Dear Individual,Individual wrote:That seems to also be a good summary of the Madhyamaka school of thought of Mahayana as well.retrofuturist wrote: "'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle...
In fact, this is the Buddha's view. It is not a Second Turning of the Wheel, as the Mahayanas assert. I received a book by the Dalai Lama for Xmas, in which he stated this very dhamma was something not taught by the Buddha but taught by the Mahayana.
However, it is important to not just leave the quote truncated as above. The Buddha emphasised in this teaching the arising & cessation of things. The Buddha said, when things arise they exist; when they cease, they cease to exist. Thus, we should not regard them as inherently existing or non-existing.
To regard reality as merely the five aggregates is sufficent for liberation. This is why the Buddha taught extensively on the elements. The point of Buddha-Dhamma is liberation from dukkha via emptiness of self. Whether things are regarded as impermanent, whether they are regarded as aggregates, elements or formations or whether they are regarded as empty of inherent existence, each of these manners of regarding and seeing is empty of self.Individual wrote:But on the other hand, some Theravada Buddhists also seem to be realists and materialists -- the traditional Theravadins can be realists by clinging to the Five Aggregates as the fundamental explanation of ultimate reality, and the modern Theravadins can be even be worse, being both realists and materialists, by seeing the Five Aggregates as merely a useful but limited classification while clinging to materialistic western science as an explanation for the way the world really is.
Thus form is voidness & voidness is form. If form is regarded as 'voidness', it is void. If form is regarded as 'form', merely form, it is also void. If it is void, it is free from dukkha. The efficacy of this we must understand through practise or experience. These realisations are one and the same.
The Mahayana dharma that stresses not 'imputing' or non 'imputation' is the teaching of nothingness. There is imputation that leads to dukkha and imputation that does not lead to dukkha. Nibbana is not 'non-thought'. Nibbana is emptiness of self (and other defilements).
Without cognising the arising & cessation of things, our mind will lack empathy.