Unreality of Thoughts

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krodha
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by krodha » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:36 pm

rachmiel wrote:"More" ultimate imo: no oasis, no mirage, no ultimate truth. Just ... ________________ (pure experience) .
Just 'pure experience' would be like saying there is just 'pure weather'. The weather isn't an entity but rather a designation attributed to any number of appearances or combinations thereof. Weather is an abstraction, you'll never find 'weather' as such, it is just a useful convention. Same goes for experience.

Also, since when investigated all the elements which would constitute 'experience' are non-arisen, experience itself is non-arisen. Because again, experience isn't a homogeneous entity but is instead an aggregated heterogeneous amalgamation of various elements, aspects, characteristics, which do not withstand scrutiny themselves.

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Grigoris
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:48 pm

rachmiel wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:The ultimate truth is recognizing that the oasis is actually a mirage.
"More" ultimate imo: no oasis, no mirage, no ultimate truth. Just ... ________________ (pure experience) .
In which case you fall into the neither/nor extreme...
"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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Rick
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Rick » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:57 am

Malcolm wrote:
rachmiel wrote: Everything is transient.
Apart from the ultimate, yes.
Could you please direct me to a link or two that clearly asserts this and explains why?

I thought Buddhism considered everything to be impermanent. Once again, I am reminded of Brahman -- unchanging, eternal -- and Brahman is the main reason I moved away from Advaita!

Would most Buddhists agree with you, that there is an "ultimate" that is eternal? Or isn't that what you meant by the ultimate *not* being transient?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Rick
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Rick » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:02 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
rachmiel wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:The ultimate truth is recognizing that the oasis is actually a mirage.
"More" ultimate imo: no oasis, no mirage, no ultimate truth. Just ... ________________ (pure experience) .
In which case you fall into the neither/nor extreme...
Yes, I figured someone would catch me on that. ;-)

More in keeping with Nagarjuna would probably be to say something like:

There is neither oasis nor not-oasis, there is neither mirage nor not-mirage, there is neither ultimate truth nor not-ultimate truth.

Words fall apart ... the centre cannot hold ... mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ... the blood-dimmed tide is- is- is- is- ...
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Wayfarer
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:04 am

Rachmiel wrote:Once again, I am reminded of Brahman -- unchanging, eternal -- and Brahman is the main reason I moved away from Advaita!
A couple of quotes on the distinction between Buddhist and Hindu non-dualism (advaya and advaita).
Advaya is knowledge free from the duality of the extremes (antas or dristis) of ‘is’ and ‘is not’, ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ etc. It is knowledge freed of conceptual distinctions. Advaita is knowledge of a differenceless entity: Brahman (Pure Being) or Vijñana (Pure consciousness).
...

The (Buddhist) Advaya is purely an epistemological approach; the (Hindu) advaita is ontological. The sole concern of the Madhyamaka advaya-vada is the purification of the faculty of knowing. The primordial error consists in the intellect being infected by the inveterate tendency to view Reality as identity or difference, permanent or momentary, one or many etc. These views falsify Reality, and the dialectic administers a cathartic corrective. With the purification of the intellect, Intuition (prajña) emerges; the Real is known as it is, as Tathata or bhutakoti. The emphasis is on the correct attitude of our knowing and not on the known..
From T.R.V. Murti The Central Philosophy of Buddhism.
Difference between Advaya and advaita

Although both Jnana (i.e. 'wisdom') are called non-dual, here too they mean two different
things. Non-dual (advaita) in the Hindu context means (divitiyam nasti).
There is no second substance except the Brahman is the only thing that
exists. This should be called Monism rather than Non-dualism....

However Buddhism usually uses advaya and
here it means 'not two' i.e. free from the two extremes (skt. dvaya anta
mukta) of samaropa (the tendency to see things as really existing) and
apavada (the tendency to see things as non-existing). Which would include
the existence of the grahaka and grahya too. Advaya is not of a thing (the
one and only thing) like Brahma but a description of the Svarupa of
samsara. That is why the samsara which is like illusion transforms into
Advaya Jnana in Buddhism whereas in Hinduism the illusory samsara vanishes
and the true eternal unchanging Brahman dawns.
The Dawn of Tantra; Herbert V. Guenther, Chogyam Trungpa; ed. Michael Kohn, illustrated Glen Eddy and Terris Temple; The Clear Light Series; Shambala; Berkley & London; 1975

Guenther: The term advaita, as we use it, stems from Shankara's Vedanta. The Buddhists never used this term, but used rather the term advaya. Advaya means "not-two"; advaita means "one without a second." The conception of "one without a second" puts us at once into the realm of dualistic fictions. Rather than remaining in immediate experience, with the idea of "one" we posit a definite object. This would then necessarily be over against a definite subject, which is the implication Shankara wanted to deny with the "without a second." By saying "not-two" you remain on solid ground, because "not-two" does not mean "one." That conclusion does not follow.

