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Ignorance – Part I

Submitted by on Wednesday, 10 November 20102 Comments

By Bardor Tulku Rinpoche

Carefully consider the reality of things and you will notice that all things without exception are interdependent. We say, “over here,” because there is “over there.” We think about “east” as long as we have a concept of “west.“ We call a thing “short,” because something else can be called “long.” In the same way, the fact that we talk about ignorance is an indication of the presence of what we call wisdom.

We sometimes refer to ignorance as impure mind as opposed to the pure mind, which is wisdom. It is fine to use such a convention as long as we remember that what we call “impure” and “pure” mind are not two different things; they are two aspects of the same mind.

Wisdom and ignorance go together like the front and back of your hand. You can identify which is the front and which is the back of your hand by examining its surface but, while you can distinguish one from the other in that way, you would not say that they are two different hands. They are both the same hand.

So while we may think about mind in terms of its “pure” and “impure” aspects, we need to know that wisdom is not accomplished by eradicating ignorance and then creating a new state that we call “wisdom.”

Taught by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso. Adapted with permission by Annie Bond. Copyright 2010 Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and Peter O’Hearn. All rights reserved. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche founded Kunzang Palchen Ling.

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