Sunday, October 18, 2020

Buddhist Logic - 008

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Buddhist Logic

A. A résumé about the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]

This is about the Union / coalescence of the Two Truths about anything & everything.

The Two Truths are defined as: 

  • [T1 - Nature of the Ground] 1st truth / RELATIVE truth / pratityasamutpada: Everything, all dharmas, is conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (meaning not completely non-existent, not completely without causes & effects, not completely non-functional / meaningless / useless / without effect);

  • [T2 - Essence of the Ground] 2nd truth / ABSOLUTE truth / sunyata: Everything, all dharmas, is empty of inherent existence (meaning not really existent, on its own, independently, separately, absolutely).

  • [U2T - Compassionate energy / dynamism of the Ground] the Inseparability / Union of the Two Truths: Everything, all dharmas, is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) <== because dependently co-arisen & relatively functional (1st truth); everything is dependently co-arisen & relatively functional (1st truth) <== because empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). These two aspects are inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one ... So it is not about accepting one truth and rejecting the other, not about accepting both together, not about rejecting both. This Union of the Two Truths is the primordial energy at the core of any manifestation.

  • Note: something could be co-dependent with its parts (when applicable), its causes & conditions (when applicable), its conceptual opposite(s) (all the time), and most importantly as object co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising it in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (all the time).

  • Notation [U2T]:
    - Union dependent co-origination (co-arising) <==> emptiness;
    - Union appearance <==> emptiness of inherent existence of any & all dharmas;
    - Union relative / conventional <==> absolute;
    - Union conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence of any & all dharmas -- no exception at all;
    - Union of clarity / luminosity / radiance / clear light / cognizance / functionality / dependent co-origination / relativity <==> and emptiness of inherent existence of Mind.

  • Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]:
    The Union of the Two Truths applies to the three spheres: subject / mind, objects / phenomena, and relations / actions.
    - Union co-dependence of the three spheres <==> and their emptiness of inherent existence;
    This is the Union of the three spheres [U3S]: ex.
    - Union subject / actor / perceiver / knower / acquired <==> relation / action / perception / cognition / acquisition <==> object / result / perceived / known / acquired;

  • Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T]:
    The Union of the Two Truths applies to the two truths themselves: dependent origination and emptiness.
    - Union co-dependence of the two truths <==> and their emptiness of inherent existence;
    This is the Union of the two truths [U2T]:
    - Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence;

  • Union of the Two Truths about opposites [U2T-opp]:
    The Union of the Two Truths applies to any group of apparent opposites: opposite-1, opposite-2 ....
    - Union co-dependence of the opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. <==> and their emptiness of inherent existence;
    This is the Union of opposites [Uopp]: ex.
    - Union opposite-1 <==> opposite-2 <==> opposite-3 ...;

All suffering comes from our ignorance of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. The Union of the Two Truths [U2T] is a TOOL (adapted skillful means, a combination of antidotes, virtuous method, a VIEW, pointer) to help us get to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, to help us to get free from various extremes views, free from all of our illusions / conditioning / karma (physical, mental, conceptual) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal). 

Extreme views like: existence / naïve realism / scientism / mere-dependent-origination, non-existence / nihilism / mere-emptiness, both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism, neither existence nor non-existence / monism; or extremes like subjectivism, objectivism, relationism / processism, two or three of them together, none of them ...

Those Two Truths, like any other pair of CONCEPTUAL OPPOSITES, are not really in opposition. They are said to be more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other, <==>), co-defined (one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-contingent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union / coalescence, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms using the TETRALEMMA: ex.

  • not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; 

  • not inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither; 

  • not permanent / discontinuous / eternal, not impermanent / continuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; 

  • not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational, not two or three of them together, not none of them; 

  • not dependent / interdependent / functional, not independent / non-functional, not both together, not neither; 

  • not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; 

  • not dependently co-arisen / interdependent, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; 

  • not pure / perfect / equal / divine, not impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;

  • not conventional / relative, not absolute / universal, not both together, not neither;

  • not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.

So, the ultimate meaning of this Union of the Two Truths [U2T] is INCONCEIVABLE for our flawed limited conditioned conceptual dualistic mental(s). It has to be directly perceived / realised / abided in without using this ordinary flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental. It is beyond all conceptualisation, discrimination / duality, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.

The Two Truths, like any other pair of conceptual opposites, are themselves like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (with each other) relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the Two Truths about the Two Truths themselves [U2T-2T]. So it is not about accepting one truth and rejecting the other, or vice versa, not about accepting both truths together, not about rejecting both truths. Dependent origination / causality / sciences alone is not enough. Mere emptiness alone is not enough. Both together, a form of dualism, is not “it” either. And rejecting both truths, a form of monism, is missing the point. The Union of the Two Truths points to an inconceivable Reality beyond those four extremes.

The Two Truths, like any other pair of conceptual opposites, are themselves MERELY LABELLED / imputed / conceptualized by the subject / mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. They are also like illusions, dreams, mirages, echos, ...

The Two Truths, like any other pair of conceptual opposites, are themselves like a Union of being OBJECTS dependently co-arisen with the SUBJECT / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the three spheres about the two truths [U3S-2T], where the object here is the Two Truths: Union subject / perceiver / knower <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / perceived / known / the Two Truths.

Everything is like that: all (subjects, relations / actions, objects) x (physical / body, mental / mind, conceptual / speech) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal) x (past, present, future) x (pure, impure) ... even the Two Truths themselves.

This is the MIDDLE WAY FREE FROM ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE (Madhyamaka Buddhism), with nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively if this helps to someone to progress toward the inconceivable ultimate truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. Transcending something doesn't mean to reject / negate / abandon ..., but to go beyond by realising its true nature, to be free from it, free to use it without grasping it, without thinking it is independent / separate / universal / absolute, without becoming slave to it, without trying to impose it to others by intimidation or force. The Buddha still uses conditioned physical, mental & conceptual fabrications when necessary to help other sentient beings still stuck in their karmic cycle, but He is never fooled by them, never slave to them, because he is always fully aware of their true inconceivable nature while using them. That is Enlightenment / Nirvana here & now.

