2011 Handout 17 - Je Tsong Khapa's Illumination of the Thought: a) Explaining, by Means of the Category of the Two Truths, that All Phenomena Have Two Entities; b) Another Presentation of the Two Truths.
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Track 1 - Handout 17 - Review Class 26. Two Entities / Two Natures:
- Explaining, by means of the Category of the Two Truths, that All Phenomena Have Two Entities:
- e.g., an Ultimate Truth (characteristic of lacking True Existence) and a Conventional Truth (i.e., characteristics that are Conventional Truths):
"The shape or the color of a car cannot be separated from the car. The color is not the shape and the shape is not the color, and neither its shape nor its color is the car. Similarly all phenomena have characteristics and are dependent on their parts, which are not so much physical parts but characteristics. The deepest quality that all phenomena have is their lack of true existence. They exist but do not inherently exist. They exist because there is a mind to which they appear. They exist because they have parts. They exist arising from causes and conditions." (class transcript)
- Different kinds of mind ascertain Ultimate and Conventional truths.
- Object of Knowledge (i.e., “that which is known”; equivalent to Existent, Phenomenon, Object of Comprehension, etc.) categorized into the Two Truths.
- Tathagata-Buddhas are omniscient because they simultaneously comprehend the Two Truths.
- Categories that are Definite in Number: Two-fold categorizations of all Phenomena: Two Truths, Permanents & Impermanents:
- Hence, there are no more (or condensed less) than Two Truths, i.e., Buddhas do not perceive something beyond the Two Truths.
- Counters wrong views: e.g., Ultimate Truth is not an object of knowledge, i.e., that the Ultimate Truth cannot be 'known'. However, Ultimate Truth is beyond conceptual thought (i.e., a dualistic direct perceiver).
- In summary, the first presentation says all phenomena have two natures, conventional and ultimate nature or entity so all phenomena have Two Truths. Whereas the second is that object of knowledge can be divided into Two Truths, and there are not more.
- What would 'objective' existence mean? ...
- Phenomena are not dreams; they are dream-like …
Track 5 - Relationships Between Phenomena.
- If one phenomenon can or cannot exist without the continued existence of another phenomenon.
- Cause & Effect relationships.
- Being "of the same nature"
- Being Imputed upon Parts.
- Identical is "same name and same meaning", i.e., one.
- Equivalent means whatever is one is the other (Same Meaning but Different Names, i.e., not one'
- Same Entity & Nature, but 'not one', not identical, i.e., distinct phenomena: e.g., the Two Truths:
"The two truths are one entity or nature. However, they are not one, for they are different, distinct phenomena. The fact that the two truths are different phenomena but have one entity or nature refers to the two truths in relation to a particular phenomenon. It does not mean that every conventional truth is one entity with every ultimate truth."
This is the 7th class of the Perfection of Wisdom course addressing the Two Truths (the 1st sub-topic of the 2nd Topic (Mahayana Practice Instructions) of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations.