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Rhysman
23 May 12, 20:46
Monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam see God as having inherent existence. The un-caused cause.

Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence? And if not, why?

Hands Palm to Palm,
Rhysman

Trilaksana
23 May 12, 21:59
I see this as irrelevant to Buddhism. However I think the Universe may be as you've just described but I have no way of knowing for sure. This is a question for science not Buddhism.

Abhaya
23 May 12, 22:42
Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence? And if not, why?


No, for three reasons: anatta, paticca samuppada + idapaccayata, and sunnata.

1. Anatta (non-self)



Alagaddupama Sutta (MN 22)

"Monks, where a Self or what belongs to Self are not pinned down as a truth or reality, then the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity' — Isn't it utterly & completely a fool's teaching?"

"What else could it be, lord? It's utterly & completely a fool's teaching."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.than.html


On countless occasions, the Buddha spoke the words "sabbe dhamma anatta" (all things are without self). One's sense of self does not exist apart from phenomenal experience. Thus, the anatta doctrine is a rejection of the noumena so highly esteemed by the Brahmins of the Buddha's time. Anatta is a phenomenological method of re-examining what we refer to as self. In reference to all phenomena, the Buddha said "netam mama, neso ham asmi, na meso atta" (this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self). This does not imply that there is something beyond phenomena that can be rightly said to be one's True Self. A True Self neither exists within nor apart from phenomena. Nothing exists inherently, in its own right. This includes the universe.

2. Paticca samuppada (dependent origination) + idapaccayata (this-that conditionality)

In the discourses, the Buddha described two interrelated causal principles: dependent origination and this-that conditionality. Dependent origination is a 12-link chain that explains the origin of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). This-that conditionality is a broader way to explain how the arising of one thing depends on the arising of another, and how the cessation of one thing depends on the cessation of another.



Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta (SN 12.2)

"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html




Paccaya Sutta (SN 12.20)

"Now what is dependent co-arising? From birth as a requisite condition comes aging & death. Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality. The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain, & says, 'Look.' From birth as a requisite condition comes aging & death.

"From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth...

"From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming...

"From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance...

"From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving...

"From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling...

"From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact...

"From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media...

"From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form...

"From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness...

"From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.020.than.html




Assutava Sutta (SN 12.61)

"'When this is, that is.

"'From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

"'When this isn't, that isn't.

"'From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html




Ayacana Sutta (SN 6.1)

"For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.001.than.html


Due to the dependent, conditional nature of these causal relations, nothing can exist by itself. As nothing exists without dependence on causes and condition, nothing can be said to exist inherently. The universe, which is without a self-nature and without inherent existence, cannot exist apart from causes and conditions.

3. Sunnata (emptiness)



Suñña Sutta (SN 35.85)

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."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.085.than.html


As with anatta (non-self), according to the notion of sunnata (emptiness), there is nothing that can be said to be in any way solid and self-existent. All things depend on other things. Therefore, all things are said to be empty of self. The universe, as a phenomenal occurrence, is likewise empty of self. It does not, and cannot, exist inherently.

:hands:

Abhaya

Goofaholix
23 May 12, 23:22
No again, for the reasons previously outlined, and also because if you posit God as the cause then it solves nothing as you still have something who's cause is not explained.

Esho
23 May 12, 23:32
[...]

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared.

And what is undeclared by me?

'The cosmos is eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' is undeclared by me.

"And why are they undeclared by me?

Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me?

'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me.

And why are they declared by me?

Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding.

That's why they are declared by me.

[...]

Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.063.than.html)



:peace:

Esho
23 May 12, 23:42
Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence?

No, it has no inherent existence. Nobody is up there.


And if not, why?

I think Abhaya has explained it very well.

:peace:

Trilaksana
24 May 12, 00:09
I guess I would agree that the universe is essentially empty but I don't know if that's exactly what's being asked by the OP here.

Esho
24 May 12, 00:22
I guess I would agree that the universe is essentially empty but I don't know if that's exactly what's being asked by the OP here.

