventional truth is deceptive, the ultimate truth must also be deceptive. If the ultimate truth is not deceptive, then the conventional must also be not deceptive. If the ultimate truth is both deceptive and not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is an incoherent truth. If the ultimate truth is neither deceptive or not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is indeterminate.


If the ultimate truth is not a conventional truth, the former could not be comprehended by mundane people, and therefore, there can be no buddhahood.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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ItsRaining wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:25 pmSeeing the Nature doesn't mean there are truly existent objects and subjects...
I'm sorry, did I say anywhere that the Tathagatagarbha is an object?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:53 pm
Sherab wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:51 am Here is another way to look at the ultimate truth - conventional truth conundrum that I have pointed out:

If ultimate truth is conventional truth, then since conventional truth is deceptive, the ultimate truth must also be deceptive. If the ultimate truth is not deceptive, then the conventional must also be not deceptive. If the ultimate truth is both deceptive and not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is an incoherent truth. If the ultimate truth is neither deceptive or not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is indeterminate.


If the ultimate truth is not a conventional truth, the former could not be comprehended by mundane people, and therefore, there can be no buddhahood.
Again, when confronted with an argument based on logic, instead of showing which part of the logic is wrong, you simply come up a citation storm (which when you examine each citation carefully, does not support your argument at all) or as in this case, you come up with your own argument. This simply means that either my argument was wrong or your argument was wrong. It does not resolve which argument is correct.

As to your argument quoted above, are you saying that:
(1) It is not possible to gain insights from meditation when the meditator merely follows the meditation instructions from his teacher?
(2) The so-called village meditators in Tibet were purportedly illiterate ordinary folks were not really illiterate ordinary folks and the stories have not even the tiniest element of truth?
(3) Those who do not comprehend tantric sadhanas should not have any expectation of realization when they are given the sadhanas as a practice commitment? If so, why did the guru bother to give the commitment in the first place?
(4) Faith by itself can never be a valid path even if that faith is placed on an enlightened being?
(5) If all beings have Buddha nature, that nature cannot be accessed in any other way except through intellectual comprehension? (I am assuming here that by comprehension as regards to mundane people, you are referring to intellectual comprehension and no other form of comprehension. If you are indeed referring to other form of comprehension, then you should have made it clear from the start.)

As to the root of our argument, this is how I see it:
(1) When you say that the ultimate truth is a conventional truth, while you are using conventions in your argument, your argument as I see it, is a statement of ontology. Your statement points to the what ultimate truth actually is. Your statement says that ontology of ultimate truth is the ontology of relative truth. If so, your statement should be amended to "the nature of the ultimate truth is the nature of the relative truth". Here veridical cognition is required to ascertain both the nature of the ultimate truth and the nature of relative/conventional truth.
(2) If by ultimate truth, you are referring to the enumerated ultimate truth (the intellectual understanding of ultimate truth or ultimate truth as a concept. Here non-veridical cognition is all that is required.), then yes, the statement that the ultimate truth is a conventional truth can apply.

The questions I have for you then are:
(1) When you make your statement that "the ultimate truth is conventional truth", were you referring to the actual inexpressible ultimate truth or were you referring to the enumerated ultimate truth?
(2) If you were referring to the enumerated ultimate truth, are you saying that that is the conventional use of the term ultimate truth? That when the label ultimate truth is used, it should always be treated as enumerated ultimate truth unless otherwise stated? If so, any reader should be able to go to any sutras and commentaries and substitute every instance of the label "ultimate truth" with "enumerated ultimate truth" and the sutra or commentary will still make sense?
Last edited by Sherab on Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Sherab wrote: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:51 am Here is another way to look at the ultimate truth - conventional truth conundrum that I have pointed out:

If ultimate truth is conventional truth, then since conventional truth is deceptive, the ultimate truth must also be deceptive. If the ultimate truth is not deceptive, then the conventional must also be not deceptive. If the ultimate truth is both deceptive and not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is an incoherent truth. If the ultimate truth is neither deceptive or not deceptive, then the ultimate truth is indeterminate.
Do you realize what you are doing here? You are arguing from authority without addressing the incoherence in your position that I have pointed out.

