conebeckham wrote:The passage where he speaks of being "recognized," and how he felt about it.....but also, you should read his account of past lives.
Cone - as everyone knows, Kongtrul's "recognition" was political. This fact does not mean that we should extrapolate that assessment to other recognitions or assume that the political motive is the primary one.
As for his account of former lives, I'll hunt it down. However Kongtrul was skeptical about these kinds of things to begin with. Sort of reminds me of Namkhai Norbu ....
I'll also note that both Khyentse Wangpo and Chokyur Lingpa had to basically kick him in the pants to get him acting as a terton (and that account strains my credulity in fact). However Kongtrul was far from being a kind of politically biased skeptic: the pony/horse race where he came in last, began crying, was chided for this by attendants and had to explain that in reality the race had been no ordinary race but a foreshadowing of the respective parinirvana's of the participants is an example.
Kongtrul also wrote an explanation of the tulku phenomena without a trace of skepticism for the enthronement of the 10th Tai Situpa (it appears in Enthronement). Of course of could counter that this ceremony was the very height of political activity in the Karma Kagyu at the time. However, to my knowledge, Kongtrul did not find it necessary to criticize the institution as did the 10th Panchen Lama.
So sometimes a race is political, sometimes it's just a race and sometimes it's not a race at all and Kongtrul recognized this.