Tag Archives: Advaita

2 Quaint Body stories

2 Quaint Body stories

In one of Star Maker author Olaf Stapleton’s epic Sci-Fi novels his character, touring the Galaxy with a strange group of astralprojecting souls, takes on the Chimerical form of an “ugly” human-platypus of some sort. Viewing a female of the same strange Space-species, this character mentally reviews the progressive build-up of passion & lust he fells for the female. The entire description is so bizarre & yet so convincing that any male reader must thenceforth ever remember the eerie & arbitrary nature of any such lust, human or otherwise. A lowly lesson, but a good one.

In a much higher “body-story”, a legend tells us of the occasion of Sri Shankara meeting his Guru, Govinda Bhagavatpada, himself a disciple of Gaudapada of Mandukya Karika fame. Hidden away under a rock overhang, meditating, Govinda finally responds to Shankara’s entreaties for guidance. Stretching out his foot just far enough, Govinda extends one big toe & the young Shankara takes hold, not about to let go. This metaphor for “latching on” to the Guru’s guidance is a classic.

As a child hearing the reading of New Testament gospels, I instinctively identified with the apostles. How wondrous their great, good-fortune ! Oh, if ever I could have such opportunity, I would not wait for the cock to crow 3 trees. So when after a lifetime of entreaty,  Guru’s toe was extended, I never did let go.

[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 ]

How to find Reality

How to find Reality

Nick Herbert’s Quantum Reality was a good Science book, but not such a good Philosophy book. For one thing he had Greek Realist philosopher of “Ideals”, Plato, be founder of Idealism when a truer Western “father” was Parmenides, with sources in India, older still. Herbert further had Immanuel Kant exemplify Idealism [as Germanic fathers of Quantum Mechanics might have] when George Berkeley would have served as a better standard. But a simple-hearted, direct speculation was Herbert’s deepest foray into Philosophy, when he wrote: “If there actually is a Deep Reality, there must be some way to experience it.”

Some scientists, like Nick’s friend, Amit Goswami [author of Self-Aware Universe] trust both Qualified Non-Duality QND Meditation & of all things, a Science Lab. As it an all-encompassing Reality could be detected, like some kind of Gold-Rush ore, in some assay Lab.

But the deepest field of experience is our own Non-Dual Existence. Self-Inquire Who am I ? to find “Deep Reality” as your own inmost Self.

Your greatest glory [the Self] lies where you [Ego] cease to exist.                                                                                                – Ramana Maharshi

Where you cease to exist, real Existence is self-revealed.                                                                                                                – 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 ]

Already the Self

Already the Self

Reality is Infinite & no kind of Object or Individual. Reality realizes itself & knows itself. Reality is itself the Teaching & the Source of the Teaching, as well as that which comprehends the Teaching & is already Liberated.   All things, the only thing, is the same thing, & that is yourself. The Teaching does not have an alternative, for such would be unreal, would be nothing.

The Realization, or Knowledge, regarding this Truth is imperturbable Peace, as Existence, or real Being, itself. Declared to be the highest Joy, Ananda, Bliss, the Happiness of Freedom, Moksha is complete. The imagined Bondage of Individuality has no place, not even a ghost-like existence Brahman, the vast Absolute.

Abiding as what/who I am naturally & effortlessly is Self-Realization. Seeking what/who I am & getting to know the innermost Self with all due effort is Self-Inquiry. Continue until the latter is found to be the former.

When attachment to material things is removed, the attachment of the Mind also vanishes. Those who have got rid of their attachment of Mind become one with That which is motionless. They become Liberated.                                                                           – Ramana Maharshi

By Non-attachment there is Freedom from Delusion; from Freedom from Delusion, there is the immutable Truth; from the immutable Truth there is Liberation.                                                           – Shankara

Your greatest glory [the Self] lies where you [Ego] cease to exist.                                                                                                – Ramana Maharshi

Where you cease to exist, real Existence is self-revealed.                                                                                                                – 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 ]

Samadhi 2

Nirvikalpa Samadhi & Savikalpa Samadhi can each be (Bahya) External or (Antar) Internal. (Bahya) External Savikalpa Samadhi can itself be Sight-related (Drisyanuvidha) or Sound-related (Shabdanuvidha).

In Sight-related (Drisyanuvidha) (Bahya) External Savikalpa Samadhi one fixes on the Background Reality behind Objects that appear in the Mind.

In Sound-related (Shabdanuvidha) (Bahya) External Savikalpa Samadhi one holds to Reality as the Source of external phenomena.

In Sight-related (Drisyanuvidha) (Antar) Internal Savikalpa Samadhi one holds to the Reality Source & Support of Emotions & Attachments.

