Misunderstanding emptiness

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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:31 pm

yadave wrote:
catmoon wrote:
yadave wrote: When I buy a head of lettuce, I typically don't name it George or George-The-Lettuce-Head. The very notion does not show up in my modern framework of experience. "Self" is not something that arises for me when thinking of lettuce or salt.


Really? Do you ever think of it as "my lettuce" or "my salt"?

That's my soul, cat, but I want to know how to experience lettuce atman. Please advise.

Regards,
Dave.


Self does not here refer to a personal self in lettuce but rather self-existence. You might not call it George, but you would have no problem saying "the salad is mediocre, but the lettuce itself is very nice." As evidenced by you positions on salt, and further evidenced by your (I am assuming) near continuous experience of dissatisfaction, you do perceive a everything from your personal self to a head of lettuce, as self-existent. independent of mind.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:39 pm

cloudburst wrote:
yadave wrote:When I buy a head of lettuce, I typically don't name it George or George-The-Lettuce-Head. The very notion does not show up in my modern framework of experience. "Self" is not something that arises for me when thinking of lettuce or salt.

catmoon wrote:Really? Do you ever think of it as "my lettuce" or "my salt"?

yadave wrote:That's my soul, cat, but I want to know how to experience lettuce atman. Please advise.

Self does not here refer to a personal self in lettuce but rather self-existence. You might not call it George, but you would have no problem saying "the salad is mediocre, but the lettuce itself is very nice." As evidenced by you positions on salt, and further evidenced by your (I am assuming) near continuous experience of dissatisfaction, you do perceive a everything from your personal self to a head of lettuce, as self-existent. independent of mind.

That's right, I'm afflicted with curiosity, probably genetic. ;)

You clarify,

1. Internal atman/self means personal self, like for people, "me" and "I", etc.

2. External atman/self means self-existent = mind-independent = objective, like for lettuce.

Then you assert realists are suffering, antirealists are not.

Cloud, there is a theme in these discussions that I would like your (or anyone's) take on. The general argument goes like this: since knowledge and experience is mind-dependent, it follows that external stuff (shared reality stuff) must also be mind-dependent.

This seems like a non sequitur, seems like we could go either way on ontological status of "stuff out there" without creating a contradiction.

Regards,
Dave.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:48 pm

yadave wrote:1. Internal atman/self means personal self, like for people, "me" and "I", etc.

2. External atman/self means self-existent = mind-independent = objective, like for lettuce.

Then you assert realists are suffering, antirealists are not.

Cloud, there is a theme in these discussions that I would like your (or anyone's) take on. The general argument goes like this: since knowledge and experience is mind-dependent, it follows that external stuff (shared reality stuff) must also be mind-dependent.

This seems like a non sequitur, seems like we could go either way on ontological status of "stuff out there" without creating a contradiction.



I'm not sure anyone asserted that "antirealists" are not suffering, Yadave. Also, I don't think Buddhists are "Antirealists," as Buddhists don't deny "everything"--the point that external things, phenomena, have no existence shouldn't lead to an assertion that there is literally Nothing--that's the Nihilst extreme, and is actually a bigger error than asserting external existence. External stuff is "mind-dependent" in the sense that it is ONLY through mind that we "know" or cognize....it is not "mind-dependent" in the sense that mind CREATES reality, at least not in the understanding of most modern masters. The Duality between subject and object is a fiction, in the Yogacara teachings, but this does not mean that it's all just subject. Or, all just object. If it were asserted that all "objective, external reality" were in fact mere creation of mind, your point about ontological status would be valid. But it's more subtle than that.

From our perspective, ignorant sentient beings percieve subject and object, and impute existence onto object(s) (and subjects). The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:11 pm

conebeckham wrote: The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.


YEAH!
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Paul » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:20 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
conebeckham wrote: The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.


YEAH!


That reminds me of a thread that Namdrol once started in E-Sangha that started off a real atom of posts - the original post being something very terse like "Reality is a cognitive error". People went a bit crazy - it was very amusing. :rolling:
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All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:54 pm

conebeckham wrote: The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.


