Cutting Through Extremist Views

We are all extremists
when we react.

The practice of Trekcho.

Traditionally, this practice is the Tibetan Nyingma method of seeing the arising of thoughts (or emotions) before they are fully formed, thus cutting through them to remain in equanimity of pure awareness. This gives rise to the term “appearances and recognition are simultaneous”, and this is the key to avoid becoming an extremist! It’s just a matter of seeing; “We are free in the moment of seeing” – Tulku Urgyen.

Never forget that we can still have fun in generosity, patience, discipline, conscience, concentration, and wisdom.

In this way, a true practitioner elevates their humour automatically but, for the rest of us, we need to understand the reason for this practice. It’s a shock to realise how extreme we have become, when we believe the projections in our mind that colour our view. Our view is opposed to the view of pure consciousness, which is the first instant of perception. Pure consciousness is the middle way, not too tight and not too loose. The extreme view is my way, in which we end up either up-tight or we don’t care.

… and we thought we were normal!? 😀

We are all extremists when we ignore or forget our non-dual reality of just seeing. Really! In just seeing there is neither seer nor thing seen. And this is the point: in pure consciousness, there is just a clear view without judgements.

Extremists, on the other hand, are dualists – me and other. They are separatists, ambivalent and full of doubts. This leads to confusion, opinions, fear, argument, aggression, and hatred. It’s all linked.

It’s easy to see extremism in others, but this isn’t the point; we have to acknowledge this extremism within ourselves in order to regain inner peace. If we just react – or rather, our mind just reacts – then we have lost our sanity.

This is the reason we cut through concepts in the mind. We cut through bias. It doesn’t mean that we don’t do anything about extremism: the moment we recognise it, this view loses its power. If someone abuses us and we neither react nor accept it, that abuse returns to its maker.

Belief is extremism when we are faced with the reality of actually knowing. First, we have to know what reality is. For most, their everyday events are the reality, but these events are not only temporary, they take place in our mind. This isn’t a philosophical idea; the mind is where we interpret whatever is perceived (our way) and react. We are so engrossed with the material world that we simply ignore the source or origin of the observation, which is consciousness itself.

It’s important to be kind to our extremisms. This isn’t to excuse them, but we recognise that they arise through influences around us. Remember – we are free in the moment of seeing!

How did extremism come about?

When talking about pure consciousness, we are concerned with the inseparability of emptiness and cognisance = pure consciousness. This is the middle way between eternal-ism (everything is real )and nihilism (nothing is real).

If we only consider emptiness (a pure, uncontaminated state) and forget consciousness, we can drift into nihilism, where nothing seems real. We reject all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless and, as a result, we doubt, and become negative and depressed.

If, on the other hand, we only consider consciousness and forget emptiness, we consent to believe that everything is real, and we want to ‘own’ everything. Life becomes a positive desperation. We want everyone to believe in our philosophical, political and religious views.

Confused, we can also oscillate between these two views. All we have to do is be aware of what we are doing; that is being free in the moment of seeing!

It’s worth noting that, every day, we see more extremism and confusion in the media. The media projects extremism, and people react to this, thus maintaining extremism.

The shock

This is the type of world in which we live.

So …

Cut the crap.
Get to the point.
Recognise reality.
Gain confidence,
and rest in that reality.

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  1. Nabeela says:

    What is real???

    • tony says:

      Hello Nabeela,
      What is real?
      That which never changes, and that is your essential nature of pure consciousness.

      The real you!

      Ever since you were born until now this pure consciousness has been ever present and has never changed.

      We cannot say that this reality exists as it is not a thing, but then again we are aware and conscious.

      I think this was one of those questions the Buddha never actually answered.

      Nice to meet you,

  2. Obbs says:

    Hi Tony
    I experience the extremism you are talking about.
    You are right, not a good thing at all.

    • tony says:

      Hello Obbs,
      As ordinary humans we can easily lose our sanity and become fixated in our ideas, we become extremists.

      As practitioners the recognition of those same ideas can set us free, we remain in the middle way, nicely balanced.

      Thinking and reasoning are essential to survive. Once we know how to survive we can turn our mind to reflection and inspirations about truth.

      Most merely want to enhance their survival to grander ideas, and never find happiness and true satisfaction.


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