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

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

INTRINSIC RADIANCE 279are. Dharmata is the naked, unconditioned truth, the nature ofreality, or the true nature of phenomenal existence. What weare discussing here is something fundamental to the wholeunderstanding of the nature of mind and the nature of everything.The end of the dissolution process and dawning of theGround Luminosity has opened up an entirely new dimension,which now begins to unfold. One helpful way I have found toexplain it is to compare it with the way night turns into day.The final phase of the dissolution process of dying is the blackexperience of the stage of "full attainment." It is described as"like a sky shrouded in darkness." The arising of the GroundLuminosity is like the clarity in the empty sky just beforedawn. Now gradually the sun of dharmata begins to rise in allits splendor, illuminating the contours of the land in all directions.The natural radiance of Rigpa manifests spontaneouslyand blazes out as energy and light.Just as the sun rises in that clear and empty sky, the luminousappearances of the bardo of dharmata will all arise fromthe all-pervading space of the Ground Luminosity. The namewe give to this display of sound, light, and color is "spontaneouspresence," for it is always and inherently present withinthe expanse of "primordial purity," which is its ground.What is actually taking place here is a process of unfoldment,in which mind and its fundamental nature are graduallybecoming more and more manifest. The bardo of dharmata isone stage in that process. For it is through this dimension oflight and energy that mind unfolds from its purest state, theGround Luminosity, toward its manifestation as form in thenext bardo, the bardo of becoming.I find it extremely suggestive that modern physics hasshown that when matter is investigated, it is revealed as anocean of energy and light. "Matter, as it were, is condensed orfrozen light... all matter is a condensation of light into patternsmoving back and forth at average speeds which are lessthan the speed of light," remarks David Bohm. Modernphysics also understands light in a many-sided way: "It'senergy and it's also information—content, form and structure.It's the potential for everything." 1The bardo of dharmata has four phases, each one of whichpresents another opportunity for liberation. If the opportunityis not taken, then the next phase will unfold. The explanationI am giving here of this bardo originates in the DzogchenTantras, where it is taught that only through the special

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