Inherent deja vu all over again

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Malcolm
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:33 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Lukeinaz wrote:
I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?
It is a conceptual image. The empty space that your car occupied has no meaning from it's own side; your eye consciousness just sees a vacuity. You conceptually impute 'no car' on this space so now you have a generic image of no car, not just an empty space.

This emptiness has meaning - the object of negation is car, and what is realised conceptually is 'no car'. Your mind is resting in the generic image of an absence of car.

This an implicative negation, not a nonimplicative negation. Madhyamaka negation is nonimplicative, meaning, when the object is negated, there is nothing else to which to refer.
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Lukeinaz wrote:
I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?
It is a conceptual image. The empty space that your car occupied has no meaning from it's own side; your eye consciousness just sees a vacuity. You conceptually impute 'no car' on this space so now you have a generic image of no car, not just an empty space.

This emptiness has meaning - the object of negation is car, and what is realised conceptually is 'no car'. Your mind is resting in the generic image of an absence of car.

This an implicative negation, not a nonimplicative negation. Madhyamaka negation is nonimplicative, meaning, when the object is negated, there is nothing else to which to refer.
Emptiness is a non-affirming negative phenomenon whose meaning is the non-existence of inherent existence of all phenomena. Emptiness doesn't exist from its own side so the meaning of negation has to be imputed initially.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:
The problem here is the notion of "the generic image of emptiness." Emptiness cannot have a generic image since emptiness is not a thing, like a vase and its blueness. Meditating on the concept, "this is empty" is also unworkable. Of course, when we are learning about emptiness, of course we have to come to confidence in emptiness rationally, through reasonings. But when it comes to applying confidence in meditation, it is the position of the Sakya and Nyingma schools that focusing on a concept of emptiness is not a correct vipaśyāna, and in fact can lead to rebirth in the formless realms.
The Gelugpa tradition disagrees that emptiness cannot have a generic image - it is the mere absence of inherent existence. We can have a generic image of a non-thing.

Meditating on emptiness doesn't lead to rebirth in the formless realms - attaining form realm concentrations with a mundane motivation creates unfluctuating throwing karma that leads to rebirth in the formless realms. Furthermore, because meditation on emptiness is with the motivation of conventional bodhichitta, it cannot be the cause of any kind of samsaric rebirth at all.
Correct vipaśyāna meditation on emptiness is resting the mind in an objectless equipoise discovered through exhausting all possible conceptual proliferation concerning entities in terms of all modes of their existence, as Śantideva notes. It is not resting the mind on the concept that results from conceptual analysis, rather, the mind that deconstructs even the notion., "this is ultimate" and rests in that state, free of proliferation.
That's not what Shantideva is saying at all. This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Eventually, when the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness
No longer appear to the mind,
Since there is no other aspect of true existence,
The mind will abide in the resultant pacified state in which all conceptuality has ceased.
What Shantideva is saying is that when we reach the path of seeing ('eventually') we will experience emptiness directly, that is, non-conceptually but it is impossible to experience emptiness directly on the paths of accumulation and preparation. This direct realisation is the result of many meditations on the generic image of emptiness on the paths of accumulation and preparation. If it were, indeed, possible to meditate on emptiness without a generic image, then the paths of accumulation and preparation would also be paths of seeing - in fact, it would be pointless to talk about a path of seeing because you would have a direct realisation of emptiness from the very beginning of your meditation.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:32 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Your alternate translation is simply wrong.
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by DGA » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:56 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
That's not what Shantideva is saying at all. This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Eventually, when the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness
No longer appear to the mind,
Since there is no other aspect of true existence,
The mind will abide in the resultant pacified state in which all conceptuality has ceased.
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Jeff H » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:26 pm

DGA wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
That's not what Shantideva is saying at all. This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Eventually, when the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness
No longer appear to the mind,
Since there is no other aspect of true existence,
The mind will abide in the resultant pacified state in which all conceptuality has ceased.
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?
It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by amanitamusc » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:36 pm

:popcorn:

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by amanitamusc » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:36 pm

:popcorn:

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:56 pm

Yes, Chapter 9, vs. 34.
Brunnholzl translates it:
Once neither entities nor nonentities
Remain before the mind,
There is no other mental flux (either).
Therefore, it is utter nonrerferential peace.
This is the famous verse where Shantideva ascended into the sky after uttering these words.

This translation is from "Center of the Sunlit Sky," which I recommend, BTW. It contains Pawo Tsuklag Trengwa's commentary on Bodhicharyavatara, and much else. One feature of Pawo Rinpoche's commentary, for instance, is that he writes about the experience of a mind free of reference points, which is not something usually found in commentaries on Shantideva's text.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by DGA » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:59 pm

Jeff H wrote:
DGA wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
That's not what Shantideva is saying at all. This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?
It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
It's really weird. What's "the true existence of emptiness," for starters?

