Sunday, December 12, 2021

Finding rest in illusion - Longchenpa - Part III - 175

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[Finding freedom from the normality / conventionalities / conditioning / karma]

Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part III - 175

In Three Parts (164 verses)
(Work in progress)

[Conclusion - Everything is like an illusion: there but not there;
Conventionally dependently co-arisen & relatively functional appearances [T1] but still empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T].
From section C1: It all comes down to understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing / abiding in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites like the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object -- of any type of relation / action [U2T-3S] beyond all extremes & middle.
The primordial spontaneity, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness of all dharmas.]

https://www.pdfdrive.com/finding-rest-in-illusion-the-trilogy-of-rest-volume-3-e196892893.html


See Part I & II for the previous sections:
Finding rest in illusion - Longchenpa - Part I - 173
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/12/finding-rest-in-illusion.html
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Finding Rest in Illusion by Longchenpa - Part II - 174
https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/12/finding-rest-in-illusion-part-ii.html


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B.6 The Chapter that is Like an Echo [Inconceivable: ex. No permanence / continuity / eternity, no impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, no both together, no neither.]
(i.e. )

[B6. The Chapter that is Like an Echo]

There are four sections:

  1. An Echo-Like View / Ground

  1. An Echo-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  2. An Echo-Like Result / Fruition

  3. An Echo-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. All things are like an echo. There but not there.
All things are not nothing for they nevertheless appear [T1] <==> but they are not permanent because they are not truly existent entities [T2] [U2T - The Echo-like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
Inconceivability: ex. Things are not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth.)

NOW THAT IT has been established that phenomena are not nothing [T1] [for they nevertheless appear], we now go on to show that they are not permanent [T2] [U2T].

  1. Listen now, and I will lucidly explain The Victor’s word that
    all is like an echo. [i.e. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]]

All phenomena resemble echoes. They have no intrinsic nature [T2] even in the very moment that they are perceived [T1] [U2T]. They have no enduring permanence and are ineffable. Because they are not truly existent entities, they are like the resounding of an echo. As it is said in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, “O Subhūti, phenomena are by their nature without permanence. For that reason, they are like echoes.”

Once again, this topic will be explained in three sections according to ground, path, and result.

B.6a An Echo-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like an echo [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T].
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara. – Like an echo, phenomena / appearances arise each dependent on its particular causes & conditions (ex. dependent on the co-emergent Ground and ignorance) [T1] <==> and are thus empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]. Even the two truths themselves. So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms. In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Everything is like the display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

[B6a - An Echo-Like Ground]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. An Echo-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then. – Co-emergent with its manifestations.)

(i.e. Like an echo, phenomena / appearances arise each dependent on its particular causes & conditions (ex. dependent on the co-emergent Ground and ignorance) [T1] <==> and are thus empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T].)

Let us first establish the ground:

  1. Through human voice before a rocky cliff An echo’s sound arises [T1] in the form of what was said. Likewise through conditions do phenomena arise [T1]. They have no being of their own. Be convinced that they are void of true existence [T2] [U2T].

When people speak or shout in front of a rocky outcrop, the echo of their cry resounds. But the sound resonates without being located anywhere, either outside or within. In just the same way, co-emergent ignorance cocomitant with the empty and luminous character of the primordial ground (which lacks intrinsic being) acts as a cause—with the result that the ground’s own radiance (namely, the appearances of the ground) manifests as different hallucinatory appearances. Since they appear even though they have no existence, whether in awareness or anywhere else, it is in the manner of an echo that saṃsāra arises. In truth, they are but the clear appearance of something non-existent—and nothing else.

(i.e. While being perceived [T1], phenomena transcend all ontological extremes [beyond all extremes & middle] because they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Extremes like: existence, non-existence; permanence & impermanence; being subjective, objective, relational; etc. They are like space beyond the reach of conception and expression.)

The root text goes on to say that, while being perceived [T1], phenomena transcend all ontological extremes  [beyond all extremes & middle] because they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]:

  1. If, when the echo sounds, You search for its resounding— Within you or outside, or somewhere in between— You do not find it. If likewise you now mentally investigate All things that are within you or outside— The mind and what appears to it— Nothing, gross or subtle, do you find. All things are empty [T2]; just like space They have no entity. If this you understand, You will not cling or hanker after things.

The resounding of an echo cannot be located anywhere either in the people or the cliff or somewhere in between them. And yet it is perceived, existing as it were thanks to certain conditions. In the same way, if all outer phenomena, as well as the thoughts within the mind, are examined—the gross outer objects analyzed into their component parts, and the subtle [mental] phenomena examined for their shape, color, and so on—they are all found to be without the slightest degree of real existence. They are like space beyond the reach of conception and expression.

(i.e. Grasping at the difference / opposition / duality of the two truths [2T] is another extreme position; thinking they are identical is not better [1T]. Reality is more like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]: The two Truths – dependent origination & emptiness of inherent existence – are not really different / separate / in opposition [2T], nor identical [1T]. They are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-creasing / co-translated, in harmony, non-dual – in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. One truth implies the other [U2T]. The two truths themselves are empty of inherent existence <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances, merely labelled / imputed by the mind. [U2T-2T]
Everything is not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; etc.)

This empty condition of things transcends the ordinary mind [inconceivable]

  1. “The relative appears [T1]; The ultimate is not observed [T2].” Yet even to conceive of these two aspects [truths] Is nothing but the mind’s distinction. For in the moment they’re perceived, Phenomena (objects) transcend the mind (subject). The mind is but a fabric Of conceptual construction That the mind itself has posited. And as for things themselves, The mind does not affect them By enlarging or diminishing. They cannot be encompassed By the webs of thought— They cannot be identified. To know them to be so Is to transcend the mind’s construction.

Those who propound the objective reality of phenomena maintain that they have two aspects [2T]. They say that phenomena exist on the relative level but not on the ultimate level [2T]. This, however, is untenable, for such phenomena have no existence [T2] even in the very moment that they are being experienced [T1] [U2T]. It is only the mind that conceives of phenomena as having these two aspects [2T], for it is obvious that the latter are not part and parcel of phenomena themselves. This is why [when the mind realizes that] nothing is established as really existent [T2], phenomena are not themselves diminished [T1] (i.e. the two truths are not in real opposition, but are in harmony). It is the mind that discerns these two aspects within phenomena. And although the mind may discern the emptiness of phenomena, the emptiness in question is a mere concept and is not actual emptiness in itself. By contrast, the Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamikas say that with regard to appearing phenomena, no assertion is to be made. This, it should be understood, is the hallmark of the genuine [prāsaṅgika] middle way.

(i.e. How the limitless samsara, the karmic cycle with its six realms, perpetuates itself due to the co-emergent ignorance & Ground / Suchness / U2T.)

Saṃsāra is like an echo. It is just a kind of reverberation occurring through the play of dependent arising [T1]. And the root text goes on to describe how this happens:

  1. The primordial nature of the mind resembles space Wherein are present of themselves, Like wish-fulfilling gems, the perfect qualities, The spotless attributes of buddhahood. Conditioned through conceptual ignorance, Saṃsāra’s attributes appear without existing, echo-like, And thus one wanders through this world. The various perceptions of the six migrations Appear through beings’ habitual tendencies And through the impure mind’s engagement into action.

When the primordial nature of the mind—a sky-like expanse, in which the jewel-like qualities of enlightenment are spontaneously present—is conditioned by coemergent and conceptual ignorance, the habitual tendency to the mistaken duality of apprehended object and apprehending subject takes form, and beings wander in saṃsāra, which is just like an echo. Owing to different habitual tendencies, there arise the appearances of the six classes of beings, who stray from one existential state to another. Owing to the fact that the mind is defiled, and thanks to positive actions leading to happiness, one rises to the higher realms. Because of negative actions one falls into the lower realms. As it is said in the Ratnakūṭa, “They are afflicted who, owing to their positive and negative actions, pass through the different states of existence, one after the other.”

(i.e. But the true nature & dynamic of everything in the karmic cycle, samsara, is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp] – beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma. So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms. In that sense everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.)

The root text goes on to show that in the very moment that hallucinatory appearances arise [T1], they are empty [T2] [U2T]:

  1. And so all false appearances [T1] and the minds of beings Are groundless, rootless [T2] [U2T], by their very nature. Éma! All such things, perceived [T1] yet non-existent [T2] [U2T] — How laughable, to take such figments for reality! In truth, all seeming things Are like the echo’s sound. What does it serve to cling to them, Believing in their truth? Stay rather in a state Where all is equal and elusive, Where fleeting things sink back Into great non-reality [U2T]. They are neither wide nor narrow, Neither high nor low— And how delectable that is!

