Meaning

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Meaning

Postby rachMiel » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:56 pm

A thought popped up in my head this morning:

The meaning (purpose, dignity, truth) of all this is ... all this.

Not sure if that speaks to anyone, but just in case ... :-)
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Re: Meaning

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:36 pm

The meaning (purpose, dignity, truth) of all this is ... all this.

Has a nice subtlety to it - especially from a larger perspective.

In another context, whatever meaning a condition or event may have, is applied by the individual (or individuation if you prefer). I find that meaning applied to circumstances contributes to the creation and quality of experience.

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Re: Meaning

Postby rachMiel » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:59 am

Glad you responded since what I wrote was largely inspired by (my spin on) your experience-centric approach to life.

I was thinking that subjective experience is our entire reality. Whatever is real to us is experienced*: a sensation, thought, feeling, insight, belief. Even something as "transcendent" as direct communion with the divine ... is experienced.

I tried to get at that with "The meaning of all this is ... all this." Experience for the sake of experience, no subtexts or hidden agendas or morals of the story. Just ... all this.

* I know this goes against Advaita teachings. (Shhhh ... Don't tell Dennis Waite or James Swartz!)
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Re: Meaning

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:08 am

rachMiel wrote:* I know this goes against Advaita teachings. (Shhhh ... Don't tell Dennis Waite or James Swartz!)

The good news is we get to be our own authority. Don't tell my guru. :mrgreen:

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Re: Meaning

Postby dijmart » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:23 pm

Whatever is real to us is experienced*: a sensation, thought, feeling, insight, belief. Even something as "transcendent" as direct communion with the divine ... is experienced.


I would say, all you really are ever experiencing is your Self (awareness) anyways! That's all there is! There are those that think they are only pure awareness, then those that think they are only a "person" and then those that know I'm pure awareness and the apparent person. As the person is a reflection of pure awareness, so in that sense it's the same.
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Re: Meaning

Postby rachMiel » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:07 pm

dijmart wrote:I would say, all you really are ever experiencing is your Self (awareness) anyways!

I was taught that brahman (Self) cannot be experienced, because that would imply two: experiencer and experienced. What can be experienced is mithya (illusion). So when you experience your Self, you are experiencing an illusion ... a mirage of brahman kinda sorta.

Sound about right to you?
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Re: Meaning

Postby dijmart » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:09 pm

Mithya ("apparent"awareness) is that which is dependent on something else for its existence, it is constantly changing. Satya (pure awareness) is that which is not dependent on anything for its existence, and does not change. Therefore, Mithya is a reflection or projection of Satya. Mithya is created out of/from pure awareness (The Self/Brahman) do to the power of Maya (shakti) within Brahman.

So, there is no seperation. The Self is appearing in form. It exists, as it can be experienced, but it's not real..in the sense that's it's constantly changing and completely inert without pure awareness illumining and pervading it. The only thing that doesn't change is Satya (pure awareness, which is also the Self)

Some people don't like to say that Mithya is the Self, because it's confusing when someone is discriminating Satya from Mithya. You just have to hold both perspectives at the same time.

You are correct that pure awareness can not be objectified, as it is everywhere and everything. Only an object in Mithya can know another object. The jiva/person is an object, but it's also pervaded by, what it's created from...pure awareness.

So, the short answer is..yes, you can not experience pure awareness, because you are pure awareness. You can only apprehend that that is your true nature.
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Re: Meaning

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:01 am

Di, I gotta say, even though I don't really follow Vedanta much anymore and I'm sure we all have difference of opinions on things, I am really impressed with not only your understanding, but also your confidence and conviction with this stuff and the lack of a need to 'prove it' to anyone. I see just fluency and clear cut answers from your end. And I see how powerful the teachings have become for you, which is so important. Confidence is the word that really stands out to me. Just wanted to point that out.....not that what I say, has any.......'meaning' (see what I did right there?).
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Re: Meaning

Postby rachMiel » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:07 am

dijmart wrote:So, the short answer is..yes, you can not experience pure awareness, because you are pure awareness. You can only apprehend that that is your true nature.

Yes, that's it. You can't understand brahman, you can't experience brahman ... but you can know* that you are brahman.

* Not in an empirical, provable, science-knowing kind of way. (Science is, after all, grounded in dualism.) You can know it via study of authentic Vedic teachings and, ultimately, by taking the word of the ancient sages. So it's a bit of a leap of faith. You can also *feel* it, but feelings are in the realm of vyavahara, ja, and should not be confused with knowledge.
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Re: Meaning

Postby dijmart » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:52 am

Hi En2b,
Thank you! I started with Vedanta about a year ago and it took awhile to digest and understand, but now that I do...I have no doubts, where I use to have many. Maybe that's the difference. Also, I usually don't post unless there's an impulse to do it. It seems the posts just flow out that way. I won't post if I don't feel compelled to, I won't force it. I do have complete confidence in Vedanta, as it is a means of Self knowledge, Self realization and Moksha (liberation/freedom). I may not always explain it correctly to others, only a teacher could do that properly, but I try.

....not that what I say, has any.......'meaning' (see what I did right there?).


Yes, I see..lol...you crack me up :lol:
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Re: Meaning

Postby dijmart » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:27 am

Hi RM,

You can know it via study of authentic Vedic teachings and, ultimately, by taking the word of the ancient sages. So it's a bit of a leap of faith.


