Welcome


Thank you for visiting our new forum! To start posting again please follow the link below to create a new password. First time forum users please follow the link to register. CFI thanks you for continuing the discussion on evidence-based thinking and humanist values.

Inseparable Truth


Forums Forums Philosophy Inseparable Truth

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #323510
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    I found some time to focus on Chptr 7 of Quantum and Lotus. It’s a synthesis of many conversations we’ve had over the last year or so with Write4, Xain, even using CC’s “landscape” and others.

    This from p 130 (PDF page). But you should really read the whole chapter. This is Matthieu, the Buddhist speaking;

    The inseparability of the relative truth of phenomena and the ultimate truth of emptiness is the only possible answer. This is the wisdom perceived by anybody possessing the perfect knowledge of a Buddha.

    But I think Xain gets “stuck” on the truth of emptiness and tries to separate out the phenomena. A couple paragraphs later;

    It’s obvious that the exterior object we perceive at a given moment isn’t a pure invention of our minds. However, the entirety of our “landscape,” or the way we perceive the world, merely results from the way our minds have developed and the experiences we have accumulated.

    He goes on to say something that sounds like “if we weren’t here, then the world wouldn’t exist”, and the physicist, Tuan, challenges him on that. But he clarifies, it’s not what he said. You should read the whole thing, but here’s his summation.

    Relative truth is the way phenomena appear to us, with identifiable characteristics. Absolute truth shows that these characteristics have no inherent existence, which implies that the ultimate nature of phenomena, which is emptiness, lies above and beyond any description or concept. It is said in the Prajnaparamita: “To understand perfectly that things have no reality in themselves is the practice of supreme, transcendent knowledge.”

    Tuan then talks of science, how it is a constant discussion or our experience, not an attempt to describe an inherent reality. Read to the end of the chapter, I think you’ll like it.

    #323567
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    Post from 3Point14rat, recovered from the ether:

    The more I read philosophical discussions by professional philosophers, the more I see that they have nothing to say that impacts our lives.

    There is much entertainment value in thinking about the philosophy connected to reality and science, but trying to incorporate many of the philosophical ideas that arise from that thinking is impossible. For example, what part of:

    “Relative truth is the way phenomena appear to us, with identifiable characteristics. Absolute truth shows that these characteristics have no inherent existence, which implies that the ultimate nature of phenomena, which is emptiness, lies above and beyond any description or concept. It is said in the Prajnaparamita: “To understand perfectly that things have no reality in themselves is the practice of supreme, transcendent knowledge.”

    has value in my daily life?

    My coffee mug is hot to the touch. I see steam rising from it. I need to sip it or burn myself. It is real in every way that matters. Only when waxing philosophical can anyone airily pronounce my coffee mug to have “no inherent existence”, which, supposedly, “…implies that the ultimate nature of phenomena, which is emptiness, lies above and beyond any description or concept.” [Gee, thanks philosophy, that’s great to know, so… now what?]

    Philosophy is great at saying nothing in the most amount of words, and when it does manage to say something, it’s rarely applicable to anything other than more philosophy.

    Again, I admit to finding philosophical thinking to be a hoot and would love to do it and read about it lots more, but it is very rare that those ideas are practical or useful in everyday life (I consider Stoicism and other forms of ‘how best to live your life’ schools of though to be psychology/philosophy hybrids that have lots of great benefits in living a better life.)

    ——————————-

    As for Xain’s troubles with philosophical ideas, he does the opposite of me and takes them to be applicable to everyday life. He reads “nothing is real” and extends that to mean “nothing matters”. He misses how philosophy talks about reality but doesn’t define or create or change reality.

    Reality is reality and no matter how many words can be strung together to explain how it doesn’t exist. You only need to stub your toe to know that philosophy can be (and often is) irrelevant to life.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Lausten.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Lausten.
    #323570
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    As I read this book, I get the same feeling 3pt. The quotes I picked were pretty mild compared to some. From one POV, the book is about untangling the gibberish coming out of Buddhism and making it apply to what we now know as the fundamental properties of the universe. From another point of view though, philosophy is like other studies, it has its own language, it has its points that are unresolved so the experts invent words to try to solve them. This book is part of that, but it brings it down just a step or two, making it accessible.

    I prefer a book like Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God. It spends a little time debunking religion, but focuses on cosmology and develops a worldview based on how we are something that came from nothing. But, here, I’m trying to point something to Xain, so I needed the Buddhist guy. You point to the same thing, using more plain language.

    He reads “nothing is real” and extends that to mean “nothing matters”. – 3point14rat

    But we can guess his response, that some website somewhere said “nothing matters”. But this guy says,

    The inseparability of the relative truth of phenomena and the ultimate truth of emptiness is the only possible answer. This is the wisdom perceived by anybody possessing the perfect knowledge of a Buddha.

    So whatever he is reading, it isn’t the perfect knowledge of the Buddha.

    #323577
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    “So whatever he is reading, it isn’t the perfect knowledge of the Buddha.”

    When he reads anyone’s words he only gets out of it what’s already in his mind. He needs to take a few steps back and look at how he thinks it before diving into any more websites.

    An objective look at one’s own thought process is necessary before trying to bring in more ideas to think about. A faulty thought process produces faulty ideas just like a faulty machine produces faulty products. Fix the machine before using it to churn out products.

    #323578

    When he reads anyone’s words he only gets out of it what’s already in his mind. He needs to take a few steps back and look at how he thinks …

     

    #323592
    @snowcity
    Participant

    Except it’s not that simple. Much of how we live our daily life is based on certain assumptions that we take for granted, and philosophy questions those base assumptions. To say it has no practical uses would be false since we do it whether we admit it or not on a daily basis.

    #323594
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    Xain:  “Much of how we live our daily life is based on certain assumptions that we take for granted, and philosophy questions those base assumptions. To say it has no practical uses would be false since we do it whether we admit it or not on a daily basis.”

    True to a point.

    But dumping the contents of your brain into the garbage to accommodate a philosophical idea that flies in the face of every experience of every living thing is… a bad idea.

    YOU EXPERIENCE THINGS! Why can’t you admit such an obvious fact? It blows my mind that a random philosophical deepity can trap you in an illogical dead-end train of thought.

    I admit that philosophy is interesting. So is fantasy and science fiction, but no one reads Lord of the Rings or watches Star Trek and walks away thinking magic works or holodecks exist. I’ve enjoyed both LotR and ST many many times, and although there are a lot of great ideas in them, I don’t try to transfer all those ideas to real life.

    Philosophy is similar in some ways – read and enjoy it, but don’t drag every idea from it onto the real world.

    #323762
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    Interesting that Xain is taking the side of asking the questions and considering philosophies. Says more about him being a contrarian than anything else. When we offer questions, he offers certainty, when we say philosophy (ie questions) aren’t worthwhile, he says they are.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.