My explanation of emptiness

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
SteRo
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by SteRo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:17 am

well wisher wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:31 pm
SteRo wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:47 pm
Belief - from my perspective - means imputing truth to the object believed in. So I don't say that from belief. Maybe 'faith in the appropriate linguistic expression' does apply. Truth cannot be experienced because it is a formation of ignorance. So experiencing truth is experiencing ignorance.
Hmm, I think this sentence "Truth cannot be experienced because it is a formation of ignorance" is a very dangerous statement, especially if applied too broadly. Because it would imply nothing in this physical world is true, no practices nor teachings would have any truth to it, and life on Earth / Saha World would have no meaning at all - leading to hopeless total nihilism.

If you mean this statement only applies to "blind faiths" that demands "total obedience without question", then I would agree - there is no point in such "blind faith" practices, it would be just ignorance and tyrannical slavery.

But in my view, this statement does not apply towards Buddhist practices. Because there definitely are noble beneficial purposes and results in doing so, with direct results one can directly experience and observe and know right away as the actual truth in reality. Such as ethics and towards lessening & eliminating the 3 root poisons (greed, hatred & ignorance), developing 8-fold noble path skills to beneficially help others and the temporary "self", meditations/calming of the mind for better health.... etc.
And hopefully some beneficial lessons, and maybe even skills, can be taken beyond death - this actually helps at least partially explain the difference in personalities right at childhood for different people etc.

Perhaps a better approach is: don't hold any presumptions beliefs and assumptions, then the truth shall gradually reveal itself.
And I think the more correct description is that this reality and this life is only "temporarily true". This world will not be true to the dead & deceased, but it is still truthful at least to those who are living. Best to move out completely out of Samsara then, to avoid pointless loops filled with sufferings!
From your words I conclude that our paths are not the same therefore I don't think that any further elaboration from my side could reveal the intended meaning of my words to you.

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well wisher
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by well wisher » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:35 pm

SteRo wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:17 am
well wisher wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:31 pm
SteRo wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:47 pm
Belief - from my perspective - means imputing truth to the object believed in. So I don't say that from belief. Maybe 'faith in the appropriate linguistic expression' does apply. Truth cannot be experienced because it is a formation of ignorance. So experiencing truth is experiencing ignorance.
Hmm, I think this sentence "Truth cannot be experienced because it is a formation of ignorance" is a very dangerous statement, especially if applied too broadly. Because it would imply nothing in this physical world is true, no practices nor teachings would have any truth to it, and life on Earth / Saha World would have no meaning at all - leading to hopeless total nihilism.

If you mean this statement only applies to "blind faiths" that demands "total obedience without question", then I would agree - there is no point in such "blind faith" practices, it would be just ignorance and tyrannical slavery.

But in my view, this statement does not apply towards Buddhist practices. Because there definitely are noble beneficial purposes and results in doing so, with direct results one can directly experience and observe and know right away as the actual truth in reality. Such as ethics and towards lessening & eliminating the 3 root poisons (greed, hatred & ignorance), developing 8-fold noble path skills to beneficially help others and the temporary "self", meditations/calming of the mind for better health.... etc.
And hopefully some beneficial lessons, and maybe even skills, can be taken beyond death - this actually helps at least partially explain the difference in personalities right at childhood for different people etc.

Perhaps a better approach is: don't hold any presumptions beliefs and assumptions, then the truth shall gradually reveal itself.
And I think the more correct description is that this reality and this life is only "temporarily true". This world will not be true to the dead & deceased, but it is still truthful at least to those who are living. Best to move out completely out of Samsara then, to avoid pointless loops filled with sufferings!
From your words I conclude that our paths are not the same therefore I don't think that any further elaboration from my side could reveal the intended meaning of my words to you.
Certainly, I respect your recognization of different paths towards liberation out of all samsaric existence.
Many wise monks and gurus have already identify that there are at least 84000+ different paths to the noble Buddha dharma after all.
To each our own path then, best wishes to all :thumbsup:

tkp67
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by tkp67 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:05 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:36 pm
Enlightenment of insentient beings is not about materialism. Its a teaching that relates to the mutuality of the ten worlds. Its not going to make sense to most of the audience here, so, I'll leave it there. If you want to take up that, I would suggest starting a thread in the East Asian sub.
Consecration exists outside of the Nichiren Tradition. Why make any offers such as incense? However my statements object to the denial of the material. There would be no relative truth without a material world and thus no absolute truth to realize.
The fact that the karmic conditions of beings in the Degenerate Age of Dharma present a significant obstacle to awakening does not render the teachings of those like Nagarjuna false. If a person gets lost, is the road builder to blame? As the Maine Yankee would say, "Tha rowd don't go no-wheah."
No but that does not mean they would be taught verbatim. What would the perspective be if he was here now? Others than Nichiren have built upon that perspective such as Master Wonhyo.

