Nature of Consciousness - Advaita

J. Kingston Cowart jkcowart at CARI.NET
Wed Jul 21 22:42:14 CDT 1999


Dear List Members,

With respect to individual consciousness, it would seem that
Nisargadatta Maharaj's explanation of the entire body/mind
complex as a matter of food energy and electrons makes good

But this is only the individual consciousness, the existential
and temporal self as person.  It is part of the dream.

We ought not to think of the dream as some sort of ephemeral
fraud, for the dream is real enough.

That is to say it is a real dream.  It has its rules.  So long as one
is in the dream, the rules apply.  This is true of science as well as
ethics.  It is true also true of philosophy, including both ontology
and epistemology.

Wakefulness beyond the dream is something altogether different,
which the dreamer cannot grasp while dreaming.  It is easy to
surrender the dream.  Once one ceases to will it, it simply vanishes.
Yet the will to will the dream is strong, for it is the medium of
the personal self.  To surrender it is to willingly assent to the un-
derstanding that the personal self has no lasting reality as itself
(not even the reincarnating soul self is ultimately real in that

Once the personal self has come into existence, however, it loves
to exist.  It does not wish cease.  Indeed, it has a terrible time
with the idea that it shall not continue to exist in some way *as it
already knows itself*.  Yet that is exactly what non-dualism asserts.

This is the consciousness which has been under discussion. It is also,
paradoxically, the consciousness in which the discussion has taken
place--and the consciousness doing the discussing, as well.  It is not
open minded when it comes to advaita even when it appears to be.
It is, in fact, quite taken with itself--so much so that it may agree
(in language) with advaitan principles as though they were part of
the rules of the dream.  Or it may actively muster all sorts of scienti-
fic data in defense of its own lasting reality.

No matter.  It is still dreaming.

Respectfully submitted in expectation of correction,


J. Kingston Cowart, M.S.
San Diego, California
<jkcowart at>

P.S.:  It feels rather odd for me to write on this subject since I, of
course, am still deep in the dream.  I suppose it is just part of my
existential nature to do so. (jkc)
J. Kingston Cowart, M.S.
San Diego, California
<jkcowart at>
>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Thu Jul 22 01:29:23 1999
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 01:29:23 EDT
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Elizabeth Lisot <Parvatijai at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: viShNu sahasranAma 1-7 to 1-10
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In a message dated 7/21/1999 3:18:10 PM Central Daylight Time,
sdevaraj at EXPLORER.CSC.COM writes:

<< 8. eSha me sarva dharmANAM dharmo.adhikatamo mataH |
     yad.hbhaktyA pundarIkAxaM stavai-rarcha-nnaraH sadA ||

 To adore the lotus-eyed One always with hymns of praise recited with
 devotion - I consider this to be superior to all other forms of dharma.
This is a wonderful line (as are all of them) particularly relevent to
understand that Shankara promoted bhakti as a supreme means to the non-dual

Jai Ma,

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