In a third-century Buddhist sutra, the Gandavyuha, translated by Thomas Cleary as “Entry into the Realm of Reality”, there is a fascinating account of how “enlightened beings” seek to guide us to higher consciousness and an expanded view of the nature of reality. It is the perennial task of certain beings, by virtue of their spiritual development, to help others to move beyond the restrictions of ordinary awareness in order to awaken to the full potential of mind.
To perform their task, these teachers need to operate partly within the field of these same restrictions. To bring insight to where people live, they have to share their lives and their social and cultural environment. For this reason, the identity of the teacher is often deliberately obscured, as he or she adapts to the needs and circumstances of the society in which he or she operates. The teacher may appear as a servant or a warrior kind, as a monk or a dancing girl.
Yet these teachers retain the ability to be “beyond the world even while in the world,” and retain the knowledge that “the world as we know it is only a description.” Acting from this knowledge, they are able to “transform or suspend the deep structures of the description at will.”
Adapted from Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life Beyond Death by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.