John Tan (Thusness) said,

When Dogen rows the boat, the rowing makes the boat a boat and makes the hand, the sea, wooden oars and the movement of the boat into the "rowing". The designations turns "alive" yet r like mere reflections.

Why is it like water pouring in water? Because one tastes the hand, the sea, the wooden oars going beyond their designated boundaries into one seamless (like pour water in water) action of rowing. There is no self, only that action of rowing.

With anatta and dependent arising, u will feel immense inter-relatedness yet empty like reflections even in the world of conceptualities.

The father is dependent on the son and the son makes the father a father. Don't just look at the logic, see how much emotions and love are invested in them. There are no "things" and "world" other than that.

So it is not about just that which is direct, clean, brilliance, non-dual, non-conceptual and transparent which is empty like space; u must re-enter the world, dirty ur hands and see conventionalities with this new found insights of selflessness and DO...see the whole chain of intricate yet empty like reflections.

André A. Pais: John Tan, good stuff! Is there more from where this came?

John Tan: Hi André, some blah blah blah on the spur of the moment when Soh was discussing with me total exertion and emptiness. Intuitively I was sensing him skewing towards empty reflection in non-referential presence while attempting to integrate emptiness and total exertion at that time.
So just brought out this “dependent designation” as it can serve as a bridge to link the two (empty reflection and total exertion).

Sometimes we can latched on to the so called higher teachings of “already perfection”, “emptiness”, “no karma”, “no this and that” and subtly hypnotizing ourselves into a fabricated liberated state. This is precisely the question dogen had in mind, if we are already enlightened, why practice? If we have buddha-nature, why attain enlightenment? These questions set him on a journey to china in search of the answer. He came back with “practice-enlightenment”, we do not practice to get enlightened, we practice because we are enlightened – practice-enlightenment.

Therefore my intention is simply trying to bring out the point of not being afraid of self, not being afraid of cause and effect and dependencies, look directly into the world of samsara, look into the world of conventionalities and see the beauty of conceptualities. Even in market place, the taste of non-referential presence is never lost but fully present!

For articles about dogen and total exertion, I would recommend Ted Biringer. Ted has a unique way of triggering one into the taste of total exertion through seeing dependencies with his writings. As for write ups integrating emptiness, dependent designations and total exertion into a piece, I don’t think there is any…haha
André A. Pais wrote:
"Ocean" is a reification of mere "flowing water", fabricating the notion that there is some unified, central or over-ruling entity called Ocean that is manifesting and aware of all the waves.
When we view Awareness like that and then identify with it, we are merely subscribing to the greatest form of narcisism and self-grasping.

All there is is flowing water, or streams of luminous existence, devoid of any central commanding force or even source.
Katie wrote:

hmmm... is this a truth you have "experienced" or simply another "idea"? =) Only if you've been to the source can you truly know what's there and what if anything is commanding or aware .... but I think the fundamental premise (or at least starting point) of any Zen thought is simply knowing that we don't know - open, empty mind.

Andre replied:

I’ve experienced it, yes, fleetingly, though repeatedly.

Besides, as a test if truth, experience is over-rated, imo. Experience is itself highly plastic,
reflecting whatever view we impose on it, consciously or not. I’d say logic is far more bullet￾proof, unless we are willing to settle for illogical views. But, in such case, we are in for a
philosophical freak show. Logic is what separates non-sense from right view – and right view is
arguably the most fundamental element of the Noble 8Fold Path.

Concerning the source you mentioned, I disagree in two ways. First, the idea itself of a source
is highly problematic. What would be the source of such a source? If existence were to have a
source, it would necessarily have to be non-existence – since existence cannot be the source of
itself. But what sense would that make? Moreover, with his “causation tetralemma” (MMK
1:1), Nagarjuna has shown that things cannot arise from themselves or from others. Thus, a
source could never truly give rise to anything in any essential way.

