Quora answer: What is meant by ‘Amanifest’?

Feb 04 2012


Amanifest? What does it mean?

You ask a deep question. A rare delight. Thank you so much for your question, and your curiosity about the utter depths of existence.

I would just like to say I owe a lot of these insights to Dr. Scott Anderson with whom I have been discussing these issues many years. And if not for his probing questions I would have little to say on this subject.

I began reading DzogChen because of my general interest in Buddhism. I have an undergraduate major in East Asian Studies and was taught Buddhist Philosophy by a great teacher Alfonso Verdu at the University of Kansas. He also taught me Heidegger and Husserl and set me on an intellectual journey by linking these two great philosophical traditions in my mind. I have always thought Fa Tsang’s Hua Yen Buddhism was the deepest thought that anyone had ever had about existence. And I have always been partial to the Awakening of Faith which Verdu taught me. But I went on to study Western Philosophy rather than going to the Orient to study Buddhism as I had expected. And this was because I encountered a cultural mirror when I was taking Japanese in Summer School I had a teacher who when I told him that I was studying Japanese to study Zen Buddhism in Japan he said that Zen was the most conservative part of his culture, and much evil had been done in the name of Zen by the conservatives of his country, and that he had come to America for the very reason of escaping what I wished to study. This moment changed my life because I realized I did not know my own tradition and I needed to understand it before I tried to go elsewhere or I would make the mistakes of the Orientalists and just interpret everything I found in the orient by occidental standards without knowing my own prejudices and how they were affecting my sight.

So I studied Western Philosophy, but never lost my interest in Buddhism and Taosim and so I read sutras on a regular basis, and the new Tibetan translation opens up a new world to us of a tradition that never stopped from the Buddha down to today. A living tradition is always so much more interesting. And with Tibetan Buddhism you get the Spiritual equivalent of CIRQUE DU SOLEIL to boot. So I started reading all the original texts that had been translated from that tradition about DzogChen that I could find. But I was very disappointed because what I found was not up to the standard I usually found in Buddhist Sutras. The clarity just was not there. But eventually I focused on Manjushrimirtra and Mipham. Mipham is the soul of Clarity. One of the most brilliant commentators. I trusted him. So if you only have two points you can trust in a tradition, that is not good. But then I found the Bon Book and that confirmed for me my interpretation based on reading Manjushrimitra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%C3%B1ju%C5%9Br%C4%ABmitra) based on the Beacon of Certainty. So if you take Manjushrimitra seriously then you can see that what he is doing is destroying Buddhism by using the very logic of Nagarjuna against it. It sees the two truths as a dualism, and the only way to get out of that fundamental dualism is to go outside Buddhism. I think it is quite possible that Garab Dorje (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garab_Dorje )was not Buddhist or at least was saying heretical things. And that is why Manjushrimitra went to challenge him for what he was saying, traveling from the school where Manjushrimitra taught to challenge him to a debate, on the Cemetery grounds. As in so many of such stories the teacher has three statements that summarize his teaching. In this case it was:

  • One is introduced directly to one’s true nature or “Direct introduction.” (Tibetan: ngo rang thog tu sPrad)[4]
  • One attains certainty about this natural state or “Remaining without doubt.” (Tibetan: thag gCig thog dug Cad)[4]
  • One continues with confidence in liberation or “Continuing in the non-dual state.” (Tibetan: gDengs grol thog du ’cha’)[4]

I interpret these verses in relation to the Special Systems. Each statement indicates a Special System.

  • One is introduced directly to one’s true nature or “Direct introduction.” (Tibetan: ngo rang thog tu sPrad)

The first special system is the Dissipative Ordering of Prigogine that manifests negative entropy. Direct introduction is transmission, and that introduction is the spread of a dissipative ordering of the anti-Dharma, the Dharma that destroys the Dharma. This is a heresy spreading in Buddhist lands that is essentially destroying the duality of the the two truths. Which is odd because one truth is dualistic and the other nondualistic, and so this destruction must point to a higher nonduality between dualism and non-dualism as indicated by Majushrimitra. This is the first jewel the Dharma, but it is really an Anti-Dharma that is spreading in Buddhist lands rather than a Buddhist heresy spreading in non-Buddhist lands.

