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Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => Pure Land => Topic started by: Dharma Flower on August 16, 2018, 10:56:11 pm

Title: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dharma Flower on August 16, 2018, 10:56:11 pm
As a Buddhist, I would look to the Hebrew scriptures for the purpose of comparative religion. Due to the limitations of human language, are the various world religions explaining the same Ultimate Truth in diverse ways?

Please consider the following words of Exodus:

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And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

When Moses asks God for his name, so he can tell the Israelites the name of their tribal deity that will rival all other tribes, God refuses.

Instead, he simply says, "I AM has sent me unto you." In other words, "I am Existence-itself, and human language cannot contain me." Even the word “God” is a linguistic construct.

This sounds a great deal like Shinran Shonin's teaching that the true and ultimate nature of Amida Buddha is beyond what human language can describe.

The name of Amida Buddha means infinite light, much like Moses' burning bush that could not be consumed.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 17, 2018, 01:35:43 am
As a Buddhist, I would look to the Hebrew scriptures for the purpose of comparative religion. Due to the limitations of human language, are the various world religions explaining the same Ultimate Truth in diverse ways?

I don't find the perennialist approach convincing.  It seems to involve a lot of fuzzy wishful thinking, a slightly desperate grasping at metaphysical straws, a denial of significant differences, a drawing of false equivalences.   

As for "Ultimate Truth", it's basically a meaningless expression.  Is "Ultimate Truth" more true than "Truth"?  And is "Truth" more true than plain old "truth"?
It's the kind of vague cliche that New-agers thrive on.

Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dharma Flower on August 17, 2018, 10:34:57 am
While there is no creator or judge in Buddhism, even the word “God” is a linguistic construct for the one ineffable Truth:

IS THERE A GOD? A BUDDHIST ANSWER
by Rev Taitetsu Unno
http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-AN/an140493.pdf (http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-AN/an140493.pdf)
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 18, 2018, 01:09:26 am
....even the word “God” is a linguistic construct for the one ineffable Truth:

According to who?

And what exactly is the "Truth" you are you referring to?  There are many "truths" promoted by various religions, many of these are contradictory which means they cannot all be correct - so which "truth" do you actually mean? 

You seem to be on a mission to promote perennialism - a General Religion or New-age forum might be better?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dharma Flower on August 18, 2018, 10:24:52 am
And what exactly is the "Truth" you are you referring to? 

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The Brahman of the Hindus, like the Dharmakaya of the Buddhists, and the Tao of the Taoists, can be seen, perhaps, as the ultimate unified field, from which spring not only the phenomena studied in physics, but all other phenomena as well.
In the Eastern view, the reality underlying all phenomena is beyond all forms (e.g. beyond a god) and defies all description and specification. It is, therefore, often said to be formless, empty, or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is, on the contrary, the essence of all forms and the source of all life.
- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

A traditional Jewish understanding, based on the Book of Exodus, is the ultimate nature of "God" is beyond even the concept of a god.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on August 18, 2018, 06:01:25 pm
And what exactly is the "Truth" you are you referring to? 

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The Brahman of the Hindus, like the Dharmakaya of the Buddhists, and the Tao of the Taoists, can be seen, perhaps, as the ultimate unified field, from which spring not only the phenomena studied in physics, but all other phenomena as well.
In the Eastern view, the reality underlying all phenomena is beyond all forms (e.g. beyond a god) and defies all description and specification. It is, therefore, often said to be formless, empty, or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is, on the contrary, the essence of all forms and the source of all life.
- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

A traditional Jewish understanding, based on the Book of Exodus, is the ultimate nature of "God" is beyond even the concept of a god.

Where in Exodus does it say that?  Chapter and verse, please.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 19, 2018, 02:23:49 am
And what exactly is the "Truth" you are you referring to? 

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The Brahman of the Hindus, like the Dharmakaya of the Buddhists, and the Tao of the Taoists, can be seen, perhaps, as the ultimate unified field, from which spring not only the phenomena studied in physics, but all other phenomena as well.
In the Eastern view, the reality underlying all phenomena is beyond all forms (e.g. beyond a god) and defies all description and specification. It is, therefore, often said to be formless, empty, or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is, on the contrary, the essence of all forms and the source of all life.
- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

Oh well.  I do wonder if this kind of quote-mining would be better on a New-age forum than on a Buddhist one. 

By the way, you still haven't clearly explained what Amida Buddha is.

Are you really a Buddhist, or are you really just here to preach your perennialist dogma?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 19, 2018, 04:06:17 am
As a Buddhist, I would look to the Hebrew scriptures for the purpose of comparative religion. Due to the limitations of human language, are the various world religions explaining the same Ultimate Truth in diverse ways?

