The basis is one's unfabricated mind

smcj
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:03 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
smcj wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
In the sixfold faulty definitions of the basis [gzhi] described in The Six Dimensions of Samantabhadra, your suggestion here is listed as the number two faulty definition of the basis (the belief that the basis is indefinite).
Ok, cough it up. What are the other five for us dilettantes?
(i) The belief that the basis is spontaneously present.
(ii) The belief that the basis is indefinite.
(iii) The belief that it is the definite and determinate foundation.
(iv) The belief that it is totally changeable.
(v) The belief that it can be said to be anything whatsoever.
(vi) The belief that it is multifaceted with various aspects.

The above six are faulty views of the basis.

(vii) The basis is original purity [ka dag] (is the only accurate view).
I really don't get #1. How can it not be spontaneously present? Or does that mean something like "automatically realized"?

(And I edited my previous post to be a little more polite. You quoted it before the edit went into effect.)
Last edited by smcj on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:03 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
The intent of Madyamaka is not to establish this 'no reality' thesis. It's praxis is the assertion that genuine reality (which everyone has access to) is beyond extremes.
No, since this would just be a statement of existence.
If you say that there is no reality then of course you are stating that reality does not exist.
I never claimed reality existed, therefore I am free of the fault of claiming it does not exist. When someone points out your bank account is empty, is it their fault that you have no money? Have they destroyed money you thought you had? Of course not. It is the same when stating "there is no reality". This is merely pointing out the conclusion of freedom from all extremes.

Āryānantamukhapariśodhananirdeśaparivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:
The Sugata said "existence" and "nonexistence" are extremes; whatever does not exist in the extremes, that also does not exist in the middle.

Ārya-varmavyūhanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra
Since this vehicle is without extremes,
also the extreme of the middle does not exist.


Ārya-kāśyapaparivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

Kāśyapa, "permanence" is one extreme; impermanence is the second extreme. Whatever is the middle of those two extremes, that also cannot be examined.

Sampuṭanāma mahātantra:

There is nothing empty, not empty,
and nothing to perceive in the middle.


The Meditation on Bodhicitta:

The nonexistence dependent on existence does not exist, also that nonexistence does not exist. Because the extremes do not exist, the middle does not exist, also do not rest in the middle.

The sgra thal gyur:

Because of being free from extremes, do not abide in the middle.

So we can clearly see that sutra and tantra agree on one point, i.e. there is no reality in the extremes, and there is no reality beyond the extremes. Ergo, there is no reality, since reality would have to be either existence or non-existence and so on.

krodha
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by krodha » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:06 pm

smcj wrote:I really don't get #1. How can it not be spontaneously present? Or does that mean something like "automatically realized"?

(And I edited my previous post to be a little more polite. You quoted it before the edit went into effect.)
The reasoning I have is: If the basis had characteristics of defects or virtues, spontaneously present from the beginning, this would contradict original purity and thus be a faulty belief. Practicing the path would not be possible, and even if one practiced the path it would be impossible to be liberated.

smcj
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:10 pm

So we can clearly see that sutra and tantra agree on one point, i.e. there is no reality in the extremes, and there is no reality beyond the extremes. Ergo, there is no reality, since reality would have to be either existence or non-existence and so on.
The simplistic criticism of "The Basis" would be the extreme of eternalism from the Madhyamaka perspective. The more nuanced criticism would be the extreme of "neither existent or non-existent", right?

But either way, you seem to accept "The Basis" as a quality of one's own mind, which would still be a "Mind Only" perspective, if I'm not mistaken. You seem to vacillate between the two schools of Prasangika Madhyamaka and Cittamatra.
Last edited by smcj on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

smcj
Posts: 6237
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:13 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
smcj wrote:I really don't get #1. How can it not be spontaneously present? Or does that mean something like "automatically realized"?

(And I edited my previous post to be a little more polite. You quoted it before the edit went into effect.)
The reasoning I have is: If the basis had characteristics of defects or virtues, spontaneously present from the beginning, this would contradict original purity and thus be a faulty belief. Practicing the path would not be possible, and even if one practiced the path it would be impossible to be liberated.
Ok, that's understandable, but completely unapparent from the single line synopsis.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:18 pm

smcj wrote: Therefore the distinction of calling "The Basis" either your own mind or calling it an undifferentiated universal is actually the argument between the Mind Only and Empty-of-Other schools.
Two problems here. While it is clear that Dzogchen definitely posits the basis as a set of generic characteristics that belong to individual minds, it does not posit that appearances are mental factors. Shabkar clarifies that the delusions of sentient beings are sufficiently strong so as to generate what seem to be concrete appearances for one another. This is why, for example, mountains do not disappear when we cease looking or thinking of them. So it is not accurate to parse this discussion in terms of a Cittamatra/gzhan stong split.