  • One attains certainty about this natural state or “Remaining without doubt.” (Tibetan: thag gCig thog dug Cad)

Dharma and Aniti-Dharma in an autopoietic symbiotic dance. The autopoietic system is stable, and thus remains. It is an anomalous natural state. This is a closed state in which mind and body are one symbiotic whole. It represents the stability of the transmission between Garbe Dorge and Manjushimitra in their conversation, and dispute and dialogue. Like the meeting of Rumi and Shamsa Tabriz, the one was disseminating heresy and the other orthodoxy and these two speeches because stable and indicated the second Jewel which is the Body of the Buddha, but in this case it is two speeches that cancel each other out. It does to Buddhism what Buddhism had already done to everything else, show its emptiness. It shows the emptiness of the distinction between the two truths.

  • One continues with confidence in liberation or “Continuing in the non-dual state.” (Tibetan: gDengs grol thog du ’cha’)

Two Autopoietic Systems of Dharma and Anti-dharma, or four Dissipative Ordering Special Systems point toward the reflexive special system. There are therefore two dharmas and two anti-Dharmas circulating around each other. So lets think about Buddhism and Bon. There is the Dharma of Buddhism, and the Heresy of Dzogchen. There is what ever is the equivalent of Bon teachings (prior to their adulteration by Buddhism, we assume something like Shinto and Taoism) and the DzogChen heritage that collapses what ever their equivalent to the Void might have been. Buddhism and Taoism circle around each other in China. If you understand each well enough you can skip from void line to empty line and back again as Stonehouse does. The poetry of Stonehouse shows us the reflexive circling of Emptiness and Void around each other.

I am assuming that the secret of Gareb Dorje three statements are the perfect statement of nonduality by pointing at the Special System. If the Autopoietic Special System is stable then the Reflexive Special System is meta-stable. It is the third jewel the Sanga.

I call this the fourth turning. It is Buddhism turning on itself going beyond itself, having Najarjuna’s logic applied to its own structural dualisms. But since one of those duals is the nondual itself, then we have to go to a deeper level of nonduality. If void and emptiness are dual nonduals, then there must be ‘manifestation’ beyond them which is completely nondual with no structural dualisms to base itself on. It thus encompasses the three jewels Dharma, Buddha, and Sangha. Dharma meets Anti-Dharma in the application of the Nagarjuna’s logic to the Dharma itself. Buddha meets Taoist Sage. Sanga meets Taoist recluses. For instance in StoneHouse and his criticism of monks who beg, and his praise for the life of the hermit that supports himself. StoneHouse was was ordered to come out of his hermitage to become the head of a Monastery. And when he was released from that obligation he returned to his hermitage. How many people are there that can stand both in the shoes of the Zen Monk and the Taoist Sage? From that vantage point he turns either toward Void or Emptiness and differentiates them. But I have searched in vain for a hint of an understanding of manifestation that goes beyond emptiness and void in his poetry. He remains both a Zen Monk and a Taoist Hermit, but he does not step over the line into pure manifestation where even that duality between Emptiness and Void is effaced.

