Showing posts with label Ācārya Malcolm Smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ācārya Malcolm Smith. Show all posts

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    SOURCE OR NO SOURCE?
    "Therefore, the heart of the matter is saṃsāra and nirvāṇa’s seed, cause, gene, or element. An oral instruction of Abu’s (Patrul Rinpoche) says that this is the indispensable cause. This does not refer to an ordinary causal process involving something that is produced and something that produces. Rather, it is the indispensable cause in the sense that if there were no pristine cognition as the natural condition, there would be no source for the dyad of saṃsāra or nirvāṇa. It is analogous to how without space, there would be no arising of the environment and its inhabitants; without the ocean, there would be no waves; and in the absence of valuable objects, needs and wants do not arise. Likewise, if the ultimate truth—the natural condition—were absent, there would be no source for any of the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa. Therefore, it is called the indispensable cause.[9]"
    [André: the above makes me slightly nervous, because I very much prefer the idea of sourcelessness / groundlessness / non-arising presented at the sutra level. However the following footnote makes me feel a bit more relaxed again.]
    "[9] A supporting passage from Longchenpa’s Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission reads: “Just as rays of sunlight are subsumed within the orb of the sun, all phenomena of the universe of appearances and possibilities are subsumed within their source, awakened mind. Suppose we then investigate this, examining the place from which samsara and nirvana (whose very essence is that of a dream) come, the place in which they abide, and the place to which they go. Since samsara and nirvana have never existed, they have never existed in any mode of coming, abiding, or going; or, conversely, since none of these three modes has ever existed, samsara and nirvana have never existed. And so, given that even what is termed ‘awakened mind as the supportive ground’ or ‘awakened mind as basic space’ has never existed as something with an identifiable essence, all things are none other than their true nature, which is like space; this is conventionally referred to as ‘things being subsumed within the true nature of phenomena.’ But it should be understood that subsuming and what is subsumed are without foundation or support” (Longchen Rabjam [2001], 123–124)."
    Keegan Donlen
    Hey André A. Pais, i just wanted to give huge thank you to you. Your “Beyond awareness” post on the atr website personally allowed me to recognize my subconscious habit of fabricating a unitary awareness in the foreground, and ended up dissolving any sense of awareness I had and I ended up realizing what the masters and you truly meant by appearances being self-luminous.
    Your writing in that post is probably the greatest I’ve read on this topic due to how clear and direct it is. Words can’t express my appreciation of it enough.
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    André A. Pais
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    Keegan Donlen wow, thanks, mate! Happy to hear it made some sense to you and helped in any way. It was all mostly based on the writings of John Tan and especially (for me) Soh Wei Yu. Nine bows to them!
    It was also based on some personal reflections that I guess I hadn't yet seen quite exactly expressed that way anywhere else (AFAIK); curiously though, later found some similar pointers (concerning the absence of pervasion) in a very traditional Buddhist text (Mipham's commentary to Adornment of the Middle Way).
    Anyway, my writing got better in the meantime, I believe, and my insight more refined -- I have no realization, though, guess you've beat me on that one (kuddos to you! 😊). The point being: I have a photo album here on Facebook called Personal Musings where I collect some reflections (curiously Beyond Awareness isn't there, I think), just in case you want to check some other stuff out.
    Also, have another photo album called TSK & Tarthang Tulku where I collect some quotes and excerpts from my favorite spiritual book, in case it might interest you.
    Ok, end of announcements! 🙃
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    Keegan Donlen
    André A. Pais and nine bows to you! Indeed, I haven’t really seen anyone express that topic in the exact same way you did and emphasize the same points you have and it definitely vibed with me. Do you know if that text requires a lung as I’d love to re…
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  • André A. Pais
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    Keegan Donlen it's a sutric text, so I guess no lung or special authorization is required, although a traditional Lama would still find it advisable.
    Mipham's text is rather dense at times, but if it's your cup of tea, you'll have a blast with it.…
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    André A. Pais
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    Blumenthal
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    André A. Pais
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    Soh Wei Yu
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    For readers, this is the link to Andre's article: https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../beyond-awareness.html "Beyond Awareness: reflections on identity and awareness"
    Beyond Awareness: reflections on identity and awareness
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    Beyond Awareness: reflections on identity and awareness
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  • André A. Pais
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    Soh Wei Yu you've been getting into Dzogchen, how do you deal with the tendency in post-tantric vehicles to subsume appearances into some kind of ultimate source or ground? Does it strike you a bit like some reification is about to happen, or do you feel that it is very much in line with madhyamaka?
