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the good law

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.zen,alt.philosophy.zen,talk.religion.buddhism
From: Tang Huyen 
Subject: Re: the good law (was: Natural Time, Ages, Maya, Buddhist (was 500-Year 
 Buddha Cycles?))
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 15:12:57 -0400

Ned Ludd wrote: <<- within this law, your mind dwells nowhere, a mind
unsupported by sensations, and unsupported by things.>>

Ned, you have never understood this important point, which is central to
Buddhism.

Mind receives sensation, but sensation is a whole (though a differentiated
whole and not a homogeneous blank) not cut up into discrete pieces. Mind
then processes sensation by matching bits of sensation with existing
patterns -- existing in mind, that is. This process is recursive, and as
each bit of sensation is identified, it is analysed for more precise
identification and possible reaction -- liking or disliking, flight or
fight, etc. -- and associations, and further and further. Each
identification is coaggulated into a concept with an essence thrown in to
solidify the constitution of it, boundaries are delineated and sharpened,
and that is how things are arrived at (I do not say that they are created)
and mind stands on its own platform, which takes off from sensation and
which may or may not have anything to do with sensation per se at the end.
The end-product of that process can diverge hugely from sensation, as in
madness or scientific theory.

That is how the normal, deluded mind works. The awakened mind receives the
same input, but remains at the stage of sensation and does not elaborate.
What is experienced is experienced in equanimity (no part gets any
preferential treatment, positive or negative), and instantly let go of, and
nothing is retained or stabilised, by means of concepts, affects or
whatever. That is how mind is unsupported by any input.

The awakened mind deals with sensation but does not get off on a tangent
from it. It merely receives it and lets it pass. That is what is meant by
the awakened mind not dwelling anywhere. The deluded mind receives the same
sensation, elaborates on it, gets off on a tangent from it, and that
distance from sensation -- the thickness of the interpretative layer -- is
the platform that mind creates and stands on. The thicker that
interpretative layer is, the more deluded mind is. The awakened mind either
has no such layer or temporarily builds up a thin, transparent one that it
uses and is not used by it.

That's all there is to Buddhist epistemology. All else is obscurantism or
fantasmagoria.

Tang Huyen




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From: "Ned Ludd" 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.zen,alt.philosophy.zen,talk.religion.buddhism
Subject: Re: the good law
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 21:51:43 -0500
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Tang Huyen  wrote in message
news:3B7D6CB9.A8EA9513@yahoo.com...

Ned:
> - within this law, your mind dwells nowhere, a mind
> unsupported by sensations, and unsupported by things.

Tang:
> Ned, you have never understood this important point, which is
> central to Buddhism.
> Mind receives sensation, but sensation is a whole (though a
> differentiated whole and not a homogeneous blank) not cut up into
> discrete pieces. Mind then processes sensation by matching bits of
> sensation with existing patterns -- existing in mind, that is. This
> process is recursive, and as each bit of sensation is identified,
> it is analysed for more precise identification and possible reaction
> -- liking or disliking, flight or fight, etc. -- and associations,
> and further and further. Each identification is coaggulated into a
> concept with an essence thrown in to solidify the constitution of
> it, boundaries are delineated and sharpened, and that is how things
> are arrived at (I do not say that they are created) and mind stands
> on its own platform, which takes off from sensation and which may
> or may not have anything to do with sensation per se at the end.
> The end-product of that process can diverge hugely from sensation,
> as in madness or scientific theory.
>

  Of course you don't "say that they are created", because you don't
believe that.  You think they really are there.  And you depend on
them being there.  You admit that your thoughts can screw them up,
but you still cling to the idea that there is a 'real' reality there
to be discovered (if we can just not think about it).

  That's where we disagree.  Phantom wound pain - do you know what
this is?  The amputee swears that the appendage which was removed
has feeling, in fact that it itches!  He wants to scratch the arm
that isn't there anymore.  The sensation is there, but there is
absolutely nothing really there.

  That is actually what all of reality is - a glorified case of
phantom wound pain.  You will never accept this.  Because then you
would have nowhere to stand.  And I don't think you can stand not
having anywhere to stand.

> That is how the normal, deluded mind works. The awakened mind
> receives the same input, but remains at the stage of sensation
> and does not elaborate.  What is experienced is experienced in
> equanimity (no part gets any preferential treatment, positive or
> negative), and instantly let go of, and nothing is retained or
> stabilised, by means of concepts, affects or whatever. That is
> how mind is unsupported by any input.
>

  You've just attempted to say that a mind unsupported by any input
is actually supported by experience (which is not further elaborated
by concepts and affects).  That's just silly.  And contrary to the
teachings.  Why can't you just say, in a simple sentence, that the
awakened mind is supported by un-elaborated experience?  You can't,
because you know how stupid that sounds; but that's actually what
you're trying to claim, by giving lip service to the "unsupported"
idea, but then falling back on depending on sensation.

> The awakened mind deals with sensation but does not get off on a
> tangent from it. It merely receives it and lets it pass. That is
> what is meant by the awakened mind not dwelling anywhere. The
> deluded mind receives the same sensation, elaborates on it, gets
> off on a tangent from it, and that distance from sensation -- the
> thickness of the interpretative layer -- is the platform that mind
> creates and stands on. The thicker that interpretative layer is,
> the more deluded mind is. The awakened mind either has no such layer
> or temporarily builds up a thin, transparent one that it uses and
> is  not used by it.
>

  "Temporarily builds up a thin, transparent interpretative layer"??
Oh, YEAH, that's why Buddha walked the earth - to teach that message.
"All things are mind-made, mind-made are they." - what the hell do
you think that's supposed to mean?  Or the last verses of the Diamond
sutra, about all the things of the world being like a phantom, dew,
a bubble, or a dream?

                                                          Ned





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From: Tang Huyen 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.zen,alt.philosophy.zen,talk.religion.buddhism
Subject: The compositions and the reality beyond them (was Re: the good law)
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 09:18:42 -0400
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Ned Ludd wrote: <>

Hehe, Ned, you have presented these arguments before, but let me go
through them again.

All instances of delusion -- and we have to understand by that mental
delusion, not bodily delusion, like phantom limbs -- in Buddhism come down
to the compositions, the fourth aggregate. The compositions compose
interpretations in the present life and build up (compose) a body and
sense-organs (including the mind, the sith sense-organ) for a future life.
But awakening is the calming of all compositions, and what then is
revealed is pure consciousness of raw sensation, or reality. This
opposition between the presence of the compositions as delusion and the
absence of them as awakening exists in the Buddha and Nagarjuna. And the
words used are exactly "the compositions" (samskara) or its derivatives
based on the root kr-, or the synonym "the volitions" (cetana) and its
derivatives based on the root cit- "to think, to mentate". The fourth
aggregate is called both the compositions and the volitions.

First, let's talk about delusion. SN, IV, 201 (35, 207), SA, 1168,
311-312, Harivarman, Tattva-siddhi, T, 32, 1646, 286a15-19; Dà zhì dù lùn,
T, 25, 1509, 99c13-17: “If one wants to work up a form body for a future
life, that is a mentation. If one wants to work up a formless body, that
is also a mentation. If one wants to work up a body with notion, a body
without notion, a body with neither-notion-nor-not-notion, they are all
mentations. Mentation binds one to the Evil One, non-mentation does not
bind one to, but frees one from, the Evil One.” At 276b29 Harivarman says:
“Because it can seek a re-becoming, it is called volition-mentation
(cetana).” At SA, 421, 111b, SN, V, 449-450 (56, 42) the Buddha speaks of
beings who take delight in compositions which lead to birth
(jati-samvattanikesu sankharesu abhiramanti) and death (jara-), and who
compose compositions which lead to birth (jati-samvattanike sankhare
abhisankharonti) and death (jara-), and conversely of beings who do not
take delight in compositions which lead to birth (jati-samvattanikesu
sankharesu nabhiramanti) and death (jara-), and who do not compose
compositions which lead to birth (jati-samvattanike sankhare
nabhisankharonti) and death (jara-).

The qualification “previously composed and willed out-mentated (purvam
abhisamskrtany abhisañcetitani), and to be known as former deed (pauranam
karma veditavyam)” is applied by the Buddha to the six places of contact
(SA, 295, 84a-b, Skt. in Nidana-samyukta, 144-145, Vyakhya, 503, Zitate,
27), to the six internal sense-places (SN, IV, 132-133 [35, 145]), and to
the body (SN, II, 64-65 [12, 37]). Also Yogacara-bhumi, T, 30, 1579,
832c23-24.

As to the famous verse from the Diamond, it is:

"As stars, a fault of vision, as a lamp,
A mock show, dew drops, or a bubble,
A dream, a lightning flash, or cloud,
So should one view *the composed* (Evam drastavyam samsk.rtam)."

It limits the field of delusion to the composed (samsk.rtam), and leaves
out unmentioned what is not composed (a-samsk.rtam). Notice that the
translations "conditioned" and "unconditioned" are wrong, because the
composed here is composed by mind, and the uncomposed is what is there but
is not composed by mind. There is in the uncomposed the mere subtraction
of the composed, but nothing else is touched, and what remains is pure
consciousness of raw sensation, or reality.

