Fundamental Ignorance

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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tomschwarz
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Fundamental Ignorance

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Hello friends,

His holiness the Dalai lama, here at 1:00:00 (one hour)
...said that fundamental ignorance is a distorted state of mind. "Distorted" means:
1) not truly or completely representing the facts or reality; misrepresented; false:
She has a distorted view of life.
2) twisted; deformed; misshapen.
3) mentally or morally twisted, as with an aberration or bias:
He has a distorted sense of values.

So question, do you agree that your mind has an undistorted state, where you do not have fundamental ignorance (belief in substantial independent self)? What is it like when its undistorted/natural undisorted form?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:44 am

"...do you agree that your mind has an undistorted state, where you do not have fundamental ignorance..."

Yeah, of course. Otherwise there is no point to practicing the teachings.

You can compare this "fundamental state" to a baby who is born unable to sit up or walk.
The potential is there. Over time, it can be realized.

Every time you are distracted while meditating, and you suddenly bring your mind back to the moment of clear, present awareness,
I think it's like that.

People generally regard ignorance and clarity (or samsara and nirvana) as two distinct things, as opposites.
But that's inherently dualistic.
Rather (according to my understanding) it's this constant moment of transition itself , as a kind of perpetual, dynamic, spontaneous but effortless awakening, like a star that is just constantly burning, which describes the enlightened mind.
.
.
.
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People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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tomschwarz
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:49 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:44 am

You can compare this "fundamental state" to a baby who is born unable to sit up or walk.
The potential is there. Over time, it can be realized.
right, let's say that i am now a baby, just born. I just came/9 months out, from the bardo of birth. this would relate to the 12 links of dependent origination,at least one of which i am not yet involved in: 1) ignorance, 2) formation, 3) consciousness, 4) name-and-form, 5) six faculties, 6) contact, 7) sensation, 8) craving, 9) grasping, 10) becoming, 11) rebirth, and 12) old age and death....

....question, am i not closer to undistorted mind than most adults? my opinion is that a baby's mind is closer to the undistorted nature of mind than almost any/every adult... ...because, in terms of classical psychology, i have no idea about self as separate from other, observer from observed, do you disagree?

the devils advocate, would say something about needing to learn, such as the wisdom practice of buddhism. and babies will also fail in terms of ethics (deferring self gratification in favor of working for others). but there is also the 3rd area of buddhist practice, meditation. they do much better there, able to sit in samatha quite comfortably, and for the californian/la-buddhists out there, babies are definately "in the moment"....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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tomschwarz
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:17 pm

areyadeva in 400 stanzas wrote:

"first, what is non-virtuous must be averted
in the middle, self must be negated
and finally all distorted views must be eliminated.
he who understands that sequence is a wise person"

so the question here, do you personally, have both distortion and clarity? if yes, do you see your path in buddhism/life as improving your self and cleaning it up so that you no longer have the distorted views? the reason i ask is that i am certain that there are people here who would say the opposite, that the truth of the path involves accepting everything as is rather than overcoming or changing something in yourself. i mean, how do you loose your sense of self and improve your self at the same time?

and for those, like me, who are focused on emptiness, that all things are empty (accept, respect, love, gone), where is the discussion about the emptiness of distortion? the whole philosophy that there is nothing to do, all is perfect as is?

i mean, i could say what i understand, that all this stuff works together ok. overcome self, means loose self centered perspective. improve self, means the same thing. negate self, means the same thing. overcome distorted views means the same thing. overcome nonvirtuous actions means the same thing. but is that how you see it?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

stevie
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by stevie » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:27 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:17 pm
...
so the question here, do you personally, have both distortion and clarity? if yes, do you see your path in buddhism/life as improving your self and cleaning it up so that you no longer have the distorted views? the reason i ask is that i am certain that there are people here who would say the opposite, that the truth of the path involves accepting everything as is rather than overcoming or changing something in yourself. i mean, how do you loose your sense of self and improve your self at the same time?

and for those, like me, who are focused on emptiness, that all things are empty (accept, respect, love, gone), where is the discussion about the emptiness of distortion? the whole philosophy that there is nothing to do, all is perfect as is?

i mean, i could say what i understand, that all this stuff works together ok. overcome self, means loose self centered perspective. improve self, means the same thing. negate self, means the same thing. overcome distorted views means the same thing. overcome nonvirtuous actions means the same thing. but is that how you see it?
I see that these questions are somehow justified and that these questions revolve about dichotomies. If I answered to the best of my knowledge I would fall prey to fundamental ignorance. As is the case if I listened to answers given by others, be they called 'teachers' or not, to questions like these. As soon as I feel like 'understanding' - either in the context of answering or in the context of listening - I have fallen prey to fundamental ignorance.

tomschwarz wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:56 pm
So question, do you agree that your mind has an undistorted state, where you do not have fundamental ignorance ... ? What is it like when its undistorted/natural undisorted form?
If there is such a state then it may be very difficult to integrate such a state into thinking / speaking or any kind of intentionality / activity. That's what 'dharma in everyday life' seems to be about provided one has discovered such a state in the first place at all.



