A lil reflection:
Reality is naturally untainted by the three spheres of subject, object and action. As Maitreya said:
"Any thought of ‘subject’, ‘object’ and ‘action’
Is held to be a cognitive obscuration."
There is no knower, known or knowing; no seer, seen or seeing; no perceiver, perceived or perception.
There is no knowing, seeing or perception, and yet appearances spontaneously radiate with a light of their own. This vivid clarity is the mind's nature arising as dependent origination. So, don't look inside seeking the nature of awareness - it is the moon itself, rising from behind the clouds.
It's like this that Dōgen is able to drop body and mind, and become actualized by the myriad things. Free from knower, known and knowing itself, there is no trace of awakening - for there is no sentient being to become awakened, nor insentient rock to remain asleep. And yet, this no-trace unfolds endlessly, for it is the nature of the natural state that its radiance spontaneously manifests.


[1:42 AM, 3/13/2021] John Tan: 👍

[6:29 AM, 3/13/2021] John Tan: I would say:

If there is no knowing, seeing or perception and yet appearances spontaneously radiates, then it should not be dependent origination, should be spontaneous presence.

If there is name and form (namarupa), there is consciousness then there is dependent origination.



    John Tan
    I wonder exactly what the difference is between DO and spontaneous presence. In a way, DO seems more intellectual, inferential and more into the aproximate ultimate (emptiness as negation). That's been part of my difficulty with the term "total exertion" - it seems to invite a conceptualization of a whole web of causality that arises as "this moment."
    On the other hand, lately DO (and by extension total exertion) is taking the shape of "vivid radiance," or "spontaneous clarity." DO means that there is clarity (origination), but it is spontaneous (dependent and thus empty - initially as negation, but finally as non-referentiality, beyond notions and "pure").
    I've been trying to connect the dots between "nature of mind" - which feels rather sujective and "in here" - and the whole Madhyamaka enterprise of emptiness and DO - which feels rather objective and "out there." When investigating the nature of mind, one usually tries to look within, kind of turning the attention backwards; when investigating DO, one may knock on a table, drop a pen, etc., checking the inexorable "law of causality" - when this is, that is.
    But what's coming up to me is that the "nature of mind" - as inseparable clarity and emptiness/unobstructedness - is nothing but the dependently arisen nature of experience/appearances. From the openness and referencelessness of mind, vivid appearances "naturally" manifest - and this is nothing but DO ("naturally" paradoxically means "when conditions are present").
    Madhyamaka, when stressing the union of the two truths as inseparable union of appearance and emptiness, seems to be opening the same door that Mahamudra and Dzogchen seem to be opening with the nature of mind as inseparable emptiness, clarity and responsiveness/ expression/ compassion.
    This is what I was trying to convey in a recent post in AtR:
    The two truths meet everywhere.
    - Dependent origination refutes
    both extreme views of is and is-not.
    - Appearance and emptiness are united
    as the scent that is experience.
    - Clarity and limitlessness are inseparable
    as the nature of mind.
    Mind as clarity is nothing
    but experience as appearingness.
    Experience as emptiness is nothing
    but limitlessness as mind.
    Clarity-appearance is nothing but origination.
    Empty-limitlessness is nothing but dependency.
    The diving into the nature of mind is nothing
    but the embracing of dependent origination.
    A feather slowly floats its way towards the ground;
    The breeze makes the trees sway;
    A sound suddenly pierces the silence;
    That itself is the nature of mind.
    The very pulsing of dependent origination
    is the primordial face of the Tathāgata.
    Like blood and veins and heart
    - the two truths meet everywhere.

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  • André A. Pais
    To me when spontaneous presence is expressed conventionally, it is expressed as dependent origination and emptiness.
    I m glad that u have understood total exertion this way. In seeing for examples, it is not only the eyes that sees, the ears, the hairs, the entire body-mind-enviroment are fully exerted and participating into the act of seeing. How is this possible if eyes, ears, nose, environment...everything r not conventional? If their conventionalities r not seen through, going beyond their designated boundaries into just the "seen" as the "lurid scenery" will just be another experience, not an insight.
    Although integration of two truth is crucial, I think a difference must still b made on spontaneous presence from freedom of conceptual notions and DO and emptiness before integration. At least until certain experiential insights arise:
    One is the supreme purity that relinquishes both pure and impurity, freedom from both notions. Without going through this process, it is difficult to "see" how notions create "things" and "existence".
    When we affirm "internal", we are in fact affirming "externality" at the same time. This is what the mind can't see easily. Surely the mind thinks " 'internal and private and in here' r still undeniably true even without designated conceptual constructs". This undeniable conviction of "in here" is real and "undeniably exist" is the "inherentness" that must be deconstructed. When the relationship of conceptual notions aren't clear, distinguishing mere appearances from added imputation on mere appearance will not be easy for the mind. Like why is the plant growing instead of decaying? At which point is exactly is it growing and decaying? Same applies to cause and effect. like the plant that grows and decays, the designated consciousness determines that a cause has ceased and effect has come into "existence".
    This emphasis of the thorough understanding of conceptual notions to be negated instead of creating "inherent existence" on top of the conventional is y Mipham said abt Tsongkhapa notional emptiness. We do not empty the "inherent existence" of the vase, the entire conventional notion of "vase" is the "inherent existence" to be emptied, there is no "extra" inherent existence of something to be emptied. U can't retain the conventionality of vase and talk abt emptiness.
    Next is the freedom from all notions will lead one into another taste -- unmade, unconditioned, natural spontaneity in contrast to artificially man-made mind constructs.
    Once natural clarity, supreme purity, unconditioned natural spontaneity r realized via seeing through conventionalities, then I think integrating the two truth will b more fruitful.

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