Reality and the Grid of Manifestation
Eight in a series. Let us go directly to Chandrakirti point number seven of twenty: Emptiness of the Composite: “Because they arise from conditions, the three realms are composite, it is taught. They are empty of themselves, and this, the Buddha taught, is the emptiness of the composite.”
So, that means that all realms are held together in a complex structure comprised of primarily the needs of living beings that abide in them. Realms of humans, gods, and lower beings and in the animal, hungry ghost, and hell realms, arise from causes and conditions that facilitate their manifestation from energetic grid models in their interiors.
In previous teachings I have given on how to be more effective doing world peace prayers as well as how the world actually exists, you might remember my explanation of how energetic grids act as transitional supports. Our particular realm has a certain kind of energetic grid that is a pre-manifestation of the human realm that we recognize as the ordinary world we live in. In the same way, there operates in other realms, structures acting as the support for the different kind of manifestation of that perceptual realm. Because everything that has form is actually empty of existence from its own side, this grid can arise due to the needs of beings with karma to experience certain kinds of effects, providing a suitable environment.
This energetic substrate or grid exists for many beings simultaneously because it is a good match for any individual who corresponds in their interior individual grid, for what they need to experience. Causes and conditions ripen in the individual from previous confusions, virtuous self-cherishing actions and non-virtuous self-cherishing actions that inappropriately drag the innate view into their interior mind. This produces a certain kind of disfigured configuration that will match the parameters to enter this world. However, it does not mean that they are the same as the grid, they become a candidate for arising in manifestation in that realm. As I have said before, living beings cannot control it.
In Buddhism, we say that beings are attracted toward manifestation in one realm or another by karma. It is not something that we spend a lot of time on outside of the explanation of the between life state called the bardo. Saying that living beings are attracted to it means there is a special kind of desired object that is being activated toward. You know, when you say attracted toward in English, it usually means a liking toward, but that is not true here. Living beings cannot help it. They are helpless before the attraction to arise in a form in a particular realm. So, living beings arise from the results of the very causes and conditions that continue to facilitate spontaneous manifestation from grid models in their personal interiors.
Meanwhile, the lamas are busily trying to help those who have passed, working to change them to make them unrecognizable for entry into the lower realms. We tried to remove the causes and conditions the best we could. I myself was very active in this procedure to change their karma. Now I see it differently but that is another subject.
There are many new age ideas presented as reasons for being born here as a human being. Meeting with soul mates, or choosing ones own birth in some cosmic conference are a couple of ideas in other philosophies. However, it is unusual for an unenlightened person to have deliberate relationships with another specific individual ordinary person that transcends lifetimes. This is because that implies that you have choices, and that is what that you do not have. This is the suffering of uncontrolled rebirth, being impelled or compelled to take rebirth in one or another suffering realm separated from loved ones. Our karma remains with our self and is perpetrated on others or our self without regard for individual connections. The connections with others in this life are example effects of other times and situations.
Now the view might change again with another good idea to repair all of the broken promises that were made in previous lives without concern toward what individual it happened. The deeper unresolved energetic wounds of karma need to be addressed. The careful meditator wants to repair all the damage caused by previous lives that are being experienced as unhappy karma in this life. Now we are going to fix it up perfectly so we can leave this suffering realm. This is very good. But while you are trying to fix it, what else did you mess up? Who elses toe did you step on? That is why karma cannot be exhausted through karma. Virtuous karma produces an easier life. Non-virtuous karma produces more suffering for yourself, others and unfortunate repercussions beyond that, but karma in general will never release you. You cannot become virtuous enough to become released through karma.
Now you are an adult and have had experiences that have changed you. You have come into contact with others and have continued in this life to produce in yourself causes and conditions that will ripen in the future. You are now the product not of your birth, but the product of your present day. Many meditators remember childhood in comparison to their own stressed lives. "How could I have made my life so complicated when it seemed all so simple and easy to think about spiritual things when I was a child? I knew there was something I had to do in this life that was important. Why don't I just go back to that feeling of simplicity and not keep reinventing myself into what has caused me to be here in the unhappy and unsatisfied way I am right now?" However, you cannot go back, you are already different than that child due to life experiences. The healing must come from another method.
So, these present day interior grid models from which you arise and fall away simultaneously in your interior, also come from causes and conditions. These interior grids of realms also come from causes and conditions. Remember, we are still on point seven here. These vast grids, which are the pre-manifestation of the three realms or myriad realms, as well as the individual grids from which arise the person, also come from causes and conditions. Because they come from causes they are empty of essential nature and not capable of intrinsic self-arising support of form. They are not the excellent support your cravings are seeking.
To be continued…