Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:54 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:31 pm
In the realm of convention
Sigh. This is what I've been saying all along. You can invoke convention, but no one else can. Got it.
An example of a convention is something which is functional in the world. Arguments which do not stand up to convention are false arguments.

Claiming that a rock has buddhanature violates convention because rocks do not have minds. It is that simple.

For example, claiming that water is dry is a violation of convention; claiming there are four moons in the August night sky on planet Earth is a violation of convention; claiming that the pink elephants you see because of detoxing on alcohol are real is a violation of convention.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:36 pm
Your statement suffers from the problem of not distinguishing dharmin and dharmatā. While one cannot claim that dharmin and dharmatā, in this case a rock and its suchness, are absolutely different, neither can one claim they are identical.
And your statement suffered from distinguishing them.
However, it is a category error to assert that the ultimate is the specific characteristic (svalakṣana) of a given relative entity.
Its only an error if you asset that the ultimate is exclusively the specific characteristic.
The Buddha asserts that stating an absolutely identity or difference between the ultimate and the relative are both problematical. He concludes this chapter by stating:

The characteristic of compounded entities and the ultimate
is the characteristic of being neither the same nor different;
those who conceive sameness and difference
are improperly oriented.
Indeed.
On the other hand, the Buddha states nowhere that making conventional distinctions between dharmin and dharmatā is similarly fraught. In fact, as you know, Nāgārjuna points out that it is a great fault not to recognize the distinction between the two truths.
Its also error to reify the distinction.

In a way.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:42 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:54 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:31 pm
In the realm of convention
Sigh. This is what I've been saying all along. You can invoke convention, but no one else can. Got it.
An example of a convention is something which is functional in the world. Arguments which do not stand up to convention are false arguments.

Claiming that a rock has buddhanature violates convention because rocks do not have minds. It is that simple.

For example, claiming that water is dry is a violation of convention; claiming there are four moons in the August night sky on planet Earth is a violation of convention; claiming that the pink elephants you see because of detoxing on alcohol are real is a violation of convention.
Right. See Anders' post above as an example. Compare the meaning of Arya before and after the Buddha redefined the term.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:30 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:36 pm
Your statement suffers from the problem of not distinguishing dharmin and dharmatā. While one cannot claim that dharmin and dharmatā, in this case a rock and its suchness, are absolutely different, neither can one claim they are identical.
And your statement suffered from distinguishing them.
And as I pointed out, prior to you making your identity proposition, it is conventionally acceptable to do so. But it is not conventionally acceptable to assert the identity proposition "A rock is suchness." It's like saying, "the relative is ultimate."


However, it is a category error to assert that the ultimate is the specific characteristic (svalakṣana) of a given relative entity.
Its only an error if you asset that the ultimate is exclusively the specific characteristic.
A svalakṣana cannot be a samanyalakṣana and vice versa by definition. Thus, the characteristic of the ultimate is exclusively a general characteristic.

The Buddha demonstrates this by stating, "All the characteristics of the compounded cannot become the general characteristic, the characteristic of the ultimate...the characteristic of the ultimate cannot be designated as the characteristic of the universally afflicted, because all characteristics of the compounded would become the general characteristic, the characteristic of the ultimate."
Its also error to reify the distinction.
But it is not an error to make this necessary distinction. Why? Because otherwise, as pointed out in the Samdhinirmocana sūtra, if one does not make a distinction, all nonveridical cognitions become cognitions of the ultimate, and this is a very negative consequence. It is not as simple as the summary statement makes it seem. The Buddha explain four reasons why stating the ultimate and relative are the absolutely same are faulty, as well as four reasons why stating they are absolutely different is faulty; but in reality, the first four faults are more grave than the latter four.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:03 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:32 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:42 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:54 pm


Sigh. This is what I've been saying all along. You can invoke convention, but no one else can. Got it.
An example of a convention is something which is functional in the world. Arguments which do not stand up to convention are false arguments.

Claiming that a rock has buddhanature violates convention because rocks do not have minds. It is that simple.

