Emptiness of phenomena??

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Dinsdale
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:12 am

Myotai wrote:I agree - maybe conditionality is another word describing emptiness?
Yes, the same thing as I understand it.
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Herbie
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Herbie wrote: Sorry but such kind of esoteric statement is unacceptable for me. Philosophy is based on human intellect and rationality and conventional language. If after 3 decades of study you are not in a position to provide a brief commonly intelligible explanation in conventional general understandable language then the reason for that may be that there simply is no rational basis for this emptiness doctrine but that it is merely a part of a system of beliefs based on unconventional use of language in a specific community of believers.
So, then, what is your understanding of emptiness, using "human intellect and rationality and conventional language?"
Emptiness is the noun corresponding to something being empty of something else. So to say "A is empty of B" is based on rationality only if both A and B are commonly known and the statement "A is empty of B" is thus verifiable.
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

Herbie
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:54 am

Myotai wrote:
Herbie wrote: Sorry but such kind of esoteric statement is unacceptable for me. Philosophy is based on human intellect and rationality and conventional language. If after 3 decades of study you are not in a position to provide a brief commonly intelligible explanation in conventional general understandable language then the reason for that may be that there simply is no rational basis for this emptiness doctrine but that it is merely a part of a system of beliefs based on unconventional use of language in a specific community of believers.
Also given that "...Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions..." (your signature),whats your issue about me using language you may not be entirely familiar with?
To investigate whether what you are saying is based on rationality or "something else" where "something else" may stand for belief, wish, hope, etc. i.e. psycho-mental phenomena other than rationality. So communication and the inpiration it causes may entail insight into "what is going" in this specific case and thus may indicate the basis of views manifesting as linguistic practices in the context of religions generally, views that appear to be based on rational philosophy at first glance but turn out to be "something else" when investigated.
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

Herbie
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:13 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Herbie wrote:But if I say "My purse is empty of 'inherent existence'" - whatever 'inherent existence' means according to your private language - that is not meaningful because 'inherent existence' is not commonly and not validly known and nobody knows what to look for in order to verify.
I think "inherent existence" just means independent existence, ie all phenomena are subject to conditionality.
Ok. I take this to refer to cognition. To say anything, to name anything, to define anything ... generally speaking to use language is based on cognition. Since from a neuro-scientific perspective every cognition is a representation of neuronal processes there is no independent cognition and therefore no cognized phenomenon or cognized property that is independent of the cognizer.
However this does not exclude the mere possibility that cognition could directly correspond to a reality independent of it and that although an independent existence cannot be known and cannot be proven and therefore cannot be verifiably asserted independent existence still cannot be verifiably negated.
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

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Myotai
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Myotai » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:45 am

Herbie wrote:However this does not exclude the mere possibility that cognition could directly correspond to a reality independent of it and that although an independent existence cannot be known and cannot be proven and therefore cannot be verifiably asserted independent existence still cannot be verifiably negated.
First point can be refuted by the mere fact that independent existence is non-existent. If you're implying that it might be existent but just elusive then thats a fundamentally flawed stance. You might as well say craters on the moon are made by large pink elephants that live perpetually on the dark side....they 'might'!

Second point, independent existence (inherent existence) can be completely refuted. Give us one example of an independently existent phenomena that has an irreducible essence? Then we will reduce it again.

Herbie
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:21 am

Myotai wrote:
Herbie wrote:However this does not exclude the mere possibility that cognition could directly correspond to a reality independent of it and that although an independent existence cannot be known and cannot be proven and therefore cannot be verifiably asserted independent existence still cannot be verifiably negated.
First point can be refuted by the mere fact that independent existence is non-existent.
First, there is no refutation of anything by an alleged "fact" that is undetermined, i.e. what is the definition of "non-existent"?
Second, I have actually written that maybe there is an independent existence and maybe there isn't an independent existence. So what do you want to refute? The "may there is" or the "maybe there isn't"? If you refute one of the two then the other still is non-refuted. But since the "maybe there is" implies "the maybe there isn't" and the "the maybe there isn't" implies "the maybe there is", if you refute the linguistic explicit expression of one idea its implicit implication still is left untouched.

Myotai wrote: If you're implying that it might be existent but just elusive then thats a fundamentally flawed stance. You might as well say craters on the moon are made by large pink elephants that live perpetually on the dark side....they 'might'!
I am implying "maybe or maybe not" and I am explicitly saying that neither affirmation nor negation can be valid since both are not verifiable. I am not the one who brought up the subject of "existence".
Myotai wrote: Second point, independent existence (inherent existence) can be completely refuted. Give us one example of an independently existent phenomena that has an irreducible essence? Then we will reduce it again.
See, you brought up the subject of independent existence to refute it. Does this make sense?
Now you are bringing up still another idea expressed as "irreducible essence". But again maybe there is irreducible essence an maybe there isn't irreducible essence.

