Are we Tulpas?
August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
It is asserted by those that have recognized their true nature that Consciousness is primary, not a by-product of the brain. Some have further stated that what appears as conscious activity in the brain is actually consciousness reflecting off the brain as a light reflects off a mirror. To better understand reflective consciousness, consider your experience while watching a movie on TV or at the theatre.
When we watch a movie it’s said our critical judgment is suspended which thus allows us to believe we are watching and listening to real people on the screen. But even when we are watching a very bad movie (e.g., Sahara) where our critical judgment is no longer suspended, we still think what we’re watching is real and that the actors are conscious and alive. We never fully recognize that these are just images, not people. Likewise, when we imagine conversations we’ve had or want to have with someone, we believe the person in our mind is a real person when they are just some construct we’ve made of them.
Tibetan Yoga is particularly designed to enable the student to realize his mental experiences are not real and contain only reflective consciousness. One practice has the student step-by-step construct an image of an enlightened being until it acts and speaks as the real person might. If the student has understood the nature of the practice he has advanced on the path to realization. If not, he may go home convinced the illusion that accompanies him is real. Of course, one does not have to be student of the Way to believe the person they are imagining is real and loves them. Any stalker of movie stars believes that!
The point being made is that if we believe an image on a movie screen is a real, conscious person when intellectually we know they are not, then how is it we cannot accept, even intellectually, that the images, feelings and thoughts in our head are also not conscious, but just objects that we’ve projected consciousness upon? Why, in other words, do you believe your ego, which is essentially just a collection of thoughts and feelings, is the real, conscious you? Why not let go of the ego, and discover the real you?