Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

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Viach
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Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Viach » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:07 am

Why are the two different aspects of Basis (emptiness and clarity) called two synonyms: essence (emptiness) and nature (clarity)?

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am

They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

krodha
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by krodha » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:49 am

Viach wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:07 am
Why are the two different aspects of Basis (emptiness and clarity) called two synonyms: essence (emptiness) and nature (clarity)?
“Essence” is how the Tibetan term ngo bo is glossed. “Nature” translates rang bzhin.

The ngo bo aspect of the nature of mind is its emptiness. The rang bzhin aspect of the nature of mind is its clarity.

Viach
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Viach » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:05 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am
They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
Can you please give a confirming link.

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:50 pm

Here's an article on Kant's usage: http://www.academia.edu/15156078/Kant_o ... and_Nature

But of course the distinction predates Kant. Nor is Kant's distinction the only one: both terms, "essence" and "nature," have their history, and so does their difference (or, for that matter, identity). For a different take, read Spinoza's Ethics.

If you want to trace their development, you need to start with Plato and Aristotle and go through the scholastics into modernity -- but to be perfectly honest I do not think that it will get you any closer to understanding the difference between ngo-bo and rang-bzhin (if that is what you want, that is).

In the context of Dzogchen teachings, ngo-bo is called "essence" because in the Occident "essence" has often been used to denote either the main defining property of a thing or a being (that which makes it what it is, that which makes X X and not Y, the xness of an x) or even the substance of a thing or a being (that which it is made of or consists in) -- whereas rang-bzhin would be rendered as "nature" because "nature" has often been employed in the West to refer to what a thing or a being does because of its being what it is (or how a thing or a being can be known to be what it is).

A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.

A trained philosopher will be very unhappy at that point, but I think it might help you.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

Malcolm
Posts: 31823
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:50 pm
Here's an article on Kant's usage: http://www.academia.edu/15156078/Kant_o ... and_Nature

But of course the distinction predates Kant. Nor is Kant's distinction the only one: both terms, "essence" and "nature," have their history, and so does their difference (or, for that matter, identity). For a different take, read Spinoza's Ethics.

If you want to trace their development, you need to start with Plato and Aristotle and go through the scholastics into modernity -- but to be perfectly honest I do not think that it will get you any closer to understanding the difference between ngo-bo and rang-bzhin (if that is what you want, that is).

In the context of Dzogchen teachings, ngo-bo is called "essence" because in the Occident "essence" has often been used to denote either the main defining property of a thing or a being (that which makes it what it is, that which makes X X and not Y, the xness of an x) or even the substance of a thing or a being (that which it is made of or consists in) -- whereas rang-bzhin would be rendered as "nature" because "nature" has often been employed in the West to refer to what a thing or a being does because of its being what it is (or how a thing or a being can be known to be what it is).

A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.

A trained philosopher will be very unhappy at that point, but I think it might help you.
Ngo bo = svarūpa:

