original as misnomer

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Supramundane
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original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am

I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.

If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).

If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.

True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.

but perhaps you have other ideas.

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Jesse » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:08 am

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.

If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).

If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.

True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.

but perhaps you have other ideas.

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
At least in my understanding, original mind refers to a 'state' of pure equanimity, mindfulness, where all phenomena are seen as they are, the story is seen for what it is, the dream has ended, you've seen it, and absolutely nothing could possibly disturb the 'mind' any longer. you're perfectly sane, compassion, joy. and all enlightened qualities arise in abundance because the mind is no longer rooted in ignorance.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by muni » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
Spacious substantial-less Mirrors' reflections. Child, Bodhisattva, whatever label, all free. A mirror never grasps, never divides. Many words can be given for Original Nature, many labels to play with as well. And then Guru Rinpoche said: stop labeling! Probably that is another topic.

A child is perhaps more open, more fresh, easy receptive. But soon clinging starts: not me but mom, hey its' mine!

Zen uses also mirror metaphor:
"In Buddhism, its often said that humans’ Original Mind, that Mind we have at birth, is like a clear
mirror, pure and uncluttered, without shape, form, or color, with nothing in it whatsoever. If
something comes before it, the mirror reflects it exactly, but the mirror itself gives birth to nothing.
If what has been reflected leaves, its image disappears, but the mirror itself loses nothing. Within
the mirror there is no birth, no death. No matter how dirty a thing that is reflected might be, the
mirror doesn’t get dirty, nor does it become beautiful because something beautiful is reflected in it.
Just because additional things are reflected, that doesn’t mean anything increases in the mirror
itself, nor does anything ever decrease when fewer objects are reflected. A mirror is without
increase or decrease.
Humans’ pure Original Nature is just this. Without shape, form, or color; without birth and death;
not clean or dirty; not increasing or decreasing; not male or female; not young, not old; not
intelligent, not stupid; not rich, not poor. There are no words, no explanation possible, no
description that will apply here, only a pure mirror-like base. This is humans’ true quality; this is
an actual experience. From our zazen (sitting meditation), cut all nen (mind-instants), dig down
completely to the source of those nen—dig, dig, dig until we reach the place where the human
character has been totally cleared. When the source point is reached, this state of Mind can be
touched.
This clear human character, which is like a mirror, can accept and receive everything, but nothing
that is reflected can get stuck to this mirror. It reflects everything exactly as it is, but the mirror
itself stays untouched. This mirror-like Mind has no sense of “that’s me” or “that’s him, not me.” It
has no dualism; it makes no distinctions like that. At that true base, there actually is no
differentiation between self and others. The world that is reflected in—reflected by—that mirror is
not one of self and other; it has no such separation, it accepts everything as one unified whole.
From the origin there is only one world, with no division into “my” world and “your” world.
To understand this as an actual fact with your own experience is the wisdom of the Buddha. From
there arises the functioning of the human Mind that naturally feels another’s pain as one’s own
pain, feels another’s joy as one’s own joy. A warm, encompassing Mind naturally arises from this
wisdom and experience. That is what is called the compassion of the Buddha.
If we can realize the source point of our human character, then naturally all of the world becomes
One. Not divided, it is encountered as one unified Whole, a great, expansive, and huge world of
One. Wisdom works here and humans’ joy, suffering, and sadness become our own joy, suffering,
and sadness. It is not somebody else’s joy; it is one’s very own joy as well. This is how a warm,
all-encompassing Mind becomes naturally revealed and serves as the source of our action.
Simply put, this is what the Buddha meant when he said, “Seek the light within yourself.” Shodo Harada Roshi
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:14 am

thanks for your comments. what i'm afraid of however that the mirror reference is a reification of what is only a potential, a capacity which has no intrinsic reality. just as the Buddha preferred the middle way, he avoided analogies or statements of fact that were 1) nihilistic and 2) idealistic. this is why he would avoid using terms such as True Self, Original Mind, Mind as a Mirror, etc.

in terms of conventional truth, the mind is not a mirror because it is covered by impurities; in terms of ultimate truth, perhaps it can be viewed this way since every mind has the potential to be pure and clean. nonetheless, for practical purposes, it is clearly not.

but hold on, am i conflating two different and discrete concepts, i.e. the middle way and the two levels of truth?

or are they connected, i.e. simply two ways of looking at something?

my instincts tell me that buddhism is about stripping away the layers: thus, the mirror analogy is a flawed metaphor since it is using an image(a positive) to describe what is actually an action (a negative).

or is it rather a matter of the two truths doctrine as expressed in the writings of Nagarjuna and in the Five Ranks and the Ten Bulls?

