Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
chownah
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Re: Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Post by chownah » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am

Conditioned and unconditioned are the same in that they are just evaluations we make and labels that we apply to some aspect of experience. We first make the mistake of isolating some phenomena and mistakenly identify it (fabricate a false identity)....then we use discernment to determine if it is conditioned or unconditioned.

Discerning conditioned/unconditioned is just compounding the mistake of isolating some phenomena and mistakenly identifying it. From an ultimate standpoint that determination is meaningless. Discerning conditioned/unconditioned is conventional truth......just because we make the determination that something is unconditioned does not mean that we have broken out to the "ultimate truth".

From an "ultimate" viewpoint the entire process is empty....there is no "we" to make the mistake....there is no isolating of phenomena....there is no mistake made....there is no identity. Trying to say that there is some state of conditionedness or unconditionedness in this emptyness is like trying to stab a fart.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:15 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am
Conditioned and unconditioned are the same in that they are just evaluations we make and labels that we apply to some aspect of experience.
They are both certainly just labels we throw on things. One studies dhamma and learns to properly label a shoe a conditioned and Nibbāna as unconditioned, regardless of what conditioned or unconditioned means. But these are also words that have meaning, yes?

We can talk about how "ultimate meaning" can't be grasped, thought, conceptualized, etc, what have you, but the ultimate is approached via the conventional. That is why we can call ultimate "ultimate". "Ultimate" is a conventionality standing-in for something that's not "supposed" to be conventional.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

Saengnapha
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Re: Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:24 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am
Conditioned and unconditioned are the same in that they are just evaluations we make and labels that we apply to some aspect of experience. We first make the mistake of isolating some phenomena and mistakenly identify it (fabricate a false identity)....then we use discernment to determine if it is conditioned or unconditioned.

Discerning conditioned/unconditioned is just compounding the mistake of isolating some phenomena and mistakenly identifying it. From an ultimate standpoint that determination is meaningless. Discerning conditioned/unconditioned is conventional truth......just because we make the determination that something is unconditioned does not mean that we have broken out to the "ultimate truth".

From an "ultimate" viewpoint the entire process is empty....there is no "we" to make the mistake....there is no isolating of phenomena....there is no mistake made....there is no identity. Trying to say that there is some state of conditionedness or unconditionedness in this emptyness is like trying to stab a fart.
chownah
Now you are starting to make some sense. :D

chownah
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Re: Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Post by chownah » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:46 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:15 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am
Conditioned and unconditioned are the same in that they are just evaluations we make and labels that we apply to some aspect of experience.
They are both certainly just labels we throw on things. One studies dhamma and learns to properly label a shoe a conditioned and Nibbāna as unconditioned, regardless of what conditioned or unconditioned means. But these are also words that have meaning, yes?

We can talk about how "ultimate meaning" can't be grasped, thought, conceptualized, etc, what have you, but the ultimate is approached via the conventional. That is why we can call ultimate "ultimate". "Ultimate" is a conventionality standing-in for something that's not "supposed" to be conventional.
Words do have meaning.....this is relative/conventional always as it is conditioned by meaning....so....saying something about some unconditioned something and calling it true does not mean that you have reached the ultimate anything. Conditioned and unconditioned are two sides of a coin but it is a coin which has arisen entirely from convention; both sides.....there is nothing unconditioned about the coin.
chownah

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Re: Venerable Jízàng on the Two Truths

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:00 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:46 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:15 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am
Conditioned and unconditioned are the same in that they are just evaluations we make and labels that we apply to some aspect of experience.
They are both certainly just labels we throw on things. One studies dhamma and learns to properly label a shoe a conditioned and Nibbāna as unconditioned, regardless of what conditioned or unconditioned means. But these are also words that have meaning, yes?

We can talk about how "ultimate meaning" can't be grasped, thought, conceptualized, etc, what have you, but the ultimate is approached via the conventional. That is why we can call ultimate "ultimate". "Ultimate" is a conventionality standing-in for something that's not "supposed" to be conventional.
Words do have meaning.....this is relative/conventional always as it is conditioned by meaning....so....saying something about some unconditioned something and calling it true does not mean that you have reached the ultimate anything. Conditioned and unconditioned are two sides of a coin but it is a coin which has arisen entirely from convention; both sides.....there is nothing unconditioned about the coin.
chownah
Yes. But using your mind to try to organize this is not the same as what the Buddha preached as Nibbana. So your explanation is only partially correct. How do I know this? Because you would be in the same state the Buddha was in if it were so. The unconditioned is part of the Buddha's teaching and this is still not explainable through conventional means. The words must stop. The ultimate, being approached through the conventional, doesn't make the conventional the ultimate. This is only a dialectic. What happens internally is what matters, not the way we explain it. The whole approach to this is de-personalized. There is no 'person' left to understand, to know, to be.

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