- André A. Pais Interpretation, or mental labeling, is not the only problem. Perception itself is deluded, until one directly sees the nature of phenomena. Otherwise, deep sleep would be an instance of enlightened awareness, since there is no interpretation. Like Tsongkhapa said, it's not enough not to designate self; it's required that one sees directly the lack of self.
- André A. Pais This brings me to something Kyle Dixon has mentioned recently (in Brian Christopher Harris 's group), that mental imputation isn't the whole story. Recently I was listening to Elias Caprilles talking about 3 levels of ignorance (fundamental ignorance concerning the nature of phenomena; deluded imputation of subject and object; and a third that I don't remember so well, but something related to further distinctions imposed on objects - perhaps aversion and desire?).
I'd love to hear about these levels of ignorance from whoever knows about them.
This would reveal that mere non-dual experience, mere appearance, mere non-conceptually or mere clarity/luminosity/PCE isn't enough, which would include the advaitic collapse of subject and object devoid of wisdom concerning the clarity that remains when the split between subject and object dissolves.
- André A. Pais Definitely, Robert Dominik Tkanka. You're one of the guys I see around who seems steeped in Dzogchen, so of course I'd like to hear your take on the 3 levels of ignorance and perhaps the general methods to deal with each of them. And I'm enjoying Elias take on this stuff (from a couple of videos I've watched).
- André A. Pais And according to Gen Lamrimpa, imputation doesn't happen only on a linguistic level. As soon as we have an experience, the memory of such will serve as a basis to compare future experiences and trigger desire, aversion or indifference. So babies and animals, even without linguistic conventions, are imputating on their experiences. And if we are born already with karmic tendencies from previous lives, then non-linguistic imputation through memory is always going on.
- André A. Pais And of course, the deepest forms of imputation, which are probably in our mindstreams from beginningless times, are the visceral sense of things being intrinsically real, and experience being divided into subject and object. So, dropping into a non-interpretative, non-conceptual state doesn't eradicate these celular, somatic conditionings.
However, the subject-object split does seem to dissolve, after some practice perhaps, at a non-conceptual level. But penetrating into suchness, emptiness or the non-arisen nature of phenomena, seems to require more active means.
- Robert Dominik Tkanka André A. Pais the 3rd type of avidya is about seeing multiciplity. We single out objects from the stream of sense information. It's the level of - as Elias calls them - intuitive thoughts. Intuitive thought is for example the one that makes you recognise a friend in a crowd. You see the face and immediately know it's your friend. You do not need discursive thinking for that.
2nd type of avidya is korsum or trimandala which as Elias calls it is "threefold thought structure". It's basically a subject, object and what's in between them (observation, action, relation...).
1st type of avidya or marigpa - according to Elias - is not a delusion (the two others are mistake perceptions) but simply a in ignorance which is more like a mental fog. It is unknowingness which in Elias words "is due to a factor of stupefaction which has been going along the mental streams of sentient beings since time without beginning".
I'm not sure this model is universal for Dzogchen. I think I saw (maybe in Malcolm's group) a different presentation. Sometimes there are small differences like this. For example CHNNR calls rolpa what most other teachers actually mean when they say rtsal and his rtsal is what is often known as rolpa. It's not that CHNNR's is wrong or they are wrong but there are two systems.
So the first type of avidya is not a concept. The methodology used in Dzogchen to free all types of avidya is to first find a nonconceptual state of pure sense perception and then to apply the Dzogchen pointing out instruction. For example you could do Semdzins of the 3rd series and then apply the instruction. The best example is the state of hedewa which is a kind of a nonconceptual state like that. Hedewa is a shock that happens after PHAT syllable. In this state there is no second nor third type of avidya but the first type of avidya still remains active. That's why hedewa is not the goal but a stepping stone to recognise rigpa. If you have received instructions from CHNNR for using the experience of hedewa then that's all you need to know about working with all three types of marigpa/avidya/ignorance. However I will tag you in a thread where I've share a comment from Elias on this pointing out instruction.
