Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

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Crystal
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Crystal » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:10 pm

jundocohen wrote: Of course, simply for the record, one can believe in models of dependent origination which focus only upon events in this life, putting aside questions about whether dependent origination is a system for postmortem rebirth. .
Hi Jundo,

This 24 minute talk I posted in the Lounge might be of interest....

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=281


_/|\_

.

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boda
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:48 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:54 pm
There's also a fossil photo to see.
Image

It has the properties of a mold, hmmm... :113:


Okay back to topic!

OP wrote:People who do not understand Buddhadharma may have one of two false ideas about emptiness. The first, emptiness from a temporal point of view, is called “the emptiness of termination and extinction.” Those who hold this view think that things just arise and vanish spontaneously, without events in the past causing results in the present and without events in the present causing results in the future. This is emptiness of temporal relationship. ... It is very likely that people who hold either of these two false conceptions will have moral or ethical problems, and may lack a central focus in their lives.
Several problems with this claim. Firstly, many events on the subatomic level appear occur spontaneously or without a cause. Secondly, cause & effect is an illusion. An event doesn't cause or result in another event. It only appears to because we have purposes which are pursued by singling out the most efficient causes to fulfill that purpose. No desire --> no goal or purpose --> no cause or effect. Thirdly, there is no reason that understanding physics or causality would make moral or ethical problems likely.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:07 pm

bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:48 pm
Several problems with this claim. Firstly, many events on the subatomic level appear occur spontaneously or without a cause. Secondly, cause & effect is an illusion. An event doesn't cause or result in another event. It only appears to because we have purposes which are pursued by singling out the most efficient causes to fulfill that purpose. No desire --> no goal or purpose --> no cause or effect. Thirdly, there is no reason that understanding physics or causality would make moral or ethical problems likely.
If you haven't read this thread, from where would your thoughts come, didn't they arise due to conditions?

If cause and effect are an "illusion" are your words outside of the illusion of time?

Are your words not a by product of the subatomic level?
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:32 pm

bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:48 pm
...
Okay back to topic!

OP wrote:People who do not understand Buddhadharma may have one of two false ideas about emptiness. The first, emptiness from a temporal point of view, is called “the emptiness of termination and extinction.” Those who hold this view think that things just arise and vanish spontaneously, without events in the past causing results in the present and without events in the present causing results in the future. This is emptiness of temporal relationship. ... It is very likely that people who hold either of these two false conceptions will have moral or ethical problems, and may lack a central focus in their lives.
Several problems with this claim. Firstly, many events on the subatomic level appear occur spontaneously or without a cause. Secondly, cause & effect is an illusion. An event doesn't cause or result in another event. It only appears to because we have purposes which are pursued by singling out the most efficient causes to fulfill that purpose. No desire --> no goal or purpose --> no cause or effect. Thirdly, there is no reason that understanding physics or causality would make moral or ethical problems likely.
Thank you for your efforts to resume discussion of the topic. In that constructive spirt let me point out that
I am unaware of any physicist claiming proof or even presenting any theory that subatomic events appear “without cause” (although the causes may be unknown). An “event” may be generated by what appears to be empty space, but is definitely caused (if even by the basic structure of space itself). An event which does not cause another event can only be one that has no interaction with anything else. That is a non-starter as it is equivalent to saying the event does not exist in physics. In Mahayana Buddhism (including Zen), saying “cause & effect is an illusion” is a heresy and failure in logic (saying they do is also an error, but a smaller one).

Defining “emptiness from a temporal point of view, is called the ‘emptiness of termination and extinction.’ Those who hold this view think that things just arise and vanish spontaneously, without events in the past causing results in the present and without events in the present causing results in the future. This is emptiness of temporal relationship...” is indeed pointed out and criticized in Mahayana Buddhism as a fundamental logical error, most commonly made by people who grossly misunderstood emptiness in the Mahayana.

Any good book on Madhyamaka will make the detailed and devastating arguments clear.

