yes, rnam pa in tibetan, its part of the definition of the mind
I don't doubt it is, I'm sure every angle has been covered in the teachings (being that the true nature of reality is approached from multiple and various directions and positions), however that doesn't mean certain designations are exempt from emptiness. There truly are no ultimates in this teaching, something stated in the beginning of the path may not hold true in the end. There are levels to this if one is implementing a gradual path, as one progresses contradictions may arise, but they're only contradictory if one remains attached to a certain view.
Fellow forummer Mariusz just posted this yesterday and it reflects the view of reality I (and others on this thread) am attempting to convey:
Suchness (nature of reality) free of all types of differentiation (all ignorance) appears in its one taste (beyond reference points) when these are all absent:
• What appears to the nonconceptual sensory faculty as a duality of perceived and perceiver
• The process of formulation conducted by the rational mind, which is conceptual and first makes the assumption that whatever appears to be a duality (subjekt-object) actually exists that way and then formulates it by assigning a specific term
• The inner faculties, that of the eye and so on
• Outer objects, form and so on
• The principles of awareness, the eye consciousness, and so on
• Vessel-like worlds’ appearances experienced in common.
- Ju Mipham
i dont know what you mean by the tactile sensation bypassing this process...why would it do that. no, all sense consciousness use internal appearances, so no bypassing
You made this distinction: "because the appearance of cake is an internal object, whereas the thing you eat is physical form"
which sounds as if you're implying the appearance(vision?) of the cake is internal, whereas what is eaten(tactile) is physical... your statement came across as creating contrasting distinctions between the properties of certain sensory modalities.
are internal appearances not internal? if not, are they external?
if neither, do they not exist at all? if you say they do exist, and yet theyre neither internal nor external, then what are they?
furthermore appearances are not negations, theyre positive objects, unless by appearances youre talking about general categories
By "internal" I take it you mean "inside the body" which would naturally suggest it's dualistic counterpart of externality (existing outside the body) with the bordering line being the surface of the skin. But this schematic only holds true if one is identifying with "the body" which is merely a concept imputed onto a certain cluster of sensations. In actuality every appearance inhabits the same space, for instance; we normally take thoughts to be internal, and the sound of people talking to be external, but in truth both of these manifestations appear in the same exact manner. They both occupy the same space we only impute a pseudo bordering line and take it to be genuine when in truth there is no such line. If you listen to "external sounds" and then produce a thought, you'll find that they both appear the same way, you only take one to be internal because through habitual reification and conditioning this has become "commonsensical"... however that does not mean it's true, and earnest empirical investigation will reveal it to be a fallacy.
Further, to say they exist would be attaching to an extreme, to say they don't exist would be attaching to the contrasting extreme... both positions are suicide in this teaching. Manifestation is beyond the 4 extremes and the reason for this is to allow our normally compulsive need to intellectualize everything, to relax. The truth is not found by implementing the intellect and one cannot think themselves to liberation(though at the same time, a clear intellectual understanding is very key).
Reality mirrors the imputations placed upon it; if you say an appearance is internal, it is... if you say it's external, it is. So your query as to whether appearances are internal or external that question cannot be answered, because again, skillful emptiness doesn't even let such a paradigm become established. Internal and external are empty from the very beginning and are equivalent to hair on a tortoise as I said before. This path to liberation is a process of deconstruction in a sense, structures of thought, presuppositions and assumptions are keenly dismantled so that their innate emptiness can become fully evident beyond the pale of the intellect. The process increases exponentially as one gets closer to the truth of suchness Mipham elucidated above.
If one remains attached to certain presuppositions about reality then they are doomed to remain stagnant in this teaching. Luckily emptiness is a perfect antidote for this predicament. By seeing how dichotomies dependently originate they can be seen for what they are (mere conventionalities).
When you say appearances are positive objects, what appearances are you speaking of?