Seems like Rhysman is asking for an un-caused cause similar to a god. The answer from science is no. The answer from the Pali Suttas --quoted by Abhaya- is no.

But lets see if Rhysman comes with more comments.

;D

Rhysman
24 May 12, 00:28
Thanks everyone, I really did not think the universe had inherent existence, I just wanted to confirm the concept.

One thing I'm sure of, I want to be just like Abhaya!

Element
24 May 12, 02:41
Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence?
yes, some would

imo, the universe is something subject to continual change & transformation of the various elements. thus, imo, the universe as a changing thing has an inherent existence, just like the reality of impermanence & conditionality has inherent existence. the natural creator is change (anicca) itself; conditionality (iddapaccayatta) itself

however, i agree with Trilaksana, that the existence of the universe is irrelevant to Buddhism, given it has no relevance to the creation & cessation of suffering

i recently read a buddhist book called 'The Magic of the Mind', where the writer erroneously asserted buddha taught about the creation of 'things'. the monotheistic are similar, with most of their followers stuck on the creation of the universe or 'things' rather than the creation of suffering

if we carefully study the monotheistic books, the original emphasis was on the creation of misfortune from bad karma & the personification of the law of karma. but buddhism goes beyond this because the good karma of the monotheistics (or nontheistics) does not end suffering

:peace:


Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality (iddapaccayatta).

Paccaya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.020.than.html)


Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are unsatisfactory.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All phenomena are not-self.

The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.134.than.html)

Rhysman
24 May 12, 12:47
yes, some would

imo, the universe is something subject to continual change & transformation of the various elements. thus, imo, the universe as a changing thing has an inherent existence, just like the reality of impermanence & conditionality has inherent existence. the natural creator is change (anicca) itself; conditionality (iddapaccayatta) itself


The above is a bit confusing to me.

Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas: 2 - 4

"All phenomena must have either self-existence or non-self-existence. There is no phenomenon which is other than these two, nor are there any expressions which do not come under these two categories. All phenomena which are the subject of this treatise are similar to nirvana because all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence.

What is the reason for this? It is because the inherent existence of all phenomena is not to be found in causes, conditions, aggregations or individualities. Thus all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence and are empty.

Some assert that a result already exists inherently in the nature of its cause; but then it cannot arise because it already exists. Others assert that a result exists inherently but not in the nature of its cause; so it cannot arise because it is not in the nature of its cause. Yet others assert that a result both does and does not exist inherently in its cause; ; but then they are asserting contradictory views about an object because an object cannot simultaneously both exist and not exist. Because phenomena do not arise inherently so also they do not endure or cease inherently."

IMO, the above logic precludes any form of inherent existence. It really does not matter if you believe that Nagarjuna really received this from the Nagas and that it was a true lost teaching of the Buddha. The logic still stands.

Hands Palm to Palm,
Rhysman

Abhaya
24 May 12, 13:51
Excellent points, Rhysman.

Besides anatta (non-self), anything subject to dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anicca (transitivity) cannot exist inherently. Nagarjuna used the term svabhava (self-nature, own-being) to connote that which has inherent existence. He then thoroughly dissected this notion of svabhava and blew it to smithereens.

:hands:

Element
24 May 12, 14:54
Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas: 2 - 4

"All phenomena must have either self-existence or non-self-existence.
yes, the universe has non-self existence. the universe is not a self but it exists


All phenomena which are the subject of this treatise are similar to nirvana because all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence.
all phenomena are not similar to nirvana. nirvana is the unconditioned. it is the uncaused. nirvana inherently exists. it is independent


here is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned.

Nibbana Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.03.irel.html)


What is the reason for this? It is because the inherent existence of all phenomena is not to be found in causes, conditions, aggregations or individualities. Thus all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence and are empty."
Nirvana has inherent existence but is empty. although nirvana inherently exists, it is not a 'self'. it is not-self (anatta). it is empty of self (sunnata). the logic of Nagarjuna sounds questionable, in appearing to assert a synonomity between 'existence' and 'self'.

