The Two Truths

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by seattlegal, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Important in Buddhism:
    Two Truths

    ...but they weren't the only ones:

    [​IMG]

    The ancient Egyptians also had the "Hall of the Two Truths," where the heart was weighed against the Feather of Maat.

    Do you accept only one truth, or two truths, and why?
     
  2. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Dzogchen has the upper hand here, IMHO. Two truths (both virtually unknowable) is less preferable than one big virtually unknowable truth. Both the "commonsense" (nītattha) and "absolute" (neyyattha) truths can be looked at as sub-species of what western philosophy just calls truth (if we accept the Greek tradition and include ideas in the mind).

    In the High Holy Days of Newton and Einstein, the "absolute" was lost (as idealism or metaphysics or beyond scientific method). Well now "commonsense" is lost (if quantum theory is true) as well, leaving us with only nītattha minus scientific truth which is pretty much truth-for-the-unwahed-and-uneducated, called post-modernism. So neither is very useful (both much too vague for what most people want and kinda antiquated for those who see the neyyattha as perfectly acceptable).

    Did that make sense at all?
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Yes, it makes perfect sense.
    Chuangtzu: Section 2: On Making All Things Equal

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Everything has its "that," everything has its "this." From the point of view of "that" you cannot see it, but through understanding you can know it. So I say, "that" comes out of "this" and "this" depends on "that" - which is to say that "this" and "that" give birth to each other. But where there is birth there must be death; where there is death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right. Therefore the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven.6 He too recognizes a "this," but a "this" which is also "that," a "that" which is also "this." His "that" has both a right and a wrong in it; his "this" too has both a right and a wrong in it. So, in fact, does he still have a "this" and "that"? Or does he in fact no longer have a "this" and "that"? A state in which "this" and "that" no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Way. When the hinge is fitted into the socket, it can respond endlessly. Its right then is a single endlessness and its wrong too is a single endlessness. So, I say, the best thing to use is clarity.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]To use an attribute to show that attributes are not attributes is not as good as using a non-attribute to show that attributes are not attributes. To use a horse to show that a horse is not a horse is not as good as using a non-horse to show that a horse is not a horse,7 Heaven and earth are one attribute; the ten thousand things are one horse.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What is acceptable we call acceptable; what is unacceptable we call unacceptable. A road is made by people walking on it; things are so because they are called so. What makes them so? Making them so makes them so. What makes them not so? Making them not so makes them not so. Things all must have that which is so; things all must have that which is acceptable. There is nothing that is not so, nothing that is not acceptable.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]and then this part that a physicist like you might find particularly interesting:[/FONT]


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The torch of chaos and doubt - this is what the sage steers by.11 So he does not use things but relegates all to the constant. This is what it means to use clarity.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Now I am going to make a statement here. I don't know whether it fits into the category of other people's statements or not. But whether it fits into their category or whether it doesn't, it obviously fits into some category. So in that respect it is no different from their statements. However, let me try making my statement.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There is a beginning. There is a not yet beginning to be a beginning. There is a not yet beginning to be a not yet beginning to be a beginning. There is being. There is nonbeing. There is a not yet beginning to be nonbeing. There is a not yet beginning to be a not yet beginning to be nonbeing. Suddenly there is nonbeing. But I do not know, when it comes to nonbeing, which is really being and which is nonbeing. Now I have just said something. But I don't know whether what I have said has really said something or whether it hasn't said something.

    [/FONT]​
    **wanders off to PMS hut**
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]

    [/FONT]​
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
     
  4. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    I believe I follow what you folk are contriving, though its subtle. Its not familiar territory.
     
  5. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Again, unfair! Just because I be a nuclear physicist does not mean I am easy to pidgeon hole!

    PS that is one of my favorite Wings of Chuangzi
     
  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Can you be both practical and spiritual at once, finding the balancing accord between the two, or do you scorn spirituality in favor of practicality, become mesmerized by spirituality and neglect practicality, or scorn both and go off into total delusion?

    Hope that clarifies. :)
     
  7. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    Balance could be achieved if the practical were to become ideal, however in practice the ideal is not practical enough. Its corners are too sharp and its demands are too intense. Ideally then the ideal must differ from the practical, so a slight imbalance is the child of the ideal.
     
  8. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

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    Are you offering a duality? :)
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    me think thou dost protest too much....

    meaning it must be that our SG was spot on?
     
  10. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I think she knows I like to pull her chain (a lot!)
     
  11. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I was thinking about a parallel with virtual particles, but am about as uncertain as Chuang Tzu about it.

    Of course you do. I would expect nothing less. :p
     
  12. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Looks more like quatrality (is that a word?) to me! {Maybe even more if you want to mu!} :eek:
     
  13. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

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    Four's fine :)
     
  14. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    quatrality... hmm, four aspects of truth? If so WAT? If not, ignore. Did catch the virtual particle ref.
     
  15. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Two Truths--four possible outcomes:

    11
    10
    01
    00
     
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  16. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Thou are heavy, I got it!
     
  17. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

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    I am persuaded to offer:

    Subjective

    Objective

    Action

    Ineffable
     
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  18. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    quasi-equilibrium

    Beat you to it, Radarmark.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi SG —
    Can I get away with apophatic and cataphatic theologies, or is that too easy?

    If I read your link correctly, can one say 'absolute truth' and 'relative truth'?

    I think St Paul touched on a big point when he spoke about 'scandalising' the community — Try telling people they should love something that cannot be known or imagined, that lies beyond our every concept, etc., is a tough message to absorb.

    Added to that, the idea that one should love one's neighbour, and serve one's neighbour, with no expectation of reward, and for no reason other than it's just the right thing to do ... not a very powerful incentive.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  20. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Upon thinking about it, that just might work. :p

    Let me add a couple of Niels Bohr quotes to the mix:
    There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.

    The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
    ~Niels Bohr ​
     

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