Furthermore according to Elias all three experiences of nonthought, clarity and sensation can be used as such stepping stone. These often are filtered by the second type of avidya/marigpa (an experiencer/experiencing/experienced). By using the Dzogchen method of looking you can make this type of marigpa collapse along with the first one. It's easier to achieve that effect if you simultaneously have two of these three or best all three experiences. Elias explains that the factor determining the efficacy of this looking is your energy volume determining the scope of awareness (the strong the experience the higher the energy volume). If you don't have enough energy then this looking will not work but will only create false mental images of looking etc.
Basically in this way we get rigpa. This knowledge of rigpa is not matured though and according to Elias (similar to Malcolm and the same as most Dzogchen sources) rigpa is only fully matured at the level of the 3rd vision of Thogal.
According to Elias Thogal is the superior one of all Dzogchen methods (though it needs some familiarity with Trekcho self-liberation of thoughts) and the only that can be considered truly a spontaneous self-liberation. Trekcho is not spontaneous self-liberation because Trekcho needs relative mindfulness. In other words in Trekcho you need to maintain presence. In Thogal after achieving certain proficiency with it you do not need that but your tensions spontanously release themselves. Its because the visions of Thogal have such a wondrous dynamic that they do not allow room for wrong view.
- Robert Dominik Tkanka André A. Pais I've omitted more detailed instructions from Elias for maintaining recognition after marigpa collapses (in other words how to deal with thoughts that will arise and that have the power to distract us). I can share these freely with people who have received DI via priv. Also if you have received teachings from CHNNR I can share with you audio recordings from a practical Dzogchen workshop with Elias.
- Robert Dominik Tkanka André A. Pais instead of doing the tag I'll just quote my other comment here: 'Robert:
"Hello. I think I can clarify here further. I didnt want to go there more in depth as I dont want to pose on-line as authority on Dzogchen explaining Dzogchen practice. But I think I can complete our exchange by saying that Impermanence is used in Dzogchen to settle in the state of nonthought first and then a pointer is applied to look directly at the one perceiving this (but not by asking like in selfenquiry - here by looking at the watcher). The watcher breaks with this as he cannot be observed as zm object but the paradox here shortcircuits the mind and then the watcher falls away. Noe due to tendencies running strong the thoughts will reappear again but they need to be liberated by looking directly into what is their essence. In any case this is the standard way of doing and explaining this."
"Interesting. Quite similar to insight of anatta. Different from logical deduction but more like stable peircing through and realize the absence."
- André A. Pais Is there a non-secretive practice, not necessarily from Dzogchen, that aims directly at the 1st type of ignorance? Perhaps all madhyamaka reasonings do so, no? And directly looking at the nature of the mind?
- André A. Pais So, what would be the experience of someone devoid of the third type of ignorance? He or she would see everything as fluxing clarity, without reifying separate objects? And yet, they'd still have the subject-object split, right?
Everything as chariot
Everything has no self or its own existence besides the limitless and boundless but empty relations
My walking on the park is dependent on the road and trees and scenery ahead as they are dependent on my walking
Empty and totally exerted and vivid
Seeing this, “this is, that is” and emptiness became clear
Now when looking at the water reflecting the sky its seen like everything is like this, empty and boundless relations
Whereas anatta is seeing there is no behind, only this.. this reveals “this” to be like chariot, the nature of reflections
Seeing this is blissful, revealing everything to be blissful empty radiance and total exertion.
André A. Pais I've been wanting to write something on this post for a few weeks now, but now nothing concrete is coming out. But I feel like I may be getting stuck at anatta stage, or in non-conceptuality, on "mere appearances", "mere non-dual clarity"...
I feel like, after arriving at this natural clarity (not that it's a stable realization for me), it feels rather unnatural to go back into analysis, to impose on "mere luminosity" concepts of space and time, causality, etc. But then again, I may be missing the 2nd fold emptiness, I may be getting stuck at a PCE level.
For instance, beautiful and logical as it is, the notion of "total exertion" feels rather conceptual to me. There is no notion of an outer universe, conditioning this present moment of clarity. There is no inner split into subject and object, nor an outer split of this clarity vs. that external universe. "This" feels natural and spontaneous, not exerted through conditions. The same with most objects: an apple doesn't seem conditioned, it is spontaneously radiant as a mere presence. Of course, the notion of "apple" is fabricated, but the mere appearance isn't.
- Michael Hernandez André A. Pais what is totally exerting?
in order for there to be exertion there must be someone or something that exerts energy?
Relatively, someone hits the books and studies really hard in the a degree for themselves.
We're talking about a meditative jhana experience you're? Are you trying to get some type of insight?
- André A. Pais The chariot analysis makes sense to me, because it is applied only to objects that are conceptualized as this or that. If something comes up with an identity, introducing duality into natural clarity and thus triggering clinging and suffering, then that something must be analyzed and understood to be a mere instance of clarity whose identity is empty just like a chariot.
But to go and say that A and B causes C is to ignore the chariot-like emptiness (dependence on designation) and move to other coarser dependencies, like conditions. If I can't find this present experience, because it is empty like a chariot, how can I establish it as exerted - through the interaction with something other than this experience.
- André A. Pais Once clinging in terms of superimposition and denial
Has come to an end in such a way,
Just this empty and luminous nature of phenomena
In which there is nothing to be removed or to be added
Is the fundamental state of phenomena.
This is expressed as primordial nirvāṇa as such.
~ Pawo Rinpoche
Here, mere appearance seems to be stated as the fundamental state of phenomena.
Does conceptual distinguishing obscure the nature of phenomena?
In reality, no.
For you, yes.
Whether conceptually distinguished or not, the nature remains the same. Hence the nature is neither to conceptually distinguish or not.
> My "absence of conceptualization" here is *not* primarily characterized by absence of thought or mental activity. It is primarily characterized by directly realizing absence of intrinsic nature. The absence of conceptualization as used here is exactly realization of emptiness.
> The focus of my comments were a precise insight—not non-conceptuality. A precise insight about a very particular thing: the emptiness of nature; which is the opposite of a very specific misconception: intrinsic nature.
- Soh Wei Yu The tendency to be nonconceptual is very ingrained not just after anatta, but even after I AM. It is a non conceptual and non-dual realization and taste of luminosity that is wonderful and blissful, but not necessarily liberating. But what happens after I AM? One always try to remain non conceptual, thoughtless, samadhi in pure beingness... while the views of duality and inherency of an ultimate Self, Source, Substratum remains uninvestigated and unchallenged. Insight into non dual and anatta does not arise until one actively engages in investigating one's views and concepts and penetrate further into the nature of reality.
Likewise, even after anatta, by getting stuck with PCE one does not investigate into dependent origination and emptiness, then all the uninvestigated views of inherency still remain in full force but are either unrecognised or taken as true (like AF) or merely suppressed in a nonconceptual state.
I used to think why the need to engage in conceptual conditionality etc.. prefer to rest in anatta non-conceptuality. Nowadays I know total exertion is triggered by contemplating on the conceptual conditional relations.. but its not an issue to me. More important is seeing dependent origination and then into total exertion and emptiness. Then one is liberated be it conceptual or non-conceptual. It's more important to experience release and taste of total exertion and emptiness be it in conceptual and nonconceptual.. rather than getting confused in conceptual and then seeking refuge in nonconceptual.
However, I believe total exertion can also remain a mere nonconceptual experience, in the sense of mere infinitude, taste of maha... this is the AF sort of total exertion but this fails to see the dependencies involved... and because one doesn't see dependencies one ends up in a very solid physical view of universe, everything is local, existing inherently in specific space time as objects and properties
- André A. Pais I like the chariot analysis, because it doesn't involve what I could call an investigation of an *external context* - i.e., see all the external conditions that give rise to a certain effect, which is then proved as being empty as per *conditionality*.
Chariot analysis remains an investigation of what I could call an *internal context* - the object is seen as empty because a) it is unfindable amongst its parts, and similarly b) it is unfindable if I grind it into powder, thus revealing a nature of space and unobstructedness, rather than solidity and inherency. It is revealed as empty as per *designation*.
It's perhaps worthy of note that the Mahamudra tradition doesn't apply much analysis. Appearances are established as mind, and then the nature of mind is explored and seen to be unfindable, empty, yet cognizant. Of course, Mahamudra is established upon a Madhyamika view, but after a certain point, the investigation becomes rather simple - just recognizing everything as a mere luminous display, the natural radiance of an unborn mind.
- André A. Pais I'm precisely trying to understand if I'm entertaining any blindspots.
External to the appearance that is under investigation. Causes and effects don't seem to be independent of designation, that's precisely why I think seeing phenomena as dependently designated dissolves the need for seeing them as conditioned by other dependently designated phenomena. A isn't dependent on B and C precisely because neither A, B nor C, nor their supposed causal relationship is actually established outside the conceptualization that gives rise to them.
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland I know:))
The way you are isolating the appearance. Why have you ended up like that? This appearance under investigation comes to you as a singular unity. But the point is exactly how can it be independent of its causes and conditions, its parts, and independent of designation?
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Conceptualization neither creates, nor does its cessation destroy objects. If anything conceptualization merely obscures _the nature_ of phenomena. You can’t realize the nature of phenomena by ceasing conceptualization. Somehow you are convinced of this.
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Let’s present for investigation the claim that the nature of phenomena is "to be conditioned". Why in the world would you want to escape seeing their causes and conditions if you wanted to know the nature of phenomena after being given the hint that it is their nature to be conditioned?
- Soh Wei Yu André A. Pais "I'm precisely trying to understand if I'm entertaining any blindspots.
External to the appearance that is under investigation. Causes and effects don't seem to be independent of designation, that's precisely why I think seeing phenomena as dependently designated dissolves the need for seeing them as conditioned by other dependently designated phenomena. A isn't dependent on B and C precisely because neither A, B nor C, nor their supposed causal relationship is actually established outside the conceptualization that gives rise to them."
JT wrote, "This is good. Spontaneity is expressed conventionally as DO and Emptiness.
Does Andre see hierarchy between mere spontaneous luminous display and the conventional DO and emptiness?"
- André A. Pais It isn't independent, of course. I just feel conditionality to be a convoluted way of establishing emptiness, when designation (chariot-like investigation) seems very direct. OTOH, conditionality seems to be the way to refute the true existence of "mere appearances", since such appearances are non-conceptual and are thus not designated. If attachment arises to mere appearances, then conditionality reveals that they're there due to conditions. And yet, then we are conceptually fabricating causes, effects and links between them.
- Soh Wei Yu JT wrote "In addition to revealing the spacious unobstructedness from analysis of chariot, does it also reveal the luminous display much like anatta when seeing through background, one directly authenticates the appearances as empty clarity.
If only spaciousness and unobstructedness r revealed then internal context will not b deconstructed."
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Being dependent, conditioned, far from being convoluted, is called The King of Reasoning.
Many report that for them dependent arising, aka. conditionedness, and emptiness have the same meaning.
> And yet, then we are conceptually fabricating causes, effects and links between them.
It doesn’t matter. I really recommend sloughing through the link I gave above. You are confused about non-conceptuality. You are scared of fabrications, because you have understood that the realization is a stopping of fabrication. But the realization (as the link tries to make clear), is not "a stopping of conceptualization" but a realization of absence of intrinsic nature.
- André A. Pais This is becoming a confusing subthread.... 😅
To John Tan, yes, I like the idea that DO and emptiness are the conventional expressions of spontaneous luminosity. I do see them hierarchically. Spontaneity is direct and unmediated, while DO and even emptiness are conceptual analysis. They are a means, not an end. The end would be direct seeing of the nature of phenomena, which for me seems to be connected with resting in non-dual clarity after investigating dependencies, etc.
I'm not sure I get John's last input, about spaciousness, etc.
- André A. Pais Stian, I'll try to read that thread you linked again. Soon, hopefully.
I understand, conceptualization is only problematic when it is tainted by inherency. But without concepts, this current experience is naturally present and luminous. If we're not imposing inherency unto it, I don't see it as a conditioned phenomenon either. To see it as conditioned I have to conceptualize about an experience that is naturally non-conceptual. Perhaps I'm trying to rest in non-conceptual clarity too soon, perhaps one should wait until one penetrates directly into the nature of phenomena?
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland You wrote:
> I understand, conceptualization is only problematic when it is tainted by inherency.
You say that, but I can see that you carry that bias. For example at the end when you say:
> Perhaps I’m trying to rest in non-conceptual clarity too soon...
I wonder what it would take for you to let go of that. I think you have this with you from before AtR and DC. I’m sincerely asking—and wanting to reflect together with you—what that deep-seated tendency is for you.
