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What is "reality"?....

DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
edited January 2016 in Philosophy

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    That sounds like a loaded question.... :D

    To me, all reality is subjective, and perception is often deception, hence the Eightfold Path's "First" spoke....

    The only reality IS the 4 Noble Truths, and accepting that

    • All compounded things are impermanent.
    • All emotions are pain.
    • All things have no inherent existence.
    • Nirvana is beyond concepts.

    Other than that, reality is what I make it.

  • Ah the easy ones, eh ... ;)

    From your link @SpinyNorman
    Reality is seen, ultimately, in Buddhism as a form of 'projection', resulting from the fruition (vipaka) of karmic seeds (sankharas)

    That would equate with my understanding/projection. So in a sense we can not see anything that is real, it is all processed.

    Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

    Which does NOT mean nothing really exists.

    The yogacara, dzogchen and other fantastical 'we live in an actual matrix projection' a sort of ignorant personal god dharma, I find how can I put this kindly ... I can't ... it is unreal mind games. :p

    The important thing is how we relate with and to our projected reality. Becoming Nothing seems to me a waste of life, the universe and everything. A very deluded and subtle form of Nihilism.

    ... and now back to the real fun ...

    ShoshinStingRay
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @lobster said: So in a sense we can not see anything that is real, it is all processed.

    My working assumption is that there is stuff "out there" which we perceive via our sense organs and central nervous system. We then conceive about it in our minds. So while we can talk about "our reality", talking about some kind of "absolute reality" seems like a stretch, even allowing for a strong degree of consensus in the way that people perceive things.

    And now back to dropping bricks on feet...

    lobsterStingRay
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    I like the way Adyashanti describes it. To paraphrase, he says most people perceive the world thru a type of lens. The lens distorts the picture of what is seen, heard, etc. because the lens is tainted. Or as the Buddha called it, poisoned. What is perceived when the lens is removed, that's reality. He calls it "perception without a lens". If things are not distorted by the lens, then they are seen "as they actually are".

    NamadaVastmindEarthninjaStingRay
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @seeker242 said: I like the way Adyashanti describes it. To paraphrase, he says most people perceive the world thru a type of lens. The lens distorts the picture of what is seen, heard, etc. because the lens is tainted. Or as the Buddha called it, poisoned. What is perceived when the lens is removed, that's reality. He calls it "perception without a lens". If things are not distorted by the lens, then they are seen "as they actually are".

    I like this approach, and I often think that the beliefs and opinions we hold are like the tints on a lens, for example seeing everything through rose-coloured spectacles.
    But what do things really look like when we see them "as they actually are"? Do you mean impermanent and insubstantial for example?

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I find this question to be so close to the "original mind" question that discerning the subtle differences is making my head hurt.

    @seeker242 has a good analogy with the lens. Even better than the clouds obscuring sky analogy but it begets more questions for me than it answers. For instance, the lens seems to relate to the workings of the complete nervous system... And we Buddhists usually include the mind along with that as it sends signals just like any sense organ.

    Perception without a lens seems to imply an awareness without any sensory input to the brain at all.

    I keep seeing Buddha holding up that flower with the slightest smirk on his face.

    silver
  • what is there, can not see

    what is seen, do not stay

    Shoshin
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said: Perception without a lens seems to imply an awareness without any sensory input to the brain at all.

    Not without a lens, but with a lens free from taints.

  • @David said:
    I find this question to be so close to the "original mind" question that discerning the subtle differences is making my head hurt.

    Tee Hee ... just wait till virtual reality sanghas kick in ... O.o
    http://www.lionsroar.com/ready-for-a-virtual-reality/

    It is subtle. How to discern [lobster scratches empty head] ... mmm ...

    ... maybe like this:
    reality has a form and requires lens, light, object, processing mind etc
    and it is dependent on the form it takes on the nature, colour, clarity of the lens, as others suggest.
    However reality itself can not be known or knowable ... even by original mind, or Buddha Nature, which is empty, not transcendentally encompassing as in some aspects of mystical union. Even in such mystical explanations/experiences only God can truly know God ...

    So what to say? [cue flower ... prepare to raise]

    Gui
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "What is "reality"?...."
    It's a home made movie.....Where "I" am the producer, director, actress, extras, film crew, projector, screen and the couch..... :)

    Bunks
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    We could say reality is what is perceived through our senses. CNS.
    That's the closest thing we will ever get.
    Our view of the universe will be different to an insects.
    It's completely subjective to the organism/Cns/environment.
    Even after an awakening, you still see the same, hear the same ... It just appears more vivid because your position has shifted from person to everything.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Reality" is for those who can't handle drugs the Dharma.....

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Perception without a lens seems to imply an awareness without any sensory input to the brain at all.

    Not without a lens, but with a lens free from taints.

    Would instinct be a taint, you figure?

    I ask because it makes me picture a child's mind before anything is learned but even an infant born 2 minutes ago has the instinct to grab a finger and to suckle.

  • GuiGui Veteran

    To me, we can't know reality but we experience reality every moment. Reality also is, as Federica said, what we make it. Both of these define reality.

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Perception without a lens seems to imply an awareness without any sensory input to the brain at all.

    Not without a lens, but with a lens free from taints.

    Would instinct be a taint, you figure?

    I ask because it makes me picture a child's mind before anything is learned but even an infant born 2 minutes ago has the instinct to grab a finger and to suckle.

    No way, that is how humans survive. If babies didn't have that cry on them or wouldn't suckle, that would be game over.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said: Would instinct be a taint, you figure?

