"One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Dharma Flower
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Dharma Flower »

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?
[/quote]

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.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:21 am
Malcolm wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:24 pm Moreover, even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth....
This to me looks like an over negation. It creates a circularity and/or contradiction to dependent origination that invalidate all modes of existences. In other words, if ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth, none of us can even be here debating about it.
This argument does not make any sense. It also contradicts Nagārjuna, "Without relying on convention, the ultimate will not be understood."
What does dependent origination refers to? Dependent origination relies on the idea of causes and conditions. But conditions can be understood as a subset of causes. Therefore, many if not all, understood dependent origination as referring to a causal chain of one sort or another. But causal chains are temporal chains. And the flow of time is in my opinion what distinguished the relative from the ultimate.
That is your private idea, one which you will never find in any Dharma text. According to Candrakīrti, ultimate truth is the object of an unmistaken cognition, that's all.
So, if the ultimate is merely a conventional truth, it would mean that the ultimate is the endless linear temporal chain of causes and effects.


Ultimate truth is the perception of the emptiness of dependently origination phenomena, nothing more and nothing less. Arising from conditions itself is beginningless, logic of dependent origination demands it.
Alternatively, one must somehow argue that the endless chain is a closed loop. Such a position necessarily imply that the endless temporal chain of causes and effects ITSELF is real while the phenomena on this endless chain are not. If the closed loop of causal chain is accepted, it would mean accepting that phenomena hold itself up by its own bootstraps. Neither position seems satisfactory to me.
None of these consequences apply.
If time is central in dependent origination,
It isn't. Dependent origination operates in three modes simultaneously: serially, momentarily, and simultaneously.
then that in itself contradicts what is understood in the Special Theory of Relative by Einstein, a theory that has withstood all experiments so far. In Special Relativity, all frames of reference are valid. But the photon ( a light "particle") experiences no time in its frame of reference. So an atemporal frame of reference is also valid. Causality as commonly understood only applies in frame of references other than that of the photon. That is why the speed of light can be understood as the speed of causality. Also, more theoretical physicists are now thinking that like space, time may not be fundamental.
Dependent origination taught by the Buddha is simply, "When this arises, that arises; with the arising of that, this arose."

One can read in various places in the sutras how the state of enlightenment is really not something describable. I think dependent origination is similar and not easily describable ultimately by unenlightened beings like ourselves.
Dependent origination is profound, but it is also eminently describable.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am It also contradicts Nagārjuna, "Without relying on convention, the ultimate will not be understood."
I don't like this kind of reductionism. Madhyamaka and the Yogacara don't need to agree about everything, especially since the Yogacara school was in some ways a reaction to the Madhyamaka school.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:59 pm "One Mind" is an English mistranslation of 一心 (cittamatra), i.e., mind-only.

You can clearly see this if you examine the Sanskrit and the Chinese side by side.

https://www2.hf.uio.no/polyglotta/index ... xt&vid=441
Whether it's termed the One Mind, the Universal Mind, or the Big Mind, it's been a concept in Ch'an/Zen for over a thousand years, regardless of its scriptural basis or lack thereof:
Mind
Key concept in all Buddhist teaching.

Frequent term in Zen, used in two senses: (1) the mind-ground, the One Mind ... the buddha-mind, the mind of thusness ... (2) false mind, the ordinary mind dominated by conditioning, desire, aversion, ignorance, and false sense of self, the mind of delusion ... (J.C. Cleary, A Buddha from Korea.)

