Fullness chapter 11



The Arising of Adhiprajna

    Adhiprajna is the height of prajna and its fullness: The classic Buddhist description of prajna-insight is metaphorical, like a clear mirror with the ability to reflect and reveal all things just as they are.  The clearness of the mirror corresponds to clarity of perception with no obscuration due to mental qualities.  When prajna functions in its fullness, perception also reaches its perfection, seeing things as lacking identity, lacking permanent and inherent characteristics, and originating only in interdependence with multitudes of conditions. The thusness of existence cannot be fully realized through logic or reasoning alone, but can be understood through rigorous and persistent practice, along with previous analytical reflection.   Meditation practice allows a radical purification of perspective, dissolving the dichotomous views of svabhava.

     Thusness is a designation for “what is, as it really is”.   Things are only what they are, not what they may seem to be in conjunction with the conceptual imputations overlaying them as part of their being cognized.   Thusness refers to reality (dharmata) as it actually exists; form is emptiness and emptiness is form.    The real primordial nature of mind, when it is clear like the mirror and unobstructed by delusion and distraction, is also called thusness or “thusness of mind”. Buddha-nature (tathagatagarbha) also equates with thusness of mind, as does the realm of reality (dharmadhatu).   Dharmadhatu is the realm of phenomena as well as the realm of principle underlying phenomena.   There is no incompatibility between one thing and another because all things are emptiness and have an identical reality.   The highest insight is the simple and unadorned cognition of things in their natural thusness, being naturally “just thus”.   Thusness is inconceivable in the absence of the operative fullness of prajna-wisdom, adhiprajna. The vision of thusness cannot happen just through theory or speculation but can be a fully realized and constantly lived reality.   The central intention of the Heart Sutra is to qualify the aspirant in this Profound Perfection of Wisdom.

     Thusness is also equivalent with the Four Noble Truths as describing the way things really are. Thusness is also a term embracing essential consciousness, the beginninglessness and endlessness of all objects and events, and the selfless empty nature of all phenomena.   Nothing has any self-identity apart from the oneness of thusness; everything is an aspect of thusness.   What we add to something as part of our cognitive ramblings do not in reality give a thing any permanent selfness.   There is only thusness whether it is realized or not.  Even descriptions of thusness are only thusness, which means they are only as they are, descriptions only.   If we understand, there is thusness and understanding of thusness; if we do not understand, there is still thusness and the presence of non-understanding — which is also thusness.   The knowledge of thusness is adhiprajna and that culminates in bodhi.  Those who realize thusness are called Tathagatas. The direct realization of the interdependent origination of all and everything is the mind of thusness.

   The mind of thusness also sees interdependent origination as a description; all is just description until description is also realized as true thusness.  The true thusness of mind conjoins with the universe of true thusness; the relative and the ultimate are seen as a unity.   All is thus, as-it-is.  There is no interference between form and emptiness and there is no barrier between the two truths.  Waves in the ocean cannot be isolated from the ocean; the ocean is differentiated into waves only descriptively, conceptually.   Waves are the same as the ocean, but they do have difference, but the difference and the sameness must be fused together in the mind of thusness.   There is no real duality anywhere.

    The real nature of phenomena is nonduality and emptiness; the dharmadhatu is thusness.  No single object or event has its own self-essence, so not two things can be ultimately different since they are both merged in thusness.  The flux, the process, and all functions within the totality of existence are the matrix of thusness.  There is nothing outside the matrix; it is all inclusive.   There is no thing that can be accurately or completely described and defined by limited language because characteristics are infinite. Therefore, the dharmadhatu is inconceivable, beyond conceptual elaboration, beyond the discriminations of the mind.   But thusness is not beyond the mind of thusness because they are the same.  Thusness can realize itself because that is its inherent potential, buddha-nature.   One in whom this process has come to its fullness is called “one who to thusness has gone”.

     All manifested appearances of objects and events are always simultaneously the same in their real identity of thusness, no matter what the apparent temporal differences and characteristics may seem to be.   The thusness of anything is the same as the thusness of anything else.   The interdependence of all phenomena is as it is because, ultimately, any one thing depends for its existence on all else, and all depends on each one, whether remotely or immediately.   Without thusness there is no existence whatsoever.

      The mind of thusness sees all as already perfected. Objective interdependent structures are thusness manifestations; all arises exactly as it does, exactly as it should, according to conditional patterns. Dharmadhatu is functional perfection; whatever happens is a result of potentiality previously objectified in prior patterns.  Egoistic efforts are always directed toward an alteration of something conceptually deemed imperfect or unacceptable. This is the mundane way of understanding, but in the supramundane perspective all polluted mundane knowledge is transcended, and what is conditional and empty is seen as it is, and motivations to alter conditions are abandoned in favor of a return to lucid awareness.   When all aspects of the existential matrix of being is known as operating in perfection, then the contemplative can begin to become more stable in that knowing presence, liberated from the bonds of aberrant imaginations and superimposing projections. This is the unsurpassed knowing presence, spontaneous and beyond conceptual entanglements, beyond “all ills and suffering” based on the cravings of ego-based motivations. This spontaneous presence is the absence of delusion, the absence of hindrances, the realm of tathagata, the unsurpassed holistic knowledge based on emptiness, the mind of thusness.