Note: What was said about the Two Truths also applies to all groups of conceptual opposites (duality / triad / quads / etc); ex. the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- for any type of relations or actions of the body, speech & mind; the three kayas; the three times; the ten directions; etc. 

Other pointers to the inconceivable true nature of Reality: Ultimate Reality, Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites, Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, Genuine Emptiness, Buddha-nature, nowness-awareness, dharmata, suchness, thatness, true self, Cosmic-consciousness, Universal-Intelligence, Adi-Buddha, Brahman, God, Indivisible-Universe ... 

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B. A résumé about the Union of opposites [Uopp]

This is about the Union / coalescence of opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. Also called non-duality, oneness, equality ...

Examples of opposites: 

  • Left vs. right; top vs. bottom;

  • Right vs. wrong;

  • Good vs. bad;

  • Real vs. non-real;

  • Light vs. darkness;

  • Samsara vs. Nirvana;

  • Pure vs. impure;

  • Ordinary being vs. Buddha;

  • Existence vs. non-existence;

  • Acceptation vs. rejection;

  • Difference vs. identity;

  • One vs. many;

  • Permanence vs. impermanence;

  • Dependent vs. independent;

  • Wisdom vs. ignorance;

  • The Two Truths: dependent origination vs. emptiness; or conventional / relative vs. absolute;

  • The three spheres: subject, relation / action, object; cause, causality, effect; owner, ownership, possession; actor, action, result; producer, production, product; perceiver, perception, perceived; knower, cognition, known; characteristic, characterizing, characterized; opposite-1, opposition, opposite-2 …; opposite-1, relation, opposite-2 ...

  • Body / physical vs. speech / conceptual vs. mind / mental;

  • Past vs. present vs. future;

  • The ten directions; etc.

All suffering comes from our ignorance of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. The Union of opposites [Uopp] is a TOOL (adapted skillful means, a combination of antidotes, virtuous method, a VIEW, pointer) to help us get to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, to help us to get free from various extremes views, free from all of our illusions / conditioning / karma (physical, mental, conceptual) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal). 

Extreme views like: existence / naïve realism / scientism, non-existence / nihilism / mere emptiness, both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism, neither existence nor non-existence / monism; or extremes like subjectivism, objectivism, relationism / processism, two or three of them together, none of them … Or extremes like accepting one side of a duality / triad / quad / etc. and rejecting the other(s), or vice versa, or accepting both/many sides together, or rejecting both/all sides.

Those CONCEPTUAL OPPOSITES are not really in opposition. They are said to be more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other, <==>), co-defined (one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-contingent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union / coalescence, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms using the TETRALEMMA: ex. 

  • not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; 

  • not inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither; 

  • not permanent / discontinuous / eternal, not impermanent / continuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; 

  • not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational, not two or three of them together, not none of them; 

  • not dependent / interdependent / functional, not independent / non-functional, not both together, not neither; 

  • not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; 

  • not dependently co-arisen / interdependent, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; 

  • not pure / perfect / equal / divine, not impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;

  • not conventional / relative, not absolute / universal, not both together, not neither;

  • not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.

So the ultimate meaning of this Union of opposites [Uopp] is INCONCEIVABLE for our flawed limited conditioned conceptual dualistic mental(s). It has to be directly perceived / realised / abided in without using this ordinary flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental. It is beyond all conceptualisation, discrimination / duality, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.

Conceptual opposites are always like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (with each other) relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the Two Truths about the opposites [U2T-opp] in any duality / triad / quad / etc. So it is not about accepting one opposite and rejecting the other(s), or vice versa, not about accepting both/many opposites together, not about rejecting both/all opposites. The Union of opposites points to an inconceivable Reality beyond those four extremes.

Conceptual opposites and their relation / opposition, are themselves MERELY LABELLED / imputed / conceptualized by the subject / mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. They are also like illusions, dreams, mirages, echos, ...

Conceptual opposites and their relation / opposition, are themselves like a Union of being OBJECTS dependently co-arisen with the SUBJECT / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the three spheres about the opposites [U3S-opp], where the object here is the opposites: Union subject / perceiver / knower <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / perceived / known / the opposites and their relation / opposition.

Everything is like that: all (subjects, relations / actions, objects) x (physical / body, mental / mind, conceptual / speech) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal) x (past, present, future) x (pure, impure) ... even the Two Truths themselves.

This is the MIDDLE WAY FREE FROM ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE (Madhyamaka Buddhism), with nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively if this helps to progress toward the inconceivable ultimate truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. Transcending something doesn't mean to reject / negate / abandon ..., but to go beyond by realising its true nature, to be free from it, free to use it without grasping it, without thinking it is independent / separate / universal / absolute, without becoming slave to it, without trying to impose it to others by intimidation or force. The Buddha still uses conditioned physical, mental & conceptual fabrications when necessary to help other sentient beings still stuck in their karmic cycle, but he is never fooled by them, never slave to them, because he is always fully aware of their true inconceivable nature while using them. That is Enlightenment / Nirvana here & now.

Note: What was said about a pair of opposites also applies to all groups of conceptual opposites (duality / triad / quads / etc); ex. the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- for any type of relations or actions of the body, speech & mind; the three kayas; the three times; the ten directions; the Two Truths; etc. 

Other pointers to the inconceivable true nature of Reality: Ultimate Reality, Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites, Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, Genuine Emptiness, Buddha-nature, nowness-awareness, dharmata, suchness, thatness, true self, Cosmic-consciousness, Universal-Intelligence, Adi-Buddha, Brahman, God, Indivisible-Universe ... 

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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]:
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{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]}
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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 other-caused / other-arisen, not self-caused / self-arisen / spontaneous, 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.)

[02. If we put apparent opposites like ‘opposite-1, opposite-2 ...’ into the Madhyamaka Machine we get: the Union of opposites [Uopp] // the Union of the Two Truths about opposites in general [U2T-opp].]