- André A. Pais Well, I don't see the point of resting in conceptuality during meditation. And I'm trying to penetrate to the nature of things, so I expect conceptually to stop at that moment. I can take the bus of analysis to the door of suchness, but then I have to get off of it, right?
What's the deep-seated tendency you mention?
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Haha, yes, that is exactly the tendency I mention 😆
Rather than dispense some boring advice, now that that has been pointed out, what do you make of it yourself?
By "that" I mean the two (or rather three, but one of them is difficult to point at) points you just described:
- Deprecation of conceptuality
- Expectation of non-conceptuality
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Yes. Okay. I had wanted to say this earlier, when I suggested "conditionedness" as the nature of phenomena.
When you read that, you probably react to it. I think you have the opposite view. That the deepest nature isn’t conditionedness. If anything, the deepest nature would be *unconditionedness*.
We kinda have dependent origination and emptiness there.
But so what’s the deal with people saying dependent origination and emptiness come to the same meaning?
This is why I keep insisting that you accept and investigate conditionedness. The key is some kind of dovetailing; some kind of continuity between these. And even though we have prior realizers who have given us hints about the unconditioned, still we have to work with conditionedness until we understand it. Completely understanding conditioned phenomena is what leads to unconditionedness. This is not just a pretty saying.
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland So I think it is this third point you have, this assumption of the exclusivity or incompatibility of conditionedness and unfabricated, unconditioned, which makes you skew towards an image of unconditionedness (non-conceptuality), and reject conditionedness. But this *is not the way*.
- André A. Pais Well, concepts are fine for conventional communication, and for deconstructing the grasping to true reality hidding in said conventions, but why would I want it for anything other than that? What do I need concepts for when eating ice-cream, having sex or as a Buddha resting in a lotus flower? 😅
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland In the texts you read, I think you have seen it many times that they say over and over, "whether there is a thought or not..."
You remain in knowing the nature. Concept or not. Stillness or movement. Doesn’t matter. That is to say, it is important to say that stillness and movement doesn’t matter *to the extent that one may be clinging to stillness/clarity/nonthought*. Without that clinging, there’s nothing in particular to point out about thoughts or no thoughts.
[10:15 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: Total exertion cannot b merely non-conceptual
[10:15 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: so AF type of total exertion is conceptual?
[10:16 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: they dont seem to contemplate D.O
[10:16 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: they only describe it as the dissolution of self/Self to the extent of permanently experiencing the infinitude of the universe
[10:16 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: It is conceptual but the experience is immense
[10:16 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: What give rise to that?
[10:18 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: for me, dependent origination... for AF i dunno lol, more like self immolation and seeing the nonseparation of themselves with the infinite universe
[10:19 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: Total exertion is not restricted to time also
[10:20 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: vineeto described her total exertion as three stages, first she had glimpses of infinite space, then she had permanent experience of infinite space, and then finally she had permanent experience of infinite time
[10:21 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: for me contemplating the relation of events to past can also trigger total exertion of three times.. totally exerting in this thought or activity
[10:22 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: Hale describes abt total exertion b4...his experience beyond time and space linking back centuries like guru yoga...like I told u b4
[10:22 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: i also had glimpses of that
[10:22 PM, 6/10/2020] John Tan: Yeah
[10:27 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: in 10 June 2019 vineeto criticised those who only attained 'basically free' AF and unable to breakthrough to 'fully free' AF... by claiming they are socially conditioned with various beliefs and conditionings, including, belief in 'Reincarnation in lieu of experiencing that the very stuff we are made of is as old as the universe'
[10:27 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: lol
[10:27 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: http://actualfreedom.com.au/.../actualvineeto/alan.htm...
[10:27 PM, 6/10/2020] Soh Wei Yu: but i see no issue with total exertion and rebirth
- Soh Wei Yu Yes there is a difference. Basically free means free from 'separative identity' and 'instinctual passions'. Fully free means in addition to that, free of social identity, plus permanently experiencing the infinite space and infinite time of the universe (total exertion).
In basically free stage, one only glimpses total exertion, but not experience it permanently. Based on the definitions and writings of Richard and Vineeto. Basically free is sort of like initial anatta before maturing in total exertion.
