• Sirius
    39
    What is non-dualism ?

    Non-dualism represents the absence of a distinction that seperates reality into subject-object, appearance-thing in itself, becoming-being, nothingness-somethingness, necessity-contingency etc. In short, binary distinctions created by our langauges and thoughts dissappear.

    Who are we from the non-dual perspective ?

    Brahman, who is pure consciousness.

    What is the way to knowing Brahman ?

    Through negation. The ascetic with the perfect contentment looks past all the veils that hide Brahman from the ignorant and sensuous people who are trapped in their mistaken apprehension. The veils are all the material and subtle (astral) bodies. Negate them to find Brahman, to find your true self.

    How can Brahman be ineffable and still be described as pure consciousness ?

    Pure consciousness isn't a description. You can't point to it in the world. It's a phenomenal non-dual experience. In a sense, this experience is ineffable.

    Why can't l change the world if l am Brahman ?

    If l am Brahman, then my will is Brahman's will. But my so called "will" related to what doesn't happen is illusory, like my mind and body.

    How does Brahman bring change if he is unchanging ?

    Brahman grounds the temporal realm in which both mental and bodily change occurs. The change has no beginning, nor end.

    What is the nature of an illusion ?

    An illusion is something seeming or appearing as other than what it is. All illusions are caused by mistaken apprehension.

    Does the world exist as an illusion for Brahman ?

    Brahman experiences the content of illusion, without mistaking the illusion to be the reality. Just like a knowledgeable person can see a mirage, without believing in its actual existence. He never loses his identity as pure consciousness.

    What exists other than all that is illusory ?

    Consciousness

    How can consciousness ground the mental and physical world and how can an illusion be grounded by what is real ?

    The real can actually ground an illusion. Just as the real moving wings of a fan show an illusory circle. This is an analogy, so it doesn't explain the "how" in the case of Brahman-Maya, nor is it wise to stretch an analogy beyond its limit.

    If l am Brahman and Brahman knows how consciousness grounds the illusion, then why don't we know how consciousness grounds the illusion ?

    Brahman (I) knows the way the illusion is grounded without a "how" or "why". In other words, it's a brute fact, requiring no further explanations. But nevertheless, it's a brute fact in the realm of illusions.
  • Lionino
    1.4k
    So monism? Is non-dualism supposed to be a translation of advaita?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.4k
    How does Brahman bring change if he is unchanging ?

    Brahman grounds the temporal realm in which both mental and bodily change occurs. The change has no beginning, nor end.
    Sirius

    How can you even comprehend the meaning of "change" without a before and after, future and past? Which implies dualism.
  • Sirius
    39


    How can you even comprehend the meaning of "change" without a before and after, future and past? Which implies dualism.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is no before and after, past and future, from the perspective beyond space and time. Not only that, the temporal realm is immaterial and illusory. Like a dream which disappears after you wake up. This makes sense if you understand space doesn't exist within space, nor does time exist within time.

    However, for those who are stuck within the regions of spacetime, change is real and it is observed.

    So think of 4 dimensionalism, with the caveat of the physical and mental worlds being nothing more than an illusion from the ultimate perspective
  • Sirius
    39
    So monism? Is non-dualism supposed to be a translation of advaita?Lionino

    Yeah, I'm talking about Advaita. I would not use the word monism cause it implies Brahman is a substance of some sort, when he isn't even a mental substance. He is pure unfiltered consciousness with no hint of mental and physical attributes
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.4k

    So there's no such things a change then? I thought you were talking about bringing change.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Significant that the original texts of Advaita were called the Upaniṣads. The term is derived from 'sitting near'. They were texts imparted from teacher to student, memorised by heart and repeated constantly. The systems of Indian philosophy are called 'darshana' which literally means 'seeing'. What is implied is that proximity to a teacher is important as to the means of transmission of the knowledge of the sacred texts. They are religious texts, conveying a radical philosophy. I'm interested in exploration of non-dualist principles, but the broader context needs to be taken into account. They may not be very effective as bare propositions in a forum context.

