Friday, October 11, 2013


So much for the psychological demons.  My one post-Tashiding experience with a more physically manifest sort of supernatural being is too likely to be accepted as a dream to deserve special notice, but I will recount it briefly for what it is worth.  One night I woke, as it seemed to me, to discover what appeared to be a phantom perched threateningly on the bed.  I was terrified; but by using the method I had learnt to use when dreaming, I made it vanish instantly.  Demons, dreams, drug hallucinations, imaginary horrors—what does it matter which or what they were?  These experiences were enormously encouraging from a point of view perhaps peculiar to the school of Buddhism to which I subscribe.  We believe that, between death and rebirth, comes the bardoa series of mental states beginning with a glimpse of the dazzling Light of Reality from which persons still far from Enlightenment flee in terror to pass through experiences progressively more dismal until, at last, rebirth occurs in a situation exactly consistent with their spiritual state at the time of death.  Clearly the bardo resembles a progressively nightmarish dream and it is good to be able to hope that the menacing forms encountered there—the products of one’s one consciousness—can be banished in a flash, provided the lesson has been so well learnt that even the trauma of death does not lead to its going out of mind.

John Blofeld, The Wheel Of Life – The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist, Berkeley, Shambala, 1972

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