Well, for one, how you frame the feminine principal as being synonymous with form, as in
concepts, forms and emotions are considered "female"
when in my understanding the feminine is related to space, or emptiness.. I don't want to get too dualistic here... but in the conventional framework of form vs. emptiness I believe the feminine would be associated with the emptiness aspect..
Well, first of all, I merely regurgitated Keith Dowman verbatim in Masters of Mahamudra: concepts, forms and emotions are considered "feminine" in Tibetan thought. He specifically said this and I made a note of it. He says as much on his website, but before I link that...
Secondly, emptiness is form. All of these things are forms: concept (theoretical form), form (physical form), emotion (energy form).
Thirdly, "Dakinis are associated with energy in all its functions, are linked with the revelation of the Anuttara Yoga Tantras or Higher Tantras, which represent the path of transformation, whereby the energy of negative emotions or kleshas, called poisons, are transformed into the luminous energy of enlightened awareness (jnana) yielding rigpa." (uh oh, I quoted Wikipedia for convenience.)
Compare the above with opening paragraph here: http://www.keithdowman.net/essays/woman.htm
So, back to the idea of liberating in space... what do we think about that? Easily misinterpreted language? Is going to the Dakini's Paradise really floating up into the air and/or dissolving as "liberated into space" and flying up "into the sky" seem to suggest? I don't think so...
The book "White Lotus," which examines the 7-line prayer to Padmasambhava, was the first inkling I really got that there seems to be a fantastical sort of symbolic description of reality that is really just like a suped-up version of ordinary reality, with its magical displays, endless jewels and super-beings, but beyond this is the real meaning
which is that these fantastical forms are just more expressions of your real nature. Their function is probably to inspire and light up our sense of wonder and possibility. So the dream, whether a lovely dream or a nightmare, is still a dream, whether filled with wisdom beings or ignorant beings. Apparently, one can receive teachings from sort of ethereal wisdom beings, but one also receives teachings from various human teachers. I receive teachings in my dreams that don't always make sense, but you can't get any more isolated than that: I am learning something from a dream-being in my dream. I woke up this morning with these words on my lips: "causes arise from conditions and conditions arise from effects." Who was I talking to in the dream? I don't remember, but it was somebody else who told me that and I was repeating it over and over to try to understand it perfectly. Whether I learned this from a book, another person or from a dream-being or an appearance of an ethereal being (which most would probably call a hallucination) doesn't really make any difference; knowledge gleaned must be tested somehow experientially to discover its validity.From the above linked Keith Dowman article:
"When Naropa proves his blissful detachment to Tilopa, Tilopa praises him and then gives him instruction in mahamudra. 'You are worthy of eternal bliss, Naropa, on the path of infinite reality. Look into the mirror of your mind, mahamudra, the mysterious home of the Dakini. Here the mirror of mind is the cognitive aspect of the universal plenum of non-dual reality, and the Dakini is the flux of insubstantial reflection in the mirror."
"The ambiguity of the word Dakini is amply demonstrated above; perhaps there is error in attempting a too specific conceptualisation, for if the Dakini is caught on the point of a nice definition she becomes a dead concept. She belongs to the equivocal language of the twilight world, where she can make a mind-changing verbal impact. The Dakini remains a profound tantric mystery, an enigma that is only resolved upon initiation, when the yogin gains experiential understanding of her."
Like I said in post #1, I know there is such a thing as rainbow body and that is perplexing to me. This is why I ended post #1 with "huh?" I don't understand why siddhis should be possible just from stabilizing a view of the way things are, but maybe since we are using a dream analogy to describe reality, reaching the Dakini's Paradise is like becoming a "lucid dreamer" of the waking world. So, if waking life is like a dream and lucid dreamers can manifest their desires in the dream world, then a "lucid dreamer of reality" can manifest whatever he likes in waking reality. That is one way of making sense of the various siddhis and rainbow body, for me, anyway. However, the reason I started this thread was just to examine this idea of being "liberated into space."
What do we think about that? I think that, like the 7-line prayer, there are probably three different meanings.
At least two:
1. the possibility of rainbow body, which means literally dissolving into light
2. stabilizing the view, which to the casual onlooker looks like nothing is happening at all, as in the case of the mahasiddha story in post #1 about the woman who had realization in the moment of breaking a clay pot and stared blankly absorbed in contemplation until someone basically said, "hey, what are you doing? you broke that pot and now you're just sitting there like a dummy!"
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron