Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Madhyamaka reading of Kant’s Position & Madhyamaka Logic - 003

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[Immanuel Kant - German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers -- 1724-1804]

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A Madhyamaka reading of Kant’s Position & Madhyamaka Logic

Note about colors:

Kant’s concepts & ideas;

the three spheres: subject object relation / action / experience;

Madhyamaka tools -- U2T, U3S, Uopp, Tetralemma, Middle Way, spontaneous direct perception / experience --;

extreme philosophical positions;

various highlights.


A. Few Kantian topics interpreted from a Madhyamaka perspective:

[Transcendental dialectic:] It is important directly realise / experience and always be fully conscious / aware

  • of the limits of reason,

  • of the nature and dynamic / functioning of our finite conditioned conditioning / karma (body, speech, mind / mental) x (individual & collective);

  • of how it continually seeks invariants (objectivation) / generalisations / universals / absolutes / causal explanations & control / classifications / and unity of perception & knowledge;

  • of how it creates the illusion of objects (material, conceptual, mental) existing by themselves out there with their own dualistic characteristics and dynamic / causality, and the illusion of transcendent objects like the subject’s soul, transcendental freedom (unconditioned cause), and God / TOE (ultimate explanation);

  • of how it creates the illusion of paradoxes / unsolvable conflict / oppositions / dualities / antinomies. Like: Is the world finite in space & time or infinite? Is the world composed of an ultimately simple substance or infinitely divisible? Is there freedom / unconditioned cause or only determinism / mechanistic causality? Is there a necessary being or not? Is God / Buddha finite or infinite … Are the soul and the body the same or different? After death does the Buddha exist or not? Are the two truths different or identical?

  • [Note: The solution is always found by realising the true essence & nature & dynamic of the objects and characteristics and relations (U2T, U3S, Uopp), and expressed using the tetralemma on the apparently opposite characteristics / duality. See below.]

[Rejection of ontology:] We do not perceive (noumenon) a world / objects existing independently of the act / experience of the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s) as if we were outside of this world to perceive it (God’s point of view), but phenomenon that are seen / experienced by an active subject inside this world, fully participant in this world, changing the perceived world as it experience it.

[Rejection of objects in general / inherently existing:] It is important not to think that our mental fabrications, the phenomenon perceived / experienced / remembered / projected / produced ... by our finite (body, speech, mind)(s), really represent a reality / world (objects / entities, characteristics, relations / oppositions / actions / forces / fields) that would exist (in the past, present, or future) out there by itself, inherently, independently of the relations / oppositions / actions / experiences of the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s) in the present.

[Rejection of the transcendental use of understanding, rejection of special metaphysics:] New knowledge about the world (objects) can only be acquired through relation / action / experience by the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s). Never just by only manipulating concepts; never only with pure reason & logic (ex. the soul & rational psychology, the world & rational cosmology, God & rational theology).

[Rejection of transcendent judgments:] Knowledge about the world (objects) that is NOT acquired through relation / action / experience by the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s) is not valid, and constitutes pure speculation or dogma. Examples: knowledge about the soul, freedom, God, knowledge about the world / general objects / characteristics / relations / oppositions / actions / forces / fields … existing independently of the subject.

[We cannot ignore the role of the finite conditioned subject in every perception / feeling / judgment / experience:] The relations / oppositions / actions / experiences of the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s) to acquire new knowledge about the world (object) always influence the results / the phenomena observed / measured. The subject is fully participating in the whole experience; we cannot ignore its influence / role / conditioning / karma (individual & collective).

[Rejection of pure objectivity:] Perception is never purely objective -- even if we do our best to objectify our knowledge, specially in science using the scientific method --, but still never purely subjective either. We cannot reduce the whole world / universe to entities / objects and/or characteristics and/or relations / oppositions / processes (objectivism / external/lateral relationism / processism), nor to the subject only (subjectivism / internal relationism), nor to the two of them together (dualism / transversal relationism / processism), nor to neither of them or to something else beyond both of them / transcendent / One (monism / holism).

[Rejection of an ultimate reality:] It is useless and meaningless to speculate about a reality / world / general objects / transcendental objects … existing independently of the relation / action / experience by the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s). They are not-verifiable or not-refutable views. These are all illusions.

[Importance of the present moment for liberation, for seeing through the karmic cycle:] The true nature of Perceived / Apparent Reality is accessible only here & now, since the past and future are always conceptual dualistic ideas / conditioned conditioning mental fabrications. That doesn’t mean that only the present (and the here) exist, while the past and future (and elsewhere) do not exist. It means that, while the three times (space & time) are equally illusory, dependently co-arisen and empty of inherent existence (U2T), conditioned conditioning mental fabrications (U3S), inseparable opposites (Uopp), conditioning / karma ..., there is an opportunity, only in the here & now, to spontaneously directly perceive / experience / realise the true essence & nature & dynamic of Perceived / Apparent Reality, of the three spheres (subject, object, relation / action / experience) -- including everything in the world (physical, conceptual, mental forms), all causality / laws, space & time --.

And this is done by spontaneously directly perceiving / experiencing our own mind in action here & now (in meditation after having calmed our body, speech & mind sufficiently); spontaneously directly perceiving / experiencing / realising how it creates all of those useful fabrications / becoming illusions out of nothing but its own already accumulated fabrications / illusions / conditioning / karma, and its experience with them (in a karmic cycle). Both sides, the subject / acquirer and object / acquired sides, cooperate and co-evolve with each experience, with the action / experience / acquisition of new knowledge. 

(i.e. The karmic cycle = Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres: Union subject / actor / experiencer / perceiver / knower / acquirer <==> relation / action / experience / perception / cognition / acquisition <==> object / result / experienced / perceived / known / acquired. See below for the meaning of this Union. See definition of “Union” below.)

[A priori intuitions and concepts:] Kant, at the beginning, thought that there were exceptions like SPACE, TIME, CAUSALITYa priori mental factors / CATEGORIES necessary for the normal functioning of the mind(s), that seems necessary within the subject before any possible experience. But that is not the case, there is no exception, everything is co-constructed / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing ... even the notions of space, time, causality … are the result of a long process of maturation as Jean Piaget has shown. All mental schemes are the result of a cycle of assimilation and accommodation resulting in better and better adaptation of the individual (and of the species) to Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now. The mental scheme may impose from within a structure to all experiences, but they are also the results of a long line of experiences where the subject / knower and the object / known co-evolve together. Nothing is fixed / a priori / permanent / inherent / universal / absolute on the object side, on the subject side, or on the side of the action / relation / process.

