Does a tree possess tree-ness?

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MalaBeads
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by MalaBeads » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:43 pm

It is this insistence of the mind that Longchenpa calls the mind's compulsiveness I think. This is what the mind does.

At this point, you have one of two choices I think. You can keep insisting on the "treeness" until you finally see the folly of that OR you can observe the minds temdency to insist until this slowly, slowly melts away.

In either case, you are onto something. Persist. You'll get there.
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:48 pm

Urgyen Dorje wrote:That's sort of the purpose of these madhyamaka dialetictal analyses. To break down the habitual ideas that constrain and define our experience of the world. It's really not so important whether or not trees have souls or consciousnesses, as much as it is that we grasp onto things as inherently existent. It's our relation to the whole phenomenal world that keeps us in samsara, not our belief or lack of belief in a subset of metaphysical entities. As Tilopa said, it's not thoughts that bind us, it's grasping.
I love Tilopa's Six Advices, they're amazingly powerful, so anytime he talks, I'll listen.

Good that you remind me of the forest ... I can apparently get quite lost in the trees.
Thanks for taking all this so seriously. Most Buddhsits don't.
It's not a choice (I feel) I'm making ... it's as if I've become possessed by the desire/need to get this crazy emptiness thing. It's actually a bit strange, since up until recently I was perfectly content to make music with nary a thought of metaphysical truths.
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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:52 pm

MalaBeads wrote:It is this insistence of the mind that Longchenpa calls the mind's compulsiveness I think. This is what the mind does.

At this point, you have one of two choices I think. You can keep insisting on the "treeness" until you finally see the folly of that OR you can observe the minds temdency to insist until this slowly, slowly melts away.

In either case, you are onto something. Persist. You'll get there.
I'm working with an "emptiness therapist" (really!) and she is going to push me relentlessly until she feels I've truly gotten a clue about emptiness. So, yes, my view on this stuff will surely change, it always does!
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Paul
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Paul » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:54 pm

Rachmiel - one thing you might want to do is to look into the emptiness of cause and effect, perception, space and/or time. When you understand why these really fundamental things are empty the emptiness of something like a tree becomes much easier to understand. There's nowhere really for a non-empty tree to go, basically.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:05 pm

Paul wrote:There's nowhere really for a non-empty tree to go, basically.
Not even for a walk around the non-empty block?
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Urgyen Dorje
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Rachmiel...

It was one of these tile puzzles that helped me understand that a lack of inherent existence, emptiness, being a depdent origination, however one might want to describe it... is required for causal efficiency.

Something that is inherently existent, with a permanent static self, is like one of these puzzles without the tile missing. There are tiles everywhere. The relationship between every tile is static, and that's just how it is.

Somethign th at is not inherently existent, without a permanent static self, is like one of these puzzles with the one tile missing. That's now we normally see them, because that missing tile allows all the tiles to move about, not only to solve the puzzle, but to put the tiles in any array that one wants.

With no tiles missing-- static permanent self-- there are no possibilities. Just one option. With one tile missing-- impermanent self-- there are countless possibilities.

It's the same with a tree or a person or a sandwhich. If it has a static self, it can't move around with us in the space of possibilities. It just is. There's no dance. It's lost to us because it can't participate in the game of causation. It's dark matter.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:16 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Paul wrote:There's nowhere really for a non-empty tree to go, basically.
Not even for a walk around the non-empty block?
Non-empty anything is by definition cut off from everything else, inherent existence, a bunch of disconnected indepently existing objects could not interact, by virtue of their inherent existençe.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

dreambow
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by dreambow » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:57 am

Ok so.....emptiness therapist. It would be a lot cheaper in the long run to stick with a teacher like Tilopa whos message is ever-fresh. The question we need to ask is can you buy insight, can you buy enlightenment?

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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:40 am

dreambow wrote:Ok so.....emptiness therapist. It would be a lot cheaper in the long run to stick with a teacher like Tilopa whos message is ever-fresh. The question we need to ask is can you buy insight, can you buy enlightenment?
Problem with Tilopa is he doesn't talk back. ;-)
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muni
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by muni » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:42 am

my experience of tree-ness might derive from the actual essence of a tree. (Or might not.)
Or might not? No idea. For me tree-ness is the result of me-ness.

