The Mathematics of Consciousness

In a short Video of 8:19 min conversation with Dr. R.L. Kuhn, Cognitive Scientist Dr. Donald Hoffman explains his approach to the Science of Consciousness and developing a mathematical model for precisely formulating equations with predictive power.

Link:  Click here

32 thoughts on “The Mathematics of Consciousness

  1. I read that, or a similar article by Strawson, in ‘Science and non-duality Conference’ (?) (or some such site) and must say I was not very impressed. Here are my thoughts after reading the article:

    On first impression Strawson seems to posit consciousness (which is not mysterious, according to him, as against those who refer to it as ‘the hard problem’) as a primary fact, even ontologically prior to matter: (his last sentence): ‘there is a fundamental respect in which ultimate intrinsic nature of the stuff of the universe is unknown to us — except insofar as it is consciousness.’

    This, however, is quite deceptive, since Strawson then goes on to say – betraying his physicalist or materialistic stand – that ‘If physics made any claim that couldn’t be squared with the fact that our conscious experience is brain activity, then I believe that claim would be false’. He continues,’we don’t know anything about the physical that gives us good reason to think that consciousness can’t be wholly physical’.So for him, in the end, the hard problem is matter, not consciousness, and his metaphysical position materialist, reductionist Monism, like that of Democritus, Leucippus, and most physicists in actuality.

    I agree with Michael Yankaus in holding that Consciousness is the ‘basis of all experience’, with the proviso that it should not be understood as itself (Consciousness) being the ultímate “experiencer” – differing with him only in this point – , since, as he himself says, ‘It is the ultimate, silent, passive, non-changing basis of all thought, emotion, perception and action…’

    According to Advaita Vedanta Consciousness does not do anything, though it is the matrix or substrate of everything: experiences, thoughts, emotions, etc., these being mere arisings in it. That all these are in continuity with the former is something to ponder about (if not seen clearly as such being the case).

    • Dear Martin (formally dispensing with formality!),
      Juxtaposing the two sentences you have picked out does indeed reveal Strawson’s physical realistic POV.

      ‘there is a fundamental respect in which the ultimate intrinsic nature of the stuff of the universe is unknown to us — except insofar as it is consciousness.’ AND
      ‘If physics made any claim that couldn’t be squared with the fact that our conscious experience is brain activity, then I believe that claim would be false’.

      But that is exactly what he is trying to say in his article – consciousness is matter.

      I believe Bertrand Russell’s grandmother used to urge him on with: “No matter, never mind” but that complicates the situation even more by leaving us no place to stand!

      I am a votary of science but always try to flag any over- reaching by scientists.

      In Strawson’s words –
      We may think that physics is sorting this out, and it’s true that physics is magnificent. It tells us a great many facts about the mathematically describable structure of physical reality, facts that it expresses with numbers and equations (e = mc2, the inverse-square law of gravitational attraction, the periodic table and so on) and that we can use to build amazing devices. True, but it doesn’t tell us anything at all about the intrinsic nature of the stuff that fleshes out this structure. Physics is silent — perfectly and forever silent — on this question.
      However, when the BrahmaSutra says, (Chapter 2, section 1, Sutra 6 Swami Vireswarananda) that just as scorpions are produced from cowdung, so the world could arise from Brahman, I am not convinced.
      I do not accept vitalism, spontaneous generation, etc, etc.

      “Having conscious experience is knowing what it is.”
      I am willing to leave it at that, and sorry if you find this post unsatisfactory

      • Dear Guru, I was not dissatisfied, on the contrary – thank you for your comments. I am not sure, though, whether the para. under ‘In Strawson’s words’ was written by you or only the one immediately below referring to the Brahmasutra.

        I understand your preference for modern science over the (quaint) equivalent contained in the Upanishads. As you know, Sw. Iswarananda wrote a book related to this aspect: ‘God-Realization through reason’; I just begun to read it, but time is short and one jumps from one thing to another.

