The Secret of Tibetan Buddhism is…
that the three wisdoms are the three poisons.
The three wisdoms are
Empty essence, cognisant nature and unconfined compassion.
The three poisons are
ignorance,* desire and aversion.
Our absolute being is wisdom.
Our relative being is the poisons.**
However, they are not different.
The poison is the medicine.
This is the meaning of the two truths as a unity.
Pure awareness sees and an emotion arises:
that is when a new timeline can open up!
The very moment an emotion arises, the mind brightens with the energy of clarity. A new timeline or cross road occurs, and we break the cycle of samsaric existence. But this is just a moment, and if it passes unnoticed, the emotions explode into the same old dark, habitual prison. If, however, we know the nature of the three wisdom (the kayas), energy creates space and we return to wisdom. It is instantaneous. We still have to respond to the situation but there is now no obsessional clinging, no aftertaste.
Before we can understand the process of the unity of the three wisdoms and the three negative poisonous emotions, we must recognise them as being separate so that we can understand how they are seen as a unity. This is why we need subtle instruction in discerning the difference between the 8th and 9th consciousnesses – the Alaya Vijnana and Rigpa (see archives for further information under The Eight Consciousness)
Our absolute being is empty, pure, aware and compassionate expression. Because we identify with a mental self image, we forget this absolute nature and become protective of an acquired nature, our baby. We become narcissistic. Because of this, ignorance, desire and aversion therefore arose, and are reinforced at every moment in an habitual continuity, each moment of ignorance creating the next moment of ignorance, filling emptiness.
Here is the correlation:
Desire = Emptiness.
Our ‘being’ is Empty.
Desire fills emptiness with concepts.
Aversion = Awareness.
Our ‘being’ is Awareness.
Aversion arises when an “I” starts comparing and judging.
Ignorance = Compassion.
Our ‘being’ is Compassion.
Ignorance arises when empty awareness forgets its true nature, and that of others.
Emptiness is Ultimate truth.
Awareness is Relative truth.
Compassion is the unity of ultimate and relative truths.
If we remain just in Emptiness, we can become spaced out = Nihilism.
If we remain just in Awareness, everything – including ourselves – will appear solid = Eternalism.
Real love is the wisdom-understanding of the middle way.
* ignorance: forgetting or not knowing, giving rise to the emotions of pride, jealousy, desire, fear…
** ‘poison’ in the sense of something that has a destructive or corrupting influence.