What helps us is the fact that we can understand these turnings of Buddhism as meta-levels related to Being of the Indo-European tradition, which is the source from which Buddhism came and the place to which it must return. And it is returning with the interest in Nonduality among Spiritual practitioners and through the refuge immigration of a population of monks from Tibet who represent a non-reified living tradition of Buddhism. In essence the Dali Lama has become the Good Pope. We  can relate to religions with Popes (or their equivalent), i.e. heads of the church. One thing that we can relate to in Tibetan Buddhism that it is organized. And it also satisfies the wish to have Shamanic as well as Religious experiences. We can more or less find out Don Juan and our Zen Master at the same time in the same person. And this is to be expected because Taoism, Shintoism, Bon are shamanic essentially based on extraordinary people with extraordinary experiences, and Buddhism is a religion based on beliefs and with meditation, non-experiences and non-conceptuality of the embodiment of emptiness. So Tibetan Buddhism just happens to be a way we can have our pristine religious spirituality of the cake, and eat the shamanic icing too.

However, it is really DzogChen which is considered the pinnacle of Tibetan Buddhisms nine ways that is of interest because it is Buddhism going beyond Buddhism which legitimates the combination with Shamanism that Tantraism tends toward anyway. And it is interesting because it opens up the possibility of the fourth turning of Buddhism which has now come to the West and captured the interest of Western Intellectuals which has been in the process of trying to find nondual ways in order to escape the nihilism of the West and its inherent dualism. It is intellectually deep and also experientially fascinating, and of course the refugees that have brought it are colorful characters, many of whom like the Dali Lama clearly embody wisdom.

So to understand the future of Buddhism we must understand what will happen when Tibetan Buddhism which has been living in isolation in Tibet for hundreds of years unaffected by the world until the Chinese invasion, comes into contract with the Western worldview which has cherished its Duality for so long and rejected, and even killed anyone who had a nondual perspective. Many of those who had a nondual perspective became Muslim Sufis in the past when civilization was being safeguarded by the Greeco-Islamo-Roman empire that preceded Colonialization of the Middle East (which is really just the heartland of the Western Worldview).

So it is necessary to go further and to look at the points that are made about the fourth turning. One way to do that is to look at my commentary on Manjushrimitra’s sutra [LINK]. But another way to do that is to look at the eleven Adamantine points of Longchenpa. (See Germano, David Francis (1992). “Poetic thought, the intelligent Universe, and the mystery of self: The Tantric synthesis ofrDzogs Chen in fourteenth century Tibet.” The University of Wisconsin, Madison. Doctoral thesis.

(http://vajrayana.faithweb.com/Poetic%20thought%20-%20The%20Tantric%20synthesis%20of%20Dzogs%20Chen.pdf) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longchenpa) (http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Longchenpa)

  1. the Ground and basis of reality (Tib. གཞི་, Wyl. gzhi), how that ground dynamically manifests itself (Tib. གཞི་སྣང་, Wyl. gzhi snang);
  2. how sentient beings stray from the Ground;
  3. how all beings have the essence of Enlightened energy;
  4. how primordial wisdom (Tib. ཡེ་ཤེས་, Wyl. ye shes) abides within us;
  5. the pathways, and
  6. the gateways, and
  7. domain for primordial wisdom;
  8. how primordial wisdom is experientially accessed;
  9. signs of realization,
  10. signs in the dying and bardo transition; and
  11. ultimate fruition as the manifest realization of the kayas.

DzogChen would not be the fourth turning of the wheel of Dharma, i.e. the Anti-Dharma, if it did not reveal a deeper level of enlightenment, that was hither to revealed. The fact that this deeper level is also approximated in different ways by Hau Yen and Tien Tai Buddhism in China also tells us that this is not just an isolated phenomena, but a very profound shift in understanding of the nature of enlightenment. And what is revealed is the basis of reality or what is called the Ground above. Because of its Western Connotations we prefer not to use the term ground, and so I will use the term manifestation following M. Henry’s use of Meister Eckhart’s nomenclature in The Essence of Manifestation. There is from this point of view three standings beyond existence with are manifestation, the Unmanifest Essence, and the Amanifest which is the nondual root of the Manifest and Unmanifest Essence. But to understand what these phase transitions of standings beyond existence might be we must take them one at a time and do a careful dialectical thought process in order to make sure that each is really different from the last. What we are concentrating here is upon the Four Turning so we can build a basis on which to explore what the Fifth Turning of the Wheel of Dharma might be which I call the Homeward Path, because it is the point where the heresy of Buddhism, and other nondual ways that differentiated from the Western Tradition come home, and this is what is beginning to happen in our time, so we ought to try to understand it.

