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Does a rice seed cause a rice shoot?

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2011 04:51 pm
@igm,
Igm, apparently you've missed part of my point. The causal explanation of gloom and joy obviously requires the notions of "cause" and "effect" and, implictly, the notion of a "self" experiencing them. My point was that while the terms, "cause", "effect" and "self" (as well as many others) are needed for (causal) explanation of the occurrences, they are nevertheless hueristic fictions.
In everyday common sense thought the "self" is a necessary condition for all experience, and "cause" and "effect" refer to sufficient conditions for particular experiences.
So, "self" is implicitly a necessary cause in a deterministic explanation of the experience of gloom and joy, but (like "cause" and "effect") "self" is not required for the actual emergence of those experiences.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 05:56 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody, I must admit to slightly rushing my previous post before going out to lunch (UK time), my apologies for that. I do now see your point, and it did cross my mind at the time, that your post, read in the way you’ve now re-explained, could mean that I’d missed part of your point. If I compare what you’ve said to my own understanding I believe your explanation in respect of what we’ve discussed so far is broadly similar.

Given the implications of what you’ve said i.e. as a result of positive nihilism the experience joy arises and the experience of gloom arises as a result of negative nihilism. Did you imply in your previous post that joy was preferable to gloom and given the implications of what you’ve said in your posts taken as a whole, why is that the case? Wouldn’t gloom and joy be irrelevant as there is no one to experience them? Also, aren’t gloom and joy subjective classifications based on the self’s understanding of the experience and doesn’t that imply that deep down a belief in a truly existent self still remains?

Also, can you pinpoint and explain how you refuted your belief in a truly existent self?

No rush for your reply if you’re busy. If you believe we are moving from the original topic, I believe these are some of the implications around our inability to explain cause and effect.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 10:29 am
@igm,
Good points; you push me to my limit.
Ultimately we are just talking about words, our own constructions. Joy does not arise FROM positive nihilism; it IS the positive emotional construction the positive nihilist puts on the realization that he is a grown-up who must and may take responsibility for the world HE (and his fellows) creates, i.e, their culturally constituted Reality. They must even take responsibility for their creation of God and for their having, I guess since the Enlightenment, killed Him (with the decline of theocracies in the West). Negative nihilists are those who find only misery in the loss of their parent. Their gloom results from their inability to grow up.
These are discriminations I am making; they are my constructions. Moreover that's the case with the ranking distinctions we are making between gloom and joy. Ultimately they are delusions, albeit real delusions. They arise as yins and yangs in a world based on false oppositions. Reality is experienced in terms of unorganized immediate sensations which are organized in terms of complementary contrasts such as good-bad, beautiful-ugly, up-down, true-false, etc. even the "real" and "delusional" that I am using now. The immediate sensations are "real" and their meaning, e.g., good or bad, is artificial and with respect to (or with reference to) the guiding standards (cultural constructions) of good and bad, or beautiful and ugly, etc., etc.
Finally, one can see, after some effort (i.e., meditation) that there is no subject of such experiences. One feels compelled to create and maintain an AGENT of experiences. But the fundamental instruction of Hinduism to the yogi is Tat tvam asi (Thou art that). This tells him that what he is seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc. is not HAPPENING TO HIM, to a distinct self INSIDE of him, but that "his experiences" ARE him. My use of the phrase "his experiences" is not a contradiction/denial of the principle tat tvam asi; it is a linguistic convention that simply ignores it.
There is no real differences between good and bad or joy and gloom. Both are reality or what is sometimes called "Buddha Mind", the liberated consciousness in which all is ultimately non-discriminated (where distinctions may be useful but remain ultimately unreal). The problem is we do not live in Ultimate Reality. Actually we do but we do not realize it; we feel like we are living in the Relative Reality of our construction. Our task is either to create better relative realities, or "awaken" like the Buddha admonishes us to the Ultimate Reality where experience is not interpreted dualistically.
By the way, Anti-dualism is finally also part of a meta-dualistic scheme where it is understand as something-against-dualism itself. Only silence speaks the truth.
Amen
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 12:10 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Ultimately we are just talking about words, our own constructions. Joy does not arise FROM positive nihilism; it IS the positive emotional construction the positive nihilist puts on the realization that he is a grown-up who must and may take responsibility for the world HE (and his fellows) creates, i.e, their culturally constituted Reality. They must even take responsibility for their creation of God and for their having, I guess since the Enlightenment, killed Him (with the decline of theocracies in the West). Negative nihilists are those who find only misery in the loss of their parent. Their gloom results from their inability to grow up.

