The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


Twelve analogies of the illusory body (summarized):

1. Illusory body created by a magician.
2. Reflection of the moon in a clear body of water.
3. Shadow.
4. Dream body.
5. Illusory body of a yogi.
6. Echo.
7. Town of Gandharvas coming into existence wherever they are born
by the power of their karmic actions. (Gandharvas are 'spirits who
are called smell eaters.')
8. Hallucination.
9. Rainbow.
10. Lightning.
11. Bubbles bursting from water.
12. Image in a mirror.

(From Paths and Grounds of Guhyasamaja According to Arya Nagarjuna,
Yangchen Gawai Lodoe.)

Many of these are characterized by projection and/or altered states of
mind. Projection may be physical or mental (if one insists on such a
differentiation). Altered states are mental. Avatars are projections,
altered states, mental, physical structures; avatars are maps; maps are
illusory avatars. Are there any other kind? Yes, there are wobblers or
cloudings. Are wobblers or cloudings illusory? They are not. They are
murky and real in the murky mind.

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