****

if we look down from above, upon the swirling mass that is the universe, it can be seen to exist. although there are no conditioned things in that universe that have inherent existence, the swirling mass itself swirls, moves & changes ceaselessly

buddha taught nirvana inherently exists, because it is the uncaused. buddha taught the reality of conditionality (causes & effect), impermanence and unsatisfactoriness in regards to conditioned things inherently exists or "stands". buddha taught the non-selfhood of all things, including Nirvana, inherently exists or "stands"

if "not-self" did not inherently exist, then how could all things be not-self? this simple statement refutes the logic of Nagarjuna

;D


Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality (iddapaccayatta).

Paccaya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.020.than.html)


Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are unsatisfactory.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All phenomena are not-self.

The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.134.than.html)

Rhysman
24 May 12, 14:59
yes, the universe has non-self existence. the universe is not a self but it exists


all phenomena are not similar to nirvana. nirvana is the unconditioned. it is the uncaused. nirvana inherently exists. it is independent




Nirvana has inherent existence but is empty. although nirvana inherently exists, it is not a 'self'. it is not-self (anatta). it is empty of self (sunnata). the logic of Nagarjuna sounds questionable, in appearing to assert a synonomity between 'existence' and 'self'.

****

if we look down from above, upon the swirling mass that is the universe, it can be seen to exist. although there are no conditioned things in that universe that have inherent existence, the swirling mass itself swirls, moves & changes ceaselessly

buddha taught nirvana inherently exists, because it is causeless. buddha taught the reality of conditionality (causes & effect), impermanence and unsatisfactoriness in regards to conditioned things inherently exists or "stands". buddha taught the non-selfhood of all things, including Nirvana, inherently exists or "stands"

;D

Hi Element,
Please give a reference the the statement that the Buddha taught that nirvana inherently exists.

Element
24 May 12, 15:02
Please give a reference the the statement that the Buddha taught that nirvana inherently exists.
i already quoted it:


here is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned.

Nibbana Sutta


There are, Ananda, these two elements: the conditioned element and the unconditioned element. When he knows and sees these two elements, a monk can be called skilled in the elements.

MN 115 (http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/Talks/Transcripts/MN-115-SUM03-TS.htm)

Element
24 May 12, 15:22
Besides anatta (non-self), anything subject to dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anicca (transitivity) cannot exist inherently. Nagarjuna used the term svabhava (self-nature, own-being) to connote that which has inherent existence. He then thoroughly dissected this notion of svabhava and blew it to smithereens.
sure, anything subject to dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anicca (transitivity) cannot exist inherently. but does this apply to Nirvana? does it apply to dukkha & anicca themselves? in other words, is not anicca is not anicca? is not dukkha not anicca?

or what about the 4NTs? surely the buddha did not use the term "truth" loosely; without merit. where ever suffering (mental torment) exists, it must be dependent on ignorance & craving. it cannot be otherwise. this suffering will always cease when ignorance & craving cease. it cannot be otherwise. thus, imo, the 4NTs are svabhava

imo, the universe or nature (i.e., dhamma) is svabhava. nirvana is svabhava. anicca, dukkha & iddapaccayata are svabhava. "truth" or the nature of reality is svabhava

;D

Element
24 May 12, 15:29
Nagarjuna thoroughly dissected this notion of svabhava and blew it to smithereens.
what about this? :confused:


Your question should not be phrased in this way: Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property and the wind property — cease without remainder? Instead, it should be phrased like this:

Where do water, earth, fire & wind
have no footing?

DN 11 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html)
here, buddha seems to avoid (keep silent on) the question of whether the four great elements are svabhava or not svabhava

if the four great elements could cease without remainder then they would certainly be not svabhava

instead, buddha redefines the question to accord with freedom from suffering

kind regards ;D

Deshy
24 May 12, 17:30
Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence? And if not, why?


the universe isn't a solipsistic illusion ...

Trilaksana
24 May 12, 20:23
I think Element and I are interpreting "inherent existence" differently than most of the other forumers who have posted.

Element
24 May 12, 21:12
the universe isn't a solipsistic illusion ...