Please note that I am not saying that what you describe is or is not objectively true or that it may not be a theory in various philosophical schools. I am saying that as far as I can tell neither is taught or accepted in either Buddhism or physics.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:35 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:07 pm
bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:48 pm
Several problems with this claim. Firstly, many events on the subatomic level appear occur spontaneously or without a cause. Secondly, cause & effect is an illusion. An event doesn't cause or result in another event. It only appears to because we have purposes which are pursued by singling out the most efficient causes to fulfill that purpose. No desire --> no goal or purpose --> no cause or effect. Thirdly, there is no reason that understanding physics or causality would make moral or ethical problems likely.
If you haven't read this thread, from where would your thoughts come, didn't they arise due to conditions?
Which conditions exactly, this thread? Could my thoughts have arisen without the air around me to breath or the earth under my feet, or countless other conditions spanning back to the beginning of time itself!?!? :o
If cause and effect are an "illusion" are your words outside of the illusion of time?
I don't understand the question.
Are your words not a by product of the subatomic level?
If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:51 pm

bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:35 pm
...

Which conditions exactly, this thread? Could my thoughts have arisen without the air around me to breath or the earth under my feet, or countless other conditions spanning back to the beginning of time itself!?!? p..
If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?
Yes, exactly. Buddhism 101. Effects are caused by countless other causes and, in turn, cause other countless effects, which cause other... and so on.( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)

Hence, dependent or interdependent origination (or emptiness) as it is used in Buddhism.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:00 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:32 pm
bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:48 pm
...
Okay back to topic!

OP wrote:People who do not understand Buddhadharma may have one of two false ideas about emptiness. The first, emptiness from a temporal point of view, is called “the emptiness of termination and extinction.” Those who hold this view think that things just arise and vanish spontaneously, without events in the past causing results in the present and without events in the present causing results in the future. This is emptiness of temporal relationship. ... It is very likely that people who hold either of these two false conceptions will have moral or ethical problems, and may lack a central focus in their lives.
Several problems with this claim. Firstly, many events on the subatomic level appear occur spontaneously or without a cause. Secondly, cause & effect is an illusion. An event doesn't cause or result in another event. It only appears to because we have purposes which are pursued by singling out the most efficient causes to fulfill that purpose. No desire --> no goal or purpose --> no cause or effect. Thirdly, there is no reason that understanding physics or causality would make moral or ethical problems likely.
Thank you for your efforts to resume discussion of the topic.
Please desist from the meta-discussion. :116: :lol:
An event which does not cause another event can only be one that has no interaction with anything else. That is a non-starter as it is equivalent to saying the event does not exist in physics.
Virtual particles, and radioactive decay is random and impossible to predict.
In Mahayana Buddhism (including Zen), saying “cause & effect is an illusion” is a heresy and failure in logic (saying they do is also an error, but a smaller one).
In the same sense evolution is a "heresy and failure in logic," according to folks who lived over 2k years ago. But if you can dig up a doctrinal reference where this heresy of claiming cause & effect is an illusion is specifically declared I'm sure we would all be fasciated to see it.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:35 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:51 pm
bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:35 pm
...

Which conditions exactly, this thread? Could my thoughts have arisen without the air around me to breath or the earth under my feet, or countless other conditions spanning back to the beginning of time itself!?!? p..
If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?
Yes, exactly. Buddhism 101. Effects are caused by countless other causes and, in turn, cause other countless effects, which cause other... and so on.( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)
Okay, so what caused my thoughts in this topic?
[SPOILER]
:558:

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:55 am

bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:35 am
Okay, so what caused my thoughts in this topic?
As you may have heard: Buddhism 101. Effects are caused by countless other causes and, in turn, cause other countless effects, which cause other... and so on.( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)

Now, where I have head that before?

