‘Dharmas do not arise’

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:52 am

Indrajala wrote:There is a similar process of liberation in Neoplatonic thought...
Thanks for that analysis, I too have found many parallels with neo-Platonism. There's a suggestive passage in D T Suzuki's preamble to his translation of the Lanka, about the parallels between the Sanskrit 'pravritti' and the Greek 'metanoia'. The latter has somewhat unfortunately been glossed as simply 'repentance' by translators but in the original texts it has a connotation of 'insight' that I think is missing from that translation. (I know D T is pretty passé but I still like him.)
Indrajala wrote:To be honest, I haven't met anyone whom I thought really overcame their biological and social programmings.
I don't know if I have, either, but I suppose from the perspective of archetypal psychology, that is precisely what the guru or the bodhisattvas represent.

Going back to the famous Huineng 'there is no mirror' poem - the point surely is that so long as we believe there is 'a person' who has to be improved or gain something called 'enlightenment' then in some fundamental way, we're still cultivating delusion. The radical nature of Prajna undercuts that - and syllogistic logic along with it. Nothing to 'get' because nobody to 'get it'. But as long as we're still born beings, then we're still somehow 'other' to that.
PVS wrote:To exist in the buddhist sense means to exist intrinsically.
There's a problem with the current English philosophical lexicon in this regard. A distinction ought to be able to be made between [mere] existence and [actual] being, or between 'what exists' and 'what is real'. This is also not something you find explicitly discussed in a lot of Buddhist texts, but I think it's because it's an implicit understanding. But the long and short is, 'existence' is what prajna is transcendental in relation to.
Vasana wrote:It's near undeniable that some neural correlates of consciousness are involved in our subjective states...
I wasn't really meaning to suggest any kind of materialist theory of mind. What I mean is strictly in accordance with Buddhist theory - that the action of insight actually causes cognitive changes. By seeing how the mind operates in terms of conditioned origination, then that very 'seeing' is liberation itself. Not that it's an easy matter to understand, as 'clinging' is very persistent. But that 'seeing it as it is' is the essential ingredient in Buddhist mind-training, is it not? And that's a cognitive shift, it's a different neural pathway - because instead of seeing everything through the net of conceptual and discursive thought, we're learning a different kind of 'seeing', are we not?
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Ogyen » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
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.
:reading:

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:03 am

I've just been perusing the Wikipedia entry on an obscure Russian philosopher by the name of Afrikan Spir who is categorised as neo-Kantian. It says of Spir that:
he sought to establish philosophy as the science of first principles; he held that the task of philosophy was to investigate immediate knowledge, show the delusion of empiricism, and present the true nature of things by strict statements of facts and logically controlled inference. This method led Spir to proclaim the principle of identity (or law of identity, A ≡ A) as the fundamental law of knowledge, which is opposed to the changing appearance of the empirical reality. (The triple-bar symbol ≡ is used in mathematics to denote strict identity).

Ontology

For Spir the principle of identity is not only the fundamental law of knowledge, it is also an ontological principle, expression of the unconditioned essence of reality (Realität=Identität mit sich), which is opposed to the empirical reality (Wirklichkeit), which in turn is evolution (Geschehen). The principle of identity displays the essence of reality: only that which is identical to itself is real, the empirical world is ever-changing, therefore it is not real. Thus the empirical world has an illusory character, because phenomena [i.e. 'dharmas'] are ever-changing, and empirical reality is unknowable [because it's not real].

Religion and morality

Religion, morality and philosophy, have for Spir the same theoretical foundation: the principle of identity, which is the characteristic of the supreme being, of the absolute, of God. [For Spir], God is not the creator deity of the universe and mankind, but man's true nature and the norm of all things, in general. The moral and religious conscience lives in the consciousness of the contrast between this norm (Realität) and empirical reality (Wirklichkeit). "There is a radical dualism between the empirical nature of man and his moral nature" and the awareness of this dualism is the sole true foundation of moral judgment.
Underline added. 'True nature and norm of all things' seems comparable to me to 'tathata'.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by boundless » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:29 am

Hello everyone,

interesting thread!
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:03 am
I've just been perusing the Wikipedia entry on an obscure Russian philosopher by the name of Afrikan Spir who is categorised as neo-Kantian. It says of Spir that:
he sought to establish philosophy as the science of first principles; he held that the task of philosophy was to investigate immediate knowledge, show the delusion of empiricism, and present the true nature of things by strict statements of facts and logically controlled inference. This method led Spir to proclaim the principle of identity (or law of identity, A ≡ A) as the fundamental law of knowledge, which is opposed to the changing appearance of the empirical reality. (The triple-bar symbol ≡ is used in mathematics to denote strict identity).