When it is realized that phenomena are groundless and rootless, they are viewed as a vast, fleeting, ungraspable display, impossible to qualify as either wide or narrow, high or low. Within the purview of ultimate reality, everything is perceived as being even or equal, and one is comfortable and at ease

(i.e. Great Equality / Purity / Perfection, Completeness.)

The way in which phenomena are equal is described as follows:

  1. When all fixation falls away Regarding things that may arise [T1] , Affirmed or else negated, They are like an echo’s sound. Since they subside Within a state that’s free of reference, They are all equal, Free from all one-sidedness.

When things appear and when one has neither hope nor fear in their regard, they are all similar to the resounding of an echo. Since everything subsides without being identified as this or that, all is leveled, being even, primordially pure, and without true existence.

(i.e. Everything is like the display of the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Not taken to be true [T2], yet variously appearing [T1] [U2T].)

It is then that all appearances and all experiences seem like one vast spectacle.

  1. Ha! Now look! All these appearances— They’re just ridiculous! There’s nothing you can grasp at, nothing to define. Things are loose, intangible, Vague, uncertain, evanescent— Not taken to be true, yet variously appearing.

When the root of the mind is cut, all clinging to an outer object naturally subsides. Then, once and for all, everything that appears is for the yogi just a dramatic spectacle. Since there is nothing to grasp and nothing to identify, in all these appearances, there is no defining them. Since they are without any essential core, they are loose. Since they are unreal appearances, they are intangible. Since all fixation on them evaporates, they are uncertain. And since in phenomena there is no reference point, they are evanescent.

(i.e. Not permanent, not impermanent …)

It is then that one’s experience of phenomena in all their variety becomes different from the perceptions of ordinary people. And consequently,

  1. For those unskilled who cling to them, Things are as true as true can be. For yogis who perceive their falsity, Things are all elusive and unreal. For those who think of fleeting things as permanent, All is fixed and everlasting. But when belief in permanence has naturally subsided, All things are empty [T2] forms [T1] [U2T] — Neither wide nor narrow, neither big nor small. Is not this delectable?

Sense objects that to ordinary people seem to be truly real appear to practitioners as elusive and false. People who assume that things exist permanently always perceive things as truly existent and truly permanent. For practitioners, on the other hand, such phenomena appear as the nonexistent but appearing radiance of emptiness, the ultimate nature of things that is seamlessly the same, unfragmented and unconfined. And what a delight this is!

B.6b A Echo-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: Preliminaries, then the main practice: Know with a complete conviction: all things – ex. the three spheres, apparent opposites, even the two truths, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – are like echos, Union the the Two Truths [U2T]. At all times, day and night, reflect just as before that all appearing things are echos [U2T]: there but not there.)

[B6b - A Echo-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Echo-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. HOW TO MEDITATE ON THIS POINT: Preliminaries, then the main practice: Know with a complete conviction: all things are like an echo: It appears [T1] but is without any intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

Now with regard to the practice of the path, the root text says,

  1. In order to grow used To that which you have understood, First practice the preliminaries as before And pray that you may understand That all is like an echo. In the main practice, meditate Reflecting then that everything Is like an echo’s resonance, Which in the moment of its sounding Is beyond your grasp. Reflect like this in all that you experience.

As previously explained, one should practice guru yoga, praying to one’s teacher, sincerely and from the bottom of one’s heart, that one might succeed in seeing that everything is as unreal as an echo. Then in the main practice, one should meditate on the fact that everything that can be seen and heard is echo-like. It appears but is without any intrinsic being.

(i.e. ex. All words, all comments – praise or blame – are like echoes. It’s pointless to accept or to reject them.)

  1. Especially all praise and blame, All reputation, good and bad, Resound [T1] but are an empty [T2] [U2T] resonance In which there’s nothing to be grasped. It’s pointless to accept or to reject them. Understand that all words are like echoes.

Praise or slander addressed to one by others is just like an echo. One should learn to take all such things and meditate on them as being of equal value. As it is said in the Middle-Length Prājñapāramitā, “O Subhūti, whether bodhisattvas who practice transcendent wisdom are slandered and decried by some, or whether they are praised and lauded by others, they should meditate that all remarks are devoid of intrinsic being. They are like echoes.”

(i.e. ex. All pleasant or unpleasant speech are like echoes. It’s pointless to accept or to reject them. Realize that, in every way, they are like echoes.)

Unpleasant speech is the gateway to anger. One should therefore understand that this too lacks intrinsic being.

  1. Wrath and other states of mind Have no location, no direction. They appear without existing; When looked for, they are nowhere to be found. Arising from conditions [T1], they are empty [T2] [U2T] Like an echo’s resonance. And other people’s words, Likewise arising [T1] from conditions, Are also like an echo. When scrutinized, they’re just reverberations, Occurring yet without existence. When closely analyzed, they are like space; They have no solid entity. They are neither good nor bad. Excitement and dejection are not found in them. So do not take these words as something real, For they are empty [T2], destitute of true existence. Realize that, in every way, they are like echoes.

When one is the object of unpleasant speech, the words in question have no existence in either the inner or the outer sphere. There is no cause for unhappiness. And since the bad intention that provoked them has neither substance nor color and is incapable of inflicting any injury, there is no point in being upset. It should be understood that if one is unhappy, this has arisen from one’s own mistaken thought that one is being criticized. In other words, the harm is self-inflicted. Words are empty; they cannot be pinpointed. There is nothing in them to be either gratified or depressed about. One should simply carry them on the path as being just empty sound that fades away all on its own, leaving no trace behind.

B6c A Echo-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. Awakening without awakening from the Echo of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – ACCEPTANCE: The fires of hate and wrath and all the habits of beginningless saṃsāra are quenched, and acceptance will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams you will see everything as echoes.)

[B6c - A Echo-Like Result / Fruition]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. Echo-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. )

We should understand matters in the same way. The root text concludes with a reference to the result:

  1. Through this are quenched The fires of hate and wrath And all the habits of beginningless saṃsāra. Through this, supreme acceptance is attained. There is no further falling into evil destinies, And stage by stage is born the wealth of victory. At night, just as before, approach your dreams Like echoes, sounding and yet void of sound. Thus you will achieve acceptance With regard to all phenomena. Meditate therefore that all is like an echo.

When one has become completely habituated to this kind of meditation during the daytime, one will also come to understand that even in one’s dreams, all things are like an echo. One will be able to assume different identities in one’s dreams and to transform the latter at will, just as was previously explained. It is then that one will, in the immediate term, have patience, that is to say, “acceptance,” in respect of the words one hears, and thanks to this, all anger and irritation will subside. As we find in the Ratnakūṭa, “O Kāśyapa, those bodhisattvas who understand that phenomena are like an echo are patient with the words they hear. They are not made happy by my words; they are not angered by the words of others; and when they hear the teachings on emptiness, they are not alarmed. This is the first level of acceptance in respect of the words one hears.”

B.6d A Echo-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Echo. May all sentient beings realise the Echo-like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there. And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference.  PATIENCE: May all beings …)

[B6d - A Echo-Like Conclusion for Chapter 5]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. )

In conclusion, The state of peace that’s utterly untroubled, unconditioned, Is one great sea of excellence, a sea of sublime patience. May all beings, leaving none aside, Embark upon the mighty ship of concentration And voyage on the path to liberation. In the vast sky of their perfect aspiration, May intelligence’s lightning flash; And from the massing clouds, May the refreshing waters Of the Doctrine’s peaceful rain Bring increase to the harvest Of disciples blessed by fortune. May compassion’s tree With boughs of benefit and bliss, May concentration’s flowers And wisdom’s perfect fruit, May fragrance and cool shade— Four ways whereby disciples are attracted— Delight the flocks of birds, the minds of beings!

This concludes the chapter that is like an echo, a commentary on the sixth vajra point of Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.


B.7 The Chapter that is Like a City of Gandharvas [Great Equality]
(i.e. )

[B7. The Chapter that is Like a City of Gandharvas]

There are four sections:

  1. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like View / Ground

  1. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  2. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Result / Fruition

  3. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. All things are like a City of Gandharvas. There but not there.
All things appear [T1] <==> even though they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T - The Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths]. They are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms. Everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.)

Now that their impermanence has been demonstrated, it will be shown how phenomena, which appear [T1] even though they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T], cannot be differentiated [Great Equality].

  1. And also the Victorious One Declared that
    everything is like a city of gandharvas. [i.e. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]]
    That you may meditate on this, Pay heed now to my explanation.

