Emptiness and Karma

Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/21/09 6:19 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/21/09 6:23 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Trent S. H. 6/21/09 6:52 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Chris Marti 6/21/09 7:37 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Chris Marti 6/21/09 7:53 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Trent S. H. 6/21/09 8:18 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/21/09 8:18 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/21/09 8:34 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/21/09 8:47 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Florian 6/21/09 8:50 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Trent S. H. 6/21/09 9:46 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Hokai Sobol 6/21/09 11:59 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Chris Marti 6/21/09 2:07 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Trent S. H. 6/21/09 3:01 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma triple think 6/21/09 8:10 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma triple think 6/21/09 8:35 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/21/09 10:44 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Chris Marti 6/22/09 7:19 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/22/09 9:28 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/22/09 9:39 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/22/09 9:50 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Jackson Wilshire 6/22/09 12:35 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Trent S. H. 6/22/09 4:35 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/22/09 8:01 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/22/09 8:06 PM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Jackson Wilshire 6/23/09 2:52 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/23/09 6:21 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/23/09 7:05 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Jackson Wilshire 6/23/09 7:11 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Jackson Wilshire 6/23/09 7:46 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Hokai Sobol 6/23/09 8:49 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/23/09 9:05 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/23/09 9:27 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma tarin greco 6/23/09 9:42 AM
RE: Emptiness and Karma Wet Paint 6/24/09 6:04 AM
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 6:19 AM
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Emptiness and Karma

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123
Forum: Emptiness Teachings


DISCLAIMER: This question relates to emptiness teachings, which may not be helpful for some people. If it appears confusing, weird, or otherwise difficult to deal with, please ignore it. All phenomenon are impermanent, strive with diligence.

All right, I'm deferring to Hokai and, per his request, publishing my question.

My first question has to do with cause and effect, karma, dependent origination. Over the last few months, I have come to the understanding that logic is something of a fiction. For example:

If I put a seed in the ground, and out comes a flower, I may think that the seed produced the flower.

However, if I am looking at a computer screen, and I see a red light, then a green light, I would not say that the red light produced the green light.

I noticed this specifically with the skandhas. At first, they seemed to be causal: form --> sensation --> perception, etc. but then I realized that there was nothing actually linking these arisings.

Accordingly, how can we justify karma and dependent origination?

Cause and effect seem to be empty, a pattern imposed by the mind which can form a concept of time. Yet, taken to it's "logical" conclusion, this can lead to nihilism, an extreme rejected by the Buddha.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 6:23 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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Author: msj123

From Florian (monkeymind):

Hi Matt,

A teaching found in the Pali Canon which seems to be very closely related to what you've found, is "This-That-Conditionality", or Idappaccayata:

When this is, that is
With the arising of this comes the arising of that
When this isn't, that isn't
With the cessation of this comes the cessation of that

This is the principle connecting the links of DO. I can't help but notice how you phrase it almost identically: "I see a red light, then a green light, I would not say the red produced the green"

Lately, I've found my understanding of both "this-that-conditionality" and the concept of "synchronicity" as developed by C.G. Jung to be converging. What the Buddha described clearly is not causality, otherwise "this causes that" (for sufficient conditions) and "absence of this prevents that" (for necessary conditions) would have sufficed: Yet, there are the other two verses about arising and non-arising.

I realize that there are many ways to interpret idappaccayata. My penetration of both the Dhamma and Jung's work is superficial at best. I offer this as my current understanding.

Cheers,
Florian
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 6:52 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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This is just my opinion, of course, but karma seems to me like a round-about way of teaching the principle behind a self-fulfilling prophecy. Understanding a self-fulfilling prophecy can be extremely important for living well and for getting enlightened. Unfortunately, the way many people interpret teachings on Karma actually creates a backwards rationalized self-fulfilling prophecy which dooms them to failure and sorrow. In other words, they see no progress, decide they have shitty karma, then they only notice failure until they break out of that loop (if ever). Unfortunate indeed.