    (I've been listening to some talks and debates from an Advaita teacher, Swami Sarvapriyananda of the Vedanta Society of New York. He has quite a large collection of lectures and is a very erudite fellow. His profile is to be found here.)
  • javra
    2.4k
    What is non-dualism ?

    Non-dualism represents the absence of a distinction that seperates reality into subject-object, appearance-thing in itself, becoming-being, nothingness-somethingness, necessity-contingency etc. In short, binary distinctions created by our langauges and thoughts dissappear.

    Who are we from the non-dual perspective ?

    Brahman, who is pure consciousness.
    Sirius

    I'm wanting to explore a technicality and see how, or if, it resonates. (FYI, this correlates with parts of something I'm currently working on.)

    In any such non-dualistic ontology, there is a subtlety to reality when philosophically addressed: In the world as is, because there are dualities we as conscious beings are aware of - to include that between any I-ness / ego and what is relative to it other - there will then necessarily occur a duality between a) the non-duality which is real (else, the ultimate reality) and which is in the OP termed Brahman and b) (what in the same sense of ultimate reality would be) illusions of duality, hence illusions of separateness, of a subject-object dichotomy, and so forth (what in Hinduism is specified as Maya). In ultimate reality, this being what is real from the vantage of Brahman, then all I-ness is an aspect of Maya. Yet in what might be termed mundane, or profane, reality, the occurrence of I-ness as other than that which it is not is about as stable a concrete fact as they come.

    Point being, in any non-dualistic ontology, there is an almost but not quite paradox: there necessarily occurs a duality between two fundamental essences (so termed to avoid all connotations associated with the term "substance"): one ultimately real - here, the Brahman, aka pure consciousness per se - and one ultimately illusory: all that is not the Brahman, to include both the mind and matter which consciousness apprehends, or witnesses, and is constrained by.

    Such an ontology, by my current reckoning, could then be properly classified either as a) a form of idealism, for all that occurs, both pure consciousness and all that it is conscious of (this being both mind and matter), can here be deemed psychical in nature or, else, as b) a form of neutral monism, for here both mind and matter equally pertain to that fundamental essence which is non-Brahman, thereby posing no ontological dualism between apprehended mind and apprehended matter but, instead, only a property dualism of the very same essence (which, again, would in a non-dualistic ontology be ultimately illusory in whole ... although nevertheless quite real in a mundane sense of what is real); an illusory essence of both mind and matter which, as essence, is itself dependent on the non-illusory essence, hence, in the OP's terminology, on the Brahman.

    To summarize, unless I'm getting something wrong here, any non-dualistic ontology regarding the world as is will then necessarily consist of a duality between two fundamental essences: one ultimately real and non-dualistic that is neither mind nor matter but the pure consciousness aware of both, and one ultimately illusory that is itself via different properties both mental stuff (thoughts, ideas, imaginings, etc) and material stuff (physicality).

    To be even more laconic about things: a non-dualistic ontology, in order to be valid within the world as it is currently known, can only consist of a duality of fundamental essences: one real, and one illusory.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    (FYI, this correlates with parts of something I'm currently working on.)javra
    You might find this a useful resource: Nonduality, David Loy, a .pdf copy of his book by that name, based on his PhD. You can find more about him on davidloy.org.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    What is the nature of an illusion ?Sirius

  • javra
    2.4k
    You might find this a useful resource: Nonduality, David Loy, a .pdf copy of his book by that name, based on his PhD.Wayfarer

    Thanks for the reference. I’ll add it to my library. Though I’ve yet to read the entire work, to quote from page 17:

    The following types of nonduality are discussed here: the negation of dualistic thinking, the nonplurality of the world, and the non-difference of subject and object. In subsequent chapters, our attention focuses primarily on the last of these three, although there will be occasion to consider two other nondualities which are also closely related: first, what has been called the identity of phenomenon and Absolute, of the Mahayana equation of samsara and nirvana, which can also be expressed as “the nonduality of duality and nonduality; […] — David Loy

    My last post was strictly addressing the ontology of this very “nonduality of duality and nonduality” which, as expressed in English, and as processed through Western filters of philosophical concepts, to my ear can only present an at best incomprehensibility of meaning (and, at worst, utter BS).

    What I’m suggesting via English expression which utilizes Western philosophical concepts and reasoning is that, where a non-dualistic ontology to be real, it would then necessarily consist of a duality (rather than of a "nonduality", this as expressed in the quote above) between an ultimately real essence of being (be this understood as Brahman, as Nirvana, or via a different terminology/concept) and the ultimately illusory essence of phenomenal being ... which partitions, or ratios, the first ultimately real essence of being into parts via, for one example, the production of I-ness (which can only be phenomena-relative).

    I gather this affirmation of a necessary duality of fundamental essences within a non-dual reality would be a non-Eastern perspective/expression of non-dualism ontology—and in my limited reading I have never come across non-dualism being expressed via a quite literal duality of fundamental essences, this by those who uphold the given ontology.

    That mentioned, what I was fishing for here is any rational criticism of the presented necessity that non-dualism, this regarding the world as it’s known, entails a duality between a) a real (or ultimately real) and non-dual fundamental essence and b) a contingent fundamental essence of phenomena (etc.) which brings about duality in the world and which is ultimately illusory in full.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    what I was fishing for here is any rational criticism of the presented necessity that non-dualism, this regarding the world as it’s known, entails a duality between a) a real (or ultimately real) and non-dual fundamental essence and b) a contingent fundamental essence of phenomena (etc.) which brings about duality in the world and which is ultimately illusory in full.javra

    I haven't read Loy's book in full, either, but I would be surprised if he doesn't cover this.

    But the epistemology of non-dualism is a very subtle and difficult thing to understand. That's because at its core, it arises out of dhyana, meditative stillness, which is the practical negation or transcendence of self-and-other. The early Buddhist texts constantly repeat a fundamental theme, which is that of dependent origination, the causal chain which leads to suffering, and the seeing through of it by insight. But the insight is always inseperable from praxis - the three legs of the tripod are sila, prajna, samadhi, meaning right action, right wisdom, and meditative absorbtion. But that is not presented or understood as being something easy to attain or understand, it requires constant application and deep commitment. So it's a form of practice.

    Actually if you read Pierre Hadot, ancient philosophy in the West was also like this:

    For Hadot...the means for the philosophical student to achieve the “complete reversal of our usual ways of looking at things” epitomized by the Sage were a series of spiritual exercises. These exercises encompassed all of those practices still associated with philosophical teaching and study: reading, listening, dialogue, inquiry, and research. However, they also included practices deliberately aimed at addressing the student’s larger way of life, and demanding daily or continuous repetition: practices of attention (prosoche), meditations (meletai), memorizations of dogmata, self-mastery (enkrateia), the therapy of the passions, the remembrance of good things, the accomplishment of duties, and the cultivation of indifference towards indifferent things. Hadot acknowledges his use of the term “spiritual exercises” may create anxieties, by associating philosophical practices more closely with religious devotion than typically done. Hadot’s use of the adjective “spiritual” (or sometimes “existential”) indeed aims to capture how these practices, like devotional practices in the religious traditions, are aimed at generating and reactivating a constant way of living and perceiving in prokopta (=preceptors, students), despite the distractions, temptations, and difficulties of life.IEP

    Secondly, the relationship between reality and illusion is also very subtle. In the Madhyamaka of Nāgārjuna, there is 'the doctrine of two truths', the domain of conventional reality, Saṃvṛtisatya, in which all sentient beings are situated, but then the domain of ultimate reality, Paramārthasatya which is the higher truth perceived by the Buddhas. But part of this doctrine is that (1) these are not ultimately two and also that (2) the principle of emptiness (śūnyatā) is also empty.

