CrawfordHollow wrote:I still don't see any real evidence that the third eye is any more than a symbol in Vajrayana Buddhsim. Some deities also have four arms and three faces, but that doesn't mean that we need to grow extra appendages to reach enlightenment. I will happily be proved wrong, and I am not trying to be difficult, but from everthing that I have seen it seems like the third eye is no more than a symbol of purity. In either case I don't think that anyone would argue that the "practice"that the OP gleamed off the internet has absolutely no relevance to Buddhsim. Even the quote from Robert Beer that was presented earlier puts the "third eye" in quotations, implying that this is no more that a western idea that he is applying to Buddhsim for the clarity of his readers. Again, I could be completely wrong.
I think there is a strange displacement going on here (on this thread generally, but expressed above very clearly). The displacement is the notion that the 'third-eye' is a western
new age construction which has no relationship at all with Tibetan Buddhism.
I think we'd all agree that the new agey interpretation of 'the third-eye' (and chakras etc) is highly problematic for a manifold of reasons.
However, one needs to ask where the new age movement really begun, and where it drew its ontology from. Most good histories trace the movement back to the theosophists, who were clearly and unambiguously adopting (and reinterpreting) both orthodox and heterodox Indian ideas (about subjectivity, soteriology, metaphysics and so forth). A lot of the important theosophists moved to India, and some explicitly adopted (however badly) Buddhist vows and practices.
Now where do you think Tibetan Buddhism came from?
The question is really about the degree to which Vajrayana conceptions of the subtle body are distinct from more orthodox Indian Yogic schools. And I would agree that there are some very important points of distinction, many of them related to the doctrine of emptiness (as opposed to example, to Purusha and prakriti). However, it seems to me pretty fallacious to deny the points of continuity whilst doing that.
There is never any shortage of Vajrayana practitioners who wish to treat the Vajrayana as totally unique, self-enclosed and absolutely distinct from any other tradition - but this just plainly not the case.