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Re: Buddhism & Non-Dualism

Oct 17, 1995 08:33 AM
by Jerry Schueler

<Although Jerry S. has declined so far to respond to my assertion that
<Buddhism teaches a consciousness which corresponds to "atma" in Theosophy,
<these quotes from Naropa pretty clearly prove that Buddhists do believe in an
<eternal (nitya) unstained (amala) enduring consciousness.

You give me your quotes, Rich, and I'll give you mine. Mahayana
Buddhism has Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, and Chittamatra schools, which
all assert an Atma as well as a "store-consciousness' or alaya-vijnana
which equates somewhat to Jung's collective unconscious. However,
a "higher" school, the Madhyamika-Prasagikas (the Nagarjuna lineage
which includes Je Tsongkhapa) take another view. They insist that the
students of the "lower schools" cannot reach liberation. They teach
that there is no atman, no alaya-vijnana, or Self of any kind, including
monadic and would be appalled at Purucker saying that the monad has
swabhava - which they teach is pure maya.

I admit that I erred when I said "Buddhism teaches ..." which is
rather like saying "Christianity teaches..." Too many sects and splinter
groups to really make such a statement. What I have been trying to say
only applies to a few Buddhists, those who consider themselves
somewhat above the others (but then, who doesn't?) and who are very
non-dualistic. Of course, you have the same problem, and can't really
say that "Buddhism teaches ..." either. So, while some Buddhist sects
do teach an equivalence of theosophy, others do not. For example:

"As with all other things, this world came into being

in dependence upon causes. Has there been no causes,

there would be no world. The main cause of this world

was the collective karma of the beings who inhabit it.

Since karma originates in the mind, it follows that this

world was produced principally by mind ... There is

no valid reason for saying that it was created by Brahma,

or by any god. The entire world arose due to karma, and

karma arises from mind; therefore the actual creator

of this world is mind" (Ocean of Nectar: Wisdom and

Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism, p. 168).

What does this kind of teaching do to the Cosmocrators,
Manus, and Builders of HPB? As to Atma or Self:

"No object exists without being apprehended by a

subjective mind; and a subjective mind cannot exist

without an apprehended object. Objects are empty

of being separate entities from their minds; and

minds are empty of being separate entites from

their objects. This emptiness, which is called 'the

non-duality of apprehended and apprehender', is the

profound emptiness that is the door to liberation."

 (Ocean of Nectar: Wisdom and Compassion in

Mahayana Buddhism, p. 228).

Jerry S.

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