Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’
with Respondent No. 16
RESPONDENT: Talking about language ... I’m doing some other translation for a friend and I’ve been stopped by a word that I didn’t find in my Webster’s Dictionary. So I need some help from English speakers here. This word is <THUSNESS>. I would be obliged if some of you could send me some synonyms (or explanation of its meaning) for this word.
RICHARD: Basically, ‘Thusness’ is the approximate English translation of the Pali and Sanskrit word ‘Tathagata’ and is one of the titles of a Buddha ... and the one most frequently employed by Mr. Gotama the Sakyan when referring to himself. The exact meaning of the word ‘Tathagata’ is uncertain but it is usually taken to mean ‘one who has thus (tatha) gone (gata)’ or ‘one who has thus (tatha) arrived (agata)’ ... implying that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan was only one of many who have in the past and will in the future experience enlightenment and teach others how to achieve it.
In later Mahayana Buddhism, ‘Thusness’ came to convey the essential ‘Buddha-Nature’ hidden in everyone. ‘Tathagata’ is the ‘Thusness’ that makes spiritual enlightenment possible. Having ‘Tathagata’ within, one yearns for enlightenment. As the true state of all that exists, ‘Tathagata’ is synonymous with the ‘Ultimate Reality’ ... otherwise indefinable and ineffable. (Not all that much different to the Hindu ‘Atman’ and ‘Brahman’, you will notice ... in fact, as far as I am concerned, they are the same. Hindus and Buddhists would disagree with me, however).
As Buddhists – like Hindus – maintain that the elements of ordinary everyday existence have their basis in illusion and imagination, it was held in early Buddhism that what really exists is the one ‘Pure Mind’, called ‘Suchness’, which exists changelessly and without differentiation. Enlightenment consisted of realising one’s unity with ‘Suchness’. However, later Buddhism distinguished between ‘Suchness’ (‘Pure Mind’ being the ‘Soul’ in its essence) and ‘Thusness’ ... the all-producing, all-conserving ‘Absolute Mind’, which is the manifestation of the ‘Absolute All-Soul’ (as in birth and death as happenings).
In Mahayana Buddhism, Sunyata (‘The Void’) gradually became transferred into the place of the ‘Absolute Mind’. If ‘Suchness’, or ‘Pure Mind’, and ‘Thusness’, or ‘The Void’, are identical, they then maintained that the ‘Ultimate Reality’ must lie beyond any possible description. Mahayana Buddhism approaches the matter through dialectical negation: the ‘Ultimate Void’ is the ‘Middle Path’ in that all individual characteristics are negated ... but sublated in that a partial element of the dialectic is preserved as a synthesis. Thus the spiritual aspirant approaches ‘The Void’ through a combination of dialectical negation and direct intuition.
Since ‘The Void’ is also called the highest synthesis of all oppositions, the doctrine of Sunyata may be viewed as an instance of the ‘identity of opposites’ pantheism ... thus Buddhism can be identified with acosmic pantheism. Indeed, acosmic pantheism would seem to be the alternative most deeply rooted and widespread in all these rarefied esoteric eastern traditions.
All this kind of stuff is but one of the many reasons why I maintain it is all a massive delusion ... but there you go, eh?
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
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