Dispelling confusion 

-Johanna Joergensen, TTP student from Sweden

I have been fortunate enough to study Ju Mipam Rinpoche’s the Gateway to Knowledge through this and the previous semester. During this time my appreciation and respect for the text has grown and developed. I have felt that the text in a sense has pulled out the carpet underneath my feet, but in a good way.  

I embarked on my studies with a mixed feeling of enthusiasm and hesitation. There’s no denying that I was a bit afraid about all the lists, and the analytical approach of the text, since I have been very fond of the illustrative and beautiful examples that are so often used in other types of texts. So, I was doubting whether I might lose my enthusiasm without those. 

As we began the studies and during the first months, I experienced that the very detailed approach of the text made me confused. I felt that I often had to remind myself about the bigger picture in order not to lose myself in all details. I compared it to using a microscope, and slowly began to realize how all the details were actually very beneficial. And I told myself that it is only by knowing the details that you can know something well.  

However, as time passed, my understanding slowly started to change some more, and I began to realize that part of my confusion lied in the fact that when all the parts of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense sources where dissected and presented in detail, the main reason for me to feel confused was actually because the self could not be found anywhere among all those. There were only a lot of things, each one depending on one another, and there was no one thing that somehow connected all of them. And because of that I felt that I lost myself, which suddenly seemed to be the very point that was being made.  

Normally, in our attempt to try to make sense of all the things, we imagine or impute that there is someone or something that has control. But when investigated, that cannot be found, and when seeing this printed on paper, so to speak, my initial feeling was that I felt confused and that I got lost in all the details. However, I now think that that confusion is much closer to reality than how I used to approach things before. Perhaps one could even say that this so-called confusion is a way to approach wisdom, and the confusion that is beings experienced is just the dispelling of a mistaken view when we lose that view, at first, we feel bewildered, but then we can see things more clearly. 

En bild som visar utomhus, moln, himmel, väg

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