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

The Magical Realism of Dzogchen as expressed in the Unceasing Experience of Spontaneity


1.  Longchenpa in his great book The Nature of Natural Perfection of Awareness opens his discussion with the theme of absence…the openness of awareness as felt absence, or emptiness, or nothingness. The initial experience of such absence can be terror in the vastness of the great expanse where there is no reference. As one slowly, but surely, becomes more capable of holding, assimilating and experiencing this primordial openness, then within this openness of the great expanse the experience of spontaneity, unceasing spontaneity, magical spontaneity emerges.

2. All experience takes place within awareness as timeless spontaneity….timeless awareness manifests spontaneously. Timeless spontaneity is always present and is created by no one and is the very nature of pure awareness. Pure awareness is truly the wish fulfilling gem…the magical potential from which and out of which and within which everything arises. Timeless spontaneity is the origin of all, of samsara and nirvana. In timeless spontaneity there is freedom…the freedom of manifestation, multidimensional manifestations.

3. This pure awareness, this field of gnosis is indeterminate, completely indeterminate without fixation and without frame and without reference.  Pure openness. To live within this pure openness is to live within this indeterminate space and is to dwell within this realm of freedom and magic. This vast indeterminate quality is the source of both spontaneity and potentiality …to dwell within this space of spontaneity and potential is….the bliss of freedom….muktananda.  To live within this essence one must be beyond the mind and embody awareness completely. To be in the mind alone is to experience the determinateness of experience and inherent fixation of events. There is both illusionary security and hopelessness in fixation; the fixation of history, the fixation of events, the fixation of mind, and fixation of circumstance.

 The inherent quality of potency, infinite potentiality may give rise to anything whatsoever and is always infinitely spontaneous, unceasing spontaneousness is dangerous. This existential ground of openness, this source as timeless spaciousness within which experience arises, everything whatsoever manifests and arises out of this spaciousness and within this spaciousness of phenomena. This process is not like a fish jumping out of water, rather this plane of immanence contains everything…everything arises within the plane of immanence and never goes beyond it. You are always with it life after life and death after death, realm after realm.

4.  This gnosis is a field, this plane of immanence is total spontaneity without inside or outside, without experiential fixation. This pure awareness is boundless like the sky, this all encompassing matrix, this multidimensional matrix, all embracing, integrating everything and manifesting everything….The field of spontaneous immanence is inexhaustible with out increase or decrease. Nothing is beyond it, nothing transcends it.

5.  The pure awareness field is spontaneous and complete. It is the totality of the here and now, infinite here and now, forever and ever here and now, ceaseless here and now. At the moment of death you will be in the here and now, and immediately after you die and leave this dimension of flesh you will be in the here and now.  And when you incarnate and renter the flesh you will still be in the here and now.

This vast creative potency, creative potentiality is the natural function of the spacious openness, spacious unboundedness, indeterminate radiant space. The luminous openness of the all embracing essence is the essence of awareness; learning to rest in unbound indeterminate unfolding experience.

6.  All environments and all worlds and all beings occur and come to be in this luminous spacious field, and yet samsara and nirvana are never completely concretized or eternally locked in or completely crystallized or completely congealed.  All events are arising and dissolving within the scope of the Gnostic field, this cosmic field of spacious spontaneity….radiant spontaneity.  The Gnostic field is congealing radiance and uncongealing simultaneously, appearing and disappearing simultaneously, unconcealing and concealing simultaneously, opening and closing simultaneously, luminous and darkness manifesting simultaneously, nothingness and beingness simultaneously.

7.  All appearance is finite in form. The kinetic forms arise as circles of light and energy arising from Gnostic potency as the experience of samsara and nirvana (tigles).  This cosmo genesis is both of the macrocosmic and microcosmic universes, the worlds within worlds.

Pure awareness itself and all of its manifestations are non-dual oneness. Pure awareness and its manifestations are all pure and luminous. You and I are pure and luminous in essence and in nature.

8. Non-duality is spontaneity .The Gnostic Ground and its field manifestations are neither identical and nor different from each other.  All manifestations occur in this medium of timeless awareness.  The manifestations of the unceasing potentiality may appear as both pure (non-dual) and impure (dual) in the moment of non-dual spaciousness of awareness.  All manifestations are oneness and this oneness can not be contrived nor destroyed. The manifestations of the various dimensions within the field are equivocal, and ambiguous. The Gnostic ground, stated as a very weak and thin metaphor, is only one house with three different floors. Dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya are completely the same and yet a bit different.

