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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
38 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY For the Yogacara–Svatantrika school, it is valid to say that rela tive truth is the projection of the mind. However, there are two ways to understand this. The more fundamentalist view asserts that there is no external thing whatsoever. Everything is just the mind’s projection. A more nuanced interpretation posits that the way each individual sees the world is unique to that person. If everything we perceive is mediated by the interpretation of our minds, how can we be certain of anything? This way of understanding relative truth does not deny external existence, but rather asserts that the particu lar ways we each perceive external objects and conceive of the things outside of us are specific to each individual. Furthermore, this view is also said to be “mind only” because everything is a creation of karma, which comes from the movements of mind. Motivations and intentions are of paramount importance in the karmic chain of cause and effect. All of our actions, which accumulate karmically through body and speech, are rooted in our mental motivations or intentions, such as the intention to harm other sentient beings or the intention to help them. From that point of view, everything is a creation of our minds. The Prasangika Madhyamaka school, by contrast, does not assert any particular position on relative truth. Chandrakirti, the second century founder of the Prasangika school, said all phenomena are valid in accordance with their function, provided they are not closely examined. However, when relative phenomena are subjected to analysis, that analysis will neither establish nor prove the existence of anything. He explained that if one could establish or prove some thing through analysis, that would be the absolute truth. However, if one could establish through reasoning that a phenomenon truly existed, this would create a logical inconsistency. Reasoning and PHOTOKEIZOKIOKU|COURTESY21STCENTURYMUSEUMOFCONTEMPORARYART,KANAZAWA