        What is the origin of the phrase, “Having conscious experience is knowing what it is”? Consciousness knowing itself?

        With greetings (salutations/saludos) to you,

        Martin (my first surname).

        • Dear Martin:
          The reference to the Brahmasutra is my sentence, everything before that is Strawson.

          I am uncomfortable when the scriptures attempt to give physical explanations for natural phenomena; that is the realm of science and they (scriptures) are usually wrong, sometimes hilariously.

          For example, I have the greatest respect for Maharshi Ramana but find some of his pronouncements hilarious, but that is just my sense of humour.

          I would rather trust Einstein’s physical intuition than the most profound mystic s ever born (I think Einstein was one!), even though Einstein has been proven wrong according to some interpretations of QM. To tell the truth I am most attracted to John Bell’s notion of super-determinism and Einstein may well have the last laugh.

          But then, Ramana said the same thing (super determinism) in different words, but through mystical insight.

          So isn’t that cherry picking on my part, taking only those parts of Ramana that I like and discarding the rest? Unfortunately it is, and what science is able to confirm of the insights of the mystics, I will gladly accept. The idea that a jnani is a polymathic repository of all knowledge and facts about the universe does not appeal to me.

          In other words, if you take financial advice from Ramana Maharshi/JK (he would never give it, but just suppose) and lose your shirt, you deserve it; no doubt it was part of the web of cause and effect. (joke)

          Again, I am able to appreciate the “choiceless awareness” of J Krishnamurti because that attitude is the limiting case of going with the flow, or what is interpreted by a devotional temperament as “surrender”.

          Since one is part of the causal chain, the only recourse one has is to observe oneself acting.

          Regarding the sentence you asked about, here is the relevant paragraph from Strawson’s article.
          “The reply is simple. We know what conscious experience is because the having is the knowing: Having conscious experience is knowing what it is. You don’t have to think about it (it’s really much better not to). You just have to have it. It’s true that people can make all sorts of mistakes about what is going on when they have experience, but none of them threaten the fundamental sense in which we know exactly what experience is just in having it.”

          More from Krishnamurti.
          Questioner: What do you mean by freedom from the past?
          Krishnamurti: The past is all our accumulated memories. These memories act in the present and create our hopes and fears of the future. These hopes and fears are the psychological future: without them there is no future. So the present is the action of the past, and the mind is this movement of the past. The past acting in the present creates what we call the future. This response of the past is involuntary, it is not summoned or invited, it is upon us before we know it.
          Questioner: In that case, how are we going to be free of it?
          Krishnamurti: To be aware of this movement without choice – because choice again is more of this same movement of the past – is to observe the past in action: such observation is not a movement of the past. To observe without the image of thought is action in which the past has ended. To observe the tree without thought is action without the past. To observe the action of the past is again action without the past. The state of seeing is more important than what is seen. To be aware of the past in that choiceless observation is not only to act differently, but to be different. In this awareness memory acts without impediment, and efficiently. To be religious is to be so choicelessly aware that there is freedom from the known even whilst the known acts wherever it has to.

          I will write more later and thanks for reading this far !

  2. Martin,

    If you posit that all experience arises from or in consciousness, can there be any separation of the arising from its matrix? If you say yes, you are viewing consciousness as Absolute and the Absolute has no qualities to it as it is beyond all arisings, appearances, and interpretations. Yet, all experience as we know it, ends with the death of this body. The so called Knower of this also disappears as this can only happen in Mind.

    It seems the only thing you can ponder are the arisings, and the ponderer is also within this field of arisings. This is what we are as long as there is consciousness. To embrace this is a unifying act of wisdom.

  3. Your last paragraph seems correct to me if we Know that ‘we’ are not a mind or a separate consciousness (some advaitins call the apparently individual consciousness ‘reflected consciousness’). The ponderer is individual mind (manas), not consciousness itself.

