Metaphor = Confusion = Emotions
Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
This is a Nyingma Dzogchen blog and so the dialogue is coming from that point of view. Mixing metaphors – and mixing traditions – can be very misleading and is the cause of unnecessary arguments. If your metaphors work for you, that’s fine, but if they do not quite fit, then we have to be more precise because we may be sewing with a two headed needle.
There are no words for ultimate reality, as ultimate reality is beyond words. Genuine pure experience comes before the words used to describe ‘it’. If we rely on the words rather than the experience, this may develop into a belief system.
We have to understand the point of our spiritual practice so that we know what we are doing, and why we’re doing it. If we don’t understand it in an experiential way, it remains a concept. Because pure experience is continuous, at the very moment we claim “This is it!” – we are off ‘it’ and into a concept! Pure ‘it’ is a continuous non-involvement. Calling ‘it’ anything is in the moment afterwards.
There is also the problem different traditions have of what to call ‘it’. In fact, it’s not an ‘it’; it’s an ‘is’! Just being aware – hence pure awareness – or pure is-ness. Being, without being ‘something’.
When we mix metaphors, we can get into great problems and confusion, and this can become a cuase of aggression. In traditional text, there is much made of the phrase“neither exists, or does not exist”: that requires a deep level of understanding.
From a Buddhist point of view, practice is all about awareness and pure awareness (also called emptiness, as there is nothing other present).
In Buddhism, the words ‘God’, ‘Source’ or ‘Higher self’ are misleading if they are seen as different from our true nature. Generally, ‘God’ is seen as the creator; if that is your view then that’s fine, but it’s not a Buddhist view. The word ‘Source’ indicates some thing from where everything arises; this too is not a Buddhist view, as ultimate reality (our true nature) is beyond all external phenomena, and anything created has its cause in our innate ignorance of this true nature. ‘Higher self’ is also a not a Buddhist concept: this too is a confused view, as that which is aware of this statement is merely pure awareness. It’s not something ‘higher’.
We are constantly in the process of refining experience – beyond emotions, confusions or metaphors. Authentic scholars and meditators have spent centuries refining commentaries on ancient text to help all sentient beings, in their time and place.
We have to investigate too, in order to see if these explanations stand up to the reality we experience. And all experience can be refined.