Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

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vera
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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by vera » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:55 pm

Oh, and by “terminating any wild goose chases” I mean that it is seen that chasing, seeking, hunting out etc. are just more avoidance tactics. Incredibly elaborate avoidance tactics. Posting this is avoidance. As is almost everything I do.

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by erbeeflower » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:57 pm

and your definition of direct experience is what please vera? .... avoidance of ? thanks. :)
I'm still enjoying thinking and exploring too much to get stuck here :-)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by vera » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:12 pm

By avoidance I mean anything created to distract the attention from what is.

By direct experience I mean seeing clearly what is.

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by enigma » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:37 am

erbeeflower wrote:Hello everyone, what an interesting thread this is... for the subject matter,yes, but also the tone and manner of the responses.
Thanks to the admins and moderators to allow such open and honest debating.
Ananda,could you agree that your opinions and views discussed here are static, permanent beliefs? If not, could you summarize them?
vera,i ask you the same,plus what do you mean by "terminating any wild goose chases"?

enigma,how about you? i do understand the distinction you make by the way :D

arel,same question please... is your view fixed?(please excuse terminology)

You all seem to have this overview that is non-negotiable, discovered by the act of 'self inquiry'. I'll say that again...
You all seem to have this overview that is non-negotiable, discovered by the act of 'self inquiry'
Thanks again for this lively debate. Love Tim. (erbeeflower)
Howdy Tim
Yes, I have an overview that is non-negotiable, discovered by the act of self inquiry.

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by erbeeflower » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:09 am

Hello enigma, yes! thankyou for that my friend.... :)
I'm still enjoying thinking and exploring too much to get stuck here :-)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by Ananda » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:57 am

Hello folks,

Hello vera,
Hi Ananda. I mainly lurk around here these days but just wanted to say that the clarity coming from people like yourself and enigma is so helpful in terminating any wild goose chases. I really get a lot from your posts and often return to them weeks or months later when something relevant comes up. So thanks
I'm glad you find what I say helpful to you, feel free to send me a PM if there's anything you want to talk about. :)

Hello Tim,
Ananda,could you agree that your opinions and views discussed here are static, permanent beliefs? If not, could you summarize them?
My opinions and views are open to doubt as are anybody elses. I don't hold any 'permanent' position (I don't entertain faith of any kind, and don't even consider myself a believer in anything), however, unless what I say can be challenged and questioned logically, reasonably and against my own experience, then I see no reason to want to change or doubt my views. My views aren't static but I hold to them as they continually stand up to scrutiny. My views are in accordance with Advaita Vedanta.

You all seem to have this overview that is non-negotiable, discovered by the act of 'self inquiry'.

Yes. What is non-negotiable is my direct experience and insight through self-enquiry. That is certain, not up for question at all; to doubt it would be to denying my own experience. However, the way I interpret and explain this is up for question and doubt, the words I use to convey my experience can be challenged and put to the test. Remember that none of us are putting forth a view that cannot be challenged or doubted, we are trying to explain in our own way the insights we have had through self-enquiry. These insights are available to anybody who undertakes self-enquiry, they are not dependent upon any viewpoint or belief and are universally reported, regardless of who, when, and where.

:)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by erbeeflower » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:25 am

Ananda,thankyou very much for the above post. It clarifies many wonderings....and raises some others 8) ... Peace.
I'm still enjoying thinking and exploring too much to get stuck here :-)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by gen6 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:13 pm

Hi guys, Hi Ananda, I'll repost after few days, I'm very busy now, I'm not over yet :lol: I believe that the logic of your latest answer to my questions is not immaculate and can be questioned in many ways.
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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by gen6 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi :)
Ananda wrote: Hmmm, personally I might define it [life] as 'existence' , or the totality of the subject-object experience. It is very vague though, a word with as many meanings as there are folks for it to have meaning.
I think there's only one definition of life (quoting wiki here), namely:
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (biology) from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.
Since all knowledgeable people agree with this definition, I don't see why we shouldn't, do you?
Ananda wrote:Time for me is the measurement or process of change from one thing to another thing- it could be a particular object, an event, or a state of experience.
That's right, basically, any (cyclic) sequence of events.
Ananda wrote:Well, did time have a beginning, and will it have an end? In terms of the universe time obviously exists but I don't know whether time ever had an origin - that would depend on whether or not the universe ever had a particular origin, and that's something which is still being explored. If we look at it from the position of the Self then time is already unreal, because the Self, being reality, is unchanging and so not conditioned by time.
No, time is endless, it is infinite. But it is not the same as existence. It is defined by existence and it defines existence at the same time. Like I said:
dualistic principle is at the base of everything. Time and Existence are always connected, we cannot have one without the other. Existence cannot be without time, and time cannot be without existence.
Why? Because if time was finite and it had a beginning and an end, then everything would be finite. If the Universe did have a particular origin, that would mean that existence itself would be finite, which contradicts with nonduality. Which is why you take the harder and more logical point of view that the Universe is infinite. But this still doesn't save nonduality. Can anything exist without (that is outside of) time? No, right? Which means time is just as real as existence is, just as real as the Self and the Self is very much conditioned by time. If you claim otherwise, then please, explain to me, logically, how can existence be without or outside of time.

