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Hallucination

BunksBunks Australia Veteran

My Sangha have been focusing in the Emptiness of the I recently and I have been undertaking the four point analysis below in order to expose this hallucination that we all experience.

Worth a listen in you have the time.

http://www.google.com.au/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk3Lky8TClc&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiNlOnzt9PPAhVMwWMKHRVwCyIQtwIIFQ&usg=AFQjCNH8eaO3uetNmoaCmZi5gimYD3I32w

Shoshin
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Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Bunks

    "“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”"

    ~Dogen~

    Who is it that sees through the eyes positioned in ones head?
    And who is it that reads the words that have just been read?

    Who is it that smells the sweet scent lingering in the nose ?
    Who is it that enjoys the taste of the food the farmer grows?

    Who is it that feels the cold on a bleak dark winter’s night?
    And who nearly jumps out of their skin when they get a fright ?

    What is thinking at this moment-processing sight and sound ?
    Whoever it is that does all this, is nowhere to be found.

    You may feel that someone lives inside, but can’t figure out just who-
    It’s enough to do ones brain in, if one chooses to pursue.

    When one thinks they’ve found this elusive self. it immediately fades away
    Leaving no trace only an empty space and a body that will decay

    There is really no "I" to be found amongst what is just mind and matter
    Only a continuous state of energy flux that really likes to chatter

    BunkslobsterCinorjer
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The journey of non-self discovery is quite fascinating @Bunks ..."Hallucination" is a good term to use :)

    For this "I" (this sense of self) the quest for non-self is an elimination process (it's ongoing), eliminating the 'possible options' until all that is left is realisation...

    And it is this realisation which helps to balance out the day and make things run more smoothly...( There is no "I" in Awareness )

    When Dukkha situations begin to surface (which is often the case) realisation tends to kick in, and this sense of self gradually fades away....blending in with the background music...

    Shunryu Suzuki on "Emptiness"

    And when it hits ya, you'll feel ok (Hit me with music) :)

    lobsterBunks
  • That is quite an advanced talk @Bunks in other words a little confusing unless you are familiar with other terms from previous studies.

    I will try and summarise what I feel is relevant:

    • The empty or non existent sense of self, the hallucination of 'I think therefore I am' is convincing. Powerful. Obvious even.
    • This 'arising self' in dharma is explored and examined and ultimately exposed as false.
    • The Buddha Nature is not 'another Greater Self'.
    • There is no lesser self and no Greater Self. Just as an invisible orange does not become more visible because it is bigger or better or more 'juicy'.

    So the question of self, which we have explored many times, is described as empty of form, permanency, being associated with senses and other causes.

    I feel the teaching of 'dependent origination' is worth exploring as a preliminary understanding ...

    I feel @Shoshin described it very well.

    CinorjerBunksShoshin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    We are working our way through Atisha's Lamp For the Path to Enlightenment. A famous text with such classic Stanzas as:

    "A thing is not produced from itself,
    Nor from another, also not from both,
    Nor causelessly either, thus it does not
    Exist inherently by way of its own entity."

    lobsterpersonShoshin
  • My understanding of emptiness is experiential rather than intellectual. How for example can the very real emotions we feel and undergo be 'empty of self'? In many ways we are at our most attentively alive during peak emotionally intense experiences.

    So the meditation that @Bunks describes is a way to understand our 'self'.

    For example we can take creative internal projections and explore their effect and connection to our being. That takes some mind training.

    In initial training we may explore metta bhavna, tonglen or explore our reaction to an empty visualised orange. We can make it tasty, juicy or decayed and mould covered. Both oranges are empty but our reaction is very differently real. Real but nothing is there ... they are empty shells we cling to ...

    In a similar way Donald Trump is empty of substance or the savour of America. His real nature is not in our response but inherent in his being.

    If we explore the nature of our responses and compare them with others interpretations, we begin to understand that a settled mind/emotional maturity is not drawn into our fantastic fantasy world ...

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    Shoshin
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    A hallucination implies a mind improperly perceiving. So what mind is hallucinating selves?

    I see individuality as a tool but I am not exactly sure what it all entails.

    By the way, sorry I got pissy in our last conversation, lol.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    A hallucination implies a mind improperly perceiving. So what mind is hallucinating selves?

    I think it could be said that mind is a component of the hallucination. In another way though a hallucination may be an incorrect perception but something rather than nothing is occurring in some sense.

    I see individuality as a tool but I am not exactly sure what it all entails.

