A Reflection on the Phenomenology of Tibetan Space

Creator(s)

Contributors

Contributed date

February 10, 2020 - 3:09pm

Critical Commentary

"In the Tibetan language, there is an inherent connection between notions of location and materiality. The word sa means both “place” and “earth;” a concise twofold definition which poetically demonstrates the problem at hand. To stand on soil is to be somewhere, which may seem rather obvious, but in the case of Tibet, topographical features possess complicated layers of attributions. A single point in space can be the form comprising a deity, a vessel of sacred energy, the domicile of either divine or demonic beings, a site embedded with residual power left behind by spiritual adepts, or some combination thereof, which can change depending on the inhabitant’s religious affiliations. Moreover, beyond these immediate details pertaining to individual sites, all locations are subsumed within a cosmic system. Therefore, to stand on Tibetan earth is not simply to be somewhere in a cavalier sense, but rather a very specific place within a complicated network of locations and ontological stratifications"

"... it is possible to conceptualize processes which hover on the brink of non-conceptual thought. The subtle body is a catalyst for reversing the supposedly confused perception that the universe causes the human form to come into being, and that this form creates the mind, which in turn creates consciousness. By reversing this conception of universal-to-internal space generation and discovering the primordial awareness believed to predate material reality, the three layers of topographical, microcosmic, and macrocosmic space are united as a single entity"

Cite as

Joshua S. Daugherty, "A Reflection on the Phenomenology of Tibetan Space", contributed by Prerna Srigyan, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 10 February 2020, accessed 21 June 2024. http://centerforethnography.org/content/reflection-phenomenology-tibetan-space