Bindi

Differences between Daoist and Buddhist understanding of emptiness

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

 

Very happy Sunday to you too. :)

 

How do you see the rainbow body as a conceptual construct?

 

How could it be otherwise?

I've yet to have a direct personal experience of the rainbow body, therefore I am limited to creating a conceptual construct.

I project my limited understanding, expectations, and bias onto this conceptual framework and accept whatever that is as a belief or a representation of something I have not, and possibly never will, experience.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Cheshire Cat said:

 

I don't practice AYP, but I studied it. 

 

 

In AYP terminology, ecstatic conductivity arises from the practice of spinal breathing and deep meditation (with inner mantra). 

As part of the combination of a naturally occurring physiological phenomenology, natural vajroli takes place. 

Unless the practitioner relies on amaroli, he may never notice natural vajroli. 

 

 

Very interesting on studying it, but not practicing.  If you dont mind my asking, why would you do that?

 

Ecstatic conductivity could also simply be called energy flows.

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1 minute ago, steve said:

 

How could it be otherwise?

I've yet to have a direct personal experience of the rainbow body, therefore I am limited to creating a conceptual construct.

I project my limited understanding, expectations, and bias onto this conceptual framework and accept whatever that is as a belief or a representation of something I have not, and possibly never will, experience.

 

 

Got it.  Thanks.  I had misunderstood your meaning.  So if one actually realized the rainbow body, would it then not be a conceptual construct, or is it still then a conceptual construct that is somehow created? 

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

 

Got it.  Thanks.  I had misunderstood your meaning.  So if one actually realized the rainbow body, would it then not be a conceptual construct, or is it still then a conceptual construct that is somehow created? 

 

I think we are capable of creating conceptual constructs of things we've experienced and things we have not.

I resist speculating about what happens upon reaching a conceptual projection... I see little credibility or value there.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

 

Very interesting on studying it, but not practicing.  If you dont mind my asking, why would you do that?

 

Ecstatic conductivity could also simply be called energy flows.

 

I've practiced it. 

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4 hours ago, vonkrankenhaus said:


Movement requires Polarity. 

WuJi is "without polarity".

There is no thing there, and no thing for any thing to move to.

WuJi is "infinite". There is no "thing" to distinguish in "No-thing".

 

Infinity = Zero, so "infinite movement" = Zero Movement.

 

Some Thing (TaiJi) appears from No Thing (WuJi), and that Thing exhibits TaiJi - Polarity - it will have and exhibit an Up/Down, Being/Non-Being, Inside/Outside, etc - what we see in the TaiJi Tu.

 

Between these poles, there is Movement. Movement between the poles of a polarity is "Qi".

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

 

If primordial qi flows everywhere, why not also potentially through WuJi? Maybe analogous to the particles that pop into existence even in a vacuum. 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Bindi said:

If primordial qi flows everywhere, why not also potentially through WuJi? Maybe analogous to the particles that pop into existence even in a vacuum. 

 

If Qi is movement between the poles of a polarity, and WuJi is "Without Polarity", then what would you say "primordial Qi" is?

Obviously, "primordial" could not mean "before polarity".

 

And WuJi means no "thing" is there. Without any "thing" - where is polarity?

 

There would be nothing to distinguish any difference from. WuJi is "infinite".

 

Infinity has no "sides" and exhibits no physical polarity.

 

So no movement can happen in the Infinite. It is "stillness".

 

Zhou Dunyi writes "Yang is motion" and Yin is stillness" at the very sides of his TaiJiTu.

 

The "Primordial" polarity is at the root of all existence then.

 

When the first "move" distinguished the Stillness.

 

Before any Move, there is also no way to see Stillness.

 

Movement is "Change", and we know Change is the only constant.

 

The undistinguished WuJi or "nothing" can only change one way - to become "something".

 

Something is always happening then. All things are distinguished by this.

 

Movement is vibration. Light is vibration. Energy is Matter and Matter is Energy.

But TaiJi, YinYang - is not equal or symmetrical. If it were, no thing could exist - all things would "cancel out" or "equate".

 

In fact, primordial Qi is producing all "things".

 

And explains the polarity "Being/Non-Being".

 

No other polarity is "primordial" - not "Up/Down" or Hot/Cold", "Big/Small", etc.

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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14 minutes ago, vonkrankenhaus said:

 

If Qi is movement between the poles of a polarity, and WuJi is "Without Polarity", then what would you say "primordial Qi" is?

Obviously, "primordial" could not mean "before polarity".

 

And WuJi means no "thing" is there. Without any "thing" - where is polarity?

 

There would be nothing to distinguish any difference from. WuJi is "infinite".

 

Infinity has no "sides" and exhibits no physical polarity.

