Manifest Phenomena?

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Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:07 am

Hi,

I have a question regarding something I have recently read in The Golden Letters.

Everything that arises as manifest phenomena, consisting of sounds, lights, and rays, whether as pure vision or impure karmic vision, is part of one’s own potentiality, the manifesting of one’s intrinsic awareness in external space.



It is a concept I am familiar with, but am not sure if I properly understand. I think maybe the manifest phenomena that arise from the observations of others are also a part of my own potentiality, and mine part of yours?

That my own and others intrinsic awareness are one?

I think this reality is interactive, at this level. “Here” is a dream of the devic realms. Our higher selves dream us, trees are dreamt by fairies, earth by gnomes etc. The devas control the symbolic ethric elemental energy flows that inform structure, the mandala/flower of life. Nature. Otherwise why would we see the same tree as others or see it twice.

It seems to me the hologram is generated from multiple conscious angles that reflect internal states, some overlapping, some not, formed by the elements, informed by higher dimensions and affected by karma, which are all manifestations of intrinsic awareness.

If anyone could shed some light on my musings that would be great.

Thank you.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:16 am

Hi Dust,

Here's a quote from the same book which was posted on another forum that puts it more into context:


John Reynolds, Golden Letters, 149-150 wrote:
Whatever may arise, appearing as external phenomena to the individual, is merely one's own internal state of existence manifesting externally (cir snang rang yin), that is to say, it is merely the potentiality or creative energy of Awareness (rig-pa'i rtsal) becoming visible to the individual. Apart from this organized system of phenomena, nothing exists in reality (ma yin-pa'i chos lugs). It is merely the projection of one's potentiality of Awareness (rig-pa'i rtsal), and one will find, after exhaustive investigation, nothing solid, substantial, or real in it. There are no noumena, things-in-themsleves, that are real or exist inherently, lying somewhere behind the visible facade of phenomena. These phenomena spontaneously manifest in empty space like a cinema projection or a hologram. The manifestation of phenomena is a projection of energy (rtsal) of the mind, a phantom show projected into space; but the vast expanse of space (klong) is, in itself, empty and unlimited. The manifestation of phenomena is like the sunlight reflected through aclear crystal which then appears as rainbows on the walls of the room. Nevertheless, the mind (yid) does possess the inherent capacity to organize and structure these photic and sensory experiences, and so the text spekas of an organzied system of phenomena (chos lugs); but this structure, although one erroneously mistakes it for an objective reality, in fact has no inherent existence. It is not something independent of mind, but on the other hand, neither is it just made up of mind in the sense of a solipsistic fantasy. Rather, there is a distinct process at work here involving secondary causes and conditions on the side of the ignorance. Only on the side of enlightenment is intrinsic freedom realized.
The Clear Light of the Dharmakaya has abided in the heart of the individual from the very beginning. The heart (tsit ta) may be compared to a magic lantern, an early type of cinema projector. All possible images exist potnetially in the primordial light of intrinsic Awareness. Then the light, as the energy of Awareness, is channelled through the Kati nerve to the eyes; the latter serve as the twin lenses of the projector, and the images are projected out into space as holograms or three-dimensional images. These images in their nature are ultimately empty and insubstantial, but they possess, at the relative level, a kind of apparitional, almost magical, reality (rdzu-'phrul), much in the same fashion as a mirage in the desert or a conjurer's trick in a stage show. The apparition looks and seems real, but it is not. We are not speaking of 'mind-only' (sems-tsam) here, the doctrine of Chittamatra, but of the activity and capacity of energy (rtsal). These images or appearances projected into space are not mind, but manifestations of mind (sems kyi snang-ba). Yet these mannifestations are not independent of mind. If the mind and the senses have been purified, then the individual will perceive the world with pure vision (dag snang); one will perceive it as the pure dimension of the mandala. But if the mind, one's internal awareness, is still covered with layers of obscuration, these obscurations will distort one's vision and one will perceive the world with impure karmic vision (ma dag las snang); one will perceive the world as an ordinary ignorant sentient being does, a being who lives within the dimensions of the six destinies of rebirth

John Reynolds, Golden Letters, 143 wrote:
The way in which external appearances arise or manifest themselves (snang 'char tshul) to the consciousness of the individual is everywhere (cir yang) uninterrupted, unceasing and unobstructed. Appearances (snang-ba), that is, whatever arises externally to our senses, are said to be diverse, whereas Rigpa is singular and unique.... Appearances represent the play of the creative energy or inexhaustible potentiality of Awareness (rig-pa't rtsal). They are not 'mind', as in the Chittamatrin view (sems tsam, 'mind only'), but rather they are manifestations of mind (sems kyi snang-ba), something constructed by mind out of the raw material of sense data.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:34 am

About this...:


John Myrdhin Reynolds wrote:There are no noumena, things-in-themselves, that are real or exist inherently, lying somewhere behind the visible facade of phenomena.