    That sounds right to me too.

    By the way, sorry I got pissy in our last conversation, lol.

    No worries

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2016

    Another analogy:

    A table tennis ball. Our ego/sense of self is centered around an emptiness, the centre of the ball. The shell of the ball is the form of arisings, sense gates, the continuum of our little ball bouncing through life. We have a body, a location, a set of personal, individual experiences. Without the shell, there is no difference between the inside and outside of the ball ... This is the experience of self. Its being derives from processing.

    The shell/form gives the ball being, it is a unique set of circumstances, an individual pink ping-pong ball. Did I say pink? I meant blue. Invisible blue. Square blue. Everywhere we take the ball it changes form. That is the nature of self. It only exists once it attaches to a label.
    So we can describe this fabrication. Just as we can have a sense of self but its colour, its nature is generated. In other words I think blue and blue exists, a fabrication or 'hallucination'. Did I mention the pink elephant inside the table tennis ball ...

    Wherever we place mind, or wherever it is batted/paddled to, there sense of self arises as an apparant continuum ...

    This is why we examine the clouds in the mind or sky and note that their being is experienced as real but by what? Nothing. The ping pong ball is empty and that is experienced in meditation as we try and find our permanent/actual self, independent of colour or other attachments. My shell, my balls, my thoughts ... all me but based on circumstance and placement ... empty of substance or permancy. A bubble, a dream, a fantasy construction ...

    Go and find your 'self'. It does not exist independently.
    http://liberationunleashed.com

    Migyur
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @David - think about a time when you had a strong feeling of anger or embarrassment and try and get a feel for how the "I" felt at the at time. If you do this you'll see that it appears to exist separately from the body or mind.

    However, when we try and find this "I" within the body or mind (or the combination of the two) it can't be found.

    This is the Hallucination I am referring to.

    lobsterShoshin
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited October 2016

    In seeing just the seen, in hearing just the heard, in cognizing just the cognised. No subject separate from object. No one who sees, hears, smells, taste, feels, thinks.

    All that arises passes away and is not self.

    "You" are either the 5 aggregates or not!

    The world, body, and mind appear as sensations, feelings and thoughts. These appearances are all arisings in awareness. The person does not see these arisings. Rather, the person is made up out of these arisings, including the supposed act of seeing. If these arisings are investigated, it can be seen that they do not reach outside themselves. They cannot point to each other, touch each other or contain each other. It is only memory that suggests that there has ever been another arising. But memory itself is nothing more than an arising.

    Greg Goode

    "If anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the eye are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self.' So the eye is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Forms are the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self and forms are not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self.

    "If anyone were to say, 'The ear is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

    "If anyone were to say, 'The nose is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

    "If anyone were to say, 'The tongue is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

    "If anyone were to say, 'The body is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

    "If anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the intellect are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self.' So the intellect is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Ideas are the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self and ideas are not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self, ideas are not-self, consciousness at the intellect is not-self.

    Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sextet

    lobsterBunks
  • Good post @pegembara :)

    All that arises passes away and is not self.
    "You" are either the 5 aggregates or not!

    I know we keep coming back to this topic but it is central to the difference between Buddha Dharma and Soul based Dharma.

    The Buddha from his experience and ours too if we explore, works this way:

    I hear something, my self hears something but 'I' am not my hearing. In hearing a self hearing arises, NOT a central something that hears.
    We see something and a similar process of 'I am seeing' arises. These aggregates generate a sense of I, that as a biological, evolutionary process is emotionally very real.

    What is getting at here is not just that our thoughts and imaginings are not real but also the sense of self as doing the imagining, is totally dependent on the focus for its sense of being. When the unreal imaginings/arisings dissapear into nothingness, the sense of self again needs an aggregate to exist.

    We attach to our arisings, memories, strong sense of who we are etc BUT we are not our memories, not our eye consciousness, not our hearing etc.

    Look for your self. What is its nature independent of aggregates?

    BunkspegembaraMigyur
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    Thubten Chodron is from the Tibetan tradition. They, and I think all of Mahayana, think of all phenomena as being empty, not just the self.

    Bunks
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @person said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    Thubten Chodron is from the Tibetan tradition. They, and I think all of Mahayana, think of all phenomena as being empty, not just the self.

    But what phenomena are there, apart from the aggregates? The Heart Sutra describes the emptiness of the aggregates.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @lobster said:> > We attach to our arisings, memories, strong sense of who we are etc BUT we are not our memories, not our eye consciousness, not our hearing etc.

    Self-view is said to arise as a result of identification with the aggregates, regarding them as me and mine.

    lobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    personlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.....

    ...And "chariots" :)

    Bunkslobsterdhammachick
  • Very good link @Shoshin many thanks. Also humorous as a bonus ...

  • @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    That's part of satipatthana contemplation - he contemplates internally, externally, both internally and externally. In this case it is other people rather that other things.
    Slide 10
    http://www.slideshare.net/hanxue/satipatthana-sutta-workshop-s3-satipatthana-structure

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

  • It is easier to perceive external phenomena as empty. It is the internal or mind that is so difficult to perceive as not self. This "I am" who sees, hears, smells, thinks and feels.

    "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted with this body composed of the four great elements, might grow dispassionate toward it, might gain release from it. Why is that? Because the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

    "But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html

    person
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

    No. Not in my understanding. When we talk about the aggregates we are talking about the things that the person (or I) is based on i.e. form (body), feelings, discrimination, volition and consciousness.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Bunks said:
    @David - think about a time when you had a strong feeling of anger or embarrassment and try and get a feel for how the "I" felt at the at time. If you do this you'll see that it appears to exist separately from the body or mind.

    Well, I guess it would seem that way as I'd be looking at the past. When I can catch myself being angry, I don't feel separated from body or mind, just relieved.

    However, when we try and find this "I" within the body or mind (or the combination of the two) it can't be found.

    In my view that's because it's like a finger tip trying to point at itself with no mirror. Or better yet, trying to find a microscope under its own lens.

    When looking for yourself, there you are looking, in your actions.

    Again, I'd reference the Upajjhatthana Sutta.

    This is the Hallucination I am referring to.

    I would agree that the self is not a thing that can be pointed at and there is a lot that is not-self but would disagree that no-self means the self doesn't exist as action.

    Bunks
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    No, because that is making change into a thing where it is an action word.

    When I say "process" I just mean a chain of events or causal flow.

    A hallucination implies a mind improperly perceiving. So what mind is hallucinating selves?

    I think it could be said that mind is a component of the hallucination. In another way though a hallucination may be an incorrect perception but something rather than nothing is occurring in some sense.

    An incorrect perception, yes. Perceiving something where there is nothing, no. I agree.

    But then, I've never been a believer in "nothing"

    Almost anything makes more sense than "nothing" even stuff that takes up no space like the gods in our minds.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

    No. Not in my understanding. When we talk about the aggregates we are talking about the things that the person (or I) is based on i.e. form (body), feelings, discrimination, volition and consciousness.

    So what designation is given to things like people, cars, houses etc? I don't understand why they are not included in the form aggregate, the four great elements.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

    No. Not in my understanding. When we talk about the aggregates we are talking about the things that the person (or I) is based on i.e. form (body), feelings, discrimination, volition and consciousness.

    So what designation is given to things like people, cars, houses etc? I don't understand why they are not included in the form aggregate, the four great elements.

    It gets a little muddled between Theravada and Mahayana. Mahayana talks about emptiness of all phenomena, Pali sticks to no-self afiak. Idk what that all means, I'm just saying we may be comparing apples to oranges here.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    No, because that is making change into a thing where it is an action word.

    When I say "process" I just mean a chain of events or causal flow.

    What about the individual links in the chain? What is their status in regards to emptiness? One moment has to be different from another moment or there wouldn't be change.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Self-view is said to arise as a result of identification with the aggregates, regarding them as me and mine.

    Yes indeed.
    As in my body, my mind ... or further afield ... my car, my spouse, my opinion, my dukkha ... my empty mind (gosh that goes on for ever) :)

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    No, because that is making change into a thing where it is an action word.

    When I say "process" I just mean a chain of events or causal flow.

    What about the individual links in the chain? What is their status in regards to emptiness? One moment has to be different from another moment or there wouldn't be change.

    It seems to me that time only appears to consist of separate chunks just as the links in the chain only appear separate.

    In my view, it's all just the same ever-changing moment just as its all just the same ever-changing chain of events.

    Distance and time are so closely related that we can't have one without the other.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

    No. Not in my understanding. When we talk about the aggregates we are talking about the things that the person (or I) is based on i.e. form (body), feelings, discrimination, volition and consciousness.

    So what designation is given to things like people, cars, houses etc? I don't understand why they are not included in the form aggregate, the four great elements.

