Sunday, October 17, 2021

Union of Absolute Truth and Relative Truth - 130

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Union of Absolute Truth and Relative Truth - 130

-- Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche
Source: https://www.padmasambhava.org/2018/12/union-of-absolute-truth-and-relative-truth/ 

“Grasping spoils the natural radiance of arising phenomena by obscuring the beauty of the nature and leading to many difficulties and troubles. In response to the grasping habit patterns of beings, Nagarjuna and the other great Madhyamaka masters taught in such as way as to introduce us to the beauty of the nature, so that we can simply relax in the openness of mind without clinging to the iceberg of duality as if it were a precious jewel. 

All that arises [T1] is empty [T2],
and emptiness [T2] continually arises [T1], arises. [U2T]
[i.e. This is the Inseparability / Interdependence / Non-duality / Union of the Two Truths: Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] <==> and emptiness of inherent existence [T2]. One truth implies the other (<==>).]

Such is the nature of everything, the very nature of what Dzogchen—the pinnacle of the Glorious Conqueror’s teachings— always points to. 

The unceasing display of clarity [T1] and emptiness [T2] is the very nature of mind [U2T about the mind].
When we discover the nature of mind, we begin to discover the nature of everything [U2T about all dharmas]. 

In general, this recognition begins in one’s own heart and extends out from the center of oneself to others. 

Thus, mind is referred to as empty [T2] and luminous [T1] (inseparable);
[i.e. U2T - Union of the Two Truths about the mind]
for although the mind is empty [T2],
emptiness sparks forth in a radiant, unceasing display of clarity [T1], or the arising clarity of bodhichitta—of love, compassion, and wisdom. 

These qualities [T1] are themselves inseparable from emptiness [T2],
[i.e. Union of the Two Truths: Union of Buddha-qualities (ex. bodhicitta, loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity, joy, wisdom …) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).]
so there is no substantially existent [T2] love, compassion, or wisdom [T1] that we can cling to like a stone.
Nothing is substantially solid [T2].

Mind is often referred to as the inseparable Union of clarity [T1] and emptiness [T2].
[i.e. U2T -- Union of the Two Truths about the mind]

The Supreme Teacher described the nature of mind in many different ways: alternately as 

  • the union of appearance and emptiness

  • the union of great blissfulness and emptiness, and 

  • the union of absolute truth and relative truth emptiness. 

On the level of reality, all arising appearances are the inseparable union of these qualities, which exist in a single, indivisible state. The teachings often compare this union to a fire and its warmth, since one cannot be distinguished from the other.

Likewise, emptiness [T2] and appearances [T1] cannot be separated from each other;
[i.e. U2T - Union of appearances <==> and emptiness of inherent existence. One truth implies the other (<==>).]
they are reflections of a single state, or nature, with two different aspects.
(i.e. Those two aspects / truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither)

In his Mula-madhyamaka-prajna, Nagarjuna compares this situation to molasses and sweetness in addition to fire and its warmth. In the same way, emptiness and appearances are inseparable [U2T]. The entire phenomenal display—all appearances without exception—are empty [U2T]. 

[NOTE:] Usually when we say that something is a “union,” we imply that two different ingredients have been added together to make a whole. Such is not the case with the nature of reality, which cannot be divided at all, in the same way water and its moisture can only be separated at the level of concepts. The true nature cannot be divided, categorized, or separated. This is the nature of everything!

But if the entire universe and world—including our own minds— are in an indivisible state of union,
[i.e. U2T - Inseparability / Interdependence / Union of the Two Truths [U2T], Union of the three spheres [U3S], Union of opposites [Uopp]]

why do great masters such Nagarjuna and the Buddha himself
emphasize emptiness, emptiness, emptiness [T2]? 

