Ghosts in the Machine

  1. So the flood of the Alayavijnana is always stirred by the winds of objectivity (vishaya), and goes on dancing with the various Vijnana-waves.

Familiar phraseology of the dancing waves of the Vijnanas, stirred into motion through both objective (vishaya) and subjective instigators. The Alaya-receptacle itself is usually dormant, but it houses a million-fold [images] that are ready to spring into action at the least suggestion, in effect once again “haunting” its host. Memories, fears and phobias, sexual fantasies, times of love and betrayal, familiar moments in time that are always there but rarely relivable yet still sting with their indelible impressions on the psyche—all these are housed in that store-house consciousness and return again and again, like recurring Ghosts in the skhandhic machinery. How best to exorcise these old demons that forever linger on through entrenched habit-energy since time immemorial? Unborn Mind Zen is one such spiritual modality that provides the remedy. Disengage the Alaya by awakening its dominant twin—the Tathagata-garbha—that houses the Immaculate-Seed of the Bodhichild, a mystical child of Light that has no former associations nor obtuse attachments and thus can never be affected or haunted by the onslaught of its defiled-twin and harbinger of so much misery. Thus, having been graced with the full import of this Self-realization of Noble-Wisdom, this child of matured-garbha can enter into limitless deep-samadhis for the sake of its own spiritual development as well as leading others to drink from the deep and nurturing spring of the Unborn:

 “And they enter hundreds of thousands of samadhis, countless hundreds of thousands of samadhis. And as they do so, they travel to other buddhalands and venerate other buddhas and are reborn in celestial palaces, where they praise the three treasures and appear as buddhas themselves surrounded by assemblies of sharvakas and bodhisattvas, and where they liberate beings by explaining to them that what they perceive is nothing but their own mind and that external existence does not exist, thus enabling them to transcend such views as existence and nonexistence.” (Red Pine translation of the Lanka XXVI) Perfected in this fashion, these noble champions of Unborn Light empower the blind to see with imageless eyes that all dualistic manifestations are nothing more than fata morganas on the plane of emptiness (sunyata).

  1. [Cleary]: The thought of living beings is subject to the supposition of something apprehended and something apprehending; the character of the perceptible is not there as imagined by the naïve.

All these apparent signs of dharmas coming and going are just passing-mirages in the clouded-mind; mere perceptions of a lesser-mind that incessantly grasps for what it purportedly perceives to be real. In truth, there is no-thing to be grasped. The [action] of grasping is critical since it is the cognitive mechanism that leads to the act of Becoming which sparks the germ or seed within the Alaya-vijnana that leads to corporal confinement within the realm of samsara; hence one needs to negate the act of grasping and instead, “turn-about” and rest secure and content in the Unborn.

  1. There is the highest Alayavijnana, and again there is the Alaya as thought-construction (vijnapti); I teach suchness (tathata) that is above seized and seizing.

highest Alayavijnana: meaning the Alaya AS Tathagata-garbha, vs. the Alaya as cognitive receptacle—here signifying vijnapti, or the phenomenon of that Ghost-consciousness becoming manifested. Instead, the Blessed-One teaches tathata—or the Undivided Self of Suchness.

  1. [Cleary]: I teach, when the grasped and grasper are gone: there is no soul in the clusters, no being or personality; but consciousness occurs, and consciousness passes away.

I like Cleary’s take on this, for when the apparent cognizer who grasps loses its insufficient faculty [as a pseudo-entity that grasps], then it reveals the cluster of the skandhas for what they are—sunya. What remains, though, are elements of the body-consciousness, which by and large fade into unhappy memory. As they do, the perpetual wheel of pain known as dependent origination ceases its wild spin, until it all becomes regenerative once more.

  1. [Cleary]: Just as low and high are seen in a picture but aren’t there, so does being appear in beings without really being there.

Like fading photographs, apparent being and non-being are just the diminishing colors (or blankness) on the soiled canvas of the composed.

  1. The visible world (drisyam) has always the appearance of the city of the Gandharvas and that of fata morgana; it is to be regarded as such, but it does not thus exist to the transcendental wisdom [of the wise].

Have always loved the recurring phrase in the Lanka concerning the city of the Gandharvas—or that fleeting mirage in the lower light-heavens. Just so are the ostensible contours of the [visible] world. The transcendental Buddha-gnosis of the Shining Ones empowers the Mind-adept to draw back the curtain on these false apparitions, thus empowering them to just consider it all as sand-castles in the air.

  1. (Chapter II verse 79) How many atoms are there at the top of a flame? How many atoms are in the wind? How many in each sense-organ? How many in a pore of the skin? In the eyebrows?

The Lanka utilizes many such instances of the significance of atoms. Whenever anything is broken-down into their atomic-structure, very little remains that can be discriminated as objects. Yea, there are an inconceivable number of atoms just as there are an inconceivable number of Buddha-fields in all ten-directions.

  1. (Chapter II verse 80) Whence are these men of immense wealth, kings, great sovereigns? How is the kingdom taken care of by them? And how about their emancipation?

“Whence” indicates from what location or source. Their earthly wealth is dependent upon material possessions; yet, are they really inherently free, or not? Cleary’s translation is the answer:

No one has ever seen anyone who became completely awakened based on the clusters; what has never been seen by anyone, how can it be contemplated?

Kings and the very rich may have immense wealth and prestige, yet can they become awakened on such trinkets? What leads to freedom is worthless in the eyes of the powerful, yet those with Noble-wisdom have the greater treasure, the greater self-worth, for they know their True Source that is not dependent on dharmas. Rather, their Self-realization leads them beyond the shackles of the clusters and into the imageless and liberating splendor of the Unborn.

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