    In Tibetan buddhism the aggregates are only spoken about in terms of a person. They are the things that a person is merely designated on. I have never known them to be spoken about in terms of any other phenomena but I guess you could say that a house is simply the form aggregate without the other four mental aggregates.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    No, because that is making change into a thing where it is an action word.

    When I say "process" I just mean a chain of events or causal flow.

    What about the individual links in the chain? What is their status in regards to emptiness? One moment has to be different from another moment or there wouldn't be change.

    It seems to me that time only appears to consist of separate chunks just as the links in the chain only appear separate.

    In my view, it's all just the same ever-changing moment just as its all just the same ever-changing chain of events.

    Distance and time are so closely related that we can't have one without the other.

    It isn't scientifically established whether time is made of discrete moments or continuous afaik. My intuition is that time is discrete but I can't really say for sure.

    I'm not sure I'm really asking about the nature of time as much as trying to get at what the nature of the things that change are.

    So, what is it that changes? Are the things that change truly, independently existing phenomena that are only considered empty because they change in your view? Take the example of a seed turning into a sprout. When does a seed stop being a seed and become a sprout and how does it do that if it isn't interdependent with other things like water and soil?

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @person said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Bunks said:
    Good point @lobster. When Ven Chodron teaches the Lam Rim she precedes the meditation on Emptiness with a Meditation on Dependent Arising.

    Things arise dependently in three ways:

    1. Through causes and conditions.
    2. Through the sum of the parts.
    3. Through being labelled by mind.

    What "things" are being referred to here? Is it basically the aggregates ( skandhas )?

    The suggestion I have been given is to start with the "I" then move on to other phenomenon once that is understood i.e. other people, cars, houses, sounds etc.

    It might be easier to approach this the other way round, observing the emptiness of stuff "out there". But aren't other people, cars, houses, sounds etc all part of the form aggregate?

    No. Not in my understanding. When we talk about the aggregates we are talking about the things that the person (or I) is based on i.e. form (body), feelings, discrimination, volition and consciousness.

    So what designation is given to things like people, cars, houses etc? I don't understand why they are not included in the form aggregate, the four great elements.

    It gets a little muddled between Theravada and Mahayana. Mahayana talks about emptiness of all phenomena, Pali sticks to no-self afiak. Idk what that all means, I'm just saying we may be comparing apples to oranges here.

    The Heart Sutra describes the emptiness of the aggregates, and that's an important Mahayana text. I know that the Mahayana talks about "all phenomena" ( ie all dhammas ), but I still don't know which dhammas "outside" the aggregates are being referred to.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @person said: So, what is it that changes? Are the things that change truly, independently existing phenomena that are only considered empty because they change in your view? Take the example of a seed turning into a sprout. When does a seed stop being a seed and become a sprout and how does it do that if it isn't interdependent with other things like water and soil?

    I think you could say there are only changing conditions. So there are no things, only processes. "Seed" and "sprout" are just labels given to particular stages of the process.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:

    @David said:
    The emptiness of self I can comprehend but try as I may, I cannot get "empty of self" to actually mean anything unless "self" is another word for permanence.

    If there can be non-self, there must be self even if existence doesn't work in separate chunks as it appears to.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary... Take the orange that @lobster evoked or invoked... Could that non existent orange be tricked into thinking it exists?

    Try thinking of it in terms of parts and whole. A clock is made up of parts, there isn't something called a clock that exists in the world aside from the parts that then acquires the parts. A clock arises as the parts come together, the self is the same way.

    Beyond that you could get into Bunk's 3rd way, mental labeling.

    I do try to do that. For instance I see no paradox in being different aspects of the same process but I find it difficult to imagine that said aspects only exist by way of trickery.

    Maybe you could get into this a little more, I don't think I'm quite understanding. Maybe you're saying there is an underlying process of change that a thing and its parts come from?

    No, because that is making change into a thing where it is an action word.

    When I say "process" I just mean a chain of events or causal flow.

    What about the individual links in the chain? What is their status in regards to emptiness? One moment has to be different from another moment or there wouldn't be change.

    It seems to me that time only appears to consist of separate chunks just as the links in the chain only appear separate.

    In my view, it's all just the same ever-changing moment just as its all just the same ever-changing chain of events.

    Distance and time are so closely related that we can't have one without the other.

    It isn't scientifically established whether time is made of discrete moments or continuous afaik. My intuition is that time is discrete but I can't really say for sure.