(i.e. Version 2021-12-30 - Union of  apparent opposite like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' [Uopp]:
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s) based on two erroneous basic assumptions -- inherent existence and opposition / duality --;
it has to be spontaneously personally non-conceptually non-dualistically directly perceived / realised / experienced / abided in.
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[Uopp: APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE 'OPPOSITE-1, OPPOSITE-2 ...' ARE EQUAL PURE PERFECT INSEPARABLE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GROUND:]
Apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' are spontaneous natural non-dual manifestations of the Ground, inseparable from the Ground: this inconceivable unique all-pervasive unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness / Awakened-mind / Naturally-coemergent-timeless-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] … the inconceivable unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all views, methods and goals; beyond all desciption / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time; beyond both samsara & nirvana.
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[U2T-opp: UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE 'OPPOSITE-1, OPPOSITE-2 ...':]
[Uopp] Apparent opposites are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither).
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...'
is like an ineffable / inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1 - first truth], co-dependent with their parts (when applicable), with their causes & conditions (when applicable), their conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising / classifying them [U3S] in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma, not completely non-dependently-arising / non-existent / non-changing / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless
<==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2 - second truth], never fixed / independent / separate / universal / absolute, but more like open / free, not really dependently-co-arisen / co-existent / co-changing / co-functional / co-ceasing.
One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T], one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).
’They are there but not there’, like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. They are 'like them in some aspect(s)' but not exactly the same; all metaphors have their limits.
Apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' are dependently co-appearing & relatively functional <==> but still empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-appearing & relatively functional. And that is not grasping at the conventional / relative, or at the ultimate / emptiness, or both together, or neither.
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' are not inherently existent (still empty of inherent existence) <==> but still not completely non-existent (still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances), not both existent & non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent, and there is no fifth. This is another way to express the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
[BEYOND:] Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic).
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[U2T-2T:] Theses two aspects / truths -- dependent co-origination & functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] --, like any group of apparent opposites, are 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 (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither) [T1-2T] <==> thus themselves empty of inherent existence [T2-2T].
The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' are not really arising [T1] or not, not really empty of inherent existence [T2] or not, not really both together [2T], not really neither [1T], and there is no fifth.
The two truths themselves and their Union are mere pointers to the inconceivable, mere tools, mere imperfect temporary adapted skillful means. So there is nothing left here to grasp as independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing. Everything is like luminous space, a limitless & centerless ocean of interdependence and emptiness.
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[The three inseparable qualities of the Ground:] The emptiness of inherent existence [T2] is called the essence of the Ground; the conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] is called the nature of the Ground; the inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union between those two aspects [U2T] is called the dynamic-energy / compassionate-energy of the Ground.
This primordial unborn unchanging unceasing ‘dynamic-energy’, or inseparability of the two aspects / truths, is the creative potential that accounts for everything in both samsara & nirvana.
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[With/without wisdom:] When directly seen as they really are [U2T], appearances (apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...') are said to be pure like the three inseparable pure kayas; this is nirvana. But when seen with ignorance of their true nature & dynamic [U2T], appearances are said to be impure, dependent on karma, and causing more karma; this is the limitless karmic cycle. But, ultimately, Reality is beyond all dualities like: pure & impure, wisdom & ignorance, samsara & nirvana.
--
[Best Approximation / Pointers to their inconceivable true nature & dynamic:]
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' is pointed by concepts like:
– the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' [U2T-opp],
– the inconceivable Union of the three spheres about apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' [U3S / U2T-3S-opp],
– the inconceivable Union of opposites about apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' [Non-duality / Oneness / Uopp / U2T-opp],
– the inconceivable Middle Way about apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...',
– the tetralemma about apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...',
– freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, freedom from all limits, freedom from all conditioning / karma,
– the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra /
– Enlightened-mind / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness.
--
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like 'opposite-1, opposite-2 ...' are
-- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, and there is no fifth;
-- 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, and there is no other possibility;
-- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not composite / contextual / conditioned, not non-composite / non-contextual / unconditioned, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not not-merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not self-caused, not other-caused, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not changing / evolving, not completely non-changing / evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent / mere-interdependence [T1], not empty of inherent existence / mere-emptiness [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth;
-- not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bad, not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / good, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not unreal / identical to illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not real / different from illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not describable / conceivable / meaningful, not indescribable / inconceivable / meaningless, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever ‘this’ could be -- (this could be generalised for groups of more than two apparent opposites; ex. the three spheres, the three kayas, the three gems, the three times, the four cardinal directions, the five …, the six ...).
-
Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
And there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the pristine display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.
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[MIDDLE WAY:]
So the best attitude toward all dharmas is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle:
nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do / cause / produce / change / improve / cultivate / perceive / know / experience / acquire / possess / purify / liberate / achieve ... in absolute terms,
nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do / not-cause / not-produce / not-change / not-improve or deteriorate / not-cultivate / not-perceive / not-know / not-experience / not-acquire / not-possess / not-purify or stain / not-liberate or enslave / not-achieve ... in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
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Extremes like:
i) existence / realism / causality / dependent origination / karma / relative-truth-only [T1],
ii) non-existence / nihilism / mere-nothingness / mere-emptiness / ultimate-truth-only [T2],
iii) both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism / the two truths together, in opposition / duality of the two truths [2T],
iv) neither existence nor non-existence /  a form of monism / neither of the two truths / oneness of the two truths [1T];
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.
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For the latest version of this box see:
Madhyamaka Machine - Blog Post #158
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/11/madhyamaka-machine.html)

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C. A résumé about the Union of the three spheres [U3S]

This is about the Union / coalescence of the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- for any types of relation / actions (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal) x (past, present, future) x (pure, impure)

Examples of three spheres: 

  • Subject, relation / action, object; 

  • Cause, causality, effect; the 12 links of dependent origination;

  • Perceiver, perception, perceived; 

  • The one who desire, having desire, object of desire; same for all passions / defilements;

  • Knower, cognition, known; 

  • Characteristic, characterizing, characterized; definition, defining, defined;

  • Owner, ownership, possession / 5 aggregates; 

  • Actor, action, result; 

  • Producer, production, product / karma; 

  • Acquirer, acquiring, acquisition;

  • Whole, having, parts;

  • Opposite-1, opposition, opposite-2 …; 

  • Opposite-1, relation, opposite-2 ...

  • etc.

