Q.463 Individual consciousness

Q: Dennis, I have deep question that in fact no one can answer to me. I can accept that I am consciousness in which appearances take place that are in fact manifestations of my own consciousness. I can accept that unbounded universe of my consciousness is in fact my consciousness. This phenomenal universe exists in my waking state and disappears in deep sleep.

I am consciousness all the time. It is OK and understood. BUT I also understand that all these experiences and states belong to ONLY MY INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS.
I mean that others have other experiences. They have their own phenomenal universes, their own states in their own consciousnesses! And I have no access to them.

There is existence of many various individual consciousnesses perceiving various things. So can we say that there is no SINGLE Absolute I and no SINGLE consciousness?

A: All problems of understanding in this sort of question arise because of a confusion between ‘absolute reality’ and the ‘apparent world’.

You begin by saying that “I have a deep question“. This ‘I’ refers to the mind of the person (Fred) in the world. All these things – mind, person, Fred, world – are mithyA. They have no absolute reality. They depend upon the absolute reality for their existence. They are name and form of the non-dual Consciousness.

You then say: “I can accept that I am consciousness in which appearances take place“. The only way in which this can make any sense is if the first ‘I’ is the mind already mentioned above; the second ‘I’ is who-you-really-are – Brahman or Consciousness. This second ‘I’ is absolute reality and must not be confused with the first ‘I’!

Your third sentence is: “I can accept that unbounded universe of my consciousness is in fact my consciousness.” Here, you start to become even more confusing. ‘I can accept’ is the mithyA mind. ‘universe of my consciousness’ is presumably intended to refer to the absolute Consciousness. Not sure what you intend by ‘is in fact my consciousness’. You see, as soon as you say ‘my’ consciousness, the implication is that you are referring to your mind being ‘aware’. Really, you should always use a capital ‘C’ – Consciousness – if you want to refer to the absolute, non-dual reality and avoid confusion. If I could rephrase this sentence completely, I would write: “My mind can accept that its awareness is possible only by virtue of the absolute Consciousness.” (This then coincides with the teaching of chidAbhAsa – read my articles https://www.advaita-vision.org/chidabhasa/ and https://www.advaita-vision.org/continuing-reflections-on-reflections/.

So, yes, you are correct when you say that “others have other experiences. They have their own phenomenal universes, their own states in their own consciousnesses! And I have no access to them.” This is because each person has his or her own mind and each mind is reflecting the one, non-dual Consciousness. Each mind has its own chidAbhAsa, which illuminates different objects and ideas according to its own particular vAsanA-s or conditioning. But remember that ALL minds, persons, objects, ideas are mithyA. All of them are dependent upon Consciousness for their existence (in the same way that all rings, necklaces, bangles depend upon gold for their existence).

So the answer to your question: “So can we say that there is no SINGLE Absolute I and no SINGLE consciousness?” is a very definite ‘NO!’

Q: Now, the question is: do you call individual consciousness that includes individual reflected phenomenal world ‘MIND’?  Do you mean that world is percieved by mind, not consciousness and phenomena take place in mind? Do you mean that the individual phenomenal world arises as mind in nonindividual (impersonal) Conscioussness?

A: Did you read the articles on chidAbhAsa? These should explain.

The ‘individual consciousness’ is reflected Consciousness in the mind. The phenomenal world is perceived by the senses and interpreted by the mind. You could say that, in a sense, our mind ‘determines’ the world that we see. It ‘decides’ how to separate out forms from the mass of perceived ‘stuff’ and it gives names  to these forms. This is why different people perceive the world differently. But remember that even the mind is just inert stuff without Consciousness to ‘animate’ it.

From the perspective of absolute reality, there is no world at all – there is only Consciousness. So a world does not actually ‘arise’ anywhere.

These questions that you are asking are quite ‘deep’. I suggest that you read my book ‘A-U-M: Awakening to Reality’. All is explained there by my commentary on Gaudapada’s kArikA on the Mandukya Upanishad. This is the ultimate explanation of the nature of reality.

Q: Yes they are deep. But I already wasted a lot of time searching answer in books including yours…

Main thing is I have my phenomenal world in my consciousness, you have yours.
So there are two consciousnesess! Two, so to say, spaces with phenomenona.
Not sure if you call them ‘minds’… Because I read your mind definition on your website.

A: ( I don’t know which ‘definition’ you are referring to but…) your mind is inert. ‘Your’ consciousness is one reflection. ‘My’ consciousness is another reflection. There is only one Consciousness. Just as there can be many mirrors but there is only one sun.

