Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Even More from Holy Isle

From Relative Truth… p. 55
On our spiritual journey, we need to move from conceptual knowledge to direct experience [he means "prove", not self-reflection] of the subjects we are studying. The mechanics of how we accomplish this are the key points of the Sautrantika presentation: what conceptual and perceptural consciousnesses are, how they operate, and how we move from conceptualization to direct perception.

p. 72 Please don’t think that this school [Sautrantika] is saying that concepts are essentially bad; it is saying, however, that concepts by their very nature obscure the truth. We couldn’t make sense of the world without concepts…although maybe, because we would only have direct perceptions, we would already be there! [spiritual attainment]…[but] we need to see the uses and traps of the conceptual mind—something few of us do.

p. 94 The Compendium of Ascertainments states that ultimate truth has five characteristics: 1. inexpressible, 2 nondual, 3. beyond apprehension by the conceptual mind, 4 beyond diversity, 5 all of one taste. [Chittamatra school]

Inexpressible, as the name implies, means that it is impossible to verbally describe ultimate truth precisely. Nondual means that within [95] that realization of an arya being in meditative equipoise who is realizing ultimate truth directly, there is no differentiation—no duality—of subject and object. The third characteristic, beyond apprehension by the conceptual mind, shows that ultimate truth cannot be realized by ordinary people’s cognition but only by the direct perception of an arya being. Beyond diversity means that the ultimate truth of an object is not one with its dependent nature, which has many ‘diversities’—different factors such as production, result, causes, conditions, and so on. For example, when we establish the final mode of existence of form, that final mode of existence is the nonduality of subject and object, so all diversities cease.

The final characteristic is that ultimate truths are all of one taste. The ultimate truth of a book is the absence of duality of subject and object. Tables, chairs, and so on are different objects, but their ultimate truth is the same. Their final mode of existence is also the mere absence of duality of subject and object. Thus, the ultimate truths of all phenomena are all of one taste.

The Ngöndro by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

p 33 [karma] It is not that somebody else tells you tat you should do this or that, or that things are prohibited by religion, or by some commandment. Sometimes, everywhere, but especially in the West, people take religion that way, like the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and they react by thinking that it’s a commandment, and you usually react against it. On the other hand, if you understand karma, you will just do it for your own sake. If I understand that it is for my own good, I will do it. Thus we naturally try to work with our negativities and refrain from doing negative things, because we know they would have painful results for us or for others.

p. 34

If we know what it wrong and what is right, and if we are a little mindful or watchful, we will refrain from the negative. We shouldn’t be too watchful though because we could not sustain the effort for too long before becoming tired. When we intend to walk a long way, we walk slowly and don’t run, knowing there is a long journey ahead. If we started running, we wouldn’t get very far. Therefore it is better to be watchful and mindful in a lighter way.


Anonymous Martin Grashoff said...

What you say about negativity comes close to how I read the stories in Genesis 1ff. God creates everything to be good, very good. That is the blessing. However, as we all know from daily experience, there just is evil. We apologise for any inconvenience... There is no reason given for that, certainly not some theology of original sin, but obviously that still is our call as humans: to notice the evil, but to focus on the good, the original blessing. Or, as you say: to leave the negativity behind in order to distinguish and nourish the good. How good it is...

6:19 pm, July 28, 2015  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

Martin, you might be interested in a theory proposed by Margaret Barker in "King of the Jews" which sets the Gospel of John in context and comments on it chapter by chapter. One of the things she says is that the book of Genesis is really about the despoliation of the first temple by Josiah and the imposition of the Mosaic law. The first temple theology (she has written a raft of books, but I think this is the best one) had to do with theosis, divination, and her thesis —obviously controversial— is that Christianity began as an attempt to get back to the first temple theology which, in fact, endures well into the medieval period and is far more evident in the Christian East than in the West.

6:24 pm, July 28, 2015  
Blogger Fr Moses said...

Hi Maggie sorry but this is the only way I know to contact you and ask a question....in Pillars of Flame is the following

"... mystical theologians who emphasize the compassion of God, creation can even be understood to reside and be cradled in the Trinity's fiery heart. "

Can you please reference which mystics and the parts of their works that make this point? I find it utterly beautiful!

Blessings.....and thanks for your books..........

11:47 am, August 08, 2015  
Blogger Maggie Ross said...

Dear Fr Moses,

Thank you for your kind words. I wrote "Pillars of Flame" nearly thirty years ago and cannot possibly re-enter that mindset. But any writer who celebrates the luminousness of creation such as Isaac of Nineveh or Thomas Treherne speaks similarly.

May I also recommend a new book just published "The Eighth Day" by Christian Bobin and translated by Pauline Matarasso, published by DLT in London. It is extraordinary.

If you need to get in touch you can always safely send a comment with "Do Not Publish" and your email; I screen all comments.


12:01 pm, August 08, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home