Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poetic Thought Dissertation


Jackson Peterson:
For those sincerely interested in gaining a complete understanding of Dzogchen theory I highly recommend downloading this text. There is no one text out there that does a better job of exploring all the details thoroughly.

http://vajrayana.faithweb.com/Poetic%20thought%20-%20The%20Tantric%20synthesis%20of%20Dzogs%20Chen.pdf
http://vajrayana.faithweb.com/Poetic%20thought%20-%20The%20Tantric%20synthesis%20of%20Dzogs%20Chen.p
vajrayana.faithweb.com
Like ·  · Unfollow Post · Share · April 19 at 3:53am
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Piotr Ludwiński and 2 others like this.

Din Robinson: over a thousand pages, i'm going to have to retire to read it all! lol
April 19 at 6:28am · Like · 1

Din Robinson: is there any particular chapter you liked Jackson?
April 19 at 6:29am · Edited · Like · 1

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: Haha  Funny that, and the whole end-conceptualization-crusade.

But seriously, thanks for sharing 
April 19 at 8:18am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, others can see the root texts and commentaries that support everything I have been sharing and end the bickering... 
April 19 at 12:43pm via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Din Robinson, Read Longchenpa's text and the commentary.
April 19 at 12:44pm via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: Most info in that paper strictly refutes a lot of your misconceptions Jackson. Certainly doesn't end any bickering, if your exposition was in accordance with David Germano's in that paper there would be no 'bickering'.
April 19 at 12:49pm via mobile · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: There are complete chapters and sections in that paper dedicated to exploring how ignorance i.e. avidyā (or as Germano terms it 'straying' and 'dimmed awareness') comes about. It's foundation, causes, conditions etc. which you obviously blithely ignore.
April 19 at 12:59pm via mobile · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, for example?
April 19 at 1:02pm via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: For example what?
April 19 at 1:04pm via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Are you awake? You just said the text refutes my "misconceptions"...
April 19 at 1:06pm via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: Refutes your rejection of ignorance, refutes your notion of ye shes being equivalent to a True Self, refutes your comparison of ye shes with consciousness, and the list goes on and on.
April 19 at 1:08pm via mobile · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Also refutes your statements about Madhyamaka, Germano specifically states that the dzogchen system and theory can be said to be an extension or evolvement, slight twist, (whatever word you'd ascribe) on the Consequentialist (Prasaṅgika) Madhyamaka tradition.
April 19 at 1:13pm via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon you have mis-construed my positions on each point. Let people judge for themselves.
April 19 at 1:21pm via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon. By your maintaining that there is no "awareness" or "knowingness" beyond the five skandhas, means you yet don't know rigpa awareness.
April 19 at 1:24pm via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: It means I know exactly what you think 'rigpa awareness' is, and I disagree that it is the rigpa implemented as the foundation for one's practice in dzogchen. There are various types of rigpa, one's neutral knowingness or awareness is a type of rigpa, however it isn't the rigpa dzogchen implements.
April 19 at 1:38pm via mobile · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Why on earth would 80 day rushan and semdzin retreats be advised for serious practitioners to discover vidyā, if vidyā was simply ones knowingness? Why would vidyā require pointing out if it was simply ones knowingness? Every sentient being capable of self-awareness I'm sure feels they are 'that which knows' and that is why they suffer.
April 19 at 1:54pm via mobile · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, Kalu Rinpoche and others point out that the problem is rigpa is too close and too obvious, not that it is buried under some layers of dross. Its is simply the "observingness without an observer". Its naked, nameless and without a self or "I am".
April 19 at 2:05pm via mobile · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Rigpa is not the result of practice, study or pointing out. Its primordially present. Its what's looking without a sense of a "looker". The mind adds the sense of that pure looking to be a self.
April 19 at 2:08pm via mobile · Like · 1

Tyler Jones: Kyle, is there a source you recommend to understand what you are saying about the types of rigpa and the one that is which is implemented in Dzogchen? Also, calling Dzogchen an extension or evolvement of Prasangika seems to suggest an influence of the former on the latter, which is certainly unhistorical.
April 19 at 2:17pm · Like

Tyler Jones: *influence of the latter on the former
April 19 at 2:18pm · Like

Din Robinson: rigpa is not something to read about, to understand, it's what you are
April 19 at 2:21pm · Like · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: ". Its is simply the "observingness without an observer". Its naked, nameless and without a self or "I am"." Jax, lemme ask you something. Does that space-like self-knowing awareness/presence cognizes itself in a way that it recognizes itself as itself? (without sense of personhood, without sense of Piotr/Jackson). I just want to clarify if you mean beingness which recognizes it's own identity as itself (beingness devoid of personhood)? Does this space-like awareness cognizes itself with knowledge that it is knowing itself (and this recognition is non-conceptual)?
April 19 at 2:36pm · Edited · Like · 3

Kyle Dixon: No one ever suggested vidyā was the result of practice or study. Pointing out does in fact entail vidyā being the result of the pointing out, why is that? Because vidyā is the discerning knowledge of one's nature. For example; if you walked outside and pointed out a street address for someone who was lost, that address wouldn't be the result of the pointing out, however the discerning knowledge which results from the pointing out would be. The street address is one's nature i.e. primordial wisdom, the discerning knowledge is vidyā (rig pa). Vidyā is discerning because one can thereafter effectively discriminate between the delusion of mind (avidyā) and primordial wisdom (ye shes/Jñāna). One's ignorance (avidyā) becomes a lack of ignorance i.e. knowledge (vidyā).
April 19 at 2:38pm via mobile · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: Vidyā results from recognition. Just as knowledge of something previously unknown results from recognition.
April 19 at 2:41pm via mobile · Like

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: Thanks Kyle.
April 19 at 2:43pm via mobile · Unlike · 1

Kyle Dixon: Tyler, yes I'll find some good reference material for the types of rigpa and post them later when I get home (don't have access to anything at the moment). 