As to reality separated from the compositions, the Buddha says: “That
which is lying, is a lying thing, just that is the composed, the ultimate
reality is just the non-lying thing, blowing-out; all compositions are
lying, they are lying things” (Skt. tan mrsa mosa-dharma yad idam
samskrtam, etaddhi khalu, bhiksavah, paramam satyam yad idam amosa-dharma
nirvanam, sarva-samskaras ca mrsa mosa-dharmana iti); translated from the
Sanskrit which is fuller, in quotation as uktam Sutre in Candrakirti,
Nagarjuna Mulamadhyamakakarikas (Madhyamikasastras) de Nagarjuna avec la
Prasannapada Commentaire de Candrakirti, ed. Louis de la Vallée Poussin,
St. Peterburg: Imprimerie de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences, 1913.

Deva, traditionally said to be Nagarjuna’s direct disciple, says in Karen
Lang, Aryadeva’s Catuhsataka, 82-83, VIII, 11 (translation modified):
“Blowing-out is for someone who does not compose; rebirth is for someone
who composes. Consequently, blowing-out is easy to attain when one does
not think; the opposite is not (a-kurvanasya nirvanam kurvanasya
punar-bhavah, nis-cintena sukham praptum tena netarah).” This clones
Nagarjuna’s verse, XXVI, 10: “Consequently, the ignorant composes the
compositions which are the root of faring-on. The ignorant is thus agent
[= he does deeds], not the sage [= he does no deeds], who sees reality
(samsara-mulan samskaran avidvan samskaroty atah, avidvan karakas tasman
na vidvams tattva-darsanat).”

Tang Huyen





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From: "Ned Ludd" 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.zen,alt.philosophy.zen,talk.religion.buddhism
Subject: Re: The compositions and the reality beyond them (was Re: the good law)
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:57:15 -0500
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Tang Huyen  wrote in message
news:3B7FBCB2.B41B6627@yahoo.com...

Ned:
> Of course you don't "say that they are created", because you don't
> believe that.  You think they really are there.  And you depend
> on them being there.  You admit that your thoughts can screw them
> up, but you still cling to the idea that there is a 'real' reality
> there to be discovered (if we can just not think about it).
> That's where we disagree.  Phantom wound pain - do you know what
> this is?  The amputee swears that the appendage which was removed
> has feeling, in fact that it itches!  He wants to scratch the arm
> that isn't there anymore.  The sensation is there, but there is
> absolutely nothing really there.
> ...
> "Temporarily builds up a thin, transparent interpretative layer"??
> Oh, YEAH, that's why Buddha walked the earth - to teach that message.
> "All things are mind-made, mind-made are they." - what the hell do
> you think that's supposed to mean?  Or the last verses of the Diamond
> sutra, about all the things of the world being like a phantom, dew,
> a bubble, or a dream?

Tang:
> Hehe, Ned, you have presented these arguments before, but let me go
> through them again.
> All instances of delusion -- and we have to understand by that mental
> delusion, not bodily delusion, like phantom limbs -- ...
>

  How would know?  How would you ever know?  How would you know you're
not merely a brain floating in a vat, and all your friends, family,
society, buildings, books, etc. AND phantom wound pain, are sensations
fed to your brain through implants into your various brain centers?

  You are basing your belief that raw sensation is enlightenment on
something that you have no idea is there, and in fact there are lots
of indications that nothing really is there.

> ...in Buddhism come down to the compositions, the fourth aggregate.
> The compositions compose interpretations in the present life and build
> up (compose) a body and sense-organs (including the mind, the sixth
> sense-organ) for a future life....
> [snip - lots about 'compositions']
>

  All of the five aggregates are empty.  Not just the fourth.  The
point of the teaching of the five aggregates is that all of them are
empty.  From the first (form), and the second (SENSATION), on up to
the fifth (consciousness).  None of them offers a place to stand -
raw, refined or otherwise.

> As to the famous verse from the Diamond, it is:
> "As stars, a fault of vision, as a lamp,
> A mock show, dew drops, or a bubble,
> A dream, a lightning flash, or cloud,
> So should one view *the composed* (Evam drastavyam samsk.rtam)."
> It limits the field of delusion to the composed (samsk.rtam), and
> leaves out unmentioned what is not composed (a-samsk.rtam).
>

  No, the field of delusion is all the things of the world.  And
what are the things of the world?  Well, "Buddha looked down on
heaven and earth, and all he saw was five heaps."  The five heaps
are all the things of the world, and all of them (sensation included)
are delusion.

> As to reality separated from the compositions, the Buddha says:
> "That which is lying, is a lying thing, just that is the composed,
> the ultimate reality is just the non-lying thing, blowing-out;
> all compositions are lying, they are lying things"
>

  You have failed to create a reality separated from compositions,
if that was your intent with this quote.  The quote itself says
'ultimate reality' is only blowing-out (extinction, cessation);
not sensation, or raw sensation, or whatever piece of externalism
you desperately want to hang your hat on.

                                                        Ned





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