    I'm not sure I'm really asking about the nature of time as much as trying to get at what the nature of the things that change are.

    So, what is it that changes? Are the things that change truly, independently existing phenomena that are only considered empty because they change in your view?

    I would say they change because they are empty and no to any independent existence.

    Take the example of a seed turning into a sprout. When does a seed stop being a seed and become a sprout and how does it do that if it isn't interdependent with other things like water and soil?

    It is interdependent on all the rest because the distinction is purely conventional.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @person said: So, what is it that changes? Are the things that change truly, independently existing phenomena that are only considered empty because they change in your view? Take the example of a seed turning into a sprout. When does a seed stop being a seed and become a sprout and how does it do that if it isn't interdependent with other things like water and soil?

    I think you could say there are only changing conditions. So there are no things, only processes. "Seed" and "sprout" are just labels given to particular stages of the process.

    I agree.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @David The way you talk about emptiness sounds contradictory to me.

    Your definition for emptiness is change, then you say things change because they are empty. Things change because they are empty and they are empty because they change. A=B because B=A.

    No independent existence is essentially the argument I've been making lately which you've been calling nihilism and now you say you agree. Maybe you have seen the power of the dark side.

    Let me put forward a metaphor for how I hear you describing emptiness and maybe you can tell me how I'm wrong.

    Take a pool table, selves are the balls on the table. They move around the table bumping into each other. You say the self is empty because it changes. Because there is a truly existing self it changes like the melty robots from Terminator, they don't change through contact with other balls, all the components for change are in there already.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @person said:
    @David The way you talk about emptiness sounds contradictory to me.

    Your definition for emptiness is change, then you say things change because they are empty. Things change because they are empty and they are empty because they change. A=B because B=A.

    No, my definition of emptiness is the potential for change which is subtly different. I don't think things are empty because they change, I think they are empty because they are subject to change and not really "things" at all but a part of the action.

    No independent existence is essentially the argument I've been making lately which you've been calling nihilism and now you say you agree. Maybe you have seen the power of the dark side.

    No existence at all would be nihilism in my view, not dependent existence which can be quite meaningful. Huge difference in my opinion.

    If I made you think I was saying otherwise, I apologize for not being clear but it's hard to word some things just right and what do I know anyways?

    Let me put forward a metaphor for how I hear you describing emptiness and maybe you can tell me how I'm wrong.

    Take a pool table, selves are the balls on the table. They move around the table bumping into each other. You say the self is empty because it changes. Because there is a truly existing self it changes like the melty robots from Terminator, they don't change through contact with other balls, all the components for change are in there already.

    I say things (including the temporary self) change because they are empty of independent existence, not that they are empty because they change. Maybe I am not wording it properly because the difference is subtle but fundamental I think.

    The balls do change direction on contact with other balls and the balls themselves may appear quite solid but are in reality in a frenzy of activity.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:

    @person said:
    @David The way you talk about emptiness sounds contradictory to me.

    Your definition for emptiness is change, then you say things change because they are empty. Things change because they are empty and they are empty because they change. A=B because B=A.

    No, my definition of emptiness is the potential for change which is subtly different. I don't think things are empty because they change, I think they are empty because they are subject to change and not really "things" at all but a part of the action.

    No independent existence is essentially the argument I've been making lately which you've been calling nihilism and now you say you agree. Maybe you have seen the power of the dark side.

    No existence at all would be nihilism in my view, not dependent existence which can be quite meaningful. Huge difference in my opinion.

    If I made you think I was saying otherwise, I apologize for not being clear but it's hard to word some things just right and what do I know anyways?

    Let me put forward a metaphor for how I hear you describing emptiness and maybe you can tell me how I'm wrong.

    Take a pool table, selves are the balls on the table. They move around the table bumping into each other. You say the self is empty because it changes. Because there is a truly existing self it changes like the melty robots from Terminator, they don't change through contact with other balls, all the components for change are in there already.

    I say things (including the temporary self) change because they are empty of independent existence, not that they are empty because they change. Maybe I am not wording it properly because the difference is subtle but fundamental I think.

    The balls do change direction on contact with other balls and the balls themselves may appear quite solid but are in reality in a frenzy of activity.

    Alright, maybe you've changed your position some or are talking about it differently. Things change because they aren't independently existing, there isn't some quality or potential within them that allows them to change, it is because they interact with other things, they are empty of inherent existence.