    The particular import of the Heart Sutra is that the universe of phenomenal manifestation should be understood from the position of bodhi, enlightenment.  We live in the samsaric existence, but unknown to most it is identical to the inconceivable dharmadhatu.  Samsara and nirvana cannot be separated; samsara is nirvana and nirvana is samsara.   The only difference between the two is that in samsara ignorant beings are attached to ego-motivated activities through self-identification, whereas bodhisattva mahasattvas and buddhas are not.   The two realms, samsara and nirvana, lokadhatu and dharmadhatu, the relative and the absolute, phenomena and noumenon, are seen as merged, fused, conjoined, and nondual by the Buddha.   What is real also includes the facts of suffering and delusion as well as the fact of enlightenment; all are functional aspects of thusness.

     To presume that enlightenment is the complete and total knowledge of all details of everything will produce a motivation to attain all possible knowledge.  Of this the human mind is incapable.  The mind gathers in partial details and characteristics of things through sense contact, and then compares qualities and discriminations. The human mind is limited, while details of knowledge are limitless because of the limitless change and infinite motion taking place within conditional perpetual flux. Reality cannot be known through any intellectual construct; reality is known only through identity with it. This means it is crucial to disassociate with conceptual error. Bodhi is necessarily beyond conventional knowledge, yet inclusive of it and incorporating it into an all-inclusive holistic recognition of thusness-reality.  The relative cannot be excluded in a correct, holistic view of ultimate reality beyond all concepts.  To try to conceptualize what is too vast to be conceivable by the discriminating mind is to quit the race one step short of the finish line.

    Freedom from the apparent bondage of conditional restraints of the samsaric wandering-on comes about through a comprehensive understanding in cognition with a fullness of experiential direct realization. Understanding the totality of the matrix of existence, life and events in inconceivable flux, is the mind of thusness. All the boundless fluctuations of perceptual conditionality are spontaneous modifications and adjustments of thusness in its manifestations of potentiality.   There can be no thing related to thusness as an “other” and there can be no true comprehension of thusness as a separated “many”, or a oneness without its many “others”. There is nothing but this thusness and naught else than it.  The totality of manifestations, as phenomena, along with that which perceives the manifestations, arises and disappears, assembles and disintegrates, as a spontaneous morphing of infinite conditional relationships.   Neither can the flux, nor thusness, nor the mind of thusness be considered as an independent, self-existing thing, or being unto itself.

    The whole cosmos is implicit in every one of its parts, just as waves are identifiable as ocean.  The universe is a dynamic and holistic movement, and when a contemplative has subdued the dichotomous tendencies in his discriminative mind he gets a feeling of cosmic oneness of all things and beings. This feeling arises when there is an absence of the ego-notion, and it is this feeling that is the basis for the compassionate idealism exercised by buddhas and bodhisattvas.   The matrix of events is constantly changing and in a process of generation, growth, and decline in each of its parts.  A bodhisattva or a buddha with unsurpassed knowledge of the nature of the matrix of thusness can replace belligerence with kindness and compassion, change the unwholesome into wholesomeness, or create environments that help beings transcend their problems.   The dharmata (reality) thus becomes malleable for those who study, reflect, and practice, who realize emptiness and the mind of thusness, bodhi.  Each mind can and does have the power to change the field of the matrix for good or for ill.  Deluded beings can transform conditions for ill and for degeneration, while bodhisattvas vow to deliver beings from ill.   Thus our world is the kind of world that it is, a saha world, a world of endurance.   Conditions endure according to the minds that create them.

    The dimensions in which we flay about are apparitional projections and distorted reflections of a basic reality so inconceivable that we can only imagine what the truth of it may really be like.   The reality we think we see is a partial perception, a mediocre facsimile of a grandiose thusness. Appearances and phenomena are not false; they are real, but they are usually perceived in a false manner. Perceivable dimensions of existence, if observed as a holographic system, will appear more clearly as what they really are.  Coincidences, accidents, and synchronicity are then subjects susceptible to logical exploration as events coinciding dependent on the continuum of the conditions in the matrix of thusness. Things can be individual parts of a continuum of undivided wholeness, being the wholeness itself yet retaining individual uniqueness. Nothing is ever separately unique because the concept of uniqueness depends on comparison with “others”.   The ongoing misconceptions of things as separately “self” and “other” are the fault of the discriminating mind. In actualizing the correct view by way of the fused two truths, every supposedly single thing is then known as a subtotality complex, a speck of color in a mosaic of infinity.  Within relativity is a static essence of thusness, of absolute holism, and a dynamism of interwoven functions and processes that are the matrix, a fused oneness-and-multiplicity, homogeneity-and-heterogeneity in perfect fullness.

     Consciousness in the individual is just ordinary wakeful awareness interacting with the supposed differentiations of the manifested world. In its unobstructed and unconfined state consciousness has a natural lucidity.  This clarity is the original face, the primordial, conditionless condition of free and pure consciousness, the mind of thusness. The individual contemplative, once having recognized his natural holistic presence, is then concerned with integrated wholes, or the total system of manifestation within the phenomenal matrix, rather than with deluded absorption in and attachment to the supposedly separate parts of it.   All phenomena are then recognized as they really are, as interrelated components of the unified field of ever-changing conditionality.   In undifferentiating, nondual holistic lucidity (bodhi) all the implications of the afflictions of conceptual dualism have ceased to be and the phenomenal matrix is clearly observed and understood.


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