In the very moment that things are perceived, they are completely without a supporting basis. They are like cities of the fairies, castles in the clouds! As it is said in the Middle-Length Prajñāpāramitā, “O Subhūti, since phenomena have no abiding place, no support, and since they are by their very nature unborn, they are like a city of gandharvas.”

The meaning of this text is explained according to ground, path, and result.

B.7a A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like a City of Gandharas [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T].
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara. – Nirvana is directly perceiving / realizing / experiencing the true nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle / samsara as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites [U2T-opp] like the three spheres [U2T-3S]. Other ex. Union of samsara & nirvana. Union of ordinary mind & pure-awareness, Union of the Ground and its manifestations. Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T]. – The Great Spontaneity / Equality / Purity / Perfection / Completeness.)

[B7a - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Ground]

[Jump to TOC]

(i.e. A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then.)

(i.e. The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / primordial-empty-awareness, with its spontaneously present qualities & wisdoms, is limitless and centerless in nature, causality, space & time.)

First we will explain the ground:

  1. In the primordial expanse of luminosity Appears a city, fair and beautiful, of perfect qualities Spontaneously present. It dwells therein beginningless and without end. No center does it have, no limit.

In the ultimate expanse of the primordial ground, in other words, empty awareness similar to space, the city of perfect, spontaneous qualities is said to be naturally present. This is to say that the kāyas and wisdoms, with which the ultimate expanse is primordially endowed, subsist there, beginninglessly and endlessly.

(i.e. The three inseparable qualities of the Ground: This Ground is the inconceivable empty [T2 / essence] but luminous [T1 / nature] state of great spontaneous presence [U2T / dynamism / compassionate energy / creative power], the Basis / Source of its inseparable manifestations – with ignorance / samsara or wisdom / nirvana –. Co-emergence of non-dualistic primordial-awareness and dualistic ordinary-mind. One with ignorance, the other with direct wisdom.)

As the root text goes on to say, the ground is the empty [T2 - essence] but luminous [T1 - nature] state of great spontaneous presence [U2T - creative power / compassionate energy]:

  1. And from this luminous [T1] and empty [T2] state [T2] [U2T], Within the firmament of the unknowing mind, The six migrations—castles in the clouds—appear, Which take their origin in dualistic clinging To the apprehender [subject] and the apprehended [object]. Devoid of ground and basis, They appear in different forms Deriving from deluded mind And its habitual tendencies [karma].

The state of awareness of the ultimate expanse is like space. But since its creative power is concomitant with co-emergent ignorance, it strays into the duality of apprehender and apprehended, and because of this, the appearances of the ground [not being recognized for what they are] are mistakenly perceived as the different manifestations of the six classes of beings. These manifestations of beginningless habitual tendencies appear even though they are not really present, like cities of the gandharvas seen in the clouds.

(i.e. It is not about accepting and/or rejecting anything; it is about understanding and then directly realising
the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]:
All of these inseparable manifestations of the Ground – impure with ignorance or pure with wisdom – are like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances [T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma <==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2]. One aspect implies the other (<==>) [U2T].)

In whichever way phenomenal appearances manifest [T1], they are devoid of inherent existence [T2] [U2T].

  1. When this you see, there manifests The nature of the mind, the primal state. But when you fail to see it, There is just the mind of everyday confusion. And how are these appearances? They are ungraspable like castles in the clouds. Kyé! How else should we describe them?

When appearances, vividly present to awareness, are not recognized for what they are, these same hallucinatory events seem true. But they are just like castles in the clouds. For within the state of awareness, they are simply the clear appearance of what does not exist. They are void of basis and intrinsic being, of ground and root. On the other hand, when they are recognized for what they are, they are simply seen as empty forms, for they have no substance. As the sūtra tells us, “All compounded things resemble castles in the clouds.”

(i.e. Since everything is the Union of the Two Truths, it is not about accepting nor rejecting appearances / samsara [the Middle Way].
There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms.
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 [U2T].
Everything is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.
So just let the mind be as it is, equanimously observing the play of the three spheres, directly learning from it: the true nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle / samsara, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S].)

Since saṃsāra is primordially empty [U2T], one should come to the conclusion that it cannot be rejected.

  1. Indeed they are all destitute of real existence [U2T]; They are like the cities of the fairies seen Above a plain as sunlight sinks into the west. Supported and support Are simply the deluded mind, Which sees as it is wont to see. When closely scrutinized, there’s nothing really there. Left to itself, the vision naturally fades. So set aside your fear, for you have nothing hard to do. Understand just how the world and beings Are from the very outset pure and empty [T2].

In the light of the westering sun, in the sky above a plain, one may see in the clouds a city of the gandharvas, filled with its townsfolk. But the fastness and its people have no existence whatsoever. In the same way, although beings appear to be inhabiting the universe, in the moment of their appearing, they are without inherent existence. They are but the hallucinatory perceptions of the mind and in fact do not exist at all. Therefore, since the ordinary mind subsides by itself—for it too is destitute of inherent being—and since hallucinatory appearances, which are empty by their very nature, do not for that reason need to be purposely rejected, one should simply and effortlessly settle in the state of great equality, leaving everything just as it is. As it is said in the Ornament of the Light of Wisdom, “O Mañjuśrī, castles appear in the clouds, and yet there is nothing there. Likewise all phenomena appear but they do not exist.”

(i.e. It is not about accepting and/or rejecting anything; it is about understanding and then directly realising
the Union of the three spheres [U3S], or the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S] – subject / mind / actor / perceiver / knower / apprehender, relation / action / perception / cognition / apprehension, object / result / phenomena / perceived / known / apprehended –.
The three spheres are not really independent / different / separate / in opposition; but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, non-dual.
They are empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T].
Like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions.
They are not inherently existent, not completely non-existence, 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, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of them, not none of them, and there is no other possibility; etc.
Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma.
They are spontaneous natural manifestations of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths.
They are primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.
So just leave them as they are.)

The root text now goes on to show that the duality of apprehender and apprehended is a state for which there is no objective correlate:

  1. All appearing objects [T1], empty [T2] of true being [T2] [U2T], Are like castles in the clouds. All mental states, by nature empty [T2], Are like castles in the clouds. Both sense objects and mind [T1 - appearing] are empty [T2] [U2T]; They’re like castles in the clouds. The slightest clinging or fixation— Just leave it where it is!

Things that appear as if they were outside the mind are groundless and empty. And all thoughts and inner feelings, which naturally dissolve, are also empty. Thus affirmations and negations, clinging and fixation, with regard to all objects and mental states—which are empty by their nature—are delusive. One should simply keep, freely and evenly, to the flow of the natural state of the mind.

(i.e. So it is not appearances that are the problem, it is our ignorance of their true nature & dynamic, our grasping & fixation to them. It is possible to perceive them, to know them, to use them, without any grasping and fixation, once we are fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now.)

Once clinging and fixation have been revealed as the trap of saṃsāra, it is necessary to understand how they naturally subside.

  1. How is this accomplished? Do not let your mind manipulate phenomena Appearing [T1] yet without existing [T2] [U2T]. Simply leave them without grasping. Original delusion is itself the fruit Of all such grasping and fixation. And therefore you should know The state devoid of clinging.

Phenomena appear [T1] even though they are without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. To take them as truly existent is what constitutes delusion. The original delusion has itself arisen through the unfolding of this same clinging and fixation. It is therefore of the highest importance to train oneself so that they subside all on their own. Accordingly, even if unpleasant situations occur, if one can remain without clinging and fixating on them, no conflict or suffering will arise in relation to them.

(i.e. Advice: remain in a spacious state without clinging / fixating, the true nature of the mind, without any acceptation or rejection in absolute terms. Everything – the three spheres – is primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.)

Since everything is gathered in this essential point, the root text advises us to remain in a spacious state without clinging:

  1. The sublime and spotless nature of phenomena, Phenomena themselves [T1], And utter peace, the state beyond all sorrow, Are not existent entities [T2] [U2T]. Understand that all phenomena, Things and non-things both, All are empty [T2], without true existence. They resemble castles in the clouds; They are like the vast abyss of space— Primordially unborn, the state of utter peace.

Since the nature of phenomena is itself immaculate, phenomena are similar to nirvāṇa, the state beyond suffering. So it is that all the variety of functioning things and sense objects that appear are empty, just like castles in the clouds. And “non-existent things,” for their part, also come to rest within the space-like pure nature of the mind. As it is said, “All phenomena are like the Sugata.”