Q: OK, I accept that. Thank you for your answers, Dennis!

29 thoughts on “Q.463 Individual consciousness

  1. Dennis
    “Main thing is I have my phenomenal world in my consciousness, you have yours.
    So there are two consciousnesess! Two, so to say, spaces with phenomenona.
    Not sure if you call them ‘minds’… Because I read your mind definition on your website.”
    Since we are only in prakriyas , why not say i am the only mind and the whole world and others are my imagination and then say even the i is mithya. This way the questioner does not have to go into multiple minds and chidabhasas.
    Dennis this just so natural for me so i expressed it – no intent to start a EJV ..
    Questioner! what do you think of that?

  2. Vijay,

    I would not say that ‘I am the only mind’ because I don’t believe that is a helpful way forward. It is far more reasonable, and in accord with experience, to say that ALL minds are simply name and form of brahman. vyavhAra is one thing and paramArtha is another. The former is mithyA (even though it appears to be real) and the latter is satyam.

    I have emailed the questioner to invite him to join in.

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

  3. The idea of ‘my individual consciousness’ and ‘your individual consciousness’ is a remnant of a materialistic worldview in which there is space, time and matter and consciousness is a product of matter (i.e. neurological processes). Within that paradigm, individual consciousnesses are located somewhere in space and time. Otherwise, to speak of ‘here is my consciousness’ and ‘there is your consciousness’ would be nonsensical.

    For example, my consciousness is then located at point (x1, y1, z1, t1) where x, y, z is the space component and t is the time component. Your consciousness is located at point (x2, y2, z2, t1) (= different place, same time). The consciousness of Ramana Maharshi, for example, would then have been located at (x3, y3, z3, t2) (different place (Tiruvannamalai), different time (1879–1950)).

    So, within that paradigm space and time are containers for consciousness. Consciousness appears within space and time. Space and time are ‘outside’, consciousness is ‘inside’.

    But in fact it is the other way round: Like all conscious experiences (touch, smell, sight, sounds) are ‘inside’ of consciousness, also space and time are ‘inside’ of consciousness. They are conscious experiences as well!

    Once you have made this ‘flip’ talking of individual consciousnesses does not make sense any more, because the former container (‘outside’ space-time) has been transformed into being ‘inside’ of consciousness. Now, consciousness is ‘outside’ of space and time, and all notions of location (“here is my consciousness, there is yours”), quantity (“how many consciousnesses are there?”) and time (“does consciousness come to existence and die?”) are nullified.

    Dennis, Vijay, would you agree?

    Wolfgang

  4. Hi Wolfgang,

    It makes sense from a pAramArthika standpoint (which is, of course, an intellectual rationalization made within vyavahAra) to talk of Consciousness being ‘outside’ of space and time. This is ultimately what Advaita does (ajAti vAda). But the experience of the jIva in the phenomenal world is undeniably that consciousness (small ‘c’) is individual. There can be no argument here. And I don’t think you are disagreeing with this. (In fact, I’m not sure what point you are making…)

    Dennis

    • Hello Dennis,

      the point I want to make is, to bring a third somewhat non-traditional argument (next to chidAbhAsa and eka jIva vAda) to attack the idea of individual consciousnesses.

      I have troubles with chidAbhAsa (I don’t use it for my discriminative process) since the whole metaphor of reflection implies that the locus of reflection (i. e. body or mind) has independent reality, in the same way as there has to be the moon independent of the sun for a reflection of the sunlight to take place.

      But it is clear to me that in the process of adhyAropa-apavAda in the end all of anatma (body, mind, etc.) is being revealed as mithyA.

      regards

      Wolfgang

  5. Yes. Any ‘interim explanation’ is fine if it leads you to the final understanding. Equally, if you don’t find an explanation helpful, then drop it. But the interim explanations given in the scriptures have been proven to be helpful to most seekers for a very long time. What we have to be careful of is letting the intellect, with its ‘sophisticated’ Western scientific background, ‘over-rule’ those scriptural explanations (which everyone will concede often do not stand close examination in the scientific context). After all, as you point out, ALL are mithyA in the final analysis.

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

  6. Dennis,

    Are you saying that once you see that all is mithyA, all seeking stops? All conceptualizations, stop? Has it stopped for you? Do you know anyone who it has stopped for that intellectually pursued Advaita or any other doctrine or discipline?