Why not appearances? It is because duality mind does not grasp very much to notions of emptiness [T2]; rather, it tends to grasp and cling to appearances [T1], or objects of perception. Because we are overwhelmed by dualistic conceptions [opposites], we tend to hold on to everything we experience, including the places we go and the activities we engage in. So all this talk of emptiness [T2] is designed to help us see past the mere surface of appearances [T1] and break down our beliefs about substantially existent phenomena. (And then later realise the Union of those two aspect / truths - U2T]”

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[Quote from Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika:
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18.8. (Sometimes the Buddha teaches using one view or another, one extreme or another as an antidote, but the true ultimate is beyond those four extremes / antidotes; it has to be directly perceived / realised / experienced:)
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Everything is "actual / real" (Extreme 1: teaching existence / dependent origination / T1 -- antidote to complete non-existence or mere-emptiness or nihilism)
Or "not-actual / unreal," (Extreme 2: teaching non-existence / emptiness of inherent existence / T2 -- antidote to inherent existence or mere-causality or naïve realism)
Or both "actual-and-not-actual," (Extreme 3: teaching both existence & non-existence together / the duality or opposition of the two truths together / 2T -- antidote to monism / oneness / 1T, the fourth extreme)
Or "neither-actual-nor-not-actual": (Extreme 4: teaching neither existence nor non-existence / the unity or oneness of the two truths / 1T -- antidote to dualism / 2T, the third extreme)
This is the teaching of the Buddha.
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(i.e. Teaching using various conventional adapted skillful means, using the four extreme views; using each extreme as the antidote of another; until the student can transcend all extremes altogether, transcend all dualistic conceptual proliferations, and directly realise the true nature of Reality as it is here & now.)
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18.9.
"Not caused by something else," "peaceful," "not elaborated by discursive thought,"
"Indeterminate," "undifferentiated": such are the characteristics of true reality (tattva).
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(i.e. But the true nature of Reality / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu is beyond those four extremes / antidotes. It is the inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle, free from all conceptual proliferations. That is the final antidote to the four extremes altogether, the final liberation from all obstructions to omniscience. This is freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all conceptual proliferations. This is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths. And freedom from conceptual proliferations transcends the distinctions / dualities between conceptualisation vs. non-conceptualisation, acceptation vs. rejection, good vs. bad … so it is not about rejecting concepts... anymore than accepting them for what they appear to be.)]


-- Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche
Opening the Wisdom Door of the Madhyamaka School (pgs 109-110)

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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.
--
[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.
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[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 / 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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[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.
-
[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)

.

[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 / 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)

.

[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

From Aryadeva - Four Hundred [verse 195]

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𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝗫𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 (1), 

(i.e. Teaching via the thesis, “existence”: Using the thesis: The extreme philosophical position of existence -- all forms of realism (realism of objects / entities / characteristics / relations / forces / fields / strings / processes ...) / objectivism / materialism / relationism / processism. It could also be representative of 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀: 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼-𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: co-dependence with its causes & conditions and effect (if applicable); co-dependence with its parts and wholes (if applicable), co-dependence with its opposites or items in relation (always applicable); and as an object co-dependent <==> with the subject / mind merely labelling / imputing it in dependence of its conditioning / karma (always applicable).)

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𝗡𝗢𝗡-𝗘𝗫𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 (2), 

(i.e. Teaching via the antithesis, “non-existence”: Using the antithesis: The extreme philosophical position of non-existence -- nihilism / all forms of idealism / subjectivism. It could also be representative of𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀: 𝗘𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗻𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲.)

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𝗕𝗢𝗧𝗛 (𝟯) 𝗘𝗫𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗡𝗢𝗡-𝗘𝗫𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘, 

(i.e. Teaching via “both existence and non-existence”: Accepting both thesis and antithesis as true: the extreme philosophical position of both existence and non-existence together -- all forms of dualism / manyness.It could also be representative of 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗗𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿: existence in co-dependence & emptiness of inherent existence.)

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𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗡𝗘𝗜𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥 (4) 

(i.e. Teaching via “neither existence nor-non-existence”: Rejecting both thesis and antithesis as false: the extreme philosophical position of neither existence nor non-existence -- all forms of monism / holism / radical oneness / God or TOE; opting for just a Big Cosmic Transcendental One from which existence and non-existence could arise as mere appearances. It could also be representative of thinking that 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗜𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 / 𝗿𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗢𝗻𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵 neither existence in co-dependence nor emptiness of inherent existence.)

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𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀.