I like studying different religions and finding similarities and exploring differences. Many of the world's religions are based on interpretations of what happens during insight experiences, however they come about. Sometimes accidentally throught fasting, or thinking while walking, or while just sitting doing nothing, but often they are the result of practices designed by that religion. The differences come about by the varied interpretations of what those experiences mean, in the period of reflection afterwards.

It's important for any religion to make sure that such experiences are interpreted according to that particular religion, so that everyone continues to sing from the same songsheet, or hymnsheet. Central to this is the nature of 'truth' arising from the experiences. Hence the idea of an 'Ultimate Truth' (usually with the same capital letter strategy as used in the word God). Of course there is no revealed truth, but an interpretation of a universal experience, known in Buddhist circles as 'enlightenment', but in others as 'finding God' or 'being reborn in Jesus' or any other such phrase, depending on the religion.

The only 'truth' is that we can all go through the human experiences of insight and (dare I say it) enlightenment, and can subsequently see things in a different way, as only those who have gone through such experiences can. These insights should have as infinitely varied subsequent interpretations as the people who have them, but for many reasons, mostly of control and mostly with the 'best' of intentions, they are challenged and channeled according to the context of time and place.

I'm a Buddhist in that the path is the best way, at least for me, of providing practices and the checks and balances needed when attempting to experience such things for yourself.

Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 20, 2018, 01:43:46 am
I like studying different religions and finding similarities and exploring differences. Many of the world's religions are based on interpretations of what happens during insight experiences, however they come about. Sometimes accidentally throught fasting, or thinking while walking, or while just sitting doing nothing, but often they are the result of practices designed by that religion. The differences come about by the varied interpretations of what those experiences mean, in the period of reflection afterwards.

Yes, there are many different explanations for the "spiritual" experiences that people have, according to the beliefs and assumptions of various religions, and of various individuals.    But I also think there are many varieties of "spiritual" experience, and that their subjective nature means it is very difficult to make objective comparisons. 

As for perennialism ( the real topic of this thread ), it looks to me like a very superficial approach.  It reminds me of that old hippy cliche: "It's all one, man!"
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 20, 2018, 02:03:41 am
I like studying different religions and finding similarities and exploring differences. Many of the world's religions are based on interpretations of what happens during insight experiences, however they come about. Sometimes accidentally throught fasting, or thinking while walking, or while just sitting doing nothing, but often they are the result of practices designed by that religion. The differences come about by the varied interpretations of what those experiences mean, in the period of reflection afterwards.

Yes, there are many different explanations for the "spiritual" experiences that people have, according to the beliefs and assumptions of various religions, and of various individuals.    But I also think there are many varieties of "spiritual" experience, and that their subjective nature means it is very difficult to make objective comparisons. 

As for perennialism ( the real topic of this thread ), it looks to me like a very superficial approach.  It reminds me of that old hippy cliche: "It's all one, man!"
There is an interesting body of thought that religions arose to control the interpretations of insight experiences, so that everyone could have a shared world inderstanding. Those societies that didn't do that died out as those that did became more successful.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on August 20, 2018, 06:33:35 am
I like studying different religions and finding similarities and exploring differences. Many of the world's religions are based on interpretations of what happens during insight experiences, however they come about. Sometimes accidentally throught fasting, or thinking while walking, or while just sitting doing nothing, but often they are the result of practices designed by that religion. The differences come about by the varied interpretations of what those experiences mean, in the period of reflection afterwards.

Yes, there are many different explanations for the "spiritual" experiences that people have, according to the beliefs and assumptions of various religions, and of various individuals.    But I also think there are many varieties of "spiritual" experience, and that their subjective nature means it is very difficult to make objective comparisons. 

As for perennialism ( the real topic of this thread ), it looks to me like a very superficial approach.  It reminds me of that old hippy cliche: "It's all one, man!"
There is an interesting body of thought that religions arose to control the interpretations of insight experiences, so that everyone could have a shared world inderstanding. Those societies that didn't do that died out as those that did became more successful.

That sounds interesting.  Does this body of thought contain any literature/books for further study?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 21, 2018, 01:31:15 am
I like studying different religions and finding similarities and exploring differences. Many of the world's religions are based on interpretations of what happens during insight experiences, however they come about. Sometimes accidentally throught fasting, or thinking while walking, or while just sitting doing nothing, but often they are the result of practices designed by that religion. The differences come about by the varied interpretations of what those experiences mean, in the period of reflection afterwards.

Yes, there are many different explanations for the "spiritual" experiences that people have, according to the beliefs and assumptions of various religions, and of various individuals.    But I also think there are many varieties of "spiritual" experience, and that their subjective nature means it is very difficult to make objective comparisons. 

