Jes Bertelsen?

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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Adamantine » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:45 pm

OK, thread reopened. Please stay on point, and try to have a mature dialogue without histrionics. Thanks!
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:54 pm

No histrionics?! :tantrum:
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:51 pm

Thank you again, Malcolm, another quintessential gem.
Since you have been kind enough to answer, I gotta' try another one.
What does advanced buddhadharma and especially Dzogchen say about Jung's idea of the collective unconscious?

The only thing I have seen on this is in the great John Reynolds' translator's introduction to the book "Self-Liberation Through Seeing Everything with Naked Awareness." I'd have to recheck, but it seemed like John was saying that Jung was influenced by some of the commentaries in the Evans Wentz translations of the Dzogchen texts. I remember maybe John Reynolds wrote that because there were Hindu swamis writing some of those commentaries, so that could have been why there was a lot of "one mind" language in there that Jung picked up on.

Does Dzogchen say there is a collective unconscious of karma and memories that is shared by all human beings?
Does Dzogchen say that consciousness is collective and that we are all unified in one consciousness?

I've heard (and possibly misunderstood) that Dzogchen says that everything we experience is a group hallucination projected by each individual's mind. But still wondering if Dzogchen says there is a collective unified group consciousness, and collective group karma, like in these two quotes from Jes Bertelsen's book, "Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen":

"The other main reason that these continuous exercises are necessary is our dim Precambrian lethargy, with regard to achieving greater wakefulness. In the West, this feature has been accurately described as original sin. In the East it is called negative karma. These terms indicate that the sluggishness reaches beyond the personal and deeply into our collective hereditary backgrounds. It is a feature that is embedded in evolution itself, in our genes, in the collective unconscious."
(Kindle Location 1026-130; p.80).

"However, Indian spiritual traditions (such as Vedanta, Jainism, Mahayana), among others, maintain that the process of spiritual enlightenment usually extends over several lifetimes, and that it is embedded in a more impersonal overarching developmental continuum. This development includes the process of the self through the progressive karma, as well as the collective karmic process at the level of joint consciousness."
(Kindle Location 1368-1374; p.106)


I hope anyone will chime in, but we all hope Malcolm will.

thank you,

b.f.
Last edited by Barney Fife on Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Sönam » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:14 pm

Unfortunately you will have to wait before Malcom could answer you.
In the mean time, you will have my answer ...

Barney Fife wrote:Does Dzogchen say there is a collective unconscious of karma and memories that is shared by all human beings?


no

Does Dzogchen say that consciousness is collective and that we are all unified in one consciousness?


no

I've heard (and possibly misunderstood) that Dzogchen says that everything we experience is a group hallucination projected by each individual's mind.


no

But still wondering if Dzogchen says there is a collective unified group consciousness, and collective group karma, like the in these two quotes from Jes Bertelsen's book, "Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen":


no

"The other main reason that these continuous exercises are necessary is our dim Precambrian lethargy, with regard to achieving greater wakefulness. In the West, this feature has been accurately described as original sin. In the East it is called negative karma. These terms indicate that the sluggishness reaches beyond the personal and deeply into our collective hereditary backgrounds. It is a feature that is embedded in evolution itself, in our genes, in the collective unconscious."
(Kindle Location 1026-130; p.80).


no

"However, Indian spiritual traditions (such as Vedanta, Jainism, Mahayana), among others, maintain that the process of spiritual enlightenment usually extends over several lifetimes, and that it is embedded in a more impersonal overarching developmental continuum. This development includes the process of the self through the progressive karma, as well as the collective karmic process at the level of joint consciousness."
(Kindle Location 1368-1374; p.106)


I hope anyone will chime in, but we all hope Malcolm will.

thank you,

b.f.


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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby wisdom » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:30 pm

Original Sin and the concept of Non-Recognition are similar, but ultimately not the same. The basic idea is the same, in both cases we are born into ignorance. However, what we are taught ignorance is, is different in Dzogchen than it is in Christianity.

The relation is that original sin stems from Adam, the perfect man, who partakes of the forbidden fruit, which is the knowledge of Good and Evil. This means that the sin is not exactly non-recognition, but rather the development of discriminatory awareness and consciousness and mentally projecting that awareness onto form. This stems from non-recognition, but the doctrines are different. Ultimately Christianity is a path of faith and devotion. Although esoterically you can find a lot in Kabbalah and Gnosticism to relate to concepts found in Dzogchen, as most Christians have experienced their religion there is little relation at all. Especially because many believe that original sin cannot be removed except by the grace of God. We can easily say "This means the grace of the Guru" but thats not whats being said nor believed. Nobody thinks their priest will liberate them from suffering, so there is a fairly big difference in view and path. Furthermore the reification of the Absolute as God prevents full realization anyways, even if it is possible to achieve some realization. Unless its understood that God means the Dharmadhatu, and unity with God means Dharmakaya, but if you believe that, why bother overlaying it with Christian symbolism in the first place, especially because at that point it stops being Christian?

Basically in Dzogchen we fail to see the essence, and so begin attachment to the manifestation of mental forms as other-than-mind and create Samsara and Nirvana. In Christianity, we don't fail to see anything, rather we are hopelessly in ignorance, partake of the "fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and this is why we suffer (in what amounts to Samsara). So the ideas are closely related, and seeing these connections can be of benefit to people, but ultimately you can't believe wholly in both. If you adopt a Dzogchen view of Christianity, you will have to accept these inconsistencies and choose to ignore them or develop your own brand of spirituality (which is fine). If you adopt a Christian view of Dzogchen, equally there will be limitations you have to accept. Otherwise you won't really be fully following either.

I have no qualms about what he is doing, and I don't even wholly disagree. If it brings benefit to others, then that's wonderful. This is just my personal opinion though, based on my knowledge of Kabbalah, Gnosticism and Dzogchen, for whatever thats worth.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:40 pm

thank you very much, sonam. so, if all those views are not the understanding of dzogchen, it would be fascinating to hear any key points of the Dzogchen view on those deep questions, if anybody has time or inclination at some point. (will read wisdom's answer now!)



thanks,

b.f.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Fa Dao » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:11 am

Original sin?? seriously?? Dzogchen is our real nature, the Path of self liberation, the way for going beyond our limitations and is beyond any cultural trappings. While I understand JB's premise to make it so that people can relate to and understand Dzogchen I do not agree with this method of doing it. In fact I think it is detrimental to actual Realization. Why? Simply put..we are taught to see through and not be a slave to our mental constructs..how then would it be beneficial to lace in christian constructs that are deeply embedded in the western psyche? As Dzogchen practitoners are we not trying to self liberate any and all mental constructs? At best christianity is a path of renunciation, not self liberation...therefore not very skilful to be using christian or any other religious jargon so that people can "get it". Dzogchen has plenty of metaphors/universal symbols all by itself...doesnt need mental constructs from systems that are basically antithetical to total Realization.....
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:24 am

I have very little knowledge about Dzogchen compared with others here. I have no idea about what a fully accomplished Dzogchen teacher is. But from what I have heard there are some simple criterias, one of them being, how stable the natural state is in the student when it is transmitted to the student from the teacher - and then this is verified by the teacher from his capacity to know that.

In one of his much later book from 2008 Jes Bertelsen shares how the first meeting with Tulku Urgyen was
Otsal translated a part of this book in a previous posting, here it says:
This unbroken apperceptive unity with Tulku Urgyen’s enlightened consciousness lasted between 20 minutes and half an hour.


So according to this the natural state was stable in Jes Bertelsen between 20 minutes and 30 minutes at their first meeting. Of course you can doubt the validity of this statement, which I do fully understand - because I would do that if someone told this about a teacher I don't know, and esspecially if this socalled teacher also seems to modify the teachings.


I think I can clarify some of the passages that are quoted from the book in one of the above postings. But I don't want to use this clarification to justify their validity! Like I said in one of my previous posting that I find it a bit strange that this book was the one they chose to publish in English, because other books of his are, from my perspective, more pure and more detailed.

When Tulku Urgyen and Jes Bertelsen met in 1989 Jes Bertelsen was already teaching a lot of people Denmark and he had a centre (from 1982), where people where living in accordance with that. So he was already at fully involved with creating a existiantial and meditationpractise system that, from his understanding of human consciousness and from his own experience with teaching, was suited for westerners. Bertelsen had already then a good deal of respect in Scandinavia, as a academic scholar and as a meditation teacher that was creating a school of deeper spiritual practise. Many of his students naturally felt that he did not need a teacher because he seemed to be very good at teaching without it, and maybe they wanted him to be free from any tradition. Some people left his teachings when Jes Bertelsen turned more directly towards teaching Dzogchen, probably because they wanted a more universal or Christian approach and they did want not something that was so strongly influenced by Buddhism, because they couldn't relate to that.

So when Jes Bertelsen met Tulku Urgyen he had already a developed a pedagogical system and beliefssystem from his in depth studies of Jung, Rudolf Steiner, and classical mysticism in various traditions, and from teaching people. So this was a kind of "baggage" when they met. You clearly see a specific kind of cosmology in Jes Bertelsens books from before this meeting in 1989. This English book is originally from 1994, so I think Jes Bertelsen there still tries quite hard to create a bridge with, or to translate, his previous understandings with the understanding that emerges from the connection with Tulku Urgyen. In his later book this emphasis is much less, which I prefer, instead there is a greater simplicity. But I think he still tries to merge the previous understandings with the understandings that emerges from Dzogchen.


Sincerely
Henrik
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:04 am

Btw there is a article about Jes Bertelsen in wikipedia, which from my perspective seems quite good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jes_Bertelsen
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby asunthatneversets » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:36 am

LhodroeRapsal wrote:In one of his much later book from 2008 Jes Bertelsen shares how the first meeting with Tulku Urgyen was
Otsal translated a part of this book in a previous posting, here it says:
This unbroken apperceptive unity with Tulku Urgyen’s enlightened consciousness lasted between 20 minutes and half an hour.


So according to this the natural state was stable in Jes Bertelsen between 20 minutes and 30 minutes at their first meeting. Of course you can doubt the validity of this statement, which I do fully understand - because I would do that if someone told this about a teacher I don't know, and esspecially if this socalled teacher also seems to modify the teachings.


Perhaps his direct recognition of the natural state was stable for a period of 20 minutes, but that wouldn't constitute a complete stability. Those who are irreversibly stable in the natural state upon first recognition of vidyā are called chikcharwas [cig-car-ba], there hasn't been a chikcharwa for centuries though, supposedly.

I don't know anything about Jes Bertelsen, but if his recognition experience is true, it sounds like he was simply ripe for that insight. That doesn't mean he was stable in the natural state though (as in able to maintain a continuity at all times), for most it takes a considerable amount of practice to fully integrate the three doors (body, speech and mind).
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby LhodroeRapsal » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:53 am

Perhaps his direct recognition of the natural state was stable for a period of 20 minutes, but that wouldn't constitute a complete stability. Those who are irreversibly stable in the natural state upon first recognition of vidyā are called chikcharwas [cig-car-ba], there hasn't been a chikcharwa for centuries though, supposedly.

I don't know anything about Jes Bertelsen, but if his recognition experience is true, it sounds like he was simply ripe for that insight. That doesn't mean he was stable in the natural state though (as in able to maintain a continuity at all times), for most it takes a considerable amount of practice to fully integrate the three doors (body, speech and mind).


Thank you for sharing that. I am aware of that it was only for 20 to 30 minutes. How many do you know that was stable in the natural state for 20 to 30 minutes in their first meeting with a Dzogchen teacher? From what I have understood that is quite rare esspecially for someone without any previous training in tibetan buddhism, and without previous guidance from a teacher. Jes Bertelsen was taught in a number of years by Tulku Urgyen after that first meeting, and I could Imagine that the stability has increased, and I could guess that it still increases.

Would it be wrong to assume that a fully accomplished Dzogchen teacher is someone who is stable 24 hours a day in Rigpa. From what I have understood that kind of stability is not at all the criteria to become a Dzogchen teacher, but what is needed is a firm stability in Rigpa. Could anyone falsify or verify that?
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:19 am

Thanks everyone who is contributing here, nice discussions.
Wisdom, that post had many good answers and questions. Wonderful summary of Gnostic view vs. Dzogchen.
It seems like Wisdom and Fa Dao raise similar questions. Wisdom writes:
Furthermore the reification of the Absolute as God prevents full realization anyways, even if it is possible to achieve some realization. Unless its understood that God means the Dharmadhatu, and unity with God means Dharmakaya, but if you believe that, why bother overlaying it with Christian symbolism in the first place, especially because at that point it stops being Christian?

If you adopt a Dzogchen view of Christianity, you will have to accept these inconsistencies and choose to ignore them or develop your own brand of spirituality (which is fine). If you adopt a Christian view of Dzogchen, equally there will be limitations you have to accept. Otherwise you won't really be fully following either.


then Fa Dao writes:
Simply put..we are taught to see through and not be a slave to our mental constructs..how then would it be beneficial to lace in christian constructs that are deeply embedded in the western psyche? As Dzogchen practitoners are we not trying to self liberate any and all mental constructs? At best christianity is a path of renunciation, not self liberation...therefore not very skilful to be using christian or any other religious jargon so that people can "get it". Dzogchen has plenty of metaphors/universal symbols all by itself...doesnt need mental constructs from systems that are basically antithetical to total Realization.....


some interesting consensus there, if i understood both posts correctly.

about long meditation experiences, there's something in the biography of saraha.

A question about whether one can experience Dzogchen and express it in Christian or Hindu terms:
Don't know if it's true, but I've heard that Dzogchen says that meditators like Hindus experience the union of subject and object and remain in unified consciousness in shamatha or calm abiding meditation. Then the person who told me that said that is why they express it as being in the "one mind" or God, like that would be a shamatha view. Then they were saying that Dzogchen stays in naked awareness, which they call vipasyana or insight meditation. And so then they express it as the Dzogchen view, like the viewpoint of the ultimate Buddha. Seems like people in recent posts some people have been comparing the two points of view.

If that were true (again, not sure), then the question is:
If we would be able to stay in shamatha, would we understand and express it more in those Hindu or theistic"one mind", "one God" consciousness type of metaphors? And if we would stay in vipasyana or naked awareness, we would understand more like through the emptiness of the ground like the Dzogchen explanations?

And second (again, if the above were true): Would you be able to stay in the vipasyana experience but understand it in shamatha terms? Would the experience and the understanding generally correspond, or not?

sorry if i did not phrase the questions very clearly.

thanks,

b.f.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby heart » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:46 am

wisdom wrote:Original Sin and the concept of Non-Recognition are similar, but ultimately not the same. The basic idea is the same, in both cases we are born into ignorance.


In Dzogchen ignorance is an active state that we continuously create, not something we are born in to.

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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Pero » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:55 am

heart wrote:
wisdom wrote:Original Sin and the concept of Non-Recognition are similar, but ultimately not the same. The basic idea is the same, in both cases we are born into ignorance.


In Dzogchen ignorance is an active state that we continuously create, not something we are born in to.

/magnus

Hmmmmm, yet is ignorance why we are born at all... :stirthepot:
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby heart » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:59 am

Pero wrote:
heart wrote:
wisdom wrote:Original Sin and the concept of Non-Recognition are similar, but ultimately not the same. The basic idea is the same, in both cases we are born into ignorance.


In Dzogchen ignorance is an active state that we continuously create, not something we are born in to.

/magnus

Hmmmmm, yet is ignorance why we are born at all... :stirthepot:


True, ignorance is a continuous activity creating birth/death and all kind of experiences.

/magnus
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Barney Fife » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:42 am

Quote from "Essence of Mind: An Approach to Dzogchen" by Jes Bertelsen:

Perhaps the meaning of life is to discover that everything has emerged from unity consciousness? Perhaps the physical universe is a windfall event, a celebration sprung from divine cosmic creativity? Perhaps from a certain perspective in consciousness everything is continuously, in every moment, being created anew? Perhaps every tree and every leaf really is a song of praise?"
(Kindle Locations 895-903; p.68)


Praise God!.....perhaps.

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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Sönam » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:25 am

Barney Fife wrote:thank you very much, sonam. so, if all those views are not the understanding of dzogchen, it would be fascinating to hear any key points of the Dzogchen view on those deep questions, if anybody has time or inclination at some point. (will read wisdom's answer now!)



thanks,

b.f.


The basis, the primordial purity, transcendes the extremes of existence and non-existence and of the objects of conception and expression. The essence of the base is primordially pure, his nature is spontaneously accomplished. It is the primordial buddha, non-existent as samsara and nirvana.
By the flow of the energy of primordial wisdom, the self-appearances of the intrinsic awareness flash out from the basis. At that moment, by apprehending those appearances as others, not realizing them as our self-radiance, one become distracted in delusions ... the appearances become phenomena, the cognition arise, and there we go ...
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Sönam » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:38 am

LhodroeRapsal wrote:
Perhaps his direct recognition of the natural state was stable for a period of 20 minutes, but that wouldn't constitute a complete stability. Those who are irreversibly stable in the natural state upon first recognition of vidyā are called chikcharwas [cig-car-ba], there hasn't been a chikcharwa for centuries though, supposedly.

I don't know anything about Jes Bertelsen, but if his recognition experience is true, it sounds like he was simply ripe for that insight. That doesn't mean he was stable in the natural state though (as in able to maintain a continuity at all times), for most it takes a considerable amount of practice to fully integrate the three doors (body, speech and mind).


Thank you for sharing that. I am aware of that it was only for 20 to 30 minutes. How many do you know that was stable in the natural state for 20 to 30 minutes in their first meeting with a Dzogchen teacher? From what I have understood that is quite rare esspecially for someone without any previous training in tibetan buddhism, and without previous guidance from a teacher. Jes Bertelsen was taught in a number of years by Tulku Urgyen after that first meeting, and I could Imagine that the stability has increased, and I could guess that it still increases.

Would it be wrong to assume that a fully accomplished Dzogchen teacher is someone who is stable 24 hours a day in Rigpa. From what I have understood that kind of stability is not at all the criteria to become a Dzogchen teacher, but what is needed is a firm stability in Rigpa. Could anyone falsify or verify that?


One recognizing his real nature after having receive pointing out instructions is less rare that you say ... and it does not need any previous training in tibetan buddhism. Some experienced it on a more longer period (days).

Sönam
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Sönam wrote:One recognizing his real nature after having receive pointing out instructions is less rare that you say ... and it does not need any previous training in tibetan buddhism. Some experienced it on a more longer period (days).


What?! Someone recognized their real nature without completing ngondro? C'est tout simplement impossible!
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Re: Jes Bertelsen?

Postby heart » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:45 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
Sönam wrote:One recognizing his real nature after having receive pointing out instructions is less rare that you say ... and it does not need any previous training in tibetan buddhism. Some experienced it on a more longer period (days).


What?! Someone recognized their real nature without completing ngondro? C'est tout simplement impossible!


:smile:

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