The image of ‘Tibet’ in the Western mind is essentially the re-working of a Judeo-Christian myth that presents Tibet as a fictional (and comforting) ‘heaven’ on earth that is populated entirely by enlightened and transcendent beings. This kind of misrepresentation of Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture, has played a major part in recruiting Western converts to the pro-Tibetan Movement. As an invention of the Western imagination (exemplified by such fraudsters as Cyril Henry Hoskin, and many others), this misrepresentation of Tibet is essentially ‘racist’ in origination as it wipes-out the presence of ‘true’ Tibet, its culture and its people, and replaces it with an ahistorical mythology that has more to do with the West than the East. Making Tibet appear to be an idealist playground is comforting to a Western mind-set that laments the passing of the dominance of Christian theology within society, but rejoices at seeing an apparent ‘foreign’ and yet ‘exotic’ place like Tibet appearing to agree with the Judeo-Christian notion that the universe was created out of nothing, by the imagination of a god concept (i.e. unscientific ‘Creationism’).
In a recent edition of the X-Files (referenced below) Moulder and Scully are investigating a number of apparently bizarre murders when they encounter a homeless man who appears to be suggesting that through an effort of ‘will’ he can conjure the images he imagines in his mind, as real, solid objects in the physical world – in this case a phantom-type murderer. Fox Moulder brushes this nonsense aside when he states:
“Tulpa is a 1929 Theosophist mistranslation of the Tibetan word ‘Tulku’ meaning a ‘manifestation body’, there is no idea in Tibetan Buddhism of a ‘thought form’ or ‘thought as form’, and a realised Tulku would never harm anyone, or let alone kill.”
This is correct. The Buddha rejected ‘idealism’ as being an expression of deluded thought, but the Theosophist Movement essentially interpreted Asian spiritual culture through a Judeo-Christian filter, and this was compounded by the work of DT Suzuki, who mistakenly presented in English translation, the Lankavatara Sutra as being an idealists charter, rather than the sophisticated analysis of the human mind existing and interacting in the physical world that it undoubtedly is. Suzuki incorrectly asserts that the human mind ‘created’ the universe, when in fact the Buddha states in the Four Noble Truths (and elsewhere) that the human mind (or ‘conscious awareness’) is the product of physical conditionality. At no time, in any of his 5000 sutras, does the Buddha state that the physical world is a creation of the mind. For the Buddha the exact opposite is true, as he denied the Brahmin idea that the god Brahma gave birth to the world through his imagination. In other words, the physical world is not the ‘solidified’ thought of a god concept and cannot be brought into ‘being’ simply by an effort of concentrated will by secularised Westerners, or pure Tibetan beings that have only ever existed within the Western imagination.
Source: X-Files – Series Ten – Episode four – Home Again