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    Soh Wei Yu
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    In Dzogchen, there is no truly existing findable source, but an empty and luminous potentiality.
    Malcolm’s translation of Longchenpa:
    don de nges par rtogs 'dod na
    dpe ni nam mkha' lta bur btag
    don ni chos nyid skye ba med
    rtags ni sems nyid 'gag pa med
    If one wishes to ascertain the meaning of that,
    the example is to examine "space-like."
    The meaning is nonarising dharmatā.
    The proof is the unceasing mind-essence.
    In the commentary on this last line, the Chos dbying mdzod is cited:
    "The proof is arising as anything at all from the potential (rtsal).
    At the time of arising, there is no place of arising and no agent of arising.
    If one examines the mere name, 'arising,' it is like space,
    including everything in a great, impartial uniformity.
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    Soh Wei Yu
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    gad rgyangs wrote:
    I dunno Malcolm, the basis is more like the backdrop against which any appearances appear, including any consciousness. Also, what sense would it make to say "rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis" if that basis was one's own continuum? the basis is pure no-thing as abgrund of all phenomena. Consciousness is always a phenomenon.
    Malcolm wrote:
    I prefer to put my faith in the guy whose father started the whole Nyinthig thing.And what is says is verified in many Dzogchen tantras, both from the bodhcitta texts as well as others.
    The basis is not a backdrop. Everything is not separate from the basis. But that everything just means your own skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas. There is no basis outside your mind, just as there is no Buddhahood outside of your mind.
    [Quoting gad rgyangs: Consciousness is always a phenomenon.] So is the basis. They are both dharmas.
    Or as the Great Garuda has it when refuting Madhyamaka:
    Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been merged and are inseparable,
    there is no further need to explain an “ultimate phenomenon”.
    An 12th century commentary on this text states (but not this passage):
    Amazing bodhicitta (the identity of everything that becomes the basis of pursuing the meaning that cannot be seen nor realized elsewhere than one’s vidyā) is wholly the wisdom of the mind distinct as the nine consciousnesses that lack a nature.
    In the end, Dzogchen is really just another Buddhist meditative phenomenology of the mind and person and that is all.
    gad rgyangs wrote:
    Then why speak of a basis at all? just speak of skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas, and be done with it.
    Malcolm wrote:
    Because these things are regarded as afflictive, whereas Dzogchen is trying to describe the person in his or her originally nonafflictive condition. It really is just that simple. The so called general basis is a universal derived from the particulars of persons. That is why it is often mistaken for a transpersonal entity. But Dzogchen, especially man ngag sde is very grounded in Buddhist Logic, and one should know that by definition universals are considered to be abstractions and non-existents in Buddhism, and Dzogchen is no exception.
    gad rgyangs wrote:
    There is no question of the basis being an entity, thats not the point. Rigpa is precisely what it says in the yeshe sangthal: instant presence experienced against/within the "backdrop" (metaphor) of a "vast dimension of emptiness" (metaphor).
    Malcolm wrote:
    It's your own rigpa, not a transpersonal rigpa, being a function of your own mind. That mind is empty.
    gad rgyangs wrote:
    When all appearances cease, what are you left with?
    Malcolm wrote:
    They never cease....
    gad rgyangs wrote:
    In the yeshe sangthal you dissolve all appearances into the "vast dimension of emptiness", out of which "instant presence" arises. This is cosmological as well as personal, since the two scales are nondual.
    rigpa is ontological not epistemic: its not about some state of consciousness before dualism vision, it is about the basis/abgrund of all possible appearances, including our consciousness in whatever state its in or could ever be in.
    Malcolm wrote:
    Sorry, I just don't agree with you and think you are just falling in the Hindu brahman trap.
    Sherlock wrote:
    Isn't the difference between transpersonal and personal also a form of dualism?
    Malcolm wrote:
    The distinction is crucial. If this distinction is not made, Dzogchen sounds like Vedanta.
    Malcolm wrote:
    [Quoting gad rgyangs: in the yeshe sangthal you dissolve all appearances into the "vast dimension of emptiness", out of which "instant presence" arises. This is cosmological as well as personal, since the two scales are nondual.]
