In previous debate, it was suggested that everyone has already glimpsed wholeness. A feeling of home-coming. A sense of completeness. “I don't want anything to be different right now”.

Warm. Secure. Safe.

Nothing was missing in that moment.

Maybe it was in childhood. First love. Major breakthrough. A discovery perhaps.

Then the seeker starts hearing questionable statements like, “The truth is nothing-ness. Emptiness. A void“.

While we won't go into the philosophical depth of such statements due to word semantics and need to discuss Indian 6-schools of Philosophy — Vedanta makes no such statements. Rather affirms the aforementioned wholeness we're already somewhat familiar with.

If you experience wholeness and I experience wholeness — then our experience can't be different. Because “wholeness” means WHOLE, COMPLETE.

There's no such thing as two versions of WHOLE — because WHOLE doesn't exclude anything from itself.

If there's two Truth's — then they both limit each other — thus neither are correct because they're both incomplete in reference to each other.

That's why we say the Truth is One. The Limitless One is the Truth. And you, the individual, cannot be apart from THAT.

If you were apart from the WHOLE, then from what OTHER existence did you come?

Sounds silly, doesn't it. I came from existence number One — only to pray, chant, study scriptures, do rituals, listen to teachers — so I may merge with existence number Two in the future.

Furthermore, if you weren't already the WHOLE, that means your existence was created by God in time.

If God relies on time to create — then how did He know when to create the universe before time came?

If also means Lord had desire to create something new. Which makes Him finite and unhappy even now, since new entities are constantly being created.

Contradictions from dualistic thinking are endless.

Nevertheless, fellow student challenges this understanding, “If the Limitless One and you (the individual) are the same, then where is the question of grace? Who gives the blessings and who receives them?  Your logic of Oneness has dried up Her very spirit. Seems to me you have no divine muse. You can never imagine the lofty heights a MYSTIC EXPERIENCE can bring… leaving us longing for more God's love and His bliss. Despite your protests, I still think ‘One without a second' makes you proud to the point of arrogance.

There is no pride in declaring a FACT, the truth.

If I say ‘two plus two is four' and refuse to alter my stand — does that make me arrogant?

Arrogance arises from an alienated ego, alienated from the Limitless One… the WHOLE.

In our previous dialogues, I've already explained the difference between real (satya) and dependent-real (mithya).

Conclusion was, there can be just One real, Limitless Consciousness. While the manifest world and individuals are understood as apparent (mithya).

Wherever there is mithya, that's exactly where satyam is.

Meaning the truth of this apparent person is also satyam.

Thus ‘I', being identical with Limitless Consciousness, is appreciated as the cause of the universe.  (To understand depth of this statement, start at talk #1 — else it's a blasphemous statement to novices).

By stating a fact, as incredible as it sounds to those who don't know, how can it make me arrogant?

As for your mystic-experiences, it makes a wonderful reading.

Their content however is incomplete — no matter how poetic.

How can tales of others mystical experiences help you in knowing yourself as the Limitless Whole right now?

Absolute Truth has an independent beauty. It needs no mystical experience by a finite individual to validate it.

Gravity is working on your body right now. Experienced even now while comfortably staying put in that chair.

If Truth was an experience obtainable in the future — then how will you know you've obtained it since there's no knowledge of it right now?

If I have no existing knowledge of what mangosteen, dragonfruit, durian and guava taste like — then how will I ever know whether I'm tasting a durian or guava? A magnosteen or dragonfruit?

Even if four are tasted, there is even more anxiety because I have four additional informations to reconcile.

And when it comes to states of mind — it's unsurprising that majority seekers are enmeshed in attempting to reconcile ephemeral highs.

In absence of Truth, we only have words shrouded with an aroma of wisdom. They capture souls yearning for experiences beyond the common and ordinary.

This is why finding the right teacher and having a mature mind to understand the knowledge of self — requires a great deal of grace earned through prayers and actions.

‘Prayers' means what we ask for on a consistent basis. If one is asking (praying) for mystical-experiences, that too shall be given in time.

‘Actions' is what we follow-up on from our prayers.

Grace bestows us desire and means to know the truth of ourselves that we are both the blesser and the blessed. Our choices alone bless us.

Hence our present good future are results from grace earned in the past.

By our involvement in the methodology expounded by the teacher of the scriptures — it removes layer upon layer our not-knowing-ness of the Truth.  Revealing an ever present Reality.

