Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

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rachMiel
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Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Going for the jugular here ... ;-)

Brahman ... Consciousness ... Awareness ... Oneness ... The Ground ... God ... real or fairy tale?

I've read a bunch of Advaita Vedanta (and similar non-dualistic) texts over the years that have used the "Neti Neti Neti" ("Not this! Not this! Not this!") approach to understanding what is NOT real. And it makes great sense to me, I feel it 100%.

But when these philosophies make the leap to "The only thing that IS real is Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness, etc." ... they lose me. The leap seems arbitrary, the result of faith and wishful thinking rather than deep and watertight reasoning.

There is nothing more abstract and conceptual (i.e. UN-real) than the notion of an all-encompassing Oneness. And like belief in God or Truth, it's unassailable; believers can (and do) say that the understanding of God/Truth/Brahman is beyond human mind, beyond reasoning. Advaita Vedanta claims to reason its way to the conclusion that Brahman is all that is real, but so far my impression is that it too, when the going gets tough, makes a faith-based leap.

Und so, I ask unto you:

Brahman: Real ... or (beautiful) fairy tale?

And, perhaps more importantly: Can your take be convincingly, reasonably proven? Or is it a leap of faith?
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rideforever » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:15 pm

Ha !

Can it be reasonably proven ? What would you like, a stamped certificate with Brahman's signature on it !

Reading ... ok, so you have been reading .... what's that got to do with anything ! It's not in the book !

Are you doing some work on the path to get there ? Or are you expecting Domino's to deliver Brahman with the next pizza ?

What name do you give to THIS ?
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:27 pm

rideforever wrote:What would you like, a stamped certificate with Brahman's signature on it !

Or are you expecting Domino's to deliver Brahman with the next pizza ?
Comments like these are sophomoric and counterproductive, rideforever. You might have something useful to say, but I can't hear it when it is enclosed in such petty sarcasm.

Get a grip, human!
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rideforever » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:36 pm

It was a joke !!!
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:49 pm

Okay, sorry for my overreaction. :-)

I'm not good with sarcasm. My parents hurled it back and forth, creating an atmosphere of great ugliness in our house when I was growing up, a kind of simmering violence.

But, please, in the future: Respect my dislike of sarcasm and nastiness. If you extend me that civility, I'll have a much easier time processing your messages. Deal?
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:54 pm

rideforever wrote:Can it be reasonably proven ?
If it is "beyond" reason/concept/mind then, by definition, no.
Reading ... ok, so you have been reading .... what's that got to do with anything ! It's not in the book !
Afaik Advaita Vedanta says that it is, at least partially (nontrivially), in the book. That Inquiry Into Self is the key work, and that part of this Inquiry is via reasoning/logic (i.e., in the book, the Vedanta). Or did I get that wrong?
Are you doing some work on the path to get there ?
Yes. Reading, pondering, meditating (both on and off the cushion). A fair amount of each.
What name do you give to THIS ?
This. But not Brahman ... or Awareness ... or Consciousness ... or, actually, not any name at all.
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by the key master » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:04 pm

rachMiel wrote:Going for the jugular here ... ;-)

Brahman ... Consciousness ... Awareness ... Oneness ... The Ground ... God ... real or fairy tale?

I've read a bunch of Advaita Vedanta (and similar non-dualistic) texts over the years that have used the "Neti Neti Neti" ("Not this! Not this! Not this!") approach to understanding what is NOT real. And it makes great sense to me, I feel it 100%.

But when these philosophies make the leap to "The only thing that IS real is Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness, etc." ... they lose me. The leap seems arbitrary, the result of faith and wishful thinking rather than deep and watertight reasoning.

There is nothing more abstract and conceptual (i.e. UN-real) than the notion of an all-encompassing Oneness. And like belief in God or Truth, it's unassailable; believers can (and do) say that the understanding of God/Truth/Brahman is beyond human mind, beyond reasoning. Advaita Vedanta claims to reason its way to the conclusion that Brahman is all that is real, but so far my impression is that it too, when the going gets tough, makes a faith-based leap.

Und so, I ask unto you:

Brahman: Real ... or (beautiful) fairy tale?

And, perhaps more importantly: Can your take be convincingly, reasonably proven? Or is it a leap of faith?
Maybe you should try to prove twoness is the case. When you see that can't be done, you won't have to make a leap of faith into Oneness. You'll stop imagining you're a separate person who could leap to or from it in the first place.

