Consciousness

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 Happinessinfull 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

  1. 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 Armageddonlike 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 likelike 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 computergameavatars.

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.

  1. 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 ]

Formless (in the new format of “A, B, C’s”)

A) Advaita (Non-Duality) Absolute (Hegel’s term favored by F. H. Bradley but long known in the East as Brahman, Shiva, Dharmakaya, Buddha-Mind, Tao)

Since Non-Dual Reality is Formless, there are no limits or separations, for all such boundaries are “form”.

Prajnanam Brahma  Consciousness is Brahman.  Aitareya U. 3.3, Rig V

Ayam Atma Brahma  This Self is Brahman.  Mandukya U. 1.2, Ath. V.

Tat Twam As   That Thou Art  Brihadaranyaka U. 1.4.10, Yajur V.

Aham Brahmasmi  I am Brahman.   Chhandogya U. 6.7.8, Sama V.

B) “Big Bang” Brain-stuff (our Science interludes)

In the seeming Waking State (while not in Dream or Deep Sleep) Science can be said to be a “high” view, an insightful perspective on the Illusion (the Universe) from within that Illusion. If there is no World for Science to actually speak to, Science does in relative (non-absolute) terms speak to the Mind itself. Science models much of the Mind in a fairly clear manner. Depths of Mathematical Physics can be relatively awesome. Life Science insights like the Physiology of Perception can themselves be suggestive.

(Outline of the stages in Visual Perception, for example, are torturously detailed in the eBook referenced below.) For now, we can jump our present example of Visual Perception into the (manas) Mind locations, starting right back to the Calcarine Fissure, in the the V1 Visual Cortex of the Occiptial Lobe. Processed neuron firings are relayed doubly, up to the Parietal Lobe (depending on Right or Left) & the lower Temporal Lobe (the “thumb” of the raised “fist” when the Brain is visualized that way). Parietal kinda handles “location” of the perceived object, while Temporal kinda handles “identity” of the perceived object.

Originally in the Occiput, newly perceived or imagined images seem to be projected upon a “visual buffering” background screen in the Brain-Mind, like a “green screen” used in CGI cinematic effects.  At a distance, an apple may not yet be distinguished from a tomato.  Higher analysis of distinguishing detail is called the “what” system of that Temporal Lobe area, while determining Location occurs in that Parietal Lobe site “where” system mentioned previously.

“Display” then returns back in the Occipital Lobe.  Associative Memory is thought to contribute from the rear Parieto-Temporal boundary. Frontal Cortex Decision Making  completes composition of what we call “conjuring up an image in their minds eye.”  Such proceeds similarly for Memory, Imagination, or Perception. NLP may be relatively correct in link eye-shift to the upper-Right with Imagination & eye-shift to the upper-Left with Memory (somewhat of a lie-detector between lie & honesty). Thereby we mentally “look” at it & add details, one at a time.  Striking is the fact that, perhaps only in vividness, can imagined images be distinguished from Retinal perceived images. Even the latter is heavily customized by the former anyway.

Ultimately, Mind images are all we have of a “world” with no proof of a RWOT real-world-out-there.

Absolute Non-duality denies that there is a RWOT Real World Out There. Yet even the Illusion, a projection of Mind, is a an ephemeral reflection on the one Consciousness.  To run around with those Thoughts & run around in the World they create is the opposite of Enlightenment. Appearing to function in a World is fine, but Freedom requires recognition of that Ego-Origin, its falseness, its seeming “place” or arising in Consciousness, & then final identification with that Non-Dual Consciousness.

C) “Conceptual” Caesar –Tsar – Emperor – Benevolent Dictator – Philosopher King (Perception in Mind is completed by Conception, including the human world of socio-political issues, like Social Justice.) By artifice, the author takes up the mantle of Philosopher King, with resulting Proclamations, in each Blog.

For Goodness sake, brothers & sisters, stop hurting each other (though violence in particular is 99% male, brothers). Not an iota, a scintilla of Happiness can ever result. Even getting our way is an Illusion, it always back-fires, keeps us in Illusion, & blocks Happiness (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 ]

Existence

[Some time ago, I pre-maturely announced the end of a long gap in this Blog, due to physical limitations that prevented keyboarding & even clear thought.  But now the gap ends.]

Do you exist ?  “Inside” each of us certainly feels: “Yes, certainly I exist !”  We also “know” so.  That “inner place” of certainty about your Existence, & certainty of  knowing so that is the Self.  Known fully, the one Non-Dual Self reveals itself to be Infinite, Eternal, Existence Consciousness Bliss, or equivalently, Happiness or Love.

Knowing fully is a matter of eliminating Ignorance.  Systematic suggestions for that purpose will constitute succeeding Blog entries.

[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 ]

Motionless

[Due to physical limitations, this Blog has lapsed for some time.  We’re back! Eventually most Blogs also appear on a Blogspot “Nonduality & Science” blog, with some graphics, which are easily dealt with there.]

In Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Supplement To The Forty Verses he notes that “those who have got rid of their attachment to the Mind become One with That which is Motionless.”

All that is motion, in fact all that is “Objective”, [including the Mind itself], is a Projection of Thought. “Mind” itself is only Thought.  But Thought & its projected images have “nowhere” to stand, “nowhere” to be “stored” or assembled.  But Thought & its projected images have “nowhere” to stand, “nowhere” to be “stored” or assembled.  So a World of such projected images is impossible.  Moreover,  since each Thought has, integral to it, reference to its “thinker”, just as a Coordinate Point is defined only in reference to its Origin, the non existence of the “thinker” Ego [objectively defined by a Body] necessitates the non existence of Thought & World alike.

Those who believe themselves to be “thinkers” in a World feel they would be missing much without Ego, Thought, & World fail to realize that even now all are actually & simply Egoless, Thoughtless, Worldless, & Motionless, without realizing this of course.  Realizing this is Realization, is Liberation, is Enlightenment.

[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 (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 ]

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