Author Topic: Back to basics  (Read 526 times)

Offline ground

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 01:59:45 pm »
Thanks for the clarification. I think You're saying that liberation is like the cessation of suffering. Cessation isn't a thing. Right?
Primarily 'liberation' refers to that what you want to get rid of. E.g. I wanted to get rid of belief and doubt which always go together facing all the different and contradicting truths the world is concerned with. Facing all the debates, wars and terrorisms which are based on claims of truth. So this necessarily led to investigation into the meaning and significance of the word 'truth'.

Offline ground

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2017, 02:05:41 pm »
Quote
ground:  "The difference between belief and liberation is that liberation is a negative phenomenon. "

Please explain what you mean by "negative phenomenon".

For example, is it like matter and antimatter?  Or is it more like positive and negative ions?  Or is it more like positive and negative numbers?

Phenomenon are by their very nature positive.  They arise and then disappear.  Therefore negative phenomenon cannot be like phenomenon at all according to that idea.

Do phenomenon become extinguished when negative phenomenon appear, like when you add +1 to -1 and get the result of zero?

Help me out here.   :listen:

'Have a look into that room. There is a chair.' you look into that room and see a chair. That 'chair' is a positive phenomenon. The chair exists as a positive phenomenon.

'Have a look into that room. There is a chair.' you look into that room and see is no chair. That 'absence of a chair' is a negative phenomenon. The absence of a chair exists as negative phenomenon.

So 'positive' and 'negative' refer to the way consciousness apprehends a phenomenon.

'liberation is a negative phenomenon' means that liberation is experienced as an absence like space.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 02:13:29 pm by ground »

Offline ZenFred

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2017, 02:48:42 pm »
Thanks for the clarification. I think You're saying that liberation is like the cessation of suffering. Cessation isn't a thing. Right?
Primarily 'liberation' refers to that what you want to get rid of. E.g. I wanted to get rid of belief and doubt which always go together facing all the different and contradicting truths the world is concerned with. Facing all the debates, wars and terrorisms which are based on claims of truth. So this necessarily led to investigation into the meaning and significance of the word 'truth'.

Okay. So what about no mind (in Zen) or intuition in the Lankavatra sutra? These are both expressions of the encounter with Universal Mind/Buddha Nature. Just talking about such things is paradoxical. But is there a Truth beyond belief?
Hyon Gak Sumim (Korean Zen teacher) would hold out his open palm. How many fingers? 5 he said. That's truth. Ask a Christian its 5, a Buddhist it's 5, an atheist it's 5. 5 is 5.
It's funny that he picked that example though, since you could argue a thumb isn't a finger or count all the fingers of everyone in the room, etc. Shows the danger of grasping things with language.
Switching to western philosophy, are you familiar with Spinoza? He says there are three sources of knowledge: reason, emotion, intuition.  Reason is based from experience/sensation augmented with logical inference. Intuition he says is the highest form of knowledge granted to us by God. To Spinoza, God is a being of infinite attributes in perfect quantity. So perfect/infinite intellect, love, wisdom, power and so on. We are finite/imperfect beings but with the same attributes. So intuition is our finite knowledge being enlightened by God's perfect knowledge. That's very much like the Lankavatra sutra where intuition is the mediator between our thinking/believing mind and Universal Mind.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 06:25:55 pm »
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ground:  "So 'positive' and 'negative' refer to the way consciousness apprehends a phenomenon.

'liberation is a negative phenomenon' means that liberation is experienced as an absence like space.
"

So, what you are saying is that liberation is the absence of dukkha?
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2017, 05:49:35 am »
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ground:  "So 'positive' and 'negative' refer to the way consciousness apprehends a phenomenon.

'liberation is a negative phenomenon' means that liberation is experienced as an absence like space.
"

So, what you are saying is that liberation is the absence of dukkha?

I'm not sure he knows what he means, although, your question is interesting.

Liberation isn't  phenomenal.  Phenomena arise and disolve.  Once you've realized liberation, you can't  undo it.

I would say it isn't a matter of absence.  For something to be absent it must have been present first.  Once liberation is realized, you would see things as they are namely that liberation has always been and that dukkha never really was.

Liberation is the knowing we were never, truly, in bondage and it was all just a figment of our imagination.

Offline ground

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2017, 08:33:07 pm »
Thanks for the clarification. I think You're saying that liberation is like the cessation of suffering. Cessation isn't a thing. Right?
Primarily 'liberation' refers to that what you want to get rid of. E.g. I wanted to get rid of belief and doubt which always go together facing all the different and contradicting truths the world is concerned with. Facing all the debates, wars and terrorisms which are based on claims of truth. So this necessarily led to investigation into the meaning and significance of the word 'truth'.

