Thank You

Parisi & Watson niche at AMERITECH.NET
Wed Jul 28 20:13:52 CDT 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 8:34 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You

>Advaita vedAnta is not going to be a satisfactory philosophy for
>someone who does not accept the un-authordness of the veda.

Let's review. I began with a serious of logical steps concerning
consciousness, and asked what was wrong with my reasoning. The answer
eventually boiled down to, "Your reasoning is wrong because our infallible,
unauthored scripture says so." Well fine. No answer to that is possible.
There is an important distinction that easily gets lost between "Everything
in this book is true" and "This book is infallible." The first statement can
be justified, at least conditionally (barring other evidence), but the
second never can, except by blind faith alone. There I cannot and will not
go. I don't ever want to put myself in the position of making any statement
that can't begin with "I could be wrong, but..." That is the dimension of
human fallibility, and I have yet to come across any book, scripture,
philosophy or oral tradition that was not originated by human beings,
including those of the Indian subcontinent.

The ironic thing to me is that this claim, which is made to advance Vedanta
to a supreme, unassailable position, in reality lowers it to the level of
just one more example of human arrogance and presumption, as we see in most
of the other major religions. And you don't need it! The Upanishads can
stand on their own as supremely profound and beautiful, as foremost among
religious ideas, without any such impossibly inflated claim. But by
indulging in this conceit, the whole notion slides from the sublime toward
the ridiculous. If only you knew what you really have!

The administrator has personally urged me to leave the list as I promised,
and assured me that doing so would not place me among the weak minded. I
would only respond that true strength of conviction needs no unconditional,
absolute guarantees in advance; it can stand or fall on its own. It learns
readily from others, but always reserves the right duty to question. That
which cannot withstand sincere questioning can't be saved by claims of

I know that all this will fall on deaf and probably hostile ears, but I
don't think that's my problem. I do certainly still respect Vedanta, and
also the members of the list, although this episode has taken some of the
shine off their aura, so to speak. But I wish all of you well in pursuing
your ideas, wherever they may lead.


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