Respectfully, I disagree. Your statement implied that there is a need to justify the "reality" of things. Specifically, I am referring to the part of your post where you said "This is the way in which "things" are "real". It avoids the idea that things do not exist and it avoids the idea that they persist in any other way.gabrielbranbury wrote:Hi Eric,
Its not a justification. Its the way things are. It is the middle way.
There is no need to justify the reality or nonreality of anything, because either tendency strays from the middle, as shown by those sutta excerpts I provided (the Kaccayanagotta and Assutava).
Also, you can't just counter my point without providing evidence or a coherent argument for your POV.
I disagree, respectfully.gabrielbranbury wrote:I dont think that it necessarily implies that there are isolated "things". One might read that meaning into it but that is one of the problems with communication.
You stated that "all phenomena possess the innate characteristic of being supported by causes and conditions," and that this innate characteristic makes those phenomena real. Speaking in an ontological sense (as opposed to conventional/experiential) how can any one thing possess an innate characteristic without being an isolated phenomenon? The term innate is defined in three ways by the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
We can discard the first and third defintions because they relate to people. So, that brings us to the second entry: "belong to the essential nature of something." This is an impossibility. If something has an essence, it can be called real (and therefore isolatable) as per my first post in which I provided a definition of reality.Merriam-Webster Dictionary wrote:1 : existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth : native, inborn <innate behavior>
2 : belonging to the essential nature of something : inherent
3 : originating in or derived from the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience
Kalaka Sutta, 4.24 wrote:"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.
Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.
"Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.
"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."
Sunna Sutta wrote:Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?"
"Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty. And what is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self? The eye is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Forms... Eye-consciousness... Eye-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.
"The ear is empty...
"The nose is empty...
"The tongue is empty...
"The body is empty...
"The intellect is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Ideas... Intellect-consciousness... Intellect-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Thus it is said that the world is empty."
The Buddha repeatedly warns against assigning innate qualities (essences, selves) to phenomena, such as you have done by making an ontological claim that there are real phenomena which possess the innate (that is, belonging to the essence of something) quality of being upheld by causes and conditions and which express that quality.Mulapariyaya Sutta wrote:The Blessed One said: "There is the case, monks, where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — perceives earth as earth. Perceiving earth as earth, he conceives [things] about earth, he conceives [things] in earth, he conceives [things] coming out of earth, he conceives earth as 'mine,' he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.
As to your statement that language tends to sway towards reality or nonreality, I would say that happens whenever we attempt to make an ultimate, ontological claim (as opposed to conventional/experiential/practical claims) about reality. It is simply unnecessary to make these types of claims, because they are of no practical use and they stray from the middle way between reality and nonreality (dependent origination).