Solipsism ( /ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/) is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. The term comes from the Latin solus (alone) and ipse (self). Solipsism as an epistemological position holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure.

then what about this? :confused:


And I further proclaim, friend, that it is in this fathom-long body with its perceptions and thoughts that there is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world.

AN 4:45 (http://bps.lk/olib/wh/wh155-u.html#S50)

and this: :confused:


The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. This is the origination of the world."

Loka Sutta: The World (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.044.than.html)

Deshy
25 May 12, 04:00
then what about this? :confused:



and this: :confused:

What about it Element?

I think in these suttas the Buddha is teaching that when the sense organs cease, the world perceived via the sense organs also ceases. That doesn't necessarily mean that there is no "world" outside of our sensory experiences. The rupa element exists irrespective of our perceptions of it. When the Buddha taught "the all" he taught about the world experienced via the senses because that is the scope relevant to cessation of suffering. That doesn't necessarily mean that the universe is only a subjective reality.

Rhysman
25 May 12, 12:41
I think Element and I are interpreting "inherent existence" differently than most of the other forumers who have posted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svabhava#In_the_Mah.C4.81y.C4.81na_sutras

"In the Mahāyāna sutras
In the Prajñāpāramitā sutras, the early Buddhist notion of no-self (anatta) is extended to all objects, so that all things are emptiness (śūnyatā), without inherent existence (svabhāva).[6][7]"


I think your right. Mahayana defines "inherent existence" differently than than the Theravadin literature.


In the Pāli canon, "sabhāva" is absent from what are generally considered to be the earliest texts[8] and, when found in later texts (e.g., the paracanonical Milindapañha), it generically refers to state (of mind), character or truth.[9]"

Imo, Mahayana is an extension of the Abhidhamma.

"In the post-canonical Abhidhamma literature, sabhāva is used to distinguish an irreducible, dependent, momentary phenomenon (dhamma) from a conventionally constructed object. Thus, a collection of visual and tactile phenomena might be mentally constructed into what is conventionally referred to as a "table"; but, beyond its constituent elements, a construct such as "table" lacks intrinsic existence (sabhāva).[10]"

WOW, this discussion really showed me how much I do not know or understand.

Rhysman
25 May 12, 12:54
yes, the universe has non-self existence. the universe is not a self but it exists


all phenomena are not similar to nirvana. nirvana is the unconditioned. it is the uncaused. nirvana inherently exists. it is independent




Nirvana has inherent existence but is empty. although nirvana inherently exists, it is not a 'self'. it is not-self (anatta). it is empty of self (sunnata). the logic of Nagarjuna sounds questionable, in appearing to assert a synonomity between 'existence' and 'self'.

****

if we look down from above, upon the swirling mass that is the universe, it can be seen to exist. although there are no conditioned things in that universe that have inherent existence, the swirling mass itself swirls, moves & changes ceaselessly

buddha taught nirvana inherently exists, because it is the uncaused. buddha taught the reality of conditionality (causes & effect), impermanence and unsatisfactoriness in regards to conditioned things inherently exists or "stands". buddha taught the non-selfhood of all things, including Nirvana, inherently exists or "stands"

if "not-self" did not inherently exist, then how could all things be not-self? this simple statement refutes the logic of Nagarjuna

;D

I think you mis-understand the concept of "self". I don't see self as simply a sentient being. A rock is a self. You are creating a duality within the structure of the universe that does not exist. There is no self and other. This applies to sentient beings and non-sentient beings. All things are empty.

Hands Palm to Palm,
Rhysman

Deshy
25 May 12, 16:47
I think Element and I are interpreting "inherent existence" differently than most of the other forumers who have posted.

By "inherent existence" do you mean not conditioned?