svarUpa n. (ifc. f. %{A}) oñone's own form or shape , the fñfrom or shñshape of (gen. or comp. ; with or without %{zabdasya} or %{zabda-sva-r-} , `" a word itself or in its own form "' [opp. to its synonyms or varieties] ; with %{nAmnAm} = `" names themselves "') MBh. Pan5cat. BhP. &c. [1276,3] ; own condition , peculiarity , character , nature (%{eNa} or ibc. , `" by nature "' , `" in reality "' `" by itself "') RPra1t. Nr2isUp. Mn. &c. ; peculiar aim W. ; kind , sort ib. ; a partic. relation (in phil. see under %{sambandha}) MW. ; occurrence , event Campak. Uttamac. Sin6ha7s. ; mfn. having oñone's own peculiar form or character MW. ; having a like nature or charñcharacter , similar , like , S3a1m2khyak. (w.r. for %{sa-r-}) ; pleasing , handsome (for %{sa-r-}) L. ; wise , learned L. ; m. N. of a Daitya MBh. ; of a son of Su-nanda1 Ma1rkP. ; of a pupil of Caitanya W. ; m. or n. N. of a place Cat. ; (%{A}) f. N. of a place MW. ; %{-gata} mfn. endowed with oñone's own form or nature , having a like character W. ; %{-tas} ind. in oñone's own form BhP. ; according to oñone's own fñform , analogously , similarly , identically MW. ; by nature , in reality , by itself Ma1rkP. ; (%{-to} , %{godAna-prayogaH}N. of wk.) ; %{-tA} f. (or %{-tva} n.) the state of oñone's own form or nature (%{-tayA} , `" literally "' , `" in reality "') MBh. BhP. S3ak. Sch. Sa1h. ; the having a natural form , identity of form or nature W. ; w.r. for %{su-rUpa-tA} Ra1jat. ; %{-dhArin} mfn. having one's own form MBh. ; %{-nirUpaNa} n. %{-nirNaya} m. %{-prakAza} m. N. of wks. ; %{-bhAva} m. (a short word) whose essence is of the same efficacy (as that of the full form) Mn. ii , 124 ; %{-vat} mfn. having the form of (comp.) MBh. ; %{-sambandha-rUpa} n. %{-sambodhana} n. %{-sambodhana-paJca-viMzati-vRtti} f. %{--rUpA7khya-stotra} n. N. of wks. ; %{--rUpA7cArya} m. N. of a teacher Cat. ; %{--rUpA7nusaMdhAna} n. %{--rUpA7nusaMdhAna-stotra} n. N. of wks. ; %{--rUpA7siddhi} f. a form of non-proof (where the quality alleged to belong to a subject is not really proved) Tarkas. ; %{--rUpo7tpre7kSA} f. a kind of simile Sa1h. Kuval. ; %{--rUpo7paniSad} f. N. of an Upanishad.

Thus, the ngo bo, the essence, svarūpa, is related to sku, kāya.



Rang bzhin = prākṛt:

prAkRta mf(%{A} , or %{I})n. (fr. %{pra-kRti}) original , natural , artless , normal , ordinary , usual S3Br. &c. &c. ; low , vulgar , unrefined Mn. MBh. &c. ; provincial , vernacular , Pra1kritic Vcar. ; (in Sa1m2khya) belonging to or derived from Prakr2iti or the original element ; (in astron.) N. of one of the 7 divisions of the planetary courses (according to Para1s3ara comprising the Nakshatras Sva1ti , Bharan2i1 , Rohin2i1 and Kr2ittika1) ; m. a low or vulgar man Mn. (viii , 338) MBh. &c. ; (with or scil. %{laya} , %{pralaya} &c.) resolution or reabsorption into Prakr2iti , the dissolution of the universe Pur. ; n. any provincial or vernacular dialect cognate with San6skr2it (esp. the language spoken by women and inferior characters in the plays , but also occurring in other kinds of literature and usually divided into 4 dialects , viz. S3auraseni1 , Ma1ha1ra1sht2ri , Apabhran6s3a and Pais3a1ci1) , Kav. Katha1s. Ka1vya7d. &c.

The rang bzhin, the nature, prākṛt is related to ye shes, pristine consciousness, jñāna, which is the original substance from which all phenomena are in fact composed.

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:50 pm
Here's an article on Kant's usage: http://www.academia.edu/15156078/Kant_o ... and_Nature

But of course the distinction predates Kant. Nor is Kant's distinction the only one: both terms, "essence" and "nature," have their history, and so does their difference (or, for that matter, identity). For a different take, read Spinoza's Ethics.

If you want to trace their development, you need to start with Plato and Aristotle and go through the scholastics into modernity -- but to be perfectly honest I do not think that it will get you any closer to understanding the difference between ngo-bo and rang-bzhin (if that is what you want, that is).

In the context of Dzogchen teachings, ngo-bo is called "essence" because in the Occident "essence" has often been used to denote either the main defining property of a thing or a being (that which makes it what it is, that which makes X X and not Y, the xness of an x) or even the substance of a thing or a being (that which it is made of or consists in) -- whereas rang-bzhin would be rendered as "nature" because "nature" has often been employed in the West to refer to what a thing or a being does because of its being what it is (or how a thing or a being can be known to be what it is).

A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.

