From Wei Wu Wei's Why Lazarus Laughed:
"A man who can forget his own self may be said to have entered the realm of Heaven." (Chuang Tzu)
Questions That Are Not
A good example of a question that is not one is: "Do you believe in such-and-such a thing?" In so far as nothing exists, there is nothing to believe in. In so far as you accept the mind-made universe as relatively real, you cannot disbelieve in anything since everything that mind can imagine can put in an appearance.
So then: Is my "self" any more or less real than Santa Claus? And: Would it be fair to expect that Santa and I have equal access to Heaven?
A Madhyamaka response to the first question would likely point to a distinction between "relative reality" -- i.e. all phenomenal appearances, whether personal or collective ("subjective" or "objective") -- and "relative truth" as established by the tenets of Buddhist logic/epistemology, within which an ontological distinction can be drawn between appearances which possess causal potency (which would include the appearance of a "self" consisting of the five skandhas) and appearances which do not possess causal potency (e.g. horned rabbits, the son of a barren woman, and Santa Claus).
By this logic, then, my "self" and Santa are equally (viz. relatively) "real" -- though not equally (relatively) "true." So, with Wei Wu Wei, I could "accept the mind-made universe as relatively real" while not necessarily "believing" all phenomena to be equally true.
Re: Access to Heaven -- To the extent that "forgetting my own self" (realizing the emptiness of the skandhas) is the ticket to Heaven, I can only enter Heaven if Santa Claus -- as one of my mental formations -- comes with me. Then we might wonder: could Santa Claus initiate this journey? If we agree to Santa's lack of causal potency, then probably not .... but who knows?
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