9.  All Buddha beings and all sentient beings, all actual and potential worlds, all are the nature of pure awareness, multidimensional awareness. Potential, indeterminate space as dharmakaya, luminous energy manifesting vortextually, the emanation of earth among all other worlds is the multidimensional awareness.

19.  Although the spontaneous manifestations arising  out of Gnostic awareness  can be defined as pure or impure, good or bad, right and wrong, true and false, in actuality the manifestations can not be differentiated, from being the pure Gnostic existential ground.

20. The clear luminous non-dual knowingness of pure awareness may manifest as ordinary good and bad experience, beauty and horror, and yet what happens in the moment of the experience of non-dual awareness is the arising and the release of suffering. Suffering does arise within non-dual awareness and is released within non- dual awareness. This is the experience of the non-duality of samsara and nirvana. Within the non-dual field of awareness, duality appears and duality disappears. Duality, within non-duality.  This is the essence of magical realism.

Many forms of eastern philosophy both Vedantic and Buddhist utterly deny duality by denying otherness. The Madhyamaka (Buddhist - all phenomena are empty of "substance" or "essence" meaning that they have no intrinsic, independent reality apart from the causes and conditions from which they arose.) , Advaita (Hindu – non-duality) Vedanta believe that in the non-dual absolute the subject object duality is totally negated. Subjectivity is negated; reality of the vessel of the world is negated. Incarnation is negated. This crass and gross idealism is dissociative and illusionary at best.  In the denial of otherness as the non-dual experience of solipsism is resultant….a kind of attachment disorder is fabricated…The Dzogchen of Longchenpa is without the denial of otherness and is an expression of magical realism.

21.  Subject and object are manifestations of the awareness field within the awareness field as the awareness field…there is duality within non-duality. There is duality within oneness of non-duality within the nature of the immanent plane of awareness. Subject and objects are spontaneous manifestations of the one luminous plane of awareness.  Duality is the manifestation of non-duality and takes place within non-duality as non- duality.  We might say we live in a non-dual duality or duality within non-dualness. This is bliss of magical realism.

22.  Non-duality is ambiguous experience.  All manifestations are equivocal. Equivocal means having more then one meaning…completely the same with difference.

23.  The ambivalent spontaneity of pure awareness gnosis is manifested as three dimensions of the Gnostic ground, i.e. dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. The metaphor of a crystal prism is used, the crystal prisms diffracting pure colorless light as the five rainbow rays of color. The radiance manifests as the 5 Buddha families to use the Buddhist functional metaphor, which manifest as the five elements, which manifest and configure the world, the luminous world of flesh.

24.  These three dimensions of awareness and its manifestations are infinitely spontaneous. In the diffraction of the crystal spectrum of light, the five colored luminous rays of light are separately distinguished and are the manifestation of the one potency of the crystal spectrum of light without discrimination. The emptiness or the openness or nothingness or spaciousness or purity is the dimension of pure being of the dharmakaya. The radiance, intrinsic luminosity is the dimension of bliss, the sambhogakaya, and the indeterminate medium of emanation is the nirmanakaya. This is the magical dimension of gnosis and these are the Gnostic dimensions of spontaneity within the spacious ground as field.

25.  The crystal prism and the fivefold spectrum of light within it share a common field and there can be no qualitative distinction made between them. There is absolutely no qualitative distinction between the emptiness of gnosis which is the dimension of pure being dharmakaya, which is like a crystal, its brilliance is the dimension of bliss which is like spectrum of the light and is sambhogakaya, and is unlimited potential for manifestation and emanation of light becoming worlds, including the world of flesh, nirmanakaya. The three Gnostic dimensions are of one essence. The apparitional manifestation is of the one essence and the appearance of the vessel of the world is of one essence. Throughout the entire Gnostic dimension is unimpeded manifestation of indeterminate spontaneity. Primordial spaciousness is pervasively present within the Gnostic continuum.

26.  Pure being is indivisible from three dimensions of reality. The light of awareness is pure being and the lights intrinsic shining as the manifestation of apparitional existence (sambhogakaya) and shining as the manifestation of the existential appearance of the vessel of the world and its inhabitants appearing distinctly and inexorably brilliant. These intrinsic manifestations are the bliss of timeless awareness and the great compassion which is its magical emanations.

27.  Any attempt to revert to the source is redundant because there is no distinction to be made between the source and its manifestations, likewise there is no qualitative distinction to be made between any varieties of manifestations. All are unified; all are in the oneness of gnosis.

28.  The three Gnostic dimensions may appear to be separate but are one in reality.  The three are indistinguishable due to their common nature.  The experience is total reality, the brilliance is total reality…the essence is total reality. The common light of day can not be distinguished from the purity of reality.

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