Greg Goode:

Steve,  Madhyamika interprets the "thingness" gestalt as a type conception, a way of reacting or conceptualizing words or concepts or sensations, as if there were existence involved.  Maybe some words seem to invite this kind of reifying conceptualization more than others - we usually feel that more physical-sounding, more concrete words entail a more independent kind of existence.  But Madhyamika would refute this kind of existence across the board.

Does "dependent arising" require there is (A) something dependent that arises, and (B) something that A is dependent on?   Even though Madhyamika itself refutes this?

Not according to Madhyamika itself.  When A is said to be dependent, the meaning is that is is not INdependent.  It is not self-sufficient, it has no essence or true nature.

What does "dependent" mean?  Dependence is usually broken down into three types.  Phenomenon A relies on pieces and parts, on conditions, and on conceptual designation.

But none of these things (pieces + parts, conditions, conceptual designation) is an inherent, self-standing thing.  Each of these things itself dependent.

This kind of dependency is not linear, tracing back to an original first cause or universal stopping point.  It's more like a web of dependencies.  It's not arborial, it's rhizomatic.


Years ago:

Greg Goode Different types of dependency: several people have given examples, and here's another one.

A table..

1. A table depends on legs, a top, screws and braces (parts)
2. A table depends on being constructed, and trees, and sun and air, and builders (causes and conditions).
3. A table depends on being conceptualized and designated as a table.

This is the subtle one. Let's say you see a leg and a top. Do you see a backrest? No, so you won't call this a chair. The designation goes like this - you see some forms, and make them out as legs and a top. You give those forms the name, label, designation of "table."

This is subtle because the table is not exactly equal to the parts. The table cannot equal the parts, because then, if the parts change, the parts would be different, and so, following the equation, the table would have to change. Another reason the equality cannot hold is that there are many parts and only one table. The table cannot equal the *collection* of parts, because if the parts change, or if a leg gets broken off, or swapped out, then the collection changes. So the table would have to be a different table.

But we really don't want to say that the table would be different just because the parts are different. We want to somehow say that the table can remain relatively stable as the same table, even if the parts change, or get painted, etc.

And at the same time, we cannot find a truly existent, unchanging table behind or within the parts. If we did find such a truly existent table, then we wouldn't need to designate the parts as a table. But we do. It makes no sense that the table would really be a table if no one had ever in history designated anything as a table.

So we allow ourselves to end up saying, in a loose, conventional way, that the table depends on the parts, but is not the parts. It's a table in name only. this kind of naming is the designation-aspect of the dependency.

And this loose, conventional approach to tables and selves and life and all things is the experience of emptiness. It's a free, flexible, sweetly joyful, open-hearted way of life....
John Tan And also functionality. A Chariot continues to function even with some of its parts missing. Dependencies based on parts, causes and conditions, relations, functions and imputations.
1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Putting things simply, everything 'created' or manifested, r karma...and as long as one still caught in karmic cycle( i.e phenomenon-existence), dukkha will never end...karma has to be released, or 'separated' , only den will real dukkhanirodha come