"Everything is perfect"

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"Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:54 pm

Does anyone else have occasional difficulty getting this straight in your mind? I was reading about the new Bitcoin media storm and how people are using Tor sites to trade all kinds of illegal stuff with this new unstoppable, independent digital currency (that some say threatens our national economy [don't think so]) and as I was reading people's comments, I came upon the most revolting screen capture of an 'advertisement' someone was making on one of these super-underground illegal sites. I will spare you the details, but the price was $30,000 - $40,000 so you know it's some highly illegal stuff. I honestly have never been exposed to any ideas this revolting in my life. I don't know why I kept reading (shock, morbid curiosity, hypnotized by the spectacle?) but now I think this is going to haunt me for a while. Amazing what a vivid picture words can paint.

When I consider the suffering involved, I say innocent victims in such horrific circumstances must be suffering past karma.

What does "Great Perfection" really mean? And in Vajrayana, when we try to maintain the divine pride of the deity and view all experience as not suffering but as wisdom display and illusion, ultimately perfect? (for my understanding, see last paragraph)

For example, a couple translations of the "The Cuckoo's Song of Total Presence" (according to Keith Dowman, the translation is no simple matter):
http://www.keithdowman.net/dzogchen/cuckoos_song.htm

The nature of multiplicity is nondual
and things in themselves are pure and simple;
being here and now is thought-free
and it shines out in all forms, always all good;
it is already perfect, so the striving sickness is avoided
and spontaneity is constantly present.


or

The nature of the variety of phenomena is non-dual
Yet each phenomena is beyond the limits of the mind
The authentic condition as it is does not become a concept
Yet it manifests totally in form, always good
All being already perfect, overcome the sickness of effort
And remain naturally in self-perfection: this is contemplation.


or

Even though the nature of the diversity (of all phenomena)
is without any duality,
In the terms of the individuality of the things themselves,
they are free of any conceptual elaborations.
Even though there exists no thought or conception of what
is called the state of being just as it is,
These various appearances which are created are but
manifestations of Samantabhadra.
Since everything is complete in itself, one comes to abandon
the illness of efforts
And thus one continues spontaneously in the calm
state of contemplation.


or

All the varieties of phenomenal existence as a whole
do not in reality differ one from another.
Individually also they are beyond conceptualization.
Although as "suchness" there is no mental
discursiveness (with regard to them)
Kun-tu bzang po shines forth in all forms.
Abandon all the malady of striving, for one has
already acquired it all.
One leaves it as it is with spontaneity.


...
Anyway, when I actually stop to pontificate on how it is "perfect," I can easily point to the minutiae of detail in life, the unimpeded spontaneous expression of the trikaya, the wonder of the wisdom energy of emotional response and the inevitability of karmic seeds to cause effects when met with the appropriate secondary causes... but the only way I can view the incredible amount of suffering out there as "perfect" or "all good" is in the sense that at core it is pure and so can be purified. The suffering itself, however, seems quite undeserved and therefore not so perfect.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby adinatha » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:24 pm

That's because you are grasping appearances to be real, instead of remaining mindful of *your* all-good perfect mind's nature.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:51 pm

I think that what you are asking can be broken down into a few questions:

1. can things be perfect and imperfect at the same time?
2. how can everything be just fine when there is all this crazy shit going on in the world?
3. How can there be positive and negative karma if ultimately there is no duality in the universe?

If this is what you are asking then I think I could offer some answers based on my limited understanding. But I don't want to put words into your mouth, so if this is not what you are asking, can you help me to better understand your question?
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:07 pm

adinatha wrote:That's because you are grasping appearances to be real, instead of remaining mindful of *your* all-good perfect mind's nature.

Not really. I am considering appearances as appearances, e.g. they appear real to those suffering. And, like I said in the very last sentence, "The suffering itself, however, seems quite undeserved and therefore not so perfect."

For clarification, however, I need to point out that I don't see this undeserved suffering as punishment or anything, so "undeserved" is kind of a loaded word. Karmically, grasping and aversion to delusion, yes I can see that everything perfectly manifests. And that beyond delusion is a less confusing kind of perfection, relatively speaking (heh).

