The Goal of Visionary Heart Alchemy

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

The goal of Visionary Heart Alchemy is the goal of all spiritual alchemy. The central goal of alchemy is the transformation of lead (or some other ‘lesser’ metal) into gold. It is widely known in spiritually literate circles that this is a metaphor (which, by the way, appears in both western and eastern historical traditions of alchemy). But why the need for the metaphor, why not just say it plainly. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost is that their really is no way to plainly say …(read more)

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Beliefs as Skillful Means

Beliefs as Skillful Means

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

When the nature of relative truth is understood it is easy to recognize the how beliefs function (or often dysfunction) as skillful means. What also must be understood is that they are often integral functional components of transformational systems that are required for practitioners of the systems at particular developmental stages. That is to say practitioners at particular developmental stages, who are trying to use the system, must internalize these integral functional components if the system is to function the way it was meant to.

This has several implications. First some of what people call techniques from a system may not work,  work the same way or create…(read more)

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When No Dogma becomes A Dogma: more on the Two Truths

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

It is a fairly common occurrence to see people become dogmatic about having no dogma, being against dogma or being nondogmatic. Often this is accompanied by judgments about those they perceive as having dogmas or the dogmas they think they hold. They have intolerance for dogma. These are common signs that having no dogma, or being against dogma, has become a dogmatic fixation and are indication of lack of correct understanding of the Principles of Two Truths.

Part of this error is usually the mistaking “dogma” as meaning the belief, tenants and/or postulates someone holds as functional truths rather then the dogmatic fixation on those functional truths. It is an understandable mistake…(read more)

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The Two Truths as Antidotes to the Problems of Dogma Part 2

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Part 2- The Two Truths as antidote

Understanding the Principle of the Two Truths helps pacify these problems. Intellectual understanding alone will not completely prevent dogmatic fixation, because the root of dogmatic fixation is the identity fixation that results from lack of direct recognition of Absolute Truth. Thus only that direct realization will prevent all dogmatic fixation. However, the more deeply we understand the Principle of Two Truths, the weaker and less pervasive the tendency towards dogmatic fixation becomes.

Even intellectual understanding of the Principle of the Two Truths increases …(read more)

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The Two Truths as Antidote to the Problems of Dogma Part 1

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

Part 1- the Problems of Dogma

Dogma, as I mean it in this context, refers to fixation on a relative truth as Absolute Truth or fixation that leads to attempting to apply a relative truth to a context in which it does not function.. There is a strong tendency in humans towards this dogmatic fixation and this leads to a whole host of problems and confusions. Even and intellectual understanding of the Principle of Two Truths can help to dissolve these fixations and serve as an antidote to the problems that result. It because of this important capacity tof the Principle of the Two Truths that I have dedicated so many of these early posts to the Global Alchemy Blog Matrix to it. It can help prevent what can become serious errors in understanding.

Before examining some the problems and confusion…(read more)

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Vajrayana Buddhism and the Two Truths: An Illustrative Example: part 6

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

Vajrayana and Bon

In the previous post I mentioned Bon as a fifth school to be counted among the Buddhist schools of Tibet. The word Bon is a label for the spiritual/religious practices most prevalent in Tibet before the spread of Buddhism there. Bon is still practiced in Tibet and is divided in two streams. One is called lower Bon and is a shamanistic in style and often includes animal sacrifice which is prohibited in all styles of Buddhist Practice (and Yungdrung Bon). The Other is called Yungdrung Bon or Eternal Bon or Higher Bon. Yungdrung Bon is, in many way, practically indistinguishable form Vajrayana Buddhism particularly the Nyingma School. There are multiple accounts for the origin of this similarity. The Nyingma (which literally means ‘ancient’) is the first school to take shape in Tibet. According to one account…(read more)

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Vajrayana Buddhism and the Two Truths: An Illustrative Example: part 4

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

In Tibet (and neighboring kingdoms), There are four major lineages (Five if you count Bon but that will be the topic two posts from now) of Buddhism and many sub-lineages therein. While they all share a great deal in terms of methods and terminology, they are also quite distinct from each other. In some instances the same term will have different or even opposite meanings. For example the term ‘ordinary mind’ is often used, in the Dzogchen Teachings of the Nyingma to designate the deluded mind of sentient beings as opposed to the True Nature of Mind. In the Mahamudra teachings of the Kagyu, which are in many ways very similar to Dzogchen, ‘ordinary mind’ refers to the mind without elaboration which is The True Nature of Mind.

Despite what can sometimes be seen as very different approaches, with sometimes conflicting postulates, the teachers of these different schools (for the most part) recognize…(read more)

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Vajrayana Buddhism and the Two Truths: An Illustrative Example: part 2

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

In the view of Vajrayana Buddhism, as well as the view of Mahayana Buddhism of which Vajrayana is a specialized example(more on this to come), There are inexpressible numbers of Buddhas (as well as of sentient beings), that is to say, innumerable realizers of Absoluter Truth. The historical Buddha, once known as the prince Siddhartha, called Shakyamuni, is only one physically incarnated one. It is one of specific significance in Buddhist cosmology but those specifics are not relevant to this discussion.

Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have given 80,000 different teachings. The ultimate point of each of these teachings is the same though this ultimate point is described differently in different teachings. Some are more direct and some are more circuitous then others. The reason for this is the Buddha recognized… (read more)

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More About Relative Truth

Posted on Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

Any truth that you can give words to is a relative truth even if it is attempted to convey some understanding of Absolute Truth

Effectiveness is the measure of relative truth. To measure a relative truth you need… (read more)

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Common Errors in Understanding the Two Truths

This is posted on the Visionary Heart Alchemy Blog

The most common error made in regards to the two truths is to mistake relative truth for absolute truth. This frequently takes the form of mistaking the designations and indications for Absolute Truth as Absolute Truth itself and/or mistaking the methods (including the beliefs) for realizing Absolute Truth ( as Absolute Truth. This is known as Dogma. This also happens more subtly simply from a lack of recognition that there are Two Truths. It is our a subtle habit of our minds to take all truth as Truth. We often fail recognize the that any truth we can give words to is a relative truth. This habit of dogmatizing applies to all truths not just those concerned with Absolute Truth and truths concerning religion and spirituality but with all relative truths.

The other most common mistake… (read more)

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