roughly translated means "manifestation, consciousness, and

bliss." For Hindus God is the simultaneous, ecstatic explosion

of all these forces and powers at once. Again, fascinating parallels

with the vision of the three kayas could be made: the

Sambhogakaya could perhaps be compared to ananda—the

bliss energy of the nature of God—Nirmanakaya to sat, and

Dharmakaya to cit Anyone who has seen the great sculpture

of Shiva in the caves of Elephanta in India, with its three faces

representing the three faces of the absolute, will have some

idea of the grandeur and majesty of this vision of the divine.

Both of these mystical visions of the essence, nature, and

action of the divine dimension show a distinct yet suggestively

similar understanding to the Buddhist one of the different

and interpenetrating levels of being. Isn't it at least

thought-provoking that a threefold process is seen at the heart

of each of these different mystical traditions, even though

they do view reality from their own unique standpoint?

Thinking about what the nature of manifestation might be,

and the different but linked approaches to understanding it,

leads me naturally to think about the nature of human creativity,

the manifestation in form of the inner world of humanity.

I have often wondered over the years how the unfolding of

the three kayas and bardos could throw light on the whole

process of artistic expression, and hint at its true nature and

hidden goal. Each individual act and manifestation of creativity,

whether it is in music, art, or poetry, or indeed in the

moments and unfoldings of scientific discovery, as many scientists

have described, arises from a mysterious ground of inspiration

and is mediated into form by a translating and

communicating energy. Are we looking here at yet another

enactment of the interrelated threefold process we have seen

at work in the bardos? Is this why certain works of music and

poetry, and certain discoveries in science, seem to have an

almost infinite meaning and significance? And would this

explain their power to guide us into a state of contemplation

and joy, where some essential secret of our nature and the

nature of reality is revealed? From where did Blake's lines


To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour. 2

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