As far as dependent origination and causality is concerned, they too seem to simply be useful tools for waking people up, and for living well. However, causality is completely conceptual-- it is dependent upon chronological thinking and a wide series of correlations gathered from past experience (as you mentioned). The fact is, reality only exists in the moment it exists, which means that the universe has no idea what it is going to do next, nor does it remember what happened in the moment before (except through the reflection of a human's linguistic memory).

These understandings do not lead to nihilism unless a person decides that it should lead to nihilism.

Thoughts?
Trent
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 7:37 AM
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Hmmmm.... interesting subject, I think it's overstating the case to say that the universe ONLY exists in the present moment. It's also an overstatement to say that there is no real/true causality in the sense that is meant in science. While our experience definitely occurs right now, we clearly have memories of the past and can envision the future. If we didn't operate at that more complex level we wouldn't be human beings and we'd be stuck in a nightmare, frozen in just right now. So I do not reject causality and I do not reject the past as *purely* a figment of my imagination. In other words, I think reality is more complex than we conceive of ---- and that's part of its enduring beauty and mystery. Making reality ONLY NOW is turning it into a concept, and it cannot be just another a concept.
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 7:53 AM
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"... the universe has no idea what it is going to do next, nor does it remember what happened in the moment before (except through the reflection of a human's linguistic memory). "

I think it's easy to confuse these concepts and take them too far in a quest for what I'll call "dharmatic purity." Maybe you could explain the lack of causality to the victims of a bombing. BLAM! They die. Or a shooting. BANG! They're dead. Is it not appropriate to say that the bomb or the pulling of the trigger of a gun caused their deaths? I think the bottom line here is that to deny the very clear, irrefutable evidence of causality we see every day is to further delude ourselves and others. If we lose the nuance in our lives and turn these things into black/white, yes/no, true/false dichotomies we're as guilty as anyone of conceptualizing what is, in reality, non-conceptual.

Not one and not two.
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:18 AM
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Chris,

I do agree with you, I am simply stating another perspective on the matter. Causality as a conception is absolutely necessary and one of the few fundamental relationships that I end up spouting out somewhere in nearly every post I put onto these forums. It is especially useful for waking folks up and also for ethical considerations.

That said, causality IS phenomenologically a conceptualization, albeit an extremely necessary one. In "actuality," causality does not exist. What you conceive of in any given moment is reality and there cannot be anything more complex than just that. Complexity or the thought that something is complex is merely a comparison of relative understandings. In other words, complexity is only implied by a perceived misunderstanding or a lack of clarity. My job as an analyst may seem complex to an artist, but through my eyes, it is the other way around.

Dramatic purity, as you call it, is absolutely beautiful and mysterious. What could be more awesome than never really knowing what the next moment will bring? Heck, I don't even know what thought will come next, let alone where my life is going. Where will this body be in 5 minutes? I have a few guesses, but they are approximations based on my current intention and the current moment of unfolding. The universe is completely innocent of intent as it unfolds one moment to the next, blind to whether or not an airplane is going to smash into my ceiling or not. How would I ever see that coming, or really ever hope to guess at the actuality of anything which phenomenally comes to be?

Thoughts?
Trent
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:18 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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Author: msj123

Florian,

Good point. I've been reading this very passage for a few days, and subtly inserting the notion of causality into it.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:34 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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Author: msj123

Well, first of all, emptiness teachings are not for everyone. I am finding it useful to overcome habit energies. However, I have come to a point where I have complete confidence in the dharma. Without that complete confidence, emptiness teachings can lead to unskillful results.

Second, emptiness teachings negate inherent existence, not conventional existence. Inherent means a thing exists independently and/or permanently. Obviously things exist conventionally, I am typing on this computer.

