Homelessness

65 & 66 [Cleary]: By proofs, paradigms of logic, and by proposition and reason, in terms of a dream, a castle in the air, a mirage, the moon and sun, I use such examples to say an origin is not objective. The imagined world is called a dream, confusion, or illusion, in the sense of being empty.

A Buddha states his case most logically, with reason and inference, for the purpose of forming the main proposition that the apparent objective world is airy-fairy and lacking in substance—thus empty of the True Self of the Unborn.

  1. The triple world has nowhere to place itself, either within nor without, it is thus [homeless]; seeing that all beings are unborn, there grows a full acceptance of the truth that nothing is ever born (kshanti-anutpatti).

The triple world (Desire, Form, Formless) is constantly in a state of flux: for desire with its incessant appetite which is unquenchable; for form which is also not really stable, but a constantly shifting spectrum of the elements; and also formless, which is forever left wondering what it may yet come to be. Ergo, the triple world has no true and lasting home—no place to call its own because it is in truth forever waiting to be born, when in essence, its True-Self is never born and will never die. Thus, the True Home is the Deathless Unborn.

  1. He will then attain the Samadhi called Maya-like, the will-body, the psychic faculties, the self-mastery, the various powers belonging to the Mind.

A reiteration of Number 16 that once one enters into the Samadhi called Maya-like one develops true powers of intuitively knowing that the nature of existence has no self-substance and is thus maya—illusive and illusional. Once this Pure Intuition becomes refined and perfected, then one has the ability to develop all those siddhis here mentioned. Cleary translates, one will have concentration like magic, and a mental body too, superknowledges, masteries, powers, and brilliance of mind. This mental-body is the manomayakaya.

69 & 70 [Cleary]: Things in relation to which confusion occurs, unoriginated, empty, essence-less, are also those in relation to which it passes away. For thought is perception of mind, the external is perception of what has form; no other object is there as the naïve imagine.

Confusion is born of the mind that takes at face value its own limited faculty of perceiving just all that eventually passes-away. Perception is limited, flawed due to the transitory nature of the character-mind that is dependent upon its various moods and dispositions accompanied with certain chemical-imbalances that often disrupt and prevent perfect clarity of mind to shine-through.

  1. This heap of bones, the Buddha-image, the analysis of the elements-[these are subjects of meditation]; by means of mental images (prajnapti) good students handle the various aspects of the world.

The use of conventionalities in initial stages of spiritual development is a good foundation, yet one must be studiously cautious here as to the full connotation and implications of the term, prajñapti, because it entails more than just the provisional sense. The following is a full definition, one that also encompasses much of what has transpired in this series:

prajñapti. (T. gdags pa/ btags pa; C. jiaming; J. kemyō; K. kamyŏng 假 名). In Sanskrit, “designation,” “imputation,” or “convention,” a term used to describe those things that are not intrinsic, ultimate, or primary, with phenomena whose reality is merely imputed (prajñapti), often contrasted with substantial phenomena (see DRAVYASAT). The various philosophical schools differ in the definition, extent, and deployment of the category, with the MADHYAMAKA arguing that all factors (DHARMA) are merely designations that exist only through imputation (PRAJÑAPTISAT), and nothing in the universe, including the Buddha or emptiness (ŚŪNYATĀ) exists substantially (dravyasat). However, the fact that conditioned dharmas are mere imputations does not imply that they lack functionality as conventional truths (SAṂVṚTISATYA). According to a YOGĀCĀRA explanation in the CHENG WEISHI LUN (* Vijñaptimātratāsiddhi), all dharmas are said to have only imputed existence because (1) “dharmas are insubstantial and are contingent on fallacious imagining” (wuti suiqing jia); and (2) “dharmas have real substance but are real only in a provisional sense” (youti shishe jia). The first reason is based on the Yogācāra argument that the diversity, duality, and reality of things are merely mental projections (see PARIKALPITA), and are therefore artificial and imagined, existing only as fallacious conceptions. The second reason is based on the Yogācāra tenet of PARATANTRA, the “dependent nature of things.” Accordingly, although things are “real” or “substantial” in that they have viable efficacy and functions, they are ultimately transformations of “activated” karmic “seeds” (BĪJA) stored within the eighth storehouse consciousness (ĀLAYAVIJÑĀNA). They are therefore said to be “dependent” on the consciousness and thus have only a “conditional” nature.

Buswell  Jr., Robert E.; Donald S., Jr. Lopez. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Kindle Locations 49715-49723). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

  1. [Cleary]: Body, abode, and property—these are three representations of what is grasped; intellect, reception, representation and imagination are terms for what grasps.

Back to “grasping again”, but this time a delineation of conventional dharmas that are grasped, and the agents who discriminatively grasp them. Suzuki translates this as “seizing agents.”

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