We really shouldn't be talking about this at all

Jonathan Bricklin brickmar at EARTHCOM.NET
Fri Nov 14 14:41:52 CST 1997

Greg Goode writes:

>Ramesh Balsekar gives a hierarchy of consciousness which goes like this:

  (1) Consciousness at rest -- Nirguna Brahman
  (2) Consciousness in movement -- Non-localized consciousness, the Witness
  (3) Embodied consciousness -- I am
  (4) Attached consciousness -- I am this body, mind, etc.

Though Ramesh adheres to the ajata-vada theory of creation (i.e.,
non-creation), he interprets creation stories of the jiva as an evolution
from (1) to (4).  And the reverse process is the road to enlightenment.
Once a person gets a taste of (3), they are a seeker, and the process of
enlightnment is the successive dis-identification and non-localization of
consciousness.  That which is at stage (2) is witnessing stage (3).

Enlightenment is staying at (3), sometimes (2) if there's nothing to
witness.  (1) can not be described, because there are no appearances, no
world at all.>

Balsekar, from what I've read, is very good on stages 3-4.  He knows the
wisdom Suresvara speaks of:

"Wheresoever there is doubt, there, the wise should know, the Self is not.
For no doubts can arise in relation to the Self, since its nature is pure
immediate consciousness."

My problem is with (1) and (2).  The less said about Nirguna Brahman the
better, I suppose.  Indeed, as Deutsch says:  "whatever is expressed is
ultimately non-Brahman, is ultimately untrue."  But "I" (stages 1-4
inclusive) believe it is untrue because, like infinity--the one concept it
may most resemble--Nirguna Brahman is to *full* to comprehend not too
empty.   "At rest" sounds like a nice starting/stopping place (depending on
whether you are counting forward or backward) but "at rest" cannot exist
unless "in motion" exists as well.  You cannot make sense of one without
the other.  I'm all for an ultimate "at rest" peace as the most
transcendent value imaginable, but as you approach it (coming at it from
the direction of  1 and 2, you are, as you have presented it, forming a
concept of nothingness, which, as Parmenides tried so hard to alert his
fellow Greeks (alas, to little avail), is the source of all fear and

Could learned list members offer any Sruti quotes (as closely translated as
possible) that refer to Nirguna Brahman?  I have trouble accepting "without
qualities" as being an invitation to create concepts that rely on an
unrelativzed  "nothingness"--something Parmenides, quite rightly, forbids
as absolutely unconceptualizable (unlike infinity, which is only relatively
 unconceptualizable).  At any rate, does Sruti, anywhere, speak of
content-less consciousness, as opposed to, simply, unlocalized
consciousness?  For that matter, Greg, does Balsekar?  Do you?



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