If one builds a road but does not warn of obstacles what is the merit gained?

“Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.” Nagarjuna

Emptiness is not without compassion. Ever.

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Queequeg
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:30 am

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:05 am
Consecration exists outside of the Nichiren Tradition. Why make any offers such as incense? However my statements object to the denial of the material. There would be no relative truth without a material world and thus no absolute truth to realize.
I'm not really sure what you are talking about referring to consecration and incense offerings.

No one is denying nama-rupa, which is how matter is framed in Buddhism. Your idea of the material sounds like materialism, and I don't think you realize how incompatible that is with Buddhism.
No but that does not mean they would be taught verbatim. What would the perspective be if he was here now? Others than Nichiren have built upon that perspective such as Master Wonhyo.

If one builds a road but does not warn of obstacles what is the merit gained?

“Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.” Nagarjuna

Emptiness is not without compassion. Ever.
Not sure how to answer your questions, because they don't make much sense to me.

Friend, you are out of your depth. I don't think that quote means what you think it means.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:08 am

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:05 am
“Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.” Nagarjuna
I had to see where this quote comes from, so I did a search for this phrase. I got a lot of hits, with attribution to Nagarjuna, but no actual citation.

I believe its Chapter 24, Verse 11 of Mulamadhyamikakarika.

Here it is with a little more context, translated by Garfield:

(First he addresses the views of nihilists who see emptiness as nothingness and then...)
The Buddha's teaching of the Dharma
Is based on two truths:
A truth of worldly convention
And an ultimate truth.

Those who do not understand
The distinction drawn between these two truths
Do not understand
The Buddha's profound truth.

Without a foundation in conventional truth,
The significance of the ultimate cannot be taught.
Without understanding the significance of the ultimate,
Liberation is not achieved.

By a misperception of emptiness
A person of little intelligence is destroyed.
Like a snake incorrectly seized

Or like a spell incorrectly cast.

For that reason - that the Dharma is
Deep and difficult to understand and learn -
The Buddha's mind despaired of
Being able to teach it.

You have presented fallacious refutations
That are not relevant to emptiness.
Your confusion about emptiness
Does not belong to me.

For him to whom emptiness is clear,
Everything becomes clear.
For him to whom emptiness is not clear,
Nothing becomes clear.

When you foist on us
All of your errors
You are like a man who has mounted his horse
And has forgotten that very horse.
(and then he turns to the wrong views of essentialists)
If you perceive the existence of all things
In terms of their essence,
Then this perception of all things
Will be without the perception of causes and conditions.

Effects and causes
And agent and action
And condition and arising and ceasing
And effects will be rendered impossible.

Whatever is dependently co-arisen
That is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation
Is itself the middle way.

Something that is not dependently arisen,
such a thing does not exist.
Therefore a nonempty thing
Does not exist.

If all this were nonempty, as in your view,
There would be no arising and ceasing.
Then the Four Noble Truths
Would become nonexistent.
(etc. Nagarjuna goes on to point out that positing an essence would mean that things are static, but this is self evidently impossible.)

Turning to matter, Chapter Five of MMK is relevant:
Prior to a characteristic of space
There is not the slightest space.
If it arose prior to the characteristic
Then it would, absurdly, arise without a characteristic.

A thing without a characteristic
Has never existed
If nothing lacks a characteristic
Where do characteristics come to be?

Neither in the uncharacterized nor in the characterized
Does a characteristic arise.
Nor does it arise
In something different from these two.

If characteristics do not appear,
Then it is not tenable to posit the characterized object.
If the characterized object is not posited,
There will be no characteristic either.

From this it follows that there is no characterized
And no existing characteristic.
Nor is there any entity
Other than the characterized and the characteristic.