The ordinary, deluded mind (thought) includes feelings, impressions, conceptions, consciousness, etc. The Self-Nature True Mind is the fundamental nature, the Original Face, reality, etc. As an analogy, the Self-Nature True Mind is to mind what water is to waves -- the two cannot be dissociated.
https://www.ymba.org/books/mind-seal-buddhas/glossary
The One Mind is also a concept in Tibetan Buddhism:
Ālayavijñāna (Skt., Tib. kun gzhi rnam par shes pa) - the unified field of consciousness in the Universe. This universal mind is each individual's higher consciousness. Each living being is an individual "spark" of this one vast whole, in which we breathe and move and have our being. This whole universal consciousness is the living Cosmos itself, constantly evolving through the totality of all experience, and growing ever more "aware" over billions of years. Like a great ocean, the lives of all beings, planetary worlds and star-systems leave their impressions, or imprints, within the whole, which become stored, as it were, in the total body of Universal Mind. Ultimately this is the meaning of life, for we are all contributing our lives to the conscious whole, and the conscious whole is a growing entity moving towards eventual self-reflexive awakening. This is an uniquely mystical doctrine perceived through direct insight by the Masters of the Yogācāra tradition.
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/library ... ossary.htm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Grigoris wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:56 pm
Dharma Flower wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:35 am The One Mind is a teaching of the Lankvatara Sutra, in addition to the Flower Garland Sutra:
Ma-tsu (709-788)
The Patriarch said to the assembly, “All of you should believe that your mind is Buddha, that this mind is identical with Buddha. The great master Bodhidharma came from India to China, and transmitted the One Mind teaching of Mahayana so that it can lead you all to awakening. Fearing that you will be too confused and will not believe that this One Mind is inherent in all of you, he used the Lankavatara Sutra to seal the sentient beings’ mind-ground. Therefore, in the Lankavatara Sutra, mind is the essence of all the Buddha’s teachings, no gate is the Dharma-gate.
https://www.dailyzen.com/journal/sermons
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 One Mind is not a Hindu Atman since it's ultimately empty which is why it's called pure, eternal, etc. It's not Brahman because Brahman is a God whereas One Mind is just talking about the pure mind of beings. It's not really different to saying Mind tbh.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Grigoris »

ItsRaining wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:30 amThe One Mind is not a Hindu Atman since it's ultimately empty which is why it's called pure, eternal, etc. It's not Brahman because Brahman is a God whereas One Mind is just talking about the pure mind of beings. It's not really different to saying Mind tbh.
It sounds similar to the True Self found in some Tibetan schools. A concept open to much misinterpretation.
"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."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am Ultimate truth is the perception of the emptiness of dependently origination phenomena …
You mentioned earlier that even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth. This would mean that the ultimate is a convention just like the relative. As the ultimate truth is also a conventional truth, and since you said that the ultimate truth is the perception of emptiness of dependently originated phenomena, that very perception is not a perception of emptiness etc. but is merely labeled as a perception and is every bit as illusory as any perceived relative phenomena. So even perception of emptiness cannot be trusted as a true perception. In fact, nothing can be trusted as true whether relatively or ultimately once the statement that the ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth is accepted. This is the circularity that I was alluding to.

In response to my argument that time becomes central to dependent origination when it is taken as causal chain, you replied
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am It isn't. Dependent origination operates in three modes simultaneously: serially, momentarily, and
simultaneously.
But serially, momentarily and simulatneously all carry the idea of time. So it is incorrect to say that they are not dependent on time.
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am Dependent origination taught by the Buddha is simply, "When this arises, that arises; with the arising of that, this arose."
The teaching looks simple, but it is that simplicity that gave it a generality that enables dependent origination to encompass various forms, from serially, momentarily, simultaneously and even atemporally. In other words, while dependent origination is often understood as a temporal chain, it does not rule out the possibility that it can also be understood as atemporal chain.
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am Dependent origination is profound, but it is also eminently describable.
I mentioned that dependent origination (and by extension emptiness), like the state of enlightenment, is not easily describable. I make this linkage because enlightenment is associated with the ultimate truth and therefore ontology. Dependent origination is also associated with onthology as it has to be a natural law of sorts since creationism is rejected in Buddhism. As both the state of enlightenment and dependent origination are associated with ontology, and since the state of enlightenment is hard to describe as attested to in the sutras, dependent origination/emptiness too I think, is hard to describe.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:59 amYou mentioned earlier that even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth.
I would say that it's definition is a convention, but that it's realisation is beyond convention.
"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

