A Bold Notion

I read in the New York Times today about one of the strange twists of drama Tibetan Buddhism is going through since coming out of its millennial seclusion.

The way it goes is that you have a teacher who is a highly realized master, enlightened, and so forth, and because they have these attributes, they have the power to choose to come back for another lifetime, or many lifetimes, in order to help sentient beings.

That is not a notion confined to Tibetan Buddhism or any other flower of Buddhism.  Since The Matrix came out, popular culture in the West has dug the reality trip, as well, yah oh yah.

But the way the Tibetans would find out where the realized teacher had been reborn was pretty unique and powerful in its own way.

Miraculously, these adepts would usually have the time to write a letter, to be opened at their death, and the letter would have clues as to where he could be found, reborn in an auspicious coincidence where these clues could provide a good result.

It was a spiritual treasure hunt.  The search itself was a lesson with its own traditions of adventure and illumination, and was a very interesting test to be given from a revered teacher who had just left this world physically, or at least that is the phenomenon presented, the appearance.

If done right, this trip to find the teacher, using the teacher’s last written test, is a real teaching no different than the ones which led to the students now having to find their teacher again.

So anyway, now the Chinese are saying they will be the ones to decide who the next Dali Lama is.  That was from the New York Times story I spoke of above.

I don’t think this is as auspicious a coincidence as one would hope for, but it is what it is.

And what does this have to do with “A Bold Notion,” like in my title?


There’s no way to say this in a logical rational Western fashion, but it can be presented as a notion of sorts.

The truth is a beautiful thing and whenever it is invoked, whether for good or ill, it always, always prevails.

As the one of the protagonists in Norman Spinrad’s He Walked Among Us (link is to my review of the book) said, “What is, is real.”

I could give lessons in denial (I believe I have a certificate somewhere), but nowadays, the power of denial is waning, in my expert opinion!

My bold notion is to look at this news story from an existential (spiritual) view instead of the narrow view of politics as it is practiced today.

This notion that we can no longer create beauty, meh.  Existence, the universe itself, commands beauty, and it will not be denied.


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  1. I’ve always had a very rebellious attitude towards tests.


    May the Dali Lama live long and in good health and may he one day, in this incarnation, visit Tibet and see his people.

    • Edger on July 3, 2010 at 02:20

    wants to politicize Tibetan Buddhism to use it in commanding  power over it’s followers?

    Heh. Good luck with that.

    I have a feeling the Tibetans will decide (find out) on their own who their next “real” Dalai Lama is, in spite of whoever the Chinese government “says” it is…

    The Laughing Buddha

    in a full-blown nowgasm

    The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.

    — Dalai Lama

  2. Before you go out looking for the master, you have to have a divination that confirms where you are supposed to look.  You go to the Seer, who enters a trance and finds out where you’re supposed to go.  This is really important to the search.  I wish I could find the link for this.  But can’t.

    One other thing: the Chinese have their own Panchen Lama, but the real Panchen Lama has been in their captivity for many years. Deteails: here.  That’s the real danger of them getting involved in this.

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