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[i.e. No absolute vision / truths, path / methods, or fruit / goals. Using different gradual temporary imperfect adapted skillful means, antidotes, conventional truths methods & goals,  -- ex. the four extremes -- depending on each case, depending on the conditioning / karma of the individual. Even the Two Truths -- dependent origination and emptiness -- are mere adapted skillful means, complementary antidotes; even the concept of the Union of the Two Truths is only a pointer, a tool. And it would be wrong to think that there is “SOMETHING beyond all extremes”, an inconceivable Reality / State, or a “NOTHINGNESS beyond all extremes”; see Nagarjuna’s 20 emptinesses and Chandrakirti’s commentary.]

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From Aryadeva - Four Hundred [verse 287-288]

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287.

For the unreceptive, conceptions of A SELF (EXISTENCE (T1)) are best;

To teach them SELFLESSNESS / NO-SELF (NON-EXISTENCE (T2)) is not.

They would go to bad rebirths,

While the extraordinary attain peace.

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346.

The approach of EXISTENCE (1),

NON-EXISTENCE (2),

BOTH (3) EXISTENCE AND NON-EXISTENCE,

AND NEITHER (4),


Should always be applied by those

With mastery to oneness [i.e. Union of the Two Truths, Union of opposites] and so forth.

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[Steps to the Middle Way according to Mipham Rinpoche]

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(i.e. Gradually refuting the four extremes views in succession -- Gradually understanding and then directly realizing the genuine meaning of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) / Reality as it is / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / the Union of the Two Truths.)

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(Note: There are 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀 about Reality: 1) existence, 2) non-existence, 3) both existence & non-existence together, 3) neither existence nor non-existence. And there is no fifth view in terms of the duality of existence vs. non-existence.

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Or the 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 : 1) the first truth alone - dependent origination / causality [T1], 2) the second truth alone - emptiness of inherent existence [T2], 3) the two truths together in a duality / saying they are different [2T], 4) neither of the two truths / the unity or oneness of the Two Truths / saying they are identical / the same [1T]. And there is no fifth view about the two truths.)

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This selection shows Mipam’s explanation of “𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘄𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘆.” It is taken from his (Mipham's) overview of Longchenpa’s commentary on the Secret Essence Tantra, and nearly the same words can also be found in his commentary on the Ornament of the Middle Way. This illustrates the importance of this Middle Way view in the contexts of both sutra and tantra.

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[𝗜-𝗜𝗩. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀:]

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Through a fourfold scheme, he outlines 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 (𝘪.𝘦. 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘴 & 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 / 𝘬𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢; 𝘣𝘦𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘦𝘵𝘤.)

through the stages of empty (emptiness of inherent existence), unity (Union of the Two Truths), freedom from constructs, and equality (Union of opposites in general).

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Beginning with the object of negation, true existence, 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗲𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 [𝗴𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗶𝗻𝗲-]𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘆.

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The process culminates with equality (ex. Union of the Two Truths, Union of the three spheres, Union of opposites), free from all concepts and dualities, which is beyond all distinctions between sentient beings and buddhas, nirvana and samsara.

(𝘪.𝘦. 𝘐𝘵 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘞𝘢𝘺; 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘦𝘯𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘦-𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴; 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘐𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 / 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 / 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘴 & 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 / 𝘬𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢; 𝘰𝘳 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴 -- 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵, 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯/𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘰𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 -- [𝘜3𝘚]; 𝘰𝘳  𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘴 [𝘜𝘰𝘱𝘱]in general ...)

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[𝗜. EMPTY: 𝗧𝟮 - 𝗥𝗲𝗳𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲: 𝗶𝗻𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 / 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 & 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗲-𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆:]

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When beginners properly investigate using the reasons that establish 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 — such as [the reason of] being neither singular nor plural — through contemplating the meaning of the non-establishment of a pot and so forth, they [mistakenly] think that the abiding reality is non-establishment itself because, although existing when not analyzed, nothing is found upon investigation. Therefore, through alternating appearance and emptiness, the empty quality dawns.