Ontology

For Spir the principle of identity is not only the fundamental law of knowledge, it is also an ontological principle, expression of the unconditioned essence of reality (Realität=Identität mit sich), which is opposed to the empirical reality (Wirklichkeit), which in turn is evolution (Geschehen). The principle of identity displays the essence of reality: only that which is identical to itself is real, the empirical world is ever-changing, therefore it is not real. Thus the empirical world has an illusory character, because phenomena [i.e. 'dharmas'] are ever-changing, and empirical reality is unknowable [because it's not real].

Religion and morality

Religion, morality and philosophy, have for Spir the same theoretical foundation: the principle of identity, which is the characteristic of the supreme being, of the absolute, of God. [For Spir], God is not the creator deity of the universe and mankind, but man's true nature and the norm of all things, in general. The moral and religious conscience lives in the consciousness of the contrast between this norm (Realität) and empirical reality (Wirklichkeit). "There is a radical dualism between the empirical nature of man and his moral nature" and the awareness of this dualism is the sole true foundation of moral judgment.
Underline added. 'True nature and norm of all things' seems comparable to me to 'tathata'.
Interesting parallel, thanks.

I agree that it is very similar, indeed.

For example in the suttas of the Pali Canon:

AN 3.136 :
“Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands—this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.
SN 12.20 :
“And what, bhikkhus, is dependent origination? ‘With birth as condition, aging-and-death comes to be’: whether there is an arising of Tathagatas or no arising of Tathagatas, that element still persists, the stableness of the Dhamma, the fixed course of the Dhamma, specific conditionality. A Tathagata awakens to this and breaks through to it. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. And he says: ‘See! With birth as condition, bhikkhus, aging-and-death.’
or the Agama parallel: SA 296:
“Whether a Buddha arises in the world, or not, this is the unchangeable nature of dharma, the status of dharma, the element of dharma..."

Also, considering that the "Dharma" is also about "morality", I think that there are indeed similarities.

:anjali:
Last edited by boundless on Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:10 am

Hi Boundless :hi: - I think we 'met' already on thephilosophyforum, no? In any case, glad to see you here!

Agree with your comments.

By the way - here’s a tip for those of European background with some knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition - T R V Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. Murti was an Indian scholar trained in Western philosophy. This book was published in the nineteen fifties but in my opinion is an excellent book although somewhat deprecated by current Buddhist scholarship. But it was a formative book for my spiritual development, and also my first encounter with Kant.

:namaste:
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by boundless » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:19 am

Hi Wayfarer,

Yes I am the same "boundless" :anjali:

Anyway I think that the concept of "eternal truth" is compatible with Buddhism. Unless we mistake it for an "essence"

I am glad to see you here, too!

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by boundless » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:31 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:10 am

By the way - here’s a tip for those of European background with some knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition - T R V Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. Murti was an Indian scholar trained in Western philosophy. This book was published in the nineteen fifties but in my opinion is an excellent book although somewhat deprecated by current Buddhist scholarship. But it was a formative book for my spiritual development, and also my first encounter with Kant.

:namaste:
Hello again,

thank you for the suggestion!

Why it is criticized by current scholarship?

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Malcolm » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:56 pm

boundless wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:31 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:10 am

By the way - here’s a tip for those of European background with some knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition - T R V Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. Murti was an Indian scholar trained in Western philosophy. This book was published in the nineteen fifties but in my opinion is an excellent book although somewhat deprecated by current Buddhist scholarship. But it was a formative book for my spiritual development, and also my first encounter with Kant.

:namaste:
Hello again,

thank you for the suggestion!

Why it is criticized by current scholarship?
Murti mistook Madhyamaka for a form of Kantian Idealism, rather than the austere nominalism which in fact it is.
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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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:58 am

Boundless wrote:Why it is criticized by current scholarship?
As Malcolm says, and there is truth in that criticism. But I still think it's worth reading, as for me it was a real dharma-gate, even knowing that. (I also have reservations about the so-called 'nominalism' of Buddhist logicians, which I discussed in this thread.)
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: ‘Dharmas do not arise’

Post by boundless » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:42 pm

Ok, thank you both!! :smile:

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