[Advaita-l] Facts, Opinions and Opinion about the Facts.
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 12 20:30:20 CDT 2013
PraNAms to everybody.
This article I just wrote in response to some post in the list entitled - you are one with the world - It is mostly operated by JK group. Since I studied JK books when I was very young, I was curious about the type of discussions they had. This post is a result of that curiosity and may be of interest to some.
Facts, opinions, and opinions about the facts
We say that science deals with facts. Facts are supposed to be the truths about objectifiable entities. When we say the light travels at such and such speed – is this fact or opinion about the fact, or is it a belief, or interpretations by some conditioned minds as scientific dogma? Opinions can differ and opinions about the facts may also differ but facts cannot differ. We say that is science. In essence, science talks about facts not opinions. Science relays on the observable data as facts and develop opinions or theories of cause –effect relations to arrive at more subtle facts which are not directly observable other than through their effects. All forces are of that type, where their existence is imperceptible to the senses but are deduced from the effects. The theories become facts only when they are confirmed by observable or perceptible data. Of course I can have opinion about the facts depending on my conditioned mind. Now the question is
what makes something as an opinion and the other as a fact. Let us discuss about the statement that the light travels at a such and such speed; is this a fact or an opinion?
Speed of the light is an objectifiable fact since it is verifiable by anybody. In essence objective science considers a statement is true, provided it is a) verifiable by anybody at any time, that is, it is independent of the subject (a conscious entity) that is doing the investigation and b) and the verification is done using objective tools that are amenable for anyone who wants to verify. Yet, the validation by verification has to be done by a conscious entity only, using his appropriately trained mind capable of such investigation or verification. Without the required training of the mind (we can say as suitably conditioned mind), if the investigator tries to verify the fact or truth, he may come to wrong opinion about that fact or truth. Therefore opinions about the truth can differ due to the inadequate or inappropriate preparations of the minds that are trying to verify. In the language of JK we can call these unprepared minds as conditioned
minds incapable of investigation of the truth which is path-less or independent of any mind that is doing the investigation. All opinions of such unprepared minds become invalid from the point of the truth, if they do not state the truth as it is. Prepared mind is that which is suitably conditioned for the knowledge of that fact to take place. In essence, any inquiry to gain the knowledge of a scientific fact that is not directly perceptible has to be done appropriately after preparing the mind required to gain that knowledge. This is true for any scientific field which is involved in the investigation of the causes for the observed effects.
Science that we are all familiar is limited to the objectifiable world and its tools for investigation are also limited to objective tools. However, even the objective scientific investigation that involves verification of facts for the knowledge of the facts to take place, there has to be a conscious entity present. In addition there has to be a mind for both investigation and to gain the knowledge of that fact. Unconscious entities gaining knowledge is absurd. Even the conscious beings too, if they do not use their minds properly will not gain the knowledge of the facts. They may end up having various opinions about the facts and believe that they are the truths. These come under opinion about the facts.
We also carry opinions about entities that are far from truth, which may not even be verifiable by objective tools. Here most of these opinions are formed due to the ignorance of the truth. These opinions can be opinions about others or motives behind their actions or their mental states. Since nobody can read others mind, our projections of others most of time are far from truth. Besides, most of us try to project a superficial behavior to impress others, the behavior that contradicts their inner personality. Unfortunately the life of such falsehood only deprives our own peace of mind. Added to this, we also try to project a false image of ourselves, to impress the others. This, in fact, is the mind that is conditioned that needs to be de-conditioned to discover the truth – not statements that some follow some religions dogmas, etc., which are childish. Inquiry should be directed to discover the truth about using our mind, based on facts, rather
than some opinion of others, including that of JK. The truth is very subtle and camouflaged by the falsehood due to ignorance of the truth. To discover the truth, we have to first re-educate the mind to live in truth than in falsehood, since right now we live in our own false world of opinions – ours as well as others opinion of ours.