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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:12 pm

But not being able to prove duality/plurality would not equate to proving non-duality. It would just mean that N-ality is un-provable. And that leap of faith (or intuition, etc.) would still have to be made.

Proving that duality/plurality is NOT true, now that would be a different story. If there are not 2+, that leaves just 1. Though I guess you could say that the whole question of "how many" is unanswerable/invalid, in which case proving the falseness of duality/plurality would not prove that non-duality was true.

Ach du gruene Neun!

If there is no answer, no 100% convincing reasonable argument that would lead to a verdict of true/false ... then something on the order of faith/intuition must be involved. Yes?
Last edited by rachMiel on Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by karmarider » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:16 pm

rachMiel wrote:Going for the jugular here ... ;-)

Brahman ... Consciousness ... Awareness ... Oneness ... The Ground ... God ... real or fairy tale?
Interesting. In another thread, you kind of alluded that this is a personal recognition or it is not. I sorta agree with that.

What I see is that existence is me. What is consciousness, Awareness, Oneness, Source, Ground, God...is not more or less than the feel of me. Just the ordinary sense of me.

I see the sense of me has no attibutes whatsover. I can't say that it's eternal; nor can I say that it is not. It has no qualities or attributes, except that it is constant, which is not really a quality of it. What it feels like now, it felt like ten minutes ago and ten years ago and fifty years ago.

That's as far as I can see. It has been more than enough just to see that.

I have some faith that people like Ramana, Nisargadatta, Buddha and the people who wrote the Vedanta etc have seen the structure of existence more deeply than I. It is also very plausible to me that it can be a tendency of the human ego to reach for spiritual beliefs. And so I feel that very often when people talk about consciousness and what it is and it isn't are either seeing beyond what I see or are creating beliefs out of repeatable spiritual platitudes.

Either way, I find it irrelevant. Whatever consciousness actually is--just happens to be the case. I see all of this not in the spiritual realm of oneness but in the more human and practical terms. The problem is the very human and practical problem of a mind which is suffused with the effects from the delusion of a fear which comes about very early in life. This is separation. A possible solution is to notice the sense the me.
I've read a bunch of Advaita Vedanta (and similar non-dualistic) texts over the years that have used the "Neti Neti Neti" ("Not this! Not this! Not this!") approach to understanding what is NOT real. And it makes great sense to me, I feel it 100%.
Does it also make sense, rather than dismissing everything it isn't, to see what it is? It is just you. The ordinary you. Take a look the ordinary sense of you.
But when these philosophies make the leap to "The only thing that IS real is Brahman, Consciousness, Awareness, etc." ... they lose me. The leap seems arbitrary, the result of faith and wishful thinking rather than deep and watertight reasoning.
I agree with you. Self-honesty is difficult and self-honesty is a mental process so it is easily tainted by the ego, but nevertheless I have found that the attempt at self-honesty is useful.

My intuition tells me that making a leap of faith and believing something is an obstacle. I understand the strong spiritual compulsion to do so. It can be validating, to believe the spiritually ubiquitous beliefs about Source and eternal consciousness and oneness and so on.

But in my experience, these beliefs are irrelevant and get in the way.

Still, there is nothing wrong with learning about Vedanta, or about black holes, or anything else, if that's what people want to do. But if the objective is to be a free and natural human being, all we need to do is remove the fear.
There is nothing more abstract and conceptual (i.e. UN-real) than the notion of an all-encompassing Oneness. And like belief in God or Truth, it's unassailable; believers can (and do) say that the understanding of God/Truth/Brahman is beyond human mind, beyond reasoning.
It seems to me that these beliefs validate people's spirituality, and so they become ubiquitous, unassailable, unquestioned. Self-honesty is very difficult.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with pursuing this line of inquiry as a possible hypothesis.

If the objective is to be at home in our own life, it's irrelevant.
Brahman: Real ... or (beautiful) fairy tale?
Hypothesis, until it is a personal recognition. But still irrelevant if the objective is to be at home in your own life, in my opinion.
And, perhaps more importantly: Can your take be convincingly, reasonably proven? Or is it a leap of faith?
Not a leap of faith, but a recognition. For example, you know you exist. You can look and feel the sense of existence. You can't prove this to anyone else. But you know this with a certainty which is different.

