Malcolm wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:30 pm
In the end, śabdapramāṇa amounts to no more than this, as the great Dzogchen master and scholar, Gendun Chophel remarks:
Whatever most people like appears as the truth; whatever most mouths agree on appears as a philosophical tenet. Inside of each person is a different form of valid knowledge, with an adamantine scripture supporting it.
Madman's Middle Way, pg. 63.
Inferential valid knowledge is produced from direct awareness; inference analyzes whether direct perception is true or false; because the child is serving as the father's witness, I am uncomfortable about positing conventional validity.
Madman's Middle Way, pg. 62
And finally, to demonstrate the poverty of your wish for a certain proof that anything can be proven to be true or false with respect to validating a treasure and any other teaching at all:
One may think:"We concede that our decisions are unreliable, but when we follow the decisions of the Buddha, we are infallible." Then who decided the Buddha was infallible? If you say, "The great scholars and adepts like Nāgārjuna decided that he was infallible," then who decided that Nāgārjuna was infallible? If you say, "The Foremost Lama [Tshong kha pa] decided it," then who knows that the Foremost Lama is infallible? If you say, "Our kind and peerless lama, the excellent and great so and so decided," than infallibility, which depends on your own excellent lama, is decided by your own mind. In fact, therefore, it is a tiger who vouches for a lion, it is a yak who vouches for a tiger, it is a dog who vouches for a yak, it is a mouse who vouches for a dog, it is an insect who vouches for a mouse. Thus, an insect is made the final voucher for them all. Therefore, when one analyzes in detail the final basis for any decision, apart from coming back to one's own mind, nothing else whatsoever is perceived.
Madman's Middle Way, pp. 49-50
Parenthetically, I appreciate your posting these quotes. I ordered the book (Lopez translation) yesterday and am very much looking forward to reading it more than once. You note it's been with your for a decade & I hope for a similar kind of thing.
It's interesting to me in this thread that more than a few people don't seem to understand that it all finally comes down to individually accepting or rejecting, however much lineage, citations, validations, and the like are there or not. Since no one has done all the work to do all that themselves (and it's impossible with historical figures anyway) at some point you are accepting things on what is essentially faith. Faith in other people or their process or their biographer's notions. And then at base it is faith in one's own experience, whether something works for you or not.
This is actually very good news. Because it means that just as Shakyamuni Buddha taught, it all comes down to each person. If it were otherwise, well, it wouldn't be such good news.