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Buddist Cosmology

Jun 04, 1998 08:02 PM
by Jerry Schueler

For anyone interested in the Tibetan Buddhist view of evolution, I =
suggest reading MYRIAD WORLDS: Buddhist Cosmology in Abhidharma, =
Kalacakra and Dzog-chen, by Jamgon Kongtrul Londro Taye (Snow Lion, =
1995). This excellent book gives us the three main views of evolution =
according to Tibetan Buddhism.

"Although they represent different approaches, these various =
cosmological systems do not contradict one another; instead, they are =
contained one within the other, like Chinese boxes" (p. 39).

You won=92t find anything in this book that resembles evolution as given =
in the Secret Doctrine, but it is still interesting. As for creators:

"Buddhism is a truly nontheistic religion in which the concept of a god =
as creator has no place. Buddhist cosmology recognizes a process of =
creation but does not acknowledge any sort of supernatural creator. Who =
then created the world? The Buddhist reply is that the collective force =
of the evolutionary actions of sentient beings creates the world; =
therefore, all beings contribute to the creation of the world." (p. 40).

One more quote:

"An absolute beginning of the universe is not posited in this system; =
instead, the universe is conceived as a cycle without commencement that =
repeats itself until all beings are liberated from the sufferings of =
cyclic existence." (p. 47).

If we allow that evolution is cyclic (every Arc of Descent followed by =
an Arc of Ascent and vice versa) around our planetary chain and that =
HPB=92s Cosmocratores and Manus and so on are all reflexes of our own =
spiritual Selves, then the difference between the Secret Doctrine and =
Tibetan Buddhist evolution becomes a lot less.

Jerry S.

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