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June 08, 2016

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I'm glad Buddha doesn't talk like you guys. Buddha made sense but somehow modern guru-wannabes turn his clear statements into rlaborate stoner-logic.

It is that there is neither existence nor cessation of existence, regardless of appearance; because all of these terms are mere conceptions of the way things are due to how they appear.

In truth, there is no ground for this duality of existence and non-existence for what is hidden is not non-existence but essence and what is manifest is not existence but function; these two are non-dual and thus neither one nor many, neither one nor two; one is not without the other, thus they are the without discrimination.

Function is an ongoing effect of Essence, akin to it being the radiance (function) of Mind (essence). Mind is always concealed in its essence and its function is always radiantly apparent.

It is only through thought-construction, which is in itself an illusion of discrimination, that one perceives discriminating ideas and appearances where a ground of existence and non-existence is posited.

There is no basis to thought-constructs, for they are mere illusions of discrimination; They are illusions because in Nirvana, which is Mind, which is Suchness; which is what alone has always been and what you already are in essence;
There is no discrimination because Mind is void in nature meaning it is concealed, it's radiance is what shines but not the essence of the radiance.

Thus your mind is void truly, it's activities are void, your unawareness of this is all that causes apparent attachment to otherwise.

Essence is void in nature meaning it is not manifest, it does not appear; some think void means empty but this is only conventional voidness. The void that is ultimate truth is the void that is so full it appears empty, what is it full of? We mean it cannot be disciminated, all is one without the other, thus when one perceives through discrimination only the concept of "emptiness" is conjured up when faced with such purity.

Essence being so and function being such, there can be no query about existence or non-existence, there is no abiding; for where would essence abide when all comes seemingly from it? It is the rootless root, the baseless base.

Function has no origin for essence has no location, thus everything is of the mind, like a dream; without a fixed nature or a fixed location. It is only through the illusion of fixed characteristics (marks of discrimination) that one conceives the idea of a fixed being and a fixed plane of being.

It is a matter of seeing beyond the mind that conceives, with that which is the nature of all and is truly inconceivable.

 "Now, pardon me for being logical, but if Buddha really said that then basically he was saying that you are not allowed to SAY ANYTHING about Nirvana at all. That sounds like a problem to me!"

Logic is great up to a point, but the realization of the Buddha is beyond logic. It is indescribable. Mental fabrications don't apply. By their cessation nirvana can be realized, but it can not be put into words. It's all around, everywhere, behind everything, and still it cannot be found because it has no characteristics the mind can grasp (such dharmas being conditioned, dependent, impermanent, lacking self nature). Eventually this realization can be won by the diligent. When the fire goes out, where does it go? Good luck in your quest!

Q. "Even some scholars have misunderstandings, who should know better, think that 'parinirvana' means something akin to absolute extinction. But how is this not like the modern view of materialism that when we die, since our brain makes our consciousness, we die absolutely?"

A. Its is different, very very very very different, because this is the view that everyone continues to exist forever being reincarnated in a world of suffering and parinirvana (in this interpretation meaning the end of existence) is only attainable by the enlightened, wheras the modern view of materialism is that everyone ceases to exist upon death, whether enlightened or not. I.e. non-existence after a seemingly endless and tiresome cycle of rebirths is a reward.

It is interesting in some Sutta, using Bikku Bohdi's translation, I read Sariputta preaching and saying that the 8-fold noble path is "the path to the cessation of being." But then in another Sutta I read that Buddha explicitely attacks this view claiming he is being misrepresented as if he teaches that parinirvana means 'extinction of a living being.' This strikes me as "he doth protest too much," and sounds like maybe the Theravadins corrupted the canon by putting statements in Buddha's mouth making him deny what he actually taught. (Or is it that Sariputta is corrupting what Buddha taught to make Buddha teach extinction?)

Another similar case is in Digha Nikaya (the same may be in the others too) where in at least one Sutta Buddha is being made to say that it is wrong to say that parinirvana means you cease to exist (or, as it is worded there, "that the Tagatha" ceases to exist), and its wrong to say that parinirvana means you continue to exist, and its wrong to say that parinirvana means you neither continue to exist nor cease to exist. Now, pardon me for being logical, but if Buddha really said that then basically he was saying that you are not allowed to SAY ANYTHING about Nirvana at all. That sounds like a problem to me!

My own conclusion in the end is this: Buddha either taught that by going to Nirvana one ceases to exist OR he taught that one continues in Nirvana for eternity. Any passage making him say its wrong to take either of these positions (or even to take an imaginary and illogical position fictionally supposed to somehow be able to be "between" them) is clearly inauthentic, spurious, an interpolation invented by later monks in a vain attempt to solve a controversy caused by a faction of monks saying Buddha taught that Nirvana is extinction and another faction saying "nuh uh," and so the chief Theravadins of the time made up a claim "No, Buddha said you're both wrong, and that even the middle position, neither ceases to exist nor continues, is wrong." Its all so absurd its laughable. If Buddha had really taught like this, he would have to have been schitzophrenic. Surely he had a position on what Nirvana was.

As to whether his position was that you cease to exist by going to Nirvana or you continue to exist, everyone will just have to choose the one that sounds best to them. To some, the idea of finally just ceasing to exist after a long round of a jillion reincarnations will sound best because they just feel tired after so many, and to others who crave for immortality the idea of continuing to exist will sound best.

However, at the same time, craving for immortality sounds like a craving, the very thing that causes rebirth! So, I really lean more to the other side, thinking Buddha taught Nirvana is final extinction after the suffering of a jillion rebirths. I read in the Suttas, that Buddha says if you crave for existence you cannot make it to Nirvana (makes sense with the extinction interpretation). But I also read in the same Sutta that if you crave for 'non-existence' you cannot make it to Nirvana. However, I saw in a footnote either in Bohdi's or Thanissaro's translation, don't remember which, that the same word translated 'non-existence' could have been translated 'wealth,' which would make more sense with the 'extinction' interpretation. Honestly, it would make more sense with either interpretation. Why would craving non-existence cause rebirth? That doesn't even make sense. But if Buddha really said craving existence makes you miss Nirvana AND craving non-existence makes you miss it, is that not a contradiction? It would again sound like Theravadin's monkeying with his words to try and bring a fake end to a controversy.

Someone will say, you shouldn't be so conspiracy theorist and think Theravadins monkeyed with the canon, and I would not be if it weren't for them being soul deniers, but since they lie so hard on that, if I find something odd like this I can't help but wonder at it.

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