Advaita and Buddhism

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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 908 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
I've noticed on a couple of threads people with an Advaita-type approach are turning up and proposing that there is something wrong with the Buddhadharma. That would seem to be fightin' words for the Dharma Overground.  It would be good to have this discussion explicitly, if it needs to be had. So I have openened this thread in the Dharma Battleground forum to allow any Advaita folks to have their say, if they want, and receive a reply.

To kick it off, I propose that the desire to come to the home of another tradition, and then make subtle criticism, is probably indicative of incomplete awakening. There is a simple psychological explanation - the subconscious realises the incompleteness of the attainment, and looks elsewhere for an answer (e.g. here), while the conscious battles this as a threat to the self/ego associated with the partial attainment.  Net result - coming here, but then telling us we are all wrong.

Now, my opinion of the Advaita approaches is that they can and do lead to complete awakening, but the stated objective of the tradition seems to be one step short. So it is easy to get stuck one step short. It is easy to get stuck in Buddhism too, and many outstanding Buddhist scholars and leaders, including in the present time, remain at anagami - but are perhaps a bit more likely to realise that.  Of course, whether it is realised or not, that one step short is still a marvellous 'attainment' and highly desirable, and much to be admired. Better of course to take the final step and then there is no attainment and nothing to be admired.

This is said with love, but also in the spirit of the DhO. If you want to tell us we are all wrong, be prepared to defend your view. My alternative view would be that if you think we are wrong, you might have just a little more work to do, and the leaders of your own tradition might be able to help you take that final step. Or you can work it through at the DhO!

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Malcolm 


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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I'm pulling up my lawn chair and cracking open a bottle of wine  emoticon
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Got my popcorn... and whiskey.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hear hear!
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your post. I personally have no strong views on this but am curious about this.

But since you have written this, maybe you can tell: what precisely is the one step prior to complete awakening that Advaita stops at? You do mention the word anagami for Buddhist scholars: are you suggesting that Advaita stops at Anagami? If not, what is that other one step short that it stops at? [[I've heard people claim it stops at formless attainments]]. And whatever this one step short is, maybe you can tell us what makes you believe that Advaita stops at this one step short. 

I need to emphasize this: just trying to learn here -- I can be direct sometimes and it can come across as criticism -- that's not the case here. 

Thanks.

Mike.
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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And let me give two different takes on Advaita:


1. For those who say it's a formless realms experience: they are talking about an experience of pure consciousness, at the end of the day, a samadhi experience -- and they say, that's all where Advaita gets you.

2. This is something I've noted, and I'm unsure if this is correct or not: If one looks at Cula-Sunnata sutta: it talks about getting up the formless realms, then getting into animittam cetosamadhi, then, discerning this state of animittam cetosamadhi as created, thus impermanent, etc.,  and thus ending all cankers (arahatship?) without any mention of fruition. This sounds remarkably close to (or the same as -- here there is the question of what animittam cetosamadhi is and if it is the same as pure consciousness/awareness experience) getting into pure consciousness and noting consciousness as just consciousness which ( I think -- correct me if I'm wrong) I've heard, said in Advaita. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Mike, thanks for asking.  Here are the definitions I am working off for Advaita.

Oxford dictionary: A vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman) with the ground of reality (brahman).

Wikipedia: People who believe in Advaita believe that their soul is not different from Brahman ... his teaching became popular as the "Advaita" (a = not, dvaita = two), means not two or non dual).  The ways he said this to people was "Atman is Brahman".


To me this describes an absoprtion into non-duality or emptiness, similar to rigpa. There seem to be lots of flavours of non-duality, and this particular one seems to seek to merge a subtle sense of self (Atman) and other (Brahman) within the luminous non-dual field of perceptions. But that sense of self and other is still a fabrication, and still involves a clinging that prevents final liberation. Now, I am not a geshe or rinpoche or sayadaw, so my scholarship is doubtless incomplete.  But from my perspective I see these concepts continually repeated in buddhist thinking.  For example.

1. Form is emptiness
2. Emptiness is form
3. Form is none other than emptiness (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Emptiness is none other than form (this is the next step)

1. Manifest intrinsic reality
2. Increasing of experience
3. Rigpa attains its full measure (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Exhaustion of phenomena, beyond the mind (this is the next step)

From Uncle Sid in the Satipathana Sutta:  "If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance (alternative translation: if a substratum of aggregates remains)— non-return."  (Having a self of self merged with greater consciousness is pretty obviously a substratum of the aggregates of clinging remaining)

From Uncle Sid in the Jhana Sutta:  "He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'  Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very dhamma-passion, this very dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five of the fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."  (Notice that unbinding requires the resolution of all fabrications, and if instead dharma-delight remains then anagami is achieved rather than Arhatship,)

From Uncle Sid in the Upanisa Sutta "... concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)." (There are different definitions of knowledge and vision, but in this context I see it as non-dual perception. Until you become disenchanted and dispassionate about non-dual perception, you will not achieve final emancipation).

So, I will say again I am sure Hindu approaches can lead to full liberation. However, full liberation is not being absorbed in the emptiness of form, or rigpa attaining its full measure, or having a substratum of self in the field of perception, or being passionate for the dharma, or being enchanted with perceptions. Uncle Sid says so, repeatedly. 

These comments are maybe not helpful for people early on the path, as some progress may be required to have the right frame of reference to appreciate what is being said here.  But I am concerned about others saying you can jump straight into some kind of non-dual absorption, delight in that, and you are done. No you aren't. And, I suspect that omitting too much intermediate work will both make that non-dual perception unstable, and prevent the final step. 

Don't settle for that!  As Sayadaw U Pandita says, liberation is possible in this very life.

