Norman Allan
 science and philosophy    alternative medicine       history and misc  
 poetry      gallery      lies my father told me      pipedreams       blog  








emptiness and "the three bodies of the Buddha"

Michael asked me to enquire about one of the great Buddhist mysteries: the teachings on "emptiness". Stanley referred me to the doctrine of the three bodies.

Wikisays: a Buddha has three bodies (trikaya)
    1. The Dharmakaya or "Truth body" which embodies the very principle of enlightenment
and knows no limits or boundaries;
     2. The Sambhogakaya or "Bliss body", a clear light manifestation; (Stanley says it is the "rainbow body" {not the clear light!})
     3. The Nirmanakaya, the "created..." or "form body", which manifests in time and space.

The dharma body, the true body, is limitless and boundless : I think, with a relatively easy pirouette of the mind, we can see an equivalence of the dharma body with "the void", emptiness, nothingness (in this everythingness).

The bliss body, rainbow body, because it the "self existent light", because it is flowing (every changing, impermanent), one might see that as gone (gate) and therefore "empty", void.

The manifest body: here I am going to refer us to my poem "three thought: in search of the mind" which discusses how things exist in one of three "quantum" phases - (a) the phase of probability (wave function) boundless, (c) the measured, observed, manifest, which is gone! which is "historic", and (b) the transition between these two, the "collapse" of the "wave form", which, I think, as we try to wrap our minds round that one, we might see as "not unlike" nothingness, emptiness, the void (note: Orwell has cautions against this phrase "not unsomething" as essentially empty!).

So the Buddha (what we all are, potentially) is, in one aspect, "limitless" :boundless", and, in its other aspects, "gone"! (Tathagatê : one who is gone).

gatê gatê paragatê, parasamgatê, boddi swaha : gatê
gone, gone, really gone, gone way beyond,
"boddi swaha"? oh, don't get me started.