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“According to Kant, space, time, causality etc. are “forms” imposed in advance by our sensibility and understanding onto the “matter” of sensations. These forms are supposed to hold true “for all times and for all rational beings”.”

-- Michel Bitbol, A Cure For Metaphysical Illusions

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Note: Kant, at the beginning, wanted to replace a transcendental realism (based on the primacy of the object / on an independent world) with a TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM (based on the primacy of the subject), but the solution is more like a Middle Way avoiding all four extreme philosophical positions: realism / objectivism, idealism / subjectivism, dualism / relationism, monism / holism. Maybe he, or other neo-kantism philosophers, fixed this later; I am not sure yet. Or maybe it was just a bad choice of word: using the word “idealism” instead of “middle way” if that is what was meant.

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“Kant’s transcendental philosophy was construed from the outset as a middle way between dogmatic rationalism (absolute objects) (which tends to identify the ideas of reason with absolute realities), and sceptical empiricism (nihilisme) (which radically challenges the claim of reason in regard to the possibility of gaining anything like objective knowledge). Due to his strong criticism of dogmatic transcendent realism, Kant was wrongly accused of defending a form of subjective idealism.” -- Michel Bitbol, A Cure For Metaphysical Illusions

Wikipedia: “In the Transcendental Logic, a section of the book Critique of Pure Reason, there is a sub-section (titled The Refutation of Idealism) that frees Kant's doctrine from any vestiges of subjective idealism, which would either doubt or deny the existence of external objects. Kant's distinction between the appearance and the thing-in-itself is not intended to imply that nothing knowable exists apart from consciousness, as with subjective idealism. Rather, it declares that knowledge is limited to phenomena as objects of a sensible intuition. In the Fourth Paralogism ("... A Paralogism is a logical fallacy"),[31] Kant further certifies his philosophy as separate from that of subjective idealism by defining his position as a transcendental idealism in accord with empirical realism (A366–80), a form of direct realism.[32][a] "The Paralogisms of Pure Reason" is the only chapter of the Dialectic that Kant rewrote for the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason. In the first edition, the Fourth Paralogism offers a defence of transcendental idealism, which Kant reconsidered and relocated in the second edition.[35]”

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[About cause & effect:] For Kant causality is an a priori intuition, an a priori basic principle / category of perception & understanding, a pre-existing form of knowing, a pre-existing scheme, necessary before any experience of phenomena by the subject -- it pre-structure our experience of phenomena. Those a priori principles, categories, schemes, represent part of the role / influence of the subject in any perception / experience of any phenomena; it is the subjective part of any experience. It looks like Kant thought they were fixed / necessary / universal / absolute / present in all sentient beings. From a Madhyamaka point of view, all of those a priori / principles / categories / schemes -- ex. the notions of causes & conditions, effects, and causal relations of any kind -- are not different from any other dharma. They are all conditioned conditioning mental fabrications ==> thus empty of inherent existence, and vice versa. They are all like illusions; merely labelled / imputed by the mind after the fact; just more generalisations after observing regularities in the phenomena occurrences / experiences from the subject’s perspective. They are never 100% sure / inherent / universal / absolute / independent of the subject. In fact, the very notion of dependence / causality / relativity is just more conditioning / karma, fruits of the karmic cycle where subject / knower and object / known and action / cognition are inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / non-dual / one (in the non-dual sense of those terms). And if we look at those causes, effects and causal relations very closely, we will see that all of these concepts are absurd (see multiple examples in the Mulamadhyamakakarika). They have worked well enough for us to evolve so far and to create our classical sciences, and we generally believe in them -- if we don’t look at them too closely; but they do not work well enough with more modern sciences like Quantum Physics, Cognitive Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Even at the time of early Buddhism, Nagarjuna realized that linear causality is absurd, and that the abhidharmic model of the 12 links of dependent origination (pratitya-samutpada) explaining the Wheel of life, the karmic cycle and rebirth, is better supported by a concept of non-linear causality / co-relativity, or by the concept of the Union of the Two truths; then the model makes more sense. The 12 links of dependent origination, the karmic cycle, becomes the Union of subject <==> relation / action <==> object. In a sense, they are imperfect results of our long evolution; they have worked well enough as first rough approximation; but now we need to transcend those concepts and go beyond their limits, otherwise we will stagnate in this evolutionary dead-end until extinction.

[About body & mind:] Kant seems to dwell in the opposition duality body vs. mind, sensibility / intuition vs. understanding / concept, perception vs. knowing, his basic distinction between sensibility and the understanding ...

[A general theory of reason + Reason’s positive / necessary role:] The mind has both very strong positive aspects and very strong negative aspects. It is one of nature’s most beautiful miracle; but if we remain unconscious of its functioning and limits it could lead us astray big time. And 99.9999% of people are totally unconscious of that. Hence samsara.

Our mental is flawed at its core because it is based on the assumption of (that is what it seek) inherently existing objects / subjects / actions / relations / oppositions / oppositions / dualities / force / fields … and work endlessly seeking these invariants (objectivation) / universals / absolutes and always think in terms of opposition / dualities … Causality is a natural consequence of this way of thinking. That is its normal mode of operation; that is what it has evolved into. And this produces miracles; just look around you.

BUT, this has also a very serious bad side-effect. If the mind forget that it has itself created (reification / hypostatization of) those invariants / general objects / oppositions / causal relations … by analysing the multiple particular occurrences of phenomena it has perceived / experienced while seeking unity and control, and forget that these invariants / objects are actually just mere conceptual generalisations, mere conditioned conditioning mental fabrications, then these last products becomes damaging illusions. The mind grasp at them as if existing on their own, independently of the relations / oppositions / actions / experiences of the finite conditioned conditioning subject(s), gets attached to them, gets obsessed by them, gets addicted / slave to them. And that generates all the suffering of the samsara, of the karmic cycle.