These are discriminations I am making; they are my constructions. Moreover that's the case with the ranking distinctions we are making between gloom and joy. Ultimately they are delusions, albeit real delusions. They arise as yins and yangs in a world based on false oppositions. Reality is experienced in terms of unorganized immediate sensations which are organized in terms of complementary contrasts such as good-bad, beautiful-ugly, up-down, true-false, etc. even the "real" and "delusional" that I am using now. The immediate sensations are "real" and their meaning, e.g., good or bad, is artificial and with respect to (or with reference to) the guiding standards (cultural constructions) of good and bad, or beautiful and ugly, etc., etc.

Finally, one can see, after some effort (i.e., meditation) that there is no subject of such experiences. One feels compelled to create and maintain an AGENT of experiences. But the fundamental instruction of Hinduism to the yogi is Tat tvam asi (Thou art that). This tells him that what he is seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc. is not HAPPENING TO HIM, to a distinct self INSIDE of him, but that "his experiences" ARE him. My use of the phrase "his experiences" is not a contradiction/denial of the principle tat tvam asi; it is a linguistic convention that simply ignores it.

There is no real differences between good and bad or joy and gloom. Both are reality or what is sometimes called "Buddha Mind", the liberated consciousness in which all is ultimately non-discriminated (where distinctions may be useful but remain ultimately unreal). The problem is we do not live in Ultimate Reality. Actually we do but we do not realize it; we feel like we are living in the Relative Reality of our construction. Our task is either to create better relative realities, or "awaken" like the Buddha admonishes us to the Ultimate Reality where experience is not interpreted dualistically.

By the way, Anti-dualism is finally also part of a meta-dualistic scheme where it is understand as something-against-dualism itself. Only silence speaks the truth.


I can only speak for myself but that was well said!

If you're not a Buddhist, can you explain why you aren't a Buddhist?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 12:54 pm
@igm,
If I believe what I've just said, then I am, ipso facto, a Buddhist. But kind of Buddhist? That's the question.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 02:30 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

If I believe what I've just said, then I am, ipso facto, a Buddhist. But kind of Buddhist? That's the question.


I too am a Buddhist. I have been a Tibetan Buddhist for (well) this is my 30th year. I belong to the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism which holds Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana lineages. The head of this tradition is H.H. Sakya Trizin and he is currently touring in the USA. He’s currently in New York. He will be in L.A. in July.

Traditionally a person – as you know - becomes a Buddhist when they have taken Refuge. If they haven’t done this that then traditionally they are not. I’d like to know more about what you meant by your last sentence but perhaps this topic is not the best place to ask. Maybe you could send me a message? Also if you have any questions e.g. about the Sakya Tradition I’ll try to answer them.

Best wishes.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 04:09 pm
@igm,
I've studied the Mahayana Buddhist literature for Westerners since around 1959, and became a "beat type" of zennist, having attended lectures and a workshop of Alan Watts and other gurus. Then I participated in the immigration to the United States of the great Rinzai zen master, Sasaki Joshu, in 1960-1 in Los Angeles, after sitting with him for about a year I went to the university to become an academic/social scientist. Since 1978, I have practiced shikantaza meditation daily and an occasional retreat (sesshins) under a range of visiting masters/roshis. I have not been interested in Tibetan Buddhism for the purely political fact that it is part of a theocracy. Now that the Dali Lama has moved to change the political structure of his nation, giving up his political role in favor of a purely "religious" function, I am more favorably disposed to Tibetan Buddhism.
I am not ordained in the Soto branch of Buddhism (whose philosophical slant I favor and practice I follow) for the personal reason that I'm not comfortable with isms, even Buddhism. Nevertheless, as I said I continue to sit daily and weekly with a group of older men and women with similar biographies to mine (I'm a bit too old for the rigours of the zen retreat). We sit in a Unitarian Universalist Church.
Gassho
igm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 05:58 am
@JLNobody,
Thank you for your brief spiritual autobiography. I am only surprised that my intuitive feelings about your ‘philosophical slant’ were correct. Amongst my Root Lamas is my English Root Lama who now teaches across the world but was once an academic at Manchester University. His Buddhist career was ‘sparked off’ by the beat poets, writers and Dylan back in the 60’s.

There is no sign of the lineages we hold from the Buddha through to Indian siddhas and scholars, Tibetan translators and commentators leading to the development of a non-theistic type of theocracy. The Lama says steer clear of politics it’s better to put one’s energy into developing a kind heart. Again my best wishes to you, your Teachers and your Sangha.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Sep, 2013 05:56 am
I've just reread this, my first thread JL... our latest posts are very similar... as then, they come from our shared similar insights via meditation and reflection.
0 Replies
 
 

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