    Is it possible that the scriptures have taken us farther away from the reality of this very moment and the real help comes when we step away from all this conjecture and begin to look at our mind, our experience, without the aid of interpretations?

  7. Anon,

    The ‘complete deal’ as phrased by Shankara is the realization that ‘Brahman is the reality, the world is mithyA, the jIva is not other than Brahman’. Once this is fully realized, seeking stops because there is nothing else to find. The jIva continues until death and outwardly functions in much the same way. nididhyAsana is continuing to dwell on the teaching by reading, listening, teaching etc. partly in order continually to reinforce the knowledge, partly to ‘burn up’ the old, ‘die-hard’ habits, and partly just because it is interesting and one’s natural tendency to do so.

    That is my own finding and I obviously do not think that continuing exposure to these ideas in any way detracts from that.

  8. I know that your response is the way most Advaitins see this. It is the same way in all traditions. You keep working at it, burning up habits, but the intellect that is demanding understanding, knowledge, truth, still continues.

    My old friend UG, used to tell me that the demand for understanding, realization, etc., was exactly what kept the whole thing intact. Once you ‘saw’ this, the whole demand was finished. Physical changes would take place making it impossible for that person to ever seek again. The natural state is devoid of any kind of pursuit of intellect. He was fond of saying ‘just stop’. Can you get a sense of what that would be like? No, no one can. To have no way of looking at yourself as a separate entity from your immediate experience.

    It is not mithyA that detracts from the natural state. It is mithyA that distracts and keeps one attached to their habitual ways. All this has nothing to do with time. Time is the creation of mithyA.

  9. I answered your last point earlier but have just removed it, following my avowed intention not to allow rude comments.

    Briefly, the substance of my remarks was to ask why you ask me a question and then choose totally to ignore the reply.

  10. You asked whether seeking stops after realizing that the world is mithyA. I said that it does; that there is no further ‘intellectual pursuing’, simply a continuing, natural interest. You responded that one ‘keeps working at it’, and that the intellect, ‘demanding understanding’, ‘still continues’. OK, perhaps ‘ignoring’ was the wrong word – this seems actually to be calling me a liar!

    UG’s ‘just stop’ sounds much like the neo-Advaitin ‘this is it’. It is not a teaching but an admission that, irrespective of whether the truth has actually been realized, the speaker has no notion whatsoever as to to how to communicate this understanding to others.

    It is clear that you do not want to learn about or understand the teaching of Advaita, merely to pontificate on your own beliefs. And you should have realized by now that no one on this site is interested in hearing more about these!

  11. I’m not sure what a natural interest means. If seeking actually stops, if there is no more intellectual pursuit or truth, reality, etc., why would there be any interest in Advaita or any other philosophical or religious system that would have you ‘working at realizing something’? I was not advocating this premise of keeping at it in spite of habitual grasping and conceptualizing in the form of intellectual activity. If everything is mithyA, and that is your actual experience, there can be no pursuit, no grasping, no involvement, in the old habitual ways of living. This much should be clear and present.

    In fact, there is no way to communicate what happens when this is the case. And, that is the problem in a nutshell. It has nothing to do with neo Advaitism or any other way of interpretation. All interpretations stops and lt seems to leave one in a very different state, one that UG called ‘the natural state’. The Tibetans also call it this. It doesn’t matter what you call it.

    I asked you if this was your present experience in terms of what Sankara described as the complete deal. Are you presently living in the natural state devoid of all sense of being separate from your experience? You answered you still continue to be interested in the habitual tendencies and interested in burning them up. It seems to me that this is not the answer of a jivanmukta and I point to UG as someone who has gone through that fire as well as Sankara and many others. Perhaps UG was a real Advaitin, someone who knew when to step away from the dogma.

    is the belief in yourself different than the belief in Advaita? Where do you draw the line? All beliefs are of the intellect. They lead to suffering, doubt, & confusion.

    You said: Any ‘interim explanation’ is fine if it leads you to the final understanding’. Not only do I not see this as being true, it is also a dangerous idea that has no basis in reality. No explanation is the same as direct experience. I will ieave it at that and I meant no ill will to you.

  12. I have stated (perhaps some will say ‘ad nauseam’) that realizing the truth IS effectively an ‘intellectual’ thing. mokSha has nothing to do with experience, which is an event in time with a beginning and end. mokSha is our present (past and future) state. Our problem is simply that we do not know this to be so. When that ignorance is removed, the truth is realized.

