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Re: [dsg] Re: a question / Three Realities?

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  • TGrand458@aol.com
    Hi Sarah, James, Herman, Howard, Nina, Robert, All In a message dated 5/1/2007 7:44:25 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time, ... dependent ... else is ... TG:
    Message 1 of 5 , May 1, 2007
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      Hi Sarah, James, Herman, Howard, Nina, Robert, All


      In a message dated 5/1/2007 7:44:25 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
      buddhatrue@... writes:

      > > The statement "There are only dhammas" implies existence, and the
      > > Buddha taught against existence. Instead the Buddha taught
      dependent
      > > origination which demonstrates that nothing really "exists" but
      > > rather just arises temporarily. It is not beneficial to think of
      > > things existing or not existing, but rather arising temporarily.
      > > Dhammas are fleeting phenomenon, not self-existent entities.
      > ....
      > S: Dhammas arise temporarily and at such times they *exist*. How
      else is
      > there any seeing of visible objects, hearing of sounds and so on?
      >


      TG: Actually, from a deeper viewpoint IMO, and as James indicated, there
      are no separate states that arise. Phenomena are just continually changing.
      It is only from a subjective/self perspective that objects are identified as
      separate existing realities/things...no matter how short a duration is
      implied. The formations that arise and cease only have "made-up" meaning from our
      point of view. There is nothing inherently existing as "things of themselves"
      or of "own characteristics" in regards to phenomena. To think of arisen
      phenomena as existing or not existing are both wrong views.

      Whatever arises is merely a byproduct of "other conditions." Those "other
      conditions" are merely byproducts of "other conditions" too. That's why some
      of us keep saying there is nothing with its own characteristic. A byproduct
      has no power or control to be anything that exists as its own thing. The
      byproduct is an empty apparition formed by something else. But that "something
      else" is just the same...an empty byproduct. We cannot "pin things down" as
      existing because what they are is always something else.

      To call something "existing" is to pin it down and to say..."this thing is
      here." But where ever and however you look for it, its always something else
      that's the source.

      There are three types of realities as I see it. An ultimate reality, a
      conditional reality, and a subjective reality.

      1) Ultimate reality = No-self (This reality always applies.)
      2) Conditional Reality = Impermanence (This reality applies to conditions
      / conditionality.)
      3) Subjective Reality = Affliction/Dukkha (This reality applies to
      unenlightened consciousness.)

      Just made the above up during this post. I think I like it. LOL Comments?

      The "dhammas" that arise, listed by abhidhamma, neither exist or not exist.
      They are important "qualities" or "relativities" to use as reference points
      when developing mindfulness. They are not realities.

      TG



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    • upasaka@aol.com
      Hi, TG (and all) - In a message dated 5/1/07 11:02:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Howard: Not separate or self-existent, but distinguishable nonetheless.
      Message 2 of 5 , May 2, 2007
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        Hi, TG (and all) -

        In a message dated 5/1/07 11:02:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        TGrand458@... writes:


        > Hi Sarah, James, Herman, Howard, Nina, Robert, All
        >
        >
        > In a message dated 5/1/2007 7:44:25 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
        > buddhatrue@... writes:
        >
        > > >The statement "There are only dhammas" implies existence, and the
        > >>Buddha taught against existence. Instead the Buddha taught
        > dependent
        > >>origination which demonstrates that nothing really "exists" but
        > >>rather just arises temporarily. It is not beneficial to think of
        > >>things existing or not existing, but rather arising temporarily.
        > >>Dhammas are fleeting phenomenon, not self-existent entities.
        > >....
        > >S: Dhammas arise temporarily and at such times they *exist*. How
        > else is
        > >there any seeing of visible objects, hearing of sounds and so on?
        > >
        >
        >
        > TG: Actually, from a deeper viewpoint IMO, and as James indicated, there
        > are no separate states that arise.
        >
        ---------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Not separate or self-existent, but distinguishable nonetheless. There
        is no confusing of hardness with coldness, or at least not unless one is
        amazingly inattentive.
        ----------------------------------------------

        Phenomena are just continually changing. >
        > It is only from a subjective/self perspective that objects are identified
        > as
        > separate existing realities/things...no matter how short a duration is
        > implied. The formations that arise and cease only have "made-up" meaning
        > from our
        > point of view. There is nothing inherently existing as "things of
        > themselves"
        > or of "own characteristics" in regards to phenomena. To think of arisen
        > phenomena as existing or not existing are both wrong views.
        >
        > Whatever arises is merely a byproduct of "other conditions." Those "other
        > conditions" are merely byproducts of "other conditions" too. That's why
        > some
        > of us keep saying there is nothing with its own characteristic.
        >
        ----------------------------------
        Howard:
        Indeed - with the emphasis on "own".
        -----------------------------------
        A byproduct >
        > has no power or control to be anything that exists as its own thing. The
        > byproduct is an empty apparition formed by something else. But that
        > "something
        > else" is just the same...an empty byproduct. We cannot "pin things down"
        > as
        > existing because what they are is always something else.

