The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

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Malcolm
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:52 pm

fuki wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:25 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:02 pm
Does such a thing exist? How?
Since it is not permanent you already know the answer to that one.
Awareness is mental factor, conditioned and dependent. I have no idea what you mean by ‘true awareness.’

Is this enough? I could also quote some Zen, or Advaita, or pseudo-zen-advaita-sickness for you :tongue:

I don't agree with the translation of the term rig pa, vidyā as awareness. It has unfortunately become commonplace, but it is mistaken.

RIg pa principally means knowledge or knowing. Also translating the term rang rig as self-awareness is generally mistaken in a Dzogchen context.

The term "timeless awareness" is a translation of the Tibetan term ye shes, which itself is translation of the Sanskrit term jñāna. It also really means a kind of knowledge in general. But please do not quote to me different translations of different Dzogchen texts by different translators. You are not qualified to judge these texts, and you clearly do not understand what you are reading. If you want to understand these texts, you will need to study under a qualified Dzogchen master for some years.

If you want to understand how these terms are used in Dzogchen texts, I refer you to the book in my signature.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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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fuki
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by fuki » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:52 pm
If you want to understand how these terms are used in Dzogchen texts, I refer you to the book in my signature.
It will be a pleasure to read and get a better understanding of the terminology in Dzogchen, thanks.

It's even available on a dutchy site :twothumbsup:

https://www.bol.com/nl/f/buddhahood-in- ... 058855905/
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Malcolm
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:59 pm

fuki wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:57 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:52 pm
If you want to understand how these terms are used in Dzogchen texts, I refer you to the book in my signature.
It will be a pleasure to read and get a better understanding of the terminology in Dzogchen, thanks.

It's even available on a dutchy site :twothumbsup:

https://www.bol.com/nl/f/buddhahood-in- ... 058855905/
Best if you go sit at the feet of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.
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

Jeff H
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Location: Vermont, USA

Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Jeff H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:08 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:34 am
Malcolm wrote:Personally, I am glad life has no meaning -- it would be completely depressing if it did.

I would have thought that one of the terrible events in this weeks news - the latest mass school shooting - is terrible because of what it means. And it’s also terrible because the perpertrator apparently didn’t really grasp the meaning of what he was doing - otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.

Likewise, it is said of psychopaths, that they act as they do because the suffering of others doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t see why they shouldn’t kill or inflict pain, because the suffering of others means nothing to them.

Where I’m at a loss in this thread, is that I would have thought Buddhists would not even contemplate such evil actions, because they know what the meaning of ‘karma’, and of ‘suffering’, is.

The only way I can rationalise it is that I think what is being rejected is the idea of ‘meaning’ in the sense of life being thought of as having a script with a definite meaning. If that is what is being rejected as ‘meaning’, then sure, I agree. Otherwise, I don’t understand the postings in this thread at all. Someone please straighten me out on this.
I don’t think meaning has to imply a grand plan or inherent intention. What I am referring to as meaning is simply the significance we impute moment by moment to everything we encounter.

“Karma” does not have a universal meaning; but Buddhists invest it with the meaning “all actions have consequences”. Similarly, “suffering” is not the same to everyone; but Buddhists ascribe it to a general sense of discontent and fear, which they further add is self-imposed and unnecessary.

We infuse everything we think, say, and do with meaning, but it is mostly misguided, pre-programmed, and/or habitual. And it is always reifying, meaning that in a Buddhist sense it must eventually be abandoned despite its temporarily expedient value on a transcendent path.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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fuki
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by fuki » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:59 pm
Best if you go sit at the feet of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.
My 'loyalty' lies elsewhere, but who knows.
We could conjure up a siddhi if you would serve, in that way I could still sit at his feet.

The book is due 6-12 days, if I have any questions I will pm you.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Malcolm
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:06 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:34 am

The only way I can rationalise it is that I think what is being rejected is the idea of ‘meaning’ in the sense of life being thought of as having a script with a definite meaning. If that is what is being rejected as ‘meaning’, then sure, I agree. Otherwise, I don’t understand the postings in this thread at all. Someone please straighten me out on this.
Meaning is relative, not intrinsic.
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

boda
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by boda » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:31 pm

Jesse wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:41 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:34 am
Malcolm wrote:Personally, I am glad life has no meaning -- it would be completely depressing if it did.