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Vasana » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:01 pm

When comparing the translation, or at least the meaning, it doesn't seem that far from the following.

Shantideva verse IX.34:
Once neither entities nor nonentities Remain before the mind,
There is no other mental flux [either].
Therefore, it is utter nonreferential peace.
[translation: Brunnholzl]

'Engaging in the Conduct of Bodhisattvas' :

"When existence and nonexistence do not abide in front of the mind
Then there is no alternative object.
Therefore, the mind is fully pacified without projection".
[Translation: Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche ]

Acharya Vagisvara:
"Not to think about the thinkable
nor about the untinkable
when one does not think about either
Śūnyatā is seen thereby.

[Translation: Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche ]

Prajnaparamita:
Not to think about origination or non-origination
is to live by the perfection of awareness
[Translation: Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche ]

I still don't see how any of it warrants the need for a generic-image, which must either fall in to the category of being an entity, a non-entity, something which is thinkable or something which is not thinkable. If all of these are to be discarded then i don't see why holding on to the generic image is insisted upon.
Tsongkhapafan wrote: This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Eventually, when the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness
No longer appear to the mind,
Since there is no other aspect of true existence,
The mind will abide in the resultant pacified state in which all conceptuality has ceased.
If the 'true existence of emptiness' no longer appears to the mind, how can a generic image survive?
Last edited by Vasana on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Vasana » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:10 pm

DGA wrote:
Jeff H wrote:
DGA wrote:
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?
It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
It's really weird. What's "the true existence of emptiness," for starters?
I think that passage just refers to the avoiding the pitful of grasping at emptiness /non-arising /illusion as an existent. Grasping at emptiness as if it isn't empty of it's self. Similar to how you are initially instructed to meditate on phenomena being illusion-like, but ultimately even holding on to the notion of illusion is an obscuration since the notion of illusion is dependent on what is not an illusion. With what is not an illusion being unfindable, illusion is it's self nullified, 'like a string set alight from both ends'.
Last edited by Vasana on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Bakmoon » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Lukeinaz wrote:
I am a bit confused about this conceptual image. The way I understand it is that we use analysis to come to a conclusion which produces a feeling. So when I am shocked at not finding my car exactly where I parked it I rest in this feeling. Where does the conceptual image fit in here?
The problem here is the notion of "the generic image of emptiness." Emptiness cannot have a generic image since emptiness is not a thing, like a vase and its blueness. Meditating on the concept, "this is empty" is also unworkable. Of course, when we are learning about emptiness, of course we have to come to confidence in emptiness rationally, through reasonings. But when it comes to applying confidence in meditation, it is the position of the Sakya and Nyingma schools that focusing on a concept of emptiness is not a correct vipaśyāna, and in fact can lead to rebirth in the formless realms.

Correct vipaśyāna meditation on emptiness is resting the mind in an objectless equipoise discovered through exhausting all possible conceptual proliferation concerning entities in terms of all modes of their existence, as Śantideva notes. It is not resting the mind on the concept that results from conceptual analysis, rather, the mind that deconstructs even the notion., "this is ultimate" and rests in that state, free of proliferation.
Tsongkhapafan earlier argued that if someone were to meditate on emptiness non-conceptually, then that would have to be the path of seeing. I actually think this argument is a fairly good one.

From your side of the debate, what differentiates the mind resting in this objectless equipoise from the path of seeing?

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:12 pm

DGA wrote:
Jeff H wrote:
DGA wrote:
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?
It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
It's really weird. What's "the true existence of emptiness," for starters?
It's not weird - it's the appearance of emptiness being inherently existent; in other words, how emptiness appears on the paths of accumulation and preparation. The verse is saying that when, in meditation, there is no appearance of inherent existence and not even the appearance of inherent existence of emptiness, the mind will abide in a direct realisation of emptiness in which all dualistic conceptions have been pacified. This is the path of seeing onwards.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:15 pm

Vasana wrote:
If the 'true existence of emptiness' no longer appears to the mind, how can a generic image survive?
That's exactly the point. When the true existence of emptiness no longer appears to the mind, you are experiencing emptiness non-conceptually on the path of seeing; there is no more generic image and no dualistic appearance.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Vasana » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:29 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Vasana wrote:
If the 'true existence of emptiness' no longer appears to the mind, how can a generic image survive?
That's exactly the point. When the true existence of emptiness no longer appears to the mind, you are experiencing emptiness non-conceptually on the path of seeing; there is no more generic image and no dualistic appearance.
Ok, so Bakmoon already got to the next crux;
Bakmoon wrote: Tsongkhapafan earlier argued that if someone were to meditate on emptiness non-conceptually, then that would have to be the path of seeing. I actually think this argument is a fairly good one.

