Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Matt J
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Matt J » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:02 pm

One response would be due to karma. For something to arise, the causes and conditions must be ripe. For example, fire will never produce darkness and an oak tree seed will never sprout into a dog, no matter how many infinite eons have passed. In order to have a dog, you need to have the causes and conditions for a dog. Without causes and conditions, a dog will never appear even over an infinite time frame.

Enlightenment doesn't occur because a series of random events happened to line up--- if you spend countless eons producing one moment of ignorance after another, the period of time by itself isn't suddenly going to transform a moment of ignorance into a moment of enlightenment.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Aemilius
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm

Astus wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:20 am
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:39 pm
This would mean that we have experienced every single state of awareness, from the lowest hell to the highest heaven as well as enlightenment.
Enlightenment is freedom from the 6 realms, the end of birth and death. So beings may go round and round without ever attaining liberation.
I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
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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Astus
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:47 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm
I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
Madhyamaka is a Buddhist school, so it cannot and does not refute liberation. Nirvana is defined as unborn and undying by the Abhidharmikas, and it is contrasted with samsara where birth and death happens. What you find in Madhyamaka is that the nature of samsara is identical to nirvana, because both are empty, so samsara is a mistaken perception. This is not the same as denying the presence and efficiency of ignorance whence samsara originates. After all, the very purpose of Madhyamaka is to eliminate ignorance and thus liberate beings.
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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Aemilius
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:07 am

Astus wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:47 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm
I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
Madhyamaka is a Buddhist school, so it cannot and does not refute liberation. Nirvana is defined as unborn and undying by the Abhidharmikas, and it is contrasted with samsara where birth and death happens. What you find in Madhyamaka is that the nature of samsara is identical to nirvana, because both are empty, so samsara is a mistaken perception. This is not the same as denying the presence and efficiency of ignorance whence samsara originates. After all, the very purpose of Madhyamaka is to eliminate ignorance and thus liberate beings.

It does refute liberation (as a possession of a self or a being) in the MMK, and so does the Diamond Sutra.


Investigation of Nirvana, Chapter 25 of Mula Madhyamaka Karika, tr. Stephen Batchelor

(Nirvana)


1. If everything were empty, there would be no arising and perishing. From the letting go of and ceasing of what could one assert nirvana(-ing)?


2. If everything were not empty, there would be no arising and perishing. From the letting go of and ceasing of what could one assert nirvana(-ing)?


3. No letting go, no attainment, no annihilation, no permanence, no cessation, no birth: that is spoken of as nirvana.


4. Nirvana is not a thing. Then it would follow that it would have the characteristics of aging and death. There does not exist any thing that is without aging and death.


5. If nirvana were a thing, nirvana would be a conditioned phenomenon. There does not exist any thing anywhere that is not a conditioned phenomenon.


6. If nirvana were a thing, how would nirvana not be dependent? There does not exists any thing at all that is not dependent.


7. If nirvana were not a thing, how could it possibly be nothing? The one for whom nirvana is not a thing, for him it is not nothing.


8. If nirvana were nothing, how could nirvana possibly be not dependent? There does not exist any nothing which is not dependent.


9. Whatever things come and go are dependent or caused. Not being dependent and not being caused is taught to be Nirvana.


10. The teacher taught [it] to be the letting go of arising and perishing. Therefore, it is correct that nirvana is not a thing or nothing.


11. If nirvana were both a thing and nothing, it would follow that it would be a thing and nothing. That is incorrect.


12. If nirvana were both a thing and nothing, nirvana would not be not-dependent, because it would depend on those two.


13. How could nirvana be both a thing and nothing? Nirvana is unconditioned; things and nothings are conditioned.


14. How could nirvana exist as both a thing and nothing? Those two do not exist as one. They are like light and dark.


15. The presentation of neither a thing nor nothing as nirvana will be established [only] if things and nothings are established.


16. If nirvana is neither a thing nor nothing, by who could “neither a thing nor nothing” be perceived?


17. After the Bhagavan has entered nirvana, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as “existing,” likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or “neither”.


18. Even when the Bhagavan is alive, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as “existing,” likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or “neither”.


19. Samsara does not have the slightest distinction from Nirvana. Nirvana does not have the slightest distinction from Samsara.



20. Whatever is the end of Nirvana, that is the end of Samsara. There is not even a very subtle slight distinction between the two.



