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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 Phenomenology of TimelessAwareness as Vajra Kumara

1. The Guhyagarbha Tantra is a source in Dzogchen Nyingma tradition. Its essence is that all awareness is awakened awareness and all phenomena are awakened phenomena. Awareness is enlightened, and all phenomena are enlightened. The divinity of awake-ness-- awareness… primordial awareness-- is within us as us and within the world as awakened phenomena. As Shaivite sutras declare, “The bliss of samadhi is the bliss of the world. The bliss of the world is the bliss of samadhi.” There is no separation between being and the phenomena of all the infinite beings. All beings are the manifestation of pure being-- pure awareness. Pure awareness is being and being is not a being. All beings are the manifestation of pure awareness as awareness. All phenomena is awareness-- luminous awareness.

2. Or as Swami Muktananda would say: “God dwells within you, as you;” “See God in each other;” “God is not an entity;” and “God is within you as you. Not hidden within you. Not a seed (garbha) within you, but you.” God is pure awareness as your own awareness, as your body and as your mind. In the Guhyagarbha tantra, the aggregate of the function of your mind is divine. The dakinis are the aggregate, divine functions, and the elements are the Buddhas. Elements are the lights of awareness.

3. Of course you may not experience this, and so you do not think it is true for you. This awaken-ness is the openness of being itself. Awareness is openness. Being is openness. Being is the dharmakaya. Being is Shiva. All human beings are openness. This openness of awareness, this openness of awareness, is manifested as our very own subjectivity itself-- our consciousness itself. This openness allows us to know and experience both within and around us, to know directly (gnosis) and also indirectly through symbol, words, letters and even gestures. This awareness allows us to communicate directly-- awareness knowing awareness within one’s self and others. This openness is the great expanse.

4. This dynamic is both microcosmic and macrocosmic. This dynamic is of awareness becoming aware of awareness. In Shaivism, Shiva, who is not a blue guy with a blue girl named Shakti, is awareness-- pure awareness becoming aware of awareness. This is-ness of being is not a thing. The sense of being is awareness-- invisible awareness is being (openness) and is maha sukha (bliss). This process of awareness becoming aware of awareness is infinite and infinitely creative. I am that and that I am… as Shiva becomes aware of himself, awareness, the experience is ahum (I am) and continues in spiraling vortexual-ness. “I am,” “that I am” and self-recognition creates worlds within worlds.

5. In Buddhist language, the dynamic is the same. The dharmakaya, which is pure self-awareness, manifests the worlds as sambhogakaya-- rapture, luminous rapture-- and nirmanakaya-- luminous desire.  The dharmakaya is not a thing. The dharmakaya is not is-ness alone, as some would think, but awareness alive-- awareness intrinsically knowing itself as knowing-ness. This is the great compassion that generates out of the radiance of self awareness as us… an us that is a given-ness, which is the same as the giver-- there is no difference whatsoever. This dharmakaya is pure potentiality, and the same potentiality is you-- that which manifests you is you. Of course you do not have to believe this and probably do not think it. You do not think that your very own awareness is completely pure openness and timeless in time.

6. The Dzogchen masters say your awareness is the vajra kumara… indestructible youthfulness. You simply have to experience what is there already. You simply have to become aware of your own awareness and you will experience the protection of the great compassion, which is actually the only protection. THIS GREAT COMPASSION IS RADIANCE AND THE GENERATIVE RADIANCE WHCH IS LOVE, WHICH IS GENERATIVITY…EXTENSION. THE GREAT COMPASSION IS NOT SIMPLY RECEPTIVITY TO THE PAIN OF THE WORLD, INTERNALIZATION OF PAIN AND THE ATTEMPT TO TRANSMUTE PAIN THROUGH OUR OWN BODIES. COMPASSION IS NOT THE INTERNALIZATION OF MISERY, AS SOME SUGGEST. IT IS ACTION THAT TRANSMITS LIGHT AS LOVE…RADIANCE. COMPASSION CREATES TIME AND CREATES THE WORLD.

7. You really do not have to go far, as even Husserl the philosopher of phenomena would say: “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure awareness and the doorway is our own subjectivity”.

8. Of course as time passes you may experience with your awareness the sense of timelessness, vast spaciousness, and pure presence. But I bet you think you’re getting a vision-- sort of peeping through a key hole and having an experience by chance or by luck, or because the gods are really being good to you. But actually, as you experience timeless awareness, that timeless awareness is you, and time is in timeless awareness… the time that you are, the phenomena that you are, which is time, is in timeless awareness.

9. This is really great because when you know this directly and have some confidence, you will completely lose your fear of death. Rather then being annihilated  you know that timeless awareness, which is in time, and time, which is in timeless awareness, will always be. Timeless awareness is not lent to you. It is not a borrowed shoe. It is you, and timeless awareness manifests in time and in the various dimensions of time. The timeless awareness that manifests as your singularity, with all its quirks and doubts, will continue as you-- ongoing continuity of being different forms, different histories of incarnation.

10. And so Dzogchen is a story of timeless awareness-- divine awareness-- incarnating over and over again in different dimensions and different worlds. In its own way, Christianity is also a story of incarnation over and over again. If you understand that, the Christ consciousness is in you as you.

11. There is a kind of nihilism-- an empty nothing… the great cessation that dominates religious thought— that dominates forms of Buddhism for sure, dominates certain forms of Vedic rigidity for sure, and certain forms Christianity with its insistence on mediation through belief alone and church-ness, rather then the direct perception of your own knowing-ness contemplating knowing-ness itself-- belief substituting for mystic life. Of course, as Des Cartes so well knew, belief and doubt are in oneness... or to believe is not seeing and seeing does not need believing.

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