Element
26 May 12, 07:35
I think you mis-understand the concept of "self". I don't see self as simply a sentient being. A rock is a self. You are creating a duality within the structure of the universe that does not exist. There is no self and other. This applies to sentient beings and non-sentient beings. All things are empty.
hi

'self' & 'suffering' are exactly the same thing, which is why the human world is full of suffering. 'self' is a construction of the human mind

kind regards ;D

Gus4U
28 May 12, 03:41
In my meditations recently, I saw the world as a room of mirrors: most of us see only ourselves most of the time, and blame all our problems on the mirrors, I saw. Is it not possible that with the continuum of development, our consciousness can now see that there is more than one Uni-verse?

Where does the essential stream of consciousness go in between incarnations? Where do the Great Beings have their being? Could it not be that we are the reflection of a truer reality? What does it mean, the lesson of the moon's reflection on the pond? How can this reality be free of Inherent Existence and Empty, unless there is an other source of emanation? Where is the Pure Land?

Yuan
29 May 12, 01:45
imo, the universe is something subject to continual change & transformation of the various elements. thus, imo, the universe as a changing thing has an inherent existence, just like the reality of impermanence & conditionality has inherent existence. the natural creator is change (anicca) itself; conditionality (iddapaccayatta) itself


I think one would say that

the universe is something subject to continual change & transformation of the various elements.
means that the universe does not have an inherent existence. Just like the chariot does not have an inherent existence, because its existence depends on its components, the existence of the universe also depends on its various elements.

Yuan
29 May 12, 01:45
Nirvana has inherent existence but is empty. although nirvana inherently exists, it is not a 'self'. it is not-self (anatta). it is empty of self (sunnata). the logic of Nagarjuna sounds questionable, in appearing to assert a synonomity between 'existence' and 'self'.


Are you saying Nirvana is not-self? I thought "Form is not-self," "Feeling is not-self,"...

Also, I thought it is commonly agreed that the definition of not-self is 'empty' of self, which means that self does not inherently exist, i.e. 'self' is dependent on others. For you to say that Nirvana inherently exist, but is also not-self (does not inherently exist) seems to be saying Nirvana is both white and black in the same breath.

I think your problem with Nagarjuna is not with his logic. Your problem is with his definition of terms like 'sunyata.'

If you want to say Nirvana has inherent existence, then it is NOT-'not-self.' Does NOT-'not-self' implies 'self'? Well, that's for you to figure out.



if "not-self" did not inherently exist, then how could all things be not-self? this simple statement refutes the logic of Nagarjuna
;D

But I don't want to discuss Nirvana, so I'll just address this point.

If phenomenons do not exist, then the concept of "not-self" will not exist, because there is nothing to attach the concept of 'not-self' to.
So the concept of "not-self" is dependent on the existence of phenomenons, that's is why the concept of "not-self" does not inherently exist.

Nagarjuna's logic is fine here.




Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality (iddapaccayatta).

Paccaya Sutta

Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are unsatisfactory.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All phenomena are not-self.

The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma


Now, regarding this quote, if let us assume that there is only 'XYZ' in the world, and it is in the state of Nirvana. So there is nothing in the world that is not in the state of Nirvana.

Can we describe XYZ as 'conditional?' 'inconstant?' 'unsatisfactory?' 'Not-self?'

If not, does Dhamma exist in this world? I think not, because there will be nothing that is in the state of 'inconstant'/'unsatisfactory'/'Not-self.'

So we can say that Dhamma does not inherently exist, because existence of Dhamma depends on the existence of a phenomenon that is not in the state of Nirvana.

Dhamma is anatta as well.

Tom
29 May 12, 02:52
Hi everyone. Are we in the philosophy or the Cultivation4Liberation business? Happy CULTIVATING, Tom

Pegembara
29 May 12, 07:58
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.069.than.html

Element
29 May 12, 09:39
the universe does not have an inherent existence. Just like the chariot does not have an inherent existence, because its existence depends on its components, the existence of the universe also depends on its various elements.
Yuan

i defined the universe as a mass of change or swirl. the 'swirlishness' has inherent existence, just as impermanence has inherent existence

as i said, impermanence is not something impermanent. impermanence has inherent existence because impermanence is permanent

in the same way, the universe (which unlike the chariot) has inherent existence

the chariot has a function based on its permanence. when its permanence ceases, the chariot ceases

but the universe is not the same because the function of the universe is to evolve & change infinitely (unlike the chariot)

;D

Element
29 May 12, 09:41
Are you saying Nirvana is not-self? I thought "Form is not-self," "Feeling is not-self,"
buddha taught all things, including nibbana, are not-self...:neutral:

ATC
29 May 12, 10:01
Originally Posted by Rhysman

Monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam see God as having inherent existence. The un-caused cause.

