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Subject: Re: Johnson's books & their misassessment in theosophical circles
From: Hazarapet@a...
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001

In a message dated 1/20/01 5:26:45 PM Eastern Standard Time,
gschueler@earthlink.net writes:

<< For what it is worth, maya is not a Tibetan Buddhist concept. >>

This is new to me, and I have been studying Tibetan Buddhism for 35+
years, longer than Theosophy. The idea of maya is central to ALL schools
of Buddhism

Well, you should have spent your time better. I was initiated into Nyingmapa
and Kagyupa lineages 55 years ago when, as a young Russian science student,
I was on a geographical survey for a year which concerned mostly the interior
army and left me with time to do what I wanted. I was initiated later into
Dzog chen in Tibet before it fell. My masters, two of the last to attain the
Rainbow Body, died in the 50s and 70s. "Maya" is a Hindu term designating a
God's power to delude creatures and catch them in an illusion. This is
highly unethical behavior from a Buddhist standpoint so that even if there
was a God, such who did this, deserves
not to be esteemed worthy of our devotion. This is the teaching of the
geshes and lamas I studied under. And I have studied abhidharma,
sautrantika, madyamika-prasangika, yogacarya, huayen, and the
vatsiputriya-pudgalavadin roots of Bon Dzog chen in original languages. In
Buddhism, our mess is our own. Samsara is just the dynamic aspect of nirvana
- for a Buddha. Our deluded mess comes from combination of tanha and samsara
which together produces the false sense of self (ahamkara), egotistically
seeking own-self being (svabhava), affirming a self apart alone (tan matra
atman) from the psycho-physical dynamics of conditioned co-production (that
Hindus call, prakrti). Tanha + samsara = dukkha. Out of that comes
delusion. But we do it to ourselves, not by some God suckering us in.

<< Also, the
connection that should be sought is the Indo-Persian alchemical Tantric
tradition (bhutas-suddha) that is shared as the tantric core of Bon
>>

Grigor, as you well know, HPB clearly spoke out against both Tantra and
Bon.

Then, if this is so, she is so badly misinformed that it means she has no
better "inside contacts" as the usual hippy dippy of California off the
streets of Haight Ashbury only because they are too pooped and too old to take
any more drugs while reading Evans Wentz and Jung. Or she is not talking
about all forms of tantra.

A central tenet & practice of this "tantric core" is sexual, as it is with
all forms of tantricism, and again HPB was clearly against this.

This is a false statement that the Tibetans and Japanese practitioners of
shingon (the tantric buddhism that moves from China to Japan) have been
repeatedly refuting despite the overwhelming odds against truth posed by the
sexual fantasies of a few turn-of-the-century scholars inspiring a group of
beatniks and hippies now to burned out to learn better. "Tantra" means
taking the poisons of existence and transforming them into forces for
enlightenment. It has no particular connection to sex. Gelugpas, Kagyupas,
and most Nyingmapas are tantric practitioners (because Tibetan Buddhism
is Tantric Buddhism - including Dzog chen as the Highest Yoga Tantra
or Ati Yoga of Great Perfection in the Nyingmapa lineage) and celibate!
The yab-yum figure of a Buddha as clever means or method (upaya) of
compassion (karuna) in operation as the acutualization of his wisdom
(prajna) is a symbol that compassionate ethics is now the strongest
motivational force in the Buddha as opposed to the usual conflict between
our impulses and ethical obligations. Contrary to us, a Buddha is
spontanously ethical as his or her primary impulse. That is the
meaning of yab-yum. Otherwise, one is self-indulgently projecting
19th century occultist and drug use fantasies combined with myths
of a left hand path originally made up by 18th century Sabbatarian
followers of Swedenborg and the pseudo-Rosicrucian Clymer with
the sexual imagery and yoga of consummation between a married
couple found in Kashmiri Saivism and projecting it onto Tantric
Buddhism. As early as Conze, Bloefeld, and Lama Govinda,
this western delusion was attacked. Then the crazy Julius Evola
tried to revive it. Now EVERY Tibetan lama, including the Dalai
lama, has denounced this western sexual fantasy which is rather
self-indulgently delusive - feel sacred with one's loose habits.

<< (a Central Asian religion from Persian sources that enters Tibet as a
heterodox form of Buddhism,...>>

Bon existed in Tibet before Buddhism came to it by Padmasambhava (at
least this is the claim of most Bon Masters).

Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia by the second century. It did
not reach Tibet until the 8th century at the earliest. Buddhism existed
in Central Asia for 6 hundred years before coming to Tibet and as every
Buddhist scholar acknowledges, based on archeological finds at Turfan
and Tun huang, it came under Zoroastrian, Manichaean, and Christian
influences there. This is well documented in academic and Buddhist
sources. The evidence from Tun huang is conclusive. The pudgalavadins,
condemned as heretical in India despite being over 80,000 strong even
after persecution from the other Buddhist sects, become a form
of pudgalavadin yogacarya Buddhism in Central Asia where they survive.
This Buddhism becomes the Central Asian Dzog chen attested by
the original texts found at Tun huang (now acknowledged to profoundly
modify Nyingmapas sense of their own history by Dzog chen master
Namkhai Norbu and others) which affirms that anatman only denies
a self (purusa) autonomous (atman, related to atom, auto, autonomous)
from conditioned co-production and not a continuous person (pudgala
bhavana) or personal continuum. It is this source, BTW, that Guenon
affirmed was the source of HPB's theosophy mixed and corrupted by
19th century occultism and freemasonry. Anyway, both Bon and
Nyingmapa sources affirm, again contrary to your Padmasambhava
thesis which was peddled by some Nyingmapas as their form of PC
kissing up to the Gelukpas but contradicted by their oldest texts,
that Dzog chen comes to Tibet from the northwest - from a persian
source (repeated in earlier Nyingmapa sources but affirmed by the great
19 century Nyingmapa scholar and practitioner, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro
Taye) and from Oddiyana in Shambhalla (the Tun huang and Central
Asian Buddhist texts recovered by Emmerich and discussed by
snellgrove and taught as part of recovered Buddhist history in Dharmasala
identify this region as "Shamis en Balkh" - modern day Balkh in Afghanistan
where ruins of many Buddhist stupas and monasteries still exist).
Bon is the pudgalavadin version of Buddhism coming into Tibet BEFORE
orthodox versions make it in. The Nyingmapas, as also affirmed by Kongtrul
and Longchenpo, split off from the Bon when the new translations begin
in Tibet. Western scholarship tended to disbelieve this until documentation
from original sources and contemporary with the time were found to
substantiate it. As the other Tibetan Buddhist lineages have always suspected,
Dzog chen is not quite orthodox Buddhism but a heterodox form of it.

After Buddhism became popular and was established as the official
state religion, Bon changed and adopted many of its tenents.

That is old information that is also misinformation.

Both Bon and Vajrayana are graded, and while differences abound at the lower
levels, the higher levels are indistinquishable.


>> called "Bodhism" throughout the region and from which the
Nyingmapas break off in favor of the Buddhism presented in the new
translations - see Snellgrove's two volume history as well as John Myrdhin
Reynolds work and Donatella Rossi's new book on Bon). >>

I have read these works and don't come to the same conclusions.

Which works? There are several based on articles by other professional
scholars and practitioners which are in turn based on new findings recovered
from places like western Tibet, Mustang, Bhutan, Turfan, and Tun huang. So,
how do you dismiss the recovered original sources? Arbitrarily? What are
your qualifications, academically? What of the original languages involved
do you know (Tibetan?, Khotanese Saka?, Kushan?, Sanskrit?, Greek?, Uigherian
Turkish?, Aramaic? - yes, Aramaic, at Turfan, Buddhist texts were being
translated into the semitic lingua franca and then translated into Chinese
and Tibetan) or the relevant research languages (German?, Russian?, French?)
besides English? Has your "conclusions"
been professionally peer-reviewed by colleagues to seek if they hold any
water based on any supportable interpretation of the evidence?

The Nyingmapas were formed by Padmasambhava, an Indian, who was not
Bon.

False. That was a story invented to look orthodox to the new schools. It
only is as old as the terma tradition that is a way to "re-discover"
teachings that would not have been accepted without that ruse. This story of
yours is both old hat and now discredited even amongst the Nyingmapas who
believed it.

The Nymingmapa school was the original one,

Again, false. Might as well retain the ptolemaic view of the solar system
while you are at it.

There is no mention of "monads" anywhere in these. Nor
any mention of an Absolute.

There is in Central Asian Dzog chen. That is why i repeatedly say stop looking at Tibet!!! duh!! I know English is a third or second language with me but I thought Americans would have some, even if rapidly decreasing, minimal grasp of it.

<< The Central Asian Dzog chen is common to and found within
Bon, Nyingmapa lineage, as well as in some northern Indian elements of the
Sikhs, Nathas, and Bauls. I've said this before, but people seem ignorantly
fixated on looking either at Tibet or India without getting current on the
history of Central Asian religion.
>>

Dzogchen came from Bon, according to Bon tradition.

No, it came from Persian sources according to both Bon and
Nyingmapa sources. Tun huang sources show that a possible
pre-Buddhist (including Bon as the heterodox pudgalavadin)
Dzog chen became the Taoist alchemical tradition of yoga
that leads to Ch'an and Zen. At Tun huang, we find
non-Taoist texts becoming Taoist texts and the adaptation
of Central Asian Buddhist liturgy to become the liturgy
of Taoist religion, too. This brand of Dzog chen, says
that there is no permanent self nor immortal part nor
reincarnation. One must first develop an immortal
body and personhood by uiting solar and lunar
souls. One has one life to do it. Otherwise, zippo,
like rover, forever you are dead all over.

<<<<long snip on a brief bibliography of a few Snow Lion books
I have read. I have read all of the Snow Lion, Wisdom, and
older Gabriel-Snow Lion books. Plus Dharma Press and
Shambhala. The points are irrelevant to the point that--


neither admits of any monads and both reject what they call "partless
particles" or atoms in the old sense understood by Newton as solid
indivisible particles.

It was never claimed they did. It must be because people only know
of India or Tibet, and since, they don't wish to appear ignorant, if a
topic is brought up, they refer to what they have read. Again, there
is a 6 hundred year old history of Buddhism (one form heterodox
as pudgalavadin) in Central Asia which is also the region where
all oldest sources report Dzog chen comes from (whether or not
it was originally non-Buddhist altogether, heterodox Buddhist Bon
or pudgalavadin or whatever). Since nothing in Tibet matches HPB
yet nothing in India matches her views either, again, what is the
objection to looking in Central Asia except those interested lack
the academic or secondhand competence to intelligently look there?

One of the key differences between Dzogchen and the Gelug and other
schools is that Tzongkapa and others taught in a gradual progress toward
enlightenment. The graded approach is found in the idea of the 10 (or
13 or 16, etc) stages of the Bodhisvatva and in the generation and
completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra. Dzogchen allows for a
sudden enlightenment in the same way as Zen.

Dzog chen also has the lamrim approach, too. Nyingmapa
sources, ultimately, state it is lamrim or gradual approach
where preparation in lifetimes before this one allows the
apparently sudden enlightenment in this life to occur. Thus,
in Nyingmapa topographies of the path, the path is gradual
with the Supreme Highest Yoga Tantra, Atiyoga or Dzog chen
or Great Perfection, as the culminating phase. Again, if you
wish to look for real sudden path views, it has to be outside
of Tibet.

>> That is the direction and region that one academic reviewer of
Paul's book, who generally praised it, Professor James Robinson (expert on
both gnosticism and Tibetan Buddhism - fellow student with Jeff Hopkins,
Anne Klein, Wallace, Reynolds and studied under Geshe Sopa) thinks is the place
to look for HPB's sources.
>>

I wish them lots of luck. Tzongkapa, whom HPB praised throughout her
writings rejects three major Theosophical tenets: absolutism (such as her
Beness, and her use of the Hindu mahaprakriti, etc) and partless particles
(i.e., her monads) and any kind of personal Creator (her Secret Doctrine is
filled with creative hierarchies which the Tibetans will all reject). Not
one of these three ideas can be found in Bon or Tibetan
sources anywhere,

To repeat, rather ad nauseum at this point, that is why I have repeatedly
exclaimed wonderment why people keep looking in either Tibet or India.
Trained professional scholars who are also practitioners in either Tibetan
Buddhism, Dzog chen, Taoism, and/or Theosophy are looking at Central
Asian sources. You can look all you want at Tibetan sources and repeat
till you are Krishna blue in the face that HPB doctrines are not foiund there.
So what? I could keep repeating to you they are not found in your
shootim up John Wayne movies either. But did anyone ever say they
were? So, when scholar-practitioners, who don't want to just dump
HPB as a load of confused occultist crap that mixes 19th century
western occultism with a grossly misunderstood Indian or Tibetan
tradition, take her seriously that her source is a northern
esoteric Buddhist source called "bodhism" and not finding anything
that matches her views in either India or Tibet, what grounds do you
have for dismissing their Central Asian searches by repeating only
partially correct representations of Tibetan sources?

Your quoting Tibetan sources to someone who says
that is not the place to look is like someone trying to discover
something of the history of Nestorian Christianity in China and some
fundie Baptist geek keeps saying there is no such thing because no
known Christian missions from the west, especially Baptist missions,
were anything like Nestorianism. Of course they weren't, but who
says protestant missionaries exhaust the history of Christianity in Asia.


>> Johnson's book provide the best historical clues, in light of our
growing knowledge of the region, of re-connecting up with any "order" that the
mahatmas may have been a part of - if such existed or exists now. Grigor
--- >>

Grigor, I agree with you here. Paul never suggested that her Masters
were Tibetan, as she herself does in several places. I began my study of
Tibetan Buddhism with Evans-Wentz (as many of my generation did)
and only later discovered that he was a Theosophist whose interpretations
were corrected later by Buddhist scholars. The four Evans-Wentz books
can now be considered, at best, a form of Theosophical Tibetan.


What took you so long? He was up front about it in his prefaces and
introductions.


Question: Why would her Secret Doctrine be diametrically opposed to
Buddhist teachings on at least three major topics if her Masters were
Tibetan? I have no answer for this.


Tibetan is an equivocal term. It could mean linguistic, racial, religious,
political, or geographical. Tibet had colonies. Some are still under the
Dalai lama: Bhutan, Mustang. Neither Buddhism nor Bon exhaust the religious
landscape there. HPB says it is northern source and esoteric Buddhist: why
does it have to be Tibet?


Hi Grigor,

From the below it seems my concept of Maya may be more Blavatskyan than Indian. It seems to me that the concept Maya refers to the illusiveness of the universe, whether caused by gods or not. This concept plays a major part in Tibetan Buddhism, usually called (in sanscrit or pali or tibetan) sunyata, translated as emptiness, or void into English. Still the concept is mainly that everything is illusive, as in not having qualities that remain. I was only using the Indian terminology here, to avoid confusion, seems I have only added to the confusion. I agree with the rest of what you write here, indeed: our mess is our own, and Jerry probably does too.

katinka


Grigor:

> > << For what it is worth, maya is not a Tibetan Buddhist concept. >>

Jerry:
> > This is new to me, and I have been studying Tibetan Buddhism for 35+
> > years, longer than Theosophy. The idea of maya is central to ALL
> > schools of Buddhism

Grigor:

> Well, you should have spent your time better. I was initiated into
> Nyingmapa and Kagyupa lineages 55 years ago when, as a young Russian science
> student, I was on a geographical survey for a year which concerned mostly the
> interior army and left me with time to do what I wanted. I was initiated later into
> Dzog chen in Tibet before it fell. My masters, two of the last to
> attain the Rainbow Body, died in the 50s and 70s. "Maya" is a Hindu term designating a
> God's power to delude creatures and catch them in an illusion. This is
> highly unethical behavior from a Buddhist standpoint so that even if
> there was a God, such who did this, deserves
> not to be esteemed worthy of our devotion. This is the teaching of the
> geshes and lamas I studied under. And I have studied abhidharma,
> sautrantika, madyamika-prasangika, yogacarya, huayen, and the
> vatsiputriya-pudgalavadin roots of Bon Dzog chen in original languages.
> In Buddhism, our mess is our own. Samsara is just the dynamic aspect of nirvana
> - for a Buddha. Our deluded mess comes from combination of tanha and
> samsara which together produces the false sense of self (ahamkara), egotistically
> seeking own-self being (svabhava), affirming a self apart alone (tan
> matra atman) from the psycho-physical dynamics of conditioned co-production (that
> Hindus call, prakrti). Tanha + samsara = dukkha. Out of that comes
> delusion. But we do it to ourselves, not by some God suckering us in.


Subject: Re: Johnson's books & their misassessment in theosophical circles
From: "K. Paul Johnson"
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001

Grigor wrote:
> I've said this before, but people seem ignorantly
> fixated on looking either at Tibet or India without getting current on the history of Central
> Asian religion.

The electicism of the Umm al-Kitab seems to me to have some of the flavor of HPB's synthesis, and I have commented elsewhere on the Isma'ili signature of her sevenfold scheme. But no one seems to have picked up on this aspect of her intellectual genealogy.

> That is the direction and region that one academic reviewer of
> Paul's book, who generally praised it, Professor James Robinson (expert on
> both gnosticism and Tibetan Buddhism - fellow student with Jeff Hopkins, Anne
> Klein, Wallace, Reynolds and studied under Geshe Sopa) thinks is the place to look for
> HPB's sources.

Of course, plenty of her sources are visible in her bibliographies so I presume you mean here her *concealed* sources. Do you see any prospect of locating sources that would seem to be the basis for the Stanzas of Dzyan or the Voice of the Silence? David Reigle's optimism about finding such a thing in Tibetan literature seems to rest on faith rather than reason, as best I can tell from reading his study. I find Jamal ad-Din, a character not much commented on by my readers, to be a fascinating possible literary influence on HPB, who said that a "Persian Sufi" was the only person to ever show her a copy of the "Chaldean Book of Numbers." JAD had traveled extensively in Central Asia, was something of a collector of esoteric manuscripts from obscure places, lived in Tbilisi at the same time as HPB, and thus might have fed her all manner of source material.

Cheers, Paul Johnson


Subject: Re: Johnson's books & their misassessment in theosophical/katinka
From: Grigor
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001

Katinka Hesselink writes:

> From the below it seems my concept of Maya may be more Blavatskyan than
> Indian. It seems to me that the concept Maya refers to the illusiveness of
> the universe, wether caused by gods or not. This concept plays a major
> part in Tibetan Buddhism, usually called (in sanscrit or pali or tibetan)
> sunyata, translated as emptiness, or void into English. Still the concept

Hello, The illusion aspect applies mostly to yogacara idealism as a metaphysical concept. Otherwise it is ethical-delusion. So, the Saravastins were realists, Sautratika are realists, in the sense there is a universe out there apart from our delusional state. It is karmically created by sentient beings and Buddhas (as a Buddha field, a world is empty of anything to resist Buddha's teaching o compassion) but real. Sunyata is the flipside of conditioed co-production. It means that nothing contains within itself its own self-sufficient existence (svabhava) apart (tan matra) from contextual factors that are the extrinsic conditions for its being. Sunyata means all things are asvabhava. This in itself does not make the world illusion. Rather, it is our attempt to control it or have it be otherwise than it is that makes not it but us illusory. Since we are deluded by inauthentic concerns and attachments, it is we who are not real - illusion, ethically speaking. Only a Buddha, so to speak, is a "person" of (ethical) substance or real. But even a Buddha is empty - just not illusory (untrustworthy, shifty, fails in commitments, a moral fake). We are illusory because our tanhic attachments to stave off being dependent on conditions we do not control is a karmically acquired incompetence or incapacity to be real-genuine. We do not have the indestructible embodiment (vajrakaya) of a Buddha's conditioned co-production form of existence which is compassion for all sentient beings. Tantrically, samsara as a space-time drama of conditioned co-production where everything is interconnected becomes transformed for a Buddha into his/her compassionate interconnectedness with everything that comprises his/her Buddhafield.