From your side of the debate, what differentiates the mind resting in this objectless equipoise from the path of seeing?
I'm with cone on this one, who earlier said;
conebeckham wrote: Conceptuality arises after experience, I would say, even in meditation, to say nothing of post meditation, and therefore this is not the state of an Arya, but I do continue to contend that a glimpse of "nonfinding" is available to sentient beings on the path, prior to the Bhumis.
How to verify this with citations from Madyamika or related literature alone, i don't know. Anyone? From the context of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen path, i'm fairly sure you can rest in objectless equipose prior to the path of seeing. Getting an unmistaken glimpse of mind's dharmata (however breif ), is after all, the real starting-point from which you then practice to gain non-distracted stability in. Tulku Urgeyn Rinpoche says that if you can remain in the natural-state for the whole day, you're a Bodhisattva. If you can remain in the natural state through both day and night without distinction, you're a Buddha.
Last edited by Vasana on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:33 pm

Jeff H wrote:
DGA wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
That's not what Shantideva is saying at all. This is an alternative translation of the verse you quoted:
Would you please give a source for this translation? that is, can you say who the translator of this verse is?
It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
The text merely says:
  • yadā na bhāvo nābhāvo...
  • གང་ཚེ་དངོས་དང་དངོས་མེད་དག
  • When neither an entity (dngos po, bhāva) nor a nonentity (dngos po, abhāva)...
Not one of the words in the following phrase exist in the Tibetan translation, not to the mention the Sanskrit original.
  • Eventually, when the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness....
None of Śantideva's Indian commentators understand this to mean the "true existence of..." and translated non-entity as emptiness is quite strange and wrong.

The primary commentator, Prajñākaravarman, states:
  • As such, this means that when neither an entity nor a nonentity remain before the mind of the yogi, because at that time an apprehensible aspect does not appear, all concepts are pacified through the absence of perception.
It is in sum, an incorrect translation.
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:35 pm

Let's take a look at the two preceding verses. I will use Brunnholzl's translation.
32. Through familiarity with the latent tendencies of emptiness,
The latent tendencies of entities will be relinquished.
Through familiarity with "utter nonexistence,"
These too will be relinquished later on.

33. Once this "utter nonexistence"-
The entity to be determined-cannot be observed,
How should a nonentity without a basis
Remain before the Mind?
Brunnholzl, "Center," p.652.

Pawo Rinpoche comments that, first, one cultivates the notion that phenomena are illusionlike. As a result of this cultivation, phenomena will not even be observed as mere illusions, but as "empty aspects." Pawo Rinpoche says "All phenomena will be seen as nothing at all." This "Utter nonexistence" is, however, also conceptual and a part of the process. He notes that this is not "the perfect nature" because it does not even abide as this very "utter nonexistence." He says that "Utter nonexistence" means "seeing [emptiness] as the aspect that is the extinction of all discursiveness." Through repeated exposure, this, too, will be relinquished.

Now, the question arises, as to whether this conceptual "Utter Nonexistence" is equivalent to a "generic image." Pawo Rinpoche points out that this "cannot be observed."

It's worth reading this section, BTW....Pgs. 652-653.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:41 pm

Malcolm wrote: It is in sum, an incorrect translation.
Yes, but those who support it will claim that an "oral transmission" or "explicatory tradition" is needed to unpack the "True Meaning" of those phrases, and that only that tradition or transmission of theirs discerns the "correct and intended meaning." And so it goes.....building towering confections of prapanca, Ghandarva cities of conceptual proliferation, because of worries about the correct functioning of the seeming, the inexorability of the Law of Karma, etc.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:45 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
DGA wrote:
Jeff H wrote: It is attributed to Kelsang Gyatso. I still have the Tharpa recording of his Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life from my previous association with NKT. This is chapter 9:34 in the book and on the recording it is found on disk 4, track 2, at 4:28.

I'd be very interested to hear from Malcolm or one of the other translators here, just how the translation is mistaken.
It's really weird. What's "the true existence of emptiness," for starters?
It's not weird - it's the appearance of emptiness being inherently existent; in other words, how emptiness appears on the paths of accumulation and preparation. The verse is saying that when, in meditation, there is no appearance of inherent existence and not even the appearance of inherent existence of emptiness, the mind will abide in a direct realisation of emptiness in which all dualistic conceptions have been pacified. This is the path of seeing onwards.
Now you are just tying yourself in knots. So first you have the negation of inherent existence, which you call emptiness; but then, you have to negate the inherent existence of your negation, and we all know double negations affirm their opposite, thus in negating the absence of inherent existence which alone you claim to be emptiness, you are affirming inherent existence. It is just as Nāgārjuna states in the Ratnavali:
  • If by refuting existence
    there will be however be non-existence,
    therefore, by refuting non-existence,
    for what reason will there not be existence?
Thus, we again see the necessity of the step by step negation of the four extremes.
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Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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