I want to draw your attention to the fact that um, very vivid Tibetan painting has a curious way of creating a state of mind if you really start looking at it, that I can only call psychedelic. I don’t know anything else quite like it. As you get into the detail of it it’s like this. Let’s suppose that you look at some object. And instead of the thing becoming fuzzy, and fading out, it always gets more detailed. More clear, more alive. And you suddenly find out that what you thought was just a bunch of blah, was sixteen thousand maggots with bright eyes on them, and that every eye was a deep jewel and you go down into these deep jewel eyes and you find inside them. That there are cross legged Buddhas with orioles around them, and necklaces of human heads. And then you start looking at those. And by Jove, in every eye on one of those who were heads you look inside it and there’s another Buddha sitting there, see. And you go on like that forever and ever and ever in myriad detail see another that is a state of consciousness, which these artists are trying to represent. It is the idea of the Dhammadhatu which I explain in Last seminar and that is to say the net of jewels where every jewel reflects all the other jewels. And therefore naturally contains the reflection of all the other jewels in each other deal that it reflects the same the infinite interrelatedness all they call it mutual penetration of everything in the universe.
And so this is an art form designed to get you into the mood to understand that I look at it. It is absolute total fascination. But what I was trying to describe to you about the nature of these art forms. Where you look at the details. And then you suddenly discover that behind the details there are millions more details. And you never fuzz out. You find, in other words, that the of the possibility to see down into something goes on for ever and ever. Now then, that is the visual equivalent of hearing when you work with mantras with these formal chants. To get to hear sound in such a way that just as you could say that a visual field is rich in detail, like these paintings are, like a piece of Hindu beautiful silk weaving which is rich with gold and flowers and you see detail in that.
Now you can hear a sound in the same way and that’s what Hindu music is plain English. And so when you get down into that you are what I would call truly listening in to the universe. Because eventually if you listen to the sound that way or you look at form that way you discover its secrets. This is just another way of investigation of life, comparable to our scientific investigation with microscopes and chemical analysis and this that and the other, but it’s a different road. Scientific Investigation does what we call looking out into a matter, into the physical world. This is going in the opposite direction but it’s all the same thing, it’s the same continuum, but it’s going into the nature of your feeling of it. That is to say, into the center of awareness, into the self. And what these, all these drawings are, from various points of view, is they’re drawings of your own interior world, looked at in this way. Under the influence of the traditions of a indeed a particular culture which is not our culture and which therefore strikes us as a little strange.
But whenever you look at a work of art, and you feel. Gee isn’t that weird, that’s not the way people look. You know for people first impressions of Chinese art say they perhaps don’t meet Tibetan so easily. Is that it’s. When everything’s got curls on it. It wiggles, it’s very strange. And that, the reason for that, is that they are showing you a vision of the universe which you haven’t looked at. And so it looks odd to you, and what you mean by odd, well it curls where it shouldn’t. I don’t see things that way I don’t see them with that extra flip on them. No, indeed you don’t because the way you see things is what you call ordinary and what you used to. And as you know, we when we see, things we ignore. We screen out certain aspects of things which we don’t notice and therefore by studying other people’s art forms, we have taught to see things that we wouldn’t ordinarily notice, so that when you become used to Chinese or Tibetan painting. You say, ‘Why of course. That’s the way the world is also.’
So the feeling of the strange of the, we say the, we use the word ‘exotic’. And that means looking as a thing looks exotic when you look at it from somebody else’s point of view. And eventually you get used to it. And so if you move into a state of consciousness. Such as I’ve been trying to describe, that is not the usual kind of state of consciousness, you say it’s kind of weird isn’t it? And if you aren’t prepared for that, you might be afraid of it, and say am I going mad, am I going out of my mind. Yes you are, you’re going out of your set ordinary set of mind. But you’re going into. Just another aspect of mind. And at first, it always feels weird. That’s why people have difficulty in meditation. And they really start moving. They say well I’m going to go out of my mind if I think about that you know all those famous stories about people who invented computers and went mad. Or who thought about the nature of thought, and absolutely we never heard from again.
