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No Independent Existence

Take in consideration the following words of HHtDL:

"... according to Madhyamika [the philosophy of the "middle way"], generally, emptiness is the absence of independent existence. So this means that something exists, and emptiness is one of the qualifications and characteristics of that which exists. We cannot talk about these qualities in reference to a nonexistent object; there is some base. The absence of independent existence is natureit is the way of existenceand the absence of independent existence is possible only because there is something that exists. So therefore, the mere unfindability of the object of designation is not what "emptiness" refers to. If we search for a totally nonexistent object and we do not find it, that is not emptiness."

"If there were independent existence, then the perception of that existence would be valid. If there were independent existence, then when we investigate to find out whether an object exists independently or not, we would have to be able to find it. But when we analyze carefully, we can't find these objects existing independently. This is how we can see that the perception of independent existence is wrong, is ignorance, and that the perception of nonindependent existence is valid, is wisdom. These two possibilities are in opposition, and when you have two things like this in direct opposition they cannot go together; only one could have a valid foundation."

"In the nature of emptiness, in the nature of the absence of independent existence, in that nature, both bad and good are equal. So when someone meditates on the ultimate reality, in that reality there are no differences between bad and good. From the perspective of Buddha, who is in a state of total absorption, there are no differences between good and bad. But even at other levels of practice, when you gain some experience of shunyaof the ultimate realitythen in that moment, when your mind is fully absorbed in that reality, there is no feeling of good and bad; then everything is equal.

When you deeply experience the ultimate reality, it is so powerful that the understanding of a conventional, objective reality will be very different. For example, if the absorption of one's mind in emptiness is really powerfultotally absorbed in the state of ultimate reality or emptinessthe influence and appearance of conventional reality will be almost negligible.

But this does not mean that on the conventional level there are also no differences between bad and good. That's simply not the case. There is good and there is bad. That's why Buddha himself followed self-discipline. If there were no good and bad, then Buddha could have led a very casual life. So in order to achieve the training of wisdom, we need to practice the training of concentration and meditative stabilization; and in order to do that, we need to have a solid foundation in the practice of morality and ethical discipline." - HHtDL
 
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