[The following is a partial post from last week- I’m writing a new one now, and this one is only partial, but I thought it was decent. It is unfinished because the internet or my computer or some playful spirit swallowed up the rest of the article. So here it is, in part.]
“Existing is a very lonely, isolationist tendency.” Tarthang Tulku, Time, Space, and Knowledge
This is true. I just finished rereading John Perks’ book about his time with Trungpa Rinpoche, and loneliness is something he writes about repeatedly. I think it’s a big part of the path. An interesting thing about the quote is that, in a sense, it puts this loneliness in the context of emptiness, or space: the separate self is lonely. That condition of separate existence is the source of loneliness (at least that’s what I think is implied there).
This will, I think, be the last post specifically on space. I hope I haven’t omitted too much, or gone too superficially over the last few parts. At this point, I’m trying to talk about the final two chapters in the section. The last of those chapters finishes with a description of three levels of space, which I have actually talked about a little bit already.
My big insight for the day, this morning/so far, was that this teaching is a way to connect relative and ultimate (lower space and Great Space, in space terms). This seems important, somehow, connecting relative and ultimate, although why that is important I’m not sure I can express succintly. Here goes: it’s important at least in part because practitioners generally want to understand the nature of life, and to become good people. Discussions of inherent goodness aside, we do generally want to work on our “stuff.” We do want to understand life a little better. Those things might not seem to connect initially, but many spiritual traditions tell us they do. It’s both very convenient, and extraordinarily inconvenient.