        -------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Exactly. All dhammas are ungraspable. (Though I don't think that the
        issue is that of a dhamma's alleged alteration. They would be ungraspable even
        if they were literally zero-duration phenomena. It is their impermanence and
        their contingent existence, inseparably dependent on their conditions, that
        makes them ungraspable.)
        -----------------------------------

        >
        > To call something "existing" is to pin it down and to say..."this thing is
        > here." But where ever and however you look for it, its always something
        > else
        > that's the source.
        >
        > There are three types of realities as I see it. An ultimate reality, a
        > conditional reality, and a subjective reality.
        >
        > 1) Ultimate reality = No-self (This reality always applies.)

        ------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Yes.
        ----------------------------------------

        > 2) Conditional Reality = Impermanence (This reality applies to
        > conditions
        > / conditionality.)

        ---------------------------------------
        Howard:
        In a way, due to ultimate reality, nothing is impermanent! That
        paradoxical slogan requires explanation: Nothing is impermanent only in the sense
        that there is no separate, self-existent "thing" that ceases. If there were,
        that would be annihilation - a true something becoming nothing. Cessation is a
        reality only because what cease are phenomena whose existence is insubstantial
        and contingent. Typically, people think of impermanence as consisting of
        self-existent realities being destroyed, which is a view combining atta-perspective
        with annihilationism. It is easy to fall into that trap unless one keeps in
        mind what you call "ultimate reality".
        -------------------------------------------

        > 3) Subjective Reality = Affliction/Dukkha (This reality applies to
        > unenlightened consciousness.)

        ------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Affliction/dukkha in the sense of suffering is a real element of
        experience in non-arahants (as you say). I suppose it can be called subjective in
        the sense that it is mental pain (the unnecessary "second dart"). Dukkha in the
        sense of not being a source of ultimate satisfaction is also a reality - one
        that applies to all conditions. I'm not sure that this is a "third reality".
        -------------------------------------------

        >
        > Just made the above up during this post. I think I like it. LOL
        > Comments?
        >
        > The "dhammas" that arise, listed by abhidhamma, neither exist or not exist.
        >
        > They are important "qualities" or "relativities" to use as reference points
        >
        > when developing mindfulness. They are not realities.

        ---------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        They are not self-existent entities.They are, however, elements of
        experience, and, in fact, elements of experience independent of sankharic
        fabrication. In that sense they are not unreal.
        -------------------------------------------

        >
        > TG
        >
        =====================
        With metta,
        Howard

        /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
        in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
        phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)



        **************************************
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      • Herman Hofman
        Hi TG, ... Can t you write something contoversial so we can have a hearty disagreement? ... I like it too. Ever thought of becoming a commentator? :-) :-) I
        Message 3 of 5 , May 2, 2007
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          Hi TG,

          On 02/05/07, TGrand458@... <TGrand458@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > TG: Actually, from a deeper viewpoint IMO, and as James indicated, there
          > are no separate states that arise. Phenomena are just continually changing.
          > It is only from a subjective/self perspective that objects are identified as
          > separate existing realities/things...no matter how short a duration is
          > implied. The formations that arise and cease only have "made-up" meaning from our
          > point of view. There is nothing inherently existing as "things of themselves"
          > or of "own characteristics" in regards to phenomena. To think of arisen
          > phenomena as existing or not existing are both wrong views.
          >

          Can't you write something contoversial so we can have a hearty disagreement?


          >
          > There are three types of realities as I see it. An ultimate reality, a
          > conditional reality, and a subjective reality.
          >
          > 1) Ultimate reality = No-self (This reality always applies.)
          > 2) Conditional Reality = Impermanence (This reality applies to conditions
          > / conditionality.)
          > 3) Subjective Reality = Affliction/Dukkha (This reality applies to
          > unenlightened consciousness.)
          >
          > Just made the above up during this post. I think I like it. LOL Comments?
          >

          I like it too. Ever thought of becoming a commentator? :-) :-)

          I still have my doubts about dukkha though. I do not think that
          enlightened consciousness
          is any less dukkha. It is the very nature of consciousness to be a
          hungry ghost, forever in search of becoming. For sure and for certain,
          consciousness may find wholesomely pleasant abodes, but the cessation
          of dukkha is not in enlightenment, it is in nibbana. Panna is dukkha,
          too.

          I had a thought too, the other day, which might run against the grain
          a bit, depending on what the orthodoxy is, but anatta does not apply
          to nibbana.


