When Time is conditioned, when Space is also supposedly conditioned, when all ‘phenomena’, in the strictest philosophical sense of the word, are conditioned, how can the unconditioned Nibbāna be ever defined?
When language itself is mired in conditionality, a slave to the world of perceptions and conceptualization, how can we even try to use it to convey the meaning of the unconditioned, asaṃskṛt Nirvāṇa? Isn’t it a semantic impossibility?
Was Nāgārjuna right when he subjected Nirvāṇa to the catuṣkoṭi logic and came out with strictest and most comprehensive negative answer, the ultimate via negativa, apophatic explanation?
Based on my understanding, I can thoroughly appreciate the following ‘definitions’:
"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress." — Ud 8.1
"There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned." — Ud 8.3
Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing: There the stars do not shine, the sun is not visible, the moon does not appear, darkness is not found. And when a sage, a brahman through sagacity, has known [this] for himself, then from form & formless, from bliss & pain, he is freed. — Ud 1.10”
But this is what I find difficult to accept:
"This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbāna." — AN 3.32
There's no fire like passion, no loss like anger, no pain like the aggregates, no ease other than peace.
Hunger: the foremost illness. Fabrications: the foremost pain. For one knowing this truth as it actually is, Unbinding is the foremost ease.
Freedom from illness: the foremost good fortune. Contentment: the foremost wealth. Trust: the foremost kinship. Unbinding: the foremost ease. — Dhp 202-205
The enlightened, constantly absorbed in jhāna, persevering, firm in their effort: they touch Unbinding, the unexcelled safety from bondage. — Dhp 23”
Is a via positiva, cataphatic definition rationally, linguistically even possible? Could somebody help me understand Nibbāna better?