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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by the key master » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:07 pm

rachMiel wrote:But not being able to prove duality/plurality would not equate to proving non-duality. It would just mean that N-ality is un-provable. And that leap of faith (or intuition, etc.) would still have to be made.
The conclusion that a leap of faith would have to be made is a leap in logic based on the idea that you have to be able to prove Oneness in order for Oneness to be the case. Oneness doesn't have to account for mind's delusions to be Oneness.
Proving that duality/plurality is NOT true, now that would be a different story. If there are not 2+, that leaves just 1.
I think he's got it Mikey :mrgreen:
Though I guess you could say that the whole question of "how many" is unanswerable/invalid, in which case proving the falseness of duality/plurality would not prove that non-duality was true.
Nothing is ultimately true. You're looking to build a foundation on moving soil.
If there is no answer, no 100% convincing reasonable argument that would lead to a verdict of true/false ... then something on the order of faith/intuition must be involved. Yes?
No. You seem to be presupposing there's a person who could have faith in something. What if that's not true either? Believing you're something you aren't allows you to see that idea isn't true. You don't need faith in yourself to be yourself. You need to believe that you're something you aren't in order to think you need faith to be or prove what you are. The belief is the root cause of this issue, not the inability to prove something based on what you believe.

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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rideforever » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:28 pm

Don't want to throw a spanner in the works, but if you prove that "there are not 2", well what about 3. Or 4 ?

Should I be laughing now, I don't know if I made a joke !
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by SandyJoy » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:35 pm

Well, as I see it, you have two choices:

First choice: There is one unnamable source of everything; as in that ineffable “Something that came from Nothing” and That is the One and Only That exists before 'all things' came into being---and That is the Source of all things--- and this Ineffable Something that is nothing explodes into (big bang or big idea, or some theory of how)-- and this One Source (God) is manifesting as things, universe, matter---be It as Mind or Awareness or Life as however we know it---and This Original Sourceless Source 'explodes, or Speaks or expands or becomes aware of Itself) which blooms into the vast array of a multitude of billions of things that appear as ‘things’ separate from each other---but it all comes from from or is existing as the Same Original ineffable that made all things.

Or the second choice would have to be that these billions of separate things that you look out and around and see ---all and each came from billions of separate sources---the original seed making thing, and original cat making thing and the original, distinctly separate from cat making thing, would be the dog making thing -- You see, then you have to ask 'where did those billions of separate sources come from?" ---

This scenario of billion separate things apart from each other is called duality--- Each thing stands as separate things from other things which means that there had to be a billion sources of each separate thing to begin those things---each thing began out of a billion separate "ineffable uncaused sources".

Just think of one thing as simple as a seed--where did the seed come from? and we say, well, it came from the tree ---So, each tree that began, as Oak being apart from Elm and each of those must have come from something separate from one tree and the other kind of tree ---where did all those separate tree seed making original somethings come from? oh, it came from a the "tree seed making thing' which is separate from the chicken making thing which began making the egg first, so it was an egg making thing that first made the chicken or the but there had to a lot of those egg making things because there are all different kinds of birds that have eggs ---and so each of those needs a separate bird making source---and then there is that human making thing, which was, of course, a separate source from the tree making thing---

but all those sources had to come from something sourceless, you know, otherwise any source has to have a source which comes from something ---eventually you have to arrive at the Sourceless One---no matter how you slice It.

If everything is separate then we must ask where did the tree making thing come from? Where did the dirt making thing come from? Where did the original water making thing come from---water is separate from tree, I can see that---so there has to a separate something that made the stars, the star making thing is not the chicken making thing----but where did the star making thing come from? All these things are obviously separate and apart from each other, so they must each have a separate original source, right? and again, if that is true, then where did each of these separated source making things come from?

Eventually, if you back up far enough, you see there is not a lot of other choices that work except for ONE UnCaused Source--- As far as I can see there just simply cannot be any other way---but One

Much Love and I hope that did not sound sarcastic---- it was the only way I could think of that would explain it in everyday kind of normal terms.
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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by the key master » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:39 pm

SandyJoy wrote:Well, as I see it, you have two choices:

First choice: There is one unnamable source of everything; as in that ineffable “Something that came from Nothing” and That is the One and Only That exists before 'all things' came into being---and That is the Source of all things--- and this Ineffable Something that is nothing explodes into (big bang or big idea, or some theory of how)-- and this One Source (God) is manifesting as things, universe, matter---be It as Mind or Awareness or Life as however we know it---and This Original Sourceless Source 'explodes, or Speaks or expands or becomes aware of Itself) which blooms into the vast array of a multitude of billions of things that appear as ‘things’ separate from each other---but it all comes from from or is existing as the Same Original ineffable that made all things.

