Change and the changeless

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Tue Nov 4 17:25:07 CST 1997

At 04:37 PM 11/4/97 -0330, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
>While the screen and the characters in the movie is a good analogy, I am
>not entirely sure it fits the advaitic thinking fully.
>It does not allow the jeeva [in this analogy, the characters in the
>movie] to merge with the Absolute [in this analogy, the screen]. It
>stresses the non-reality of the jeeva. But it does not show the
>fundamental precis of the advaita that the jeeva without upAdhis is
>the Brahman. How could that be accommodated in the screen and movie
>character analogy ?  Yet, I see this analogy being used effectively
>by Nisargadatta and others.

I've heard it go several ways:

     watcher  =  jiva
      screen  =  Absolute
        lamp  =  Absolute (different writer of the analogy)
movie itself  =  phenomenality (other jivas, the rest of the world)

As for the jiva merging with Brahman, I've seen this described as the
watcher realizing "this is only a movie."  By this, the jiva loses
identification with the events in the movie.

What I respond to in the analogy is that there is really no causality,
evolution, progression, or passage of time in the movie when it's seen as a
movie.  The movie is in the can, already finished, all of a piece.  I think
the world is just like that (as per the Gaudapada Karika).

Still not a perfect analogy, but what analogy is perfect?   If it were a
perfect fit, it wouldn't be an analogy, it would be the case itself.


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