Second, we don’t have to go to the source of things to know its nature. Like I said, we have
logic and reasoning. Moreover, we have direct experience. By drinking one spoon of sea water
I get the taste of the whole ocean. By seeing that the things I experience are devoid of a
source, I realize the sourceless nature of everything.

Imagine we turn on the light. Where is the light coming from? Is it from the switch? The wires?
The electricity? Is it in my eyes? My mind? We realize that the light we see depends on many
factors, being, by itself, unestablished. My mind alone is insufficient for the experience of light
to arise. Electricity alone is not enough either. If any of these conditions is not present, the
experience of light does not arise. Even when all the conditions are present, light arises only
dependently, but, as a truly existing phenomenon, it is non-arisen.

The same with the perfume of a flower. Is it the air? The flower (and what part of it)? The
nose? The mind? It is nothing specific, but arises as an experience when a global network of
conditions interacts in a certain way.

It is like the top card of a house of cards. It is the top card because of the presence of all the
other cards. Besides, what constitutes the “top card” is established only conventionally and
according to certain perspectives. By itself, without the proper context, it is not the top card.
Light and perfume by themselves are not anything specific. They only arise as interpretations
of other things. Perfume is our mind’s interpretation. The air interprets the “perfume” as
something else. A different olfactive instrument could perceive said perfume as “stinky”. Light
is our mind’s interpretation. For space it is mere travelling particles.

So we see that the things we experience are devoid of “a” source; they are the product of
myriad things – the whole interdependent universe, in fact. By tasting the sourceless nature of
our experience, we intuit the sourceless nature of reality itself. By adding logical reasoning into
this view, we start building a robust foundation to our understanding.

For me, the beginner’s mind (don’t know mind) proposed by Zen is a pedagogical step, but
incomplete in itself. It may be a way to start loosening our tight dualistic and essentialist views,
but mere open-mindedness does not suffice. There are always subconscious mental
predispositions operating, so they have to be deconstructed from the inside – concepts
deconstructing other concepts, deeper and deeper.

Zen, being a Mahayana sub-school, inherits the Madhyamaka lineage of reasoning, very much
in line with the Prajnaparamita sutras (two of them very much respect in Zen – the Heart Sutra
and the Diamond Sutra). The Heart Sutra very clearly states the emptiness of all things. No
eyes, no ears, no nose... Why? Because they have no real source. Why? Because existence
itself has no real source at all. All there is, is beginningless dependent origination.

So, as I see it, the right view (of emptiness and dependent origination) should be established
first, as a way to guide all subsequent practices – both of method, by fortifying the other 5
perfections; and of wisdom, by setting the bar to the meditative practices that will culminate
in the direct perception of emptiness.

This is already a rather long reply, but if you have the stamina, check this link:é-a-pais/intrinsic-intelligence/10155755255580225/?ref=bookmarks

Greetings, my dear Katie!

John Tan
John Tan Hi André, nice insight into anatta.

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· Reply · 12 hrs
John Tan
John Tan Hi Andre, by “non-arisen” u mean “anutpada”?:

“Even when all the conditions are present, light arises only
dependently, but, as a truly existing phenomenon, it is non-arisen.”

I think what u meant is:

“Even when all the conditions are present, light arises only
dependently, but NOT as a truly existing phenomenon, it is non-arisen.”

What dependently originates is non-arisen. Truly existing light does not exist both ultimately and conventionally.

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· 7 hrs · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu I think Andre means that there is only dependent arising, there is no arising whatsoever of some kind of independent or truly existing phenomena, that is to say phenomena do not arise in an inherent or independent manner. Can you clarify André A. Pais?

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· Reply ·
· 11 hrs · Edited
André A. Pais
André A. Pais Yes, Soh. Exactly that. Conventionally, things arise due to conditions. Thus, ultimately (as inherently existing) they dont actually arise at all.

After all, arising and ceasing is what dependent arisings do. Essences, due to existing by their own power, do not arise nor cease.

I think John 's objection was just a misunderstanding due to the construction of my sentence. His re-statement, as I understand it, is saying exactly the same thing.