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:02 am

bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:00 am

Virtual particles, and radioactive decay is random and impossible to predict.
In Mahayana Buddhism (including Zen), saying “cause & effect is an illusion” is a heresy and failure in logic (saying they do is also an error, but a smaller one).
In the same sense evolution is a "heresy and failure in logic," according to folks who lived over 2k years ago. But if you can dig up a doctrinal reference where this heresy of claiming cause & effect is an illusion is specifically declared I'm sure we would all be fasciated to see it.
Impossible to predict does not mean without cause.

Again, I am pointing out what is argued (and that the quote in the OP is pretty standard orthodox stuff). I am not arguing the case.

References in the Taisho, since you asked, would begin with:

The Middle Treatise" (Ch. 中論, pinyin: Zhonglun, T. 1564; Skt. Madhyamakaśāstra), comprising Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā ("Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way") alongside a commentary by *Vimalākṣa / *Piṅgala (Ch. 青目, pinyin: Qingmu)
"The Treatise on the Twelve Gates" (Ch. 十二門論, pinyin: Shiermenlun, T. 1568), allegedly Nāgārjuna's *Dvādaśadvāraśāstra,[6] also reconstructed as *Dvādaśamukhaśāstra or as *Dvādaśanikāyaśāstra
"The Hundred[-Verse] Treatise" (Ch. 百論, pinyin: Bailun, T. 1569; Skt. Śatakaśāstra,[9] or Śataśāstra consisting of a commentary by a certain master Vasu on some verses by Āryadeva.

"Commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom" (Ch. 大智度論, pinyin: Dazhidulun, T. 1509; Skt. Mahāprajñāpāramitāupadeśa). Attributed to Nāgārjuna.

There are several English translations of most of these.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:20 am

For treatment of how and why cause and effect theories were criticized try:

Garfield, Jay L. (1995), The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kalupahana, David J. (1986),The Philosophy of the Middle Way. Albany: SUNY Press.

Kalupahana, David J. (1994), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited

Murti, T. R. V. (1955), The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. George Allen and Unwin, London. 2nd edition: 1960.

Ramanan, K. Venkata (1966), Nāgārjuna's Philosophy. Charles E. Tuttle, Vermont and Tokyo. Reprint: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. 1978.
Ruegg, D. Seyfort (1981), The literature of the Madhyamaka school of philosophy in India (A History of Indian literature), Harrassowitz,

Tuck, Andrew P. (1990), Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: on the Western Interpretation of Nāgārjuna, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Westerhoff, Jan (2009), Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka. A Philosophical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:25 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:55 am
bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:35 am
Okay, so what caused my thoughts in this topic?
As you may have heard: Buddhism 101. Effects are caused by countless other causes and, in turn, cause other countless effects, which cause other... and so on.
So it appears, but let's look at another part of the Sheng Yen in the OP:
Sheng Yen wrote:If we were to break time down into all its separate moments, we would see that actually time does not exist. This is also true of space. If we kept cutting it up into smaller and smaller parts, we would not find the actual existence of space.
In this way causality is just like time and space. You could search endlessly for what caused my thoughts in this topic but never find a cause. It's the same with self or anatman.
( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)
What are you talking about, the question was: If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:11 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:02 am
Impossible to predict does not mean without cause.
What is the cause then?

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Nothing » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:09 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm
hi, Viktor,

Indeed. Sheng Yen also routinely taught however that two big influences on the development of Ch'an were Madhyamika (as you mention, but also works by others of the school besides Nagarjuna's kārikā), and the teachings and observations of Yogacara, particularly the 8 Consciousnesses Theory, or model of Mind, culminating in the theory of the Alaya.
Hi Joe,

Yes, true, not only the karika by Nagarjuna, I mentioned the karika because it is the most famous representative of the school.