As for perennialism ( the real topic of this thread ), it looks to me like a very superficial approach.  It reminds me of that old hippy cliche: "It's all one, man!"
There is an interesting body of thought that religions arose to control the interpretations of insight experiences, so that everyone could have a shared world inderstanding. Those societies that didn't do that died out as those that did became more successful.

I'm not sure that religion is primarily concerned with insight.  It often seems more to do with finding spiritual comfort and meaning, also a sense of community and shared values.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 21, 2018, 02:10:34 am
I'm not sure that religion is primarily concerned with insight.  It often seems more to do with finding spiritual comfort and meaning, also a sense of community and shared values.

I think most religion is concerned with supressing insight. It wants the initial insight surrounding it's founder to underpin the comfort, meaning and shared values of that particular society, but no more than that. Christianity, for example, wants you to pray but not to meditate. Historically it has controlled the mechanism of insight generation, and, if insight does come about, has tightly controlled the subsequent interpretation of any insight experiences.



Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on August 21, 2018, 06:04:20 am
I think most religion is concerned with supressing insight.


I think you're right, but perhaps a little incomplete in your expression.

Religions, as a rule don't really suppress insight.  Some may but others may not.  They all allow people to achieve insight, but won't allow it to alter dogma and doctrine.  Some even encourage insight practices

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Christianity, for example, wants you to pray but not to meditate.

There's a movement within traditional protestant and catholic denominations that encourages contemplative activity.  Buddhist groups encourage cross-over participation.  Shambhala is the most active in this regard.

Like I said, they don't discourage insight, it's just not going to be allowed to change much.


Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 21, 2018, 07:50:43 am
I think most religion is concerned with supressing insight.


I think you're right, but perhaps a little incomplete in your expression.

Religions, as a rule don't really suppress insight.  Some may but others may not.  They all allow people to achieve insight, but won't allow it to alter dogma and doctrine.  Some even encourage insight practices

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Christianity, for example, wants you to pray but not to meditate.

There's a movement within traditional protestant and catholic denominations that encourages contemplative activity.  Buddhist groups encourage cross-over participation.  Shambhala is the most active in this regard.

Like I said, they don't discourage insight, it's just not going to be allowed to change much.
Of course it depends on definitions of insight. They may perhaps encourage insight in the sense of deeper insight into as aspect of Christianity. I used to know someone who regularly went on Christian meditation retreats for this purpose. She was rather puzzled that I often just meditated with no particular aim in mind. I was perhaps talking about vipassana insight which is about an individual's understanding of the nature of reality, but which, as you say, isn't going to be allowed to change much anyway.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 23, 2018, 01:13:27 am
Historically it has controlled the mechanism of insight generation, and, if insight does come about, has tightly controlled the subsequent interpretation of any insight experiences.

I used to do "silent worship" with the Quakers.   They tended to assume that the experience of stillness ( whatever ) was evidence of God's presence, whereas I assumed it was just stillness.   :wink1:
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 23, 2018, 02:47:57 am
Historically it has controlled the mechanism of insight generation, and, if insight does come about, has tightly controlled the subsequent interpretation of any insight experiences.

I used to do "silent worship" with the Quakers.   They tended to assume that the experience of stillness ( whatever ) was evidence of God's presence, whereas I assumed it was just stillness.   :wink1:
Big Quaker presence where I used to live. If I was ever forced to be Christian again, it would be Quakers all the way for me. Mind you, on reflection I quite liked some of the masonic stuff when I was invited to the lodge.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 18, 2018, 04:59:10 pm
As for "Ultimate Truth", it's basically a meaningless expression.  Is "Ultimate Truth" more true than "Truth"?  And is "Truth" more true than plain old "truth"?
It's the kind of vague cliche that New-agers thrive on.

Agreed. A so-called “ultimate truth” implies another supposed “truth” which is not ultimate, and therefore a falsity, or no truth at all.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: paracelsus on December 18, 2018, 05:20:19 pm
As for "Ultimate Truth", it's basically a meaningless expression.  Is "Ultimate Truth" more true than "Truth"?  And is "Truth" more true than plain old "truth"?
It's the kind of vague cliche that New-agers thrive on.

Agreed. A so-called “ultimate truth” implies another supposed “truth” which is not ultimate, and therefore a falsity, or no truth at all.

You mean we are all enlightened already?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 18, 2018, 06:04:51 pm
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Agreed. A so-called “ultimate truth” implies another supposed “truth” which is not ultimate, and therefore a falsity, or no truth at all.
You mean we are all enlightened already?

