If we have received the upadesha instructions of the aural lineage, the most sacred and holy of teachings, that’s it. There is nothing higher than that. There is nothing else to learn. There are only things lower than that we could learn about the world.
If we take that to heart, the instruction is that everything is perfect. It’s all good. It follows that anything leftover that says, “I need to do this,” or “I need to get that,” is disconnected to the goodness that is being discussed in the upadesha and didn’t understand the teaching.
We can, as the play of creation and completion, practice with these thought forms, who think they need something, as beings and liberate them all. And then we go ahead and live. The creativity aspect needs to be recapitulated in a certain way. It would be nihilism to sit around moping, “It’s all a big nothing.” On the contrary, let’s live our lives, have fun and not cling to what we do. Everything is playfulness, games and parties. Pick anything: it has no less meaning than the most profound thing and no more meaning than the most insignificant thing.
We go through each and every thought form, which are beings—but beings aren’t really beings—they are just a conglomeration of a sense of purpose and self. If all the beings arising—selves, mothers, fathers, lustful beings, stoic beings, cowardly beings, macho beings, teetotalers, drunkards and drug addicts—appear and play without clinging to any of their tendencies, then there is no hindrance whatsoever to realizing the Dzogchen view, and in particular, the most advanced Dzogchen view of primordial purity.
Primordial purity is even higher than looking at things as a dream. If we see the phenomena as dreamlike, then all we have to do is the final step, which is to realize how it can be that we are able to see everything as dreamlike. We can do it because things are primordially pure. They are not just okay, they are perfectly good. Creativity being good, we can go ahead and create. Up to this point we are a little gun-shy from creating and having all the hellish experience come back at us because of the negative karma we created. We thought if we had a war and kicked ass, then we would be victorious and gain all the booty. We didn’t realize there were ramifications to that. Then we get our asses kicked, too.
We thought creativity and being active was wrong, so we started to become nihilistic. It doesn’t help to be fake spiritually nihilistic: “Om, I’m a deep practitioner. I’m going to hide from everyone like a wounded deer.” That’s not quite the correct attitude of the wounded deer. A wounded deer isn’t someone who is merely sick of the world, sees that it’s not going anywhere and gives up on everything. That’s close, but it’s not exactly the meaning of the analogy of the wounded deer.
It would be childish and spiritually immature to believe the material world is bad. The upadesha instructions would make fun of that kind of thinking. A master can do whatever they want, including being involved with physical plane activities. To think physical plane activities are bad is in effect to curse the world. Dzogchen teaches the opposite: it’s all good. Everything is fine, but only for someone who understands that. It’s not a matter of trying to make it good but that it actually is good. When we realize that we become safe and no longer dangerous. We don’t harm beings anymore.
How can everything be good when much of our activity has been based on the premise that things are not good and consequently trying to fix them to make them good? Now we are hearing that we never had to fix anything? Yes, we never ever had to fix anything. That was an unenlightened state that we were in. If our car breaks down that doesn’t mean we don’t have to fix the car. However, we don’t ever have to have a sense that something is seriously wrong in the world because there is nothing really bad happening. For someone who has attained the transcendent state, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a beautiful day or a hurricane is hitting: they live beyond this life, in the world but not of it. They are not trapped in the nihilism of a single scenario.
We are like a person who has only seen one movie in their entire life, and they love this movie and watch it every day. They cling to the hero and heroine saving the world. They watch the same movie every day, day after day, and then one day somebody says, “Let’s do something different.” They object, “No, we have to see the same movie that we always watch.” Actually, however, there is not just a vast amount of possibility but an infinity of potential playfulnesses.
The upadesha instructions say everything is intrinsically pure. When we hear this we may have doubt because it may seem that conditions such as being cold, itchy or in pain are not good. And yet it is true that those things are good. According to the upadesha instructions, when we have the intuitive faith to accept that it’s all good, those things turn into bliss. Even though we had pain a moment earlier, it’s not pain anymore. Even though externally it may appear that we have a disease, we are not even suffering.
When someone becomes an awakened master they may manifest as a mahasiddha, a super-powered magical being. Iron Man or Superman are fictional characters, but the mahasiddhas are actual people with superpowers: siddhi. When people become masters, they can use this magical ability to change what we may consider to be a fixed law of physics. Conversely they could let themselves contract and die of a disease, but with no fuss, because there would be no clinging to the experience. Even though it might look to us as if something bad is happening, they wouldn’t experience anything unpleasant at all.
We can hear the upadesha instructions in this way, the highest and very most secret of secret instructions in the world, and go ahead and make corrections, or more accurately, let the thoughts, which seem to be ourselves, liberate regarding all of their wants, needs and desires. Within that state of peace and emancipation, we too can emerge like the phoenix with its creative power. We can enjoy the bliss of our own natural mind and the natural mind of every being. We can enjoy the company of the buddhas, who are all the beings around us, and remain in that wild state. In that state of purity, we would be stable in the Dzogchen view, and we can go back into the world and be a part of it, work in business or do anything we want, help people and teach the Dharma to them.
The upadesha instruction is the final teaching. The last thing that we can learn in the world basically is primordial purity. After that there is nothing else to be taught. It is the most important thing that we could ever learn, but it is the last thing that we can be told. Most people’s minds aren’t clear enough, so they generally need to do a tremendous amount of preparatory practices first. The best thing would be to go ahead and realize primordial purity. May we be able to engage fully the realization of that.