All suffering comes from our ignorance of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. The Union of the three spheres [U3S] is a TOOL (adapted skillful means, a combination of antidotes, virtuous method, a VIEW, pointer) to help us get to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, to help us to get free from various extremes views, free from all of our illusions / conditioning / karma (physical, mental, conceptual) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal). 

Extreme views like: existence / naïve realism / scientism, non-existence / nihilism / mere emptiness, both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism, neither existence nor non-existence / monism; or extremes like subjectivism, objectivism, relationism / processism, two or three of them together, none of them … Or extremes like accepting one side of a duality / triad / quad / etc. and rejecting the other(s), or vice versa, or accepting both/many sides together, or rejecting both/all sides.

Those CONCEPTUAL OPPOSITES / THREE SPHERES are not really in opposition. They are said to be more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other), interdependent (one implies the other, <==>), co-defined (one defines the other), co-relative, co-dependent, co-contingent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union / coalescence, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms using the TETRALEMMA: ex. 

  • not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; 

  • not inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither; 

  • not permanent / discontinuous / eternal, not impermanent / continuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; 

  • not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational, not two or three of them together, not none of them; 

  • not dependent / interdependent / functional, not independent / non-functional, not both together, not neither; 

  • not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; 

  • not dependently co-arisen / interdependent, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; 

  • not pure / perfect / equal / divine, not impure / imperfect / unequal / ordinary, not both together, not neither;

  • not conventional / relative, not absolute / universal, not both together, not neither;

  • not this/that, not non-this/non-that, not both together, not neither.

The CO-EVOLUTION of the three spheres -- subject / mind / actor / perceiver / knower / acquirer, relation / action / perception / cognition / acquisition, object / world / perceived / known / acquisition -- is the meaning of the karmic cycle. Subject / mind & object / world & conditioning / karma ... co-evolve in a co-conditioning cycle.

So the ultimate meaning of this Union of the three spheres [U3S] is INCONCEIVABLE for our flawed limited conditioned conceptual dualistic mental(s). It has to be directly perceived / realised / abided in without using this ordinary mental. It is beyond all conceptualisation, discrimination / duality, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.

The three spheres are always like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (with each other) relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the Two Truths about the opposites / the three spheres [U2T-3S]. So it is not about accepting one opposite / sphere and rejecting the other(s), or vice versa, not about accepting both/many opposites / spheres together, not about rejecting both/all opposites / spheres. The Union of the three spheres points to an inconceivable Reality beyond those four extremes.

Conceptual opposites like the three spheres and their relation / opposition, are themselves MERELY LABELLED / imputed / conceptualized by the subject / mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. They are also like illusions, dreams, mirages, echos, ...

Conceptual opposites like the three spheres and their relation / opposition are themselves like a Union of being OBJECTS dependently co-arisen with the SUBJECT / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them (1st truth) <==> and being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth). This is the Union of the three spheres about the three spheres [U3S-3S], where the object here is the three spheres themselves and their relation / opposition: Union subject / perceiver / knower <==> relation / action / perception / cognition <==> object / perceived / known / the three spheres themselves and their relation / opposition.

Everything is like that: all (subjects, relations / actions, objects) x (physical / body, mental / mind, conceptual / speech) x (individual, collective, cosmic / universal) x (past, present, future) x (pure, impure) ... even the Two Truths themselves.

This is the MIDDLE WAY FREE FROM ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE (Madhyamaka Buddhism), with nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively if this helps to progress toward the inconceivable ultimate truth about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now. Transcending something doesn't mean to reject / negate / abandon ..., but to go beyond by realising its true nature, to be free from it, free to use it without grasping it, without thinking it is independent / separate / universal / absolute, without becoming slave to it, without trying to impose it to others by intimidation or force. The Buddha still uses conditioned physical, mental & conceptual fabrications when necessary to help other sentient beings still stuck in their karmic cycle, but he is never fooled by them, never slave to them, because he is always fully aware of their true inconceivable nature while using them. That is Enlightenment / Nirvana here & now.

Note: What was said about a pair of opposites like the three spheres of a particular relation / action also applies to all groups of conceptual opposites (duality / triad / quads / etc); ex. the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- for any type of relations or actions of the body, speech & mind; the three kayas; the three times; the ten directions; the Two Truths; etc. 

Other pointers to the inconceivable true nature of Reality: Ultimate Reality, Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites, Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, Genuine Emptiness, Buddha-nature, nowness-awareness, dharmata, suchness, thatness, true self, Cosmic-consciousness, Universal-Intelligence, Adi-Buddha, Brahman, God, Indivisible-Universe ... 

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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 other-caused / other-arisen, not self-caused / self-arisen / spontaneous, 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}
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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.)

[03. If we put apparent opposites like ‘the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --’ into the Madhyamaka Machine we get: the Union of the three spheres [U3S] // the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S].]

