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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

The Ground of Primordial Awareness As Unconsciousness and Unthought and Not Thinkable

Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Author, Mimi Malfitano, Editor

Nothingness or openness or emptiness or voidness or spaciousness of the ground of primordial awareness is neither the negation of beings, nor the negation of beingness of beings. The nothingness or openness is light, luminous radiance, is the primordial ground of all that is, and is the nucleus of radiant light at the heart of all beings. The ground of primordial awareness is completely pure and everything is a manifestation within the ground as the ground; purity is the essential essence of primordial awareness and all of her manifestations, the beingness of all beings. Love is the ground of awareness, pure love as light. This is Vajrayana…oneness of fierceness and beneficence.

1. This nothingness is potential space, infinite possibilizing, which is the essence of subjectivity or knowingness.  The embodiment of knowingness within human beings as human beings is not the privation of being nor annihilation.  The unbound infinite openness of the primordial field as dharmakaya is both unborn and undying nonetheless.  There is the unhappy and often, so often, used basic attunement to the ground of our own awareness (which is both foreground and background of all that is) as nothingness alone which is experienced as deprivation and ultimately annihilation. This is the most basic illusion within manifestation, natural illusion within human beings. Because of the obscuration of the light, the very ground of being is felt as death or deprivation and annihilation. This unhappy event of distortion is both personal and cultural….both personal and spiritually cultural.

2. The basic foreclosure culturally embodied is the foreclosure of the experience of the unborn and undying nature of luminous awareness; the vajra kumara of awareness…of your awareness which is awareness itself.

3. Mayamaka reflecting the  teachings of early Buddhism  can for some slip into the nihilism of emptiness alone about which nothing can be said…only that which can be spoken is the disaffirming of any and all statements of positive qualities. Mayamaka is sought of and mostly it is not…sought of neither here nor there, neither this nor that. This negation of discourse through discourse not only destroys radiance of knowingness, but destroys languaging of experience as well…a kind of aphasic life within an aphasic mind as an aphasic path. Of course, the only refuge as a strange kind of detachment being bonded to negation is definitely not fun, yet such detachment is actuality bonded to deprivation and bonded to annihilation…form of anehedonia.

4. And so, the basic illusion is not that things, you, and I are real but the exact opposite; that nothing is real, even though nothingness is not. This attunement to deprivation and annihilation is a fundamental distortion reflecting the very unfolding of primordial awareness itself in its manifestations; often called straying…into duality alone.  Of course, as you know, being in duality of self, other appearance does not negate being in non- duality whatsoever.  Non-duality takes place within duality and within duality is non- duality.

5. What is useful about mayamakaya, or for that matter, what is better is the term contemporary deconstruction introduced by Jacque Derrida who none the less was a fun person, ultimately because he knew what he said and thought was just an opinion…he deconstructed not the expressiveness of language but the authority of language.

6. When you can come to the understanding that everything that is said is simply an opinion then you can happy embrace your own opinions as well as the opinion of another….that probably reflects your own opinion. Having such an opinionated understanding about opinions is freeing, and frees you both culturally and most of all from the childhood sequence of believing parental opinions as absolutes. Of course being a child with a concrete operational mind such experience, opinions as reality gives such opinions far too much power and can easily evacuate our own knowingness. Authoritative opinions definitely obscure the obvious. Through idealization and terror knowledge is deemed more then an opinion and becomes truth as such…which seems to give security, but actually forecloses direct perception. Of course, most religions love their own revealed authority and so what is said is definitively known…and so your job is to assent. Actually, Shakyamuni Buddha’s written words  said, “Do not trust what I say or believe what I say…I only point out and you should experiment to see if it is true for you.” He also said, “Light your own fire.” Of course, religion is always looking for authority and Buddhism has Shakyamuni teaching here and there. As the primordial guru, the self revealing light is always manifesting as opinions.

7.  Then we always look to the other for an opinion and forget it is just an opinion. I tend to like opinions that actually reflect my own opinion…I know my own opinion implicitly and then enjoy using the reflections of others opinions…nonetheless, I know it is all opinion.   The Karmapa says what he says is just an opinion…I see all traditions as opinions, I see all teachers as opinions...…all opinions.

8. I once made a promise that I would trust my own experience which unfolds over time and would not believe.  Being freed from believing actually is the greatest method for entering into direct perception and not staying in the land of intellectual assent or belief. Belief is the great substitute of knowingness.

9. And if you think the other only knows then you will never know what you actually know. 10. Of course, to truly venture into knowing your own opinions you should know that love is really great and most fun, and also that being burdened by care is not the same of love.  In a mysterious way, love and care are not the same. And often care can be a substitute for love, and love is greater then care…Salvador Minuchin works on care and family systems, his is really a most useful opinion. Sometimes love organizes us completely, and for many, care organizes them completely. It is great to know the difference between love and care.

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