Existence-Time

Ted Biringer
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Existence-Time

Post by Ted Biringer »

Seems a bit quiet in here - let's see if anyone wants to talk about Existence-Time (uji)

In Zen time and existence are not two different things; time is always existence-and-time, existence is always existence-and-time. This view is most clearly and comprehensively demonstrated in Shobogenzo’s development and use of the term ‘uji.’ Dogen fashioned this term by combining two terms; ‘u’ (existence) and ‘ji’ (time) into the single term ‘uji’ (existence-time, or time-being). The point that seems most significant here is that existence and time are never separate from each other; each is an essential element of the other – no dharmas exist independent of time, and there is no time independent of dharmas. This notion of existence-time is central to Zen’s vision of reality, thus is presupposed in all Zen expressions.

Hee-Jin Kim brings the crucial significance of this notion to light in a comment from his discussion of the aptly titled ‘Uji’ fascicle of Shobogenzo:

Dogen’s whole thesis in this regard was crystallized in the following: “As we realize with the utmost effort that all times (jinji) are all existence (jin’u), absolutely no additional dharma remains.” In other words, existence-time subsumed space and time totally and exhaustively.
Hee-Jin Kim, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, p.150


In short, each and every particular thing, being, and event (i.e. dharma) is an intrinsic and essential element of total time, and each and every moment or duration of time is an intrinsic and essential element of total existence – hence each and every particular dharma is a manifestation of the whole universe, and the whole universe is manifest in and as each and every particular dharma. In Dogen’s words:

Let us pause to reflect whether or not any of the whole of existence or any of the whole universe has leaked away from the present moment of time.
Shobogenzo, Uji (Trans. Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross)


Accordingly, in Zen expressions the terms ‘existence,’ ‘time,’ and ‘existence-time’ are synonymous.

Peace,
Ted
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Two things to consider:

1. There is no time other than this immediate now, in which everything is perpetually unfolding. This immediate now, sandwiched between a past that is no longer happening and a future that hasn’t yet occurred, has no duration whatsoever. Even nanoseconds can be divided into ever shorter moments.

3. Everything that we generally regard as a still object is actually an event occurring. For example, a rock is occurring very slowly. This is because all phenomena are composites.

...
EMPTIFUL.
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Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

Ted Biringer wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:43 am Seems a bit quiet in here - let's see if anyone wants to talk about Existence-Time (uji)

In Zen time and existence are not two different things; time is always existence-and-time, existence is always existence-and-time. This view is most clearly and comprehensively demonstrated in Shobogenzo’s development and use of the term ‘uji.’ Dogen fashioned this term by combining two terms; ‘u’ (existence) and ‘ji’ (time) into the single term ‘uji’ (existence-time, or time-being). The point that seems most significant here is that existence and time are never separate from each other; each is an essential element of the other – no dharmas exist independent of time, and there is no time independent of dharmas. This notion of existence-time is central to Zen’s vision of reality, thus is presupposed in all Zen expressions.

Hee-Jin Kim brings the crucial significance of this notion to light in a comment from his discussion of the aptly titled ‘Uji’ fascicle of Shobogenzo:

Dogen’s whole thesis in this regard was crystallized in the following: “As we realize with the utmost effort that all times (jinji) are all existence (jin’u), absolutely no additional dharma remains.” In other words, existence-time subsumed space and time totally and exhaustively.
Hee-Jin Kim, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, p.150


In short, each and every particular thing, being, and event (i.e. dharma) is an intrinsic and essential element of total time, and each and every moment or duration of time is an intrinsic and essential element of total existence – hence each and every particular dharma is a manifestation of the whole universe, and the whole universe is manifest in and as each and every particular dharma. In Dogen’s words:

Let us pause to reflect whether or not any of the whole of existence or any of the whole universe has leaked away from the present moment of time.
Shobogenzo, Uji (Trans. Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross)


Accordingly, in Zen expressions the terms ‘existence,’ ‘time,’ and ‘existence-time’ are synonymous.