(i.e. Version 2021-12-30 - Union of apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' [U3S]:
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s) based on two erroneous basic assumptions -- inherent existence and opposition / duality --;
it has to be spontaneously personally non-conceptually non-dualistically directly perceived / realised / experienced / abided in.
--
[U3S: APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE 'THE THREE SPHERES -- EX. SUBJECT / MIND, RELATION / ACTION / AWARENESS, OBJECT / PHENOMENA --' ARE EQUAL PURE PERFECT INSEPARABLE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GROUND:]
Apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' are spontaneous natural non-dual manifestations of the Ground, inseparable from the Ground: this inconceivable unique all-pervasive unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness / Awakened-mind / Naturally-coemergent-timeless-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] … the inconceivable unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all views, methods and goals; beyond all desciption / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time; beyond both samsara & nirvana.
--
[U2T-3S: UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE 'THE THREE SPHERES -- EX. SUBJECT / MIND, RELATION / ACTION / AWARENESS, OBJECT / PHENOMENA --':]
[Uopp] Apparent opposites are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither).
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --'
is like an ineffable / inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1 - first truth], co-dependent with their parts (when applicable), with their causes & conditions (when applicable), their conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising / classifying them [U3S] in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma, not completely non-dependently-arising / non-existent / non-changing / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless
<==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2 - second truth], never fixed / independent / separate / universal / absolute, but more like open / free, not really dependently-co-arisen / co-existent / co-changing / co-functional / co-ceasing.
One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T], one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).
’They are there but not there’, like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. They are 'like them in some aspect(s)' but not exactly the same; all metaphors have their limits.
Apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' are dependently co-appearing & relatively functional <==> but still empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-appearing & relatively functional. And that is not grasping at the conventional / relative, or at the ultimate / emptiness, or both together, or neither.
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' are not inherently existent (still empty of inherent existence) <==> but still not completely non-existent (still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances), not both existent & non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent, and there is no fifth. This is another way to express the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
[BEYOND:] Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic).
-
[U2T-2T:] Theses two aspects / truths -- dependent co-origination & functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] --, like any group of apparent opposites, are 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 (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither) [T1-2T] <==> thus themselves empty of inherent existence [T2-2T].
The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' are not really arising [T1] or not, not really empty of inherent existence [T2] or not, not really both together [2T], not really neither [1T], and there is no fifth.
The two truths themselves and their Union are mere pointers to the inconceivable, mere tools, mere imperfect temporary adapted skillful means. So there is nothing left here to grasp as independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing. Everything is like luminous space, a limitless & centerless ocean of interdependence and emptiness.
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[The three inseparable qualities of the Ground:] The emptiness of inherent existence [T2] is called the essence of the Ground; the conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] is called the nature of the Ground; the inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union between those two aspects [U2T] is called the dynamic-energy / compassionate-energy of the Ground.
This primordial unborn unchanging unceasing ‘dynamic-energy’, or inseparability of the two aspects / truths, is the creative potential that accounts for everything in both samsara & nirvana.
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[With/without wisdom:] When directly seen as they really are [U2T], appearances (apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --') are said to be pure like the three inseparable pure kayas; this is nirvana. But when seen with ignorance of their true nature & dynamic [U2T], appearances are said to be impure, dependent on karma, and causing more karma; this is the limitless karmic cycle. But, ultimately, Reality is beyond all dualities like: pure & impure, wisdom & ignorance, samsara & nirvana.
--
[Best Approximation / Pointers to their inconceivable true nature & dynamic:]
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' is pointed by concepts like:
– the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' [U2T-3S],
– the inconceivable Union of the three spheres about apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' [U3S / U2T-3S-3S],
– the inconceivable Union of opposites about apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' [Non-duality / Oneness / Uopp / U2T-opp-3S],
– the inconceivable Middle Way about apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --',
– the tetralemma about apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --',
– freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, freedom from all limits, freedom from all conditioning / karma,
– the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra /
– Enlightened-mind / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness.
--
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like 'the three spheres -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action / awareness, object / phenomena --' are
-- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, and there is no fifth;
-- 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, and there is no other possibility;
-- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not composite / contextual / conditioned, not non-composite / non-contextual / unconditioned, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not not-merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not self-caused, not other-caused, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not changing / evolving, not completely non-changing / evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent / mere-interdependence [T1], not empty of inherent existence / mere-emptiness [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth;
-- not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bad, not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / good, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not unreal / identical to illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not real / different from illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not describable / conceivable / meaningful, not indescribable / inconceivable / meaningless, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever ‘this’ could be -- (this could be generalised for groups of more than two apparent opposites; ex. the three spheres, the three kayas, the three gems, the three times, the four cardinal directions, the five …, the six ...).
-
Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
And there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the pristine display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.
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[MIDDLE WAY:]
So the best attitude toward all dharmas is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle:
nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do / cause / produce / change / improve / cultivate / perceive / know / experience / acquire / possess / purify / liberate / achieve ... in absolute terms,
nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do / not-cause / not-produce / not-change / not-improve or deteriorate / not-cultivate / not-perceive / not-know / not-experience / not-acquire / not-possess / not-purify or stain / not-liberate or enslave / not-achieve ... in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
-
Extremes like:
i) existence / realism / causality / dependent origination / karma / relative-truth-only [T1],
ii) non-existence / nihilism / mere-nothingness / mere-emptiness / ultimate-truth-only [T2],
iii) both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism / the two truths together, in opposition / duality of the two truths [2T],
iv) neither existence nor non-existence /  a form of monism / neither of the two truths / oneness of the two truths [1T];
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.
-
For the latest version of this box see:
Madhyamaka Machine - Blog Post #158
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/11/madhyamaka-machine.html)

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D. More about Madhyamaka Reasonings (from other posts)