What is however true is that we can only experience the contents of our own minds, whether those minds are liberated or not. The basis mythos runs as follows: when the five lights are perceived, those five lights come from potency [rtsal] of our own minds and no where else. If we reify them as external to our own minds, then we fall into samsara. This is happening all the time. To reverse this, one must practice thogal working with entoptic visions that are understood to be produced internally, not externally. If you do not work with these visions, practicing merely tregchö, one will not be able to purify those traces in our minds that give rise to impure vision, though we may be able to realize the mind-essence and dissolve our bodies at death, we will never be able to realize the body of light.

Dzogchen practitioner are fond of saying that Dzogchen practice works with "wisdom" [ye shes] and not mind [rnam shes, sems], and this is true, but only because of a very specialized vocabulary which sharply defines the originally pure mode of consciousness [ye shes] from its derivative impure mode [rnam shes], for want of better terms in English.

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gad rgyangs
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by gad rgyangs » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:29 pm

Malcolm wrote: What is however true is that we can only experience the contents of our own minds
what is this "we" that would be something distinct from mind?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.

"I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
- Descartes, 2nd Meditation 25

Malcolm
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:50 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Malcolm wrote: What is however true is that we can only experience the contents of our own minds
what is this "we" that would be something distinct from mind?
Of course not. One can experience only one's mind. For this reason Shabkar states in Flight of the Garuda:

Ignorance appearing as the five poisons is also the mind.
Self-originated primordial wisdom appearing as vidyā is also the mind...
There are no appearances at all apart from the mind.

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gad rgyangs
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by gad rgyangs » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:One can experience only one's mind.
In this sentence what is the pronoun "one" referring to?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.

"I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
- Descartes, 2nd Meditation 25

smcj
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:06 pm

'Malcolm wrote: While it is clear that Dzogchen definitely posits the basis as a set of generic characteristics that belong to individual minds, it does not posit that appearances are mental factors.
So this is how you're distancing yourself from the Cittamatra?
Malcolm wrote: One can experience only one's mind. For this reason Shabkar states in Flight of the Garuda:

Ignorance appearing as the five poisons is also the mind.
Self-originated primordial wisdom appearing as vidyā is also the mind...
There are no appearances at all apart from the mind.
(formatting mine)

Malcolm, I think you're in denial about having succumbed to the Cittamatra view. An intervention may be in order.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

krodha
Posts: 2471
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by krodha » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:13 pm

smcj wrote:
'Malcolm wrote: While it is clear that Dzogchen definitely posits the basis as a set of generic characteristics that belong to individual minds, it does not posit that appearances are mental factors.
So this is how you're distancing yourself from the Cittamatra?
Malcolm wrote: One can experience only one's mind. For this reason Shabkar states in Flight of the Garuda:

Ignorance appearing as the five poisons is also the mind.
Self-originated primordial wisdom appearing as vidyā is also the mind...
There are no appearances at all apart from the mind.
(formatting mine)

Malcolm, I think you're in denial about having succumbed to the Cittamatra view. An intervention may be in order.
smcj, the statement usually goes; appearances are not mind, but nor are they separate from mind.

The former statement avoids the cittamatran view, and the latter allows for dependent origination.

krodha
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by krodha » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:15 pm

Here's David Germano on the 'appearances and mind' topic:

"'Designating appearances as the dharmakāya obscures me,
designating whatever appears as mind obscures me,
designating wisdom as mind obscures me'
- The Mind Mirror of Samantabhadra

To expand on this, nowadays common fools say, 'Appearances are your own mind! Appearances are the dharmakāya! Wisdom [ye shes] is our mind!' Really there's no difference between such people and the insane who say whatever pops into their mind: 'The head is the ass!' 'Fire is water!' 'Darkness is light!' Thus I consider these people ignorant, since they are even more conceited than such madmen. If appearances are our mind, then it follows that our mind has colors and so forth. It would entail that even when you are absent, your mind would exist in the area where you previously were, since the appearances there continue to exist (despite your leaving). Furthermore, it would entail that through one thing being born, everything is born; and through one thing dying, everything dies. When ten million people see a vase, it would entail that the entire vase is (part and parcel of each person's own particular) mind, and just so, all those individuals would be of a single mind. Since all phenomena appear in the scope of a Buddha's 'enlightened knowing of things in all their plurality', it would entail that cyclic existence is the Buddha's wisdom [ye shes]. When a sentient being sees a Buddha, it would necessarily follow that this Buddha is distorted, since s/he is the sentient being's mind. Additionally it would entail that this sentient being is a Buddha, since the Buddha is the sentient being's mind. This position would also entail that these appearances could become totally adrift in a single instant, just as in a single instant our mind's movements drift here and there. Thus these and many other absurdities are entailed (by identifying appearances with the mind).

