[Advaita-l] mithyA from archives

prem d p prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Wed Dec 19 03:27:07 CST 2007

  dear sri ramesh,
  So the point of discussion is the immutability of the atom and to what extent is that a threat to non-duality. As you mentioned, mutability is only for the aggregate and not for the indivisible or the undeformable. 
  BSB sections which discuss the refutation of the Vaisheshika theory of atoms considers the immutable atoms as possessing no extension, and hence the possibility of deformability in space or time is precluded.
  I think the conception in modern physics would be nothing more than as an aggregate of properties, none of which is independantly determinable, leading to a statement of conservation of some summations. So it would merely amount to a statement of immutability of an isolated system. This would hardly be a threat to advaita, rather it takes one to the very doorstep of advaita.
  The search for the immutable atom is no different from the search for the immutable laws or a unified field theory. Only our rishis went further and beyond to reach the immutable non-dual. So the search for the immutable atom, however incomplete, is only part of this grand endeavour.
  As suggested earlier, the indivisible atom is distinguished by its exterior and known fully by its relationship with others. Any such interrelationship is a mutual subject-object realtionship. If we want to consider an object-object relationship then a third observer has to be admitted. 
  The objects and the encompassing field exists only to the Seer. It may easily be postulated that it is the field which is the phenomenon and the atoms are mere singularities or holes in it. The field exists in the mind of the observer. The field being an aggregate of properties, directions, extension, dynamics, etc is hardly immutable. So the immutability of the atom is only the immutablity of the substratum!
  With regard to our concern that we are unable to draw arbitrary boundaries, it may be remembered that the freedom for arbitrary determination does not lie with the individual jiva but with the samashti mind and we as limited beings are part of the determination. 
  All expressions rooted in ignorance, whether it is consistent with phenomenal reality or only merely postulated, finally gets resolved into ultimate truth because of the saving grace of the realization that all expression is expression by Self. Self when factored into the the expression leads the way to resolution and repose in Self itself. This is why, i believe, Sri Ramana Maharshi advises that 'who am i' is the only mantra ever required for salvation, if you have access to the mantra.

Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com> wrote:
  Dear Sri Prem,

On 16/12/2007, prem d p 
> In one of your own earlier posts you had given a brilliant description
> of how the manifoldness of the World is due to the arbitrary
> boundaries that the observer draws. There-in lies the clarification
> that you seek, as you, no doubt, considered that the boundaries
> are superimposed on a sea of homogeneity called Existence.

My earlier post on mithyA actually did not go this far, or at least I
did not intend it to at that time. I attempted to explain clearly the
need for a substratum and the arbitrariness of boundaries. However, my
criteria for arbitrariness suggest that the boundaries between
fundamental particles are not arbitrary, because they are not
reducible to something else.

But perhaps I should attempt take that explanation further and see
where it leads to.

> Ourself as the subject-witness forms the substratum for all our
> experience. This is readily grasped by our intellect. On enquiring
> further about the witness, we, thro' the process of neti neti soon
> arrive at witness-consciousness which transcends the limitations of
> the space-time framework. In fact the space-time itself transforms
> into a transcendental substratum of pure existence. Pure Existence
> aspect of the substratum is posited here from a pure objective
> perspective of the Witness. (Pure Existence has a significance only
> to the Pure Intelligence holding it. Tat Tvam Asi is realized here
> itself, but let us carry on some more!) Post-Relativity science also
> tells us that space-time exists only in the context of objects
> (matter-energy) and is co-extant with the field. Thus Witness has no
> specifics, no location or boundaries in space-time.

Space-time equivalence, which unfortunately I don't fully understand,
is perhaps one way of answering my question. Generally, when we speak
of birth/death/creation/destruction/causality, we refer to events *in
time*. An object exists at a given point in time and does not exist at
another point in time. However, one could conceive of a spatial
dimension to the same. A given object exists at one point in space but
not at another point in space. This would be true for fundamental
particles also. So while a fundamental part is non-negatable in time,
it is negatable in space.

However, I am not entirely satisfied with this argument because it
seems to make brahman into an axiom

> Let us now concentrate on the Object (say, our fundamental particle).
> Objects manifest by way of 'definition by delimitation'. Obviously such
> a delimitation is possible only on a substratum.

Can you expand a little on the above point? Definition by delimitation
was indeed the crux of my earlier post on mithyA. But I would think
that definition by delimitation is applicable to all objects except to
fundamental particles. Unlike objects that are aggregates, the
observer plays no role in drawing the boundaries around a fundamental

What is it that I am overlooking in the above argument?

Anyway, my sincere thanks to Sri Prem for his patient responses :-)

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