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“To hold that scientific laws have the quality of necessity—so that they really are laws, and not mere generalizations or rules of thumb—is a metaphysical rather than an empirical claim.” -- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Kant’s Account of Reason

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[Solution:] Just being fully conscious of the true essence & nature & dynamic (conditioning cycle) & limits of our (body, speech, mind) x (individual, collective, cosmic) (U2T), of the three spheres (subject, action, object) (U3S), of the opposites (Uopp), just by adopting a Middle Way perspective and approach with everything, is enough to become free from all illusions, from all of our conditioning / karma (individual, collective, cosmic). This is called enlightenment. Meanwhile, there is nothing to accept / get, nothing to reject / abandon in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally. Nothing is inherent / universal / absolute anyway; no absolute basis for any discrimination or non-discrimination. (BUT: There is “no absolute” in the non-dual sense using the tetralemma: Nothing absolute, nothing relative, nothing both together, nothing neither. But we insist on “no absolute” because that is the antidote to our usual position: grasping at general objects / universals / absolutes that are perceived as inherently existing / independently of the subject(s) and its conditioning / karma. On the other hand, if we grasp at the opposite extreme, relativism, then it is not much better. We need to adopt the Middle Way with everything. And we can use what was said about the tetralemma with all dualities, all antinomies ...)

[The primacy of practical reason; practical reason ==> categorical imperative, moral laws, compassion ...:] True wisdom must be based on direct experiences, on the feedback of Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now; not on pure theoretical conceptual dualistic speculations, not on ideas / theories that are not refutable. Since theoretical / speculative reason, or God, cannot give us moral directions / rules for our life, then only pure practical reason is left to supply them. From a Madhyamaka point of view, we act with more and more virtues (morality, respect, equality, loving-kindness, compassion, etc.) because that is what gives the best results for self and others (less suffering, more happiness, more cooperation). Morality is what brings happiness. Only the repeated feedback of Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now, from our experiences, is necessary for us to be spontaneously motivated to act with more and more virtues; because then we are acting more and more in accord with the true essence & nature & dynamic of Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now -- as pointed out by concept-pointers like the Union of the two truths, meaning that we are inter-connected with others, inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / non-dual / one ... (but in the non-dual sense of all of those terms, using the tetralemma for each) <==> thus all empty of inherent existence. Otherwise, acting not in accord with Perceived / Apparent Reality, like acting only for egoistic reasons, is a mistake / fault and necessarily causes negative feedback, more suffering for self and others, because not in accord with Perceived / Apparent Reality, our interconnectedness / unity. After a while we should be able to learn, but the ego’s resistance, its attachment to its illusions / objects / dogma, are often very strong.

So there is no need for any transcendental reasons / motivation / motivator; in absolute terms there is no need for the postulates of freedom immortality of the soul and God (or any other transcendental illusions), in order to act with more respect, morality, compassion …. The feedback from Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now should be enough. In a sense, it is in our nature to try to realize our true nature, the true essence & nature & dynamic of the world, the true essence & nature & dynamic of their relation, the true essence & nature & dynamic of Perceived / Apparent Reality, and to act more and more in accord with it -- we learn from the feedback from Perceived / Apparent Reality and adapt more and more. Also, we are One, our body-&-soul are connected / inseparable with the Whole; so when we listen to our own soul, to our own true non-dual nature, we act as One. Acting in accord with Perceived / Apparent Reality ==> happiness; acting not in accord with Perceived / Apparent Reality ==> suffering. What is good for one, is good for others; what is good for others, is good for one.

This way, we say that the spiritual path is like a Union of the perfection of Virtuous Methods / adapted skillful means <==> with more and more wisdom / emptiness; thus more and more in accord with the Union of the Two truths. This could be generalised to be applicable for all levels of evolution: (individual, collective, cosmic) x (spiritual, scientific, ...).

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[Reason’s common principle -- the unity of practical with speculative reason in a common principle, the Categorical Imperative]:

-- “To make use of one’s own reason means no more than to ask oneself, whenever one is supposed to assume something, whether one could find it feasible to make the ground or the rule on which one assumes it into a universal principle for the use of reason.” (8:146n)

-- “act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law” (4:421)

Kant says: think only in accordance with that maxim that could be a universal law.

Differently put: thinking is an activity, and if the Categorical Imperative is indeed “categorical” then it applies to all our activities.”-- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Kant’s Account of Reason


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[Everything become like transparent:
not really existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither;
dependently co-arisen & relatively functional but still empty,
empty but still dependently co-arisen & relatively functional.]

B. Madhyamaka logic

This is represented in Madhyamaka by the following concepts that resume all of the Madhyamaka View -- The true nature of anything and everything is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conceptual dualistic conditioned mental, but, still, we can use pointer-concepts to point toward this true nature of Perceived / Apparent Reality (dharmata). Concepts like: U2T, U3S, Uopp, Tetralemma, Middle Way …

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A. [U2T] Union of the two truths about anything & everything, about all dharma -- including the two truths themselves, the three spheres, any group of conceptual opposites ...:

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Everything, all dharma -- physical, conceptual, mental --, could be described as having two inseparable aspects, two truths. Everything is dependently arisen (1st truth), and everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). King of Madhyamaka reasonings: Everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) <== exactly because dependently co-arisen (1st truth); and everything is dependently co-arisen (1st truth) <== exactly because empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>); they are inseparable. One aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).

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-- Formula: Union relative <==> absolute. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

-- Formula: Union conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances (1st truth) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth) about anything & everything. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

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Everything (phenomena) is NOT really different / separate / independent / inherent entities that meet once in a while,

but more like a UNION OF being inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / CO-DEPENDENT / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / equal / non-dual / one (but in the non-dual sense of those terms, using the tetralemma for each) (1st truth -- not complete non-existence) <==> and being EMPTY OF INHERENT EXISTENCE (2nd truth -- not real existence); one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>);

like illusions / reflections / mirages / clouds / waves / dreams; like transparent;

they are objects co-dependent with the subject, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the subject / mind(s) in co-dependence with its past / conditioning / karma.

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Empty of inherent existence, but still conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances; conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances, but still empty of inherent existence. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

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So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they have no real three stages of becoming / time: origination / birth / beginning / before / past, duration / life / change / middle / during / present, cessation / death / ending / after / future.  And there is no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation between one moment and the next about anything, between rebirths, and between samsara & nirvana.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> (no real origination, duration, cessation). One implies the other (<==>).