Time is, no doubt, subject to existence (simply because time exists), but existence is in equal measure subject to time (because nothing can exist outside of time). This does not contradict the infinite nature of existence, simply because time is also infinite. That's why physicists talk about something called spacetime or time-space continuum. There are two things that are infinite: existence, as you rightly claim AND time! Neither is independent of the other, which serves to show duality is at the core of things and that absolute monism or nonduality are disproved.
Ananda wrote:Well, if you look at it closely, could it be otherwise? If all things change then knowledge could never arise.
And if you look even closer at it, all things change all the time and knowledge has very much arisen, hasn't it? Why? Because our mind chooses to ignore some minor details in order to be able to construct any meaningful ideas about reality. Mathematics is purely abstract, but we apply it to reality by making minor concessions. A watchmaker works with millimeter precision. For a roadworker, laying out a new highway, centimeter differences would be completely irrelevant, although the highway is by documentation "exactly" 50 miles long and not a nanometre more or less.

And if you take into account all the knowledge accumulated by science, it has always been and continues to be subject to change. Scientists thought the Earth was flat, until it was proven otherwise. They thought Newtonian mechanics was immaculate, until Einstein came around. As you see, everything changes and knowledge has no problem with that. The ideas we hold - even the ones we're most secure in - are only relatively unchanging and if you think otherwise, then it would seem you have fallen prey to ignorance yourself.
Ananda wrote: Knowledge presupposes existence, and if existence is itself changeful then there is no possible way of knowing anything either changing or non-changing.
Yes, which is why when you die, you won't know anything anymore! And which is why if life becomes extinct, like I suggested, knowledge would disappear as well. Knowledge is made possible by our brain and its ability to think and process information. Of course, the brain needs to exist in order for it to process information, so sure knowledge presupposes existence. But the brain's existence is very much changeful (try putting a bullet through it, if you doubt me). You have fallen pray to bodily identification yourself here and you're trying to make an inductive conclusion - smth. valid for your own personal existence, as pertaining to existence as a whole, which is simply fallacious; a conjecture at most. Neither existence, nor time need concern themselves with our (capacity for) knowledge. Knowledge may very well disappear, only existence (supposedly) will not.
Ananda wrote:Basically, if everything changes then you wouldn't recognize change
What makes you think so?
Ananda wrote:a permanent reality is necessary in order to have knowledge of the impermanence of other things. If you also examine your own experience you will see that all states of experience (waking, dreaming etc) and their results (such as sense perception, memory, intellect, and objective knowledge) are also changeful. In fact, the only thing that cannot be said to change is nothing within your awareness but awareness itself, which is the substrate of experience, and therefore the Subject.
Permanence is the truly "unreal" thing. Permanence is an illusion, needed for us to construct knowledge, but an illusion nevertheless. Like I already clarified, we judge things as stable only in a relative way. An apple will remain motionless only as long as we do not move it. And even if we do not ever move it, it will decay or change in some other way. Were it made of metal, it would rust and so on, although that would take a lot of time, perhaps more than a lifetime if the metal were good enough. That we do not immediately perceive change doesn't mean it isn't occuring though. We take things as stable only relative to their unstable states. And if you take a look at the bigger picture, things are stable, i.e. permanent only in the past. But in the present and future they are continuously subject to change. It is only thanks to our perception of past that we can make conclusions about them having been stable at any given moment. That's what time is - a chain of sequences of cause and effect. A neverending chain, which is anything but still and stable.

