Nihilistic view

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White Sakura
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Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm

Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view? In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Is the chittamatra school called nihilistic by madhyamaka school?

I also wonder about the comparisons: Appearances are like moon reflection in water, like a mirage, like an echo, a dream, a magican´s show...
I just learned here in the forum that his comparisons come from the Buddha Shakyamuni. But cannot this be called a nihilistic view? Since the water displayed by a mirage is actually not there. The thirsty person going there in the desert will be 100 percent disappointed, there is not a single drop of water. It just isn´t there...
So can that not be called a nihilistic view from the point of view of another tenet system? Maybe madhyamaka school could say, this is hinnayana and not so correct.
( By the way I really like this comparisons. I feel them as something that must be explained if emptiness is explained. I just noticed that others in my mother-tongue forum never mention them.)

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LastLegend
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by LastLegend » Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view? In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Is the chittamatra school called nihilistic by madhyamaka school?

I also wonder about the comparisons: Appearances are like moon reflection in water, like a mirage, like an echo, a dream, a magican´s show...
I just learned here in the forum that his comparisons come from the Buddha Shakyamuni. But cannot this be called a nihilistic view? Since the water displayed by a mirage is actually not there. The thirsty person going there in the desert will be 100 percent disappointed, there is not a single drop of water. It just isn´t there...
So can that not be called a nihilistic view from the point of view of another tenet system? Maybe madhyamaka school could say, this is hinnayana and not so correct.
( By the way I really like this comparisons. I feel them as something that must be explained if emptiness is explained. I just noticed that others in my mother-tongue forum never mention them.)

Appearance is anything ranging from skandhas to everything else. A view is a product of skandhas. There is an enlightened nature beneath of that it’s not anything in itself rather described as Wisdom.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Tue May 19, 2020 5:52 pm

Appearance is anything ranging from skandhas to everything else. A view is a product of skandhas. There is an enlightened nature beneath of that it’s not anything in itself rather described as Wisdom.
[/quote]

I totally agree. Nevertheless I need to learn more about the philosophy, since my 21 years old son is asking me philosophical questions and it is his only Dharma activity at the moment. I want to be able to give answers that are not totally wrong. And I also cannot change my nature. I have a strong inclination to think about the philosophy and my teacher says knowledge about the philosophy supports our practice.

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LastLegend
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by LastLegend » Tue May 19, 2020 6:16 pm

You can experience nihilism if you don’t know enlightened nature or Wisdom that’s no thing no staged not a view a skandha or anything at all. The issue here is lack of experience or recognition of what that Wisdom is. Once that Wisdom is known or experienced, it cannot be nihilism.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.

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Grigoris
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Grigoris » Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view? In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Is the chittamatra school called nihilistic by madhyamaka school?

I also wonder about the comparisons: Appearances are like moon reflection in water, like a mirage, like an echo, a dream, a magican´s show...
I just learned here in the forum that his comparisons come from the Buddha Shakyamuni. But cannot this be called a nihilistic view? Since the water displayed by a mirage is actually not there. The thirsty person going there in the desert will be 100 percent disappointed, there is not a single drop of water. It just isn´t there...
So can that not be called a nihilistic view from the point of view of another tenet system? Maybe madhyamaka school could say, this is hinnayana and not so correct.
( By the way I really like this comparisons. I feel them as something that must be explained if emptiness is explained. I just noticed that others in my mother-tongue forum never mention them.)
The Buddha taught Dependent Origination. He did not teach that there are no phenomena, he taught that they arise on the basis of causes and conditions and lack an essential quality that makes them what we consider them to be. That is why phenomena arise and disintegrate.

That is why it is not nihilism. Nihilism says that there are no phenomena.

Buddhism says that phenomena are like a dream, or a reflection.
"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

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Tue May 19, 2020 6:28 pm

[/quote]The Buddha taught Dependent Origination. He did not teach that there are no phenomena, he taught that they arise on the basis of causes and conditions and lack an essential quality that makes them what we consider them to be. That is why phenomena arise and disintegrate.

That is why it is not nihilism. Nihilism says that there are no phenomena.

Buddhism says that phenomena are like a dream, or a reflection.
[/quote]
Very clear explanation, thanks. :twothumbsup:


Is chittamatra view considered as nihilism by madhyamaka followers? If not, what is the difference?

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Tue May 19, 2020 6:30 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:16 pm
You can experience nihilism if you don’t know enlightened nature or Wisdom that’s no thing no staged not a view a skandha or anything at all. The issue here is lack of experience or recognition of what that Wisdom is. Once that Wisdom is known or experienced, it cannot be nihilism.
sorry, I cannot say something to that. I am used to talk about the philosophy without switching to experience.

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LastLegend
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by LastLegend » Tue May 19, 2020 7:02 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:30 pm
LastLegend wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:16 pm
You can experience nihilism if you don’t know enlightened nature or Wisdom that’s no thing no staged not a view a skandha or anything at all. The issue here is lack of experience or recognition of what that Wisdom is. Once that Wisdom is known or experienced, it cannot be nihilism.
sorry, I cannot say something to that. I am used to talk about the philosophy without switching to experience.
The issue with views they have their limitations and they can only get you so far. They don’t directly treat karma we would need to know our mind.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.