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[𝗜𝗜. UNITY/ UNION: 𝗧𝟭 - 𝗥𝗲𝗳𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲: 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 / 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗲-𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀:]

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At that time, by contemplating that the non-existence of phenomena also is just a mere imputation not actually established, or by contemplating the manner in which things appear while empty from the beginning, one generates the distinctive certainty that while empty, they appear and while appearing, are empty, like [a reflection of ] the moon in water. When the absence of intrinsic nature and 𝙙𝙚𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 dawn without contradiction, one has “the understanding of unity.”

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[𝗜𝗜𝗜 𝗮-𝗯. FREEDOM FROM CONSTRUCT: 𝗨𝟮𝗧 - 𝗥𝗲𝗳𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀: 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 & 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲, 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗶𝗻 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 - 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 / 𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲, 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 / 𝗼𝗻𝗲:]

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At that time, certainty is generated in the manner that both — the lack of inherent nature [T2 - emptiness of inherent existence] and dependent arising [T1 - conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma] — although different in being expressed by two phrases, are 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 (𝗶𝗻 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻) 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘆) 𝗶𝗻 𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲. (𝘪.𝘦. 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 / 𝘴𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 / 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦 / 𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 / 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 / 𝘰𝘯𝘦 / 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳.)

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Thereby, the thought that apprehends appearance as the basis of negation, which is affixed to an object of negation that is eliminated, naturally deconstructs. And then dawn the qualities of a 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝘁𝘀, such as the ability to remain naturally 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴.

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(𝘪.𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘞𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘴 & 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘳𝘦𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 & 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦, 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 & 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘦𝘵𝘤.)

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[𝗜𝗩. EQUALITY: 𝟭𝗧 - 𝗗𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 / 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 / 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘆 -- 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀 & 𝗺𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲, 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 / 𝗸𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗮:]

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Through becoming familiar (ex. using repeated meditation) with such a freedom of constructs again and again, all aspects of dualistic phenomena, in which one sets apart particular objects (manifestations) and their distinctive suchness (Ground), are purified. Through bringing forth an exceptional certainty in the nature of all phenomena as 𝗘𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬 one reaches completion.

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(𝘪.𝘦. 𝗘𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘞𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘴 & 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘳𝘦𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘨 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 & 𝘰𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 , 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 & 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 & 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 & 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦, 𝘦𝘵𝘤.; 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 / 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 / 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴, 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 / 𝘥𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘢 / 𝘥𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘶, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯 𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘎𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘸𝘰 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘴 [𝘜2𝘛], 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴 -- 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵, 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯/𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘰𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 -- [𝘜3𝘚], 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘴 [𝘜𝘰𝘱𝘱] 𝘪𝘯 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭 ...)

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(Note: What is said about the opposites of the duality of existence & non-existence --  the four extreme positions, the utilisation of those four extremes as possible adapted skillful means / temporary tools, and the refutation of those four extremes positions leading ultimately to a state of freedom from those four extreme opposites, and freedom from all conceptual proliferations about them -- it also applied to the opposites of any duality / triad / quad / etc. Then we have freedom from all extremes & middle(s) of any duality, freedom from all conceptual dualistic proliferations, from all conditioning / karma. That is the meaning of EQUALITY.)

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From: JAMGÖN MIPHAM - His Life and Teachings

Douglas Duckworth, Shambhala, 2011

Part III - Select Translations

Section 4 - Steps to the Middle Way

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Another Quote (about The Four Stages Of The Dawning Of The Middle Way);
From Jamgon Mipam - His Life His Teaching, by Douglas Duckworth

7.2 STEPS TO THE NON-CONCEPTUAL
-- A BRIDGE FROM A CONCEPTUAL MEANING TO A NON-CONCEPTUAL ONE
-- GRADUALLY REFUTING THE FOUR EXTREMES (OF ANY DUALITY) ONE AFTER THE OTHER;
leaving the place for a spontaneous direct non-conceptual non-dualistic realization of the true nature of reality as it is here & now beyond all concepts, opposition / duality, conditioning / karma;
== GRADUALLY REALIZING THE UNITY/UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS & THE UNITY/UNION OF THE THREE WORLDS & THE UNITY/UNION OF OPPOSITES (not existence, not non-existence, not both together, not neither; not difference / separation / multiplicity / duality, not identity / unity / oneness / non-duality, not both together, not neither; not pure objectivity, not pure subjectivity, not both together, not neither; not bad / impure / imperfect / inequal, not good / pure / perfect / equal, not both together, not neither ...)
== GRADUALLY REALIZING THE UNION OF PURITY <==> EQUALITY OF THE MIDDLE WAY: FREEDOM FROM ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE:
nothing to accept / affirm nothing to reject / negate in absolute terms, just relatively / conventionally / inter-subjectively. 

