‘Dharmas do not arise’

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Vasana
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Vasana » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:34 am

Existence is one extreme. Non existence is another. This is why the middle way is not nihilism.

If there were just emptiness, that would be nihlism. But form is also emptiness. If it were just emptiness, that would be nihlism but there is also dependent origination..If it were just emptiness, that would be nihlism but there is still the cognizant clarity of the aggregate of consciousness and that of pristine consciousness, yeshe, rig-pa, vid-ya etc. Then there's the conventional distinction between the ultimate and conventional levels of truth. That is why the extremes of existence and non-existence, entities and non entities, permanence and impermanence, eternalism and nihilism are all views rooted in invalid cognitions.

Just as we can't say that the contents and characters of a dream are categorically existent, we also can't say that the appearances of a dream are categorically non-existent. Objects are not truly existent but aggregated appearances appear merely due to the non-deficiency of causes and conditions. The imputation of entities and non-entities also appears due to the non-deficiency of causes and conditions. It's a simple string of words from the Rice-Seedling Sutra below but has profound meaning.

'The non-deficiency of causes and conditions.'

I personally found each of these sutras easier to follow than Nagarjuna.

Salistamba Sutra: The Rice Seedling Sutra.

http://xuanfa.net/buddha-dharma/tripita ... mba-sutra/

Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths:
Saṃvṛti­paramārtha­satya­nirdeśa

http://read.84000.co/translation/UT22084-060-008.html

The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom in Ten Thousand Lines:
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

http://read.84000.co/translation/UT22084-031-002.html
PP in 10000 lines, Chapter 3 (Summary)

Fixation may ensue when those phenomena and attributes are considered as permanent or impermanent, as conducive to happiness or suffering, with self or without self, empty or not empty, with signs or signless, having or lacking aspirations, calm or not calm, void or not void, afflicted or purified, arising or not arising, ceasing or not ceasing, and as entities or non-entities. Deluded minds would view these phenomena and attributes as absolutely existent whereas bodhisattvas should train so as to understand that they are all non-apprehensible—mere designations and conceptualizations.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:11 pm
From here

I do encounter this declaration on DharmaWheel regularly, but I don’t understand it. What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’. So - what does it mean?
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Snowbear » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:56 pm

Wayfarer wrote:What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’.
Is that the limit at which you felt comfortable stopping your analysis of your mowing experience?
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:11 pm
From here

I do encounter this declaration on DharmaWheel regularly, but I don’t understand it. What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’. So - what does it mean?
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
I think the key idea is that conventional things just appear, like a mirage. When you say that things arise, or even conventially “exist,” you are inadvertently saying that a substantial, ultimate thing is “out there” to do the arising and existing.

This is not a subject that will be resolved through dialogue or academics in any case. The only value this has is in personal meditative experience.

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by conebeckham » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:37 pm

Snowbear wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:56 pm
Wayfarer wrote:What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’.
Is that the limit at which you felt comfortable stopping your analysis of your mowing experience?
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:11 pm
From here

I do encounter this declaration on DharmaWheel regularly, but I don’t understand it. What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’. So - what does it mean?
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
I think the key idea is that conventional things just appear, like a mirage. When you say that things arise, or even conventially “exist,” you are inadvertently saying that a substantial, ultimate thing is “out there” to do the arising and existing.

This is not a subject that will be resolved through dialogue or academics in any case. The only value this has is in personal meditative experience.
You're correct: to say something arises usually presupposes some sort of positive ontological statement. Conventional arisings are "false truths." We cannot deny appearances, and all that goes with appearances, like the Law of Karma, etc., on the level of Samsara, the "conventional." But it's important to understand that such "non-denial" does not mean there is any ontological positing. This is important on the level of "philosophy," or mental proliferation, but also, as you note, deeper than conscious analysis or thought. Existence is a an assumption, born of ignorance. Just let appearances be, knowing there is no ontological statement that can be made about them.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Wayfarer
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:33 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
Precisely!