Or the second choice would have to be that these billions of separate things that you look out and around and see ---all and each came from billions of separate sources---the original seed making thing, and original cat making thing and the original, distinctly separate from cat making thing, would be the dog making thing -- You see, then you have to ask 'where did those billions of separate sources come from?" ---

This scenario of billion separate things apart from each other is called duality--- Each thing stands as separate things from other things which means that there had to be a billion sources of each separate thing to begin those things---each thing began out of a billion separate "ineffable uncaused sources".

Just think of one thing as simple as a seed--where did the seed come from? and we say, well, it came from the tree ---So, each tree that began, as Oak being apart from Elm and each of those must have come from something separate from one tree and the other kind of tree ---where did all those separate tree seed making original somethings come from? oh, it came from a the "tree seed making thing' which is separate from the chicken making thing which began making the egg first, so it was an egg making thing that first made the chicken or the but there had to a lot of those egg making things because there are all different kinds of birds that have eggs ---and so each of those needs a separate bird making source---and then there is that human making thing, which was, of course, a separate source from the tree making thing---

but all those sources had to come from something sourceless, you know, otherwise any source has to have a source which comes from something ---eventually you have to arrive at the Sourceless One---no matter how you slice It.

If everything is separate then we must ask where did the tree making thing come from? Where did the dirt making thing come from? Where did the original water making thing come from---water is separate from tree, I can see that---so there has to a separate something that made the stars, the star making thing is not the chicken making thing----but where did the star making thing come from? All these things are obviously separate and apart from each other, so they must each have a separate original source, right? and again, if that is true, then where did each of these separated source making things come from?

Eventually, if you back up far enough, you see there is not a lot of other choices that work except for ONE UnCaused Source--- As far as I can see there just simply cannot be any other way---but One

Much Love and I hope that did not sound sarcastic---- it was the only way I could think of that would explain it in everyday kind of normal terms.

I'll take choice 1 :wink:

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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by karmarider » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:38 pm

the key master wrote:
SandyJoy wrote:Well, as I see it, you have two choices:

First choice: There is one unnamable source of everything; as in that ineffable “Something that came from Nothing” and That is the One and Only That exists before 'all things' came into being---and That is the Source of all things--- and this Ineffable Something that is nothing explodes into (big bang or big idea, or some theory of how)-- and this One Source (God) is manifesting as things, universe, matter---be It as Mind or Awareness or Life as however we know it---and This Original Sourceless Source 'explodes, or Speaks or expands or becomes aware of Itself) which blooms into the vast array of a multitude of billions of things that appear as ‘things’ separate from each other---but it all comes from from or is existing as the Same Original ineffable that made all things.
...

I'll take choice 1 :wink:
I'll take choice 1 too but I suggest there's no need to call it unnameable, ineffable, One, Source or any other capitilized concept. It's just you.

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Re: Brahman: Real or (Beautiful) Fairy Tale?

Post by rachMiel » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:48 am

karmarider wrote:What I see is that existence is me. What is consciousness, Awareness, Oneness, Source, Ground, God...is not more or less than the feel of me. Just the ordinary sense of me.
I don't know what that means: to have the feel of me. I sometimes feel my ego (for example, if something gets me angry), but I don't think that's what you mean, is it? Interestingly, I (imagine that I) can feel the pure ISness of things -- trees, stones, sunset, even my body -- but not of a me entity.
I've read a bunch of Advaita Vedanta (and similar non-dualistic) texts over the years that have used the "Neti Neti Neti" ("Not this! Not this! Not this!") approach to understanding what is NOT real. And it makes great sense to me, I feel it 100%.
Does it also make sense, rather than dismissing everything it isn't, to see what it is? It is just you. The ordinary you. Take a look the ordinary sense of you.
Again, I just don't know what that means.
There is nothing more abstract and conceptual (i.e. UN-real) than the notion of an all-encompassing Oneness. And like belief in God or Truth, it's unassailable; believers can (and do) say that the understanding of God/Truth/Brahman is beyond human mind, beyond reasoning.
It seems to me that these beliefs validate people's spirituality, and so they become ubiquitous, unassailable, unquestioned. Self-honesty is very difficult.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with pursuing this line of inquiry as a possible hypothesis.
Agree, with both of your paragraphs above.
Brahman: Real ... or (beautiful) fairy tale?
Hypothesis, until it is a personal recognition.
And then it's still not "real" is it? It's a personal take that one firmly believes -- subjectively knows -- to be true. Similarly to how a saved Christian knows with all of their being that Jesus Christ is the only true God.

Thanks karmarider, for the response. :-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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