Saturday, November 26, 2022

What is the core of reality? - 231

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What is the core of Reality? - 231

More Analysis of Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2022/07/toc-400.html


[A. CLASSICAL MODELS:]

There are multiple models for ‘What is reality’.

Wikipedia: “Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown.”

Ex. In classical physics, everything perceived could be reduced to physical atoms & molecules with their specific characteristics, properties, laws of interactions. Those were the only things that were 'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible'; everything else were various aggregates of these irreducible elements. They were ‘reality’; everything else was mere names / labels given to various assemblages, characteristics / properties / marks / relations of these real components. So why worry about an individual ‘self’ that is only a bunch of atoms assembled together. Why make a fuss about the taste of what we eat since everything is merely atoms, molecules, minerals, vitamins, etc. necessary for the cells of our body. In that sense, realising the true nature of reality – as atoms – was a relief from a lot of burden. And also a loss in meaning.

Ex. In some classical philosophies and religions, everything perceived could be reduced to irreducible elements (physical, conceptual, mental): ex. the irreducible elements of earth, water, fire, air, space, moments of consciousness, and primary concepts, with their specific characteristics, properties, laws of interactions. Those were the only things that were 'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible'; everything else were various aggregates of these irreducible elements.They were ‘reality’; everything else was mere names / labels given to various assemblages, characteristics / properties / marks / relations of these real components. So why worry about an individual ‘self’ that is only a bunch of these irreducible elements assembled together (no-self). Why discriminate between good, bad and neutral, since everything is merely variations in these irreducible elements. In that sense, realising the true nature of reality – as irreducible elements (physical, conceptual, mental) – was a relief from a lot of burden. And also a loss in meaning.

But, since then, we have come to realised that
all of those supposedly basic primary irreducible elements are themselves
composed of parts (composites), are the results of their own causes & conditions (effects),
are themselves merely labeled ever-changing impermanent aggregates (imaginary).
So they are NOT 'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible'.
So they are NOT  ‘reality as it is’.
So we need a better model for ‘Reality as it is’.


[B. QUESTION:]

What is ‘reality as it is’ then?
What is the ‘core of reality as it is’ upon which everything is based on?
What is the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is, of all dharmas, of everything?
What is 'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible'?
While still giving a meaning to our lives.


[C. THE PROBLEM - REIFICATION / OBJECTIVISM / PHENOMENA-ONLY AND GRASPING
– the separation between subject and object –:]

The biggest problem in trying to find the ‘true nature of Reality as it is’, is
the limitations of our own conditioned flawed mind(s), the limitations of our ‘objective approach’.
Our minds have evolved into biological machines
trying to find invariants (true entities, characteristics, properties, relations, oppositions, natural laws) [T1]
where there is none of those in absolute terms [T2] [U2T]
[not in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1] [U2T]].
Why?
There are none of those in absolute terms, because everything
– including any supposedly irreducible elements, any first causes / parts, any indirect approaches / methods, any ‘objective’ ground / basis / source –
are dependently co-arisen / interdependent [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind <==> thus not really existent [T2] [U2T].
Our minds – through trials & errors – have limited / relative success, but never in absolute terms.
Our minds get into trouble when they grasp at their own imagination / creations as if they were universal, absolute, inherently existing [T2], independent of the subjects / minds merely labeling / imputing them in dependence of their past experiences / conditioning / karma.

Our mind(s) loves to consider the perceived objects / laws / world as a reality existing independently of the subject / observer, as pre-existing all sentient beings like all humans on this earth. Ex. The moon is the moon, the laws of nature are the laws of nature, independently of whether there are humans or not on this earth. For our minds it is an objective reality / world.
But that is absurd, as demonstrated by philosophers like Kant … up to Bitbol:
we don't have direct access to any such independent objective reality.
Our reality is the reality we indirectly perceive / interpret / imagine / create;
and all of our perception / knowledge are dependent on our limited capacities / conditioning / karma.

All models of ‘Reality as it is’ that are based on the separation of the subject / mind and object / phenomena / worlds are necessarily flawed / unsatisfactory / sources of more suffering for self & others.


[D. SOLUTION – CONSIDERING THE ROLE OF THE SUBJECT / MIND IN ALL PERCEPTION / KNOWLEDGE, WITHOUT REDUCING EVERYTHING TO THE MIND-ONLY, OR RELATION / PROCESS-ONLY:]

Ex. In Mahayana Buddhism, the only thing that is close to be
'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible', but still relatively functional, is the ‘fact’ that
.
“Everything, all dharmas (physical, conceptual, mental), are conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1 - 1st truth], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]
<==> thus/because of being empty of inherent existence,
never independent / objective / universal / absolute [T2 - 2nd truth];
and vice versa, one aspect / truth implies the other [U2T].”
.
These two aspect / truths – dependent origination and emptiness – are not really in opposition,
but more like inseparable / interdependent / in harmony / in Union [U2T].
These two truths are themselves conventionally dependently arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1-2T]
<==> thus/because they are themselves empty of inherent existence [T2-2T]; and vice versa [U2T-2T].”

Note: Something could be empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because of being co-dependent with its parts and its wholes, with its causes and its effects [T1], with its conceptual opposites  [Uopp],  and especially as an object / phenomena it is co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labeling / imputing / imagining / creating it in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma – in a limitless and centerless conditioning cycle [U3S].

