Fraction of a Shankara verse (part 2)

Fraction of a Shankara verse (part 2)

brahma satyath jaganmithya

Brahman is the Truth, the Universe is false.   Shankara

Master Nome’s commentary summarized Part I

By “Truth” is meant that which actually exists, Non-Dual Brahman. What is other than Brahman is not true, real, & is “Non-Existence” which does not exist,

Even if Non-Existence is imagined, then it is only Existence that is conceived & the negated. Furthermore, the “existence” of that entire mental exercise, the “existence” of  those thoughts, such is really all the apparent Existence involved, unreal & imagined in itself, as it may be.  Considered real then, those thoughts are only Brahman anyway.

On the other hand, if it should ever be imagined that Brahman does not exist, then that imagination itself must be Brahman if in any way it exists at all. The same holds for any “knower” who would entertain that imagination.  And so no imaginary, unreal, nonexistent thought or “existence” is an alternative to Brahman, but only Brahman itself once again.

Next installment on the Requisites:

4 requisites:

Discrimination

Detachment,

6 Essentials

Desire for Liberation

6 essentials:   Peacefulness, Self–Control, Renunciation, Fortitude, Conviction, Meditation

Discrimination, in particular

“Each of the four requisites is helpful to the inquiry to know the Self. Each of the four requisites supports the others. The order in which they are given is not to be construed as being strictly developmental or ascending. For example, though one requires Discrimination to become Detached (otherwise, one will not perceive who is to be Detached & from what to be Detached), it may be the desire for Liberation coupled with Conviction in the teachings that give rise to that Discrimination, which is further strengthened by Meditation & expressed through some kind of Renunciation on a basis of Peacefulness or Equanimity. Each may be considered separately, or they may be considered as one whole.”           Master Nome

Discrimination

Discrimination is to discern what is true. From deep thinking to inner experience, such leads continuously to Knowledge & Realization. Unless one discerns the source of Happiness, for instance, one cannot find more Happiness, or prevent the loss of any that might come one’s way.

Without discerning the Meaning of Life, its Purpose cannot be fulfilled. Wrongly choosing a “spiritual path”, if even getting that far, may unexamined ignorant tendencies, delusive notions, & patterns of conceptualizing.

Discrimination is neither sensory, nor mental but is directly derived Consciousness where Self Discrimination discerns the Self.  We all know how happy we are & that we exist. This intrinsic discernment is of the very nature of the Self. The path to Self-Knowledge is composed of Knowledge, from Discrimination to Realization.

“What is the source of happiness? What is eternal? What is real? Who am I?”  With more emphasis on negation, we thus sort  out what is not eternal, not Reality, or not the Self.  Thus Reality is left unobscured & Self-evident.

Discrimination also frees us of dualistic conceptions, unfruitful practices.  Distinguishing of emotional moods, karma, egoistic-tendencies, superimpositions, concepts, mis–identifications are matters of Discrimination.  Comparing & contrasting the immutable from the changeful, the eternal from the transitory, the continuous from the sporadic, the nonobjective from the objective, the nondependent from the dependent, the indivisible from the multiple & divisible, all require Discrimination.

“Discrimination gives rise to the other requisites for Realization. It is the cornerstone of spiritual advancement.”                         Master Nome

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Happiness

brahma satyath jaganmithya

Brahman is the Truth, the Universe is false.

Happiness

The requisite background practices recommended for deep Knowledge of Shankara’s ½ verse above was enumerated in a the previous Blog, starting with knowing the nature of Happiness & Love which amount to the same thing.

All beings desire happiness always, happiness without a tinge of sorrow. At the same time everybody loves himself best. The cause for love is only happiness. So, that happiness must lie within oneself. Further, that happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep when there is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means.           Ramana Maharshi’s 1st publication “Who am I ?”

Briefly stated nothing objective can be instrumental in rendering or increasing Happiness which is purely subjective & in no way related to any objective realm. On the hand, acquiring or attaining a given object can be found to consistently precede a “bump-up” in partial Happiness. So what’s going on ? Now “object” is a noun that can refer to any person, place, or thing, any situation, any quantity or measurement, & so on.

Shankara in several ways makes the point that even this partial “seemingly objectderived” Happiness is not experienced in the Mind nor at all controlled or reproducible by the Mind. Sure, there us an even lesser aliquot of Happiness forthcoming from remembrance of the “happy event”, but that is a new & lesser Happiness connected with thus later mental remembrance experience. And that mental remembrance experience is never as intense as the “happy event” so recalled.