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Astus » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:40 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).
If you want the East Asian teachings on such matters, start with the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana. It talks of "original enlightenment" (benjue 本覺).

"The essence of Mind is free from thoughts. The characteristic of that which is free from thoughts is analogous to that of the sphere of empty space that pervades everywhere. The one [without any second, i.e., the absolute] aspect of the world of reality (dharmadhatu) is none other than the undifferentiated dharmakaya, the “essence body” of the Tathagata. [Since the essence of Mind is] grounded on the dharmakaya, it is to be called the original enlightenment. Why? Because “original enlightenment” indicates [the essence of Mind (a priori)] in contradistinction to [the essence of Mind in) the process of actualization of enlightenment; the process of actualization of enlightenment is none other than [the process of integrating] the identity with the original enlightenment."
(Awakening of Faith, BDK ed, p 17)
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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Supramundane
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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:09 pm

Perhaps the Trikaya is a reflection of the middle way too?

Nirmanakaya: the earthly body (nihilism: we are just a body)
Dharmakaya: the essence (idealism: we are the soul)

And the middle way, Samboghakaya (rainbow body)

Am i correct the make the equivalence?

In any case, a good memory aide:)

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:44 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.

If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).

If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.

True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.

but perhaps you have other ideas.

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
There is an uncompunded luminosity that has no beginning
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Astus » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:00 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Perhaps the Trikaya is a reflection of the middle way too?
Not really. The trikaya doctrine is meant to explain the different aspects of a buddha.
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: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:12 am

Astus wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:00 pm
Supramundane wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:09 pm
Perhaps the Trikaya is a reflection of the middle way too?
Not really. The trikaya doctrine is meant to explain the different aspects of a buddha.
just an idea:)

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:43 am

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.
Really? By who? I have read a number of commentaries and teachings that expressly state the opposite of what you are saying here, that in fact having the "mind of a child" is just a kind of stupefaction, and not the "original mind".
If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).
"Uncompounded" maybe.
If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.
Again, I've never seen that argued, or if so it was in a different context - "view the world fresh like a child" or something similar.
True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.
Again, I don't think anyone really makes th argument that children are naturally enlightened in serious Buddhist studies, but I could be wrong.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
Original
Uncompounded
Undifferentiated
Deathless
etc..

etc.. we could go on like this forever, just conceptual terms for what is well beyond concepts. Similarly, if someone is using the analogy of "viewing the world like a child" or similar, they might be meaning viewing the world through direct perception, or any number of things.
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Re: original as misnomer

Post by amanitamusc » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:10 am

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.

If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).

If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.

True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.

but perhaps you have other ideas.

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
There is some very clear information in this podcast from Malcolm.
https://learn.wisdompubs.org/podcast/malcolm-smith/

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:35 am

Supramundane wrote:just as the Buddha preferred the middle way, he avoided analogies or statements of fact that were 1) nihilistic and 2) idealistic.
Actually, the two 'extremes' are not nihilism and idealism, but nihilism and eternalism. And eternalism is something like the belief that the aim of the spiritual life to be re-born in perpetuity, by identification with a changeless soul or self which persists completely unchanged, while all else changes; it's very different to 'idealism'.

The term 'idealism' didn't exist in the Buddha's day (although Yogācāra is often compared to Philosophical idealism. But for a good brief analysis of Buddhism and idealism, have a read of Dan Lusthaus' web essay, What Is and Isn't, Yogācāra - it's been online for many years, you might have read it already. But shows where yogacara is and is not like Western philosophical idealism.)
Supramundane wrote:If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism.
Well, again, a lot depends on interpretation. My way of parsing this issue, is that to designate anything or any being as being 'self-born' or 'having inherent existence' is a conceptual error, because no such being or entity can ever be pointed out as an object, or as being something objectively real. So to 'know' such a mind, is nothing like what is known by conceptual or discursive thought. Have a read of something pointed out by two of my dharma friends recently, Transmission of Mind, Huang Po:
Our original Buddha Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of subjectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy—and that is all. Enter deeply into it by awakening to it yourself. That which is before you is it, in all its fullness, utterly complete. There is naught beside. Even if you go through all the stages of a Bodhisattva’s progress towards Buddhahood, one by one; when at last, in a single flash, you attain to full realization, you will only be realizing the Buddha Nature which has been with you all the time; and all the foregoing stages you will have added to it nothing at all.

