Simon E. wrote:
If you were my client I would be honing in on the nature and degree of your interest here, in something that you dismiss...fortunately for us both ..you aren't.
The validity of purported termas is something which causes some anxiety in the Nyingma school. The hermeneutics around terma revelation are complicated, such as the tradition of disregarding a terton's uncertain behavior and so on. The reason for this is that false tertons bring the Nyingmapas into quite a bit of disrepute with the other schools, especially the Gelugpas and the Ngor sect of Sakya.
Thus the issue can be intense. There have been many fake tertons in Tibetan history. The issue is sufficiently sensitive that Michael Arise was permanently denied entry to Bhutan for his treatment of Pema Lingpa, where he asserted in essence that Pema Lingpa was a complete fraud in every respect.
Chogyur Lingpa too, in his early career, suffered from people basically thinking that he was a charlatan. It was only when he was taken under the wing of Khyentse Wangpo that he gained the necessary credibility and influence with powerful persons such as the 15th Karmapa, which ensured the survival and wide adoption of his treasures.
My point is that for most Nyingmapas, the anxiety about authenticity is quite real, and so it is natural that a westerner producing a set of teachings that are labeled as "terma" is going to provoke wide spread disbelief, incredulity and hostility. Further, they will find it hard to get anyone to give them a break. In other words, if it is hard for a Tibetan who is writing down "termas" to get a break (even though most termas in reality are forgotten about within 50 years of the passing of the terton who revealed them, if not sooner) how much more so for a non-Tibetan?
Even KDL met with some hostility when he first came to the US, for example, since at that time people were largely unaware of his connection with Dudjom Rinpoche, Trinly Norbu RInpoche and Minling Trichen. So I knew of some Nyingma Lamas who were like "Who is this guy?"
So, people need to understand that this issue really cuts to the heart of what it means to be a follower of Termas, to be a Nyingmapa. Therefore, some people regard Chogyam as a mere pretender, some are neutral, and some people think he is doing real harm to the Dharma. Of course the other side of this issue has been extensively covered by David Chapman. For the most part however, the Aro crew has wisely refrained from engaging in public debate about the authenticity of Chogyam, preferring to allow Chapman's website to be their mouthpiece. The main thrust of Chapman's replies can be summed as follows: "These are matters of religion and faith, thus, no one can really tell anyone else what is valid and what is not valid".
In the end, all people can do is rely on the advice of their own teachers, or failing that, their own judgement. The same goes for Shugden and NKT, Michael Roach, Ivo and others. It is for this reason that we are told to observe teachers for many years before taking empowerments with them. Also the teacher is to observe the student. This does not happen these days so many people make Dharma connections rashly that they come to regret later. I have myself done so, much to my enduring regret. Having been singed once, I am now much, much more careful about who I will make a Dharma connection with, even if it concerns a single verse of sūtra.