But, I'm not sure that there is an answer that satisfies the relative point of view. It's comparable to the suffering of Job where he would not curse God because he believed God was perfect and must have a plan that made sense which Job just couldn't understand in that "the perfection" of latent tendencies ripening upon an innocent child (and by "innocent," I mean memory-wiped rebirth) is hard to comprehend from a purely relative point of view, the same way Job couldn't comprehend why he should suffer. I suppose in some super-deep way in the mind stream or whatever you want to call it, it's all mathematically correct, but when you consider the fact that it results from simple misperception, it seems horribly unfair. Not that anyone said life was fair, but fairness seems to play into the definition of "perfection" I am familiar with... not that we are limited to concepts, anyway.

I guess I talked myself through it.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:27 pm

Padma, what you're discussing is the very reason Dzogchen practitioners do not become apathetic as a result of their own realization of the natural perfection of all phenomena... They are in fact readily aware that other beings do not have knowledge of their real condition and the real condition of all phenomena, and this lack of knowledge is the reason why those beings suffer. So, great compassion is a result of authentic Dzogchen practice.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby adinatha » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:16 pm

Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:46 am

adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.

So, do some guru yoga and jump off a cliff. :smile: please don't take my "jump off a cliff comment" as offensively, I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase, "go jump off a cliff" can imply. I meant simply that you can't pretend we are in a nondualism vision when we are talking specifically about what goes on in the relative condition, which is exactly what this thread is about.

Of course it's dualism vision, I spoke a lot about karma here. It is ALL supposed to be perfect somehow, including the manifestation of what we perceive as samsara, is it not? This is what I was analyzing (and doing pretty well, I thought; at least I ended up solving the "rub" to my satisfaction rather quickly). If you see a problem with any of the points, please feel free to pick them apart point by point.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby adinatha » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:00 am

padma norbu wrote:
adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.

So, do some guru yoga and jump off a cliff. :smile: please don't take my "jump off a cliff comment" as offensively, I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase, "go jump off a cliff" can imply. I meant simply that you can't pretend we are in a nondualism vision when we are talking specifically about what goes on in the relative condition, which is exactly what this thread is about.

Of course it's dualism vision, I spoke a lot about karma here. It is ALL supposed to be perfect somehow, including the manifestation of what we perceive as samsara, is it not? This is what I was analyzing (and doing pretty well, I thought; at least I ended up solving the "rub" to my satisfaction rather quickly). If you see a problem with any of the points, please feel free to pick them apart point by point.


Are you always this encumbered by a profusion of equine excrament? :smile: Please don't take my "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement comment" as offensively. I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement" can imply. I meant simply that you are full of horse shit, which is a fine vegan byproduct.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Vajrahridaya » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:20 am

adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.


But duality is non-dual, so dualism vision is non-dual as well, if recognized as such. What outer world? What inner world? Opposed to what?

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Vajrahridaya » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:21 am

adinatha wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.

So, do some guru yoga and jump off a cliff. :smile: please don't take my "jump off a cliff comment" as offensively, I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase, "go jump off a cliff" can imply. I meant simply that you can't pretend we are in a nondualism vision when we are talking specifically about what goes on in the relative condition, which is exactly what this thread is about.

Of course it's dualism vision, I spoke a lot about karma here. It is ALL supposed to be perfect somehow, including the manifestation of what we perceive as samsara, is it not? This is what I was analyzing (and doing pretty well, I thought; at least I ended up solving the "rub" to my satisfaction rather quickly). If you see a problem with any of the points, please feel free to pick them apart point by point.


Are you always this encumbered by a profusion of equine excrament? :smile: Please don't take my "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement comment" as offensively. I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement" can imply. I meant simply that you are full of horse shit, which is a fine vegan byproduct.

:jedi: My schwartz is bigger than yours!! Seriously though, that comment is super funny! Very clever. :rolling:
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:33 am

adinatha wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.