The statement that the dzogchen model can be seen as an extension of the Prasaṅgika is to say that the key figures of the dzogchen tradition in the past found the logic of early Indian Prasaṅgika to be the most effective way to intellectually relate the view dzogchen seeks to engender. When it comes to the way mind and ignorance structure, the logic of Nāgārjuna is considered by most dzogchen teachers, even those like Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche who attests that Nāgārjuna's view is flawless etc. to be the best set-up. That's saying when and if the dzogchen view must be conveyed intellectualy, like in a debate setting for example. Apart from that, the dzogchen view is only experiential. 

The reason it's said to be an extension, is because the Madhyamaka model only addresses the structuring of avidyā and mind. When it comes to vidyā, Madhyamaka doesn't have a model which addresses that phenomena. So there is a whole separate model for the nature of the basis (gzhi) and the structuring of vidyā, because vidyā is mind (completely, or beginning to be) absolved of ignorance, ergo from the perspective of primordial wisdom, the projections of dependent origination are recognized as illusory. So for that reason primordial wisdom is said to be 'self-originated' (as opposed to dependently originated). 

The catch however is that unlike Madhyamaka (where dependent origination and emptiness are synonymous), for dzogchen dependent origination and emptiness are antonymous. For dzogchen, dependent origination only applies to the conditioned phenomena of mind and ignorance. Emptiness however is exactly the same in both dzogchen and Madhyamaka, and applies to all phenomena across the board. So while the basis (gzhi) i.e. primordial wisdom (ye shes) may be self-originating or self-arising (rang jung), it is still 100% empty, and so dependent origination is not contradicted. 

Dependent origination for the basis (gzhi), takes the form of spontaneous natural formation i.e. self-origination (lhun grub). When lhun grub is adulterated by mind it takes the appearance of dependently arisen phenomena. So one can say that lhun grub underlies dependent origination. It's just that Madhyamaka has no nomenclature to frame the subtle aspects, characteristics and functional properties of the emptiness it arrives at. So when exploring the condition of a sentient being, the logic of Prasaṅgika Madhyamaka is considered to be the most effective and accurate. In contrast, when exploring the condition of a Buddha, dependent origination is known to be illusory, so that capacity is framed with the basis (gzhi), which is the 3 kāyas and 3 wisdoms (ka dag, lhun grub and thugs rje).
April 19 at 3:46pm via mobile · Edited · Like · 4

Tommy McNally: I'd say that's a pretty comprehensive breakdown!
April 19 at 3:58pm · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Piotr Ludwiński, Exactly... it is self-recognizing without any personalization of any kind and without any imputations regarding self or "things", naturally so. That is its intrinsic wisdom that no one needs to teach it. It recognizes its own "unestablished" nature. The non-duality of emptiness and clarity (knowingness).
April 19 at 4:56pm · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Rigpa is a type of "awareness". Its always present like space. Recognition is just the moment when the dualistic mind collapses, but there was no change in rigpa.
April 19 at 4:59pm · Like · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: I asked you, Jackson, because due to my previous background of practice in our discussions when I mentioned "I AM"/""Existence-Consciousness-Bliss" I always meant this self-cognizing shapeless presence. Term "I AM" in my previous background pointed to that "non-conceptual self-recognition of beingness", not to thinking about it. // "I AM" is used because it is short way to speak about that intimate recognition of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss which recognizes itself as it's own identity
April 19 at 5:03pm · Edited · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Excellent Matthew Horn "Thanissaro Bhikkhu: "This is why the consciousness of nirvana is said to be "without surface" (anidassanam), for it doesn't land. Because the consciousness-aggregate covers only consciousness that is near or far, past, present, or future — i.e., in connection with space and time — consciousness without surface is not included in the aggregates.
April 19 at 5:11pm · Like

Jackson Peterson: Piotr Ludwiński I get ya... I just would rather leave that "space of knowingness" unestablished without references to an "I am". But I am not to timid to use "Beingness" as long as its understood to comply with "This is why the consciousness of nirvana is said to be "without surface" (anidassanam), for it doesn't land. Because the consciousness-aggregate covers only consciousness that is near or far, past, present, or future — i.e., in connection with space and time — consciousness without surface is not included in the aggregates.
April 19 at 5:15pm · Like

Piotr Ludwiński: In the past when I read mahamudra/dzogchen text about "mahamudra" and "rigpa" I intuitively felt that it must lead to this self-recognition in which space-like beingness recognizes itself as it's own face; discoverer and discovery are one in this recognition. So I was assuming that they point out to same realization I found via self-enquiry and satsangs. But recently it turned out that it is cognitive mistake; this "space-like beingness" turned out to be only non-dual experience in thought realm (one of six senses in buddhism...) which was then reified as "knowingness/awareness/presence". Experience was right (non-dual luminousity), but there was lack of realization that it is just non-dual experience in one of the senses. That is the very cognitive mistake that is behind Self-realization (Eternal Witness - Thusness stage 1-2) and it's progress to substantial non-duality (Thusness stage 4). That article by Ken Wilber is perfect example of susbtantial non-duality and what Soh and Thusness describe in their blog as One-Mind. That "I AM" was mistakenly assumed as "awareness/knowingness/mirror"; that is why substantial non-duality sees that there is truly existent subject (non-dual experience of stillness in thought realm mistaken as "Awareness/Knowingness/Observingness") which is one and inseparable with reflection (phenomena) but yet is independent of it... This is all based on this mistake about grasping at non-dual experience in one of the senses - thought realm - that is why I called it "non-conceptual thought; because it is in thought realm yet it is non-conceptual!) - and reifying it as oceanic presence. When one abides as this oceanic divine presence one can proceed in practice via fall of witness position; the effect is like Ken Wilber has described. But that is not realization of two-fold emptiness...
April 19 at 5:21pm · Edited · Like · 3

Kyle Dixon: If vidyā (rig pa) is always present then all beings would be in recognition of their nature innately and there would be no purpose for the teachings. Primordial wisdom (ye shes) is ever-present yet it is obscured by affliction. When (as you suggested) deluded mind collapses and one's nature is revealed, the ensuing wisdom-knowledge that results is vidyā (rig pa), which then becomes the foundation for one's practice and integration. 