If they are "both" errors, how can there be two of them?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:00 pm

From the conventional point of view, there are two of them...or, if you like, there are infinite instances of them....

I think that there's really only one error, though--Ignorance of our True Nature is the cause of Samsara. That is the root error.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:03 am

yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:I'm more concerned with direct experience of salt in it's form readily apparent to the senses.

OK. Salt tastes salty. I am ready.

Regards,
Dave.


As a quick disclaimer: Faculties that are named and used in making the descriptions and examinations i'm writing about are only temporary and will be discarded at a later point. Something said at one point may be contradicted and negated later on in reference to titles such as, mind, sense-fields, awareness, consciousness, subject, object etc....

When the [ultimate] truth is explained as it is, the conventional is not obstructed; Independent of the conventional, no [ultimate] truth can be found. - Nagarjuna

Ok so throughout this I want to stick with what is sensible. By "sensible" I mean capable of being sensed or that which is perceived by the senses. So audible, visible, tangible, etc... and for this we'll go with what is immediately perceived. Not mediately (through the intervention of something else). For example; when reading a book what you immediately perceive is letters on the page, but mediately or by means of these, notions of truth, virtue, vice etc are suggested to the mind. So though notions such as truth, vice, virtue etc are suggested and signified to the mind by sensible marks with which they have an arbitrary connection with, it would be absurd to designate these(truth, virtue etc..) as sensible things. So 'sensible things' means only what is immediately perceived by the senses and sensible things that we investigate don't include such designations inherently. To add; in instances such as a situation where one sees both red and blue in the sky, and thus it is inferred that there must be a cause for the differences in colors, that cause cannot be said to be a sensible quality immediately perceived by eyesight. Likewise, when one hears a variety of sounds it cannot be said that you hear their causes, and when one touches something hot or feels something heavy; one cannot say with truth that you feel the cause of the heat or weight. Hopefully we can agree that the senses perceive only what is perceived immediately because they do not make inferences.

So immediate sensible qualities include:
Sight -  light, colors, shapes.
Hearing - sounds.
The palate - tastes.
Smell - odors.
Touch - tangible qualities.
(And obviously combinations of these.)

The purpose for this is to obviously stay with the theme I mentioned in an earlier post which was based on the premise that experience suggests nothing about itself. Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing. So staying with what is immediately perceived allows us to remain objective (no pun intended) and allows a mutually shared middle ground (non-conceptual awareness) apart from our contrasting notions about that middle ground. So like I said we're empirically investigating the nature of experience itself, and the emptiness or non-emptiness of an objective field in relation to it's validity in being a substantiated attribute of experience.

The underlying inquiry consists of two contrasting notions which are; does the reality of sensible things consist of being perceived? Or do things in fact exist as inherent exterior objects independent of sensual perception, distinct from, and having no relation to being
perceived? And related notions of objectivity, subjectivity, physicality, etc. Inherent separate existence vs. Empty dependent origination.

You started with salt before so... beginning with salt; inquiring into salts characteristics and attributes we'll look into whether salt exists as an objective independent agent which inherently exists and posses these attributes or the contrary.

Salt as it's usually experienced is predominantly comprised of vision, tactile sensation and obviously taste. I suppose salt can, on occasion be heard and also undoubtably bears an aroma to match it's pungent taste but those senses are secondary. So I think approaching salt sense-by-sense will be appropriate so that we can ensure that each sensory field can be properly isolated and examined. The reason for this is that in my opinion the different sense fields are heterogeneous instead of how they are usually taken to be (homogeneous). So even though they seem to amalgamate and interact to create what appears to be an organized and coordinated experience of reality, they are in fact separate fields which only communicate with one another via inferential projection.

This issue was examined rather thoroughly in a philosophical thought-experiment called Molyneux's Problem which consisted of attempting to understand the level of sensorial coordination one would possess upon immediate recovery from blindness. Taken from wikipedia; The problem can be stated in brief, "if a man born blind can feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he similarly distinguish those objects by sight if given the ability to see?"