There are some very good answers and sources here, which I think address the point (and thank you for them :anjali: ). But that point is, to say of something that it has ‘merely conventional existence’, is not to say that it simply doesn’t exist. Actually the whole distinction between ‘conventional and ultimate’ is really a deep philosophical question. I think too often we assume that we understand something about that, because after all the sutras and commentaries are written from the perspective of understanding that distinction. But I know that I don’t fully understand it. Hence, caution.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Malcolm
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:49 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:33 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
Precisely!

There are some very good answers and sources here, which I think address the point (and thank you for them :anjali: ). But that point is, to say of something that it has ‘merely conventional existence’, is not to say that it simply doesn’t exist. Actually the whole distinction between ‘conventional and ultimate’ is really a deep philosophical question. I think too often we assume that we understand something about that, because after all the sutras and commentaries are written from the perspective of understanding that distinction. But I know that I don’t fully understand it. Hence, caution.

Arising, when analyzed, cannot be ascertained. We do not state from the outset that phenomena do not arise. That is an analytical conclusion. Conventional truth (arising) is how things appear to us , ultimate truth (nonarising) is the conclusion of analyzing appearances.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:49 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:33 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
Precisely!

There are some very good answers and sources here, which I think address the point (and thank you for them :anjali: ). But that point is, to say of something that it has ‘merely conventional existence’, is not to say that it simply doesn’t exist. Actually the whole distinction between ‘conventional and ultimate’ is really a deep philosophical question. I think too often we assume that we understand something about that, because after all the sutras and commentaries are written from the perspective of understanding that distinction. But I know that I don’t fully understand it. Hence, caution.

Arising, when analyzed, cannot be ascertained. We do not state from the outset that phenomena do not arise. That is an analytical conclusion. Conventional truth (arising) is how things appear to us , ultimate truth (nonarising) is the conclusion of analyzing appearances.
So to say "conventionally, nothing arises" is somewhat incorrect, because it is illustrating some confusion about the conventional? Things don't arise, but if conventionality is not the mistaken or unmistaken experience of "apparently" arising dharmāḥ", however "wrong" or "right" that experience of conventionality may be, then what is it?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Malcolm
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:24 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:34 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:49 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:33 am


Precisely!

There are some very good answers and sources here, which I think address the point (and thank you for them :anjali: ). But that point is, to say of something that it has ‘merely conventional existence’, is not to say that it simply doesn’t exist. Actually the whole distinction between ‘conventional and ultimate’ is really a deep philosophical question. I think too often we assume that we understand something about that, because after all the sutras and commentaries are written from the perspective of understanding that distinction. But I know that I don’t fully understand it. Hence, caution.

Arising, when analyzed, cannot be ascertained. We do not state from the outset that phenomena do not arise. That is an analytical conclusion. Conventional truth (arising) is how things appear to us , ultimate truth (nonarising) is the conclusion of analyzing appearances.
So to say "conventionally, nothing arises" is somewhat incorrect, because it is illustrating some confusion about the conventional? Things don't arise, but if conventionality is not the mistaken or unmistaken experience of "apparently" arising dharmāḥ", however "wrong" or "right" that experience of conventionality may be, then what is it?
Conventionally, arising from conditions is the only valid mode of arising.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

krodha
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by krodha » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:27 pm

From Buddhapālita, per Malcolm:

  • Here, with respect to your claim for an ascertained cause for the production of a result, wheat, etc., and a non-productive condition and non-condition, ‘the arising of a result is not accepted’ was previously explained. 

If that result does not exist, where will ‘these are not conditions, these are conditions’ be accepted? If both of those come to be from depending on a result, also that result is does not exist. Because the result does not exist, where will there be a non-condition or a condition? If that is so, still results are not accepted, and even conditions and a non-conditions are non-existent. Because results, conditions, and non-conditions do not exist, descriptions for arising are merely conventional.

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Matt J
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Matt J » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:28 am

Have you explored the Gelugpa presentation of emptiness? It sounds like you’d like it.
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:33 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm
They don't arise ultimately, they do arise conventionally, sometimes people (not just anyone) say they don't arise conventionally either.

