Inherent deja vu all over again

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
  • 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.
It's a translation of the meaning, not just the words.

I know you are a literalist, Malcolm, who believes that the mere words of a text convey the correct meaning, but this is simply not the case. I have given a clear explanation of the real meaning of this verse. Can you explain how Prajñākaravarman's commentary differs from the explanation I gave? I don't believe there is any difference except that it is incorrect to say there is an absence of perception per se because there is no mind without an object. Thus, even the commentary requires clarification as to the correct meaning which is that all concepts of inherent existence are pacified through the absence of perceiving inherent existence.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Bakmoon » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:08 pm

Malcolm wrote: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.
That's not a fair critique of the Gelug position because Gelugpas do not negate the emptiness perceived in meditation, but rather they negate the inherent existence of that very emptiness. Just like Gelugpas do not negate pots, but only negate the inherent existence of pots, so to they do not negate emptiness, only the inherent existence of that emptiness.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:
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.
I'm not tying myself in knots at all. The aim of meditation on emptiness is to remove all perception of inherent existence. Lack of Inherent existence itself appears inherently existent due to imprints; in other words, emptiness appears to be an independent object. This is called dualistic appearance and it is what is preventing emptiness from being experienced directly and non-conceptually. This dualistic appearance is gradually removed through familiarity with meditation on emptiness. The generic image of emptiness fades until emptiness is experienced directly. It's not a double negation at all.

The negation of the four extremes is really just intellectual. No one has yet explained how such an object can appear to mind and how you would meditate on it.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:18 pm

Bakmoon wrote: That's not a fair critique of the Gelug position because Gelugpas do not negate the emptiness perceived in meditation, but rather they negate the inherent existence of that very emptiness. Just like Gelugpas do not negate pots, but only negate the inherent existence of pots, so to they do not negate emptiness, only the inherent existence of that emptiness.
:good: Very well explained and very succinct too! Thank you.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:20 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
Malcolm wrote: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.
That's not a fair critique of the Gelug position because Gelugpas do not negate the emptiness perceived in meditation, but rather they negate the inherent existence of that very emptiness. Just like Gelugpas do not negate pots, but only negate the inherent existence of pots, so to they do not negate emptiness, only the inherent existence of that emptiness.
It is a perfectly fair criticism. The negation of existence establishes nonexistence. The negation of nonexistence establishes existence. For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
Atikosha
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Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:23 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
  • 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.
It's a translation of the meaning, not just the words.

I know you are a literalist, Malcolm, who believes that the mere words of a text convey the correct meaning, but this is simply not the case. I have given a clear explanation of the real meaning of this verse. Can you explain how Prajñākaravarman's commentary differs from the explanation I gave? I don't believe there is any difference except that it is incorrect to say there is an absence of perception per se because there is no mind without an object. Thus, even the commentary requires clarification as to the correct meaning which is that all concepts of inherent existence are pacified through the absence of perceiving inherent existence.
And here we see the foundation of the new Ghandarva City, with the beginnings of the superstructure rising......
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 Tsongkhapafan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
It is a perfectly fair criticism. The negation of existence establishes nonexistence. The negation of nonexistence establishes existence. For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
Bakmoon's comments are correct. Negation of inherent existence establishes the non-existence of inherent existence (it never has existed). It is not non-existence that is being negated, it's the inherent existence of lack of inherent existence that is being negated. We are not negating emptiness, merely its falsely appearing as inherently existent. Thus one is realising the non-true existence of emptiness such that emptiness itself is not grasped as something.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:38 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
  • 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.
It's a translation of the meaning, not just the words.
It is not a translation of the meaning. The meaning of bhāva is not "true existence." Never has been, never will be.
I know you are a literalist, Malcolm, who believes that the mere words of a text convey the correct meaning, but this is simply not the case.
This is an extremely facile argument. Not even worth the electricity it uses on the internet.

