As long as one places one’s trust in reasoning
based on duality, the final mode of being of the universe will remain elusive.
Indeed, the understanding of emptiness begins with a sense of despair over all the reasonings, terms, and conceptions of the world.
Attachment to the logic of the world prevents entry into the inconceivable.
~ Donald S. Lopez
When we relook at the "logical" based on duality, it becomes "fictional".
And by being "fictional", It too becomes wondrous and magical, inconceivable!
Attachment to one aspect of "inconceivability" similarly prevents the clear recognition of the many faces of the inconceivable.
The Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra says,
The fabricated realm and the definitive ultimate
Are defined by the lack of sameness or difference.
Whoever imagines them to be the same or different
Is possessed of mistaken imagination.
I wonder what/who he has in mind with this comment? Gelugpas?
In terms of the reasonings, I've always appreciated this comment from Karl Brunholzl, which I think would be endorsed by teachers from any of the Tibetan schools:
"When we first look at the jungle of Madhyamaka refutations of all kinds of belief systems, they might seem quite alien and complicated. However, all these views simply mirror the fixations and complications that we foster in our own minds. Thus, what makes things complicated is not Madhyamaka itself but our inflexible and discursive mind. Actually, Madhyamaka is not at all about doing something complex, new, or particular but about undoing in a very basic and profound sense. When we start to realize this, we might discover some genuine interest and even delight in unraveling the convoluted web of our ingrained patterns. It is these patterns that prevent us from fundamentally relaxing our minds, finding relief from mental afflictions, and being more kind toward ourselves and others, with whom we share the same basic problems."
André A. Pais
Tks. These conversations with Karma Phuntsho are very interesting.
John Tan, what do you think of the following video, taken from the same interview, where Jinpa kind of distances Tsongkhapa from the Zen (and Dzogchen) tradition? Because you've previously made the connection between Tsongkhapa and Dōgen.
André A. Pais I think Jinpa may not be familiar with zen language and is taking it too literally rather than metaphorically to express first person non-dual experience. This is similar to Mipham 2 models of 2 truths, one from authentic/non-authentic experience standpoint and the other from ontological 2 truth standpoint.
Jinpa is talking from the ontological 2 truth model where zen or other direct path traditions r talking from the former authentic experience model.
For the authentic experience 2-truth model, since both self and others are de-constructed in the ultimate, the taste of purity, presence and aliveness permeates everything in experience, both sentient and insentient included. It doesn't mean the insentient is conscious as in panpsychism. That is my opinion.
As for Tsongkhapa and Dogen, both masters respect the conventional and their attitudes towards conduct and karma are uncompromising. Also Tsongkhapa deep interest in Avatamsaka Sutra and Dogen's total exertion make me even want to connect both of them more.
André A. Pais
Agree very much. Your reading of the authentic/inauthentic experience model in this context is very interesting. Yes, Jinpa's reference to pan-psychism felt particularly off. The idea is not to give minds to objects, but, by deconstructing the notion that sentient beings themselves have minds, rest in non-dual luminosity free of objectification and subjectification.
André A. Pais
Yes, because the ontological model is independent of subjective or phenomenological experience - it's about the ground; while the phenomenological model is about the fruit (or lack thereof). This clearly mirrors the general distinction in focus of Madhyamaka (ontological) and Yogacara (phenomenological).
André A. Pais
I'd say this view is somewhat the opposite of pan-psychism (which nonetheless is a very interesting view). Instead of everything being sentient, nothing actually is sentient (only conventionally, of course).
André A. Pais responding to -->
by deconstructing the notion that sentient beings themselves have minds, rest in non-dual luminosity free of objectification and subjectification.
From negation perspective, it must be thorough.
What happens when we attempt to negate the notion "the insentient has no mind"? How does the "mind" feel and response?
André A. Pais While you and John play 4-D chess, I want to head back to checkers for a minute. Regarding the original 11 minute clip I posted, in which Jinpa talks briefly about Gelug/non-Gelug presentations of emptiness: any reactions?
Also, regarding Jinpa's panpsychism comment: it may be true that folks trained and educated in the Zen tradition don't make that type of conflation, but I've met plenty of American-style Zen folks--those of the spiritual casserole ilk--who do seem to hold exactly that type of view.
André A. Pais
John Tan found this on my notes, pertinent (though redundant) to the topic at hand.
Zachary Rodecap, I'll try to reply tomorrow.
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 characteristic of the natural state that its radiance spontaneously manifests.
Why is the 'inconceivable' world so eulogized? Once it is found, the seeker now has two worlds to move between. Each with it own value and utility. This endless praising of the other side of the fence leads us to cut off our nose to spite our face. When the mind is useful, think. When the mind is un-needed, be. A recent duelist is prone to think we have to choose.
André A. Pais
Because the conceivable is so boring!
Once the inconceivable is "found" there is no more seeker.
Nor worlds to move between (only as functional imagination).
The inconceivable is not on the other side of anything - that's quite conceivable, and quite a reference point for clinging.
One cannot truly "be" without having realized the inconceivable.
André A. Pais If you get hungry enough and have to figure how to get something to eat, the conceivable world won't seem so boring?
But saying something is boring would seem to reflect an emotional bias - not a reasoned response, yes?
I agree that there is no more seeker, once the inconceivable is "found".
And I agree that 'The inconceivable is not on the other side of anything'.
You and I both know that words are impeding us here in any discussion of these ideas.
The 'inconceivable' manifests, or appears too manifest, the appearance of duality. We very much like to point at dualities and hold our nose and mummer that they all are just illusions. But, in spite of that, 'here' and 'there', 'now' and 'then' and 'this' and 'that' still fill our days.
And when you get hungry, telling your pretend self that it is just an illusion ... well, I think we can all imagine how that will go.