For example, claiming that water is dry is a violation of convention; claiming there are four moons in the August night sky on planet Earth is a violation of convention; claiming that the pink elephants you see because of detoxing on alcohol are real is a violation of convention.
Right. See Anders' post above as an example. Compare the meaning of Arya before and after the Buddha redefined the term.
This is a non-argument. You can certainly call a dog a lion, but it will never roar, only bark. Diachronic changes in language do not impact the argument that conventions are called conventions because they describe functions. For example, we call an assemblage of mechanical parts a car due to its function, not because we think there is some ultimate carness. You can call it a motorized buggy, etc., but the point is that a car is car because it functions like a car. A rock or a stone, or whatever you want to call a mineral composite does not have buddhanature because it is not the function of a rock to attain buddhahood since a rock has no mind and is not sentient. A sentient being has a mind, and so is capable of the function of attaining buddhahood, not because there is some ultimate buddhaness. If there were ultimate buddhaness then we could claim that rocks have buddhanature. There is no ultimate buddhaness, thus, claiming a rock has buddhanature is no better than asserting that water is dry.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:01 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:56 pm
And as I pointed out, prior to you making your identity proposition, it is conventionally acceptable to do so. But it is not conventionally acceptable to assert the identity proposition "A rock is suchness." It's like saying, "the relative is ultimate."
This may be a point of impasse.

"Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real [ultimate]."
-Mohezhikuan

The gloss of that statement needs to be understood in terms of the Threefold Inclusive Truth. You seem to be working from a perspective where the Two Truths are distinct and arranged in some manner or another. Whatever your approach, this is explicitly considered an inferior teaching in Tiantai. This is the criticism inherent in the teaching on the Threefold Inclusive Truth.

You can cite all the scripture you want... Tiantai makes a break.
A svalakṣana cannot be a samanyalakṣana and vice versa by definition. Thus, the characteristic of the ultimate is exclusively a general characteristic.

The Buddha demonstrates this by stating, "All the characteristics of the compounded cannot become the general characteristic, the characteristic of the ultimate...the characteristic of the ultimate cannot be designated as the characteristic of the universally afflicted, because all characteristics of the compounded would become the general characteristic, the characteristic of the ultimate."
Again, I'll refer you to Zhiyi's expositions on the Threefold Inclusive Truth.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:03 pm
A rock or a stone, or whatever you want to call a mineral composite does not have buddhanature because it is not the function of a rock to attain buddhahood since a rock has no mind and is not sentient. A sentient being has a mind, and so is capable of the function of attaining buddhahood, not because there is some ultimate buddhaness. If there were ultimate buddhaness then we could claim that rocks have buddhanature. There is no ultimate buddhaness, thus, claiming a rock has buddhanature is no better than asserting that water is dry.
I know. Based on your criteria, you're right. Yes. Yes.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:38 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:01 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:56 pm
And as I pointed out, prior to you making your identity proposition, it is conventionally acceptable to do so. But it is not conventionally acceptable to assert the identity proposition "A rock is suchness." It's like saying, "the relative is ultimate."
This may be a point of impasse.

"Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real [ultimate]."
-Mohezhikuan
You did not provide the beginning of the passage, so this is a misleading citation .... Here is the complete passage:

The perfect and sudden calming-and-contemplation from the very beginning takes ultimate reality (shih-hsiang) as its object. No matter what the object of contemplation might be, it is seen to be identical to the middle. There is here nothing that is not true reality (chen-shih). When one fixes [the mind] on the dharmadhātu [as object]and unifies one’s mindfulness with the dharmadhātu [as it is], then there is not a single sight nor smell that is not the middle way.

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.

However, this passage cannot be used to support the contention, "a rock is suchness." This is merely a statement on unified śamatha and vipaśyāna.
...You seem to be working from a perspective where the Two Truths are distinct and arranged in some manner or another. Whatever your approach, this is explicitly considered an inferior teaching in Tiantai. This is the criticism inherent in the teaching on the Threefold Inclusive Truth.
No, that is not the perspective I am working from.

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.