The fact that primordial wisdom is ever-present ('present' would be technically inaccurate since it's free from extremes) isn't the point of dzogchen. Dzogchen is concerned with the implications that arise due to recognition and non-recognition of primordial wisdom. Recognition is vidyā (rigpa) which means one's nature is recognized and integration with that capacity is possible. Non-recognition is avidyā (ma rig pa), i.e. ignorance, which means one doesn't recognize their nature and is instead beguiled by their own delusion, making integration with primordial wisdom impossible.
April 19 at 5:24pm via mobile · Like · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: Jax, I've abided as this oceanic presence you point to; directly experienced substantial non-duality (aka One Mind) where mirror (space-like beingness) is inseparable from reflection (arising and passing phenomena) yet is ultimately independent of them. I've also directly experienced no-mind in which there is no more mirror reflecting; since it is recognized that "mirror" was just cognitive mistake I described; analogy of mirror and reflection is finally seen as flawed. There can't be union of 
"mirror" and "reflection" if from the very beginning "mirror" was just error of clinging to impermanent, selfless, unsatisfactory experience in thought realm as "mirror"... World can be seen neither as subject/mirror/source vs object/reflection/manifestation nor as union of them.
April 19 at 5:55pm · Edited · Like · 2

Piotr Ludwiński: Jackson Peterson Actually, that statement you have agreed with; to quote myself " Does this space-like awareness cognizes itself with knowledge that it is knowing itself (and this recognition is non-conceptual)?". You said "exactly" but that is precisely the problem. There is still conceiving "I" and "Self"; because this oceanic presence recognizes itself as it's own identity. That is still I-construing and I-making. That is why, Jackson, your view seems to be no other than Brahman (like in Vedanta)/Shiva (like in Kashmir Shivaism).
April 19 at 5:55pm · Edited · Like · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: In anatta this wrongly reified oceanic presence is seen as simply self-luminous activity without agent behind it. "There is thinking, no thinker" + "In thinking, just thoughts". Since it is just non-dual experience of stillness in mental-consciousness this "oceanic presence" can be adressed with same analogy. With this insight grandeur of Brahman completely disappears.

"Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.

"When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

In sixth sense ("mental realm") =>

"in the cognized will be merely what is cognized"

be it self-aware emotions,
be it self-aware thoughts,
be it self-aware mental images,
be it self-aware oceanic presence

in cognized merely cognized...
April 19 at 5:41pm · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: It's not that nirvana is a consciousness 'outside' the aggregates. It's that due to our delusion, we become confused by the ignorant projections of mind and we then mistake the delusory expressions of confusion to be real. We attribute validity to our own projections e.g. time, space, here, there, past, present, future etc., and we are enveloped and taken in by the show. We don't recognize that all of these things are in truth the non-arisen wisdom display of the basis and that it's all primordially empty. When one's nature is recognized the charade falls apart. 

The basis (gzhi) displays itself as the five lights, when the five lights aren't recognized as self-display they become the five elements i.e. aggregates (among other things). 

The aggregates are the unrecognized self-display of primordial wisdom. They are only ignorance, therefore there cannot be a 'consciousness' outside of the aggregates. You can't have something outside of ignorance, just as when you mistakenly view a rope to be a snake; there isn't a rope outside of the snake: the snake is a misconception, it's delusion, ignorance. Recognize the snake for what it is (a rope) and the snake falls, the snake is understood to have always been delusion, therefore the snake is non-arisen. Likewise, the aggregates are a misconception, delusion, ignorance. Recognize the aggregates for what they are (self-display of primordial wisdom) and the aggregates fall. The aggregates are understood to have always been delusion, therefore the aggregates are empty and non-arisen. Primordial wisdom is likewise empty and non-arisen. All is illusory. When this realization dawns directly and experientially in ones heart, in ones own condition, that is dzogchen.
April 19 at 5:49pm via mobile · Edited · Like · 4

Kyle Dixon: Norbu Ronpoche said it today in his webcast teaching: the individual's practice is gauged by their ability to remain in contemplation (resting in vidyā), which isn't so easy to do. Many people who have been practicing for a long time may still have trouble resting in their nature (all depends on the degree of force habitual tendency is inflicting in each person's respective condition). But he said one's true nature is the 'address to go to' (which is funny because I gave that address example above... synchronicity!).
April 19 at 6:13pm via mobile · Like · 4

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, you keep talking about the "necessity that one must recognize.., one must see this and do that". When anatta dawns there is no one to do any of this. You first need to realize anatta Kyle, then you will understand what Dzogchen is pointing to. There is no one to rest in rigpa or self-nature. Rigpa doesn't come and go regarding an experiencer. There is no experiencer that needs to realize something. The one that you believe needs to become free of ignorance is itself the ignorance. It is a projection of sub-conscious tendencies. There is no self to realize rigpa. That's backwards. The ignorant self that you think you are is an experience itself arising in awareness, like the character you dream you are when sleeping.
April 20 at 1:55am via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: So if I 'first need to realize anatta', then how is there 'no experiencer that needs to realize something'? There's 'no self to realize rigpa', yet there is one to realize anatta? Sounds contradictory!
April 20 at 2:10am via mobile · Edited · Like

