How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

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boda
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by boda » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:32 pm

Anders wrote:Sila is certainly a fruit in itself, since a number of joyous qualities arise freely from it.

The Buddha didn't teach this way: I teach Virtue, but only as a means to and end. if there were other means to that end, I wouldn't teach virtue.

That's the teaching of someone who would like to skip that part.
This doesn't make sense. How can you skip the means to an end and achieve the end?

We've been discussing the Buddhist path, or as I've presumed, the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path includes samadhi and prajna, in addition to sila.

Are you suggesting that becoming a better person is only about virtue, and has nothing to do with effort, mindfulness, concentration, insight, or wisdom?

Jeff H
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Jeff H » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:37 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Matt J wrote:The difference that I see is that the Gelug presentation has a kind of a safety valve. It is like saying, "See, emptiness isn't that scary, things are still real, just not ultimately so." It feels like a sort of half measure and life can move on largely as it did before. But the full version is uncompromising. Everything is empty through and through.
the Gelug presentation is that everything is empty, through and through
Yes, Tsongkhapa teaches that the mere I, as well as emptiness itself, is just as empty as inherent existence. I am agreeing with the addition of "inherent" as an intermediate step to help identify the object of negation at the beginning, without falling into either extreme.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Matt J
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Matt J » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:33 am

Then why all this set up with an object of negation?
cloudburst wrote: the Gelug presentation is that everything is empty, through and through
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Matt J
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Matt J » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:54 am

If you like the Gelug presentation, there's no reason not to go with it, I would think. I never got it, and then I found out that there were other ways to approach emptiness that DID make sense for me personally.
Jeff H wrote: I like your explanation and especially the Trungpa Rinpoche quote. When I started Tibetan Buddhism I had trouble accepting that I reify objects as permanent, unitary, and independent. Tsongkhapa addresses that, as Guy Newland explains in Introduction to Emptiness:
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Bakmoon
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:34 am

Jeff H wrote:I guess I'm just not getting it. Conventionally the basis of designation for the I is the aggregates. They distinguish one being from another. Granted the aggregates have no existence, but the basis for designating "I" is the appearance of the aggregates. In TKF's explanation, the body has parts just as a car does. The feelings I identify as "mine" are different than others'. "I" discriminate differently than others, etc. I don't understand how those appearing aggregates are not valid bases of designation for the conventional agent I call "me".
It is true that the self is designated on the aggregates, but the issue is that our innate belief in a self is a belief in a unitary self, not a merely designated one. Conventionally, we can accept a merely designated self, but this merely designated self is something totally different than what ordinary beings take to be the self. Ordinary beings have a sense of self as a unitary and independent actor and observer, and that doesn't exist at all.

TL;DR version: It is fine to accept a merely designated self conventionally, but that isn't what the term 'self' means to worldly beings, so you have to clarify that you are accepting only the merely designated self, but you are not conventionally accepting a 'real' self.

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cloudburst
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by cloudburst » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:02 am

Matt J wrote:Then why all this set up with an object of negation?
cloudburst wrote: the Gelug presentation is that everything is empty, through and through
It faithfully amplifies the intended meaning of the original formulators, ie Buddha and the Indian Madhymikas, and ensures that a clear distinction is made between that which is totally non-existent and that which is dependently arisen, like an illusion.

In that Avatara, Chanrdrakirti says :

Just as these things—pots and such—do not exist in reality
But do exist in terms of what the world understands,
So it is for all things.
Therefore, it does not follow that they are like the son of a
barren woman


you can see here that what he is saying is that things are empty, meaning that they do not exist in terms of reality, or by way of a nature or essence, but do exist conventionally.

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cloudburst
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by cloudburst » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:09 am

Malcolm wrote: Candra disputes that any of the aggregates can form a proper basis of designation for the self....
Chandrakirti disputes that any of the aggregates are the self, he clearly indicates that the the proper basis of designation for the merely imputed self is the aggregates.

Candrakırti’s Prasannapada says:

The self is imputed dependently; it is what those who have the error of ignorance cling to fiercely; it is regarded as the appropriator of the five aggregates. Those who seek liberation analyze whether this self has the character of the aggregates. When those who seek liberation have analyzed it in every way, they do not observe a self, and thus [Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Treatise] says:

If the self does not exist
How could that which belongs to the self exist?

Because they do not observe the self, they also do not at all observe the aggregates which belong to the self—the basis on which the self is designated.

Lukeinaz
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Lukeinaz » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:31 am

I believe it was Lama Yeshe who said it's ok to get a little nihilistic. I wonder about this point because if you hold cause and effect within emptiness what danger could there ever be of not positing a conventional self?
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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cloudburst
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by cloudburst » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:45 am

Lukeinaz wrote:I believe it was Lama Yeshe who said it's ok to get a little nihilistic. I wonder about this point because if you hold cause and effect within emptiness what danger could there ever be of not positing a conventional self?
If there were no conventional self, upon whom who karma ripen? Who would be empty?

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Matt J
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Matt J » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:15 am

So is inherent existence the same or different then the thing (i.e. the vase)? If it is the same, there is no need for such a label. If they are different, what's the point of negating inherent existence if it stands apart from the vase itself and the vase remains untouched? This is the same problem when we try to distinguish between an object and other characteristics, such as motion.
cloudburst wrote: It faithfully amplifies the intended meaning of the original formulators, ie Buddha and the Indian Madhymikas, and ensures that a clear distinction is made between that which is totally non-existent and that which is dependently arisen, like an illusion.

In that Avatara, Chanrdrakirti says :

Just as these things—pots and such—do not exist in reality
But do exist in terms of what the world understands,
So it is for all things.
Therefore, it does not follow that they are like the son of a
barren woman


you can see here that what he is saying is that things are empty, meaning that they do not exist in terms of reality, or by way of a nature or essence, but do exist conventionally.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Matt J
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Matt J » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:18 am

Here's what Gendun Chophel had to say:
There are those who fear that if vases, pillars, and so on were refuted through reasoning, everyone would come to espouse nihilistic views of nonexistence. Their worries are pointless. For in the case of ordinary, everyday beings who are looking at a vase in front of them, how is it possible that a nihilistic view regarding the vase to be utterly nonexistent could arise? Even if such an outlook did happen to arise in someone, he or she would directly cognize that the vase can still be seen and touched. Therefore, if a mind naturally arose that thinks, "The vase is appearing to me, but while appearing, it is utterly nonexistent," that is the Middle Way view known as "the two-fold collection of appearance and emptiness that cognizes how appearing phenomeon do not exist in the way they appear." How is that nihilism?
Lukeinaz wrote:I believe it was Lama Yeshe who said it's ok to get a little nihilistic. I wonder about this point because if you hold cause and effect within emptiness what danger could there ever be of not positing a conventional self?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Anders
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Anders » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:26 am

boda wrote:
Anders wrote:Sila is certainly a fruit in itself, since a number of joyous qualities arise freely from it.

The Buddha didn't teach this way: I teach Virtue, but only as a means to and end. if there were other means to that end, I wouldn't teach virtue.

That's the teaching of someone who would like to skip that part.
This doesn't make sense. How can you skip the means to an end and achieve the end?

We've been discussing the Buddhist path, or as I've presumed, the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path includes samadhi and prajna, in addition to sila.

Are you suggesting that becoming a better person is only about virtue, and has nothing to do with effort, mindfulness, concentration, insight, or wisdom?
In broad strokes, yeah. You don't need samadhi, mindfulness or insight to be a good person. It helps, but you can be a good person without these.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

Malcolm
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:03 am

cloudburst wrote:
Malcolm wrote: Candra disputes that any of the aggregates can form a proper basis of designation for the self....
Chandrakirti disputes that any of the aggregates are the self, he clearly indicates that the the proper basis of designation for the merely imputed self is the aggregates.

Candrakırti’s Prasannapada says:

The self is imputed dependently; it is what those who have the error of ignorance cling to fiercely; it is regarded as the appropriator of the five aggregates. Those who seek liberation analyze whether this self has the character of the aggregates. When those who seek liberation have analyzed it in every way, they do not observe a self, and thus [Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Treatise] says:

If the self does not exist
How could that which belongs to the self exist?

Because they do not observe the self, they also do not at all observe the aggregates which belong to the self—the basis on which the self is designated.
I cannot properly address this because I am traveling, but I will. In the mean time, Candra very clearly rejects that the aggregates can form that basis for the object of grasping to a self even conventionally in various places.

Malcolm
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:12 am

cloudburst wrote:
Lukeinaz wrote:I believe it was Lama Yeshe who said it's ok to get a little nihilistic. I wonder about this point because if you hold cause and effect within emptiness what danger could there ever be of not positing a conventional self?
If there were no conventional self, upon whom who karma ripen? Who would be empty?
Why should there be someone upon whom karma ripens? To paraphrase the Visuddhimagga, there is no agent of karma, nor is there a person to experience its ripening, there is merely a flow of dharmas.

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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Jeff H » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:52 pm

Matt J wrote:
Jeff H wrote:I like your explanation and especially the Trungpa Rinpoche quote. When I started Tibetan Buddhism I had trouble accepting that I reify objects as permanent, unitary, and independent. Tsongkhapa addresses that, as Guy Newland explains in Introduction to Emptiness.
If you like the Gelug presentation, there's no reason not to go with it, I would think. I never got it, and then I found out that there were other ways to approach emptiness that DID make sense for me personally.
I agree with the spirit of this reply, Matt. What I've been engaging in through various threads for the last month or so is a reaction to rigid partisan positions: "we're right, you're wrong!" Gelug has a 600-year history utilized and fostered by many masters. It is my method but I'm interested in exploring others, primarily Dzogchen.

