Hi Rory,rory wrote: ↑Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:59 pmDear Rev. Jikai; thank you for all the work! you have put into the outlines. Please do not take my long silence for disinterest rather the material is complex and difficult...
This passage at the end is causing me some confusion:p.18The Middle is the perfect integration of the three principles, such that all is equally empty, all is conventionally existent, all is the middle."
Swanson talks about this and says:" As an ultimate reality that synthesizes and utterly transcends the two provisionally devised truths, Chih-i describes the middle as an unalloyed and singular truth" p.11 Vol.1
Swanson seems (to me) to be positing the Middle at the top of a hierarchy which subsumes both of the 'lower' truths, he talks of a 'singular transcendent middle' p. 11
No problem! And please don't take my lengthy delays in replying here to mean I don't value the input. I do indeed value the discussion, I just need to find the chance to get onto Dharmwheel!
In regards to your question, there is a great deal I could say here, but I'd like to keep that for our running commentary here. In short though, the passage you quote is Donner and Stevensons attempt to lay out the structure of the Three Truths, and some of the conceptual pitfalls that come with it. See lower on the same page where they comment: "Chih-i disabuses the middle of any hint of ontological integrity and characterizes it as utterly decentred. Thus in becomes a non-middle, an inconceivable (不可思議) middle that effaces itself in a simultaneous "identity with emptiness, identity with provisionality, and identity with the middle", where "any one [perspective] interfuses with all three, and the three, one".