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And, using the tetralemma, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not this/that, not non-this / nor-that, not both together, not neither.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> tetralemma. One implies the other (<==>).

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This is the MIDDLE WAY free from all extremes & middle; extremes like: realism / existence / dependent-origination-only (self-existence, other-existence, or both together, or neither), nihilism / non-existence / emptiness-only, dualism / both together existence & non-existence or the two truths together, monism / neither existence nor non-existence or neither truths; or extremes like subjectivism / subject-only, objectivism / object-only, relationism / relation-only / processism / process-only / actionism / action-only, a combination of them, neither of them. Meaning their true nature cannot be described by any of those extremes views.

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So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / subjectively, if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable Truth about the true nature of Reality, about the Ground. So we say that everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now. That is the Buddha-nature about anything & everything. Everything is a Buddhaverse.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept nothing to reject. One implies the other (<==>).

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(i.e. Logic: This résumé of all Madhyamaka reasonings will be useful to analyse this text:
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Union of the Two Truths about any & all dharmas [U2T]:
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{All dharmas are not really different / separate / multiple / dual / in opposition or relation, but are more like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition), equal / non-dual / one (1st truth - not complete non-existence);
they are like illusions / dreams / reflections / rainbows / like the displays of a magical show or cosmic dance of luminosity; in other words, they are appearing but still empty, empty but still appearing; one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>), one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>). This is the King of reasoning; the Union of the Two Truths. [U2T]}
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<==> {because of that then they have no real three stages of existence: i. origination / beginning / birth / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / after / future; they have no real parts, or defining characteristics, or three marks, or functional properties, or qualities;
and so they have no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, or any combination of the two, or neither, between one infinitesimal moment and the next one (valid for any thing, any being, any relation / action), or between two consecutive rebirths for beings, or between samsara and nirvana}
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<==> {because of these then they are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind / subject (after the fact) in co-dependence with its conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic); in other words, as objects they are inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing, non-dual with the subject / mind -- in the non-dual sense of those terms; ex. subject & object are not different / separate / two / dual / independent, not identical / united / one / non-dual / dependent, not both together, not neither [U3S]}
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<==> {because of these then there is no real difference, separation, opposition, relation, dependence, duality between them…, and no real identity / sameness, unity, equality, non-duality, oneness, independence either; there is no inherent / universal / absolute basis for any discrimination between them (acceptation or rejection) or non-discrimination, action or non-action; ex. it is not about accepting one or few opposite(s) while rejecting the other(s), not about accepting all opposites, not about rejecting all opposites [Uopp]}
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<==> {because of these then they are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither (tetralemma) -- and there is no other possibility -- for whatever dualistic concept ‘this’ is --; meaning their true nature is indescribable, inconceivable, beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle; examples, they are
- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither;
- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither;
- not purely objective / physical / body, not purely subjective / mental / mind, not purely relational / process / conceptual / speech, not two or three of them together, not none of them;
- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither;
- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither;
- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent (1st truth), not empty of inherent existence (2nd truth), not both truths together, not neither truth;
- not good / pure / perfect / equal / divine, not bad / impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;
- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither;
- not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.}
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<==> {because of these then we say that they are like transparent, uncompounded, self-arisen, unborn, uncreated, unfabricated, unchanging, unceasing, spontaneous displays of the Ground, unobstructed, infinite, timeless, one in naturelessness, primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, Buddha-nature, Buddhaverse, Dharmata, Suchness, Trikaya … That is the inconceivable indivisible self-arisen Ground / Dharmata. With direct wisdom, everything is transcended / purified / self-liberated into this self-arisen timeless equal pure perfect Ground / the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is in the three times.}
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<==> {because of these then the best attitude toward them is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle;
Extremes like: i) existence / realism, ii) non-existence / nihilism, iii) both together / dualism, iv) neither / monism; or extremes like v) subject-only / mind-only / idealism / subjectivism, vi) object-only / naïve realism / objectivism, vii) relation-only / process-only / action-only / relationism / processism, viii) two or three of them together / pluralism, ix) none to them / monism;
so there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now;
so the best attitude is just to let them be, and transcend / purify / self-liberate them by directly perceiving / realising / abiding in their true nature (the Ground); to use them as possible temporary imperfect adapted skillful means while being fully aware of their true essence nature & dynamic, without any fixation / reification, without any illusion about them, without being fooled by them, without any grasping, without any attachment, without any di-vision between subject action & object, without becoming slave to them, while being totally free from them not without them}
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All dharmas are like that. Everything in all Madhyamaka teachings comes down to these reasonings. Together they are like a self-arisen indestructible vajra; one facet supported by the others. Together they point to the Ground, and generate 'certainty' about the view, path and fruition.)

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[No inherent / universal / absolute truth -- view, path, goal -- to grasp.]

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B. [U2T-2T] Union of the two truths about the two truths themselves:

This formula is recursive, it also applies to the two truths themselves; leaving nothing to grasp as absolute, no view to hold -- not even dependent origination / Buddha-nature, not even Emptiness, not even the two truths together, not even a Big Cosmic One, not even the concept of the Union of the Two Truths. That is why we talk about the ‘inconceivable Union of the Two Truths”, meaning that this concept is merely a pointer to the inconceivable Ground / Reality.

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-- Formula: Union relative / dependent origination (1st truth) <==> absolute / emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth).

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The two truths themselves are NOT really different / separate / independent / inherent entities that meet once in a while, nor are they identical / the same / one ...,

but more like a UNION OF being inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / CO-DEPENDENT / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / equal / non-dual / one (but in the non-dual sense of those terms, using the tetralemma for each) (1st truth -- not complete non-existence) <==> and being EMPTY OF INHERENT EXISTENCE (2nd truth -- not real existence); one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>);

like illusions / reflections / mirages / clouds / waves / dreams; like transparent;

they are objects co-dependent with the subject, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the subject / mind(s) in co-dependence with its past / conditioning / karma.

-

Empty of inherent existence, but still conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances; conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances, but still empty of inherent existence. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they have no real three stages of becoming / time: origination / birth / beginning / before / past, duration / life / change / middle / during / present, cessation / death / ending / after / future. And there is no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation between one moment and the next about anything, between rebirths, and between samsara & nirvana.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> (no real origination, duration, cessation). One implies the other (<==>).