Just my ravings ... 

Malcolm 

P.S. From my point of view pure consciousness is a furphy. Consciousness in Pali literally means divided knowing. That means subject and object. So pure knowing of subject and object, but without a subject (self)? Doesn't make sense to me. However, I agree with your other point about seeing through signless mindconcentration.  Yes, you must eventually discover that emptiness is none other than form. :-)




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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Hi Mike, thanks for asking.  Here are the definitions I am working off for Advaita.

Oxford dictionary: A vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman) with the ground of reality (brahman).

Wikipedia: People who believe in Advaita believe that their soul is not different from Brahman ... his teaching became popular as the "Advaita" (a = not, dvaita = two), means not two or non dual).  The ways he said this to people was "Atman is Brahman".


To me this describes an absoprtion into non-duality or emptiness, similar to rigpa. There seem to be lots of flavours of non-duality, and this particular one seems to seek to merge a subtle sense of self (Atman) and other (Brahman) within the luminous non-dual field of perceptions. But that sense of self and other is still a fabrication, and still involves a clinging that prevents final liberation. Now, I am not a geshe or rinpoche or sayadaw, so my scholarship is doubtless incomplete.  But from my perspective I see these concepts continually repeated in buddhist thinking.  For example.

1. Form is emptiness
2. Emptiness is form
3. Form is none other than emptiness (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Emptiness is none other than form (this is the next step)

1. Manifest intrinsic reality
2. Increasing of experience
3. Rigpa attains its full measure (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Exhaustion of phenomena, beyond the mind (this is the next step)

From Uncle Sid in the Satipathana Sutta:  "If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance (alternative translation: if a substratum of aggregates remains)— non-return."  (Having a self of self merged with greater consciousness is pretty obviously a substratum of the aggregates of clinging remaining)

From Uncle Sid in the Jhana Sutta:  "He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'  Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very dhamma-passion, this very dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five of the fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."  (Notice that unbinding requires the resolution of all fabrications, and if instead dharma-delight remains then anagami is achieved rather than Arhatship,)

From Uncle Sid in the Upanisa Sutta "... concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)." (There are different definitions of knowledge and vision, but in this context I see it as non-dual perception. Until you become disenchanted and dispassionate about non-dual perception, you will not achieve final emancipation).

So, I will say again I am sure Hindu approaches can lead to full liberation. However, full liberation is not being absorbed in the emptiness of form, or rigpa attaining its full measure, or having a substratum of self in the field of perception, or being passionate for the dharma, or being enchanted with perceptions. Uncle Sid says so, repeatedly. 

These comments are maybe not helpful for people early on the path, as some progress may be required to have the right frame of reference to appreciate what is being said here.  But I am concerned about others saying you can jump straight into some kind of non-dual absorption, delight in that, and you are done. No you aren't. And, I suspect that omitting too much intermediate work will both make that non-dual perception unstable, and prevent the final step. 

Don't settle for that!  As Sayadaw U Pandita says, liberation is possible in this very life.

Just my ravings ... 

Malcolm 

P.S. From my point of view pure consciousness is a furphy. Consciousness in Pali literally means divided knowing. That means subject and object. So pure knowing of subject and object, but without a subject (self)? Doesn't make sense to me. However, I agree with your other point about seeing through signless mindconcentration.  Yes, you must eventually discover that emptiness is none other than form. :-)






   In practice, the advaitist who dwells in nonduality is not analytical. The lover doesn't need much instruction ,it comes pretty naturally. Any tradition will do.

t
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
   In practice, the advaitist who dwells in nonduality is not analytical. The lover doesn't need much instruction ,it comes pretty naturally. Any tradition will do.

t [endquote]



Interesting - I guess that is a typo for typical/analytical?  That makes a lot of sense and explains why it can still work.
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind (plus other factors like wanting it, putting effort towards it, and still, there's no guarantee that it will last -- it may depend on other laws of nature) -- and for sure, it seems like it'll end with the end of mind-body -- thus, for sure, anicca and anatta.

When I said pure consciousness, I meant consciousness either observing consciousness or consciousness sitting with things as they are (signless concentration of mind/emptiness).  By use of the word "pure" I meant, there's just observation going on (basically, emptiness) -- let's say, observing things "purely". Yes, my way of putting things was not great, I apologize for that.


Thanks also for pointing out the passages from the Satipatthana Sutta & Jhana Sutta.  I've not yet read the last Sutta reference. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind (plus other factors like wanting it, putting effort towards it, and still, there's no guarantee that it will last -- it may depend on other laws of nature) -- and for sure, it seems like it'll end with the end of mind-body -- thus, for sure, anicca and anatta.

When I said pure consciousness, I meant consciousness either observing consciousness or consciousness sitting with things as they are (signless concentration of mind/emptiness).  By use of the word "pure" I meant, there's just observation going on (basically, emptiness) -- let's say, observing things "purely". Yes, my way of putting things was not great, I apologize for that.


Thanks also for pointing out the passages from the Satipatthana Sutta & Jhana Sutta.  I've not yet read the last Sutta reference. 

Hi Mike, yes that is just what I am proposing. And interesting to hear what you say about Hindu noting. That explains a fair amount.  I know Hindus are getting there somehow, but the overt approach of Advaita seems to only go partway.

The Jhana sutta is also interesting - see through any jhana completely (even first Jhana) and reach awakening!  This seems much neglected as a practice.