If there is no existent thing,
Of what will there be nonexistence?
Apart form existent and nonexistent things
Who knows existence and nonexistence?

Therefore space is not an entity.
It is not a nonentity.
Not characterized, not without character.
The same is true of the other five elements.

Fools and reificationists who perceive
The existence and nonexistence
Of objects
Do not see the pacification of objectification.
What he is saying is, if a thing is not perceived, it does not exist. Subject and object are not distinct. If there is a subject, then that means there is an object. They only arise together. The Buddha taught this when he pointed out that sense consciousness arises in the intersection of sense organ, sense object. Without the sense organ, there is no sense object. Without a sense object, there is no sense organ. By the same token, to suggest that matter endures beyond one's present subjective apprehension of it is just a present rumination. Nothing more can be said on the issue.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:09 am

Aemilius wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:23 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:04 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:06 pm
...buddhist masters have declared matter or its particles to be without true existence. How do they get away with that?
...then there is nothing that can be said to occur unconditionally, and this is expressed by saying it has no true existence. Or, “all dharmas are unarisen”.
Nirvana is peace. That is a chrarcteristic or quality. And there are the 18 special qualities of the Dharmakaya. Nirvana is said to be the Unconditioned.
Yes, that’s correct. But now you are talking about something different.
“Nirvana is unconditioned” means it doesn’t change when conditions change. It’s not like, nirvana only happens when the lights are on, or nirvana only happens outside but not inside, or only when it is quiet but not noisy, etc.
Also, nirvana is not composed of particles.
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Aemilius
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Aemilius » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 am

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:08 am






(etc. Nagarjuna goes on to point out that positing an essence would mean that things are static, but this is self evidently impossible.)

Turning to matter, Chapter Five of MMK is relevant:
Prior to a characteristic of space
There is not the slightest space.
If it arose prior to the characteristic
Then it would, absurdly, arise without a characteristic.

A thing without a characteristic
Has never existed
If nothing lacks a characteristic
Where do characteristics come to be?

Neither in the uncharacterized nor in the characterized
Does a characteristic arise.
Nor does it arise
In something different from these two.

If characteristics do not appear,
Then it is not tenable to posit the characterized object.
If the characterized object is not posited,
There will be no characteristic either.

From this it follows that there is no characterized
And no existing characteristic.
Nor is there any entity
Other than the characterized and the characteristic.

If there is no existent thing,
Of what will there be nonexistence?
Apart form existent and nonexistent things
Who knows existence and nonexistence?

Therefore space is not an entity.
It is not a nonentity.
Not characterized, not without character.
The same is true of the other five elements.

Fools and reificationists who perceive
The existence and nonexistence
Of objects
Do not see the pacification of objectification.
What he is saying is, if a thing is not perceived, it does not exist.
Nagarjuna is not saying that, Nagarjuna says that he doesn't say anything about what is not perceived.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

tkp67
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by tkp67 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:55 pm

https://books.google.com/books?id=N06PO ... yo&f=false
The ultimate purpose of Wonhyo's buddhism is to fuse all realities of relation nature
why? because that is reality as experience which gives rise to samsara.

I can't find the untranslated commentary that the following quote is attributed to, but it seems to put into very simple terms the point elucidated.
Wonhyo emphasized the actual emptiness of the universe which has no 'dark' and no 'light' but only has itself, what it is, without labels.
I think where it becomes most confusing is that consciousness preceding the physical universe offers a different perspective than our individual existences and the consciousness experienced during that existence.

In our individual existences matter presents itself in such a way the dynamic nature doesn't keep us from getting static value from it.

For example while even sub atomic particles might fluctuate in state that does not mean HHDL eyeglasses don't remain stable enough in their form to precisely correct his eyesight.

If mind was all he wouldn't need them at all. The verbiage is muddled as are the old arguments between the schools regarding the meaning of emptiness itself.

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Queequeg
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:59 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 am
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:08 am






(etc. Nagarjuna goes on to point out that positing an essence would mean that things are static, but this is self evidently impossible.)

Turning to matter, Chapter Five of MMK is relevant:
Prior to a characteristic of space
There is not the slightest space.
If it arose prior to the characteristic
Then it would, absurdly, arise without a characteristic.