- Asaf Bartov AF still has a conceptual experience, so everything they experience still might be somewhat conceptual, like the rest of us... But in this level, with agentlesness, I don't even know what "believing" in ideas really mean
- Asaf Bartov You can reverse it and say, total excertion is always already so, and blocked by our concepts, and through contemplation you can remove the blockage, but if there isn't a block, TE would be all the time... Maybe?
- Soh Wei Yu No, total exertion is not about non-conceptual.
Triggering into limitless time and 'as old as universe' cannot be via non-conceptuality, which only reveals immediate sensations.
But I think AF wouldn't agree with JT because they claim to be always non-conceptual. IMO, this is failing to see the role of conventions and views. Likewise even their views of objects and properties as inherent, all these are views and concepts although they may not see it as so.
Non-conceptual is not important in total exertion
6/11/2012 9:23 AM: John: What u lack now is feel with the entire body mind until body-mind is entirely forgotten, deconstructed and enter into total exertion all things. There is neither you, body, mind, environment nor super awareness...just fully open up and experience the Beauty of this total exertion of suchness non dually.
6/11/2012 9:24 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 9:26 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Sounds like the pure transparency to me
6/11/2012 9:26 AM: John: U r not in pure transparency already?
6/11/2012 9:27 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Yea, just manifestation
6/11/2012 9:27 AM: Soh Wei Yu: No body mind self etc
6/11/2012 9:28 AM: John: Nobody mind self can still remain at pure awareness lvl
6/11/2012 9:30 AM: John: The measurement is to total giving up so that the experience of how immensely is this web of interpenetration is experienced as this moment of arising is important
6/11/2012 9:31 AM: John: U need to practice with the view in mind to see the interconnection, not non-conceptuality of whatever arises
6/11/2012 9:34 AM: John: There r two practices, one is feel the intensity of this moment of arising till there is no mind, body, self..directly right into the place where there is no heat or cold
6/11/2012 9:34 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Maha is like seeing all causes and conditions being seamlessly connected in one suchness but not in terms of interaction of entity right
6/11/2012 9:34 AM: John: The intensity of our luminous essence
6/11/2012 9:36 AM: John: The other is holding the view in mind till body, mind, self, universe is being deconstructed in this immerse interconnectedness
6/11/2012 9:36 AM: John: They r different
6/11/2012 9:36 AM: John: Yet both practices r equally important
6/11/2012 9:38 AM: John: One is total non conceptuality, one is full integration of the view of interconnectedness
6/11/2012 9:39 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 9:43 AM: John: In non conceptuality of in hearing, just sound...there is no mind, no self, no hearer, just this sound. This universe is fill with the arising sound... Clear vivid and non-dual...u practice the intensity of luminous essence
6/11/2012 9:45 AM: John: But hearing sound, deep in u, u see the empty nature of arising, u see the stick, the drum, the ear drums, the sound ... This requires view... And not non conceptuality
6/11/2012 9:47 AM: John: If u continue to see this perpetually, then the mind, body, universe construct will also be dissolved and experience turn maha and dimensionless...get it
6/11/2012 9:49 AM: Soh Wei Yu: I think so
6/11/2012 9:49 AM: Soh Wei Yu: When I contemplated on d.o. There was a glimpse like all the entities deconstructed into a seamless activity. I'm not sure if this is related to maha.
6/11/2012 9:50 AM: John: Yes
6/11/2012 9:51 AM: John: But this is different from anatta
6/11/2012 9:51 AM: John: And the practice is different
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: John: U may not even experience non dual
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: Soh Wei Yu: "But hearing sound, deep in u, u see the empty nature of arise, u see the stick, the drum, the ear drums, the sound ... This requires view... And not non conceptuality"
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Sounds like thich nhat hanh practice
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: John: But the practice must be integrated into the luminous essence
6/11/2012 9:52 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic
6/11/2012 9:54 AM: John: Becoz u cannot correctly discern the two that is why I m pointing out to u. But ultimately all must be integrated, the view, the experience and realization
6/11/2012 9:56 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 9:56 AM: Soh Wei Yu: does the maha eventually lead to nonconceptuality too?
6/11/2012 9:56 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Maha is nonconceptual right
6/11/2012 9:57 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Tho it is led to by contemplation on d.o.
6/11/2012 10:01 AM: John: No..u do not hv a clear understanding
6/11/2012 10:02 AM: John: It is not important whether there is conceptuality or not
6/11/2012 10:02 AM: John: Din I tell u that?
