danieLion wrote:I believe Retro's OP was a question about metaphysical realism, not direct realism.
And in what way isn't direct realism a metaphysical teaching?
danieLion wrote: Theravada is not a school of realism in the western sense,
Realism in sense of mind independent matter. This is allowed in Orthodox Theravada. Rūpa can be without nāma, thus realism in that regard.
Vibhaṅgapāḷi PTS 419 it says this about Asaññasattā:
1017.... Asaññasattānaṃ devānaṃ upapattikkhaṇe eko khandho pātubhavati – rūpakkhandho; dve āyatanāni pātubhavanti – rūpāyatanaṃ, dhammāyatanaṃ; dve dhātuyo pātubhavanti – rūpadhātu, dhammadhātu; ekaṃ saccaṃ pātubhavati – dukkhasaccaṃ; ekindriyaṃ pātubhavati – rūpajīvitindriyaṃ. Asaññasattā devā ahetukā anāhārā aphassakā avedanakā asaññakā acetanakā acittakā pātubhavanti.
Please note that rūpakkhandho is present even though there are no mental things such as: vedana, sañña, cetana, citta. So rūpakkhandha can exist independent of mind. That is realism in that regard.
danieLion wrote:The Buddha was clear that "EXISTENCE," "non-existence," etc... were irrelevant to his Dhamma.
I think that in context of SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta it means:
a) Buddha refuted static existence or non-existence. When there are appropriate causes, that thing exists. When there aren't causes for existence of that thing, then it doesn't exist.
b) Dependent Origination focus on arising and ceasing of suffering, an experiential truth, not about ontological external world beyond experience and beyond any relevance to the issue of suffering here and now.