-

And, using the tetralemma, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not this/that, not non-this / nor-that, not both together, not neither.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> tetralemma. One implies the other (<==>).

-

This is the MIDDLE WAY free from all extremes & middle; extremes like: realism / existence / dependent-origination-only (self-existence, other-existence, or both together, or neither), nihilism / non-existence / emptiness-only, dualism / both together existence & non-existence or the two truths together, monism / neither existence nor non-existence or neither truths; or extremes like subjectivism / subject-only, objectivism / object-only, relationism / relation-only / processism / process-only / actionism / action-only, a combination of them, neither of them. Meaning their true nature cannot be described by any of those extremes views.

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / subjectively, if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable Truth about the true nature of Reality, about the Ground. So we say that everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now. That is the Buddha-nature about anything & everything. Everything is a Buddhaverse.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept nothing to reject. One implies the other (<==>).

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[Union of the three spheres, Union of the opposites in any triad.]

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C. [U2T-3S] Union of the two truths about the three spheres: for any type of verb / relation / action / experience / opposition:

-

All experiences & interactions & opposition could be described in terms of three inseparable spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- for any types of relation or action. ex.

-- 1) SUBJECT / actor / experiencer / perceiver / knower / producer / cause,

-- 2) relation / ACTION / experience / perception / cognition / production / causality,

-- 3) OBJECT / result / experienced / perceived / known / product / effect.

-

-- Formula: Union subject <==> relation / action <==> object. One sphere implies the others (<==>); they are inseparable.

-

The three spheres are NOT really different / separate / independent / inherent entities that meet once in a while,

but more like a UNION OF being inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / CO-DEPENDENT / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / equal / non-dual / one (but in the non-dual sense of those terms, using the tetralemma for each) (1st truth -- not complete non-existence) <==> and being EMPTY OF INHERENT EXISTENCE (2nd truth -- not real existence); one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>);

like illusions / reflections / mirages / clouds / waves / dreams; like transparent;

they are objects co-dependent with the subject, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the subject / mind(s) in co-dependence with its past / conditioning / karma.

-

Empty of inherent existence, but still conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances; conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances, but still empty of inherent existence. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they have no real three stages of becoming / time: origination / birth / beginning / before / past, duration / life / change / middle / during / present, cessation / death / ending / after / future.  And there is no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation between one moment and the next about anything, between rebirths, and between samsara & nirvana.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> (no real origination, duration, cessation). One implies the other (<==>).

-

And, using the tetralemma, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not this/that, not non-this / nor-that, not both together, not neither.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> tetralemma. One implies the other (<==>).

-

This is the MIDDLE WAY free from all extremes & middle; extremes like: realism / existence / dependent-origination-only (self-existence, other-existence, or both together, or neither), nihilism / non-existence / emptiness-only, dualism / both together existence & non-existence or the two truths together, monism / neither existence nor non-existence or neither truths; or extremes like subjectivism / subject-only, objectivism / object-only, relationism / relation-only / processism / process-only / actionism / action-only, a combination of them, neither of them. Meaning their true nature cannot be described by any of those extremes views.

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / subjectively, if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable Truth about the true nature of Reality, about the Ground. So we say that everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now. That is the Buddha-nature about anything & everything. Everything is a Buddhaverse.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept nothing to reject. One implies the other (<==>).

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(i.e. Logic: Union of the three spheres [U3S] or Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]:
-
Note examples of the three spheres: subject, relation / action, object; cause, causality, effect; actor, action, result; perceiver, perception, perceived; knower, cognition, knowing; acquirer, acquisition, acquired; producer, production, product; owner, ownership, possession; characteristic, characterising, characterised; whole, having, parts; opposite-1, opposing, opposite-2; consciousness, being-conscious-of, object-of-consciousness; awareness, being-aware-of, object-being-aware of; etc.
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{The three spheres -- subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena; or physical, conceptual & mental fabrications -- are not really different / separate / multiple / dual / in opposition or relation, but are more like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition), equal / non-dual / one (1st truth - not complete non-existence);
they are like illusions / dreams / reflections / rainbows / like the displays of a magical show or cosmic dance of luminosity; in other words, they are appearing but still empty, empty but still appearing; one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>), one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>). This is the King of reasoning; the Union of the Two Truths. [U2T]}
-
<==> {because of that then they have no real three stages of existence: i. origination / beginning / birth / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / after / future; they have no real parts, or defining characteristics, or three marks, or functional properties, or qualities;
and so they have no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, or any combination of the two, or neither, between one infinitesimal moment and the next one (valid for any thing, any being, any relation / action), or between two consecutive rebirths for beings, or between samsara and nirvana}
-
<==> {because of these then they are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind / subject (after the fact) in co-dependence with its conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic); in other words, as objects they are inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing, non-dual with the subject / mind -- in the non-dual sense of those terms; ex. subject & object are not different / separate / two / dual / independent, not identical / united / one / non-dual / dependent, not both together, not neither [U3S]}
-
<==> {because of these then there is no real difference, separation, opposition, relation, dependence, duality between them…, and no real identity / sameness, unity, equality, non-duality, oneness, independence either; there is no inherent / universal / absolute basis for any discrimination between them (acceptation or rejection) or non-discrimination, action or non-action; ex. it is not about accepting one or few opposite(s) while rejecting the other(s), not about accepting all opposites, not about rejecting all opposites [Uopp]}
-
<==> {because of these then they are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither (tetralemma) -- and there is no other possibility -- for whatever dualistic concept ‘this’ is --; meaning their true nature is indescribable, inconceivable, beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle; examples, they are
- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither;
- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither;
- not purely objective / physical / body, not purely subjective / mental / mind, not purely relational / process / conceptual / speech, not two or three of them together, not none of them;
- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither;
- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither;
- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent (1st truth), not empty of inherent existence (2nd truth), not both truths together, not neither truth;
- not good / pure / perfect / equal / divine, not bad / impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;
- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither;
- not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.}
-
<==> {because of these then we say that they are like transparent, uncompounded, self-arisen, unborn, uncreated, unfabricated, unchanging, unceasing, spontaneous displays of the Ground, unobstructed, infinite, timeless, one in naturelessness, primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, Buddha-nature, Buddhaverse, Dharmata, Suchness, Trikaya … That is the inconceivable indivisible self-arisen Ground / Dharmata. With direct wisdom, everything is transcended / purified / self-liberated into this self-arisen timeless equal pure perfect Ground / the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is in the three times.}
-
<==> {because of these then the best attitude toward them is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle;
Extremes like: i) existence / realism, ii) non-existence / nihilism, iii) both together / dualism, iv) neither / monism; or extremes like v) subject-only / mind-only / idealism / subjectivism, vi) object-only / naïve realism / objectivism, vii) relation-only / process-only / action-only / relationism / processism, viii) two or three of them together / pluralism, ix) none to them / monism;
so there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now;
so the best attitude is just to let them be, and transcend / purify / self-liberate them by directly perceiving / realising / abiding in their true nature (the Ground); to use them as possible temporary imperfect adapted skillful means while being fully aware of their true essence nature & dynamic, without any fixation / reification, without any illusion about them, without being fooled by them, without any grasping, without any attachment, without any di-vision between subject action & object, without becoming slave to them, while being totally free from them not without them}
-
All dharmas are like that. Everything in all Madhyamaka teachings comes down to these reasonings. Together they are like a self-arisen indestructible vajra; one facet supported by the others. Together they point to the Ground, and generate 'certainty' about the view, path and fruition.)

