The non-reality of nothingness

f. maiello egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Wed Sep 9 22:33:32 CDT 1998

> Jonathan Bricklin wrote:
> Nanda Chandran writes:
> "I'm not denying the continum which still persists while we're in deep
> sleep. Obviously there is. What I'm unable to understand is how this
> continum can be termed consciousness, for all consciousness imply a
> subject and an object.
> Infact, has any of you ever fainted? One moment you're awake and then
> the next there's absolutely no consciousness at all, till you regain
> consciousness. Ofcourse you remember the moment you lost consciousness
> but nothing between that and the moment of regaining consciousness.
> And
> definitely one can't equate the state of being faint with
> consciousness.
> So why can't this be the same as the state of deep sleep?"
> Previously I spoke of a week in which I felt myself in deep sleep, but
> with no other thought than the consciousness of blackness.  I have
> become convinced ever since that black-outs are no more than
> black-ins, in which the sense of self goes out;  when we "come to" we
> come to to a sense of self whose first memory is the blackness of the
> last moment of the black-out.  At any rate, surely your statement that
> "there is absolutely no consciousness" needs to be qualified.  I don't
> even think it can be accepted as an inference, since you are inferring
> an incomprehensible state.  For consciousness minus consciousness
> equals the absolute zero of a non-relativized nothingness.  And what
> would that be?  Many if not most people believe in an annhilation of
> consciousness.  But you can't even think of such a state, let alone
> talk about it.  Mostly what they HAVE IN MIND is blackness.

Well put.  However I can empathize with Nanda's plight.

The whole thing boils down to *catching the spirit*
of Being itself, unalloyed to any concept, including
sat-chit-ananda.  In this regard, chit or Consciousness
isn't tagged a positive attribute, for the very idea
beholding its essence: which is sat or Being, defies
the affirmation of anything knowable, and thus finite,
which includes the *concept* of consciousness; however,
not consciousness itself, for it is intrinsic.  This
provides for an obvious chasm between language and
reality, where it becomes clear that language is the
inevitably bound expression of the limits of relativity.
Thus it's been affirmed only by a double negative: that
brahman is not without Being, not without Consciousness,
not without Bliss.


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