Reality and Keeping Your Ducks in a Row

Fourteenth in a series. Even though systems such as science, eighteen dharmas, sacred geometry, chakras, and more describe in detail the minute distinctions between abstruse points while defining phenomena, the results of that specialized study and scientific inquiry will not cause what is transitory to be intrinsically real. There are often implied affirmations that the methods are wisdom truth devices that reveal the knowledge of true reality.

Even sophisticated techniques considered secret or esoteric are empty of existence from their own side and are products of arising depending upon other elements, causes, and conditions. So, even if you created a machine that could tap dance on a star while we watched here from earth by magical means, and no one else knows how to do it but you, still it is empty of inherent existence from its own side. It is a product depending upon other elements, causes, and conditions.

Great Sage Chandrakirti states in his analysis to ascertain reality point fourteen -Emptiness of Defining Characteristics: “All composite and uncomposite phenomena have their own individual defining characteristics. These are empty of being themselves. This is the emptiness of defining characteristics”.

The discriminations you place on what is real and what is unreal still depends on your point of view of either a materialistic or spiritual nature while you are within the grasp of the innate view. This view that take the transitory and illusory to be real cannot even hold the advanced view of the composite and uncomposite simultaneously without mixing the characteristics that make them unique in manifestation. This attempt to synthesize a new view of compounded phenomena by making it like an uncompounded manifestation creates confusion that solidifies into attitudes such as thinking that reality arise into form by unusual methods while still under the influence of and relying on the innate view.

Nirvana or cessation and space are considered to be examples of uncompounded phenomena and are also empty of inherent existence even though they are not considered to have parts. So, composite and uncomposite phenomena have a common valuation in their lack of true reality but still remain valid in manifestation for the one holding the correct conventional view. Rather than the removal of all irritations and elements of suffering, true correct view sees the emptiness of phenomena without disrespecting it.

Point number Fifteen: Emptiness of the Imperceptible: “The present does not remain. The past and future do not exist; wherever you look, you cannot see them, so the three times are called imperceptible. The imperceptible is in essence empty of itself. It is neither permanent and stable nor impermanent and fleeting. This is the emptiness of the imperceptible”.

Looking for the present moment presents a difficulty, as there seems to be no dividing of time small enough to hold it! When you look at this more carefully, the past and future press upon and seem to consume the present. However, if we shift our approach, we can perceive a flowing current of nows that exist in and through us and through all of creation. This feeling is extraordinarily pleasant and heals all anxiety and stress. This should be the normal method of ordinary humans interacting with others and in their environment. Actions can be performed effortlessly. This is a more careful relationship with the human innate view.

Even then, mistaking what is changeable and impermanent to be a permanent state, the adherent of the flow of pleasant now, can solidify and grasp toward happiness or crave the pleasant feeling and miss the transformation that is needed for evolutionary development. Because it is based in the defective view, the precarious position can be shaken by events and that one can become angry and disappointed that their peace was disturbed, blaming and struggling to regain what now exists in the past. However, once the innate view is dismantled, the easy flow of now becomes natural because of perceiving the lack of intrinsic reality of the now.

As for the analysis, the past, by definition, is gone, and the future, by definition, has not yet arrived, and the present slips by so fast that by the time you have found this now, it is past! This traditional inquiry is done in order to deflate our false sense of security that causes us to believe that time is the excellent support for the craving mind to perform its restless activities. Without grasping toward time, all the structures that depend on time collapse carefully.

Further, for the less mature, it is suggested that the preliminary inquiry into time include a sense of the truly unsteady and transitory nature of time by its own actions. That means the perception of time is unreasonably flexible, allowing attitudes such as time bestowing happiness to enjoy life ending too soon or time causing our suffering to go on and on endlessly without a hope that time will release its grasp on us so suffering will end. This solidification of perception of time gives strength to the innate view that creates the baseline suffering of holding back change or momentary change. Even in happiness the grasping and clinging to events combined with time tries to prevent change and that suffering is real to the innate view holder.

All of the possible relationships toward the linear, event based, life process are convenient fictions to mark the passage that begins with birth and end in death in the human realm. Time as a perceptual construct, that cannot be perceived, is accomplished by making only a small amount of effort. To be so easily penetrated by ordinary analysis validates Chandrakirtis view as time being imperceptible. That evanescent imperceptible quality does not imbue it with a transcendent reality. Quite the opposite, it is a fancy frill of civilizations decline. To be continued….

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