    There's a saying in both Advaita and Buddhism, that wisdom-teachings are like the stick you use to stoke the fire. Once the fire is burning, then the stick can be thrown into it. Like, 'burn after reading'. All of that goes back to the Buddha's 'parable of the raft', which compares the teaching to a raft, used to cross the river of suffering, but not to be clung to. See the Zen calligraphy, Hui Neng tearing up the Sutras:

    gdynd6ggqk1j.jpg

    I think the way to see all this, is that awakening is something like a deep gestalt-shift, a complete shift or reversal of perspective, so that from the 'conventional' perspective, there are 'two truths', conventional and ultimate, but from the 'higher' perspective, the distinction vanishes. The world appears as multiplicity to the conventional mind, but is seen as being ultimately one in the unitive consciousness. Of course that is a very hard thing to grasp also, as the Buddha says to one of his philosophical interlocutors, 'Deep, Vaccha, is this dharma, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise.'
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    Non-dualism represents the absence of a distinction that seperates reality into subject-object, appearance-thing in itself, becoming-being, nothingness-somethingness, necessity-contingency etc. In short, binary distinctions created by our langauges and thoughts dissappear.Sirius

    Do they 'disappear' or is it the hope if we frame things this way?

    I suspect we could do an entire thread just on this paragraph.

    My understanding of the Vedanta is that there is no distinction between the individual self (atman) and the absolute reality (brahman). In Western terms I guess this is idealism. Everything is consciousness and we are all aspects/expressions of a 'great mind' - for want of a better term.

    My somewhat crude question is, why should we care? Is this frame really just for people who enjoy 'wanking about oneness' or does it have a tangible use in daily living?
  • javra
    2.4k


    Thanks for the feedback. I find myself agreeing with much of what you state, but do find currently grave difficulties with what I boldface here:

    In the Madhyamaka of Nāgārjuna, there is 'the doctrine of two truths', the domain of conventional reality, Saṃvṛtisatya, in which all sentient beings are situated, but then the domain of ultimate reality, Paramārthasatya which is the higher truth perceived by the Buddhas. But part of this doctrine is that (1) these are not ultimately twoWayfarer

    There of course are multiple interpretations of the original Buddha's teaching, and various interpretations of the many Buddhist works that followed. But - again, this via a typical Western mindset interested in the reasoning rather than any poetic appeal - the affirmation that there is an ultimate reality and a conventional reality which from the vantage of ultimate reality are one and the same reality can be fairly easily interpreted as a logical contradiction (from the vantage of ultimate reality, at the same time and in the same respect there both a) are two realities and b) there are no two realities but only one). If it is and if this contradiction is to be assumed true, then dialetheism is be accepted as valid. This being something I'm in no way in favor of.

    Not sure where you stand in this respect, but if you have further clarification of this one part of the doctrine here addressed, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Nāgārjuna's philosophy posits that the ultimate truth is not a separate, higher realm of reality but is instead the real nature of the conventional world when it is seen without the distortions of conceptual thought. In other words, ultimate reality is not an alternative to conventional reality; it is the insight into the emptiness (śūnyatā) of inherent existence in all phenomena. This realization leads to the understanding that what we consider to be fixed and separate entities are actually interdependent and devoid of intrinsic nature (svabhava).

    Thus, the distinction between conventional and ultimate truths is a skillful means (upāya) to guide beings towards enlightenment. For unenlightened beings, the world appears in dualities and distinctions. For those who have realized enlightenment, however, these dualities are seen as expressions of a single, indistinguishable reality that is empty of inherent existence. The "two truths" are therefore not ultimately separate; they are two ways of perceiving the same reality, contingent upon one's level of insight.

    Like I said (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) 'burn after reading' ;-)
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Incidentally I read an Aeon essay some time back from a philosopher who is interested in dialetheism, Graham Priest, on Buddhist logical paradoxes, you can find it here https://aeon.co/essays/the-logic-of-buddhist-philosophy-goes-beyond-simple-truth . (I couldn't really understand it but others might find it helpful.)
  • javra
    2.4k


    Right. What you say could make sense to me, as in the two truths are not separate in the world as is but are instead maybe even indiscernibly entwined. But they nevertheless remain two truths or else only one. I'll rephrase things this way:

    If Nirvana without remainder (also termed parinirvana) is something that can be obtained, I so far take it to be the obtainment of ultimate reality/truth sans any remainder of conventional reality/truth. I'm currently thinking this is about right - but correct me if I'm wrong. But what you've previously stated implies that upon its obtainment the conventional truth of phenomena (such as of phenomena-dependent pains and pleasures together the our apprehension of selfhood) will also persist in this state of ultimate being - for the two truths were roughly stated to be one and the same. Yet, as expressed, I can currently only presume this to be wrong, for it is contrary to what Nirvana without remainder is described to be. From my readings at least.

