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Generic image

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Generic image; The appearing object of a conceptual mind. A generic image, or mental image, of an object is like a reflection of that object. Conceptual minds know their object through the appearance of a generic image of that object, not by seeing the object directly. The conceptual mind mistakes the generic image, or mental image, for the object itself. For example, if we think about our mother, an image of our mother appears to our conceptual mind, and it seems to that mind as if our mother herself is appearing. However, the object that principally appears to that mind is the generic image of our mother. This generic image appears to our mind through the mental exclusion of all objects that are not our mother. It is therefore the appearance of a non-non-mother. As such, like all generic images, it is a permanent phenomenon, whereas our mother herself is impermanent.

Source

kadampa.org