I have given a clear explanation of the real meaning of this verse. Can you explain how Prajñākaravarman's commentary differs from the explanation I gave? I don't believe there is any difference except that it is incorrect to say there is an absence of perception per se because there is no mind without an object.
And yet, that is indeed what the text says. When there is neither an entity nor its absence present before the mind, there is nothing else to perceive, and mind is pacified.
Thus, even the commentary requires clarification as to the correct meaning which is that all concepts of inherent existence are pacified through the absence of perceiving inherent existence.
The commentary says nothing about concepts of inherent existence, in fact, none of them do.
Atikosha
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Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:00 am

Malcolm wrote:
It is not a translation of the meaning. The meaning of bhāva is not "true existence." Never has been, never will be.
Not the literal meaning, the word-for-word meaning - it's a translation of the practical meaning.
I know you are a literalist, Malcolm, who believes that the mere words of a text convey the correct meaning, but this is simply not the case.
I rest my case given your previous comment.
And yet, that is indeed what the text says. When there is neither an entity nor its absence present before the mind, there is nothing else to perceive, and mind is pacified.
This is how you interpret the words. Can you explain how a mind can exist without an object? The function of mind is to know; if there's nothing to know, mind does not exist so this cannot be the meaning of the words.

The mind perceives emptiness, not nothing.
The commentary says nothing about concepts of inherent existence, in fact, none of them do.
Quite so, which is why relying just on words is dangerous.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:01 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
It is a perfectly fair criticism. The negation of existence establishes nonexistence. The negation of nonexistence establishes existence. For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
Bakmoon's comments are correct. Negation of inherent existence establishes the non-existence of inherent existence (it never has existed). It is not non-existence that is being negated, it's the inherent existence of lack of inherent existence that is being negated. We are not negating emptiness, merely its falsely appearing as inherently existent. Thus one is realising the non-true existence of emptiness such that emptiness itself is not grasped as something.
Keep going, pretty soon you will wrap yourself up just as nicely as any silkworm in a cocoon.

1) Negating an existence establishes a nonexistence.

2) Negating a nonexistence establishes an existence.

3) Negating inherent existence establishes a nonexistence.

4) The latter is what you call emptiness, the nonexistence of inherent existence.

5) Thus, the negation of the inherent existence of the nonexistence of inherent existence (emptiness) can only be an affirmation of the existence of inherent existence because of the rule concerning such double negations.

Thus, you tie yourself in knots with this entirely clumsy, illogical and unnecessary language.
Atikosha
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:06 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
It is a perfectly fair criticism. The negation of existence establishes nonexistence. The negation of nonexistence establishes existence. For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
Bakmoon's comments are correct. Negation of inherent existence establishes the non-existence of inherent existence (it never has existed). It is not non-existence that is being negated, it's the inherent existence of lack of inherent existence that is being negated. We are not negating emptiness, merely its falsely appearing as inherently existent. Thus one is realising the non-true existence of emptiness such that emptiness itself is not grasped as something.
Keep going, pretty soon you will wrap yourself up just as nicely as any silkworm in a cocoon.

1) Negating an existence establishes a nonexistence.

2) Negating a nonexistence establishes an existence.

3) Negating inherent existence establishes a nonexistence.

4) The latter is what you call emptiness, the nonexistence of inherent existence.

5) Thus, the negation of the inherent existence of the nonexistence of inherent existence (emptiness) can only be an affirmation of the existence of inherent existence because of the rule concerning such double negations.

Thus, you tie yourself in knots with this entirely clumsy, illogical and unnecessary language.
You're the one with the words Malcolm. The negation of inherent existence is just that - a non-affirming negative. There is no affirmation therefore you're incorrect.