Nevertheless, emptiness teachings can alleviate subtle forms of clinging. If it seems like a philosophical game or a useless venture to you, then I would leave it aside.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:47 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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Trent,

I suppose what I'm grappling with is how things can exist conventionally, but not ultimately.
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Florian, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:50 AM
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By the way, here's an interesting piece by duncan, related to the emptiness side of this discussion:

http://openenlightenment.org/?p=64

Cheers,
Florian
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 9:46 AM
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Matt,

Well, it depends greatly upon what you mean by conventional/ultimate and which "things" you're wondering about in particular. The long and short of it is that dividing things into conventional and ultimate is a false dichotomy. A conventional way of meaning-making is derived from the ultimate/actual. I think you have found the tracks of something interesting-- namely that the whole thing may just be "doing itself." It may also be useful to remember that your experience of reality is always only just something you are aware/conscious of in the moment. In other words, everything is happening on one interdependent plane of eminence (always simply consciousness/awareness of phenomenon X). Thoughts, the table, self, no self, emptiness and form, all just arising and passing entirely on its own and only in "one reality."

Trent
Hokai Sobol, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 11:59 AM
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This suchness indeed is paradoxical, and actually mysterious to the core. So this ground and convergence has been designed "mystery", spontaneously arising as this and that in manifest conditional patterns. This single point, this singularity, is only to be found in non-dual realization, and expressed mostly in symbolic forms. If it somehow resonates with your intuition, it's because you already know it to be so.
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 2:07 PM
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"The universe is completely innocent of intent as it unfolds one moment to the next, blind to whether or not an airplane is going to smash into my ceiling or not. How would I ever see that coming, or really ever hope to guess at the actuality of anything which phenomenally comes to be?"

I'll be happy to say this: the universe is completely impersonal and there is clearly no such thing as knowing the future with any certainty. Yet we set our alarm clocks every night assuming they will go off the next morning. Those two actions are connected. We can envision and sometimes experience the non-dual but we live our lives every day in the realm of concepts and what I am calling causality.


"That said, causality IS phenomenologically a conceptualization, albeit an extremely necessary one. In "actuality," causality does not exist."

Can you explain that more clearly? How does it fit within the Buddha's own description of dependent origination? Nothing occurs or appears independently of everything else. All phenomena are inter-connected. How is the statement "there is no causality" consistent with that?

BTW -- I'm not sure you and I are using the word "causality" in the same way, either.
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 3:01 PM
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Chris,

Again, I am not disagreeing with you on what causality is. If I stub my toe, it hurts. That is pretty simple to see and pragmatic to use. What I am saying does not negate what causality is nor what its useful applications are. All I am saying is that causality is implied and it is a conceptualization, not an actual thing which exists in the phenomenal manifest world.

Lets say I have a pencil in my left hand. I leave it there and note its obvious existence in my left hand. One minute later, I switch the pencil to my right hand. I leave it there and note its obvious existence in my right hand. I reason "ah-ha, this is causality. Through obvious intention and events which were felt, seen and heard, the pencil moved from my left hand to my right hand."

That is certainly causality, but there is more going on there. How is the causality above inferred? It is inferred by comparing two slices of time side by side and then noticing a relative change between the two slices. The point I am making is that the pencil actually, phenomenally, REALLY only ever exists in ONE place at ONE time. It actually only existed at one moment in "time" as it transitioned from one hand to the other; there is no inherent time-continuum for the universe as it manifests. Time and therefore causality is implied, not something which is actually existing. This is impermanence taken to the absolute max and is therefore also an extremely close look at the other two characteristics of no-self and suffering.

Trent
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:10 PM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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tempus fugit
anicca
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 8:35 PM
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As I envision it there is a zero point energy, it is in a state akin to chaos but pure as it is not a state at all. From there the energy emerges in micro moments so minute that it is pointless to concern oneself with this. It does so just as it is observed to do so in quantum physics. I'm kind of hoping that quantum physics will eventually sync up with
the abhidhammic conception of kalpas or mind moments, at least in my own mind, sufficiently to be a serviceable emergent turning of the wheel on the uber-geek level.

