ADVAITA-L: DSingerny at AOL.COM requested to join (fwd)

Govind Rengarajan govind at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Tue Oct 7 22:35:14 CDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 23:12:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: DSingerny at
To: govind at
Subject: Re: ADVAITA-L: DSingerny at AOL.COM requested to join

Friends: I was asked by those who oversee the Advaita list to introduce
myself to the others on this e-mail forum...."I" have been internally
involved with the non-dual approach for quite a number of years and have had
to rely on the internal teacher (I note that this "internal teacher" it is
what is referred to by Nisargadatta as the Sat Guru). Recently, I did get the
opportunity to sit in physical Satsang with Gangaji, a Western Jani from the
Ramana Maharshi>Pundaji lineage and found the experience very confirming and
strengthening of the direction, or shall I say, the "non-locality", from
whence this abiding movement back to the Source eminates. I am very touched
to get the opportunity to make contact with anyone blessed to be called to
this manner of approaching and engaging what is true and eternal. Being moved
by the force of a strengthened "realization" it is with honor and gratitude
that I join this list and commune with friends with a  similar taste.
    Best to all.  Daniel Singer
>From ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU Wed Oct  8 09:23:39 1997
Message-Id: <WED.8.OCT.1997.092339.0700.ADVAITAL at TAMU.EDU>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 09:23:39 -0700
Reply-To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Jonathan Bricklin <brickmar at EARTHCOM.NET>
Subject: Cogito
Comments: To: Advaita <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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Vidyasankar, now screenless, wrote, in a dialogue with me:

> >>Nobody can doubt his/her own existence, whether in the waking or dream
> >>sleep state.
>> So says Descartes, but surely you are not invoking the Cogito here?  He
>> it wrong, agreed?  What then is your warrant for this statement?  If you
> >mean "consciousness can not be doubted out of existence" that is a
> >different claim than "nobody can doubt his/her own existence."

>Descartes's cogito, ergo sum is an inferential argument, that "proves" the
existence of the individual.
>I am saying something very different here.  The *I* cannot be denied, for
there has to be an entity that denies.
>In some ways I would say "sum, ergo cogito."

The "I" can be denied the same way that the snake is denied.  One of the
problems with beginning with "I am" is the same as beginning with "I
think", the problem begins before the ergo.   Amness and thinking there may
be, but what is this I?   Look at "I think."  This phrase, in itself,
depicts no actuality.  Descartes meant it to stand for all possible
instances of thinking something.  It is more a _formula_ for generating
specific examples, rather than a specific example itself.  Without
reference to specific contexts (however changeable or provisional) the
phrase "I think" has no meaning, let alone actuality.  And if the phrase "I
think" does not depict an existent fact it can hardly depict, let alone
verify, the existence of one of its components ^× I.  If I am thinking I
must be thinking _something_,  but no matter what specific something I am
thinking, no matter what context the "I think" exists in, the "I" of the "I
think" cannot simply be transferred, intact, to the "I" of the "I am."  (A
point that is more manifest in the original Latin in which it was
expressed, "Cogito ergo sum," where the "I" is not separated from the verb
but exists only _in_ the verb, as a modification of its ending.)  No matter
what or how many actual occasions of "I think" are referred to, by the time
you reach the "I" of the "I am," the "I" of the "I think" is no more.  It
has turned, irrevocably, into "I thought" ^× a memory of a specific
"I-in-context" moment, not an abstracted, independently existing I.
No indepently existing I, other than, as one Guru puts it, "a modification
or Play upon the infinite, All-Pervading, Transcendental Being," no free
will (as that term is understood in the West).

Jonathan Bricklin

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