(i.e. It is not about accepting and/or rejecting anything; it is about understanding and then directly realising
the Union of opposites [Uopp], or the Two Truths about apparent opposites [U2T-opp].
Apparent opposites – ex. good vs. bad, acceptation vs. rejection, subject / mind vs. object / phenomena vs. relation / action, samsara vs. nirvana, the two truths themselves – are not really independent / different / separate / in opposition; but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, non-dual.
They are empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labelled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T].
Like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions.
They are not inherently existent, not completely non-existence, 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, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth;
not purely objective, not purely subjective, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of them, not none of them, and there is no other possibility; etc.
Meaning their true nature is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma.
They are spontaneous natural manifestations of the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths.
They are primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.
So just leave them as they are.)

As the root text says, such a state is beyond both good and bad, acceptance and rejection:

  1. No desire is found therein. Ignorance and anger, jealousy and pride Are not observed. So therefore understand That these and all thoughts Are like castles in the clouds. Defilements, void of real existence [T2] [U2T], And enlightenment, the nature of the mind, Defilements, void of real existence [T2] [U2T], And enlightenment, the nature of the mind, Are not two different things. Know that they’re like space; They are both equal and immaculate.

If one analyzes the five defilements together with all thoughts (which, even though they are not existent, appear and are the cause of saṃsāra), everything is found to be devoid of intrinsic being—as also is the nature of the mind itself. These two absences of intrinsic being are not two [that is, distinct entities] within the sphere of emptiness, which itself is without inherent existence. This is why it is said that saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are not two different things. As it is said, “Ignorance is like space, and likewise phenomena are without defining characteristics.”

Maitreya for his part also says that samsaric existence and the peace of nirvāṇa are equal, while Saraha declares that “saṃsāra is certainly nirvāṇa.”

(i.e. THE GREAT EQUALITY / UNION OF APPARENT OPPOSITES [Uopp / U2T-opp] LIKE THE THREE SPHERES [U3S / U2T-3S]: One can therefore settle with confidence in the equality of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa [Uopp / U2T-opp]. Nirvana is directly perceiving / realizing / experiencing the true nature & dynamic of the karmic cycle / samsara as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S].)

One can therefore settle with confidence in the equality [Union] of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.

  1. The nature of saṃsāra is nirvāṇa from the outset. Deluded thoughts subside completely Like the clouds that melt into the sky. Know that they subside there whence they came. Preserve this state of utter peace, Primordial wisdom, empty [T2], luminous.

The worlds that make up this universal system first take form in space. In the present moment, they subsist within it and, at the last, at the time of their destruction, they will dissolve back into space whence, in the beginning, they arose. In the same way, saṃsāra first manifests within the ultimate expanse. It is there that it now appears, and finally it will subside therein. When all mental elaborations fade naturally away, like clouds dissolving into space, and when one settles in meditative evenness in the state of empty luminosity, it is said that one “reaches the primordial expanse.”

(i.e. Résumé about the true nature of Reality as it is / Suchness: Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way – freedom from all extremes & middle, freedom from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, freedom from all limits, freedom from all conditioning /karma. The Great Spontaneity / Equality / Purity / Perfection / Completeness.)

The crucial points of this teaching may be summarized as follows:

  1. In the state of unborn nature, No thoughts, no sense objects are found [T2] [U2T], And yet, until the show of their arising [T1] Melts into the ultimate expanse, Cut through the root of your delusion—ordinary thought. Action and non-action are not two; Not two are taking and rejecting. And yet, as long as in your mind You cling to self and real existence, I urge you to rely upon profound instructions, Antidotes for your defilements. Not two are outer things and inner mental states— Both sink into the nature of the mind. Wise you are if this you understand.

Though all phenomena are unborn, until one’s mind stream, inseparable from a limpid state of concentration, is free of thoughts, it is important to sever the root of delusion and to keep from straying into the ordinary state. As the sūtra tells us, “Saṃsāra comes from thought, not from the absence of thoughts.”

Although, within the fundamental nature, there is nothing to adopt and nothing to reject, nevertheless, for as long as the mind clings to a notion of self, it is through the process of adopting and rejecting of virtue and non-virtue that the principle of karmic cause and effect is unfailing. It is consequently imperative to strive in the accumulation of positive actions and in the purification of negativities. The Prajñāpāramitā says, “The right practice of Dharma is to understand that phenomena are like space and to be apprehensive with regard to one’s actions and their fully ripened result.”

B.7b A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: Preliminaries, then the main practice: Know with a complete conviction: all things – ex. the three spheres, apparent opposites, even the two truths, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – are like castles in the clouds, Union the the Two Truths [U2T]. At all times, day and night, reflect just as before that all appearing things are castles in the clouds [U2T]: there but not there.)

[B7b - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

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(i.e. Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. HOW TO MEDITATE ON THIS POINT: Preliminaries, then the main practice: Know with a complete conviction: all things are like castles in the clouds: Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

The root text then goes on to mention the practice of the path itself:

  1. Regarding how to meditate this point, First perform, as previously, the preliminaries, And in the main part of the practice Know with a complete conviction: All things are like castles in the clouds.

One should first practice guru yoga as previously explained, specifically praying to one’s teacher that one might understand that all phenomena are like cities of gandharvas. And then one should meditate that phenomena, appearing in all their variety, are indeed like castles in the clouds.

(i.e. The three spheres are like a castle in the clouds.)

How should one do this? The root text explains:

  1. Form appears [T1] and yet is empty [T2] [U2T], Like a castle in the clouds. Sound, smell, taste, touch, mental objects— All these six are castles in the clouds. The mind, its affirmations and negations, All arising [T1] thoughts, are castles in the clouds. On all this meditate with clarity. At all times, day and night, reflect just as before That all appearing things are castles in the clouds.

During the daytime, one should accustom oneself to seeing that form and other objects of the senses—together with one’s mind and its mental events—are empty of existence even though they appear. They are just like castles seen in the clouds. And at night, as one lies down in the lion posture, one should concentrate on the rainbow-like buddha fields within the white central channel. This will enable one to recognize that the visions of one’s dreams are as insubstantial as castles in the clouds. One will behold strange and marvelous lands and things not seen before. And one will have the power to appear in different forms, transforming them according to one’s wishes.

B7c A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. Awakening without awakening from the City of Gandharvas of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – CLEAR EMPTY LUMINOSITY: Your mind’s proliferations will cease, and self-arisen, clear, and empty [T2] luminosity [T1] [U2T] will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams you will see everything as cities of Gandharvas in the clouds.)

[B7c - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Result / Fruition]

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(i.e. Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. Result: Your mind’s proliferations all will cease, and self-arisen , clear, and empty [T2] luminosity [T1] [U2T] will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams you will see everything as cities of Gandharvas in the clouds.)

We now come to the result:

  1. Having seen that all compounded things Resemble castles in the clouds, You should settle In their absence of reality. Your mind’s proliferations all will cease, And self-arisen , clear, and empty [T2] luminosity [T1] [U2T] Will manifest from deep within. Even in your dreams You will see everything As cities of gandharvas in the clouds. You will become proficient In assuming different forms, Transforming them as previously described. And as belief in the reality of things subsides, The dualistic chain of apprehender-apprehended breaks [U3S]. All bonds and all habitual tendencies subside And freedom is achieved. Meditate therefore upon these castles in the clouds!

Through training in this way day and night, the immediate effect will be that ego-clinging will subside and concentrations and other excellent qualities will be accomplished. And at last one will attain enlightenment.

B.7d A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this City of Gandharvas. May all sentient beings realise the Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there. And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference. – May all beings gain spontaneous accomplishment. Realising that everything is not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither.)

[B7d - A Castle-in-the-Clouds-Like Conclusion for Chapter 7]

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(i.e. Everything is not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. – May all beings gain Spontaneous accomplishment.)

In conclusion therefore, Virtuous things resemble Indra’s bow. Various they may seem, and yet they are not different— All beyond conceptual extremes. In the pure and luminous, Limpid and immaculate expanse, May all beings gain Spontaneous accomplishment. When the pollen of the lotus With its petals spread is touched, It turns into a wellspring of immortal nectar— A basin of the gods, whence sweetly flows a cooling stream. May beings come thereby to see The marvelous place of joy made manifest.

This concludes the chapter that is like a city of gandharvas, a commentary on the seventh vajra point of Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection.


