Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Budding at Reference Potential

Here ‘Reference potential’ has to be defined or else it leads to a gross error. ‘Reference potential’ means neither positive nor negative with respect to a given value (the reference can be constantly elevated but it is still known as ‘Reference potential’). This given reference potential with respect to humans is the Karmic potential with which we take birth. Through a life in our current manifestation there is a natural capacity to transcend to a higher reference level by reaching into our higher level of consciousness. Through this the reference is constantly elevated. The act of free will has the capacity to alter this potential, through either polarity (positive or negative), in a non-harmonious mode, contrary to the Cosmo-karmic intended aggregation.

“The Tathagatha avoids the two extremes and talks about the Middle Path.
What this is, that is; this arises, that arises.
Through ignorance, volitional actions or karmic formations are conditioned.”….. (Samyuktagama, Chapter 12)
This ignorance of which The Buddha speaks is the false knowledge that all actions have to have an ego/mental origination.

Hence this warning s issued in verse 36 of Tao Te Ching. “……………..To destroy something, lead it to its extreme. To preserve something, keep to the middle……………”

“Although we speak of opposites, they are not truly antagonistic elements. All opposites are part of the same entity. Like a two-headed snake, which is the symbol of Gnosis in Kabbalah, opposites are two parts of the same whole. Like the symbol of Yin-Yang, they define one another, as black defines white. They alternate with one another, as war alternates with peace. Whenever any phenomenon reaches its extreme, it will change toward its opposite, just as the darkest night begins to change toward dawn, and the coldest winter is followed by glorious spring. ………….. This is the wisdom of the middle ground. Followers of Tao change a situation when it reaches its apex. By joining their efforts to a new situation that is just budding, they attain perpetuity”………….. Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

Though this explanation has been adequate, it needs a little more elaboration of what we want to achieve through this process. Every act in our life has to be oriented towards a greater fulfilment of our true potential. Many times we are driven by a desire to increase our capacity, whether it is physical, mental or emotional, so that we think of ourselves endowed with a capacity for superior performance in our life journey. This notion could be highly contrary to the way we need to deploy our potentialities. Take for example the body building regimen of a Mr. Universe contest. This tends to be an exercise which results in a compromise in other human faculties. This is true in all our acts of cultivating our given potentialities. By appreciating the interdependency of all our potentialities (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), we need to nurture our potentialities by raising the entire middle ground or reference plane. This involves our appreciation of our interdependence with all creation at a cosmic level.

Love to you all


  1. The middle path as a reference plane surely indicates a superior stand in our outlook and over-view of life.When I recall the days of youthful spirit where I believd in my capacity to change everything,well, I did have the tendency to think in the extremes.But now when you sit back and think, in that extreme fit of activism I was not able to see the intricate connections between various systeme that have formed the society in the way it exists today.Of late I'm able to draw the connections between self,society and our spiritual existence. I'm also able to evaluate my view points at different junctures of life.

  2. Dear Chris,
    Thanks for sharing your life experience. It is the knowledge that we gain through life experience that is deep rooted and stands in good stead when we have to solve problems in our life.

  3. Dear Tib,
    This was a thoroughly enriching article, especially in the conception of the 'Reference Potential' capable of being raised to a higher plane, yet remaining as reference potential. It makes so much sense with that of the Buddhist Middle Path. The interrelationships with oneself,the society, universe and at the cosmic levels, all becomes clear.

  4. Dear Bhaskar,

    Good to hear from you and thanks for your appreciation.
    Reference potential is the place of sustenance for once wellbeing. This is the reason that a bird that sits on a 330,000 volt high voltage line does not get killed as its whole body is at that high voltage.