Thank You

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Tue Jul 27 12:19:00 CDT 1999

At 12:37 PM 7/27/99 , Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> > Yes, Robert's original question was about consciousness being the medium of
> > all human expression, and brain states being a key factor in
> > consciousness.  He didn't mention the Vedas at all in that question.
>But the relevance for Advaita Vedanta is that it does not draw its
>conclusions from the fact of consciousness but the Vedic treatment of the
>fact of consciousness.

So what if Robert's question wasn't directed towards the Vedic
treatment?  A statement like yours above, that the relevance lies in
sticking to the texts, could well have been an answer to his original
question.  As it happened, the thread was definitely non-textual, so much
so, that I even posted my first non-textual, non-hermeneutic replies to
Robert alone, till I was urged by several folks to post them publicly.  No
one told anyone in that thread to stick to texts, though the conversation
did head that way, as is natural and expected on this list.

> > This has been repeatedly observed on this list.  Many people have left the
> > list, not because of religious or philosophical differences, but because of
> > the harsh character of some of the messages.
>At the risk of sounding harsh, such weak-minded people are never going to
>get anywhere.

Who is weak-minded?  Certainly not Robert.  He has hung out on the list
when almost all the posts on his thread went against his ideas.  How many
people have done the same thing, when almost everyone disagreed with
them?  Most of the people who were roundly disagreed with on ADVAITA-L have
left it, and I can tell you, they have definitely "gotten somewhere" on
other lists.

>Obviously they have never seen a real Internet flamefest.
>Nothing on this list has even come close.

Well, as an essentially religious list, it should be even further from
flamefests than it is.  Why don't more people emulate their teachers in
their manner of communicating?  I find it hard to believe that the swamis
at the Shankaracharyan mathas treat people that way.

>Alot of people put a lot of
>their precious time into helping people understand the subject. Sometimes
>people are disappointed in the answers.  Actual harshness is low.  And
>what there is, _is_ due to religious and philosophical differences. This
>cannot just be papered over.  Yes politeness is a virtue but it is
>secondary to truth.

This would be a real good point if it were somehow impossible to be polite
and truthful or earnest at the same time.  But it's just too obviously not
impossible.  There are too many examples in scholarship and religious
dialog in which politeness, intelligence, scholarship and insight are all
exemplified together with an exciting debate.  Again, why don't the most
ardent spokesmen on this list for the textual Advaita Vedanta tradition
exemplify the politeness that the swamis exemplify?

>Let strive to be less harsh.

Yes, yes, yes!!

>   But let's also remember why our Devas are
>also shown in ugra forms like Bhairava or Narasimha or Mahakali.  Truth
>doesn't always wear a pretty face.

Yes, this can help us when we're on the receiving end of ugly truth.  But
it doesn't justify being on the giving end.  A deva's job is not our
job.  Because a deva can do this doesn't mean that we can do this.  Would
you arrogate Deva-hood to anyone on this list?

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