B.8 The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition / Emanations of the mind
(i.e. )

[B8. The Chapter that is Like an Emanated Apparition]

There are four sections:

  1. An Apparition-Like View / Ground

  2. An Apparition-Like Path (Meditation & Conduct)

  3. An Apparition-Like Result / Fruition

  4. An Apparition-Like Conclusion for this Chapter

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[Note: This Chapter is not commented in my version of the auto-commentary: The Chariot of Excellence]

(i.e. All things are the emanations of the mind, just deluded mind’s experience. There but not there.
They are perceived [T1] though they do not exist [T2] [U2T - The Apparition-Like inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine non-dual Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths].
All that seems to be an object of the senses is just habitual tendency—appearing [T1] yet not real [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
All that thought imputed is mind [T1]; it has no factual existence [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
Just as an emanated apparition is an illusion that arises from causes and conditions [T1] when nothing’s there [T2] [U2T].
All things (physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental fabrications / mind) x (individual collective, cosmic) x (subject, relation / action, object) x (good / positive / pure, neutral, bad / negative / impure) x (past, present, future) are dependently co-arisen / interdependent / co-dependent with the mind and its conditioning / karma <==> thus empty of inherent existence [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths].
Ex. Appearances, defilements, all joys and sorrows of the six migrations, the three / 5 poisons, phenomenal existence, the world and all the beings it contains, their bodies and possessions, their going, staying, joys, and sorrows, all deluded thoughts, all sorrows of the mind, the universe composed of the five elements, the beings that reside in the three worlds, whatever one affirms or else denies, etc.
So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms. So there is nothing to accept and nothing to reject in absolute terms.
All things are primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete.
Saṃsāra in itself is just deluded thought. And when the nature of the mind is seen, It is nirvāṇa—there from the beginning.)

  1. The Conqueror has said That all things are the emanations of the mind. [i.e. There but not there. Union of the Two Truths [U2T]]
    Listen! I shall tell you what he meant by this.

The meaning of this text is explained according to ground, path, and result.

B.8a An Apparition-Like Ground
(i.e. VIEW / GROUND: Everything is appearing like an emanated apparition [T1], there but not really there [T2] [U2T].
The inconceivable unique unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, [U2T] [U3S / U2T-3S] [Uopp / U2T-opp] [UGM / U2T-GM] – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. It is the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. The inseparable three pure kayas. Being aware of this is nirvana, being ignorant of this is samsara.)

[B8a - An Apparition-Like Ground]

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(i.e. An apparition-Like View / Ground: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Primordial-awareness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the Ground / Basis / Source / True nature of Reality as it is / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] itself <==> and its inseparable spontaneous natural manifestations [U2T-2T / U2T-GM / UGM]. – This Ground / True nature / Suchness is inconceivable, unique, unborn, unchanging, unconditioned, unceasing, limitless, centerless, pristine. Beyond all extremes & middle. Not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Not many, not one, not both together, not neither. It is spontaneously present, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. So are its inseparable manifestations / appearances then. – It is also called Primordial-awareness, the true nature of our mind, co-emergent with the ordinary mind. I(t is not something different, it is just its true nature & dynamic as it is here & now.)

(i.e. The various hallucinatory appearances of samsara, co-arisen in co-dependence with our ignorant grasping mind, are like emanated apparitions. They are perceived [T1] though they do not exist [T2] [U2T].)

  1. From within the state of primal luminosity, Through ignorance, through clinging to the self, There manifest saṃsāra’s Various hallucinatory appearances, Which are like emanated apparitions. They are perceived [T1] though they do not exist [T2] [U2T]— And thence come all experiences of joy and sorrow.

(i.e. So what appears are impure forms of our conditioning / karma. When they are purified, with direct wisdom of realising their true nature & dynamic, they are perceived more like spontaneous appearances of the inseparable three pure kayas [U3K]: inseparable pure subject / mind, pure relations / actions, and pure objects / phenomena [U3S]. All inseparable manifestations of the unique inconceivable unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Primordial-awareness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] [UGM].)

  1. This is what appears to the minds of beings, The form of their habitual tendencies. When these are cleansed, There manifest spontaneously The triple kāya of the buddha-element, Together with the self-experience Of luminous primordial wisdom. It is as the Māyājāla says: There is the self-experience of the ordinary mind And then the self-experience of primordial wisdom.

(i.e. Everything is manifestations of the Ground / Basis / Source / Primordial-awareness / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. It is our own Primordial-wisdom that is directly recognising its own true nature & dynamic, the non-dual true nature of Reality as it is, Suchness, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Then, there are no more defilements, clining, fixations. Being fully aware of this is nirvana; ignoring it is samsara with all of its apparition-like impure appearances.)

  1. The primordial expanse is source of everything. When this is recognized and when, By such a means, defilements have been cleansed, The self-experience of primordial wisdom manifests. When this has not been recognized, Then through deluded clinging to a self, The mind’s subjective vision of the world occurs. All joys and sorrows of the six migrations Appear like emanated apparitions.

(i.e. Things arise from causes and conditions [T1]; just as an emanated apparition is an illusion that arises [T1] when nothing’s there [T2] [U2T]. So the true nature of all of those hallucinatory appearances, karmic formations, is that they arise spontaneously, without any basis. Empty causes, empty causality, empty effects [U2T-causality]. With no real three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. Just as an emanated apparition.)

  1. Just as an emanated apparition Arises without any basis, Likewise you should understand That all hallucinatory appearances Are pure and without any basis. Just as those who have great power of mind control Are able to produce an emanated apparition, Likewise you should understand That it is through the habits of the minds of beings That various things appear. Just as an emanated apparition Appears according to the emanator’s wish, Likewise you should understand That things arise [T1] from causes and conditions. Just as an emanated apparition Is an illusion that arises [T1] when nothing’s there [T2] [U2T], Likewise you should understand That things are just deluded mind’s experience— Its self-appearance, selfarising, Wherein the mind is self-engrossed— And things appear according to its habits.

(i.e. The solution is to rest in their true nature & dynamic, the true nature of Reality as it is, the inconceivable unique Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] of all appearances – ex. subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena; apparent opposites, even of the two truths themselves; even of the Ground and its inseparable manifestations –. )

  1. If you do not indulge in any habits, If you leave things as they are, You will in no way be deluded. Abiding in the nature of the ground, You will remain within the mind’s pristine expanse.

(i.e. Even the three poisons, or the five poisons, all defilements, are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle.)

  1. Now the three poisons, the five poisons— All derive from thought, But on examination they are nowhere found. Defilements are like emanated apparitions [T1]; They lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Rest therefore in their unborn and empty [T2] nature.

(i.e. The world and all beings it contains, their bodies and possessions (5 aggregates), are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither.)

  1. Phenomenal existence, The world and all the beings it contains, Their bodies and possessions, Their going, staying, joys, and sorrows all— Appearing [T1] while not really there [T2] [U2T] — Are like the emanations of the mind [T1], Without intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. They have no origin, they do not cease; They do not come, they do not go; They do not pass, they do not change— Yet variously they all appear. Understand this well therefore: They are indeed just emanated apparitions.

(i.e. All deluded thoughts, all sorrows of the mind, are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. They are neither purely objective / phenomena-only, not purely subjective / mind-only, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of those, not none of those [U3S].)

  1. All deluded thoughts, All sorrows of the mind, Are just like emanated apparitions [T1]. They lack intrinsic being [T2] and yet appear without obstruction [T1] [U2T]. Understand their emptiness [T2] of true existence. They are neither in the object nor within the mind itself.

(i.e. The five element composing the universe, all beings residing in the three worlds, whatever one affirms or else denies, are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. They are neither purely objective / phenomena-only, not purely subjective / mind-only, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of those, not none of those [U3S]. And the mind itself — though it appears [T1] — Is also void of real existence [T2] [U2T].)

  1. The universe composed of the five elements, The beings that reside in the three worlds, Whatever one affirms or else denies Are all, without exception, emanations of the mind. And the mind itself—though it appears [T1] — Is also void of real existence [T2] [U2T]. Know that from the outset it is pure, Just like an emanation, an illusion.

(i.e. All concrete things endowed with features, all objects that the mind has posited, are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. They are neither purely objective / phenomena-only, not purely subjective / mind-only, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of those, not none of those [U3S]. And the mind itself — though it appears [T1] — Is also void of real existence [T2] [U2T]. All dharmas, the three spheres, our five aggregates, our body speech & mind, are but the outcome of habitual tendencies, dependently co-arisen karmic formations [T1]; in truth, they have no real existence [T2] [U2T - Indescribable / Inconceivable Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle].)

  1. Ignorant and childish beings Perceive and think mistakenly. All concrete things endowed with features, All objects that the mind has posited Are but the outcome of habitual tendencies [T1]; In truth, they have no real existence [T2] [U2T]. Do not indulge therefore in subject-object clinging, Speaking of “these things.” Understand instead that all is free of ontological extremes, Beyond the reach of words.

