Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unbounded Wholeness, the Bon Po and Dzogchen

"Through teaching essential precepts, your mind is known. Like seeing your face when a mirror is shown, to know that is to know the dimension of Bon." Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon, and the Logic of the Nonconceptual --by Anne Carolyn Klein, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal, Rinpoche

Dzogchen, or the Great Completeness as it's sometimes known, is one of the great thoughts of the East. Its practice encompasses ancient Buddhism and the Bon, an indigenous religion of Asia, especially in the Tibetan region. The tradition encompasses "mind-nature" as both its object, and its practice. 
Dzogchen teaches that mind-nature is completely uncontrived; that it is neither an improvement upon enlightenment nor an impediment, nor a flaw in Samsara. Why? Because the sages teach it is always present. The presence of wholeness governs its nature.

"Wholeness defines liberation and determines the strategies or the lack thereof that defines it," write the authors, Anne Carolyn Klein,
Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, in an important book on this topic, Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen, Bon, and the Logic of the Nonconceptual.
They seek to discuss the notions of a wholeness, a completeness which is in and of itself complete as nature herself. There is, unlike the intellectual, spinning mind, no cause for division in wholeness. The authors next take up the topic of authenticity.

This is defined as Dzogchen does: authenticity
is that which takes valid or correct measure; for a "subject to take the correct measure of its object means that a knower is valid with respect to what it knows." 

While these ideas are complex, they do not seem to be concerned with typical, syllogistic thought. Instead Dzogchen's authenticity accesses a single, principle thought, central to what is often called unbounded wholeness. It is not, however considering, what many familiar with Tibetan Buddhism think of as "the core problem of universals".
For Dzogchen only open awareness is authentic.

In this sense, there is no apparent statement of relationship of an object to its subject; indeed, placement gives no indication of relationship. The Buddhist master Dzogchen and others like him take an interest in the relationship of open awareness and delusion. 

Its philosophy addresses questions such as: how can one look in the mirror? How can one recognize or "know" one's own face? How is it authenticated? In simple terms, how do you know something, or anything? And while not directly quoting Bon scriptures, Dzogchen plainly indicates through his topic and ensuing discussion that the ideas of the Bon are indeed there, in the background. 
Finally it is so that without primacy of experience or understanding, one cannot provide authentic reasoning. Both the process and realized states of being are distinguished within this cosmology. And unbounded wholeness is how and what reality is. Yours to discover.

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