    Our behavior may subsequently change but not necessarily. Certainly, while the body-mind continues to exist, there will continue to be all of the usual sort of traits relating to a ‘person’. This is why it is not possible to determine by merely looking at someone whether or not they have gained Self-knowledge.

    This is what Advaita says (as construed by Shankara). As an example, his commentary on Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.7:

    “The non-attainment of the Self is but the ignorance of It. Hence the knowledge of the Self is Its attainment. Just as, when a mother-of-pearl appears through mistake as a piece of silver, the non-apprehension of the former, although it is being perceived all the while, is merely due to the obstruction of the false impression, and its (subsequent) apprehension is but knowledge, for this is what removes the obstruction of false impression; similarly here also the non-attainment of the Self is merely due to the obstruction of ignorance. Therefore the attainment of It is simply the removal of that obstruction by knowledge; in no other sense it is consistent.”

    Swami Dayananda puts it:

    “When the shAstra says that knowledge alone is mokSha, it does not amount to fanaticism. If I say eyes alone see colors, I am not a fanatic. There is fanaticism only when I propagate a belief, which is subject to negation, as the only truth, or hold onto one means as true while there are many equally valid options. When the self is mistaken for a limited being (saMsArI), nothing other than knowledge can save the person.”

    You have still not explained what you think would/should happen. ‘Just stop!’ and we return to the ‘natural state’. What on earth does this mean? It is a cop-out to say that it is beyond our understanding or that we will only know when we experience it!

  13. Yes, you can only know when you experience something first-hand. When the mind stops grasping at straws, stops trying to change itself, sees that it is by nature unlimited, it comes to rest in that which it is. Resting in that itself, a knowingness informs the mind that its nature is open and present. This is what is meant by stopping. There is power in this. This power or clarity begins to work its magic. No need to bother with any citations at this point.

  14. Not so. You never ‘experience’ brahman (the non-dual reality). If you did – an experiencer and an experience – then it could not be non-dual could it? And we frequently experience things that are not true, e.g. a good illusionist.

    You are also using neo-advaitin-speak here. What do you mean by ‘a knowingness informs the mind’?? This does not explain ‘stopping’ to me. It is just replacing one unknown/meaningless expression by another.

    Also, citations are useful when one doubts the authority of the speaker… (Of course, the citation needs to be of an authority recognized by both disputants, so I guess that is not going to be possible…)

  15. Who said anything about experiencing Brahman? That is your interpretation, not mine. The mind can recognize its own nature and its own nature is not divided. This is meaningless? Only to one who has never looked at themselves directly. It is there for anyone to see.

    I don’t know anything about neo Advaita, Dennis. Perhaps you have never contemplated what I am talking about. You are your own authority.

  16. This is a site about Advaita, Anon. We expect visitors to talk about non-duality. Advaita calls the non-dual reality ‘brahman’.

    You say ‘the mind recognizes its own nature’. How many minds are there in your doctrine? How many natures? If you claim there is only one nature, calling that ‘brahman’ does not seem like a particular problem – you can call it whatever you like.

    You say that you know nothing about neo-Advaita. I suggest that you don’t know much about traditional Advaita either. I have now attempted numerous times to understand and reason with what you say, but you only seem to want to repeat your diatribe.

    I quote from many authorities – my earlier comment gave quotations from Shankara and Swami Dayananda, who most Advaitins would recognise as indisputable authorities. I have only heard you quote from UG, whom I do not recognize as any authority on Advaita.

  17. I wish I would learn, but anyway . . .

    Anon,

    “When the mind stops grasping at straws, stops trying to change itself, sees that it is by nature unlimited, it comes to rest in that which it is. Resting in that itself, a knowingness informs the mind that its nature is open and present.”

    Questions for you:
    1) What exactly do you mean by “mind”, especially in the context of “it comes to rest in that which it is”? Please explain how mind can be other than “that which it is” in order to be able to come back to rest in it?
    2) How is mind related to the body? What happens to the mind when the body dies? And how is the body-mind related to the world in your schema?
    3) What does “knowingness” mean? Where does it come from if not a concept in the mind itself? All of our minds are surely always “open and present”?
    4) What does this experience, “living in the natural state” actually mean to you? What changes as a result of such living? Why is it desirable, or why does it matter if you get it or not?