This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world who do not awake to it, regard only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of the source-substance. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance or bounds. Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your way to Mind will be cut off, and you will find nowhere to enter.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by muni » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:07 am

my instincts tell me that buddhism is about stripping away the layers: thus, the mirror analogy is a flawed metaphor since it is using an image
There is for such an analogy as well, the onion and can be useful as well. May be encouraging, I mean that at least delusions - conditioned through karmic effects - are impermanent, fleeting.

Whether there is delusion or not, whether awake or dreaming and even these are playing ideas ( because 'nobody' realizes what already is.)

Snore.

If the mirror is an image or a view as kind of dharma educating perceived "image", then it can be less helpful or flawed metaphor. That is a great point to mention.
Our original Buddha Nature is, in highest truth, devoid of any atom of subjectivity. It is void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy—and that is all. Enter deeply into it by awakening to it yourself. That which is before you is it, in all its fullness, utterly complete. There is naught beside. Even if you go through all the stages of a Bodhisattva’s progress towards Buddhahood, one by one; when at last, in a single flash, you attain to full realization, you will only be realizing the Buddha Nature which has been with you all the time; and all the foregoing stages you will have added to it nothing at all.

This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world who do not awake to it, regard only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of the source-substance. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance or bounds. Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your way to Mind will be cut off, and you will find nowhere to enter.
Gratitude!!!

Seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing of subjective objects... due to dualism the functioning aggregates are?
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Re: original as misnomer

Post by muni » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:37 am

Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your way to Mind will be cut off, and you will find nowhere to enter.
?
I try to understand: then these senses are like solid fish hooks, fishing phenomena (in-out), which seems to be on themselves separate of "a oneself experience" ( and so not dependent). The very grasping-clinging by own karmic view and to own karmic view with confused experience as result. At least knowing somehow there is confusion-clinging is perhaps at least a little step to clarity so to speak. I mean to see confusion " inside" not in 'other', which would be already having something on the hook, I guess.

Guru Rinpoche talked about Dharma which cannot be explained, cannot be cultivated...pointing to what is not pointing.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by muni » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:31 am

You should not start reasoning from these perceptions, nor allow them to give rise to conceptual thought; yet, nor should you seek the One Mind apart from them or abandon them in your pursuit of the Dharma. Do not keep them nor abandon them nor dwell in them nor cleave to them. Above, below and around you, all is spontaneously existing, for there is nowhere which is outside the Buddha-Mind.
When people of the world hear it said that the Buddhas transmit the Doctrine of the Mind, they suppose that there is something to be attained or realized apart from Mind, and thereupon they use Mind to seek the Dharma, not knowing that Mind and the object of their search are one. Mind cannot be used to seek something apart from Mind; for then, after the passing of millions of eons, the day of success will still not have dawned. Such a method is not to be compared with suddenly eliminating conceptual thought, which is the fundamental Dharma.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:51 am

Let me take another crack at the idea of Original Mind and True Self, which I believe are misnomers.

I think that it is valid to speak of a Mahayana Buddhism as a Buddhism of negation where sunyata is the determining principle. Sunyata is not a force of nihilism but the essence of all being; not a nothingness per se but a negational force (as set out very concisely in the Diamond Sutra).

The basic message is that there is no Original Mind or True Self, there are only the dharmas…

We cannot stand outside reality and describe it because we are not distinct from it. Reality is dynamic and objects arise and disappear in constantly shifting dharmas. Everything is marked by anicca and imbedded in impermanence… all is interconnected: how then can there be an 'original mind' or 'true self'???

(To go off on a tangent, after careful reflection, I believe the only thing in Buddhism that can be called a “true self” is, strangely enough, Nirvana itself (!).

Because a True Self ---were it to exist--- would be:

• Unconditioned
• Not interdependent
• With no co-dependent arising

And the only thing that has those characteristics is… )


When the self disappears, the object itself changes. The bodhisattva does not find his true self but shrinks his not-self to nothing
(although admittedly in Mahaparanirvana and Tathagatagarbha sutra we have intimations of a True Self doctrine…which I find difficult to explain). Any concept such as Original Mind and True Self is ultimately an obstruction to enlightenment. The self is an illusion triggered by the five aggregates and their interaction with the dharma. There can be no original self or mind since if it never existed in the first place. It is empty and to call the emptiness an essence in itself is an error, as Nagarjuna pointed out.