(i.e. Version 2021-12-30: Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]:
The true nature & dynamic of any & all dharmas -- ex. all appearances / fabrications / composites (the five aggregates; body, speech, mind; physical, conceptual, mental fabrications; individual, collective, cosmic; of samsara / impure and nirvana / pure), the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object for any type of relation or action), the opposites of any duality / triad / quad /etc, even the two truths themselves --
is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s) based on two erroneous basic assumptions -- inherent existence and opposition / duality --;
it has to be spontaneously personally non-conceptually non-dualistically directly perceived / realised / experienced / abided in.
--
[Uall: ALL DHARMAS ARE EQUAL PURE PERFECT INSEPARABLE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GROUND:]
All dharmas are spontaneous natural non-dual manifestations of the Ground, inseparable from the Ground: this inconceivable unique all-pervasive unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness / Awakened-mind / Naturally-coemergent-timeless-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] … the inconceivable unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all views, methods and goals; beyond all desciption / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time; beyond both samsara & nirvana.
--
[U2T-All: UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT ANY & ALL DHARMAS:]
[Uopp] Apparent opposites are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither).
The true nature & dynamic of any & all dharmas -- ex. the three spheres (subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena) [U3S], the opposites of any duality / triad / quad /etc. [Uopp], even the two truths themselves [U2T-2T] --
is like an ineffable / inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1 - first truth], co-dependent with their parts (when applicable), with their causes & conditions (when applicable), their conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising / classifying them [U3S] in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma, not completely non-dependently-arising / non-existent / non-changing / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless
<==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2 - second truth], never fixed / independent / separate / universal / absolute, but more like open / free, not really dependently-co-arisen / co-existent / co-changing / co-functional / co-ceasing.
One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T], one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).
’They are there but not there’, like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. They are 'like them in some aspect(s)' but not exactly the same; all metaphors have their limits.
All dharmas are dependently co-appearing & relatively functional <==> but still empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-appearing & relatively functional. And that is not grasping at the conventional / relative, or at the ultimate / emptiness, or both together, or neither.
[TETRALEMMA:] All dharmas are not inherently existent (still empty of inherent existence) <==> but still not completely non-existent (still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances), not both existent & non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent, and there is no fifth. This is another way to express the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
[BEYOND:] Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic).
-
[U2T-2T:] Theses two aspects / truths -- dependent co-origination & functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] --, like any group of apparent opposites, are 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 (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither) [T1-2T] <==> thus themselves empty of inherent existence [T2-2T].
The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So all dharmas are not really arising [T1] or not, not really empty of inherent existence [T2] or not, not really both together [2T], not really neither [1T], and there is no fifth.
The two truths themselves and their Union are mere pointers to the inconceivable, mere tools, mere imperfect temporary adapted skillful means. So there is nothing left here to grasp as independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing. Everything is like luminous space, a limitless & centerless ocean of interdependence and emptiness.
-
[The three inseparable qualities of the Ground:] The emptiness of inherent existence [T2] is called the essence of the Ground; the conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] is called the nature of the Ground; the inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union between those two aspects [U2T] is called the dynamic-energy / compassionate-energy of the Ground.
This primordial unborn unchanging unceasing ‘dynamic-energy’, or inseparability of the two aspects / truths, is the creative potential that accounts for everything in both samsara & nirvana.
-
[With/without wisdom:] When directly seen as they really are [U2T], appearances (all dharmas) are said to be pure like the three inseparable pure kayas; this is nirvana. But when seen with ignorance of their true nature & dynamic [U2T], appearances are said to be impure, dependent on karma, and causing more karma; this is the limitless karmic cycle. But, ultimately, Reality is beyond all dualities like: pure & impure, wisdom & ignorance, samsara & nirvana.
--
[Best Approximation / Pointers to their inconceivable true nature & dynamic:]
The true nature & dynamic of any & all dharmas -- ex. the three spheres (subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena), the opposites of any duality / triad / quad /etc, even the two truths themselves --
is pointed by concepts like:
– the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T],
– the inconceivable Union of the three spheres about all dharmas [U3S / U2T-3S],
– the inconceivable Union of opposites about all dharmas [Non-duality / Oneness / Uopp / U2T-opp],
– the inconceivable Middle Way about all dharmas,
– the tetralemma about all dharmas,
– freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, freedom from all limits, freedom from all conditioning / karma,
– the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra /
– Enlightened-mind / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness.
--
[TETRALEMMA:] All dharmas -- ex. the three spheres (subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena), the opposites of any duality / triad / quad /etc., even the two truths themselves -- are
-- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, and there is no fifth;
-- 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, and there is no other possibility;
-- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not composite / contextual / conditioned, not non-composite / non-contextual / unconditioned, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not not-merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not self-caused, not other-caused, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not changing / evolving, not completely non-changing / evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent / mere-interdependence [T1], not empty of inherent existence / mere-emptiness [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth;
-- not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bad, not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / good, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not unreal / identical to illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not real / different from illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not describable / conceivable / meaningful, not indescribable / inconceivable / meaningless, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever ‘this’ could be -- (this could be generalised for groups of more than two apparent opposites; ex. the three spheres, the three kayas, the three gems, the three times, the four cardinal directions, the five …, the six ...).
-
Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
And there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the pristine display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.
-
[MIDDLE WAY:]
So the best attitude toward all dharmas is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle:
nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do / cause / produce / change / improve / cultivate / perceive / know / experience / acquire / possess / purify / liberate / achieve ... in absolute terms,
nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do / not-cause / not-produce / not-change / not-improve or deteriorate / not-cultivate / not-perceive / not-know / not-experience / not-acquire / not-possess / not-purify or stain / not-liberate or enslave / not-achieve ... in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
-
Extremes like:
i) existence / realism / causality / dependent origination / karma / relative-truth-only [T1],
ii) non-existence / nihilism / mere-nothingness / mere-emptiness / ultimate-truth-only [T2],
iii) both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism / the two truths together, in opposition / duality of the two truths [2T],
iv) neither existence nor non-existence /  a form of monism / neither of the two truths / oneness of the two truths [1T];
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.
-
For the latest version of this box see:
Madhyamaka Machine - Blog Post #158
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/11/madhyamaka-machine.html)

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[04. If we put apparent opposites like ‘the two truths -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence --’ into the Madhyamaka Machine we get: the Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T].]

