"Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Coëmgenu
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"Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Coëmgenu »

From Venerable Khenpo Kunzang Palden's commentary on Ven Śāntideva's Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra, discussing the insights into emptiness provided by the two perspectives of śrāvakayāna & bodhisattvayāna. As mentioned before, this analyses reflects a particular interpretation of śrāvaka anattā teachings, which is not necessarily universally true of Theravāda today, as, for instance, many Theravādins and Mahāyānists today are largely in agreement concerning the emptiness of all phemonena, Ven Nāgārjuna's discourses on emptiness being very popular outside of Mahāyāna circles as well as within, as well as considered by many to be a definitive understanding of dependent origination (opinion on this, obviously though, if far from universal to say the least).

Ven KKP, on the two emptinesses:
The Shravakas of course are in perfect agreement about the need to realize No-Self, but they do not consider No-Self and emptiness to be the same. For them, emptiness means the denial of phenomenal existence like material form; it is a frightening, nihilistic notion. By contrast, the recognition of the nonexistence of the personal self (which has never at any time existed) constitutes for them the perfect view in accordance with the true nature of things.

As a matter of fact, there is no difference at all between these two assertions of emptiness: that of the personal No-Self and that of the phenomenal No-Self. Personal No-Self means that the person is merely an imputation on the basis of the aggregates; it has no objective existence from its own side. Similarly, phenomenal No-Self means that even aggregates like a body, for example, or a pot, are imputed on the basis of their assembled parts. They are empty of themselves. The only difference between these two emptinesses lies in the thing considered to be empty. The understanding of the phenomenal No-Self undermines clinging to phenomena in general, while the realization of the personal No-Self acts against the root of samsara. Aside from this, there is no difference between these two modes of emptiness.

The Shravakas, on the other hand, claim that the difference between the personal and phenomenal No-Self is very considerable. They say too that the realization of the phenomenal No-Self (or emptiness) is unnecessary: Liberation is attained merely through the realization of the personal No-Self. This means that, for them, existent phenomena are not empty, whereas the personal Self, which has never at any time existed, is as unreal as a rabbit's horns. They consequently have no use for the belief in the phenomenal No-Self. And so they debate, without realizing that a personal self imputed in dependence on the aggregates is in fact the very same thing as the phenomenal self.
(Ven KKP, The Nectar of Mañjuśrī's Speech, 341-2)

Thoughts? Keeping in mind that this is an outsider tradition of commentary upon "śrāvakayāna".
I heard it from a friend who heard it from a guy just before last call at the Publican House: Thomas the Bodhi-Wizard abode at Osmow's. Seeing a patron heading to the bathroom, Thomas quickly moved to relieve the man of his selfishly undonated plate. Caught, he spoke:

"'It's yours' is an extreme. 'It's mine' is another.
The Bodhi-Wizard splits the shawarma down the middle.
A sandwich arisen of causes and conditions
is a nonexistent sandwich.
A nonexistent sandwich is a designatory convenience.
This is the riddling way."


The man was awestruck.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Mkoll »

Looks like a sectarian expression saying pretty much what the Buddha phrased below.
SN 56.9 wrote:"Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice'; 'You have said afterwards what you should have said first, and you have said first what you should have said afterwards'; 'What I say is consistent, what you say isn't'; 'What you have thought out for so long is entirely reversed'; 'Your statement is refuted'; 'You are talking rubbish!'; 'You are in the wrong'; 'Get out of that if you can!'
He also taught why one should not do this and what do instead, right afterward in the same sutta.
SN 56.9 wrote:"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish."
How convenient.

8-)
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Coëmgenu »

Mkoll wrote:Looks like a sectarian expression saying pretty much what the Buddha phrased below.
SN 56.9 wrote:"Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice'; 'You have said afterwards what you should have said first, and you have said first what you should have said afterwards'; 'What I say is consistent, what you say isn't'; 'What you have thought out for so long is entirely reversed'; 'Your statement is refuted'; 'You are talking rubbish!'; 'You are in the wrong'; 'Get out of that if you can!'
He also taught why one should not do this and what do instead, right afterward in the same sutta.
SN 56.9 wrote:"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish."
How convenient.

