What did Nagarjuna explain to be the dangers of (explicit or implicit) belief in Existence and Non-Existence?
Let's just assume for the moment that Nagarjuna was right... so what? What is the practical implication to one's pursuit of the Buddhist path? How does belief in Existence or Non-Existence bring suffering or put roadblocks in the way of one's spiritual progress?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and for any references you may be able to share that address this question.
Let this idiot try to share his ignorance
First we need to prove logically whether existance can exist or not. Second we need to prove whether non-existance can exist or not.
When Nargarjuna mentioned exist, he always means exist inherently. Similarly, when he mentioned non-existance, he always means non-existance inherently.
But, normally in writing, may be for the sake of simplicity, it will be just written down as exist and non-exist.
This the rule:
1. If thing exist (inherently), it will be also there. It cannot be affected by anything. If fire exist inherently, when you pour water into it, the fire will always there.
2. If thing non-exist (inherently), there is no way for it to appear. If fire is non-existance, there is no way we ever see fire.
In reality, there is no single entity fulfills those. Water can become an ice, ice can become water, so where is the inherent water? Where is the inherent ice?
If we say water exist inherently, we have to accept that since it is already inherent, there is no way it can change to ice. Reality is not like that. Similarly, for ice.
So what is water? Water doesn't exist neither non-exist. We cannot say it exist, because it can become ice. We also cannot say it doesn't exist because ice can become water.
There is nothing inherent in this planet.
Water is simply a label that we put to phenomena. You won't be able to find a single entity with the essence or self called water. Beyond that label, you won't find anything.
Same with body. You think there is body. In your vipassana meditation, you will come to the step where you will check 1 by 1 all of your body. You cannot find any single entity called inherent body. You just use similar analysis, and you will come to the conclusion that there is no inherent eyes, there is no inherent mouth, there is no time, no space, etc. There is also no inherent consciousness since it is always changing. You will find nothing. From perception, we normally think they all exist, but when you analysis, you won't find it.
Once we understand that everything doesn't exist inherently, we can be very sure that actually everything is simply the phenomena which we can never pin point its essence, or its self.
There is also no boundary (red thread) that can possibly separate 1 entity to another entity. We always see table and the vase as 2 object, but actually they are 1 system. Our body is actually also inside that 1 system. There is no way actually we can separate this entity and take it out from the system. We will always inside the system. We can only separate the system AS IF it is separate by labeling.
Once we know thing doesn't exist nor non-exist, the practical impact to our daily life is huge.
Let's take an example a diamond.
Does the diamond exist? Oh yes, you can touch it. If you see it exist, has a red thread that can separate it from the system, you will struggle a lot not to have it. Because you think it is real.
The consequence of accepting something as real is: When you try to let it go, you will fight with your desire or craving. It is real. I want it, but you are afraid you will be attached to it, so you need to let it go. But because we see it as real, the consequence is we will struggle to let it go.
But if you can see that the diamond is not real, you will be able to see that oh actually it is just a phenomena which is always changing and without essence. It is my perception who see it as real. So, you can let it go naturally. It is not that easy. But the higher your understanding about emptiness of inherent existance, they more natural you let thing go.
Actually, when we have perfect understanding of emptiness, the word let go is no longer relevant and doesn't make sense. Why? It is because you will know there is no essence of object (there is no essence of diamond) for you to hold. If there is no object, you cannot have a verb called let go. Everything simply natural.
You will not see diamond as single entity, but we will see the whole system without any red thread. Everything becomes natural and simply changing phenomena. No essence. Neither exist nor non-exist.
Btw, it is not easy to understand Nagarjuna teaching, really need time to get and understand the gist.
We need to be careful as well with the word non-exist because it is very easy to fall into nihilism.
The people with nihilism view are brave to do any negative deeds due to their lack of wisdom. They will fall into the hell and they will not ready and suffer with the fire of hell.
People with perfect of view of emptiness, not only brave to do anything based on their wisdom, but they will be very brave go to the hell purposely to do their boddhisattva deeds, and the fire of hell won't make them suffer at all.
People say oh you say no fire, so you go and burn your body, see whether there is fire or not.
If we cannot see the emptiness, actually we will be very scared and suffer when we go to the fire.
But in reality, when we burn our body plus this consciousness, every second inside the burning fire, it is actually simply a changing phenomena which is without essence. Every second that our body change shape, change smell, are simply changing phenomena like the moving cloud in the sky. That burning fire itself actually becomes the prove of impermanence, without essence. We think we will die, but actually we cannot die. This consciousness simply continue and changing.
People who have the thinking of nihilism, will not understand the emptiness, so when the fire burn him in the hell, they will suffer a lot.
The real example, where the fire cannot "touch" the monk is here. You can see that he is not affected at all by fire, peaceful and steady
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efnHvwNf ... re=related
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It is very difficult to explain how he can do it by words.
However, you can try simple experiment that when you see that your belongings are simply phenomena, when you lost it, you won't have the pain.
When you go to your meditation, at certain level, you will reach a state where you won't feel your body anymore. And I think he is much deeper than that.
So the view of existance will bring us suffering because when we think something exists, it is natural we want it or reject it. No wonder, we are in samsara.
View of non-existance will bring us to the hell because we can kill, lie, etc. by thinking there is nothing after this life. Are you ready with the fire of hell?
View of neither existance nor non-existance will bring us natural freedom from letting go. We don't need to let go, it lets go by itself.
Btw, Don't trust me, you need to do your further research for it. I am also sleeping while I am writing