- Kyle Dixon Nenad, If you insist that your point of view is somehow the correct treatment of these issues, then yes it may certainly appear as if "this group seems to be too much focused on that type of confusion". However, this group also does not insist that the so-called individual is merely a thought, but rather explores the fact that the illusion of an individual reference point depends on multiple factors.
So while HoM is very happy with simply denying thought, and then identifying with 'this that is', touting that there cannot be multiple factors because "there is only one"... emptiness traditions do not do this. For traditions associated with emptiness inquiry, the illusion of an individual is also created by imputation, but other factors such as habitual patterns of grasping which create the appearance of identification go into the illusion as well.
HoM may state that a belief cannot be held, nor let go of, on the grounds that the individual who would perform such actions is an abstraction which is suggested by thought. However, in the opinion of emptiness traditions; while the alleged identity may be partly a byproduct of imputation, that imputation also becomes interwoven into the fabric of behavior that the illusory entity appears to involve itself with. So in addition to that imputation, there is other conditioning. And the actions predicated upon that conditioning occur habitually.
I bring this up because the very act of 'holding' or grasping is another factor which reifies a subject relating to objects. For the very act of 'holding' presupposes something to be held and a subject to hold it, and that activity in and of itself implies these two. The action or activity literally creates the illusion of a subject-object dichotomy, and if that illusion is not seen for what it is, then the entire process runs away with itself, becoming an intricate and delusional structure of habitual tendencies which are conventionally referred to as a 'self'. Again, there is no self contained therein, within, or apart from that activity, but the delusion surrounding that activity cannot see that in the absence of insight which reveals it to be so.
For example, if we were to say there is only unpleasant emotions and no entity which is feeling those emotions; emptiness would argue that those emotions are still arising due to either accepting or rejecting. The very act of accepting and/or rejecting presupposes something to be accepted or rejected, and the very act itself (along with the presupposition the action is based upon) is precisely what the entity is. The entity cannot be found apart from that action, and ultimately the so-called entity cannot be found within that action either, but under the sway of delusion this is not apparent. That is what the notion of karma truly is: 'action', but it is delusional action which is predicated upon the misunderstanding that the apparent dependencies and relationships between subjects and objects, or objects and objects etc., is valid. So emptiness seeks to penetrate these subtle assumptions, presuppositions, conditioning behaviors and so on by revealing the unreality of the factors they are based upon. It is a very thorough and comprehensive process, which is also very liberating. If done skillfully it utterly exhausts these subtle tendencies and neuroses, and with the pacification of those tendencies, the illusion of the entity which can exist or not exist is also pacified.
HoM of course scoffs at this because in your view you merely negate the thought of an 'I', or the thought of a 'me', thoughts of 'they', 'he', 'she', etc., on the presupposition that what you really are is the faculty of knowing which is inseparable from what is known. So your 'ultimate' (knowing-known) is readily available and quite easy to intuit by dispensing with what you refer to as 'thought-stories' and simply recognizing the inseparability of the knower and known. And that is all well and good, but a completely different view.
So when you make a statement such as 'this group is focused too much on that type of confusion', it is because in your opinion, and in the opinion of HoM, who carry a certain view, such things are not required. And this is due to the nature of the view you seek to engender, which is utterly different from the view of emptiness.
Now, does emptiness ultimately contend that all of the aforementioned delusional actions, dependencies, illusory entities and so on are valid and true? Not at all. But they appear to be for those who are caught up in the throes of that ignorance. In response to that HoM would merely say, "well there is no one to be caught up in anything!" And that is partly true, but not in the sense that HoM means, where thought is merely being objectified by thought. That type of view does not cut through the illusion of entityhood. That is why you see people in HoM who merely state that negative emotions and expressions of that nature simply appear 'to no one', which honestly is just a subtle form of depersonalization it is little more than a form of suppression and repression, where you identify with the knowing and attempt to intuit that "everything is me", "I'm all of this, even the so-called negative stuff which really isn't negative because it's all me and I am it, yet at the same time there is no me".... that type of view is all well and good but it is not an acceptable resolution to the deeply engrained habitual patterns which give rise to the illusion of an individual. The individual still persists in that type of view, it is only transferred onto a new form of itself, in most cases far more fortified than the previous individual.
- Kyle Dixon In addition to 'action' which is predicated upon the misunderstanding that the apparent dependencies and relationships between subjects and objects, or objects and objects etc., are valid; another aspect of the issue is that those dependencies and relationships themselves, directly arise from that action. Though only apparently. The grasping [action predicated upon delusion] presupposes the grasped [object], however the very act of grasping directly manifests the grasped through implication, the very arising of the grasped [object] implies, and therefore appears to give rise to the grasper [subject] and so on. Each implied factor becomes the cause for (and effect of) each corresponding factor, and the illusory web of factors build exponentially as a result.
At no time within this apparent process do any of these attributes (subjects, objects and so on) actually inherently arise, but they appear to. And becoming taken in by that process, conditioned by it and investing in it, is precisely the occurrences which solidify our experiences as independent and autonomous beings which exist in an environment separate from us, living lives extended in time which will eventually end, and so on.
As familiarization with these afflictive processes build up and solidify, they become more deeply engrained and at a certain point, the myriad pieces of our experiences (which are implied by these processes) are then mistaken to be inherent aspects of an inherent experience. We become conditioned, and we only ever know and relate to the imaginary figments of these processes, so attachment to them arises, aversion to other aspects arise, and as a result of that, the implied aspects of experience are solidified even further. Eventually we are here, as we are, fully entrenched in this intricate and deceitful web.
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