Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Buddha’s Teaching on Not-Self - 109

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The Buddha’s Teaching on Not-Self - 109

Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic

translated from the Pali by ร‘anamoli Thera


Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers). There he addressed the bhikkhus of the group of five: 

"Bhikkhus." — "Venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said this.


"Bhikkhus, FORM is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'


"Bhikkhus, FEELING is not-self...

"Bhikkhus, PERCEPTION is not-self...

"Bhikkhus, DETERMINATIONS are not-self...


"Bhikkhus, CONSCIOUSNESS is not self. Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' And since consciousness is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.'


"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."


"Is feeling permanent or impermanent?...

"Is perception permanent or impermanent?...

"Are determinations permanent or impermanent?...


"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" — "Painful, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."


"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'


"Any kind of feeling whatever...

"Any kind of perception whatever...

"Any kind of determination whatever...


"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'


"Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in form, he finds estrangement in feeling, he finds estrangement in perception, he finds estrangement in determinations, he finds estrangement in consciousness.


"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'"


That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were glad, and they approved his words.


Now during this utterance, the hearts of the bhikkhus of the group of five were liberated from taints through clinging no more.


Via: https://www.facebook.com/mindfulnessmeditationcenters/posts/3731933246913768 

Original: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.nymo.html 


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COMMENTS: 


So, the five aggregates (body, speech & mind) are not the 'self" -- not mine, this is not I, this is not myself -- because they are subject to change, evanescent, impermanent, leading to affliction, suffering ...


What then is unconditioned / self-arisen, unchanging, permanent, eternal, not leading to affliction? What is the 'true self', our true nature, the true nature of Reality? What is the basis of our Reality?


Surely not nothingness. Right?


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Answer from Michael Gregory: "the answer is in direct experience, not in words, that is the point of not I, me, my or mine...to experientially discover what remains. ๐Ÿ™"


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Quotes

Your natural face ~ Padmasambhava

Look into the awakened mind of your own awareness! It has neither form nor color, neither center nor edge. At first, it has no origin but is empty. Next, it has no dwelling place but is empty. At the end, it has no destination but is empty. This emptiness is not made of anything and is clear and cognizant. When you see this and recognize it, you know your natural face. You understand the nature of things. You have then seen the nature of mind, resolved the basic state of reality and cut through doubts about topics of knowledge.

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– Padmasambhava

from the book "Advice from the Lotus-Born"

https://www.facebook.com/JustDharmaQuotes/photos/a.283199241781361/3279985998769322/ 

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Best Quote of the Year !!!!

"People who think that things are real (existent) are as stupid as a cow; 

people who think things are not real (non-existent) are even more stupid."

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-- Saraha

Source?: http://www.yogifilm.de/archives/portfolio/looking-for-ancient-tibet 

Via: https://www.facebook.com/LovingSangha/posts/10159035721129297 

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Just to be clear: things / phenomena / objects, beings  subjects, relations / actions -- the three spheres -- are ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ป-๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. Meaning their true nature is not nothingness; but it is beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all conditioning / karma (physical, conceptual, mental) x (individual, collective, cosmic). 

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They are empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (1st truth). 

The true nature of anything is indescribable, inconceivable, but our best pointer to it is the Union of the Two Truths.

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The meaning of 'no-self' is ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ป-๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ.

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Like Michael said : "the answer is in direct experience, not in words, that is the point of not I, me, my or mine...to experientially discover what remains."

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https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=526237905010824 

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[01. The Madhyamaka Machine about all dharmas: Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T].]

(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.
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[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).
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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 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.
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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 (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.
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[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.
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[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 ...).
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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 / naรฏve 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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[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.
--
[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.
-
[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 '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.
-
[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 / naรฏve 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)

.

[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.
-
[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 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.
-
[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 / naรฏve 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)

.

[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.
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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 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.
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[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.
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[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 / naรฏve 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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