A thing without a characteristic
Has never existed
If nothing lacks a characteristic
Where do characteristics come to be?

Neither in the uncharacterized nor in the characterized
Does a characteristic arise.
Nor does it arise
In something different from these two.

If characteristics do not appear,
Then it is not tenable to posit the characterized object.
If the characterized object is not posited,
There will be no characteristic either.

From this it follows that there is no characterized
And no existing characteristic.
Nor is there any entity
Other than the characterized and the characteristic.

If there is no existent thing,
Of what will there be nonexistence?
Apart form existent and nonexistent things
Who knows existence and nonexistence?

Therefore space is not an entity.
It is not a nonentity.
Not characterized, not without character.
The same is true of the other five elements.

Fools and reificationists who perceive
The existence and nonexistence
Of objects
Do not see the pacification of objectification.
What he is saying is, if a thing is not perceived, it does not exist.
Nagarjuna is not saying that, Nagarjuna says that he doesn't say anything about what is not perceived.
I don't know what to make of Garfield's choice of words, but actually, that's very much what Nagarjuna is saying in this translation. The things that exist only exist dependently; at the heart of dependent origination is the subject-object structure. Without the arising of "I" as distinguished from "That", nothing exists. Outside of what is dependently originated, nothing exists... but this is a very narrow meaning of "exist." That is true. There is a perspective in which what you are arguing is also true. He can conventionally say that nothing exists as a contrast to what dependently does exist.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:12 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:55 pm
https://books.google.com/books?id=N06PO ... yo&f=false
The ultimate purpose of Wonhyo's buddhism is to fuse all realities of relation nature
why? because that is reality as experience which gives rise to samsara.

I can't find the untranslated commentary that the following quote is attributed to, but it seems to put into very simple terms the point elucidated.
Wonhyo emphasized the actual emptiness of the universe which has no 'dark' and no 'light' but only has itself, what it is, without labels.
I think where it becomes most confusing is that consciousness preceding the physical universe offers a different perspective than our individual existences and the consciousness experienced during that existence.

In our individual existences matter presents itself in such a way the dynamic nature doesn't keep us from getting static value from it.

For example while even sub atomic particles might fluctuate in state that does not mean HHDL eyeglasses don't remain stable enough in their form to precisely correct his eyesight.

If mind was all he wouldn't need them at all. The verbiage is muddled as are the old arguments between the schools regarding the meaning of emptiness itself.
No idea what Wonhyo is but if you want to understand Sunyata, there's no better source than the horse that spoke it: Nagarjuna.

"Actual emptiness of the universe"... seriously, what does that even mean. Dharmas are empty or they are categorical impossibilities - just figments of the imagination, which themselves are empty. There is nothing else to discuss.

By invoking subatomic particles, etc. you are resorting to scientific materialism to explain emptiness. That's not Buddhism. I don't know what that is, but its not Buddhism.

Here it is - without you positing the enduring existence of atoms beyond the continuity of your own present awareness, you are merely projecting your notion of self onto some imagined past or future. These ruminations actually do not transcend the present, even though you think they do. This is an example of the insidious way that self asserts itself in our conceptualization of the world around us.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Aemilius
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Aemilius » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:33 am

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:59 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:09 am
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:08 am






(etc. Nagarjuna goes on to point out that positing an essence would mean that things are static, but this is self evidently impossible.)

Turning to matter, Chapter Five of MMK is relevant:



What he is saying is, if a thing is not perceived, it does not exist.
Nagarjuna is not saying that, Nagarjuna says that he doesn't say anything about what is not perceived.
I don't know what to make of Garfield's choice of words, but actually, that's very much what Nagarjuna is saying in this translation. The things that exist only exist dependently; at the heart of dependent origination is the subject-object structure. Without the arising of "I" as distinguished from "That", nothing exists. Outside of what is dependently originated, nothing exists... but this is a very narrow meaning of "exist." That is true. There is a perspective in which what you are arguing is also true. He can conventionally say that nothing exists as a contrast to what dependently does exist.
A similar thing is found in European philosophy (atleast in Bertrand Russel's Problems of Philosophy),i.e. where do characteristics "hang"? Is there a thing without characteristics, if not whose characteristics are they? How do characteristics attach themselves to things if things without characteristics do not exist?
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

tkp67
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by tkp67 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:49 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:12 pm