There’s a certain fear in other words, of the loss of one’s own ego. Of the sort of regular world, where conventions go on, where the familiar gestures are made, so that you feel at home. And you get into other dimensions of awareness, where they just as a different, the nerves are doing something else, and you don’t know whether they’re even nerves anymore. They may be little Buddhas and all these charming girls whom you see in these things and you don’t know who they are. Some kind of weird Tibetan fantasy. They say, and as you get cultural shock. Stay away from that.. it isn’t cultural shock with respect to some other people it’s cultural shock with respect to your own. In other words, that we all have in US levels of five Gratian which we’re not used to not familiar with and therefore are scared out.
So this particular kind of Buddhism the Vajrayana is a rather adventurous, not to say dangerous exploration of man’s in a consciousness, depicting it in an elaborate symbolism, which although to a Westerner used to Christian symbolism looks as if it was a drawing of some heaven somewhere. Of potentate seated on thrones and receiving homage and all that. Political. All these are quite definitely, I’m not in making this up all these are quite definitely to be understood, as exteriorizations of your own being. In other words, let us suppose that we looked on a microscope slide at the cross-section of a spinal column. Or of an area of the brain. This would show us Art and Design certain patterns and they would be rather central to you. Now, these are equivalent to those, but they’re moving in a different direction and you have to understand now the difference between what is called the material body, and the subtle body. The Rupa, actually that means the formal body, as I explained last. Second seminar. The word Rupa in Sanskrit which apply is applied to the material. The world means the world of form the world seen in a certain form a form to which we are accustomed. So you have a formal body which is new as you appear to any other objective observer. Then you have a subtle body, which is the way you as you feel to yourself. In other words, supposing you’ve been on a drunk and you wake up with a headache, and feels that your head is so big, well that’s the shape of your subtle body. Spiegelberg used to show a wonderful cartoon of Corky in the comics, looking at a plane going over the years. Doing some stunts and it made his neck grow longer and longer until it all got tired in knots. While watching the plane that was the shape of Corky’s subtle body. Which is called his linger Sharia in Sanskrit. As opposed to still a Sharia which is your gross body that means more dense.
Now so when you get the drawing of the, the microscope slide, of the say a cross-section of the spine, of something that is quite fundamental to the structure of nervous system you’ve got a design of the gross body. But when you start looking into the other direction of things, which is how you feel, and you really go into feeling, to what sound is, to what touch is, to what emotion is, and you trace the senses back along that channels did you get to the Mana Vinyana, which is the central sense behind each separate sense. And you find that it isn’t just kind of the goo, it’s it. It’s in the incredibly detailed experience. And then you draw pictures like this to represent what you found.
We would draw them in a different way. If we genuinely made this inquiry ourselves, because we have different traditions. And we would find ourselves, goodness only knows what would be drawing. But we would making things like the stained glass windows and Chartre’s Cathedral, you see. And crucifixes because when you investigate sensation. And you go down into it and you feel it getting more and more intense more and more intense long long long. Is it right down that’s how much can you stand, well that’s Jesus on the cross. Cover it with jewels. Make it gorgeous.
So all these things you see are investigations of the basic sensation of being alive, and people are curious about, you know, where are we? What’s it all about? Well the only way is to look and see. So if you want to find out what you mean by meaning, by asking a question, by asking the question. By being conscious by being here where you have to meditate. Then marriage. Ation as not meditating on something like thinking it out in an intellectual way. It is looking, more closely at what you’re asking the question about. So you can do that externally with a microscope with chemical analysis and so on that way is valid, but it has to be balanced by the internal way. Going down into your own sensations, and your own consciousness. And the point that I am going to make again, in another way, that I made this morning, is that this isn’t something you’re supposed to do. That is to say, it isn’t a chore. It isn’t your solemn duty, unless you want to come on. That’s the sort of person you ought to be. This is a delight. To get into that out of total fascination. And joy and love, of whatever it is that you are, and everybody else is. So that this is a different spirit, of religion, than that to which we’re normally accustomed.
Instead of saying, which I suppose is, an attitude characteristic of what you might call a patrist as distinct from the Matrist culture. Go and read your Bible. Well or get down on your knees and repent, see move. We feel pretty pretty spooked by that. This one says instead. ‘Psst. I’ve got something to show you.. Look in here.’ You want to know what all this is about you well take a look. You look and then you say. Oh no. Really be like that you look at this other guy who’s the guru he says it’s alright, don’t be afraid. That’s not possible. And this is the attitude that. And I don’t know how to suggest it except by the sort of drama. Of the two different approaches.
