"One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

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Dharma Flower
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:25 pm

The Buddha had some important words regarding fruitless doctrinal debate:
Whereas some brahmans and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — ‘You understand this doctrine and discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
It would be better for us to acknowledge the differences between Yogacara and Madhyamaka philosophy, at least semantically, than to pretend these two philosophies are 100% the same. There is nothing wrong or upsetting about the fact that Yogacara and Madhyamaka are, at least semantically, different from each other.

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Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:43 pm

Matt J wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:59 am
I thought the four extremes were supposed to be exhaustive of conceptual positions.
Unless one turns that into a conceptual position.

There is nothing in the middle. Hence, this is why the "Freedom from Extremes" exponents report "gnas lug med pa," i.e., no reality.

Sherab does not seem to understand that all theism can be rebutted by Buddhapalita's simple argument: "Arising from self is invalid because arising would be purposeless and endless."
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Snowbear
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Snowbear » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:48 pm

Sherab wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:48 pm
Snowbear wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:52 am
Wow, you put an impressive amount of care and time into that. Due to my obscurations I don't know what it all means. I'm curious what effect this has had on your practice.
It is about
(1) ensuring that when interpreting authority, they should not violate logic and valid reasoning. This is because if you allow your interpretation to have a free pass from logic and valid reasoning, anything goes.
(2) ensuring having more intellectual certainty of what is most vital to the teachings of the Buddha, is there or is there not a liberation from all that is produced, made, born, etc. (I have argued that Malcolm has over negated and as a result, there is no getting over the realm of illusion.)
(3) being able to counter theists arguing that a Creator God that created an illusory world and the Buddha's teachings cannot penetrate through to the realm of the Creator God of the theists. I have argued that there is an ultimate and that it can be penetrated, and that the Buddha has to have penetrated to that in order to be able to state with authority that there is no Creator God.
Is it uncertainty and fear of having nothing to hold on to that is motivating your analysis?

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am
Sherab wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:52 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:51 pm
Madhyamaka arguments are not formal proofs in logic. They are rebuttals of other's positions.
That does not mean that you get a free pass to be fast and loose with the rules of logic and valid reasoning.
All we need to do is show the opponents position is self-contradictory, as in your assertion there is an ultimate that is free from two extremes which is merely an affirmation of existence.

Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
You keep refusing to accept that once existence and non-existence are properly defined and that when you work within those boundaries, you can no longer make your allegations against the analysis that I have presented, an analytical method that you have so far been unable to say is incorrect. All you did is just to dance around my arguments in order to avoid having to confront the logical inconsistency in your very own statements of the ultimate and the conventional.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:20 pm

Snowbear wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:48 pm
Sherab wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:48 pm
Snowbear wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:52 am
Wow, you put an impressive amount of care and time into that. Due to my obscurations I don't know what it all means. I'm curious what effect this has had on your practice.
It is about
(1) ensuring that when interpreting authority, they should not violate logic and valid reasoning. This is because if you allow your interpretation to have a free pass from logic and valid reasoning, anything goes.
(2) ensuring having more intellectual certainty of what is most vital to the teachings of the Buddha, is there or is there not a liberation from all that is produced, made, born, etc. (I have argued that Malcolm has over negated and as a result, there is no getting over the realm of illusion.)
(3) being able to counter theists arguing that a Creator God that created an illusory world and the Buddha's teachings cannot penetrate through to the realm of the Creator God of the theists. I have argued that there is an ultimate and that it can be penetrated, and that the Buddha has to have penetrated to that in order to be able to state with authority that there is no Creator God.
Is it uncertainty and fear of having nothing to hold on to that is motivating your analysis?
It is about being skeptical and not to bet the house on faith. Perhaps it is just me. I don't want to invest a huge portion of my life just on something based purely on believing without proper justification. Proper justification includes not having beliefs that contradict the rules of logic and valid reasoning.

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Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:28 pm

Sherab wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:17 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am
Sherab wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:52 pm

That does not mean that you get a free pass to be fast and loose with the rules of logic and valid reasoning.
All we need to do is show the opponents position is self-contradictory, as in your assertion there is an ultimate that is free from two extremes which is merely an affirmation of existence.

Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
You keep refusing to accept that once existence and non-existence are properly defined and that when you work within those boundaries, you can no longer make your allegations against the analysis that I have presented, an analytical method that you have so far been unable to say is incorrect. All you did is just to dance around my arguments in order to avoid having to confront the logical inconsistency in your very own statements of the ultimate and the conventional.
Your definitions are not consistent with the definitions of these things in scripture.

It is natural that when we accept the opponents definitions in toto, he has already won. But your definition of ultimate truth is wrong from the outset.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:43 pm
Matt J wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:59 am
I thought the four extremes were supposed to be exhaustive of conceptual positions.
There is nothing in the middle. Hence, this is why the "Freedom from Extremes" exponents report "gnas lug med pa," i.e., no reality.
Then when the Buddha said in the Samdhinirmocana that

"the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas"
"the ultimate belongs to the signless realm"
"the ultimate is inexpressible"
"the ultimate is devoid of conventions."


he was in fact saying that the ultimate is non-existent? If so, why don't he just say so? Either that, or non-existent is not a proper attribute of the ultimate and it is the interpretations of what is meant by "freedom from extremes" and what is meant by "gnas lug med pa" that should be relooked.

I suggest that only when you first properly understand what is meant by "existence" and "non-existence", and always keeping that in mind, you can come to an understanding of the Buddha's position on the ultimate without having internal logical contradictions and inconsistencies.

To me, all of a person's views become questionable when there is internal logical contradictions and inconsistencies, no matter how eloquent he or she may be, and how much authority he can cite to "support" his or her position. Each time I examine a citation provided Malcolm to support his argument, it seemed to me that it really does not support his position as he so claimed. It came to the point that I thought it would be a waste of time to examine his citations unless he show me first, a resolution to the logical incoherence in his very own statements.

Once you disregard the rules of logic and valid reasoning because it is convenient to do so, pretty much any position can be justified.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:28 pm
Sherab wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:17 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am


All we need to do is show the opponents position is self-contradictory, as in your assertion there is an ultimate that is free from two extremes which is merely an affirmation of existence.

Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
You keep refusing to accept that once existence and non-existence are properly defined and that when you work within those boundaries, you can no longer make your allegations against the analysis that I have presented, an analytical method that you have so far been unable to say is incorrect. All you did is just to dance around my arguments in order to avoid having to confront the logical inconsistency in your very own statements of the ultimate and the conventional.
Your definitions are not consistent with the definitions of these things in scripture.

It is natural that when we accept the opponents definitions in toto, he has already won. But your definition of ultimate truth is wrong from the outset.
Pray tell what is my definition of the ultimate that I have stated in this thread?

krodha
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by krodha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:09 am

Sherab wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:43 pm
Then when the Buddha said in the Samdhinirmocana that

"the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas"
"the ultimate belongs to the signless realm"
"the ultimate is inexpressible"
"the ultimate is devoid of conventions."


he was in fact saying that the ultimate is non-existent? If so, why don't he just say so? Either that, or non-existent is not a proper attribute of the ultimate and it is the interpretations of what is meant by "freedom from extremes" and what is meant by "gnas lug med pa" that should be relooked.
The Saṃdhinirmocana also says the ultimate is without essence, is not a real thing and does not exist.

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Matt J
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Matt J » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:13 am

Well, there's a conceptual ultimate and an nonconceptual ultimate. I think the point is that they are not independent. The finger is the conceptual ultimate pointing to the moon. Without the finger, you won't find the moon. When we say that the ultimate is only inexpressible, there is no way to point to it. On the other hand, if you only look at the finger, you won't find the moon either. To say the finger IS the moon is also wrong.

Here's Mipham's take on it:
Through scripture and reasoning, you can realize what is free from conceptual constructs. For example, when someone points at the moon with a finger, you can see the moon, yet the moon and finger need not be alike. Likewise, through the path of scripture and reasoning, you can realize what is ineffable and free from conceptual constructs. Yet it is impossible for words of scripture and intellectual reasoning, as they are, to be beyond conceptual constructs. This is the reason why in the sutras and great treatises, the meaning of suchness free from conceptual constructs is explained in two ways: (1) it is said to unexemplifiable, indemonstrable, and not the domain of language or mind; and (2) it is said to be determined by means of examples, arguments, scripture, and reasoning.

