‘Even this material plane with its apparent solidity and predictable behaviour is a manifestation of the mind itself. It is not an illusion, nor is it real. Language and concept break down when the mind reaches beyond its innate conditioning. What is seen (or perceived) is reported through the limitation of human language, which is itself the product of living within a material world. It is not designed to formulate concepts that lay beyond its normal cognitive reach. This explains why advanced science, insightful philosophy and transcendental religion appear to be expressing truth in a nonsense language that appears incomplete and often irrational. To explain that which lies just beyond the senses stretches conventional language to its limit. Logic dictates that such descriptions can not be soundly provided and that to stay true to the originating perception, the descriptions provided must be open ended – as if the open end in the logic is in fact a map pointing the way toward the truth. The material plane assumes a completeness and totality for itself that is blatantly not true. The logic based upon the observation and measurement of matter, likewise also assumes a completeness that is incorrect from the position of the multiverse. Of course, closed systems of logic are complete within their respective operational boundaries, but this completeness is highly localised and not indicative in any way of a possession of higher knowledge or wisdom. The use of enclosed (local) logic systems to explain the entirety of what exists outside of itself – is itself an error in philosophical speculation. Rigid thought patterns are reflective of the rigid material forms that they measure. The multiverse is neither rigid nor flexible and it can not be assessed or limited to a set of binary opposites, or conceptual dichotomies.’
The Mahayana Transformation
‘Collectively, the schools of early Buddhism are often historically referred to as ‘Hinayana’ so as to distinguish them from the emergence of the Mahayana. Whereas the Mahayana becomes historically recognisable around the 1st century CE in India, the Hinayana schools are seen to decline around four centuries later – in the 5th century CE. This demonstrates that both types of Buddhism coexisted for hundreds of years (inIndia) and there are records of monasteries containing monks who adhered to either tradition – living and practicing side by side. The emergence of the Mahayana created the conditions for earlier Buddhism to be viewed as ‘narrow’ and in some way ‘incomplete’. As the Mahayana interpretation represents a substantial expansion and elaboration of the teachings contained within earlier Buddhism, this sets the agenda for the historical interpretation of history with regard to what may be described as the ‘perceived’ developmental history of Buddhism as a distinct academic entity.’
Tantra: Enlightenment Through The Ordinary.
‘Tantra (तन्त्र) is a Sanskrit term that translates literally as ‘weave’ – but more specifically refers to the ‘weft’ of a loom, or the horizontal threads that are ‘weaved’ through the lengthwise warp threads. Indeed, the Sanskrit term ‘tantravaya’ refers to a ‘weaver’. The term ‘tantra’ can also be used to refer the ‘thread’ that is actually ‘weaved’, and is related to the Sanskrit term ‘tanti’ (तन्ति) which translates as a ‘cord’ traditionally used to tether calves. Furthermore, the verbal root ‘tan’ is defined as to ‘stretch’. This description of a practical handicraft has become adapted to describe a specific practice that links the practitioner to his teacher, to the Buddha, and to the goal of enlightenment. There is a common ‘thread’ that weaves its way through time and space, and which also links the practitioner as existing in the deluded sphere, to that of the unconditioned enlightened sphere.’
Sunyata: The Beautiful Emptiness.
‘To understand this developmental process, an assessment of ‘emptiness’ (sunyata) must be undertaken. It is clear that in early Buddhism emptiness refers to the lack of the presence of greed, hatred and delusion, as well the abandonment of the notion of a permanent self. It is an emptiness that marks the absence of delusion. Delusion is no longer present in the mind or perceived in the environment (in relation to the mind). The mind does not create the conditions that lead to the desire of external entities or attachment to those entities. It is true that no further karma is produced but that the karma relating to the world and the physical body continues until it is fully burnt off (at the point of death), and there is no more re-birth. The nirvanic state has present within it certain powers of the mind, and perfected knowledge. This concept of nirvana exists as an escape from the physical world of samsara. It is viewed very much as an antidote to the suffering experienced within ordinary life.’
Buddhism Through The Capitalist Filter.
‘For many, modern living carries the necessity for mutual exploitation of one another either within, or in the case of crime, outside a moderating legal system. Profit has to exist for the system to function, and with this profit, there must be inequality. The Buddha lived in a society that privileged his caste and his social rank – his father was a chief or king (raja). Social inequality was as prominent in ancientIndiaas it is today across the world. As a spiritual statement, the Buddha gave up his life of luxury, his wife and his child. He turned his back on a life of sensual pleasure and headed into the wilderness to rid his mind of attachment.’
The Buddha’s Enlightenment.
‘Through austerity and meditation, and after leaving the world of plenty, the Buddha roamed from place to place with only his begging bowl and robe as possessions. After practicing austerity, he rejected this method as not being able to reach the highest enlightenment. He trained in, and fully mastered the meditative methods of his day, and despite achieving the highest state, rejected these paths as not going far enough toward the ultimate enlightenment. Having abandoned the conventional spiritual teachings, he embarked upon his own meditative practice, a practice that would eventually lead to a full and profound inner metamorphosis, more commonly known in English as ‘enlightenment’.’