In the works of Saraha and other Buddhist teachers, it is said that it is impossible to say "one" without prejudgment of experience. But Shankara and his followers were forced by the scriptural authority of the Vedas to posit this One and so were then forced to add the idea "without a second." What they wanted to say was that only Atman is real. Now the logic of their position should force them to then say that everything else is unreal. But Shankara himself is not clear on this point. He re-introduced the idea of illusion which had previously been rejected by him. Now if only Atman is real, then even illusion apart from it is impossible. But he was forced into accepting the idea of illusion. So he was forced into a philosophical position which, if it were to be expressed in a mathematical formula, would make absolute nonsense. So intellectually, in this way, it could be said that the Vedanta is nonsense.
From http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 6&start=80" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:57 am

@Rachmiel - I know there's hundreds of books/writers/speakers, but one you might find particularly relevant is Tomas Sander. I saw his talk at the 2009 Science and Nonduality Conference called 'Joyful Irony and Western Emptiness Teachings' - highlight of the conference as far as I was concerned. He has since published a book (co-authored with Greg Goode). You can find a podcast here, and the Amazon link for the book is here.

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

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Rick » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:23 am

Wayfarer wrote:@Rachmiel - I know there's hundreds of books/writers/speakers, but one you might find particularly relevant is Tomas Sander. I saw his talk at the 2009 Science and Nonduality Conference called 'Joyful Irony and Western Emptiness Teachings' - highlight of the conference as far as I was concerned. He has since published a book (co-authored with Greg Goode). You can find a podcast here, and the Amazon link for the book is here.

:namaste:
Thanks! I have DVDs of the first three SAND conferences, so Tomas is probably on there. My favorites so far are Rupert Spira and Jeff Foster. I tried Greg Goode but it was a bit too Awareness is everything for me.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Andrew108
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Andrew108 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:34 am

rachmiel wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
rachmiel wrote: Everything is transient.
Apart from the ultimate, yes.
Could you please direct me to a link or two that clearly asserts this and explains why?

I thought Buddhism considered everything to be impermanent. Once again, I am reminded of Brahman -- unchanging, eternal -- and Brahman is the main reason I moved away from Advaita!

Would most Buddhists agree with you, that there is an "ultimate" that is eternal? Or isn't that what you meant by the ultimate *not* being transient?
A lot of informed buddhists would strongly disagree with Malcolm's statement. This is the problem when Buddhism gets metaphysical.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:53 am

Andrew108 wrote:A lot of informed buddhists would strongly disagree with Malcolm's statement.
Those are what is termed 'weasel words':
Wikipedia wrote:A weasel word is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated.
Anyway, Buddhism is not 'metaphysical' in the sense that Western philosophies are (or used to be), but it is 'metaphysical' in the sense that it is about existence as a whole. It is not a theory about this or that phenomenon, it is about what drives the entire wheel of birth and death. So it does deal with 'ultimate truths'.

The quotes I provided above address the way in which Buddhism differs from Hinduism on the question of 'the nature of ultimate truth'. The question has been asked twice already about 'why are statements about "the ultimate" not simply the same as Hindu statements about Brahman' - and the distinction 'advaya/advaita' is where you will find the answer. They are both forms of 'non-dualism', but based on very different attitudes.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Andrew108 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:06 am

It seems clear that the statement was ultimate is not transient. What is not transient is permanent. What is permanent is eternal. And so on. It is quite obvious. No weasel words.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by muni » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:20 am

How to describe that Mind is endless-beginningless?

When said that even the absolute or ultimate is dependence-emptiness, just like it is now, how can this be proved? Buddha couldn’t/can’t other than pointing to! If this is possible no any suffering being should exists ( or we should suffering from trying to prove for sure), since just with a heap of words all should be realized.