          Herman
        • TGrand458@aol.com
          Hi Howard I appreciate the comments. Just a couple of fine tunings below... In a message dated 5/2/2007 11:42:03 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
          Message 4 of 5 , May 2, 2007
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            Hi Howard

            I appreciate the comments. Just a couple of "fine tunings" below...



            In a message dated 5/2/2007 11:42:03 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
            upasaka@... writes:

            Hi, TG (and all) -

            In a message dated 5/1/07 11:02:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
            _TGrand458@..._ (mailto:TGrand458@...) writes:

            > Hi Sarah, James, Herman, Howard, Nina, Robert, All
            >
            >
            > In a message dated 5/1/2007 7:44:25 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
            > _buddhatrue@..._ (mailto:buddhatrue@...) writes:
            >
            > > >The statement "There are only dhammas" implies existence, and the
            > >>Buddha taught against existence. Instead the Buddha taught
            > dependent
            > >>origination which demonstrates that nothing really "exists" but
            > >>rather just arises temporarily. It is not beneficial to think of
            > >>things existing or not existing, but rather arising temporarily.
            > >>Dhammas are fleeting phenomenon, not self-existent entities.
            > >....
            > >S: Dhammas arise temporarily and at such times they *exist*. How
            > else is
            > >there any seeing of visible objects, hearing of sounds and so on?
            > >
            >
            >
            > TG: Actually, from a deeper viewpoint IMO, and as James indicated, there
            > are no separate states that arise.
            >
            ---------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Not separate or self-existent, but distinguishable nonetheless. There
            is no confusing of hardness with coldness, or at least not unless one is
            amazingly inattentive.
            ----------------------------------------------

            Phenomena are just continually changing. >
            > It is only from a subjective/self perspective that objects are identified
            > as
            > separate existing realities/things. separate existing realities/thi
            > implied. The formations that arise and cease only have "made-up" meaning
            > from our
            > point of view. There is nothing inherently existing as "things of
            > themselves"
            > or of "own characteristics" in regards to phenomena. To think of arisen
            > phenomena as existing or not existing are both wrong views.
            >
            > Whatever arises is merely a byproduct of "other conditions." Those "other
            > conditions" are merely byproducts of "other conditions" too. That's why
            > some
            > of us keep saying there is nothing with its own characteristic.
            >
            ----------------------------------
            Howard:
            Indeed - with the emphasis on "own".
            -----------------------------------
            A byproduct >
            > has no power or control to be anything that exists as its own thing. The
            > byproduct is an empty apparition formed by something else. But that
            > "something
            > else" is just the same...an empty byproduct. We cannot "pin things down"
            > as
            > existing because what they are is always something else.

            -------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Exactly. All dhammas are ungraspable. (Though I don't think that the
            issue is that of a dhamma's alleged alteration. They would be ungraspable
            even
            if they were literally zero-duration phenomena. It is their impermanence and
            their contingent existence, inseparably dependent on their conditions, that
            makes them ungraspable.m
            -----------------------------------

            >
            > To call something "existing" is to pin it down and to say..."this thing is
            > here." But where ever and however you look for it, its always something
            > else
            > that's the source.
            >
            > There are three types of realities as I see it. An ultimate reality, a
            > conditional reality, and a subjective reality.
            >
            > 1) Ultimate reality = No-self (This reality always applies.)

            ------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Yes.
            ----------------------------------------

            > 2) Conditional Reality = Impermanence (This reality applies to
            > conditions
            > / conditionality.

            ---------------------------------------
            Howard:
            In a way, due to ultimate reality, nothing is impermanent! That
            paradoxical slogan requires explanation: Nothing is impermanent only in the
            sense
            that there is no separate, self-existent "thing" that ceases. If there were,

            that would be annihilation - a true something becoming nothing. Cessation is
            a
            reality only because what cease are phenomena whose existence is
            insubstantial
            and contingent. Typically, people think of impermanence as consisting of
            self-existent realities being destroyed, which is a view combining
            atta-perspective
            with annihilationism. It is easy to fall into that trap unless one keeps in
            mind what you call "ultimate reality".
            -------------------------------------------

            TG: I completely agree with what you said above. Note that I said
            "impermanence is a conditional reality." I did not say that there were "things" that
            were impermanent. Such so called "things" would be subjective. (Now...
            given another context and another discussion, I might speak of "things" being
            impermanent but that is merely to appeal to another level of understanding.
            This discussion is above and beyond THAT level.)

            Also, your excellent point about the impossibility of annihilation (because
            there is no "thing" to be annihilated) is exactly my point when I discuss
            Nibbana and say that the complete end of consciousness/experience is not
            annihilation. These states have nothing of their own to begin with...so the lack of
            support (ignorance/craving) that leads to their end is merely one form of
            emptiness for another. There is no "thing" that comes to an end. I believe
            the Buddha says something to the effect that ... it is only suffering that ends.