Even though this is the case, it doesn't mean that there doesn't 'exist' non-inherently-existing illusory-subtle-phenomena 'lying behind' the visible facade of illusory-physical-phenomena. Otherwise there would be no Dream Yoga or Practice of the Night.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:00 am

Hi Lhug-Pa,

It is not something independent of mind, but on the other hand, neither is it just made up of mind in the sense of a solipsistic fantasy. Rather, there is a distinct process at work here involving secondary causes and conditions on the side of the ignorance. Only on the side of enlightenment is intrinsic freedom realized.


Appearances (snang-ba), that is, whatever arises externally to our senses, are said to be diverse, whereas Rigpa is singular and unique


They are not 'mind', as in the Chittamatrin view (sems tsam, 'mind only'), but rather they are manifestations of mind (sems kyi snang-ba), something constructed by mind out of the raw material of sense data.


This has made it clearer for me, thank you.

I guess I was thinking about illusory secondary causes such as the source of the raw material sense data and what I said below is correct, because Rigpa is singular and unique.

That my own and others intrinsic awareness are one?
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby smcj » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:12 am

I could be mistaken, but this sounds like the Yogacara, a.k.a. Cittamatra, a.k.a. "Mind Only" perspective on emptiness. :shrug:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:28 am

smcj wrote:I could be mistaken, but this sounds like the Yogacara, a.k.a. Cittamatra, a.k.a. "Mind Only" perspective on emptiness. :shrug:


I'm not familiar with those systems so not really sure. I find the idea of empty awareness sits better with me than just emptiness or empty compassion. That's what drew me here to dzogchen teachings. I have read but not followed the tantric information because it seemed lacking in this respect.

Just a beginner in dzogchen, trying to work a few thing out.

My views are formed from a wide variety of sources and, experiences, but I have never followed a specific path, this is the first system that has ever seemed complete and matches my understanding enough for me to want to follow...and I've been looking for a while.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby gad rgyangs » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:46 pm

Dust wrote:I think maybe the manifest phenomena that arise from the observations of others are also a part of my own potentiality, and mine part of yours?

That my own and others intrinsic awareness are one?

Thank you.


I don't think this interesting part of the original question has been addressed. The problem with all the quotes that talk about "one's nature" and "one's own potentiality" is that, unless you are willing to fall into a kind of solipsism, the conclusion is that, not only are "other people" an illusory display of the base, but so are you. How can there be talk "one's own internal state of existence" as opposed to "others own internal state of existence", if the "one" (meaning "you") is just as much a dream projection as are other people, or rocks for that matter?

While it is in a way correct to say "my own and others intrinsic awareness are one", perhaps it is better to say "there is just intrinsic awareness, pure (empty) in the beginning, middle and end, manifesting as all kinds of dream-like illusions, including you and me".
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:21 pm

.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:30 pm

smcj wrote:I could be mistaken, but this sounds like the Yogacara, a.k.a. Cittamatra, a.k.a. "Mind Only" perspective on emptiness. :shrug:


Yogācāra says that consciousness [mind] is the ultimate nature of phenomena. Dzogchen, Mahāmudrā, Madhyamaka etc., say that 'phenomena' as phenomenal existents are products of mind, because they arise from grasping, however consciousness/mind are afflicted and are therefore manifestations of ignorance [skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa]. When ignorance is resolved, consciousness and mind are recognized to be non-arisen, and therefore phenomena are recognized to be non-arisen and free from extremes [empty].
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:40 pm

Smcj, this is a clear exposition on the differences;

"In it [Dzogpa Chenpo] the essence [ngo-bo] of vidyā, the realization of the non-existence of the apprehended and apprehender, is called spontaneously arisen primordial wisdom. But Dzogpa Chenpo doesn't assert it as self-awareness and self-clarity [rang-rig rang-gsal] as Yogācāra, the Mind Only School, does. Because (according to Dzogpa Chenpo), as there is no existence of internal and external, it (vidyā) is not established as internal mind. As there is no self and others, it isn't established as self-awareness. As the apprehended and apprehender have never existed, freedom from the two is not established. As it is not an object of experiences and awareness, the experience is not established as non-dual.