No idea what Wonhyo is but if you want to understand Sunyata, there's no better source than the horse that spoke it: Nagarjuna.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonhyo

another source of perspective on the matter which aligns in many ways with Nichiren
Won Hyo (617 – April 28, 686) was one of the leading thinkers, writers and commentators of the Korean Buddhist tradition. Essence-Function (Chinese: 體用), a key concept in East Asian Buddhism and particularly Korean Buddhism, was refined in the syncretic philosophy and world view of Wonhyo.[1]

As one of the most eminent scholar-monks in Korean history, he was an influential figure in the development of the East Asian Buddhist intellectual and commentarial tradition. His extensive literary output runs to over 80 works in 240 fascicles, and some of his commentaries, such as those on the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra and the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, became classics revered throughout China and Japan as well as Korea. In fact, his commentary on the Awakening of Faith helped to make it one of the most influential and intensively studied texts in the East Asian Mahāyāna tradition.[2] Chinese masters who were heavily influenced by Wonhyo include Fazang, Li Tongxuan, and Chengguan. The Japanese monks Gyonen, Zenshu and Joto of the Kegon school were also influenced by him.[3]

With his life spanning the end of the Three Kingdoms of Korea and the beginning of Unified Silla, Wonhyo played a vital role in the reception and assimilation of the broad range of doctrinal Buddhist streams that flowed into the Korean peninsula at the time. Wonhyo was most interested in and affected by Buddha-nature, East Asian Yogācāra and Hwaeom thought. However, in his extensive scholarly works, composed as commentaries and essays, he embraced the whole spectrum of the Buddhist teachings which were received in Korea, including such schools as Pure Land Buddhism, East Asian Mādhyamaka and the Tiantai.



Queequeg wrote: "Actual emptiness of the universe"... seriously, what does that even mean. Dharmas are empty or they are categorical impossibilities - just figments of the imagination, which themselves are empty. There is nothing else to discuss.
if all dependent origin = emptines as according to Nagajruna then the universe is empty of intrinsic nature, yet parts of the universe expand outside the influence of sentient conscious on earth.

So empty intrinsic nature does not negate that reality and that reality is not mutually exclusive or inclusive of our own.

I think proper verbiage would be PERMANENT intrinsic nature.

some papers for reference, the last dealing with the "emptiness of the universe" from a academic perspective. One of many I might add.
https://www.academia.edu/8805059/_Depen ... al_Sources

“Dependent Origination = Emptiness” —Nāgārjuna’s Innovation? An Examination of the Early and Mainstream Sectarian Textual Sources
https://www.academia.edu/27074025/The_B ... ightenment

The Buddha Still Rides a Bike: Wittgenstein, Dōgen, and the Entanglement of Language and Enlightenment
https://www.academia.edu/1810493/De_lim ... _Ineffable

De/limiting Emptiness and the Boundariesof the Ineffable
https://www.academia.edu/25856407/Asadu ... and_energy

Emptiness is matter.The hypothesis of incompletenessof the principle of conservationof mass and energy

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Aemilius
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Aemilius » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:33 am

An interesting example of 'emptiness' is "money". How does "value" arise in human society and human culture? Pieces of metal, or pieces of paper, have no intrinsic value. According to historians different things have become instruments of value, like grains of barley (in Mesopotamia), or grains of wheat, or salt (in some early societies), etc. There have even been societies that functioned based on gifts and on mutual generosity. Value is dependent on morality. You must be able to trust that numbers on paper or special pieces of metal signify that some unknown person is going to give you what you need and what you want, when you posses those tokens of value.
History of Money is a history of how emptiness gradually arises as value and as the representations of value.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

DharmaN00b
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by DharmaN00b » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:09 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:33 am
An interesting example of 'emptiness' is "money". How does "value" arise in human society and human culture? Pieces of metal, or pieces of paper, have no intrinsic value.
em, it's a representation or an I O U. :geek: Technically FIAT currency (let it be so) is not a rare object like gold. I think you're being quite sociological here, I mean the paper is just a means of exchange or a social contract. You could have mentioned the chinese social credit system as an example, but maybe that would be better served in a new thread?