    There cannot be a separation of the arisings (1) from consciousness (2) ontologically speaking, otherwise there would be ‘two’ (realms); the distinction between the two is only apparent. Yes, the Absolute has no qualities, being ever unchanging – you are right, but It is the essence – or substrate – of everything else (arisings and appearances or phenomena – the relative realm). Another way to put it is by first intuiting or (deeply) understanding that there is a ‘continuous discontinuity’ between the Absolute and the relative (Nirguna brahman and Saguna brahman or Ishvara respectively). There is this hierarchy.

    The Knower does not disappear at death (the body only dies); It is called a Knower, though there are no objects of knowledge for It – It IS all by Itself, consciousness that ‘knows Itself’ or reflects on Itself (no time involved).

  4. If the Absolute is the essence, then consciousness must be its reflection. Isn’t this the continuous discontinuity you mention? Just as thought is a reflection of experience/consciousness and does not survive death, why should consciousness survive? It seems to me that all arisings, be it Samsara or Nirvana, share the same nature as Mind, being magical illusions. Mind or Consciousness has no separate existence if it arises. Isn’t this a basic difference between man and animal? (Not suggesting that we are somehow superior to animals, just function differently). I don’t see consciousness as eternal in every dimension, only the human. And, I think that there are other dimensions that we can’t possibly touch as long as human consciousness is present. But that is a whole other ball of wax that we don’t have to get into.

  5. It is important to know the terminology we are using and, in principle or ideally, sharing, which, in this case is that of Advaita Vedanta. Consciousness is not a reflection of the Absolute, but another name for It (or it). Thus, Consciousness is not an arising (and not an emergent property of matter according to most, but not all, physicists nowadays). To say that Consciousness survives death would be/is an absurdity. On the other hand, mind may be understood (conventionally, if so) as ‘individual mind’ (manas), or as the same reality as Consciousness (into which it merges ‘becoming’ no-mind on ‘awakening’). It is indifferent whether one writes ‘Mind’ or ‘mind’ (and the same thing with ‘Consciousness’).

    Nisargadatta used ‘awareness’ (and, at times, ‘static consciousness’) for ultimate reality, which is non-dual, and ‘consciousness’ (or ‘dynamic consciousness’) for relative reality — the same as you seem to be doing, which is in dual-ity.

    The Absolute=Consciousness=Atman-Brahman=Awareness=sat (reality)=”Nirvana”=’the One without a second’=’turiya’… ‘I-I’ as per Ramana M.

  6. Martin,

    You are right about the terminology. My ‘problem’ with Advaitic terminology is just that. It is full of conceptual images that try to explain what is impossible to explain and its adherents hold on to this come hell or high water. In the end, or at some point in one’s life, they need to be let go of. That’s all I’m saying. So, whether consciousness is an arising or not will be known/seen at some point and that point is when all arisings are resolved into the nature of mind in the present moment. No need to jump to any conclusion. No need to state the end point and then try to work one’s way there. This totally misses the point of what is.

  7. You: ‘Advaitic terminology … is full of conceptual images that try to explain what is impossible to explain.’

    — a) metaphysics is not amenable to *explanation* – it is accessed through intuition or vision; introspection, or phenomenological analysis, if one prefers these last terms.

    — b) ‘the void is neither void nor non-void. We simply call it the void so that we may talk about it.’ – A Buddhist sage.

    You: ‘whether consciousness is an arising or not will be known/seen at some point…’

    — (to repeat) Consciousness is not an arising! (not even as ‘reflected consciousness’).
    You: ‘at some point in one’s life, [concepts] need to be let go of’.

    At death (of the body-mind) all concepts disappear.

  8. Guru said: ‘Since one is part of the causal chain, the only recourse one has is to observe oneself acting.’

    I think I understand what you are trying to say, but how does one observe oneself? The moment you observe is already gone so in effect, you are observing a shadow, so to speak, a reflection, not oneself.

    Is there someone who is acting? This is the usual assumption that people make and that is where the identification with experience lies. I don’t think we are observing a ‘someone’ but a series of thoughts and feelings being interpreted to have ownership. Continued observance does not reveal a ‘someone’, but a flow of moments that have no ownership and no interpreter. The nature of these moments of thought/feelings are essentially empty and choiceless awareness is present and has the same nature as the passing moments, non-dual in nature. The causal chain is not the causal chain as none of it has the power to cause anything. It is free of continuity, empty in nature and actually perfect in every moment. In fact, this flow is blissful in its nature without any rejection, analysis, or separating elements that ‘observe’. It is only when there is a separation from this flow, that the trouble begins.

    • Dear Anonymous:

      In response to your questions, I am unable to add anything useful to what I have already written. Martin has tried to clarify matters but I doubt it will satisfy you.

      EVERY single issue you have raised in this forum (since I joined) based on your buddy UGK’s predicament (Hey, take it easy, just winding you up a little!) has been argued to exhaustion back in the dim past; read some of what Dennis has written to convince yourself of this fact.

      These things have been discussed thread bare over the past 3 thousand years and there is indeed nothing new under the sun.

      The best one can say is that concepts may be used to dissolve concepts and if you can’t accept that, just walk away. Don’t ask me what “dissolve” means because I only have an intuition not anything communicable in language.

      Maybe UGK should have carried a stick and given you a blow with it, like the Zen masters, heh, heh.

      • Guru,

        Thanks for the reply. I’m not really uptight about receiving criticism either personally or directed at my buddy. This medium is not really very good at deciphering how something is communicated by someone. It’s easy to misinterpret how one says something. We don’t have the benefit of body language and looking directly at the communicator. Ah well……..

        UG did indeed beat me, but not with a stick!

  9. Anon, what is the point of your experience, and what is the point of your communicating it here?

    • Is there a point to any experience? I read a post and I wrote a post. Is there something that bothers you?

  10. Evidently, what Anon. seems to be defending – without acknowledging it (keeping us in the dark) – is the position or doctrine of Yogacara Buddhism (otherwise known as vijnavada): everything that is perceived exists only momentarily, along with Consciousness, which is not continuous itself. Gaudapada, on the other hand, says that nothing is born or dies; it is only name and form. As Dennis observes in his book (AUM, p. 179), the school of Buddhist philosophy mentioned above “is equivalent to the philosophy of nihilism”.

    Going now to the quotation by Guru which Anon. copies and prints at the beginning of his reply (to me): ‘Since one is part of the causal chain, the only recourse one has is to observe oneself acting’, clearly Anon. has not understood its meaning. The focus of the injunction to observe (in that quot.) is not ‘oneself’, but one’s ‘acting’.The advaitic teaching here is that that observation (in a mind after an usually long preparation – cf. chatushtaya sampatti), supported by the light of Consciousness, will reveal that ‘one’ does not act at all. And that is a mark of awakening.

    • Martin,

      I thought I had made it clear that there is no ‘one’, so how could there be ‘one’ who does not act at all? One who acts or doesn’t act is a duality that ‘choiceless awareness’ views as empty, having no reality of self or association with it.

      I’m not familiar with these Indian schools you mention. My post was more in line with Tibetan Dzogchen and UG, whereby observation gives way to Emptiness, Openness, Spontaneity, & Unity, the 4 Perfections of the nature of mind. Rigpa, or consciousness as you equate it with, being its matrix. These are Dzogchen concepts, but UG’s explanation of the natural state has many parallels with it, hence my association of the two. UG would also dismiss all this as an attempt to ‘understand’ what is not understandable.

      Personally, I don’t know if consciousness is continuous or not, so I am not able to go any further than mind from the standpoint of rigpa. If you have any insight into this, by all means let us know. Dzogchen is also not about any attempt to understand, but to BE what already is.

