Hi everyone! I’m new to the blogger community here. To set some context: I’m a spiritual eclectic who draws from different traditions, mainly Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, and Krishnamurti/Bohm. I’m also a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, a passionate via negativa guy: Neti neti all the way up and all the way down.
I realize that “In Search of Brahman” is an odd title for a blog on an Advaita website, because Brahman is not an object that can be lost or found. But the title is symptomatic of where I’m at in my personal journey, so I think it’s appropriate.
Ever since I first ran into the term Brahman (about a decade ago in one of Dennis’s books) it’s been a source of great wonder and equally great confusion for me.
On the wonder side, it brought me back to my early childhood when I used to think, with a mixture of awe and fear, about the Catholic notion of the never-ending succession of days I’d eventually spend in Heaven. For a while I’d flow along with an ecstatic feeling of infinite existence, and then at some point fear and confusion would enter, and my brain would short-circuit and shut down.
On the confusion side, it boils down to something like this: I see no necessity for Brahman. There are other views of the nature of reality that are equally plausible to me. The Buddhist view that everything is empty of inherent existence. Or the scientific view that reality is an emergent phenomenon. Or the Bohmian implicate/explicate order model. Or the Whiteheadian view that it’s all a grand interwoven process. (NB: I realize I’m reducing these views dramatically, so take the descriptions with hefty grains of salt!)
There is no definitive proof for or against any of these, including Brahman. Now you could say (and many do) that the proof is in the pudding, that once you *know* beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are Brahman and Brahman is the one without a second, there’s your proof. Alas … I am exquisitely aware of just how profoundly the mind can fool itself into believing, with utter certainty, pretty much anything it wants to believe.
And you could say, as traditional Advaita does, that there is no proof of Brahman, that a seeker must trust the word of the scriptures. But that doesn’t do much for me, many spiritual traditions say the same thing about their scriptures, scriptures that vary dramatically in their teachings! Why should a skeptic trust one tradition to have gotten it 100% right?
And yet, and yet … something in me thinks-feels that Advaita *has* gotten it right, perhaps more than any other tradition, that it really is as perfectly simple as: I = Brahman is the one true reality.
I think I’ll stop there for now. Lots more to come, but I would enjoy hearing your reactions to what I’ve written so far.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dennis for letting me participate here!