Yet, without the Mind functioning in the need way, mere proximity to or Sense experience of the object cannot prompt any Happiness, nor can Happiness be experienced on all occasions of the needed mental functioning & involvement with the object. Sometimes we don’t like or want it. Nor will too little or way too much, or too much repetition always do the trick. At this point a brief related warning from one of the Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths is apropos:

The nature of Life is Suffering:

we suffer when we don’t get what we want

we suffer when we get what we don’t want

we suffer when we get what we want in that we sense        that  all is lost in Time

Anyway, so not in or from the object, not in or from the Mind, Happiness is shown by Shankara to be experienced in the Self, from the Self, & as in the Self, as the essential nature of the Self.

Given that peerless authority, & the power of his argument, available in several Shankara texts, again we might ask how does the consistent role of certain objects fit into the picture, at least for certain lower-level portions of partial Happiness ? The expedient explanation (applicable within Maya, within the Illusion of the Waking State Dream) can be summarized as follows:

1) the Mental dissatisfaction (at lack of, loss of, wanting the Object) seems to “Veil” out Eternal True Nature as Happiness itself, as the Self.

2) acquiring or attaining the said object allows a relaxing of that dissatisfaction “Veiling”

3) with “Veil” relaxes, a bit more of our natural Happiness shines through & we may incorrectly credit an object or some Mental process (including Emotions, etc. which are only special kinds of thoughts). Alternatively, we can say that BlissHappinessLove is the only Emotion & that Mental distortion seems to generate the plethora of lesser positive & negative “feelings”.

4) with fading or other loss of the object, dissatisfaction returns, down comes the “Veil”, & our True Nature of Happiness seems to be attenuated, or almost totally lost.

5) the only reliable & complete remedy is Self-Knowledge, Liberation from imagined “dissatisfaction” or Bondage, Self-Realization as Happiness itself. For that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means.                                                 Ramana Maharshi

Happiness is the nature of the Self. They are not different. The only happiness there is, is of the Self. That is the truth. There is no happiness in worldly objects. Because of our ignorance we imagine we derive happiness from them. If, as a man generally imagines, his happiness is due to external causes, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore, if he is devoid of possessions his happiness should be nil. What, however, is the real experience of man? Does it confirm this view? In deep sleep the man is devoid of all possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion therefore is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realize his Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.                                                                                                                                                                   Ramana Maharshi  Who am I?’

[to be continued]

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Fraction of a Shankara verse

Fraction of a Shankara verse

brahma satyath jaganmithya

Brahman is the Truth, the Universe is false.

[from the 1st line of v. 20 The Rows of Garlands of Brahman Knowledge]

If one fully realizes its significance, the Truth shines as self-evident.”

Master Nome

In the ensuing series we explore, step by step, some of Master Nome’s commentary on these few words. For now we let it sink in & mention only briefly the background practices recommended by Sri Shankara & Sri Ramana Maharshi: discerning the source & nature of Happiness, & divine Love for all beings, along with the 4fold:

Sadhana Chatushtaya

I. Non-Attachment (vairagya)

II. Discrimination (viveka)

III. Desire for Liberation (mumukshutva)

IV. the 6 virtues (shatsampati):

1) Tranquility (shama)

2) Control (dama) of Senses (indriyas)

3) Withdrawal (uparati) from Sensory experience

4) Forbearance (titiksha)

5) Faith (shraddha

6) Focus (samadhana)

along with the 3stage practice:

I) listening (sravana)

2) reflecting (manana)

3) deep contemplative meditation (niddhidhyasana)

& 4 Mahavakyas

Counting the items: 3 + 6 + 3 + 4 = 16 will each be the focus of 16 Blogs & 1 preceding about Love & Happiness that will also feature Master Nome’s commentary on Shankara’s 1/2 verse:

Brahman is the Truth, the Universe is false.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

No Body but Me

No Body but Me

prajnanam brahma

Perfect Knowledge (Infinite Consciousness) is Brahman.

                                                                                                   – a mahavakya

We may reach a point where Discrimination gets things sorted out, & then the thought comes about “where I’m going tomorrow.” But oops! There is no “where”, no “tomorrow”, & especially no “me”. So then what ?  Do we see no going to work, not getting out of bed; then what ?

Well, we don’t need Bertrand Russell to tells us we just got tangled in a confusion of “logical types”. But let’s forget all that & keep it simple. If “everyday Life” appears in a Waking State, as Pure Consciousness yourself, you remain as the Witness, if that much. Like some adventure or mis-adventure in a Dream, you’re never really in it.