And no need for apology, pure consciousness is a common term. However, as I see it, there are only the six sense consciousnesses, and they are all somewhat equal. When we prefentially dwell in the mind sense, reinforced through excessive verbal formations and built up karmic tendencies, we dwell in an illusion about our true nature. Our goal is to see through that illusion. From my perspective, the idea of an observing consciousness still implies a subtle primacy of the mind sense, and thus a contraction around a subtle sense of self.  Instead, I see our existence as a process overlaid across ALL six sense consciousnesses. Hence the need to purify all the sense doors, dwell in the field of the six sense perceptions, and do so without a sense of a centre. And also without the sense of active deliberation and decision making. This last point is because all that work is really done by the subconcious, and if we put awareness into it we are needlessly contracting around the mind sense. Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily.

Malcolm

P.S.  I forgot another example of the progression given in Buddhist thought

Gate
Gate
Paragate
Parasamgate 
Awake, yeah!
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?

Not in my view. Samadhi is part of the raft that helps to cross over to the other shore. You don't need a raft once you're there. I mean, go back for another scoot around the river by all means, that can be fun. But you'd look kind of strange paddling your raft on dry land. 

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Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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So, when you say, dwell in all six sense consciousness happily, you mean, after having completed the job, throwing away the raft, so to speak, this is the state one dwells in? Just trying to understand. Thanks.

Mike
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
So, when you say, dwell in all six sense consciousness happily, you mean, after having completed the job, throwing away the raft, so to speak, this is the state one dwells in? Just trying to understand. Thanks.

Mike

To be as precise as possible ... some people choose to stay absorbed in the ground.  Like some people choose to live in Texas.  And strictly speaking it may not be equal balance between all the sense consciousnesses, but the balance is definitely far away from the mind sense. The mind sense is perfectly accessible and useable, but there is no clinging or self-identification with it. 

Ananda wrote a beautfiul poem about missing all the old ones, after they had died and he was left alone from the original generation of arahants. He found solace in mindfulness of the body. That is, absorbing the awareness in the touch sense door in the body, with a little piti, and just dwelling there. So that is like choosing to live in Kentucky rather than Texas.

But the experience remains fundamentally human. The aggregates still exisit, and throw up various things, but the default is happiness and ease, liberation rather than dukkha, and you can clean up whatever arises fairly easily. You still have to deal with the residue remaining, and the more you are engaged in the old life from which that residue was generated, the more it will be salient and lead to arisings. 

Buddhism is full of metaphors about all this. For example, the heavenly realms are great, but ultimately don't lead onwards. Only the human realm allows choices that have karmic consequeces that can lead to liberation. The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.

Hard to explain. All these concepts are generated from the mind sense. Try mindfulness of the body for seven days and nights and then relinquish all attainments and attachments and fears, and embrace all the death and loss you can imagine instead of flinching from it.  And then become the deathless.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.''

Yes. For me, this has always been the beauty of the dharma. To be human and to know what that entails in the fullest, most exquisite sense.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.''

Yes. For me, this has always been the beauty of the dharma. To be human and to know what that entails in the fullest, most exquisite sense.



from "the way of chuang tzu" trans merton



THE TRUE MAN

What is meant by a "true man"?
The true men of old were not afraid
When they stood alone in their views.
No great exploits. No plans.
If they failed, no sorrow.
No self-congratulation in success.
They scaled cliffs, never dizzy,
Plunged in water, never wet,
Walked through fire and were not burnt.
Thus their knowledge reached all the way
To Tao.
The true men of old
Slept without dreams,
Woke without worries.
Their food was plain.
They breathed deep.
True men breathe from their heels.
Others breathe with their gullets,
Half-strangled. In dispute
They heave up arguments
Like vomit.
Where the fountains of passion
Lie deep
The heavenly springs
Are soon dry.
The true men of old
Knew no lust for life,
No dread of death.
Their entrance was without gladness,
Their exit, yonder,
Without resistance.
Easy come, easy go.
They did not forget where from,
Nor ask where to,
Nor drive grimly forward
Fighting their way through life.
They took life as it came, gladly;
Took death as it came, without care;
And went away, yonder,
Yonder!
They had no mind to fight Tao.
They did not try, by their own contriving,
To help Tao along.
These are the ones we call true men.
Minds free, thoughts gone
Brows clear, faces serene.
Were they cool? Only cool as autumn.
Were they hot? No hotter than spring.
All that came out of them
Came quiet, like the four seasons.
[vi. I.]
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Mike Smirnoff:
Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?

Not in my view. Samadhi is part of the raft that helps to cross over to the other shore. You don't need a raft once you're there. I mean, go back for another scoot around the river by all means, that can be fun. But you'd look kind of strange paddling your raft on dry land. 

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   When the old british sailor men got finally paid off, they proverbially would carry an anchor over their shoulder and walk inland until some country fellow asked them, "what's that thing?"

   "Why son, let me tell you about something we call 'the ocean'"....
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind 


   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?
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Ben V., modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I've always wondered and suspected that cessation(fruition) is non-duality itself. If and when there is only 'One', then there cannot be any perception whatsoever (because it requires a here that perceives a there), hence, cessation.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Ben V.:
I've always wondered and suspected that cessation(fruition) is non-duality itself. If and when there is only 'One', then there cannot be any perception whatsoever (because it requires a here that perceives a there), hence, cessation.


cessation and non-cessation are not two...

nonduality itself is always present/not present (mind is buddha; no mind is buddha...a dog has/has no buddha nature)


the buddha perceives nibbana as nibbana,
without conceiving of it as such...

there can be perception of non-duality but no conception, no memory, no residue, no impression, no reproduction,
no transference...

only the poetry of longing...

t




from "the rumi collection" ed helminski and helminski:


Can anyone really describe the actions of
the Matchless One?
Anything I can say is only what I’m allowed to.
Sometimes He acts this way,
sometimes in its exact opposite;
The real work of religion is permanent astonishment.
By that I don’t mean in astonishment turning your back on Him—
I mean: blazing in blind ecstasy, drowned in God and drunk on Love.