So, even this ‘fact of the Union of the Two Truths about all dhamas’ is not really existent … not something to grasp as absolute. There is no absolute.


[E. THE INCONCEIVABLE UNIQUE NON-DUAL GROUND FOR EVERYTHING:]

That is called the Core / Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is:
that is the Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle about all dharmas [U2T]
– including the two truths themselves, including the Ground and its manifestations –.
That is the only thing that is close to be 'really existent / not-composite / not-caused / not-produced / not-conditioned / not-changing / not-ceasing / indestructible', and still relatively functional
[not ‘this’ in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1] [U2T]].
.
But, in fact, it is even more subtle than that:
All dharmas are extremely pure:
not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither – for whatever ‘this’ is;
not composites, not completely non-composite, not both together, not neither;
not dependently arisen / caused, not completely independently arisen / non-caused, not both together, not neither;
not produced, not completely non-produced, not both together, not neither;
not existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
not changing, not completely non-changing, not both together, not neither;
not functional, not completely non-functional, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
not ceasing, not completely non-ceasing, not both together, not neither;
not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither;
not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither;
not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational / process, not a combination of those, not none or those;
not equal / pure / perfect, not unequal / impure / imperfect, not both together, not neither;
not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither;
not dependently co-arisen [T1-only / realism / objectivism], not empty of inherent existence  [T2 -only / nihilism / idealism / mere-emptiness], not both aspects / truths together [2T / dualism], not neither of the two aspects / truths [1T / monism / oneness].

Meaning, the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas, reality as it is, the Ground, is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s); beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic).
This indescribable / inconceivable Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Union of the Two Truths … has to be individually spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceived / realised / experienced in the here & now – without apprehending / opposing / differentiating anything in absolute terms, without falling into any extreme or middle –ex. without any di-vision between subject & object, without any di-vision between opposites, without any di-vision between the two truths themselves, and without any di-vision between  the ground and its manifestations.


[F. POINTERS TO THE INDESCRIBABLE / INCONCEIVABLE REALITY:]

This Ground is indescribable / inconceivable, but, still, we can use subtle concepts to point to it, and to refute wrong concepts / positions / views / methods / adapted skillful means / goals. As long as we do not grasp at these concept-pointers as independent, universal, absolute, inherently existing truths, we are free from creating more troubles. Pointer-concepts / tools / antidotes / counterpoints like:

[THE UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS:]
‘Reality as it is’ is [U2T] that everything, all dharmas / opposites / appearances, are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.

[THE UNION OF THE APPARENT OPPOSITES:]
‘Reality as it is’ is [Uopp / U2T-opp] that apparent opposites – including the two truths themselves, including the Ground and its manifestations – are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.

[THE UNION OF THE THREE SPHERES:]
‘Reality as it is’ is [U3S / U2T-3S] that the three spheres – subject / mind, relation / action, objects / phenomena / world – are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.

[THE UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT THE TWO TRUTHS:]
‘Reality as it is’ is [U2T-2T] that the two truths themselves are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.

[THE UNION OF THE GROUND AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS:]
‘Reality as it is’ is [UGM / U2T-GM] that the Ground and its manifestations are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.

[THE UNION OF VIRTUOUS METHODS AND WISDOM / EMPTINESS:]
‘Reality as it is’ is that the methods and wisdom are like spontaneous unceasing natural pristine manifestations of an inconceivable unique all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine / Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths: Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> thus / because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional eve-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means / antidotes / counterpoints [T1], merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its past experience / conditioning / karma [U3S]. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables / supports / is in harmony with the other (<==> [U2T].
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are extremely pure: not ‘this’, not ‘non-this’, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever ‘this’ is.
All dharmas / opposites / appearances / tools are like space, illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: ‘There, but not there’ [U2T].
With no real three stages of becoming for anything: (1) dependent origination, (2) duration / existence / evolution / change / increase / decrease / defilement / purification, (3) cessation / elimination / stopping / extinction / emptiness.
With no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to apprehend, oppose, differentiate, discriminate them in absolute terms.
With nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / stop / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
So, we might as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.


[G. TRUE LIBERATION IS ABOUT REALISING THE TRUE NATURE & DYNAMIC OF THE KARMIC CYCLE, OF ALL KARMA – WITHOUT ACCEPTING / REJECTING / CHANGING THEM –:]

All of this is about realising the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas, of the three spheres – ex. (1) subject / actor / perceiver / knower / mind, (2) relation / action / perception / cognition, (3) object / result / perceived / known / phenomena / world –, of apparent opposites / dualities, of the two truths themselves, of the Ground and its manifestations, of the self-conditioning / karmic cycle.

It is not about accepting / rejecting / changing anything in absolute terms.

The interrelation / co-dependence / co-emergence / co-evolution of the three spheres – subject, relation / action, object / world – is the self-conditioning / karmic cycle [U3S / U2T-3S].
One sphere is conditioned by the others, and is conditioning the others [T1-3S].
And because of that everything is empty of inherent existence [T2-3S] [U2T-3S].
Ignoring this is samsara; being fully aware of this is nirvana.

It is about realizing that everything is primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inconceivable three pure kayas, the true Buddha – even samsara, even the karmic cycle, even all karma –. Even our ‘objective method’. Everything is ‘pure’ (nirvana) when we are aware of their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now while using them; otherwise they are ‘impure’ (samsara).

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”

Luminous space. Functional emptiness. Empty wisdom.


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