Having said that I have fallen prey to fundamental ignorance.

Akasamuni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Akasamuni » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:12 pm

The problem with responding to comments in this thread is it gets into metaphysical questions that the Buddha usually wouldn't get drawn into. For instance, why do we need to first become a complete psychological being, perhaps in our 20's to really start undoing our karmic ignorance? If we have some sort of pure unending essence (I don't mean soul) why are we born as humans and have to go through all this crap?

I am not one to just pass these questions off as unsolvable or as one of the 'mysteries'. I don't mean I *need* an answer but I grew up loving science fiction and there is no way I believe we are alone in the universe, alone on Earth and this great human experiment isn't being run by the guardians of the universe or some such thing. With quantum physics and quantum computing starting to blossom and the first glimpses of its connection to human consciousness, we are starting to comprehend some of the greatest mysteries of humankind.

Either way, it still doesn't change much in terms of practice. The truth is not everyone has that cosmological connection i.e Buddha nature. But those that do it's a very subtle, extremely subtle aspect of our experience of being. It is very hard to hear and know and it's why meditation and stilling the mind is so important. It is our true refuge, it is the Dharma, all our practice is just trying to quieten the false constructs so we can be that untouched essence.

muni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by muni » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:58 am

....question, am i not closer to undistorted mind than most adults? my opinion is that a baby's mind is closer to the undistorted nature of mind than almost any/every adult... ...because, in terms of classical psychology, i have no idea about self as separate from other, observer from observed, do you disagree?
No disagreement. There has been no new start of conscious clinging to observed as being other already. There is not yet such fixation or idea. It takes not long or...

Small children are teaching us simplicity. :smile:
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

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Wayfarer
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:21 am

Akasamuni wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:12 pm
The truth is not everyone has that cosmological connection i.e Buddha nature.
Actually that is not so. One of the fundamental aspects of buddhanature is that everyone does. It might be hard to realise but it is the true nature of every being.
No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathāgata's wisdom.

Prajñāpāramitā Sutra ~ Conze Translation

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Queequeg
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Queequeg » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:21 am
Akasamuni wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:12 pm
The truth is not everyone has that cosmological connection i.e Buddha nature.
Actually that is not so. One of the fundamental aspects of buddhanature is that everyone does. It might be hard to realise but it is the true nature of every being.
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
and the living beings in it
are all my children.
-Lotus Sutra Ch. 3

Believing in Buddhanature is the most difficult matter of faith.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Akasamuni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Akasamuni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:27 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:21 am
Akasamuni wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:12 pm
The truth is not everyone has that cosmological connection i.e Buddha nature.
Actually that is not so. One of the fundamental aspects of buddhanature is that everyone does. It might be hard to realise but it is the true nature of every being.
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
and the living beings in it
are all my children.
-Lotus Sutra Ch. 3

Believing in Buddhanature is the most difficult matter of faith.
I more than anyone wishes it were so, but I have had a rather startling experience that has revealed some of the fundamental aspects of this great drama unfolding. It is part of the reason why all religious and cultural beliefs have truth for those that are born or partake in them.

Akasamuni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Akasamuni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:29 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
Actually, this is an interesting point. What do you suppose 'this threefold world' means?

muni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by muni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:08 am

I read here and am curious. By the senses how many beings and worlds are arising is one point, another is to purify own mind. If we say there are some beings who cannot be free of ignorance, then this asks care. Like there would remain an idea of some 'real' unable beings out of purity, or would be "out" of what? To take classical Buddhism this would mean out of the "inseparable dependency-emptiness" or "out of how all appears and is".

Wisdom is not without Compassionate light.