8-)
Well, certainly the traditions have their differences between them. Ven KKP is saying here, however, that despite "shortcomings" (once again, sectarianism), the older dispensation of the Buddha, we'll just call is "Theravada" for simplicity's sake even though that isn't really what is being talked about, has its own emptiness, which is actually more or less the same emptiness as in the Mahayana tradition, just applied to different subject matter.

Ven KKP will then go on to say that the attainments of the arahant is fundamentally, in the end, the same as that of the bodhisattva, because of this shared wisdom. Of course, it will be done in a manner that is also sectarian, but in its way, it is a high compliment paid to the tradition, if viewed from a certain perspective.
I heard it from a friend who heard it from a guy just before last call at the Publican House: Thomas the Bodhi-Wizard abode at Osmow's. Seeing a patron heading to the bathroom, Thomas quickly moved to relieve the man of his selfishly undonated plate. Caught, he spoke:

"'It's yours' is an extreme. 'It's mine' is another.
The Bodhi-Wizard splits the shawarma down the middle.
A sandwich arisen of causes and conditions
is a nonexistent sandwich.
A nonexistent sandwich is a designatory convenience.
This is the riddling way."


The man was awestruck.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Spiny Norman »

Coëmgenu wrote:...many Theravādins and Mahāyānists today are largely in agreement concerning the emptiness of all phemonena, Ven Nāgārjuna's discourses on emptiness being very popular outside of Mahāyāna circles as well as within, as well as considered by many to be a definitive understanding of dependent origination (opinion on this, obviously though, if far from universal to say the least).
I think of the distinction here as one of emphasis, one of "in here" v. "out there".

But, given the Sabba Sutta, I suspect this is an artificial distinction. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Mkoll »

Spiny Norman wrote:But, given the Sabba Sutta, I suspect this is an artificial distinction. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I agree: the idea of a "personal not-self" and "phenomenal not-self" is artificial, it's a contrivance. The Sunna Sutta makes the same point. Again, the same point is made in what I've emphasized below from the Anattalakkhana Sutta.
"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."

"Is feeling permanent or impermanent?...

"Is perception permanent or impermanent?...

"Are determinations permanent or impermanent?...

"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" — "Painful, venerable sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."

"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.'

"Any kind of feeling whatever...

"Any kind of perception whatever...

"Any kind of determination whatever...

"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'
It's all to be regarded as not-self. No need for hair-splitting further.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by DooDoot »

Coëmgenu wrote:From Venerable Khenpo Kunzang Palden's commentary...The Shravakas of course are in perfect agreement about the need to realize No-Self, but they do not consider No-Self and emptiness to be the same.
Anatta & sunnata are basically exactly the same in the Pali suttas. The difference between them in Pali is: (i) anatta was explained using impermanence as a foundation; (ii) where as sunnata does not rely on impermanence but emphatically declares all things are sunnata; be they impermanent or permanent; be they conditioned or unconditioned. It seems the difference between Theravada & Mahayana is the Theravada did not historically focus very much on sunnata where as the Mahayana historically had a strong focus on their watered-down kindergarten version of sunnata that wrongly related sunnata to conditionality. Maybe Khenpo Kunzang Palden should do some basic Pali studies.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Bundokji »

Mkoll wrote: He also taught why one should not do this and what do instead, right afterward in the same sutta.
SN 56.9 wrote:"Why should you not do this? Such talk, monks, is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment or to Nibbana. When you have discussions, monks, you should discuss Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, its Cessation, and the Path that leads to its Cessation. Why is that? Because such talk is related to the goal... it conduces to disenchantment... to Nibbana. This is the task you must accomplish."
How convenient.