    'The way that great transference body arises:
    when all appearances have gradually been exhausted,
    when one focuses one’s awareness on the appearances strewn about
    on the luminous maṇḍala of the five fingers of one’s hand,
    the environment and inhabitants of the universe
    returning from that appearance are perceived as like moon in the water.
    One’s body is just a reflection,
    self-apparent as the illusory body of wisdom;
    one obtains a vajra-like body.
    One sees one’s body as transparent inside and out.
    The impure eyes of others cannot see one’s body as transparent,
    but only the body as it was before...'
    Shabkar, Key to One Hundred Doors of Samadhi
    Outer appearances do not disappear even when great transference body is attained. What disappears are the inner visions, that is what is exhausted, not the outer universe with its planets, stars, galaxies, mountains, oceans, cliffs, houses, people and sentient beings.
    M
    gad rgyangs wrote:
    I'm talking about the perception of the relationship between nothing and something. The question of what jargon to use when talking around it is secondary, although not without historical interest.
    Malcolm wrote:
    Rigpa is just knowing, the noetic quality of a mind. That is all it is.
    Malcolm wrote:
    Omniscience is the content of a mind freed of afflictions. Even the continuum of a Buddha has a relative ground, i.e. a the rosary or string of moments of clarity is beginingless.
    Origination from self is axiomatically negated in Buddhadharma,
    Each moment in the continuum of a knowing clarity is neither the same as nor different than the previous moment. Hence the cause of a given instant of a knowing clarity cannot be construed to be itself nor can it be construed to be other than itself. This is the only version of causation which, in the final analysis, Buddhadharma can admit to on a relative level. It is the logical consequence of the Buddha's insight, "When this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose."
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
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    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
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    Soh Wei Yu
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    And this so-called "god" aka basis [gzhi] is just a nonexistent mere appearance, that is, our primordial potentiality also has no real existence, which is stated over and over again in countless Dzogchen tantras.
    For those whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.
    For those whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible.
    -- Nāgārjuna.
    ...
    Malcolm: This is completely inconsistent with the view of Dzogchen. The view of Dzogchen is that there is no basis or foundation at all. Also the doctrine of the two truths is absent in Dzogchen. Further, the view of Dzogchen is that everything, including buddhahood is completely equivalent to an illusion and therefore, uniform.
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
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    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
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    André A. Pais
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    Malcolm says that there are no 2 truths model in Dzogchen, but then claims that everything is equivalent to an illusion. "Illusion" seems to bring back the model of the 2 truths, because "illusion" only makes sense in contrast with "real" -- and we are then back to the 2 truths.
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  • Soh Wei Yu
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    What makes you think Dzogchen is a affirming negation?
    This is not the case. Dzogchen does not have a view to support or promulgate, and that is what affirming negations are for i.e. rejecting one thing in order to prove one's own perspective. By asserting that Dzogchen is asserting an affirming negation you are rendering Dzogchen inferior to Madhyamaka.
    If Dzogchen is an affirming negation, than this statement from the Unwritten Tantra makes no sense:
    “Apparent yet non-existent retinue, listen well! There is no object to distinguish in me, the view of self-originated wisdom; it did not exist before, it will not arise later, and also does not appear in anyway in the present. The path does not exist, action does not exist, traces do not exist, ignorance does not exist, thoughts do not exist, mind does not exist, prajñā does not exist, samsara does not exist, nirvana does not exist, vidyā itself does not even exist, totally not appearing in anyway.”
    Vimalamitra's final paragraph on this passage states:
    "Since neither of those exist [i.e. samsara or nirvana], since one understands that there nothing apart from the originally pure vidyā [rig pa] which apprehends the basis and the vidyā of insight which apprehends the chains, it [vidyā] also does not exist. Since the essence of vidyā does not exist, the vidyā of the perduring basis (the source of both energy [rtsal] and qualities, and also the apprehender of characteristics) does not exist.
    Since the wisdom appearances of people's own vidyā that are seen in personal experience are not established as entities of any kind, it is the appearance of the exhaustion of dharmatā."
    Further, Vimalamitra states in The Lamp Summarizing Emptiness:
    Now then, the emptiness of dharmatā: natural dharmatā is the emptiness of the non-existence of a primal substance. Thus, all appearances were never established according to the eight examples of illusion. When appearances spread, that basis of the emptiness of dharmatā does not shift whatsoever, never transcending the emptiness of dharmatā. Furthermore:
    Everything arose from non-arising;�even arising itself never arose.
    Dharmatā in and of itself is empty without a basis, present at all times as the single nature of the great emptiness of the basis, path, and result. Furthermore, primordial emptiness is empty without beginning. [180]
    Empty things are empty by nature.
    Since the emptiness of dharmatā is present without being contrived and without being transformed in the basis, yogins are also liberated by remaining naturally without contrivance and without transformations.
    And:
    "That dharmatā emptiness dwells in a fortress and is captured in a fortress: the fortress (that is like a circle of spears in the sky) encircles (without a beginning or an end) dharmatā, i.e., existence is dharmatā, non-existence is dharmatā, both are dharmatā and neither are dharmatā. As such, [dharmatā] is surrounded by the names “clear and unclear”, “empty and not-empty”, “existence and non-existence”, “permanence and annihilation”, and so on. That lack of finding evidence itself is dharmatā. Further, in reality nothing exists apart from dharmatā. That being the case, that emptiness (as a mere representation, baseless, and non-referential, being non-existent like a pretense) is understood with scripture, accepted by reasoning, proven by argument, and captured in a fortress. Be confident that dharmatā is the unmistaken true emptiness.
    Therefore, to describe Dzogchen as an affirming negation does not make any sense at all.
    N
    Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
    AWAKENINGTOREALITY.COM
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
    Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
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André A. Pais
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Malcolm says that there are no 2 truths model in Dzogchen, but then claims that everything is equivalent to an illusion. "Illusion" seems to bring back the model of the 2 truths, because "illusion" only makes sense in contrast with "real" -- and we are then back to the 2 truths.
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Katherine Willow
André A. Pais There is a difference between illusion as an affirming negation vs illusion as a non-affirming negation. What you are talking about is an affirming negation, i.e. claiming something is an illusion in order to say that something else is real. In Dzogchen, the claim of illusion is a non-affirming negation, negating the reality of an entity without saying something else is real. Here, the metaphor involves stating that the intrinstic reality of things, the "real" is the illusion, and their emptiness or nonexistence is what is real. Since emptiness is a non-affirming negation, this should be understood as turning the metaphor upside down by using it to show everything is unreal rather than showing that there is a real ground that an illusion hides. The so-called real ground is the lack of any real ground. For example, in "Finding Rest in Illusion", Longchenpa states:
"2. The primordial nature of the mind
Is a spacious, sky-like state
Where primal wisdom is like sun and moon and stars.
And yet when there occurs within this womb of space—
The wondrous sphere of emptiness—
A state of ignorance, conceptualization, dualistic clinging,
The hallucinations of the three worlds
And the six migrations manifest
In the manner of a magical illusion."
The auto-commentary states:
"The nature of the mind, the self-arisen primordial wisdom, is primordially pure and space-like. Within this state, which does not exist as anything at all, there move the five winds, of which the life-supporting wind is the root. This leads to the manifestation of [self-appearing rigpa] in the state of luminosity. When this is not recognized, it is misapprehended as an outer universe together with its inner contents, including one’s own body. All this appears variously as a mere magical illusion. As it is said in the tantra entitled the [Mind-Mirror of Vajrasattva], “In various ways, the beings of the three worlds stray from the ground, which in itself is nothing at all.”"
Thus, illusions appear from the basis, which itself is an illusion that produces nothing. Why? Because illusions do not exist, they are not produced. Because the basis (ground) does not exist, it does not produce existent things. But because there is co-dependent origination of adventitious ignorance together with the basis, the non-existent illusions appear as if they were existent. That is why it is called the ground that produces nothing in the Realms and Transformations of Sound Tantra. Thus, Longchenpa continues:
"But how do these hallucinatory appearances, which are like magical illusions, occur? The root text goes on to say,
"3. They appear spontaneously, through the power
Of interdependent causes and conditions—
Just as when a piece of wood or little stone
Is conjured through an incantation
And there appears a magical display,
A horse, an ox, a man or woman,
A mountain or a palace, and the rest.
"When a magical illusion is created of horses, oxen, and so on, there is a material cause, namely, a piece of wood or a pebble, and also a condition for the illusion, that is to say, the visual consciousness manipulated through the magic spell. On this basis, a hallucinatory experience of horses and oxen is produced. This manifests as the subjective experience of the mind, arising through the interdependent conjunction of causes and conditions. The hallucinatory appearances of saṃsāra are similar to this.
