The non-reality of nothingness

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Mon Nov 24 09:01:32 CST 1997

At 11:26 AM 11/20/97 -0800, Jonathan Bricklin wrote:

>"Tat tvam asi means the affirmation of a common ground, viz.,
>consciousness, to the individual and Brahman.  The identity is obtained by
>stripping away the incompatible or contradictory elements of the "that" and
>"thou" and thereby arriving at their common elements or basis."  (Eliot
>Deutsch, _Advaita Vedanta_, p. 49)

>Nisgardatta's attempts to chart a territory beyond this common ground are,
>in my estimation, wanting.

As it is for many others, too.  Here's how to do Deutsch's stripping using
Nisargadatta's vocabulary.

Deutsch calls it             Nisargadatta calls it
================             ======================
consciousness                awareness
an element of "thou"         (personal) consciousness

1. For Deutsch's 'consciousness', substitute 'awareness'.
2. When you strip away everything from 'thou', you have also stripped away
the waking, dream and deep sleep states.  The sum of all these states in
the same body for Nisargadatta just is consciousness.  In standard advaita
terms this consciousness is called Visva and Taijasa and Prajna, which is
Brahman associated with the limiting adjuncts of individual ignorance and
identifying itself with the gross body/waking state, subtle body/dream
state, causal body/sleep state respectively.
3. When you have done all the stripping, you will have no 'consciousness'
left in 'awareness.'  Everything personal has been stripped away.
Awareness is all that will be left, and this awareness is Brahman, or the


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