This distinction sounds similar to the mind-only school's distinction between the imaginary (imputed) nature and the dependent nature (when empty of the imag. nature).
Or is it better not to mix these?
PS Great blog-- long may it run.
Here was my response:
This is an interesting point. Some scholars have said that the dependent nature empty of the imaginary nature is the perfectly established nature. However, I wouldn't equate with imaginary nature to the relative truth as explained here by Chandrakirti and the Karmapa. For sentient beings, the relative truth consists of labels as well as the bases of the labels. If I were to attempt a comparison with the three nature, I would say that relative truth is the impure dependent nature, and the mere relative is the pure dependent nature.
To amend these remarks slightly, it's important to say that these are only comparisons or parallels, not equivalents. The Middle Way presentation of relative truth has different foundations than the Mind Only presentation of the impure dependent nature. For some (purported) followers of Mind Only, the dependent nature is "substantially existent," a phrase that the Followers of the Middle Way would never use except in the context of refuting the people who use it. However, there are parallels, since both the impure dependent nature and the relative truth are what are perceived as real by ordinary beings; and both the pure dependent nature and the mere relative are what is perceived in post-meditation by the noble ones.