Even when you use argument from authority, you don't realize that they don't lead to the argument that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

For example, you quoted Nagarjuna "Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained". It does not follow from the Nagarjuna's statement that the ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".
There's no conundrum if you reformulate the "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth" as "even the expression of ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth" which is what the "citations from authority" are clearly pointing to, at least to my reading.

The simple analogy of the taste of sugar applies. With direct perception at the level of seeing emptiness, all previous ideas and expressions of emptiness heretofore expressed as the rational negandum are transcended by the direct perception (taste of sugar).

However, in order to speak of this at all, someone with this realization must of necessity revert back to conventional truth/words/descriptions of sugar, or simply shut up.

I don't think anyone is saying that the taste of sugar (the ultimate) = conventional truth

Rather, that the expression of that realization can never transcend the conventional due to our inability to convey direct perception.

We can't even convey the taste of sugar to someone who's never had the experience. We can talk about it with ever increasing sophistication and erudition using any method of the 3 logics, but it never leaves the realm of the conventional until someone tastes it for themselves.

Only direct perception (taste of sugar) goes beyond the conventional, but there is no way to avoid the reduction of this back to the conventional in expressing or explaining it. If realization were easily communicable and directly transferable, this whole deal would have been done a long time ago.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:16 am
As to your argument quoted above, are you saying that:
(1) It is not possible to gain insights from meditation when the meditator merely follows the meditation instructions from his teacher?
That depends on the instruction -- for example, there is no reason to assume anyone will give rise to vipaśyāna solely on the basis of śamatha instructions.
(2) The so-called village meditators in Tibet were purportedly illiterate ordinary folks were not really illiterate ordinary folks and the stories have not even the tiniest element of truth?
Even the greatest scholar is ordinary if they have not realized the path of seeing. If those stories contain instructions which present the enumerated ultimate, it is possible that such illiterate folks will awaken if they meditate accordingly.
(3) Those who do not comprehend tantric sadhanas should not have any expectation of realization when they are given the sadhanas as a practice commitment? If so, why did the guru bother to give the commitment in the first place?
Insights gained from tantric practice are based in the example wisdom introduced at the time of the third and fourth empowerment, but this example wisdom is conceptual; not nonconceptual— hence the term "word empowerment."
(4) Faith by itself can never be a valid path even if that faith is placed on an enlightened being?
Faith is part of the merit accumulation, so, it is an indirect cause.
(5) If all beings have Buddha nature, that nature cannot be accessed in any other way except through intellectual comprehension? (I am assuming here that by comprehension as regards to mundane people, you are referring to intellectual comprehension and no other form of comprehension. If you are indeed referring to other form of comprehension, then you should have made it clear from the start.)
Tathāgatagarbha cannot be seen by any one other than buddhas. It is clearly taught it is something we are to have faith in. It is not something we can directly perceive.

As to the root of our argument, this is how I see it:
(1) When you say that the ultimate truth is a conventional truth, while you are using conventions in your argument, your argument as I see it, is a statement of ontology. Your statement points to the what ultimate truth actually is. Your statement says that ontology of ultimate truth is the ontology of relative truth. If so, your statement should be amended to "the nature of the ultimate truth is the nature of the relative truth". Here veridical cognition is required to ascertain both the nature of the ultimate truth and the nature of relative/conventional truth.
I am not making an ontological statement, and neither is Nāgārjuna, it is rather a statement of pedagogy.
(2) If by ultimate truth, you are referring to the enumerated ultimate truth (the intellectual understanding of ultimate truth or ultimate truth as a concept. Here non-veridical cognition is all that is required.), then yes, the statement that the ultimate truth is a conventional truth can apply.
I have provided adequate citations that indicate that the only ultimate truth which can be referred to is the enumerated ultimate. The non-enumerated ultimate cannot be put into words.
The questions I have for you then are:
(1) When you make your statement that "the ultimate truth is conventional truth", were you referring to the actual inexpressible ultimate truth or were you referring to the enumerated ultimate truth?
Since I was using words, I was referring the enumerated ultimate. Of course, even the non-enumerated ultimate is merely the direct perception of the emptiness of a given conventional thing.
(2) If you were referring to the enumerated ultimate truth, are you saying that that is the conventional use of the term ultimate truth? That when the label ultimate truth is used, it should always be treated as enumerated ultimate truth unless otherwise stated? If so, any reader should be able to go to any sutras and commentaries and substitute every instance of the label "ultimate truth" with "enumerated ultimate truth" and the sutra or commentary will still make sense?
Anytime you see the ultimate truth expressed in words, it needs to be understood as an example ultimate.

