Essay outside of the NMT (No-Me Teaching) series 6:
Vedanta’s analogy for 3 daily States of Mind.
We find another powerful Analogy, which we can call the “Coin”, at the beginning or the Mandukya Upanishad. A gross physical analog with which to look at the waking and sleep states this Vedanta text employs an analogy of a particular coin to illustrate states of Reality and their relationship.
The actual coin, or actually the series of coins had somewhat of a bullseye design. For a more clear explanation, we us U.S. coins for example. If the smallest coin where a dime, for instance, then the very special quarter in this series would have a dime “imbedded” in its center. It is as if the dime were retained & another fifteen cents worth of silver were placed around it.
The half-dollar of the series incorporates the quarter with the dime imbedded.
Finally, another fifty cents worth of silver is placed around the compound half-dollar & the last in the series would be a large silver dollar piece containing the compound silver half-dollar itself.
Some such coin had existed in India, fashioned in this “bullseye” concentric manner, whatever the actual denominations might have been. The point of Analogy was to equate the entire composite silver dollar with the Reality of Consciousness.
The composite coins were chosen to illustrate how a larger category remains as the Background for the included region superimposed on it. The dollar coin of Consciousness remains in the middle where the half dollar has been superimposed. The Consciousness dollar Substrate still remains the ultimate Background even in the middle of the half-dollar where, in turn, the quarter is superimposed on the half-dollar which remains as its intermediate background.
Finally, in the same manner, the superimposed dime has the quarter for its immediate Background, with the half-dollar as the Background behind both of those. Consciousness again is the ultimate silver dollar Background.
This composite is specifically a very hierarchical & inclusive one. Within that silver-dollar Consciousness-Reality, the half-dollar piece represents the state of primal Ego Ignorance, as yet bereft of any thought & yet still permeated by Consciousness which is its all-Background,support, & substance.
This half-dollar piece represents the Deep Sleep State & also any moment of simple Ego superimposed upon pure Consciousness.
The quarter, in turn, represents any imaginary thought process within the half-dollar of Individuality, Ego, or Mind.
So the half-dollar is Ego, & at the same time the Deep Dreamless Sleep State, & the quarter is Mind.
There is a specific State involved there too in that the quarter also represents the Dream State & all other flights of Imagination, Day-dreaming, mental Conceptualizing, & Thought in general.
So Thought is within &nd is permeated by Ego-Mind, which in turn is contained within & permeated by Consciousness. The Ego is more fundamental than Thought, a kind of pre-Thought.
Consciousness that remains as the Background of Ego & the Deep Sleep State. Meanwhile, this Ego & the Deep Sleep State are the Background of all Thought. One Non-Dual Consciousness is very much the whole story.
All along,. Ego is a momentary insubstantial disturbance in Consciousness. Like a whirlpool or eddy current in the Ocean, it never stands as a separate thing & appears or disappears in a moment. Not being other than “Water” at any point, like a transient Current such a thing as Ego is more a matter of definition than substance.
Not even a Thought in itself, the Ego is like the Origin point on a graph where Cartesian coordinate axes meet. Here this meeting Point is not counted as a Point in itself. Nevertheless,each Thought or Coordinate Point has that Reference Origin in its very definition.
A pre-Thought, like Ego is at the beginning, middle,or end of any given Thought, each a “structure” which is not yet a Thought in itself. We might thus see the Ego as part of the middle of each Thought, as the Reference for the defining of the thought content.
Like a Quark which is more fundamental than a nucleon, an elusive sub-component, the Ego eludes direct definition. However Thought is imagined then, Consciousness lights up the Ego & any thought.
Consciousness thus remains the Background like the silver dollar in the Coin Analogy. The Ego, in turn, is Background for Thought, just like the half-dollar is the Background for the quarter.
What we call Deep Sleep just happens to be an extended period of thoughtless no-Mind. We actually experience a smaller version of this thoughtless no-Mind between each thought. Occasionally, other instances of thoughtless no-Mind appears when we are knocked unconscious, under anaesthesia, in certain periods of trance, & so on.
Ego is also seem in the fact that we come out of Deep Sleep & so on with the same Personality intact. I even recall the pleasant quality of Deep Sleep as some thing enjoyed by me as Consciousness. ‘
Since Ego is part of every Thought, so is Deep Sleep the same Background evident as the temporal “space” between Thoughts.
Dream itself is but Thought. All the sights, sounds, touch, smell & taste; all the objects, people, places, & times are all made of evanescent Thought that vanishes, in total, at the moment we awake.
When we do awake, we add in those vivid Thoughts we know as Perceptions. We consider these Perceptions to be “direct experience”, which is really a joke for we do not remain steady in the so-called “direct experience” of immediate Perception.
We often consider & think of things other than our immediate surroundings. We spend far more time Day-dreaming about the Future, or some other Fantasy.
Our biased memories of the Past are effectively Dreams as well. In fact, all conceptual Thought is like the Dream State interspersed within the Waking State Perception.
If we set Perception aside to typify the Waking State, then all other Thought is essentially the Dream State Background shining through. Gaps between Thoughts.
Again the Deep Sleep State is behind that, & Consciousness is the ultimate Background behind it all.
Consciousness, on turn, illumines all Thought. Then again the Waking State is just one particularly vivid & more-consistent Dream state.
Perception too appears in the Dream, at its own level. So there is really not much of a distinction. What is so special about the Waking State, which is the dime in the center, is that it is the most derivative . It is a Waking State of perceived Objects, performed Actions & accrued karma, Birth & Death.
The real special quality of the Waking State lies in the conscious quality that allows the pursuit of Self-Knowledge in the Waking State by intentional Self-inquiry.
The “Coin” scheme situates the Waking State as but one Dream among many.. Perception is placed among other Thoughts & Concepts. By the same token, we set that same Waking State aside for this special reason of. the pursuit of Self-Knowledge in the Waking State by intentional Self-inquiry. At the same time, Concept & Imagination, & the entire Dream State is situated within the Ego-Mind, while Egoity is only an insignificant disturbance within Consciousness.
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:
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Duplicates (but with graphics) have been available on:
http://www.blogger.com as “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:
[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]