The Great Perfection offers immediate access to recognizing the nature of reality.
Except for the exceptionally gifted few, however,
most of us lack the good fortune for instantaneous realization
and need to rely on a gradual path of study and contemplation.
Mipham describes such a progressive approach to THE VIEW OF THE MIDDLE WAY in four stages,
which have been said to correspond to the famous four lines of the Heart Sutra: 

“Form is emptiness. (refuting existence)
Emptiness is form. (refuting non-existence / emptiness)
There is no form other than emptiness. (refuting the difference between the two, the duality)
There is also no emptiness other than form.” 115 (refuting the identity of the two, the oneness / non-duality)

MIPHAM LABELS THE FOUR STAGES AS FOLLOWS: EMPTY, UNITY/UNION, FREEDOM FROM CONSTRUCTS, AND EQUALITY.
We will briefly consider this process.

  1. [Not inherently existence = emptiness / 2nd truth; refuting realism:]
    Mipham describes the first stage, empty, as the time in the beginning of analysis, when we come to see that all things lack true existence and that nothing can be found under analysis. This stage involves reasoning into the nature of things, analyzing their mode of existence to see if it is a singular or multiple entity, and so forth. During this stage, emptiness and appearance are known in alternation: phenomena are empty when analyzed and appear when not analyzed [U2T]. 116

  2. [Not complete non-existence = dependent origination of appearances / 1st truth; refuting nihilism:]
    After understanding that phenomena are empty, we can then move to the next stage, called UNITY/UNION. Even while things are found to be empty, or rather, even though nothing is found under analysis, things do not cease to appear. Here, we come to understand that emptiness and appearance are not in conflict, because dependent arising is the meaning of emptiness [U2T]. Phenomena are empty simply because they do not exist independently. At this stage, we come to understand that being empty does not stop phenomena from appearing; rather, we recognize that being empty is the necessary condition for appearance. So this stage points further to THE GENUINE UNITY/UNION OF APPEARANCE AND EMPTINESS [U2T].

  3. [Not both existence & non-existence together = freedom from constructs / opposites; refuting dualism:]
    In the next stage, freedom from constructs, we come to understand that things being empty and things appearing do not have a different meaning (the two are not different / separate / two / dual). Other than different modes of expression, or different ways of conceiving reality, we now see that there is actually no difference [nor identity] between appearance and emptiness. In this phase, we recognize that an object “being empty”—as a property separate from that appearing object—is only a linguistic or conceptual distinction: there is no such distinction in reality. 117
    We can appreciate what Mipham is getting at here when we consider that the emptiness of an appearance is like the blueness of a blue sky, it is a quality that is only separable by abstraction. We do not find a separate blueness when we look at the sky. Similarly, empty appearance and appearing emptiness are just two ways of saying the same thing. They are not different in reality. We cannot even say that they are the same, because sameness implies two things being the same; so in reality, they are not (even) one!

  4. [Not neither existence nor non-existence = equality; refuting monism / holism / oneness; refuting all extremes; freedom from all extremes:]
    The final stage in the fourfold process is equality. At this stage, all duality dissolves (the two are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither -- beyond all dualities, like manyness & oneness, difference & identity, duality & non-duality ...) through our becoming accustomed to the freedom from constructs. We come to understand the meaning of equality beyond constructs by familiarizing ourselves with this truth again and again. Through cultivating this awareness without conceptual fabrication, we directly perceive equality where there is no distinction between buddhas and sentient beings, and we come to integrate this insight within experience.

These four stages—empty, UNITY/UNION, freedom from constructs, and equality—counteract respectively the four extremes (the “tetralemma”) of existence, non-existence, both, and neither. 