Now there are many terms used for the translation of Ground, or as I prefer Manifestation, because it is relatively unpolluted by Western Philosophical meanings. However the term is གཞི། (Wyl. gzhin. Pron.: shyi = substratum, basis. The problem with using Ground as a translation is that Western philosophy is all about First Philosophy and Grounding, and has recently discovered the impossibility of grounding, and thus we get anti-foundationalism that denies there can be grounds, and it goes on and on. Manifestation is not burdened with all these extrinsic meanings. But the actual terminology does not matter as long as the concept is clear. And the concept is that what you see when emptiness and Void evaporate as being different from each other is a deeper nondual of Manifestation. Just to be clear, the equivalent term in Islamic Sufi nondual tradition is Sifat, which is usually denoted as the attributes of Allah. But the idea that Allah has “attributes” is a Greek theological idea, and misses the essential point. But we are not interpreting DzogChen based on Islamic ideas. Merely pointing out that other nondual traditions have similar standings to Manifestation that is revealed in the Fourth Turning of the wheel of the Dharma in Buddhism. Many of the ultimate concepts in various nondual traditions are the same. It helps to be aware of these parallels.

Here what gzhi means is a very different kind of ground than one might expect. It is what manifests when the difference between nondual emptiness and nondual void collapses. There is a domain wall between these two kinds of nondual existence (Striated and Unstriated) which as we have said elsewhere is Ultra Being, i.e. the part of being that is extant, i.e. illusion seen externally. When that collapse happens we cannot have Buddhists who do not believe in the External Physical world anymore, nor Taoists (Bonvivants) who reduce everything to nature. Both have to accept the other’s position and the nihilistic opposition between them collapses. And thus these nonduals cease to be duals of each other. When the duality between nondual interpretations of existence collapse, basically what is collapsing is the distinction between inside consciousness and outside in the physical world. Nonduality at its depths does not accept this distinction and the fact that both Taoism (Bon) and Buddhism have these limits means that their interpretation of Existence is flawed to some extent. Existence is what is found (Wajud). There is what is found inwardly and what is found outwardly, and Buddhists are clinging to one and denying the other and the Taoists have the opposite position. When there is no difference based on position looking outward from the inward or inward from the outward, then we enter into the nonduality of the nondual completely without reservation. If Existence is what is found, then we are talking always about local things found. But what is the global source of all that finding, that is what manifestation is. Things are manifest in order to be found. Manifestation as the root of nonduality is the spontaneous, non-fabricated coming into manifestation which supports existence. In this sense that manifestation supports existence then it is gzhi.

We hear terms like primordial, pure, direct experience etc as well as others. But the one phrase from DzogChen that sums it up best is ‘Mind is like Space’. Literally when the domain wall between Emptiness and Void collapses then mind is like space and space is like mind, and there is no difference that can be pointed to which is a nihilistic distinction between them, even though they are in fact already nonduals. Buddhism and Taoism can be seen as Monisms that have suppressed their opposite non-duality, just like dualities suppress their opposites to try to become Monisms. These are nondual monisms and to me that is not nonduality because Nonduality means to me Not One! Not Two~ Not Many! Not None! Something else than all the logical possibilities. That is the key from the point of the Tetralemma. And it also cannot be distinguished by the difference between inward and outward which is probably one of the most fundamental distinctions. It is utterly distinctionless in the sense of having limits. It is what appears how it appears in each moment without any fabrication, any elaboration, and any distinctions of a theoretical type projected on it, especially not inward/outward, or number of any kind. Badiou calls this the ‘Multiple’. The heterogeneity prior to the arising of the Ultra One. But Badiou believes that this is Being. We are talking about a standing beyond the Meta-levels of Being, beyond existence, and which by itself can be called manifestation meaning by that what is meant by gzhi.