If appearances are the dharmakāya, then it would entail that appearances are beyond appearance and non-appearance, since the dharmakāya is beyond appearance and non-appearance. It would follow that the dharmakāya would be a distorted appearance, and that it would be apprehensible in terms of a substantial thing and its concrete qualities, since these appearances are distorted appearances apprehended in terms of substantial qualities. Alternatively, it would follow that it would be impossible for these appearances to appear to (ordinary beings') distorted perspective, since the dharmakāya is the ultimate reality and, as such, can never appear to a distorted perspective."

Malcolm
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:16 pm

smcj wrote:
'Malcolm wrote: While it is clear that Dzogchen definitely posits the basis as a set of generic characteristics that belong to individual minds, it does not posit that appearances are mental factors.
So this is how you're distancing yourself from the Cittamatra?
Malcolm wrote: One can experience only one's mind. For this reason Shabkar states in Flight of the Garuda:

Ignorance appearing as the five poisons is also the mind.
Self-originated primordial wisdom appearing as vidyā is also the mind...
There are no appearances at all apart from the mind.
(formatting mine)

Malcolm, I think you're in denial about having succumbed to the Cittamatra view. An intervention may be in order.
Subjectively speaking, all internal appearances are just mental images, whether those appearances are derived from your eyes up to your skin.

When you "see" a mountain, you are not aware of the direct perception of that mountain, since it is non-conceptual. What you are aware of is a secondary or derived perception which is an image of the mountain that your eye has captured. Gzhan stong has no theory of perception different than this.

The external mountain is an entity that is capable of appearing because of the force of traces of the minds of all sentient beings. Shabkar uses the example of the woman who meditated upon herself as a tiger for a year, and frightened a village into slaying her because they perceived her as a tiger and not a human woman.

This is not cittamatra view, this is Shantarakṣita's yogacara synthesis, where the view of relative truth is held to be cittamatra, and the view of ultimate truth is madhyamaka. Earlier Madhyamakas generally adopt the Sautrantika view for the most part for relative truth. But even here, no one confuses one's perception of the mountain, the mental image, with the mountain itself.

smcj
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Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:27 pm

This is not cittamatra view, this is Shantarakṣita's yogacara synthesis, where the view of relative truth is held to be cittamatra, and the view of ultimate truth is madhyamaka. Earlier Madhyamakas generally adopt the Sautrantika view for the most part for relative truth. But even here, no one confuses one's perception of the mountain, the mental image, with the mountain itself.
You really know how to thread the needle on this issue.
Here's David Germano on the 'appearances and mind' topic:
Oh I'm not saying I'm a Cittamatran. I was accusing Malcolm of being in the closet about it. I'm an out-of-the-closet Shentongpa, and proud of it!
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:46 pm

smcj wrote: You really know how to thread the needle on this issue.

That's why they pay me the big bucks.

smcj
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote: You really know how to thread the needle on this issue.
That's why they pay me the big bucks.
:cheers:

:bow:
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Andrew108
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Andrew108 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:50 pm

Malcolm wrote:I never claimed reality existed, therefore I am free of the fault of claiming it does not exist.
What on earth are you talking about? Just by sharing information and by posting here, you are making a claim that indeed at some level reality exists. And then because you are smart you say that there is no reality.

You should stop this nonsense. Let life tell you what it is. This is much better than you and your intellect telling life what it should be.
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.

smcj
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by smcj » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:51 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I never claimed reality existed, therefore I am free of the fault of claiming it does not exist.
What on earth are you talking about? Just by sharing information and by posting here, you are making a claim that indeed at some level reality exists. And then because you are smart you say that there is no reality.

You should stop this nonsense. Let life tell you what it is. This is much better than you and your intellect telling life what it should be.
Malcolm, now you're being accused of being a nihilist. This must not be your day.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Malcolm
Posts: 29105
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:53 pm

smcj wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I never claimed reality existed, therefore I am free of the fault of claiming it does not exist.
What on earth are you talking about? Just by sharing information and by posting here, you are making a claim that indeed at some level reality exists. And then because you are smart you say that there is no reality.

You should stop this nonsense. Let life tell you what it is. This is much better than you and your intellect telling life what it should be.
Malcolm, now you're being accused of being a nihilist. This must not be your day.

It's not my limitation, it's mustang cave's.

Andrew108
Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: The basis is one's unfabricated mind

Post by Andrew108 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:54 pm

I don't know if he is a nihilist and I couldn't care either way. I think he has more serious things to worry about.
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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