8-)
Thanks Jaames :namaste:

So, would it be wrong to conclude that even discussing anatta as a philosophical concept is not necessarily conducive to end suffering?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Mkoll »

Hi Mohammad,

I'd say so, unless the philosophical discussion's direction and purpose is Dhammic, e.g. it is talk on the 4 Noble Truths, fulfills the 8 qualities of Dhamma, etc. And one could argue that's not philosophical discussion, but talk on Dhamma.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Javi »

But it's been pretty well established by Choong Mun-keat, Yin Shun and more recently the Venerable Shi Huifeng that the emptiness of the Mahayana taught by Nagarjuna is not a new innovation but is present in the Agamic and Abhidharmic material - for example, the Mahasunyata sutra or the Tattvasiddhi sashtra of Harivarman both teach a sunyata that is pretty much Mahayana sunyata.

https://www.academia.edu/8805059/_Depen ... al_Sources
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by aflatun »

Javi wrote:But it's been pretty well established by Choong Mun-keat, Yin Shun and more recently the Venerable Shi Huifeng that the emptiness of the Mahayana taught by Nagarjuna is not a new innovation but is present in the Agamic and Abhidharmic material - for example, the Mahasunyata sutra or the Tattvasiddhi sashtra of Harivarman both teach a sunyata that is pretty much Mahayana sunyata.

https://www.academia.edu/8805059/_Depen ... al_Sources
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Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by DooDoot »

Javi wrote:But it's been pretty well established by Choong Mun-keat, Yin Shun and more recently the Venerable Shi Huifeng that the emptiness of the Mahayana taught by Nagarjuna is not a new innovation...
Dependent origination is not emptiness but the opposite of emptiness because dependent origination describes the origination of becoming (SN 12.2) where as emptiness describes the absence of becoming (MN 121). Also, nibbana is emptiness (MN 1; MN 43; MN 121) but not dependent origination. For the enlightened external observer, the dependent origination arising in ignorant minds is emptiness. But for those ignorant minds, there is no emptiness but only continued becoming. The realisation of emptiness results in the cessation (nirodha) of dependent origination. Sunnata & dependent origination are not the same thing and dependent origination is not required, at all, to explain sunnata. Dependent origination is the wrong path (SN 12.3) where as sunnata is the right path (MN 121). This is the difference between the Buddha & Mahayana.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

Mingyur Rinpoche explains emptiness, "one of the most misunderstood words" of Buddhist philosophy

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=27202


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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by SDC »

Indeed it is a waste to philosophically speculate on these matters, but it cannot be dismissed that the fundamental belief in SELF is based on degrees of speculation which have been repeatedly refined. I think we would all agree that the practice is about stopping this and undoing the damage, but the degree to which it is embedded, and the extent to which is defined, is perhaps more relevant than anything else. You can acknowledge the presence of something without feeding into its validity, and the first step in identifying a wrong view is to figure what that view is. I agree that too often this mark is overshot and people use the opportunity to speculate, but I also see the mark grossly undershot, where people are unwilling to put their thoughts out for such inspection (even privately) and therefore never expose anything as being a problem.

Taking all of that into consideration, one has to keep in mind that the view of the commoner amounts to a SELF. As much as he wants to hold the Dhamma dear to his heart, it will not heal his ailment if he does not start from that point. He takes the aggregates as his SELF, as substantial (not empty), and even if the Buddha tells him that they are not his self and they are not substantial, he must come to terms that his experience, even if he cannot overcome it, is based upon appropriation of the means by which things are, because of the conceit "I am". No need to take it any further, but by George there is a need to go at least this far.

The realization that the aggregates are not self is also the realization that they are not substantial as a signification of SELF. The aggregates are empty in that regard even though they do still arise, though no longer "subject to holding". To go a step further and say the aggregates themselves, aside from what they mean when holding is there, are also empty, is pointless and dare I say, inaccurate. Realization of not self is not "cessation of the aggregates". The arahat saw through the nature of that holding and no longer appropriates any aspect of experience; nothing indicates a SELF any longer, not even the attention that has taken him beyond views. My point is that the commoner would not, could not, go past his belief in self to see that individual aggregates are too insubstantial thereby dismantling the basis for self and become an arhat. Why? Because, as mentioned by DD, it is not the knowledge of emptiness of a determination that frees him, but its impermanence (sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā) (the conflation of aniccā with śūnyatā is a whole other issue which probably deserves its own thread.)

