The Cosmological Drama of the Traces
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Author, Jasmine Chehrazi, Editor
1. The Alaya Vijnaa in Longchenpa’s words and meaning is a dramatic discourse. It definitively goes beyond the bounds and limits of early Buddhism in terms of: first, going beyond a simplistic idealism, that is, going beyond the experience that our limited mind creates everything; secondly, going beyond the anti-cosmological orientation of early Buddhism, that is, the orientation that rejects the understanding of divine creation; third, going beyond the so-called heresy of Sati which is the unfolding of divine being in all beings); fourth, going beyond the nihilism that all human existence is illusion rather then being the divine appearance and manifestation of the dharmakaya, which visioning is compassionate awareness itself; fifth, presenting a clear, luminous basis of the continuity of being life after life and death after death; sixth, the corresponding evolutionary understanding of the ultimate unfolding of historical human existence as epochs; and seventh, going beyond the anti-theistic prejudice… theism that is not entity-based but rather the singular primordial awareness, whose qualities are spaciousness, luminous radiance, and the true, pervasive compassion.
2. The primordiality of the primordial awareness is the universal ground as infinite source. In Indian Buddhism there is an anti cosmological orientation. In these early teachings we find a beginning-less ignorance: ma rig pa, avidya of samsara stretching into an infinite, baseless, floating past as karma - emotionally infused karma - and its traces creating more samsara… a kind of psychological causation in conjunction with the dramatic divinity of enlightened buddhas located on the other side of ordinary existence. A kind of Barthian divine other-ness…infinite other-ness… beyond historical experience and humanness.
3. In spite of this framing of a Buddhist form of spiritual materialism, that existence is considered only the function of cause and effect without ontological or cosmological basis… which position ultimately involves awareness, suffering until permanent disappearance of this very human awareness whose nature is coincidence of circumstance, rather than a nature that is infinite in its horizon and completely multidimensional. The early Buddhist version of awareness a constrictedand constricting view of awareness.
4. Arising from this limited understanding of awareness as being mind alone is the expanding understanding of the direct perception…the luminous nucleus of radiance… spacious, luminous enlightenment, which is within all beings as all beings. Everything (all phenomena internal as well as external) arises out of this ground of primordial awareness, which is buddhahood itself.
5. This cosmological scenario is encompassing and is interiorized within and through being in the world itself… the psyche. Cosmological process unfolds within each individual’s interiority throughout life after life. As the ground of pure awareness unfolds, there is both at times recognition of direct perception and a lack of recognition or lack of direct perception, and there is a manifestation into the universal ground of cultural and personal mind alone. This lack of direct perception is the natural manifestation of mind alone, which experience leaves traces, just as the corresponding direct perception leaves traces of translucidity and transparency of all experience. This bifurcatedness of human experience reflects both bewilderment and enlightenment… simultaneously experienced.
6. The cosmological dimension of awareness naturally deconstructs naïve idealism… that is the extent to which foundational consciousness creates and structures the external world. Foundational consciousness is not primordial awareness, but is contextualized mind…epochic. An interpretation that arises for some is that foundational consciousness, or mind consciousness, is an unconscious array of dynamic and interdependent manifestations of our mind, and the actual physical structures of the body and world are manifestations of our actual life world.
7. The ancient historical literature indicates the idealistic implications of the idealistic view that the personal mind or foundational consciousness actually creates the external world and its appearance.
8. This is the natural extension of belief in the omnipotent, the power of human action-- karma… to create worlds and that Karma works in a coordinated fashion across communities. This role of human agency in the creating of the world and this creative agency focuses on cognition as well as agency.
9. Siddhas in the traditions such as Longchenpa, as well as Hindu Swami Muktananda and Qi Gong Master Yan Xin, rejects solipsistic idealism, namely that ordinary mind or foundational consciousness create the external world. Yet they recognize that it is true that the actual quality of the world is profoundly altered through our engagement with world; yet the essential luminous energy of the manifesting world is configurations of light that remain outside the individual’s influence… nonetheless for human beings who access awareness of awareness, there is this capacity to be in primordial awareness, as the level of light allowing the co-emergent influence the level of light within the light. Through amplification, pacification, magnetization, and summing.
10. The ancient notion of interdependent origination, a process of cause and effect driven by human action, karma is replaced or displaced by the matrix of the magical web-- a matrix of energy and fields of light and unfolding alchemical traces as semblances of experience… the infinite located-ness of Indra’s net.
11. Wholehearted commitment or samaya to goddess… the blessing of the wisdom beings and our samaya is co-emergent action. Refuge is samaya.
12. The human unconsciousness leads at its deepest levels to a network of consciousness that forms a concealed secret array of continuities driven by the fundamental intelligent and divine dynamic… so one’s unconscious process is linked with somatic processes and non-conceptual experience. The imaginative is also engaged as an organ of perception.
13. There is the universal ground, kungzhi laya and the universal ground consciousness, alaya vijnana..
14. There is the original divine ground, which is the ground of all which manifests the universal ground… the ground of all with its cosmological primordiality manifests all of samsara and nirvana. This primordial ground is translucidity, and also the universal ground is the innately pure primordial ground of all reality.
15. This divine ground is the enlightened movement or Buddha nature. This dharmakaya precedes the cyclic existence of samsara and translucidity of nirvana. It is located within all beings and manifests all beings. The ground itself is described as empty spaciousness, open essence, radiant nature, an all-pervasive field of compassion. There is this constant manifestation, efflorescence that manifests both samsara and nirvana… concealed and unconcealed. The empty reality is dharmakaya. The radiant bliss body is sambogakaya. The all-pervasive emanation body is nirmanakaya. EVERYTHING TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE GROUND AS THE GROUNDS… THE DIFFERENT NAMES REFER TO DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS OF THE EXPERIENCE AND MANIFESTATION.
16. The pure ground undergoes a process of manifestation and densification of light in which two paths arise: the path of translucidity or direct perception; and, the path of hidden-ness and the lack of recognition-- translucidity veiled. Awareness of awareness and non-awareness.
17. There is the ground of awareness or knowing-ness or reality body and surface level that is developmentally dependent, and is the universal ground consciousness or single identity of non-awareness.
18. This foundational consciousness or universal ground consciousness is the actual field of karmic traces.
19. These traces can be infused with radiant luminosity and dissolved. Moreover, these traces are actually traces of timeless awareness experienced in time and space within the mind-body continuum, within the vajra vas body, within the body of light permeating the physical and body of the mind. Everything is permeable, porous and subsumes illumination and illuminative experience. Love is illuminative experience.
20. Each life is an assemblance of luminous traces of experience that are layered in inter-sense and create the alchemical transition and transmission. The same is true with human development during the life cycle, and the same is through the transmission of life after life. All life is transmission both within and without… the net of Indra, the magical matrix, is the field… fields within fields.