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Session Start: Wednesday, August 09, 2006
(11:32 PM) AEN: namdrol:
While it is true that many non-Buddhist paths a renunciate and so on, the unique feature of the Buddha's path is understanding that phenomena are dependently originated. Dependent origination is critical in developing a correct view.
Is the mere knowledge that phenomena dependently originated sufficient? No.
It is possible to hold a view of dependent origination which is nevertheless realist or substantialist in nature-- a perfect example of this would the way Thich Nhat Hahn's "interbeing" is generally understood. Here, it is never questioned that the mutually depedendent phenomena exist in dependence because they all exist together. In general, this is also the naive understanding of dependent origination.
(11:32 PM) AEN: Even so, this view of dependent orgination already marks the beginning of turning from a wrong or incorrect view, to a right or correct view.
How do we move from a substantialist interpretation of dependent origination to a non-substantialist understanding?
We need to first be open to having our existential assumptions undermined. Any clinging to existence and non-existence must be eradicated before we can properly appreciate the meaning of DO. Some people think this simply means clinging to inherent or ultimate existence. But this is not so. Whatever arises in dependence also must be devoid of mere existence as well.
To understand this fully we must understand the perfection of wisdom sutras in their entirety and the thinking of Nagarjuna and his followers.
(11:32 PM) AEN:
When we have truly understood that phenomena are devoid existence and non-existence because they are dependently originated; we can understand that phenomena do not arise, since existence and dependence are mutually exclusive. Any existence that can be pointed to is merely putative and nominal, and does not bear any reasoned investigation.
Since phenomena are dependently originated, and the consequence of dependent origination is that there are no existing existents, we can understand that existents are non-arising by nature. As Buddhapalita states "We do not claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents."
Whatever does not arise by nature is free from existence and non-existence, and that is the meaning of "freedom from proliferation." In this way, dependent origination = emptiness, and this is the correct view that Buddhas elucidate. There is no other correct view than this.
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