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Awakening to Reality: Indra's Net Misunderstood

01/09/14 01:02

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Indra's Net Misunderstood

Posted by: Wei Yu


Harry Rice:

"The Indra's Net metaphor is often misinterpreted to suggest that

each jewel in the net reflects all of the other jewels in the net.
Nice, but not right. Each jewel is ONLY the reflection of all of the
other jewels. It has no inherent essence. It is empty."

Labels: Anatta, Dependent Origination, Emptiness, Maha

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5 Responses

1) Thusness/PasserBy's Seven
Stages of Enlightenment

November 29, 2013 at 7:47 AM

How can "all the other jewels" reflect anything when there is no inherent jewel anywhere? What
reflects what? None of the "jewels" have actual/inherent existence so how can they be the
reflection of non-inherently existing jewels? Even emptiness is empty!

2) On Anatta (No-Self),
Emptiness, Maha and
Ordinariness, and Spontaneous
3) Realization and Experience
and Non-Dual Experience from
Different Perspectives

Wei Yu
November 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Reflections mean appearance that are nonarising. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. This
means in or apart from the appearance there is no core or intrinsic existence that can be
established whatsoever. No appearance amount to anything other than itself (i.e a mere
appearance) as total exertion of all conditions which are all equally empty. They are completely
equivalent to reflections, dreams, echoes and mirages. Emptiness is not nihilism that denies
appearances which appear as your experience, but it rejects the erroneous view of inherently
existing selves and objects

4) Experience, Realization, View,

Practice and Fruition

Wei Yu's E-Journal

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Wei Yu
November 29, 2013 at 8:43 AM

And the "jewel" are conventionally imputed on the aggregation/mere appearance. Also related:

'Stickied Posts'
Chinese Translation of
Thusness/PasserBy's Seven
Stages of Enlightenment
Marshland Flowers

Wei Yu

Great Resource of Buddha's

November 29, 2013 at 8:47 AM


Other jewels are also merely conventional imputation on reflections/appearances. There are no
jewels (but not in the nihilistic sense)

The Concept of Sunyata

(Emptiness) in Mahayana Sutras
AEN's Chinese Articles

Wei Yu
November 29, 2013 at 8:51 AM

+4 Recommend this on Google

Also related:

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Like always, Ted Biringer have interesting and well written postings.

Hautatu hizkuntza

Translate-ren eskutik

Just like to add a short comment:

Dogen here relates nyo (like), to ze (this), evoking the familiar Zen association nyoze (like
this, thusness). He goes on to draw the implication that like this signifies not mere
resemblance but the nondual identity of symbol and symbolized. He thus rejects any dualistic
notion of metaphor or simile (hiyi), whereby an image points to, represents, or approximates
something other than itself. Rather, for Dogen, the symbol itself is the very presence of total
dynamism, i.e., it presents.

Blog Contributors
Wei Yu

Hee-Jin Kim, Flowers of Emptiness, note 8, p.251

I could think of one example: people liken Buddha-nature to be like the moon.
In actuality, the very appearance of the moon is buddha-nature, it is not that there is some
hidden thing called buddha-nature which merely resembles the moon. The moon is buddhanature, the buddha-nature is the moon, the nondual identity of symbol and symbolized. Or as
Dogen says, the moon-face buddha and sun-face buddha, the whole body is the whole moon.
There is nothing hidden or latent about it, there is no hidden noumenon in which phenomenon or
symbols can point to or hint at. The symbol, e.g. the moon, is itself the very presence of total
dynamism. Furthermore, manifestation does not 'come from' Buddha-nature, nor does Buddhanature 'contains' manifestation, Buddha-nature is empty of a self but conventionally imputed on
the "myriad forms". Likewise for Truth, Awareness, etc.

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In fact everything is like this.

Scent of a flower is not scent of a flower, the scent does not represent or approximate
something other than itself but is a complete reality (well not exactly a 'reality' but rather a
whole and complete manifestation/appearance which is empty and unreal) in itself: the scent IS
the flower, wheel of a car is not wheel of a car, the car IS the wheel. Wheel cannot be said to
"come from a car" or "be contained by a car". The word car is a mere imputation, not a true
reality that can be established. Self and aggregates are likewise.
Seen in such manner, all constructs are deconstructed and what's left is just the shimmering
"dream-like" (coreless, empty, illusory), luminous appearances which is all there is, but not to be
confused with a dreamy state.


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