The question was originally posed to Locke by philosopher William Molyneux, whose wife was blind:

Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which is the sphere. Suppose then the cube and the sphere placed on a table, and the blind man made to see: query, Whether by his sight, before he touched them, he could now distinguish and tell which is the globe, which the cube? To which the acute and judicious proposer answers: ‘Not. For though he has obtained the experience of how a globe, and how a cube, affects his touch; yet he has not yet attained the experience, that what affects his touch so or so, must affect his sight so or so…’

To which Locke responds in "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding":

I agree with this thinking gentleman, whom I am proud to call my friend, in his answer to this problem; and am of opinion that the blind man, at first sight, would not be able with certainty to say which was the globe, which the cube, whilst he only saw them; though he could unerringly name them by his touch, and certainly distinguish them by the difference of their figures felt.

In 1709, in “A New Theory of Vision,” George Berkeley also concluded that there was no necessary connection between a tactile world and a sight world—that a connection between them could be established only on the basis of experience. He speculated:
the objects to which he had hitherto used to apply the terms up and down, high and low, were such as only affected or were in some way perceived by touch; but the proper objects of vision make a new set of ideas, perfectly distinct and different from the former, and which can in no sort make themselves perceived by touch (sect. 95).

There have been events matching this predicament which actually verified these philosopher's educated speculations; one of them being the case of "a woman who gained sight at the age of 12 when she underwent surgery for dense bilateral congenital cataracts. They report that the subject could recognize family members by sight six months after surgery, but took up to a year to recognize most household objects purely by sight."

So starting with vision; I included a reference image we can both use to avoid conflicting imagery.

Image
(image A)

Salt on a table is a fairly common affair (if one is making a mess) and is good because it entails fairly limited differences in color, which as it ends up is pretty much equivalent to the very sense of vision we're exploring.

My argument to start is going to be that color is exactly vision and vision is exactly color, they are synonymous in nature and manifestation. The common presupposition that the process of visually perceiving an object consists of 'seeing' a 'color' (which exists separately from said act of seeing) is a misnomer. Wherever there is color there is seeing and vice versa. The two go hand-in-hand and you cannot have one without the other. With color we also get 'shape' which is a result of colors bordering each other in various ways. So color also implies shape, and shape likewise will imply color. Ultimately the object of vision is color and therefore shape.

Vision standing alone as an isolated sense is much like Image A posted above. If we attend to the visual evidence in the image alone we get a circular patch of white surrounded by brown. There is no separating line between the colors and vision. And likewise there is no separating line between the colors and you, no evidence in the colors of being "out there" and no evidence of yourself being an observer "in here". The conclusion that the colors are external to us is based on the principle that these colors change over time. So we accept a story that the colors (object) is separate from us even though the basis for this conclusion is lacking in the visual evidence in-and-of-itself. This aligns with my previous statement that experience suggests nothing about itself. Experience instead receives projected conceptual overlay which over time serves to create habitually solidified subconscious presuppositions conveying a compelling sense of separation.

Separation in general is based on spatiality. We usually conceive of two opposite aspects existing on opposite sides of unbridgeable spatial gaps. In truth we never experience spatial externality or independence. These designations are based on the formation of a subtle reference point of a subjective self "here" as opposed to "there". The feeling of subjectivity is never anything more than a tendency to identify with certain clusters of sensation and project that the remainder is objective and "other". But by looking at experience very directly it can actually be ascertained that this "otherness" is never a part of our experience.

So back to the white salt on the brown table... this image that arises as vision is composed of these colors, we see a white circular expanse of color, and various shades of white within that circular shape. Bordering that we see a brown expanse of color which seems to surround the white, and if we could back up and see a larger image the colors would unfold as we went along.
These colors are all there is to vision. So to examine the 'objectivity' of vision let's examine the 'whiteness' in the image(and you can do this by putting salt on a table in front of you)... speaking specifically about the shades of the 'whiteness' and the particular value of the color. Can we say that the shade itself is salt? Can it be said that wherever you have that particular shade(white) you have salt - and wherever you have salt you have that particular shade(white)? Obviously not. So white itself isn't definitive of salt. Now would you say that there is salt on the far side of that color? Do you directly experience salt behind the white? Because we just established that we wouldn't take the shade of white itself to be salt one should naturally inquire as to whether there is salt behind the white. We'll find that there is in fact no salt to be found on the posterior side of the white. Now on the near side of the color, do we experience any separation between the seeing of the color and the color itself? Attending exclusively to vision and letting go of any arising concepts or beliefs, is there any distance experienced between the seeing of the white and the white itself? You can't see the 'seeing'... so there can't be any distance, the color simply arises. So there's no salt on the far side of the white, and no salt on the near side, and no distance or gap between the white and the seeing of the white itself. Wherever white appears, vision is occurring, there's no access to white without vision, so the objectivity of the salt should melt or fuse into vision itself. The color should disappear into vision, because at that point it makes no sense to say one is "seeing" a "color" in the first place... the two are inseparable. Vision itself means color is arising, they're one and the same. It's not as if you have independent access to colors where you can notice a color out of the visual field and then say now i'm seeing that color, there couldn't be a color unless vision was already there.

Now the idea that there is a bordering line between an internal aspect of the body and an external aspect apart from the body has to be taken into account as well. This 'bordering line' creating the dichotomy of internal/external is based on identification with 'the body'. But the body itself is not separate from vision either, there are other colors and shades which are identified as 'my body' but just like the colors which composed the salt, these colors appearing as a 'body' do not communicate a possessive nature. The colors simply arise no different than any other color in the field of vision. We only impute a notion of 'my body' over these colors. There are other faculties that seem to correlate with vision to give the appearance of a homogeneous cluster of sensations conventionally called the body and we can discuss those separately, but all are merely qualities appearing to awareness as awareness itself. So the notion of an 'subject inside' viewing an 'object outside' is not self-evident in vision. Vision simply appears and is completely non-discriminitive. Another thing which isn't self-evident in vision is the presence of 'eyes' doing the seeing, we never experience or see our own eyes at any time, even in the act of looking at a mirror we only are ever seeing colors and shapes arise that we identify with as 'me' and 'my eyes' but the eyes appear nowhere within vision itself, we again only accept a story about this.

About this Nagarjuna states: "Through this the eyes, visible forms and so forth, which are described as the elements, these should be known also as [the twelve] sense-fields, and as the objects and the subjects as well.

Neither atom of form exists nor is sense organ elsewhere; even more no sense organ as agent exists; so the producer and the produced are utterly unsuited for production." - Nagarjuna


"In terms of objects and subjects, whatever appears to the consciousness, apart from the cognitions themselves, no external objects exist anywhere.

So there are no external objects at all existing in the mode of entities. The very perceptions of the individual consciousnesses arise as appearances of the forms." - Nagarjuna


So vision is color. You can't even say they arise as mutually interdependent co-emergent qualities because the duality is lacking to begin with. The notion of the duality between observing and observed is a conceptual imputation. A story simply arises and say "i'm seeing white" and we accept this story, but the story is never evident in vision itself. The objectivity of color as an external quality isn't substantiated by experience. Now vision itself doesn't appear separate from awareness, or 'that' which 'knows' vision to be apparent. But that-which-knows is the appearance itself, there is no duality, even to say appearance implies something to which the appearance would appear-to, so what "is" escapes all such conceptualizations (aside from conventional descriptive concepts). So the objectivity of the salt collapses, the objectivity of color collapses, the objectivity of vision collapses as well. We can't say that vision is a 'thing' out there which is separate that we have access to sometimes and not at other times. Vision is awareness, there is no separation and there are no 'objects', all we have is awareness. And this same exercise is done for every sense modality. (Awareness itself must also be refuted as such.)

For the salty taste; my argument would be much like what has been proposed for vision, i saw that namdrol used the example of MSG in showing the appearance of 'saltiness' to not be unique to salt itself. So following the same examination done with vision and focusing on the palate alone one can successfully find taste to be empty as well. I would also add that with your argument being that saltiness is an innate quality with which salt itself is inherently endowed with; if one runs the gamut of taste congruent with other sensory appearances such as heat; it can be seen that an intense level of taste such as spiciness correlates with an intense heat in that at the highest volume of appearance both arise as pain. The pain that arises is in fact the taste. There are not two appearances such as taste and then also pain, they are one and the same. So to posit that an external objective thing like salt inherently contains it's taste would be akin to claiming it also contains the appearances of pain and pleasure. One also cannot attribute lesser volumes of the same spectrum such as a general mild taste to an object without naturally accrediting higher and lower volumes of that same spectrum. So salt cannot be said to contain it's taste. And taste cannot be said to be anything more than awareness itself and empty. This insight combined with the former which coincides with the experiment done in vision should hopefully annihilate this false designation(of inherent objective existence) apart from mere conventional usage.

