cherrytigerbarb wrote:I've been studying the Diamond Sutra in the last few days (yes, I know it's not accepted as part of Theravada), and have been relieved to find that it confirms everything I've come to believe regarding our use of concepts.
I'll keep it simple.
Dualism in a nutshell: "this" and "that".
This is compassion. That is wisdom.
This is compassion in Theravada tradition. That is wisdom in Theravada tradition.
This is compassion in other tradition(s). That is wisdom in other tradition(s).
This is Buddha. That is Mara.
This is Buddha. That is Devadatta.
This is right. That is wrong.
This is wholesome. That is evil.
These are noble ones. Those are lay people.
When dualism comes to a certain point, it breaks out into other conceptual lines of thinking, and it ain't the Buddha's fault, the Diamond Sutra is just one of these. When He is just one solo person by Himself, He teaches as accorded with the audience that approaches Him. Comes to a certain point of time when an entire group of community approaches Him from sravakas to laypeople to kings and extraordinaires, other issues beckoned then. There are the issues of dualism. There are also the issues of non-dualism (see Vimalakirti). Closely related to dualism is object-subject relatively (see Shurangama in that case). The Mahayana Sutras such as the Diamond and Heart Sutras deal with a whole bunch of predicates.
Back to Theravada tradition once again. The highest realm of meditative existence is at best the Realm of Neither Perception Nor Non-Perception. That too is dualistic. A meditator used to peceive and also non-perceive, comes to a certain juncture he no longer perceives and no longer non-perceives. Again, this and that.
Cause and effect. Again also dualism.
Can be quite cool to the uninitiated. Can be really bombastic to the linguistically inclined.