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Buddhadharma : Fall 2013
34 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 3 something separate from us, we are just creating more fiction. It is very hard to come to any kind of certainty unless we have worked through our conceptual processes completely. Why does emptiness determine luminosity? Western philosophy has always discussed mind as a substance. Most of the time, they see two types of substance: matter and mind. This has created many problems. If you conceive of the mind as a substance, you must be able to locate it somewhere. Buddhism has always rejected any notion of substance, and the mind has never been seen as a substance. Luminosity and emptiness cannot be separated, but nor are they identical. They are identical to the extent that luminosity is not a substance, but they are not identical to the extent that the very ground for luminosity to take place is the existence of emptiness. You said the mind becomes luminous like the sun, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you experi- ence it in that sense? That is really an interesting question. Sometimes people call luminosity “clear light.” If you read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, you will find the term “clear light,” but that is only a symbolic expression. It refers to a tremendous sense of clarity where you see things precisely instead of having some kind of foggy mind. It is a tre- mendous sense of clarity as opposed to dullness and depression. From that point of view, it is luminous. Luminosity is not something that exists in any dimensional sense, which is why we cannot say that mind is located anywhere. Mind is not confined to any particular spatial or temporal point. It has nothing to do with time and space. Experiences of clairvoyance, telepathy, and so on all take place because mind is not confined to a particular physical organism. Why do you equate luminosity with intelligence? Intelligence here has nothing to do with the con- cept of literacy, or with how good you are at mathematics or anything like that. It is intelli- gence due to the fact that you no longer get so caught up in conceptual processes. The more you go beyond conceptual processes, the more you appreciate the luminosity of mind. A nonconceptual process, as far as I under- stand it, does not mean a complete absence of thinking. There would still be thought processes of some kind, but they would not be chaotic. They would have some kind of orderliness. Psychotics suffer from disassociation because their thoughts are all over the place. Normal people have some kind of orderliness as far as their thinking goes. And if you become a little bit more sane and enlightened—beyond the average kind of san- ity—there would be proper management of your thought processes. You would have a lot more control over the whole situation. There would be no problem as far as cognizing your experiences. If you recognized the emptiness of mind that expe- riences luminosity, how would you see objects? You would still see objects as solid but you would not believe in their solidity. You would not suffer from any kind of belief system, and you would no longer carry the normal kind of naive assumptions that make you see objects as solid and obtrusive. You would no longer make any distinction between how things are and how things appear. Things appear in a contradic- tory manner, but you would not disparage that because their very contradiction implies they are empty by nature. You would just see the nature