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Aemilius
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Aemilius » Tue May 19, 2020 7:28 pm

The views of six śramaṇa schools in India at the time of Buddha Gautama, as represented in the Pāli Canon

Pūraṇa Kassapa Amoralism: denies any reward or punishment for either good or bad deeds.

Makkhali Gośāla (Ājīvika) Niyativāda (Fatalism): we are powerless; suffering is pre-destined.

Ajita Kesakambal (Lokāyata) Materialism: live happily; with death, all is annihilated.

Pakudha Kaccāyana Sassatavada (Eternalism): Matter, pleasure, pain and the soul are eternal and do not interact.

Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta (Jainism) Restraint: be endowed with, cleansed by and suffused with the avoidance of all evil.

Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta (Ajñana) Agnosticism: "I don't think so. I don't think in that way or otherwise. I don't think not or not not." Suspension of judgement.

The śramaṇa tradition includes Jainism, Buddhism, and others such as the Ājīvikas, Ajñanas and Cārvākas. Buddhism
is also a sramana school. The śramaṇa movements arose in the same circles of mendicants in ancient India that led to the development of yogic practices, as well as the popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).
Last edited by Aemilius on Tue May 19, 2020 7:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
svaha
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Grigoris
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Grigoris » Tue May 19, 2020 7:30 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:28 pm
Is chittamatra view considered as nihilism by madhyamaka followers? If not, what is the difference?
I cannot say for sure.

I would guess that the answer would be "No", mainly because cittmatrin believe in Dependent Origination, they believe that the source/cause of phenomena is the mind (to put it very simply).

Anyway, I don't think that you will find the divide to be so clear cut when it comes to practice.
"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

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Tue May 19, 2020 7:39 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:30 pm
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:28 pm
Is chittamatra view considered as nihilism by madhyamaka followers? If not, what is the difference?
I cannot say for sure.

I would guess that the answer would be "No", mainly because cittmatrin believe in Dependent Origination, they believe that the source/cause of phenomena is the mind (to put it very simply).
sounds logical to me. I just wonder how somebody can be so stupid to believe there are no phenomena....
I think, "phenomena" cannot just be exchanged with "Objekt/s". So it is correct to say: "There are no truly existing objects." Do you agree to that? But I am also not sure if this is accepted by all schools of Mahayana?

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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by LastLegend » Tue May 19, 2020 8:49 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:39 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:30 pm
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:28 pm
Is chittamatra view considered as nihilism by madhyamaka followers? If not, what is the difference?
I cannot say for sure.

I would guess that the answer would be "No", mainly because cittmatrin believe in Dependent Origination, they believe that the source/cause of phenomena is the mind (to put it very simply).
sounds logical to me. I just wonder how somebody can be so stupid to believe there are no phenomena....
I think, "phenomena" cannot just be exchanged with "Objekt/s". So it is correct to say: "There are no truly existing objects." Do you agree to that? But I am also not sure if this is accepted by all schools of Mahayana?
If you propose an alternative there is something truth, that’s still a view and that is it’s limit to just understanding it that way. That doesn’t lead to enlightenment.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.

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Matt J
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Matt J » Tue May 19, 2020 8:57 pm

This comes up in a number of contexts. In the Pali, a nihilist would also deny rebirth. Ancient India had atheist/materialists called Carvakas that taught that death was complete annihilation. In this sense, many modern Westerners are nihilists.
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:39 pm

sounds logical to me. I just wonder how somebody can be so stupid to believe there are no phenomena....
I think, "phenomena" cannot just be exchanged with "Objekt/s". So it is correct to say: "There are no truly existing objects." Do you agree to that? But I am also not sure if this is accepted by all schools of Mahayana?
"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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Astus
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Astus » Tue May 19, 2020 10:05 pm

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view?
First of all, it should be clarified what is meant by "nihilism". It is normally understood as a denial of moral values, something that is clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist. If we understand it as a denial of taking ordinary perception as ultimately real, that is a given in Buddhism, but so it is many philosophies and religions, so it is usually not something nihilism means. What is often mistranslated as nihilism is actually annihilationism (ucchedavada), the belief that beings completely perish at death, and that is again clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist.
In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Non-Buddhists, primarily materialists, are those who believe in the ultimate annihilation of beings at the demise of their body.
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: Nihilistic view

Post by tobes » Wed May 20, 2020 12:09 am

Astus wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 10:05 pm
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view?
First of all, it should be clarified what is meant by "nihilism". It is normally understood as a denial of moral values, something that is clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist. If we understand it as a denial of taking ordinary perception as ultimately real, that is a given in Buddhism, but so it is many philosophies and religions, so it is usually not something nihilism means. What is often mistranslated as nihilism is actually annihilationism (ucchedavada), the belief that beings completely perish at death, and that is again clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist.
In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Non-Buddhists, primarily materialists, are those who believe in the ultimate annihilation of beings at the demise of their body.
Yes, it is especially connected to denying that actions have effects, and for that reason, denying the basis for (Buddhist) morality. This obviously extends to rebirth, but it also suffices within the context of a given life.

