“‘The Great Space dimension reveals an all-inclusive unity that, rather paradoxically, is not spread out over any region. Thus, we have an infinite form or totality that nevertheless lacks ordinary spatial extension and is therefore not a ‘thing’ which is infinite.”

The logic here seems startlingly simple and clear: that which is infinite can’t be a thing, because things are separate and limited: things are finite. Or things are infinite, but then they’re not really just things anymore: they’re Space.

What follows is a description of mind, as nonexistent or bottomless, or baseless, and Space. We’re approaching the end of the chapter. I find this material very exciting: vast, yet approachable, and a little adventurous. Again, Rinpoche tells us that mind does exist as a generator of thoughts, and has no solid existence at all. He relates this to space: mind is somehow a focal setting on space.” Intro to TSK

Overall I found the part in bold the most interesting. I think it was a typing error on my part, the correct version being the Tarthang Tulku explains the minds does not exist (as generator of thoughts) and has no solid existence.

I think this is an interesting contrast to play with: mind as existing as generator, but with no solidity, or mind not existing, and again without existence.


The idea is: non-existent generator without solidity, or existent generator without solidity. A number of Trungpa Rinpoche’s students have said recently how we would say that “it’s all real,” in reference to it, reality. This is counter to the usual explanation of emptiness. I’ve been thinking about this recently. I don’t think it matters if you say “mind is the generator” or “reality exists”- it ends up being the same thing. Then from there, you can say if does generate, and if it is solid and real.

Here’s a translation of a poem by Buddhadasa Bhikku, an influential Thai monk and 20th c. thinker.


“The One God


Religion is with us forever.

We should invite our friends along to see.

We have something real, the only thing,

And we have our own way.

We will be happy forever.

We don’t have to resists others.

We’ll have love and happiness everywhere.

We’ll come together to worship god.

The names are different, but it doesn’t matter.

The inside is the same.”


There’s one take on reality, sameness, unity. I find some elements of it abrasive, although I like the feeling overall. The idea of unity or sameness can be difficult and problematic. This makes me think of VCTR’s ideas about duality and tantra in “Journey Without Goal.” Tantra, by the way, is not about sex or promiscuity. It’s about the practice of meditation and ritual leading to realization (in the Indian Hindu or Buddhist tradition usually).

He mentions that going right for oneness or unity is not the way to go. You have to approach duality, and work with that, the “friction” of duality I think he calls it, the friction and reaction of things being separate, opposed in some ways, and interacting. Of course, both duality and unity have their places and end up being worked into the stew, I think. In many ways, the TSK vision and VCTR’s teachings are quite different, though.


About jakekarlins

Aspiring writer and artist, dharma practitioner, yogi.

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