Existence-Time

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

When we use the term, “exist”
We need to keep in mind that in Buddhist theory,
“exist” means to be self-arisen, independent of any other causes or conditions. When Buddhists say that phenomena have no true existence, it doesn’t mean that phenomena doesn’t occur as phenomena. It means that ultimately phenomena are emptiness, meaning that phenomena lack any ultimate, self-arising essence of being. There is no element of “rockness” from which a rock emerges.

Likewise, when it is said that past and present do not exist, this doesn’t mean that events never occurred or won’t yet occur. It means that past and future are not some other sorts of dimensions in time, as in time travel, where one might go, as is depicted in fiction.
When we have memories, we are not pulling some whole picture out from a box somewhere in the past. Rather, we are reconstructing an idea of the past purely in the present. It’s more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. That’s why sometimes we haves pieces missing in our memories of things.
When we think about the future, we aren’t getting a preview of something that already exists, waiting to reveal itself. We are constructing a picture in the present of something which has not ever occurred. This is true, even for those who can “see” the future. So, it’s not like the future is already a movie stored on a DVD but we just haven’t seen it yet. That would imply that beings are bound to an unchangeable fate.

“Exist” implies an unchanging quality.
“Occur” implies motion and change.
The question “how can there be motion and change if there is no duration of time” is a very good question.
The answer is difficult to explain quickly.
It’s a bit like having the illusion of 3D on a flat screen.
It’s sort of like being on a train that’s not moving, but the train next to you is moving forward, so the experience you have is as though the train you are on is moving backwards.
There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Astus
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Astus »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:54 pmActually, its useful to develop as a foundation for an ethical life.
That might be so, although for the same purpose there are teachings on karma and rebirth.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:08 pm
Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:54 pmActually, its useful to develop as a foundation for an ethical life.
That might be so, although for the same purpose there are teachings on karma and rebirth.
I don't think they are exclusive. One advantage of interdependence is that it doesn't require confidence in rebirth so may be better suited to those who may either not believe or have an agnostic perspective. The ethical guidance in an interdependence framework can be boiled down to the Golden Rule.

Karma and rebirth, without appeal to interdependence to inform the relationships between beings, would need to a set of categorical rules to determine good and bad conduct - "Killing bad. Stealing bad." etc.

The reality is these teachings are in practice complimentary.
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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LastLegend
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by LastLegend »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:08 pm
Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:54 pmActually, its useful to develop as a foundation for an ethical life.
That might be so, although for the same purpose there are teachings on karma and rebirth.
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Astus
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Astus »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:20 pmOne advantage of interdependence is that it doesn't require confidence in rebirth so may be better suited to those who may either not believe or have an agnostic perspective.
The benefit of the doctrine of karma, even for those who are agnostics or materialists, is to recognise that actions originate in the mind and has impacts on the mind. So from the interpersonal aspect of ethics it points towards looking at the inner workings of the mind.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:26 pm
Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:20 pmOne advantage of interdependence is that it doesn't require confidence in rebirth so may be better suited to those who may either not believe or have an agnostic perspective.
The benefit of the doctrine of karma, even for those who are agnostics or materialists, is to recognise that actions originate in the mind and has impacts on the mind. So from the interpersonal aspect of ethics it points towards looking at the inner workings of the mind.
Oh, Astus. If you don't see how what you just proposed involves understanding of interdependence in the background, I'm at a loss.

Like I said, complimentary.
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 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
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Astus
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Astus »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:31 pmLike I said, complimentary.
I did not question that part. :namaste:
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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Queequeg
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:32 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
As long as we accept that past, present and future are mere conventions, is there a problem?

By the process of negation I think we get to correct understanding of uji, or rather, the inference of uji (or what I can grok about this term) which really doesn't have anything to do with conventions of past, present and future, pointing instead to momentary awareness.
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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WesleyP
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by WesleyP »

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.
Right, if you have Two it can be called Philosophy of the Dual or Dualism, . . . As compared to Non-Dual.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:32 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
Every cause is also a result.