Jackson Peterson: Piotr Ludwiński: you are only describing experiences. Rigpa is not an experience. When anatta dawns, it will be known. Work on that anatta first. Rigpa appears nakedly in that moment to no one. Your mind is still is projecting a "someone" that knows this or that or has this experience or that. That is still ego.
April 20 at 2:12am via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, its language. The mind needs to recognize its projecting a snake called Kyle. That mistake is based on a false assumption that the body and self-image are actually a "person" (snake). The rope is the body, mind and awareness itself. The mind hallucinates an entity like the identity subjectively known when dreaming. There is no one to realize or recognize rigpa. That one is an illusion. When the mind ceases projecting an experiencing entity, rigpa is known by no one, yet known.
April 20 at 2:20am via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: Without recognition or realization, the notion that there's 'no one' to recognize or realize, is nothing more than parroting. 

The fact that there's 'no one' to realize is a redundant point, there's never been a homogenous entity at any point in time. Yet that doesn't stop the illusion of an entity from being apparent. The individual is a collection of habits, arising as a byproduct of attachment and aversion. Further, the idea that 'someone' needs to be free from ignorance is nothing I have said, I simply said recognition of one's nature is an indispensable necessity if one is interested in effectively practicing dzogchen.
April 20 at 2:22am via mobile · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: So why are you suggesting that it should be realized that there's no one to realize rigpa? If one can recognize that there's no one to recognize rigpa, then rigpa itself can be recognized.
April 20 at 2:26am via mobile · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: There are far too many inconsistencies in your proposed logic, not to mention assumptions and presuppositions.
April 20 at 2:33am via mobile · Like · 2

Joe Evans: At this point it's hard to tell if Jackson actually has a perspective. It seems to change from one extreme view to the next with each post. Usually followed with some kind of assertion that others are ignorant.
April 20 at 2:34am · Like · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: Jax, my discussion with you ends here;you simply prefer your own assumptions about others than to actually contemplate their message. That was my point; realization of self-recognizing beingness is still ego indeed because this beingness is self-aware of itself as it's own pure identity. You have openly agreed with me but now you contradict yourself and just again roll with your assumptions about other people experience/realizaton.
April 20 at 3:20am · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Intellectual realization of anatta or "no-self" is not the same as what occurs when the subconscious mind ceases to project a self-entity. It is not that "you" just don't understand the concept of there being no personal self and that once "you" understand that there is no actual self entity, that the self-entity projection ceases. It usually doesn't, yet the person says "I realized anatta".

The "self" belief is not something that can be figured out or understood intellectually as a means of self-liberation. Its not a product of surface consciousness. It comes from the same place that our dreams that we have at night, come from. Its a place beneath volitional awareness or consciousness, that's why I say "sub-conscious".

Like when the mind mistakes a piece of rope in a dark room to be a snake, when the lights go on, the snake is no longer projected by the mind and the adrenalin levels go back to normal automatically. You didn't have to apply logic or think about it. The valid "snake" idea just disappeared. The subconscious mind ceased projecting the whole idea of a snake into consciousness. 

Likewise we can expose the entire mind, as the subconscious is always present under the surface, to information or experiences that reveal that the "self" belief is not correct. This is like turning the lights on in the darkened room, but in this case we may call it "en-lighten-ment" or "illumination". 

This can happen and it does happen. It has happened to everyone that had a valid "awakening" or "enlightenment" experience. Suddenly the self-entity projection ceases and in that moment there is "no one", but there is not just a blank left in its place, although the sense of transparent "absence" is exquisite! Like the presence of absence, or the absence of presence... or perhaps we bring in the term emptiness, emptiness of self. No one realized anything as the that someone just vanished. But there is instead, a wisdom that is not possessed by a "someone", it belongs to the emptiness, not to the self.

I call this wisdom condition the "unestablished" as it can't be conceptually established one way or the other. To talk about "non-dual" experience has nothing to do with this wisdom as such concepts as "non-dual" or "oneness" don't even arise. 

Until this sudden and total falling away of the self projection occurs, the wisdom of the "other shore" will never arise, only intellectual approximations. There is no one to benefit from this "falling away" or cessation, that someone has suddenly vanished.
April 20 at 3:30am · Like

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: Kyle and Piotr, thank you so much for sharing your clarity on this. And thank you so much Jackson for providing an alternative view so that both 'positions' can be thoroughly clarified.
April 20 at 4:53am via mobile · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Always fun Stian Gudmundsen Høiland! 
April 20 at 5:30am · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: At any rate, I don't think anyone ever suggested that an intellectual understanding of anything is on par with the direct experience. For the record though, anatta can certainly be brought on via analytical cessation. There are many roads to Rome.
April 20 at 11:22am via mobile · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Kyle, true if anatta isn't an insight but also a disappearance of the self-identity projection as genersted by the subconscious.
April 20 at 12:22pm via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: Which can be brought on via analytical cessation.
April 20 at 12:24pm via mobile · Like

Din Robinson: analytical cessation???

what about debating cessation??? 
April 20 at 12:32pm · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Long live the debate!
April 20 at 12:42pm via mobile · Like · 4

Kyle Dixon: Wrote this awhile ago in response to an objection to debate on a different forum:

Actually debate is a big part of many schools and isn't seen as a sign of delusion at all. It's always been a cornerstone of these traditions. Rejection of debate is just as much delusion, it all depends on how it's being related to. Pacifism isn't a sign of being in accord with the authentic condition. Plus a lot of this thread has been in response to a certain few people who had been casting unfounded aspersions on this forum for awhile prior to the inception of this thread, and it just came to a head here. It's all good!

