Conventional and Ultimate Truth, and the middle force.

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Re: Conventional and Ultimate Truth, and the middle force.

Post by Mayflow on Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:13 pm

We will discuss this further and I do not disagree with anything you have said here but for right now, be my friend and please welcome a sweet new mind to the forum. http://rgphiloscience.forumotion.com/t47-hi-all-introduction
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Re: Conventional and Ultimate Truth, and the middle force.

Post by greylorn on Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:47 pm

@Mayflow wrote:'I am not, I will not be.
I have not, I will not have.
This frightens all children,
And kills fear in the wise.'
Nagarjuna


CONVENTIONAL AND ULTIMATE WISDOM
Although Albert Einstein was certainly not a Buddhist, these statements sound much like it:

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'universe', a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest
- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affectation for a few people near us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

From Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh:

"Enlightenment for a wave in the ocean is the moment the wave realises that it is water."
Wisdom in Buddhism can refer to two types of insight: conventional wisdom and ultimate wisdom:

Conventional wisdom relates to understanding the conventional world, or the world as we know it. Traditionally it refers to understanding the way in which karma functions; to understand which actions bring us happiness and which bring us suffering. Conventional wisdom covers all understanding of the world as it functions, including science, with the exception of ultimate wisdom.

Ultimate wisdom (jñana in Sanskrit) refers to a direct realisation which is non-dualistic, and contradicts the way in which we ordinarily perceive the world. The experience of ultimate truth or emptiness is beyond duality.

It is important to remember that emptiness here does not refer to nothingness or some kind of nihilistic view. Emptiness refers to the fact that ultimately, our day-to-day experience of reality is wrong, and is 'empty' of many qualities that we normally assign to it.

Describing this non-dual experience in words is not really possible, as language is based on duality and contrasts. Trying to explain this experience - which contradicts our normal perception - is a bit like explaining colours to someone who is born blind; difficult to say the least.

I will go into what I mean about the middle force later.
Mayflow,

I am fortunate enough to have a wise Buddhist neighbor living a quarter mile up the mountain from me.  Another neighbor and I used to hang out with him in his hot tub, doing spiritual things like smoking Cuban cigars, imbibing in various ethanol-based beverages, telling lies, and wishing for naked young women.  Along the way we absorbed plenty of Buddhism, much like what you teach.  No more tubs, as John has moved on to become a serious guru, holding weekly meditations and teachings for monks from a monastery 30 miles away.  

One day I borrowed a book from him that purported to contain everything there is to know about Buddhist teachings, and spent several months perusing it.  In the middle, buried in a few obscure paragraphs, I found the Buddha's original teachings, including his explanation for the soul's origin and for human purpose.  

John himself was unaware of these ideas until I pointed them out, and like most conventional Buddhists he admits to their existence but denies their relevance.  Since then I've not met a Buddhist who is aware of these fundamental principles, or who, upon being made aware of them, is willing to accept them and conduct his life accordingly.   It strikes me that conventional Buddhism, by blowing off these inherently metaphysical ideas, is hardly different from conventional atheism, so I do not take it seriously.

Incidentally, I find Gautama's metaphysics and purpose to be superior to all other atheistic and religious schemes, except, of course, my own.  I hope to realize his version of purpose, although I'll have to find another way to do so.

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Conventional and Ultimate Truth, and the middle force.

Post by Mayflow on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:37 pm

'I am not, I will not be.
I have not, I will not have.
This frightens all children,
And kills fear in the wise.'
Nagarjuna


CONVENTIONAL AND ULTIMATE WISDOM
Although Albert Einstein was certainly not a Buddhist, these statements sound much like it:

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'universe', a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest
- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affectation for a few people near us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

From Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh:

"Enlightenment for a wave in the ocean is the moment the wave realises that it is water."
Wisdom in Buddhism can refer to two types of insight: conventional wisdom and ultimate wisdom:

Conventional wisdom relates to understanding the conventional world, or the world as we know it. Traditionally it refers to understanding the way in which karma functions; to understand which actions bring us happiness and which bring us suffering. Conventional wisdom covers all understanding of the world as it functions, including science, with the exception of ultimate wisdom.

Ultimate wisdom (jñana in Sanskrit) refers to a direct realisation which is non-dualistic, and contradicts the way in which we ordinarily perceive the world. The experience of ultimate truth or emptiness is beyond duality.

It is important to remember that emptiness here does not refer to nothingness or some kind of nihilistic view. Emptiness refers to the fact that ultimately, our day-to-day experience of reality is wrong, and is 'empty' of many qualities that we normally assign to it.

Describing this non-dual experience in words is not really possible, as language is based on duality and contrasts. Trying to explain this experience - which contradicts our normal perception - is a bit like explaining colours to someone who is born blind; difficult to say the least.

I will go into what I mean about the middle force later.
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