Nothing in what you said so far proves that
Ananda wrote:Change cannot be without a non-changing substrate
and I don't see anything in conflict with the principle of constant change. The only unchangeable thing is, ironically, the principle itself. The "chain of events" is neverending and probably never begun either - it is infinite. Time is infinite, just as existence is, irrelevant of human (or any other) knowledge (about it) and thus a dualistic principle governs the Universe.
Last edited by gen6 on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by Kutso » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:07 pm

gen6 wrote:Since all knowledgeable people agree with this definition, I don't see why we shouldn't, do you?
I actually laughed out loud when I read that one. :)
gen6 wrote:
Ananada wrote:Ananda wrote:
Basically, if everything changes then you wouldn't recognize change
What makes you think so?
It's kinda obvious. For change to be recognised, there need to be a changeless background. Just like the movie needs a cinema screen to appear. I mean, imagine the cinema screen changing as well. ;)

I could comment on a bunch of other things you are saying that I find totally ridiculous. However, I leave that to Ananda.
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by Ananda » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:12 am

Hello gen6, nice to hear from you. :)

Your post has some very large misconceptions about non-duality that i'll try to address.
I think there's only one definition of life (quoting wiki here), namely:
That's certainly the biological definition of life.

Since all knowledgeable people agree with this definition, I don't see why we shouldn't, do you?
I agree that this is a definition of life. Other definitions of 'life' are more philosophical, such as the one I put forward ie the totality of subject-object experiences.
No, time is endless, it is infinite. But it is not the same as existence. It is defined by existence and it defines existence at the same time. Like I said: dualistic principle is at the base of everything. Time and Existence are always connected, we cannot have one without the other. Existence cannot be without time, and time cannot be without existence.
Do we know that time is endless? We'd have to know, first, whether or not the universe had an origin or whether it is eternal before we could say whether or not time is infinite/endless. If time cannot be without existence, and time is endless and infinite then existence must also be infinite and endless. Furthermore, if we agree that time is the measurement or process of change from one object or event to another, then objects and events (ie the universe) must also be infinite- as these define your 'infinite' time; there must be an infinite succession of events and changing objects in order to have infinite time, therefore time is not really different from objects and the universe must be endlessly changing. This will be important at the end of my post.
If the Universe did have a particular origin, that would mean that existence itself would be finite, which contradicts with nonduality. Which is why you take the harder and more logical point of view that the Universe is infinite.
This isn't my position- nor did I ever say the universe was infinite (I don't think it is). Look at my previous quote;
In terms of the universe time obviously exists but I don't know whether time ever had an origin - that would depend on whether or not the universe ever had a particular origin, and that's something which is still being explored.
You have a big misunderstanding about how non-duality defines 'existence'. Existence for non-dualists isn't equivalent to the universe (ie the totallity of all objects and their changes). Existence is the ontological reality, the Self, the eternal being. I can see your misunderstanding here;
Which means time is just as real as existence is, just as real as the Self and the Self is very much conditioned by time.
The Self is not directly equivalent to the universe. Time comes into existence when the universe does, as time is the measurement or sequence of events (or changes) of objects. I agree that you cannot have the universe without time- nor can you have time without the universe. However, I do not equate the universe with the Self, so your argument is based on a misunderstanding of my position. Most non-dual teachings say that the universe had a creation and will have an end- some even say that the universe is created and destroyed in cyclical succession. This is, of course, only speculation and is not really relevant to the teaching as a whole.

The Self is not conditioned by time because the Self is not an object- not a part of the totality of the universe.
There are two things that are infinite: existence, as you rightly claim AND time! Neither is independent of the other, which serves to show duality is at the core of things and that absolute monism or nonduality are disproved.
No, no, you've quite misunderstood non-duality here. Let me give you a quote which summarises non-duality;
Brahma satyaṃ jagat , jīvo brahmaiva nāparah
- Shankara

This quote says "Brahman is real, the universe is unreal, the Self is Brahman".

Brahman is 'existence' ie the ontological Reality. When it says 'Brahman is real' it means that Brahman is absolutely real, ie not changing, not impermanent, not coming or going, and not dependent on anything else. 'Satyam' or Real in this sense means it's always real, always true. Mithyā is the opposite of Satyam. Mithyā, or 'unreal' applies to anything that changes, is impermanent, comes or goes, and depends on a further reality for its being. The universe is mithyā because it (according to non-duality) had a beginning, changes, has an end and depends upon the Self (ie awareness) for it to exist. The Self is equivalent to Brahman because one's being, one's inherent sense of awareness, never changes when everything else is known to change- and nor is anything known apart from awareness.

