Jikan wrote:following this to its conclusion: one may well have reason to believe someone is a reincarnation of someone else, but this has nothing to do with the question of the political institution of reincarnation-recognition. I think this distinction is getting lost in the shuffle of this conversation for some parties.
Not at all. The distinction is a false one, because currently we have a chicken-egg situation in effect. If it wasn't for Dusum Khyenpa and the system that evolved after his death, then people would not even have heard the word tulku, let alone people being recognised, and benefiting from their recognition as tulku.
What is being "lost" is the glaring fact that this is samsara which, by it's very nature, is "imperfect". What we have happening here, in effect, is a system based in conventional reality, being used to identify extraordinary individuals. Now everything in samsara is open to abuse, so it comes as no surprise that the tulku recognition process is being abused too. This does not nullify the attempt to track down extraordinary individuals in an attempt to help them develop their capacities even further. It is not JUST about money and power. There are plenty of tulku doing very solid Dharma work (this includes ChNN and the Karmapas). The development of the Kagyu lineage (for example) was based heavily on the functioning of the tulku system (with all it's flaws), now does somebody here want to try to tell me that it failed? It seems to me that my being able to practice the precious teachings of the Karma Kamtsang were a direct consequence of the positive functions of the tulku system.
The other thing I am objecting to here is Malcolms clumsy dismissal of the system, when in reality he (and other students of ChNN) clearly benefits from the system. What I am objecting to is that he is quite happy to reap the benefits of the system when it comes to his own practice and his teacher, but instead of rejoicing for other people and their teachers, he goes on to (personally) condemn them. And, yes, doubting the veracity of the recognition of the Karmapa tulkus(or any other tulku teacher other than your own) is a condemnation of their capacities. It is egotistical, derogatory and hypocritical behaviour. It is also a clear case of biting the hand that feeds you.
Obviously the tulku recognition system needs to be reassesed/refurbished, there are a number of issues that need sorting out. But I, for one, am against throwing out the baby with the bath water especially when I take account of the immeasurable benefit it has brought practitioners all over the world.
if you have a precious human rebirth now, it follows that at some time in lives previous you'd done something right. Is it necessary to have an enthronement ceremony for each of you in order to take this at face value? Accepting this premise but rejecting the "tulku system" as a social construct are not contradictory positions.
So you believe that all people that have a precious human rebirth are tulku? Is that what you are saying?