(i.e. Version 2021-12-30 - Union of apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination & relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- [U2T-2T]:
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s) based on two erroneous basic assumptions -- inherent existence and opposition / duality --;
it has to be spontaneously personally non-conceptually non-dualistically directly perceived / realised / experienced / abided in.
--
[U2T-2T: APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE ‘THE TWO TRUTHS’ -- DEPENDENT ORIGINATION / RELATIVE FUNCTIONALITY AND EMPTINESS OF INHERENT EXISTENCE -- ARE EQUAL PURE PERFECT INSEPARABLE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE GROUND:]
Apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- are spontaneous natural non-dual manifestations of the Ground, inseparable from the Ground: this inconceivable unique all-pervasive unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness / Awakened-mind / Naturally-coemergent-timeless-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] … the inconceivable unique true nature & dynamic of all dharmas beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all views, methods and goals; beyond all desciption / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time; beyond both samsara & nirvana.
--
[U2T-2T: UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT APPARENT OPPOSITES LIKE ‘THE TWO TRUTHS’ -- DEPENDENT ORIGINATION / RELATIVE FUNCTIONALITY AND EMPTINESS OF INHERENT EXISTENCE --:]
[Uopp] Apparent opposites are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable (one cannot exists without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (the definition of one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent (they arise together), co-evolving (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither).
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence --
is like an ineffable / inconceivable Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1 - first truth], co-dependent with their parts (when applicable), with their causes & conditions (when applicable), their conceptual opposite(s) (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising / classifying them [U3S] in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma, not completely non-dependently-arising / non-existent / non-changing / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless
<==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2 - second truth], never fixed / independent / separate / universal / absolute, but more like open / free, not really dependently-co-arisen / co-existent / co-changing / co-functional / co-ceasing.
One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>) [U2T], one aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).
’They are there but not there’, like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. They are 'like them in some aspect(s)' but not exactly the same; all metaphors have their limits.
Apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- are dependently co-appearing & relatively functional <==> but still empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-appearing & relatively functional. And that is not grasping at the conventional / relative, or at the ultimate / emptiness, or both together, or neither.
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- are not inherently existent (still empty of inherent existence) <==> but still not completely non-existent (still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances), not both existent & non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent, and there is no fifth. This is another way to express the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
[BEYOND:] Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic).
-
[U2T-2T:] Theses two aspects / truths -- dependent co-origination & functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] --, like any group of apparent opposites, are 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 (they change together), co-ceasing / co-transcended (they cease together), in harmony (not in real opposition) (in the non-dual sense of those terms: not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither) [T1-2T] <==> thus themselves empty of inherent existence [T2-2T].
The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So the two truths -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- are not really arising [T1] or not, not really empty of inherent existence [T2] or not, not really both together [2T], not really neither [1T], and there is no fifth.
Apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ themselves and their Union are mere pointers to the inconceivable, mere tools, mere imperfect temporary adapted skillful means. So there is nothing left here to grasp as independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing. Everything is like luminous space, a limitless & centerless ocean of interdependence and emptiness.
-
[The three inseparable qualities of the Ground:] The emptiness of inherent existence [T2] is called the essence of the Ground; the conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] is called the nature of the Ground; the inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union between those two aspects [U2T] is called the dynamic-energy / compassionate-energy of the Ground.
This primordial unborn unchanging unceasing ‘dynamic-energy’, or inseparability of the two aspects / truths, is the creative potential that accounts for everything in both samsara & nirvana.
-
[With/without wisdom:] When directly seen as they really are [U2T], appearances (apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence --) are said to be pure like the three inseparable pure kayas; this is nirvana. But when seen with ignorance of their true nature & dynamic [U2T], appearances are said to be impure, dependent on karma, and causing more karma; this is the limitless karmic cycle. But, ultimately, Reality is beyond all dualities like: pure & impure, wisdom & ignorance, samsara & nirvana.
--
[Best Approximation / Pointers to their inconceivable true nature & dynamic:]
The true nature & dynamic of apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- is pointed by concepts like:
– the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- [U2T-2T],
– the inconceivable Union of the three spheres about apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- [U3S / U2T-3S-2T],
– the inconceivable Union of opposites about apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- [Non-duality / Oneness / Uopp / U2T-opp-2T],
– the inconceivable Middle Way about apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence --,
– the tetralemma about apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence --,
– freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, freedom from all limits, freedom from all conditioning / karma,
– the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Ati / Dzogchen / Mahamudra /
– Enlightened-mind / Intrinsic-awareness / Primordial-empty-awareness.
--
[TETRALEMMA:] Apparent opposites like ‘the two truths’ -- dependent origination / relative functionality and emptiness of inherent existence -- are
-- not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, and there is no fifth;
-- 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, and there is no other possibility;
-- not dependent / caused / produced / functional, not independent / uncaused/spontaneous / unproduced / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not composite / contextual / conditioned, not non-composite / non-contextual / unconditioned, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not not-merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not self-caused, not other-caused, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not changing / evolving, not completely non-changing / evolving, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not conventional / relative / false, not absolute / universal / true, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not dependently co-arisen / interdependent / mere-interdependence [T1], not empty of inherent existence / mere-emptiness [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T], and there is no fifth;
-- not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bad, not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / good, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not unreal / identical to illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not real / different from illusions / dreams / mirage / magic tricks, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not describable / conceivable / meaningful, not indescribable / inconceivable / meaningless, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
-- not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth -- for whatever ‘this’ could be -- (this could be generalised for groups of more than two apparent opposites; ex. the three spheres, the three kayas, the three gems, the three times, the four cardinal directions, the five …, the six ...).
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Meaning their true nature (Ground / Suchness / U2T) is indescribable / inconceivable (in absolute terms) for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s), beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
And there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way in everything, the tetralemma, the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas.
In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the pristine display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
It may look complicated but all of this can be resumed into one thing: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. Everything else, all these words, is just to help us to stay away from all possible extremes & middle, and create enough room for a possible inconceivable spontaneous individual non-dualistic non-conceptual direct perception / realisation / experience of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now: U2T.
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[MIDDLE WAY:]
So the best attitude toward all dharmas is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle:
nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do / cause / produce / change / improve / cultivate / perceive / know / experience / acquire / possess / purify / liberate / achieve ... in absolute terms,
nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do / not-cause / not-produce / not-change / not-improve or deteriorate / not-cultivate / not-perceive / not-know / not-experience / not-acquire / not-possess / not-purify or stain / not-liberate or enslave / not-achieve ... in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
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Extremes like:
i) existence / realism / causality / dependent origination / karma / relative-truth-only [T1],
ii) non-existence / nihilism / mere-nothingness / mere-emptiness / ultimate-truth-only [T2],
iii) both existence & non-existence together / a form of dualism / the two truths together, in opposition / duality of the two truths [2T],
iv) neither existence nor non-existence /  a form of monism / neither of the two truths / oneness of the two truths [1T];
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.
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For the latest version of this box see:
Madhyamaka Machine - Blog Post #158
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/11/madhyamaka-machine.html)

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Quotes

Five Stanzas on Love ~ Maitripa

If it weren’t for the adored bridegroom

Of appearance as mere dependent origination,

The loving bride of emptiness

Would be no better than dead.


Emptiness is the most lovely bride,

A ravishing beauty beyond compare.

If he ever became separated from her,

That handsome bridegroom would be fettered in shackles.


Therefore, trembling with anxiety,

Bride and bridegroom turn to the guru,

Whose inborn kindness for them

Places their love right back to its original, innate state.


Ah, the genuine guru’s sagacity

And great skill are so wonderful

That those two become originally indivisible,

Nonreferential, and unsurpassable.