Peace,
Ted
How is this even the slightest bit different than the position of the Hinayana Sarvastivada, “ everything exists in the three times” school?
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clyde
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by clyde »

If I understand what was written in the OP, there is no “sandwich” and no “three times”. The past doesn’t exist and the future doesn’t exist. There is only one time-existence, the present suchness.

But it’s equally likely I’ve misunderstood.


p.s: Uji, the combining of two terms to form one coherent concept reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “interbeing”; but that’s a different, though related topic.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
jimmi
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by jimmi »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:14 am Two things to consider:

1. There is no time other than this immediate now, in which everything is perpetually unfolding. This immediate now, sandwiched between a past that is no longer happening and a future that hasn’t yet occurred, has no duration whatsoever. Even nanoseconds can be divided into ever shorter moments.

3. Everything that we generally regard as a still object is actually an event occurring. For example, a rock is occurring very slowly. This is because all phenomena are composites.

...

1. If now has no duration how can every thing, which is existent now, be said to be perpetually unfolding, which is a perception of change through time?

3. From the perspective of now there is no event occurring. Every thing as it is now is only as it is now.

2. The division of time into ever “shorter” moments has nothing to do with now, nor eternity.

4. Without being how can there be time?
Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:13 pm If I understand what was written in the OP, there is no “sandwich” and no “three times”. The past doesn’t exist and the future doesn’t exist. There is only one time-existence, the present suchness.

But it’s equally likely I’ve misunderstood.


p.s: Uji, the combining of two terms to form one coherent concept reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “interbeing”; but that’s a different, though related topic.
So things arise without causes? How does that work? The Buddha was quite clear, “ Where that arose, this arises,” etc.if there is no past, as you suggest, the consequence is that a) things arise from themselves or b) things arise causelessly because it is never seen anywhere that a cause exists at the time of its effect, or that an effect exists at the time if its cause.
Ted Biringer
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Ted Biringer »

clyde wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:13 pm If I understand what was written in the OP, there is no “sandwich” and no “three times”. The past doesn’t exist and the future doesn’t exist. There is only one time-existence, the present suchness.

But it’s equally likely I’ve misunderstood.


p.s: Uji, the combining of two terms to form one coherent concept reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “interbeing”; but that’s a different, though related topic.
Greetings Clyde, thank you for your comments.

I agree that there is ‘only one time-existence’ – and that is the totality of space-and-time, which is only and always manifest as the here-and-now. However, it is not that the past and future do not exist, but rather that the past and future do exist in and as the present.

For example, the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment is actually manifest here and now as the past. This moment here and now could not exist as it is without that moment of the past. Likewise, at that moment of the past, this moment here and now was actually manifest then and there as the future. This is also true of all other actual moments of time – each actual moment (dharma) contains, and is contained by each and every other actual moment. Moreover, as time and existence are synonymous, the same applies to each and every particular thing (dharma).

In sum, each thing, being, and event (dharma) contains and is contained by every thing, being, and event throughout space and time. As quoted in the OP:

Let us pause to reflect whether or not any of the whole of existence or any of the whole universe has leaked away from the present moment of time.
Shobogenzo, Uji (Trans. Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross)


It is because of this that the single syllable MU or the sound of a pebble hitting bamboo can awaken us to our own true nature; the true nature of the whole universe.

Hence your observation about “interbeing” is directly to the point. The nondual nature of ‘existence’ and ‘time’ are inevitable in light of the truth concerning emptiness and interdependence.

Thanks again.
Peace,
Ted
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clyde
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by clyde »

I didn’t say there was no past. I said it doesn’t exist.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

jimmi wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:20 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:14 am Two things to consider:

1. There is no time other than this immediate now, in which everything is perpetually unfolding. This immediate now, sandwiched between a past that is no longer happening and a future that hasn’t yet occurred, has no duration whatsoever. Even nanoseconds can be divided into ever shorter moments.

3. Everything that we generally regard as a still object is actually an event occurring. For example, a rock is occurring very slowly. This is because all phenomena are composites.