Then we might get those enlightened quantum switches that the other thread needs to achieve digital bodhi. But I digress.
: >)
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/21/09 10:44 PM
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well, there is quantum gravity, which is a system that breaks time up into discrete chunks (according to a friend of mine who works with it as a mathematician).

then there's also the speculative theory that we're living in a virtual simulation of a world that's running on software, and the classical physics are what the world's programmed to do, whereas the quantum phenomena we've uncovered are actually features of the software we're running on..

right, emptiness and karma! first, thank you for everyone who wrote such interesting perspectives on what causality, emptiness, and their relationships mean. what i'd like to know is how such understandings of emptiness impact your practice? i'll start:

i remember when i started looking at emptiness, it seemed like a kind of background that things were presenting against, then in, then as a part of, which is to say that it was clear it was no background at all, but rather as a limitless foreground. then, i examined the relationship between that and awareness, and found that there wasnt one; what i had taken to be phenomena and what i had taken to be awareness were both actually the experience of perceiving itself, and thats when everything sort of fell into place and it became clear that there is only looking. so basically my path with emptiness led to what i find better described by 'buddha-nature'.

ok now ur turn
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 7:19 AM
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Trent, I get your point. I think I'm struggling with the use of language on this issue. When we say something like "causality simply does not exist" that's a statement that probably needs just a bit of qualification. I get the fact that the conventional appearance of causality is due to the appearance of time and the perceptual comparisons based on memory that go along with that. I also get the fact that in the conventional world we need cause and effect to survive. Maybe we should make sure which we're referring to - conventional or ultimate - when we make these kinds of statements.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 9:28 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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In my practice, I will tell you how I benefit. At any time, I can conduct a real time investigation into emptiness of myself and phenomenon. Seeing things are empty, there is no grasping. After all, what is there to grasp? When there is no grasping, the wheel of suffering is broken. In theory, if this is repeated enough, perhaps the habit energies will be dissolved.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 9:39 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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I don't think this is correct. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Emptiness is not an essential nature, or awareness, or anything like that. Emptiness is an absence. In the dharmic context, it is the absence of an essential or ultimate nature. Emptiness is more of a descriptive term, telling you what kind of thing you have. You may have a red thing, a hot thing, or a loud thing, and always an empty thing.

As for the clear light of awareness, emptiness can reveal it, but it would be wrong to confuse emptiness with it. There is not more awareness when looking at a full milk bottle than an empty one. It is also one thing to say "I am aware" and another to say "I am empty." Or to say "I am aware of a table" as opposed to say "I am aware that the table is empty."

Hokai has suggested a great word for emptiness: openess. As noted in the Tao Te Ching, it is the empty space that give things their value (cups, houses, etc.) Emptiness allows everything to flow.

I found this page useful in orienting myself to emptiness: http://www.heartofnow.com/files/emptiness.html
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 9:50 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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hi matt,

emptiness is an absence in the relative sense, but not in the absolute sense. when relative emptiness starts tuning toward absolute emptiness (dont ask me what i mean by this), emptiness starts showing up in phenomena too. follow? because relative emptiness (absence) is actually made of sensations too (surprise!).. and when you start seeing this, formations become just a little bit more luminous, and form and emptiness become identical in the most basic and fundamental way. i recommend going no-dogging in this when it shows up.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 12:35 PM
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Matt,

Emptiness is not simply "an absence" or "nothing" in the relative sense. Rather, as Shinzen Young puts it, it's a very special Nothing. Emptiness in the dharmic sense also implies cognizance. It is a Knowing Nothing. To say that all phenomena is characteristic of emptiness is to say that it is both empty of self nature and yet somehow aware. It is paradoxical, for sure. The only way to resolve the paradox is to BE it.

EDIT: I should say that this is the more profound meaning of Empiness, at least in my opinion. Others, such as yourself, will differ on this point.
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 4:35 PM
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@Chris-- good point. What I mean by something "actually existing" pertains only to phenomena which are directly perceivable "as" a sense. That can be tricky so I should have thought about it and defined before using. It is especially tricky for thoughts and may enter a bit of a gray area for some tricky situations. But anyway, that's besides the point since causality clearly falls into that definition.