Without knowing how to explain the way that these distinctive viewpoints are without contradiction, people who have partial intelligence maintain only one side of the intended meaning and throw out the other by necessity. In this way, if they assert that there is definitely no other profound meaning beyond what can solely be determined by language and the intellect, then they must claim that whatever is knowable is exclusively the domain of confined perception. Thus, the Buddha would not know the suchness beyond the domain of all logic. . . . Or they claim that the ultimate is inconceivable and that its essence is beyond the domain of language and thought, such that there are no words or thoughts through which one could ever come to understand it. In this case, it would not be suitable to be known by anyone; the claim is similar to the assertion of an inconceivable Creator—there is no valid cognition to establish it. Also, there would be no point to the sutras, tantras, and treatises that settle upon the ultimate. Hence, the intelligence of one with partial vision is like an eye of a needle; it is unable to enjoy the bliss of the great ocean of the profound texts difficult to fathom, those of the Victorious Ones and the great bodhisattva chariots.
—LIGHT OF THE SUN, 276–78 (trans. Douglas Duckworth, from Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings)
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Vasana
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Vasana » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:01 pm

Ive not been following the entire thread but the above passage reminded me of the sutra im currently reading,

Teaching The Relative and Ultimate Truths - Samvrtiparamārthasatyanirdeśa

  • 'The god said, “Mañjuśrī, what is the gateway to all dharmas?” Mañjuśrī said, “Divine son, the relative truth, which employs all forms of statements, speech, cognition, objects of cognition, activities, conventions, and acts, is a gateway to all dharmas. The ultimate truth, which is so because it is the opposite of all forms of speech, statements, cognition, objects of cognition, activities, conventions, and acts, is a gateway to all dharmas.
    “Moreover, divine son, on the relative level, the incorrect conceptual workings of the mind are a gateway to samsāra. On the relative level, the correct conceptual workings of the mind are a gateway to nirvāna'.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:08 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:28 pm
Your definitions are not consistent with the definitions of these things in scripture.
I am not sure which definitions that you were referring to in the above that are not consistent with the definitions in scripture. My purpose on this board is to educate myself by putting forth my thoughts to see if they can be knocked down. So do educate me and tell me what are the scriptural definitions. I'd rather be a fool for five minutes than to be a fool forever.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:02 am
BTW, I did not negate the ultimate, I stated that ultimate truth must be a conventional truth because otherwise, it would not be effective (ārthakriya).
So you are using effectiveness as a means to negate the ultimate being an ultimate. My question to you is this: why can't an ultimate be effective? What is it about an ultimate that made it ineffective?

If you argue that an ultimate is permanent, static and unable to change and therefore is ineffective or an ultimate is one where there is no possibility of a continuum and therefore there can be no stability in any phenomenon, then you ignoring the fact that I have already excluded such these ultimate of eternalism and nihilism. This means that the ultimate that you are attributing to me is nothing but a strawman.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am
Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
Here is my interpretation of what you are saying that Tsongkhapa was saying. Correct me if I am wrong:
(1) Existence that is free from the extremes of eternalism and nihilism refutes existence in the ultimate (i.e. eternalism and nihilism).
(2) Non-existence of eternalism and nihilism refutes non-existence in the relative.

In other words, in (1), when you examine phenomena, they look like endless continuums from past to the future. This refutes that kind of existence that are eternalism or nihilism. In (2) Since the forms of existence as represented by eternalism and nihilism do not exist, it refutes these kinds of existence in the relative. The kind of existence in the relative is therefore a form of existence that is neither eternalism nor nihilism.

If they above is correct, then there is no contradiction with my position.

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Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:41 am

Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am
Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
Here is my interpretation of what you are saying that Tsongkhapa was saying. Correct me if I am wrong:
(1) Existence that is free from the extremes of eternalism and nihilism refutes existence in the ultimate (i.e. eternalism and nihilism).
(2) Non-existence of eternalism and nihilism refutes non-existence in the relative.