"When one who is aware of the correct teachings has judgmental thoughts, the demon of permanence does not make them an obstacle. Finding the differences and refuting the assertions of others is a characteristic of full maturity that cannot be taken away."
- Sūtralamkāra

"If, with the intention of identifying and teaching higher and lower views, other precepts are deprecated, this is not transgression, but greatly increases merit."
- Commentary on The 14 Root Downfalls | rtsa ltung bcu bzhi

Highlights: Tibetan Debate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6daHMqrMUY
(Excerpts from the inaugural program in Asia Society's Great Debates series, featuring monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery and a discussion between Geshe Thupten Jinpa [The Dalai Lama's principal translator] and Professor Daniel Perdude.)

Highlights: Tibetan Debate
NEW YORK, April 29, 2011 — Excerpts from the inaugural program in Asia Society's...[Cut off website preview]
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April 20 at 1:07pm via mobile · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview

Soh: No Jackson, the true realization and actualization of anatta is not merely a cessation of projecting self that you just described. Piotr can tell you from his experiential insight.
April 20 at 5:14pm · Edited · Like · 2

Din Robinson: after reviewing this thread i've come to the conclusion there's not enough smilies here, lighten up people!
April 21 at 9:59am · Like

Robert Dominik: 
April 21 at 2:18pm · Like

Jackson Peterson: Soh, I completely disagree. When the self is no longer projected as the conditioned self identity, the source of self has seen through the illusion. That source is subconscious not the surface intellect. When the self is no more being projected there is no further remedy necessary. When the cancerous limb has been amputated, one can cease worrying about the severed limb.
April 21 at 2:29pm via mobile · Edited · Like

Kyle Dixon: Tyler Jones, Here's some info on the different types of vidyā (rig pa):

from Loppön Malcolm:
"There are five types of vidyā described by Vimalamitra in the Vima Snying thig i.e. 1) the vidyā that apprehends characteristics; 2) the vidyā that apprehends or appropriates the basis; 3) the vidyā that is present as the basis; 4) the vidyā of insight; and 5) the vidyā of thögal. 

1) The vidyā that apprehends characteristics: 'the vidyā that imputes phenomena as universals and as mere personal names', is one’s mere non-conceptual self-knowing awareness defiled by many cognitions. 

2) The [vidyā that] appropriates the basis creates all cognitions when present in one’s body, present as the mere intrinsic clarity [of those cognitions], is called 'unripened vidyā'. 

3) The vidyā present as the basis is the reality of the essence, original purity, that exists possessing the three primordial wisdoms. The vidyā which is not covered by partiality is present as the essence of omniscient wisdom. Further, that primordial wisdom is present as a subtle primordial wisdom. If that primordial wisdom did not exist, there would be no liberation from emptiness. Further, there would be no liberation from the inert. However, if vidyā exists as primordial wisdom, it would be no different than the realist’s nirmanakāya. 

4) The vidyā of insight is those vivid appearances when the instruction is demonstrated. It is called 'the essence of the self-apparent thigle'. As there are many unmixed appearances, the Teacher stated:
Everything arose from non-arising,
showing the great miraculous display in every way.

5) The vidyā of thögal is the absence of increase or decrease in experience having reached the full measure of appearance through practice. Having completed all the signs and qualities, also they are not established by their own nature. When self-manifesting as omniscient wisdom, it [the vidyā of thögal] is called 'abandoning phenomena', 'the exhaustion of phenomena', 'beyond phenomena', 'liberated from phenomena', and 'no arising even in mere arising'. 

So the issue really is complex and there are many different ways or angles from which to discuss vidyā or rigpa. 

N"

Jean-Luc Achard also discusses some different modalities or aspects of vidyā (rigpa):

"There exists 15 forms or modalities of Rigpa (which we may discuss in another post, right now I lack time to enter details), but basically when explaining what it is in Bon, we use mainly these three modalities:

1. Khyab-rig (All-Pervasive Discernment) which is the same as the Sugatagarbha, the potential for Buddhahood (it is nothing else, just this potential). What it pervades is the heart of all beings; in other words, all beings have this Pervasive Discernement which embraces each being endowed with a mind;

2. bSam-rig (Knowing Discernment) which is the knowledge you generate when you study and get experiences of the teachings (it is a fluctuating phenomenon according to the capacities of the individual; the more you study correctly, the more you Knowing Discernement is developed);

3. Ye-rig (Primordial Discernment) which is, precisely, the Rigpa that is referred to in Dzogchen texts. There exists three modalities indicating whether or not you are in this state : an outer one, an inner one and an intermediate one. According to the outer one, you know (you realize, you discern) that the outer manifestations are really non-substantial (you realize their absence of tangible reality). According to the inner one, you are in the experience of Mind itself (sems-nyid) and you realize it as being devoid of self (bdag-med). In other words, you discerns your real nature as being empty of a conditoned self. Then according to the intermediate one, all discursive thoughts arise as Wisdoms. It does not mean that thoughts disappear; on the contrary they continue to arise but they are left as they are and we do not follow after them. At that time they simply arise but are seen as empty. Still their potential for arising is there and since it is not tainted by ego-grasping, then this potential manifests its enlightened side which is that of Wisdoms. In other words, thoughts arise as Wisdoms. They are exactly the same as before, exactly and precisely the same as before, with the cosmic exception that there is no grasping at them anymore. 
All this comes from the teachings of Shardza Rinpoche and the oral instructions associated with the Trekchö section of the Kuzang Nyingthik."
April 21 at 5:29pm · Like

Soh: Jax, first of all, when anatta is realized the experience is not only a matter of dissolving sense of self. Sense of self may be dissolved to certain degree in impersonality too, but one continues to sink back to a background, or one simply cannot get authenticated with the clarity of "just everything" or "mere manifestation". For if there is no self/Self, there is only the obviousness of the manifold, there can be no doubts or vagueness about it.