As you indicate, there are different, valid methods suitable for different people at different points in their development. I object when some dismiss the use of inherent existence as an invalid method. I also object when Gelugpas insist that this method is the only correct one.

The present discussion is about Malcolm's claim that Chandrakirti denies the self is imputed on the basis of the aggregates. I think Cloudburst has answered that here and here. I'm very interested to hear Malcolm's rebuttal.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

Lukeinaz
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Lukeinaz » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:43 pm

This thread has totally moved on from the OP. Maybe it should be joined with the specific thread that Jeff started.
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

boda
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by boda » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:31 pm

Anders wrote:
boda wrote:
Anders wrote:Sila is certainly a fruit in itself, since a number of joyous qualities arise freely from it.

The Buddha didn't teach this way: I teach Virtue, but only as a means to and end. if there were other means to that end, I wouldn't teach virtue.

That's the teaching of someone who would like to skip that part.
This doesn't make sense. How can you skip the means to an end and achieve the end?

We've been discussing the Buddhist path, or as I've presumed, the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path includes samadhi and prajna, in addition to sila.

Are you suggesting that becoming a better person is only about virtue, and has nothing to do with effort, mindfulness, concentration, insight, or wisdom?
In broad strokes, yeah. You don't need samadhi, mindfulness or insight to be a good person. It helps, but you can be a good person without these.
Indeed, and Buddhism is about the cessation of suffering via the Eightfold Path, which includes samadhi and prajna. So clearly Buddhism in not about becoming a better person.

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cloudburst
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by cloudburst » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:47 pm

Matt J wrote: So is inherent existence the same or different then the thing (i.e. the vase)? If it is the same, there is no need for such a label. If they are different, what's the point of negating inherent existence if it stands apart from the vase itself and the vase remains untouched? This is the same problem when we try to distinguish between an object and other characteristics, such as motion.
this "thing" appears to the worldly as inherently existent. We are not negating some abstract principle called inherent existence, we are refuting the existence ( ,nonexistence, both and neither) of the inherently existing vase that seems to appear. There is not an inherent existence that "stands apart from the vase itself."

Once this thing, the vase. has been eliminated, we see the dependant arising mere convnetionality that is the vase, like an illusion

Arydeva:

So, when you analyze in this way, things are not established as intrinsically existent; hence, the illusoriness of individual things is left as a remainder

"The vase is appearing to me, but while appearing, it is utterly nonexistent," that is the Middle Way view known as "the two-fold collection of appearance and emptiness that cognizes how appearing phenomeon do not exist in the way they appear." How is that nihilism?

it is incorrect to say the vase is utterly non-existent.

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cloudburst
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by cloudburst » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:01 pm

Malcolm wrote: I cannot properly address this because I am traveling, but I will. In the mean time, Candra very clearly rejects that the aggregates can form that basis for the object of grasping to a self even conventionally in various places.
We look forward to your response when you get yourself settled. In the meantime, safe travels.
Malcolm wrote:Why should there be someone upon whom karma ripens? To paraphrase the Visuddhimagga, there is no agent of karma, nor is there a person to experience its ripening, there is merely a flow of dharmas.

There is no agent ultimately, but if you understand the above quotation to mean there is no agent in any way, you are lost.

Chandrakirti:
If there is only an impermanent stream of conditioned
factors brought about by their particular causes, then it is reasonable
to say that the imputedly existent self that appropriates that
stream of factors remembers its lives.


so we can say that the "imputedly existent self that appropriates that stream of factors" aka the conventional self experiences the results of actions

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Anders
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Re: How Madhyamika Philosophy Solves the Mystery of Quantum Physics

Post by Anders » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:47 pm

boda wrote:
Anders wrote:
boda wrote:
This doesn't make sense. How can you skip the means to an end and achieve the end?

We've been discussing the Buddhist path, or as I've presumed, the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path includes samadhi and prajna, in addition to sila.

Are you suggesting that becoming a better person is only about virtue, and has nothing to do with effort, mindfulness, concentration, insight, or wisdom?
In broad strokes, yeah. You don't need samadhi, mindfulness or insight to be a good person. It helps, but you can be a good person without these.
Indeed, and Buddhism is about the cessation of suffering via the Eightfold Path, which includes samadhi and prajna. So clearly Buddhism in not about becoming a better person.
there is a catch. If you are not a good person, you won't see much progress in your samadha, nor prajna. So "becoming a better person" is definitely in the curriculum.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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