One thing we can say is that this is not the ‘Ground of Being’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_of_Being_(Dzogchen)) See “Caveat lector” of the semantic field of the sanskrit term “ashraya” (आश्रय; Etymology: आ- √श्रि. ) the best terms seem to be source or origin, but the other nuances are also interesting and should be kept in mind. It is really the semantic field as a whole that should be considered, because the whole field is what has arisen naturally, spontaneously, in language and that is what we value in manifestation.

“Process-oriented rdzogs-chen has as its pivot the notion of gzhi which means both ground (the static, sort of steady-state) and reason (the dynamic, the intensity with which the unfolding of the initial pure potential occurs). As such pure potential (gzhi ka-dag chen-po) it is discussed in terms of a triune dynamics, referred to as facticity (ngo-bo), actuality (rang-bzhin), and resonance (thugs-rje). “  in Goodman, Steven D. & Davidson, Ronald M. (1992). Tibetan Buddhism: reason and revelation. SUNY series in Buddhist studies. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791407853, 9780791407851.

“Dzogchen-as-process where the praxis albeit ‘natural’ (Wylie: lhan skyes; IAST: sahaja)[6] and ‘effortless’ (Wylie: lhun grub; IAST: anābhoga)[7] has the sense of ‘spontaneity’.[8][9]”

“The Ultimate Nature (rang bzhin) is said to be unaltered (ma bcos pa), because the Basis is spontaneously accomplished (lhun grub) in terms of its innate potential (rtsal) for manifestation (rol pa). The non-duality between the Ultimate Nature (i.e., the unaltered appearance of all phenomena) and the Condition (i.e., the Basis of all) is called the Identity (bdag nyid).“[28]

Sentient Beings stray from this gzhi or ashraya or the standing of manifestation which is non-fabricated, non-elaborated, pure appearing of what appears as it appears without distinction between inward and outward, quality and quantity or other categorical distinctions. We might call this primordial upwelling phenomena. In one of my books I called it Primal Archetypal Wholeness. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96sel_(yoga) concerning rig pa translated as reflexive apperception). Straying must be explained if we are to recognize that all there is ultimately is manifestation which is nondually nonudal in every sense, not just outward globally unstriated void or inward local striated emptiness.

Probably the most interesting of the meanings attributed to manifestation is spontaneous accomplishment. A good example of this is the fact that nature calculates the optimal surface area of bubbles so they are minimal in each moment, and it does this spontaneously and instantaneously and effortlessly. There is no need for calculation to determine that structure, the bubble surface just snaps to that minimal configuration which is the lowest energy formation “Naturally”. In DzogChen everything does that production of the optimal effortlessly. That is what Manifestation is the spontaneous, un-fabricated, un-elaborated, natural, production of optima in appearance where appearance is no different from reality, identity, presence, or truth as one merged aspect that cannot be differentiated into separate aspects. Existence of things found still has separate aspects like Being. Existence unlike Being is unstriated, yet it still has the differentiated aspects. Manifestation loses that differentiation of the aspects as it like the Multiple of Badiou, loses the ability to differentiate quantity at all, either one or many, and as it loses the ability to differentiate quality and quantity or any other synthetic a priori categorization.

When humans stray from Manifestation the first things that appear are the differentiation of the Pleroma. These are the striated and unstriated opposites such as in our worldview: emptiness/Void; Being/Beyng; Forgetfulness/Oblivion’ Clearing/Open; etc. Emptiness/Void is merely the center of the cyclone of the worldview. But all of these striated and unstriated oppositions evaporate at the level of the standing of Manifestation.

