How Things Exist
Teachings on Emptiness
by Lama Zopa Rimpoche:
~ Everything is merely labeled ~
“I” is merely imputed to these aggregates. None of the five aggregates is the general aggregates. Even the whole group of the five aggregates is not the general aggregates, because it is the base to be labeled “general aggregates.” So, “aggregates” is also merely imputed to them.
With respect to the aggregate of form, no part of the body is the aggregate of form and even the whole group of the parts of the body is not the aggregate of form. “Aggregate of form” is merely imputed to this body.
In the same way, each of the aggregates is merely imputed to its own base. For example, “aggregate of consciousness” is merely imputed to the particular mental factor whose main function is to see the essence of an object and which continues from one life to another, carrying the imprints left by karma. That phenomenon is labeled “consciousness.”
With respect to the head, the mouth is not the head, the nose is not the head, the brain is not the head, the ears are not the head. No part of the head is the head. Even the whole group of the parts of the head is not the head; it is the base to be labeled “head.” Each part of the head—mouth, nose, brain, ear—is merely labeled on another label, and that label is given to another label.
“Arm” is labeled on this particular object, but each part of the arm is not the arm and even the whole group of the parts is not the arm. Since the whole group is the base to be labeled “arm,” it’s not the arm. Again, each part is also labeled on another label. It is the same with the leg. Each part of the leg, such as the thigh, is not the leg, and even the whole group of the parts is not the leg. The whole group is the base to be labeled “leg.” Each part is labeled on its own base.
This is how it is down to the atoms, and even the atom is labeled. Each particle of the atom is not the atom, and the group of the particles is the base to be labeled “atom.” And even the particles of the atoms are labeled on their own base. From the I and the aggregates down to the atomic particles, everything is labeled on another label. Something is imputed to one base, which is labeled on another base, and that base is labeled on another base. Everything exists being labeled.
Everything is a label, starting with our aggregates. So, from the I and the aggregates down to the atomic particles, everything is completely empty of existing from its own side. The concrete things that appear to us are hallucinations. The real, concrete, truly existent I and aggregates are hallucinations.
~ Everything comes from the mind ~
Everything comes from our own mind. Since everything is merely imputed and all imputation comes from our mind, everything comes from our mind. All appearances happen by labeling; whatever appears to us happens by labeling. Again, all the appearances of life come from our mind.
The appearance of a friend comes from our mind. Before we label “friend,” there’s no appearance of friend. Because someone loves us or does something good for us, we label her “friend” and she then appears to us as a friend; because another person doesn’t love us or harms us, we label him “enemy” and he then appears to us as an enemy. These appearances come from our own mind. When our enemy appears, an unpleasant feeling arises in our mind; when our friend appears, a pleasant feeling arises in our mind. All this is created by or originates from our own mind.
Without labeling “snake,” there’s no appearance of snake; after labeling a piece of rope at dusk“ snake,”a snake appears.It’s the same with a person who doesn’t know that George Bush is the president of America. At first she sees just the appearance of a man. After somebody tells her that he’s the American president, she then also labels “This is the American president.” After she has imputed this and then believed in her own label, the American president then appears to her.
It’s like this from morning to night, from birth until death. It’s like this with the whole of samsara and nirvana. It’s like this with everything that appears to us: with my seeing you and your seeing me and this temple and everything else, including the American president. Everything that appears to us comes from our own mind.
Labels: Emptiness, Lama Zopa Rinpoche 0 comments |