In my opinion, Theravada Buddhism DOES teach that the eye exists, and that we
can cognize (know) that fact, but we should not "conceive": 'The eye is mine.'
The word "conceive" is not really correct here. To cognize means to know
things as they really are. To "conceive" (mannati) means to imagine that
which is not real.
The problem is we just can't.
If something is seen, it is natural for us to hold it, to grasp it.
If something is seen or conceive, it is unavoidable for grasping and attachment or aversion to arise.
No matter how hard you try to maintain that distance between seeing that something and conceiving that something, you will collapse.
Buddha said suffering is to be understood in the first noble truth.
Interestly, he didn't said suffering is to be avoided.
The problem Is avoiding cannot solve the problem. We can avoid certain things, but again soon or later we will collapse.
Even god at the highest peak of samsara, who say in the neither-perception-nor-non-perception, cannot maintain their meditative power forever. In the beginning of his life, he can maintain his meditative power that can make him maintain to not conceive the object. But, at the end of his life, due to his karma, when he can see he will reborn again in this or that state, he will lost control. God has the power to see clairvoyance to some extend. When you see you will born here and get this torture, that treatment, etc., you lost control.
At that point, something who can maintain for so many aeons, simply fall apart. The suffering then starts at the end of his life.
NO point to try to not conceive. We can sit in the room and get away from this life, just meditate and go to jhana. Fine. At that point you are safe. But, watch out, once you get out from that meditation state, you will just collapse soon or later.
This is where vipassana cOme in. Vipassana is to see the true nature of this thing. And the true nature of everything is hollow, empty.
It looks like there is something, but that thing which you think is there, is actually not there.
If you can see that, that insight free you from grasping and attachment in a very natural way.
The stillness caused by vipassana insight, is unaffected by anything, unstained by anything.
You don't scare with anything. Because the more you see the behavior of thing, the more intense they are, the more you feel the truth that they are empty. It is like firewood. The more you involve in this life, the more you see directly there is nothing.
You can't see emptiness with eyes. You see that with your insight (wisdom), which belong to the mind.
In all Buddhist school, none of them reject there are things called eyes. They do acknowledge that.
When you really take the object in front of you, and you try to find the core, you end up with nothing. Like you peel the onion.
If you see the onion it looks like there is onion. It is at this point, everything is accepted as true.
When you search the core of the onion, when you peel it, what you get is empty space. It is at this point, your insight grows.
I see something with my eyes, BUT I DONT SEE ANYTHING WITH MY INSIGHT.
There is no point how we discuss eyes are impermanent or we don't conceive this or that.
The really point that kick the ball is only this?
Do you see that something with your insight or not?
If yes, you are not free yet, from any dangerous.
But if you can see the insight has nothing, no matter how your eyes see the form, hear the sound, taste the food, etc., you will just still in the stillness of nothing is arising and nothing is ceasing.
No matter how strong and how real the mirage looks like, your insight that tell you there is nothing there, make you extremely still from grasping the idea there is water there.
Look here, although the though of "there is water there". The one that make you still is not the power of avoidance.
If you tell people who never know the more phenomena, no matter how strong there are in maintaining your idea in the beginning, that people will lose believe in your words. They will go and chase that mirage, and try die there.
But if that person have the insight there is nothing there, it is thing insight that make them still, that make them unmove - no matter how strong the appearance of water really look like.
Is this water or mirage?
Can you rely on your 5 senses to see the deceiver?
You see eyes with your 5 senses by touching it, by seeing it, by feel it. but you shouldn't get fooled by your own senses.
Insight is seen with mind.
When you see with insight, even this mind is unseen.
Thia life if unseen with insight of emptiness is really a Great deceiver.
I see the water with my eyes, but I don't see the water with my insight, because no water there
I see the feeling with my senses, but I don't see the feeling with my insight, because no self there.
Existence is just a deceiver.
Nothing truly exist in all appearances.