 

So no movement can happen in the Infinite. It is "stillness".

 

Zhou Dunyi writes "Yang is motion" and Yin is stillness" at the very sides of his TaiJiTu.

 

The "Primordial" polarity is at the root of all existence then.

 

When the first "move" distinguished the Stillness.

 

Before any Move, there is also no way to see Stillness.

 

Movement is "Change", and we know Change is the only constant.

 

The undistinguished WuJi or "nothing" can only change one way - to become "something".

 

Something is always happening then. All things are distinguished by this.

 

Movement is vibration. Light is vibration. Energy is Matter and Matter is Energy.

But TaiJi, YinYang - is not equal or symmetrical. If it were, no thing could exist - all things would "cancel out" or "equate".

 

In fact, primordial Qi is producing all "things".

 

And explains the polarity "Being/Non-Being".

 

No other polarity is "primordial" - not "Up/Down" or Hot/Cold", "Big/Small", etc.

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

 

Two poles of equal strength, but opposite in sign, indeed beget the manifestation of action between them, once they are sufficiently separate from each other.

 

I agree that zero is a kind of infinity (the infinitely small).

 

Original 'null state' tends to split up into a positive and a negative part of equal size. From the connection of the two, a third is born. So teaches the DDJ, and Hermetism as well.

 

Many examples of this principle can be found.

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I am a little dense because I don't really get what either of you are saying. The fault might lie with my equating WuJi with Hundun. I resonate with the concept of Hundun as "unintelligible; chaotic; messy; mentally dense; innocent as a child" which is an extension of Hundun as "primordial chaos; the nebulous state of the universe before heaven and earth separated."

 

It is Hundun as "unintelligible; chaotic; messy; mentally dense; innocent as a child" that I understand primordial qi as passing through, so chances are we're talking apples and oranges when the term being discussed is WuJi. 

 

Qigong master Kenneth S. Cohen seems to be suggesting something similar to my perspective in this quote from his article Hunyuan Qigong: Tracing Life Back to its Roots.

 

Quote

One of my Daoist teachers, the late B. P. Chan, defined Dao as “the path to the origin”. We could also interpret this as returning to the origin. When the body Returns to the Origin, it renews itself with the energy of life, the all pervading qi of the universe.

 

Edited by Bindi

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10 hours ago, Bindi said:

I am a little dense because I don't really get what either of you are saying.

Don't feel too badly about that.  I dropped out a couple days ago.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Bindi said:

equating WuJi with Hundun. I resonate with the concept of Hundun as "unintelligible; chaotic; messy; mentally dense; innocent as a child" which is an extension of Hundun as "primordial chaos; the nebulous state of the universe before heaven and earth separated."

 

WuJi has no "chaos".

 

WuJi means no thing is any where.

 

There is no-thing in WuJi from which to discern either chaos or order.

 

Primordial appearances (HunDun) will act on each other and exhibit natural order (Look at 4 divisions and old TaiJiTu).

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Yes I am misinterpreting WuJi, but I think I get the order now. My interest in Hundun as "unintelligible; chaotic; messy; mentally dense; innocent as a child" might be more the way to WuJi, in that the dull/low/humble/dark/obscure/female force is the one to grasp and hold to in order to unite it with its opposite, paving the way to return to the first or primordial breath (in Star's translation) and No limits/WuJi. 

 

In verse 28 of the Daodejing, Laozi references Wuji  as “No Limits” (translated by Jonathan Star) and "Unlimited" (translated by Ellen Marie Chen).

 

Jonathon Star

28

Hold your male side with your female side
Hold your bright side with your dull side
Hold your high side with your low side
Then you will be able to hold the whole world

When the opposing forces unite within
there comes a power abundant in its giving
and unerring in its effect

Flowing through everything
It returns one to the First Breath

Guiding everything
It returns one to No Limits

Embracing everything
It returns one to the Uncarved Block

When the block is divided
it becomes something useful
and leaders can rule with just a few pieces

But the Sage holds the Block complete
Holding all things within himself
he preserves the Great Unity
which cannot be ruled or divided

 

 

Ellen Marie Chen 1989

28
To know (chih) the male,
But to abide (shou) by the female (tz'u),
Is to be the valley (ch'i) of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
And departing (li) not from the everlasting power (ch'ang te),
One again returns to the infant (ying erh).
To know (chih) the white (pe),
But to abide (shou) by the black (heh),
Is to be the model (shih) of the world.
Being the model of the world,
And deviating (t'eh) not from the everlasting power,
One again returns to the unlimited (wu-chi).
To know (chih) the illustrious (yung),
But to abide (shou) by the obscure (ju),
Is to be the valley (ku) of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
One's everlasting power (ch'ang te) being full,
One again returns to the uncarved wood (p'u).
The uncarved wood disperses to become vessels (ch'i),
To be used (yung) by the sage as officials.
Therefore a great institution does not mutilate (ko).