When nothing arises, even conventionally, what is the point of even positing a conventional?
Precisely!

There are some very good answers and sources here, which I think address the point (and thank you for them :anjali: ). But that point is, to say of something that it has ‘merely conventional existence’, is not to say that it simply doesn’t exist. Actually the whole distinction between ‘conventional and ultimate’ is really a deep philosophical question. I think too often we assume that we understand something about that, because after all the sutras and commentaries are written from the perspective of understanding that distinction. But I know that I don’t fully understand it. Hence, caution.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by PeterC » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:54 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:46 am
Thanks, all - I do get the general drift of the expression. But I do sometimes encounter it in discussions here, in forms like, 'from the beginning, not a single thing exists'. And that is a radical thing to say. After all, the philosophy that 'nothing really exists' is exactly the meaning of 'philosophical nihilism'. But I don't think it does that mean that.

So - I posted this in Academic because I was rather hoping to get some links to some of the texts that make this kind of statement, and the commentaries on it. (The OP was obviously a bit scanty, for which I apologise, but I didn't want to introduce another digression into the thread from which it originated.)

@Ayu - actually mowing doesn't hurt the grass, it is quite well adapted to being cropped short. :smile:
That "from the beginning" line is a radical statement. There isn't much in Buddhist ontology that *isn't* radical to conventional mind. But what people sometimes overlook is that the poem in question was a response to ShenXiu's poem, and has to be read in that context, not in isolation - 本来无一物,何处惹尘埃 isn't necessarily a rejection of mowing the lawn, it's a rejection of the apparent substantialism in ShenXiu's view. Though it's a bit dangerous to ascribe philosophical positions to exchanges of poetry by reading into ten characters an entire subset of philosophy - but this is a common issue with reading Chan/Zen literature, texts are terse and dense, and everything has to be read in the context of what it's replying to or addressing.

Re: mowing. This being an internet forum, the response you'll get is probably determined by where you post, and you've had appropriately citations here on the meaning of production, since this is the academic sub-forum. If you go over to the Zen sub-forum someone will tell you that there's no lawn to mow in the first place, and perhaps shout "grass" and offer to hit you with a stick. In the Gelug sub-forum someone will tell you that only Tsongkhapa really understood what it means for the lawn to be empty of lawn. The Tiantai sub-forum will scour Ven. Zhiyi's works to understand how he interpreted mowing in the context of the Lotus Sutra. In the Dzogchen sub-forum you'll get explanations of how if combined with Ati Guru Yoga, mowing the lawn also becomes Dzogchen, and perhaps some discussion of the validity of watching a lawn being mown over the internet. The Nyingma sub-forum will have suggestions on appropriate mantras for while you're mowing, the Sakya sub-forum will explain the view of freedom from lawns and the importance of four daily mowing sessions conducted according to strict procedures, the Kagyu sub-forum will tell you that it doesn't particularly matter what philosophical conception you have of the lawn provided you mow it, and the engaged Buddhism forum will ask you why you're sitting around discussing it while the grass is still growing. Take your pick...

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:53 am

Matt J wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:28 am
Have you explored the Gelugpa presentation of emptiness? It sounds like you’d like it.
What I know, I like.
PeterC wrote:Re: mowing.
:twothumbsup: ( I can’t help but remember you have two cows.)

The ‘mowing’ analogy was obviously light-hearted but it is something that occurs to me in many of the discussions about ‘conventional existence’ that I have been part of here. I think understanding the meaning of ‘conventional and ultimate’ is a very deep matter and ought not to be taken for granted. I was told off once by a senior scholar for ‘assuming to speak from the ultimate perspective’ when I clearly didn’t understand it. I often meditate on that.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Astus » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:11 pm
I do encounter this declaration on DharmaWheel regularly, but I don’t understand it. What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’. So - what does it mean?
Consider the basic definition of conditionality:

"When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that."

(Bodhi Sutta)

Arising and ceasing are one of the common characteristics of phenomena. The goal in Buddhism is to leave the unstable conditioned realm for the stable unconditioned liberation. When extinction is realised, there is no more birth. That way no birth, or no arising, as a synonym of nirvana.