(i.e. * All concrete things endowed with features, all objects that the mind has posited, are like dependently co-arisen emanated apparitions, emanations of the mind [T1] <==> they lack intrinsic being [T2] [U2T]. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. They are neither purely objective / phenomena-only, not purely subjective / mind-only, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of those, not none of those [U3S]. And the mind itself — though it appears [T1] — Is also void of real existence [T2] [U2T]. All dharmas, the three spheres, our five aggregates, our body speech & mind, are but the outcome of habitual tendencies, dependently co-arisen karmic formations [T1]; in truth, they have no real existence [T2] [U2T - Indescribable / Inconceivable Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle]. Everything appearing is merely imputed / labelled / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma. They are conditioned & conditioning mental formations / karma. The same for our body, speech & mind.)

  1. Although phenomena are labeled “this” or “that,” It’s just as with the names for “space” or “rabbit’s horns.” Phenomena [T1] are not real things [T2] [U2T]. They are just thoughts without existence In the fundamental nature. Understand that they are rootless, Empty from the outset.

(i.e. * Union of apparent opposites: ex. Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S] – ex. subject / mind / apprehender, relation / action / apprehension, object / phenomena / apprehended –. Apparent opposites like the three spheres are not really independent and in opposition, they are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended / collaborating, dancing in harmony … They are like a Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely imputed / labelled / conceptualised / categorised / classified by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent <==> and being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent – like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. One aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T]. So their primordial true nature & dynamic is the indescribable / inconceivable Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma. They don't really have the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / life / change / lasting, cessation / ending / death / going / liberation. They are not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not purely objective / phenomena-only, not purely subjective / mind-only, not purely relational / action / process, not a combination of those, not none of those; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither. Knowing their true nature & dynamic they are perceived as pure / nirvana; ignoring their true nature & dynamic they are perceived as impure / samsara. One is conditioned by, and conditioning the others –. Rest therefore in their true nature & dynamic.)

  1. All that thought imputes is mind [T1]; It has no factual existence [T2] [U2T]. All that seems to be an object of the senses Is just habitual tendency—appearing [T1] yet not real [T2] [U2T]. And since there is no object, There’s no apprehension of an object: No duality of apprehender and the apprehended. You cannot say, you cannot think, You cannot indicate phenomena: They are beyond the ontological extremes. No one can identify them saying “this.” Know that they resemble emanated apparitions. From the outset they are void of self.

(i.e. * BEYOND ALL EXTREMES: All dharmas – ex. apparent opposites, the three spheres, even the two truths themselves, even the Ground and its inseparable manifestations – are spontaneous natural non-dual manifestations of unique indescribable / inconceivable primordial unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing limitless centerless pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all limits, beyond all conditioning / karma. All inseparable spontaneous natural displays of the Ground. All like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions.)

  1. Just as apparitions emanated forth [T1] Are empty of existence [T2] [U2T] in the moment they appear, So too are all phenomena Appearing [T1] and yet void of true existence [T2] [U2T]. Emanated apparitions are beyond extremes Of being and nonbeing. Just so are all phenomena Beyond conceptual thinking.

(i.e. LIKE SPACE: So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense, according to the Middle Way in accord with the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle: 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 [U2T]. So we may as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Or just view them as a limitless expanse.)

  1. Although things may be variously described— “They appear,” “they are empty [T2],” “they are true or false”— They have no reality at all [T2] [U2T]. Do not apprehend them, then, as this or that; Just view them as a limitless expanse.

(i.e. BEYOND ACCEPTATION & REJECTION: Everything is beyond good & bad, accepting & rejecting, affirming & negating …)

  1. If there is no clinging and fixation, Things are left just as they are. What purpose is there in negating or affirming What is simply words?

(i.e. INCONCEIVABLE: We cannot use our conditioned dualistic conceptual mind to realise what is beyond all dualities, all concepts, all conditioning / karma. Every time, after much investigation and analysis, we think we understand their true nature & dynamic [U2T], we inevitably miss the point, falling into one extreme or another. Because it is inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual mind(s). It has to be spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceived / realised / experienced in the here & now.)

  1. If you have fixation, saying “this,” It is not in any way the fundamental nature. For what can webs of mind’s analysis reveal? Imputed by the mind, your thoughts might indicate The final truth of emptiness [U2T], and yet This is to cling to an extreme. How therefore can it be the fundamental nature?

(i.e. APPROXIMATIONS: Investigations of discursive intellect lead only to approximations. But they might help to stay away from all extremes.)

  1. “And yet,” you may object, “Because they give an indication, Will words not lead us to an understanding?” But emptiness [U2T] exceeds both words and definitions, So what is there that words could indicate? This objection therefore has no meaning. The nature of the mind cannot be seen Through concepts and fixated clinging [INCONCEIVABLE]. Investigations of discursive intellect Lead only to approximations.

(i.e. BEYOND CAUSALITY & ACAUSALITY: Directly realising the true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T] is uncaused / unproduced, it is because beyond causality / production, but some virtuous adapted skillful means may help to transcend those extremes views, methods and goals; and possibly clear to way for a spontaneous personal direct perception / realisation / experience of the inconceivable True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is / Suchness / U2T. Ex. Loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity, bodhicitta, devotion, pointing to the true nature of the mind … But there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing method, skillful means, path for all.)

  1. But when the blessings of a teacher Penetrate your heart, It’s like the sun that rises in a cloudless sky. Through the powerful conjunction Of dependent factors, The sublime will manifest.

(i.e. * EQUALITY: So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense, according to the Middle Way in accord with the Ground / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle: 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 [U2T]. So we may as well perceive everything as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete. Or just view them as a limitless expanse.)

  1. All things then are equal. There is no discerning them as this or that. They are a naked state of voidness Free from ontological extremes, like space itself: A vast expanse, appearing [T1] yet empty [T2] [U2T], Like emanated apparitions. Thus all things come naturally to be realized.

(i.e. NIRVANA: Nirvana is directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the primordial true nature & dynamic of samsara as it is: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle, the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM] – all saying the same thing –.)

  1. Saṃsāra in itself is just deluded thought. And when the nature of the mind is seen, It is nirvāṇa—there from the beginning. It is primal wisdom, free of all fixation, That, in self-knowing, knows its object. Nothing that appears is real; There is no apprehending it as this or that. The mind finds comfort in a state Where mind and what appears Are seen as emanated apparitions.

(i.e. FRUITION: This is the Result / Fruition / Buddhahood / Enlightenment.)

  1. When this is realized, you become A noble being who beholds the truth. This is the truth itself; There’s nothing else to indicate. Everything, spontaneously arising, Sets in its own place, its very nature.

B.8b An Apparition-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –
(i.e. A PATH IN ACCORD WITH THE VIEW / GROUND & RESULT / FRUITION: The Middle Way in everything, including in meditation and conduct. Method: Ex. Devotion. Pointing out the true nature of one's mind. Preliminaries, guru yoga, main practice – seeing the three spheres as emanated apparitions [U2T]. With this understanding leave the mind at rest, devoid of mental agitation. Signs of progression: Non-duality, bliss, like space, openness, freedom; stability in meditation free from all extremes; resting within the timeless wheel of ultimate reality, in meditation or post-meditation, freedom from hope & fear.)

[B8b - An Apparition-Like Path – Meditation / Conduct –]

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(i.e. Apparition-Like Path / Methods / Adapted skillful means: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Path / Method / Solution to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about all adapted skillful means / virtuous methods used on the Path, which must be more and more in accord with the View / Ground and the Result / Fruition. Those three – View, Path, Fruition – are inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing solution for all. The skillful means must be adapted to the intended patients; they are conventional / relative / inter-subjective. The solution presented here is from the Dzogchen tradition, and definitively doesn’t fit all.)

(i.e. GUIDE: May you have a chance to perceive a glimpse of this, with the help of a generous guide.)

  1. Such realization manifests To none but those whose hearts Are touched by blessings Of a master of a thousand skillful means. A visible thing, a blazing lamp Is seen by those with eyes. How can beings blind from birth Perceive it even though it’s shown to them?

(i.e. ALAS for the others.)

  1. Those who have no knowledge of the teaching, Those who have no understanding of its meaning Cannot see the sunlight of this excellence. Others, yet more foolish and pretentious, Are like reciting parrots. Caught in the nets of their discursive thoughts, They will never find the quintessential truth. Suchness they will never know, Like beings blind from birth in front of solid objects. They will never come to realization, For they take as true the findings of their intellects. Alas for their pretentious lies, Alas for their unhappy fortune! They have no hope of reaching Quintessential truth.