A trained philosopher will be very unhappy at that point, but I think it might help you.
Ngo bo = svarūpa:

svarUpa n. (ifc. f. %{A}) oñone's own form or shape , the fñfrom or shñshape of (gen. or comp. ; with or without %{zabdasya} or %{zabda-sva-r-} , `" a word itself or in its own form "' [opp. to its synonyms or varieties] ; with %{nAmnAm} = `" names themselves "') MBh. Pan5cat. BhP. &c. [1276,3] ; own condition , peculiarity , character , nature (%{eNa} or ibc. , `" by nature "' , `" in reality "' `" by itself "') RPra1t. Nr2isUp. Mn. &c. ; peculiar aim W. ; kind , sort ib. ; a partic. relation (in phil. see under %{sambandha}) MW. ; occurrence , event Campak. Uttamac. Sin6ha7s. ; mfn. having oñone's own peculiar form or character MW. ; having a like nature or charñcharacter , similar , like , S3a1m2khyak. (w.r. for %{sa-r-}) ; pleasing , handsome (for %{sa-r-}) L. ; wise , learned L. ; m. N. of a Daitya MBh. ; of a son of Su-nanda1 Ma1rkP. ; of a pupil of Caitanya W. ; m. or n. N. of a place Cat. ; (%{A}) f. N. of a place MW. ; %{-gata} mfn. endowed with oñone's own form or nature , having a like character W. ; %{-tas} ind. in oñone's own form BhP. ; according to oñone's own fñform , analogously , similarly , identically MW. ; by nature , in reality , by itself Ma1rkP. ; (%{-to} , %{godAna-prayogaH}N. of wk.) ; %{-tA} f. (or %{-tva} n.) the state of oñone's own form or nature (%{-tayA} , `" literally "' , `" in reality "') MBh. BhP. S3ak. Sch. Sa1h. ; the having a natural form , identity of form or nature W. ; w.r. for %{su-rUpa-tA} Ra1jat. ; %{-dhArin} mfn. having one's own form MBh. ; %{-nirUpaNa} n. %{-nirNaya} m. %{-prakAza} m. N. of wks. ; %{-bhAva} m. (a short word) whose essence is of the same efficacy (as that of the full form) Mn. ii , 124 ; %{-vat} mfn. having the form of (comp.) MBh. ; %{-sambandha-rUpa} n. %{-sambodhana} n. %{-sambodhana-paJca-viMzati-vRtti} f. %{--rUpA7khya-stotra} n. N. of wks. ; %{--rUpA7cArya} m. N. of a teacher Cat. ; %{--rUpA7nusaMdhAna} n. %{--rUpA7nusaMdhAna-stotra} n. N. of wks. ; %{--rUpA7siddhi} f. a form of non-proof (where the quality alleged to belong to a subject is not really proved) Tarkas. ; %{--rUpo7tpre7kSA} f. a kind of simile Sa1h. Kuval. ; %{--rUpo7paniSad} f. N. of an Upanishad.

Thus, the ngo bo, the essence, svarūpa, is related to sku, kāya.



Rang bzhin = prākṛt:

prAkRta mf(%{A} , or %{I})n. (fr. %{pra-kRti}) original , natural , artless , normal , ordinary , usual S3Br. &c. &c. ; low , vulgar , unrefined Mn. MBh. &c. ; provincial , vernacular , Pra1kritic Vcar. ; (in Sa1m2khya) belonging to or derived from Prakr2iti or the original element ; (in astron.) N. of one of the 7 divisions of the planetary courses (according to Para1s3ara comprising the Nakshatras Sva1ti , Bharan2i1 , Rohin2i1 and Kr2ittika1) ; m. a low or vulgar man Mn. (viii , 338) MBh. &c. ; (with or scil. %{laya} , %{pralaya} &c.) resolution or reabsorption into Prakr2iti , the dissolution of the universe Pur. ; n. any provincial or vernacular dialect cognate with San6skr2it (esp. the language spoken by women and inferior characters in the plays , but also occurring in other kinds of literature and usually divided into 4 dialects , viz. S3auraseni1 , Ma1ha1ra1sht2ri , Apabhran6s3a and Pais3a1ci1) , Kav. Katha1s. Ka1vya7d. &c.

The rang bzhin, the nature, prākṛt is related to ye shes, pristine consciousness, jñāna, which is the original substance from which all phenomena are in fact composed.
Fantastic, thanks!
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

Viach
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Viach » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:28 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:50 pm
A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.
Then what the question does the third element of Basis(compassion) answer?