I wrote this last year: "Every moment is an encounter of my thousand faces. The sound of thunder, every drop of rain, every heart beat, every breath, every thought. Experience, experience, experience, experience!"

Anything short of this is not true anatta experience and would indicate that the sense of self is still functioning at a subtler level (even if grosser levels of sense of self like sense of personality is dissolved)

Secondly, dissolving sense of self is not the same as realizing anatta as a dharma seal. As written before,

"First I do not see Anatta as merely a freeing from personality sort of experience as you mentioned; I see it as that a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation or as its commonly expressed as ‘the observer is the observed’; there is no self apart from arising and passing. A very important point here is that Anatta/No-Self is a Dharma Seal, it is the nature of Reality all the time -- and not merely as a state free from personality, ego or the ‘small self’ or a stage to attain. This means that it does not depend on the level of achievement of a practitioner to experience anatta but Reality has always been Anatta and what is important here is the intuitive insight into it as the nature, characteristic, of phenomenon (dharma seal).

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html) that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ as an illustration. When a person says that I have gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’, he is mistaken. When it is taken to be a stage, it is illusory. For in actual case, there is and always is only sound when hearing; never was there a hearer to begin with. Nothing attained for it is always so. This is the seal of no-self. Therefore to a non dualist, the practice is in understanding the illusionary views of the sense of self and the split. Before the awakening of prajna wisdom, there will always be an unknowing attempt to maintain a purest state of 'presence'. This purest presence is the 'how' of a dualistic mind -- its dualistic attempt to provide a solution due to its lack of clarity of the spontaneous nature of the unconditioned. It is critical to note here that both the doubts/confusions/searches and the solutions that are created for these doubts/confusions/searches actually derive from the same cause -- our karmic propensities of ever seeing things dualistically"

Bahiya Sutta: About Bahiya
www.accesstoinsight.org
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April 21 at 5:52pm · Edited · Unlike · 6 · Remove Preview

Jackson Peterson: Soh, I feel you are not understanding the phenomena that I am describing. Let me try again: originally there is no center or self as "me". Then the mind starts developing this self from conditioning. This is ALL being done outside of volition. No one is creating this identity. It is this identity that experiences samsara as the conceptualized field of experience which is also a fully subconscious projection. When this false self is suddenly no longer being projected by the subconscious, there is no imaginary person remaining, all that remains is the original "unestablished". Therefore samsara and its inhabitants are no more real than a dream. The dream of samsara ceased. I don't see any parallel to what I just described to any of your examples. You keep discussing another dream experience of the non-duality and seamless quality of "just experience" without an experiencer. That is still within the samsaric dream.
April 22 at 2:11am via mobile · Like

Soh: Jackson, I also do not see any parallel to what you just described. As long as there is no authentication of pure manifestation (not merely non-duality) without self/Self, in which in seeing there's just scenery, in hearing only sound, whatever cessation of imaginary person is merely at the level of impersonality. That is still not realizing anatta. In anatta, not only is the personal self seen through, the notion of an Observer or pure Self behind experience is seen through. So there is simply always already and only experience without an experiencer. You have not described this so and anything short of this is not Nirvana.
April 22 at 2:23am · Edited · Like · 2

Soh: "It is this identity that experiences samsara as the conceptualized field of experience which is also a fully subconscious projection."

No, there is no experiencer of samsara. There's just ignorance going on without an experiencer, and then ignorance seen through without a seer. Identity is not a thing, it is simply an ignorant view of an existing self, and that is simply a deluded projection like you said.
April 22 at 2:18am · Edited · Like · 1

Soh: By the way, non-duality is not an experience... it is a fact, there never was and never will be duality, any sense of duality is a pure fabrication of delusion like conceiving santa claus as real. There never was and never will be a perceiver perceiving things, in perceiving/experiencing there is always just one self-aware perception without any perceiver behind that - just that is what perceiving is. The notion of seer-seeing-seen is a pure fabrication.

And then there is a difference between substantialist non-duality (one mind) or anatta, which is non-substantial non-duality. Peak experience of non-duality has nothing to do with enlightenment. Enlightenment is realizing anatta as a dharma seal.

Always already, in seeing only scenery, never was there a seer. Always already, in hearing only sound, never was there any hearer.
April 22 at 2:41am · Edited · Like · 2

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: > By utilizing an ontological scheme instead of an epistemological approach, you are disabling the release of realizing global process. Process, not substance; Verb, not noun; Emptiness, not Brahman.
April 22 at 2:21am · Edited · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Soh, when dreaming at night, the subconscious projects an experience of a subjective "me" within the dream. That is the "illusion" of a self-subject. When awake, the subconscious is also projecting the illusion a self-subject. When the subconscious ceases projecting that illusionary self/subject, there is only nirvana or the "unestablished". 

You are experiencing pure sensory sensation without a separate experiencer, except you are not seeing that "experience" is not IT. IT is never any described experience, neither a Self, nor a "background" nor an "I Am" nor an "I-I". Its completely "unestablished". You are describing an aspect of dissolution of a separate witness on the sensory level. That's fine but you are stuck there. Next comes realizing sensory experience to be a living and vibrational wisdom. After that comes realizing the utter emptiness of even that wisdom. Next comes the revelation that the essential nature is only ever the "unestablished". You are making excellent progress! But consider your "just the seen, just the heard" as a pretty distraction, not the final story.
April 22 at 2:41am via mobile · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Any framework is deviation from "what is".
April 22 at 2:43am via mobile · Like

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: No, Jackson. Any framework is squarely within the bounds of "what is".
April 22 at 2:43am · Like

Soh: Hi Jackson, when the notion of separate witness is seen through, it is also seeing that the "living and vibrational wisdom" is simply just the self-aware liveliness of activities, action, breathing, seeing and hearing happening. And since there is no self/Self/wisdom existing in and of itself - only pure activity alone rolling on, there is no establishment of wisdom either.