    Yes, the two truths are understood to be intimately entwined - but if they are not two truths all the same, then Nirvana without remainder could not be obtained within Buddhist doctrines.

    ... saying this as someone who's enlightened in comparison to ants and such but not enlightened in comparison to many a wiser being (supernal deities/Buddhas included, if such were to occur). :razz:
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    upon its obtainment the conventional truth of phenomena (such as of phenomena-dependent pains and pleasures together the our apprehension of selfhood) will also persist in this state of ultimate being - for the two truths were roughly stated to be one and the same. Yet, as expressed, I can currently only presume this to be wrong, for it is contrary to what Nirvana without remainder is described to bejavra

    In the early Buddhist texts, speculation about 'what it must be like' is discouraged. In later Buddhist texts, like the Diamond Sutra, whether Nirvāṇa is something that can really be obtained is an open question.

    As far as Advaita is concerned, my reading is limited mainly to the teachings of Ramana Maharishi. At the end of his life, he developed a tumor on his arm which turned out to be the cause of death. When asked if it was painful - it certainly looked pretty gruesome, according to the accounts of those around him - he would reply 'I feel the pain, but it doesn't hurt'.

    From a philosophical perspective, which is inevitably quite shallow, his sense of the Self is such that the pain experienced on a physical level no longer seems all-pervading, as it would do to most of us who completely identify with the physical. I suppose you could say that pain is then experienced in a much broader context, as his sense of the Self transcends the physical. But that doesn't mean he's simply numb or unfeeling.

    (In all this I'm only reflecting what I've read, I don't claim to have any special insight or realisation.)
  • javra
    2.4k


    OK. Thanks again.
  • Chet Hawkins
    233
    What is non-dualism ?

    Non-dualism represents the absence of a distinction that seperates reality into subject-object, appearance-thing in itself, becoming-being, nothingness-somethingness, necessity-contingency etc. In short, binary distinctions created by our langauges and thoughts dissappear.
    Sirius
    I agree, and it's actually not hard really to understand that languages and specifically the emotion of fear cause a separation to happen. Fear is the limiting or orderly force in the universe. In being afraid that one is not a part of all, one is instantly and eternally separated from all until that fear is balanced. That is in some ways the purpose of fear, to offer this delusion of separation that must be overcome. Thus, the overcoming of that fear is wisdom, good, the right path.

    Who are we from the non-dual perspective ?Sirius
    No more or less than we ever were from any perspective. Perspective is not relevant to truth. Nothing can change truth. Perspective is only error.

    Brahman, who is pure consciousness.Sirius
    There is no purpose to offering any label to Truth, ALL, or Love, especially a name. In offering a name to something you are participating in that fear separation game, an immoral mistake. If you belong, then you are Brahman also, so saying 'Brahman' is not precisely helpful.

    The delusion of separation is what we should address. That is the sense of identity ego as separate. Instead that ego or separation is to properly be experienced as delusional. This is the right way to approach unification with all, acceptance of truth.

    What is the way to knowing Brahman ?Sirius
    That was kind of what I just did my best to explain.

    Through negation. The ascetic with the perfect contentment looks past all the veils that hide Brahman from the ignorant and sensuous people who are trapped in their mistaken apprehension. The veils are all the material and subtle (astral) bodies. Negate them to find Brahman, to find your true self.Sirius
    This is incorrect and dangerously so.

    The way to perfection is approached by wisdom in belief and then in action, belief being action also. This IS NOT negation. It is mistakenly referred to as negation when in fact it is balancing. The proper tack towards perfection is to understand the three forces (emotions) that are all that there is to work with and balancing them against each other. But that IS NOT negation. There is also another issue related to this that shows the GOOD. That is, ... we do not lessen emotions to be wise. We increase them, we maximize them. The GOOD is maximal fear, anger, and desire; in balance.