But this still does not mean that your identity propsition—rocks are suchness— is valid at all. 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 can cite all the scripture you want... Tiantai makes a break.
Not so far.
Again, I'll refer you to Zhiyi's expositions on the Threefold Inclusive Truth.
What you have presented so far does not justify your identity proposition: "rocks are suchness." So at this point, I have to conclude this is your specific misunderstanding, not Zhi Yi's.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:41 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:03 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:03 pm
A rock or a stone, or whatever you want to call a mineral composite does not have buddhanature because it is not the function of a rock to attain buddhahood since a rock has no mind and is not sentient. A sentient being has a mind, and so is capable of the function of attaining buddhahood, not because there is some ultimate buddhaness. If there were ultimate buddhaness then we could claim that rocks have buddhanature. There is no ultimate buddhaness, thus, claiming a rock has buddhanature is no better than asserting that water is dry.
I know. Based on your criteria, you're right. Yes. Yes.
Not my criteria— conventionality is the criteria of what is known to the world. That is the criteria by which arguments are made or broken.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:44 pm

"Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real [ultimate]."
-Mohezhikuan
By the way, there is no middle, asserting a middle is a mistaken conclusion.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » 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. ...
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. 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.
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.

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. 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. That does not mean it is wholly lacking in reality - just not the reality that the mistaken person might think it is.

What does that mean? We just continue to practice.

What you have presented so far does not justify your identity proposition: "rocks are suchness." So at this point, I have to conclude this is your specific misunderstanding, not Zhi Yi's.
:shrug:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:44 pm
"Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real [ultimate]."
-Mohezhikuan
By the way, there is no middle, asserting a middle is a mistaken conclusion.
LOL.

Really, you don't know what you are talking about at this point when it comes to Tiantai. Seriously.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Sherab
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Sherab » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:18 am
Sherab wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:50 pm
Sherab wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:35 pm

The questions are relevant if sunyata is the same as dependent arising.

Why? Because dependent arising is the reason why there is the phenomena of sentient beings and inanimate things. If you disagree with this, please explain why you disagree.
Malcolm, I shall assume that your silence means that you are unable to disagree with my statement above. If so, then since for your suchness is sunyata and since sunyata is dependent arising (assumed by your above-mentioned silence), please respond if you can to my earlier questions reproduced below for your convenience:

If by suchness, you meant dependent arising, then your statement above implies that both inanimate things and sentient beings are dependently arisen. No problem here.

But when you say that the difference between inanimate things and sentient beings is that sentient beings are permeated with consciousness, are you saying that consciousness is not dependently arisen? If yes, then how does consciousness exist? Beyond suchness?

If you say that consciousness is dependently arisen, then is that dependent arising process distinct from the dependent arising process for inanimate things? If you say they are not distinct, then what is consciousness can become inanimate through the same dependent arising process and what is inanimate can become conscious through the same dependent arising process. Is this your position?

If you say that the dependent arising process is distinct, then the realm of phenomena necessarily is a duality of the inanimate and the conscious. Is this your position?


By answering the above questions, readers can then decide whether your arguments on the distinction between a sentient being and an insensible thing make sense or not. As it stands, your arguments appear to reflect an internally inconsistent or incoherent position on sentient being and insensible thing.
No, this not the case. And your questions are still irrelevant. They do not address any substantive topic I have raised.
No, my questions are very relevant because answering them will force you to confront the internal inconsistency or incoherence in your arguments. That is simply too uncomfortable for you I suspect.

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 pm

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.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:44 pm
"Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real [ultimate]."
-Mohezhikuan
By the way, there is no middle, asserting a middle is a mistaken conclusion.
LOL.

Really, you don't know what you are talking about at this point when it comes to Tiantai. Seriously.
Just saying, asserting a middle is an error.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Sherab » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:53 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:40 am
Sherab wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:58 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:31 pm


By suchness, I mean emptiness, śūnyatā. The rest of your questions are irrelevant.
My questions are irrelevant because sunyata is not the same as dependent arising?
Here's a pedantic question for you:

is "emptiness" dependent origination or what is dependently originated?
Emptiness is the universal set that delineates where existence is possible, namely the "space" where the two extremes of eternalism and annihilationism/nihilism are avoided. Dependent origination refers to what is within the universal set. I hope that is pedantic enough for you.