So, this then is the, as near as I can get to describing it, the inner meaning of Tantra, of an attitude which is common to both Hinduism and and Buddhism they say. Tantra, it means, not only the Web. The warp and the whoof. You can have yes without no. You can’t have this direction without having this that direction because this direction to have it that needs this other one to hang onto But he says no look here I have something to hang on to too so we end on to each other on this so that we are see that’s the nature of a web. Ansell. Tantra means the comprehension of the unity of opposites, of the good and the bad, of life and death, of love and hate of all extremes in the whole spectrum of our emotions, our sensations, everything. In a sense, this is not something for children. Because you have to be reliable, to get into this because otherwise you’ll go berserk. You wouldn’t pay any respect to any rules or anything. If you didn’t have a mature attitude before getting mixed up in this. Because you suddenly see anything and everything goes there is no way of being wrong, because you are it, whatever there is forever and ever and ever and that so, you can die, fantastic, forget everything altogether blow right up. Come back. Because the light is the other side of the darkness. Be all new again but it’s all you just as it was before because you do the same patterns. Same kind of style, the same kind of physical properties, the same dance, blotted out it starts again just like the physical forces and things you see repeat, they’re fundamental laws and patterns. It’s exactly the same with the in a well done talking about. Investigating the outer world investigating the interval it’s all one. And that’s you.
So Buddhist enlightenment is simply to know that secret. And that’s what it means really finally to grow up. You see, again just as I said that, we find in our own preachers and religious people an attitude of against lifeness. And we get a funny feeling about that, that they’re. They’re full of reprimands and they’re full of it as a trap this is and they have the young people’s fellowship as I explained to suck you into this trap. Exactly the same thing exists here. In particular I think one of the basic tantric texts is called Sarha. The treasury of songs. By Professor Gunter of the University of Saskatchewan. Sarha was a Tantric teacher living probably in the area of Bengal, about 1000 A.D.. He is making a critique of both the Hindu and Buddhist orthodoxy. So he says the Brahmans who do not know the truth recite the four Vedas in vain. With us and water and cushier grass they make preparations and seated at home they can draw fire. And from the senseless offerings that they make they burn their eyes with the pungent smoke. In Lorldy garb, with one star for three, they think themselves wise with their dramatical law. Vainly is the world in slaves by their vanity they do not know that the dharma is the same as the non-Dharma. With ashes these masters smear their bodies and on their heads they wear matted hair seated within the house, they can see to it in the corner they tingle bells they adopt a posture and fix their eyes, whispering in ears and deceiving folk teaching windows and bald headed nuns and suchlike, initiating them as they take their feet. The Jain monks mark the way with their appearance with their long nails in their filthy clothes or else naked in the dishevelled hair and enslaving themselves with their doctrine of liberation. If by nakedness one is released, then dogs and jackals must be so. If from absence of hair, that comes perfection then the hips of maidens this be so. If from having a tail there comes release, then for the peacock and yak it must be so if wisdom consists in eating just what one finds then for elephant an horse it must be so. For these Zen monks, there is no release says deprived of the truth of happiness they do but afflict their own bodies. Then there are the novices and Bhikshu, that means a Buddhist monk, with the teaching of the old school. That’s not the same as old school tie , a whole school of Theravada Buddhism. Who have to get out of the old school renounced the well to be monks some are seen sitting and reading the Scriptures, some wither away in their concentration on thought. Others have recalls to the money on it this is the doctrine which expounds the original text, they say. Others just meditate on Mandela circles. Others strive to define the fourth stage of bliss. With such investigating they fall from the way. Some would envision it as space those in doubt with the nature of voidness and thus they are generally in disagreement whoever deprived of the innate. That’s, what you really are, seeks Nirvana and in no wise acquire the absolute truth. Whoever is intent on anything else how many gain release? Will one gain release abiding in meditation? What’s the use of lamps? What’s the use of offerings? What’s to be done by reliance on mantras? What’s the use of austerity? Is what’s the use of going on pilgrimage is release achieved by bathing in water. Abandon such false attachments and renounce such illusions.