Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Realism is a metaphysical assertion


A skeptic writes:
Aah – but if it were not for our individual perception, through the eyes of ‘I’, we would not survive in this world. We drive down the road making decisions and physical adjustments to ensure our own safety and the safety of others.

This ‘allusion’ theory is all hogwash, in my opinion.  What is so terribly wrong with realism that we should throw it out with the bathwater?  Nothing lacking, nothing superfluous.

We should not get confused between our physical world and how things are in the moment. 'I' most certainly exists (IMO).  This does not mean that is not part of a much greater 'I".

It is ironical that of all spiritual practises Zen should be most hijacked by  metaphysicists when it probably the least metaphysical of all.  :blush:

Just as I'm seeinit at this moment in time

:Namaste:


 

My response:

All one = alone. That is not a metaphysical statement, it is a statement of immediate and direct knowing.  We can not get into squabbles if we are not simultaneously all one and alone. This is the meaning of the fourfold dharmadhatu taught in the Avatamsaka Sutra and affirmed by Zen.

Well, it looks to me like there is confusion and a failure to distinguish clearly between (1) what is conditioned simply by the necessity of language and (2) what is truly "metaphysical." 

The "I" as a conceptual configuration is exactly what is metaphysical when that "I" is treated as anything but a conceptual configuration.

From the Zen Buddhist perspective, as supported by the Lankavatara, Avatamsaka, Queen Srimala's Lion's Roar Sutras and others, the notion of a "physical world" is a metaphysical conception.  In fact, the notion of a "physical world" is a construction centered in the fourth skandha activity supported by the interactions of the other skandhas.

The idea that perception is "through the eyes" is not a Zen idea, it is a philosophical and metaphysical idea.  The Surangama Sutra articulates this issue, nearly ad nauseum, when Buddha explains to Ananda in countless ways how it is only erroneous conception to think that perception is through the eyes, much less, through the eyes of "I". 

"Self" consciousness is a natural mirage, the most natural illusion of the human consciousness and this is because human consciousness is based on the abiding state of ignorance. As the sutras teach, there is no  greater power "in the world" than the abiding state of ignorance. The only power capable of freeing us from the hold of the false conceptions arising from the abiding state of ignorance is the power that is not contained in or by the worldly conceptions. Even the arahants and bodhisattvas cannot overcome it.

Queen Srimala's Lion's Roar Sutra writes:
 
"World Honored One, the mind does not match up with the beginningless abiding state of ignorance.  World Honored One, the force of these four abiding states is the basic seed of every ascending affliction, yet that, as well, is unable to be compared, by calculation or by metaphor, to the abiding state of ignorance.  World Honored One, such is the force of the abiding state of ignorance, that as for the fourth abiding state of the love of existence this force of the abiding state of ignorance is even greater.   To allegorize, it is like surpassing the forms, force, length of life, retinue, and multitude of possessions of the Evil Mara-Papiyan in the Heaven of Paranirmitava┼Ťavarin.  Such is the force of the abiding state of ignorance, that as for the fourth abiding state of the love of existence this force conquers it.  As the basis of the numerous classes of the ascending afflictions as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, likewise it decrees that the four kinds of afflictions long abide.   That state of the innate intelligence of the Arhats and Independent Buddhas does not eliminate it.  Only that state of the innate intelligence of the enlightenment of the Tathagata eliminates it.  Thus it is World Honored One the abiding state of ignorance is a very great force."


The existence of an "I" is the very most uncertain thing that is the most mistaken to be certain. The certainty of the "I" is only a metaphysical certainty.

Realism is a metaphysical assertion by a school of philosophy.

_/|\_
Gregory

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite a neat reply my friend! You sound very much like a mahasandhi adept. Have a nice day!