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[Union of opposites in any duality.]

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D. [U2T-opp] Union of the two truths about opposites: in any duality / triad / quad / etc.

-

Our ordinary mind is a conceptual dualistic machine; it thinks about everything in terms of relations / oppositions / dualities, in terms of synchrone relations, or asynchrone relations / actions / causality.

-

Ex. bood-bad, right-left, right-wrong, part-whole, pure-impure, finite-infinite, cause-causality-effect, producer-producing-result, owner-ownership-possession, entity-relation/process, movement-rest, permanent-impermanent, past-present-future, body-speech-mind, subject-object, immanent-transcendent, one-many, identity-difference, dependent-independent, relative-absolute, empty-non-empty, existence-non-existence, samsara-nirvana, north-east-south-west-nadir-zenith, dual-non-dual, conventional-truth-ultimate-truth, ordinary-divine, etc. ;

-

-- Formula: Union opposite-1 <==> opposite-2 <==> opposite-3 … One opposite implies the other(s) (<==>); they are inseparable.

-

Opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc., are NOT really different / separate / independent / inherent entities that meet once in a while,

but more like a UNION OF being inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / CO-DEPENDENT / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / equal / non-dual / one (but in the non-dual sense of those terms, using the tetralemma for each) (1st truth -- not complete non-existence) <==> and being EMPTY OF INHERENT EXISTENCE (2nd truth -- not real existence); one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>);

like illusions / reflections / mirages / clouds / waves / dreams; like transparent;

they are objects co-dependent with the subject, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the subject / mind(s) in co-dependence with its past / conditioning / karma.

-

Empty of inherent existence, but still conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances; conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances, but still empty of inherent existence. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they have no real three stages of becoming / time: origination / birth / beginning / before / past, duration / life / change / middle / during / present, cessation / death / ending / after / future.  And there is no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation between one moment and the next about anything, between rebirths, and between samsara & nirvana.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> (no real origination, duration, cessation). One implies the other (<==>).

-

And, using the tetralemma, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), they are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not this/that, not non-this / nor-that, not both together, not neither.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> tetralemma. One implies the other (<==>).

-

This is the MIDDLE WAY free from all extremes & middle; extremes like: realism / existence / dependent-origination-only (self-existence, other-existence, or both together, or neither), nihilism / non-existence / emptiness-only, dualism / both together existence & non-existence or the two truths together, monism / neither existence nor non-existence or neither truths; or extremes like subjectivism / subject-only, objectivism / object-only, relationism / relation-only / processism / process-only / actionism / action-only, a combination of them, neither of them. Meaning their true nature cannot be described by any of those extremes views.

-

So, because they are empty of inherent existence (or because they are a Union of the Two Truth), there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / subjectively, if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable Truth about the true nature of Reality, about the Ground. So we say that everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now. That is the Buddha-nature about anything & everything. Everything is a Buddhaverse.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept nothing to reject. One implies the other (<==>).

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[Tetralemma for any duality.
Generalisable for groups of more than two opposites.]