That a falsity is not a truth does not mean that it does not exist. A falsity cannot be false if it does not exist in the first place.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: paracelsus on December 18, 2018, 07:27:31 pm
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Agreed. A so-called “ultimate truth” implies another supposed “truth” which is not ultimate, and therefore a falsity, or no truth at all.
You mean we are all enlightened already?

That a falsity is not a truth does not mean that it does not exist. A falsity cannot be false if it does not exist in the first place.


I agree, if a falsity exists it must have a true existence as a falsity. This means it is a true existence as in: “look, here is a falsity, turn it over and have a look at it". It exists as a wrong understanding.

There can be many falsities existent, so why not many truths? And if there are many truths (i.e. right understandings relating to the functioning of samsara and our entrapment in it) then these could be called "relative" truths in that they are true in this samsaric case but don't relate to the enlightenment mind which transcends the relative. (So it is said)
 
So then if we need to express something relating to enlightenment mind or Buddha Nature etc ,then perhaps for the sake of communication we can enjoy the term "ultimate truth" to distinguish it from the "relative" concepts we have to struggle with down here on our path to understanding.

The coffee I'm drinking is cold. Is this ultimate truth? 

:teehee:


 
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: paracelsus on December 18, 2018, 09:05:53 pm
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Agreed. A so-called “ultimate truth” implies another supposed “truth” which is not ultimate, and therefore a falsity, or no truth at all.
You mean we are all enlightened already?

That a falsity is not a truth does not mean that it does not exist. A falsity cannot be false if it does not exist in the first place.

So a falsity is a truth then, as in; a real existence? Is that why we're not all enlightened? Because if a falsity wasn't ultimately a truth (a real existence) then we couldn't exist as samsaric beings?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 18, 2018, 10:48:45 pm
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I agree, if a falsity exists it must have a true existence as a falsity.

A falsity does not need to “truly” exist in order to exist. Besides, if it “truly” existed, it would be a truth, not a falsity.

Also, if a falsity exists, then it falsely exists; otherwise it would not be false.

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This means it is a true existence as in: “look, here is a falsity, turn it over and have a look at it".

This merely means that the falsity exists, not that it is true. Truth is not a requirement of existence.

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It exists as a wrong understanding.

If so, it would not be correctly called a “falsity” as in your sentence, but rather would be wrongly called a “truth”. A falsity remains a falsity, even if correctly understood as such.

Apart from this, the wrong understanding of a falsity is not the same as the falsity which is wrongly understood.

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There can be many falsities existent, so why not many truths?

No problem with many truths. Still, none of them falsities.

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And if there are many truths (i.e. right understandings relating to the functioning of samsara and our entrapment in it)

If a truth were a right understanding, a lack of right understanding would entail a lack of truth, and in the lack of a truth to be understood, how could the right understanding of a truth ever arise?

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then these could be called "relative" truths in that they are true in this samsaric case

Since both truths and falsities depend on understanding, how could either be non-relative?

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but don't relate to the enlightenment mind which transcends the relative.

Since that which supposedly transcends the relative must relate by the way of transcendence to such relative, how could it possibly “transcend” the relative?

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(So it is said)

Thoughtlessly said, as above shown.

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So then if we need to express something relating to enlightenment mind or Buddha Nature etc ,then perhaps for the sake of communication we can enjoy the term "ultimate truth" to distinguish it from the "relative" concepts we have to struggle with down here on our path to understanding.

Since both truths and falsities are necessarily relative, you are enjoying a wrong distinction.

Besides, since there is no distinction among truths in terms of being more or less “ultimate”, and since falsities do not qualify as any kind of truth, the phrase “ultimate truth” is just useless.

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The coffee I'm drinking is cold. Is this ultimate truth?

Hot or cold, it's no truth anyway.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on December 19, 2018, 05:43:25 am
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I agree, if a falsity exists it must have a true existence as a falsity.

A falsity does not need to “truly” exist in order to exist. Besides, if it “truly” existed, it would be a truth, not a falsity.

Also, if a falsity exists, then it falsely exists; otherwise it would not be false.

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This means it is a true existence as in: “look, here is a falsity, turn it over and have a look at it".

This merely means that the falsity exists, not that it is true. Truth is not a requirement of existence.

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It exists as a wrong understanding.

If so, it would not be correctly called a “falsity” as in your sentence, but rather would be wrongly called a “truth”. A falsity remains a falsity, even if correctly understood as such.

Apart from this, the wrong understanding of a falsity is not the same as the falsity which is wrongly understood.

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There can be many falsities existent, so why not many truths?

No problem with many truths. Still, none of them falsities.

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And if there are many truths (i.e. right understandings relating to the functioning of samsara and our entrapment in it)

If a truth were a right understanding, a lack of right understanding would entail a lack of truth, and in the lack of a truth to be understood, how could the right understanding of a truth ever arise?