"The Knowledge of Destruction with the Knowledge of Non-Arising is Bodhi."
(Kosha ch 6, v 67a-b; vol 3, p 1023)

So when it comes to Mahayana, that dharmas are unborn is like that dharmas are emptiness, as these terms emphasise not only that there is no svabhava, but also that nirvana is not apart from samsara. The reason for calling appearances unborn can be summarised like this:

"Being does not arise, since it exists. Non-being does not arise, since it does not exist. Being and non-being [together] do not arise, due to [their] heterogeneity. Consequently they do not endure or vanish.
That which has been born cannot be born, nor can that which is unborn be born. What is being born now, being [partly] born, [partly] unborn, cannot be born either."

(Sunyatasaptati 4-5, tr Lindtner)

On the practical side, the realisation of appearances as unborn is one of the central attainments of a bodhisattva.

"They are wholly detached from mind, intellect , consciousness, thought, and ideation. Unattached, not grasping, equal to space, having entered into the nature of openness - this is called having attained acceptance of the nonorigination of things.
Then, imbued with this acceptance, as soon as enlightening beings attain the eighth stage, Immovability, they attain the profound abode of enlightening beings"

(Flower Ornament Scripture, ch 26, p 765)

"And how do bodhisattvas become adept at avoiding views of arising, duration, and cessation? Since whatever exists is like an illusion or a dream and its existence does not arise from itself, from another, or from a combination of both, but as a distinction of one’s own mind, they therefore see external existence as nonexistent, consciousness as not arising, and conditions as not combining but arising due to projections. When they see that all internal or external dharmas in the three realms cannot be grasped and are devoid of self-existence, their views of arising cease. And once they know that the self-existence of everything is illusory, they attain the forbearance of non-arising. And once they attain the forbearance of non-arising, they avoid views of arising, duration, and cessation. This is how bodhisattvas become adept at distinguishing and avoiding views of arising, duration and cessation."
(Lankavatara Sutra, ch 30, tr Red Pine)

"Mañjuśrī, all dharmas are equal [in their emptiness]. Because they are equal, they do not abide. Because they do not abide, they do not move. Because they do not move, they rely on nothing. Because they rely on nothing, they have no place. Because they have no place, they have no birth. Because they have no birth, they have no death. If one can see dharmas in this way, one’s mind is not deluded. Because one’s mind is not deluded, one accords with true reality. Because one accords with true reality, one does nothing. Because one does nothing, one does not come. Because one does not come, one does not go. Because one does not go, one is in unity with true suchness. Because one is in unity with true suchness, one follows dharma nature. Because one follows dharma nature, one’s mind does not move. Because one’s mind does not move, one has no expectations. Why not? Because one has attained bodhi. If one has attained bodhi, one does not abide in any dharmas. Because one does not abide in dharmas, one realizes that they have neither birth nor death, neither names nor appearances. Mañjuśrī, if sentient beings are attached to dharmas, their afflictions arise. If their afflictions arise, they cannot attain bodhi."
(Sūtra of Entering the States of All Buddhas Adorned with Wisdom)

"If you can comprehend that the myriad phenomena are unborn, that [deluded] mind is like an illusory transformation, so that you are everywhere pure, this is enlightenment."
(Recorded Sayings of Linji, in Three Chan Classics, BDK ed, p 21)

At that time, the Buddha proclaimed to Simwang Bodhisattva: “Oh son of good family! The acquiescence to the nonproduction of dharmas [means to realize that] dharmas are originally unproduced. Since all practices produce nothing, there is no way to practice this nonproduction. So achieving the acquiescence to nonproduction is in fact a deception.”
(Vajrasamadhi Sutra, p 118, tr Buswell)
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: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:46 pm

Thank you, Astus.