This couple is endowed with the abundance of all characteristics

And is free from the two extremes.

It is the nature of all that is, yet lacks a nature of its own —

Thus it always flourishes.


– Maitripa

quoted in the book "Straight from the Heart: Buddhist Pith Instructions"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/five-stanzas-on-love/ 

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Within Dharmakāya,

which is Appearance-Emptiness nondual,

one experiences Samsara and Nirvana as one.

When sentient beings and Buddhas merge,

One has perfected One-taste.


-Milarepa 

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Everything is dependently arising ~ 17th Karmapa

When we talk about emptiness, is has to be based on an understanding of the relativity of all things. Looking at ‘the reflection of the moon on water’, we can see that there is nothing there. Even that is dependently arisen, dependent on the existence of the moon and the water, on the ability of water to reflect. All of these things must come together to enable us to see the reflection of the moon on the water. That is emptiness. Emptiness and interdependence are inseparable. Everything is dependently arising; nothing exists on its own. Therefore, the nature of everything is emptiness. And because everything is emptiness and everything is interdependent, then everything is possible. (one implies the other)


-- 17th Karmapa

https://quotes.justdharma.com/everything-is-dependently-arising/ 

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Emptiness and dependent origination ~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Mind is by its very nature empty, yet appearances arise from it without obstruction. Out of the unobstructed emptiness of mind the whole range of appearances can manifest without limit. On a relative level, phenomena manifest through dependent origination; this is inseparable from the emptiness of mind, which is the ultimate level. Freedom from extremes is realizing that emptiness and dependent origination are one and do not contradict each other. Confusion lies neither in the appearance of things, nor in the fact that they are manifested by mind, but in one’s own misunderstanding of the emptiness and luminosity of mind.


-- 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

from the book Cloudless Sky

https://quotes.justdharma.com/emptiness-and-dependent-origination/ 

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Emptiness and non-existence ~ 14th Dalai Lama

The doctrines of emptiness and selflessness do not imply the non-existence of things. Things do exist. When we say that all phenomena are void of self-existence, it does not mean that we are advocating non-existence, that we are repudiating that things exist. Then what is it we are negating? We are negating, or denying, that anything exists from its own side without depending on other things. Hence, it is because things depend for their existence upon other causes and conditions that they are said to lack independent self-existence. (one implies the other)


-- 14th Dalai Lama

from the book Answers: Discussions With Western Buddhists

https://quotes.justdharma.com/emptiness-and-non-existence/ 

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Living an Appearance-Emptiness Life ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

You know the supreme path that is free from coming and going,

And you teach the true nature of all phenomena,

While never leaving a single being out of your compassion’s embrace,

Great mother, noble Tara, I bow at your feet.


Since all phenomena, outer and inner, are dependently existent mere appearances,

They have no inherent nature (emptiness of inherent existence), they are just appearance-emptiness.

If you know how they resemble dreams and illusions,

All comings and goings will be open and relaxed.


Since appearances of friends and enemies are dependently existent,

Both are appearance-emptiness, like rainbows, and if you know this,

That is called, “meditation on illusion.”

Within openness you will achieve inner peace.


A planet and a particle are equal,

An aeon and an instant are equal, the Buddha taught.

If you gain uncontrived certainty in this,

Within spaciousness, any work you do will come out alright.


When you are expert at studying your own mind

All that appears becomes your guru,

And even your enemies become friends of your Dharma practice –

E ma! What a wonderful miracle!


-- Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/living-an-appearance-emptiness-life/ 

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Functionality and emptiness ~ 14th Dalai Lama

Nagarjuna said that for a system where emptiness is possible, it is also possible to have functionality, and since functionality is possible, emptiness is also possible. (one implies the other) So when we talk about nature, the ultimate nature is emptiness. What is meant by emptiness, or shunyata? It is not the emptiness of existence but rather the emptiness of true or independent existence, which means that things exist by dependence upon other factors.


-- 14th Dalai Lama 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/functionality-and-emptiness-dalai-lama/ 

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The union of appearances and emptiness ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

Ultimate reality cannot be apprehended by concepts. We can, however, in an experiential way that transcends the ordinary conceptual mind, achieve a genuine understanding of reality (the Ground) as being the Union of appearances and emptiness.


-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-union-of-appearances-and-emptiness-shechen-rabjam-rinpoche/ 

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The dance between emptiness and appearance ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche

When you have achieved a state of calmness and readiness, then you are ready to know, ready to understand in a deep way the dance between emptiness and appearance. Once you catch a glimpse of that dance, don’t hang on to it. Just let it go, like your first glimpse of essence love.


-- Tsoknyi Rinpoche 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-dance-between-emptiness-and-appearance-tsoknyi-rinpoche/ 

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The union of appearance and emptiness ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

When you dream of an elephant, does an elephant appear to your mind? Indeed it appears very clearly. Is there an elephant there? No. This appearance of an elephant in your dream is a union of appearance and emptiness. It appears, yet it does not exist – yet it appears. It is the same with all external phenomena. If we understand the example of the appearance of something in a dream, it is easier to understand how the mind appears yet does not exist, and does not exist yet appears.


-- Thrangu Rinpoche 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/the-union-of-appearance-and-emptiness-thrangu-rinpoche/ 

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Fooled by appearance ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche

If we recognize the unchanging, absolute nature of phenomena (the Ground), we will also recognize their intangibility. Things appear yet are empty; they are empty yet appear. (one implies the other) Emptiness is not the absence of phenomena, and phenomena are not the absence of emptiness. Rather, there is a union of appearance and emptiness. Just having a glimpse of understanding that things are not as they appear is already a big step toward seeing the true nature of things. We are like a naïve child who is easily fooled by appearances until we gain this understanding. In our confusion, we treat the phenomenal world as solid and real. We do not see that it is merely an expression of wisdom and the display of emptiness. We reify phenomena and this sets in motion an unending succession of attractions and aversions that lead to craving and desire. This one mistake, solidifying phenomena, gives rise to the endless cycle of samsara.


-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche 

https://quotes.justdharma.com/fooled-by-appearance-shechen-rabjam-rinpoche/ 

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