(translated by Andrew Harvey)

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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

(ooh, ooh)


try mental deconstructs...


t



from "the way of chuang tzu", trans merton:


HOW DEEP IS TAO!

My Master said: Tao, how deep, how still its hiding place!
Tao, how pure! Without this stillness, metal would not ring,
stone when struck would give no answer. The power of
sound is in the metal and Tao in all things. When they clash,
they ring with Tao, and are silent again. Who is there, now,
to tell all things their places? The king of life goes his way free,
inac­tive, unknown. He would blush to be in business. He keeps
his deep roots down in the origin, down in the spring. His
knowledge is enfolded in Spirit and he grows great, great,
opens a great heart, a world's refuge. Without forethought he
comes out, in majesty. Without plan he goes his way and all
things follow him. This is the kingly man, who rides above life.
This one sees in the dark, hears where there is no sound. In
the deep dark he alone sees light. In soundlessness he alone
perceives music. He can go down into the lowest of low places
and find people. He can stand in the highest of high places and
see meaning. He is in contact with all beings. That which is not,
goes his way. That which moves is what he stands on. Great
is small for him, long is short for him, and all his distances are near.

[xii. 3.]
73
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry


from "the rumi collection" ed helminski and helminski:


WINGS OF DESIRE

People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterward repent of the lust they’ve indulged,
because they have indulged with a phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.
Your desire for the illusory could be a wing,
by means of which a seeker might ascend to Reality.
When you have indulged a lust, your wing drops off;
you become lame, abandoned by a fantasy.
Preserve the wing and don’t indulge such lust,
so that the wing of desire may bear you to Paradise.
People fancy they are enjoying themselves
but they are really tearing out their wings
for the sake of an illusion.

MATHNAWI III, 2133–2138
(translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd.

Indeed. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry

Thanks for a great post!

I for one wouldn't at all mind giving up on that kind of economy. It's hard to do it alone, though. Of course, even wanting to stay alive and out of the gutter for the sake of my child is attachment, too, but... 

I get what you are saying about perceptions, that they just are. I both agree and disagree. I think Daniel expresses that very well in MCTB2 (I have no idea where in the text, though, and I can probably not do justice to it either). Even complex mental constructs, or formations, just are. They are there, just as they are, and they are aware (which cannot be distinguished from being perceived), just as they are. Still, the fact that they just are does not mean that the construct is the "correct" categorization of the sensations that they are associated with. It just means that the categorization lives it's own life, so to speak, which is true also for any form of distinction. Distinguishing something as a particular set of sensations necessarily means that some kind of mental construction is at play. That doesn't make it bad (unless you are really anti-samsara to the extent that you consider life itself evil). It just makes it creative and alive. Also, mental constructs can be incredibly useful for mundane purposes, and I think those matter.

Mental constructs can of course also be incredibly unhelpul. The economy is a great example of the latter. When the economy makes people burn their crops because they will lose money if they don't, while at the same time people are starving, that's bizarre. When an outrageous amount of resources are spent on making sure that people don't get more help than some absurd norm considers them worthy of, that's bizarre. When there are things that need to be done for the benefit of basically everyone's wellbeing, and there are people who are willing to do it and there are other resources needed for the tasks, and the economy prohibits taking action, that is bizaree. I totally agree that we need to question that kind of mental construct.

That does however not mean that being a mental construct per se makes it less valid. It just means that it is a mental construct and that other mental constructs, intersecting with the same sensory input from the sense organs, are possible as well. And to the extent that we at all can talk about the Buddha as a perceiver, I think the Buddha would be aware of that.

I remember that Jesus toast from media, by the way. Bizarre! 
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Matthew, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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One "pith instruction" I've arrived at with regards to this just-is-ness of even factually-incorrect fabrications is: "Nothing is about anything."

In other words, the trap of projection that labels things good or bad or desirable or undesirable starts from thinking about things and then confusedly believing those thoughts are properties inside of the thing itself. Remembering that nothing is about anything allows those fabrications to just be as they are without ascribing them to a thing. This avoids that trap but still allows one to embrace their whole uncensored experience, some of which surely includes such fabrication.

This still allows causality though. The rain doesn't think about the plants, but the plants grow regardless.

Just throwing this out there cause I've found it helpful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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That was a great explanation of what I was trying to say. Thanks! emoticon
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry

Thanks for a great post!

I for one wouldn't at all mind giving up on that kind of economy. It's hard to do it alone, though. Of course, even wanting to stay alive and out of the gutter for the sake of my child is attachment, too, but... 

I get what you are saying about perceptions, that they just are. I both agree and disagree. I think Daniel expresses that very well in MCTB2 (I have no idea where in the text, though, and I can probably not do justice to it either). Even complex mental constructs, or formations, just are. They are there, just as they are, and they are aware (which cannot be distinguished from being perceived), just as they are. Still, the fact that they just are does not mean that the construct is the "correct" categorization of the sensations that they are associated with. It just means that the categorization lives it's own life, so to speak, which is true also for any form of distinction. Distinguishing something as a particular set of sensations necessarily means that some kind of mental construction is at play. That doesn't make it bad (unless you are really anti-samsara to the extent that you consider life itself evil). It just makes it creative and alive. Also, mental constructs can be incredibly useful for mundane purposes, and I think those matter.