21. Views about who passes beyond, ends etc. and permanence etc. are contingent upon nirvana and later ends and former ends.



22. In the emptiness of all things what ends are there? What non-ends are there? What ends and non-ends are there? What of neither are there?



23. Is there this? Is there the other? Is there permanence? Is there impermanence? Is there both permanence and impermanence? Is there neither?



24. Totally pacifying all referents and totally pacifying fixations is peace. The Buddha nowhere taught any dharma to anyone.
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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Astus
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:27 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:07 am
It does refute liberation (as a possession of a self or a being) in the MMK, and so does the Diamond Sutra.
24. Totally pacifying all referents and totally pacifying fixations is peace. The Buddha nowhere taught any dharma to anyone.
No Buddhist school assumes a self, so nobody said that liberation was a possession of anyone, hence nothing new here. Madhyamaka has the explicit goal of bringing beings to peace (i.e. nirvana), just look at the homage/dedication right at the beginning of MMK that has the same term used as in 25.24: "prapañcopaśama", the stilling/quieting/stopping (upaśama) of hypostatization/fabrication/proliferation (prapañca). See 18.5 (tr Siderits) on how liberation and fabrication relate to each other:

karmakleśakṣayān mokṣaḥ karmakleśā vikalpataḥ |
te prapañcāt prapañcas tu śūnyatāyāṃ nirudhyate ||
Liberation is attained through the destruction of actions and defilements; actions and defilements arise because of falsifying conceptualizations;
those arise from hypostatization; but hypostatization is extinguished in emptiness.
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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Aemilius
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:20 am

Diamond Sutra Ch. 27 (tr. Red Pine): “Furthermore, Subhuti, someone may claim, ‘Those who set forth on the bodhisattva path announce the destruction or the end of some dharma.’ Subhuti, you should hold no such view. And why not? Those who set forth on the bodhisattva path do not announce the destruction or the end of any dharma.”
Similarly in The Heart Sutra: "no ignorance and no end of ignorance,..."
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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Astus
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:46 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:20 am
Diamond Sutra Ch. 27...Similarly in The Heart Sutra
Things are already empty, so there is nothing to be free from, nor anyone to be liberated. However, unless emptiness is seen, one is stuck in delusion and samsara. That's why there are the teachings, like the Diamond and the Heart Sutra, to show the true nature of the world as unestablished and unobtainable. This goes back to the very basics of Buddhism: although there has never been a self, without recognising that there is no escape from suffering.

"To attain is not to attain; there is nothing to attain or to lose - this is called the attainment of the Realization of the Nonarising of Dharmas."
(How to Kill with the Sword of Wisdom, in A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras, p 62)

The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, “When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, does he attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?”
Mañjuśrī replied, “When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, he does not attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Why not? Because the appearance of bodhi is true suchness. Not finding a speck of dharma to capture is called anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Because bodhi has no appearance, who can sit and who can rise? For this reason, I see neither a Bodhisattva sitting in a bodhimaṇḍa nor anyone realizing anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.”

...
"Those who know that in bodhi there is no attainment of Buddhahood will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi."
(Sūtra of Mahā-Prajñā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva)

"If you understand this doctrine, you should also understand that there is nothing whatsoever to be attained. Knowing that there is nothing to be gained or attained is the realization of the Dharmakaya of Buddhadharma. If one harbors any thought whatsoever of gaining or attaining, he holds the wrong view and, being a person of overweening pride, is labeled heterodox."
(Treatise On Entering The Tao of Sudden Enlightenment)

"The realization that “nothing is attained” breaks through phenomenal and principle hindrances, and the understanding that the Dharma cannot be fully explained in words breaks through the hindrance of language. In this way, “non-attainment” is the only true attainment, and is what allows us to return to our intrinsic nature, which is inherently pure."
(Cultivation without Attainment by Hsing Yun)

"Non-wisdom is the true wisdom, non-attainment is the true attainment."
(Commentary by Grand Master T'an Hsu on The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra)

"'No attainment' is true attainment. So I already told you about the Heart Sutra. It says, 'There is no attainment, with nothing to attain.' You must attain 'no attainment.'"
(Wanting Enlightenment is a Big Mistake: Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn, p 2)
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: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:52 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm
Astus wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:20 am
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:39 pm
This would mean that we have experienced every single state of awareness, from the lowest hell to the highest heaven as well as enlightenment.
Enlightenment is freedom from the 6 realms, the end of birth and death. So beings may go round and round without ever attaining liberation.
I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
It looks as if you've slipped into the extreme of non-existence which is not what Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras imply.

stevie
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:33 pm

26. Analysis of the Twelve Links of Becoming, Chapter 26 of Mula Madhyamaka Karika, Stephen Batchelor


1. In order to become again, those obscured by ignorance are moved into destinies by
actions which are impelled [by] the three kinds of formative impulses.