So, do some guru yoga and jump off a cliff. :smile: please don't take my "jump off a cliff comment" as offensively, I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase, "go jump off a cliff" can imply. I meant simply that you can't pretend we are in a nondualism vision when we are talking specifically about what goes on in the relative condition, which is exactly what this thread is about.

Of course it's dualism vision, I spoke a lot about karma here. It is ALL supposed to be perfect somehow, including the manifestation of what we perceive as samsara, is it not? This is what I was analyzing (and doing pretty well, I thought; at least I ended up solving the "rub" to my satisfaction rather quickly). If you see a problem with any of the points, please feel free to pick them apart point by point.


Are you always this encumbered by a profusion of equine excrament? :smile: Please don't take my "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement comment" as offensively. I was just trying to make a point with a joke. It was not meant to imply that I'm annoyed with you or anything like that as the phrase "encumbered by a profusion of equine excrement" can imply. I meant simply that you are full of horse shit, which is a fine vegan byproduct.


Well, I take it that you are intending to be offensive, despite your mocking language, so you fail twice. Once for failing and once for failing to offend me. Feel free to comment again when you have something worthwhile to contribute.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:51 am

My point was if you jump off a cliff in a state of guru yoga, you will suffer broken bones just the same. The Great Perfection means EVERYTHING is perfect, the Vajrayana aspiration is to see EVERYTHING as perfect including samsara.

Besides pointless mockery, adinatha, (which indicates to me I accidentally bruised your ego despite going out of my way to NOT offend you) you haven't added much value to the discussion but a one-liner a fraud like Adyashanti might pull out. Or, I don't know, maybe this blows your mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OgeC-Q7HB8
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:43 am

adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.


What's your point?
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:47 am

what does "perfect" mean?
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:12 am

padma norbu wrote:...the Vajrayana aspiration is to see EVERYTHING as perfect including samsara.


I believe the aspiration in Vajrayana not to see samsara as such as perfect, but rather to see that what in delusion is experienced as samsara is in fact, the display of enlightenment. This may seem like semantics or splitting hairs, but I don't think it is. If one is a really astute Mahayoga practitioner, for instance, one may be walking around town and happen upon someone physically attacking someone. One will intuit the deep truth of the enlightened nature of what's being perceived, but one does not disregard the relative condition and go merrily on one's way, singing "emaho, the display of purity and equality!" and let the beating continue... One has compassion for the victim (and attacker) and one tries to intervene and/or call the police.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby adinatha » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:23 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.


What's your point?


Rigpa is an inner recognition.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:13 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
padma norbu wrote:...the Vajrayana aspiration is to see EVERYTHING as perfect including samsara.


I believe the aspiration in Vajrayana not to see samsara as such as perfect, but rather to see that what in delusion is experienced as samsara is in fact, the display of enlightenment. This may seem like semantics or splitting hairs, but I don't think it is. If one is a really astute Mahayoga practitioner, for instance, one may be walking around town and happen upon someone physically attacking someone. One will intuit the deep truth of the enlightened nature of what's being perceived, but one does not disregard the relative condition and go merrily on one's way, singing "emaho, the display of purity and equality!" and let the beating continue... One has compassion for the victim (and attacker) and one tries to intervene and/or call the police.


Yes, this is what I was trying to analyze, but (perhaps I'm wrong), I quickly came to the conclusion that perhaps from the relative perspective, it's just never really going to make sense how this is "perfect" or a display of enlightenment since the relative is always concerned with, well, the relative and with reifying experience as good, bad, etc. I mean, I don't want to repeat myself, but I did earlier explain all the ways in which I can clearly see everything as "perfect," and, actually, to the extent it seems less than perfect is really minute compared the ways in which I can see it is perfect.

I guess I just started the thread to see if others found themselves going through the same mental blocks as me now and again. My thinking can get me tied in knots for a while and I struggle to remember how I got out of these same knots the last time I thought along the same lines... I'm glad Dzogchen practice is about going beyond thoughts. :smile:

Here's some extractions from a longer article I just found on Google in 2 seconds... It's easier than flipping through a lot of books to find passages where I've read such things before:

As we go through the vajrayana we can say, "My motivation is to awaken the wisdom that sees everything as perfect in every possible way, with nothing excluded...

