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“it is difficult to develop certainty about both (1) the complete refutation of essential or intrinsic…
December 20th, 2012
illustration

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

"it is difficult to develop certainty about both (1) the complete refutation of essential or intrinsic nature and (2) the presentation of those very persons who lack intrinsic nature as accumulators of karma, experiencers of the effects of karma, and so forth. (…)

"form a clear concept of the object that reason will be refuting. Reflecting carefully, you must identify the intrinsically-existent person as it is imputed by the ignorance in your mind-stream. Then focus on how, if there were such an intrinsically-existing person, it could only be one with or different from its aggregates [matter, sensations, conceptions, mental fabrications, consciousness], and how reason contradicts both of those positions. Develop certainty in seeing this critique. Finally, solidify your certainty that the person does not even slightly exist intrinsically. In the phase of meditating on emptiness, practice this often.

"Then, bring to mind the conventional person who is undeniably apparent. Turn your mind to dependent-arising, wherein that person is posited as the accumulator of karma and the experiencer of effects, and be certain of how dependent-arising is possible without intrinsic existence. When they seem contradictory, think about how they are not contradictory, taking an example such as a reflection. A reflection of a face [photo] is undeniably a conjunction of (1) being empty of the eyes, ears, and such that appear therein and (2) being produced in dependence upon a mirror and a face, while disintegrating when certain of these conditions are gone. Likewise, the person lacks even a particle of intrinsic nature, but is the accumulator of karma and the experiencer of effects, and is produced in dependence upon earlier karma and afflictions. It is not a contradiction. Practice this thought and understand that it is like this in all such cases."

— ཙོང་ཁ་པ། (Tsong kha pa), Lam rim chen mo (The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment)


#Buddhism   #Dharma   #buddhistcircle   #lamrim   #karma
[ see my recent "karmic continuation" series for a glimpse at how dependent-arising is possible without intrinsic existence. ]
[ more on lam rim: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/lam_rim_outline.pdf ]
[ photo: © +Corrie White  (http://liquiddropart.com/),
  via http://www.antsmagazine.com/photography-2/50-amazing-reflections-of-things-on-water-droplets/ ]