Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Anatta, Subsuming and Non-arising

The No-Self Nature (Article)

Someone wrote in another forum: "how come, breathing consciously shows no duality? rather, breathing consciously, as it seems to me, is enforcing duality."

I replied: "consciousness has always been non-dual.

You might want to read this:

I just typed out and updated it to the latest version from the book "
Like · · January 6 at 10:11pm

    Laya Jakubowicz and 2 others like this.
    Mardava Christian Palocz Nonduality doesn't mean unity nor does it eliminate duality.
    January 6 at 11:27pm · Like · 1
    Nicholas Mason How can anything "be" nondual?
    January 6 at 11:29pm · Like
    Mardava Christian Palocz Why would anything have to "be" nondual?
    January 6 at 11:31pm · Like
    Mardava Christian Palocz Nonduality as i see it is a method like vipasana so your question to me sounds like, how can anything "be" vipasana?
    January 6 at 11:33pm · Like
    Nicholas Mason Soh wrote:

    "consciousness has always been non-dual."

    Nonduality is a philosophical technique for cutting through bullshit.
    January 6 at 11:35pm · Like · 1
    Nicholas Mason Nothing can be said to be dual or nondual.

    This is saying too much, even.
    January 6 at 11:36pm · Edited · Like
    Mardava Christian Palocz Exactly because it is not a description of things it is a method a technique. Nevertheless, I would agree with Soh in that consciousness is nondual. It all depends how we are using the words anyhow.
    January 6 at 11:46pm · Like
    Nicholas Mason Consciousness: not two, not even one
    January 6 at 11:47pm · Like
    Soh Mardava Christian Palocz: I disagree, non-duality that is realized here is not a technique or a method. It is the seeing through of the delusions of subject-object duality by directly realizing there never was an observer apart from the observed.

    Also I wrote today in another person's profile because he asked me something related.

    I wrote:

    In anatta realization, one realizes there never was, a seer seeing the seen, doer doing the deed, and so forth. Seeing is merely the seen, seen is the seeing, they are synonymous and never a seer, an agent, a doer. When this is seen, the insight will not be lost, it is not just a peak experience. It is realizing what is always already the case.

    As I wrote:

    "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 ( 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"
    January 6 at 11:59pm · Edited · Like · 4
    Jacob St Onge Casavant Yeah, if the substance of a comment is that nothing can be said about anything, I am left wondering why the commenter commented. Language is language. Use it, don't be used by it... it's that simple in my experience. And this ties in with awakening.
    January 6 at 11:59pm · Like
    Nicholas Mason How do you reconcile no seer with no subject object duality?
    January 7 at 12:03am · Like
    Soh Since there is no seer (subject) apart from the seen (object), there is no subject-object duality. Also without the sense of a subject, the sense of an object in contrast to the subject also vanishes. Along with the sense of distance or objects existing out there in space and time. There is simply direct non-dual, gapless experience that is self-luminous/self-cognizing clarity.

    I know the article is very long but I think it is worth going through.
    January 7 at 12:07am · Edited · Like · 1
    Piotr Ludwiński I have to disagree with one thing. I find expression "seeing is seen" as unnecessary subsuming that actually can send one to land on partial anatta insight. When illusion of agent is seen through via insight... "action" is also seen through. Without agent and action... object (seen) upon which agent could act (seer could see) shoud also be negated. My point is that one can land on subsuming appearances to be identical with inherent faculties... To subsume that "seeing=seen" can also lead one... if that one has not penetrated into problem of objectivity... to idea that appearances ARE ability and that this ability is process reflecting external objectively existing universe
    January 7 at 12:08am · Edited · Like
    Nicholas Mason "Since there is no seer (subject) apart from the seen (object), there is no subject-object duality."

    Is there a seer inseparable from the seen?
    January 7 at 12:09am · Like
    Soh No, there is no seer to be "inseparable from" the seen, in actuality seer, seeing and seen are synonymous. They are just conventions for a single activity but due to the view of inherent existence and duality it seems there are two entities interacting (subject, interacting with, object... or seer, seeing, the seen... etc)
    January 7 at 12:12am · Like · 2
    Soh Piotr: yes it is important to see the emptiness of objects as well.

    When seer, seeing, and seen are seen as empty they are also seen as conventions pointing to the same activity rather than as three inherent entities... that is, seeing is merely the seen and seen the seeing, then seeing and seen are both simply conventions and imputation on a single activity. If seen is seen as 'inherently objective' then the seen cannot be the seeing, as seeing will be then seen as 'inherently subjective'. I can say that seer is the seeing is the seen, I can also say that seer-seeing-seen is empty.

    Anyway there's something very nice by Thusness:


    In ignorance, there is hearer hearing sound.
    In anatta, in hearing, only sound.
    Yet sound has no true inherent nature (empty),
    It is an activity and is that very activity called “hearing”.
    Both “hearing and sound” are pointing to the same activity.
    Only when seen to have true existence on either side does confusion arise.