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Slightly tangential to the present discussion, here is a view of emptiness from Carl Jung that I find insightful.......

 

The goal [of individuation] seems to be anticipated by archetypal symbols which represent something like the circumambulation of a centre. With increasing approximation to the centre there is a corresponding depotentiation of the ego in favour of the influence of the "empty" centre which is certainly not identical with the archetype but is the thing the archetype points to. As the Chinese would say, the archetype is only the name of Tao, not Tao itself. Just as the Jesuits translated Tao as "God," so we can describe the "emptiness" of the centre as "god."

 

Emptiness in this sense doesn't mean "absence" or "vacancy," but something unknowable which is endowed with the highest intensity.... I call this unknowable the Self.... The whole course of individuation is dialectical, and the so-called "end" is the confrontation of the ego with the "emptiness" of the centre.

 

(I’d add as an aside....a salient aspect of these discussions seems to me to be the confrontation of our individual egos with the diverse Mind of Dao Bums, for better or for worse.)  
 

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5 hours ago, Bindi said:

Wuji  as “No Limits”

 

Right. "Limits" means "poles" or "opposites".

No polarity means no near or far, and no limit can be discerned.

 

No Up, no Down, etc.

TaiJi is "Great Polarity".

 

Polarity is always relative.

 

WuJi exhibits nothing in relation to anything for us to discern any "limit".

 

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

 

 

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5 hours ago, Yueya said:

we can describe the "emptiness" of the centre as "god."

 

God isn't a place or an adjective. Nor is Dao.

 

And the individuation we experience via the "Ego" is just the mechanism whereby we experience individuation as a particular manifestation of the species. If I am itchy, every human being does not have to scratch. My ego is the function whereby I can have individual experiences. That's all it is. Anything more than that is likely out of balance with most situations. Humans are quite evolved, and have many aspects to this individuation. All these aspects are being taken advantage of by modern civilization and amplified into psychological control mechanisms. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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On 2018/11/21 at 6:50 AM, Yueya said:

Slightly tangential to the present discussion, here is a view of emptiness from Carl Jung that I find insightful.......

 

The goal [of individuation] seems to be anticipated by archetypal symbols which represent something like the circumambulation of a centre. With increasing approximation to the centre there is a corresponding depotentiation of the ego in favour of the influence of the "empty" centre which is certainly not identical with the archetype but is the thing the archetype points to. As the Chinese would say, the archetype is only the name of Tao, not Tao itself. Just as the Jesuits translated Tao as "God," so we can describe the "emptiness" of the centre as "god."

 

Emptiness in this sense doesn't mean "absence" or "vacancy," but something unknowable which is endowed with the highest intensity.... I call this unknowable the Self.... The whole course of individuation is dialectical, and the so-called "end" is the confrontation of the ego with the "emptiness" of the centre.

 

 

From Taoist viewpoint, it is only after an empty Mind capable of mobilizing qi can we go from philosophical level to practical level  , and the main issue  of humans,   i.e. Xing's  ('性' )  alienation from meng ,  be solved ;  otherwise all  philosophical treatments of humans'  dilemma ,  in the end, turned out to be futile . 

 

The key is "凝神得竅" ; 

 

"Consolidate a mindless Mind and open  the gateway  to  qi  " ; 

 

All others are useless , just something  " soothing kids not to cry "  ;

Edited by exorcist_1699
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Today I did a huge amount of 5 animals all day, and then at the end did a long chakra awakening session.
What is the difference between Chinese and Indian spirituality ?
Well ... caveat being that people everything do many different things, so this is a generalisation.

5 animals is like merging with the spirit moving.
Chakras however are internal presences, they are my column of identity within the body.   Where is that in qigong ?  It's absent isn't it.   There may be talk of the MCO being similar, but it's not similar because the development of identity is missing.
Or in Chinese the identity is regarded always as moving, the yin yang flow and so on.
But in India the chakras are hard concrete eternal identities that can be awakened, it is quite abstract and not much connected to external reality.
What is qigong about ?   Feeling energy flowing ?  ... what for ?   Well maybe it is a love affair with the dantien energy supply, that dimension of life, and merging that with the manifestation of energy in nature.
India just wants to find Identity now, stuff everything else.
... just some ideas ...

 

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When Buddhism was introduced in China it was understood in terms of its own culture. 

Various sects struggled to attain an understanding of the Indian texts. The Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and the idea of the Buddha-nature were endorsed, because of the perceived similarities with the Tao, which was understood as a transcendental reality underlying the world of appearances. 