"4. Deluded mind and its habitual tendencies,
Phenomenal existence, the objects of the senses
And the three poisons that fixate on them—
All these occur because of ignorance.
Devoid of real existence, they all appear unceasingly.
They are like conjured apparitions.
From now on be convinced
That they are empty, false reflections.
"The underlying cause for all this is [rigpa] itself. The condition, on the other hand, is ignorance, owing to which, [rigpa] is distorted by the duality of the [subjective] apprehender and the apprehended (which thus becomes the object). It is thus that hallucinatory appearances, the universe and its animate contents, appear differently for different kinds of beings. Because of the three poisons, the various realms of saṃsāra, high and low, are experienced and seem real. But it should be understood that in fact they are nothing but false appearances—empty reflections—and that within [rigpa], the enlightened mind, there is no movement or change. The Samādhirāja-sūtra says,
"Just as in the midst of crowds,
The forms displayed by a magician—
Horses, oxen, chariots, and the like—
Appear in various forms yet lack reality,
Understand that all things are like this.
"And as the root text goes on to say, the illusions that appear while lacking all intrinsic being are like space."
Thus, the example of illusion is stated to explain the emptiness of all things. If it is still thought that rigpa is not empty while all appearances are empty because of being illusions, Longchenpa puts any such proliferations to rest:
"5. Sure it is that all things in phenomenal existence,
In saṃsāra and nirvāṇa,
Are in their nature equal and they all resemble space.
Understand that all are unborn,
Pure from the beginning.
All phenomena are by their nature devoid of existence. In themselves, they are like space. The Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā says, “In themselves, phenomena are like space. One can find in them no center and no boundary.” And likewise we find in the Samādhirāja-sūtra,
All things disintegrate, O Son of the Victorious One,
All existents are primordially empty.
Extremists hold a lesser emptiness.
But there is no debate between the learned and the childish.
In this regard, some say that phenomena are empty by virtue of a preclusion of something that they do not possess 55 but that they are not empty of themselves. 56 This is like saying that the sun is empty of darkness but is not empty of rays of light. This is a lesser kind of emptiness, however, through which no freedom would ever be possible from the belief in the true existence of things. Examined according to the argument of “neither one nor many,” the sun is empty of inherent existence; being thus, it is also empty of rays of light. It is empty and yet it appears. This is the very principle and essence of Madhyamaka, the Middle Way."
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Chris Jones
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André A. Pais Dzogchen avoids this problem by putting the focus on one’s mode of cognition. When ignorance is present, sems (mind) is present. When knowledge is present, instead you have ye shes (pristine consciousness). Sems is of course what gives rise to apparent objects and the sense of dualism. Would highly recommend David Higgins’s paper “The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial knowing (ye shes)” which discusses the topic in more detail.
So both of these perspectives are accounted for and encapsulated in what Madhyamaka would call “ultimate truth”. After all, when delusion is present, we can’t say that that reality is any less true for us, in that given moment. It’s just that we’re deluded. Non-recognition is the issue. This is also how in Dzogchen one can claim that things are already pure from the very beginning.
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André A. Pais
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Chris Jones thanks for your sharing. I'm usually very fond of Higgins' works. I've read most of Mahamudra and the Middle Way and of Buddha-nature Reconsidered and I thoroughly enjoyed those. Sheer precision and clarity. I've tried Philosophical Foundations but couldn't get very far, for whatever reason.
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André A. Pais
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Chris Jones I've also read some shorter text of his on Longchenpa and the distinction between sems and yeshe. Yet, I'm not sure how that relates to my question above.
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André A. Pais
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Katherine Willow thank you for your thorough and informative reply.
I think both affirming and non-affirming negations are problematic in the context of what I'm saying. Even the latter are reference points to be dropped. Of course, all means are valid as long as they remain skillful.
I wasn't saying that Dzogchen is postulating something as real. I just said that in the context of Malcolm proclaiming Dzogchen as not making use of the 2 truths model, saying that all things are illusory is still a reference to the 2 truths, even if somewhat abstractly (illusory is a concept that only makes sense in contradistinction with reality).
As they say in the 4 yogas of Mahamudra (and in Madhyamaka, of course), even a conviction in emptiness or one taste is to be removed, if the insight is to become more mature. Or as Dogen says, no trace of enlightenment remains.
