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Buddhism Concepts: Buddhas|Karma|Nirvana|Reality| Rebirth
 

REALITY

 

Buddhist scholars have produced a prodigious quantity of intellectual theories, philosophies and world view concepts. Some schools of Buddhism discourage doctrinal study, some regard it as essential, but most regard it as having a place, at least for some people at some stages. The concept of Liberation (Nirvana), the goal of the Buddhist path, is closely related to the correct perception of reality. In awakening to the tue nature of the self and all phenomena one is liberated from the cycle of suffering (Dukkha) and involuntary rebirths Samsara.

 

Buddhism evolved a variety of doctrinal or philosophical traditions, each with its own ideas of reality. The following are still regularly studied in some branches of the Buddhist tradition. Some of these are divided into subschools, and all are subject to interpretation, both by Buddhist teachers and by academic scholars. In addition to these, some less doctrinal traditions and individual teachers have their own ideas on the subject.

 
 

Some views of reality in Buddhism are relevant to the issue of dependent origination and some to teachings beyond cause and effect. Examples are discussed below.

  • Some consider that the concept of the unreality of reality is confusing. They posit that, in Buddhism, the perceived reality is considered illusory not in the sense that reality is a fantasy or unreal, but that our perceptions and preconditions mislead us to believe that we are separate from the elements that we are made of. Reality, in Buddhist thought, would be described as the manifestation of karma, part of the process of impermanence.
  • Other schools of thought in Buddhism consider perceived reality literally unreal. As a prominent contemporary teacher puts it: In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream. In this context, the term visions denotes not only visual perceptions, but appearances perceived through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations.
 
Different schools and traditions in Tibetan Buddhism give different explanations of the mechanism producing the illusion usually called reality.
 
 
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