As there is no mind and mental events, it does not exist as self-mind. As it does not exist as clarity or non-clarity, it is not established as self-clarity. As it transcends awareness and non-awareness, there are not even the imputations of awareness. This is called the Dzogpa Chenpo, free from extremes. Although it is designated as self-arisen primordial wisdom, enlightened mind, ultimate body, the great spontaneously accomplished ultimate sphere, and the naked self-clarity vidyā, these ascriptions are merely in order to signify it. It should be realized that the self-essence (of Dzogpa Chenpo) is inexpressible. Otherwise, if you take the meaning of the words literally, you will never find (in Dzogpa Chenpo) any difference from the cognition of self-awareness, self-clarity, and non-duality of apprehender and apprehended of the Mind Only School."
- Longchen Rabjam
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:39 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:While it is in a way correct to say "my own and others intrinsic awareness are one", perhaps it is better to say "there is just intrinsic awareness, pure (empty) in the beginning, middle and end, manifesting as all kinds of dream-like illusions, including you and me".


That is far better than what I said... contains more info, different in focus.

Thank you, and everyone else here for taking the time to answer my questions :twothumbsup:
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:40 pm

Otherwise, if you take the meaning of the words literally, you will never find (in Dzogpa Chenpo) any difference from the cognition of self-awareness, self-clarity, and non-duality of apprehender and apprehended of the Mind Only School."
- Longchen Rabjam

Well that very specifically pretty definitively proves me wrong. But hey, at least I was in the ballpark!

So it sounds like Mind Only--but it isn't. I kinda like that! :twothumbsup:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:25 am

The Golden Letters,

pg166
Thus the Mother who is the primordial state and the Son who is knowledge or gnosis are inseparably united without any duality. Since the origin, which is the Mother, simply exists in its own state of existence, this being the state of emptiness, emptiness itself is liberated by way of emptiness


pg166
The Body of Light represents a complete and total radical transformation of one’s status of being, a rediscovery of what was primordially present, and this condition is permanent. It is Awareness itself (rig-pa nyid) and is dependent on nothing else.


pg167
Dzogchen represents a middle way between the extreme of externalism and nihilism.


Maybe- Awareness simply exists in a state of emptiness.

Thank you asunthatneversets, for the reminder that all words are lacking when trying to describe the Indescribable, I often get too caught up in philosophy, when I should be meditating.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:35 am

Dust wrote:Maybe- Awareness simply exists in a state of emptiness.

Thank you asunthatneversets, for the reminder that all words are lacking when trying to describe the Indescribable, I often get too caught up in philosophy, when I should be meditating.


Awareness is empty, meaning free of extremes just as everything is. When you read 'awareness' in those quotes, for example, what's being discussed is vidyā i.e. rig pa, which is knowledge of one's nature. 'Awareness' is sort of a translational trend gone awry in Dzogchen books.

Given the climate of 'spiritual paths' which are co-existing with Dzogchen, 'awareness' is a bit of a misleading term due to the fact that it draws certain associations with those other traditions, be it neo-advaita or something of the like which champions 'awareness', etc. So many become misled into perceiving Dzogchen as having the same characteristics and aspects of those paths when it's actually nothing like them. So it's good to find a qualified teacher who can relay an accurate account of vidyā/rigpa through direct introduction and proper guidance, otherwise we're liable to misconstrue the meaning of Dzogchen. Not to imply you have, just saying.

At any rate though, yes everything is completely and utterly empty including awareness, vidyā/rigpa, the base, path, result, chickens, cows and emptiness itself.
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Re: Manifest Phenomena?

Postby Dust » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:34 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:Given the climate of 'spiritual paths' which are co-existing with Dzogchen, 'awareness' is a bit of a misleading term due to the fact that it draws certain associations with those other traditions, be it neo-advaita or something of the like which champions 'awareness', etc. So many become misled into perceiving Dzogchen as having the same characteristics and aspects of those paths when it's actually nothing like them. So it's good to find a qualified teacher who can relay an accurate account of vidyā/rigpa through direct introduction and proper guidance, otherwise we're liable to misconstrue the meaning of Dzogchen. Not to imply you have, just saying.

At any rate though, yes everything is completely and utterly empty including awareness, vidyā/rigpa, the base, path, result, chickens, cows and emptiness itself.


Yes, thank you, empty cows :smile: I don't have a teacher, but I am searching for one, and trying to prepare myself to be worthy of being taught, I live in Australia and plan on travelling soon. I do wish to follow this path and realise that is experiential... I have no understanding yet. Sorry if I come off sounding like I think I know anything about dzogchen or that I am at any sort of high spiritual level (I have yet to attain samahdi), my aim was to just clarify what I was thinking by asking those who do and likely are. :thanks:
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