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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE 41 In the beginning, we don’t necessarily need to examine exter nal “solid” phenomena; we can simply look at our experience of a thought or a belief. Sometimes a simple belief taken up in a com munity becomes solidified to the point that individuals are willing to risk their lives, or even kill, to defend it. It’s helpful to see how we solidify a particular concept and then become so attached to it. Understanding the two truths is not just a question of knowing the views of the Svatantrika and Prasangika schools, or the views of Bhavaviveka, Santiraksita, and Chandrakirti. It is not about examin ing how they disagree or how they agree. It is about realizing how we experience the relative truth and the view of absolute truth. We can be someone who holds the Svatantrika view or the Cittamatra view, or someone who holds other views. But when we have the experience of holding a particular view, we need to understand these two truths so we can see beyond the view we’re holding: “Yes, I am holding on to the true existence of atomic phenomena”—or mental phenomena or what have you. It is important to see that and to experience it clearly, then to apply the absolute view—the truth of shunyata, emptiness, egolessness. In this way, we see to what extent we can experience the absolute truth—as well as the relative truth— in a more transcendent way. Scientific terms such as “quarks” or “energy fields” create the illusion that there is something to hold on to. Madhyamaka analysis offers no such reassurance.