Tat tvam asi?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Feb 11 22:28:09 CST 2002

On Mon, 11 Feb 2002, nanda chandran wrote:

> Philosophy in its strict sense is based only on experience and reason and
> not apriori notions of what reality is or isn't and reconciling such
> conceptions with the world we experience.

Note this is also an a priori statement! :-)  A Vedantin includes Shruti
alongside experience and reason as bases for philosophy.  Reason is only
as good as the data it is based on.  Experience is also not an entirely
reliable guide.  Take classical music for example.  An ordinary person
might listen to the sitar and only hear a horrible twanging sound.  But to
one whose ear has been trained to appreciate it every note might unleash a
torrent of emotion.  Same sensory event, two entirely different
"experiences" depending on the prior state of the experiencer.

Now the reason I went into a lengthy discussion of the context of neti
neti is to illustrate what some of the a priori conceptions behind such an
approach are.  Vedantic sadhana operates under the theory that the final
object of our quest is vaguely known but what it is not is somewhat better
known.  So if we can understand and then reject all that it is not, we
should eventually be left with what is. But we cannot make those
distinctions unless we have some idea--even an a priori surmise--what we
are distinguishing between.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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