Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Understanding "not two"

Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer
edited April 30 in Buddhism Today

In Kerome's thread on the supernatural, there's an article linked that includes this quote:

"...phenomena are both one and many. We can’t say there is only one; we can’t say there is more than one. So, we say, ‘not two.'"

Not sure I am grasping this or if it's possible to grasp in everyday mind.

Would this be another way of saying "all is one but all is not one" and if so, wouldn't "not two" be a given? Why a separate phrase?

Or does it mean that since everything has an opposite, dualism appears to exist but actually there is no dualism, so really there's "not two?"

I know this question goes deeper than a forum post might allow but just curious about others' perspectives.

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

    Hang on, I'm thinking....

    Ren_in_black
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 30

    This poem touches on the subject but in concise rather than exacting form

    It's an important work in Soto Zen tradition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandokai

    Identity of Relative and Absolute
    The mind of the Great Sage of India was intimately
    conveyed from west to east.

    Among human beings are wise ones and fools,

    But in the Way there is no northern or southern Patriarch.

    The subtle source is clear and bright; the tributary

    streams flow through the darkness.

    To be attached to things is illusion;

    To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.

    Each and all, the subjective and objective spheres are related,

    and at the same time, independent.

    Related, yet working differently, though each keeps its own place.

    Form makes the character and appearance different;

    Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort.

    The dark makes all words one; the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases.

    The four elements return to their nature as a child to its mother.

    Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard.

    Eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, tongue tastes the salt and sour.

    Each is independent of the other; cause and effect must return to the great reality

    Like leaves that come from the same root.

    The words high and low are used relatively.

    Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness;

    Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that light.

    Light and darkness are a pair, like the foot before

    and the foot behind, in walking. Each thing has its own intrinsic value

    and is related to everything else in function and position.

    Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid.

    The absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in mid-air.

    Reading words you should grasp the great reality. Do not judge by any standards.

    If you do not see the Way, you do not see it even as you walk on it.

    When you walk the Way, it is not near, it is not far.

    If you are deluded, you are mountains and rivers away from it.

    I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened:

    Do not waste your time by night or day.

    lobsterRen_in_black
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    https://biblehub.com/psalms/46-10.htm
    Be still, and know that I am Not-Cod: I will be ex-altered among the faces-bookers, I will be x-Altar-ed in the earth.

    My two sents worth ...

    BunksRen_in_black
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Shoshin

    Que?

    BunksShoshinRen_in_black
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    So many words,
    to leave our grasping inclinations,
    empty handed.

    Ren_in_black
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:
    @Shoshin

    Que?

    I must admit this is how I respond to most of your posts mate <3 :)

    WalkerShoshinlobsterRen_in_black
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:
    @Shoshin

    Que?

    Hmm..

    Ren_in_black
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    When you realize there is no separation; When you see the stars as your life and the ocean as your tears; When you see yourself in the stranger; The you will have only begin to see duality as the illusion it is.

    Peace to all

    lobsterRen_in_blackhowBunks
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    @lobster said:
    Here is the rasayana Buddhist formula ...

    "It was my understanding that there would be no math in the debates."

    -Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford

    KeromelobsterShoshin
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer
    edited May 1

    @Jeffrey said:
    This poem touches on the subject but in concise rather than exacting form

    Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid.

    Nice.

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    I was meditating on this, not on an intellectual level but an emotional one after a rocky weekend.

    Not saying I grasp it any better now, but I did get this funny sensation and thought. I wanted to hug the world. :)

    ShoshinFosdicklobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Ren_in_black said:
    I wanted to hug the world. :)

    Whitch One?

    Ren_in_black
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Ladies and Gentleman, I present the late, great George Harrison

    lobsterRen_in_blackWalker
  • GuiGui Veteran

    There is only everything. I don't think everything consists of parts of everything. That is my perspective.

    Ren_in_blacklobsterShoshin
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited May 9

    @Ren_in_black said:
    In Kerome's thread on the supernatural, there's an article linked that includes this quote:

    "...phenomena are both one and many. We can’t say there is only one; we can’t say there is more than one. So, we say, ‘not two.'"

    Not sure I am grasping this or if it's possible to grasp in everyday mind.

    Would this be another way of saying "all is one but all is not one" and if so, wouldn't "not two" be a given? Why a separate phrase?

    I like these riddles. "Not two" is used instead of "one" because "one" automatically implies a finished and bordered "thing" or "set". With any border, it in turn implies there is an outside to this "one" and so something set apart from the "one".

    Since borders are convention and change is inevitable, this poses a problem. If there are no borders in the absolute sense, we cannot say all is a defined "one" to explain the absolute oneness and if we could, we wouldn't be accounting for change. So what to say?

    Or does it mean that since everything has an opposite, dualism appears to exist but actually there is no dualism, so really there's "not two?"

    Opposition seems to imply a kind of battle between sides but usually the opposites cannot exist without one another. If one thing cannot exist without the other then they are really parts of the same thing/process and are better served being perceived as complimentary rather than oppositional.

    The opposite of woman is not man because they are both different aspects of human and what is the opposite of human? Only no-human. Just as the only opposite to man is no man. Woman and man work together and are complimentary.

    Our true nature without any bias is cooperation. Everything just works together.

    Us and "them" is like growing pains along our eternal path of awareness.

    In my opinion, obviously.

    KeromeShoshinRen_in_black
Sign In or Register to comment.