As this is the Academic forum, it is interesting to notice that this passage:
Being does not arise, since it exists. Non-being does not arise, since it does not exist. Being and non-being [together] do not arise, due to [their] heterogeneity. Consequently they do not endure or vanish.
Has considerable resonances with the Ancient Greek philosophy of Parmenides, which contains this passage:
How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown. (B 8.20–22)
Methinks there is a similar intuition here. I will continue to study this.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Huseng » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:23 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:11 pm
From here

I do encounter this declaration on DharmaWheel regularly, but I don’t understand it. What I always want to say is ‘but I still have to mow the lawn’. So - what does it mean?
Awhile back I translated a brief essay by Chéngguān 澄觀 (738-839), which might be a bit useful to consider in this regard (I did the translation about ten years ago, so it isn't as sharp as it ought to be):

https://sites.google.com/site/dharmadep ... aggregates

There is supposed to be a liberating effect that results from realizing that all perceived phenomena (dharmas), which include the aggregates, upon which the mind-body complex is perceived to exist, as well as external entities. Harmful emotions often arise as a result of our perceptions of external things as well as interpretations within our inner lives. These affirmations of supposedly existent entities lead to all manner of emotional knots, which in turn can compel people to commit regrettable actions.

In theory, you should be able to analyze the object which causes anger and reduce it to its basic characteristic, which is "non-arisen", being neither existent nor non-existent. This should placate the mind and emotional state.

As you say, however, you still need to mow the lawn, and when it breaks down it is a pain to fix it. The Stoic would say, "It was fated to break down. I assent to this." Are Buddhists and Stoics who practice such contemplations more emotionally stable? This is a good question, because I think emotional and even genetic conditioning goes down very deep and "reprogramming" yourself into a being that can remain emotionally immune to any and all experiences is not an easy task.

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Wayfarer
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:49 pm

Indrajala wrote:you should be able to analyze the object which causes anger and reduce it to its basic characteristic, which is "non-arisen", being neither existent nor non-existent
That really hits the nail on the head. It makes it clear the sense in which the expression ‘non-arisen’ is meant. Also, that it pertains to the whole complex of experience - ‘I experience it’ which gives rise to ‘the attachment to persons and phenomena’ in your translated text. The phrase ‘self and world’ is frequently encountered in the early texts. It seems to me to express an insight which has fallen away in modern thinking, that of the ‘co-arising of self and world’, object and subject. Nowadays because of our inbred realist tendencies we want to imbue ‘the world’ with a kind of substantiality, an ‘always there-ness’ against which we orient ourselves and our thinking. But that overlooks the sense in which ‘the world’ is really Vijñāna and not a separately existent reality.

Thanks - very helpful.

As far as the reprogramming is concerned - it really is a matter of neural pathways, which come from another way of seeing. Actually I think that has been backed up by research in neuroplasticity, some which grew out of dialog between Buddhists and neuroscientists. Samskaras, habitual cognitions, are imbued by us with such solidity - we attribute reality to them without realising that we’re doing it.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

Huseng
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Huseng » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:54 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:49 pm
But that overlooks the sense in which ‘the world’ is really Vijñāna and not a separately existent reality.
This is a point that Yogācāra also stresses: the presence of the "grasped" (cognized object) and "grasper" (the subjective agent cognizing the object) is a result of false discrimination, which is effectively a pathological condition arising out of ignorance. The subsequent product is conceptions of "me" and "mine", which then naturally lead to the painful ongoing experience of saṃsāra. The bodhisattva who overcomes this problem, on the other hand, continues to experience conventional reality and positively engage in it, but they no longer suffer, which is due to their wisdom. Unlike the arhat, they possess compassion, which is why they do not abandon saṃsāra and the beings caught up in the sea of suffering. Unconditional compassion ought to happen after realizing that phenomena are "non-arisen" because the duality between self and other also disintegrates.

There is a similar process of liberation in Neoplatonic thought. The soul, which is actually of a divine origin, gets "caught up" in the matter (nature) over which it ought to govern, in the same way that the demiurge rules over his creation. The soul, however, becomes so enmeshed in matter that it forgets its own divinity and sinks even deeper into matter, rather than being above it and exercising lucid and firm control over it. Once the soul realizes its divine nature, it increasingly emulates the divine demiurge and rises above matter, but not becoming entirely detached from it. Iamblichus suggested that some souls upon reunification with the undivided soul (psyche) return out of compassion for the lost souls and actively aid them in rising above matter.