Assimilated knowledge brings with it compassion, caring and consideration. A genuine connection with rest of the world — abiding in the reality that all that is here is One without a Second.

With such a vision, how can we dislike and have prejudices and be concerned with yours-mine?

Seeking freedom from bondage must give way to seeking knowledge. Because freedom means knowledge of the Truth.

And yes, I've heard the protest by romantics putting experience above knowledge, “Knowledge lacks a soul. It's dry“. However I would not change it for a world of good sounding poetic verses.

However if you meant by using word “experience”, a total assimilation of truth — then I have no contention with your choice of words.

Except that the word “experience” can convey something different. It could make your listeners pursue various techniques in search of eternal bliss — without even understanding the meaning of “eternal” nor “bliss”.

For this reason, we keep emphasizing role of knowledge in understanding the Truth of ‘I', as Limitless Consciousness.

 

In next conversation, student will ask what's the point of prayers and rituals if we are already the Whole.

5 Comments

  1. Jal on August 11, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Nondualistic vedanta cannot help being dualistic in fact. Like the Samkhya philosophy, it must posit maya as a quasi-independent reality (but whose independence it theoretically denies) in order to maintain a division in reality between satya and mithya, the real world of pure consciousness versus the dependent, false world of apparent matter. This is nothing if not dualistic, and it takes a lot of fancy footwork to deny this.

    In practice, also, the purport of Advaita is to replace worship of God with guru worship by denying the ontological divide between man and God and elevating the “self-realised” man to divine status. Of course, lip service is paid to the equal divinity of every person and every grain of sand, etc., but in practice Advaita denies God and deifies the guru, who, sad to say, most often turns out to be a charismatic psychopath on one stripe or another.

    • mm Andre Vas on August 20, 2021 at 6:24 pm

      Jal, decent logic calls for counter-argument…

      Curious, what school of philosophy are you studying? Dvaita, Vishisthadvaita, Purva Mimamsa, Jainism, Buddhism (which branch), Nyaya, Yoga (Patanjali), etc? Because each school puts forward postulations.

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      …purport of Advaita is to replace worship of God with guru worship by denying the ontological divide between man and God.
      ============

      Above statement is only true to improper schools, where the word “God/Bhagavan” is near taboo, nor understood, and thought-of as unnecessary. As it was purported by you… where is such statement heard? Who specifically said it?

      Also what is your definition of “God”? Is it based on an entity in some place/time?

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      real world of pure consciousness versus the dependent, false world of apparent matter. This is nothing if not dualistic,
      ============

      There’s no such thing as “false”. It’s only a preliminary explanation used to help individual discern 2 orders of the one SAME reality.

      The word “black” and “white” have both difference and sameness.

      Where’s the difference? In combination of letters. All arguments happen at level of name-form.

      Where’s the SAMENESS? Every letter within the word and the entire word, is of the same INK.

      The word “white” says it’s superior then the word “black”. But only because it’s ignorant of the fact that both “white” and “black” are not different in essence (made of same content appearing as different forms).

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      it must posit maya as a quasi-independent reality
      ============

      Argument only stands true if think that māyā actually exists, as though “quasi-independent reality”.

      “Maya” means apparent. For example, someone looks like your friend. Closer we approach, more information we get about them, until quickly we realize he/she is not our friend. Although seemed, because we didn’t have clarity about the person from afar.

      Like above, maya is a term invented to demonstrate the error person makes about the world, when they are ignorant about the fact that God alone is.

      In Advaita, there’s no question of denying anything. That’s why it’s an erroneous misrepresentation to proclaim: “…purport of Advaita is to replace worship of God”.

      Only an unqualified mind will think the individual is above God or in some way superior. These notions are coping mechanism to feel good about oneself. Or comes from unqualified mind listening to Vedanta, thus misinterpreting it.

      Open to hearing your thoughts.

      • Jal on August 22, 2021 at 7:55 am

        Hi Andre.

        Sorry for the tone of my initial comment. Let me explain.

        I have reservations about guru-based spirituality because as anyone knows who reads beyond the hype, more often than not these living buddhas and god-men end up disgracing themselves, usually with sex abuse scandals. I doubt this is news to you but if it is I can provide examples, or you can read a book called “Stripping the Gurus” which is online free.

        Of course in fairness no advaita guru could be worse than ISKCON or the Catholic Church, so it was unfair of me to imply that dualism/non dualism has anything to do with it.

