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About Radix

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  1. Following on from the above, I would also like to suggest that, mutatis mutandis, the Buddhist teachings on cosmology only discuss three of the macrocosmic realms posited in the Qabbalah, that is, Assiah (the material world, Malkuth), Yetzirah (the subtle realms, Yesod through Chesed), and Atziluth (the "Divine" realm, Kether). The "heavenly realms of the gods" in Buddhism are really the upper regions of Yetzirah, since they are still characterized by time and individual consciousness. This must even hold for the "formless" regions of the highest Buddhist heavens, for as long as there is a discrete consciousness to reincarnate, there is still a "form," however subtle. Individuality, as such, ends at Chesed. Now, on what is known as the "archangelic" or archetypal realm (Briah) in Qabbalah, Buddhism is silent, or only "hints" in very oblique ways (the "apparition" of Vairocana, who "represents" the Dharmakaya but never incarnates). Of course this will sound heretical to a Buddhist perspective, but my intention is certainly not to disparage Buddhism or its cosmology. Whatever silences are apparent in Buddhist doctrines are in keeping with the fundamental intentions of its existence, since to be effusive on the subject of the archetypal realm, a cosmological world that is technically "outside" of samsara, could only serve to complicate the Buddhist upaya at the risk of its salvific efficacy. Still, from a more global perspective, and keeping in mind that all statements about reality are provisional, it strikes me that the Briatic archetypal realm serves a useful explanatory function, i.e. it serves as a vital link between the pure potentiality of Dharmakaya and the "facts" of samsara. Again, this is not a "slight" of Buddhism, since in order to present its saving truths it must conceal certain things (think of the Burning House parable in the Lotus Sutra). These are just my speculations, which I offer in the spirit of friendly prompts to further discussion, rather than dogmatic contentions.
  2. Good points, Steve. I think you're right: in the "gradual path" systems it "seems" like a progression, whereas in the "direct path," ie Zen, Dzogchen, there not and cannot be any concept of progression. Still, I think that even in a gradual path in Buddhism, it is still recognized, at least implicitly, that the notion of "gradual enlightenment" is purely provisional, since in the ultimate view, time is illusory. One of the things that annoys me about modern occultist Qabbalah is that it seems too rigidly schematic and linear, i.e. start at Malkuth and "travel" step by step to Kether. Still, it seems to be useful for many people. Even in this system it is usually clearly understood that none of the Sephiroth exist without the others, ie Tiphereth (the "Holy Guardian Angel") and Kether (unconditioned consciousness) are always "there," which is why one can be guided by the Angel in the first place. Categories of time and space, in fact, cease to apply above Chesed (the highest point of Yetzirah, before the "Abyss"). I'm not an expert at all, but the Jewish sources don't seem to view the Tree of Life as a microcosmic/ macrocosmic "map" as the occultists do, and the different levels of consciousness seem much less linear in terms of how their accessibility is presented. There is also the well-known story of Enoch from Genesis, who "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him." Make of that what ye will!
  3. PS. I don't mind opening this thread up to Taoist and even Confucian conceptions also. I would like to learn more about how the Taoist deities might fit on the Tree. The way I see it, the problem that we in the West are dealing with now is similar to that faced by Chinese thinkers over the previous two millennia, i.e. the problem of the "Three Teachings" which ultimately were synthesized into what is commonly known as "Chinese religion." There have been countless variations of this synthesis, as many variations as there were practitioners, from complete mutual exclusivity to nearly complete syncretism--and everything in between. The difference now is that the conceptual playing field has opened up, and now we have Christianity, Judaism, and all the other "isms" thrown into the mix. The easy, safe and still popular answers are to insist on mutual exclusivity, or else not to think about the matter at all. But those of us who are familiar with more than one of these systems will often have a hard time taking refuge in the "easy way." I'm coming at this problem less as a "champion for ecumenism" than as a (feeble) aspirant to the Great Work. Part of my "original chaos" is a somewhat uneasy mix of all these things bouncing around in my soul/mind. In the modern world, fewer and fewer of us can rest completely isolated within a single "symbolic universe." In an effort to transcend, part of my own alchemical work is to reconcile for myself the different universes that have been important to me, and working with the Tree of Life in this way is one way of doing this, though it is not without its limitations. I'm certainly not an unconditional apologist for Crowley, but I see in his life and work a great modern expression of that crucial alchemical insight (sometimes crudely expressed, to be sure) which is increasingly unavoidable in our increasingly pluralistic world: the imperative need to reconcile all (apparent) opposites.
  4. Great points, Emerald Head! Provisionally, then, we can perhaps view the various Samboghakayas as "angels" in the sense that they are, as it were, direct emanations from the Dharmakaya. One's own experience of Tifereth could be one's own experience of one's Samboghakaya, which is the "Son" of the "Father" Dharmakaya in Kether. The ultimate indissolubility of Malkuth and Kether ("Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether") might be seen as analogous to the ultimate union of Nirvana and Samsara--hence the phenomenon of the Nirmanakaya. In an absolute sense, however, there is only Ain Soph, as there is only the Dharmakaya. All else are the illusory manifestations of mind. I would also submit that one might view Vairocana as analogous to YHVH when viewed as the Name unifying all four Cabalistic worlds, i.e. Adam Kadmon. As Taigen Dan Laighton says, Vairicana is "the Reality Body Buddha (dharmakaya in Sanskrit) whose body is the equivalent of the entire phenomenal universe, which is known in Buddhism as the dharmadhatu."
  5. I could be wrong here; I need to do more research on the relationship between the Kayas. According to Wikipedia: Sambhogakaya also refers to the luminous form of clear light the Buddhist practitioner attains upon the reaching the highest dimensions of practice. According to tradition, those skilled in meditation, such as advanced Tibetan lamas and yogis, as well as other highly realized Buddhists, may gain access to the Sambhogakaya and receive direct transmission of doctrine.
  6. Thanks for your response, ZYD. The analogy with "Tooter Turtle" is pretty inspired! Mr. Wizard could be a manifestation of Chenrezig or Medicine Buddha The "Map of Liberation" is a good idea. I think this is is basically how Crowley approached the Tree, and why the use of the meditations makes sense. I also imagine (I could be wrong) that his knowledge of Mahayana was probably far inferior to his knowledge of Theravada, hence his lack of application of the more "mythological" aspects of the Mahayana sutras and tantras in 777. I come from a more Mahayana angle, and the figures of various Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and devas/assures can, I think, be useful, since they basically manifest or personify the different aspects of consciousness to which the meditations lead. The difficulty is that, with Buddhism we are really dealing with a variety of different systems, aspects and symbols arranged at different levels and interacting in different ways. One might attempt to make attributions, but these will mostly be most useful to the one who finds it it necessary to undergo the exercise. Hence Crowley's maxim that everyone must make their own QBL rings true for me here. What I would like to do (and what I invite others to use this thread to do) is to come up with a Tree, or several Trees, which map out various concepts of Buddhism in ways that are consistent and personally meaningful. I think the exercise is valuable in forcing one to really contemplate these concepts and there relationships deeply. As such the exercise itself is possibly worth more than any particular results, though these might also have their value. I need to think more about this, speaking for myself. I want to review the 10 Bhumis of the Boddhisattva path and see if there is some way in which they might map onto the Sephiroth. For now I will humbly submit my suggested attributions for the Three Kayas (Buddha Bodies): Kether: Dharmakaya Tiphareth: Samboghakaya (Guardian Angel?) Malkuth: Nirmanakayas This hopefully makes sense; I don't think Buddhism sees the acquisition of these bodies as a "progression," but rather that they are all there simultaneously, at different levels.
  7. Greetings, I've been thinking a lot recently about how various Mahayana deities, boddhisattvas, Buddhas, etc might "fit," from a comparative perspective, on the Tree of Life. I don't take a rigid approach to these matters, since ultimately every Sephiroth contains every other, and different aspects of deities might fit in more than one place. I like to think of it from a universalist perspective, i.e. taking for granted that the Tree of Life can serve as an adequate, nondenominational "map" of human and superhuman consciousness. I have to say, though, this seems quite difficult in the case of Buddhism. Aleister Crowley has made some attempts in 777, but from what I remember his attributions did not include the deities, but only the various meditations. My tentative suggestions are below--you'll notice these are quite arbitrary and not really consistent with each other. I doubt if any rigid system is even possible here; probably several different sets of attribution might work, however unsatisfactorily: 000 ? 00 ? 0 ? I Samantabhadra II Vairocana/ Amitabha III Prajnaparamita (goddess) IV ? V Manjusri VI Avalokitesvara VII Tara ? VIII Medicine Buddha ? IX Cundi? X Shakyamuni? Perhaps AC was correct in approaching this from the perspective of meditation stages rather than deities. Any suggestions?
  8. This is an important part of Tibetan Buddhism (though they wouldn't explain it in precisely this manner). I'm not a Tibetan Buddhist myself, but the principles of the system strike me as very sound, high magic. I suppose this is at least partly where the Golden Dawn/Crowleyan practice of "assumption of godforms" comes from. You may be interested in looking into one or both of these traditions, if this interests you. In general I would say that "contact with deities in the astral realm" occurs all the time in religious contexts, such as Catholic/Orthodox churches in the presence of devotional artwork and paintings. A devotional interaction with such images definitely occurs "astrally." Some people also project into Tarot cards, etc. In shamanic/neo-Shamanic contexts such visionary interactions are cultivated actively. The advantage of the Tibetan system is that such interactions are strictly regulated/monitored, hence the risk of egotistical delusion is hopefully somewhat offset. Kabbalist pathworking could potentially be used to explore such interactions in a systematic sense.
  9. Chundi mantra

    Wow, what an epic thread! I'm interested in the "mythological" or symbolic aspects of Cundi. What does she, as a "figure," really represent in metaphysical terms? I have read everything I could find about Cundi in English (which isn't much) and, while there is quite a lot about the practice (as in this thread) I have found very little about who/what Cundi is supposed to be, though it's not difficult to speculate. The Sutra doesn't mention her at all, just the dharani. The dharani mentions her name but the "namah" is directed to "saptanam samyaksambodhi kotinam tadyatha" (the millions of Buddhas). Bill Bodri seems pretty consistently to refer to Cundi as "him" and even says somewhere that Cundi is actually "male." The Tibetans seem to consider Cundi to be a mother of a certain Buddha family (Lotus?) Some masters, and even many folks on a popular level, have considered Cundi an emanation of Kannon/Avalokitesvara (as in Japan). As I said, I'm interested in the deep symbolism here. Master Nan Huai Chin mentions that she is "a Boddhisattva, the Great Buddha Mother, source or origin of the Dharmas (this is in "Grass Mountain," in the glossary under "Chung-T'i.") Is there a sense in which Cundi can be considered analogous to Shakti, the "power" of Shiva?--or better, from a Buddhist iconographical perspective, a form of Prajnaparamita (hence Emptiness/Wisdom itself--perhaps somewhat analogous to Sophia in the Gnostic tradition?) I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who has more knowledge than me about this fascinating aspect of Cundi 🙏
  10. Dzogchen Teachers

    Thanks, Shagrath! I have actually been listening to James Low the past few days on YouTube, and I like his presentation very much! 🙏
  11. Dzogchen Teachers

    @CT: Many thanks for your kind suggestions and best wishes. I am slightly familiar with Dr. Wallace, though not Dr. Neale. However, I looked through his ngondro commentary and the open-minded way that he explains things resonates with me for sure. 🙏
  12. Dzogchen Teachers

    but you seem to have some self doubt in terms of practice - it is perfectly possible to 'get somewhere' without formal teachings or transmission. Yes, I'm worried about the well-known phenomena of "polishing a brick," especially as I get older. Still, I am capable of going out on limbs, especially when there are no other options. If you are in a place where you cannot get transmission or instruction then maybe take it as a sign that the universe has confidence in you 🙏😊
  13. Dzogchen Teachers

    Hi Zongyongdaoist! What a coincidence! I was actually, as it happens, reading some of your posts last night (from way back in 2011, I think) regarding traditional magical theory vs. modern occultist "neomagick." So glad you're still here! Let me tell you that it was so refreshing to come across your perspective: I reached a similar p.o.v. last year after realizing that Agrippa, Dee, Fludd, Plotinus, Iamblichus, etc were infinitely more profound than anything that has appeared since the "occult revival." I'm a HUGE Agrippa enthusiast. As one friend said to me, "There are cities within cities in Agrippa...." But alas, as with Taoism, so much of this really hardcore Western esoteric tradion is hidden, lost. I'm sure that the monasteries would have been rife with many profound adepts in the past, but any secret tradition of initiation and instruction has seemingly been lost, fodder for the speculations of academics and neo-occultists who have (as you mentioned in one of your posts) given up on the entire cosmology of pre-Cartesian science. I do believe that there are instances where people are instructed by "hidden adepts" (Boehme and various alchemists via "Elias Artista") or angelic beings (Dee/Kelley), but these must surely be few and far between. Perhaps most of those who have been fortunate in this regard have wisely kept silence. "Taoist medication": lol I meant "meditation." I am familiar with the Luk book, "Alchemy and Immortality." It's quite fascinating and it seems straightforward in some ways--but, like the Golden Flower, in other ways perplexing, and I'm still too diffident about my ability to figure out the correct techniques on my own. I'd be interested in hearing what you've been able to make of that text, if you ever feel inclined to share (I will also take a look at the thread you linked, with interest!) _/\_