Although I realize the issue lies probably at my use of the word BUT. I should've said BECAUSE.

But the point is the same: light arises dependently; as a truly existent it does not arise at all, because there is NO truly existent light.

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· 3 hrs
John Tan
John Tan Ic André, thks for clarification.
Thusness's reply to Yacine's post in Dharma Connection

Hi Yacine,

Both the talks and link you provided are pointing to a special kind of consciousness that I am familiar and was once very attached to (more than 3 decades ago). The experience is precious but still fabricated  One can trigger similar experience/phenomena through self-enquiry or koan which in my opinions are much more direct and effective.

Therefore I do not think Buddha is teaching that; contrary he taught the path to end that by realizing anatta, dependent origination and Emptiness.

Sounds pretty cool John.I think where the confusion pops from is that some approaches talk about the citta as a special kind of consciousness, ie a consciounesses not glued to any of the other khandas, a consciounesses released (the citta as Ajahn Maha Boowa calls it)

Pls see The non-dual teaching (say Rupert Spira talking about the fabrications of time in his classic video: would then be a pointer a skilful means but still with a slight subtle reification left (Greg Goode mentions the complete dissolution of awareness once memory is seen as no referential) ? I am mentioning that because Rodney Smith proposes such a nice pointer on his talk on mental fabrication in the DO series above.

ie this image of the dead center from which past and future (and stories) emerge as mental fabrications. In his book he talks about the vertical axis of timeless awareness (the unconditioned) and the horizontal axis of conceptual time and stories.And how with thoughts we invest the "Buddha inside" into (apparently) buying into the conceptions of the horizontal axis stretching self, object and time (as Rob Burbea would put it) out of the pure awareness, out of the Deathless.

That's a nice pointer I found but there is this reification of the dead center in it that might need complete deconstruction (thanks to emptiness). What's your take on that? (Sorry, too many questions at once lol)

Let’s take the below example:

“With the arising insight of anatta, self is seen through.  A new mode of perception arises.  A mode of perception that pierces through reification.”

Does this sound like the practitioner has now acquired “a new mode of perception” as if a third eye suddenly appears in between the eyebrows?

In truth nothing new has arisen; contrary it is a process of elimination.

What eliminated is the habitual tendency to “reify”.

Now using the same analogy, let’s look at “non-dual”?

It will be helpful to understand the 2 major causes that gave rise to such phenomena like awareness as an observer and non-dual awareness.  They are:

1. one's ability to suspense "conceptualization".
2. habitual tendencies to "reify" and "dualify"

Without conceptualization experience becomes direct, clean, clear, vivid, crystal, brilliance and transparent. 

Without the layer of conceptualization, there is no layer that separates observer from the observed.  If there is no insight that all along the subject-object division is assumed, then “non-dual” becomes a state and there is oscillation between duality and non-duality.  If there is realization of the emptiness of the “division”, then experiences turns effortlessly non-dual.

How does “non-dual awareness” arise?

It is the continuation of the habitual tendency to reify that objectifies the "clean, clear, vivid, crystal, brilliance and transparent" state of experience that is free from duality into non-dual awareness.  This also means that latent tendencies lie far deeper than surface conceptualization, mere cessation of conceptual thoughts is unable to overcome these tendencies.  

How is it to see "the world" from an arahant point of view? Without fabrication or rather with fabrication seen as fabrication and therefore divested from investment.Also some teaching say that freed consciousness is awareness and awareness bathes in the unconditioned, the Deathless (very similar to non-dual teaching ie what you're looking for your looking from it).

Would the unreified Deathless simply be seeing interdependence of all fabrication as emptiness itself ? (And of course the consciousness that cognizes emptiness has to be empty itself, dependent on seeing emptiness to co-arise) How do you see the Deathless fitting into this John?

Is untainted consciousness = non-dual awareness?