The term "ultimate truth" simply represents a limit of analysis, btw. This is why the ultimate truths of śrāvakas are overthrown by Madhyamaka. Madhyamaka is the only school also which uses no affirming negations but only non-affirming negations.

The main thrust of my point however is that without intellectual comprehension of the example ultimate, the actual ultimate truth cannot be realized. Thus, we have to accept the conventional ultimate as necessary since it is functional in the production of the result, nirvana.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Malcolm wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:59 pm I have provided adequate citations that indicate that the only ultimate truth which can be referred to is the enumerated ultimate. The non-enumerated ultimate cannot be put into words.
This is where we differ and is the problem in this discussion.

For you the ultimate truth cannot be expressed in words, which I agree. But I would say that while the ultimate truth cannot be expressed in words, it can be pointed to by the meaning/idea/concept expressed by the words. And, what is expressed cannot be equated with what is pointed to.

If every instance of the word ultimate is meant to refer to the enumerated ultimate, then when a sutra says that "the ultimate is expressible", you will have to read it as saying that "the enumerated ultimate is inexpressible".

None of the citations that you provided support your contention as I have mentioned before although you may insist that they do:

Nāgārjuna states:
Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained;
without realizing the ultimate, nirvana will not be obtained.

"Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained" does not imply that you can say "the ultimate = the conventional" or "the ultimate truth = the conventional truth". You depend on the Dharma boat to get to the shore of liberation, but this does not entail that the Dharma boat is the shore of liberation.

Candrakīriti states in the Madhyamakāvatāra:
"Because all entities can be seen correctly and falsely,
entities possess a dual nature;
the correct perception of any object is true;
the false perception is called "realtive."
Also false perception is asserted to be of two kinds,
clear sense organs and faulty sense organs."

There correct perception (1), false but unfaulty perception (2), and false and faulty perception (3). It does not follow that (1) = (2) or (2) = (3) or (1) = (3) or (1) = (2) = (3). In fact, it is patently incorrect to make such equations. You will have no problem in disagreeing that (2) = (3), yet you seem to have problem in rejecting the others.

Candrakīrti states in his commentary on the 70:
Relative truth and ultimate truth are conventions used by the noble ones.
And:
Here, these are true through the power of a worldly, undistorted consciousness, and are defined as ultimate truth through the power of this absence of distortion.
And:
"Uimate truth" is expressed on the basis of worldly convention."

What is the purpose of using conventions? So that you can convey the meaning. Just because the worlds "relative truth" and "ultimate truth" are used to convey meaning, does not mean that you can equate the meanings carried by the two sets of words.

Candra says:
Any fabricated entity which appears as true
is that which the Muni called relative truth."

No reference to ultimate truth here.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:23 pm
None of the citations that you provided support your contention as I have mentioned before although you may insist that they do:

Nāgārjuna states:
Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained;
without realizing the ultimate, nirvana will not be obtained.

"Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained" does not imply that you can say "the ultimate = the conventional" or "the ultimate truth = the conventional truth". You depend on the Dharma boat to get to the shore of liberation, but this does not entail that the Dharma boat is the shore of liberation.
The teaching of ultimate truth is the boat, not the other shore. This is why it a conventional truth.
Candrakīriti states in the Madhyamakāvatāra:
"Because all entities can be seen correctly and falsely,
entities possess a dual nature;
the correct perception of any object is true;
the false perception is called "realtive."
Also false perception is asserted to be of two kinds,
clear sense organs and faulty sense organs."

There correct perception (1), false but unfaulty perception (2), and false and faulty perception (3). It does not follow that (1) = (2) or (2) = (3) or (1) = (3) or (1) = (2) = (3). In fact, it is patently incorrect to make such equations. You will have no problem in disagreeing that (2) = (3), yet you seem to have problem in rejecting the others.
I never stated that 1 = 2. In other words, I never stated that veridical perceptions equalled non-veridical perceptions. I cited that so you would understand what an ultimate truth was since I was not, and am still not certain that you do not have a realist position with regard to suchness. For example, Advaitans deny that brahmin falls into the two extremes, and yet, they are still realists. The same applies to Yogacāra. Your comment about "other shores" leads me to believe you think nirvana is something other than the simple cessation of afflictions that cause rebirth.