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Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:59 am even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth.
Ultimate has a meaning only relative to conventional, hence it is a conventional concept like all other concepts, otherwise one would have to claim that there is an ultimate concept.
This would mean that the ultimate is a convention just like the relative.
So it is.
As the ultimate truth is also a conventional truth, and since you said that the ultimate truth is the perception of emptiness of dependently originated phenomena, that very perception is not a perception of emptiness etc. but is merely labeled as a perception and is every bit as illusory as any perceived relative phenomena.
Even emptiness is empty.
So even perception of emptiness cannot be trusted as a true perception. In fact, nothing can be trusted as true whether relatively or ultimately once the statement that the ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth is accepted.
Nothing should be trusted at all. When the mind abides nowhere, that is when it is free from clinging.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:59 am
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am Ultimate truth is the perception of the emptiness of dependently origination phenomena …
You mentioned earlier that even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth. This would mean that the ultimate is a convention just like the relative. As the ultimate truth is also a conventional truth, and since you said that the ultimate truth is the perception of emptiness of dependently originated phenomena, that very perception is not a perception of emptiness etc. but is merely labeled as a perception and is every bit as illusory as any perceived relative phenomena.
This does not follow since truths in the specific usage of Buddhist texts are cognitions of objects. An ultimate truth is the veridical perception of a given entity, a relative truth is the non-veridical perception of a given entity.
So even perception of emptiness cannot be trusted as a true perception. In fact, nothing can be trusted as true whether relatively or ultimately once the statement that the ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth is accepted. This is the circularity that I was alluding to.
This consequence does not apply.


In response to my argument that time becomes central to dependent origination when it is taken as causal chain, you replied
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am It isn't. Dependent origination operates in three modes simultaneously: serially, momentarily, and
simultaneously.
But serially, momentarily and simulatneously all carry the idea of time. So it is incorrect to say that they are not dependent on time.
Pretty clearly, you seem not to understand that in Buddhadharma, time is considered dependent on objects. Time is also something conditioned and relative.


Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:19 am Dependent origination taught by the Buddha is simply, "When this arises, that arises; with the arising of that, this arose."
The teaching looks simple, but it is that simplicity that gave it a generality that enables dependent origination to encompass various forms, from serially, momentarily, simultaneously and even atemporally. In other words, while dependent origination is often understood as a temporal chain, it does not rule out the possibility that it can also be understood as atemporal chain.
Simultaneous dependent origination is atemporal, all links functioning at once and together. However, dependent origination is also merely a convention we use to describe causal appearances.

Now, this mini-doversion is off-topic for the thread.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Dharma Flower wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:36 am
Malcolm wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:59 pm "One Mind" is an English mistranslation of 一心 (cittamatra), i.e., mind-only.

You can clearly see this if you examine the Sanskrit and the Chinese side by side.

https://www2.hf.uio.no/polyglotta/index ... xt&vid=441
Whether it's termed the One Mind, the Universal Mind, or the Big Mind, it's been a concept in Ch'an/Zen for over a thousand years, regardless of its scriptural basis or lack thereof:
If you imagine there is really some transpersonal overmind, you are far outside the Buddha's teachings.

The One Mind is also a concept in Tibetan Buddhism:
Ālayavijñāna (Skt., Tib. kun gzhi rnam par shes pa) - the unified field of consciousness in the Universe. This universal mind is each individual's higher consciousness. Each living being is an individual "spark" of this one vast whole, in which we breathe and move and have our being. This whole universal consciousness is the living Cosmos itself, constantly evolving through the totality of all experience, and growing ever more "aware" over billions of years. Like a great ocean, the lives of all beings, planetary worlds and star-systems leave their impressions, or imprints, within the whole, which become stored, as it were, in the total body of Universal Mind. Ultimately this is the meaning of life, for we are all contributing our lives to the conscious whole, and the conscious whole is a growing entity moving towards eventual self-reflexive awakening. This is an uniquely mystical doctrine perceived through direct insight by the Masters of the Yogācāra tradition.
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/library ... ossary.htm
This definition is very mistaken. Whoever wrote this is completely ignorant of Yogacāra. No educated Tibetan scholar of any school would accept this definition.

The ālayavijñāna is personal, not transpersonal. The ālayavijñāna is a description of consciousness which possesses traces. When traces of afflictions are removed, the ālayavijñāna ceases.