Mental constructs can of course also be incredibly unhelpul. The economy is a great example of the latter. When the economy makes people burn their crops because they will lose money if they don't, while at the same time people are starving, that's bizarre. When an outrageous amount of resources are spent on making sure that people don't get more help than some absurd norm considers them worthy of, that's bizarre. When there are things that need to be done for the benefit of basically everyone's wellbeing, and there are people who are willing to do it and there are other resources needed for the tasks, and the economy prohibits taking action, that is bizaree. I totally agree that we need to question that kind of mental construct.

That does however not mean that being a mental construct per se makes it less valid. It just means that it is a mental construct and that other mental constructs, intersecting with the same sensory input from the sense organs, are possible as well. And to the extent that we at all can talk about the Buddha as a perceiver, I think the Buddha would be aware of that.

I remember that Jesus toast from media, by the way. Bizarre! 


    Using mental constructs as a guide for action is a recipe for failure. That some mental constructs are more valid than others is not in dispute. All contrived solutions are based on ignorance. For example, environmentalists and ecologists are not trying to heal the planet, they just want to make exploitation safer and more efficient for their monocrop: humans.

   Perceptions are unique, whole. Mental constructions proliferate and can only be ended by abandoning the whole mass of suffering.

   No need to navigate, there is only here and nowhere to go. 

   There is a natural world in which all animals live, including us. We have an additional social world in which we exploit everything we can get our hands on, minerals, plants, animals, humans, gods, the universe. When this social world - maya - is seen through and disappears and we collectively join the rest of life, the planet will become a garden, and the lion will literally lay down with the lambs.


terry



from isaiah, 11:




2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


    
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  

All that form - it's just emptiness.

You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

t


from "shinjinmei teisho" brian chishom roshi: 


(sosan wrote the hsinhsinming (shinjinmei)



   Sosan met his master, Eka, in 551, while 42 years old and a layman. Sosan asked Eka if he could practice Zen, saying, “I am riddled with sickness. It is the result of my past evil Karma. Please absolve me of my evil Karma.” Sosan believed that if his sins were purified his sickness would be cured by purification. And the legend is that he was a leper.

   Eka said, “Is that so? That’s truly a shame. Well then, I will purify that evil Karma. Please bring that evil Karma and show it to me and I will purify it for you.” Sosan searched and searched for the evil Karma but no matter how hard he tried he was unable to find it. He then came and said, “I have searched for it but cannot find it.” And Ica said, “Isn’t that all right as it is? You are suffering from something that doesn’t exist. I have purified your evil Karma for you.”

   So in Buddhism the only way to remove sins is to clearly realize that those sins are empty: that they have no substance. This is the principle of salvation in Zen. The way practicing Zazen saves us is we grasp clearly our true nature and realize that the content of that true nature is completely devoid of any substance. It is empty as we say. No matter where we look we cannot find any actual substance. No sin or evil Karma because it is empty.


 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:


You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

 



I had an intense experience of that fairly recently. That was... beyond words, I would say. You seem to have a less ambivalent relationship with words. Maybe language is your language. It surely isn’t mine. I find it very useful, though.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:


You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

 



I had an intense experience of that fairly recently. That was... beyond words, I would say. You seem to have a less ambivalent relationship with words. Maybe language is your language. It surely isn’t mine. I find it very useful, though.

  I thought you would recognize the idea, I got it from you.

   I never think about words, only ideas. Words are like the water, ideas are like the wave. Surf's up!

   I have to say, I don't find it all that useful. It's pretty much all play. This is my sandbox (thanks for sharing). It's nice to think someone is listening from time to time.

t

from "one bright pearl," shobogenzo, by dogen
trans nishijima and cross:


Just at the moment of the present, whether suspended in space or hanging inside a garment, whether kept under a [dragon’s] chin or kept in a topknot, [the one bright pearl,] in all cases, is one bright pearl throughout the whole universe in ten directions. To hang inside a garment is its situation, so do not say that it will be dangling on the surface. To hang inside a topknot or under a chin is its situation, so do not expect to play with it on the surface of the topknot or on the surface of the chin. When we are intoxicated, there are close friends who give us a pearl; and we should always give a pearl to a close friend. When the pearl is hung upon us we are always intoxicated. That which “already is like this” is the one bright pearl which is the universe in ten directions. So even though it seems to be continually changing the outward appearance of its turning and not turning, it is just the bright pearl. The very recognition that the pearl has been existing like this is just the bright pearl itself. The bright pearl has sounds and forms that can be heard like this. Already “having got the state like this,” those who surmise that “I cannot be the bright pearl,” should not doubt that they are the pearl. Artificial and nonartificial states of surmising and doubting, attaching and rejecting, are just the small view. They are nothing more than trying to make [the bright pearl] match the narrow intellect. How could we not love the bright pearl? Its colors and light, as they are, are endless. Each color and every ray of light at each moment and in every situation is the virtue of the whole universe in ten directions; who would want to plunder it? No one would throw a tile into a street market. Do not worry about falling or not falling into the six states of cause and effect. They are the original state of being right from head to tail, which is never unclear, and
the bright pearl is its features and the bright pearl is its eyes. Still, neither I nor you know what the bright pearl is or what the bright pearl is not. Hundreds of thoughts and hundreds of negations of thought have combined to form a very clear idea. At the same time, by virtue of Gensha’s words of Dharma, we have heard, recognized, and clarified the situation of a body and mind which has already become the bright pearl. Thereafter, the mind is not personal; why should we be worried by attachment to whether it is a bright pearl or is not a bright pearl, as if what arises and passes were some person. Even surmising and worry is not different from the bright pearl. No action nor any thought has ever been caused by anything other than the bright pearl. Therefore, forward steps and backward steps in a demon’s black-mountain cave are just the one bright pearl itself.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Oh.

Cool.