I stated that ultimate true has to be a conventional truth in order to be functional for the worldly people. See next point.
Candrakīrti states in his commentary on the 70:
Relative truth and ultimate truth are conventions used by the noble ones.
And:
Here, these are true through the power of a worldly, undistorted consciousness, and are defined as ultimate truth through the power of this absence of distortion.
And:
"Uimate truth" is expressed on the basis of worldly convention."

What is the purpose of using conventions? So that you can convey the meaning. Just because the worlds "relative truth" and "ultimate truth" are used to convey meaning, does not mean that you can equate the meanings carried by the two sets of words.
Correct, we are conveying meaning with words. This is why Bhavaviveka distinguishes two kinds of ultimate, enumerated or nominal, which is conventional, and an unenumerated ultimate which is not within the range of convention since it cannot be experienced by worldlings, but only by āryas.

A true relative truth is the apprehension of a functional object that is mistaken about the object's nature (self of phenomena). Such a relative truth is called conventional to indicate its functionality. Thus, when we describe emptiness, ultimate truth, this description, while ultimately true, is nevertheless part of conventional truth. When we cognize emptiness as an object below the path of seeing, it is only nominally an ultimate, thus, it is still conventional because it is not a direct perception of emptiness, but only an approximation.
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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:47 pm
Sherab wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:23 pm
None of the citations that you provided support your contention as I have mentioned before although you may insist that they do:

Nāgārjuna states:
Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained;
without realizing the ultimate, nirvana will not be obtained.

"Without depending on convention, the ultimate cannot be explained" does not imply that you can say "the ultimate = the conventional" or "the ultimate truth = the conventional truth". You depend on the Dharma boat to get to the shore of liberation, but this does not entail that the Dharma boat is the shore of liberation.
The teaching of ultimate truth is the boat, not the other shore. This is why it a conventional truth.
Candrakīriti states in the Madhyamakāvatāra:
"Because all entities can be seen correctly and falsely,
entities possess a dual nature;
the correct perception of any object is true;
the false perception is called "realtive."
Also false perception is asserted to be of two kinds,
clear sense organs and faulty sense organs."

There correct perception (1), false but unfaulty perception (2), and false and faulty perception (3). It does not follow that (1) = (2) or (2) = (3) or (1) = (3) or (1) = (2) = (3). In fact, it is patently incorrect to make such equations. You will have no problem in disagreeing that (2) = (3), yet you seem to have problem in rejecting the others.
I never stated that 1 = 2. In other words, I never stated that veridical perceptions equalled non-veridical perceptions. I cited that so you would understand what an ultimate truth was since I was not, and am still not certain that you do not have a realist position with regard to suchness. For example, Advaitans deny that brahmin falls into the two extremes, and yet, they are still realists. The same applies to Yogacāra. Your comment about "other shores" leads me to believe you think nirvana is something other than the simple cessation of afflictions that cause rebirth.

I stated that ultimate true has to be a conventional truth in order to be functional for the worldly people. See next point.
Candrakīrti states in his commentary on the 70:
Relative truth and ultimate truth are conventions used by the noble ones.
And:
Here, these are true through the power of a worldly, undistorted consciousness, and are defined as ultimate truth through the power of this absence of distortion.
And:
"Uimate truth" is expressed on the basis of worldly convention."

What is the purpose of using conventions? So that you can convey the meaning. Just because the worlds "relative truth" and "ultimate truth" are used to convey meaning, does not mean that you can equate the meanings carried by the two sets of words.
Correct, we are conveying meaning with words. This is why Bhavaviveka distinguishes two kinds of ultimate, enumerated or nominal, which is conventional, and an unenumerated ultimate which is not within the range of convention since it cannot be experienced by worldlings, but only by āryas.

A true relative truth is the apprehension of a functional object that is mistaken about the object's nature (self of phenomena). Such a relative truth is called conventional to indicate its functionality. Thus, when we describe emptiness, ultimate truth, this description, while ultimately true, is nevertheless part of conventional truth. When we cognize emptiness as an object below the path of seeing, it is only nominally an ultimate, thus, it is still conventional because it is not a direct perception of emptiness, but only an approximation.
Ok, I will grant you that you have always argued on the basis that "ultimate truth" = "enumerated ultimate truth".