Where are there differences in experience? (experiencer-experience not two) Only thoughts believe their constructions and so differences in apprehended things.
Last edited by muni on Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Andrew108 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:30 am

If we substitute the term ultimate with the term invariance then I think we get closer to the meaning. In this sense transience is invariant where as non-transience is not.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by krodha » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:04 am

The ultimate is described as 'permanent' because it is emptiness, ergo it never arose and therefore cannot cease. However it is not an permanent existent in the ontological sense, that type of permanence is of course considered to be impossible.

Everything is transient except for the ultimate simply means that the emptiness of phenomena is never compromised or adulterated by the various apparent activities and actions of relative phenomena. Non-arisen dharmas are non-arisen by nature, meaning; the arising, abiding and cessation (transiency) of dharmins is delusory abstraction and afflictive fabrication. From the standpoint of the ultimate it is explicitly known that there has never been arising, abiding or cessation.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Lotus_Bitch » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:39 am

The ultimate, strictly according to the Prajnaparamita Sutras, cannot be attributed by the extremes of permanence and impermanence, being and nonbeing, and so forth.
Many meditators know how to meditate,
But only a few know how to dismantle [mental clinging].
- Je Gyare

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Andrew108 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:44 am

asunthatneversets wrote:The ultimate is described as 'permanent' because it is emptiness, ergo it never arose and therefore cannot cease. However it is not an permanent existent in the ontological sense, that type of permanence is of course considered to be impossible.

Everything is transient except for the ultimate simply means that the emptiness of phenomena is never compromised or adulterated by the various apparent activities and actions of relative phenomena. Non-arisen dharmas are non-arisen by nature, meaning; the arising, abiding and cessation (transiency) of dharmins is delusory abstraction and afflictive fabrication. From the standpoint of the ultimate it is explicitly known that there has never been arising, abiding or cessation.
There is no 'it is emptiness'. Emptiness is just another way to talk about interdependence. Phenomena don't have emptiness as a property. Again, emptiness is just a concept concerning dependent origination. This 'emptiness as a property' is the one view that I had before that caused me many problems. This view that emptiness is a property and is descriptive of an ultimate is IMO very damaging.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Grigoris » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:48 am

Andrew108 wrote:This view that emptiness is a property and is descriptive of an ultimate is IMO very damaging.
Who expressed this view?
"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

Andrew108
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Andrew108 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:53 am

"The ultimate is described as 'permanent' because it is emptiness.." asunthatneversets
Last edited by Andrew108 on Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Sönam » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:55 am

No Word will never get you closer to the meaning ... they are all intellectual artifacts.

Guide-post are bringing you to the palace ... however, no matter how near you will be, if you can't get in you will never experiment the deliciousness of his garden.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Berry
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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by Berry » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:00 am

Astus wrote: Emptiness means empty of permanence, of essence, of self. That is, thoughts are conditioned and impermanent. Anyone can see for themselves that thoughts don't stay around and they cannot even be held up or kept. One can also see in their first hand experience how thoughts define everything we do and experience. So, once there is certainty that thoughts come and go without any hindrance, there is no need even to train one's mind. In other words, they are already empty as they are.
We can also understand this through the practice of basic Samatha meditation, when the mind is settled (from thoughts) and at peace. Eventually this overlaps into everyday activity and we can become more aware of the impermanent nature of our thoughts and emotions.
Leave the polluted water of conceptual thoughts in its natural clarity. Without affirming or denying appearances, leave them as they are. When there is neither acceptance nor rejection, mind is liberated into mahāmudra.

~ Tilopa

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Re: Unreality of Thoughts

Post by krodha » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:05 am

Andrew108 wrote:There is no 'it is emptiness'. Emptiness is just another way to talk about interdependence. Phenomena don't have emptiness as a property. Again, emptiness is just a concept concerning dependent origination. This 'emptiness as a property' is the one view that I had before that caused me many problems. This view that emptiness is a property and is descriptive of an ultimate is IMO very damaging.
Well, not interdependence. Pratityasamutpada does not translate to 'interdependency'.

But you're correct, phenomena do not possess emptiness as a property because said phenomena which would possess 'emptiness' cannot be found. Their lack of essence, substantiality, findability, etc. is what we term their 'emptiness'. This will not make sense to you since you uphold a view of physicalist materialism.

Emptiness is not merely a concept concerning dependent origination. Dependent origination is a view which can be implemented to realize emptiness.

Trust me 'emptiness as a property' is the least of your worries when it comes to damaging views.

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