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Sherab
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Sherab » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:40 pm
Sherab wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:26 pm

No, my questions are very relevant because answering them will force you to confront the internal inconsistency or incoherence in your arguments.
You go ahead and answer them yourself.
I thought it was clear from my reply that I posed the questions so that you can discover for yourself the internal inconsistency or incoherence in your position. Was my English that bad?

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:38 pm
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.
There is a point. What I protested is that you keep reducing my argument to one single statement "rock is suchness". Its not accurate. But you use that as a jumping off point to criticize. I can't defend what I don't believe.

Notwithstanding, the reference to the quote does address the issue of "rock is suchness"/"ultimate is relative".

If you think that passage is about samatha and vipasyana, you're missing the full import. Again, that passage is a conclusion of a significantly more involved argument. At this point, samatha and vipasyana are not distinguishable from reality itself... that's what the reference to thoughts integrated with reality refers to.
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).
Relative truth is not nonveridical. It is relative.
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.
In Zhiyi's Sudden and Perfect, the distinction you draw between relative perceptions and ultimate perception are not there, they are simultaneous. This is what he means by the Middle - the complete identity of relative and absolute. To distinguish the two modes of perception is the definition of the Separate or Distinct Truth.
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.
The identity is actually the point of one of the central Tiantai teachings.
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.
Indeed. After that this was my conclusion:
We come to the conclusion that rocks are inconceivable.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:23 pm

Notwithstanding, the reference to the quote does address the issue of "rock is suchness"/"ultimate is relative".

If you think that passage is about samatha and vipasyana, you're missing the full import. Again, that passage is a conclusion of a significantly more involved argument. At this point, samatha and vipasyana are not distinguishable from reality itself... that's what the reference to thoughts integrated with reality refers to.
No, the passage is about śamatha and vipaśyāna unified from the start, not as in some presentations, one alternating with the other. In āryan equipoise, the mind cannot be distinguished from the ultimate which is its object.



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).
Relative truth is not nonveridical. It is relative.
A relative truth by definition is the object of a false or nonveridical cognition. A false cognition of what, you might ask? There are two kinds of false cognitions in this respect; false with respect to natures but not with respect to aspects. An example would be a realists assertion that atoms truly exist. Then there is delusion -- seeing two moons in the sky. Conventional truths are the former kind of relative truth.
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.
In Zhiyi's Sudden and Perfect, the distinction you draw between relative perceptions and ultimate perception are not there, they are simultaneous. This is what he means by the Middle - the complete identity of relative and absolute. To distinguish the two modes of perception is the definition of the Separate or Distinct Truth.
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.
The identity is actually the point of one of the central Tiantai teachings.
As you state it, it is incoherent, since you keep making identity propositions which do not stand up to analysis.

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.
Indeed. After that this was my conclusion:
We come to the conclusion that rocks are inconceivable.
[/quote]


But that is not what happens in your use of the tetralemma, you just make four mutually exclusive statements. You do not end up in inconceivability, you end up with four propositions about a rock. You'd get laughed out of Nalanda.

Your use is like this: "A rock is water; a rock is not water; a rock is both water and not water; a rock is neither water nor not water." These are not four negations, which is what the tetralemma is supposed to be. These are four affirmations.

A proper tetralemma is, for example, the tetralemma that refutes arising in the MMK:

An existence does not arise from an existent.
An existent does not arise from a nonexistent.
A nonexistent does not arise from an existent.
A nonexistent does not arise from a nonexistent.
Where can there be arising?


This kind of properly formed tetralemma results inexpressibility/inconceivability because it leads one to it through negation, not through affirmation.
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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Coëmgenu
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:54 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:56 pm
saying, "the relative is ultimate."
That seems to be the Tiāntāi tradition's entire jist. The relative in all its relativity is precisely the ultimate. There is absolutely no difference between the two, no difference ultimately, no difference conventionally.

The middle truth you don't seems to like, or seem to think is nonsense.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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