The knowledge that emptiness is there, comes along with knowledge of not self, but neither is the reason for such knowledge; you can't know something before you know it and use it to know itself...:thinking: The reason for that knowledge was that those things that experience was founded upon were impermanent.

So in short, it seems both śūnyatā and anattā are descriptions of experience, one is just more particular than the other; not self is a particular manifestation of emptiness in regards to the aggregates no longer being held as SELF. I don't know. I'm tired and if I hold this post off until I am not tired I probably won't want to post it.
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by aflatun »

SDC wrote:Indeed it is a waste to philosophically speculate on these matters, but it cannot be dismissed that the fundamental belief in SELF is based on degrees of speculation which have been repeatedly refined. I think we would all agree that the practice is about stopping this and undoing the damage, but the degree to which it is embedded, and the extent to which is defined, is perhaps more relevant than anything else. You can acknowledge the presence of something without feeding into its validity, and the first step in identifying a wrong view is to figure what that view is. I agree that too often this mark is overshot and people use the opportunity to speculate, but I also see the mark grossly undershot, where people are unwilling to put their thoughts out for such inspection (even privately) and therefore never expose anything as being a problem.

Taking all of that into consideration, one has to keep in mind that the view of the commoner amounts to a SELF. As much as he wants to hold the Dhamma dear to his heart, it will not heal his ailment if he does not start from that point. He takes the aggregates as his SELF, as substantial (not empty), and even if the Buddha tells him that they are not his self and they are not substantial, he must come to terms that his experience, even if he cannot overcome it, is based upon appropriation of the means by which things are, because of the conceit "I am". No need to take it any further, but by George there is a need to go at least this far.

The realization that the aggregates are not self is also the realization that they are not substantial as a signification of SELF. The aggregates are empty in that regard even though they do still arise, though no longer "subject to holding". To go a step further and say the aggregates themselves, aside from what they mean when holding is there, are also empty, is pointless and dare I say, inaccurate. Realization of not self is not "cessation of the aggregates". The arahat saw through the nature of that holding and no longer appropriates any aspect of experience; nothing indicates a SELF any longer, not even the attention that has taken him beyond views. My point is that the commoner would not, could not, go past his belief in self to see that individual aggregates are too insubstantial thereby dismantling the basis for self and become an arhat. Why? Because, as mentioned by DD, it is not the knowledge of emptiness of a determination that frees him, but its impermanence (sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā) (the conflation of aniccā with śūnyatā is a whole other issue which probably deserves its own thread.)

The knowledge that emptiness is there, comes along with knowledge of not self, but neither is the reason for such knowledge; you can't know something before you know it and use it to know itself...:thinking: The reason for that knowledge was that those things that experience was founded upon were impermanent.

So in short, it seems both śūnyatā and anattā are descriptions of experience, one is just more particular than the other; not self is a particular manifestation of emptiness in regards to the aggregates no longer being held as SELF. I don't know. I'm tired and if I hold this post off until I am not tired I probably won't want to post it.
My dude

Since the OP is Mahayana, and we're in connection to other paths, I'll put on my Nagarjuna hat for a moment and just say a few things (I'm also tired, and if I wait until I'm not tired I 100% will not post this :tongue: )

Empty does not quite mean insubstantial in this context and it certainly doesn't mean impermanent, flux, or anything of the sort. There are many Theravadins who like to read him this way (empty=impermanent, unstable, etc), but I'm going to be a jerk simply say this is wrong. (In fact Nagarjuna explicitly refutes impermanence and relegates it to the realm of convention and useful fiction, but I really don't want to go there).

It is because phenomena are dependently originated that they are empty, which means they are without existence, nonexistence, both or neither. Apparent, as no appearances are being denied here, but not Existent (the latter rules out the other corners of the tetralemna when understood appropriately). Nagarjuna's target is not just the philosophical head trips of his contemporaries, but the ordinary world as it appears in experience of the commoner, i.e. I exist and I am in contact with an existent world. Why does it appear as existent? More importantly, why do I appear as existent? Not because of the interrelationship that holds between quarks and protons and chariot wheels and chariots, not because we misapprehend some bare empirical flux that is whizzing around really fast, but because of the dependence of the commoner's experience upon ignorance. Ignorance of what? Dependent origination/emptiness. Does this sound familiar? No its not exactly the same, and I know even implying that there's a connection makes me a dual heretic, both to the denizens of Madhyamaka and those of phenomenological dhamma. But I'm sticking to my guns here (for now!), the insight is not all that different.

