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I'm really intrigued by emptiness and the logic behind the emptiness of all phenomena. But there is something that i really fail to understand and even with a lot of contemplation and meditation i still haven't managed to come to an understanding of such.
Basically, i understand that everything is empty of inherent existence. So everything relies on the mind to exist.
Even though i haven't seen emptiness of all phenomena, i presume i understand it but i still have questions.
All phenomena relies on my mind to exist then when i die it will no longer exist.
So if all of you appear to my mind then you don't exist inherently and you are mere appearance to my mind, this must be correct or emptiness would only refer to that which doesn't have it's own mind.. So, i realized that we all must be one with my mind. But apparently this isn't correct because we each have our own minds.. But if that is so, then either emptiness is incorrect or i can't perceive beings with their own mind because they can only experience themselves.
Also, If all of you are mere appearances to my mind why do i only perceive one body because of self grasping ignorance, aren't you all just an appearance like my body, why aren't i experiencing your body?
Monks have told me personally that we each have separate minds to which we accumulate karma, but if this is true then the beings i perceive in this universe that is a mere appearance to my mind are appearing to me in relation to the nature of my karma... But does my karma really effect the suffering of others or does my karma only effect how i perceive the suffering of others?
So many questions... I have tried speaking to monks in person about emptiness and it always left me feeling like the way the universe is - is a result of my karma. Which is confusing because that means all these beings that will defend their inherent existence are just appearances to me .
Am i looking at these teachings with hope of a more profound meaning than in reality?
Help me please?
Reifying consciousness might be an appealing idea, but I think it's one that should be approached with caution. Is there support in Buddhism for this approach?
Consciousness = mind
I just prefer to use the word consciousness because its not confusing. Especially considering people confuse the word mind for brain.
Also, think of this: if your actions are a result of your previous experience, then you're always innocent. But at the same time, it is important to take responsibility.
Exactly... We are our experiences!!
If you were born into my body, lived my life exactly, right up until this point. You would be writing this sentence right now because you would be me.
And if who you are is dictated by what you have experienced then there is no good or evil person. All there is, is a person whom through their unique experience has developed a certain self image to which reacts to situations according to what they have already experienced.
So, if all we are is what we have experienced.
Then there is no self, because the self would just be a collection of experiences that can't be identified as the self. Just like the body is a collection of parts that can't be identified as the self.
When reality is reduced to words and thoughts they become fantasy. There is no question about that. Even when they point to what is.
There is no other way to communicate the possiblities without those words and thoughts.
If I don't understand. Does that mean that whatever has been said by another is untrue?
What is...is. Whatever I say, think or do will not alter the nature of existence outside of this limited form. It is...what it is. Whether I understand or not.
I base my suppositions on my life as a practitioner. As we all do. Whatever we say, we say from our knowledge and life experiences. Don't we?
My knowledge and experience is unique to me therefore my expression will be unique and possibly highly questionable to others.
As is all of our expressions. All completely unique. But I wouldn't call any of them any less valid than my own. They are completely valid based on that person's degree of disentanglement, knowledge and experience.
And who the hell am I to think that I know better than anyone else. Because I don't. Nor do I claim that I do. I know what's good for me. And you know what's best for you. But occasionally I will share some of my fantastic notions with others. As we all do with each other.
So actually, every person's notions about reality could be considered fantastical because the true nature of the one who knows is inherently devoid of any view fantastic or otherwise and is without quality.
However, the only way you will know for certain is to explore that reality yourself.
I actually came across some Mormons a while ago and they approached me in the street, I talked to them for a while and agreed to meet up with them again to hear what they had to say.
So, after speaking with them for a good length of time on a number of occasions I realized something.. They kept reffering to knowing the truth and I kept hearing them saying that their religion was the truth.
But, what I realized was.. "Truth is relative to the being perceiving it"
We evoke meaning out of a meaningless experience, we are the ones that create our own purpose and experience of our entire existence here in this infinite universe.
The possibilities are just literally endless.
Is there an underlying truth of the universe?
Well, that's for you to decide.. Because to me, the understanding I have come to points to the fact that there is no underlying truth but that of emptiness. All other truths are self fabricated, which in the dharma Buddha refers to as conventional truths. Emptiness is referred to as ultimate truth.
So in a sense, Buddha is referring to the truth of all things but emptiness as meaningless because all phenomena is just a product of emptiness.
I think as an example its like trying to figure out why that car wouldn't start in your dream last night, what is the truth behind the cars broken state?... What does it matter?? The ultimate truth is, the dream was created by you. It was an hallucination. You wouldn't question something you knew didn't really exist.
I have always thought that if this place is real then why do I have to posess a brain to tell me what I am experiencing? Why do I have nerve endings that communicate to the brain in order to tell me what I am feeling?
If this place existed then wouldn't I feel and sense the world without the need to process it?
It seems to me that the brain is a creation of consciousness, along with all other phenomenon to make experiencing itself possible. Thus it seems that the brain has been created.
In fact, it appears that the whole universe exists as it does to be experienced and we by experiencing it bring it into existence. Like a hand in hand process between the one being that is both creator and experiencer.
I have come up with a quote that highly supports Buddha's teachings on treating others more important than the self. " Everything exists for the benefit of anything but itself."
Naturally our egos destroy this universal rule because it makes us act as the most important thing in our experience, but really we are here for everything else.
A tree doesn't exist for its own benefit because it physically can't benefit it's own existence, it can only be a tree. A tree benefits all life because it gives out oxygen in replacement of carbon dioxide, which magically just so happens to be the by product of inhaled oxygen.
I think there are countless examples of this selfless existence. Which points to emptiness and the lack of self. If nature is acting in such a way, then why are we doing the opposite?