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The Secret Doctrine

The Secret Doctrine

The primary source for this document is The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects by Alexandra David-Neel & Lama Yongden. Alan Watts calls this work "a wonderfully lucid account of the Madhyamika (or 'middle-way') School of Buddhism, a method of meditation and enlightenment which was worked out sometime between 150 and 250 AD by the great Indian sage and pundit, Nagarjuna."

The world is movement.

"The tangible world is movement, say the Masters, not a collection of moving objects, but movement itself. There are no objects 'in movements', it is the movement which constitutes the objects which appear to us: they are nothing but movement."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Wholeness is flowing movement. With the hologram, the movement of interference patterns of coherent light enfolds a subtle range of structures and orders. In a similar, but unthinkably vaster, way, the whole movement or "holomovement" of the universe carries the implicate order and allows us to see and experience our four-dimensional space-time world."
- Briggs and Peat, Looking Glass Universe

Movement arises from flashes of energy.

"This movement is a continued and infinitely rapid succession of flashes of energy (in Tibetan tsal or shoug). All objects perceptible to our senses, all phenomena of whatever kind and whatever aspect they assume, are constituted by a rapid succession of instantaneous events."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Mind, I believe, exists as fleeting energy in parallel universes. The universe we perceive consists of the overlap of these fleeting flashes of energy. The patterns create mind as surely as they create matter. Both the existence of matter and the perception of it are the same thing."
- Fred Allen Wolf, Parallel Universes

A single result arises from many causes.

"Nothing is produced by one single cause; the combination of several causes is always necessary to bring about a result. The seed without the co-operation of earth, dampness, light, etc. will never become a tree."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Though the universe is in some sense determined, it is in another more important sense multidimensional, creative, and indeterminate, constantly unfolding new 'forms' or subtotalities which are expressions of the whole. The galaxy, the city, the corporation, even the very cells of a human's body are in a ceaseless energy exchange like water flowing through a vortex."
- Briggs and Peat, Looking Glass Universe

The microcosm and macrocosm are intimately connected.

"The cycle of Interdependent Origins thus takes place in everything, everywhere, in the infinitely small as in the infinitely great. Its development does not take place progressively in time; the twelve causes...are always present, co-existent and interdependent, their activity is interconnected, and they only exist on with the other."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"The development of structures in what is called microevolution mirrors the development of structures in macroevolution and vice versa. Microstructures and macrostructures evolve together as a whole."
- Erich Jantsch, Creative Evolution

The World as Mental Projection

"Mind" is a description not a thing.

"During his meditations, while watching his mind with close attention, he [the student studying the Secret Teachings] has attained Lhag Thong and 'seeing more' than most men, he has contemplated the continual arising and disappearance of ideas, of volitions, of memories, and so on, which pass like a procession of short-lived bubbles floating down a river. He has realized for himself that 'mind' is only a word indicating a series of mental phenomena."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"For the operation of the nervous system, there is no inside or outside, but only maintenance of correlations that continuously change (like the indicator instruments in a submarine)."
"Self-consciousness, awareness, mind - these are phenomena that take place in language.."
"'Mind' is not an entity but can be ascribed to a system exhibiting regular behavior."
- Humberto Maturana, The Tree of Knowledge

The apparant world is a creation of the observer.

"It is this world which we watch like a play which unfolds outside of ourselves while, in fact, there is nothing there but a canvas bearing many colored patterns, which we have woven and printed in ourselves according to the indications of our erroneous knowledge."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"The apparent world, the one which is perceived, with its figures, its brightness, its colors, is a psychical product, a creation of the observer. The figures seen on the vault of heaven are neither the celestial bodies, nor the true clouds or the falling stars, but are only effigies which the observer's psyche has created and localized how and where it can."
- Vasco Ronchi, Optics, The Science of Vision

All that we peceive are our own projections.

"The greatest saint, even if he has sacrificed a thousand times all that he held most dear, even his life itself, for love of others, for that of a God or for a noble ideal, remains a prisoner of samsara if he has not understood that all that is a childish game, empty of reality, a useless phantasmagoria of shadows which his own mind projects on the infinite screen of the Void"
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"...All sensation will be the reconstruction of objects in space and time from apparent or virtual images of those objects recorded in the cortex. All that we sense as 'out there' is projected from our 'witness' of the recorded virtual images."
- Fred Alan Wolf, Parallel Universes

Memories are painted over our screen of perception.

"This root originally free from any admixture, origin of the illusory world in which we live is a fleeting contact with some unknowable instant of Reality, some indefinable force which the vasanas [memories] obscure at once, superimposing on it the screen on which the images which we see, are painted."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Consciousness unfolds like a computer displaying its contents on a screen. A considerable part of that display comes from the past and is confused with the self."
- Briggs and Peat, Looking Glass Universe

Our Illusory Self

Thought encloses itself in its own world.