...

1. If now has no duration how can every thing, which is existent now, be said to be perpetually unfolding, which is a perception of change through time?

3. From the perspective of now there is no event occurring. Every thing as it is now is only as it is now.

2. The division of time into ever “shorter” moments has nothing to do with now, nor eternity.

4. Without being how can there be time?
It’s a REALLY HUGE non-duration of time, containing everything in it!
:rolling:
EMPTIFUL.
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Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:33 am I didn’t say there was no past. I said it doesn’t exist.
The past does not exist = no past.

This leads to another problem, of course, if the past does not exist, as you say, how can a past cause and condition, which do not exist, produce a present effect, which presumably exists? This is also similar to asserting arising without a cause.
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by clyde »

The (past) baby ‘clyde’ doesn’t exist, yet here I am.

The Buddha taught the dependent co-arising of dharmas,
“When this is, that is,
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the stopping of this comes the stopping go that.”

It’s not some non-existent past ‘this’ that causes ‘that’ to arise, but present causes and conditions. And when those causes and conditions stop being present, ‘that’ stops.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Mulamadhyamikakarika XIX

Examination of Time

If the present and the future
Depend on the past,
Then the present and the future
Would have existed in the past.

If the present and the future
Did not exist there,
How could the present and the future
Be dependent upon it?

If they are not dependent upon the past,
Neither of the two would be established.
Therefore neither the present
Nor the future would exist.

By the same method,
The other two divisions - past and future
Upper, lower, middle, etc.
Unity, etc. should be understood.

A nonstatic time is not grasped.
Nothing one could grasp as
Stationary time exists.
If time is not grasped, how is it known?

If time depends on an entity,
Then without an entity how could time exist?
There is no existent entity.
So how can time exist?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Ted Biringer wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:43 am Seems a bit quiet in here - let's see if anyone wants to talk about Existence-Time (uji)

In Zen time and existence are not two different things; time is always existence-and-time, existence is always existence-and-time. This view is most clearly and comprehensively demonstrated in Shobogenzo’s development and use of the term ‘uji.’ Dogen fashioned this term by combining two terms; ‘u’ (existence) and ‘ji’ (time) into the single term ‘uji’ (existence-time, or time-being). The point that seems most significant here is that existence and time are never separate from each other; each is an essential element of the other – no dharmas exist independent of time, and there is no time independent of dharmas. This notion of existence-time is central to Zen’s vision of reality, thus is presupposed in all Zen expressions.

Hee-Jin Kim brings the crucial significance of this notion to light in a comment from his discussion of the aptly titled ‘Uji’ fascicle of Shobogenzo:

Dogen’s whole thesis in this regard was crystallized in the following: “As we realize with the utmost effort that all times (jinji) are all existence (jin’u), absolutely no additional dharma remains.” In other words, existence-time subsumed space and time totally and exhaustively.
Hee-Jin Kim, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, p.150


In short, each and every particular thing, being, and event (i.e. dharma) is an intrinsic and essential element of total time, and each and every moment or duration of time is an intrinsic and essential element of total existence – hence each and every particular dharma is a manifestation of the whole universe, and the whole universe is manifest in and as each and every particular dharma. In Dogen’s words:

Let us pause to reflect whether or not any of the whole of existence or any of the whole universe has leaked away from the present moment of time.
Shobogenzo, Uji (Trans. Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross)


Accordingly, in Zen expressions the terms ‘existence,’ ‘time,’ and ‘existence-time’ are synonymous.

