A) Absolute – Consciousness
We discover it by being earnest, by searching, Inquiring, questioning daily & hourly, by giving one’s life to this discovery.
Nisargadatta Maharaj “I Am That“”
Let’s go back to the one questioned a couple of Blogs ago, the one asked: Do you exist ?
As a hypothetical, let him have been in Deep Dreamless Sleep when awoken & questioned. Perhaps some further “ring” of truth remains in this speculative conversation.
The former sleeper responds right away or later recalls the following immediate response in his Mind:
Yes, certainly I exist ! I just know that’s true, spontaneously & undoubtedly.
The questioner counters with an observation & a 2nd confirming question:
Oh I see, you directly “know” you exist.
So can I agree that you “exist” & that you also “know” – at least that much.
Nodding his head in assent, the freshly awakened asks once for clarification & then listens for a while.
Granted what you noted, what is the significance ?
Asking the awakened one to suspend judgment for bit, much as the reader is now asked, let us embark on our own “What if ?” scenario. With minimal detailed explanation or proof, getting no further argument or interrupting question from the questioned one, we speculate as follows:
“That “inner place” in which you felt that certainty of your Existence, & also that certainty of your knowing so, your Consciousness, is actually the same “place”. Moreover that “place” is not a place, having size or shape, & has no location in Space, or in Time for that matter. The very same “place” where you are certain of your Consciousness, that “place” is actually your Consciousness itself. As also the very same “place” where you are certain of your Existence, it truly is your Existence, it is what you are, your Self.
And not only your Self, but the same is my Self, & the Self of everyone & all that exist, have ever existed, or will ever exist. That singular Existence or Being is the literal Truth proclaimed by Parmenides & Shankara, by Huang Po, Meister Eckhart, Ib’n al Arabi, Brahmagna Ma, & Ananda Ma. The point being that no culture, gender, creed, or period of history has unique claim to this recognition, this Knowledge known as the Perennial Philosophy.
Further observations include the fact that very same not-a-place “place” or Brahman or the Self is also experienced routinely as the Source of Happiness, Love, Bliss, Joy, Peace, Satisfaction, Freedom & the like. These are all one with Consciousness & Being. Though Happiness–in–full is more often the complete “reference value” we all intuit, perfect Happiness, the goal, whether we currently believe it to be attained or not. That Source of Happiness is the same “place” where true Happiness (not mere pleasure or triumph) is actually felt, routinely. Even the sense of its lack could be said to be felt there along with all negative emotions that seem “negative” so by coloration with conceptual self-delusion.”
Nodding in awe more than yet assent, the freshly awakened asks once again in the same words:
Granted what you say, what is the significance ?
“Much can & has been said & written about restoring true Self-Identity through the meditation of inward Self-Inquiry. Any sincere seeker can find all that, especially now with the Internet to get started with. Even with a few false turns, the one who truly desires Freedom (Liberation from ignorance) will have it.
You & I & all are that same Self, though we may seem to be “caught” in a Waking Dream world of Time & Space (at night, other dream worlds supervene, while in Deep Sleep, none at all). While seeming so “caught”, we best pursue Self-Inquiry, with authentic texts that support that & qualified live guidance when possible. Otherwise we progressively shine in our World (even if obscurely) fulfill responsibilities, relationships, work, etc. in Peace. Any help offered to what can appear as a stricken World & inevitable death in that World, comes from the inner basis, & less-so, the practical basis just described hinted at in Section C. The quest of Enlightenment, Liberation, is the most satisfying & significant venture possible.
By constantly fixing his attention on his Source, the Heart, the Ego of the wise gets dissolved like a “salt doll” which has fallen into the Ocean.
Sri Ramana Maharshi
- B) Big-Bang – Brain VR
A couple of very smart characters, among many, suggest we consider the lesson of VR Virtual Reality. Cognitive Science Philosopher David Chalmers chimed in early on the past bandwagon of pointing to The Matrix movie as a profound parable, one far more popular than the earlier Brain in a Vat versions that the cinema had emulated, emulations of Descartes malin genie the evil genie (or genius). Harder to label is the other genie, I mean genius, Nick Bostrom, nominally a philosopher, who offers Bayesian “proof” for the following proposition.
If we do not destroy our technological civilization by prompting further Climate disaster, or by war or political collapse, over-population, & so on; & if no Armageddon–like meteoric disaster, etc. does the deed, if none of these occur. then Ray Kurzweil’s elitist techno-utopia will surely come to pass. However many starve & rot with disease & violence, if some insular elite defend islands of exponentially advancing Computer technology, while escaping their own Nano-technology, Bio-technology, etc. then they will eventually program innumerable The Matrix level VR’s Virtual Realities. Among those will likely be some “period pieces” as depicted in the movie, capturing a past version of Earth’s civilization, such as the one we now find ourselves in. The most advanced VR’s could pass for our own world & no one could tell the difference. So much for the like–like comparison between our World & all these many particular VR’s among a far greater number of other kinds of VR. Nick Bostrom calls those particular ones “ancestor” VR’s because they emulate the experience of the relatively few people (~ half dozen Billions) in our world. We are those relatively “few” “ancestors”. Here comes the kicker.
Those inexpensive (by futuristic technology standards) Virtual Reality programs will be so very numerous that for each of us now, that there might be, who knows, a Trillion more VR individuals who will take the place of each of us, distributed over the man VR programs. Here Bayesian “logic” kicks in & flatly declares, that by those “odds” (lets say a Trillion to 1) we most certainly live in one of those Future VR’s right now, each of us as most likely being VR characters, or computergame–avatars.
Now given Bostrom’s claim that we probably live in & as VR right now, unless we soon destroy our civilization or experience other disastrous collapse that will have prevented that technology (we rarely get to use the future perfect tense “will have”), we turn back to David Chalmers. Putting aside the destruction scenarios, Chalmers, like many other Cognitive Science Philosophers assure us that we could never tell the difference in VR.
Our point here is that we are as good as being VR anyway, because how could we ever know ? In fact our individual Waking State lives (Dream State ones are otherwise) actually are as good as VR in absolute Consciousness, no more real than that. Awakening to Identity with pure Consciousness, we are Liberated from the succession of Waking State dream-lives (& Dream State lives as well). Sounds like fun? Maybe not, not right now. But actually all the real fun, Happiness & Love are already firmly planted in that Consciousness Reality, as is our Being & Identity already.
- C) Conceptual – Caesar: “Should compassion or even empathetic sorrow be abandoned ?“
Benevolent Dictator – Philosopher King proclamation: Yes. & No.
Never let it distract you too much. Never be depressed by sorrow & horror & cruelty in the World, get on with you Self-Realization, doing what you can to help on an everyday life level if opportunities arise or you make them arise.
I asked a Sage about evil & sorrow, etc. He said: Hurry & get Enlightened, you’re keeping them all waiting. World is in Mind, it’s your World & your victims. When you get Liberated, they all do.
Back from the original Day the Earth Stood Still, Hollywood has even looked to space-aliens to come & protect us from ourselves. A rarely-seen extended version the old Sea Adventure, The Abyss, has more pro-active Sea-aliens who threaten us with tidal waves & then relent. We hear: “It bothers them to see us hurting each other – getting out of hand.”
[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 ]