2. Consciousness conditioned by formative impulses enters into destinies. When
consciousness has entered, name and form develop.

3. When name and form develop, the six senses emerge. In dependence upon the six
senses, impact actually occurs.

4. Just as [it] only arises in dependence on the eye, [visual] form and attention, so
consciousness arises in dependence on name and form.

5. The gathering of the three: eye and [visual] form and consciousness, that is
“impact.” From impact feeling totally arises.

6. Due to the condition of feeling, there is craving; one craves for what is felt. When
one craves, one clings to the four aspects of clinging [sense objects, views, morals and
rules, and views of self].

7. When there is clinging, the becoming of the clinger fully arises. When there is no
clinging, one is freed; there is no [more] becoming.

8. Becoming is the five aggregates; from becoming one is born. Aging, death, torment,
lamentation, pain,

9. mental unhappiness, anxiety: these vividly emerge from birth. Likewise, the entire
mass of anguish emerges.

10. The root of life is formative impulses. Therefore, the wise do not form impulses.
Therefore, the unwise are formers, but not the wise since they see reality
.

11. When ignorance stops, formative impulses too do not occur. The stopping of
ignorance [comes] through practising that with understanding.


12. By the stopping of the former, the latter will clearly not occur. The entire mass of
anguish will likewise completely stop.

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:12 pm

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:34 pm
catmoon wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:21 pm
I just abandoned the unproven assumption that in infinite time all things must occur. For instance, suppose that the time before say, 2 billion years ago was mostly cyclical and instead of everything happening, a relatively small but still infinite number of things occurred over and over again. It is entirely possible that the vast bulk of the past consisted of endless repetitions of the same events. I know of no physical law that dictates that every point in the configuration space must be visited.
In physics, math has shown (at least to now) that with infinite time all possibilities exist and indeed occur. This is (in part) the logic behind the "Many-Worlds" theory, the multiverse, the often disliked concept of "Boltzmann Brains", and so on.

One of my favorite physicists, Sean Carroll:
“If you have literally forever to wait, you’ll get essentially every single possible thing fluctuating into existence." - Sean Carroll
I'm not trying to persuade you from your opinion, but I do think there is reasonable evidence to assume that infinite means infinite number of outcomes all occurring.
Oh, that 12 monkeys will eventually compose Shakespeare. Every 5 years or so we have a new set of unproven "therories" that are soon replaced with the next. Brontosaurus was once a fact, but now we know it never lived. Unless the 12 monkeys were to build one, etc. "Put your faith in the known and tangible" Dr. Watson
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Aemilius
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:41 am

stevie wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:52 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm
Astus wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:20 am


Enlightenment is freedom from the 6 realms, the end of birth and death. So beings may go round and round without ever attaining liberation.
I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
It looks as if you've slipped into the extreme of non-existence which is not what Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras imply.
Nirvana is not a thing, it is not an object. This is not nihilism. It is basic Madhyamaka or Mahayana.
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: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:14 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:41 am
stevie wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:52 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:36 pm


I think this is refuted by Madhyamaka and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. Samsara has no reality, there is no real samsara. According to Chandrakirti, for example, Nirvana is that nothing arises or ceases (with an essence or essentially).
It looks as if you've slipped into the extreme of non-existence which is not what Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras imply.
Nirvana is not a thing, it is not an object. This is not nihilism. It is basic Madhyamaka or Mahayana.
If you apply Madhyamaka or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras to negate other conventional buddhist teachings then this is an extreme that is not implied by buddhist Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti or the buddhist Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. This was what I have said and what I've repeated now. Neither did I say that Nirvana would be a thing nor did I use the word 'nihilism'. Madhyamaka negates true existence of all phenomena, incl. samsara and nirvana but it does not negate conventional buddhist teachings that equate liberation with cessation of rebirths in the realms of cyclic existence.
Mahayana is based on the validity of buddhist teachings because Mahayana is a path of practice.

