Queequeg wrote: ↑
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:08 pm
Malcolm wrote: ↑
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:38 pm
When one take ultimate reality as one's contemplation, of course there is nothing that is not ultimate in that contemplation. That contemplation itself is focused upon the ultimate. Such sentiments as this are simply not controversial at all in Indian Buddhism, etc.
LOL. You're the one arguing with everything I write. I posted that quote in full in my second post in this thread and that frames everything I've written.
However, this passage cannot be used to support the contention, "a rock is suchness." This is merely a statement on unified śamatha and vipaśyāna.
I never made that claim. Please stop doing that. ...
Then there is no point to your bringing it into the discussion.
The two truths are not independent realities— every object possesses two natures which are the objects of veridical and nonveridical cognitions respectively -- ultimate truth is the object of a veridical cognition of a given thing, such as a rock; relative truth is the object of a nonveridical cognition of a given thing, such as a rock (we don't need to address here the difference between conventional truth and delusion).
For example, if one perceives the hardness and solidity of a rock, one is not perceiving the suchness of the rock. If one is perceiving the suchness of the rock, its emptiness, absence of inherent existence, etc., one is not perceiving the conventional attributes of a rock. The gist of the complete statement above is that when one is in āryan equipoise, all sense datum are perceptions of the ultimate nature of things. This is perfectly fine. No one can have a problem with this who understands Mahāyāna Buddhism.
Actually, Zhiyi does critique that approach.[/quote]
Which approach? The idea that the two truths not independent realities? That they different kinds of cognitions? Be more precise.
That passage we've both quoted actually critiques the proposition of a contemplation dwelling exclusively on the ultimate. Its an inferior contemplation that does not lead to awakening. Its not spelled out here - you'd have to refer to the context of that passage. That passage does not mean what you think it means.
I understood the point of the passage. I agree with the point of the passage -- when one is āryan equipoise, all experience is the experience of the ultimate, smelling a flower, being hit on the head with a rock, and so on. In that equipoise, there is nothing that is not an experience of the ultimate. Some other schools may imagine that conventional things disappear in such an equipoise, but that is not correct. It still does not mean your identity proposition is defensible.
But this still does not mean that your identity propsition—rocks are suchness— is valid at all.
I did not propose that. That is an incomplete representation of what I keep writing. You'd have to also go through the other three assertions of the tetralemma. Rocks are not suchness. Rocks are both suchness and not sucheness. Rocks are neither suchness nor not suchness.
I don't have to guess at what you might write, I have only to deal with what you do write. This is the first time in this conversation that you have brought up the idea of a tetralemma (and in so doing, abused it completely, committing yet another error). The point of the tetralemma is not to make assertions. All you done here is now make four equally faulty identity propositions "a rock is a; is not a; is both a and not a; and is neither a nor not a." This is just not how the tetralemma is used in Buddhist texts by anyone. The tetralemma, used properly, is a structured negation. This is why we see the Buddha rejecting tetralemmas formed as identity propositions in other schools.
Your on firmer ground if you said something like "Matter is empty; emptiness is matter; there is no matter apart from emptiness; there is no emptiness apart from matter." This kind of identity proposition is absolutely faultless. You can substitute rock if you like with no harm at all: "A rock is empty; emptiness is a rock; there is not rock apart from emptiness; there is no emptiness apart from rock." This points to the fact that any given thing's ultimate nature is mutually inclusive with its relative nature -- the two are inseparable. But this still does not mean that "the buddhanature of insentient things" is a valid Buddhist doctrine.
We come to the conclusion that rocks are inconceivable. Saying that they have Buddhanature is a conditioned statement that is ultimately inconceivable. It doesn't mean what you think it means. I keep saying this over and over.
It is a statement that cannot be accepted at face value at all.
But I'll take the rest of your comment:
If rocks are suchness, there could be no nonveridical perceptions of rocks at all and therefore the distinction Zhi Yi is making here becomes meaningless. It becomes meaningless to talk about a "perfect and sudden calming-and-contemplation" that from the very beginning takes ultimate reality as its object, because if every relative thing was suchness and not different at all from suchness, then all perceptions would be "The perfect and sudden calming-and-contemplation."
You might actually be catching on here. Even a completely mistaken perception about a rock is real.
It is conventionally real, of course. Even the contemplation of the ultimate is merely something conventional, not actually ultimate per se.
That does not mean it is wholly lacking in reality - just not the reality that the mistaken person might think it is.
This why all entities bear two natures: one ultimate, the other relative, including buddhahood. It is also merely a convention, not actually real.