  18. Venkat,

    Mind is the faculty that cognizes the experiences of the senses and interprets them as good, bad, pleasant, unpleasant, etc. It thinks and conceptualizes. It remembers. All this is based on acquired experience, already conditioned, by culture, by values. If mind looks at itself, at its own activity, without trying to conform itself to an image, without trying to manipulate itself to think or feel anything other than what is arising, it begins to see what its real nature is, present, aware, clear, and undivided. This is what it rests in and whatever arises, arises and dissolves without any fixation. This is samadhi or undistractedness.

    Mind and body are integrated activities. The senses and mind are a unit. They cannot be separated from each other. It all comes and goes without an entity attached to it. No need to surmise what happens at death. Your present state is all that matters.
    Knowingness is a quality. It is a word used to describe this function of cognition. It is not a ‘thing’ or permanent entity. It is a concept used for communication only. The nature of mind is always open and present, no obstructions or fixations in our nature.

    The natural state is this quality I have described above. The less fixation there is in this samadhi, the body begins to undergo changes. It is not something to strive for or to attain. The activities of grasping, striving, attachment, etc., begin to stop. Isn’t that enough? The idea of becoming ceases. All the imagery you have accumulated begins to lose its hold and identification.

  19. Anon,

    So if mind and body are a unit what, for you, is the world that is experienced?

    When you say “without trying to manipulate itself to think or feel anything other than what is arising” – if what is arising is the mind trying to manipulate what is arising, do we not get into an infinite loop? Or is the only thing that arises that is “legitimate” is the sense perceptions, and any thoughts with respect to those sense perceptions are then manipulations? Are you advocating we should actively try to stop these manipulations – and wouldn’t that be a manipulation? When is an arising a manipulation, and when is it just a (pure?) arising in the natural state?

    “Resting in that itself, a knowingness informs the mind that its nature is open and present”
    Presumably you mean “mind resting in mind itself” – but isn’t that tautological?
    “Knowingness informs the mind” – but if knowingness is a function of cognition, and cognition is a function of mind, then knowingness is just a function of mind, and you again have a tautological phrase.

    “The nature of mind is always open and present, no obstructions or fixations in our nature.”
    As I previously wrote, surely the nature of mind for everyone is always open and present – it can’t be anything else. So presumably all you are describing is the fact that most people have a deep conditioning that they are a separate entity, with attachments and aversions. And these attachments and aversions are not “natural”, only because they are unnecessary, and false (in the sense that there is no entity separate from the whole, to win or lose). But that just goes back to the Socratic “the unexamined life is not worth living”, because most people simply live out their conditioning. Really no need for mystical, new age phraseology here.

    Finally, in response to my question “why is it desirable”, you write:
    “The activities of grasping, striving, attachment, etc., begin to stop. Isn’t that enough? The idea of becoming ceases. All the imagery you have accumulated begins to lose its hold and identification.”
    An intellectual understanding of Advaita can get you to this. You seem to suggest that an experience takes you beyond or deeper into this. Perhaps, but you also advise: “It is not something to strive for or to attain”. OK, so surely an intellectual understanding is all that can be done, and then it is no longer in your hands. So why the constant parading of “are you a jivanmukta; have you experienced this?”

    And btw whatever you have experienced, you have no idea whether it is the same as UG or Sankara’s experience, let alone Dennis’ or mine; other than being an evaluative concept in your mind.

  20. Venkat,

    What I am talking about is an essential approach that specifically observes the mind and its relationship/function with the body, which is the 5 senses including feelings, both internal and external stimuli. The basis for this approach is noticing, or the observation of what is going on in the mind. If you are thinking, then you observe that you are thinking. You do not lose your attention to the content of what is thought or felt, you simply observe it and bring your attention back to the present moment. When you are not immersed in thinking and analyzing, you begin to notice the nature of your mind which is not fixated on anything, but present and free of problems. This is the beginning of samadhi or resting in your nature, not in the movement of your thoughts. It is not about suppression of thoughts or feelings. When this resting stabilizes, you can begin to see that the movement of thoughts and feelings, along with all the senses, seeing, hearing, etc., share this basic nature. It is cognizable. The knowingness is present in the same way you know that sugar is sweet.

    This is the way of the practitioner. It is direct, immediate, and has no dogma attached to it. No beliefs are necessary. It requires only your attention and mindfulness, which is one’s ability to remember to observe. It is ‘practiced’ both in a quiet period, some call it meditation, and in one’s daily life.

    Why would I think my experience is the same or different than anyone else’s? What is the same is the way we function, the lungs breathe, the heart pumps blood. Our nature is the same, not the content of our life.

  21. These are exactly the practices that I began with over 40 years ago. They were fundamental to the School of Economic Science (School of Philosophy or School of Practical Philosophy in parts of the world other than the UK). Although predominantly part of the (dualistic) Yoga philosophy, they are happily utilized by Advaita as part of the preparation of the mind to enable it to be able to embark on a fruitful course of shravaNa-manana-nididhyAsana. They enable one to be able to still the mind and concentrate, able to ignore distractions from the senses. In extreme (i.e. in deep meditation), they give samAdhi as you point out.

    But none of this in itself can give Self-knowledge. That has to come from a qualified teacher. Being able to ‘switch off from the world’ can never tell you that the world is mithyA. Being able to still the mind can never tell you that reality is non-dual. Going into (and out of) samAdhi is an experience; it does not tell you that your nature is unlimited, eternal, perfect, complete… even now! No practice can ever do this because action is not opposed to ignorance.

  22. Dennis,

    Samadhi is a beginning, not an end. It is as you say, experiential, but that does not mean it is somehow unimportant or not essential to the physics of the body/mind. This is not about switching off from the world and holding stillness to be the point. What is non-dual is the nature of both stillness and movement, but it is through this samadhi that is experiential and temporary that we begin to see through our illusions of self and world. It is about resting in that nature, fully present, without grasping and fixating on any conceptual imagery such as attaining self knowledge. There is no goal to achieve and nothing to become because there is no one there who can attain, achieve, and become. Whatever is there is not separate from what you are. It is the end of practice. Practice is just a way of provisionally describing this stopping that I’ve mentioned. There is nothing to be practiced.

  23. Have you experienced samAdhi? Can you describe it, explain what it is exactly, and tell us what, and by what mechanism, it tells you about non-duality? It is pointless using these terms unless everyone understands what you are talking about. Neither can we discuss and argue the points if we have in mind different things.

    • Dennis, Samadhi is the recognition and resting in the nature of the mind. It is an equanimous state of mind where stillness and movement have the same nature, undivided, or non dual as you like to say. You could also say it is the meeting point of tranquility and insight. It is not merely an intellectual exercise. The experiential aspect must be engaged to have this recognition.

  24. Anon

    You have not answered my question. What is an ‘inappropriate’ manipulation that we should stop?

    You seem to respond with different words saying the same thing:
    “ If you are thinking, then you observe that you are thinking. You do not lose your attention to the content of what is thought or felt, you simply observe it and bring your attention back to the present moment.”
    Observing and bringing your attention back is still a manipulation, a thought.

    “you begin to notice the nature of your mind which is not fixated on anything, but present and free of problems.”.
    For many people the nature of the mind IS to be fixated, and full of problems. Why is that not “the natural state”? As Dennis notes, it is only knowledge that can free one of concerns for these problems.

    “When this resting stabilizes, you can begin to see that the movement of thoughts and feelings, along with all the senses, seeing, hearing, etc., share this basic nature.”
    What is this basic nature that is different from everyone’s basic nature? You really need to stop this vacuous new age twaddle.

    “This is the way of the practitioner” – do you not even recognise the egoistical, dare I say dualistic, conceit in this phrase?

    I’m afraid you have got lost and enamoured in whatever unique experience you think you have had, and now need to “communicate” / teach this wisdom to anyone else who will listen. Next step: set up a neoadvaita website and hold seminars (you already have the vacuous lingo) . . . Bon chance!

  25. Venkat,

    No amount of analysis is going to help you experience your own nature. I am not in conflict about what I said, but you are in conflict with the words. The words are the thing that manipulate. You are manipulating yourself all the time, you just don’t observe it. Coming to rest in your own nature is the loosening of this fixation on thinking and all its strategies. What you think is no longer the point. The point is the recognition of the nature of mind, of thought, which is the same nature, not different.

    You are in opposition to something. That is the manipulation. Your nature is not opposed to anything. Can you see the difference?

  26. Anon,

    You did not answer my question “Have you experienced samAdhi?”

    You said: “Samadhi is the recognition and resting in the nature of the mind.” Is this what YOU experienced? What did you actually ‘recognize’? The sentence seems to be trying to say that you recognized that you ARE (the nature of) the mind.

    So what we seem to have is that you (x) experience something (y) and conclude that x=y? Why? You experience the taste of your cornflakes at breakfast but do not conclude that you are a cornflake (presumably).

    You really do have to use words very carefully and precisely if you are to communicate your understanding. As things stand, I’m afraid that Venkat’s assessment of your description as ‘new age twaddle’ does seem fairly accurate.

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