Is there an infinite consciousness or self that is shining everywhere? The Buddha never described it in these terms and since he taught by his own admission with ‘an open hand”, we can thus conclude that there is no True Self or Original Mind.


Conclusion
There is no permanent/True/Original self that is destroyed or which lives eternally. Such terms are therefore misnomers.

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:53 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:35 am
Supramundane wrote:just as the Buddha preferred the middle way, he avoided analogies or statements of fact that were 1) nihilistic and 2) idealistic.
Actually, the two 'extremes' are not nihilism and idealism, but nihilism and eternalism. And eternalism is something like the belief that the aim of the spiritual life to be re-born in perpetuity, by identification with a changeless soul or self which persists completely unchanged, while all else changes; it's very different to 'idealism'.
will find nowhere to enter.
[/quote]

ah yes, quite correct.

my mistake.

thx WF

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Supramundane » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:29 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:43 am
Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I

Again, I've never seen that argued, or if so it was in a different context - "view the world fresh like a child" or something similar.

[
Again, I don't think anyone really makes th argument that children are naturally enlightened in serious Buddhist studies, but I could be wrong.
i have seen quite a few references and usually in discussions on non-conceptual thoughts by Zen writers.

let me put my thoughts down on paper and we can discuss more.

thanks for your comments.

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Wayfarer
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Re: original as misnomer

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:32 am

Supramundane wrote:Is there an infinite consciousness or self that is shining everywhere?
Well, there is the Pabhassara Sutta:

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind."
The commentary by Ven Thanissaro depicts the difficulties it presents for the Theravada analysis, which is pretty much the same problem you're wrestling with here.

That said, I can see what you're trying to get at, but I think the problem revolves around 'objectification'. There is indeed no 'true self' or 'original nature' as an object of cognition or as something that exists. But recall that to say that 'there is no self' still does tend towards 'the error of nihilism'. So I think what you're objecting to, is the implication that 'true mind' or 'original nature' is something that can be designated or pointed out as an objective reality or 'something that exists'. And this is where I think you're interpreting 'original mind' or 'true nature' in 'eternalistic' terms and then questioning it on those grounds. But what you're not seeing is the way that 'true mind' etc is 'beyond objectification', and indeed it is a very subtle idea, but I think it is quite characteristic of the Mahayana understanding.

Consider this excerpt from The Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra:
It is not existent--even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
It is not nonexistent--it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, be realised.

If one says, "This is it," there is nothing to show.
If one says, "This is not it," there is nothing to deny.
The true nature of phenomena,
which transcends conceptual understanding, is unconditioned.
May conviction be gained in the ultimate, perfect truth.
:namaste:
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: original as misnomer

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:38 am

Supramundane wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 am
I often come across references to Original Mind, Nature, etc.in discussions of Buddhism (especially Zen).

However, i don't see a lot of intellectual rigor in these discussions; if we break things down, Original is defined as 'inherent' or sometimes indicates a temporal reference, i.e. like a child.

If we take the word Original to mean 'inherent' this seems to be slipping down the slippery slope of 'True Nature' and 'True Self' which are frowned upon in Mahayana Buddhism (though there are references in some Sutras).

If we take the word to refer to a child's pristine mind in childhood, this too is misleading. although we can google and find Zen masters making the equivalence of a child's mind and 'mind as a mirror' or 'Original Mind', obviously, logically i cannot believe that practice leads to us having the mind of a child.

True, a child may have what could be termed 'non-conceptual thoughts' which is the goal of some, but there are obvious reasons why having the mind of a small child is not the same as enlightenment. arguments such as are the equivalent of saying that a sleeping man is experiencing true self or nirvana because his sense perceptions are shut down; this is not true. this is a simplification. it is like saying that a dead man is moral because he can do no wrong. it is a false comparison. if you were to map it with a Venn diagram, some elements would overlap but others would not; thus, it is not a valid analogy, if you get my drift.

but perhaps you have other ideas.

Please let me know your understanding on Original Mind, Nature, True Self, etc., children as Boddhisatva, etc.

i hope the differences in our opinions will lead us both to a better understanding.
At first, dust is just dust.
Then form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form,
Dust is Emptiness and Emptiness is Dust.
But then in the final analysis, Dust is Dust again,
and that's your better understanding.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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