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Home Forums Other (non-Buddhist) teachings by Tarthang Tulku IDENTIFYING WITH PRODUCTS OF MIND

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      David Filippone

        Photo:  ‘Freedom’ by JW A – Pixabay


        I’ve been studying Tarthang Tulku’s book ‘Revelations of Mind’, through the use of Richard Dixey’s two volume, inclusive commentary on that book entitled, ‘Searcher Reaches Land’s Limits.’ The book has some relevant things to say about how we tend to get caught in self-created bubbles of our own making.  Here are some insightful quotes…

        “PAGE 29, PARAGRAPH 1 [Revelations of Mind]: At some point, individuals identify themselves with particular products of mind, in much the same way that people are drawn to certain brands of products that support their “self-image. They may shape their fantasies and desires accordingly, or identify with certain kinds of music, or take up concepts or forms of language that enhance characteristics they admire. Doing this can provide a sense of personal empowerment. Accepting the products of minds as their own, they become strongly convinced of the reality of whatever it is they identify with. “This is the way it is, this is the way I am, this is the way I should be.”

        “One of the most common ways you see this kind of ‘branding’ is in political affiliation. People have very strongly held views about matters that are not really their own, views they have adopted and then made personal. “This is the way it is, and this is the way I am, so this is the way it should be.”

        When you meet people who hold these sorts of positions, they are very hard to argue with, because their affiliation is completely tied up with their sense of self. This is why people go to war over beliefs, more than over anything else. What one side thinks is the case is different from the other, and they both get locked together in a temple of righteousness. You get this absurd situation in which two sides are clashing, and both are praying to God. They may even be praying to the same God!” p.65-6  [Emphasis added]

        … “Imagine you are in an argument. Whatever you say, your partner hears it as something else. We have all had this experience. How about a political discussion? You quickly realize that communication is really, really difficult. This is because the other person is receiving an echo of what you are saying, lensed through his or her own conceptual apparatus.

        “This is happening all the time to a greater or lesser extent. That’s where confusions and misinterpretations are rooted.  And often it’s really, really difficult to break through to actually communicate anything at all. The phenomenon is just a symptom of a far more general issue, which is that we live in a bubble, a casket of concepts, a box made up of concepts which we call the world. This box is both temporally and experientially behind the curve of events. Experientially it limits our capacity to react in a spontaneous way. It’s colored, conditioned, and limited by preconceptions, judgments, memories—the entire retinue. The efficiency of this kind of automation has limited our range of responses.

        PAGE 39, PARAGRAPH 2 [Revelations of Mind]: Throughout our lives, we live within this mind-created realm, cut off from the immediacy of experience and subject to the dictates and interpretations of mind’s regime. Within this realm, the regime holds sway. Everything mind presents—even the most toxic feelings and emotions, even extreme anxiety and physical pain—is acceptable, because on a very fundamental level we have empowered mind to feed back to us the regime’s interpretations and meanings.

        “It is a strange fact that the regime of associations, the actual bubble we are in, can be quite toxic. Because it is built on the unconscious process of confirmation, the foundation of “Yes, that’s right,” we don’t change it.  People can be living in really quite hellish constructs and yet not want to change them.” p.86-7 [Emphasis added]

        The ‘‘Searcher Reaches Land’s Limits,’ books, volumes I and II, actually layout a path of freedom from the tyranny of regime of mind, and the trap or imprisonment of our own way of conceptualizing.


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