  11. Anon, I’ll have another go. No need to be defensive. We are exploring.

    Now that you have this experience of non-duality, of no-one, of spontaneity, what does that mean to you? How has it helped – you or others? If it hasn’t, why should others bother about it?

  12. If I participate on this board, it seems I must use the language that is commonly spoken here. This, in itself, is difficult for me as I don’t think in these terms that you do. I used the term non duality because that is what is talked about here. Non duality means nothing to me because the moment you introduce this term it becomes a concept. It is not an experience to me, it is an interpretation of mind by mind and lies within the thought structure as well as all other insights that you and I might have.

    The problem as I see it, is the belief in any of this. That somehow, all of this, or something in particular, is going to help us achieve something, the freedom from it. This is what keeps this movement going. That is all there is. It is an involuntary response of the body/mind put there through the experience of the past, yours, mine, and the collective consciousness of man. There is no help, because any idea of help is also part of this involuntary movement of belief which also creates the sense of an entity experiencing in time and space, that wishes to be free of this movement. This movement has momentum in the sense of who we think we are. Once you begin to see this in operation, through contemplation, that momentum is challenged and a loosening of its grip takes place. That has effects on how you live. The so called illusions begin to disappear, the contradictions, the desires that we thought so important, begin to weaken and the effects of this are felt throughout the body. You feel lighter and more present in the here and now. And, what else is there but the here and now? Spontaneity is the nature of the here and now, along with Emptiness, which is Absence of the movement of self, and an Openness and Unification of all life. These are Dzogchen terms of description. They are not to be chased after. They come into being through being present in this moment.

    Why does Venkat or Anonymouse bother with all this? lol. The easy answer is you are either interested or not. Most are not. This is only for those who are consumed with this, those who have to investigate, where there is little choice. I could put forth all kinds of quotes, but what is the point? We would only return to these concepts and give more momentum to this separating movement of self, trying to achieve what is not possible and non-existent.

    Does this make any sense to you?

  13. Anon, but what has driven your interest in it – was it to get away from suffering, was it to achieve some plane of bliss or peace? Does it matter if you lose your self or not. After all we are all going to die. Perhaps Nisargadatta’s advice was right – paraphrasing he advised someone not to get involved in this spiritual lark, just lead a quiet, simple life, look after your family and when your time comes, die.

    But having got there, how do you ‘see’ others – what do they represent? – and what about physical suffering in the world? How do you engage in that? And why do you bother (this is a sincere question) to engage on this blog?

  14. Venkat,

    I haven’t gotten anywhere. The only thing that changed is my point of view. The same movement is going on, it’s just not seen from a point of view that wants to do something about it. The whole search is bogus and the idea of liberation is not what we think it is. This is the key point.

    UG would constantly say the same thing as what you quote above about Nisargadatta, that it was better to not think about this stuff and just get on with the business of living. I tried, but couldn’t do it. You get it inside you and you have to play it out until you see the illusion clearly. All of this is the search for permanent happiness, and it doesn’t exist. We want pleasure and with that, comes the pain. When you stop chasing these ideas, you are left with the here and now. There is no sense of problem in the present moment. You don’t ask how or why. You just Be. Everything takes care of itself. No worries.

    Why do I post? It’s a response to the conceptual thinking here. Once you break from ‘authority’ and taste your own being, conceptual thinking becomes intolerable. I want to see if my words can help anyone to see this. It may be my own folly, and one day, I may disappear from here realizing I can’t do anything to help, and simply tire of the attempt.

    I love old Dogen’s quote: To know the self is to forget the self.

  15. Anon, you may be super-imposing your own reasons for the search on others at this site. There are so many reasons for coming to advaita, or ch’an or dzogchen. For some it may be seeking permanent happiness, others an escape from suffering, and others to try to understand the fundamental questions of life – what is the world, what is the purpose of this, and who am I.

    Advaita sets out a philosophical and psychological approach that aims to address these questions. At the start it is conceptual, but it ends in silence.

