ChatGPT: Imagine an image that captures the essence of Nagarjuna's philosophy from the Mulamadhyamikakarika, focusing on the concepts of dependent origination, emptiness, and the freedom from the extremes of existence and non-existence. This image could feature a serene, vast landscape under a twilight sky, symbolizing the transition from dualities into the unity of understanding. In the center, a single, leafless tree stands, representing emptiness and the interconnectedness of all things through its roots and branches, illustrating the principle of dependent origination. The tree is neither fully lit nor completely in shadow, embodying the middle way and the avoidance of extremes. This tranquil scene captures the profound simplicity and depth of Nagarjuna's teachings, emphasizing the peace found in understanding the nature of reality beyond dichotomies.

Here's a simpler image that embodies Nagarjuna's teachings on dependent origination, emptiness, and the middle way, capturing the essence of finding peace beyond the extremes of existence and non-existence.

Recently John Tan asked me to recall when did I realise that 'self' is a learnt and reified concept. Wanted to mention that this is an important point and even in initial anatta breakthrough it is usually unclear at first. It comes as a deepening of insight.
At the I AM level, the personal ego is [seen to be] “learnt” and dropped.. but all self/Self is only seen through and dropped at anatta
John Tan:
I don't think this is true. Think deeper, recall.
U must understand that u can enquiry "who am I" and search for "I", u can have experience of "I M" or even experience no-mind, or even realized that "I" does not exist, but still not realized that "I" is a reified concept.
Hmm.. “I” as reified concept probably becomes clearer as i contemplated more on emptiness. But even in the initial bahiya sutta realization, there was a recognition that the sense of a seer or a seeing or awareness behind or beside manifestation is a reified concept that is wrong
That it is imagined and abstracted out of manifestation due to false view and then anatta is immediately authenticated as luminous manifestation and realised as always already so. Seeing is only ever the seen and no other seer beside, in the seen only the seen. Like putting on glasses and vision is corrected finally
I just recalled i had a deeper understanding about nine months after anatta
Then i wrote:
The View
Just posted in The Tao Bums a week ago:
I have just come to a new realisation of the implications of views in daily life. I could have misunderstood what goldisheavy meant but I think it has to do with the fields of meaning. I have realised how ideas, beliefs, notions, views pervade our life and causes attachment.
I now see that every single attachment is an attachment to view, which, no matter what it is, comes to two basic clinging: the view 'there is' and the view 'there isn't'.
I started by noticing how in the past I had a sense of self, body and awareness... That these all seem so real to me and I kept coming back to that subjective sense and this is no longer the case now: I don't even have a sense of a body nowadays. Then I realized that all these clingings are related to view.
The view of There is.... Self, body, mind, awareness, world, whatever. Because of this clinging on to things as existent, they appear real to us and we cling to them. The only way to eradicate such clingings is to remove the root of clinging: the view of 'there is' and 'there isn't'.
The realization of anatta removes the view of 'there is self', 'there is awareness' as an independent and permanent essence. Basically, any views about a subjective self is removed through the insight that "seeing is just the seen", the subject is always only its objective constituents. There is no more sense of self, body, awareness, or more precisely there is no clinging to a "there is" with regards to such labels. It is seen that these are entirely ungraspable processes. In short the clinging and constant referencing to an awareness, a self dissolves, due to the notion "there is" such things are being eradicated.
The realization of dream-like reality removes the view of 'there are objects', the universe, the world of things... One realizes what heart sutra meant by no five skandhas. This is basically the same realization as anatta, except that it impacts the view "there is" and "there isn't" in terms of the objective pole, in contrast to the earlier insight that dissolves "there is" of a subjective self.
What I have overlooked all these while is the implications of views and how the thicket of views cause all clingings and suffering and what underpins those thicket of views, and how realization affects and dissolves these views.
Related stuff:
A view is a fundamental belief one holds about reality. For example, "everything exists" (sarva asti)
The root of both these mistaken positions is "is" and "is not" -- for example "I exist now, and I will continue to exist after death" or "I exist now but when I die I will cease to exist".
~ Loppon Namdrol (Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith)
At base, the main fetter of self-grasping is predicated upon naive reification of existence and non-existence. Dependent origination is what allows us to see into the non-arising nature of dependently originated phenomena, i.e. the self-nature of our aggregates. Thus, right view is the direct seeing, in meditative equipoise, of this this non-arising nature of all phenomena. As such, it is not a "view" in the sense that is something we hold as concept, it is rather a wisdom which "flows" into our post-equipoise and causes us to truly perceive the world in the following way in Nagarjuna's Bodhicittavivarana:
"Form is similar to a foam,
Feeling is like water bubbles,
Ideation is equivalent with a mirage,
Formations are similar with a banana tree,
Consciousness is like an illusion."
"In other words, right view is the beginning of the noble path. It is certainly the case that dependent origination is "correct view"; when one analyzes a bit deeper, one discovers that in the case "view" means being free from views. The teaching of dependent origination is what permits this freedom from views."
~ Loppon Namdrol (Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith)
Another related article from an Actualist practitioner:
Labels: Anatta, Emptiness, View and Path |
John Tan:
So u must understand the difference.
All reactions:
Vũ Huy Lê and Cao Khánh
1 comment
Cao Khánh
Top Contributor
Thank you for sharing. It’s inspiring to me that you continue to learn from John’s pointer throughout all these years and continue to do so earnestly.
0 Responses