Would Buddhists see the universe as having inherent existence? And if not, why?

If one look at the logic of the Vijnanavada; Existence, real existence means efficiency, i.e. it has to keep producing an effect, meaning it has to change at all time. What is absolutely changeless is also absolutely non-efficient and does not exist. To be static means to be motionless and eternally unchanging. Not to be static means to move and to change every moment. There is motion always going on in living reality, but of this motion, we notice only some special moments which we stabilized in imagination. The deduction is that, change is existence, what does not change, does not exist. It follows that concepts such as God, Angels are just our imagination and does not existed.

Everything, necessary must have an end, whether it is a knowledge deduced by observation or by deduction without the help of our sensory experience. We would have notice by observation, that such thing as fire, changes every moment, so do our thoughts, even our body is constantly changing, and by a broad generalization, not just the body, but everything, is older by a moment in every succeeding point instant. There is no need of thing to be dependence on special cause for it to end, as if that is the case, then we would have empirical objects which never would have an end and would have an eternal existence.

ATC
29 May 12, 10:27
Originally Posted by Rhysman

"All phenomena must have either self-existence or non-self-existence. There is no phenomenon which is other than these two, nor are there any expressions which do not come under these two categories. All phenomena which are the subject of this treatise are similar to nirvana because all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence.

What is the reason for this? It is because the inherent existence of all phenomena is not to be found in causes, conditions, aggregations or individualities. Thus all phenomena are devoid of inherent existence and are empty.

Some assert that a result already exists inherently in the nature of its cause; but then it cannot arise because it already exists. Others assert that a result exists inherently but not in the nature of its cause; so it cannot arise because it is not in the nature of its cause. Yet others assert that a result both does and does not exist inherently in its cause; ; but then they are asserting contradictory views about an object because an object cannot simultaneously both exist and not exist. Because phenomena do not arise inherently so also they do not endure or cease inherently."

IMO, the above logic precludes any form of inherent existence. It really does not matter if you believe that Nagarjuna really received this from the Nagas and that it was a true lost teaching of the Buddha. The logic still stands.

Your above quote from Nagarjuna is on the teaching of the subject of non-duality. It is a Mahayana doctrine that there is no ultimate difference between Samsara and Nirvana, defilement and purity, ignorance and enlightenment. Conventional dualities as we understand it is denied, as ultimately all phenomena are empty of all characteristic and that all dharmas have one nature, which is no-nature."

I believe one would not find this teaching of non-duality in the Theravada tradition which is aim at the extinction of suffering, i.e. going from the conditioned world of Samsara to the unconditioned Nirvana and not aiming for a unifying principle in our experience of the phenomena world itself.

andyrobyn
29 May 12, 10:42
Your above quote from Nagarjuna is on the teaching of the subject of non-duality. It is a Mahayana doctrine that there is no ultimate difference between Samsara and Nirvana, defilement and purity, ignorance and enlightenment. Conventional dualities as we understand it is denied, as ultimately all phenomena are empty of all characteristic and that all dharmas have one nature, which is no-nature."

I believe one would not find this teaching of non-duality in the Theravada tradition which is aim at the extinction of suffering, i.e. going from the conditioned world of Samsara to the unconditioned Nirvana and not aiming for a unifying principle in our experience of the phenomena world itself.

Yes, and any ideas about the universe and inherent existance can only be conceptualised within our limited concepts, such as time.

