Everything is empty, therefore everything is created by my mind. This includes every other living being. In reality, each being is an aspect of my mind (as I am an aspect of their mind). Your understanding of emptiness is qualified if it leads you to a conclusion of personal responsibility for everything. Every problem every living being has was originally created by me. How can we understand this? If I hit somebody, then I create the karma on my mind to be hit in the future. Then, when I encounter that person in the future, they are ‘compelled’ by my karma to hit me back. When they hit me, they create all four karmic causes (tendency, effect similar, ripened effect, environmental effect). This karma then governs their experience and their future tendencies. As an analogy, if I have a bowl of still water (my mind), and I start tapping it’s surface (my engaging in actions) it sends ripples throughout the water. The ripples then hit the walls of the bowl, and bounce back. If I keep tapping, I create wave after wave. These waves then intersect with one another in all sorts of different ways. If I am not aware of the origin of these waves, it might seem as if my tapping has nothing to do with the intersection of each wave. It will appear to me that the intersection of the different waves (different beings engaging in different actions towards one another) has nothing to do with me. But this is a mistaken conception.
Since their mind is empty, they are also each aspects of my own mind. So their mental trajectory is one of the myriad of criss-crossing mental trajectories on the ocean of my mind. They are not the mental trajectories of ‘Ryan’, rather ‘Ryan’ is just one aspect of my mind with its own mental trajectory. Just as I can have different parts of my mind going in different directions (for example, the virtues of Ryan and the delusions of Ryan), so too I can have different major aspects of my mind (Ryan or other living beings, such as my family, friends, the people of my world) moving in different directions. Each one of these major aspects of my mind also can be further broken down into its constitutent parts, each of which is going in different directions just like for Ryan. In this way, we can see that every aspect of every mind of every living being is equally empty, all different aspects of the ocean of ‘my’ mind (by ‘my’ here, I do not mean ‘Ryan’, I mean the ocean of my clear light mind, which is my true mind, my real mind). Seen in this way, it is not enough to just lead every aspect of ‘Ryan’s’ mind to enlightenment, I must likewise do the same for every aspect of every other conventionally existent mind of each and every conventionally different living being. Great compassion, the wish to strive to free every living being from their own conventionally distinct samsara, becomes an obvious conclusion. Likewise, bodhichitta, the wish to equip and train myself to be able to fulfill this compassionate wish, is likewise an obvious conclusion.
But just because each mind is empty does not mean I can (nor should I try) directly control each mind just like I control my own. The goal of enlightenment is complete freedom of the mind. Not just complete freedom of my Ryan mind, but complete freedom of every aspect of ‘my’ mind (my Claudine mind, my Seferina mind, etc.). It would be a karmic contradiction to attain complete freedom of my Ryan mind by gaining complete dominating control over every other aspect of my mind (they have no freedom, I control them completely like slaves shaping them like inanimate objects without a mind of their own). So it is not the solopsistic view of Ryan is the only mind and living being and everyone else is a lifeless, non-sentient illusion. They too are mental projections, but they are sentient, living beings. The difference between the magician’s illusory woman and a real woman is not the illusory nature of the two, but rather the level of complexity of the illusion. Both are illusions, one is simply more complex in that the real woman is an illusion complete with all the nature and functions of an illusory mind of a living being. The other difference is the nature of the illusion. The nature of the magician’s illusion is the material basis of the spell (such as a rope or a block of wood), whereas the the nature of the real woman is mind. She is a wave on the ocean of ‘my’ mind (Ryan is just another wave on the ocean of my mind too).
The point of all of this discussion is the following: I wish to be mentally free. I do not want anybody or an anything contolling me or what I think. I wish to have complete freedom. My delusions are what make me unfree because they make my mind uncontrolled. So I need to pacify completely all of Ryan’s delusions. I need to then build, from Ryan’s point of view, a Heruka and Keajra that functions to lead all beings to enlightenment. But I also need to do the same for every other aspect of my mind (every other living being). They need to do the same thing for their conventionally distinct selves – they need to completely free their own conventinally distinct minds. But I cannot directly control ‘other’s’ minds like I would a computer game character, since again, that would be a karmic contradiction. Rather, they need to each freely choose enlightenment and to travel the path (engage in the actions) that leads to it. So Ryan’s Heruka engages in the actions of enlightenment which creates the conditions (karmic and otherwise) for others to freely engage, from thier own conventionally distinct side, in all of the actions necessary to free their own mind. I cannot do it for them, but I can create the karmic conditions for them to do so (just as if I hit somebody it sets their karma in motion, so too if I engage in an act of kindness towards them).
The most effective mental action in the tantric bodhisattva’s arsenal is the mental action of pure view. If I maintain pure view of somebody, I view them as a Buddha. Wherever you imagine a Buddha, a Buddha goes, therefore a Buddha enters into them. Wherever a Buddha goes, a Buddha performs the actions of a Buddha, which is to bless the minds of living beings. A blessing functions to send that mind in the direction of enlightenment from the inside, from their own choice. Further, by seeing others as Buddhas, it plants the karma on my mind to have them appear in the future to be Buddhas engaging in the actions of a Buddha. If they engage in the actions of a Buddha, they will create the karma to become ones themselves (just like hitting creates the cause for them to reborn in hell). In this way, I karmically reconstruct my appearance of them and they karmically reconstruct their appearance of themselves (and everyone else when they too become tantric bodhisattvas). But in either case, since they are each just a different aspect of ‘my’ mind, it functions to free every apsect of my mind. I strive for complete freedom of every aspect of my mind. If we understand all of this, we see there is no contradiction whatsoever between a Buddha seeing everyone as already having always been enlightened (we can karmically reconstruct the empty past as well) and the compassionate actions of a Buddha striving to free each and every living being from their samsara. An additional, more immediate, benefit of this view is it also helps the tantric bodhisattva him/herself (in my case, Ryan). If I see everyone as Buddhas, they are all here to help me attain enlightenment. They each give me a different opportunity to work on a different part of my mind. I will feel gratitude and show equal respect towards everyone. I will learn from everyone, receive benefit from everyone, receive the blessings of the Buddhas through everyone, fear noone, feel animosity towards noone, and I will quickly myself be led to enlightenment.
Your turn: Take the most difficult person in your life, and explain how viewing them as an aspect or part of your mind changes your attitude towards them.