More attention, or all attention can be returned to perpetual Self-Inquiry, which is perpetual Self-Abidance, which is Reality. If the question should be asked: “what about the one going to work, in that transient Waking State Dream”, well, he still goes, or doesn’t. He acts with more integrity, his Life becomes more harmonious, or not, but it all remains a Dream, composed of substanceless thoughts, bleached out against the radiance of Infinite Consciousness. Patterns in Mind called karma determine Waking Dream events but the Self remains untouched, somewhat like the sleeper does in his bed.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Self-Abidance ātma-niṣṭha

Self-Abidance ātma-niṣṭha

Just short of & continuously identical with moksha Liberation is said to be the practice & state that is the endpoint of both ātma vichāra Self-Inquiry & also supreme Non-Dual Devotion & Surrender to God and/or Guru. That in-common practice & state ātma niṣṭha Self-Abidance.

Concentrated penetration to the core Reality with Self-Inquiry & giving up attachment to all that is considered as “me” & “mine” in renunciation of individual will [not my will, but thine] both or either of these paths to Egoless Enlightenment will ultimately require abandoning identity with a Mind, that poor objective substitute for subjective Pure Consciousness.

Ego reference-identity on the one hand [vs. inquiry], & DesireAttachment on the other hand [vs. devotion] are inherent in the Mind. They are the very fabric of which the Mind is made. So long as one self-identifies as an Individual “I”, there will also be a sense of Attachment to what is “mine”, all the way down to the Life of the Body. Surrender of individual will & relinquishment of Attachment necessitates inquiry into the nature of Mind or surrender the mind that has an individual will & feels attachment to the Body & other possessions. Individual identity feeling “I am a Person, a separate

Individual, a Mind living in the Waking State inside a Body” all that is merely False & distorted & the root cause of all Desire & all Suffering. Equivalent to Surrender of Ego is close examination & Discrimination through Self-Inquiry. So along with scrutiny of Ego being:

(1) the correct “inward direction” for Self-Abidance as the Self, &

(2) the way to strip Ego of its objects so that it vanishes, &

(3) Discriminating-Knowledge that dissolve supporting vasana Tendencies, the also

(4) recognition & abandonment of false Ego as false compares to:

giving up the false notion that mistakes a wayside Rope for an hallucinated Snake in the dim light of dusk. Looking closely at the Snake, we discover that it is in fact nothing but a Rope. So too, if we examine or surrender Ego“I”, we discover that it is in fact nothing but the Real & unlimited Pure Consciousness. Such is Self-Abidance.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

The “trick” of Self-Inquiry

The “trick” of Self-Inquiry

Some will understandably wonder about the “Who am I ?” of Self-Inquiry in terms of “which I, which Self” is the target of the question ? Is it the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman, or the false, individual Ego “I” self ?

The initial Self-attention, subsequent Self-investigation, & ultimate Self-abidance that makes up the Maharshi’s Teaching of Self-Inquiry could be said to suggest “Who am I ?” as more of a “direction” an inward direction for Consciousness turning in on itself. As a “direction”, either goal, the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman, or the false, individual Ego “I” self will do. Once directed inward, Consciousness finds itself. No false, individual Ego “I” self is found, but only the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman.

Another take on the issue [but not on the inquiry itself] could focus first on the fictitious Ego or Mind, the individual self. This limited & distorted “consciousness” bases its seeming existence on its role as a pseudo-Subject (really only reflecting light of Consciousness). This pseudo-Subject defines itself by Duality, by attending to objects [internal & external] other than

itself. Turning inward in Self-Inquiry, other things are “lost” just as in Deep Dreamless Sleep. But accomplished consciously in this Waking State, the Ego or Mind, the individual self ceases to veil the True Self, Absolute Non-Dual Atman.

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]

Whence a World ?

Whence a World ?

Picking up where we left off last Blog, given a seeming Mind: Whence a World ? Fundamentally, we trade in formless non-dimensionality for a more objective idea of a “space”.

Mocking the infinite subjective & dimensionless “space” of Consciousness, the reflected light of Mind careens off the apparent 0-D objective “space” of Ego“I”, the individual, false self.

Starting with the simplest, that 1-D objective “space” of Thoughtflow streams forth from the 0-D objective reference Origin of Ego. Even more objective is the echo of 1-D Thoughtflow we sense as “Time”. Sequence of Sound, Music, Communication, etc. similarly parallel the 1-D flow of Thought & Time.