@Last 5ish posts

Oh for the love of Hokai you guys! You're talking about the same thing from different perspectives. Jackson & Tarin from the 1st person, and Matt in the 3rd person. Neither is better than the other-- they're contextual. Fundamentally, they're all empty teachings. (ohhh yesss that is two puns in one thread, I am on a ROLL. Swish, count it!).

Peace.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 8:01 PM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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if so, i think the theory's wrong. i think what it takes (to genuinely lose the habit energies), in addition to not perpetuating suffering behaviours, is cheerfully and willingly perpetuating other habit energies: such as carefree, sincere, unassuming, ones, where one is prone to being happy and light-hearted, and prone to delight and sensuous enjoyment. also, liking oneself is very important, and with this as a constant, these particular energies routinely lend themselves towards a kind of habit energy-lessness which i really cant fault in any way. this is what im finding.

just a side note on your comment, as this doesnt have to do with emptiness per se, but more so with 'karma' (the energies).
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/22/09 8:06 PM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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not so fast there pardner.. you gonna back up your equivocatin' with some facts and explanation?
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 2:52 AM
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True, I tend to prefer descriptions taken from the 1st person/phenomenological point of view. When speaking about practice, I think it is the most useful perspective.

As far as philosophy goes, 3rd person can be really fun emoticon And actually, talking dharma through the lens of post-modern deconstructionism is almost koan-like. It can get the mind to release all objects while remaining bright and sharp. It all depends on how it's presented, though.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 6:21 AM
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RE: Emptiness and Karma

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Author: msj123

Let me explain a view of how awareness and emptiness are different. Corrections and disagreements welcomed.

When Plato’s parents arise, Plato arises.
When Plato’s parents do not arise, Plato does not arise.

We can see this to be true. Plato depends on his parents. On the other hand:

When Plato arises, Plato’s parents arise.
When Plato does not arise, Plato’s parents do not arise.

This is wrong. Plato’s parents do not depend on Plato (although being Plato’s parent does!)

Now, let us compare awareness and emptiness.

When emptiness arises, awareness arises.
When emptiness does not arise, awareness does not arise.

This is wrong. Awareness does not depend on emptiness. How do we know? Because we can simply be aware of something. Emptiness depends on discrimination (i.e. emptiness separated out from not emptiness). If we do not discriminate, how can there be emptiness? When we are aware of just this, it is just this, no emptiness or form.

So it is the other way around:
When awareness arises, emptiness arises.
When awareness does not arise, emptiness does not arise.

Thus, emptiness depends on awareness. Emptiness is not awareness, and awareness does not depend on emptiness.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 7:05 AM
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yes, that is relative emptiness. the post of mine you were originally replying to was about the transition from awareness of relative emptiness to absolute emptiness (or Emptiness).
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 7:11 AM
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Too much logic. No one ever got enlightened by solving a linear equation.

What is emptiness when you check your direct experience? Is it really other than awareness? What is emptiness NOW?

EDIT: The reason I'm being so persistent about this is because I am of the opinion that one's philosophy of the absolute nature of things is best derived from direct experience rather than linear, either/or, dualistic reasoning. Verbal/written language will always be dualistic in nature, but our direct, unfiltered experience is not. The ineffable language used by the great expounders of non-duality are a testament to this, as their words make little sense when interpreted through a filter of linear logic. Rather, such words point to the suchness of reality that cannot be packaged neatly into simple equations. While what you're proposing isn't "wrong" from the level on which it is being presented, the ultimate, more profound meaning of such a concept as Emptiness can not be fully understood through medium of reason alone.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 7:46 AM
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One more thing (in regards to my last post)…

I do not want to devalue the role of linear, rational thought completely. It plays an immensely important role in dharma practice. It helps us to teach and implement clear, concise practices for ourselves and others to follow. Bhante G's book "Mindfulness in Plain English", Shinzen Young's teachings, and Daniel's MCTB are perfect examples of this. This is the practice, and here's how you do it, step by step -- this is essential to dharma practice.