Grigor


Subject: Re to Gilkor
From: Gerald Schueler
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001

<< Well, you should have spent your time better. >>

Now you tell me!!!

<< I was initiated into Nyingmapa and Kagyupa lineages 55 years ago when, as a young Russian science student, I was on a geographical survey for a year which concerned mostly the interior army and left me with time to do what I wanted. I was initiated later into Dzog chen in Tibet before it fell. >>

Well, some folks have all the luck. I am impressed (seriously).

<< My masters, two of the last to attain the Rainbow Body, died in the 50s and 70s. >>

I do believe in such phenomon.

<< "Maya" is a Hindu term designating a God's power to delude creatures and catch them in an illusion. >>

This may be the Hindu interpretation of it. Tibetans certainly do not look at it way but rather interpret it simply as the illusion of samsara. I first came across this in the Evans-Wentz books, but it is also in Tibetan writings such as THE PRACTICE OF DZOGCHEN by Longchen Rabjam (Snow Lion, 1989) which speaks of a Dzogchen "maya yoga" among other things. The Tibetans like Sanscrit terms, and it is my understanding that Dzogchen was not immediately adopted by Tibetan schools because it had no Indian origins.

>> This is highly unethical behavior from a Buddhist standpoint so that even if there was a God, such who did this, deserves not to be esteemed worthy of our devotion. This is the teaching of the geshes and lamas I studied under. >>

And I agree with it. Too bad most Theosophists don't.

<< And I have studied abhidharma, sautrantika, madyamika-prasangika, yogacarya, huayen, and the vatsiputriya-pudgalavadin roots of Bon Dzog chen in original languages. In Buddhism, our mess is our own. >>

OK, but I am not sure what your last line refers to (who is "our"?)

<< Samsara is just the dynamic aspect of nirvana - for a Buddha. >>

I suspect that this would depend on the school, but certainly the two form a duality and have to go together. Tozonkapa was of the opinion that a Buddha could see both samsara (phenomena) and nirvana (emptiness) simultaneously (Bodisattvas can see only one at a time) and called this omniscience.

<< Our deluded mess comes from combination of tanha and samsara which together produces the false sense of self (ahamkara), egotistically seeking own-self being (svabhava), affirming a self apart alone (tan matra atman) from the psycho-physical dynamics of conditioned co-production (that Hindus call, prakrti). Tanha + samsara = dukkha. Out of that comes delusion. But we do it to ourselves, not by some God suckering us in. >>

I absolutely agree.

<< Then, if this is so, she is so badly misinformed that it means she has no better "inside contacts" as the usual hippy dippy of California off the streets of Haight Ashbury only because they are too pooped and too old to take any more drugs while reading Evans Wentz and Jung. Or she is not talking about all forms of tantra. >>

I am already on record as to the latter possibility.

<< This is a false statement that the Tibetans and Japanese practitioners of shingon (the tantric buddhism that moves from China to Japan) have been repeatedly refuting despite the overwhelming odds against truth posed by the sexual fantasies of a few turn-of-the-century scholars inspiring a group of beatniks and hippies now to burned out to learn better. "Tantra" means taking the poisons of existence and transforming them into forces for enlightenment. It has no particular connection to sex. <<

What about the yab-yum deities that abound in the Vajrayana? What about karmamudra that we have discussed previously on this list and which even Tzongkapa and HH the Dali Lama acknowledge although neither practice?

