Activity of the human mind

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Dec 15 17:58:42 CST 1997

On Sun, 14 Dec 1997, Miguel Angel Carrasco wrote:

> It is my impression that, not only in the current debate but in general,
> much of the difficulty in agreeing on something is due to using common
> daily-life words for specific, technical purposes. Take for example the
> word ^Óreal^Ô.
> What is its ^Óreal^Ô meaning? Not one, apparently. But things get still more
> complicated with its opposite: ^Óunreal^Ô. What do we mean when we say e.g.
> ^ÓThe world is unreal^Ô. I am sure that each of us has an at least slightly
> different representation ot its meaning.

> ... [ A story about Maria deleted ... ]

> On Date:  Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:   ^Ó [...] Whatever
> activity the human mind indulges in, it is unreal. [...] Even its activity
> of satsangh or attempts to absorb the scriptural writings are unreal."
> Dear Gummuluru, what do you mean with ^Óunreal^Ô? Unreal grade 2, 3, 4... ?
> That is, ^Óunreal^Ô in the sense of ^Ónot a substance, but just a quality,
> something without individual existence^Ô, or ^Óimagined, an mental object^Ô,
> or ^Óa mistake, a mirage^Ô, or ^Ófalse, a fake, a lie^Ô, etc, etc.?
> I also think that the same problem (anbiguous words for very specific
> elements) occurred during the debate about Consciousness, which btw kept on
> changing its subject name, and the one about the many but similar dreams.
> Is anyone ready to give us proper definitions of ^Óreal^Ô, ^Óunreal^Ô,
> ^ÓConsciousness^Ô, ^ÓAwareness^Ô, ^Ódreams^Ô, ^Óexperiences^Ô, etc?
> Miguel Angel


The above is a fair question and let me attempt at giving my
understanding and my usage of these words.

We define Reality as what remains immutable during the three states of
waking, dream and deep sleep. It is pure Consciousness.

That which did  not exist before and will not exist after, but is
perceived to exist at the present on account of the peculiar condition of
the mind, we can call it unreal. [Please recall GauDapAda's statement
"Adau ante ca yAn nAsti, vartamAnepi tat tatha": that which did not exist
at the beginning and which is not going to exist at the end may just as
well be considered non-existent at the present.]. Some examples of unreal
are: the mirage, the illusory snake. This is true also of all waking and
dream experiences. Waking, like dream, is unreal since the objects
perceived in the waking state, just like those perceived in the dream,
have their origin solely in the mind.

Swami Nikhilananda says "Whatever object is perceived to exist outside
the perceiver, whether in dream or waking, is unreal on account of its
being perceived. Any experience based on subject-object relationship is
essentially unreal."

There are many illustrations of Real and unreal in AshhTAvakra Gita and
Yoga VashishhTa.

Gummuluru Murthy
... aham-bhAvodayAbhAvo bodhasya paramAvadhih ...
                        Shri Shankara in Viveka ChuDAmaNi (verse 424)

The end of the rise of the sense of "I" of the ego is the culmination
of knowledge.

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