Nature of Consciousness - Advaita

Elizabeth Lisot Parvatijai at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 21 11:00:03 CDT 1999

If consciousness  is solely dependent on the brain...and not the other way
around...then would it not be possible to create consciousness by
electrically stimulating a brain after death? While a person is living,
different types of thoughts or sensations can be induced through electronic
stimulation. But after death, consciousness cannot be induced. Would it not
follow then that brain function is a product of consciousness, though yes,
the brain can effect our access to different states of consciousness? Some
people report being consciously aware of people and events happening around
them while they were in a coma. According to the mechanical view of
consciousness this would not be possible. Perhaps what we normally experience
through the medium of the brain is a type of consciousness...let us define it
as "ordinary" but many people have experienced what are called "non-ordinary"
states of consciousness...such as those people who have claimed to be
consciously aware during death experiences or meditators who experience
Nirvakalpa Samadhi. The brain may be a biological conduit for consciousness
to manifest in the material world.
A metaphor may help explain: The brain and cortex are like a light bulb and
wires. Consciousness is  the electrical current. Do not mistake the wires and
bulb themselves as the source of the electricity.  The quality of the wires
and the wattage of the bulb will effect what level of light is seen. If we
change the light bulb we can get different effects: blacklight, fullspectrum,
strobe, florescent, etc. Just as when we do different things to the brain,
either through drugs, injury or meditation - we can change the type of
consciousness we experience. The light is only the amount of consciousness
that is visible to us (or experienced by us) at any particular moment in time
in a particular room (material plane.) When the light bulb does
not end the electrical current, only our access to it in the way that we are
used to. We either need to get a new light bulb or access the electrical
current in a different way.
This is my understanding of consciousness from having experienced multiple
states of non-ordinary awareness.
Advaita Vedanta is a philosophy that directs us toward a state of universal
or more aptly singular consciousness, one in which we realize that what we
perceive as separate bulbs having their own separate states of consciousness
are in fact really the One consciousness (the electricity) appearing  to
function as separate entities. There is only one source and electric
substance - Brahman. Each of the light bulbs are Atma. Therefore: TAT TWAM
(p.s this is true whether the lightbulb appears as male, female, brahman -
cast or outcast, scholar or laborer, Indian or American, etc.)
Jai Ma,

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