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:46 am

Viach wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:28 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:50 pm
A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.
Then what the question does the third element of Basis(compassion) answer?
Thugs-rje is that element of the triad which is the most removed from the conceptualisations of the Western thought. I can think of no questions that would be both useful and not in contradiction with my grossly oversimplified presentation of essence and nature, sorry.

I think it is really best to meet these terms in their milieu, and get to know them by means of explanations received from Dzogchen masters. (If you have not,) read Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche's Dzogchen: Self-Perfected State, Crystal and the Way of Light and Dzogchen Teachings. Even better, get direct introduction from a Dzogchen teacher (if you have not, that is).

In Crystal and the Way of Light, Rinpoche writes that the essence is the "fundamental voidness" (97) of the Base: "It is not that there is some void that could be said to be some sort of thing, or place itself, but rather that all phenomena, whether mental events or apparently external actual objects, no matter how solid they may seem, are in fact essentially void, impermanent, only temporarily existing, and all 'things' can be seen to be made up of other things, in turn made up of other things, and so on. From the enormously large to the infinitely small, and everywhere in between, everything that can be seen to exist is void."

The nature is then defined as (or rather: on the basis of) the "continuous arising" (98) of appearances: "The Nature of the Base is to manifest."

Finally, the energy is brought in: "So the Zhi, the Base, the fundamental condition of the individual and of existence, is in essence void, and yet its Nature is nevertheless to manifest. How it manifests as is Energy."
Last edited by treehuggingoctopus on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

smcj
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:02 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote: In the context of Dzogchen teachings, ngo-bo is called "essence" because in the Occident "essence" has often been used to denote either the main defining property of a thing or a being (that which makes it what it is, that which makes X X and not Y, the xness of an x) or even the substance of a thing or a being (that which it is made of or consists in) -- whereas rang-bzhin would be rendered as "nature" because "nature" has often been employed in the West to refer to what a thing or a being does because of its being what it is (or how a thing or a being can be known to be what it is).

A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.

A trained philosopher will be very unhappy at that point, but I think it might help you.
Nice post. Thanks!
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:22 am

smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:02 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote: In the context of Dzogchen teachings, ngo-bo is called "essence" because in the Occident "essence" has often been used to denote either the main defining property of a thing or a being (that which makes it what it is, that which makes X X and not Y, the xness of an x) or even the substance of a thing or a being (that which it is made of or consists in) -- whereas rang-bzhin would be rendered as "nature" because "nature" has often been employed in the West to refer to what a thing or a being does because of its being what it is (or how a thing or a being can be known to be what it is).

A still greater oversimpliciation: the "essence" of a thing answers the question "What is it really?," whereas the "nature" answers such questions as "What does it do?," "What is it like?," "How does it behave?," etc.

A trained philosopher will be very unhappy at that point, but I think it might help you.
Nice post. Thanks!
Thank you. Still best to read what the master says:
The essence is the void, the real condition of the individual. This base is the condition of all individuals, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they are enlightened or in transmigration. It is said to be "pure from the beginning" (ka dag), because, like space, it is free of all impediments, and is the basis of all the manifestations in existence.

The manifestation of the primordial state in all its aspects, its "clarity," on the other hand, is called nature. It is said to be "self-perfected" (lhun grub), because it exists spontaneously from the beginning, like the sun which shines in space. Clarity is the pure quality of all thought and of all perceived phenomena, uncontaminated by mental judgement. For example, when we see a flower, we first perceive its image without the mind entering into judgement, even if this phase of perception only lasts for a fraction of a second. Then, in a second phase, mental judgement enters into the situation and one categorizes the perception, thinking, "That's a flower, it's red, it has a specific scent, and so on." Developing from this, attachment and aversion, acceptance and rejection all arise, with the consequent creation of karma and transmigration. Clarity is the phase in which perception is vivid and present, but the mind has not yet entered into action. It is the spontaneous manifestation of the individual's state. The same is true for thoughts: if we don't follow them, and don't become caught up in mental judgement, they too are part of our natural clarity.