  1. The first stage, empty, negates the first extreme of existence.
    (Affirm the 2nd truth: the emptiness of inherent existence of everything; that everything is not inherently existent.)
    This is the most dominant extreme, because we are habituated to conceive things (our self, our things, the world) as truly real. By seeing these as empty, we come to recognize that they do not really exist the way we conceive them to be.

  2. The second stage, UNITY/UNION, counteracts the second extreme of non-existence.
    (Affirm the 1st truth: the dependent origination of everything; that everything is not completely non-existent.)
    After negating the extreme of existence, if we hold on to that absence—a mere lack of true existence—we are still in the grips of conceptual constructs, because this absence is wholly dependent on its binary counterpart of true existence. If existence were truly something to be negated, its negation as non-existent would be real too. However, since nothing has ever been truly existent, non-existence cannot be real either. This is the reason why even the negation of existence cannot be affirmed. As is the case with the death of a man who was never born, without existence, non-existence cannot be real either.

  3. The third stage, freedom from constructs, counteracts the third and supposedly more subtle extreme of both existence and non-existence.
    (Affirm that the two truths are not different; that everything is not both existent / dependently arisen and non-existent / empty together.)
    We might think that since reality is neither truly existent nor truly non-existent, then perhaps it is both. However, to both truly exist and truly not exist is a contradiction. Being and nonbeing, real and unreal, are mutually exclusive; we can only speak meaningfully of one or the other. Of course, we could say that things ultimately do not exist, while conventionally they do, but this is introducing a dichotomy of TWO TRUTHS. Here, we are talking about one truth, how things really are, as the ultimate or true nature of things. In “the way things are in reality, which are ultimate, the way that reality appears to a sublime being’s perception", nothing is both existent and non-existent.

  4. The fourth and last stage, equality, counteracts what is said to be the most subtle of the four extremes, that of neither existence nor non-existence. (Affirm that the two truths are not identical; that everything is not neither existent / dependently arisen nor non-existent / empty.)
    Since things do not really both exist and not exist, we might think they neither exist nor not exist. However, this is still bound up within the premises of our conceptual categories. This stage takes us a step further, in a similar way as the move from the first stage to the second (because things do not really exist does not mean they must really be non-existent either): just because things do not both exist and not exist does not mean that they must necessarily neither exist nor not exist. This may sound like a contradiction, but it need not be so. The dichotomy of existence and non-existence, the law of noncontradiction, and the excluded middle are products of thought. They form the framework of our conceptual constructions. Yet even if consistent thought and language must follow these laws, our experience doesn’t need to because it is not necessarily confined to our conceptual structures. By first recognizing this experience beyond concepts and becoming accustomed to it, we come to directly experience equality. To know equality is to experience the one taste of all things, where there is no separate self or other in samsara or nirvana.

Through these four stages, Mipham charts a process through which conceptual analysis is used to transcend concepts. The stages have a certain progression, and he says we cannot skip any stage without a proper understanding of the stages that precede it. 118 Consequently, a thorough analysis is essential to this process. Even so, while careful analysis is necessary in the preliminary stages, concepts must eventually be overcome in the end. At some point, the conceptual structure needs to break down for a non-conceptual experience to take place, but the problem is: this cannot be done by concepts alone. For Mipham, the process is something like rubbing two sticks together: we need the sticks in the beginning to make the fire, but in the end, the friction from the sticks of concepts results in the non-conceptual fire of WISDOM [U2T-pure-SA] that consumes those sticks. 119

In this way, Mipham creates a bridge from a conceptual meaning to a non-conceptual one. What comes about through this kind of conceptual analysis is a semblance (rjes mthun) of the meaning of the non-conceptual, an approximation that is supposed to give way to a genuine, non-conceptual realization [U2T]. This semblance of the non-conceptual is the place where Mipham pivots between a determinate, analytical certainty and an unbounded dimension of experiential insight. 