So with this background in mind we can begin to think about the Fifth Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma, one that to my knowledge has not happened yet and is announced here first (or rather in my various working papers on the subject). It has to be an even deeper nondual that manifestation. It is unclear how deep the levels of nonduality go. We are having a hard time just thinking the fifth meta-level of Being. We noted that the the Fourth Turning responded to the fourth meta-level of Being as illusion. So we are suggesting that the fifth turning has somehow to do with Ultra Being. But Ultra Being as we have seen previously is what separates the dual nonduals into emptiness and void, at it is exactly the getting rid of it that reveals manifestation. There is in fact a strange turning here.

At this point I would like to mention just for the sake of comparison that this deeper nondual than manifestation is called Dhat in Arabic and is seen as the core of the attributes of Allah. It is sometimes called the essence, but of course this is merely more Greek theology and has nothing to do with the Dhat, which by the way is often noted to be a linguistic mistake due to the feminine nature of this word.

So the fact that there is an equivalent to this even deeper nondual in another spiritual tradition, i.e. Sufism within Islam, gives us hope of discovering the nature of the fifth tuning of the Dharma. I have also equated this final turning with the Homeward path. That is the path to the nondual core of the Western worldview itself. Something so extremely dualistic as the Western worldview cannot help but turn into its opposite, and so that opposite is the nonduality that is made accessible though its fragmentation into the meta-levels of illusion, or Being. Each meta-level of Being is a more intense form of Maya/Mara, Dunya, Dukkha. Each needs its own homeopathic treatment. Existence is unstriated but it responds to the various meta-levels of illusion differently based  on its ultimately skillful means. But Existence as a standing transforms into Manifestation, and then the Amanifest as we enter the higher standings beyond Being which are in fact deeper nondualities. Perhaps there are even deeper dualities than these but we will be doing well if we can understand these. In order to approach the fifth turning we have gone back and taken up the fundamentals of DzogChen which are part of the fourth turning. It is the Turning that informs us about what is Beyond Buddhism, which we also see in Hua Yen and Tien Tai Buddhism.

To go back to Special Systems theory for a moment we can know that there is a difference between a system and a meta-system (what Bataille calls the Restricted and General Economy). We discussed how the three statements of Garab Dorje can be seen to correspond to the Special Systems. We can see that any given religion like Buddhism or Taoism even though they are nondual have their self-imposed limitations which make them a restricted economy. Then we saw that Garab Dorje opened the door of heresy and opened up ways to both Bon (Taoism, Shintoism) and Buddhism to go beyond themselves to discover the ultimate and perfect path. What we neglected to mention is that Systems and Meta-systems are duals. System (restricted economy) is a whole greater than the sum of its parts, while the Meta-system (general economy) is a whole less that the sum of its parts, i.e. a whole full of holes like a sponge. The Special Systems are the interstices between the meta-levels of Being, and so we see that Ultra Being is on either limit beyond the system and the Meta-system. Special Systems are wholes exactly equal to the sum of their parts, and there are three of these like the perfect, amicable and sociable aliquot numbers. Thus we can see that what is beyond the three statements of Garab Dorge that frees us from limited religions that are systems or restricted economies, is the Meta-system (also known as OpenScape). Thus the fifth turning must have something to do with the Meta-system that lies beyond the Special Systems that come between the System and the Meta-system. Ultra Being appears on either side as the limit beyond both the System and the Meta-system.

Now we have a framework for appreciating more fully what Garab Dorje taught Manjushrimitra. Garab Dorje manifested the rainbow body at his death. And he called back down the three precepts to his disciple when the disciple pleaded for more guidance. But this guidance abounded in the celestial realm before it was absorbed into any human form. Garab Dorje discovered how to break out of Buddhism or Bon or any religion without leaving it, and without permeating its boundary. Thus this is a heresy that never quite throws you out of the religion you are pursuing, but then once you adopt this viewpoint then you are never really in it completely again. And this can only be done because of the connection to the Special Systems which are ultra-efficacious (hyper-efficient and hyper-effective). What is beyond Garab Dorge’s three statements that point at the special systems is the meta-system to the system of religion, i.e. the system of thought and belief which strives for communal coherence.