I would have thought that one of the terrible events in this weeks news - the latest mass school shooting - is terrible because of what it means. And it’s also terrible because the perpertrator apparently didn’t really grasp the meaning of what he was doing - otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.

Likewise, it is said of psychopaths, that they act as they do because the suffering of others doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t see why they shouldn’t kill or inflict pain, because the suffering of others means nothing to them.

Where I’m at a loss in this thread, is that I would have thought Buddhists would not even contemplate such evil actions, because they know what the meaning of ‘karma’, and of ‘suffering’, is.

The only way I can rationalise it is that I think what is being rejected is the idea of ‘meaning’ in the sense of life being thought of as having a script with a definite meaning. If that is what is being rejected as ‘meaning’, then sure, I agree. Otherwise, I don’t understand the postings in this thread at all. Someone please straighten me out on this.

I at the least, only mean life has no inherent meaning, in the same way, that we have no inherent existence. Also that It has no great, and grand purpose, etc.
And Buddhism does have inherent meaning? It does have a grand purpose.

boda
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by boda » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:46 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:48 pm
unlike ultimate truth, relative truth (also called “truth for an obscuring mind” because it isn’t true) requires meanings to be imputed on conventional phenomena.
Relative truth isn't false, it's relative.

1 + 1 = 3 is relative and false

1 + 1 = 2 is relative and true

How can 1 + 1 = 2 be false because it is relative? or should I ask: what is the correct answer to the equation?

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by boda » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:08 pm
We infuse everything we think, say, and do with meaning, but it is mostly misguided, pre-programmed, and/or habitual. And it is always reifying, meaning that in a Buddhist sense it must eventually be abandoned despite its temporarily expedient value on a transcendent path.
I've pointed out that when a secular goal has been achieved its meaning diminishes, not unlike the metaphorical superfluous raft. In this aspect, there is no difference between secular and religious goals and their associated meaning.

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Jeff H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:59 pm

boda wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:46 pm
Jeff H wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:48 pm
unlike ultimate truth, relative truth (also called “truth for an obscuring mind” because it isn’t true) requires meanings to be imputed on conventional phenomena.
Relative truth isn't false, it's relative.

1 + 1 = 3 is relative and false

1 + 1 = 2 is relative and true

How can 1 + 1 = 2 be false because it is relative? or should I ask: what is the correct answer to the equation?
Sorry, I thought you were familiar with the doctrine of the Two Truths according to Buddhism. Yes, within a relative context, namely the conventional world of samsara, there are truths that hold true -- and are, of course, meaningful. But from an ultimate perspective, when one asks, "how do things actually exist?" it is found that those relative truths are based on ignorance about how phenomena come into being. The "obscuring mind" is one that reifies phenomena, and one of the ways it does that is by imputing meaning.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:00 pm

JeffH wrote:What I am referring to as meaning is simply the significance we impute moment by moment to everything we encounter.
And what I mean is that if you saw someone drowning, and were able to help - would you help? Or would you just say ‘it means nothing if he drowns’, and turn away.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

Jeff H
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Jeff H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:08 pm

boda wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm
Jeff H wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:08 pm
We infuse everything we think, say, and do with meaning, but it is mostly misguided, pre-programmed, and/or habitual. And it is always reifying, meaning that in a Buddhist sense it must eventually be abandoned despite its temporarily expedient value on a transcendent path.
I've pointed out that when a secular goal has been achieved its meaning diminishes, not unlike the metaphorical superfluous raft. In this aspect, there is no difference between secular and religious goals and their associated meaning.
The gist of my Shantideva quotes and the point about intention were that the same fallacies that keep us bound to samsara can be turned to our advantage in order to subdue samsara. Secular goals merely propagate more goals, in the same way that conventional anger or pride beget ever greater anger and pride. But Buddhist goals, and the superior forms of anger and pride Shantideva spoke of do not do that.

