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What Makes Valid Tantric Ideology ?

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,alt.magick.tantra
From: (nagasiva yronwode)
Subject: What Makes Valid Tantric Ideology (tm?)?
Date: Tue, 09 May 2000 03:29:36 GMT

50000508 IVom

"Emir Halilovic" :
>If Tzimon is not [sure that Gnome is wrong about metaphysics and
>whether 'everything is illusory'], I am. Completely.

sure, but you're basing your assessment on ignorance (see below).

Gnome quoting a source I didn't see Emir quoting (lost otherwise):
>"It is taught by the holy that whatever is established as existing through
>mutual dependency is not truly existent".....

>Right, but what does it mean "truly existent"? 

lastingly so. this is a primary interest of Buddhist metaphysics.

>...If true existence is only eternal, there is nothing but Brahman 
>in the world. Still no Maya here, I'm afraid.

I don't think that brahman (different than Brahma, btw) is a common
metaphysical assumption of Buddhists. in fact, there is a wide degree
of divergence amongst Tantrics of traditional lineages such that the
kind of assumptions you were making about terminology and metaphysics
was overly simplistic. did you realize that one of the central
principles separating Hindu Tantrics from Buddhist Tantrics is that
of "anatman", which is typically contrasted with the 'atman' of
Hindus? how this is or is not resolved is fascinating to the student
of world Tantra.

>"As for mind, no mind exists, but the nature of the mind is clear

>This one I really don't understand. Maybe your friends should work on
>translation just a bit harder....

that is because you do not have familiarity with the Tibetan terms.
the phrase 'clear light' is VERY commonly used in Tibetan Buddhist
texts written in English. if you were more open-minded and tried to
get to know what is called 'Tantra' in diverse cultures you would
not be so quick to ask for 'better translations'. 

I don't claim to know much more about the extended Tibetan Buddhist
terminology or lineages than you do, but at least I have taken it
upon myself to acquire a few texts on the matter that may facilitate
an understanding of the term in question, and I'll quote from them here.

Lati Rinbochay ("Mind in Tibetan Buddhism", transl. Napper) says
that the English "clear light" is taken from the Sanskrit "abhasvara"
and the Tibetan "'od gsal". Daniel Cozort ("Highest Yoga Tantra")
and Jeffrey Hopkins ("The Tantric Distinction") reference the Sanskrit
"prabasvara" and Tibetan "'od gsal". Consort defines clear light as:

	the mind of great bliss that directly realizes emptiness....

	Minds of clear light are the fundamental consciousness
	of all beings, ranging from hell-beings to Buddhas. It
	is the type of mind into which all beings die and out 
	of which all beings are born in the sense that it is
	always experienced at the moment of death and again
	at the moment of conception. For most beings, their
	mind of clear light is experienced only at times when
	they have no control over it and no cognizance of it --
	at death, when going to sleep, and so forth. Buddhas,
	on the other hand, operate only from within it, for
	Buddhas remain continuously in the mind of clear light,
	realizing emptiness totally non-dualistically while
	dualistically realizing all other phenomena with
	emanations filling the universe for the welfare of
	"Highest Tantra Yoga", Daniel Cozart, Snow Lion
	 Publications, 1986; p. 106-7.

Cozart has a whole chapter on Clear Light which I will not
attempt to review here (being fairly new to the idea myself).

>"--So, one should think, 'For these reasons, since appearances which are
>grasped to be objects are similar to the appearances in a dream, the
>consciousness which grasps these appearances resembles the mind in the state
>of dreaming. Therefore in the Ultimate Truth, there is nothing whatsoever
>that truly exists."

>Except that Ultimate Truth. 

can it be said to exist? this is a very controversial issue, I think.
going into it is the notion of what 'existence' includes, whether
the Ultimate Truth may be said to partake of one side of a duality,
whether existence and nonexistence are examples of such a duality, etc.

>This is called neti-neti principle.... 

Neti-Neti (Not-This, Not-That), as I understand it, probably poorly, 
is not so much a principle as a method of elucidation. it consists
(please correct me where I err) of rebuking positive statements on
the basis of their incompleteness and partial falsity. this style is
also common amongst Madhyamika Buddhists, and was made particularly
popular by Nagarjuna, who sought, through its usage, to demonstrate
the futility of conceptual argumentation.
>...try to understand what you're talking about....

good advice!

>Trying to change chakra system, BTW, is like trying to redefine human
>anatomy. Whatever your standpoint is, kidneys will never swap place with
>liver, and you'll never be able to eat with your asshole - dig it? As for me
>the one traditional chakra system (the one that emphasizes chakras along the
>sushumna) is a many times proven fact.

that is another thread, perhaps, though it started this one. it is far
from determined that any of these various models of bodily spiritual
'energy' is comparable to an anatomical descriptor. many who promote
them will of course make this claim, but how to support such a
contention is still at issue, let alone which of the numerous options
available will qualify.

>PS This is not an attempt of defending someone or something. It's only that
>you don't know what you're talking about, and I wouldn't like someone else
>here to buy your crap.

if you were more adept in your *comparable* knowledge of the subject 
matter in question you sound be more convincing. as it is you are just 
sounding off.


-- ; ; 
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