Malcolm wrote:But the Buddhist view is not actually a verbal construct, and for that matter neither is Buddhist awakening.
For example, one needs only to understand the dependent nature of afflictions to become a stream entrant and so on, becoming free of the fetters. This does not require elaborate philosophy. It merely requires confidence in the teaching of dependent origination and the four truths of nobles.
Likewise, for the realization of emptiness on the path of seeing, one simple has to reflect on the absence of extremes (for a very long time, albeit), as Shantideva states, "when neither an entity or a non-entity remain before the mind, at the time, the mind is pacified", and this too is an experiential view.
In the case of Vajrayāna, the view, such as it is, is based on the experience of the example wisdom at the time of direct introduction or the third and fourth empowerments. Unfettered equipoise in the mind essence, or "ordinary awareness" is the view of Vajrayāna.
So this is why your illustration is irrelevant to Buddhadharma, and why Buddhadharma does not merit inclusion amongst "the blind men".
"Blind men" is not pejorative, all conceptual systems are inherently "blind" in the sense that they are limited in their ability to describe the nature of reality.
A sentient being qua
sentient being may be defined as a limited perspective, each unique. The ground of sentient beings is not a perspective, because it is not limited, and that is also our nature. Nevertheless, in our sentient beingness, we are a unique, limited perspective.
Conceptual systems are also limited perspectives, but that is all they are. They are a manifestation of sentient beings qua
sentient beings. As soon as a sentient being turns towards the ground, there are no longer concepts or conceptual systems.
Your Santideva quote is saying that mental pacification is the result of going beyond concepts: that is not inherently Buddhist, that is something you find in all religions, and is therefore truly "perennial". In that regard one might say that among the followers of all religions and philosophies one may find those who realize the limitations of remaining within any conceptual system.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
"I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
- Descartes, 2nd Meditation 25