It makes no difference whether you are negating the inherent existence of things or the inherent existence of non-things; it doesn't affirm anything.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:15 am

Malcolm wrote:The negation of existence establishes nonexistence..
Gelugpas negate inherent existence, not existence in general, so this establishes the nonexistence of inherent existence, not a total nonexistence.
Malcolm wrote:For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
But Gelugpas do not negate the nonexistence of inherent existence. They negate the inherent existence of the nonexistence of inherent existence.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:22 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote: You're the one with the words Malcolm. The negation of inherent existence is just that - a non-affirming negative. There is no affirmation therefore you're incorrect.
A nonaffirming negative (med 'gag) only applies to a proposition of one's opponent. An affirming negation (ma yin 'gag) is a negation that affirms one's own position.

Only Madhyamakas use exclusively use nonaffirming negatives since they have no position of their own to defend.

Now the negation of inherent existence will only be a nonaffirming negation if someone proposes something as being inherently existent and you directly negate it without proposing something in its place.

But you set forth the negation of inherent existence as a negation that affirms (ma yin 'gag) your own tenet system. Therefore, you are using the term incorrectly.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:25 am

Would not a generic image of emptiness be an affirming negation, by definition? This is just an aside...but...
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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Malcolm
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:25 am

Bakmoon wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The negation of existence establishes nonexistence..
Gelugpas negate inherent existence, not existence in general, so this establishes the nonexistence of inherent existence, not a total nonexistence.
Malcolm wrote:For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
But Gelugpas do not negate the nonexistence of inherent existence. They negate the inherent existence of the nonexistence of inherent existence.
There is really no difference between existence and inherent existence, as Nāgārjuna shows and as I have discussed many times. It is in fact a barren distinction:
  • Where is there an existence not included in inherent existence or dependent existence..."
Atikosha
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:33 am

Malcolm wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The negation of existence establishes nonexistence..
Gelugpas negate inherent existence, not existence in general, so this establishes the nonexistence of inherent existence, not a total nonexistence.
Malcolm wrote:For example, if one negates inherent existence, one is establishing a nonexistence. If one in turn negates that nonexistence, for what reason is one not establishing its opposite? These are the kinds of flaws that flow from treating the absence of inherent existence alone as emptiness.
But Gelugpas do not negate the nonexistence of inherent existence. They negate the inherent existence of the nonexistence of inherent existence.
There is really no difference between existence and inherent existence, as Nāgārjuna shows and as I have discussed many times. It is in fact a barren distinction:
  • Where is there an existence not included in inherent existence or dependent existence..."
The conventional existence which Gelugpas do not refute is not the same as 'existence' as understood by worldly people, so it isn't fair to lump it in under the category of existence. in a general sense like that.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by conebeckham » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:34 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote: The commentary says nothing about concepts of inherent existence, in fact, none of them do.
Quite so, which is why relying just on words is dangerous.
Irony alert.

If we do not rely on words, then on what should we rely?
I assume we must rely on the words of your "explication lineage" to invoke and interpret "Bhava" as Inherent Nonexistence," although there is that pesky term "Svabhava" which is interestingly not used in that stanza by Shantideva. I wonder why?

You yourself are relying on words, Tsongkhapafan, as much so as are Malcolm and the rest of us....in your case, however, there are apparently more words.

Also, just to be excruciatingly clear--I am going to venture that Malcolm and others here have had frequent interaction with teachers regarding this subject. In the end, we rely on the words of our teachers, as well, and that includes oral presentation as well as written texts. I merely point this out to invoke comparison. There is reflection, and meditation--but first comes "hearing" or "listening."
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 Tsongkhapafan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:37 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: You're the one with the words Malcolm. The negation of inherent existence is just that - a non-affirming negative. There is no affirmation therefore you're incorrect.
A nonaffirming negative (med 'gag) only applies to a proposition of one's opponent. An affirming negation (ma yin 'gag) is a negation that affirms one's own position.

Only Madhyamakas use exclusively use nonaffirming negatives since they have no position of their own to defend.

Now the negation of inherent existence will only be a nonaffirming negation if someone proposes something as being inherently existent and you directly negate it without proposing something in its place.

But you set forth the negation of inherent existence as a negation that affirms (ma yin 'gag) your own tenet system. Therefore, you are using the term incorrectly.
Negatives are not about debate but using an explicit negation to realise something implicitly, or to realise what is valid or what is not valid.