Please read the Mahāyāna Samgraha by Asanga for an authentic presentation of this concept.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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You said
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:04 pm An ultimate truth is the veridical perception of a given entity, a relative truth is the non-veridical perception of a given entity.
You also said previously that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

So according to your own words, "even ultimate truth (the veridical perception of a given entity) is merely a conventional /relative truth (a non-veridical perception of a given entity."

Or to put it more starkly, you have effectively said "even the veridical perception of a given entity is a non-veridical perception of a given entity."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:07 pm You said
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:04 pm An ultimate truth is the veridical perception of a given entity, a relative truth is the non-veridical perception of a given entity.
You also said previously that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

So according to your own words, "even ultimate truth (the veridical perception of a given entity) is merely a conventional /relative truth (a non-veridical perception of a given entity."

Or to put it more starkly, you have effectively said "even the veridical perception of a given entity is a non-veridical perception of a given entity."
All functional phenomena are conventional.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:17 pmAll functional phenomena are conventional.
When reduced to functional phenomena via conceptualisation.
"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

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Grigoris wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:09 am
ItsRaining wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:30 amThe One Mind is not a Hindu Atman since it's ultimately empty which is why it's called pure, eternal, etc. It's not Brahman because Brahman is a God whereas One Mind is just talking about the pure mind of beings. It's not really different to saying Mind tbh.
It sounds similar to the True Self found in some Tibetan schools. A concept open to much misinterpretation.
It’s just saying an Mind that’s pure lol, I don’t see how it’s close to a self. Yongming Yanshou says it’s part of the teaching with distinctions (conventional)where the mind is divided into the physical heart, eight consciousness and one mind/Tathagatagarbha whereas in the path of non-distinction there are no minds.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:09 pm
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:17 pmAll functional phenomena are conventional.
When reduced to functional phenomena via conceptualisation.
There are no other kinds of functional phenomena.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:17 pm
Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:07 pm You said
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:04 pm An ultimate truth is the veridical perception of a given entity, a relative truth is the non-veridical perception of a given entity.
You also said previously that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

So according to your own words, "even ultimate truth (the veridical perception of a given entity) is merely a conventional /relative truth (a non-veridical perception of a given entity."

Or to put it more starkly, you have effectively said "even the veridical perception of a given entity is a non-veridical perception of a given entity."
All functional phenomena are conventional.
Your reply is a non-reply since 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.
Last edited by Sherab on Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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I think the issue is that "The One Mind" is a loaded phrase in English. It brings to mind a host of concepts from western philosophy, from "the One" in Neoplatonism, to the German Idealists, and even Schopenhauer's ideas of interconnectedness. Unfortunately, the Chinese (一心) doesn't have these connotations. These connotations were possibly grafted onto the term by DT Suzuki; and/or other members of the Sanbo Kyodan movement, that liked the ideas of western philosophy and wanted to leverage such concepts in translating into English while attempting to spread Dharma to the west. People like Dharma Flower; who has no background in Chinese, don't seem to grasp the idea that the translations they are quoting don't match the original intent of the authors in the source language. When this is pointed out them, they insist that it is merely being obsessed with verbiage; fussing over technicalities, rather than trying to understand the true meaning of the original passage(s). In sum, what is more obvious to the person who reads Chinese or has an in-depth understanding of Mahayana is not at all obvious to one who relies solely on dated translations into English that match their preexisting biases.
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:29 pm
Malcolm wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:17 pm
Sherab wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:07 pm You said

You also said previously that "even ultimate truth is merely a conventional truth".

So according to your own words, "even ultimate truth (the veridical perception of a given entity) is merely a conventional /relative truth (a non-veridical perception of a given entity."

Or to put it more starkly, you have effectively said "even the veridical perception of a given entity is a non-veridical perception of a given entity."
All functional phenomena are conventional.
Your reply is a non-reply since 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.

Your rebuttal missed the barn by miles since you have misrepresented everything I said. More later.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab »

Malcolm wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:28 am ... you have misrepresented everything I said ....
I deny that. I used your own words to demonstrate the incoherence/internal contradiction of your own words. Perhaps, you misrepresented yourself.
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