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Chris Jones
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I was responding to this:
“Malcolm says that there are no 2 truths model in Dzogchen, but then claims that everything is equivalent to an illusion. "Illusion" seems to bring back the model of the 2 truths, because "illusion" only makes sense in contrast with "real" -- and we are then back to the 2 truths.”
This distinction is what allows Dzogchen to avoid having to take both relative and ultimate as “true” as per the two truths doctrine. Instead, as mentioned above, these are viewed from the lens of a single truth giving rise to different appearances (or lack thereof) depending on ignorance (or lack thereof). When ignorance is present, so are apparent objects. When ignorance is absent, objects are not present. According to Dzogchen, this is the only truth that needs to be stated. In this way, we avoid contradictions (things are both real conventionally and unreal ultimately). It’s just a slightly different presentation of the same view.
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André A. Pais
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Realizing that appearances have no defining characteristics,
yogis are freed of even the most subtle beliefs
in ultimate and conventional reality
and are thus liberated from all metaphysical views.
This is conventionally termed “the purport of basic equality,”
“the view of the inseparability of the ultimate and conventional.”
A person in whose mind defining characteristics of the two truths
are intellectually posited as truly established
and are thus determined to be objects of knowledge
will never be able to relinquish dualistic mind.
For when that person has determined
that “the two truths are inseparable,”
with this deeply held belief, he also has not let go
of holding that the conventional exists as mere illusion.
That being so, even when he establishes the nondual nature of reality,
he harbors thoughts associated with dualism.
Investigating objects of knowledge by focusing the mind
on the distinction between the two truths
was taught as an antidote for those people
with excessive, obsessive clinging to real entities.
However, in the very nature of phenomena,
there are no dual characteristics.
Whosoever reverses grasping to characteristics
is free from this obsessive clinging.
When one experiences no craving or wishful thought
toward anything that appears,
this is called “the view of great equality.”
“Isn’t mere appearance the conventional reality?”
This is what was pointed out above with respect
to any person who believes appearance to be conventional
and believes, in the back of his mind,
that freedom from conceptual elaborations regarding that is the ultimate.
Still, for a mind that does not believe in the reality of the two truths,
to ask whether they are one or two is like asking
whether the son of a barren woman is blue or white.
~ Rongzompa
Once this kind of certainty has arisen,
Even clinging to mere illusion
Can be understood as conceptual imputation.
~ Mipham Rinpoche
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André A. Pais
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Chris Jones talking of lenses instead of truths seems to amount to the same. Even in sutra, the "truths" are epistemological more than ontological. And even in sutra, the relative truth is often taken as not true at all, but a mere worldly consensus between "childish" beings.
When you say objects are not present, you mean there aren't any appearances at all?
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Chris Jones
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André A. Pais Objects are not present in the sense that they’re illusory, not real. Just pristine consciousness appearing as objects.
Yes, as I understand it there’s no real difference between Nagarjuna’s view, or the two truths, and Dzogchen. It’s just presented slightly differently. The only problem I have is the way that relative truth is proposed as “kinda true, but not really” in Madhyamaka which can be rather confusing. The emphasis on deluded cognition giving rise to apparent objects is much clearer, at least to me, and fits in very nicely with dependent origination. Dzogchen also has a very elaborate explanation of the different modes and aspects of consciousness, how they relate to each other, how they arise, and so on which I personally find helpful.
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Katherine Willow
André A. Pais
Edit: I will add that the difference between the two truths in madhyamika and the one truth of Dzogchen, is that in Madhyamika we distinguish between conventional objects to be analyzed and freedom from proliferation that is reached when analysis exhausts objects. In contrast, the single truth of Dzogchen, the perfect teaching, is one's own vidyā. The distinction is important in madhyamika to support the process of analysis. Since Dzogchen is not based on analysis it does not need to posit any truth except self-originated pristine consciousness.
it all comes down to whether one's view involves conceptual clinging or not. I completely agree with you and your later post; these deviations involve treating the view of Dzogchen as a philosophical view rather than one based on direct perception. As long as one continues in deluded vision, their negations will be affirming, whether that affirmation affirms existence, illusion, nonexistence, and so on. That is why it is important to bear in mind the difference between the method of madhyamika and Dzogchen. While the former is based on analysis, the latter is based on direct perception; provided one has correctly identified rigpa, for the moment they remain in that recognition they do not grasp at illusion or nonillusion, and so on.
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