(i.e. IN THE TRADITION OF DZOGCHEN, the master helps the disciple to start his path by pointing to the true nature of the disciple’s mind.)

  1. For us, it is the master Who reveals the nature of the mind, Sublime primordial wisdom. Authentic, self-cognizing, primal wisdom Arises when the mind is left Unspoiled by tampering and alteration. When there’s neither hope nor doubt— No clinging, no assumptions—it appears. More clearly does it manifest Within the state of emptiness and luminosity Devoid of center and of boundary. Thus to be accepted by a holy teacher, The holder of the blessings of the lineage, Is indeed of highest moment.

(i.e. MEDITATION: Preliminaries, guru yoga, main practice – seeing the three spheres as emanated apparitions [U2T]. With this understanding leave the mind at rest, devoid of mental agitation.)

  1. For undistracted meditation on the fundamental nature, As before, first practice the preliminaries, And in the guru yoga pray that you succeed In seeing all phenomena as emanated apparitions. Then, in the main practice, firmly take your stand Upon the understanding that the mind Is, by its nature, like an emanated apparition And that everything appearing to the mind— This too is, by its nature, like an emanated apparition. Everything is unborn like an emanation. With this understanding Leave the mind at rest, Devoid of mental agitation.

(i.e. SIGNS OF PROGRESSION: Non-duality, bliss, like space, openness, freedom.)

  1. As you rest then in a clear and empty state [U2T], Devoid of mind’s elaboration, There comes a clear and limpid luminosity Resembling an emanated apparition, Motionless and free from the duality Of apprehender-apprehended. Sense objects appear and are perceived unceasingly, And yet there is no grasping them as this or that. There is no fabrication and no alteration. It is a vivid, limpid, undistracted state of natural bliss, A state of mind that’s bright, devoid of thoughts, And similar to space itself. Thus you see the nature of the mind Devoid of thought’s construction. It’s then that mental states Regarding things that are like apparitions Subside, themselves like apparitions also. Craving and aversion, hopes and fears, All clinging to a self—are all like emanated apparitions. The ground, the path, the fruit Are all the state of openness and freedom.

(i.e. STABILITY IN MEDITATION: free from all extremes)

  1. Then however you may meditate, it will not fetter you.
    Though you meditate on things as if they were existent, You will be free from the extreme of permanence.
    Though you meditate on things as non-existent, You will be unstained by nihilism.
    Though you meditate in dualistic ways, You will remain within the state of non-duality.
    Though you meditate on self-identity, You will be not be bound by clinging to a self.
    Though you meditate on other things, You will nonetheless be free of hope and fear.
    Though you implement the generation stage, You will naturally accomplish the perfection stage.
    Though you practice the perfection stage, The stage of generating an appearance is likewise done.

(i.e. RESTING WITHIN THE TIMELESS WHEEL OF ULTIMATE REALITY, in meditation or post-meditation.)

  1. Arising and subsiding all occur at once, And thus from all defilements you are free. Within the natural state devoid of apprehending thought, You rest within the wheel of ultimate reality: The no-time of the triple time. Meditation and post-meditation— For you, there is no difference. You experience them like emanated apparitions.

(i.e. FREE OF ALL HOPE AND FEARS.)

  1. It’s then that yogis seem to be Like aimless lunatics, Free of clinging, free of care. They’re totally bereft of hope and fear— They do not alter anything that manifests. All for them is equal and elusive. They realize without effort Wisdom mind, the all-embracing space.

B.8c An Apparition-Like Result / Fruition
(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Transcending (not accepting, not rejecting) all illusions / appearances / conditioning / karma / samsara by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as pointed by concepts like: the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of apparent opposites in any duality / triad / quad / etc. [Uopp], the Middle Way in everything, the Union of the Ground and its manifestations [UGM], and the primordial spontaneity / equality / purity / perfection / divinity / completeness of all dharmas. Obtaining superpowers. Obtaining superpowers. Spontaneous manifestations of enlightened qualities, the five wisdoms, the inseparable three pure kayas. – Awakening without awakening from the Emmanated Apparition of apparent reality to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is / Ground / Suchness / U2T. – THE SINGLE TASTE OF ALL: Ex. Purification of the three inseparable spheres. The fruit of cleansing — the single taste of all — is thus made manifest. Delusions of accepting and rejecting all collapse. Your realization and experience Will be unbounded, and thus you will achieve Your own good and the good of other beings.)

[B8c - An Apparition-Like Result / Fruition]

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(i.e. Apparition-Like Result / Fruition: There is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing Result / Fruition / Buddhahood to grasp / idealise / adore. Union of the Two Truths (dependent co-origination relative functionality [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2] [U2T]) about the milestones & final results. There is no real person really reaching a real enlightenment. Those are mere pointers to the inconceivable beyond the three spheres, beyond causality / production. Just like fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. With enlightenment that is not a real enlightenment, all subtle concepts / views / grounds, adapted skillful means /  virtuous methods and goals used on the path are all transcended by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is.)

(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION: Purification of the three inseparable spheres. The fruit of cleansing — the single taste of all — is thus made manifest.)

  1. And then, both night and day, The yogi sees all things as emanated apparitions.
    In the cakra of great bliss, There is but a single space of bliss.
    In the cakra of enjoyment, All qualities are savored.
    In the cakra of the dharmatā, The ultimate is ever present.
    In the cakra of manifestation, Appearances are boundless.
    In the bliss-preserving cakra, Bliss is kept both day and night.
    So it is that, without any training, The wind-mind penetrates the crucial place.
    The ground of cleansing, factors to be cleansed, the cleansing agent, the channels main and radial, together with the winds, are all primordial wisdom.
    The fruit of cleansing—the single taste of all— Is thus made manifest.

(i.e. RESULT / FRUITION and CONCLUSION: )

  1. You will be able in your dreams To take on different forms that you can change And then behold the various buddha fields. Later these deluded dreams will cease, And day and night you will remain in luminosity. Remaining in the concentrations On bliss, on luminosity, and no-thought, You will gain the powers Of vision, preternatural cognition, Miracles, and other qualities. Your realization and experience Will be unbounded, and thus you will achieve Your own good and the good of other beings.

B.8d An Apparition-Like Conclusion for Chapter 3
(i.e. CONCLUSION FOR THIS CHAPTER: May all sentient beings awaken from this Emmanated Apparition. May all sentient beings realise the Apparition-like nature of everything, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T]: there but not there. And thus be liberated from all their illusions / conditioning / karma / grasping / fixation / fear / indifference. – Therefore, you who are endowed with fortune, meditate unceasingly that all things Have the nature of an emanated apparition.)

[B8d - An Apparition-Like Conclusion for Chapter 5]

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  1. [CONCLUSION] Therefore, you who are endowed with fortune, Meditate unceasingly that all things Have the nature of an emanated apparition.


C. Conclusion

[C. Conclusion]

There are four sections:

  1. The Intent [U2T-3S]

  2. Dedication of merit

  3. Advices

  4. Conclusion for the whole text

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C1. The Intent
(i.e. THE INTENT: It all comes down to understanding and then directly realising the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S] – ex. subject / actor / mind / perceiver / knower, relation / action / perception / cognition, object / result / phenomena / perceived / known; or cause, causality, effect; or past, present, future; the same for any type of relations or actions of the body speech & mind –.)

[C1 - The Intent]

(i.e. All dharmas, the three spheres, are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions. Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]: all empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because interdependent / co-emergent / co-evolving  [T1] [U2T]. With no real origination, duration, cessation. And being not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. Etc.)

THE MESSAGE of this text may be understood as follows:

  1. To show that in the eight examples of illusion Is gathered all the Dharma That the Buddha has expounded,
    Here has been distilled the quintessential sap Of tantras, commentaries, and pith instructions, Illumined by the dawning Rays of Spotless Light.

In all the many sections of the teachings set forth by the Bhagavan Buddha, whether in sūtras or tantras, there is nothing greater than the eight examples of illusion as means to illustrate the nature of self-cognizing awareness and of the phenomena that appear within awareness.