Perhaps 2-D would be the inner Screen of the Mind, the mental “windshield” also represented in cinema, TV, monitors, etc. with perspective suggesting 3-D in each.

True 3-D Space is just another version of the same concept, onlt upping the dimension each time. There I also a 3-D Stage or theater of the Mind where 3-D events are envisioned. If there was a Brain, we’d have to say that each space consists merely of electrical activity in the Visual Cortex & so on. The sam basic idea is repeated & adapted to each context, repeated over & over again.

Space, Time, Mind, & other big-container concepts comprise the foundation for one’s World-view & much of all thought. Hiding in plain sight is the fact that one single, small Idea is the repeated blueprint for each & every one of these big-container concepts. For the most part, 1-D (Time, Thought-flow, etc.) or 3 dimensions, 3-D (Space, World, etc.) model the “Container” concepts, with the exception being the Visual “TV/CinemaScreen of the imaging Mind”. The latter is most easily modeled as the familiar 2-D Cartesian Container Coordinate Space learned in school for “graphs”.

The “empty graph paper” is the Cartesian Container Coordinate Space, the core constituent sub-concept of all these Ideas. [Descartes’ Graph reflected that sense of a “Space” with the grid from fishnets & later Greek geodesy (latitudelongitude).] The Graph’s particular 2-D Space is also the TV or Cinema Screen, the Visual Screen of Image in the Mind (or on computer) [with 3-D suggested by perspective as in a drawing]. This one same empty expanse is the Container Space for all the big-category concepts & is repeated for each one. Empty Space is like empty Time or empty Mind, all just thought, & essentially the same thought. We’re just not used to recognizing that similarity because we project Space & Time to be more than the thought of them. We project them to be objective realities “on the outside”.

Each Container contains Coordinate Points or minute entities like Moments, Locations, Thoughts or pieces of an Image, a Sound, or other Sense Percept. But every such entity is undefined without reference to a Central Origin, which on a Graph is the (0, 0) crossing point of 2 Axes [3 in 3-D, 1 in 1-D]. The 1-D single Axis has a Central Origin, (0), 3-D has (0, 0, 0). The single Axis of Time serves also for Sound Sequence or Thought Flow.

Space may use for its Horizontal Axis [for X abscissa] West-to-East. Its Vertical Axis [for Y ordinate] may be East-to-North, while its out-of-the-page [Z] Axis could be Down-to-Up.

Thoughts or pieces of an Image, a Sound, any Sensation or Thoughtform are [somehow] arranged entities characteristic of a given Cartesian Container Coordinate Space, all defined with reference to their respective Origins. So 2-D locations on the TV/Cinema/VisualScreen of the Mind are referenced to the Origin of Central Focus or mental “Here”. More proper 3-D locations in “Physical” [perceived that way] Space are referenced to the Origin of Physical Here. Thoughts are referenced in Mind to the EgoI or Me Origin. The 1-D Linear Thoughtflow & Soundsequence are referenced, just as is Time itself to the Origin of the Now Moment. The 3-D Tactile & Visually Scanned World of Objects in Physical Space could be said to have one’s Body as the “Origin” which in this case is not an infinitesimal 0-D Coordinate Point like the other Origins.

To flesh out that additional detail [among a number of imagined others] of these Container Coordinate Spaces, we can see the Body as a small Micro-Container-Space in itself. The boundaries of a Micro-Container-Space constitute the line dividing Inner from Outer, in that latter case between the physically inner Me & the Outer World. A Micro-Container-Space in 3-D Physical Space might be one’s Vicinity, in 1-D Time it might be one’s Lifetime. A Micro-Container-Space around a 2-D map of Mind’s thought or a 3-D or 4-D Space-Time of such thoughts could be the Personality enclosing Ideas close around the EgoOrigin.

Back in the 3-D or 4-D World of Objects, where the Body, a Micro-Container-Space in itself, serves as the best practical Macro-Origin for Objects outside that Body. Similarly, the Lifetime Micro-Container-Space could be a Macro-Origin for a longer scale of Time, just as the Vicinity Micro-Container-Space could be a Macro-Origin for a larger scales of Distance. The infinitesimal Now & Here Origins still serve as Origins within the Time & Vicinity Micro-Container-Spaces. If pressed for a “more infinitesimal” Origin within the Body Micro-Container-Space which alone best serves as a Macro-Origin for the World of objects, then such a more inner Origin might be the Brain within the Body, or the Cortex, neither completely infinitesimal, but still rather discrete. Each Macro-Origin/ Micro-Space is the same kind of “local neighborhood” in each case. Body Planet Star system Galaxy Groups etc. are successively larger Macro-Origin/ Micro-Spaces or “local neighborhoods”.