I think the bugbear (is that still a word?) is treating both cause and result as stationary, static, self-defined “things” in and of themselves. But they aren’t.
It’s like arguing that upstream and downstream can’t be happening simultaneously.
I think Nagarjuna uses the example of a seed becoming a tree. At what point does the seed stop being a seed and start being a sprout, a sapling, a tree, etc?
There is no point because none of those phases is initself ever static.
When everything is perceived as motion, then there’s no duality of ‘motion vs. stillness”. Since there’s no
Duality, it’s like sitting still on the Earth which is spinning at 66,660 miles per hour. Motion and stillness are basically the same thing. Past, present, and future occur only relative to each other. When everything is in motion, nothing is in motion, because motion only occurs in contrast to stillness, and stillness of phenomena is an illusion.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:00 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:32 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
Every cause is also a result.
This still does not deal with the issue. Changing the name "cause" to "effect" does not address the fundamental problem of causality in time. Imagining an "eternal" now also does not address the issue. Negating the existence of the past does not work. Collapsing time into the present does not work. Imaging that the present is durationless does not work. None of these linguistic games address the real issue.

To really understand what Dogen meant, I would want to see some native Japanese commentary on the issue. Matylda, where are you when we need you?

:-)
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by clyde »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pm This still does not deal with the issue. Changing the name "cause" to "effect" does not address the fundamental problem of causality in time. Imagining an "eternal" now also does not address the issue. Negating the existence of the past does not work. Collapsing time into the present does not work. Imaging that the present is durationless does not work. None of these linguistic games address the real issue.

To really understand what Dogen meant, I would want to see some native Japanese commentary on the issue. Matylda, where are you when we need you?

:-)
You’re right, imagining doesn’t work, nor does “linguistic games” work, nor does appeal to authority (Dogen) work. How would you address “the fundamental problem of causality in time”?
“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 »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pmTo really understand what Dogen meant, I would want to see some native Japanese commentary on the issue.
Uji (Existence-Time) by Rev. Seijun Ishii
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:00 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pmTo really understand what Dogen meant, I would want to see some native Japanese commentary on the issue.
Uji (Existence-Time) by Rev. Seijun Ishii
If I were to describe Dogen Zenji’s definition of uji in a dictionary, I would say: (1) for something to have its own way of being (attribute) and develop it along its own unique time axis, (2) existence itself which has its own unique time and establishes its own way of being
Honestly, I cannot parse this and pretend that I understand the authors intent any better at all.
Malcolm
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Malcolm »

clyde wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:56 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pm This still does not deal with the issue. Changing the name "cause" to "effect" does not address the fundamental problem of causality in time. Imagining an "eternal" now also does not address the issue. Negating the existence of the past does not work. Collapsing time into the present does not work. Imaging that the present is durationless does not work. None of these linguistic games address the real issue.

To really understand what Dogen meant, I would want to see some native Japanese commentary on the issue. Matylda, where are you when we need you?

:-)
You’re right, imagining doesn’t work, nor does “linguistic games” work, nor does appeal to authority (Dogen) work. How would you address “the fundamental problem of causality in time”?
Time is a mere convention and cannot be established as anything more than a convention. When it comes to causes and effects, the only rational solution, conventionally speaking is that causes and effects are neither the same nor different.
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by Misty »

Interesting conversation.
I heard someone say, the most basic experience of time is our visceral feeling of “becoming later and later”
Is this intrinsic or still a convention?
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by jimmi »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:32 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
As cause and effect are occurring in time and “now”, the present, is the only existent aspect of time, what is the boundary or horizon where cause becomes effect? Not a hair’s breadth of separation, right? What is occurring now that cause becomes effect?
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:32 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:06 pm When we use the term, “exist”

...

There’s the occurring of past and future as actual experience, but it’s all going on within a vast, infinite “now’.
You still didn't deal with the issue.

For example, a cause which has yet to produce an effect is just a noncause. Since causes and their effects cannot exist at the same time, all so-called "causes" therefore are non-causes, because a cause can only be labeled a "cause" if it has produced an effect.
I can think of many examples that seem to betray the notion in bold. Perhaps it is because I don't understand the context. Are you saying this applies to all phenomenon or something more specific? Thank you in advance.
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Re: Existence-Time

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pm Imagining an "eternal" now also does not address the issue.
If consciousness is the basis for everything and time is beginningless and endless then isn't now also a constant as far as sentience is concerned?
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