[Advaita-l] The nature of spiritual realisation

Tahir Nazir tnazir at energy.com.au
Mon Sep 29 19:19:28 CDT 2003

The idea needs more explanation. The view states that spiritual 
realisation is caused by some brain activity, it is the brain alone that 
gives rise to spiritual experiences. There is no realisation  prior to 
this, the realisation is caused by a brain event. Your comment on this 
view would be much appreciated.


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"Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Sent by: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
30/09/2003 08:26
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        Subject:        Re: [Advaita-l] The nature of spiritual realisation

On Mon, 29 Sep 2003, Tahir Nazir wrote:

> I came across a view from a religious person that stated spiritual
> realisation is due to a brain event, specifically situated in the right
> hand side. He said there is nothing demeaning to spirituality if it is
> seen as a result of brain activity.This is an anti-metaphysical view,
> reducing all things to the one level of reality - namely the corporeal.
> Could you comment on the nature of spiritual realisation that would
> clearly show  this view to be a misconception?

This is a timely question.  I was going to write more about this as a
followup to my post last week but I'll reply here instead.

Advaita Vedanta is not idealistic in the philosophical sense.  I.e. the
phenomena of the visible universe is not "all in your head."  There is
actual "stuff" but it's true nature is misunderstood due to Maya.  There
is one level of reality and it is corporeal as well as spiritual.  The
error is in considering them to be seperate.  (Advaita == not-two)

In Yoga especially the correspondence of the macrocosm and ones own self
are explicitly described.  So the various veins and arteries of the body
are equal to the rivers such as Ganga and Yamuna.  The bones are equal to
the mountains such as Himalaya and vindhya.  In the same way the Yogis
personal practice is supposed to affect his outside environment too.

Thus there should be no objection to the idea of realization being a
result of brain activity.  As long as your friend also admits that brain
activity is a result of realization :)

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