Perspective

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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Yes, it is good to be honest about one's views, even if it amounts to eel wriggling.

That said, I go by the dictum utter by Āryadeva, realization proceeds from view. And of course the basis of the Buddhist path is samyakdṛṣtī as you know.


dṛṣtī is a dirty word since Nagarjuna, and everybody thinks their dṛṣtī is samyak, based on which part of the elephant they felt up.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:38 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Yes, it is good to be honest about one's views, even if it amounts to eel wriggling.

That said, I go by the dictum utter by Āryadeva, realization proceeds from view. And of course the basis of the Buddhist path is samyakdṛṣtī as you know.


dṛṣtī is a dirty word since Nagarjuna, and everybody thinks their dṛṣtī is samyak, based on which part of the elephant they felt up.


No Dante, it really isn't like that. And Dzogchen is just an alternate scheme for explaining how one sees, progressively, the three kāyas, in reality no different than the five paths and ten stages. For all its cig car rhetoric, in the end, Dzogchen is just a gradual path like everything else in Buddhadharma.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:No Dante, it really isn't like that. And Dzogchen is just an alternate scheme for explaining how one sees, progressively, the three kāyas, in reality no different than the five paths and ten stages. For all its cig car rhetoric, in the end, Dzogchen is just a gradual path like everything else in Buddhadharma.


Who said anything about Dzogchen? Perspectivism doesn't claim that all dṛṣtī are equal, just that they are all partial perspectives, even the best ones, like Dzogchen. It's not that there isn't reality, its just that as soon as you conceptualize about it and open your mouth about it, you've got a limited perspective.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:21 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:No Dante, it really isn't like that. And Dzogchen is just an alternate scheme for explaining how one sees, progressively, the three kāyas, in reality no different than the five paths and ten stages. For all its cig car rhetoric, in the end, Dzogchen is just a gradual path like everything else in Buddhadharma.


Who said anything about Dzogchen? Perspectivism doesn't claim that all dṛṣtī are equal, just that they are all partial perspectives, even the best ones, like Dzogchen. It's not that there isn't reality, its just that as soon as you conceptualize about it and open your mouth about it, you've got a limited perspective.



Your diagram shows them as all equivalent. That is why I said it was perennialist.
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:Your diagram shows them as all equivalent. That is why I said it was perennialist.


mais non, equivalent in partiality, not in content.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:40 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Your diagram shows them as all equivalent. That is why I said it was perennialist.


mais non, equivalent in partiality, not in content.


A partial view is a partial view.
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:02 am

Malcolm wrote:A partial view is a partial view.


exactly, and that's all any view is going to be.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:36 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:A partial view is a partial view.


exactly, and that's all any view is going to be.



But the view of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra and Mahāmadhyamaka are not partial at all since they are based on direct perception of reality.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:17 am

Malcolm wrote:But the view of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra and Mahāmadhyamaka are not partial at all since they are based on direct perception of reality.


Doesn't direct perception of reality, by definition, transcend all concepts and views? Therefore, all conceptual and verbal constructs will be, at best, partial metaphors pointing to that direct perception. At worst, they are entangling briars from which the gullible never escape.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:10 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:But the view of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra and Mahāmadhyamaka are not partial at all since they are based on direct perception of reality.


Doesn't direct perception of reality, by definition, transcend all concepts and views? Therefore, all conceptual and verbal constructs will be, at best, partial metaphors pointing to that direct perception. At worst, they are entangling briars from which the gullible never escape.


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".
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:39 am

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.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:05 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
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".


No, actually you do not find this in "all religions".
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Perspective

Postby Malcolm » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:55 am

Malcolm wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
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".


No, actually you do not find this in "all religions".



Addendum, so my initial observation that your sentiment is perennialist' was correct.
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Perspective

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:18 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Certainly not as smart as you and all the perennialists out there. But being a Buddha, he does not have to be smart, merely totally awakened.


oops. you walked right into that one! Perennialism says that all religions are expressing the same universal truth. My graphix clearly shows that the various religions (as well as science) are all different, partial perspectives on the nature of reality.

...from the perspective of one who, at least implicitly, is claiming to have the perspective of the bigger picture. I mean perspective literally: the viewer of the picture sees the whole elephant and the "partial" views of those poor blind saps trying to get a handle on it.

That's why I agree with Malcolm that the position taken by the artist is likely a perennialist one, and not merely because the true-but-partial theme is the coin of the realm among perennialist thinkers today.
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:59 pm

poor blind saps

I know you're just being cheeky, but this may actually point to the source of the confusion. Being blind is usually considered a defect, and the implication is that if only the "poor saps" could see, they would be able to see & describe the whole elephant like we do. But if, in this instance, the elephant is a symbol for the nature of reality, then its not possible to see or describe the whole elephant from any perspective, since all perspectives are inherently limited and, literally, one sided.

from the OED:
The appearance of viewed objects with regard to relative position, distance from the viewer, etc.


in other words, there is no perspective from which it would be possible to see and describe the entire elephant.

