After the last post, I was left with a problem: I’d cornered myself somewhat by admitting that I didn’t understand the idea that everything, all experience, or reality, however you want to spin it, was a manifestation of Time.

Luckily, or very conveniently, I was able to come up with an idea. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is the idea of the masculine and feminine principles. Generally, the feminine principle is given much more importance. I’m sure why this is, exactly, but you can see various examples of this emphasis, including the importance placed on sitting meditation, on gentleness, and mindfulness-awareness.

Here is the idea I came up with: Space is the feminine principle. Time is the masculine principle. Knowledge is the interaction or play of those masculine and feminine principles. What do these things mean more specifically? I’ll try to explain, although this is heavy stuff, heavy stuff that I’m just beginning to study.

The feminine principle refers to space. Among other things, this means the way that there is a spacious quality to things. Things have a quiet, empty, spacey quality. As Rinpoche mentions somewhere else in the TSK books, things ARE “structured space.” Things consist of pieces and parts, and those parts have spaces inside of them, which are also structured, the interaction of thing and emptiness. This is a very rough sketch of the feminine principle.

The masculine principle refers to Time, or, as I like to think of it, energy. I’ve had other teachers explain it that way, so I shouldn’t take credit for that assignation, masculine as energy. You could see it as the more solid, vibrant part of the structured space equation. Take a flag in the wind. The space around the flapping flag is feminine. The movement of the flag is defined by space moving and transforming in various ways very quickly. The color, texture, sound, shape of the flag is the masculine principle. It manifests out of the feminine principle of space, and is vibrant, with noticeable and interesting qualities.

Let me try to bring this back to Time and Space. This is going to be brief (it’s time for dinner), but here it is: space is things, events, experiences as their absence, or these phenomena as their absence of solidity. That’s space as feminine principle. Things and phenomena as time shows reality as vivid, structured, and also chaotic.

On top of this, it is all Knowledge. So often, in my studies, reality is described in terms of space. I’m very partial to this view. Another way of looking at these things is that it is all Knowledge, the play of Space and Time. It’s all experience, which is a kind of Knowledge. Ok, time for dinner.


About jakekarlins

Aspiring writer and artist, dharma practitioner, yogi.

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