[Advaita-l] The nature of spiritual realisation -2

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 3 08:47:32 CDT 2003

Dear Raghavendra

>If an objection is made by saying that consciousness is neither an 
>essential nor an inherent attribute of >the body, but relational in the 
>sense that it arises from interaction between matter and matter,

Good question!

>then the reply is that it is not so, for such a thing is not supported by 
>perception. In other words, this view is being rejected in the same way as 
>a rationalist would reject the existence of ghosts. The difference is that 
>the rejection in this case has a much more stronger basis, as interactions 
>between matter are completely within the range of perception, thereby 
>validating the objection, while in the case of the rationalist, the alleged 
>ghosts are not within the range of perception.

I would not comment on your reply portion, but I will present some 

Consciousness, whatever its level including various samadhis, involves being 
conscious of something. There is a seer and there is a thing that is seen as 
in the sentence "I see a tree", and it is another form of duality! The 
object being seen is a different thing because I can't see myself. (One can 
not know the knower... Br.U).

Now, ideally there can be nothing external. So there must be something 
fundamentally wrong with our "seeing". How can we see when everything is 
internal? The fact that we see objects is a proof that there is an error in 
our perception. Now this can lead to a trivail situation where we 
ridiculously reject whatever we see as false, and consequently reject all 
forms of consciousness, though that is what advaita claims will happen 
ultimately. How to get out of this logical mess?

The only way out is to reverse the statement : "The fact that we see objects 
is a proof that there is an error in our perception". Let us refrase it as : 
"The fact that there is an error in our perception results in our seeing 

This means that we see objects only when we meet with a failure in our 
thought process. As long as thought process is unbroken, one does not see 
objects. This is very much verifiable! If you are an expert driver, even 
while thinking of something else you can reach home safely (not advisible 
though). The body and mind become one (advaita!) while driving and you do 
not observe any objects on the street.

That is why mANDUkya upanishat said "It is neither consciousness, etc".

So where are we?

In the Brahman there is no consciousness.

We don't know if there is consciousness between two different pieces of 
matter (e.g., acid + alkali = salt + water), also we are neither one of the 
pieces of matter. As for dead bodies, the life processes continue long after 
the organism dies. The Shruti said mountains are meditating, but does shruti 
have to be specific and say "The dead bodies are mediating as it were"? 
Commenting on the lack of consciousness of dead bodies is like pot calling 
kettle black. So in the absence of evidence we have to assume that lifeless 
objects are potentially capable of having consciousness.

Inthe final analysis, consciousness is experienced when we see objects. So 
consciousness is neither an attribute of objects nor of the self, but it is 
an attribute of an interaction between the self concept (aham) and objects. 
That means to the extent we are conscious, we are all the time in touch with 
some objects or other. So if the objects show any symptoms of our 
realization we would know instantly! So our realization is immediately 
verifiable from our own state of consciousness, and the objects we see.

But then, as perception of objects is an indication of an error in thought 
process, and such error can not exist in realization because realization 
must be perfect, proof of realization lies in non-perception of objects or 
lack of any consciousness. It leads to a kind of Hysenberg principle. To 
measure or not to measure, IMO.

Best regards

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