These insights and experiences are absolutely necessary to free us from the grip of the Industrial Growth Society. They offer us nobler goals and deeper pleasures. They help us redefine our wealth and our worth. The reorganization of our perceptions liberates us from illusions about what we need to own and what our place is in the order of things. Taking us beyond the tired old notions of competitive individualism, they bring us home to each other and our mutual belonging in the living body of Earth.
In this way the cognitive system can be said to "project" its codes upon the environmnet so that it can continue to transform perceptions in their terms. By such projection the scientist shapes his research and the kind of data it can render to fit his concepts, and the architect gives body to his dreams. To perpetuate the match between cognition and perception we impose shapes on our world which then reflects them back. In excavated gardens or fortifications we can read something of the character of an ancient city, for in them its meanings, gestalts, and constructs, took form: notions incarnate. And when we possess a powerful technology, this incarnational capacity is fearsome. Our imaginations erect Pentagons and Disneylands, and even the land itself mirrors back our fantasies, as, gouged and paved over, it testifies to our search for mastery and our fear of what we cannot control. In the world we create we encounter ourselves.
In nonspiritual science, spiritual ideas are not trusted because they are considered to be imaginary and unreal, and therefore without any actual benefit. This idea comes from a strong habit of associating reality with substance, expecting instant, material answers. It is the result of only believing in obvious, momentary appearances and not believing in incognizable, spiritual qualities. In Buddhism, nonspiritual, material ideas are not trusted because they are considered to be based only on compounded substance. Since the nature of substance is to deminish and decay, it can have no actual benefit. It is thought that through being enticed by too much concern with momentary, substantial phenomena, Buddha nature can become dormant for many lives, which prevents reaching enlightenment. Therefore, in general, the points of view of nonspiritual science and Buddhism are basically different.
Names in the table of contents: Watsuju Tetsuro, Nishida Kitaro, Doi Takeo, George Herbert Mead, Tanaka Odo.
There is little doubt that secular authority in Tibet as elsewhere has preferred the 'tame' to the 'wild', disciplined and celibate monks to autonomous Tantric practitioners, but the weakness of secular authority through most of Tibetan history has meant that the nonmonastic tradition survived and, in some measure, prospered.
Here we can refer to the work of theorists such as Pierre Clastres, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari on mechanisms that inhibit or contest the growth of state power. Buddhism in the Theravadin countries became part of a state ideology, supportive of the power of the centralized state which in turn provided it with material support. Karma and merit have some of these associations within Tibet but the other, 'wilder' aspects of Tibetan value systems may be taken as reflecting a rejection of such ideology.
It is perhaps not going too far to assimilate the Tibetan Vajrayana as exemplified by figures such as Gesar or Tsangnyon to Deleuze and Guattari's concept of a 'nomadic science', outside and intrinsically opposed to the official knowledge and to the structures of power of the state. Nomadic science, as Deleuze and Guattari note, is constantly subject to appropriation and transformation by State science, a process all too familiar in the history of Buddhism as in that of other religious traditions. Whether because of the special circumstances of Tibet's political and economic history, or for some other reason, that appropriation remained far from complete in Tibet.
Perhaps it would be more true to say that the nomadic science of the Vajrayana, already appropriated by state institutions in India by the eleventh and twelfth centuries, was reclaimed by the 'civilzed shamans' of Tibet as a weapon against the incipient state. At any rate, the Vajrayana came to present to the Tibetans a way of being, and a form of social and political activity, capable of flowing around and beyond any kind of hierarchical structure. In a world where life in increasingly dominated by bureaucratic control, that ideal may continue to have an appeal to Tibetans and to other peoples.