But if you talk about unestablished without realizing anatta then there is no true unestablishment. Any sense of a source or truly existing "essential nature" is still reification. Calling it "unestablished" is pointless as such.

By the way, realizing "in seeing just the seen" is not about dissolution of witness on sensory level. It is about realizing a fundamentally wrong view that experience is made up of a background watcher, that is perceiving, containing, or even 'being one' with objects. It is realizing that experiencing is only ever one-self aware perception without any experiencer/background/source. This is not about dissolving sense of self but seeing through a fundamentally false framework of conceiving things. And this applies not only to the five senses but to all aspect of mind, including "clear light" "awareness" "presence" etc. Clear light is also not a perceiver but a mere mental activity, clear light mental activity is also only one manifesting perception empty of being self/Self/perceiver. Of course after realization sense of self/Self will definitely dissolve, but rather than dissolved it is best to describe it as "no longer deludedly conceiving a self/Self". Just like when you realize santa claus is false you naturally stop imagining santa claus is going to come on christmas day.

There's only ever manifestation, and manifestation flows without a manifestor/seer/etc. This is something being realized as a dharma seal, not a state or experience.
April 22 at 3:08am · Edited · Unlike · 4

Soh: Also, to see "IT" as unestablished is to see that there is no "IT" apart this single activity, and "sights" "sounds" "smells" are also mere conventions collating this single seamless activity (not substance).

Any sense of an "IT" having "IT-ness" is another establishment of self-hood.
April 22 at 2:50am · Edited · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, all frameworks are imagination, sand castles made of ephemeral thoughts. If you consider hallucinations to be "real" then I might suggest certain medications.., like Dharma. 
April 22 at 3:01am via mobile · Like

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: Yes, Jackson. Isn't it strange that the medication prescribed by the Doctor is precisely such frameworks?

As the medication works it's effects, eventually we are healed of our hallucinations, and as such, we do not consume more medication.

The other shore is reached and the raft is left behind.

The raft; the medication – very useful indeed!

It's like you don't understand the penultimate mode of communication for humans: thoughts, language, speech. Have you been living under a rock? 
April 22 at 3:10am · Edited · Like

Kyle Dixon: We're all here to discuss frameworks, reference our experiences and use our intellects to discuss dharma. There's no issue with conventional models and discussion if it's understood that it's precisely that. Even dzogchen states this:

"In the Great Perfection, Atiyoga,
there is no basis, path and result, 
nevertheless a basis, path and result is taught." 
- Rig pa rang shar [per Malcolm]
April 22 at 3:08am · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Soh, who is this "one" that types these words and responds to mine? Don't reduce this "one" to mere energetic phenomena of the universe as is described in the materialist view. Share your spiritual view regarding the nature of this "One" that is recognizable every time you look in a mirror...
April 22 at 3:09am via mobile · Like

Soh: Jackson, there is no "One", there is only many... that so called "One" that you are talking about, some self-aware cognizing presence, is only a self-aware thought and is no more special than a self-aware/self-cognizing sound or self-aware/self-cognizing sight. It would be a big mistake to conceive of that self-cognizing presence which is simply a thought, as some background Witness or container of phenomena, or even one that is "one with" phenomena (as that would imply a substantial substratum that is nonetheless one with phenomena).

There is ever only self-aware/self-cognizing images. There is no sense of a self/Self, or even a mind body here. When I look at the mirror, there is just colours and shapes self-arising and self-seen, there is nothing "on this side looking out", no looker at all, not even a sense of a body. If there is any sense of a background looker at all, that is due to lack of insight into Anatta.

p.s. the so called "many" also shouldn't be reified as many entities, but simply means the diversity without some undifferentiated singularity. This diversity intermingles or is working together seamlessly in action. This universe-in-action is completely empty and non-arising, illusory like a magician's trick, a phantom, an apparition, a mirage.
April 22 at 3:27am · Edited · Like · 1

Soh: But I'm not saying the universe is dead or lacking wisdom. I'm saying the experiential universe is alive without self/Self. Of course "experiential universe" should not be reified as matter... nor should it be reified in terms of a subject. Both materialist and nihilistic view of the universe, and the eternalist view of spiritual absolutes (e.g. Brahman) are illusions. Subject and object are mere conventions imputed upon this completely seamlessly interpenetrating/dependently originated, self-cognizing/completely alive/luminous activity.
April 22 at 3:21am · Edited · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Alive without self/Self a.k.a. autopoiesis a.k.a. lhun grub a.k.a. spontaneous natural formation a.k.a. auto-luminous (as Stian coined).
April 22 at 3:15am · Edited · Like · 3

Jackson Peterson: Soh, your view is not that of the Third Wheel Turning. Your absolute lack of emphasis regarding passionate unconditional love and burning compassion, along with your total "depersonalization" of your spiritual essence, as well as never mentioning the role of the "spiritual heart". Reminds me of some kind of dissociative personality disorder, not realization. . I don't mean that as your situation. I am not feeling the joy, love and spiritual nature of your message. I really have no interest in that type of total "depersonization" as a path. I rather see enlightened experience as being a total "spiritualization" in the most sacred sense, a true Theosis through Gnosis.
April 22 at 3:33am via mobile · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon.., there is no "heart" in your message. Its all head. That's the danger of Buddhism for Westerners, its a way to escape one's emotional life and pain through intellectual "depersonalization".
April 22 at 3:41am via mobile · Like

Kyle Dixon: You're welcome to your opinion, and your straw man argument based off your opinion. 