6/11/2012 10:03 AM: John: What is important is oneness of action, view and realization
6/11/2012 10:03 AM: John: Like u chant...everything is forgotten into the samadhi of chanting
6/11/2012 10:09 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 1:26 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Btw nondual is not needed for maha?
6/11/2012 1:56 PM: John: Yes not needed
6/11/2012 2:06 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
6/11/2012 2:08 PM: John: For u however u must not only know the phases but also see how they r interrelated and have a mature and integrated experience of what u realized.
6/11/2012 2:08 PM: John: The phases of insight is to allow practitioners to see clearly the various critical phases of experiences and realizations without mixing them up and saying they r the same without the wisdom to discern correctly. Many like to remark "phases r not necessary and speaking too much" without clearly understanding what they r talking abt. If a practitioner truly understands then there is no need to over-emphasize.
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland *
Therein lies the arising of the world: The experience of knowledge-having--had by the knower or thinker or subject. The experience of knowledge-having is knowledge "of" the world--but which the very same *is* the world. Betwixt The Two. And it arises first, or possibly secondly (second to desire), as "I AM"; first "I AM", then "it is" and "it is X".
In the end, the deepest notion--but which is otherwise so, so unassuming--is that what it is that something is "lies with *it*". That the site of its nature is what in our so-structured cognitive environment is the side of the object. That the nature *is objective*. And we think that the *cause* of us knowing what it is is that *it* *is* what we know it as.
This conviction *perpetuates* the cognitive gesture or mudra of knowledge and knowledge-haver, and it is like seeking water in a mirage--seeking something in a place where it is not. In Yogacara, this is called abhūta-parikalpa (Lusthaus: "imagining something in a locus in which it does not exist"). The nature--what it is that it is--is not *there* and *is not there*. "It" is *thus* empty of its nature.
Though it is empty of its nature, it is empty *in that way*. That is to say, its nature is not *there*--its nature is not squarely located with or in the thing, placed there to be known by consciousness. This doesn't mean that its nature is somewhere else either (some may call this "unfindability", but I take issue with that). The point here is that all of this is not to say that it doesn't exist
Quite to the contrary of "the nature of a thing lacking 'where the thing is'" (i.e. emptiness) refuting causality, these two are *the exact same thing*, only considered in two different ways. Things lack intrinsic nature precisely because those things "are what they are" by dependent origination.
This emptiness and this dependent origination, is an absence of mentation because it is an absence of knowledge-having, because knowledge-having depends on a structuring of cognition that depends on falsely conceiving of intrinsic natures--which is exactly what this emptiness and this dependent origination does not falsely conceive of.
It's not that any sense of subjectivity should be dropped as to dissolve any sense of duality between subject and object, between inner and outer. [Nor that conceptualization should be dropped.]
It's that what the thing is is not situated in/with/as that thing. They say: The thing is empty. Its nature is not in or at that place.
But this is exactly what we believe. That what it is is *there*--independent of our knowledge of *that* (our knowledge of what it is).
The focus of my comments were a precise insight—not non-conceptuality. A precise insight about a very particular thing: the emptiness of nature; which is the opposite of a very specific misconception: intrinsic nature.
The contention is about the absence of conceptualization. But in this case, what I call absence of conceptualization--or absence of knowledge-having--is a very specific thing and doesn't mean what the phrase "absence of conceptualization" normally means.
Again, in this case, my usage of "absence of conceptualization" is extremely precise: It is the absence of conceiving of intrinsic nature.
My "absence of conceptualization" here is *not* primarily characterized by absence of thought or mental activity. It is primarily characterized by directly realizing absence of intrinsic nature. The absence of conceptualization as used here is exactly realization of emptiness.
- Stian Gudmundsen Høiland *
I think this is something that only makes sense after Path of Seeing, because only then have one simply *seen* that it is so. Prior to that, one is bound to wonder what sense there is in this, because one has simply not seen that it is simply so--that regardless of explanations, it is so.
What am I talking about? That the absence of conceiving of intrinsic nature is called absence of conceptualization. Why should that be called that? Why should it be like this?