Inherent existence does not exist therefore it is always correct to negate it because grasping at it is a wrong awareness and the root of samsara. What do we need to put in its place? Nothing. It's a mere negation that doesn't affirm any positive phenomenon. It's also no nihilistic because we are not putting something that exists out of existence - we are merely realising that what we always thought to exist does not. 'There is no inherent existence' tells you that there is no inherent existence and it doesn't affirm anything in its place.

An affirming negative on the other hand is realising something by negating something else. For example, "my cousin lacks being female" tells you that my cousin is male.

Negating inherent existence is a non-affirming negative. When I negate the inherent existence of form, I realise only a lack of inherent existence of form. When I negate the inherent existence of emptiness, I realise only a lack of inherent existence of emptiness.

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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:50 am

conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote: The commentary says nothing about concepts of inherent existence, in fact, none of them do.
Quite so, which is why relying just on words is dangerous.
Irony alert.

If we do not rely on words, then on what should we rely?
You're right, from one point of view we are just relying on words; but words are empty of inherent meaning so we need to receive the correct meaning from living realised Masters, not just from books.

In his teaching on the Four Reliances, Buddha said:
Do not rely upon the person, but upon the Dharma.
Do not rely upon the words, but upon the meaning.
Do not rely upon the interpretative meaning, but upon the definitive meaning.
Do not rely upon consciousness, but upon wisdom.
"Do not rely upon the words, but upon the meaning" means we should not be influenced merely by the poetic or rhetorical style of a particular teaching, but should accept it only if the actual meaning of the words is reasonable. If the words do not make sense or contradict our understanding of the meaning of Dharma, we need to investigate further until we are satisfied.

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Malcolm
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Re: Inherent deja vu all over again

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:23 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote: You're the one with the words Malcolm. The negation of inherent existence is just that - a non-affirming negative. There is no affirmation therefore you're incorrect.
A nonaffirming negative (med 'gag) only applies to a proposition of one's opponent. An affirming negation (ma yin 'gag) is a negation that affirms one's own position.

Only Madhyamakas use exclusively use nonaffirming negatives since they have no position of their own to defend.

Now the negation of inherent existence will only be a nonaffirming negation if someone proposes something as being inherently existent and you directly negate it without proposing something in its place.

But you set forth the negation of inherent existence as a negation that affirms (ma yin 'gag) your own tenet system. Therefore, you are using the term incorrectly.
Negatives are not about debate...
Incorrect, they are explicitly about debate.

Inherent existence does not exist therefore it is always correct to negate it because grasping at it is a wrong awareness and the root of samsara.
And since existence is included in inherent existence, it is always correct to negate it as well.

What do we need to put in its place? Nothing. It's a mere negation that doesn't affirm any positive phenomenon.
In your case, you use the negation of inherent existence to affirm mere existence. Therefore, you have a position and your use of the negation of inherent existence is not a nonimplicative negation, but rather an implicative negation.
It's also no nihilistic because we are not putting something that exists out of existence - we are merely realising that what we always thought to exist does not. 'There is no inherent existence' tells you that there is no inherent existence and it doesn't affirm anything in its place.
Your use of negation is meant to affirm a position, mere existence, and therefore, you are not using a nonimplicative negation.

An affirming negative on the other hand is realising something by negating something else. For example, "my cousin lacks being female" tells you that my cousin is male.
Not necessarily, in this day and age.

Negating inherent existence is a non-affirming negative.
Not when it is used to affirm mere existence, which is strictly how you use it.

When I negate the inherent existence of form, I realise only a lack of inherent existence of form. When I negate the inherent existence of emptiness, I realise only a lack of inherent existence of emptiness.
When you negate the inherent existence of form or emptiness, you are affirming form and emptiness because your negation is implicative, not nonimplicative — and you cannot escape this consequence for as long as you affirm mere existence.
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