"What then is this activity from which one ought to abstain? It is the disordered activity of the mind which, unceasingly, devotes itself to the work of a builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Thought forms a world of its own in which it is everything. It reifies itself and imagines there's nothing else but what it...thinks about."
- David Bohm, in RE-VISION 1

We are the many fragments of others.

"The Secret Teachings lead the pupil further. They teach him to look, with the same serene indifference at the incessant working of his mind and the physical activity displayed by the body. He ought to succeed in understanding, in noting that nothing of all that is from him, is him. He, physically and mentally, is the multitude of others.
"This 'multitude of others' includes the material elements - the ground, one might say - which he owes to his heredity, to his atavism, then those which he has ingested, which he has inhaled from before his birth, by the help of which his body was formed, and which, assimilated by him, have become with the complex forces inherent in them, constituent parts of his being.
"On the mental plane, this 'multitude of others' includes many beings who are his contemporaries: people he consorts with, with whom he chats, whose actions he watches. Thus a continual inhibition is at work while the individual absorbs a part of the various energies given off by those with whom he is in contact, and these incongruous energies, installing themselves in that which he considers his 'I', form there a swarming throng."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"The origin of chaos is in our fragmented, atomistic thought. Only when thought is not there would it be possible to perceive what is beyond thought."
- David Bohm, in RE-VISION 1

We do not exist as a soul or individual self.

"The answer to those that imagine that Buddhist salvation consists in the annihilation of the 'ego', at the death of the 'person', is that, as Buddhism denies the existence of an 'ego' or a soul, whatever be the name given to it, there cannot be any question of the annihilation of that which is held to be non-existent.
"In reality there is annihilation but it is that of false views, of ignorance, and more exactly of the belief in the existence of an 'ego' which is independent, homogeneous and permanent, a belief which deforms our understanding of the world in deforming our mental vision."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects
"Humans come to think of the individual self as a fundamentally separate 'thing' which persists despite an immensity of changes that take place in one's life."
- Briggs and Peat, Looking Glass Universe

Beyond Thought

The void is an absence of anything we can conceive of.

"Void is understood as a state in which the elements do not produce any combination, give rise to no phenomenon, a state in which only forces, latent and non-manifest, exist. Being the sphere of complete absence of manifestation, the Void is inconceivable."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Nothingness' is not the vacuum of physics, loaded with geometry and field fluctuations; it is a nothingness devoid of structure, law or plan..."
- John Wheeler, "Frontiers of Time"

Insight is a process that bypasses thought.

"To go beyond virtue and vice, opinions and beliefs is to go beyond the mental constructions which are built up by the mind, unceasingly, and to recognize, by transcendent insight, that they are void of reality. It is also to recognize, by transcendent insight, that which has been imagined as practicing virtue, surrendering to vice, as holding opinions and elaborating theories, as traveling towards a goal and reaching the goal, is nothing but an inconsistent phantom, devoid of reality."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Insight is an intelligence beyond any of the energies that could be defined in thought. Insight directly transforms matter; it sort of by-passes thought as of little consequence."
- David Bohm, in RE-VISION 1

Consciousness continually creates the universe.

"According to the Secret Teachings the origin of things is not situated in any place or moment of past time; it is produced now, at each instant, in our minds. At every moment the subjective image which is the world, arises in our mind only to sink back and dissolve in it the moment after, like the 'waves which arise from the sea and fall back into it'.
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"Not in the dim past but continuously by conscious mind is the miracle of creation wrought."
- Sir Arthur Eddington

The Great Liberation

"...The well-informed dreamer may cease taking pleasure in dreaming. He may stop imitating those dreamers who, enjoying the phantasmagoria which they watch and in which they play a part, persist in wishing to remain asleep. In truth, why do the dreamers fear awakening, why do they imagine in advance other dreams of hells and heavens which await them after death? It is because they fear that with the disappearance of the 'images seen in dreams', the illusory 'Ego' which is an integral part of them will disappear. They have not yet perceived that the real face of this chimerical 'Ego' is the face of Death. As long as the idea of this impermanent Ego lasts, this simple mass of elements which various causes have brought together and which other causes will separate, death also subsists. The Dhammapada alludes to the disappearance of this phantom from the field of our mental activity when it refers to whom 'death does not see', that is, he for whom death does not exist.
"To wake up...The Buddhas have done nothing else than this, and it is this awakening which has made them become Buddhas."
- The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects

"History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awaken."
- James Joyce, Ulysses

"There are moments when one feels free from one's own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable; life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only Being."
- Albert Einstein

"Subtle, sparkling, dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome, in appearance like a mirage moving across a landscape in spring-time in one continuous stream of vibrations... That is the radiance of thine own true nature."
- Bardo Thodol


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