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then these could be called "relative" truths in that they are true in this samsaric case

Since both truths and falsities depend on understanding, how could either be non-relative?

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but don't relate to the enlightenment mind which transcends the relative.

Since that which supposedly transcends the relative must relate by the way of transcendence to such relative, how could it possibly “transcend” the relative?

Quote
(So it is said)

Thoughtlessly said, as above shown.

Quote
So then if we need to express something relating to enlightenment mind or Buddha Nature etc ,then perhaps for the sake of communication we can enjoy the term "ultimate truth" to distinguish it from the "relative" concepts we have to struggle with down here on our path to understanding.

Since both truths and falsities are necessarily relative, you are enjoying a wrong distinction.

Besides, since there is no distinction among truths in terms of being more or less “ultimate”, and since falsities do not qualify as any kind of truth, the phrase “ultimate truth” is just useless.

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The coffee I'm drinking is cold. Is this ultimate truth?

Hot or cold, it's no truth anyway.

In your view, how does something truly exist?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 19, 2018, 10:14:06 am
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[Matibhadra:] That a falsity is not a truth does not mean that it does not exist. A falsity cannot be false if it does not exist in the first place.

[Paracelsus:] So a falsity is a truth then, as in; a real existence?

A falsity has to exist, or to be real in the first place, in order to be a falsity. Just what a falsity is not is a truth. Indeed, as its name suggests, it is false. Existing, or being real, does not mean being a truth.

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[Paracelsus:] Is that why we're not all enlightened?

We are not all enlightened not because falsities exist, or are real, but because we imagine them to be what they are not, or because they are false.

Of course, that which is false in relation to sentient beings is not false in relation to an enlightened person, but none the less existent, or a reality.

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[Paracelsus:] Because if a falsity wasn't ultimately a truth (a real existence) then we couldn't exist as samsaric beings?

While a falsity has to exist, and has to be real in the first place, in order to be a falsity, it is not a truth, because it is imagined to be what it is not. Existing, or being real, and being a truth are not the same.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 19, 2018, 10:22:06 am
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?

Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.

Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on December 19, 2018, 10:24:06 am

The coffee I'm drinking is cold. Is this ultimate truth? 

No.  That is relative truth.  It's relative because cold coffee arises dependeant on causes and conditions (sitting out, lack of heat, etc)

Ultimate truth is that it is empty of self or inherent essence/characteristics.  So, it is empty of "cold".  It's also empty of "hot".

Being relative truth does not mean that it doesn't exist.  Super-hot coffee can give you serious burn that will hurt like hell.  Just the same, the coffee has no inherent hotness because it required heat to raise the temperature.  Plus the temperature will change.  The pain will subside.  The wound will heal.  That's what relative. 

If the coffee had always been hot and would remain hot forever, unchanging, all by itself, then it would have that as inherent essence.  We all know it doesn't.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on December 19, 2018, 10:26:48 am
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?

Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.

But, something can't exist inherently, apart from the imagined?

If something is imagined, isn't that a product of the sense consciousnesses and the Nidanas?  Doesn't that suggest there is something on which the imagination is based- something that the senses contact and the mind forumulates?  Or are these imagined things simply conjured out of nothing?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 19, 2018, 04:00:59 pm
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?
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[Matibhadra:] Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.
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[Chaz:] But, something can't exist inherently, apart from the imagined?

To inherently exist means not to be designated by a name. Since nothing exists which is not designated by a name, nothing inherently exists.

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[Chaz:] If something is imagined, isn't that a product of the sense consciousnesses and the Nidanas?

The image of something's inherent existence exists, and is a product of the mind, but something's imagined inherent existence does not exist, and is never produced even by the mind.

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[Chaz:] Doesn't that suggest there is something on which the imagination is based- something that the senses contact and the mind forumulates?

Sure. A falsity, or that which is wrongly imagined to exist in a way it does not, does exist, is a reality, and has to exist or to be a reality in the first place, in order to be a falsity. What does not exist is merely the falsity's imagined true and inherent existence.

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[Chaz:] Or are these imagined things simply conjured out of nothing?

Again, falsities are not just imagined; rather, as above, they are realities, but still they are not truths, because as opposed to truths they are imagined to be what they are not.

To sum up,
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: paracelsus on December 19, 2018, 06:15:20 pm
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?

Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.

You presume to know how I imagine something to exist.

I discerned perfectly clearly that my coffee was cold. This was straight out immediate Zen experience of ultimate truth. You can't go breaking bits off "One Mind" saying that this characteristic is real and this one isn't.

This particular perfect experience is not repeatable and can't be simulated by anyone, even if they wanted to try.

