padma norbu wrote:
I just have one question about this trekchöd and thogyal with the visions and the subtleties of light, etc. that has been discussed a little bit...
Do these practices really reveal how everything is illusory?
One of the things I struggle with sometimes is the idea that everything is just like a big dream. Theoretically and even experientially I often have no trouble with this, but then every once in a while I am amazed at the complexity, the solidity, the idea that it is all just like a big dream just really seems like bullshit. Then, for a few minutes, I sit there with these emotions of hopelessness and confusion. The only reason I ever get over these emotions is because I have never found any other idea that makes more sense (and I am a big science and philosophy geek), so after thinking about it a bit, I realize it may seem like bullshit, but it's more believable than anything else I've ever heard.
I just read the other day that each sperm has 37.5 MB of data and that a normal ejaculation represents a data transfer of 1,587.5TB ...quite an amazing amount of unreal stuff; quantifiable, no less.
So, yeah, if trekcho or togyal could experientially get me over the hump of really fully believing all experiences are like "the dream fabric of the night" (unreal), then I am going to dedicate my efforts to learning this stuff. Again, I would like to say that theoretically, it makes sense to me that nothing is inherently real; how this dream stuff is, though, is what I'd really like to know so as to never stumble over it again. I think part of the problem is that metaphors are never complete with this kind of thing; just like there is the metaphor of the crystal and the mirror to explain nature of mind, but neither is really complete I think the comparison to "a big dream" is not really complete, either.
Yes this is the fruit of nonconceptual wisdom. Togal works with appearances that are particularly well-suited to realizing that all is mere illusory display. But then to go one step further and imagine everything is illusory; everything is a big dream, is a big illusion. It is like conceptualizing emptiness. It is one of the most difficult obscurations to fix. Keep that in mind, because no part of rigpa is some thought, "all this is illusion."