In other words, in (1), when you examine phenomena, they look like endless continuums from past to the future. This refutes that kind of existence that are eternalism or nihilism. In (2) Since the forms of existence as represented by eternalism and nihilism do not exist, it refutes these kinds of existence in the relative. The kind of existence in the relative is therefore a form of existence that is neither eternalism nor nihilism.

If they above is correct, then there is no contradiction with my position.
Nope. That is not what Tsongkhapa means.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:41 am
Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 am
Tsongkhapa's point of view, that "existence" refutes existence in the ultimate, whereas "nonexistence" refutes nonexistence in the relative is infinitely preferable to your formulation.
Here is my interpretation of what you are saying that Tsongkhapa was saying. Correct me if I am wrong:
(1) Existence that is free from the extremes of eternalism and nihilism refutes existence in the ultimate (i.e. eternalism and nihilism).
(2) Non-existence of eternalism and nihilism refutes non-existence in the relative.

In other words, in (1), when you examine phenomena, they look like endless continuums from past to the future. This refutes that kind of existence that are eternalism or nihilism. In (2) Since the forms of existence as represented by eternalism and nihilism do not exist, it refutes these kinds of existence in the relative. The kind of existence in the relative is therefore a form of existence that is neither eternalism nor nihilism.

If they above is correct, then there is no contradiction with my position.
Nope. That is not what Tsongkhapa means.
Explain to me what Tsongkhapa meant then, giving your definitions of what existence and non-existence means in the said context.

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:11 pm

krodha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:09 am
Sherab wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:43 pm
Then when the Buddha said in the Samdhinirmocana that

"the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas"
"the ultimate belongs to the signless realm"
"the ultimate is inexpressible"
"the ultimate is devoid of conventions."


he was in fact saying that the ultimate is non-existent? If so, why don't he just say so? Either that, or non-existent is not a proper attribute of the ultimate and it is the interpretations of what is meant by "freedom from extremes" and what is meant by "gnas lug med pa" that should be relooked.
The Saṃdhinirmocana also says the ultimate is without essence, is not a real thing and does not exist.
You have said yourself that the ultimate is not a thing and I have not asserted that the ultimate is a thing. I have said a number of times in various places on this forum that there is nothing in the relative that can be used to reference the ultimate.

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Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:28 pm

Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:57 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:41 am
Sherab wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am

Here is my interpretation of what you are saying that Tsongkhapa was saying. Correct me if I am wrong:
(1) Existence that is free from the extremes of eternalism and nihilism refutes existence in the ultimate (i.e. eternalism and nihilism).
(2) Non-existence of eternalism and nihilism refutes non-existence in the relative.

In other words, in (1), when you examine phenomena, they look like endless continuums from past to the future. This refutes that kind of existence that are eternalism or nihilism. In (2) Since the forms of existence as represented by eternalism and nihilism do not exist, it refutes these kinds of existence in the relative. The kind of existence in the relative is therefore a form of existence that is neither eternalism nor nihilism.

If they above is correct, then there is no contradiction with my position.
Nope. That is not what Tsongkhapa means.
Explain to me what Tsongkhapa meant then, giving your definitions of what existence and non-existence means in the said context.

Not existing in the ultimate means the ultimate truth is a simple nonaffirming negation of the inherent existence of things. Not non-existent in the relative means conventional existence is not rejected.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Sherab
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Sherab » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:28 pm
Not existing in the ultimate means the ultimate truth is a simple nonaffirming negation of the inherent existence of things. Not non-existent in the relative means conventional existence is not rejected.
This still does not contradict my position.

As the relative is analyzed layer by layer, the final layer of things will not be perceived. So there is no inherent existence of things. This does not mean that there is no foundational layer. Why? This is how I see it: because the perception where the final layer of things is not perceived is still dualistic. The foundational layer is not perceived through dualistic perception. Also, the ultimate is said to be indescribable and thus cannot be said to be a thing as understood by a dualistic mind.

Not non-existent in the relative implies that there is still one form of dependencies or another in the conventional. Otherwise, there can be no appearances.

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Malcolm
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Re: "One Mind" in Hua Yen thought

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:26 pm

Sherab wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:09 pm
This does not mean that there is no foundational layer.
Your ideas get worse by the second.

There is no foundational layer་ at all.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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