Understanding Sada's position - 3
vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 10 09:31:46 CDT 2001
>Without my mind and my consciousness backing it up - there is no way - no
>way is underlined - the existence of the world is established or proved.
>Be my guest if you can do that.
You say the without consciousness the world is not proved. But
again without the world is consciousness itself proved?
As Shankara asks : do we perceive consciousness in itself? Consciousness
is necessarily proved only because of the objects that we perceive.
Since we are conscious of things around us (objects) we say that we're
conscious beings. Without an object of consciousness where's there any
meaning to "consciousness" itself? Even so called self-consciousness is
nothing but consciousness of oneself as a psycho/physical unit - as an
Also for "consciousness" to have any meaning not only do we need objects, we
need a subject too. It is not merely consciousness which is conscious of an
object but a subject - you - who is conscious of the object. So without a
subject which perceives and object which is perceived, how can you establish
Without each one the other two cannot be established.
There're more problems here. It is said that the subject is conscious
of an object. So there're three entities in this equation : subject,
object and the consciousness by which the subject perceives the object. But
again what's the connection between the subject and the consciousness?
Without being conscious itself, the subject cannot be conscious of
consciousness or the object presented to it by consciousness. So if the
subject itself was a conscious entity then either its true nature is itself
consciousness or it is something which has consciousness as its attribute
(the consciousness we're discussing here is different from the consciousness
which perceives objects). If the subject were consciousness itself, then
what's the difference between itself and consciousness which perceives
objects? Are they one or two? If the subject is something whose "attribute"
is consciousness then what relates its attribute to itself and what relates
the attribute to the consciousness which perceives objects? Another
consciousness? This would lead to infinite regress.
To bring in the mind into this equation will only add to the problems. If
the mind is something which perceives objects - then what's its true nature?
Consciousness or is it an object whose attribute is consciousness? And
what's its connection with the its attribute consciousness, the self and the
consciousness which perceives objects? Are they one or many?
We can extend this argument to the senses too : the eye perceives.
If the true nature of the eye is vision, then unless the mind too has
vision as either its true nature or as an attribute (which will lead to the
same problems all over again) how can it see what the eye sees? Are they one
or two? We also have to take into account the other senses - unless the mind
has as its true nature or as attributes of
hearing/seeing/smelling/taste/touch etc how can it interpret what the
senses present to it? Multiple qualities cannot be the true nature of a
single thing - then the word "true nature" itself loses all meaning. If all
the qualities are attributes what is the true nature of the mind and what
connects it to these attributes?
The problem doesn't end here as we also have to figure out the connection
between the mind and the self - which experiences everything.
As Nagarjuna says : things which are dependent on each other can neither be
established as one or many. We're just linking things and giving them
individual identities based on common sense. But if we analyze them they
have no substance in themselves.
Psychology/epistemology is beyond comprehension - anirvaacaniya. It can be
used for living a practical life but doesn't have absolute validity.
Sada, I apologize if I offended/hurt you in any of these posts. I'm by
nature a very aggressive debater and that's one of the reasons that I did
not want to get into a debate with you earlier - I didn't want to say
something harsh and hurt your feelings. Again I apologize if I did so - it
When you write your reply I would appreciate it if you address each
post individually - also address each point individually.
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