Showing posts with label Viewless View. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Viewless View. Show all posts

John Tan and I thinks this writing by Kyle Dixon is very good.

Often we hear people questioning what is the meaning of viewless view. Kyle explains well:

–]krodha [score hidden] 25 minutes ago 

On the “absence of views”:

An “absence of view” does not imply a refusal to engage in concepts, or choosing to remain indifferent and neutral, not taking a position so that one has “no views.”

The actual meaning of abandoning “all views” [sarvadṛṣṭi] is defined in the Ārya-mahāyānopadeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra, which states:

Abandoning all views is entering into the middle way, seeing all dharmas as equal.

The “equality of dharmas” is directly related to the absence of characteristics [alakṣaṇa] that is revealed in the realization of emptiness [śūnyatā]. 

The Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā describes the interrelation of these aspects of awakened insight:

The descriptions from the element of self [atmadhātu] up to the element of all phenomena [sarvadharmadhātu] are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated.

Therefore to actualize the “abandonment of views” one must realize emptiness, and through realizing emptiness, the absence of characteristics is directly known due to the absence of a would be inherent nature or “svabhāva” to possesses said characteristics. At that time, because entities are realized to be non-arisen, the basis of imputation which was previously mistaken to be an object endowed with specific characteristics is recognized to be a heterogeneous array of appearances that do not actually constitute or create the entity they were previously misconstrued to characterize. In the absence of an entity, existence and non-existence, having no substantial referent, are undone and as a result all views (and characteristics) are exhausted.

In his Mūlamadhyamakakārika, Nāgārjuna clarifies that the pacification of views is contingent upon insight into emptiness whereby existent entities that are capable of existing and/or lacking existence are recognized to be unfounded. He likewise chastises those of “little intelligence” who assert otherwise:

Some of small intelligence, see existents in terms of “is” or “is not”; they do not perceive the pacification of views, or peace.

“Peace” here again is intended to illustrate an absence of characteristics, the Ārya-tathāgatācintyaguhyanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:

"Nirvana is peace" denotes actualizing the absence of characteristics.

Candrakīrti concurs in his Madhyamakāvatāra:

The absence of all characteristics is peace.

We can understand “peace” and “pacification” in general to be the import of such statements. The pacification of characteristics and therefore the pacification of views, resulting from an awakened and experiential knowledge of the nature of phenomena, emptiness free from extremes, the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā sūtra states:

What is called "knowledge of all things" is the result of knowing one thing: the true nature of phenomena, which has the attribute of peace.

The only means to obtain “peace” is via the awakened insight that ascertains the absence of a core entity which possesses characteristics, the untenability of selfhood and the associated implications of a self. The Samādhirāja Sūtra states:

If the selflessness of phenomena is analyzed, and if this analysis is cultivated, it causes the effect of attaining nirvana. Through no other cause does one come to peace.

One may ask, how is such an insight possible? It is possible because all phenomena are innately empty and devoid of a svabhāva that possesses characteristics, however ignorance and affliction obscure that fact. The purpose of applying the dharma is to discover that hidden nature of phenomena that is always already the case, but is concealed by our delusion. The Ārya-kāśyapa-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is clear that emptiness and an absence of characteristics are innate attributes which only need be recognized:

Kāśyapa, moreover, the true discernment into dharmas of the middle way is not making dharmas empty with emptiness, dharmas themselves are empty; it is not making dharmas without characteristics with the absence of characteristics; dharmas themselves lack characteristics.

It is only our affliction which causes us to perceive entities that are endowed with characteristics, when in actuality no such entities have ever originated in the first place. The realization of emptiness is simultaneously the antidote to those afflictions, and the means by which the absence of characteristics is ascertained. 

The Play of Noble Mañjūśrī Sūtra states:

Afflictions are temporary, they cannot simultaneous with the realization of emptiness; they cannot simultaneous with the knowledge of the absence of characteristics and the absence of aspiration; they cannot simultaneous with natural luminosity.

Nāgārjuna states in his Lokātītastava:

You [the tathāgata] taught that those who do not realize that characteristics do not exist are not liberated.

