message to my friends

Prashant Sharma psharma at BUPHY.BU.EDU
Fri Aug 14 10:06:08 CDT 1998

On Fri, 14 Aug 1998, f. maiello wrote:

> Prashant Sharma wrote:
> >         The point I am trying to make is that whatever one thinks about
> > the "other state" is because, and in terms of, some existing philosophy.
> > There is no "proof" that there is some other state of being, independent
> > of what a philosophy defines that to be. It is therefore quite clear that
> > only one philosophy can get you "there". Some other school of thought will
> > lend itself to an approach that shall take one somewhere else. So, as long
> > as we are going places let us ride the same bus. The possibility that we
> > arrive at the same place is not ruled out, but it is not proven either.
> >
> There may be no empirically scientific way of
> proving that the state of egoic liberation is
> the same for all humans, other than through an
> insight of the intuitive intellect.  And if such
> insight is applied to other faculties of the human
> being, such as ideas of whether people feel the same
> pain from a toothache, or have the same sensation
> in their gut when riding a rollercoaster, or get
> the same surge in their heart from falling in love,
> these are then seen and recognized to be archetypal
> patterns universally inhering in every human being.
> Therefore, by deductive reasoning, why wouldn't the
> same experience ensue if the ego is suspended or,
> more ideally, lost?  Why would one believe that the
> experience would be so different for different people?
> Isn't it basically the same human nature involved?

        Yes, but isn't this human nature simply a manifestation of mental
conditioning? Isn't the slate wiped out clean when jnAna is attained? So
what truth lies in these experiences other than that similar experiences
lead to similar feelings. But since attainment of jnAna is not an
experience, rather a dissolution of the experiencing structure, how can
you extrapolate this similarity?

> Even if different philosophies postulate different
> characteristics theorized to eventuate if someone's
> ego gets de-fused, how would that effect the actual
> event itself?  And even aside from this, there aren't
> either meaningful differences from one spiritual
> philosophy and another, since they are also universal
> archetypal revelations.  For example, Sankara asserts
> that "atman is brahman," Jesus said, "I and my Father
> are One," Moses reporting the message of Jehovah,
> "I AM THAT I AM," are clear utterances of what is thus
> a universal archetypal pattern of non-dual philosophy.

Clearly there is a difference in the kind of similarity that you can
attribute to these statements and to ones like: "I have a toothache",
spoken in different languages.  The difference can be extracted in the
following way. Since toothache is an experience it has been captured by
thought and is therefore common knowledge.  All statements can therefore
be seen through this knowledge and judged to be similar or dissimilar. It
makes perfect sense for the human mind to do such a thing.
But since, neither the "atmAn" nor the "Father" can be experienced what
meaning is to be attributed to this assumed similarities?

> >
> > > >         Why then did Buddha expound a philosophy and thus
> > > > (in your way of putting it) carry the raft on his back?
> > > >
> > >
> > > It was his prarabdha to be a teacher.  He was also utterly
> > > detached from his teaching--which, incidentally, was the
> > > antithesis of a philosophy or religion.
> >
> >         Which didn't make the end result any different did it?
> >
> Not sure what you're saying here.  Do you mean he still carried
> his philosophy "on his back"?  I would say yes, but he didn't care
> because he was egoically detached.

        Sorry for being unclear here. You have interpreted the question
correctly though.

> namaste

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