We are saying that perfectly endowed, complete enlightenment begins with our motivation to regard everything we experience right now—and the whole world—as perfect and pristine...

We are pretending, in the sense that we are projecting our intention to see it this way. But the vajrayana teachings are saying that fundamentally, this great purity and great equality—in the Shambhala teachings, "basic goodness"—is the ground nature of everything. They are telling us that if we see it this way, we will experience great wisdom and great bliss...

The vajrayana motivation is represented by the mandala. The world is a perfect mandala...Everything within that display has equal value, but it is all radiating from a center. The guru is the same as the deity, the deity is the same as the retinue, and the mandala is the same as the environment, so it is all perfect in that way. There is no separation. This implies that it never strays from its original ground of understanding—innate wisdom. In vajrayana practice, we are learning to see the world this way...

Right now, it may seem that we live on an uneven ground; we have to walk up and we have to walk down. It is very painful—hot and cold and so forth. You may ask, "Is that perfect?" Looking at it from our usual perspective—no, it is not perfect. In fact, it is called samsara, where beings have the dualistic view of up and a down, self and other. To someone with the vajrayana attitude, however, this is the perfect abode of the Buddha. The consciousness that is in this abode sees no separation from its environment...

Holding the vajrayana attitude is not being hyper—it's being awake. It is knowing the potential of every moment. We are buddhas with a mind of equality, which is understanding that one moment is no more sacred than the next. There are no good days or bad days in vajrayana. It is beyond that; it is perfect. That's why it is called great perfection.


From: http://www.shambhala.org/teachings/view.php?id=66

Please read so you see the context.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby padma norbu » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:33 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:what does "perfect" mean?


Well, at the end of post one, I essentially enumerated the various ways this "perfection" has been explained to me and which I understand:
Anyway, when I actually stop to pontificate on how it is "perfect," I can easily point to the minutiae of detail in life, the unimpeded spontaneous expression of the trikaya, the wonder of the wisdom energy of emotional response and the inevitability of karmic seeds to cause effects when met with the appropriate secondary causes...


And then I finished the thought by relating the crux of my occasional mental block about this, which you can see is less about systematic or systemic perfection and more about ideological perfection:
but the only way I can view the incredible amount of suffering out there as "perfect" or "all good" is in the sense that at core it is pure and so can be purified. The suffering itself, however, seems quite undeserved and therefore not so perfect.


And then in my 2nd post, I summed up the problem with that kind of thinking:
when you consider the fact that it results from simple misperception, it seems horribly unfair. Not that anyone said life was fair, but fairness seems to play into the definition of "perfection" I am familiar with... not that we are limited to concepts, anyway.

I guess I talked myself through it.


In short, I think "perfection" in the sense it is used in Vajrayana and Dzogchen refers to really every possible interpretation you could squeeze out of the dictionary and they are probably all accurate descriptions of the Great Perfection even if you're talking about ideological interpretations of the word "perfection." Such a complete system (for lack of a better word) is bound to have a more complete ideology than any man could fathom, I'd guess, since it's not limited by conceptual elaboration and it would also seem that philosophically you can go round and round in circles and cancel everything out if you talk long enough.
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:01 am

adinatha wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
adinatha wrote:Contemplating the reasons for what goes on in the outer world is dualism vision.


What's your point?


Rigpa is an inner recognition.


Yes, of course. But what does that have to do with my statement about compassion? Or maybe your comment wasn't addressed to me in the first place and I misunderstood?
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Re: "Everything is perfect"

Postby alpha » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:55 am

In the first instance when you are presented with a particular experience that comes as a finished product.
But then you start adding layers like...Oh...i think he should do that...i think it should be that way....or i dont like that...it think it should be this way....etc,,,,,You assign existence to your experience, which is one of the extremes .

But these layers can be seen in the same light.So every experience comes as a finished product unrelated to something previous and not leading to something in the future..

Contentment and relaxation helps with seeing how an experience is perfect ..
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