And in closing it is important to bear in mind that because the referent to lack characteristics is exhausted, even the absence of characteristics is ultimately absent as a characteristic.

The Ananta­mukhapariśo­dhana­nirdeśaparivarta states:

Although the teachings conventionally refer to “the essence and nature of all phenomena,” phenomena are actually devoid of an inherent essence or a nature. The inherent nature of things is that they are empty and lack an essence. All that is empty and devoid of an essence has a single [generic] characteristic: since phenomena are devoid of [specific] characteristics, their [generic] characteristic is complete purity, and thus by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless. Since by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless, no phenomena can, by definition, be labeled.

Bhāviveka states in his Tarkajvālā:

When that yogin dwells in the experience of nonconceptual discerning wisdom [prajñā] and experiences nonduality, at that time, ultimately, the entire reality of objects are as follows, of the same characteristics, like space, appearing in the manner of a nonappearance since their characteristics are nonexistent, therefore, there isn’t even the slightest thing that is not empty, so where could there be emptiness?

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Also, some other excerpts from the AtR guide: 

From Dharmawheel, Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith says Madhyamaka is not a simple minded “I have no view” proposition:

“gad rgyangs wrote:

He clearly says in the VV that he has no view to defend. Do you think he was wrong about himself?

Malcolm wrote:

He states in the VV that he has no propositions/thesis concerning svabhāva as defined by his opponents. He does not say he has no views at all. For example, he clearly states in the MMK that he prefers the Sammitya view of karma.

Your claim is similar to the mistaken assertion made by some who claim that Candrakirti never resorts to syllogisms, which in fact he clearly does in the opening lines of the MAV. What Candra disputes is not syllogistic reasoning in its entirety, but rather, syllogistic reasoning applied to emptiness.

Likewise, he clearly asserts the view in the VV that there is no svabhāva in phenomena. Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition.


"Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition."


gad rgyangs wrote:

then why does the MMK end thusly? MMK 27.30:

I salute Gautama, who, based on compassion,

taught the true Dharma for the abandonment of all views.

Malcolm wrote:

"All views" here is summarized as two in chapter fifteen: i.e. substantial existence and nonexistence.”

“The purpose of the view is to open the mind up fully without background, duality and inherency. So that experience is fully open, direct, immediate and without boundaries. Chariot and its basis are not a cause and effect relationship, they originate in dependence.” - John Tan, 2019

“The truth of the matter is that “pacification of views” is directly related to the realization of emptiness. If you have not realized emptiness, then you have no business talking about a lack of view, because you still perceive conditioned phenomena and are therefore cognitively endowed with “views.” Those views can only be pacified through directly realizing non-arising.

For some reason you mistakenly believe that “no view” means something like withholding a view, but it has nothing at all to do with that.” – Krodha/Kyle Dixon, 2021


"You have a mindstream, which is a continuum of consciousness, but this mindstream is an aggregated, causal proliferation of discrete instances, much different than a fixed “soul” as an abiding entity.

The fetter of selfhood is the root of samsara, and as such, the conviction that you have a real self or soul is an obscuration. We do have a conventional identity or self that we can use in everyday life, but we suffer when we mistake this identity as something truly real.

“Right view” does involve a correct understanding of selfhood, the Ratnakūṭa Sūtra states:

Right view (samyagdṛṣti) is the abandonment of the view of that the aggregates are a self (satkāyadṛṣti).

And regarding the prospect of a self or soul apart from the aggregates, Vasubandhu states:

There is neither direct perception nor inference of a soul [ātman] independent of the aggregates [skandhas]. We know then that a real soul does not exist." - Krodha/Kyle Dixon,


[10:43 PM, 6/6/2020] John Tan: There are two folds to it.  Any view is ultimately empty... But freeing one from constructs and conceptualization has a different meaning to me. Like when see through self, we realized anatta. It is not the freeing, but must also involves the arising insight and wisdom.


I think I mentioned I am not into without view. The freeing from seeing through self is not a form of "not knowing", contrary it is deep wisdom that allows one to understand our nature directly.”