It is not repeatable because existence is a concatenation and nothing but, and the coffee in question is not existent, it has been drunk and is broken down into its component chemicals etc. There is no going back.

If you wish for experience of One Mind the best thing is to avoid over-intellection and quibble about meanings which will bind you up like a tangling vine. Take direct experience as a guide. Have a cup of tea.


Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: paracelsus on December 19, 2018, 08:43:40 pm
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?
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[Matibhadra:] Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.
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[Chaz:] But, something can't exist inherently, apart from the imagined?

To inherently exist means not to be designated by a name. Since nothing exists which is not designated by a name, nothing inherently exists.

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[Chaz:] If something is imagined, isn't that a product of the sense consciousnesses and the Nidanas?

The image of something's inherent existence exists, and is a product of the mind, but something's imagined inherent existence does not exist, and is never produced even by the mind.

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[Chaz:] Doesn't that suggest there is something on which the imagination is based- something that the senses contact and the mind forumulates?

Sure. A falsity, or that which is wrongly imagined to exist in a way it does not, does exist, is a reality, and has to exist or to be a reality in the first place, in order to be a falsity. What does not exist is merely the falsity's imagined true and inherent existence.

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[Chaz:] Or are these imagined things simply conjured out of nothing?

Again, falsities are not just imagined; rather, as above, they are realities, but still they are not truths, because as opposed to truths they are imagined to be what they are not.

To sum up,
  • a chair
    • exists, or is a reality,
    • is a falsity, because it is imagined to inherently exist, and
    • does not need to be destroyed;
  • the image of the chair's inherent existence
    • exists, or is a reality,
    • is a falsity, and that which makes a reality become a falsity,
    • needs to bee destroyed;
  • the chair's imagined inherent existence
    • does not exist, or is not a reality,
    • is neither a truth nor a falsity, and
    • does not need to, and could not anyway, be destroyed;
  • the chair's lack of inherent existence
    • exists, or is a reality,
    • is a truth, because it is not imagined to inherently exist,
    • is that whose realization destroys the existent image of the existent chair's non-existent, merely imagined, inherent existence.


Just to keep with my coffee example:

1. My coffee:
      - existed, was a reality.
      - was a truth because there was no delusion about its inherent existence.
      - It was cold but did not need to be destroyed.

2. The image of the coffee's inherent existence:
       - exists, or is a reality but
       - is a falsity, although it leaves a real but non-inherently existing cup of coffee
       - which needs to be consumed

3. The coffee's imagined inherent existence:
       - did not exist, in that it wasn't imagined to exist,
       - so the coffee could exist, temporarily, as a cup of coffee (but without inherent existence)
       - and was then consumed.

4.  The coffee's lack of inherent existence:
       - existed and was a reality
       - was a truth because it existed as a non-inherently existent entity with the capacity to   
          interact with   
         other non-inherently existent entities (such as taste buds etc)
       - the realisation of which meant that the coffee (which I do prefer cold) was consumed even   
         though it did not inherently exist, which is proven by the fact that it now doesn't exist 
         inherently or otherwise.

I apologise if my logic is a bit woolly, but it seems as if we are giving ourselves a lot of work to do in finding inherently logical places for all the non existences and I'm trying to clarify things a bit in my mind.

At least Matibhadra's train of logic seems to have proven that we do indeed have Two Truths, the "Relative Truth" that exists in the non-inherently existent world of Samasara and contains a lot of falsities, which is imaginary but has bound us since beginning-less time, and from which we would be freed if only we weren't bound by it, and the "Ultimate Truth" which seems to be that, in fact, we aren't bound at all except that we falsely imagine that we are bound, and have been since beginning-less time which sounds like the bondage at least has a fairly inherent existence, even if we don't.

Is there a simpler solution to this?

Koan practice?

 :teehee:




Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 20, 2018, 05:49:54 am
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[Chaz:] In your view, how does something truly exist?
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[Paracelsus:] Nothing truly exists, because nothing exists the way it is imagined to.
You presume to know how I imagine something to exist.

Nothing exists the way it is imagined to by non-buddhas, of course. I didn't presume that you are a non-buddha.

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[Paracelsus:] I discerned perfectly clearly that my coffee was cold.

This is highly contradictory. Since you presume to be a buddha, of course you must presume that your discernment is always perfect; but, since a buddha's enjoyments are always perfect, how could your coffee possibly be cold?

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[Paracelsus:] This was straight out immediate Zen experience of ultimate truth.

What precisely? Your presumption that you are a buddha or your presumption that a buddha's coffee could ever be cold?

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[Paracelsus:] You can't go breaking bits off "One Mind" saying that this characteristic is real and this one isn't.