So you see that not only your "inherent existence" is not something that can be commonly and validly known but also "independent existence" and "irreducible essence" cannot be commonly and validly known. This whole alleged "philosophy" revolves around fancy linguistic expressions that one is interested in only if one has been conditioned to associate a feeling of truth in the course of conditioning oneself by means of learning/studying this alleged "philosophy".
But the main absurdity seems to be that these linguistic expressions are brought up just for the purpose of negating them. Why bother in the first place?
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

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srivijaya
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by srivijaya » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:22 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Dear Members,


Theravada teach us about the emptiness of person. In Vipassana, we can see directly and precisely that this self called I is completely a fantasy. The "I" never ever exist.

According to the claim of a particular Buddhist school, although Theravada realize the emptiness of person, they do not agree that phenomena is also completely empty, like the emptiness of "I". There is something (such as a self, an essence, or an identity) in phenomena that exist.

What is your opinion and view about this claim?
This refers to the view that some schools can only attain the liberaton of a Foe Destroyer, whilst others can become perfectly enlightened Buddhas. But more crucially it points at a distinction between two alternative teachings of how a person can attain liberation; the first outlined in the suttas, the other taught elsewhere. The two are very dissimilar and have little in common but both are Buddhist paths.

Briefly, the sutta teachings use tranquility and insight to penetrate the 12 links and unbind from them.

Other teachings are predicated on a doctrine of two truths. This holds that a sentient being is bound in samsara by his mistaken belief that all objects of the senses exist independently from their own side. The solution is thus to uncover the "emptiness" underlying this assumption. Once discovered, the being is liberated. We see a similar path taught in Advaita, where all is illuson, apart from the ultimate Nirguna Brahman. Just substitute Brahman for ultimate emptiness. The premise is the same - a being is trapped due to falling for Maya.

Buddha in the suttas, rejects all such ideation put before him, rather focusing on what can be immediately seen and penetrated and what can lead to unbinding in the here and now. Not-self is experiential, rather than ontological or metaphysical. When there is no clinging to self, there is no clinging to other. No opinion is needed about the ontological status of sense objects.

There is, thus, a clear distinction and two very different paths. The sutta path relies on direct experience within this fathom-long body, the other path relies on first thrashing out a correct view of existence/non-existence via study and debate. Once "correct" view is established one can further integrate it.

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Myotai
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Myotai » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:43 am

srivijaya wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:Dear Members,


Theravada teach us about the emptiness of person. In Vipassana, we can see directly and precisely that this self called I is completely a fantasy. The "I" never ever exist.

According to the claim of a particular Buddhist school, although Theravada realize the emptiness of person, they do not agree that phenomena is also completely empty, like the emptiness of "I". There is something (such as a self, an essence, or an identity) in phenomena that exist.

What is your opinion and view about this claim?
This refers to the view that some schools can only attain the liberaton of a Foe Destroyer, whilst others can become perfectly enlightened Buddhas. But more crucially it points at a distinction between two alternative teachings of how a person can attain liberation; the first outlined in the suttas, the other taught elsewhere. The two are very dissimilar and have little in common but both are Buddhist paths.

Briefly, the sutta teachings use tranquility and insight to penetrate the 12 links and unbind from them.

Other teachings are predicated on a doctrine of two truths. This holds that a sentient being is bound in samsara by his mistaken belief that all objects of the senses exist independently from their own side. The solution is thus to uncover the "emptiness" underlying this assumption. Once discovered, the being is liberated. We see a similar path taught in Advaita, where all is illuson, apart from the ultimate Nirguna Brahman. Just substitute Brahman for ultimate emptiness. The premise is the same - a being is trapped due to falling for Maya.

Buddha in the suttas, rejects all such ideation put before him, rather focusing on what can be immediately seen and penetrated and what can lead to unbinding in the here and now. Not-self is experiential, rather than ontological or metaphysical. When there is no clinging to self, there is no clinging to other. No opinion is needed about the ontological status of sense objects.

There is, thus, a clear distinction and two very different paths. The sutta path relies on direct experience within this fathom-long body, the other path relies on first thrashing out a correct view of existence/non-existence via study and debate. Once "correct" view is established one can further integrate it.
:goodpost:

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Myotai
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Myotai » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:48 am

Herbie wrote: But the main absurdity seems to be that these linguistic expressions are brought up just for the purpose of negating them. Why bother in the first place?
Herbie, I think its clear, and there is absolutely no malice meant when I say this, its clear that you've not grasped what is being stated. You seem to reconstruct what is being said then refute that. Its an honest mistake.

The fact is we see things as existing as independent phenomena - they're not. There is no such thing...anywhere, ever!

This means that our apprehension of reality is as I say, flawed.

In terms of why we bother, well if having an experience of reality that is deceptive from the onset is something you're comfortable with then good for you. I and others are not.