I understand that text now. Not long ago, I wouldn't have. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Oh.

Cool.

I understand that text now. Not long ago, I wouldn't have. 

  Every time I post a text I am hoping that happens.


terry



O Solitude!
(john keats)


O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,    
Let it not be among the jumbled heap    
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—    
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,    
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,    
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep    
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap    
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.    
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,    
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,    
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,    
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be    
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,    
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.


   
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)

   I should mention that the image is dogen's, "a foot of water; a foot of wave" being one of his descriptions of reality.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)

   I should mention that the image is dogen's, "a foot of water; a foot of wave" being one of his descriptions of reality.

t

Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  


Agreed. To clarify, I never meant that a mental construct had to be constructed solely in one "separate" mind. I think creation transcends individual brains or wherever the processing actually goes on. 

Yes, the form is emptiness and the emptiness is form. That's beautiful, isn't it?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  


Agreed. To clarify, I never meant that a mental construct had to be constructed solely in one "separate" mind. I think creation transcends individual brains or wherever the processing actually goes on. 

Yes, the form is emptiness and the emptiness is form. That's beautiful, isn't it?


from "naqsh al fusus," ibn 'arabi, trans and commentary by william chittick:

One of the Sufis has said, "If a questioner asks how 'form' can be attributed to God, we will answer that according to the exoteric authorities it is a figurative attribution, not a real one, because for them to apply the word 'form' to sensory beings is true and correct, and to intelligible beings is figurative. But for us, since the world in all of its spiritual, corporeal, substantial and accidental parts is the particularized form of the ontological plane of 'Allah', and the Perfect Man is His summary form, the attribution of form to God is true and correct, and to what is other than He is figurative; for in our eyes nothing other than He possesses existence."
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
But how do you perveive "the actual grilled cheese" without the concept and know that it's the the actual grilled cheese you are perceiving? Without any overlay, it's all vibrations, unrecognizable. 


You can't perceive nibbana. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
But how do you perveive "the actual grilled cheese" without the concept and know that it's the the actual grilled cheese you are perceiving? Without any overlay, it's all vibrations, unrecognizable. 


You can't perceive nibbana. 

   It tastes like grilled cheese.

   It tastes like nibbana.

   Once eaten it's gone.

   Where is there a concept? No future, no past, no present. No time. Just this.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

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A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Precepts and concepts and everything in between! I'm going to write a limerick about this.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Precepts and concepts and everything in between! I'm going to write a limerick about this.

Oh, please do, and share! 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct.

Because the "thing" itself doesn't exist as anything other than your mind, or because your mind's simple receiving of whatever information automatically skews it through its very perception?
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
T, your first hypothesis has no answer - we don't know because we're stuck inside this boney orb with no direct access to whatever is "out there." Your second hypothesis is closer to my experience of how perception gets processed by mind.
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Thanks, Chris. I agree that the first piece is problematic and not testable to any degree. I read "Brief Peeks Beyond" as suggested elsewhere in the forum here and tend toward the idea that those things we consider as objects that could possibly exist as themselves are simply "mind-at-large" creations and thus the same as that which perceives it from "us." like... say a rock or something. 

As to the latter, my experience so far leads me to believe that our small minds definitely warp "reality" to suit our common experience/bent/education or whatever it is. Sometimes in a very literal sense, in my experience  - "There is no spoon." Ha!

I was actually wondering how Linda/Polly was arriving at that statement, based on her experience and understanding of how things work. We're all the saaaaaaame....in different places. ;) Or are we?!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I have had the experience of existence being gradually put together after cessations and even after blinking, so I know that what I can perceive is constructed. Just like Chris said, that doesn't tell me whether or not there is actually something "out there" outside of mind (outside the limited mind that "I" am accessing or a collective mindstream). It just tells me that what I can perceive doesn't ultimately exist like that - except for as my construct. The construct exists.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I don't know. Does it really matter? Let's say that all our perceived reality is just the kind of hologram of information that some physicists say that it is. Does it make it any less real? Or let's say that is is all a magickal manifestation, and that our consensual reality is a collective magickal manifestation. Does that make it less real? It's still all we've got, right? In either way, it is constructed. And so what? I don't see the huge problem with that. It's just a big "Duh!" If is is something, it has come to be. It has a beginning and an end. It has coagulated into being. It has manifested. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
I don't know. Does it really matter?

Now THAT is an answer. Probably an important one to keep in the toolbox!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
T:
I don't know. Does it really matter?

Now THAT is an answer. Probably an important one to keep in the toolbox!


Thanks! I was hoping that you would get it, and that it didn't come off as snarky.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 908 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 908 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?



from "the divan of hafiz," hafiz, trans bicknell:




X.


I swear—my master's soul bear witness, faith of old times, and promise leal!—
At early morning, my companion, is prayer for thy unceasing weal.

My tears, a more o'erwhelming deluge than was the flood which Noah braved,
Have washed not from my bosom's tablet the image which thy love has graved.

Come deal with me, and strike thy bargain: I have a broken heart to sell,
Which in its ailing state out-values a hundred thousand which are well.

Be lenient, if thou deem me drunken: on the primeval day divine
Love, who possessed my soul as master, bent my whole nature unto wine.

Strive after truth that for thy solace the Sun may in thy spirit rise;
For the false dawn of earlier morning grows dark of face because it lies.

O heart, thy friend's exceeding bounty should free thee from unfounded dread;
This instant, as of love thou vauntest, be ready to devote thy head!

I gained from thee my frantic yearning for mountains and the barren plain,
Yet loath art thou to yield to pity, and loosen at mid-height my chain.