This brings out another point.  That is severing the habit of abstraction and generalization also implies ceasing the reified abstraction from flowing moment to moment.  For this is the cause of attachment.  If there is no "abstraction" that flows, there is no base for grasping and the rational of why there is no permanent soul that is reincarnated from life to life in Buddhism becomes clear.  Which is also why Buddha taught there is no self, only the 5 aggregates and no pure consciousness, only the 6 classes of consciousness that dependently originates with conditions (internal and external bases).

Saying untainted consciousness is non-dual awareness is no different from saying:

sound-consciousness is the same as eye-consciousness
mind-consciousness is same as body-consciousness.

When we conceptualize and abstract, it appears there is asif a pure consciousness that transcends conditions and it is the same consciousness throughout we are talking about in differing situations.  However for one that is free from abstraction and reification, the actual experience is completely different.  For them,

In hearing, whole body-mind-environment is that sound and what we termed as “sound-consciousness” is that “sound”. 

In seeing, whole body-mind-environment is that scenery and what we termed as “eye-consciousness” is that lurid and vivid scenery.

At this point, it is crucial to emphasize that when the trace of a background mirror vanishes without remainder, knowingness/presence is “form”.  Touch anything, feel anything, smell anything.  Vividness throughout, aliveness everywhere!  Poetically practitioners is eating “knowingness”, touching “knowingness” and tasting “knowingness” in real-time.  Zero effort, fully spontaneous!

‘Mind as mountains, rivers, and the earth is nothing other than mountains, rivers, and the earth. There are no additional waves or surf, no wind or smoke. Mind as the sun, the moon, and the stars is nothing other than the sun, the moon, and the stars.’

Shobogenzo, Soku-shin-ze-butsu

For non-dualists, it is always tempting to say non-dual awareness appearing as sound and scenery but sound is of course not and nothing like scenery.  We also can't say sound has changed to scenery.  Therefore dualistic consciousness cannot be said to be non-dual awareness yet neither are they different!

The language of forms and abstraction become clumsy and very often misleading when we deal with the nature of direct experience.  Fortunately Buddhism has quite creatively devised a tool that helps us see through conventions, dissolve reification and still not miss out the importance of conditionality (another big topic). As such it is advisable to sever this habit of abstraction by familiarizing oneself with dependent arising and emptiness when dealing with everyday conventions.

As a side note, in addition to the path of renunciation (dispassion/disenchantment), you may want to look at “grasping” from “energy being tied up in withholding mental constructs”.  Many seem unable to have an actual taste of the relationship between “grasping” and “reifying”, if this isn’t clear then the whole practice of anatta and emptiness (Buddhism) will not be very fruitful imo.

From this prespective, grasping is not holding on to reification, it is that reification!

This becomes very clear with the experiential insight of anatta.  When self is negated, the first obvious experience is “lightness” as if weight suddenly becomes a non-existence.  There is tremendous release and clarity.  If we negate the body-construct, for example, "there is no body, only sensations", the deconstruction of the image of a concrete body similarly led to a tremendous release.  Every deconstruction is a release (of energy) and experience turns more and more clean, pure, vivid, radiance and free.

 How is it to see "the world" from an arahant point of view?

From the example above, one may be able to extrapolate the experience.  For one that has severed self, experience is free, clean, radiance and non-dual.  Seen is just seen.  Heard is just heard.  Radiance all around and free!

As for "the deathless", I believe Soh has posted you a past discussion on the topic (see  I couldn't have put it better.

Lastly Yacine, for

Rodney Smith’s talk on mental fabrication in the DO series,  

Imo, the "NOW" radiating out is no different from "Self", deconstruct it.

There is no "here", just impression of "here" formed by sensations and thoughts.

No "now", just impression of the mere presence from appearances of thoughts, sound, shapes, colors, light.

The tendency to reify is amazing, we let go of 'selfness' yet unknowingly grasped ‘nowness’ and ‘hereness’.

All these are merely empty reifications, appear concrete but when directly tasted, are empty like evanescence mist.

Hope that helps!

Going to sleep, pen off.   

