The Indistinguishability of the Two Truths

 This is the essence of Dharma.
The two truths are Nirvana and Samsara:
Absolute truth and Relative truth
… heaven and hell!

 If we think that hell is a nasty place
and heaven is a lovely place,
we will never understand the truth.
By virtue of one,
the other is known.

 Our body, speech and mind
all have the nature of emptiness.

 As long as we separate the two truths,
we will keep hopping
from one foot to the other…
…never on firm ground

When we separate the two truths
we fall into extremes of
nihilism and eternalism,
believing nothing is rea
everything is real.

 First we have to recognise that
everything is impermanent.
Then we recognise that
everything is empty of its own
inherent existence,
as they rely on causes and conditions.

 Appearances, sound and awareness
are indistinguishable from emptiness

Hell is a relative term.





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  1. Daisy says:

    Hello Tony
    I was interested in your statement about the relative and absolute worlds being heaven and hell – could you say a little more about that?
    Also, you said that body, speech and mind/appearance sound and awareness all have the nature of emptiness – again could you please expand on this a little?

    • tony says:

      Dear Daisy,

      The terms heaven and hell are generally seen from a Christian point of view, as places we may go to after death.

      Buddhism is not like that. Heaven or nirvana is our absolute nature – pure empty essence, and hell or samsara is our relative nature – our neurotic emotional state. To be more precise, hell is awareness (relative truth) when lacking the recognition of emptiness (absolute truth).

      Some of us may experience samsara as pleasant and some experience it as suffering, this is due to good and bad karma. However everything depends on our ‘point of view’! Samsara is translated as the ‘vicious cycle of existence’, we suffer going up and down emotionally, and spend most of our time covering these feelings up with distractions.

      The first noble truth in Buddhism is recognising that we suffer. If we ignore our absolute nature then we suffer “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, thinking that this is how life is. This is because we identify with the body and contents in the mind.

      If we get an inkling of our absolute nature, the potential of enlightenment, then any neurotic emotional state is an obstacle..creating hell for us!

      Here comes the Buddhist perspective… hell is an illusion. Recognising this illusion (even though it seems real to our relative side) can help us realise our absolute nature. When the emotional mud get so uncomfortable, we decide to wash it off, and find the Buddha within!

      Regarding body, speech and mind. This may be seen as impure and pure. Generally we use body/appearances, speech/sound, and mind/awareness to survive in relative terms. But they may also be expressions of empty essence. This precious (hard to achieve) body is seen as a deity, speech as mantra (spiritual communication), and mind as conduit for the inner teacher.


  2. tony says:

    Hello Daisy,
    This deserves an expanded answer, and I’ll get back to you. It’s all to do with difference between our usual view and pure view.

    I’ll come back this afternoon,

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