            > 3) Subjective Reality = Affliction/Dukkha (This reality applies to
            > unenlightened consciousness.

            ------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            Affliction/dukkha in the sense of suffering is a real element of
            experience in non-arahants (as you say). I suppose it can be called
            subjective in
            the sense that it is mental pain (the unnecessary "second dart"). Dukkha in
            the
            sense of not being a source of ultimate satisfaction is also a reality - one
            that applies to all conditions. I'm not sure that this is a "third reality".

            ------------<WBR>----<WBR>----<WBR>----<WBR


            TG: I call it subjective because suffering arises and is generated due to a
            sense-of-self.

            I believe Dukkha in regards to impermanence is only relevant when there is a
            sense-of-self. Without a conscious component or when fully enlightened, I
            don't think impermanence would constitute suffering. Once the Buddha achieved
            Nibbana, impermanence would no longer generate suffering for him. Yet
            phenomena continued to be impermanent. That's why I separate them.



            >
            > Just made the above up during this post. I think I like it. LOL
            > Comments?
            >
            > The "dhammas" that arise, listed by abhidhamma, neither exist or not
            exist.
            >
            > They are important "qualities" or "relativities" to use as reference
            points
            >
            > when developing mindfulness. They are not realities.

            ---------------------------------------------
            Howard:
            They are not self-existent entities.They are, however, elements of
            experience, and, in fact, elements of experience independent of sankharic
            fabrication. In that sense they are not unreal.
            -------------------------------------------

            TG: Yes, they are not unreal...(except perhaps in the sense that they are
            "thought about/conceptualized.") Nor are they realities. I'll stick with
            "qualities" of phenomena. "Relativities" or "resultants" works fine for me too.





            >
            > TG
            >
            =====================
            With metta,
            Howard



            Thanks Howard.

            TG



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          • TGrand458@aol.com
            Hi Herman In a message dated 5/2/2007 4:35:01 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time, hhofmeister@gmail.com writes: Hi TG, On 02/05/07, _TGrand458@aol.TGr_
            Message 5 of 5 , May 2, 2007
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              Hi Herman


              In a message dated 5/2/2007 4:35:01 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
              hhofmeister@... writes:

              Hi TG,

              On 02/05/07, _TGrand458@..._ (mailto:TGrand458@...)
              <_TGrand458@..._ (mailto:TGrand458@...) > wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > TG: Actually, from a deeper viewpoint IMO, and as James indicated, there
              > are no separate states that arise. Phenomena are just continually changing.
              > It is only from a subjective/self perspective that objects are identified
              as
              > separate existing realities/things. separate existing realities/th
              > implied. The formations that arise and cease only have "made-up" meaning
              from our
              > point of view. There is nothing inherently existing as "things of
              themselves"
              > or of "own characteristics" in regards to phenomena. To think of arisen
              > phenomena as existing or not existing are both wrong views.
              >

              Can't you write something contoversial so we can have a hearty disagreement?


              TG: I'm sorry. I'll try harder.





              >
              > There are three types of realities as I see it. An ultimate reality, a
              > conditional reality, and a subjective reality.
              >
              > 1) Ultimate reality = No-self (This reality always applies.)
              > 2) Conditional Reality = Impermanence (This reality applies to conditions
              > / conditionality.
              > 3) Subjective Reality = Affliction/Dukkha (This reality applies to
              > unenlightened consciousness.
              >
              > Just made the above up during this post. I think I like it. LOL Comments?
              >

              I like it too. Ever thought of becoming a commentator? :-) :-)

              I still have my doubts about dukkha though. I do not think that
              enlightened consciousness
              is any less dukkha. It is the very nature of consciousness to be a
              hungry ghost, forever in search of becoming. For sure and for certain,
              consciousness may find wholesomely pleasant abodes, but the cessation
              of dukkha is not in enlightenment, it is in nibbana. Panna is dukkha,
              too.


              TG: I guess when I say "enlightenment" I always think I'm saying Nibbana.
              Anyway, that's how I mean it. Or do you mean Parinibbana?




              I had a thought too, the other day, which might run against the grain
              a bit, depending on what the orthodoxy is, but anatta does not apply
              to nibbana.


              TG: The way I see it, anatta is not a thing. It merely is a lack of
              something. So if there is "nothing" to Nibbana, saying no-self is still correct.
              You could also say "no-trees" but that would be ludicrous. ;-) I think the
              Buddha, teaching this subject, would need to clarify to listeners that
              Nibbana was not some union with atman or something. So there was purpose in
              showing that no-self covered the gammit. Since there was no-self to begin with,
              nothing is lost in Nibbana except suffering.

              Thanks for the comments Herman.





              Herman


              TG



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