The sense of these quotations is that self-cognizing awareness (subject) together with the phenomena (objects) that appear in that awareness are typified on the relative level in the eight examples of illusion. These texts teach that in the very moment that phenomena are perceived, their ultimately real status is beyond arising and ceasing. And within the state of awareness—that is, the ultimate truth, which is similar to space—the phenomena of both saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, all summarized within the eight examples of illusion, appear in the manner of clouds and rainbows. This is the relative truth. Such phenomena are established as dependently arising [T1], as neither born nor ceasing and so forth—in other words, as not existing in any of the eight ways, as the great and noble master Nāgārjuna, the matchless sheltering protection of our world, has declared at the very beginning of his Root Stanzas of the Middle Way:

To him who taught that things arise dependently, Not ceasing, not arising, Not annihilated nor yet permanent, Not coming, not departing, Not different, not the same: The stilling of all thought, and perfect peace— To him, the best of teachers, perfect Buddha, I bow down.

Because I have trained for unnumbered ages in

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
this way of understanding awareness (subject) and the phenomena (object)
that appear in it in terms of the two truths [U2T-3S]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(and this according to the vehicle of the Dharma uns    urpassed), the sun of my intelligence in this present life shines out with countless rays of light in the immaculate sky of my discipline to dissipate the darkness of ignorance for fortunate beings who might be trained—and thus to cause the lotus garden of the sublime Dharma to appear and bloom.

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

.

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

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

C2. Dedication of merit

[C2 - Dedication of merit]

As part of the dedication of the merit [of this composition] to enlightenment, the first step is to make the dedication so that, thanks to their implementation of the sublime teachings, beings may themselves be liberated.

  1. By this merit, may all beings, leaving none aside, See phenomena as unborn, just like magical illusions.
    May they, progressing in their practice of the Dharma, Be graced with riches of the triple kāya of the Conquerors.

Borne up by excellent virtue, which perfectly opens the door of the unsurpassed Dharma, may beings as infinite as space is vast pursue the sublime path of liberation.
Perceiving all phenomena according to the eight examples of illusoriness, may they complete the accumulation of conceptual merit.
By meditating on awareness similar to space, may they bring to completion the accumulation of nonconceptual wisdom.
And by bringing to perfection the qualities of the grounds and paths, may they come at last to the state of full enlightenment.

Merit is then dedicated to the elimination of obstacles on the path:

  1. Like dreams, illusions, mirages, reflections, Echoes, emanated apparitions— just so are all phenomena [U2T].
    Through giving up attachment to their true existence,
    May beings come to the primordial state endowed With all the qualities of primal wisdom.

In consideration of the hindrances provoked upon the path, it is through the failure to recognize the fundamental nature that beings regard ordinary misfortunes, and also their slight experiences in meditation, to be truly existent things. Because of this, they are exposed to the activity of evil forces and obstacles. Therefore, may they realize that nothing exists truly and thereby come to achieve the ultimate result, the kāyas and wisdoms of enlightenment.

Merit is then dedicated for the removal of distraction and busy occupations:

  1. May they turn away from towns Where childish people dwell Amid their many occupations— Thick jungles of saṃsāra teeming with defilement.
    May they go away to pleasant forest wilds And there become a jewel that would adorn The crowns of hundreds, countless, gods.

In villages and towns and in city-like monasteries are found childish people difficult to guide, immersed in riches and possessions that are the cause of conflict and the circumstances of many defilements. This is why those who wish for freedom should withdraw into the noble and complete solitude of pleasant forests and embrace the practice of meditative concentration, thereby gaining the qualities of the grounds and paths. And since on occasion such yogis bestow teachings even on assemblies of the gods, may they [through this merit] be taken by the latter as the jewels in their crowns.

Merit is then dedicated to the goal of truly remaining in solitude:

  1. May our minds grow weary of distraction And take delight in peaceful forest solitudes, Alone to meditate on profound suchness And to attain the pure eyes of a noble mind.

On the whole, people who are deluded and who take for true what are just deceptive appearances similar to magical illusions, and who especially are deceived by the illusions of the eight worldly concerns, tell us that there is no point in our striving for liberation. Therefore let us get away from all those around us who are so difficult to guide—as well as all the distressing signs and circumstances of this evil age. Let us stay in solitude. May we gain sublime, primordial wisdom.

Merit is dedicated to taking pleasure in the excellence of forest solitudes:

  1. The forest filled with foliage and flowers, With fruits and water that is pure, Is hallowed by the glory of austerity. In such a place, with life’s essential wealth Of freedoms and advantages, Assisted by a treasury of beneficial teaching, May we journey on the path to liberation.

The forests are the haunts of utter solitude, adorned with flowers and waterfalls. There one finds caves lit by the bright water-crystal of the moon, pleasant places for meditation, enclosed with fences of reeds, climbing plants, and bamboo. In such localities, and throughout our days completely free, may we practice calm abiding and deep insight. Climbing thus the stairway of the grounds and paths, may we reach, while in this very life, the fastness of great liberation!

Finally, merit is dedicated to the welfare of others:

  1. So that now our lives should bring forth fruit, May we in this existence practice virtuous Dharma. When we have achieved the many qualities Of this, the path to peace, May we deliver endless beings from saṃsāra.

Since in our present situation we are unable to bring benefit to beings, let us stay alone in solitude and implement with one-pointed concentration the peace- bestowing Dharma. May we thus give meaning to our human lives! And gaining buddhahood, may we then bring benefit to beings as infinite in number as space itself is vast!

C3. Advices

[C3 - Advices]

As advice for future generations, the root text goes on to say

  1. This text is the essential heart of Dharma so profound, A path where final teachings Are distilled into their vital point. You who wish for freedom Should strive in it sincerely. Not resting day or night, Practice it with diligence!

All the sūtras and tantras of the definitive meaning are condensed in this text. Let those with faith implement it and without laziness practice it diligently.

The root text then encourages its readers to assiduous effort:

  1. O you, the fortunate of future times endowed with faith, Implement this text with constancy and diligence. Sure it is that you and others Will sail across this ocean of existence And naturally attain the twofold aim of beings.

Fortunate beings should cherish this text of eight points set forth with vajra words. These last two stanzas are a general and then more specific instruction in both their words and meaning.

C4. Conclusion

[C4 - Conclusion]

The root text then concludes with an indication of its author and the place of its composition:

  1. This quintessential meaning Of the sūtras, tantras, pith instructions Was well set down upon the slopes of Gangri Thökar By a yogi who, adorned with spotless rays of light, Had eyes to see the truth profound Of all without exception.

This text was composed by one who, through the radiating light of his intelligence, understood all the outer and inner tantras and all the pith instructions of the Secret Mantrayāna. It was set down in writing on the slopes of Gangri Thökar, king of mountains, a holy place, the perfect excellence of which should be celebrated with the melody of praise.

The merit of composition is again dedicated to the propagation of the teachings in the ten directions:

  1. May this teaching of the Dharma, The sun graced with a thousand stainless beams, The light of primal wisdom, Drive away the gloom of ignorance. May it completely dry the ocean of saṃsāra. May the brilliance of the isle of liberation Spread and shine in all the ten directions.

May this teaching of the Dharma, which is like the brilliant network of rays of light of the suns at the end of the kalpa, 131 blaze forth and dissipate the darkness of beings’ ignorance. May it dry up the ocean of saṃsāra together with its underlying habitual tendencies. May this extraordinary teaching, this shining light that reveals the island of liberation, radiate outward in all directions. This is intended as an elegant and poetic expression of good wishes! And with these lines I bring my text to an end.

Just as one might deck with jewels A fine and handsome person, For a wondrous root text deep in meaning I devised a commentary With various words profound in sense.

By such merit may the ocean of the teachings Linger for a long time in this world of beings. May the life of sublime masters know no limit, And may the booming of the Dharma’s drum Adorn this world of ours.

May lands on all sides constantly enjoy Prosperity and every happiness. May beings practice virtue And thereby enter on the path of liberation. May their immediate and final wishes be fulfilled, And may they gain the endless riches Of the twofold lordly benefit.

May the sun of the three worlds, This precious teaching, Increase the joy and welfare Of all beings, leaving none aside. May it be, till time draws to its end, The eye of all the universe And spread on all sides everywhere within the world

  1. This concludes the treatise Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection, which was set down in writing on the slope of Gangri Thökar by the yogi Drimé Özer, who touched the feet of Padma, the great master of Oḍḍiyāna.

This text, The Chariot of Excellence, a commentary on Finding Rest in Illusion, a Teaching of the Great Perfection, was composed by one who was rich in the knowledge of all the subjects of the Sugata’s teaching—one moreover who, having accomplished a meditative concentration immaculate as space itself, mastered all the topics of the teaching of the supreme vehicle. It was composed at the sacred place of Orgyen Dzong on the slopes of Gangri Thökar by the yogi Natsok Rangdröl, who had been accepted into the care of the great master Padmasambhava Virtue! Virtue! Virtue!


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