Your assertion of such a ridiculous absurdity as a “One Mind” which cannot be broken into parts, and which includes a merely imagined non-existent, implies that you imagine an inherently existent mind, and therefore that you actually are a non-buddha, which by the way also explains why your coffee is cold.

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[Paracelsus:] This particular perfect experience is not repeatable and can't be simulated by anyone, even if they wanted to try.

The particular experience of imagining an inherently existent anything, such as your ridiculous “One Mind”, is the most repeated and repeatable experience by just everyone in samsara; actually, it is the very basis of samsara, also known as “ignorance”.

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[Paracelsus:] It is not repeatable because existence is a concatenation and nothing but, and the coffee in question is not existent, it has been drunk and is broken down into its component chemicals etc. There is no going back.

The same applies to mind, and explains why your idea of “One Mind” is so ridiculously self-contradictory.

Otherwise, I'm sorry that you had to drink a cold coffee! May I suggest that next time you drink your coffee while it's still hot instead of distracting yourself with silly ideas such as “One Mind”.

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[Paracelsus:] If you wish for experience of One Mind the best thing is to avoid over-intellection

Why should I wish for the experience of a silly imagination of what does not exist? I way prefer to experience a hot coffee!

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[Paracelsus:] and quibble about meanings which will bind you up like a tangling vine.

Do you want to say that the ridiculous idea of “One Mind” you have been quibbling about did not entangle you?

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[Paracelsus:] Take direct experience as a guide. Have a cup of tea.

Direct experience of what? Of your cold tea?
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Matibhadra on December 20, 2018, 11:52:23 am
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[Paracelsus:]
1. My coffee:
      - existed, was a reality.

And a sad reality to that effect, as you drank the coffee already cold.

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[Paracelsus:]
      - was a truth because there was no delusion about its inherent existence.

Right if you were a buddha, which cannot be the case since you missed the coffee while it was still hot.

Still, even if there is no delusion about inherent existence, the image of inherent existence may still be there, as with bodhisttvas on the eighth, ninth and tenth grounds, and therefore the coffee would still not be a truth.

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[Paracelsus:]
      - It was cold but did not need to be destroyed.

Why then did you swallow it?

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[Paracelsus:]
2. The image of the coffee's inherent existence:
      - exists, or is a reality but

This contradicts your previous statement, itself wrong as above shown, according to which your coffee “was a truth because there was no delusion about its inherent existence”.

Indeed, as long as the image of the coffee's inherent existence exists, the coffee is no truth, but rather a falsity, even if someone is not deluded by such falsity.

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[Paracelsus:]
      - is a falsity, although it leaves a real but non-inherently existing cup of coffee

Congratulations, you managed to write your first sentence without mistake.

Still, the mere fact that the non-inherently existent cup of coffee is real does not mean that it is “a truth”, as you said above, because it is imagined to be inherently existent even by undeceived bodhisattvas on the eighth ground and above.

You are obviously confounding imagining inherent existence (which every non-buddha does) with being deceived by such an imagination (which only sentient beings below the eighth bodhisattva ground do).

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[Paracelsus:]
      - which needs to be consumed

This is plain preposterous! You want to consume the image of the coffee's inherent existence!

And precisely you, who boasted not to be subject to the imagination of the coffee's inherent existence!

But then, do you prefer to consume the image of the coffee's inherent existence hot or cold?

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[Paracelsus:]
3. The coffee's imagined inherent existence:
       - did not exist, in that it wasn't imagined to exist,

Then according to you Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do exist just because they are imagined to exist!

Now, since you believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, why would you not believe, as you did, that you are a buddha, someone who does not imagine the coffee inherently to exist?

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[Paracelsus:]
      - so the coffee could exist, temporarily, as a cup of coffee (but without inherent existence)

Your second unmistaken sentence; now you just have to take the coffee while still hot and you are the champion!

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[Paracelsus:]
      - and was then consumed.

This is the sad part, as it was cold.

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[Paracelsus:]
4.  The coffee's lack of inherent existence:
      - existed and was a reality

Thumbs up!

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[Paracelsus:]
      - was a truth because it existed as a non-inherently existent entity

If so, any existent would be a truth, because nothing inherently exists, and the absurdity would follow that no falsities would exist.

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[Paracelsus:]
with the capacity to interact with other non-inherently existent entities (such as taste buds etc)

Any falsity has the capacity to interact with other non-inherently existent entities, and they are still falsities, not truths, none the less.

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[Paracelsus:]
      - the realisation of which meant that the coffee (which I do prefer cold) was consumed even   though it did not inherently exist,

The coffee, hot or could, can only be consumed *because*, not “even though”, it does not inherently exist.

Indeed, an inherently existent coffee, just like your inherently existent “One Mind”, which cannot be broken into parts, would be thoroughly indigestible.