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(i.e. Logic: Union of two opposites [Uopp] or Union of the Two Truths about two opposites [U2T-opp], ex.
Union of left & right [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about left & right [U2T-opp],
Union of bad & good [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about bad & good [U2T-opp],
Union of impure & pure [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about impure & pure [U2T-opp],
Union of samsara & nirvana [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about samsara & nirvana [U2T-opp],
Union of reflections & mirror [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about reflections & mirror [U2T-opp],
Union of waves & ocean [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about waves & ocean [U2T-opp],
Union of clouds & sky [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about clouds & sky [U2T-opp],
Union of parts & whole [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about parts & whole [U2T-opp],
Union of things & space [Uopp], or Union of the Two Truths about things & space [U2T-opp],
Union of 1st truth / dependent origination & 2nd truth / emptiness of inherent existence [Uopp-2T], or Union of the Two Truths about the two truths [U2T-2T]:
-
{The apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc.  -- ex. left vs. right, pure vs. impure, samsara vs. nirvana, the three spheres, reflection & mirror, the two truths themselves, etc. -- are like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition), equal / non-dual / one (1st truth - not complete non-existence);
they are like illusions / dreams / reflections / rainbows / like the displays of a magical show or cosmic dance of luminosity; in other words, they are appearing but still empty, empty but still appearing; one aspect / truth implies the other (<==>), one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>). This is the King of reasoning; the Union of the Two Truths. [U2T]}
-
<==> {because of that then they have no real three stages of existence: i. origination / beginning / birth / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / after / future; they have no real parts, or defining characteristics, or three marks, or functional properties, or qualities;
and so they have no permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, or any combination of the two, or neither, between one infinitesimal moment and the next one (valid for any thing, any being, any relation / action), or between two consecutive rebirths for beings, or between samsara and nirvana}
-
<==> {because of these then they are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind / subject (after the fact) in co-dependence with its conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic); in other words, as objects they are inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing, non-dual with the subject / mind -- in the non-dual sense of those terms; ex. subject & object are not different / separate / two / dual / independent, not identical / united / one / non-dual / dependent, not both together, not neither [U3S]}
-
<==> {because of these then there is no real difference, separation, opposition, relation, dependence, duality between them…, and no real identity / sameness, unity, equality, non-duality, oneness, independence either; there is no inherent / universal / absolute basis for any discrimination between them (acceptation or rejection) or non-discrimination, action or non-action; ex. it is not about accepting one or few opposite(s) while rejecting the other(s), not about accepting all opposites, not about rejecting all opposites [Uopp]}
-
<==> {because of these then they are not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither (tetralemma) -- and there is no other possibility -- for whatever dualistic concept ‘this’ is --; meaning their true nature is indescribable, inconceivable, beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle; examples, they are
- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither;
- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither;
- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither;
- not purely objective / physical / body, not purely subjective / mental / mind, not purely relational / process / conceptual / speech, not two or three of them together, not none of them;
- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither;
- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither;
- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent (1st truth), not empty of inherent existence (2nd truth), not both truths together, not neither truth;
- not good / pure / perfect / equal / divine, not bad / impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;
- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither;
- not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.}
-
<==> {because of these then we say that they are like transparent, uncompounded, self-arisen, unborn, uncreated, unfabricated, unchanging, unceasing, spontaneous displays of the Ground, unobstructed, infinite, timeless, one in naturelessness, primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, Buddha-nature, Buddhaverse, Dharmata, Suchness, Trikaya … That is the inconceivable indivisible self-arisen Ground / Dharmata. With direct wisdom, everything is transcended / purified / self-liberated into this self-arisen timeless equal pure perfect Ground / the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is in the three times.}
-
<==> {because of these then the best attitude toward them is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle;
Extremes like: i) existence / realism, ii) non-existence / nihilism, iii) both together / dualism, iv) neither / monism; or extremes like v) subject-only / mind-only / idealism / subjectivism, vi) object-only / naïve realism / objectivism, vii) relation-only / process-only / action-only / relationism / processism, viii) two or three of them together / pluralism, ix) none to them / monism;
so there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / perceive / know in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / not-perceive / not-know in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now;
so the best attitude is just to let them be, and transcend / purify / self-liberate them by directly perceiving / realising / abiding in their true nature (the Ground); to use them as possible temporary imperfect adapted skillful means while being fully aware of their true essence nature & dynamic, without any fixation / reification, without any illusion about them, without being fooled by them, without any grasping, without any attachment, without any di-vision between subject action & object, without becoming slave to them, while being totally free from them not without them}
-
All dharmas are like that. Everything in all Madhyamaka teachings comes down to these reasonings. Together they are like a self-arisen indestructible vajra; one facet supported by the others. Together they point to the Ground, and generate 'certainty' about the view, path and fruition.)

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E. [Tetralemma] : 

The tetralemma is a non-affirmative negation / tool / quadruple-antidote; it is not an absolute view / position. The result is not something to grasp, nor a complete nothingness. Its role is to refute extremes positions / views, and clear the place for a possible spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct realisation of the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now. It means that anything and everything is indescribable, inconceivable for our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental(s).

-

The reasoning is like this: because something or some relation is empty of inherent existence (or Union of the Two Truths) <==> then this thing or relation cannot be ‘this’, cannot be ‘non-this’, cannot be both together, cannot be neither, and there is no other alternative (tetralemma). And it works both ways (<==>): because something or some relation cannot be ‘this’, cannot be ‘non-this’, cannot be both together, cannot be neither, and there is no other alternative (tetralemma) <==> then this thing or relation is empty of inherent existence (or Union of the Two Truths). So, it is used as a reasoning to prove the emptiness of many things in the Madhyamaka teachings.

Reasoning notation: Union [Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence] <==> tetralemma. One implies the other (<==>).

-

It can be applied to any duality / antinomies in order to refute the four possible extreme positions about the opposition. It means we should not adopt / accept the thesis (opposite-1) and reject the antithesis (opposite-2), we should not adopt / accept the antithesis and reject the thesis, we should not accept both the thesis and antithesis together as if both were necessary / balancing each other, and finally we should not reject both the thesis and the antithesis thinking the solution transcends both of them and explains the appearance of both of them. This could be generalised for groups of more than two opposites: ex. triads, quads, etc.

This is the MIDDLE WAY free from all extremes & middle about any opposition / duality / antinomy.

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(Note: “UNION” or “<==>” means the items are inseparable / interdependent / co-relative / co-defined / co-dependent / co-emergent / co-evolving / co-ceasing / in harmony / non-dual / one ... (but in the non-dual sense of all of those terms, using the tetralemma for each). Ex. Not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. Not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not this/that, not not-this/not-that, not both together, not neither. (The same for any opposite pair of characteristics; and this can be generalized to more than two opposites.)

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Note: None of these POINTER-CONCEPTS / TOOLS / ANTIDOTES are an absolute position / view. A Madhyamika has no universal / absolute view / position to defend; not even an ultimate invisible indescribable non-conceptual non-dual ultimate transcendental Reality. All of these tools -- U2T, U3S, Uopp, Tetralemma, Middle Way -- are there only as temporary imperfect adapted skillful means (upaya) to help us to get free from all other extreme positions / views / dogma / universals / absolutes / illusions / oppositions / antinomies / dualities / conditioning / karma. Once they have done their job, then we need to realize their own emptiness by applying those pointer-concepts -- U2T, U3S, Uopp, Tetralemma, Middle Way -- to themselves. What is left is Perceived / Apparent Reality as it is here & now, already pure & perfect. Not another hidden reality (or divine realm, or hidden variables, or dark matter / energy, or parallel universes), just Perceived / Apparent Reality as it has always been right under our nose. Union samsara <==> nirvana.

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Résumé of all reasonings: [Everything is dependently co-arisen (1st truth) <==> because of that everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) [U2T]] <==> because of these there is no real three stages of existence -- origination, duration, cessation -- about anything or any being <==> because of these everything is co-dependent / co-evolving with, or merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by, the mind / subject [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, like illusions <==> because of these there is no real opposition / duality [Uopp] <==> because of these everything is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither (tetralemma) <==> because of these there is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, with nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. And all reasonings (<==>) work both ways: one side implies the other(s), one side proves the other(s). Demonstrating one of these points implies all the others because they are all inter-related / inseparable. All of these work iteratively / recursively to "deconstruct" our illusory reality gradually.

