[Advaita-l] Knowledge and the Means of Knowledge - 8 - Here & Now

prem d p prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Fri Mar 14 03:23:49 CDT 2008

  dear sri sadananda-ji and all,
  The post on clarifications of VP is very interesting. 
  It set off the following thoughts in me.
  1) Experience & Memory:
  Your clarification again highlights the fact that the only fact that 
there is, is 'here & now'. If we allow the law of Causation to dominate 
our discussion then one may conceive of Here & Now as the culmination
of all World events, result of All. However, as a matter of fact,
we have only Here & Now and past and future (seem to) flow from it!
  The problem of non-coincidence of experience and recollection
affects our conceptual understanding also. Even words & ideas
are in a constant flux and each time you re-visit any understanding
you struggle to strike the right note. If this be the case, then how
is progress possible, how do you know that you are on the right track?
  Yet again, the fact of having to struggle convinces us that Truth 
must be beyond thought and mind. This is the highest Truth mind
can conceive.
  All we have, or rather all that we are, is Here & Now. 
  Absolute Truth is the highest conception, rather Truth is the light 
filtering down to us from beyond, from the general direction from which 
concepts seem to come. 
  So in a way, our heart is our centre, and our horizon too.
2) Eternal Categories
  I am not an expert on 'Nyaya' (in fact less than a novice!). However, 
I have the following comments.
  The World of Nama-Rupa do admit of categories. In fact Nama-Rupa is an
attempt at superposing Categories (distinctness) on an essentially
homogeneous substratum. Therefore it is only fair that Categories themselves
are defined as distinct and hence remain so eternally.
  This problem of eternal distinctness poses great problems in
the ability of language to convey ultimate truths. Take for example
terms like 'Existence', the moment 'Existence' is defined its negation
'Non-Existence' comes into being. You may note that in the very attempt
to define non-existence I have to take recourse to terms like 'come into being'
which makes the whole statement rather contradictory. Contradiction seems to
be unavoidable, if language is given a free hand, so to say!
  On the other hand, the existence of cross-examples among Categories is how
the World of objects undermines the eternality of Names, whereas
transcendence is how the Names or Categories are eternally subsumed.
  3) Direct Perception
  I would like to propose the following problem for a discussion by the list
  My understanding of Existence-Knowledge leads me to hypothesize 
that direct perception is perception here & now, which means that
it is simply being-knowledge in all purity. 
  Take for example the case of the illusion of snake on rope. Here snake is 
indeed in the class of a supposedly direct percept. But does it really 
qualify as direct, if it is indeed direct then it has to be the Real, 
because without the aid of memory or a similar process (implying time and 
hence not direct) snake cannot come into being even if only as illusion. 
  However the directness of contact in the perception of snake is 
not denied, but now realized as nothing but the essence of object 
or brahman or Self.

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