Synopsis for Book
Thanks to Marcel who collated some articles a year ago with the idea of producing a book, we have recently completed this process (it’s taken a year with updates and adjustments), and the project is now being proof read. Unfortunately, the proof reader (Kathie, my wife) has just had a eye operation, so there is more delay – that’s life.
The following is the synopsis for the book, “Buddha In The Mud”:
This book offers an overall view of consciousness from a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen tradition.
Consciousness has two aspects; the ability to look both outward and within. In this way, we prove what is real and what isn’t, and identify what is merely a belief. The use of the word ‘spiritual’ in this context means pure consciousness that purely sees, without judgement. Our comments, which come a moment later, can express either self-interest or genuine compassion for others.
The Dzogchen approach, from the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma tradition, introduces us to the direct realisation of our true nature, and the path to enlightenment. This realisation opens the door, and takes place within our own mind and within our own culture. When we realise this absolute truth of pure consciousness – which is what we are – we will realise the truth within all teachings.
Ultimately, we are the truth that we seek. It is because of pure consciousness that everything is known, so that comes first; that is where everything starts and finishes. Before thought, there must be consciousness, but before this outward-looking consciousness, there is pure, inner consciousness. Truth is never out there. It’s here, right now, and truth never changes.
The most important instruction from the Buddha is, “Do not take my word for it; test it for yourself”. Without this, teachings are merely hearsay or belief. As Christ said, “Seek and you shall find”. It is we who have to see in order to realise as opposed to just believing what we are told. As the Tibetan teacher, Tulku Urgyen said, “We are free in the moment of seeing”, and we do not have to be either religious or scholastic to experience this realisation.
When we realise our true nature, we will realise that those negative emotions which we try to hide are, in fact, wisdoms. These negative emotions are inseparable from pure consciousness, because recognition and realisation are simultaneous, like reflections in a mirror. Not knowing this, we remain asleep in our habitual programming of reactionary thoughts and emotions.
Spiritual teachings should be practical, and not merely beliefs that maintain our neuroses. Why? Because genuine teachings eliminate dissatisfaction and suffering, and reveal the genuine happiness and wisdom that has always been our essential nature. Only in this way can we be of benefit to others; from understanding comes compassion.
There are many levels to these teachings, where the same words are used but, through experience, their meanings change. At each level, the teachings are correct in themselves, but we may find that suddenly, they do not totally satisfy. This is a good sign. In seeking the absolute truth, we will eventually realise that we are the truth we seek. This truth is pure consciousness for, without that, nothing would be known: this is experienced and realised through the stillness of body, speech, and mind in meditation.
Pure consciousness isn’t something we create. It is always present but, for thousands of years, we have been misled to worship appearances and beliefs. The truth is in our understandingof those words handed down to us, rather than in someone’s interpretation of those words. Gradually, it all makes sense, no matter who said it. Pure consciousness – absolute consciousness – supreme being.
Exoteric teachings are for the many and rely on belief, whereas esoteric teachings are practical applications to realise the truth. Here, we start to understand the different levels: for example, the first two commandments in the Bible – “You shall have no other Gods but me” and “You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it” can be seen from an esoteric viewpoint.
By turning the exoteric into the esoteric,
we realise that it is worshipping the outer that obscures the inner.
When consciousness worships a self image, it creates confusion.
When consciousness realises its true essence,
it is free of belief in that very moment of seeing.