padma norbu wrote:
First all, your explanation sounds more Kabballist and Aleister Crowley-ish than any Buddhist or Dzogchen text I've ever read. Crowley said the same thing about consciousness; giving the example of the attraction and repulsion in molecular structures being very primitive aspects of awareness and evolving to great complexity. In fact, I can't see any difference in what you're saying because the Kabballist/Crowleyan perspective is that all wisdom exists in potential form only until it is manifested through the elements and made real at the earth/physical level of Malkuth through which we accumulate Knowledge which is eventually surpassed when we gain Wisdom and Understanding which essentially occurs simultaneously with the recognition of The Source, which is simultaneously our real nature and beyond egoist concerns or duality misperception. Prior to manifestation, however, it all exists as possibilities and potential only; there is no manifestation, no knowledge, no wisdom and no understanding... and so, The Source, never knows itself.
That's very interesting, except there's no "Source," aside from dependency. Vidya is liberation. Vidya is recognizing the fundamental nature of awareness, not developing it. For me and most buddhists, the greater complexity of matter and consciousness is akin to a cancer cell. When we have yet to know this fundamental awareness, then there is all kinds of consciousnesses. When we know this fundamental awareness, then all that is left behind, and we enter the vast hall of mirror-like awareness where omniscience is.
But, I am not putting words in your mouth. I realize that you didn't say all of that. What you did say is that consciousness evolves from physical interactions: "The awareness-like attractions and repulsions are co-emergent with each other and so physical energy co-emerges. You string trillions of these functions together and you get a conscious being. A buddha is not a conscious."
Secondly, if a buddha is not conscious, not sentient, then how can Amithaba or Tara help us? How can Manjushri impart any wisdom to us when we do Mo divination, for example? What does Namkhai Norbu mean when he says that being in our real nature does not mean we will not have any thoughts?
Think what do they "do" to "help," all your obscurations are in your own mind. They are not out there. It's like standing before the Great Pyramid at Giza and having an epiphany, "wow, humans are amazing." The pyramid didn't tell you that. How do you contact Tara? By visualizing. Tara just symbolizes mindfulness. Manjushri also means "youthful" and is a symbol for the momentary awareness that's self-pure. When you "pray to Manjushri" you are only trying to see your own nature. When we see our own nature of course everything is happening including thoughts and appearances are natural to the natural state. It's free like a flowing river. But at some point, there are no thoughts. Buddha is not thinking about you.
You see? If consciousness evolves from complex "trillions" of tiny awareness-like attractions and repulsions, as you are saying, than how does any of this make sense? We are not shooting for the consciousness of a rock. We are not losing our ability to think. Namkhai Norbu has made this point many times as have other teachers. So then, am I to believe based on what you've said that Buddhas are not conscious, not sentient, but based on what these teachers have said that I will eventually obtain Buddhahood while remaining conscious and sentient? Because we still have thoughts; the point is not to lose thoughts, we always have thoughts.
A buddha doesn't grasp at cognition. That's why a buddha is free. There's no thinking in a buddha; there are only the five wisdoms.
That is what this thread is about, actually. That is the entire point of this thread is examining this teaching that I have heard several times: we will always have thoughts, we are not trying to stop thoughts. The mind has rest and movement and both are natural. We do not want to become like the frozen monks with their rock consciousness that the Chinese slashed up while they sat there frozen in meditation.
You should not stop thoughts or appearances on the path. Stopping thoughts is the poison of aversion, and is a samsaric mode. But when you attain enlightenment you will not have thoughts. Thoughts will naturally not happen. A buddha has no skandhas. That he has only the very primitive awarenesses is why buddha is omniscient. This level is not attached to any limitation. But there are they reflections in the mirror. The mirror is not someone. Thieves can't take anything from an empty house.