Ultimately awareness itself is empty. Because for one to claim that this inquiry has successfully reached a foundation at 'awareness' implies a 'ground' of being of some type where none can be found. Yet conventionally awareness is a clear and proper concept to use in describing that-which-is, for such an awareness likewise cannot be denied.

The Buddha attempted to capture these realizations in The Heart Sutra when he stated:
There are no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. There is no seeing, no hearing, no smelling, no tasting, no touching, no imagining. There is nothing seen, nor heard, nor smelled, nor tasted, nor touched, nor imagined.

Devoid of all real entities;
Utterly discarding all objects and subjects,
Such as aggregates, elements and sense-fields;
Due to sameness of selflessness of all phenomena,
One's mind is primordially unborn;
It is in the nature of emptiness.
- Nagarjuna
Last edited by asunthatneversets on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:04 am

Paul wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
conebeckham wrote: The imputation of existence, as well as the bifurcation into subject/object dichotomy, are both cognitive errors.


YEAH!


That reminds me of a thread that Namdrol once started in E-Sangha that started off a real atom of posts - the original post being something very terse like "Reality is a cognitive error". People went a bit crazy - it was very amusing. :rolling:



"Sentient beings are nothing more than cognitive errors".
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:57 am

yadave wrote:1. Reality is mind-independent.
2. Knowledge is mind-dependent.
3. Therefore mind cannot perceive reality?

Non sequitur.


This is the argument:

P1) All knowledge is mediated by experience.
P2) The objective is not mediated by experience.
C1) Therefore, the objective cannot be known.

P1 is the principle of empiricism i.e. science. P2 is superficially true by definition. Therefore, a [scientific] realist, in short, has to explain how something non-experiential gives rise to something experiential and/or contest P2.

Wiktionary, annihilation …


The point is that no quanta can be measured twice e.g. no photon is ever seen twice. So any hypothesis of essential, objective salt is derived from changing, subjective not-salt.

In neither case is your sample of salt measurably changed.


You have to define and establish that aspect of salt that is essential in order to qualify whether or not it has changed between measurements. The “sample of salt” is a perception of yours, not, by your own definition, the objective causative thing you want to measure. Even if we assume the objective, then that perception is caused by things other than salt i.e. photons hitting your retina etc. If that proposed thing behind all this could not change, it could not interact i.e. with your sensory system, therefore you could not know about it, nor have reason to posit it.

Particles are not objects, they are packets of energy. This energy dissipates into heat when it interacts with cells in your eyes that are photosensitive.


It depends how you look, you can see particle or wave behavior.


Exactly, the act of measurement changes what you are looking at. Therefore reality is not independent of observation and realism is refuted.

I'm not sure what we were arguing but Khenchen Thrangu distinguishes internal from external in his presentation of mahamudra and emptiness.


Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:46 am

Acchantika wrote:
Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.


How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:17 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


This is slightly off topic but speaks to your question asunthatneversets. Try this: hold your hand in front of your face and ask yourself this question: is your hand inside you or outside you?
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:41 am

MalaBeads wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


This is slightly off topic but speaks to your question asunthatneversets. Try this: hold your hand in front of your face and ask yourself this question: is your hand inside you or outside you?


I'm not sure what you're proposing is the me with which to gauge an inner or outer with. And even if this alleged me was somehow located; how then could an idea exist inside or outside another idea? And how could they exist simultaneously? If they somehow were to manifest as distinct entities and exist simultaneously, then where could one establish a dividing line? Or where could a container be found one could utilize to place one within so the other remained outside? There are infinitesimal possibilities within the realm of the imagination, and I cannot successfully answer your question.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:00 am

Cone, your posts are all clear, thanks. I especially like your description of differences between Madhyamaka and Mahamudra and surely must dig into a good Thrangu Rinpoche Madhyamaka text, when time permits, judging from the amount I've blathered on.