Could you comment on this point that I made earlier then?
If every instance of the word ultimate is meant to refer to the enumerated ultimate, then when a sutra says that "the ultimate is inexpressible" (typo error in my earlier post), you will have to read it as saying that "the enumerated ultimate is inexpressible".
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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

In normal usage, one would expect that when we see the words "ultimate truth", we would take the words as a holder for the entity that the words are pointing to. For example, when we see the word "apple", we see it as pointing to the entity apple. If we want to indicate something that deviate from the convention, we would qualify the word used. For example, we want to refer to an apple of a specific colour, we would use the words "the red apple".

Therefore, when we see the word "ultimate truth", it would be reasonable to expect those words to point to the actual entity of ultimate truth. If we want to indicate something that deviate from the common understanding, say we want to point to an ultimate truth that is a concept, we would use the words "conceptual ultimate truth".

So when come across the word "ultimate truth" or "the ultimate" in the sutras, it would be reasonable to take those words as pointing to the entity of ultimate truth or the entity of ultimate. If not, the sutras, will not make any sense. If the conceptual understanding of the ultimate is being referred to, this should be obvious based on the context. For example, the Buddha said in the Samdhinirmocana that

"the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas"
"the ultimate belongs to the signless realm"
"the ultimate is inexpressible"
"the ultimate is devoid of conventions."
Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:27 pm In normal usage, one would expect that when we see the words "ultimate truth", we would take the words as a holder for the entity that the words are pointing to. For example, when we see the word "apple", we see it as pointing to the entity apple. If we want to indicate something that deviate from the convention, we would qualify the word used. For example, we want to refer to an apple of a specific colour, we would use the words "the red apple".

Therefore, when we see the word "ultimate truth", it would be reasonable to expect those words to point to the actual entity of ultimate truth. If we want to indicate something that deviate from the common understanding, say we want to point to an ultimate truth that is a concept, we would use the words "conceptual ultimate truth".

So when come across the word "ultimate truth" or "the ultimate" in the sutras, it would be reasonable to take those words as pointing to the entity of ultimate truth or the entity of ultimate. If not, the sutras, will not make any sense. If the conceptual understanding of the ultimate is being referred to, this should be obvious based on the context. For example, the Buddha said in the Samdhinirmocana that

"the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas"
"the ultimate belongs to the signless realm"
"the ultimate is inexpressible"
"the ultimate is devoid of conventions."

Another citation (and this is as far away from Hua Yen as one can get), because it is useful— Mipham, commenting on Mañjuśrīmitra's Meditation of Bodhicitta states:


Since neither the state of affliction nor of purification [10/a] is established, because awakening (buddhahood) and non-awakening (sentient beinghood) are the same in terms of being equally without characteristics, there is no buddhahood to accept or sentient beinghood to reject.

Also, if the ultimate is not established, where will one see words that state “It is like this?” If there is an analysis in accordance with the meaning of how it is explained, all of those explanations for the so called “nominal ultimate”, “absence of arising and ceasing”, “sameness”, “nonduality”, “beyond thought”, “emptiness”, “the dharmadhātu”, and so on are didactic conventions. In the true definitive meaning, they are neither ultimate nor are they relative. If there is the perception, “The path is like this in accordance with the ultimate (which is not a convention),” then that is relative, but not ultimate. In reality, where is there a “relative and ultimate” that are inseparable as the two truths?


Mañjuśrīmitra's very next passage states:


Do not abandon or dwell in any Dharma at all, with or without doubt.
Since the meditator and the dharmadhātu do not exist, there is nothing to doubt and there is nothing to perceive as ultimate.


MIpham expands on this:

Since the Dharma of those with doubt who have not seen the true meaning and those without doubt who have seen it in realty is neither true nor false at all, do not abandon the false nor dwell in the true. If it is asked why, in reality, because the meditator and the dharmadhātu do not exist, who has doubts about something? [10/b] Therefore, there is also nothing to perceive as ultimate in the Dharma that is without doubt because in scripture it is said that it is necessary for one to abandon craving to conducive Dharma and aversion to unconducive Dharma.
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