    Good question. It would seem that our lens is "tinted" by all kinds of stuff - instincts, genetic inheritance, family and cultural conditioning, beliefs, opinions, and so on.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    So how would we go about wiping instinct off the lens and if we did, would it be practical?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @David said:
    So how would we go about wiping instinct off the lens and if we did, would it be practical?

    There is a sutra in which the Buddha describes his pre-Buddha efforts to not breathe. Part of his pranayama fetishism ... eh asceticism ... He overdoes it and develops extreme headaches and later reminds people of the Middle Way when recounting his weirdo efforts ...
    N.B. do not hold your breath for long periods boys and girls.

    What did you have in mind? To what purpose?
    I personally find a lot of instincts lessen through formal meditation. If the breath stops, vipassana might become inappropriate ... ;)

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @David said:
    So how would we go about wiping instinct off the lens and if we did, would it be practical?

    There is a sutra in which the pre-Buddha describes his efforts to not breath. Part of his pranayama fetichism ... eh asceticism ... he overdoes it and develops extreme headaches and reminds people of the Middle Way.

    What did you have in mind? To what purpose?

    I'm trying to reason if instinct is born with subjectivity and part of the obscuration of how things really are or a necessary mechanism by which the subjective world can grow to become aware of how things really are.

    I personally find a lot of instincts lessen through formal meditation. If the breath stops, vipassana might become inappropriate ... ;)

    Which ones?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said: So how would we go about wiping instinct off the lens and if we did, would it be practical?

    Perhaps it's more about recognising that we have them, but that that we don't have to be a slave to them? And the same with our other conditioning? Seeing these things more clearly?

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2016

    It would be more appropriate to say the instinctual urge to follow them lessens, if they left completely I will assume I am dead rather than uber-Buddha

    examples:

    • fear, flight or fight instinct
    • greed, instinctual preservation
    • anger, instinctual protection of territory, mate, existence

    part of the Middle Way is continually 'refined' or more subtle instincts ...

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: So how would we go about wiping instinct off the lens and if we did, would it be practical?

    Perhaps it's more about recognising that we have them, but that that we don't have to be a slave to them? And the same with our other conditioning? Seeing these things more clearly?

    That just seems like the middle way. Completely logical but instinct just seems like one of those things we need until we don't.

    Instinct is just weird.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No, instinct is inbuilt. It's what makes us a mammal animal.
    "Unfortunately" the instinct programmed into us through natural evolution, is knocked into a secondary, almost hidden position, by 'Conditioning' which is what happens when our protectors (adults) peers and societal norms are imposed on us.

    I think there have been stories of children 'brought up' by animals, and once discovered by humans, and brought back into a human environment , did not fare well.

    I don't think a human child, left entirely to its own devices with no kind of support at all, would survive.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited January 2016

    What do you mean by "inbuilt"?

    Instinct guides all animals and I think even plants.

    Heck, I'd even go as far as to suggest natural selection runs on instinct.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Instinct is a very 'blanket word'. Instinct drives humans. Stimulus drives plants.
    Natural selection runs on both.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited January 2016

    Instinct drives most animals. Certainly not just humans, lol.

    In my opinion, it is instinct which allows plants to react to stimulus.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Opinion? Any flimsy science to back that up? ;)

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Nah, just logic.

    That's why I said it's an opinion and didn't try to pawn it as fact.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    thank goodness for that!

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @David said:In my opinion, it is instinct which allows plants to react to stimulus.

    That does make sense, because this doesn't look like learned behaviour.

  • I was once given the analogy of a train.

    As a train passed by a station, two people on the train exchanged an article.
    One person perceived giving the article.
    One person perceived receiving the article.
    An observer in the station perceived giver as the receiver and the receiver as the giver.
    For each, the reality was in the perception.

    Thus there were four different but related realities.

    The first was the reality of the action and the other three were the perceptions of that action.

    The question was then asked, "What was the true reality?"

    As far as I know, for some, that debate has not stopped raging. It seems the Sophists love self inflicted wounds of this nature.

    Have fun and

    Peace to all

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "What is "reality"?...."

    Earthninja
  • @Lionduck said:

    As a train passed by a station, two people on the train exchanged an article.
    One person perceived giving the article.
    One person perceived receiving the article.
    An observer in the station perceived giver as the receiver and the receiver as the giver.
    For each, the reality was in the perception.

    Thus there were four different but related realities.

    The first was the reality of the action and the other three were the perceptions of that action.

    The question was then asked, "What was the true reality?"

    It's all a passing show. Enjoy the movie.

    “...... Suppose, monks, a magician or a magician's apprentice should hold a magic-
    show at the four cross-roads; and a keen-sighted man should see it, ponder over it and
    reflect on it radically. Even as he sees it, ponders over it and reflects can it radically, he
    would find it empty; he would find it hollow; he would find it void of essence. What
    essence, monks, could there be in a magic show?
    Even so, monks, whatever consciousness -be it past, future or present, in oneself
    or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near - a,monk sees it, ponders
    over it and reflects on it radically. And even as he sees it, ponders over it and reflects on
    it radically, he would find it empty; he would find it hollow; he would find it void of
    essence. What essence, monks, could there be in a consciousness?2......"

    Form is like a mass of foam And feeling-but an airy bubble.
    Perception is like a mirage And formations a plantain tree.
    Consciousness is a magic-show, A juggler's trick entire.
    All these similes were made known By the 'Kinsman-of-the-Sun."

    S. III 142.

    lobster
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