Exercise in Psychology

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 11 11:26:45 CDT 1998

Greetings Advaita Vedantins!

If you care to remember a couple of months back, in the thread "link
between Vyavaharika and Paramarthika", I'd raised the question about the
validity of the definition of the Self as
Absolute - Changeless - Eternal (ACE). I'd finally ended with the
conclusion that if the Self is assosiated with the "I" in any remote way
it will fail the ACE test. In response to the post
Giri, Chuck and Frank asked me to put sadhana where my mouth (logic)

I did!

What I'm about to explain is quite complex and might be misleading if
not understood properly. The problem is that even I'm not very clear
about the whole thing as it seems beyond any intellectual conception
(atleast at present!). In this post I use the word mind to refer to -
the sense of perception, the intellect and the Ego.

I tried meditating the way suggested by Ramana. I got a good hold of my
"I" sense and held on to it without letting the mind wander. When the
mind wanders, as it'll eventually, Ramana suggests that we should
enquire as to whom the mind has wandered? A few sessions
of this practice, it struck me that it was with the mind that
I was trying to understand the "I". And if it's the mind which we're
trying to control how much sense does it make to analyze the analyzer -
which only increases the activity of the mind? So in response to a
personal post Giri suggested that I reject all

It takes a while to go beyond the mind and stay in the base
conciousness. This conciousess is devoid of thoughts and can be only
expressed as existence. There's not even an "I" sense, for ultimately
even the "I" is but a mental conception. I just
am or even better, "It just is"! On an average with great effort I can
remain in this state for 2-3 minutes, before thought waves engulf me.

On one such occasion when I was in this state of just existence, I
deliberately let my mind wander. The process can be best described as
storm clouds gathering over a peaceful town. Here I was all peaceful and
existing and suddenly I could mentally see
a whole wave of thoughts coming up and just engulfing me. My state of
existence was lost.

On reflecting on it I felt that it was as if my individuality had been
hijacked. From the peaceful state of existence to the individual "I"
enjoying the empirical world. On further reflection it struck me that my
individuality cannot be hijacked as there's * no
individuality in this state of existence *. Individuality is only a
mental conception. As Shankara and Nagarjuna explicitly state, "The end
of the rise of the "I" ...".

So now if we take up my question in my "link between the Vyavahara and
the Paramartika" as to who is enjoying to fruits of this world - only
the mind with it's sense of individuality - not the
jiva of which the Self is a part. The mind is fully capable of being the
I and also enjoying the fruits. There's no link between the "I" which is
enjoying the fruits and the base state of existence (I'll not use the
"I" for this state). This is also clearly illustrated in the Mundaka
Upanishad with the two birds, one enjoying the fruits and the other
looking on passively unaffected.

But at this point in time, I'm not able to say what exactly the state of
existence is up to when the mind is enjoying it's fruits. My only
assertion that it cannot be part of the enjoying apparatus is based on
the observaton that the state of existence lacks individuality, which is
quite the strong factor in the process of enjoyment. I'm hoping more
meditation will shed further light into this.

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