:namaste:
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

muni
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by muni » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:50 am

However, we do not possess consciousness, there is consciousness and there is recognition of consciousness, everything else is delusion.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:53 pm

How funny, it turns out that chapter 5 of a book I've been assigned to read, Emptiness Yoga by Jeffrey Hopkins, addresses pretty much this exact topic of thing-ness! He talks about the tendency of the human mind to think that objects have/do their "own thing." He doesn't get into an essential difference between natural things and synthetic things like I do, probably because in the Buddhist view everything is regarded as a compound object, no matter how it came into existence.
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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:01 pm

rachmiel wrote:... compound ...
Hopkins will guide you right. Diamond slivers seals the deal. But even that's unnecessary.

If a tree had svabhava it would be a tree for all sentient beings throughout all time and space. It would be beaming "tree" into all minds for all space and time. "From its own side".

But for a dog it's a toilet. For a squirrel it's a house. For a hungry ghost it's a monster. For Zarquon from Planet X it's a distant cousin. For me in the future it doesn't exist.

Since the characteristics are inconsistent throughout all time and space, their object can't have reality according to what we expect. There is no one "real tree". We don't expect much from trees. They're just an excuse for mentally m*sturbating ourselves into the view.

The point is things we expect are also inconsistent. We have a nice new car. Oh. It got scratched. We have a nice new PC. Oh. It broke. We have a nice new career. Oh. My boss humiliates me. We have a nice new knee. Oh. Now I need more surgery. We have a nice family. Oh. They died. That kid died. Oh. She was going to be the next Hitler.

If voidness isn't driving you crazy, if it hasn't given you the heart attack, if you don't go Full Kurtz with it, you're just playing.

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Rick
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Cool -ness word I just ran into

Post by Rick » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:44 pm

quiddity :: the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing.

As in: I can feel, but not see, the quiddity of that there tree.
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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:49 pm

Clarification

I am not ascribing permanence or independence (i.e. inherent existence) to tree-ness. It is, as I understand it, a quality that rises and falls with its parts. An emergent phenomenon, for those who are into that kind of thing.
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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:58 pm

(Is this Buddhistically correct? No, probably not. Is it ... true? Mebbe. Mebbe not. But I like to think that it is.)
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Bakmoon
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:48 pm

rachmiel wrote:Clarification

I am not ascribing permanence or independence (i.e. inherent existence) to tree-ness. It is, as I understand it, a quality that rises and falls with its parts. An emergent phenomenon, for those who are into that kind of thing.
According to your understanding, is this tree-ness something that exists within the tree itself or is it a dependent designation within your mind that describes the tree?

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BrianG
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by BrianG » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:58 am

rachmiel wrote:
BrianG wrote:Well, there's nothing independent of your mind,
When it comes to the existence of existents independent of mind, I'd say I'm one part agnostic, one part theist.

You?
Nothing exists independently of the mind, and the mind does not exist.
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Kaccāni
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Kaccāni » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:41 am

BrianG wrote:the mind does not exist.
Ah, so, there, problem solved.

Now everybody go back to what you were doing before you even started to bother. ;)

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Kc
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Rick
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Re: Does a tree possess tree-ness?

Post by Rick » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:49 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
rachmiel wrote:Clarification

I am not ascribing permanence or independence (i.e. inherent existence) to tree-ness. It is, as I understand it, a quality that rises and falls with its parts. An emergent phenomenon, for those who are into that kind of thing.
According to your understanding, is this tree-ness something that exists within the tree itself or is it a dependent designation within your mind that describes the tree?
The emergent tree-ness that I'm describing arises from the interdependent relationship between the parts and whole of the tree itself.

But it's tricky:

To call it "tree-ness" is inaccurate, because tree and tree-ness are human concepts. In fact, any term I might apply to it would be inaccurate: integrity, synergy, Gestalt, etc. And yet, in my head and gut, I think/feel that *something* exists that the word tree-ness is pointing to, a quality that arises from the parts/whole relationship.
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