However, as I have attempted to make abundantly clear, applying the same mode of thinking to interpret the Absolute is an unfortunate and all too common error.

EDIT: Spelling.
Hokai Sobol, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 8:49 AM
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Matt, I see faulty logic due to confounding categories. For example, you say "emptiness" depends on discrimination - but so does "awareness". Every notion "..." belongs to the category of conceptually delineated/differentiated/discriminated designations, of course. The question is not semiotics or even deeper causality, but agreeing that what we designate by "emptiness" (the actual referent) and what we designate by "awareness" actually exist in some way related to each other or not. These two actual referents can be established by analysis and by direct discernment. Some schools emphasize the importance of correct initial understanding *before* experiential probing, while some schools do the opposite, lest we imagine for ourselves an impossible referent that is not to be found in discernment. Either way, while notions "..." depend on each other in many ways, the actual referents may or may not depend on each other in different ways. But suffice to say that awareness is not really separate from emptiness.

However, would you mind defining "emptiness" and "awareness" as used here? Also, "being simply aware of something"? And finally, "just this"?
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:05 AM

RE: Emptiness and Karma

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

Jackson,

Perhaps I did not make this explicit, but delving into these teachings presupposes a lot of direct experience. As I said before, if this seems like an intellectual game, then it is not for you. Run, don't walk away from these teachings as fast as you can! In fact, these common reactions, and suggested dangers, are one of the reasons I was hesitant to post about it.

To me, this thread has been immensely helpful in untangling very tangled issues.

The beauty of Zen is that includes the reasoned discourses of Nagarjuna AND the direct pointing of Bodhidharma. Reason without experience is as one sided as experience without reason. The one can lead to dry intellectualism, and the other to hard fundamentalism. The Buddha's way is ultimately the Middle Way, avoiding dualistic extremes and going to the heart of the matter. There is nothing, nowhere, at any time which cannot be seen as a pointer to Buddha nature. If you cannot see the Buddha nature in a logical proposition, then you are simply not looking at it in the right way.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:27 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:27 AM

RE: Emptiness and Karma

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

Hokai,

I don't disagree with what you are saying, and indeed, it is difficult to use words to describe what is essentially outside of words. For example, define dog. You and I know what one is, but it will be impossible to find a universal definition. I would point out this is because of the emptiness of "dog," or the fact that a dog has no ultimate "dog nature."

Emptiness = lack of a permanent and/or separate nature. Door: anicca.

Awareness = knowing, sentience, pure consciousness. Door: anatta.

Just this = "bare" sensation, the form of form, feeling of feeling. Door: dukkha

Do these break down? Certainly. Just looking to experience, it is unmistakably real but ultimately ungraspable.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/23/09 9:42 AM

RE: Emptiness and Karma

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
matt,

when you get into the relations and non-relations between emptiness and awareness and form, you're playing at anagami or arahat levels, but problem is, neither anagami nor arahatta really has a door. in any case, you'll get through some of the lower paths distinguishing between form and emptiness, emptiness and awareness, but essentially what you're after (what 'your mind' is after) is fundamental reality, buddha-nature, and its not gonna be found in those categories. pay attention to what is investigating what. what is investigating emptiness? what is investigating form? what is investigating awareness? and what is this investigation itself? see if any of those things exist in a fundamental way.. or even in an empty way.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/24/09 6:04 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/24/09 6:04 AM

RE: Emptiness and Karma

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: JoshRobinson

to lend support, Emptiness from my experience is indeed linked with the lack of self-identification. It is also that which is described as unborn. If you try to point to the borders of emptiness you will only find that you are pointing emptiness at emptiness. Emptiness is a singularity. It has definition in a conventional sense so that we can speak of it, but it is indefinable. It's the basis of the "middle-path".