Mathematical categories & curiosities aside, the point of these simplistic models is to suggest that Mind, Time, Space, & the World are not objective “givens” with fixed qualities. Different people experience these differently, & each of us also does so differently at different times. However modeled, or not, these big-category concepts are mental projections, not fixed realities. The Coordinate Space models suggest that the same old “space with a center” Idea is repeated over & over again for Mind, Time, Space, & the World. More importantly, these represent the net of Illusion that distracts us from recognition of our core Identity, the Non-Dual Brahman, the Self of Absolute Existence, pure Non-Dual Consciousness, & complete Happiness, Love, Bliss, Peace, & Liberation

Mind of course includes all of those . But specifically focusing on Mind itself as one of the Container-Spaces, ever with Thoughts as the Coordinate Points & the Ego I or Me as there reference Origin, models for Mind appear in 5 different dimensional aspects:

0-D for the core [false] Ego Identity, Me

1-D for the sequence of Thought

2-D for the visual screen of the Mind

3-D for the theater of the Mind

4-D for lifetime identity Personality, born, growing, dying in Waking State Time

The 1-D Space of Time overlaps somewhat with the Mind’s 1-D for the sequence of Thought, with Moments for the points on the Timeline with Now another Origin along with Ego. Sound & other Sequences compare as well, with Auditory Sense most aligned with this 1-D as in the chart up above. Almost by default Olfactory & Gustatory Senses matched up with 0-D, in some vague way. Olfactory especially aligns a bit with Ego, or at least the Limbic System in terms of fear & other Emotions.

Vision as been lined up internally with the 2-D Screen of the Mind & also 3-D via Perspective & internally in the Theater-Stage of the Mind. But 3-D properly belongs to Tactile [somato-sensory Somesthetic, Proprioception, Nociception, Haptic-touch including lateral motion, pressure, enclosure. contour following] & Vestibular-balance. Yet even Tactile Senses, like Vision creates 3-D one dimension at a time. Using 1-D Time-sense we instinctively measure a visual scan or a feeling by how long it takes in context, all things considered. This gives us the 1-D of Length as a Perceptual Concept. In some orthogonal sense [generalized “perpendicular” ], another Dimension is simultaneously “calculated” as Width & “multiplied so to speak ” by Length to yield 2-D “Area” or general “expanse”. Again in another orthogonal sense a 3rd Dimension is likewise “calculated” as Depth & “multiplied” again to fill 2-D “expanse” out into tangible “volume” or Mass. In this way Tactile & Visual Sense , create a 3-D World or ant given Object, one Dimension at a time, quick enough to seem simultaneous.

So the chart op above loosely links the Senses with big-category concepts/mental-projections. From there the ancient “elements” or phases are, by serendipity, loosely matched to both Senses & characteristic Dimensions, to some degree. Even Fractal Dimensions can be worked into the Concept scheme. For one example, a 2-D sketch could contain edges & outlines. Some 2 ½ Dimension could indicate the shading & texture suggestive of 3-D. Likewise, 4-D Space-Time has with Here & Now at (0,0,0,0) Origin.

So again, the World fills Space with Objects, etc. as points with an extended Macro-Origin reference as the Body. While Hearing naturally parallels Time in Sound & Music, all being mostly 1-D, Vision naturally scans 2-D Screens suggestive of 3-D Space. These Sense Perceptions along with Tactile, etc. Senses concretize a World. While the Body is an extended or Macro-Origin reference Origin for the coordinate space of the World, that same Body can be a Micro-Space in itself, with it own smaller Macro-Origin as perhaps the Brain. The Body-skin marks the insideoutside boundary in the World.

All the SpaceOrigin concepts are similare. Self-Inquiry traces back along short or long routes from any of the above, especially from Thoughts, questing “Whose thought?” “Mine.” “Who am I ?” “Whence am I ?” which is to say finding the “place” in Consciousness where the Ego-“I” seems to arise. Find it to never arise there. Remain as that Consciousness, the NonDual Self.

The Absolute can only be known by the Absolute within you.”                                                                                   Master Nome

[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through  www.jpstiga.com ]