The lesson to take away is that "you" and your perceptions become cause for suffering when you excessively identify with them. The Mahāyāna Buddhist approach is to dissolve perceived entities in analysis. The Stoic approach is to accept your place in the tapestry of fate and surrender yourself to it, rather than insisting that your preferences ought to be met by reality. The Neoplatonic approach is to realize that the realm of generation we find ourselves in is an expression of divine forms in the noetic realm (i.e., the realm of Intellect) and that the individual soul is but an extension of that expression, but ultimately of a single unified Soul (Proclus or Plotinus gives the example of a single beam of light being broken up into multiple rays in a prism). Once you reach a higher realm of awareness, you are no longer subject to a singular identity, but rather you regard yourself as an expression of the demiurge, which is really not so different from realizing that you are an emanation of the dharmakāya.

As far as the reprogramming is concerned - it really is a matter of neural pathways, which come from another way of seeing. Actually I think that has been backed up by research in neuroplasticity, some which grew out of dialog between Buddhists and neuroscientists. Samskaras, habitual cognitions, are imbued by us with such solidity - we attribute reality to them without realising that we’re doing it.

To be honest, I haven't met anyone whom I thought really overcame their biological and social programmings. Buddhists display all the same human failings as any other community of humans, religious or otherwise. It is emotionally reassuring to believe that your guru(s) are truly above and beyond the muck of common human experience, but we ought to recognize that our own religious hopes and emotional need for security will inevitably prejudice our perceptions and judgments.

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Sherab
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Sherab » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:08 am

Thought I throw in something off the beaten track into the mix. It is quite close to the perspective in this thread I think, just from a different angle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSrzlkfA0jk

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:23 am

To exist in the buddhist sense means to exist intrinsically.
It refers to an essential component or quality or characteristic in something which can be said to be that thing's identity.
That essential component cannot be deconstructed or divided into different component parts.
For example, the expanse of three-dimensional space, which isn't a thing.
Buddha would tell you that it is very hard to find something that has intrinsic existence.

For example, a table does not truly exist because it can be constructed, all of its parts are temporary and in turn can further be shown to be made of still other things, wood, for example, which depends on there being a tree, and so on.
And there is nothing that can be called an essence, or quality "tableness" other than the fact that any horizontal surface can function as a table.

We can, of course, suggest that a table can occur as an object of awareness. You can imagine a table, you can draw a picture that two or more people would label as a table, you can assert possession of a table. But this is not existence.

Some buddhists might say, "a table exists in the relative sense", but for the sake of clarity, I prefer to use the verb, occur in this context. To say "exist relatively" is somewhat confusing, somewhat contradictory from a buddhist viewpoint.

Whenwe say, "arise", what are we talking about? arise as what?

"Dharma" is a very busy word. It can refer to many things, but generally it suggests a kind of assertion of something, whether it be a teaching, a law, or even a table.

To say dharmas do not arise, this can have two meanings. It can suggest that appearances are insubstantial, illusory, and it can also suggest that they have no beginning or ending, sort of like, if you don't play a particular DVD, the movie on it neither starts nor ends. in other words, an object that occurs, such as the table, has no beginning and no ending, because it has no intrinsic reality to begin with.

This is an expression of Sunyata, or emptiness.
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Vasana
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Vasana » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:39 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:49 pm

As far as the reprogramming is concerned - it really is a matter of neural pathways, which come from another way of seeing. Actually I think that has been backed up by research in neuroplasticity, some which grew out of dialog between Buddhists and neuroscientists. Samskaras, habitual cognitions, are imbued by us with such solidity - we attribute reality to them without realising that we’re doing it.
It's near undeniable that some neural correlates of consciousness are involved in our subjective states and emotional responses to physical and mental stimuli but that doesn't necessarily imply that those neural correlates are the root cause. In Buddhism they could be described as supporting conditions but the basis of afflictions is said to be more subtle than matter alone, i.e, the alaya.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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