    Nothing is negated. Everything is affirmed!

    How can Brahman be ineffable and still be described as pure consciousness ?Sirius
    That is actually simple to begin to understand. We are not perfect. That realization and admission comes easily. So, in accepting this delusion, we limit ourselves and get comfortable amid those limits.

    Pure consciousness would be perfect. But perfection is interesting. It includes imperfection by choice! Why is that? And in doing so, how is perfection not corrupted and no longer perfect? I ask only, 'Is it not obvious that including all imperfection is more perfect?' What is offered by that situation? Free will is offered. That is the point.

    Pure consciousness isn't a description. You can't point to it in the world. It's a phenomenal non-dual experience. In a sense, this experience is ineffable.Sirius
    Yet and still we do sense it, non-duality. We sense oneness, perfection. The emotion that arises from that sense is desire itself. Desire is caused in us by the extant (current) existence of perfection. We are deluded in our efforts with desire, just like fear. We want only parts, and not all. That is immoral. It is how we make mistake after mistake. And to want something that is out of balance will unbalance all. Our moral duty to the universe is balance, and maximization; NOT negation.

    If you wish to play word games you can posit that once one transcends this set of dimensions of which we are aware, then one can dismiss them, but that would just be an error that would prevent the transcendence in the first place. Don't play those games. Negate negation.

    Why can't l change the world if l am Brahman ?Sirius
    You can. Who told you that you cannot?

    But you cannot change what is objectively good! That is perfection. As Milton says, 'Let truth and falsehood grapple. Truth is strong!' It is because what is GOOD is objective that this state of affairs is reliable. So be careful that your question is not really this: 'How do I make a circle without it being a circle?'

    If l am Brahman, then my will is Brahman's will. But my so called "will" related to what doesn't happen is illusory, like my mind and body.Sirius
    What 'doesn't happen' is nonsensical. What happens is illusory enough! It is not REALLY illusory, but we are incapable of apprehending things objectively. If we are capable, then it is the least likely thing in the universe, to choose even a single moment of perfection. It is almost infinitely hard, giving rise to the very accurate statement that no one is perfect. Yet all, everything together, is perfect.

    How does Brahman bring change if he is unchanging ?Sirius
    Perfection is a flux. That is what was mentioned earlier. Perfection ALLOWS FOR imperfection within it. And that greater set of possible 'happenings' is more perfect than just a bland perfection would be. In fact, it's perfect (ha ha).

    So, choice, or change (synonymous) is possible. All choices happen. This is the root of the multiverse theory.

    Brahman grounds the temporal realm in which both mental and bodily change occurs. The change has no beginning, nor end.Sirius
    Yes, as in circular. Meaning proceeds endlessly from meaning. But there is no need for the term or name Brahman, nor 'grounding the temporal realm'. The provenance of free will is the only thing in existence.

    What is the nature of an illusion ?Sirius
    All choices/beliefs are illusory for any scope that is not all. Only all contains the conclusion, the only conclusion, love. Every sub-scope is illusion. Identity, time, separation; all these terms are delusional. We fight very hard to be separate from all against our own happiness.

    An illusion is something seeming or appearing as other than what it is. All illusions are caused by mistaken apprehension.Sirius
    No, not just apprehension (fear). Desire and anger can also be delusional. No emotion can escape interaction with the other two. If one wants what is not perfect, that is delusional, an illusion. If one believes that effort can be less than perfect, laziness, and be moral, that is delusional. So, it is not only apprehension that is the source or causal to illusion/delusion.

    Does the world exist as an illusion for Brahman ?Sirius
    One is tempted to speak for Brahman and say that perfection contains all illusions and is confused by none of them.

    Brahman experiences the content of illusion, without mistaking the illusion to be the reality. Just like a knowledgeable person can see a mirage, without believing in its actual existence. He never loses his identity as pure consciousness.Sirius
    Agreed

    What exists other than all that is illusory ?Sirius
    There is only one thing, the thing, perfection. It is somehow the goal of all choice, perhaps. It could be that only experience itself, simply being, suffering the path to perfection, is the only end that justifies all means. But it is fun and interesting to offer that there is a higher dimension still, and that perfecting the one of which we have awareness is required to move on to it.