Peace,
Ted
I can't help but hear the echoes of Tiantai ideas in that. In Tiantai there is the teaching of one thought moment is three thousand. The emphasis is on the thought-moment being coextensive with the dharma realm. This seems to recast emphasizing change, identified with time. But maybe not. I don't know anything about Dogen except his name.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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clyde
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by clyde »

Ted Biringer wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:35 pm the past and future do exist in and as the present.
:bow:
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Astus »

Ted Biringer wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:43 amIn Zen time and existence are not two different things; time is always existence-and-time, existence is always existence-and-time.
Taking a common phrase and turning it into a "Zen expression" is Dogen's usual play, but those expressions were rarely if ever used in such a fashion before, and only used so after because of Dogen. Nevertheless, when one conceives such an expression, all such terms in the three times are seen from this point, changing/gaining/revealing/losing meaning. This itself shows how existence-time operates. Otherwise, there is nothing new here, conditioned things have always been understood as impermanent, and whatever is impermanent is empty, and emptiness is liberation, hence buddha-nature is walls, tiles, pebbles.
In short, each and every particular thing, being, and event (i.e. dharma) is an intrinsic and essential element of total time, and each and every moment or duration of time is an intrinsic and essential element of total existence – hence each and every particular dharma is a manifestation of the whole universe, and the whole universe is manifest in and as each and every particular dharma.
"Everything is connected", and other such nice sounding but fairly useless ideas only make things unnecessarily complicated. To see existence-time for oneself, all it takes is to reflect on one's being as change without assumptions of an entity that is inside or outside change.

'If we leave it utterly up to existence, even though [the moments] before and after manifest heedless blundering, they abide in their place as existence-time. Abiding in our place in the Dharma in the state of vigorous activity is just existence-time. We should not disturb it [by interpreting it] as “being without,” and we should not enforceably call it “existence.”'
(Uji, in SBGZ, vol 1, BDK ed, p 146)
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: Existence-Time

Post by LastLegend »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:02 am "Everything is connected", and other such nice sounding but fairly useless ideas only make things unnecessarily complicated. To see existence-time for oneself, all it takes is to reflect on one's being as change without assumptions of an entity that is inside or outside change.
Poor understanding of Mystic Law. Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō.
Make personal vows.

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Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:58 am The (past) baby ‘clyde’ doesn’t exist, yet here I am.

The Buddha taught the dependent co-arising of dharmas,
“When this is, that is,
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the stopping of this comes the stopping go that.”

It’s not some non-existent past ‘this’ that causes ‘that’ to arise, but present causes and conditions. And when those causes and conditions stop being present, ‘that’ stops.
How do present causes and conditions produce effects in the future which has not yet arisen and thus do not exist? The consequence is just the same.
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:30 pm
clyde wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:58 am The (past) baby ‘clyde’ doesn’t exist, yet here I am.

The Buddha taught the dependent co-arising of dharmas,
“When this is, that is,
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the stopping of this comes the stopping go that.”

It’s not some non-existent past ‘this’ that causes ‘that’ to arise, but present causes and conditions. And when those causes and conditions stop being present, ‘that’ stops.
How do present causes and conditions produce effects in the future which has not yet arisen and thus do not exist? The consequence is just the same.
Ultimately, all that’s happening is the illusion. Even karma is an illusion, but one that is experienced just as real as you experience yourself as real. A buddha isn’t suffering the illusion, which is why a buddha is called “Buddha” or “awakened”. That’s why a buddha doesn’t suffer karma.
EMPTIFUL.
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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:02 am "Everything is connected", and other such nice sounding but fairly useless ideas only make things unnecessarily complicated.
Actually, its useful to develop as a foundation for an ethical life.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:37 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:30 pm
clyde wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:58 am The (past) baby ‘clyde’ doesn’t exist, yet here I am.

The Buddha taught the dependent co-arising of dharmas,
“When this is, that is,
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the stopping of this comes the stopping go that.”

It’s not some non-existent past ‘this’ that causes ‘that’ to arise, but present causes and conditions. And when those causes and conditions stop being present, ‘that’ stops.
How do present causes and conditions produce effects in the future which has not yet arisen and thus do not exist? The consequence is just the same.
Ultimately, all that’s happening is the illusion. Even karma is an illusion, but one that is experienced just as real as you experience yourself as real. A buddha isn’t suffering the illusion, which is why a buddha is called “Buddha” or “awakened”. That’s why a buddha doesn’t suffer karma.
This does not address the issue.
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