Let me illustrate this with a simple example. One should not lie, that is giving a false statement contradictory to the truth. When I lie about something, my intellect (discriminative faculty) knows what is the truth. Yet my mind (emotional faculty) feels like telling something different to gain some brownie points or to avoid the projected inconveniences. In the process, I split my own subtle equipments – one that knows the truth and one that lies. Whenever I compromise my own intellectual judgments; the intellect knows what is right, and act what I feel like doing, internal conflicts become part of my mental conditioning. Next time even my intellect says I have to do for the good of myself – say, daily exercises – and make a decision to do from next day on, when time comes for execution, the mind backs off and runs over the intellectual decision by feeling like not to do any workout, giving some excuse or the other. We know this happens in
our lives. In all such compromised situations, mind wins over the intellectual and in the process, I lose my will to act. Sin is defined as the divergence between the subtle mind and intellect. I know what is right but I feel like doing something else. I am punished by the sin not for the sin since when my conscious pricks me latter. This pricking of conscious is only in the beginning of these compromises but once continued, the intellect becomes so dull that compromization of the values become more a norm that exception to the rule.
This is the division of internal mind that prevents it from any sensitive pursuit required to discover the truth of oneself and the world. Because of past misuse of this subtle mind only, we have constant internal conflicts of the mind. What I think, what I feel and what I speak and what I do – should be in line – called straightforwardness. When they are not in line and become crooked, our actions reflect that crookedness. This is the conditioning that prevents any discovery of the truth which requires an integrated mind, which JK terminology a super-sensitive mind. JK says the mind can be unconditioned by very sensitive observation of the crookedness itself. He is absolutely correct. However for many there is a problem in that technique. The problem is for this to operate, one has to able to observe the mind in operation. Who is the observer here? – It is the mind only since we do not have any other equipment to observe. In essence, the crooked
mind has to observe the crookedness of the mind or you can say the conditioned mind has to observe its conditioning. It is like asking the notorious thief to watch for the house from thiefs; he himself will rob before others have any chance. Practically, this technique to work, mind has have complete detachment with things and happenings in the mind for it to observe the conflicting things and happenings in the mind. When I got exposed JK teaching when I was young, I was so fascinated and started experimenting it very seriously, but every time I did my mind got lost in the very process of observation. It got high jacked by the conditionings that I am trying to observe. I spend many years and found it is impossible to have a conditioned mind to observe a conditioned mind. From my experience I found that before even I start to observe the mind, the mind has already gone with the activities of the mind. I learned latter where the problem is. For the
operation to work I have to be a witnessing consciousness, witnessing the operation of the mind without getting involved in the activities of the mind. This is what is actually called- inaction in action - that was part of the topic that I have not completed discussing in a separate post, since it requires analysis of what is this witnessing consciousness means. This sensitive mental observation of the mind by the mind can be done only when the mind is completely purified or all the falsehood in the mind falls – in essence already deconditioned for the most part. Hence I said it is a catch 22 situation –where conditioned mind try to uncondition itself.
Before we go into these details we should have some idea of what is that absolute truth that pervades not only the Self that I am, and the apparent external world that is I am not, since I am the subject and the world is object of my perception. How can I, the conscious-existent entity can become one with the inert – infinite world of objects that I perceive and deal with in all my transactions. There is a big difference between seeing oneness of myself and the world in rare moments of when mind is frozen when we see a beautiful flower or beautiful sunset or scenery; and recognizing oneness when the mind is very active seeing the multitude of plurality, when atrocities being committed by human minds with violence within and violence without. If I am one with the whole world only in those moments of meditation, and once the mind is out of meditation I am back to square 1, trying only to find fault with others who are also trying to do the same in
different ways, and branding them as having religious dogmas – it borders to hypocrisy at its best. Before we talk about others problems, whether they are following the truth or nor, the most important for us to do is to set our minds clean of internal distortions. JK does not provide a methodology other than intense observation of the mind by the mind. This technique will work only if the mind can completely detach itself while still involved in the activities. This can happen only if the mind already pure from conditioning. Vedanta also talks about decondition the mind – but discusses how a conditioned mind can decondition itself. Since conditioning happened by deliberate misuse of the subtle equipment, deconditioning has to be done deliberately by a disciplining the mind for it to drop the falsehood. It is like using a soap to clean the dirty plate and in the end remove both the dirt and the soap too leaving the plate clean. It is like using
a sharp needle to remove the thorn sticking deep into the skin – in the end leaving the skin free form the needle and the thorn.
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