Element
29 May 12, 10:42
Also, I thought it is commonly agreed that the definition of not-self is 'empty' of self, which means that self does not inherently exist, i.e. 'self' is dependent on others.
hi

'empty' of self means there is not self there, such as there is no 'self' in a rock. (it does not mean 'self' is dependent on others)


For you to say that Nirvana inherently exist, but is also not-self (does not inherently exist) seems to be saying Nirvana is both white and black in the same breath.
no. i suggested Nirvana inherently exists and not-self (anatta) also inherently exists. please consider re-reading my posts


If you want to say Nirvana has inherent existence, then it is NOT-'not-self.' Does NOT-'not-self' implies 'self'?
Nirvana is not-self. not-self is not-self. all things whatsover are not-self (sabbe dhamma anatta ti). inherent existence is not-self

the problem in this discussion is equating 'inherent existence' with 'self'. as mentioned, Nirvana has inherent existence but is not a 'self'


If phenomenons do not exist, then the concept of "not-self" will not exist, because there is nothing to attach the concept of 'not-self' to.
So the concept of "not-self" is dependent on the existence of phenomenons, that's is why the concept of "not-self" does not inherently exist.
this logic is illogical, imo

that conditioned phenomenons do not inherently exist is why they are "not-self". they have no permanent essence thus cannot be a 'self' or clung to as belonging to 'self'

there is no such thing as the non-existence of phenomena. phenomena, in experience, alway exist, just like the universe always exists. although none of these phenomena (that make up the universe) have inherent existence, given they are impermanently comprised of causes & conditions, causes & condtions always exist in some form or another

in other words, the assertion that "not-self" will not exist is non-sequitur


Now, regarding this quote, if let us assume that there is only 'XYZ' in the world, and it is in the state of Nirvana. So there is nothing in the world that is not in the state of Nirvana. Can we describe XYZ as 'conditional?' 'inconstant?' 'unsatisfactory?' 'Not-self?'
why reinvent the wheel? it has been declared by the one who sees that Nirvana is not conditional, not inconstant, not unsatisfactory but not-self


277. "All conditioned things [i.e., excluding Nirvana] are impermanent" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

278. "All conditioned things [i.e., excluding Nirvana] are unsatisfactory" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

279. "All things [i.e., both conditioned & unconditioned, including Nirvana] are not-self" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.20.budd.html


If not, does Dhamma exist in this world? I think not, because there will be nothing that is in the state of 'inconstant'/'unsatisfactory'/'Not-self.'
conditioned things are in the state of 'inconstant'/'unsatisfactory'/'Not-self.'

the uncondtitioned Nirvana is the state of 'constant'/'satisfactory'/'Not-self.'


So we can say that Dhamma does not inherently exist, because existence of Dhamma depends on the existence of a phenomenon that is not in the state of Nirvana.
buddha included Nirvana within the scope of Dhamma.

for example, the mind sense base, buddha described as mind (mano), mano vinnana (mind-consciousness) and dhamme (dhamma). contrary to Thanissaro's translation, dhamme does not mean 'ideas'. dhamme is used here because Nirvana is a mind-object known by mind (mano). dhamme means all things that are dependent upon being known by the mind sense base, which includes feelings, perceptions, ideas, mental images & the unconditioned Nirvana

if we follow your logic, Nirvana is not independent because it is dependent on being known by the mind. naturally, this logic does not conform to buddha

Nirvana remains unconditioned & independent despite its existence being dependent on mind to be known

as Buddha explained in the quote: "impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & not-self" are the norm, even when they have not been discovered & revealed by a buddha to humanity

in the same way, even if Nirvana is not known, it still exists. perfect peace from suffering always exists, waiting to be discovered

kind regards

;D

Yuan
31 May 12, 11:31
Hi Element,

For the first time, I found that I am not able to comprehend your responses. In a way, I understand, and agree with many of your statements. But I got confused when reading your statements all together. It is like reading "A is black." "Black is not the same as white." "A is white." all in the same paragraph.

I think part of the problem is that we differ on the meaning of the words that we use. Heck, we don't even look eye to eye on what the word 'universe' means.

So I'll refrain from responding until I can figure out how you are using these words.

P.S. Maybe you can tell me what you think 'inherent existence', 'self' and 'not-self' means to you.