In Sound-related (Shabdanuvidha) (Antar) Internal Savikalpa Samadhi one holds to the Reality Source & Support of Thoughts.

In (Bahya) External Nirvikalpa Samadhi one merges with the One Reality underlying all phenomena. A visual image is that of a still Ocean of Consciousness whose waves (thoughts) are quieted.

In (Antar) Internal Nirvikalpa Samadhi one merges with the One Reality underlying thought. A visual image is that of a steadily burning flame unmoved by any wisps (thoughts) of air.

When the waveless Ocean of Consciousness symbolizing (Bahya) External Nirvikalpa Samadhi & the steadily burning flame symbolizing (Antar) Internal Nirvikalpa Samadhi continue effortlessly & unattended as Identical, such stands for Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is Liberation.

As previously noted, Ramana Maharshi described Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi as pure Consciousness, like a river merged into the Ocean of Consciousness. That image & the other previously noted, of a Mind’s Bucket rope cut in the Well of the Self, along with the Waveless Ocean & the Flame re excellent contemplations for ant Seeker who best seeks Permanent Inner Reality by Self-Inquiry, without measuring or hankering for Samadhi or ant special States [though grateful for any, should they temporarily arise].

[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 ]

Samadhi 1

Mind in Abeyance [manolaya], Mind Destroyed [manonasa]

As much as Samadhi [ecstatic absorption in Reality] is rightfully lauded in the spiritual texts, Sri Atmananda occasionally repeated a “put-down” of the same, though he himself was a master of Samadhi experience. He would sometimes decry the “vicious samskara [tendency]” of implying the absolute necessity of Samadhi. Why ?

The context of such comments was a session of public instruction. Since each is already Liberated, already the Reality, no one act, even Samadhi, is an absolute pre-requisite. Many will never achieve Samadhi in this lifetime. To make a silly comparison, to playing basketball, many who play will never dunk in this lifetime. As much as that ability is helpful, one can nonetheless be a good player without that ability. So too can Self-Inquiry, if necessary, skip past all other levels of Samadhi to Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, final Liberation.

Sri Atmananda would certainly encourage Samadhi to all who can use it. But at the same time he apparently did not want to discourage those who could not. So just what are we talking about ? For one thing, Samadhi surpasses self-hypnosis or any soporific [Tamasic dull] stat known as Yoga Nidra, yogic sleep or manolaya, Mind in Abeyance. Temporary or Permanent, Samadhi is manonasa, Mind Destruction. Since “Mind” is only an illusory Reflection of Consciousness, this “Destruction” is just the actual ever-experienced.

Ecstatic Absorption in Meditation, the super-conscious state of Samadhi is described in 2 categories: Savikalpa Samadhi & Nirvikalpa Samadhi to which the former ca be a prelude. In Savikalpa Samadhi the meditator does not lose distinctions such as the Knower, Knowledge, & Known & the Mind still functions. Savikalpa Samadhi can be Objective or Subjective.

In Objective Savikalpa Samadhi, Thoughts in the Mind & other Objects such as the Sun or a flame are symbolic or regarded with indifference, maintaining the Self as one’s Real Nature. Whereas Subjective Savikalpa Samadhi is associated with abstract thought such as the “Witness” or the “Self”, then only a current of self-consciousness of the Self remains.

In Nirvikalpa Samadhi the meditator is free from distinctions such as the Knower, Knowledge, & the Known, & the Mind ceases to be active. In Subjective Nirvikalpa Samadhi the Mind is said to be steady like an unflickering flame in a windless place, indifferent to Objects & Ideas that arise in Savikalpa Samadhi.

Subjective Nirvikalpa Samadhi is also likened to an empty pitcher placed in the sky having nothing inside or outside. There is also a more Objective Nirvikalpa Samadhi wherein the meditator, plunged in Bliss, absorbed in Meditation on Brahman. Such is also likened to a pitcher placed in the sea with water inside & outside.

Ramana Maharshi also compared Nirvikalpa Samadhi to a bucket of water lowered into a well. If the bucket (Mind) that is merged with the water (Consciousness) in the well (the Self) retains a rope to draw the bucket out again, this is temporary Nirvikalpa Samadhi. With rope cut there is final Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

[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-Enquiry 6

Suddenly Awakened From Deep Dreamless Sleep

Suddenly being awakened from Deep Dreamless Sleep is regrettable. Without thought, without a Body or World, we were happy in that state. If allowed to drift right back into Deep Dreamless Sleep, we often will. Dream is not quite as good, too much like this Waking Dream. If waking up there seems to be repeated that sense of Other, leaving Ego as what else. Ego-referenced thoughts collectively seem a Mind, then Senses, Body, World. To the Body is attributed Action, Motion, Doing. Birth, Life, Death. Ego“I” is identified with that Body image of Waking-state Mind, just as the Dream Personality had been identified with that Body image of Dream-state Mind. Though both states feature Perception & Conception, the Real Self is not an Object of either Perception or Conception in either Waking or Dream.

The moment Ego is destroyed, there follows the direct experience of the Blissful Self. Consisting solely of Ignorance, the Ego is destroyed by Knowledge alone. Inquiring “Who am I ?” with intensity, perseverance, & the most earnest desire to realize the Self is known, Ignorance vanishes, Bondage disappears, & Real Being, Ego-less & Bodiless, is self-revealed.

[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 ]

Theodicy, Truth Scale, & 2 kinds of “In-effable”

Theodicy, Truth Scale, & 2 kinds of “In-effable”

To enliven a review of useful ACRONYMs that sketch out a “Truth Scale” we can use the much-avoided issue of Theodicy to illustrate a broad comparison between the items. The subtler topic: “2 kinds of In-effable” is a more central purpose here, even though it marks the distinction between only 2 categories. Those 2 categories also happen to be those most important to us, & the distinction between those 2 categories is itself the distinction most important to us as well.

Simply summarized, the enigma of Theodicy, is a mystery of Evil in the World, specifically in regard to the question: “How can a loving God let such bad things happen ?”

To a number of viewpoints questioned, various first answers to the Theodicy question could be offered. ACRONYM abbreviations sketch out a “Truth Scale” as follows:

1) UQD un-qualified duality practitioners of exoteric, organized, Dualistic religions [“un-qualified” as in not modified or “toned down” at all], these live in denial about how mean-spirited God would have to be to have eternal Hell, to leave the vast majority excluded from Calvin’s PredestinationRapture, or whatever other Last Days elitist clubhouse. Pushing all that Theodicy under the rug first, they attempt to console themselves with “God’s will” & his “mysterious ways.” But when their young daughter is stricken with painful & fatal disease, or raped & tortured by a child molester, some understandably turn their backs on that God when their blind faith has thus been too sorely tested. War & evil of all sorts easily overwhelm the UQD practitioner, without any good answer or explanation.

[In a circular mutually modeling cycle, Crime & Punishment Legal systems mirror & inspire Crime & Punishment Theological systems, & vice versa. Venial Sin Misdemeanors land one in Purgatory County Jail; Mortal Sin Felonies land one in Hell with Last Judgment court dramas in either case. Whatever “divine justice” is supposed to accomplish, Civil Law provides only the crudest deterrent to crime. The grim enjoyment of revenge & retribution supposedly satisfy the grief of victim’s loved ones, & these offer precious little balm to innocent victims who suffer, & less to those who die. Karma, though similar, is more of an unconscious self-inflicted “learning experience” system.]

2) QD qualified-duality adherents back off some of the more Fundamentalist dogmas & may introduce Deist [no personal Big Man in the Sky God], Naturalistic [most extreme as “tree-huggers”], or New Age [theosophical. etc.] themes. They are “soft on hell” but more rationally still find mystery in Theodicy, God’s dictates or justice, which includes the existence of Evil.

3) QND qualified-non-duality adherents include some who take a subtler but also weak position on Theodicy, & this QND subset itself can be well divided into 2 groups for clarity.

a) One still retains some metaphysical version of a RWOT real-world-out-there ranging from Spinozan Deism-to-Panentheism to all kinds of Gnostic & Theosophical hierarchies of planes & levels with many hierarchies of beings. Exoteric Buddhism & Hinduism, for instance, retain almost biblical heavenly hosts & demonic hosts, armies at war with each other like angels & demons. Levels of heaven & hell [though never eternal hell resurrected from Zoroaster by Eusebius] & astral planes of all description are the scene for elaborate delineations of karma. Hopefully, mysteries of Theodicy get lost or forgotten in all the confusion. In a sense this strategy, at best, results in a plan of not getting distracted, dealing with what karmicly comes your way. One’s real job is primarily striving for union with God, the Buddha-Mind, or the Tao, but all in a less absolute sense.