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 am

I don't wish to keep on repeating the same thing incessantly, You put it nicely when you said "negate the conventional buddhist teachings", this is exactly what the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do and teach. Have you read any or some of them?
For example https://www.amazon.com/Perfection-Wisdo ... 0946672288
and https://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Wisdom- ... 1-fkmrnull
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)

stevie
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am

Aemilius wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 am
I don't wish to keep on repeating the same thing incessantly, You put it nicely when you said "negate the conventional buddhist teachings", this is exactly what the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do and teach. Have you read any or some of them?
For example https://www.amazon.com/Perfection-Wisdo ... 0946672288
and https://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Wisdom- ... 1-fkmrnull
your words appear to confirm that you've slipped into an extreme view. I wonder how you can practice since your view should be negating that your practice may have any effect. Maybe your practice is 'do nothing and think nothing'?
However if you consider yourself already at the end of practice then that end can't be buddhahood. Why? Because your view should disable you to teach anything.
If the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do negate 'conventional buddhist teachings' then why don't these sutras negate themselves? After all they belong to the conventional since they are conventional writings/speach. But if - being conventional - they negate themselves then how can they negate other teachings?

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Matt J
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Matt J » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:17 pm

There are those who fear that if vases, pillars, and so on were refuted through reasoning, everyone would come to espouse nihilistic views of nonexistence. Their worries are pointless. For in the case of ordinary, everyday beings who are looking at a vase in front of them, how is it possible that a nihilistic view regarding the vase to be utterly nonexistent could arise? Even if such an outlook did happen to arise in someone, he or she would directly cognize that the vase can still be seen and touched. Therefore, if a mind naturally arose that thinks, "The vase is appearing to me, but while appearing, it is utterly nonexistent," that is the Middle Way view known as "the two-fold collection of appearance and emptiness that cognizes how appearing phenomeon do not exist in the way they appear." How is that nihilism?

--- Gendun Chophel
stevie wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
your words appear to confirm that you've slipped into an extreme view. I wonder how you can practice since your view should be negating that your practice may have any effect. Maybe your practice is 'do nothing and think nothing'?
However if you consider yourself already at the end of practice then that end can't be buddhahood. Why? Because your view should disable you to teach anything.
If the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do negate 'conventional buddhist teachings' then why don't these sutras negate themselves? After all they belong to the conventional since they are conventional writings/speach. But if - being conventional - they negate themselves then how can they negate other teachings?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

stevie
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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:18 pm

Matt J wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:17 pm
There are those who fear that if vases, pillars, and so on were refuted through reasoning, everyone would come to espouse nihilistic views of nonexistence. Their worries are pointless. For in the case of ordinary, everyday beings who are looking at a vase in front of them, how is it possible that a nihilistic view regarding the vase to be utterly nonexistent could arise? Even if such an outlook did happen to arise in someone, he or she would directly cognize that the vase can still be seen and touched. Therefore, if a mind naturally arose that thinks, "The vase is appearing to me, but while appearing, it is utterly nonexistent," that is the Middle Way view known as "the two-fold collection of appearance and emptiness that cognizes how appearing phenomeon do not exist in the way they appear." How is that nihilism?

--- Gendun Chophel
stevie wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
your words appear to confirm that you've slipped into an extreme view. I wonder how you can practice since your view should be negating that your practice may have any effect. Maybe your practice is 'do nothing and think nothing'?
However if you consider yourself already at the end of practice then that end can't be buddhahood. Why? Because your view should disable you to teach anything.
If the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do negate 'conventional buddhist teachings' then why don't these sutras negate themselves? After all they belong to the conventional since they are conventional writings/speach. But if - being conventional - they negate themselves then how can they negate other teachings?
We, Aemilius and me, have not been talking about vases and the like but about buddhist teachings. But of course you may negate in public e.g. meditation as taught in conventional buddhist teachings and still sit down to meditate when you're alone if you consider this reasonable and helpful for others.

BTW you know Gendun Chophel's life? Maybe an ideal for some ... but worthy of compassion anyway. Nevertheless also great wordly achievements in terms of Tibetan culture.