The third of the three primordial wisdoms is energy. Its characteristic is that it manifests without interruption. The explanation of energy in Dzogchen is fundamental to understanding the base. All dimensions, whether pure or impure, material or subtle, are manifestations of one aspect or another of energy. (Dzogchen: Self-Perfected State, 54-55)
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

Viach
Posts: 187
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Viach » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:34 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am
They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
This is not the case: they are not translatable in principle, for the yogic terms are based on experience (yogic), but the terms of Western philosophy on thinking (even if deep). Therefore, even their non-synonymity does not allow making an adequate translation.

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:04 pm

Viach wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:34 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am
They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
This is not the case: they are not translatable in principle, for the yogic terms are based on experience (yogic), but the terms of Western philosophy on thinking (even if deep). Therefore, even their non-synonymity does not allow making an adequate translation.
Not sure where you are going with this.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

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SonamTashi
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by SonamTashi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:07 pm

Viach wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:34 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am
They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
This is not the case: they are not translatable in principle, for the yogic terms are based on experience (yogic), but the terms of Western philosophy on thinking (even if deep). Therefore, even their non-synonymity does not allow making an adequate translation.
I'm pretty sure Treehuggingoctopus was saying the English words essence and nature are not considered synonyms in Western philosophy.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:

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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:07 pm

Viach wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:34 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:45 am
They are not synonymous in the Western philosophical tradition.
This is not the case: they are not translatable in principle, for the yogic terms are based on experience (yogic), but the terms of Western philosophy on thinking (even if deep). Therefore, even their non-synonymity does not allow making an adequate translation.
Essence and nature are not synonyms.

smcj
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:24 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Thank you. Still best to read what the master says:
The essence is the void, the real condition of the individual. This base is the condition of all individuals, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they are enlightened or in transmigration. It is said to be "pure from the beginning" (ka dag), because, like space, it is free of all impediments, and is the basis of all the manifestations in existence.

The manifestation of the primordial state in all its aspects, its "clarity," on the other hand, is called nature. It is said to be "self-perfected" (lhun grub), because it exists spontaneously from the beginning, like the sun which shines in space. Clarity is the pure quality of all thought and of all perceived phenomena, uncontaminated by mental judgement. For example, when we see a flower, we first perceive its image without the mind entering into judgement, even if this phase of perception only lasts for a fraction of a second. Then, in a second phase, mental judgement enters into the situation and one categorizes the perception, thinking, "That's a flower, it's red, it has a specific scent, and so on." Developing from this, attachment and aversion, acceptance and rejection all arise, with the consequent creation of karma and transmigration. Clarity is the phase in which perception is vivid and present, but the mind has not yet entered into action. It is the spontaneous manifestation of the individual's state. The same is true for thoughts: if we don't follow them, and don't become caught up in mental judgement, they too are part of our natural clarity.

The third of the three primordial wisdoms is energy. Its characteristic is that it manifests without interruption. The explanation of energy in Dzogchen is fundamental to understanding the base. All dimensions, whether pure or impure, material or subtle, are manifestations of one aspect or another of energy. (Dzogchen: Self-Perfected State, 54-55)
Excellent! That’s the way to approach things for a dilettante like me; from oversimplification to an authoritative detailed explanation.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

TrimePema
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Re: Essence = nature, but emptiness ≠ clarity

Post by TrimePema » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:31 am

Maybe I misunderstood, but... Isn't it thought in Western philosophy that no matter what anyone, you or I, says, it is impossible to verify in a satisfactory way whether "you and I" are talking about the same thing, unless we have confidence in each other's experiences - isn't this called some type of conceptual and flawed version of a language game? So, isn't it thought to be irrelevant whether the terms are "experiential" or "intellectual" (even in Dzogchen one needs to approximate the view conceptually, so shouldn't the terms be as accurate [according to the experience of those who have experience] as possible?)? Also, since, frankly, nothing is purely intellectual, as "your" understanding of it will always be dependent upon "your" experience, wouldn't this whole conversation be, then, nothing more than an intellectual endeavor to display something that nobody can verify? (This of course unless you are speaking of an intellectual object which subsumes your own experiential understanding of the object and all of the previous causes and conditions which have led to that experience of intellectual understanding of an experience that one is intellectualizing - which, still, is essentially one's own version of verification and cannot, itself, be verified by another)

Methinks I should relax.

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