<< Gelugpas, Kagyupas, and most Nyingmapas are tantric practitioners (because Tibetan Buddhism is Tantric Buddhism - including Dzog chen as the Highest Yoga Tantra or Ati Yoga of Great Perfection in the Nyingmapa lineage) and celibate! >>

What is your definition of "celibate?" Since there is no emmission some would say that tantric sex is not really sex at all, but simply a means to generate and develop bliss. I have practiced jnanamudra for years. Is this a sexual act? I don't know, but it does work. According to every one of my Vajrayana (the vajra itself being a euphemism for the penis) books the karmamudra (a physical partner that one has sexual intercourse with) is a major part of Highest Yoga Tantra and most Masters go so far as to say that it is a prerequisite to Buddha-hood, although I think that a jnanamudra will do as well. In any case, it is difficult for me to believe that virtually every book on the market today espousing the need for a karmamudra all are wrongly translated and that the Tibetan Lamas do not know what they are talking about.

<< The yab-yum figure of a Buddha as clever means or method (upaya) of compassion (karuna) in operation as the acutualization of his wisdom (prajna) is a symbol that compassionate ethics is now the strongest motivational force in the Buddha as opposed to the usual conflict between our impulses and ethical obligations. >>

This is one interpretation. But surely a male & female in sexual union is not necessary to get this across. There is more to it. The male represents wisdom (spiritual insight) and the female represents means (compassion) but their sexual union is necessary to generate bliss or ecstasy. Else why not have them just stand side-by-side together? In a psychological sense, the male is the Self and the female is the Jungian anima or inner sexual opposite, and wholeness (Jung's individuation) requires their union. In an attempt to put this in Theosophical terms, lower samdahi or formless consciousness without bliss is what we experience on the causal plane. Many experience this in meditation as turiya, the fourth mental state, and mistake it for spiritual consciousness (higher samadhi). But consciousness on the higher three planes always is accompanied by an overwhelming ecstasy or bliss. This is the real meaning, I think, behind the yab-yub symbolism.

<< Contrary to us, a Buddha is spontanously ethical as his or her primary impulse. That is the meaning of yab-yum. >>

As I said above, I think that yab-yum means a whole lot more than simple ethics. In fact, showing a man and a woman in sexual union seems very unethical to a lot of folks.

<< Now EVERY Tibetan lama, including the Dalai lama, has denounced this western sexual fantasy which is rather self-indulgently delusive - feel sacred with one's loose habits. >>

Which is exactly why the karmamudra is not used until one is well into Highest Yoga Tantra and can use it effectively.

<< which affirms that anatman only denies a self (purusa) autonomous (atman, related to atom, auto, autonomous) from conditioned co-production and not a continuous person (pudgala bhavana) or personal continuum. <<

All I can tell you is that the Geluk school holds that there is no atman, and that no "person" exists in either a conventional sense or in an ultimate sense. No "self" exists even conventionally. We posit one and act as if such existed, but it doesn't. Blavatsky ignores this teaching and gives us only a few hints.

<< Anyway, both Bon and Nyingmapa sources affirm, again contrary to your Padmasambhava thesis >>

I only know what I read, and virtually all history agrees that Padmasambhava brought Buddhism to Tibet. His strongest opponents counter that he was a legend and not historically real, but this has never been proved.

<< Which works? There are several based on articles by other professional scholars and practitioners which are in turn based on new findings recovered from places like western Tibet, Mustang, Bhutan, Turfan, and Tun huang. >>

This kind of Mickey Mouse counter attack is why I don't like history. Everyone has their own ideas as to what really happened in the past, and there is no proof to any of it. I refuse to argue over the history of anything...

<< Has your "conclusions" been professionally peer-reviewed by colleagues to seek if they hold any water based on any supportable interpretation of the evidence? >>

Again, this kind of bullshit is what poor ol' Paul Johnson fights all the time. Sorry, Grigor, but I refuse to get sucked up into this kind of trivial persuit. My anwser to you, sir, is who really gives a shit?

With kind respects, Jerry S.

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