Discussing awakening

  1. The scholastics of India focussed on a discussion of where a potential is located. Does it make sense to talk in terms of the physical location of an event that has not yet taken place? If not, what other approach to thinking about potentials would make more sense?
  2. In Buddhist literature we can discern two ways of looking at the question of what makes awakening possible. One way is to suppose that sentient beings have no potential for awakening because their essential nature is that they are already awakened. Another way of viewing this question is that awakening is something for which sentient beings may or may not have a potential. It has been suggested that arguing for one or the other of these two options may be a “a war of words, with nothing concrete hanging on the outcome of the war.” Is that dismissing the question too quickly, or could there in fact be something concrete hanging on the outcome of the discussion?

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