If the ant casts reproach on Asaf, with justice does her tongue upbraid
For when his Highness lost Jem's signet, no effort for the quest he made.

No constancy—yet grieve not, Hafiz—
Expect thou from the faithless fair;
What right have we to blame the garden,
Because the plant has withered there?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?



from "the divan of hafiz," hafiz, trans bicknell:




X.


I swear—my master's soul bear witness, faith of old times, and promise leal!—
At early morning, my companion, is prayer for thy unceasing weal.

My tears, a more o'erwhelming deluge than was the flood which Noah braved,
Have washed not from my bosom's tablet the image which thy love has graved.

Come deal with me, and strike thy bargain: I have a broken heart to sell,
Which in its ailing state out-values a hundred thousand which are well.

Be lenient, if thou deem me drunken: on the primeval day divine
Love, who possessed my soul as master, bent my whole nature unto wine.

Strive after truth that for thy solace the Sun may in thy spirit rise;
For the false dawn of earlier morning grows dark of face because it lies.

O heart, thy friend's exceeding bounty should free thee from unfounded dread;
This instant, as of love thou vauntest, be ready to devote thy head!

I gained from thee my frantic yearning for mountains and the barren plain,
Yet loath art thou to yield to pity, and loosen at mid-height my chain.

If the ant casts reproach on Asaf, with justice does her tongue upbraid
For when his Highness lost Jem's signet, no effort for the quest he made.

No constancy—yet grieve not, Hafiz—
Expect thou from the faithless fair;
What right have we to blame the garden,
Because the plant has withered there?


now, ask yourself, brother, does that poem seem to insult you?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t


sometimes, I laugh until I cry... 
(but it is still funny)
(sad too)
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t

the heart knows no boundaries...

the children of love play hide and seek...

the gentle of heart mean no insult, the heart knows...

the heart needs no justification, no validation...


speaking the heart and speaking the mind are at the root of perceptual vs conceptual knowing...
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
According to some teachings, love is a manifestation of nirmanakaya. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The way I see it, love is creation in its purest form. That's a view, though. I think there is an innate tendency in emptiness to manifest as something, to come to be, and that tendency is the embryo of feelings like love and joy and curiosity. It's the very drive to be. 

And since there is no doer, there is no difference between creation as a process and creation as a result/manifestation, that is, a construct. I prefer the word creation, though. Construct wasn't my wording. Just pointing out that all it means is that something is a creation. Big deal. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 908 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
I'm really enjoying your recent deepening of insights Linda/Polly.  One other thing - now you can see how sankharas, as part of the five aggregates, contribute to our 'being', you can also see something else.  Why should we limit 'sankharas' to those within our brain/body?  Things outside us perform exactly the same function as our internal sankharas. Our environment, our family, our loved ones, all generate constructing impulses that help to fabricate our process of being.  In a very real sense, we are part of each other.

Love the other, for they really are a part of you.

<heart> 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
curious:
I'm really enjoying your recent deepening of insights Linda/Polly.  One other thing - now you can see how sankharas, as part of the five aggregates, contribute to our 'being', you can also see something else.  Why should we limit 'sankharas' to those within our brain/body?  Things outside us perform exactly the same function as our internal sankharas. Our environment, our family, our loved ones, all generate constructing impulses that help to fabricate our process of being.  In a very real sense, we are part of each other.

Love the other, for they really are a part of you.

<heart> 
Thankyou! I have you to thank for a lot of that. 

Oh, yes, I'm very well aware of that. Actually, that was my starting point, as I am a researcher within the field of social interaction, among others (what we are doing is interdisciplinary). There is no such things as identity in isolation, and all our action is situated and part of an interplay. That includes cognitive processing. The notion that something should be the product (relatively speaking) of an isolated individual seems absurd to me. I usually don't report about others' parts in triggering stuff in me and vice versa for the sake of their integrity, but I notice it. 

Edited to add: This forum is an excellent example of how we develop in interaction. This is my main source of socialization into the world of dharma, and it has given me more tools for approaching and processing the dharma than I could even begin to count. I see on a daily basis how ideas transcend individual minds like the waves transcend the water and the specific location within the ocean (that reference is an example of that). 

I think it's beautiful how we are all part of each other. Frustrating at times, in phases of contraction, but on a larger scale so beautiful.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
The way I see it, love is creation in its purest form. That's a view, though. I think there is an innate tendency in emptiness to manifest as something, to come to be, and that tendency is the embryo of feelings like love and joy and curiosity. It's the very drive to be. 

And since there is no doer, there is no difference between creation as a process and creation as a result/manifestation, that is, a construct. I prefer the word creation, though. Construct wasn't my wording. Just pointing out that all it means is that something is a creation. Big deal. 


   There is yet another subtle but important distinction that you miss here. Creation as a process is dependent coarising, a true manifestation of existence within the purview of the three marks. Thus it is characterized by impermanence, by constant change as a permanent characteristic. Whereas, the concept of the act of creation as a static construction or "creation" in the form of a "manifestation" or a "result" is something totally different. It is a mere concept or mental construct, as congruent with anything real as "a painted ship upon a painted ocean."

   Dialog that is exclusively based in mental constructs, concepts, or mental (egoic) "creations" is rather like playing cards, more of a pastime and a social experience that a search for truth.

   We can perceive Unity, the whole, the One Pearl, through unity itself. THIS CANNOT BE EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF MENTAL CONSTRUCTS. (Sorry, don't mean to shout.) One can only encourage solitude, non-thinking, and meditation, but these words will be taken as more mental constructs.

   
terry




from "the way of the sufi" by idries shah




HOW THE SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE IS FRUSTRATED

It is frustrated by pretence.

