Dexing wrote: When the Five Aggregates for example are observed by their three marks, as in Theravada doctrine, this type of practice will lead to disenchantment and detachment, which will in turn lead to liberation from suffering. That is the goal of the practice- to end suffering, attain Nibbana, Arahantship. (That's of course super simplified, but you get my point.)
However, as long as one does not break through the illusion of the Five Aggregates altogether, one cannot see the true face of reality. One is still under the impression that there are such aggregates albeit impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. Although one no longer identifies with the Five Aggregates one cannot perceive their true nature while the Aggregates are taken for granted.
So the point of breaking through the illusion of the Five Aggregates and all phenomenal existence becomes extremely pivotal in the practice of the Bodhisattva path as taught in Mahayana traditions.
I don't know how representative of certain Mahayana schools is what Dexing is saying, but I've heard the same argument before on e-sangha and I always found it interesting, though hard to understand.Shonin wrote:I don't think I've come across a Mahayana who took the common beginner's misunderstanding of Sunyata as literal nothingness and ran with it for so far, with so much apparent articulateness and in spite of so much counter-argument.
Apart from anything else, it's a self-defeating argument. If we say 'everything is an illusion' then presumably that 'truth' is itself an illusion and all your ideas about the non-existence of everything, even any experiences that you believe verifies this - thus 'everything is an illusion/non-existent' is false.
As I understand it, in Theravada it's said (as per my understanding of the mahavihara commentarial tradition) that during insight - a dhamma is the object of citta at that instance, not a concept (which is considered an illusion). So, that distinction is made that dhammas (aggregates basically) are real (within constraints of the 3 marks and conditioned nature), while concepts are not real. So, insight/wisdom itself is dependent on a dhamma (a real thing) being an object of citta, and on wisdom arising with that same citta and understnading that particular conditioned dhamma as having the 3 marks.
That's why I find it hard to comprehend how can it be said that dhammas (aggregates) are also illusory, which is what Dexing seems to be saying that a bodhisattva realizes. In other words, if concepts are an illusion, and dhammas (aggregates) are also an illusion - so they don't exist - then what is the object of citta during a moment when insight/wisdom occurs for a bodhisattva? I mean, if all he sees are illusions, then how can wisdom arise for him in the first place? I.e. by theravadin standards (I understand they might not apply in case of mahayana, but that's the only reference point I have at the moment), I just can't make sense of the statement.
What's insight in mahayana based on - what's the object of citta during a moment of insight when wisdom arises? Of course, I'd appreciate an answer according to any particular mahayana school, I just used the term "mahayana" in general, since I don't know the distinctions between different traditions. Thanks.