TSK Overview

In Dynamics of Time and Space (1994), Tarthang Tulku helps clarify the Time-Space-Knowledge vision by laying out what it is not; that is, how it differs from other approaches to knowledge and being:

TSK does not put forward claims regarding an absolute. In fact, it does not specify any form of substance or reality at all. From a TSK perspective, such definitions and claims inevitably generate conceptual structures. Once such structures are seen as anything more than tools for investigation, they limit knowledge, encouraging the formation of territories and positions that soon come to take priority over inquiry and insight.

TSK does not maintain the existence of a creator or creative force responsible for appearance. Identifying such an originating source is another instance of the tendency to assign labels and then make those labels the basis for limitation. For instance, readers of earlier books in this series might say that TSK attributes creation to a kind of magical operation. But the label ‘magic’ is just another way of limiting what arises. The temptation to rely on labels in deal­ing with TSK is strong, for ordinary understanding depends on labels, and we are usually interested only in what we can understand. But applying this approach to TSK or any other form of inquiry will only ensure that what is already familiar to us will perpetuate itself. There will be no opportunities for a new vision to make itself known.

TSK does not teach faith in any outside force, nor does it counsel devotion toward a higher being, such as God or the Buddha. It suggests that the knowledge we require is implicit in the self’s embodiment in space and time. The highest values are immediately available to us.

TSK does not pursue knowledge through beliefs founded on reasons. Instead, it proceeds through active inquiry, which is seen as embodying knowledge directly.

TSK does not investigate a subject located somewhere else, apart from the self. It looks directly to awareness.

TSK follows no model or doctrine. All knowledge can be a part of the vision. TSK does not structure reality in terms of a hierarchy that proceeds from higher to lower or good to bad. Though the vision sometimes relies on language that makes such distinctions, the fundamental outlook is that knowledge understands all manifestations to be equally good. Although the process of inquiry will initially proceed step by step, moving from level to level, this sequence of unfolding does not reflect any inherent characteristic of appearance.

TSK does not offer any moral code. From a TSK perspective, being itself is perfect, exhibiting in all its facets the qualities of life and beauty. Since this is so, there is no need to seek perfection. The natural way of being is intrinsically sacred. When we exhibit this perfection in our own actions, vows and precepts are not required.

more TSK overview points.

shop for TSK books online at Dharma Publishing

Full Presence Mindfulness Classes and Workshops

Mindfulness talk by Jack Petranker
Examined Life – a talk on inquiry by Cornel West

A Call for a New Vision of Therapy
by Hayward M. Fox, Ph.D.

Symphony of Time video

The Way of the World

I took the idea somewhere, sometime, of the world
and me in it. When and from where? People said.

A way of speaking. Is it true? I know
so little, so little. It doesn’t seem to be true.
I reject, at least, the implication, the two
idea, the conflict, the adversary, the will
of the world, my will. It isn’t that. I find
nothing to force or fight or yield to. Much
of the time, I am nowhere, not in any world;

the world is nowhere; one could wish for a world.

Other times, something. An outside power. Or more,

my power. Something outside. I am more than I was.

From aimless idling, a clutch and a coupling. The world?
No asking. We are one or together. Call it the world.

— William Bronk

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