From a post I wrote years ago:
Hi Justin Struble we have to be very careful in interpreting that Nibbana sutta. First of all we have to understand what 'Nirvana/Nibbana' means in context. As Ven Hui-feng puts it, "keep in mind the basic metaphorical meaning of the term nirvana, the extinguishing of a flame". The main analogy given by Buddha for nirvana is the extinguishing of a flame. As Ven Nanananda also pointed out,

"Regarding this concept of Nibbàna too, the worldling is generally tempted to entertain some kind of ma¤¤anà, or me-thinking. Even some philosophers are prone to that habit. They indulge in some sort of prolific conceptualisation and me-thinking on the basis of such conventional usages as `in Nib­bàna', `from Nibbàna', `on reaching Nibbàna' and `my Nib­bàna'. By hypostasizing Nibbàna they de­velop a substance view, even of this concept, just as in the case of pañhavi, or earth. Let us now try to determine whether this is justifi­able.

The primary sense of the word Nibbàna is `extinction', or `extin­guishment'. We have already discussed this point with reference to such contexts as Aggivacchagottasutta.[8] In that dis­course the Bud­dha explained the term Nibbàna to the wan­dering ascetic Vaccha­got­ta with the help of a simile of the ex­tinction of a fire. Simply be­cause a fire is said to go out, one should not try to trace it, wondering where it has gone. The term Nibbàna is essentially a verbal noun. We also came across the phrase nibbuto tveva saïkhaü gacchati, "it is reck­oned as `extinguished'".[9]"

Extinction of what? Extinction of passion, aggression and delusion driving the whole mass of samsara. Extinction of the the whole mass of suffering/samsara in the twelve links from ignorance up to old age, sickness and death.

Next is the terms 'unconditioned/death-free/etc' it is very easy to reify this in terms of a metaphysical entity. This is not the case.

Here are some quotations which should hopefully clarify:

Nana/Geoff: "“Firstly, while the translation of asaṃskṛta as “the unconditioned” is fairly common, it’s a rather poor translation that all too easily leads to reification. The term asaṃskṛta refers to a negation of conditioned factors, and the meaning is better conveyed by “not-conditioned.” Secondly, for Sautrāntika commentators, and many mahāyānika commentators as well, an analytical cessation (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) is a non-implicative negation (prasajyapratiṣedha), i.e. a negation that doesn’t imply the presence of some other entity, and therefore nirvāṇa simply refers to a cessation that terminates the defilements and fetters that are abandoned by the correct practice of the noble path. It doesn’t refer to an entity or state that is substantially existent (dravyasat).” "

Nana/Geoff: "One has to be careful with such descriptions which may seem to be pointing to some sort of truly existent "unconditioned ground." Nibbāna is the extinguishment of the mental outflows (āsavā). The liberated mind is measureless (appamāṇa). This is not a "state of oneness with all of existence." It's an absence of identification (anattatā). It's non-indicative (anidassana), unestablished (appatiṭṭha), and not-dependent (anissita). None of these adjectives entail any sort of metaphysical "ground of being" or "unconditioned absolute." They are all negations. An arahant has simply "gone out."

tiltbillings: "There is no "deathless." That is a bad translation leading to an objectification/reification of the idea of awakening. With awakening, there is no more rebirth, one is free from death. (31 words.)""

Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: “When you have eradicated all afflictions which cause rebirth, this is all the deathlessness you need. No more birth, BAM! no more death.”

Buddha: "And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated. " .... "And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free." - SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta - more in

I can provide many more quotations but this will suffice for now, I think. Nirvana is extinction, like the blowing out of a flame, it is simply and merely the end of suffering and afflictions and does not imply a metaphysical substantial existent as some may postulate. There is no "The Unconditioned" or "The Unborn" or "The Deathless" as some sort of metaphysical essence. There is an unconditioned dharma - analytical cessation (nirvana) - that is the end of birth and death (death-free), is not conditioned (by afflictive causes and manifestations) etc.

