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February 26, 2019

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The older I get and the more I am disinclined to follow any dogma or doctrine. Actually I was never very inclined in the first place. Perhaps the time has come for me to depart this blog. I am preparing to depart this world in any case, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, and maybe one day I will discover for myself some greater insight that will make everything I have learned up to now seem trivial and of no consequence. It often does, really. A good example of this I suppose is this question of self or non self. My contemplation on this has for long been informed by studying sutras and listening to others with an open mind and looking inward, and keeping it as a kind of open question, one that I neither expect to nor need to conclude. If Manjusri held a sword to my throat to pry my answer, I would say what I conclude is approximately the same as I understood it even as a small child: this world is illusory, it all just goes away, but it continues as long as we are here. No fear of death, no great attachments to earth. Just passing through. And behind it all a great blank space that mysteriously extends total support and compassion. And freedom, real freedom. The more I look into this mystery the more I see the self, and as I look into the self, I see nothing there but the great blank mystery. I’m actually ok with that. My doubts are put to rest. I let it go, I let it go, I let it go…and what’s left has only ever been there from the beginning, and what remains, who can say. I hope it amounts to something worthwhile at the end of the day. If I had to sum it up, I suppose I could say the zero point is the same as the absolute, but that wouldn’t even touch the matter. Be well everyone.

Tsongkhapa was a Gelugpa, which is one of four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Unfortunately, the same tendency towards nihilism tends to be present in the other three as well. One exception would be a small sect that emerged in the 13th century called Shentong, founded by Dolpopa. He said that his realization was not of a mere absence but of an Absolute that had qualities, such as luminosity and goodness.

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