Hoping for Thusness's comments on this writing by Andre A. Pais:
What appears is what appears. We could call that ''reality''.
''Reality'', when conceptualized, becomes a ''truth''.
If those concepts express the true nature of what appears, it's an ultimate truth (usually about the emptiness of what appears; or the natural union of emptiness and appearance in what appears).
If those concepts express something other than the true nature of what appears, it's a conventional truth (usually about some function performed by some conceptualized object, like a table; or a belief in the permanence or inherency of some conceptualized object).
Concerning what appears, ''reality itself'', when it arises as ''concealing'' its true nature (emptiness), which is every ordinary appearance, then it's conventional reality.
When what appears, appears as it actually is (happening only when one has a direct perception of emptiness, since emptiness is empty and appears as such), then it's ultimate reality.
So, we have both conventional and ultimate reality. And we have both conventional and ultimate truth.
I'm having an issue with the conventional reality aspect. I said ordinary appearances are intrinsically of a ''concealing'' nature, because the tradition says that things always appear as inherently existing. Only emptiness appears in the same way as it is - empty.
I'm not sure I agree. When what is labeled as ''perception of blue sky'' arises, the ''blueness'' that appears is not broadcasting any inherency. It is only ''naturally manifest'', a mere instance of sheer luminosity. The mask of inherency is added later, conceptually.
So, I'd say all appearances are ultimate reality, because they all naturally express the intrinsic union of emptiness and appearances, nothing else. All else is a mere truth about it - conventional or ultimate.
What are people's thoughts about this?
Labels: André A. Pais