Constituting Individual Objects without Private Essences

If I recall correctly, for Graham Harman and perhaps Object-Oriented Ontology generally, an individual cannot be exhausted by any or all of its relations. Thus there is some kind of irreducible essence that is particular to that individual object. But there's something circular about this idea, because it offers a definition of the individual object …

Variations on the Two Truths: Distinct, Identical, or Coalescent

There's something paradoxical or even ironic about the concept of the conventional (saṃvṛti) being understood as a kind of "truth" (satya), since in some interpretations of the two truths the conventional is understood as false in contrast to the ultimate (paramārtha) which is alone true. Generally, according to these views, often associated with the Sakya …

Bodhi

Bodhi, (which is Sanskrit and Pāli for “awakening”) can be said to be the highest possible attainment for any being, but it cannot be said to be ultimate reality, which itself is categorically inexplicable. Paradoxically and figuratively speaking we can say that Bodhi is the mind who cognizes ultimate reality, and this cognition is a …

Loud and Proud

As many, if not all, trans feminine individuals intimately come to understand, our social recognition is caught up in a peculiar catch-22: if you do not adopt the social conventions that uphold the meaning behind the designation “woman”, you're asked how anyone can take your identity seriously, but, if you do adopt such conventions then …

Genuine Non-Duality (as the Non-Duality of Duality and Non-Duality)

If and when duality (the mode in which phenomena appear as different from each other and occupying the states of presence or absence) is found to be erroneous, there is the tendency or urge to move towards a “higher” mode in which phenomena are seen in some sense as actually identical to one another and …

Beyond the Impasse of Self-Emptiness and Other-Emptiness in Tibetan Madhyamaka

Some thoughts on the dichotomy of self-empty (rang stong) and other-empty (gzhan stong): The basis of the dichotomy comes about from considering the role and scope of negation in the apprehension of emptiness.  The dialectic of emptiness that runs through the various tenet systems (from Vaibhashika to Sautantrika to Cittamatra to Madhyamaka) progressively refines the negandum or …