Okay. So what about no mind (in Zen) or intuition in the Lankavatra sutra? ...
These are not rational approaches. My approach is/has been rationality.

Offline ground

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2017, 08:38:53 pm »
Quote
ground:  "So 'positive' and 'negative' refer to the way consciousness apprehends a phenomenon.

'liberation is a negative phenomenon' means that liberation is experienced as an absence like space.
"

So, what you are saying is that liberation is the absence of dukkha?

If you want to be liberated form a positive phenomenon X then that liberation is the cessation or absence or emptiness of X which is a negative phenomenon. Both, X and its cesssation or absence or the emptinessof X, can be validly known since they are directly perceptible either positive (X) or negative (cessation or absence or emptiness of X).

What you want to be liberated from depends on you. I do not apply the word 'dukkha' in this context since it is indeterminate and its conventional use often irrational.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 08:41:23 pm by ground »

Offline ZenFred

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2017, 03:48:57 am »


What you want to be liberated from depends on you. I do not apply the word 'dukkha' in this context since it is indeterminate and its conventional use often irrational.

I think you've got more to say about this that would be really interesting. As a zen student, I became hypersensitive to psychological suffering. I never knew I was that miserable  :teehee:
I'm guessing that was due to two factors: a suffering based worldview with a resulting cognitive bias and I gained more equanimity so even little disturbances became noticeable.
But most people experience "suffering" but don't think much of it, it's part of life and they don't expect anything else. Some religious views even teach that we should suffer and made better or rewarded for it.
I think all this points to that I didn't regally understand dukkha.

My current view on suffering is an incompatible mix of Buddhist four noble truths and Kabbalah. I do think the state of the world is of fundamental suffering and separation and the remedy is seek refuge in God and in a contemplative practice. But I also think that we are created in order to receive joy and fulfillment from God and our suffering is due to not being able to see how all things are meant to bring us to greater reception of "unbounded delight" as Kabbalah says. Perhaps saying all life is suffering and saying all life is joy is getting at the same truth just from a different perspective.

Offline ground

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Re: Back to basics
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2017, 12:05:49 pm »


What you want to be liberated from depends on you. I do not apply the word 'dukkha' in this context since it is indeterminate and its conventional use often irrational.

I think you've got more to say about this that would be really interesting. As a zen student, I became hypersensitive to psychological suffering. I never knew I was that miserable  :teehee:
I'm guessing that was due to two factors: a suffering based worldview with a resulting cognitive bias and I gained more equanimity so even little disturbances became noticeable.
But most people experience "suffering" but don't think much of it, it's part of life and they don't expect anything else. Some religious views even teach that we should suffer and made better or rewarded for it.
I think all this points to that I didn't regally understand dukkha.

My current view on suffering is an incompatible mix of Buddhist four noble truths and Kabbalah. I do think the state of the world is of fundamental suffering and separation and the remedy is seek refuge in God and in a contemplative practice. But I also think that we are created in order to receive joy and fulfillment from God and our suffering is due to not being able to see how all things are meant to bring us to greater reception of "unbounded delight" as Kabbalah says. Perhaps saying all life is suffering and saying all life is joy is getting at the same truth just from a different perspective.

What are aims that are worthwhile to pursue?

They must be directly perceptible in order to be existents.

There must be an immediate benefit realizing these aims which must be directly perceptible too.

Their realization must neither cause unease nor add to pre-existent unease but must either reduce or eliminate pre-existent unease.

If there is the slightest uncertainty whether the realization of an aim may be beneficial then it is not worthwhile to pursue because it is not based on valid knowledge.

Therefore only an aim which is the cessation of what is already validly known and which is validly known to be or to cause or to add to unease can be based on valid knowledge of the benefit of its realization. Why? Because it is the current presence of that which is or causes or adds to unease so that the cessation of its presence and the resulting reduction or cessation of unease necessarily is beneficial.

In contrast to these aims that are worthwhile to pursue aims that are the realization of what is not validly known necessarily are a case of doubt because the realization strived for is based on speculative thought and belief in benefits which are merely objects of hope. Such aims are not worthwhile to pursue.

This shows that the buddhist approach to strive for the realization of cessations (negative phenomena) necessarily is a valid approach provided unease and its causes are validly known.

 


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