Buddhism - conceptual doubts

Sergei schms060 at MAIL.UNI-MAINZ.DE
Mon Nov 15 10:51:56 UTC 1999

> Take any object - let's take a gold ring.
> What's it?
> It is a ring.
> But ring is just a word, an appelation - if we'd named it 'zero'
> instead of ring, you'd right now be saying it's zero.
> So what's it then?
> It's round and with a hole in it.
> Even here you're only describing its features and qualities, but not
> itself. Besides this there're a lot of other things which are round
> with a hole in it, which may not be called ring.
> It is a piece of gold.
> So what's gold?
> Gold is an element - yellow in colour.
> So aren't there other elements which are yellow in colour? And even
> here you're only describing its qualities and not itself - the thing
> in itself - what's it?
> Even if you say the object is round, with a hole, an element, yellow
> in colour, still there's a chance that there's something which fits
> all these descriptions which might be called something else.
> And more important point is that whatever you say of it - round, with
> a hole, element, yellow etc - are but descriptions of it and does not
> explain the thing in itself.
> And such is the case with all objects in the world - you can only
> describe objects with qualities and attributes - but not the thing in
> itself. Even if these descriptions are subjected to further scrutiny,
> they themselves will lead to something else - but you can never
> explain the thing in itself. It's beyond knowledge. That's why all
> conceptions are empty.

        To this I have a very simple comment: we identify objects not by their
qualities and attributes alone (as You try to do in Your example), but
rather by their APPLICATION. Your example: a golden ring. I call it a ring,
because I use it as a ring and not as a pencil. Qualities (like golden,
round, etc.) are a secondary level, meant to specify more clealy what kind
of ring is it. The primary level is viniyoga - application, function. It's
quite simple to understand, isn't it? As soon as I tell to someone about the
application of an object one immediately understands what is being spoken

Your ever well-wisher,
Sergei Schmalz.

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