    ConsciousnessSirius
    Clearly, it is possible to use consciousness, or love, as perfection. It is then also Brahman or 'God' and Truth as well. All the terms are synonymous.

    Further, you can say that there is some demigod like thing, a state, that represents perfection of a certain subset of dimensionality. But that then again would be delusional separation, if you follow. So why bother falling for that trap. There is only all, and the path to all.

    How can consciousness ground the mental and physical world and how can an illusion be grounded by what is real ?Sirius
    There is nothing but consciousness. All physical reality is just emotions interacting. And only three emotions, fear, anger, and desire. I can explain much further, but that is a sufficient starting point.

    What we call reality is the physical world. But it is well observed and experienced that heart and mind matter to the body. So they are IN the world. We get confused about the difference between these essential emotive essences. We even, some of us that are foolish, deny that desire is even a thing. It is some human construct, for example. Reality actually includes all, so the mind and desire are part of the real reality.

    The real can actually ground an illusion. Just as the real moving wings of a fan show an illusory circle. This is an analogy, so it doesn't explain the "how" in the case of Brahman-Maya, nor is it wise to stretch an analogy beyond its limit.Sirius
    Although it is wise to worry about the perfection of any assertion, any useful analogy or aphorism will hold in all cases, or it is not truth at all but only a state. States change, truth does not.

    If l am Brahman and Brahman knows how consciousness grounds the illusion, then why don't we know how consciousness grounds the illusion ?Sirius
    We must suffer to earn wisdom. Suffering is the only path to wisdom. Think of it as learning to shoulder the right to be Brahman. You are Brahman but you should be a good one. Get busy. The more moral a choice is, the harder it is.

    Brahman (I) knows the way the illusion is grounded without a "how" or "why". In other words, it's a brute fact, requiring no further explanations. But nevertheless, it's a brute fact in the realm of illusions.Sirius
    There is no need to speak of a 'realm of illusions'. That is only us, believing less than perfection, being less than perfection, as allowed, within perfection. But the aim should be, and moral aims are, towards perfection.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    I'll add, I think these subjects *are* very difficult to fathom, as the Buddha's quote. After all, those who sought to fathom them often gave away everything in order to pursue it.

    When I was much younger, I had the foolish idea that Zen enlightenment, satori, was a simple matter - probably from reading too much of Alan Watts. I recently read an essay by an Australian poet and esotericist, Harold Stewart, who emigrated to Kyoto Japan where he spent the last decades of his life. He observes:

    But many Western enthusiasts for what they imagine to be Zen have never actually come into contact with this branch of the Buddhist Tradition as it still exists and functions in the Far East. ....Those few who took the trouble to visit Japan and begin the practice of Zen under a recognized Zen master or who joined the monastic Order soon discovered that it was a very different matter from what the popularizing literature had led them to believe. They found that in the traditional Zen monastery zazen is never divorced from the daily routine of accessory disciplines. To attenuate and finally dissolve the illusion of the individual ego, it is always supplemented by manual work to clean the temple, maintain the garden, and grow food in the grounds; by strenuous study with attendance at discourses on the sutras and commentaries; and by periodical interviews with the roshi, to test spiritual progress. Acolytes are expected to develop indifference to the discomforts of heat and cold on a most frugal vegetarian diet and to abstain from self-indulgence in sleep and sex, intoxicating drinks and addictive drugs. Altogether Zen demands an ability to participate in a communal life as regimented and lacking in privacy as the army.

    I read a few accounts of Westerners who did spend time in Zen monasteries, like Jan Westerling's 'An Empty Mirror.' And it's extremely taxing. The Japanese are famously strict disciplinarians and the daily routines are exacting - one of those visiting Westerners (can't remember which) became so severely malnourished he almost died because the monks were given only a few minutes to eat.