All these are classic Nirvana stuff found in the earliest teachings in Pali suttas. In Mahayana emptiness, there is another understanding of "unconditioned" and that is as what Kyle said which I find to be very well said:

"The unconditioned is the emptiness of the skandhas.

Recognition of the emptiness of the skandhas means that the skandhas are non-arisen, what has not arisen cannot be conditioned."

In any case, whether the classical nirvana understanding of the earliest text, or the emptiness understanding of unconditioned/non-arisen, there is no postulating of a truly existing metaphysical essence.

For a more experiential description on what Nibbana is and the relation to the recognition of anatta (selflessness) do refer to the articles I pasted in 

Existence must necessarily be embedded with consciousness. Not in a mystical, universal or transcendental way, but merely in a functional and operational manner. Without consciousness, no single phenomenon, no matter how "insentient", can ever interact with its context in a causal and coherent way.
Consciousness is, very naturally, of the nature of being conscious - of knowing or perceiving. A formless, "contentless" or pure consciousness - like the one envisioned in some mystical traditions - wouldn't be able to manifest its own nature of knowingness, due to the absence of known objects. 
With the impossibility of any type of unmanifest or formless awareness - one devoid of known content -, we realize that consciousness is intrinsically of the nature of experiencing or perceiving. What would an unconscious consciousness amount to? Thus, there is no unobserved reality, for reality is always conscious of itself. Consciousness and experience arise simultaneously, in mutual dependency.
Again, there is no cosmic mind omnisciently perceiving all. This view is merely pointing to the intrinsic intelligence of life, requiring that every single particle is aware of what is happening in its immediate context.
So, we understand that existence is of the nature of consciousness (or information, intelligence, etc.); and consciousness is of the nature of experience (or manifested luminosity, perception, etc.) - no matter how subtle or insentient it may appear to be. 
Existence = Consciousness = Experience. Therefore, beyond experience, there is nothing.
Of course, when I turn around, the table is still there, even if I'm not observing it. Why? Because something else is - even if that something is believed to be insentient, like the space, floor or any objects touching, or interacting with, the table.
However, every phenomenon is interpreted/observed/known differently, in accordance with its different perceiving subjects. A sheet of paper interprets fire one way (burning); a rock in another (heating up); water in yet another (extinguishing the fire). So no truly established thing exists objectively, only its many subjective interpretations.
There is no solipsism - since there is not only one mind. But there is no external reality either, since everything arises merely as an interpreted object of a perceiving awareness - no matter how subtle such aware entity is (it could be space itself or any subatomic particle). One last time, this awareness is not some aggrandized, transpersonal cosmic mind or entity, but the mere nature of phenomena.

Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu André A. Pais Nice post expressing the anatta insight.

But when conventions are implemented, will confusion arise?
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· Reply · 4d
André A. Pais
André A. Pais Confusion arises when conventions are taken as pointing to something substantial and truly establish, instead of mere arisings dependent on conditions and imputation.
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Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu Btw when has the insight of anatta arisen for you?
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André A. Pais
André A. Pais Ive been playing with it for the last couple of years, after having experiences of awareness à la Advaita (I Am & One Mind) and its subsequent grasping...

Inspired by buddhist thought (and your own writings), I started questioning awareness' previousl
y unquestioned status.

Rob Burbea played an important role and one day I finally understood that the knowing aspect of experience, by its very nature, must be impermanent and thus empty of any fixed reality. I suddenly realized that awareness could never be like a mirror, but a fluid knowing instead.

That was the initial insight. Later I started studying Madhyamaka.

However, and using your stages and labels, I have had insights and experiences concerning I Am, One Mind and Anatta (probably Sunyata too), but Im still to land on a stable realization.
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John Tan
John Tan André, ever enquire into y sound arises under right conditions when a bell is hit, y form arises under right conditions when eyes r opened?

Why the designation “chariot” on basis of its parts? Why must sense of self arise on the basis of aggregates?

