[Buddha-l] liturgical languages

Mike Austin mike at lamrim.org.uk
Mon May 9 13:06:41 MDT 2005

In message <1115648537.4708.5.camel at localhost.localdomain>, Richard P. 
Hayes <rhayes at unm.edu> writes
>On Mon, 2005-05-09 at 10:20 +0100, Mike Austin wrote:
>> By doing plumbing, a plumber may be known as a plumber. Plumbing doesn't
>> exist in isolation.
>And now perhaps you can explain what this observation has to do with the
>axiom under discussion, which is "There are no enlightened people, there
>are just enlightened actions.

Oh dear. I thought it was all simple reasoning.  Perhaps you are looking 
for something more complicated in what I said. Plumbing is the action of 
a plumber. The action and the doer are defined together, relative to one 
another. Then, if one posits an enlightened action (a relative truth) it 
too would be accompanied by an enlightened doer.

Now perhaps you can explain something to me. Does the word 'enlightened' 
pertain to an action?  Is the action itself enlightened, or does it have 
the description 'enlightened' due to something other, or by proxy? If it 
is related to something other,  is that 'other' on the cause side or the 
effect side?

>> All I say is that positing enlightened actions is tantamount to positing
>> enlightened minds.
>Not at all. Actions are observable. Minds do not exist except as

Oh! Form in the general sense is observable by means of the eye, but are 
'actions' observable without mental constructs?  Are these actions 
self-defining? In this way, 'actions' and 'minds' both exist as 

>Where we probably agree completely is that enlightenment
>also does not exist except as an abstraction.

I stick my neck out at times, but not on this one.

>Actions are just actions.
>End of story. But when one approves of an action, one may call it
>enlightened. But the approval is not part of the action at all. It is a
>value judgement superimposed on the action.

So enlightenment is just a name that means our approval of something. Is 
that anything - anything at all?  And is that approval limited to a few, 
or is it democratic?

>Thank you for reporting in on what you think. I wish I had some idea why
>you think it, but apparently your rationale is something you'd rather
>keep to yourself.

No. I put it in front of you, but I think you left it there.

Mike Austin

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