    Kerome
  • If I made you think I was saying otherwise, I apologize for not being clear but it's hard to word some things just right and what do I know anyways?

    It is hard to express, subtle in its implications and as @David says ’not nihilistic’.

    We suffer, we feel good, we have a strong sense of 'I know I exist'. What then is all this talk of non-self? After all Western psychology tries to heal a wounded ego, how can something that does not exist feel and experience and ... 'well obviously we exist'.

    However ...

    Dharma has experiential proof. Mahayana expresses it as 'emptiness is form and form is emptiness'. The ego experiences: pain, craving, a sunset. The ego exists.

    Dharma explores this existence. Finds out the nature of ego formation, its causes and nature of being. Buddhism is a process of deepening our understanding.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/emptiness-most-misunderstood-word-in-buddhism_b_2769189.html

    Bravo guys B)

    person
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @person said: Things change because they aren't independently existing, there isn't some quality or potential within them that allows them to change, it is because they interact with other things, they are empty of inherent existence.

    I think emptiness is best described as changing conditions. Talking about "things" and "potential" just muddies the water.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @lobster said:>
    It is hard to express, subtle in its implications and as @David says ’not nihilistic’.

    Nihilism means the belief there is no meaning to life. People find meaning in all sorts of ways, but that is irrelevant to a discussion on emptiness. The discussion is really about the nature of our experience, which I would say is conditional and therefore uncertain.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @person said:

    @David said:

    @person said:
    @David The way you talk about emptiness sounds contradictory to me.

    Your definition for emptiness is change, then you say things change because they are empty. Things change because they are empty and they are empty because they change. A=B because B=A.

    No, my definition of emptiness is the potential for change which is subtly different. I don't think things are empty because they change, I think they are empty because they are subject to change and not really "things" at all but a part of the action.

    No independent existence is essentially the argument I've been making lately which you've been calling nihilism and now you say you agree. Maybe you have seen the power of the dark side.

    No existence at all would be nihilism in my view, not dependent existence which can be quite meaningful. Huge difference in my opinion.

    If I made you think I was saying otherwise, I apologize for not being clear but it's hard to word some things just right and what do I know anyways?

    Let me put forward a metaphor for how I hear you describing emptiness and maybe you can tell me how I'm wrong.

    Take a pool table, selves are the balls on the table. They move around the table bumping into each other. You say the self is empty because it changes. Because there is a truly existing self it changes like the melty robots from Terminator, they don't change through contact with other balls, all the components for change are in there already.

    I say things (including the temporary self) change because they are empty of independent existence, not that they are empty because they change. Maybe I am not wording it properly because the difference is subtle but fundamental I think.

    The balls do change direction on contact with other balls and the balls themselves may appear quite solid but are in reality in a frenzy of activity.

    Alright, maybe you've changed your position some or are talking about it differently. Things change because they aren't independently existing, there isn't some quality or potential within them that allows them to change, it is because they interact with other things, they are empty of inherent existence.

    I havnt changed my position but I may be wording it differently. Yesterday I spent a good portion of time cleaning up my best friends apartment complete with bodily fluids then go see his Mom and tell her his liver exploded from alcohol abuse.

    Death makes existence a bit more clear somerimes.

    lobsterVastmindBunks
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I'm sorry you had to do that @David. Sincere condolences for the loss of your friend.

    VastmindWalkerlobster
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @person said:
    Things change because they aren't independently existing, there isn't some quality or potential within them that allows them to change, it is because they interact with other things, they are empty of inherent existence.

    That's a pretty clear description of the emptiness of inherent essence, thank you! It's given me a new handle on it, and a very interesting extension of TNH's interbeing into emptiness.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @federica said:
    I'm sorry you had to do that @David. Sincere condolences for the loss of your friend.

    Thanks. It was pretty horrible. I'm going to start a thread about it in a day or two if that's ok.

    federica
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I still think to be empty of inherent existence is to be full of potential.

    I've yet to be swayed but am open to it.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @David said:
    I still think to be empty of inherent existence is to be full of potential.

    I've yet to be swayed but am open to it.

    If things weren't empty they couldn't interact and change. If they had true existence from their own side, in themselves, they would just be stuck forever like that. So, yes being empty means there is potential, but it is a by product of the way things really exist and isn't a quality in the things themselves.

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @David said:> I still think to be empty of inherent existence is to be full of potential.

    Full of potential for what? Further change presumably?

    lobster
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