b) The other QND sub-category approaches the next UQND category with a more cosmic theology but still maintains separate, Individual Souls created by a God, Saguna Brahman who Panentheistically constitutes the Universe as well. This other QND sub-category approaches the next UQND category but still stands distinct from UQND along lines of 2 Vedanta theories of Brahman:

i) Saguna Brahman or [Absolute Reality with Form] is the more objective aspect of or God which projects, dreams, or “like a spider extruding its web” somehow manifests a Universe out of its own substance. God’s Dream or Lila Sport, or Maya web of Illusion contains all of us as evanescent characters playing out multi-lifetime karma–learning. Karma dishes out rehabilitative sentences & R & R rewards on various heavenly, hellish, & other planes are determined by our thoughts, words & deeds that obscure the reality of God in & as it all. In this still QND category, Evil describes the wrong turns that we dream-characters take in our winding path. Victims of their own self-inflicted karma thereby fulfill retributive punishment from former transgressions recorded in the Akashic records or their own Mindstuff. But no matter how horrible, their suffering is expiative, like Purgatory on the fly. Ultimately, as generalized above, Union with God is the destiny of all these dream characters or projection/sparks with immortal souls, even if thousands or millions of lifetimes are required.     ii) Nirguna Brahman or [Absolute Reality without Form] is the Buddha-Mind, Dharmakaya, most absolute Tao, is UQND un-qualified non-duality, mis-understood if we have a “Counting Problem” in that “there is only One even if it can seem that we are many.” Life & the Universe are illusions from which we awaken to rediscover that we are One all along. How this can happened remains a mystery as it must because the only resolution lies in the context of UQND non-qualified-non-duality where it just plain never happened. Evil, Suffering, & Theodicy are branded with the status of Illusion but this can still be weak solace to one who is suffering or who is or knows an innocent victim of Evil. Progressively, from the furthest advanced edge of QD through QND there is growing recognition that Ego is the selfish fount of misguided, ignorant Evil. Therefore, seeking Liberation, “erasing the Ego” is the only solution. Further into QND toward UQND, the surprise is no longer in the perverse depths of consummate Evil whenever it appears. Rather, in contemplating the inversion that is Ego, the seeker becomes surprised that with Ego at the “helm” that Evil is not even worse. Rather than feeling betrayed by God for “allowing” Ego, this seeker is grateful for the Grace that holds Ego Evil at bay, limits it, admits Goodness, & redeems in the end, all from Evil

4) UQND un-qualified-non-duality alone has an answer for Theodicy, Evil, Ego, & all Suffering. Knowledge alone liberates, that is: Knowledge of the Self as Brahman, “1- without – a – 2nd.” Words cannot express UQND. Looking back across this brief Outline, we metaphorically see that needless suffering, Ego, Evil & such are the “fly in the ointment” for UQD, QD, & QND, the fatal flaw on the part of any one of them that belies UQD, QD, & QND posing as a complete understanding.

0) SPAM scientism-physicalism-atheism-materialism, needless to say, can only face Evil & Suffering with “fear & loathing” enough to inspire suicide in an adherent not living in Denial. In this “last” or “first” properly numbered, but listed-out-of-order entry, there is no God, so no Theodicy, no Divine Mystery or answer to Evil. Instead, Evil is trumpeted as a salient proof against the existence of God. Taking the lamest & least appropriate spokesmen for spirituality, the most obdurate Fundamentalists within UQD & their Bibles, all at face value, they see no answer forthcoming response at all to their question: “How can there be a God if he allows Evil & Suffering in the World ?” [Even Nature validates this SPAM in the screw-blow-fly, the guinea-worm, & a certain nasty fungus.]

Typically, the “allow” term in: “How can there be a God if He allows Evil & Suffering in the World ?” Objection carries a context of complete micro-management by special creations & miracles at all times, & a Legal Justice system context. The God of UQD has His fingers in every pie, all the time, or else He doesn’t exist, they would say. Any undesired outcome is “God’s will” & He is mean-spirited for intending & dictating the nasty ones. There “should” be no disease, no Evil, no Death, but only great family planning. God could not exist if He fails the criteria for fair play, good intentions, & support of life, liberty, & justice, & the American way, the pursuit if never finding of Happiness, & generally a good GDP & low unemployment rate for all. Then the fact that some of us are born weak, fat, sick, ugly, & impoverished is another issue but we’ll take that up another day. All goes to show that God is not very nice, even without the unspeakably insane Eternal Hell, so therefore He could not exist, so say SPAM adherents.

Thus for SPAM, Evil proves no-God. So again. the contradiction of Evil Theodicy is resolved only in the “all Form is unreal” absolute resolution of UQND just previously reviewed.

Less general a distinction than the Theodicy, our real point here is to compare QND & UQND around the issue of Reality being “In-effable”. Within the context of QND, Reality is “In-effable” because no attempted description can ever be quite good enough. Within the context of UQND, Reality is “In-effable” in principle because there is no verbal or mental description for the Absolute, Formless, Nirguna Brahman .

[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 ]