As a writer, I seem to be trying to accomplish something for which language may not be the right tool and for which I am not well qualified. I would like to better understand why humanity is befouling our own nest and discover how we might alter the patterns of behavior that are relentlessly propelling us toward disaster.
I suspect that the people who follow my blog posts don’t really need them in order to continue their own conscious and well considered journeys. And it is doubtful that anyone in charge of the organizations that control markets for oil, water and the media, and who unduly influence elections and judicial appointments, will step aside from the enticements of power and wealth in order to care for the community we share.
For me writing is a search for connection with the community of people who care for our world. A budding renaissance seems to be exploring what it means to be human. Some people act privately, seeking to live lives that inflict no harm on others. Others confrontationally challenge powers that operate in secret and manipulate the rules of the game in their favor. It seems both kinds of people are needed if we are to nurture a community devoted to the preservation of our planet.
We can deplore that the likes of Goldman Sachs brought down the US economy in 2008 and that their restructuring of Greece’s debt is now bringing that nation down, but the most powerful players in Samsara don’t seem to hear the cries of the people they dispossess.
Samsara? That’s the Buddhist term for the human realm when it is dominated by greed, hatred and ignorance. A path of many lifetimes is said to be required before enlightenment can be realized, until which time our own confusion will prevent us from helping anyone else with theirs. That’s an intimidating project to say the least. Looking around at the plight of Gaia, we may well wonder if there is not a shorter road to rejuvenated understanding and effective action.
Spiritual and religious traditions offer individuals an important compass with which to navigate this confusing world. Some traditions offer a future release from all this confusion, and bid us to hold tight until the day of our deliverance arrives. I am personally more interested in the here and now and the fellow beings who are clinging to our sinking ship.
The “Time, Space, Knowledge” (TSK) vision reveals a bridge between natural respect for the living world and the modern mind’s love affair with science and technology. Mirroring the scientific method, which questions how phenomena come to be, TSK offers a radical reappraisal of time (as neither sequential nor linear but a multi-dimensional field, alive and undivided), of space (as the openness that allows presence and absence alike, including our perception of substantial things), and of knowledge (the lucent heart of knowing and unknowing, which gives access to an intelligence far greater than the facts stored in data bases and in memory).
TSK’s central strategy—like when we were children—is to ask one more question instead of settling for answers that project past mistakes into a predetermined future. In a world where answers that have failed in the past are endlessly repeated, no fresh understanding can arise. No wonder we find it so difficult to face our own problems, let alone solve those that confront our world.
I believe a blueprint exists that offers a promising road into the future, provided by the vision of Tibetan Buddhist Lama Tarthang Tulku. He has devoted his life to preserving the Buddha’s teaching and translating them into Western languages, but he has also shared a vision of reality that offers the modern world access to the living depths of time, of space, and of knowledge. These three grounds of being, more familiar from the flow of daily life than spiritual symbols or technical concepts, provide a vital key to unlocking Samsara and–to quote Zorba, a famous Greek from happier times–to boldly engage “the whole catastrophe”.
I refer anyone who is interested in exploring this vision further to my earlier TSK posts, and—for anyone who feels ready to embark on their own journey into the bright unknown–to the most recent TSK book: “Inside Knowledge: How to activate the radical new vision of reality of Tibetan Lama Tarthang Tulku”, by Jack Petranker. The first new TSK book in a decade, “Inside Knowledge” is a gentle introduction to a challenging new way of looking at the opportunities of being human. It’s clear and coherent message also provides a seed from which new ways of thinking can evolve, opening a door into a new kind of future for ourselves and for our long-suffering, fellow beings.