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[Paracelsus:]
which is proven by the fact that it now doesn't exist inherently or otherwise.

The funny thing here is that no one was ever asking for a proof that the coffee did not inherently exist, since it is agreed from the start by all parties.

Therefore, you would better spend your time trying to show how your imagined “One Mind” which cannot be broken into parts would not inherently exist.

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[Paracelsus:]
I apologise if my logic is a bit woolly,

Your logic is not woolly; it is plain wrong, as shown manifold times above, and in previous posts. And, rather than apologizing, just what you have to do is to fix it.

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[Paracelsus:]
but it seems as if we are giving ourselves a lot of work to do in finding inherently logical places for all the non existences and I'm trying to clarify things a bit in my mind.

I'm sure you are looking for inherently logical places, but you are alone in this. Maybe you find them near to your inherently existent “One Mind”.

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[Paracelsus:]
At least Matibhadra's train of logic

Treating an opponent in the third person, according to psychologists, betrays a subconscious wish to dismiss what one could not tackle.

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[Paracelsus:]
seems to have proven that we do indeed have Two Truths, the "Relative Truth"  that exists in the non-inherently existent world of Samasara and contains a lot of falsities, which is imaginary

A supposed “Truth” (with capitalized “T”, of course) which contains a lot of falsities and which is imaginary! It's getting better and better!

Besides, if one of your “Two Truths” is a “Relative Truth”, the other is necessarily an “Absolute Truth”, which shows how deeply ingrained is your belief in absolutes, or in the very inherent existence you arrogantly claimed to be free from the imagination of.

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[Paracelsus:]
but has bound us since beginning-less time, and from which we would be freed if only we weren't bound by it,

Do you believe that one is “bound” by a truth? For the rest of us Buddhists one is bound by falsities, and *freed* by truths!

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[Paracelsus:]
and the "Ultimate Truth" which seems to be that, in fact, we aren't bound at all except that we falsely imagine that we are bound,

Rather than “ultimate truth”, this statement is the ultimate foolishness, such as saying that one is omniscient although not being aware of it.

Indeed, if one is not bound at all, how could one be bound by a false imagination? And if the imagination that one is bound is false, how could one be bound at all, even by this imagination?

To your credit, you are not alone with in upholding this silly idea, which apparently has Manichaeist roots in Central Asia, where it infiltrated the Ch'an school, and through it Tibetan Dzogchen.

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[Paracelsus:]
and have been since beginning-less time which sounds like the bondage at least has a fairly inherent existence, even if we don't.

Here you just again confess how much you are indeed deceived by the very image of anything's inherent existence, which you so arrogantly claimed to be free from.

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[Paracelsus:]
Is there a simpler solution to this?

Thinking straight is much simpler than it might seem to some. It is called “Buddhism”

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[Paracelsus:]
Koan practice?

Just good old straight thinking, also known as “Buddhism”.
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on December 20, 2018, 01:15:37 pm
Chaz puts his moderator hat on ....

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I'm not too crazy about the tone this thread is taking all of a sudden.  It's also hopelessly off topic now.  I'm locking the convo, temporarily at least, until Meez and I can discuss.  Some of you will be contacted privately.
I'm unlocking this thread and discussion may continue.  For the record I'm not crazy about threads going off-topic like this one and my preference would be to take the "truth" tangent elsewhere,  but I'll leave it as is for you guys

Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Dairy Lama on December 31, 2018, 05:29:36 am
Ultimate truth is that it is empty of self or inherent essence/characteristics.  So, it is empty of "cold".  It's also empty of "hot".

I'm not sure.  I think it's empty of an essence of "coffee" - not empty of transient characteristics like hot and cold, or black and white. 

To put it another way, there are no noumena, only phenomena.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon#Noumenon_and_the_thing-in-itself

Ooops!  :focus:
Title: Re: Amida Buddha & The Book of Exodus
Post by: Chaz on December 31, 2018, 09:09:13 am
Ultimate truth is that it is empty of self or inherent essence/characteristics.  So, it is empty of "cold".  It's also empty of "hot".

I'm not sure.  I think it's empty of an essence of "coffee" - not empty of transient characteristics like hot and cold, or black and white. 

To put it another way, there are no noumena, only phenomena.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon#Noumenon_and_the_thing-in-itself

Ooops!  :focus:

Kant aside ....

Transient characteristics, by virtue of their transience, are empty of self.  They arise and disolve.  Coffee isn't always cold.  Cold varies.  Cold changes.  Cold is empty of cold, even if it is a required property of coffee.  The temp of a cup of coffee is an aspect of the coffee's self, so it's empty of cold or hot.

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