So this suggest that the Homeward Path is into the Wilderness of belief and thought that is the meta-system beyond any given restricted economy of belief or thought, or for that matter experience. Actually when you think about it the three jewels as Dharma, Buddha, and Sangha are basically the same as these special systems as well. But there is a difference because there is Dharma and Anti-Dharma (Najarjuna’s nondual logic applied to Buddhism itself). There is buddha and anti-Buddha (Garab Dorje). And there is Sanga and Anti-Sanga the monks of Bon, the ulterior Buddhism. So the three jewels in conjunction with their anti-jewels give rise to the Meta-system which is a set of endless complementaries. (See Complementarity by Arkady Plotnitsky). The deeper ground beyond the Basis Source, Origin revealed by the Fourth Turning is revealed. The Basis, Source, Origin are a figure on this Ground.

Did I mention that the Western worldview is a meta-worldview, it is not merely a world like other worlds, which are destroyed continually along with their languages by colonization, global economic war and globalization. The Western worldview gobbles up other worlds and destroys them extremely efficiency and that is because we are actually living in a meta-worldview. That meta-worldview has its roots in  settled Egypt, Sumeria, nomadic Semitic and Indo-European worlds. At the traditional center of western civilization, i.e. the Middle East there was a blending of the various worlds that abided there where humans met Nanderthals and interbred. We have only recently became aware of what the writings of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians contained which were recently retrieved from Oblivion. So now we know quite a bit more abut the deeper roots of the Western worldview. And if we say that it is a meta-worldview we are also saying it is a meta-system or OpenScape as well. Therefore, as the Fifth turning deals with meta-systems beyond the Special Systems, so to it can deal with the world dominant meta-system called the Western worldview.

M. Henry in his book The Essence of Manifestation, argues against Heidegger that there is a part of Manifestation that does not ever reveal itself, never becomes manifest, but is therefore implicitly manifest within manifestation itself by its very holding itself away from manifestation. He equates this with the Godhead of Meister Eckhart. He says that Heidegger’s fundamental assumption is Ontological Monism, or Badiou criticizes Deleuze for saying that Being is Univocal, where he is following Aristotle. Badiou wants to introduce a true heterogeneity prior to any numericallity called the Multiple. Henry only wants to introduce what amounts to the ontological unconscious which he calls the Essence of Manifestation. This Essence which is the opposite of manifestation itself cannot be utterly nondual, so we specify that there is something deeper than either of these called the Amanifest, which neither shows itself nor does not show itself, yet both shows itself and hides. In other words the Amanifest is the tetralemma applied to manifestation. This idea has resonances with The aconceptual mind: Heideggerian themes in holistic naturalism By Pauli Pylkkö. Except here we are trying to avoid all dualisms, even the dual to Manifestation which would be the Unmanifest, or the equivalent to the unconscious of manifestation. Of course, we could construct a Greimas Square and contrast Anti-Manifest to Non-Manifest and produce the Chasm of Non-Anti-manifest and Anti-Non-Manifest but this is unnecessary since I don’t think we can go beyond this finite level because our ability to conceptualize fails us. And also it is unnecessary to go any further because we have reached the Meta-system, and what is on the other side of the meta-system, only the singularity of Ultra Being (ultra-one for Badiou) which by the way is also prior to the System, and is the limit of the entire series of Systems that are interlaced with the Meta-levels of Being. So this is why it is Ultra Being that appears at the level of the fifth turning, i.e. it is the generation of the singularity of illusion, for instance the iron ball that gives rise to the hundred cousins of the Pandavas. These are as the Greeks are called autocathonic. They stand opposite the Trojans who are the Pandvas the children of the Gods married to the same woman (Helen had five lovers we are told my myth) which the Avatar Krishna helps.

