Q. 549 – Consciousness is all there is

A: But it is not Consciousness that is thinking about these things, is it? You are confusing absolute reality (which is Consciousness right now and there is no second thing etc.) with the obvious (to perception) world and thoughts that are in front of you (the jīva) right now. It is the apparent dichotomy between these that has to be rationalized by the mind, with the help of Advaita. Again, the concept of cidābhāsa is helpful here.

A: The fact that reality is non-dual is not going to change the fact that ‘you’ (Brahman in the guise of  a jīva) still perceive an apparent duality. That is what has to be understood.

A: That can be a useful metaphor, yes, as can dreaming – with which most of us are more familiar!

A: Mostly the second, I would say. Habit is a powerful thing. If you have always reacted in a particular way to something, it is likely that will continue to happen for some time. Not doing so, and behaving more in the first way, is the ‘fruit of knowledge’ that only comes from prolonged nididhyāsana. See recent post – https://www.advaita-vision.org/question-about-manana-and-nididhyasana/.

A: Yes! I think that this is the best way of looking at it. If you have read all the discussions at the website, you will know that Ramesam and Venkat try to insist that, when one is ‘fully enlightened’, the world literally disappears. But that makes no sense and contradicts much of what Ṥaṅkara said. By far the most reasonable way of understanding this is that the names and forms of the world appearance continue, but are known to be Brahman.

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