Nature of Consciousness

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 19 23:13:30 CDT 1999

>Just for the record, I never mentioned the word proof. I am only seeking an
>understanding of consciousness, experience, and knowledge that best

Well, if not technically about proof, the discussion hinges upon the
*validity* of the argument, which comes close enough. My point is that, in
traditional advaita, the appeal to scripture validates the statement that
pure consciousness is the fundamental ultimate reality. This is insofar as
the status of the system as a logically consistent one goes. Without this,
it is only an appeal to personal experience. It would therefore be better
to concentrate on the "who am I?" question here.

>what we 'know' (unavoidably circular), and that entails no unnecessary
>assumptions. But you seem to be conceding the main point as a matter of
>faith only - as a sort of axiom from which everything else flows, but which

Yes and no. In any logically coherent system of thought, there has to be an
assumption somewhere. The question is, how does one decide what is a
necessary and what is an unnecessary assumption? To my mind, all these
fundamental problems are related to Godel's insight about completeness and
consistency in formal axiomatic systems. We try to achieve both in our
thinking, which is why we all live with so many internal contradictions in
and around us. The more rigorous and formalized one's thought process
becomes, the further and further one gets from achieving both

>cannot be established except through supposed revelation. I would think
>many people, both Eastern and Western, would find such a position to be

Again, yes and no. There are lots more people who are quite comfortable
with the idea of a received revelation than there are people who question


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