The Charvakas adopted such a view, and they are the quintessential nihilists of ancient India - and critiqued on this basis by virtually all other Indian traditions.

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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by SteRo » Wed May 20, 2020 5:05 am

White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
I also wonder about the comparisons: Appearances are like moon reflection in water, like a mirage, like an echo, a dream, a magican´s show...
I just learned here in the forum that his comparisons come from the Buddha Shakyamuni. But cannot this be called a nihilistic view?
No because these are similes, not equations.
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Since the water displayed by a mirage is actually not there. The thirsty person going there in the desert will be 100 percent disappointed, there is not a single drop of water. It just isn´t there...
That would be taking the simile erroneously as an equation which then entails negation. The Buddha did not say that conventional phenomena are truly a mirage but "like a mirrage" hinted at the non-grasping mode of perception that corresponds with non-accessible reality.

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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 20, 2020 5:52 am

Astus wrote: It [nihilism] is normally understood as a denial of moral values, something that is clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist.
The philosophical question then arises what is the connection between 'what is real' and 'what is the basis for moral values'. In Western culture, the question is posed in relation to the existence of God, because God is felt to be both the source and aim of moral behaviour. Accordingly, said Nietszche, what he portrayed as 'the death of God' would inevitably result in nihilism, on the basis that nothing really has any value, or nothing really matters any more.

Obviously Buddhism is different in principle, in not affirming the existence of a creator-God as the source of values. But nevertheless, the Buddhas are said to possess the ability to see 'things as they truly are', yathābhūtaṃ. This 'seeing it like it is' is itself the origin and the aim of Buddhist values. But if reality 'as it really is' is the source of values, that seems to conflict with the reading of 'emptiness' that 'things are lacking in essential being'.

My interpretation is that beings fail to 'see it like it is' because of inherent ignorance. That leads us to make wrong judgments about pretty well everything, as judgments are corrupted by various afflictions. So the task of mental purification is really the way towards 'seeing things as they are'. Seeing the emptiness of things, means seeing through their apparent attractiveness and importance to us (although that is not all it means.)
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Wed May 20, 2020 8:37 am

Thanks everybody! Please excuse if I do not answer to everybody. When I read your posts I noticed that it is still difficult for me to explain what I mean in English. I just found nobody anymore who could answer my questions in German. It feels a bit like fighting for answers because I have to fight through the jungle of English. So I can only concentrate on what is really important for me to say. Cannot discuss with the members that gave the answers that are important to me, and at the same time out of politeness, write some short sentences to the others. I do it like that in German, but please excuse here.

White Sakura
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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Wed May 20, 2020 8:56 am

Astus wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 10:05 pm
White Sakura wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:17 pm
Which masters taught at what time in history of Buddhism about the nihilistic point of view?
First of all, it should be clarified what is meant by "nihilism". It is normally understood as a denial of moral values, something that is clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist. If we understand it as a denial of taking ordinary perception as ultimately real, that is a given in Buddhism, but so it is many philosophies and religions, so it is usually not something nihilism means. What is often mistranslated as nihilism is actually annihilationism (ucchedavada), the belief that beings completely perish at death, and that is again clearly a wrong view according to any Buddhist.
In a way that the explanations of other masters were called nihilistic?
Non-Buddhists, primarily materialists, are those who believe in the ultimate annihilation of beings at the demise of their body.
Thanks for your answer. I did not know that the term "nihilism" can also refer to moral values or annihilation.

I mean something else, I give an example of a situation in my home-Forum: A Buddhist explained to a beginner his understanding of Dharma. He wrote: "There is no inherently existing self" Then the person who asked says: "but who feels: Now I am free..I have freed myself by means of the path. Who feels that" Here I answered:" The experience is not: "I have attained freedom now! " The experience is: "There never was anybody who needed to attain freedom."....ok so far, nobody criticized my answer. But one member wrote: "It is wrong to say there is no self. That would be nihilism. It is also not taught there is an independent and unchangeable self, that would be ethernalism. The Buddha taught there is a self dependent on mind and body. And this perceives with the senses."

So then I feel, my answer might be seen as nihilistic. But I feel it for right. Maybe I am a nihilist? Or maybe a Cittamatrin? And maybe this is why I answer differently to the others?

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Re: Nihilistic view

Post by White Sakura » Wed May 20, 2020 9:03 am

tobes wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:09 am

Yes, it is especially connected to denying that actions have effects, and for that reason, denying the basis for (Buddhist) morality. This obviously extends to rebirth, but it also suffices within the context of a given life.
Thanks, that is a point of view I also know. So that is different to the meaning I explained in my post above. From all your answers I ´d rather say I am not a nihilist. :twothumbsup:
I think you refer here to the two truths? We live mostly on the level of the relative truths and have to pay attention to the ethic.

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