Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
Kenshou wrote:Buddhism is in general more concerned with how we experience things than their objective reality. Trying to fit all Buddhist concepts into an ontology produces awkward results.
This is a very good point and cannot be over-emphasised. So, what is the 'experience' of a shadow?
The variations in light can be observed, but it must first be determined (sankhata) as a shadow before it can be known as "a shadow". (This may or may not be what Goofaholix was getting at with his Zen-like koan).
The variations in heat can be felt. If it's a sunny day and you step under a tree, the diminishing of the fire element can be observed.
Remember that the Dhamma is about suffering and its cessation - it's not about chin-scratching and pontification. If what you're thinking about has no connection to suffering and its cessation, chances are you're not thinking in line with the Dhamma.
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)
"You've got to focus on what's really worthwhile in life, which means resisting a lot of the currents in our culture" (Thanissaro)