The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

358 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

overall activity. So quite generally, energy enfolds matter and

meaning, while matter enfolds energy and meaning... But also

meaning enfolds both matter and energy... So each of these basic

notions enfolds the other two. 8

Simplifying an exceptionally subtle and refined vision, you

could say that for David Bohm meaning has a special and

wide-ranging importance. He says: "This implies, in contrast to

the usual view, that meaning is an inherent and essential part

of our overall reality, and is not merely a purely abstract and

ethereal quality having its existence only in the mind. Or to

put it differently, in human life, quite generally, meaning is

being . . ." In the very act of interpreting the universe, we are

creating the universe: "In a way, we could say that we are the

totality of our meanings." 9

Could it not be helpful to begin to imagine parallels

between these three aspects of David Bohm's notion of the

universe and the three kayas? A deeper exploration of David

Bohm's ideas might perhaps show that meaning, energy, and

matter stand in a similar relationship to each other as do the

three kayas. Could this possibly suggest that the role of

meaning, as he explains it, is somehow analogous to the

Dharmakaya, that endlessly fertile, unconditioned totality from

which all things rise? The work of energy, through which

meaning and matter act upon one another, has a certain affinity

to the Sambhogakaya, the spontaneous, constant springing

forth of energy out of the ground of emptiness; and the creation

of matter, in David Bohm's vision, has resemblances to

the Nirmanakaya, the continuous crystallization of that energy

into form and manifestation.

Thinking about David Bohm and his remarkable explanation

of reality, I am tempted to wonder what a great scientist

who was also a really accomplished spiritual practitioner

trained by a great master could discover. What would a scientist

and sage, a Longchenpa and an Einstein in one, have to

tell us about the nature of reality? Will one of the future flowerings

of the great tree of the bardo teachings be a scientific

mystical dialogue, one that we can still only barely imagine,

but that we seem to be on the threshold of? And what would

that mean for humanity?

The deepest parallel of all between David Bohm's ideas and

the bardo teachings is that they both spring from a vision of

wholeness. This vision, if it was able to invigorate individuals

to transform their consciousness and so influence society,

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