The irony is we are the whole elephant (i.e. our real nature is the same as the nature of all reality), but as soon as we try to conceptualize or describe it, we necessarily fall into partiality. But again, this should not considered a failing, its simply part of the job description "sentient being".

Its like if 6 genius poets view Mt Fuji and write poems, you may have a favorite among them but it makes no sense to claim that one poem is more valid than another; why not enjoy them all, compare them to your own unique view of the mountain (since everyone's perspective is unique) and maybe even have fun writing your own poem?
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Re: Perspective

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:16 pm

The discussion about Dzogchen has been split to this new thread: Dzogchen rhetoric and the gradual / instant dichotomy http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=15577#p214427

So let's keep this one on the topic introduced by the OP. :smile:
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Re: Perspective

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:35 pm

Regarding the image: I will offer a quote from Dudjom Rinpoche's big red "The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism" text as it appears at the conclusion of the chapter titled "Doctrines of Samsara"

Conclusion

Since these four views of no understanding and wrong understanding exclusively originate from ignorance, they are mundane views. Such has been said in the Garland of Views: A Collection of Esoteric Instructions from the passage beginning:

The countless sutras which gather together the erroneous views of sentient beings in the mundane realm fall within four categories, namely, the apathetic, the materialists, the nihilistic extremists and the eternalistic extremists.

down to:

All these are ignorant views.

Among these, the two which have no understanding represent no philosophical view. However, they are explained to be associated with [such a view] because they are subsumed within the status of mind. The two which have wrong understanding do represent views which change the attitude through a philosophical system, but by clinging to extremes which exaggerate and depreciate the reality free from extremes, they have become erroneous. Therefore, they are not the means of liberation from samsara. This applies not only to the nihilistic extremists who are the worst among those professing philosophy, but to the eternalistic extremists as well, because, maintaining a self, they are bound by clinging to a self, which is the root of samsara. Accordingly, the Exposition of Valid Cognition says:

As long as one actually clings to a self,
One will turn to samsara.


And in the Sequence of the Path:

Anyone who inclines towards
The duality of eternalism and nihilism
Is said to deviate from the reality
Of the genuine essence.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Perspective

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:17 pm

Hi Addy, I'm not sure what the relevance of the Dudjom quote is to the illustration? But I would add that each and every one of the perspectives shown would claim that it does not deserve to be included in the picture since it, and it alone, has the one true perspective, all the others are confused. That in itself should give one pause (I would hope).
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Re: Perspective

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:00 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:Hi Addy, I'm not sure what the relevance of the Dudjom quote is to the illustration? But I would add that each and every one of the perspectives shown would claim that it does not deserve to be included in the picture since it, and it alone, has the one true perspective, all the others are confused. That in itself should give one pause (I would hope).


Well, it's relevant because this is the Dharma Wheel forum, not a Baha'i forum or a wild conjectures forum. I think many modern people who are not born into dharma cultures approach it because it's techniques for mind transformation equate with inner technology because the effects are palpable both evidenced by modern neurological research on long-term meditators like Mingyur Rinpoche, and by simply seeing the qualities of great masters like those I've encountered or more public ones such as Dudjom Rinpoche himself or the Dalai Lama. –And of course, as evidenced by applying the technologies in one's personal practice.

What's more, the essence of dharma is not really asserting fantastical things like a Creator God, or accumulating a set of beliefs with which to convert others -as most traditions in the diagram do: one of it's qualities is to not fall to either of the extreme views referenced in the above quote, but rather abide beyond the extreme of nihilism or eternalism. If you find value in the dharma –which it appears you would having spent a considerable amount of time on a dharma forum– then it would be useful for you to recognize it's outstanding features rather than pretend it is just another deluded guess of a 'blind' man.
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Re: Perspective

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:08 pm

In regards to part of your thesis: Gendun Choepel said something to the effect that the Buddha's teachings were akin to a warlord holding a sword to one's throat and commanding you to say the water is green, when in fact you know it is not green. This being a reference to the ineffable quality of the nature of reality, and how it can not be communicated with words. However, the 84,000 teachings are skillful methods for varying capacities to approach this nature of reality from their current circumstances. I don't personally believe that most beliefs of other religions or philosophies act in this capacity, although since bodhisattvas manifest in countless forms and ways and there has been much cross-cultural diffusion as well over the centuries, you can find aspects of dharma in other unexpected places. I find Rumi poems to be Dharma, and interpret the word God differently than the convention for instance in that context. I think Sufi's really have something real there. Likewise, the Sikh tradition I have heard from a high Lama carries a lineage of Guru Rinpoche and their teachings are encoded dharma in many ways. However, there are a great many views according to the spectrum of world religions and philosophy that are simply incorrect from a Dharma perspective, and will lead one into further confusion and suffering: not as a partial truth leading in the same direction as Dharma would. So I don't agree with the thesis of the OP image.
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