As the title suggests, this is the first in a series on Time, Space, and Knowledge, or TSK.
This is a teaching or theory created by Tarthang Tulku in the late 1970’s. It has a flavor similar to Buddhism (Tarthang Tulku also belongs to and teaches in the Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist tradition). At the same time, it is its own thing, TSK. It has its own vocabulary, ideas, style, and practices.
So I’ll be trying to write about that! I hope it will be interesting. It is certainly challenging material, and I hope to get a better understanding of it just by writing about it (which is to say that I don’t understand lots of it, and hope I can work on that as I write).
I’m going to jump in by saying a few random things and hope that it goes somewhere.
1. I recommend glancing at the books. One of Rinpoche’s students, Jack Petranker, also has a website with TSK resources that you can check out if you like: creativeinquiry.org. This site is not limited to TSK.
2. My thoughts this morning, as I tried to come up with something before I got to the internet cafe and had to write were… this is a “fruitional view,” as I’ve heard it called in Buddhist circles. I’ve heard the Shambhala teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche called this too. This means, as I understand it, that we get a taste of the mind of a realized being. Often, awake mind is shown in glimpses or turns of phrase or concepts, I think. Often spiritual writing either focuses on the “relative”- gradual training and development of virtue, knowledge and so forth- or the “ultimate”- which is often pointed to via traditional imagery, analogies, or we are reminded that words can’t do it, words don’t capture it.
Fruitional presentations like these show us in a direct, pithy, often frustrating way what realization can “look” like. In TSK we are TOLD that such and such is Knowledge, or Space.
One of my favorite quotes, and one that rings in my head throughout the day is: “Space is projecting space into space!” Now, this comes after much explanation, but the instruction stands on its own, I think.
Another way of describing this is that realization has to do with confidence, enlightened confidence, or something like that. These teachings are presented with total confidence, but a sense of questioning at the same time. Space is projecting space into space. It is really good to have someone tell you that. I think people on a “path” need that- someone to tell them something profound and confusing and something that they can question and turn over in their minds.
At the same time, it seems like there is nothing to argue with. That could be my laziness talking, though. So that’s my introduction to TSK. Oh, it relates to Time, Space, and Knowledge, maybe I should say that. There. Ok. More soon.
Quotes used by permission. Books available through Dharma Publishing.