For Nagarjuna, what is the insight by which a commoner becomes an Arya? It is not impermanence as such, it is not insubstantiality as such, it is rather dependent origination=emptiness, as he tells us in the opening verse of the Mulamadhyamakakarika:
“That which originates dependently
Does not cease and does not arise,
Does not come and does not go,
Is not annihilated and is not permanent,
Is not different and not the same.
To the true teacher who reveals this peace,
The complete pacification of constructs,
To the perfect Buddha I bow down.”
Mulamadhyamakakarika
The complete pacification of constructs = prapañcopaśama, which roughly equals cessation of papanca (which as we know means Nibbana, as does "peace" in the prior line).

A bit more bluntly:
“That which originates in dependence
Is taught to be emptiness.
This itself is dependent imputation
And so the path of the Middle Way. [XXIV.18]

Apart from what originates dependently,
There are no phenomena at all.
Therefore, apart from emptiness,
There are no phenomena at all. [XXIV.19]”
Mulamadhyamakakarika
From Saṃyuktāgama 297, one source that the Acharya may have had in mind when composing these verses:
“What is the great discourse on the emptiness of dharmas? It is this: Because this exists, that exists; because this arises, that arises. That is to say: Conditioned by ignorance, activities arise; because of activities, consciousness arises, and so on …, and thus arises this whole mass of suffering."
A bit more on DO=emptiness and liberating insight from Śūnyatāsaptati and Yuktiṣaṣṭikākārikā, respectively:
"The worldly principle “this arises in dependence on that” is not denied. (But) also –What is dependent has no self-nature, and hence – how could it exist? Understand this correctly!"
Śūnyatāsaptati 71
"When true knowledge sees the appearance conditioned by ignorance, no arising or ceasing is perceived...this is nirvāṇa and the seeing of reality in this very life, what is to be done has been done."
Yuktiṣaṣṭikākārikā 10-11ab
To return to what you said:
The reason for that knowledge was that those things that experience was founded upon were impermanent.
The key for me is "founded upon," which means dependent origination. The fact that X is impermanent, in and of itself, is completely irrelevant in my opinion. If it were relevant, than your garden variety materialist atheist would be a stream winner. He is nothing of the sort, and the suttas are clear about this. Despite his words, he is a full blown attavadin. When he denies a self he digs his whole deeper, because he sees neither the self his denial assumes nor its dependence. As you said, "founded upon"... for me that is the key, which means dependently arisen by. When the principle of dependence is seen, and only when the principle of dependence is seen, then impermanence goes from being another (appropriated) 'fact' to a heat seeking missile that blasts the edifice of self view into oblivion.
it is not the knowledge of emptiness of a determination that frees him, but its impermanence
But he doesn't have any knowledge of a determination, that's the problem. The nature of determination is itself what is meant by emptiness. Unless he thinks that determination is itself Undetermined, in which case he becomes a Neoplatonist.

So think this is where I, and I dare say, Madhyamaka, differ with what you've written above:

1) Paticcasamupada
2) Therefore, anicca, dukkha, annata

I submit that not placing PS first alters the meaning of the Dhamma in a very unfortunate way. Eternalists like the Buddha's early teachers can have plenty of insight into impermanence, and little dust in their eyes. But they do not see Paticcasamupada, and hence do not see the Buddha or the Dhamma.

I'm hitting "submit" before I change my mind. Good night!
Last edited by aflatun on Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
Spiny Norman
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Re: "Two Emptinesses", śūnyatā & anattā

Post by Spiny Norman »

Discussions like this bring to mind this verse from the Phena Sutta, which to me looks very similar to the first section of the Heart Sutra:

"Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick —
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they're empty, void
to whoever sees them
appropriately."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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