        As for advaita being closet dualism, I guess that only makes sense if we evaluate the teaching with dualistic presuppositions. From that point of view, for example, your explanation of satay/mithya in terms of recognising a friend is instructive: the dualist would scoff and say “but according to you the case in which I correctly recognise my friend is analogous to the case in which I INcorrectly recognise her! That’s absurd!”

        I’m curious, how would you answer that objection?

        Of course, dualism has its paradoxes too. How can God be infinite and yet we be excluded from His substance? You’ve asked this question yourself, I know.

        • mm Andre Vas on August 25, 2021 at 10:28 pm

          Greetings Sir,

          Pleased to engage again.

          ========================
          I have reservations about guru-based spirituality because as anyone knows who reads beyond the hype, more often than not these living buddhas and god-men end up disgracing themselves, usually with sex abuse scandals. I doubt this is news to you but if it is I can provide examples, or you can read a book called “Stripping the Gurus” which is online free.
          ========================

          After being involved, mingling with… I assure you, in real life such reports are vastly misrepresented.

          Guru just means a “teacher” in Sanskrit. One who specifically deals with subject matter of resolving the many contradictions pertaining to reality, oneself and God.

          To write a book “Stripping the Gurus”, one needs to ask, “What kind of a person would write it?”. One who hasn’t yet met the guru. Thus whatever is written is coming out of partial ignorance and disrespect of the guru (teacher).

          It’s no different then R.Dawkins, a fellow atheist, writing the best seller, “The God Delusion”. Then providing convincing case studies to backup his preexisting notions. But does such a book absolutely invalidate God? No. It only shows the authors lack-of-understanding of Divinity, despite his brilliant logic.

          Simultaneously, I’m mindful of the unfortunate cases within spiritual circles, and fail not to point them out in classes. Fraud/scams existed 2000 years ago, much as today. But so has the good/generous co-existed. Furthermore, words like “guru/yoga” have been abused and overused excessively. Nowdays we have: The money guru! The love guru. Endless.

          But why criticize/condemn. It often discourages other innocent seekers/readers from pursuing “guru”, “Advaita”, “Buddhism”, etc.

          We can only criticize that which we don’t fully understand. Easy to label a killer as “bad person”, until we learn they were raped, forced into prostitution, abusive parents, etc. Then we find empathy.


          In Vedic culture, it’s stated the 3 greatest boons one can be blessed, are:

          1) To be born in human body. If we were cat/dog… this wouldn’t be taking place.

          2) Meet the guru (who is also much of a student as a teacher).

          3) Understand the guru’s (teachers) words. Then self, world and Divine are completely reconciled. One understands the relationship. No more doubts. One sees through this world, just as a parent sees through their toddler’s intentions.

          May boon #2 comes for Jal… to all sincere aspirants. We don’t need to use “guru” if distasteful associations to such word. Just plain English, a teacher… a friend.

          ========================
          Of course in fairness no advaita guru could be worse than ISKCON or the Catholic Church, so it was unfair of me to imply that dualism/non dualism has anything to do with it.
          ========================

          Way I see it: Every school/religion deserves utter respect. They are based on hundreds of years of contribution by millions of brains (as intelligent as yours). Some logic is flawed, some is brilliant.

          ========================
          … the dualist would scoff and say “but according to you the case in which I correctly recognise my friend is analogous to the case in which I INcorrectly recognise her! That’s absurd!”. I’m curious, how would you answer that objection?
          ========================

          Appreciate giving me opportunity to counter the objection.

          It is NOT “analogous to the case in which I INcorrectly recognize her”. Why?…

          The relationship Jal has with his beloved, is not mistaken for another woman. He fails not to recognize the stories shared are associated to one particular individual.

          Similarly, amidst a thousand woolly sheep, the lamb recognizes flawlessly it’s dear mother. Despite unsophisticated intellect.

          Between choice of hurting or non-hurting yourself… we choose to not-hurt ourselves.

          Gravity pulls in only one direction, down.

          At night, living beings sleep. At day, they awaken. The two are not mixed up.

          Your/my past deeds only come back to you/me. EG: If I lie, only I feel the guilt inside. Not you.

          In other words… there can only be ONE truth. There can’t be two truths.

          I am open to thoughts.

  2. Vaidy Bala on August 16, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Mystical experiences of others are a clear indicator of pure consciousness. This sometimes triggers an urge to seek. Knowledge of the soul through a teacher or master is required to stabilize on the path. Past lives impressions can and do affect positions now in the present, all helping to evolve.

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