It is from the advent of Ultra Being, existing illusion and delusion, that causes the straying from Manifestation into the morass quicksand known as Maya/Mara, Dukka, Dunya which is straying into the meta-system or OpenScape beyond the belief and thought systems that strive to make life coherent which are the religions.

Dzogchen believes that primordial wisdom (Skt. jñāna) abides in us all just as we are without taking on anything, which is a very Chan/Zen like position to take. In DzogChen there is no distinction of meditation from any other activities, just like in Chan/Zen. In effect one could argue that DzogChen is the Zen of Tibet developed out of Tantra. The Tibetans early rejected Chinese Buddhism, and so they would have to produce their own version if the were to reach that level of spiritual development. Of course, there are many differences between Chan/Zen and DzogChen but the fundamental similarity at a deep level is striking. This is a story similar to Buddha nature being in everyone, but with the twist that it does not have to be Buddha nature as we know it, but something beyond Buddha nature that means you don’t have to be a Buddhist to partake in it.

We are just at the beginning of understanding the nature of the fifth turning of Buddhism but I believe that it is a Homecoming in the sense that Buddhism sprung as a heresy from one branch of the Indo-European worldview, and now it is returning to a different branch, that of the Western Meta-Worldview. Since the Western Worldview itself does not understand that it has a nondual core due to the fragmentation of Being, and the fact that the Special Systems separate the meta-levels of Being from each other. But the Western worldview has become a meta-worldview and thus a meta-system, and the only place to go for the fifth turning is to the level of the meta-system, and so I predict that Buddhism will yet again transform and have a flouring in the west as it and other nondual faiths exploit the nonduality in the heart of the Western worldview. Embody the nonduality of nonduality in nonduality and stand in the core of the Western worldview and it will transform around you because duality is like the desert of the godhead of Meister Eckhart, and the boliing of the godhead is like the production of nihilism, and the appearance of the nondual avatar is like the appearance of Christ or Krishna. As Jung says Christ is the nature of the Self in the Western worldview, and we all have to deal with it. He also said that we have to deal with the archetypes of our own tradition and it is impossible to substitute other archetypes from other traditions for our own night monsters and goblins. Nietzsche wrote that the fundamental duality in Greek Culture, and thus our culture was between Apollo and Dionysus. But, we think of Apollo as the good of Reason forgetting that he was the wolf god of initiations. Thus both Apollo and Dionysus are not exactly the most savory characters. But in the Hindu Tradition they are Brahma and Shiva. And the primal scene of that tradition has Vishnu, like Blake’s Albion, sleeping. He is asleep on an ocean floating on the back of a serpent with many heads, i.e. the dragon of existence. Vishnu is the nondual manifestation of the Godhead beyond the duality of Brahma and Shiva or Apollo and Dionysus. Below Existence is the ocean upon which Vishnu sleeps, i.e. manifestation. And there are unmanifest depths to that ocean. But the surface of the ocean which is a mirror from both sides is the Amanifest. In Hua Yen this is known as images in the depths of the ocean. The analogy here is the Birds and the Fishes. When it is calm the fish look up and see reflections of themselves and the blur of the  flock of birds above the surface mingling with their own reflections. When it is calm the birds look up and see reflections of themselves and the blur of schools of fish below the surface mingling with their own reflections. The two sets of reflections and dark vague shapes mingle in the surface of the sea. There is only that surface. I call it the cliff edge of existence from which you see the surface of the sea of manifestation. There is the manifestation of the entire sea, but its depths are unmanifest. However the surface with all its reflections and ominous darknesses is Amanifest because the two sets of reflections and shadows cancel out.

Jesus said in the Gospel of Thomas.

“3. Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the (Father’s) kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father’s) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.”

“8. And he said, “The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!””

“20. The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what Heaven’s kingdom is like.”
He said to them, “It’s like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.””


Marvin Meyer Translation


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