Alchemical Transformation in Tantra and Dzogchen
From recent talks: Quicksilver’s pearlescent shimmer is the secret of transformational alchemy that is Tantra’s entrance into perfect non-duality.
The body has a shape but consciousness does not. Consciousness has an “I,” but wisdom awareness does not. You carry this identity, these shapes and notions around with you. You place your sense of I on the body and inhabit it. Body is embodied consciousness and world is enworlded consciousness. They are shaped by you and you are, in turn, shaped by them.
But all of this, body, consciousness, name, and form are a structuring of something else, a shattering of light whose brightness extends across openness. I am not this body, I am not the consciousness functioning through its brain, I am not even that luminous pervasion. They are not other than me, but they are not the limit. The wave is not the limit of the ocean—it is part of the ocean but it is not the wholeness.
Between the absolute unmanifest divine and the appearing tumble jumble world of things, there is a bright dimension of quicksilver bliss whose mystery is the unity of essence and nature. The essence is the unmanifest eternally free state of divinity without birth or death, form, attribute, substance, location. Every form, attribute, location, time, space, being itself are all subset if it. The nature is the spontaneous luminous lucent mystery—an utter godliness. These two are Original Innocence and Bright Virtue.
When this openness of divinity’s primordial purity and the spontaneous brilliance of lucent bliss mingle, they become a quicksilver mercury-like bliss of unfathomable brilliance and power. A single drop of this gives birth to universes, galaxies, worlds, beings, bodies, things. That quicksilver bliss is the place where liberation is found on the spot. Emptiness is liberated from static-ness into actional wonderment. Appearance is liberated from stuck-ness into openness’ absolute freedom.
That quicksilver tumbles down from a placeless place, enters the world and body as world and body, spreads, animates, lives appearance. Narrowed down to the meager canyon of personal identity, it is forever tinged with suffering. To return via bliss to bliss and from bliss to unlimited divine freedom is the function of the path.
Quicksilver’s pearlescent shimmer is the secret of transformational alchemy, that is Tantra’s entrance into perfect non-duality. - t.k.