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:56 pm

LoveFromColorado wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:34 pm
In physics, math has shown (at least to now) that with infinite time all possibilities exist and indeed occur.
This may be the case. But if a phenomenon appears once in infinite time, than the likelihood of encountering the phenomenon at any single point in time will be 1/infinity, which is about as close to zero as you can get.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Matt J » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:22 pm

This exact point is explicitly dealt with by Nagarjuna in the MMK, Chapter 24 for example. It is the same thing that the Abhidhammists alleged. Emptiness does not mean complete nonexistence. In fact, the emptiness of the path allows us to follow it.

A few snippets from Prof Jay Garfield's translation:

If suffering had an essence,
lts cessation would not exist.
So if an essence is posited,
One denies cessation.

If the path had an essence,
Cultivation would not be appropriate.
If this path is indeed cultivated,
lt cannot have an essence.

stevie wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:18 pm
We, Aemilius and me, have not been talking about vases and the like but about buddhist teachings. But of course you may negate in public e.g. meditation as taught in conventional buddhist teachings and still sit down to meditate when you're alone if you consider this reasonable and helpful for others.

BTW you know Gendun Chophel's life? Maybe an ideal for some ... but worthy of compassion anyway. Nevertheless also great wordly achievements in terms of Tibetan culture.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by stevie » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:33 am

Matt J wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:22 pm
Emptiness does not mean complete nonexistence.
Aemilius obviously holds a different view as to the validity of buddhist teachings he arbitrarily selects:
Aemilius wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 am
... You put it nicely when you said "negate the conventional buddhist teachings", this is exactly what the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do and teach.


So why do you seek debate with me? Please discuss with Aemilius.

Let's pray that all beings of the ten directions and of all times may overcome extreme views and return to the vision beyond extremes, the vision prior to the arising of afflictive obscurations.

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Re: Infinite Eons and Enlightenment

Post by Aemilius » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:37 am

stevie wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
Aemilius wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 am
I don't wish to keep on repeating the same thing incessantly, You put it nicely when you said "negate the conventional buddhist teachings", this is exactly what the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do and teach. Have you read any or some of them?
For example https://www.amazon.com/Perfection-Wisdo ... 0946672288
and https://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Wisdom- ... 1-fkmrnull
your words appear to confirm that you've slipped into an extreme view. I wonder how you can practice since your view should be negating that your practice may have any effect. Maybe your practice is 'do nothing and think nothing'?

If the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras do negate 'conventional buddhist teachings' then why don't these sutras negate themselves?
Please vide Diamond sutra Ch. 9 (from Describing the Indescribable by Master Shing Yun)


9.
The Four Fruits Are Empty

“Subhuti, what do you say? Would it be right for a shrotapana⁵¹ to think like this: ‘I
have attained the fruit of⁵² a shrotapana’?”
Subhuti said, “No, World-honored One. And why is this? Shrotapana means
‘stream-enterer,’ and yet there is nothing to be entered. Indeed, to not enter into form,
sound, smell, taste, touch, or thought is what is called shrotapana.”
“Subhuti, what do you say? Would it be right for a sakradagami⁵³ to think like this:
‘I have attained the fruit of a sakradagami’?”
Subhuti said, “No, World-honored One. And why is this? Sakradagami means ‘once-
returner,’ and yet in truth there is no such thing as returning.⁵⁴ This is what is called
sakradagami.”
“Subhuti, what do you say? Would it be right for an anagami⁵⁵ to think like this: ‘I
have attained the fruit of an anagami’?”
Subhuti said, “No, World-honored One. And why is this? Anagami means ‘never-
returner,’ and yet in truth there is no such thing as never returning. This is the reason it
is called anagami.”
“Subhuti, what do you say? Would it be right for an arahant⁵⁶ to think like this: ‘I
have attained the path of an arahant’?”
Subhuti said, “No, World-honored One. And why is this? There is no dharma called
‘arahant.’ World-honored One, if an arahant were to think ‘I have attained the path of
an arahant,’ then he would be clinging to self, human being, sentient being, and soul.⁵⁷
“World-honored One, the Buddha has said that I have attained⁵⁸ nondisputational
samadhi,⁵⁹ and that among all people, I am the best in this; and that among all ara-
hants, I am also the best at going beyond desire. And yet, I do not have the thought
that I am an arahant that has gone beyond desire. World-honored One, if I were to
have the thought that I had attained the path of an arahant, then the World-honor
ed One would not have said that Subhuti takes delight in the practice of aranya. Since
Subhuti is wholly without any practice, Subhuti has been said to take delight in the
practice of aranya.”⁶⁰
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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