For the record the third turning of the wheel is different in practical application but doesn't contradict the first two turnings, nor does it emphasize compassion anymore than the others. The turnings aren't a hierarchy, they're different expressions and flavors.
April 22 at 3:54am via mobile · Like · 2

Soh: Hi Jackson, when there is no self, there can be no escape from one's emotional life. Why? As Jeff Foster said many years ago, "Here, we speak of another possibility: that there is only ever the present appearance of life, with no individual at its core who could ever escape even if they wanted to..."

But you make it as if denying "love, compassion," etc is the only side of denying emotional life. Actually, denying "anger, hatred, greed, jealousy," and the whole host of so called "negative emotions" are also denying one's emotional life. Now, I'm not saying that negative emotions will persist into deep realization as I can say from experience that negative emotions has dwindled and no longer appear as they used to have in my life (on the other hand, compassion, empathy has increased in contrast). 

BUT... if, the slightest negative emotion do arise, there can be no denial at all in no-self. No-self cannot be made into a means of denial. Only when there is a sense of self, can there be dissociation and denial, since there is a "Self" who can dissociate aspects of experience as "not self" or "apart from self". In anatta there is no basis for denial and rejection and dissociation, not at all... there is the wisdom of "no escape". Your entire reality is just that emotion at that moment of arising, how can there be an escape when there is no "I" apart from the emotion who could escape from it?

Yet it does not mean there can be no liberation... (see below)
April 22 at 4:59am · Edited · Like · 3

Soh: And as Greg said, many people use "True Self" as a means of escape and denial or dissociation. Yes, dissociation becomes the main practice when one's view is still dualistic. In fact, "watching the emotion and separating yourself from it" is the practice in certain forms of psychotherapy and spiritual circles. But when non-dual and further (and definitely anatta) is realized, the means of practice is no longer dissociation. It becomes unconditional opening to these emotions (or any experience at all), and in the further step, the complete self-liberation of these emotions as the manifest without the slightest attempt to modify them dualistically. This is well expressed by Dr. John Welwood in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2008/11/reflection-and-presence-dialectic-of.html

Awakening to Reality: Reflection and Presence: The Dialectic of Awakening
awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com
As this article is long, it is easy to get ourselves lost by the long descriptio...[Cut off website preview]
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April 22 at 4:58am · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland: I really recommend reading the article linked by Soh. Very lucid!
April 22 at 4:55am · Edited · Like · 1

Soh: Oh and one more thing: one cannot even begin to fathom the bliss and joy in "no-self and just everything"... life literally becomes wonderful, blissful and magical!
April 22 at 5:12am · Like · 3

Jackson Peterson: Nice Soh, but it sounds still as a self-absorption of this joy, not a radiance of unconditional love.
April 22 at 5:47am via mobile · Like

Soh: What do you mean by self-absorption of this joy and what do you mean by a radiance of unconditional love?
April 22 at 5:48am · Like

Soh: Piotr was asking for a pith instruction on twofold emptiness, I dug up an old post and found that I wrote a comment two years ago:

http://luminousemptiness.blogspot.com.au/2008/11/niguma-vajra-verses-of-self-liberating.html

An Eternal Now said...

Hi Chodpa,

Just like to thank you for your sharing... you have a gift in expressing the inexpressible.

This article triggered the 'my' realization of the magic of luminous and empty apparitions... and the seeing of this is amazing, marvellous, wonderful, blissful, freeing.

I wrote to wrote an email to PasserBy/Thusness titled "the unborn dharma":

"In attempting to find and locate where thought comes from, reside, and go to, it is realised that thought is ungraspable, unfindable, unfathomable... A magicians magical apparition, like everything (the experiential universe) is... A wonderful display of luminous emptiness, dependent origination. Yet after this is seen, it is nothing resembling nihilism or non-existence... When someone lights up his lighter to burn an innocent ant, compassion just arise... A magical universe demands magical response and compassion from no one to no one"

(more about it in my e-book http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html )

Thanks...
1:46 pm

Luminous Emptiness - a Mahamudra Blog: Reflections on Niguma - Vajra Verses of Self-Liberating Maham
luminousemptiness.blogspot.com
It is not existent - even the Victorious Ones do not see it. It is not nonexiste...[Cut off website preview]
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April 22 at 6:26am · Like · 2 · Remove Preview

Jackson Peterson: Extremely nice Soh! Thanks for posting... I have read this before and still enjoy reading again and again.

My topic here Soh is about the lack of the words "heart", "love", "empowerment" in your writings. A person's words or lack of words usually expresses "where they live". Although you seem to have climbed to the very top of the 100 ft. pole, I don't see the next step that reveals the Source to be seen and known as universal and unconditional love, a space of Being that can only be found the heart of one so illumined within that heart. One's consciousness literally descends into the heart chakra and disappears in that deep peace, unconditional love and pristine joy for the benefit of others.
April 22 at 6:41am · Like · 1

Soh: I have experienced very intense compassion that seems to flow from the heart center... I wrote this before. However, I am not too sure of its relation with "space of Being". Of course, I am very familiar with the "space of Being" too as that is realized through self inquiry three years ago.
April 22 at 6:45am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: I love you Soh... you are very special... I mean that! 
April 22 at 6:53am · Like · 5

Din Robinson: hey! 

get a room guys!

aha, ha, ha... 
April 22 at 7:33am · Like · 2

James O'Neill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL12c4d0ro4

Authors@Google: Robert Burton
Dr. Robert Burton visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his ...
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April 22 at 10:41am · Like · 1 · Remove Preview

Jackson Peterson: Enjoyed that one James... thanks!
April 22 at 4:33pm · Like

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