Q. Dear Dennis,
I bought and read two of your ebooks and liked them so much then I looked at your blog and came across this:
You say objects really exists, Advaita is not idealism, it is realism. I don`t understand this, in your book you use dream metaphor, you use “cinema” metaphor you even said in your book:
“He goes on to explain that our normal states of consciousness – waking, dream and deep sleep – are at the level of appearance. Reality is the non-dual background to these states. Just as our dreams seem real to the dreamer, so this world-appearance seem real to the waker. But, on waking, it is realized that those dreams are nothing but an illusion generated by the mind.
Similarly only on awakening to god-consciousness will you appreciate and realize the staggering truth that there exists nothing other than Brahman everywhere. Until that supreme state is reached, the universe will appear real. Living in your present state of ignorance you will have to accept the world that you experience. But at the same time try to contemplate and realize the truth proclaimed by Self-realized souls that Brahman alone exists.”
So you changed your mind after writing the book and now you say World-appearance is real, Advaita is realism and there is no illusion at all?
I`m confused, can you explain?
A (Dennis): Good question! If you’ve read my ‘Jungle’ book, you will know that I criticize Satsang and Neo teaching because of their ‘out of context’ and ‘lack of continuity’ nature. It’s interesting to know that I can justly be accused of the same problem when something that I write is taken without the backing of a systematic unfoldment!
The key point here is that I am talking about idealism in the sense of Berkeley – i.e. the notion that objects are only constructs of the mind and have no independent existence. According to Advaita, this is not the case. If I go out of the room, the table in the room really does continue to exist as a (seeming) separate entity.
But if we now switch to talking of paramArtha versus vyavahAra, then of course there are no separately existing objects (or subjects). Every seeming thing is mithyA and is only name and form of the satyam brahman. So in this context, only brahman is real and we could certainly say that the table, the room, and the person (whether inside or outside the room) are all only appearances. But they are not illusions; they all have brahman as their real substrate. They each have a form and we give them unique names which, in turn, gives them a spurious separate existence.
Hope this is clear and not further confusing the issue! I certainly haven’t changed my mind. But hopefully I may have become a little better at explaining what I mean!