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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:45 pm

IMHO the conundrum and right view are two sides of the same coin here. That coin is self, without it there is no conundrum or right view.

For example, does money have a completely random value based on every individual?

Or do we interpret our reality based on relative factors such as conditions, capacities and causes?

If we treat all phenomenon as individually relative only we deny a facet of our experiential reality. If we treat all phenomenon as externally fixed this also denies the same reality.

If we treat everything subjective to conditions, capacities and causes we start to see reality as it occurs not just in our minds but the minds of others. One will find that if these minds are not liberated they accord to the realms. What emerges is that within impermanence there are some patterns and constants even if they themselves are not constants or permanently fixed. The rising and setting of the sun happens consistently enough to support life on earth. Life on earth adapts to subtle environmental changes well enough to survive.

Impermanence does not mean completely random and empty does not mean the mind manufactures a relative reality completely independent of external influences. Rather the mind projects a relative if not deluded version of reality whose bias IS conditions, capacities and causes, both external and internal.

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Aemilius
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Aemilius » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:37 pm

DharmaN00b wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:09 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:33 am
An interesting example of 'emptiness' is "money". How does "value" arise in human society and human culture? Pieces of metal, or pieces of paper, have no intrinsic value.
em, it's a representation or an I O U. :geek: Technically FIAT currency (let it be so) is not a rare object like gold. I think you're being quite sociological here, I mean the paper is just a means of exchange or a social contract. You could have mentioned the chinese social credit system as an example, but maybe that would be better served in a new thread?
"Money" and "valuables" have been mentioned by traditional Buddhist teachers as examples of emptiness. Money can suddenly lose all its value overnight, i.e. the value was not "real" or permanent. For example, after WWII japanese money suddenly lost all its value in Philippines, or the huge inflation of money in certain countries in Europe after WWII, or the stock market crashes before and after WWII, or when you are in a jungle your checkbook is most likely valueless, etc.. -I don't know about the possible recent developments in Africa or in other wilderness areas.
The principle of emptiness applies in sociology also.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by DharmaN00b » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:10 am

Aemilius wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:37 pm


"Money" and "valuables" have been mentioned by traditional Buddhist teachers as examples of emptiness. Money can suddenly lose all its value overnight, i.e. the value was not "real" or permanent.
Do Buddhist teachers use the metaphor of debt as karma or debt with high levels of interest (usury) as attachment or silence as the gold standard.... or am I way off base here? :shrug:

I do understand your observation as it's used quite often but I'm not sure I should be bandying around economic terms. I just thought It might be an interesting subject as someone else might be able to chip in. :broke:

tkp67
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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by tkp67 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:30 am

Seems to me some traditions are tooled for certain eras and some teachings 1000's of years old teach according to the minds at the time and some of them become seemingly more abstract out of that context.

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Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by Aemilius » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:33 am

DharmaN00b wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:10 am
Aemilius wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:37 pm


"Money" and "valuables" have been mentioned by traditional Buddhist teachers as examples of emptiness. Money can suddenly lose all its value overnight, i.e. the value was not "real" or permanent.
Do Buddhist teachers use the metaphor of debt as karma or debt with high levels of interest (usury) as attachment or silence as the gold standard.... or am I way off base here? :shrug:

I do understand your observation as it's used quite often but I'm not sure I should be bandying around economic terms. I just thought It might be an interesting subject as someone else might be able to chip in. :broke:
Money or value are not used as metaphors here. They are existing phenomena, that are dependent on human society and on the development of the human society. There are stages in the development of money and all its derivatives. That is not at issue here.
If you want to discuss the development and history of money etc that is entirely other matter.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

DharmaN00b
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: My explanation of emptiness

Post by DharmaN00b » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:44 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:30 am
Seems to me some traditions are tooled for certain eras and some teachings 1000's of years old teach according to the minds at the time and some of them become seemingly more abstract out of that context.
Aha! :smile:

You know I'm also tempted to evoke the parable of the blind men and the elephant here. So people can arrive at different conclusions based on the same subject and claim that the same subject is actually a different subject (or that subjects are actually interchangeable).

Not only that but people could claim that down is up, left is right etc or 'gaslight' one another by calling into question each others 'reality' !? (perhaps different forms of identification and mistaken attributions)

"So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!" 1872 John Godfrey Saxe

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