    Now the conceptual models that you dismiss, I believe can help address some of the reasons that seekers seek. Whilst you may be right that discussing concepts cannot lead to the dissolution of the ego, perhaps others do not necessarily believe that this is what is pointed at or required, or that they are ready for this to happen.

    Indeed, just the intellectual knowledge of its approach to understand the meaning of life, may be what some are looking for . . . and yield the changes in attitude and behaviour, and the de-conditioning of previously held beliefs about I and other, that deliver some level of peace / contentment to them. And it should lead to a way of life that minimises harm to others. They may not get to the “end-goal” – but does that really matter?

    I am intrigued to understand how you see ‘others’. You say you want to see if your words on this blog can help people see their mistaken attachment to concepts. But I am intrigued as to how you see the killing of thousands in Yemen or Syria (these but just two of the latest in a long thread of vicious, sell-serving wars), the refugee crisis in Europe, the inexorable depletion of our environment, the corruption at the heart of governments and corporates . . . So, when you write:
    “There is no sense of problem in the present moment. You don’t ask how or why. You just Be. Everything takes care of itself. No worries.”
    How does that work for you? Do you hold that others are just an illusion and not real?

    Sorry, Im not trying to point fingers at you. I am interested to understand how a person who says his ego has dissolved, sees the world.

    best wishes,

  16. Venkat,

    I never said my ego has dissolved. I said my point of view had changed.

    Why do you read the headlines and news stories of the world? What relationship does that have to what is happening presently in the here and now for you? What can you do to stop or help those people? Think good thoughts? Feel bad? You are not going to change anything.

    Your post is an example of how the mind works in a conditioned state to create problems and then tries to find solutions. Maybe you should reflect on what Ramana said about the subject, or just see that this kind of thinking leads nowhere. You are just playing with words, staying on the surface of things, Venkat. Enter your world and be there and see what happens.

  17. For you, Venkat.

    The actual essence, pristine rigpa,
    cannot be improved upon, so virtue is profitless,
    and it cannot be impaired, so vice is harmless;
    in its absence of karma there is no ripening of pleasure or pain;
    in its absence of judgment, no preference for samsara or nirvana;
    in its absence of articulation, it has no dimension;
    in its absence of past and future, rebirth is an empty notion:
    who is there to transmigrate? and how to wander?
    what is karma and how can it mature?
    Contemplate the reality that is like the clear sky!

  18. And further………

    Gaze persistently at actual rigpa
    and are there any ten virtues there to practice?
    Is there any samaya commitment to observe
    any view, meditation, conduct, or goal to realize?
    Is there any maturation, karma, or hell?

    Pristine rigpa is naked, simple, pure being. How does virtue affect it? Certainly
    it cannot make it any better. Thus virtue brings no benefit. And vice?
    Vice does not change it for the worse or distort it and is therefore harmless.
    Since the nature of mind is nowhere attested, it has no karma, and there
    is no possibility of an action ripening as happy or sad, or good or bad. In
    the absence of linear time there are no past and future lives and there is no
    karmic cause and effect, so “samsara,” a mere label, is ineffectual.
    For those who lack an intuition of the nature of mind, samsara appears
    in all its dualistic pleasure and pain, but for the ati-yogin or yogini there
    is the primal purity of emptiness in which all motivation—all existence—
    has ceased. Even though samsara and nirvana and virtue and vice appear
    dream-like in the scope of rigpa, they do not cover the face of pure mind,
    which is thus free of moral conditioning. In the absence of causality there
    are no past and future lives, birth loses all meaning and the triple world
    flows in each moment into its original purity. This is called “emptying the
    depths of samsara.”

    Through the yoga of intuiting rigpa, abiding in the nature of mind, when
    the yogin or yogini has become fixated on the nature of mind, no amount
    of virtue or vice brings the slightest advantage or disadvantage because
    he or she is integrated with the immediacy of what is. The most excellent
    ati-yogin or yogini, therefore, lacks moral discrimination yet always acts
    harmoniously and appropriately. Recognizing all appearances as perfect
    images of rigpa there is no escape from pristine awareness.