I will make another explanation, shorter this time:
What upholds the cognitive structure of subject-&-object is the conception of intrinsic nature (and the thinking of the thought "I AM"). The intrinsic nature is what the subject supposedly knows. The "intrinsic"-part of intrinsic nature primarily denotes its independence from the subject--its mind-independence. (But not only.)
The nature is conceived of as inherent to the object--as "objective", meaning both "of the object" and "real"--at once driving a wedge through cognition and giving rise to knower and known, or knowledge. The nature is "sought" within the object--intrinsic to the knowledge-object--, and the subject knows the nature--extrinsically cut off from the knowledge-object.
This arrangement is called (dualistic) knowledge. It is that the subject is a haver-of-knowledge-of-the-nature-of-the-object. And it is like seeking water in a mirage, because the water is not where it is conceived to be.
When the absence of intrinsic nature is understood, that whole structure unfurls, taking with it such things as intrinsic nature, subject, object, knowledge, thinker, etc.
When that structure unfurls, the true nature of the mind stands clear. The nature of the mind was already understood in the very moment of realizing the absence of intrinsic nature, but there is in addition to that realization of emptiness the enjoyment of the mind coming into its own--standing in its own radiance, called "recognition"--the release from misconception.
There's nothing wrong with conceptualization (now using that word like you are). Conceptualization doesn't need to be stopped (except for the purpose of a calmed, investigating mind). The issue isn't that we shouldn't conceptualize stuff like pure and impure. The thinking with that--of stopping conceptualization of this and that--is for the purpose of not having afflictive reactions to those conceptualizations. Well, that's samatha, to some degree. And further, the idea goes, that since the conceptualizations are mistaken, therefore we're better off without them, so we should stop it.
And no. It's not this at all.
It's understandable that what with all that's written about these things, that one gets this idea. It's not exactly uncommon.
But in short, no aim is taken at conceptualization. But: It remains a precise description of realization of absence of intrinsic nature that it is a stopping of conceptualization. But though the words are the same, the meaning is not.
"The point" I'm talking about, is why the realization of absence of intrinsic nature is called stopping of conceptualization. The problem with explaining that is that the explanation is not built up on a basis of rigorous logic, but instead is a backwards-engineering or unpacking of a direct vision of how the mind works. If one hasn't seen for oneself how the mind works, then there's a complete lack of common basis for understanding the explanation--again, this is since the explanation is based on a direct vision, and not built up from the ground on otherwise sane, reasonable inferences.
When you are realizing the absence of an intrinsic nature in an object, then the consciousness that apprehends the intrinsic nature of that object ceases.
Before that consciousness ceases, what that consciousness was experienced as--what it was like to have it--was "knowing what the object is".
"What it is" and "nature" are entirely synonymous.
Therefore, when the consciousness that apprehends the intrinsic nature of its object ceases, it is experienced as a cessation of the knowledge of that object--because the consciousness that apprehended that object's nature (i.e. "what it is") ceases.
But don't be confused: That consciousness did not actually know its object's nature. Though I say that the consciousness apprehended the intrinsic nature of its object, this is only *how it appears*. It *seems* like consciousness apprehends the nature of the object--that it knows "what it is"--, but it does not. Right where this nature supposedly resides for its knowing, there is nothing. The object is empty of an intrinsic nature, and the consciousness that supposedly apprehends its object's intrinsic nature is confused and mistaken.
The suggestion of intrinsic nature affects how consciousness conducts itself, and it becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: Intrinsic nature implies a duality, and so consciousness responds by structuring itself dualistically, to meet the demand of knowing intrinsic natures. And what that is like, is to know what things are; to have knowledge of them in accordance with what they are; whereby "what they are" here is meant their intrinsic nature. Of which there is none.
So to bring this full circle:
While it may sometimes seem like it, the issue is not conceptualization or objects of knowledge. The issue is conception of intrinsic nature. And why is the realization of absence of intrinsic nature also called absence of conceptualization? Because with the realization of emptiness (i.e. absence of intrinsic nature) the experience of consciousness is no longer "to have knowledge of [objects] in accordance with what they are; whereby "what they are" here is meant their intrinsic nature". And the way consciousness conducts itself no longer involves a knower and a known, since there is no longer a cause for compensating for a perceived necessity of difference in nature between grasper and grasped [aka. conception of intrinsic nature].