There is that which man knows within himself. He does not recognise it for what it is. He pretends that he can, or cannot, understand it. He does not know that he needs a certain preparation.

There is what man thinks that he knows, but does not. He only knows about a part of the things which he knows. This partial knowledge is in some ways worse than no knowledge at all.

There is also what man does not know, and cannot know at any given stage. This, however, he believes that he must know. He seeks it, or something that will seem to him to be this thing. Since he has no real measuring-stick, he starts to pretend.

(Study-theme of the Azamia Dervishes)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I don't see a problem with love as we know it, as human beings, being a construct. Why would that be a problem? I like things hand-made. 

I'd like to think that there is a greater love embedded within emptiness itself, though, but that is more than I can possibly know. 

Why do you have a problem with constructs? What is wrong with something being created? How do you think something comes into being? 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I don't see a problem with love as we know it, as human beings, being a construct. Why would that be a problem? I like things hand-made. 

I'd like to think that there is a greater love embedded within emptiness itself, though, but that is more than I can possibly know. 

Why do you have a problem with constructs? What is wrong with something being created? How do you think something comes into being? 


   God says "be," and it is.   
Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!”– and it is!) [Surah Yasin:82)

   The problem with constructs is the conception that divine love cannot be known. The buddha "knew nibbana as nibbana" in the same way that he knew earth as earth, by direct perception.

   Just as a pre-pubescent child does not know the joys of sexual union, not having the necessary equipment as yet, the mind cannot grasp Truth. The mind needs to be set aside, the heart opened. The Truth is too subtle for thinking, too deep for emotion. The buddha once hesitated to teach, "because the truth is subtle and hard to know."

   Of course, your denials are just mental constructs. Gnats in the wind.

terry





from "the way of the sufi" idries shah;


WILD UTTERANCES

We give out strange phrases to ordinary people because our experiences cannot be put in their ordinary phrases. I have known that which cannot be described, through and through, and that which is in it overwhelms all ordinary definition.

Ibn Ata
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 


   Pardon my absence; I had stuff to do.

   You have repeated several times that "the ultimate can't be perceived." This assertion runs directly counter to buddhism, and besides, it is wrong. Just because you cannot conceive of such a perception, does not mean that a great number of people have not perceived it, including the buddha and all the arhats, and no doubt plenty of people here, other than yourself, nicky, and malcolm.


metta,
terry
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 


   Pardon my absence; I had stuff to do.

   You have repeated several times that "the ultimate can't be perceived." This assertion runs directly counter to buddhism, and besides, it is wrong. Just because you cannot conceive of such a perception, does not mean that a great number of people have not perceived it, including the buddha and all the arhats, and no doubt plenty of people here, other than yourself, nicky, and malcolm.


metta,
terry


Hot Summer Day
(It's a Beautiful Day)

Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
Oh, hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Please carry me along
Hot summer day
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Long summer dream (Long summer dream)
Sliding round my mind
Those long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Are leaving me behind
Hot summer day
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Circling like a river
Over brightly colored stones
Breaking up my soul
And taking part of me home
Leaving the other half
To tumble all alone
Love, love, where did you go?
Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
To its end where I begin
Those long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Still spinning round my mind
And they end where they begin
And I want to grab that river
And stop the love that's dying
Because I know that somewhere
Deep inside my soul you're still lying
Waiting to awaken
And shake that river's flow
Love, love, where did you go?
They told me that the sun turned green
I said I didn't know
And they told me that the moon turned blue
I said it didn't show
And they told me that I looked a fool
And I said I'd let that go
But when they told me that our love was dead
I had to turn and go
Oh love
Love
Love
Love
Love
Where did you go?
Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Sliding round my mind
And they end
Where they begin
Circling like a river
Over brightly colored stones
Breaking up my soul
And taking part of me home
Leaving the other half
To tumble all alone
Love, love, where did you go?

Songwriters: David Laflamme / Linda Laflamme
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 208 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 208 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 208 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

   If "knowing" is understood as cognizing "objects" with the mind and not perceiving with the heart, then it is a defilement, a "stain." It is characteristic of the ego to contemplate itself, contemplate itself contemplating itself, and then call this sort of thinking profound insight into eternity and infinity, though it is nothing more than a trick of mirrors.

   The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely. To paraphrase walter benjamin, the heart is a faint text heavily overwritten with a bold script by which it is almost entirely obscured. To know yourself, that is your heart, our heart, you must stop generating the script and pay attetion to the text.


terry



“Every morning brings us news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event comes to us without being already shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information. Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it. . . . The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the event is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.” 

― Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 208 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.


And how do you know that? With the Shining Light Of Knowledge? aka el supremo, the conscious mind, the ego? What form does this Knowledge take, in the absence of thought?

As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost.

t
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 208 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.
And how do you know that? With the Shining Light Of Knowledge? aka el supremo, the conscious mind, the ego? What form does this Knowledge take, in the absence of thought?

As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost.

t
Didn't you just open yours to state that response?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t
thumbnail
curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 908 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t

Eh, I thought we were not-two?  So they are your views too!  Or at the very least, your views about my views. :-)

But actually, this seems an effective process for emptying oneself of views.  A exhuastion of purifications.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1677 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t

Eh, I thought we were not-two?  So they are your views too!  Or at the very least, your views about my views. :-)

But actually, this seems an effective process for emptying oneself of views.  A exhuastion of purifications.

when all views are "don't know" you have arrived at right view (and exited your thicket)...

t



ttc, trans mitchell


71.

Not-knowing is true knowledge. 
Presuming to know is a disease. 
First realize that you are sick; 
then you can move toward health.
The Master is her own physician. 
She has healed herself of all knowing. 
Thus she is truly whole.