At this point I see we're just talking past each other. So why don't we drop it?
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Jeff H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:17 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:00 pm
JeffH wrote:What I am referring to as meaning is simply the significance we impute moment by moment to everything we encounter.
And what I mean is that if you saw someone drowning, and were able to help - would you help? Or would you just say ‘it means nothing if he drowns’, and turn away.
I'd help. That is part of the transcendent meaning that can ultimately collapse samsara. That is not a universal meaning, however. Within the standard rules of samsara, some would have a me-first attitude precluding action. Others may impose a judgment about whether this particular person "deserves" to be saved or not. That is the ephemeral nature of "meaning" in samsara. You can't say that everyone's life is held to be absolutely valuable by everyone else.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:23 pm

This thread is not about ‘meaning’ at all. It’s about ‘imputed meaning attached to objects of perception’ as a principle in Buddhism.
You can't say that everyone's life is held to be absolutely valuable by everyone else.
That every individual is sacred would have been, I would hope, a foundational principle in Buddhism.

‘Though beings are countless, I vow to save all of them’.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Jeff H » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:46 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:23 pm
This thread is not about ‘meaning’ at all. It’s about ‘imputed meaning attached to objects of perception’ as a principle in Buddhism.
You can't say that everyone's life is held to be absolutely valuable by everyone else.
That every individual is sacred would have been, I would hope, a foundational principle in Buddhism.

‘Though beings are countless, I vow to save all of them’.
"That every individual is sacred" is a foundational principle in Buddhism, but not a universal principle in samsara. The point I'm arguing is that, in general, the search for meaning in samsara has the effect of binding us to samsara. However, Buddhadharma provides guidelines for using meaning in order to short circuit samsara -- that is, meaning without reification. It is still artificially imputed meaning, but meaning that intentionally disrupts the cycle of samsara.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by boda » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:58 am

Jeff H wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:59 pm
... from an ultimate perspective, when one asks, "how do things actually exist?" it is found that those relative truths are based on ignorance about how phenomena come into being. The "obscuring mind" is one that reifies phenomena, and one of the ways it does that is by imputing meaning.
From an ultimate perspective ignorance is found? Ignorance is relative to wisdom etc., so how is this perspective not relative? And how is this duality not being reified?

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:58 am

What about falling into the trap of extreme views? The argument that life has no meaning seems to fall into one of the two extreme views: nihilism.

that life's meaning is relative and subjective is not to say it has no meaning. It has many meanings, perhaps.

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Malcolm
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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:42 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:58 am
What about falling into the trap of extreme views? The argument that life has no meaning seems to fall into one of the two extreme views: nihilism.

that life's meaning is relative and subjective is not to say it has no meaning. It has many meanings, perhaps.
Life has no meaning because life by definition is just affliction --> action --> suffering --> affliction.

In reality, questions like, "Is there meaning" are not Dharma language. From the point of view of Dharma, life has no meaning. This is why we have compassion for sentient beings who engage in constant meaningless toil life after life. We have compassion for sentient beings because life is meaningless. There is no point to it at all.
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: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:03 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:42 am
We have compassion for sentient beings because life is meaningless. There is no point to it at all.
Yes...isn't it sad...this life, with all it's beauty...has equal ugliness.....why did it even have to happen ?????
Yet..it happened....why conclude it's meaningless...instead of wondering if there's a possibility for something else....something we have not discovered...something beyond our capacity to comprehend...
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

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Re: The Unbearable Lightness of Anatman

Post by aflatun » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:05 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:42 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:58 am
What about falling into the trap of extreme views? The argument that life has no meaning seems to fall into one of the two extreme views: nihilism.

that life's meaning is relative and subjective is not to say it has no meaning. It has many meanings, perhaps.
Life has no meaning because life by definition is just affliction --> action --> suffering --> affliction.

In reality, questions like, "Is there meaning" are not Dharma language. From the point of view of Dharma, life has no meaning. This is why we have compassion for sentient beings who engage in constant meaningless toil life after life. We have compassion for sentient beings because life is meaningless. There is no point to it at all.
But the cessation of, and the pursuit of the cessation of-affliction --> action --> suffering --> affliction- is meaningful, isn't it? Perhaps we're using the word "meaning" in different ways though.

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"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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