Sunyata at first was also understood as pointing to transcendental reality. It took Chinese Buddhismseveral centuries to realize that Sunyata does not refer to an essential transcendental reality underneath or behind the world of appearances.

 

http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php?title=Śūnyatā

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On 10/11/2018 at 6:42 PM, exorcist_1699 said:

Although modern physicist interpretation of emptiness is fascinating, I am more  eager to know what  practical way enables us to get the  "天地至精" (  "  ultimate jing of the universe" ) hidden in emptiness ,which  is said to be the "medicine for everlasting life".

 


This captures the ancient Daoist end point perfectly for me, the  "天地至精" (  "ultimate jing of the universe" ), the “medicine for everlasting life”. 
 

I wonder is this the same as the fruit of the Langgan tree?

 

On 10/11/2018 at 6:42 PM, exorcist_1699 said:

 

Some hint from  Taoist alchemical classics " Can Tong Qi"  is :

 

"同類易施工兮 , 非種難為巧" 

 

"If they are the same kind, then we can get effect from them easily ; otherwise,  it will be very difficult "

 

If we interpret it from  Taoist yin-yang school's (陰陽派)  theory, then it means " it  is because we get the body or qi from another humans, despite from  the opposite gender's , that makes our practice effective ".

 

However,  from Taoist primordial  school's (先天派) viewpoint, it is because the ubiquitous ,featureless emptiness  gets the same character , ie, no character , as the emptied Mind ( although  encased in a physical casing ) that makes their interaction likely be productive . 

 

 

 

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 -Immortality is an important idea in Taoism. Because all nature is united by Tao, Taoists believe, immortality can be attained. Taoists also believe that immortality it not something that can be achieved by separating oneself from nature, like with a soul, but rather is something achieved by directing natural forces through the body, creating more durable body materials, using techniques such as breathing, focusing sexual energy and alchemy.

 

 -The immortality referred to in Taoism is physical immortality. The highest goal of many devotees of Taoism is the attainment of immortality through a total channeling of energies to reach harmony with Tao. Immortality can be viewed literally or as a symbol of spiritual liberation. The idea of a spiritual immortality like that of Christianity was alien to the Chinese until Buddhism was introduced to China.

 

 -Numerous Taoist prayers are dedicated to the spirits of immortality. Taoist painters have traditionally chosen immortally as one of their central themes. Famous Taoist paintings dealing with immortality include Immortal Ascending on a Dragon, Riding a Dragon, Fungus of Immortality, Picking Herbs, and Preparing Elixirs.

 

 -In the old days, many Taoists spent their whole lives looking for elixirs of immortality. The Emperor Shi went through great lengths to try and achieve immortality. 

http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat3/sub10/entry-5584.html

 

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On 3/4/2020 at 12:04 AM, Bindi said:

The idea of a spiritual immortality like that of Christianity was alien to the Chinese until Buddhism was introduced to China.

 

 -


This sentence is nonsensical on a couple of levels. One, it ignores well-attested attitudes to the afterlife in China prior to Buddhism. Two, it implies Buddhism has “the idea of spiritual immortality like that of Christianity”, which Buddhism emphatically does not. 

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29 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:


This sentence is nonsensical on a couple of levels. One, it ignores well-attested attitudes to the afterlife in China prior to Buddhism. Two, it implies Buddhism has “the idea of spiritual immortality like that of Christianity”, which Buddhism emphatically does not. 

 

Agreed Buddhism does not have “the idea of spiritual immortality like that of Christianity”,  the only thing it may have in common is that something intangible, perhaps pure consciousness not limited by time and space according to Buddhist belief, continues, but something intangible at least, in this case intangible like the Christian soul, as opposed to a belief in actual physical immortality which from what I have read was the concern of Early Daoists. 
 

Regarding Daoist attitudes prior to Buddhism, most of what I come across is the belief in and search for physical immortality. In a sense I believe an afterlife must be an intrinsic failure to an early Daoist, as they would have failed to have achieved physical immortality. I would be interested in reading early Daoist texts that are not influenced by Buddhism which refer to seeking an intangible immortality.


 

 

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Posted (edited)

I guess it would depend on how one defines "physical immortality." The problem is that there is no sharp distinction between "physical" and "spiritual"- what is "spiritual" is really just a more refined form of the same stuff that "physical" things are made of.

 

Many early Daoists did not deny that the adept's body would break down at some point. They called this feigning death, and what survived was something very fine that had been cultivated in the body but which enjoyed a mode of existence free of the constraints of our grosser forms. It was physical in the sense that it was of the same fundamental substance as everything else- but the same is true of the Apostle Paul's πνεῦμα.

Edited by SirPalomides

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