    Longchenpa, from the commentary on the Great Perfection

  19. Anon

    You write:
    “What can you do to stop or help those people? Think good thoughts? Feel bad? You are not going to change anything.”

    That seems to me to be a theory of helplessness that I don’t believe is advocated by advaita or others. Whilst I recognise the words of Longchenpa, I would suggest the point being made (and it is similar in advaita and Lao Tse), is that if you are acting, thinking you are being virtuous or a sinner, then you have missed the point.

    “The most excellent ati-yogin or yogini, therefore, lacks moral discrimination yet always acts harmoniously and appropriately.”

    This is akin to naishkamya karma or wei wu wei: acting without acting, or desireless action. Nisargadatta alluded to a jnani’s behaviour is guided by a sense of justice.

  20. Venkat,

    The point is to be rooted in the true nature of mind, rigpa. If this is not actualized, we are just caught in moral discrimination which is conditioned mind.

    Feeling helpless is not being rooted in any of the above statements that you or I quoted. No hypotheticals need be considered.

  21. Hi Anon,

    No hypotheticals do need to be considered. We are faced everyday with black and white cases of suffering and injustice. I agree some may depend upon your ‘point of view’, and there may be grey areas, but many are clear cut.

    Take for example Nazi Germany. Many of the German public probably had some inkling of what was going on in concentration camps, but they chose to turn a blind eye, and to not look at the evidence. Can there be any moral ambivalence in the concept of a concentration camp? I’d posit not. So those Germans who turned a blind eye were complicit in what went on.

    In the same way, a decade ago, the West faced the Iraq War. Anyone who attempted to look, could readily come to a view that the WMD claims made by Bush and Blair were exaggerated – and that a civilisation would be destroyed and hundreds of thousands killed. Millions of people did demonstrate around the world; and many did not bother and went about their daily lives. Whilst the demonstrations may not have worked in stopping the war, they did raise the stakes of foreign adventures and the price that deceitful ‘leaders’ have to pay. Perhaps if more demonstrated, the war would not have started at all.

    So I struggle with this escapism of ‘you are not going to change anything’ and ‘just caught in moral discrimination’. It implies that one would have passively accepted the Nazis taking people away to concentration camps. In which case, I go back to my starting question – what is the point of your experience?

    If philosophy, if thinking about the fundamental questions, does not influence your action, why bother? What was the point of UG, apart from his own loss of ego and concomitant sense of suffering?

    If you are non-different from the other, if your body-mind has no greater significance than that of the next man . . .

  22. Venkat,

    I can only refer you to what I quoted;
    ‘The most excellent ati-yogin or yogini, therefore, lacks moral discrimination yet always acts harmoniously and appropriately.’

    Your arguments and responses all spring from a conditioned mind. There is no answer to be found there. Circumstances dictate a response. In a sense, you can’t pre-determine your action or response in any given situation. It is automatic, you act accordingly. Because you are looking at all this from your conditioned mind, you demand answers to questions that can’t be answered in any way that you will accept. You already have your own ideas about everything. This is the only problem. I hope you can understand that.

  23. Anon, thanks I don’t need to be patronised. I am not expecting any standard of behaviour. I am pointing out to you that there are circumstances NOW that demand a response. And I asked you a simple question as to how do YOU respond NOW to that. You can choose to escape it in some mystical perspective, because you don’t want to face the world as it is. I am simply rather bemused by the mental masturbation that goes on oblivious to the world around us. I hope you can understand that.

  24. The only response I can give you is to see your own mental masturbation and not worry about others or expect any answer that is going to satisfy you. You used to have all the answers and quotes. What happened? The question is yours, not mine. Sorry if this doesn’t work for you.

Comments are closed.