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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:54 pm

Myotai wrote:
Herbie wrote: But the main absurdity seems to be that these linguistic expressions are brought up just for the purpose of negating them. Why bother in the first place?
Herbie, I think its clear, and there is absolutely no malice meant when I say this, its clear that you've not grasped what is being stated. You seem to reconstruct what is being said then refute that. Its an honest mistake.
Sure I have not grasped since I am not conditioned to believe what you believe.
Myotai wrote: The fact is we see things as existing as independent phenomena - they're not. There is no such thing...anywhere, ever!
Maybe you see things like that. I don't. But I understand that you have been told that and you believe to be objective reality what you have been told.
Myotai wrote: This means that our apprehension of reality is as I say, flawed.
What your say may affect what you perceive to be "reality" because you think accordingly. Merely practicing thinking in certain irrational ways may affect one's perceptions of "reality". I can assure you that my reality is not affected by your words.
Myotai wrote: In terms of why we bother, well if having an experience of reality that is deceptive from the onset is something you're comfortable with then good for you. I and others are not.
What I said is: Why bother bringing up fancy linguistic expressions just to negate them afterwards? There is perception and valid knowledge which leads to success independent of belief. That's a matter of fact. Now you say "But that which can be validly known and the result obtained is empty of "inherent existence", has no "irreducible essence". And I say "I never used to think in such fancy terms so why should I bother now as I meet you? Why should I care what they do mean for you? These expressions are completely irrelevant for perception and valid knowledge.
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

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Myotai
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Myotai » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:02 pm

Ok Herbie, I can't debate with you when you're mutating what I say into something I didn't say - thats not going to work - and its a waste of both our time. I understand your rationale for doing this but I can't play sorry.

Also you keep stating its about what I have been told to believe...why are you bent on stating that???

I am afraid I am going to step aside and allow others (Tilt) to step in...I am done here....

...good luck Herbie!

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tiltbillings
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:08 pm

Myotai wrote:Ok Herbie, I can't debate with you when you're mutating what I say into something I didn't say - thats not going to work - and its a waste of both our time. I understand your rationale for doing this but I can't play sorry.

Also you keep stating its about what I have been told to believe...why are you bent on stating that???

I am afraid I am going to step aside and allow others (Tilt) to step in...I am done here....

...good luck Herbie!
Not interested.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Myotai
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Myotai » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Myotai wrote:Ok Herbie, I can't debate with you when you're mutating what I say into something I didn't say - thats not going to work - and its a waste of both our time. I understand your rationale for doing this but I can't play sorry.

Also you keep stating its about what I have been told to believe...why are you bent on stating that???

I am afraid I am going to step aside and allow others (Tilt) to step in...I am done here....

...good luck Herbie!
Not interested.
Haha! Fair enough.... I'm out too....!

Herbie
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by Herbie » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:06 am

Myotai wrote:Ok Herbie, I can't debate with you when you're mutating what I say into something I didn't say - thats not going to work - and its a waste of both our time. I understand your rationale for doing this but I can't play sorry.

Also you keep stating its about what I have been told to believe...why are you bent on stating that???
No, I didn't say this. I said you have been told and you believed what you have been told. That is different from "told to believe".
And I said this because that is how language is being learned, be it conventional or - as in your case - unconventional language. One sees or hears forms or sounds (linguistic signs) and learns to associate ideas with those signs. In the course of practicing conventional or unconventional language, i.e.speaking and thinking conceptually, the ideas may be further associated with a kind of "feeling" of objective truth (but are not necessarily so associated) although they are just conditioned subjective ideas and further the ideas and the linguistic signs are confused so that the linguistic signs appear as if they were the ideas associated with them. In this way merely through being told linguistic expressions belief in these expressions may arise.

Let me modify a phrase taken from a buddhist text which I find inspiring:
What do you think, Myotai, do you have any desire, lust or affection for or conviction of or belief in linguistic expressions cognizable by the eye or the ear that you have not seen/heard and never saw/heard before, that you do not see/hear and would not think might be seen/heard?
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Emptiness of phenomena??

Post by m0rl0ck » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:51 am

Herbie wrote: And I said this because that is how language is being learned, be it conventional or - as in your case - unconventional language. One sees or hears forms or sounds (linguistic signs) and learns to associate ideas with those signs. In the course of practicing conventional or unconventional language, i.e.speaking and thinking conceptually, the ideas may be further associated with a kind of "feeling" of objective truth (but are not necessarily so associated) although they are just conditioned subjective ideas and further the ideas and the linguistic signs are confused so that the linguistic signs appear as if they were the ideas associated with them. In this way merely through being told linguistic expressions belief in these expressions may arise.
Whats most fun about this is that you are arguing about nothing (emptiness) using something (human consciousness) whose existence is not even empirically provable. :clap:
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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