Or can they not arise?
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· Reply · 1d
André A. Pais
André A. Pais Well, John, I've thought about and contemplated those things, often inspired by the sensorial experiments of Stian.

But I don't exactly know how to answer "why"?

I know that things MUST arise when the complete set of conditions is met. There is no choosing or analysing. When I knock on the table, if all the conditions are there, sound will inevitably arise - there is no self making it arise, nor is there a way that a self could prevent it from arising.

The same happens with every phenomena in the 6 sense spheres. When this is, that is. When this ceases, that ceases. Idappaccayata.

Why? Not clear to me. I've been investigating some things and I've come to the insight that existence is not some type of stillness, but it is movement instead. That movement can have different names: transience, impermanence, cause-and-effect, conditionality, information, experience, consciousness, time, interpenetration, beING, etc.

Some of those terms become more interesting when understood under the light of movement, instead of still beingness. Consciousness is one of those terms. Being itself and existence too. My first insight into the emptiness of consciousness arose when its fluidity was grokked. Consciousness, in order to know, must change and flux. I had an Advaita background, so I was very used to thinking of awareness as a still and unchanging background.

What I wanna say with all this is that for me existence is movement or transience. In this sense, when the conditions are present, things have no other option but to move into the next configuration, informational structure or instance of being. It's like cause-and-effect exerts a force that pushes things into each other, in a totally automatic and selfless way.

"Why the designation “chariot” on basis of its parts?" I dunno either. I think it's merely a useful convention, a short way of saying "the colection of parts and materials that when arranged like this functions in a very specific way".

But it is possible to perceive such collection and not impose on it the label "chariot", I believe. Bare, "pure" perception is free of conceptual elaboration. It is, however, not unfabricated, for whatever arises in consciousness is already fabricated by the knowing mechanisms of awareness itself. To know or perceive is to fabricate.

"Why must sense of self arise on the basis of aggregates?" Well, the self is imputed in dependence on the aggregates, so they must be there for the arising of a sense of self. However, like the example of the chariot, the aggregates may be present without any sense of self - like in a spiritual insight, experience or realization.

There is a degree of fabrication that is inevitable, as I see it - the fabrication inherent to perception or knowing itself. Perhaps Buddhas are able of transcending it. Perhaps that's what is mean by the term "cessation", where one sees reality as it is because one sees nothing!

But the mental imputation that is done at the level of conceptuality can be overcome, by, logically and experientially, seeing through the conceptual net that fabricates and envelopes experience, reverting perception to its bare, or simplest, mode.
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John Tan
John Tan Yes André, the purpose is not so much of an answer but to trigger the mind to look seriously into it's own nature. The nature of mind in contrast to what we think isn't independent, self and changeless. It is as u observed, selfless, empty, this is, that is, this ceases that ceases.

I am not against Adviata as I too begin with it. The direct taste of pure Awareness is precious and invaluable except the idea of an ultimate ground is a true disservice and misleading. In fact the problem of all problems.

U mentioned:

"My first insight into the emptiness of consciousness arose when its fluidity was grokked. Consciousness, in order to know, must change and flux"

I sincerely hope this insight of urs already turned direct and unmediated.

In direct insight of anatta, when the illusion of an ultimate background (Self) disappears without remainder, knowingness is/are Forms.

When there is no background, everything turns foreground and pure knowingness (not intellect) in it's true state, is just colors, forms, lights, shapes, sound, taste, smell...Is mountains, stars, the fragrance of flower, is chipping bird, is everything.

Therefore Knowingness is always seen, touched and tasted; counter intuitively, what not seen are objects, what not seen are our ideas of what knowingness is when seen to b of true existence.

When things r seen to b truly existing, it creates a state of dual, everything becomes fuzzy as neither subject nor object can be found.

It is in this relative state dependent arising steps in to allow the mind to see dependencies and emptiness to free us from extremes.

May not be in line with ur thoughts but nice sharing.

I got to go.

Happy journey!
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· Reply · 15h · Edited