    Not that I've abandoned any effort, I'm still keen to learn and practice, and some things I've learned have sunk in. But it's a hard row to hoe.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    whether Nirvāṇa is something that can really be obtained is an open question.Wayfarer

    Nirvana is the realization of impermanence, no absolutes, and emptiness through and through.

    We still wonder who is doing the "obtaining" or the realization.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Nirvana is the realization of impermanence, no absolutes, and emptiness through and through.PoeticUniverse

    But it's emphatically also not nihilism, that idea that nothing is real, which is always rejected as one of the 'extreme views' (and even though many Hindus accuse Buddhism of nihilism). So it's unwise to declare what Nirvāṇa is. Only a Buddha knows that.
  • 180 Proof
    14.1k
    In other words, ultimate reality is not an alternative to conventional reality; it is the insight into the emptiness (śūnyatā) of inherent existence in all phenomena.Wayfarer
    Yes, (i.e.) the unbounded void of uncountable, endlessly swirling atoms ... natura naturans.

    My somewhat crude question is, why should we care?Tom Storm
    Well, the alternative is 'to live carelessly', no?

    Is this frame[work] really just for people who enjoy 'wanking about oneness'
    :sparkle: :eyes: :sweat: :lol: :rofl:

    ... or does it have a tangible use in daily living?
    Perhaps these reflections are used by some as a prophylactic against superstition, magical thinking, ego-fantasy, zerosum games, etc.

    What is non-dualism?Sirius
    Ontological immanence¹.

    What is the nature of an illusion?
    Misunderstanding, or ignorance-denial, of the fundamental inseparability of everything from nature is "the nature of illusions" (i.e. superstitions) such as "non-contingent facts", "transcendent values", "supernatural entities", etc.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plane_of_immanence [1]
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    endlessly swirling atoms180 Proof

    atoms which have no definite existence until they're observed, what's more.
  • 180 Proof
    14.1k
    You're confusing epistemology with ontology again (à la immaterialism, antirealism, subjectivism, etc), sir.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    It's a fact. I listened to Hillary Lawson interview Sabine Hossenfelder yesterday, and she says her main research interest, aside from her very successful youtube channel, is somehow eliminating 'the observer problem'. That, and the ontological status of the wave-function (which which it is intimately connected) are still outstanding issues in philosophy of physics. You are, of course, free to ignore or deny it but it doesn't negate it.
  • 180 Proof
    14.1k
    It's a fact.Wayfarer
    :roll:

    David Deutsch et al long ago convinced me that the Everettian interpretation (MWI) is both less inexplicable and more consistent with the experimental data than the so-called "Copenhagen interpretation". Besides, "it's a fact", sir, that Hilary Lawson is a quasi-p0m0, non-realist philosopher ("wanker") without any significant background in fundamental physics. :smirk:
  • Banno
    23.4k
    listened to Hillary Lawson interview Sabine Hossenfelder yesterday, and she says her main research interest, aside from her very successful youtube channel, is somehow eliminating 'the observer problem'.Wayfarer
    I couldn't find anything of that sort in the interview... "observer" does not come up in the transcript.

    This?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xGwdUCYzgw
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Yes - at one point Lawson asks her what her interests are, aside from her ‘very successful YouTube career’ to which she demurs. She says she’s interested in a fundamental research program - something is missing or wrong with quantum physics, and the observer problem ought to be eliminated. (I’m not able to re-listen at the moment, but I know she said it.)

    //around 16:30 “…which will do away with this measurement problem….”
  • Banno
    23.4k
    I'm not reading that the way you are. I take the use of "measurement" rather than "observer" to be quite deliberate.

    See. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wqUCATYUA

    15:23
    So, in summary. A) That consciousness causes the collapse of the wave-function is a possible
    Summary interpretation of the mathematics, but it’s as problematic as all other interpretations of quantum mechanics. B) One can formulate a collapse model based on this idea which is a testable modification of quantum mechanics. But in all honesty, I think if they test it, they’ll just rule it out. C) The idea that you can influence the collapse of the wave-function by thinking is pseudoscience. And D) none of that is what Penrose and Hamaroff are on about, which is another story entirely.

    I don't think she is making the claims you want her to.
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