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Reason and Rigpa - A Letter to a Friend

By:Alan Rycroft
Date: Sun,04 Jan 2015
Submitter:A.R.
Views:18717

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A fig for thy reason, Sir? Well I jest, or half jest. I guess one could write reams on what do you mean by reason? Is life rational at all when it comes down to it? Of course, one cannot deny the vital importance of a healthy dose of left-brained ‘reason’ or plain common sense to negotiate the trials and mechanics of life and everyday things. But I would suggest reason alone, like fire, is a good servant but a very bad master and it is quite lame when it comes to approaching real truth. Here something very mysterious comes into play, what the Tibetan Buddhists call ‘Rigpa” – the numinous transpersonal ground of intelligence. Reason and intellect can certainly help in the activation, penetration and explication of that but by itself it is like holding a candle to a vast and pathless forest.

Two years on from 2012 winter solstice I am still in apocalyptic millenarial mood and nothing ‘rational’ you can say can convince me otherwise. Strange unaccountable experiences still continue to erupt into my reality. Just last night I was shaking and shuddering in the street at dead of night outside my flat transfixed by what seemed like some kind of subtle energy beam. I could feel the energy touch my heart, I wanted to cry but felt inexplicably happy at the same time. Then I had a clear and very wonderful telepathic conversation with what claimed to be a Sirian being. I had earlier challenged the Sirians I had read about to demonstrate to me in palpable manner their reality and presence close to earth. The voice in the energy beam further claimed to be releasing certain deep buried traumas and blockages in my body from former lives. Afterwards I saw vague and fleeting images and flashes of Indian and Chinese characters in very violent situations, a Crusader, and an English guy from a colonial period bullying some Arabs to sign some kind of contract. And then all went quiet.

The video you sent of Terence Mckenna, The Taxonomy of Illusion, was very good. I had heard his name mentioned before by his friend, the writer Graham Hancock. I like him and agree very much with most of what he said. Some very memorable lines: “how do we know what we know?” And the biggest illusion is to think we can ever be free of illusion, as the Buddhists do! His critique of religion. The New Age: “they know too much”. Again, spot on. But one never agrees with anyone one hundred per cent. I think the same can equally be said of science and most scientists! I remember a former Guru of mine, Da Free John used to tell us always ask yourself the question, do you know what anything is? I have never forgotten that. Do we really know very much more about a tomato than we know about God? Recently, I saw on TV a top scientist from NASA saying “we don’t know much about space at all”. There are whole tomes showing our current theory of gravity is totally flawed. We don’t know what ‘gravity’ is; ‘time’ anyone? The list goes on and on. Deepak Chopra wrote a great article about Science and Religion, I just read in which he elaborates that the ‘brain is not the mirror of reality, but the processor of inputs’. Thus it merely constructs models of reality; so bottom line, what we think we know is models of reality in our own heads very largely using different languages to interpret those models. A poet uses words and feelings, a scientist, mathematics, a mystic, religious symbolisms and metaphysical concepts. Chopra (I paraphrase) : at the level of the transcendent science and religion are on a level playing field. I would add only that arrogance and dogmatism on both sides could claim otherwise. The perils of knowing too much. In my view our truths can only be approximations and more or less valid, internally consistent and workable models, within the far greater, infinite field of Truth that remains largely unknown. We are left with Wittgenstein’s, my truth ‘it is true enough’ when it comes down to it.

It set me pondering: do I in my nearly 60 year old self know very much more or see the world in a radically different way to my 17 year old self? Seventeen is when I started my search for God/Truth consciously. I would have to say, no! Something in me already knew back then much of what I ‘know’ now – it is just that my ‘knowing’, mysteriously a priori inherent in me, pre-existent, my ‘rigpa’ has been enormously enriched and expanded, filled out, and I would say tested and largely in the most generalized and essential terms, corroborated. I was only saying to a colleague the other day that when I read Carl Jung’s great biography, ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’ at sixteen, he gave me the courage of my convictions and in a way confirmed what I already knew: certain fundamental truths. These would include: Consciousness is the key to reality, has many levels and higher aspects often cloaking themselves in symbolism can communicate with us, that life is a path of individuation or self realization through making the unconscious conscious, that I have lived before, that the physical world is not it, it is more like a dream, that the universe must be the product of a higher creative intelligence; that the outer mirrors the inner in what Jung called ‘synchronicity’, that the conventional modern world is soul death oppressing and violating our urge to self realization. Jung referred to western civilization as technocratic barbarism.

Finally, people know too much because they reify and rigidify what they think they know; they are emotionally frozen so they freeze everything; we are fed and brainwashed in effect with a merciless barrage of bytes of information that contain mostly untested, unquestioned and highly questionable assumptions about the nature of reality. And because we mostly fail to rigorously self question and continually undermine those reified and reifying conceptual monsters we have the world we have. Our models of reality, seeming so vast, ‘objective’,solid, real, impenetrable; a matrix biting back on its creators and devouring us.

And so I keep on questioning and experiencing, researching, trying and testing, both physical and metaphysical knowledge. Sometimes like chemical elements the most disparate and unusual fragments of thought combine from opposite ends of a spectrum, like science and religion, ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, masculine and feminine, and form new and exciting compounds. I push the boundaries, sometimes engage weird and wonderful outlandish things, going to the edge of the known; using my gut brain and my heart brain and my head brain (I have been researching how we have three brains, not just the one we think we have! and we need to utilize and develop all three to have any grasp of living truth). And in all these imaginal, intuitive and conceptual venturings there are truths and half truths and grains of truth; and sometimes it means jettisoning the tares so the wheat can ripen and shine through, sifting. mixing and matching, a little bit of this, a little bit of that; and it is a volatile and malleable mix but in the end it is hopefully ‘true enough’.


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