If you are not Self realized yet, then it's a leap of faith, but not after. If you only hear about awareness, but aren't Self realized, you mostly see awareness as an "object" to be gained (ie. I-ego want to "get" enlightened).

You can also *feel* it, but feelings are in the realm of vyavahara, ja, and should not be confused with knowledge.


In Vedanta, Self knowledge is all that is needed, experience is not. Self realization happens when pure awareness reflects upon the subtle body (which is reflective, like a mirror), in a clear, still mind. Then there is the thought of limitlessness/oneness. There is the apprehension that this is what you truly are in the intellect, which is the discriminating aspect of the mind. When this knowledge is assimilated fully in every aspect of one's life, the Jiva/person gains Moksha..which is the fruit of this knowledge.

But, yes, there is a feeling to it, for me and it is Mithya. So, Vedanta would say that's a "side effect". There are many side effects, they vary from person to person.
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Re: Meaning

Postby rachMiel » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:24 am

dijmart wrote:Self realization happens when pure awareness reflects upon the subtle body (which is reflective, like a mirror), in a clear, still mind. Then there is the thought of limitlessness/oneness.

Pure awareness is always there, the subtle body too. Right? So the key is the clear still mind. How does the mind get clear and still, are there meditation practices required?
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Re: Meaning

Postby runstrails » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:51 pm

Great discussion everyone. I don't mean to answer for Dij who is doing a great job of explaining Vedanta. But I wanted to clarify that Self Realization is experiential and comes and goes, but it is Self-Knowledge that actually removes ignorance. Knowledge, once assimilated is constant (i.e., does not come and go). Self knowledge is simply the knowledge that you because you exist you are are existence itself. That you are limitless, whole, nondual awareness. Once you truly understand and apprehend this completely, your mind gets sattvic (calm) and the thought of limitlessness/oneness arises. This thought ,also known as akhandakarana vritti, is akin to the reflection of awareness. This thought results in feelings of 'ananda' or bliss, contentment, happiness, joy, (often associated with unity consciousness experiences).

In terms of how to get a calm mind, that is a great question, rM. Meditation is useful, of course. But I also want to speak briefly about the Vedantic teaching of the gunas. Essentially all of creation (including humans) is a mix of three gunas (energies), These are sattva (illuminating, pure--this results in a calm, composed mind), rajas (projecting energy, this results in a high drive, anxieties, chasing desires) and tamas (veiling energy--this resutls in avoidance, fears, laziness). Every person has a predominant guna. The key is balancing these gunas to allow for a sattvic mind. You can do this taking an inventory of your life. Look closely at your habits, your diet, your friends, your career, your sleep patterns your relationships. And carefully titrate your experiences so that you are increasing sattva in your lifestyle. For example, if you have a poor diet, you might want to change that to a more wholesome diet that will help your energy levels. Or if you have some toxic 'friends that sap your energy'---you might want to consider carefully whether you want to hang out with them.

A simple way that I find useful is to use 'peace of mind' as my guiding light. In any situation, am I performing actions that lead to peace of mind. If so, then I know my mind will be sattvic and if not, then I adjust my actions to allow for greater peace of mind.

Practices like meditation, devotion etc.. are great for getting a calm (sattvic) mind too.

And, as Dij said, a sattvic mind will allow the reflection of the self resulting in feelings of peace/bliss/joy.
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Re: Meaning

Postby dijmart » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:33 pm

rachMiel wrote:
dijmart wrote:Self realization happens when pure awareness reflects upon the subtle body (which is reflective, like a mirror), in a clear, still mind. Then there is the thought of limitlessness/oneness.

Pure awareness is always there, the subtle body too. Right? So the key is the clear still mind. How does the mind get clear and still, are there meditation practices required?


You got it!!!!

But you still need Self knowledge, from some source to understand what you've apprehended.

In Vedanta, Karma Yoga is the main practice prior to being Self realized (which is not enlightenment...moksha/liberation is) and after, so long as you take yourself to be an individual, volitional person. It's essentially an attitude towards actions. You have the right to act and must act, you have no choice, but you don't have a right to the results of those actions (Isvara/dharma field/God, creates the results).

So, you offer your actions to the dharma field (Isvara) and accept the results as a gift (good or bad, as it's what's best for the total). Over time this reduces agitation in the mind and can neutralize binding desires and fears, which further clears and stills the mind...and "prepares" it for Self realization.

Although I now do Karma yoga, as it helps to assimilate Self knowledge also...I had not done it prior to Self realization. I did Jnana yoga ( the mind is used to inquire into its true nature). Imo, that is where Self realization happens, as long as the mind is sufficiently still/calm at the time, then can process what it's apprehended.


This video is excellent in leading one to direct Self recognition- if you quiet your mind while watching-

https://youtu.be/mt-g6bz0In4

She's not a Vedanta teacher, but I had my first Self recognition/realization several years ago, while watching her lead someone else.
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Re: Meaning

Postby Rob X » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:17 pm

rachMiel wrote:
dijmart wrote:I would say, all you really are ever experiencing is your Self (awareness) anyways!

I was taught that brahman (Self) cannot be experienced, because that would imply two: experiencer and experienced. What can be experienced is mithya (illusion). So when you experience your Self, you are experiencing an illusion ... a mirage of brahman kinda sorta.

Sound about right to you?


There's ONLY the experiencing of Self/Reality. The illusion (or more accurately, delusion) is in not recognising this.

This only implies a duality superficially since (as Dij points out) you are always and only experiencing yourself.
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