' Dzogchen '...

Many times I have been rightly called an "Absolutist" in regards to my presentation of the Buddha Dharma and especially Dzogchen.

In Dzogchen one takes the "absolute" or ultimate truth as the path.

To understand what this means we have to define what is meant by the absolute or the ultimate truth in Dzogchen.

The greatest authority on this topic in Mahayana Buddhism, is unquestionably a Buddhist teacher called Nagarjuna who lived during the the second century.

He suggested that we can delineate reality into two categories for philosophical discussions: the ultimate truth and the conventional truth.

He wrote that the ultimate truth is "emptiness" (sunyata) and the conventional truth is fiction (prapaƱca).

The fictional or conventional/relative truth is our conceptual constructions that we take as inherently, objectively real and self-existing on their own side, independent from our own mind as being their sole source.

Nagarjuna writes concerning "conventional reality":

"Any horns there, on a rabbit’s head are just imagined and do not exist. Just so, all phenomena as well are just imagined (conceptually constructed) and do not exist."

Nagarjuna points out in his "Praises to to the Dharmadhatu" that this ultimate truth of emptiness isn't just a void emptiness but that it is a "mind of clear light" as the absolute Buddha Nature called the Dharmadhatu.


"The Dharmadhatu was never born, nor will it ever cease. At all times it is free of all afflictions; at the beginning, middle, and end, free from stain."

He further clarifies:

"The Dharmadhatu is not the self. It is neither man nor woman either; and being beyond everything perceivable, just how could it be thought of
as a self?"

Dzogchen recognizes the only real truth as the Buddha Nature or Dharmadhatu itself. We only take refuge in the Dharmadhatu which is our own aware consciousness (yeshe). Dzogchen is the only Buddhist path that takes the ultimate truth or absolute as its unique path.

That means the Dzogchen skilfull means is to point only to the ultimate or absolute truth itself ignoring all fictional narratives.

All other Buddhist paths point to some level of fiction, which is why they consistently fail. If one is trying to get to Rome by a path that leads in the wrong direction, yet promising to arrive in Rome some day; one's path travelling could prove arduous, depressing and fruitless. And most practitioners and teachers I have met in over 50 years of path travelling myself, none have arrived in Rome; free of suffering and liberated from the mind's self-binding, two-fold ignorance (Belief in a fictional self and belief in any objective reality).

That's why I am an Absolutist, and only interested in pointing out the shortest route between here and here.

-Jackson Peterson

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