If this (some are not able) is used on the path to embrace all in love, joy, compassion in equanimity, and use this power to stop focus on the restricted self, to open mind-heart, well yes.. But then I would keep it by "some are not able right now", while all is nature.
For those who admire the spiritual ideals of the Eight verses on Transforming the Mind it is helpful to recite the following verses for generating the mind for enlightenment. Practicing Buddhists should recite the verses and reflect upon the meaning of the words, while trying to enhance their altruism and compassion. Those of you who are practitioners of other religious traditions can draw from your own spiritual teachings, and try to commit yourselves to cultivating altruistic thoughts in pursuit of the altruistic ideal.

With a wish to free all beings
I shall always go for refuge
to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
until I reach full enlightenment.
Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the Mind for Full Awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.
As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

In conclusion, those who like myself, consider themselves to be followers of Buddha, should practice as much as we can. To followers of other religious traditions, I would like to say, “Please practice your own religion seriously and sincerely.” And to non-believers, I request you to try to be warm-hearted. I ask this of you because these mental attitudes actually bring us happiness. As I have mentioned before, taking care of others actually benefits you. H H Dalai Lama
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

muni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by muni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:23 am

Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:27 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:21 am


Actually that is not so. One of the fundamental aspects of buddhanature is that everyone does. It might be hard to realise but it is the true nature of every being.
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
and the living beings in it
are all my children.
-Lotus Sutra Ch. 3

Believing in Buddhanature is the most difficult matter of faith.
I more than anyone wishes it were so, but I have had a rather startling experience that has revealed some of the fundamental aspects of this great drama unfolding. It is part of the reason why all religious and cultural beliefs have truth for those that are born or partake in them.
Perhaps belief as trust then? May I ask, what do you mean with great dharma?

For me the whole written spoken dharma are all great methods, but to hold onto method is another neurosis and opens no impartial space.

I find this quote useful: “All the philosophical theories that exist have been created by the mistaken dualistic minds of human beings. In the realm of philosophy, that which today is considered true, may tomorrow be proved to be false. No one can guarantee a philosophy's validity. Because of this, any intellectual way of seeing whatever is always partial and relative. The fact is that there is no truth to seek or to confirm logically; rather what one needs to do is to discover just how much the mind continually limits itself in a condition of dualism.

Dualism is the real root of our suffering and of all our conflicts. All our concepts and beliefs, no matter how profound they may seem, are like nets which trap us in dualism. When we discover our limits we have to try to overcome them, untying ourselves from whatever type of religious, political or social conviction may condition us. We have to abandon such concepts as 'enlightenment', 'the nature of the mind', and so on, until we are no longer satisfied by a merely intellectual knowledge, and until we no longer neglect to integrate our knowledge with our actual existence. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche La”
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

Akasamuni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Akasamuni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:55 am

muni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:23 am
Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:27 am
... great drama unfolding.
Perhaps belief as trust then? May I ask, what do you mean with great dharma?
I am not sure if you misread, I said great drama. Of course, I mean our life and lives, the interplay of human activity in this realm.

muni
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by muni » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:09 pm

Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:55 am
muni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:23 am
Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:27 am
... great drama unfolding.
Perhaps belief as trust then? May I ask, what do you mean with great dharma?
I am not sure if you misread, I said great drama. Of course, I mean our life and lives, the interplay of human activity in this realm.

Oops yes! My mistake!!!

Then I could as well say, when you allow me: the whole written spoken dharma are all great methods, but to hold onto method ( crave-grasp-cling to) creates another drama-neurosis, opens no impartial space.
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

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Queequeg
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Queequeg » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:33 pm

Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:29 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
Actually, this is an interesting point. What do you suppose 'this threefold world' means?
Three-fold world = desire, form, and formless realms. In other words, the dharmadhatu. In other words, everything.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Fundamental Ignorance

Post by Queequeg » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:45 pm

Akasamuni wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:27 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:21 am


Actually that is not so. One of the fundamental aspects of buddhanature is that everyone does. It might be hard to realise but it is the true nature of every being.
Indeed. As the sutra says...

...this threefold world
is all my domain,
and the living beings in it
are all my children.
-Lotus Sutra Ch. 3

Believing in Buddhanature is the most difficult matter of faith.
I more than anyone wishes it were so, but I have had a rather startling experience that has revealed some of the fundamental aspects of this great drama unfolding. It is part of the reason why all religious and cultural beliefs have truth for those that are born or partake in them.
If this startling experience had anything to do with the authentic awakening, then it relates to buddhanature. Those that don't know of it directly, must rely on the Buddha's teaching, but critically, it is an open and accessible insight. We are our only obstacle to awakening.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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