Indeed, the role of cultivating a semblance, or an approximation, as a means to understand the genuine plays a major part in the way he depicts the process of coming to understand THE VIEW (AS THE UNITY/UNION OF APPEARANCE AND EMPTINESS [U2T]), as well as the way he presents meditation (as the process of taking non-conceptual WISDOM [U2T-pure-SA] as the path). 120 One could argue that his appeal to a semblance of the genuine meaning makes his analytical process less rigorous, in that it attempts the impossible (conceptualizing the non-conceptual) and thus sullies a crisp, analytical representation of emptiness. Or one might have the opposite view: that the process of conceptual analysis disrupts the beauty and simplicity of a pure, experiential insight. Yet one might also see how wedding these two approaches—the conceptual cultivation of a semblance of non-conceptuality and the direct experience of it—is an effective means to bring forth genuine insight. Indeed, this fusion is an important part of Mipham’s presentation of the view and meditation, and it is a central means by which he brings together sutra and tantra and integrates analytical reason with experiential insight (see translation 4).

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From the Prajnaparamita Sutra: 


“How do you perceive reality?”

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-- ... “No, look deeper.”

-- ... “No.”

-- ... “No. Look deeper.”

-- ... “No, that’s too limited an understanding.” ...

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Then Avalokiteshvara proclaimed the pith of the prajnaparamita, the essence of the rug-pulling-out experience, the essence of the fearless, open state of mind. It came in the form of a mantra: 


“OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA.” 

(“OM gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, awake, so be it.”)

(i.e. transcending the four extremes in succession)

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Just as a seed contains the tree, this mantra contains the entire teachings on abiding in prajnaparamita, abiding in the fearless state.

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“Good, good! You expressed it perfectly, Avalokiteshvara.”

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"Most Tibetan Buddhist philosophers agree that the tetralemma is a tool that allows one to realize the ultimate, but they differ in their explanations of the ways in which this tool functions. Gorampa argues that one must negate each of the four extremes in succession by using logic and reasoning, and then one must subsequently realize the negation of all four extremes simultaneously through meditative practices."

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From: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/gorampa/ 

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[𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕜 𝕓𝕖𝕥𝕨𝕖𝕖𝕟 "𝔽𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕕𝕠𝕞 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕖𝕩𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕞𝕖𝕤" 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 "𝕌𝕟𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕋𝕨𝕠 𝕋𝕣𝕦𝕥𝕙𝕤" : ]

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𝗘𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 

~ 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

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Mind is by its very nature 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝘆 [T2],  <==> yet 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗲 from it [T1] without obstruction [U2T]. 

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Out of the unobstructed 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 [T2] of mind the whole range of 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 [T1] can manifest without limit. [U2T - Union of the Two Truths - One truth implies the other (<==>).]

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On a relative level, phenomena manifest through dependent origination [T1]; <==> this is inseparable from the emptiness [T2] of mind, which is the ultimate level. 

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*** 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘𝗗𝗢𝗠 𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 𝗘𝗫𝗧𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗦 𝗜𝗦 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗜𝗡𝗚 (𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗨𝗡𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗧𝗪𝗢 𝗧𝗥𝗨𝗧𝗛𝗦 *** : ) 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 [T2] 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 [T1] 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗲 [𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻]  𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗼 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗰𝘁 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. [that one truth implies the other; they are inseparable, interdependent]

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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 [T2] and luminosity [T1] of mind. [i.e. U2T about the mind]

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-- 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

from the book Cloudless Sky: The Mahamudra Path of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu School
https://quotes.justdharma.com/emptiness-and-dependent-origination/ 

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[THE UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS AND FREEDOM FROM EXTREMES]

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The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan, in the eighth century. 𝗝𝘂 𝗠𝗶𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗺(1846–1912) in his commentary to the Madhyamālaṃkāra of Śāntarakṣita (725–788) says:

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"If one trains for a long time in 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀, the stage of acceptance (on the path of joining), which is attuned to primordial wisdom, will arise. By thus acquiring a certain conviction in that which surpasses intellectual knowledge, and by training in it, one will eventually actualize it. This is precisely how the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas have said that liberation is to be gained."

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The following sentence from 𝗠𝗶𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗺's exegesis of Śāntarakṣita's Madhyamālaṃkāra highlights the relationship between 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀  (mtha'-bzhi) and 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 (𝗼𝗿 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳) 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 (bden-pa dbyer-med):

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"The learned and accomplished [masters] of the Early Translations considered this 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀 (𝗶.𝗲. 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀, 𝗼𝗿 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀), 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 (𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀), as their own immaculate way."

