Author Topic: Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas  (Read 137 times)

Offline Old Chinaman

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Introduction / an issue with The Twelve Nidanas
« on: May 18, 2017, 05:38:57 am »
Hello everyone!

I am just an old Chinaman born 67 years ago in Java - Indonesia. My name is Bambang (or just "Bam") and I now live in Australia. I would not call myself a Buddhist, but as an overseas Chinese I grew up with Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism as our "Way-of-Life" though I went to a Catholic school from Kindergarten till I finished High School.

From my childhood I had a passionate curiosity wanting to know how things work, including magic/mystic and supernatural phenomena that are abounds in the community where I grew up (in early 1950s - 60s). So, after my high school graduation I went to Germany and did my Master's degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in Control System Technology. My Master thesis was about Manual Control, investigating human behaviour as Controller as part of NASA project. I choose that topic so I had the opportunity to work with ECG (Electrocardiography), EEG (Electroencephalography)/ Brainwaves measurements and EMG (Electromyography).

However, after all those efforts, I still can't explain how a simple phenomena as telepathy work. On the other hand, having learned Western Science created a contrast between my critical mind and my mystical heart. And I embarked on a further search to reconcile my mind and my heart by studying modern Science as in Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics as well as all kind of religions / spirituality including Theosophy.

One day in October 1988, while feeling overwhelmed from reading H.P.Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, I took a break to watch a sunset in Seminyak Beach, Bali. While watching the beautiful sunset, all at a sudden my mind 'exploded'. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but suddenly I got all my questions answered. I suddenly 'knew' how the Cosmos works and it all hidden behind the four symbols on the archaic palm leaves mentioned in the PROEM in The Secret Doctrine I was reading. They are: 1. The Circle, 2. The Circle with a Centre Point, 3. The Circle with a Diameter and 4. The Circle with the Cross.

It took me a couple of years trying to write down what I learned from that 'Epiphany' experience that I call my 'first stage of enlightenment', using Western Scientific logic into a scientific paper called "The Ultimate Unification Theory" and presented at the Fifth International Conference on Thinking in July 1992 at James Cook University, Townsville Australia.

In 2011, while enjoying my holiday in Bali, I happened to pick up a book about "The Teaching of Buddha" to read beside the swimming pool. And I came to the story where The Buddha explained to Ananda what He experienced during the Enlightenment. The story is known as "The Twelve Nidanas". I fully agree to what The Buddha said because it is in-line with what I had experienced myself in 1988. However, I was feeling uneasy that the first link "Avidya" is translated as "Ignorance". It was badly translated, and that may lead to a total misunderstanding.

I didn't care much and thought it probably mistranslated in the book I was reading, until last week I read another article about A New Teaching of The Twelve Nidanas a dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh. And in that article "Avidya" is translated as "Delusion".

Avidya is not-knowing, because there is nothing to know. It is the first 'stage' experienced by the Buddha during his enlightenment known as Emptiness. In the symbols I mentioned above, it is the Circle that symbolize The Source and the Circle with the Centre Point, the point of pure awareness. The Source becomes aware of itself but it is emptiness.

The third symbol is the circle with a diameter 'polarizing the circle into the upper half, which symbolise 'arupa', the world of no form, or "Li" - the principle / Archetypes, while the lower half of the circle is the 'rupa' the world of form, the formation - Sankhara.

The fourth symbol is when the diameter is crossed by the vertical line, the interaction between spirit and matter, the mind-brain interaction that created Consciousness - Vijnana.

Vijnana in the lower half of the circle created forms - namarupa.

The vertical line is also the "I am axis" or the Subject patterns with the six senses - Sadayatana to interact and have contact - Sparsa with its surroundings creating perceptions / sensations - Vedana.

Only when Vedana / Sensation created Craving - Trsna and Clinging - Upadana then Becoming - Bhava we started the wheel of samsara in Jati - Birth and Jara marana - Old age and death.

I am very sorry if my intrusion above is not welcome in this forum. It is actually none of my business, but I feel compelled just to let you know. It is up to everyone to consider it or not.

In any way, thanks you very much for the opportunity.
Best regards,


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