Some quick thoughts here, hopefully with a similar theme.

wisdom wrote:NaCl is only known through observation. This can be done with sight, taste or touch, and possibly smell but I am unsure as I have never tried to smell salt.

I can also read about salt in a salt book. I can learn what it would do to a snail without being a snail or trying it myself. Is this knowledge of salt?

asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?

Acchantika wrote:P1) All knowledge is mediated by experience.
P2) The objective is not mediated by experience.
C1) Therefore, the objective cannot be known.

If the objective cannot be known, how do we know it is not mediated by experience?

Regards,
Dave.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:22 am

yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?


Regards,
Dave.


We, my friend... are concepts.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:30 am

Oh and MalaBeads I wrote infinitesimal in my initial response and meant 'infinite' (no way to correct other than this).
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby wisdom » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:54 am

yadave wrote:I can also read about salt in a salt book. I can learn what it would do to a snail without being a snail or trying it myself. Is this knowledge of salt?


Yep, because someone observed it with their eyes at some point and recorded it in a book as a fact. Of course its not the same kind of knowledge as if you were to see it done for yourself. In the same way you can learn about France, but actually being there is a different experience. So in essence its still known through observation, in this case your eyes observing words and your mind comprehending them.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:07 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Aside from our conceptualizations about experience, experience itself communicates nothing.

Sunshine, your phenomenological inquiry is amazing, Much better than the Candrakirti Seven Points of Thinking piece we started with. You could write a book. I am going to practice it in more depth and first have a quick question.

Do we experience concepts?

We, my friend... are concepts.

That's great. Without a subject/object there's really not a damn thing to talk about and that seems incredibly funny for some reason so it must be way past bedtime. Ciao.

Regards,
Dave.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:33 am

yadave wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:We, my friend... are concepts.

That's great. Without a subject/object there's really not a damn thing to talk about and that seems incredibly funny for some reason so it must be way past bedtime. Ciao.

Regards,
Dave.


Well then perhaps look at it this way;
It appears that thoughts arise but there is no thinker. Likewise it appears seeing is happening but there is no seer. And all the way down the line for all the senses. So whatever this is that we label as experience is spontaneously self-appearing. It appears to no one, so to say "we experience concepts" is true conventionally. But in truth the concept in it's appearance as letters or thought or verbal utterance doesn't point to anything. And in fact any-thing conceivable IS a concept. Apart from the conceptual overlay of experience we have the incredibly long breakdown I posted on the previous page having to do with the suchness and one-taste of experience in-and-of-itself. I tried to conceptually get as nonconceptual as I could by making that post experimental with actual experience. But getting back to the concepts, when you think or say "we", the sound "we" just appears and is self-liberated in the very same moment. The error is that via the faculty of memory experience is extended into what appears to be time. And time gives the feeling that there is a subject which experiences an arising such as a concept which is conceived to be separate(from said subject). Time is an illusion. The subject is an illusion. Likewise the object is then negated as well. The concept in whatever form it appears IS experience itself. The notion that "we" experience anything is product of delusion. Experience just "is"... Seamless, timeless and whole in this ever-presence. Another short and potentially confusing way to put it is; the totality of all that is appearing in this very moment is what you are, and "you" are a concept. (And experience is empty.)

Reminds me of what Satan says in Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger which is actually incredibly on point. There's a creepy claymation adaptation of this scene in a old Tom Sawyer film you can find on YouTube. But anyways, Satan says:

"Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists except empty space and you, and you... are but a thought"
Last edited by asunthatneversets on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:38 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Acchantika wrote:
Yes, but internal and external does not mean subjective and objective. I claimed you were making this equation. The external is still part of experience.


How does internal/external not equate to subjective/objective?


It equates ultimately in the sense that they are both arbitrary distinctions. Tentatively, what is external to oneself is still a projection of mind, distinct from the objective. A realist doesn't claim that the external is equal to the objective, they claim that what is represented externally by a mind is an approximation of the objective and caused by it.
...
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