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Dzogchen holds that the two truths are ultimately resolved into non-duality as a lived experience and are non-different. (𝗶.𝗲. 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗵𝘀)

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Via: Wikipedia - Two truths doctrine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine#Tibetan_Buddhism 

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[TOO MANY PEOPLE STILL THINK IT IS ABOUT ABANDONING ALL THINKING, CONCEPTS, DISCRIMINATION, ACTIVITY ...]

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Note: I have been reading some western literature about the Two Truths and about Gorampa. They are way confused.

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One important point: 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀𝗻'𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 & 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 & 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 ... 

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𝗜𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺, free from acceptation & rejection, not fooled by them, not grasping at them, not thinking they are independent / absolute / inherently existing, not slaves to them. No need to reject them. Nothing is inherently existing and inherently bad.

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That is the Middle Way where there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truths.

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It is freedom from our conditioning / karma by simply directly realising its true nature & dynamic. It is not about rejecting / abandoning the world, our body, speech & mind. Just about being fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now while using them as simple tools.

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There is nothing to reject. Nirvana is samsara purified by wisdom, not by rejecting the world and going somewhere else.

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The Ultimate is beyond dualities like good vs. bad, conceptualisation vs. non-conceptualisation, discrimination vs. non-discrimination, classification vs. non-classification, thinking vs. non-thinking, doing vs. non-doing, empty vs. not-empty, dependent vs. independent, existence vs. non-existence, etc.

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Buddhas still think, talk, discriminate, act, live, chop wood & carry water ... they just do it with wisdom and compassion inseparable.

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[It is simple. REALITY is the Union of the Two Truths: a Middle Way free from the extremes of inherent existence & complete non-existence.]

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Emptiness and non-existence ~ 14th Dalai Lama
https://quotes.justdharma.com/emptiness-and-non-existence/ 

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The doctrines of emptiness [T2 - not inherent existence] and selflessness do not imply the non-existence of things. Things do exist [T1 - not complete non-existence]. 

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When we say that all phenomena are void of self-existence [T2 - emptiness], it does not mean that we are advocating non-existence [nihilism / nothingness], that we are repudiating that things exist [rejecting / escaping the world]. 

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Then what is it we are negating? We are negating, or denying, that anything exists from its own side without depending on other things. 

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Hence, 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘂𝗽𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 [𝗧𝟭] <==> 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗲𝘅𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 [𝗧𝟮].

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(i.e. UNION OF THE TWO TRUTH [U2T] : everything is empty of inherent existence [T2], like illusions, not really existing <==> exactly because everything is conventionally dependently co-arisen / interdependent relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] -- physical, conceptual, mental; subject, relation/action, object --, merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma -- individual, collective, cosmic --, not completely non-existent. One aspect / truth implying the other (<==>).)

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(Note: Everybody agrees about that. The tricky part that not everybody agree about, but that is exactly true, is that this 'Union of the Two Truths: that something is empty <==> because it is dependently co-arisen / interdependent' also applies to the two truth themselves -- dependent origination / causality and emptiness of inherent existence --. That is called the Union of the Two Truths about the Two Truths themselves [U2T-2T]. 

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The two tuths themselves -- dependent origination / causality & emptiness -- are themselves both empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent <==> exactly because they are inseparable / interdependent / co-dependent [T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind. And vice versa (<==>). 

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In other words: if appearances are not real, then their negation / emptiness is also not real. Without the belief in the inherent existence of things, then there is no more need for its antidote / emptiness. So 'emptiness' is not really some kind of Ultimate Truth or Reality. It is the ultimate truth only in name. The Ultimate Reality is inconceivable, beyond all dualities like empty vs. non-empty.

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And this leaves nothing to grasp at all. This is transcending all views, all extremes & middle, all dualistic conceptual proliferations.

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Tetralemma: Everything is not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both existent & non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent.)

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– 14th Dalai Lama

from the book "Answers: Discussions With Western Buddhists"

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Comments & [...] & (...) by Gilles

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