Regarding Yogacara, I think that it should be made clear that The Lankavatara is not a Yogacara text, because Yogacara is Consciousness Only School, while the Lankavatara sutra is One Vehicle sutra with presents the teaching of Mind Only , so that is why I mentioned the Lanka as one of the key text that shaped Zen Buddhism as representative of the One Vehicle tradition.
Not that the Yogacara school did not have influence on shaping Chan/Zen Buddhism , just that it's impact is not as big as the Mind Only teaching found in the Lanka, as I understand.
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm
He valued very much the "coming-at Mind" from the opposite directions that Madhyamika and Yogacara come at it. The first comes at it from the point of view of Awakening; the other comes at it from the point of view of Delusion. Wonderful!
Yes, wonderful, exactly. That is what is Mind Only teaching!


desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm
But don't let's forget about posture, and physical practices. :)

I like it, by the way, that Jundo Roshi, here, uses upper-case "p", writing "practice" as "Practice", uniformly. :bow2:

--Joe
The arrival of spring marked the start of the cycling season, to work and back on weekdays and longer runs during the weekend.
Also good for some yoga stretches in the garden. :)


Gassho,

Viktor

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:33 am

bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:25 pm

In this way causality is just like time and space. You could search endlessly for what caused my thoughts in this topic but never find a cause. It's the same with self or anatman.
( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)
What are you talking about, the question was: If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?
I would refer you to the “canonical” sources you requested, but yes, causality is essentially treated the same as time and space (neither caused or non-caused and in no case does countless causes equal no cause).

Again, what is defined as a “primary product” or “byproduct” depends on the perspective chosen for that discussion in both strandard Buddhist or modern physics discussion because it is a values weighing decision based on a specific context. For example, everything has its own center of gravity, which center of gravity you consider as primary or secondary will differ in context.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:33 am

Note: A number of off topic posts and obvious trolling posts deleted with ensuing orphan posts also eliminated.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:33 am
Note: A number of off topic posts and obvious trolling posts deleted with ensuing orphan posts also eliminated.
Thanks, anything after the first four posts are superfluous ingredients and a disservice to Master Sheng Yen's words in my view, ofcourse it's all unintentionally and just habit, but I feel Shifu "deserves" better from us. Apologies from my part. (just imo ofcourse)
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:44 pm

my brother Fuki,
fuki wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:59 pm
Thanks, anything after the first four posts are superfluous ingredients and a disservice to Master Sheng Yen's words in my view, ofcourse it's all unintentionally and just habit, but I feel Shifu "deserves" better from us. Apologies from my part. (just imo ofcourse)
My shifu would be pleased that we are discussing this material at all, in the first place.

But, more important is (perfected) posture, physical practice(s), and true zazen. Don't be(come) complacent. Talking does not do for us what samadhi does, and the sudden breaking-up of samadhi ...and the practice of zazen following the sudden-breaking-up of samadhi.

(See Meido Roshi's book!, BTW. Truly, a very clear and direct gift, to inspire confidence; or, aspiration).

:namaste:

--Joe

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:10 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:33 am
bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:25 pm
In this way causality is just like time and space. You could search endlessly for what caused my thoughts in this topic but never find a cause. It's the same with self or anatman.
( Anything can be considered a “primary product” or “byproduct” depending on the chosen perspective.)
What are you talking about, the question was: If my words are a byproduct what is the primary product of subatomic production?
I would refer you to the “canonical” sources you requested, but...
If there were such a thing in the Buddhist cannon, and you knew about it, shouldn't you point it out?
causality is essentially treated the same as time and space
And no-self? I don't recall ever reading anything about no-cause/effect or no-karma. If you have a doctrinal reference for this please show us.
(neither caused or non-caused...
??? okay?
and in no case does countless causes equal no cause)
If everything causes everything then, what?
Again, what is defined as a “primary product” or “byproduct” depends on the perspective chosen for that discussion in both strandard Buddhist or modern physics discussion because it is a values weighing decision based on a specific context.
The specific context, which I repeat for the third time, is my words and "subatomic production." If my words are a byproduct of subatomic production then what is the primary product of subatomic production? That's the question that I asked. If you want to answer that question, please, be my quest.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 pm

bodhi wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:10 pm
If you want to answer that question, please, be my quest.
Funny as all get-out. Got to love a good typographical (?) error.

--Joe

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