Aemilius wrote: 1. Because of the countless past lives, you can't really say what the average Joe has done in his 500 previous lives, can you?
You can't really judge a person's status at all, therefore you can't know what he is going to experience in the bardo, etc...
To paraphrase the Buddha: If you want to know what you were before look at what you are now, if you want to see what you will be in the future, look at what you are now. Anything more than that is pure delusion.
What is it that purifies one's karma and habitual tendencies ? Nagarjuna says that karma is not purified by abandoning, but by meditating. The Abhidharma says that the attainment of Dhyana is always a weighty karma, and attaining insight or Vipashyana is what really eradicates past karma. The basic teachings of Shakyamuni say that generosity and morality (shila) will counteract, and gradually annul, one's bad karma.
So karma purifies karma, wanna tell me something I don't know?
The teachings of Prajna Paramita say that one single instant of Prajna will purify the whole mass of ignorance.
Sure, if you can remain in it.
I believe that a single instant of the experience Clear Light will purify the infinite past karma. Also, is it not said in the Bardo Thödrol over again, and in different ways, that the deceased will become liberated in a single instant
It sure does, but it seems to me that you have skipped a major detail:
"Oh Child of the Buddha, if you do not recognise these phenomena to be natural manifestations
, whatever meditative practices you may have undertaken in the human world, if you have not previously encountered this present instruction, you will fear the light
, you will be awed by the sound and you will be terrified by the rays. If you do not understand this essential point of the teaching you will not recognise the sounds, the lights and the rays, and you will continue to roam within the cycles of existence
." The Tibetan Book of the Dead gyurme Dorje (trans.)
Get over it my friend, the bardo of death is not necessarily liberatory, no more than the bardo of existence, or sleep, or etc... is necessarily liberatory. It's like saying that dawn is liberatory but dusk, noon and night time is not.
With the eye of wisdom we discover a lot of anger in us, any amount of jealousy, resentment, ignorance, desire - mountains of emotion whose existence we would never have suspected in ourselves... We recognize that most of the faults we perceive in others are only the mirror of our own negativity, the reflection of our own disturbed feelings... At the same time, we relieve the world around us of the burden of our own negative judgements."
Gendun Rinpoche Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master