    In Madhyamaka Emptiness, reification is seen through.
    Yet the experiential state of freedom from reification is not expounded.
    However one can have a taste of that freedom from arising insight of anatta since anatta is precisely the freedom from reification of Self/self (First fold Emptiness).
    In anatta, seeing is simply the full scenery, in hearing only sound…
    thus, always only lights, shape, colors, sounds, scents… in clean purity.
    Emptying the object further (second fold) is merely dissolving subtle bond of “externality” that creates the appearance of true existence of objects outside. When “externality” is deconstructed, it is effectively a double confirmation of anatta…
    …innerly coreless and outwardly empty, all appearances are still simply sound, lights, colors and rays
    In thorough deconstruction, as there is no layer that reifies, there is no conceptuality. Therefore no complication, no confusion, no stains, no boundaries, no center, no sense of dual..
    no sense of activity…just self arising.
    All collapse into a single sphere of natural presence and spontaneous simplicity.
    Whatever appears is
    neither here nor now,
    Neither in nor out,
    Neither arises nor ceases,
    In the same space…
    non-local, timeless and dimensionless
    Simply present…

    To Jax:
    The place where there is no earth, fire, wind, space, water…
    is the place where the earth, fire, wind, space and water kills “You” and fully shines as its own radiance, a complete taste of itself and fully itself.

    Lastly, it is interesting to get know something about Dzogchen however the jargons and tenets are far beyond me.
    Just wrote due to a sudden spurt of interest, nothing intense.
    Thanks for all the sharing and exchanges.
    January 7 at 12:15am · Edited · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński I disagree. They are not conventions for a single activity, but actually these conventions set up "sense of activity" that Thusness negates above. There is no activity apart from that very imputation of "seeing". That is why to say seer, seeing seen are identical to each other is untenable... Just like to say they are different is untenable... I had chat with Tan Jui Horng recently and it led me to conclusion that such expression are unskillful. Mind must realize that it is not the case that it imputes construct on "one activity/process/flow/"change without changing thing" but that idea of activity/process is set up my mind via three-fold structure (subject-action-object). Just my 2 cents - I disagree with methodology of subsuming "nouns" into "just verbing" which is subsuming not better than "one mind" and the like. Subsuming always, always leave traces
    January 7 at 12:22am · Edited · Like · 4
    Soh A shorter one by Thusness:

    The knowing is precisely the known and vice versa.
    Only in ignorance does the knowing appear to co-locate with the known.
    If both are realized as mere conventions that arise in dependence of the other,
    Then the middle way that severs the extremes can be understood
    January 7 at 12:23am · Like
    Nicholas Mason Yes but there is no knowing or known.
    January 7 at 12:25am · Like
    Soh Yeah they are not conventions for a 'single activity', those conventions point to different things... but when it is realized to be mere conventions that manifest in dependence on the other - that is, seer arises dependent on seeing and seen and vice versa, then the whole structure collapses.
    January 7 at 12:25am · Like
    Soh The point is not about subsuming but seeing through the whole structure
    January 7 at 12:26am · Like · 1
    Soh Subsuming would require an inherently existing pole - such as the subjective or the objective, in which things are subsumed into.
    January 7 at 12:26am · Like
    Soh When you truly realize knowing is precisely the known and vice versa by penetrating the illusion of the whole seer-seeing-seen structure, it is not by way of subsuming
    January 7 at 12:27am · Like
    Nicholas Mason The knower is the knowing is the known. There is no knowing, knower, or known. The inseperability of These is Precisely This Mind.
    January 7 at 12:27am · Like
    Soh When we say the inseperability of this is just this Mind, this Mind must also be realized as a convention rather than ultimately existing subjective reality - otherwise it would be subsuming... or likewise if we say there is merely the seen and then the seen is seen as objectively existing, that is also subsuming... there is no problem stating this "this is mind" if "mind" is seen as conventional and ultimately empty. And likewise seeing is just the seen. Luminous and empty.
    January 7 at 12:29am · Edited · Like
    Nicholas Mason I said "This Mind", not Mind.
    January 7 at 12:29am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński Soh - my point was that your post was written in a way that suggest to your readers (who for example haven't experienced collapse of entire structure as described in Kalaka Sutta) to think that "seer" "seeing" seen" have single inherent referent; whereas they don't have referents at all; "They are just conventions for a single activity" seem like suggesting that "direct non-dual, gapless experience that is self-luminous/self-cognizing clarity" is really existing as that "single activity"
    January 7 at 12:37am · Edited · Like
    Nicholas Mason I wouldn't even bring the term "single activity" into it.
    January 7 at 12:36am · Like
    Soh "The direct non-dual, gapless experience that is self-luminous/self-cognizing clarity" is descriptive, if I said that the experience points to something objectively existing (such as an actually existing world) or a subjective reality (clarity is the changeless Self), then there would have been subsuming involved. But experiential narration is a description, and description does not imply or posits a reference (for example a dream is an experience that we all know is empty/unreal, yet the dream contents can be described even when we know it is illusory). The experience can be described (self-cognizing, gapless, etc), but it need not be reified or referenced to an actually existing reality. Single activity need not imply something inherently existing.
    January 7 at 12:42am · Edited · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński Need not but you should know very well how hard it's to go to essence; to discover that this "The direct non-dual, gapless experience that is self-luminous/self-cognizing clarity" is non-arisen instead of landing on anatta without physicality and the like The point is not to land on subject-less and object-less appearances but to realize that appearances themselves are dependent arisings thus non-arising... (or like Kyle once wrote: "non-arising in "mere arising")
    January 7 at 12:45am · Edited · Unlike · 3
    Piotr Ludwiński "Along these lines, in his song No Birth, No Base, and Union, the lord of yogis Milarepa sang:

    The true nature of appearances is that they’ve never been born.

    If birth seems to happen, it’s just clinging, nothing more.

    The spinning wheel of existence has neither a base nor a root.

    If there is a base or root, that’s only a thought." The Sun of Wisdom
    January 7 at 12:51am · Like · 4

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