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Notation: Union U2T <==> U3S <==> Uopp <==> no real three stages of becoming <==> tetralemma <==> Middle Way. If you get this, then you have a proper condensed conceptual understanding of the Ground / Reality. And because of these, there is the Union of Ground <==> Path <==> Fruition.

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[Union science <==> religion / Buddhism.]

C. Conclusion about science and the world

SO IT IS NOT ABOUT REJECTING REASON, our mind, our conceptual dualistic conditioned mental and its fabrications / thoughts / feelings / ideas / theories ..., not about rejecting our conditioned conditioning (body / physical, speech / conceptual, mind / mental fabrications) x (individual, collective, cosmic), not about rejecting the three spheres -- subject, action, object --, not about rejecting the world, not even about rejecting samsara (conditioned existence), as if they were “inherently bad / impur” in universal / absolute terms, and that we needed to reject / shut them down completely, in order to accept / perceive / access an hidden reality (the unconditioned nirvana),

NOR IS IT ABOUT ACCEPTING / GRASPING of our body, speech & mind’s fabrications ... as they appear to be, as if “inherently good / pure” in universal / absolute terms.

IT IS ABOUT ADOPTING A MIDDLE WAY free from those two extremes: not accepting this and rejecting that, not vice versa, not rejecting all, not accepting all; not discriminating, not non-discriminating, not both together, not neither ...

IT IS ABOUT TRANSCENDING ALL APPEARANCES / CONVENTIONAL TRUTHS BY SPONTANEOUSLY DIRECTLY PERCEIVING / EXPERIENCING / REALISING THEIR TRUE ESSENCE & NATURE & DYNAMIC AS IT IS HERE & NOW. It is about being able to use appearances, conventional truths, our (body, speech, mind) x (individual, collective, cosmic) and its fabrications, without grasping, without attachment, without becoming slave to them, while being always fully aware of their true essence & nature & dynamic. That is all that is required to become enlightened. There is no absolute difference / separation / duality / opposition between samsara and nirvana; just another antinomy / duality to transcend by realising its true nature. Union samsara <==> nirvana.

Kantism explains it a little bit; I suppose the latest versions of neo-kantism are better at it. But, I think the best explanation, so far, is found in Nagarjuna teachings, in the Madhyamaka Prasangika. It can see through all the problems with Kant’s presentation and dilemma using a very simple short iterative formalism [U2T, U3S, Uopp, tetralemma, Middle Way with everything] to deconstruct all illusions, paradoxes, problems, views -- even itself. And then being able to live totally free here & now, in the land of purified conventional truths, purified body speech & mind, purified subject object action, in total bliss / compassion and wisdom united.

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Nothing to remove, nothing to add ~ Maitreya

 Therein is nothing to remove

 And thereto not the slightest thing to add.

 The perfect truth viewed perfectly

 And perfectly beheld is liberation.

-- Maitreya

Uttaratantra

quoted in the book Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 1

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“...made as clear as possible by Nagarjuna, in the following celebrated sentence: “There is not the slightest difference between samsara and nirvana”. Everything, including nirvana, is embedded in the same immanent plane, in the same network of relative co-arising. To be in nirvana, according to J. Garfield, means seeing the very same things that appear to the deluded consciousness of samsara, but seeing them “as they are - as merely empty, dependent, impermanent, and non-substantial.” It does not mean “to be somewhere else, seeing something else”. An even less inappropriate expression could be found by avoiding the expression “seeing as,” which still conveys an epistemological connotation, and replacing it by “living as” or “being as.” This would help to dissolve any residual picture of a transcendence.” -- Michel Bitbol

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This last quote seems to say that it is perfectly natural (OK) to do science as if we were seeking true objects / entities / characteristics / relations / oppositions / forces / fields / laws … but we should always keep in mind that we have imagined / selected / created those, not discovered them; they are all just relative conventional / inter-subjective truths. We should not grasp at them, as if inherently existing / universal / absolute / existing independently of the subject(s) context and experiences, otherwise these scientific dogma will stop us from going even further and further: continually refuting the old with better experiences here & now, leaving enough room to invent / create the new, again and again, getting more and more efficient through selection -- without ever getting to any absolute inherently existing purely objective reality, because we are part of it, influencing it as we experience it. So we will never be able to reduce everything to entities or their characteristics, to relations / oppositions / forces / fields / processes, to both of them together, or to some Big transcendental One Field / Whole / One / Consciousness / Intelligence / God; but it doesn't hurt to try it with mindfulness; and it may be the only way to progress scientifically and spiritually. We just need to do it with more and more wisdom / emptiness here & there: following a Path combining / uniting Method <==> and Wisdom; in order to be more and more in accord with the Madhyamaka View: Union of the Two Truths: Union dependent co-origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence; in order to be more and more in accord with the Fruit / Result: Union compassion <==> wisdom / emptiness. [= Inseparable / Union of Madhyamaka View <==> Path / Method / Conventional truths means goals / spiritually & scientifically <==> Fruit / Result.]

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“Saying, as the Madhyamaka does, that scientific knowledge has only a conventional validity is not tantamount to denying it any validity whatsoever. … Has not Nagarjuna pointed out that “Without a foundation in the conventional truth, the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught”?” -- Michel Bitbol, A Cure For Metaphysical Illusions


Références

A Cure For Metaphysical Illusions, Kant, Quantum Mechanics, and the Madhyamaka, Michel Bitbol (Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée, CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique 1, rue Descartes, 75005 Paris), in: B.A. Wallace (ed.), Buddhism and Science, Columbia University Press, 2003

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

  • Kant’s Critique of Metaphysics, First published Sun Feb 29, 2004; substantive revision Thu Mar 29, 2018

  • Kant’s Account of Reason, First published Fri Sep 12, 2008; substantive revision Wed Nov 1, 2017

Various books about Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka - Prasangika … too numerous to cite.

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[Union samsara <==> nirvana. Everything is already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now,
beyond all dualities, for one who has directly realised the true nature of Reality,
like a Buddhaverse.]

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