Lots of people get confused about this. Non-duality does not deny the existence of the universe- unreal does not mean non-existent, it just means not independently existing, not existing separately from Brahman.

An analogy to describe the relationship of Brahman with the universe is this;

The universe is like ornaments made of gold. The material substance of the ornament is gold. The ornament has no real existence apart from its material substance. 'Ornament' is a name given to a modification of gold when it is melted into a particular form or shape. Is there really such thing as 'Ornament'? No - there is only gold there taking on apparent forms and names. Gold can be made into necklaces, rings, chains- but is there ever anything but gold? The apparent 'change' is unreal as gold remains essentially gold - no matter what name or form it appears to take.

Before the gold was made into an ornament it existed still as gold. When the gold is made into different names and forms ie ornaments then it still exists only as gold. When the ornaments are all together melted down again - each losing their name and form, then again gold alone remains- as it always has been. Do the unreal ornaments exist before the origin of name and form? Yes- they existed as gold.

Now, let's apply this analogy.

The material substance of the universe is the Self ie awareness or being. The universe has no existence apart from awareness (nothing can be conceived of independent of awareness). 'Universe' is what we call the apparent modification of awareness when it takes on particular forms ie objects. Is there really such a thing as the universe? No - it is just the Self there taking on apparent changes. Whatever appears to exist is simply the Self - the apparent 'change' of the Self into the universe is unreal because the Self remains as the substance no matter what appears within.

The Self exists eternally. At the origin of the universe the Self remains the same. Time comes into being along with the universe- all objects come into existence with the chain of cause and effect. At the end of the universe when all the diverse names and forms of objects come to an end and time ceases then the Self remains as it always has. Does the universe exist before its own origin? Yes- because it inheres in its cause ie the Self as potential, just as potential ornaments exist in unshapen gold. The universe as an 'effect' has no independence from its cause, just as ornaments have no independence from the gold.

The core of reality is non-dual ie Brahman; the universe along with time are unreal because they are impermanent and have no independent existence from their material substance. What's truly or always real is Brahman- the universe is only relatively real because it partakes of Brahman but is not always true. That's basically how some non-dual teachings view this.
And if you look even closer at it, all things change all the time and knowledge has very much arisen, hasn't it?
Your question is based on your conclusion- that all things change. Do all things change? I disagree that all things change. If all things change all the time then knowledge of that fact would never arise- as the knower of change has himself been and gone, due to his changefulness. I'll elaborate more on this.

And if you take into account all the knowledge accumulated by science, it has always been and continues to be subject to change. Scientists thought the Earth was flat, until it was proven otherwise. They thought Newtonian mechanics was immaculate, until Einstein came around. As you see, everything changes and knowledge has no problem with that. The ideas we hold - even the ones we're most secure in - are only relatively unchanging and if you think otherwise, then it would seem you have fallen prey to ignorance yourself.
You misunderstood what I meant by 'knowledge'. By knowledge I meant the capacity to know anything. I'll elaborate more on this further on;

I said:
Basically, if everything changes then you wouldn't recognize change
You said:
What makes you think so?
If everything changes, then you must include yourself also. If you change constantly then you have no capacity for knowing the changefulness of anything else.

An advaita teacher called this 'the flicker problem'. Basically, if you assert that all things are in constant change, or in a constant state of impermanence, then your assertion is self-defeating. If all things are constantly changing then your existence has no permanence- instead it comes in and out of being at every moment, like a flicker. On this basis, you cease to exist in every moment. If you cease to exist in every moment then knowledge of your own impermanence is impossible, and knowledge of the impermanence or constant changefulness of other things is also impossible. Knowledge requires a stable basis- a Knower. If the Knower himself is constantly changing then how could he know anything about the changefulness of other things, he ceases to exist constantly!

If the Knower always changes then he has no capacity to recognise change- he cannot know anything because his existence is constantly flickering on and off. Furthermore, if the Knower is himself constantly changing, with every moment there is a new Knower who is different from the old one- and this new Knower has no knowledge regarding the existence of the previous one and cannot know the impermanence of other things as his own existence is already gone!

Do you see what I am saying now? Knowledge requires a stable foundation. If the foundation constantly changes then no enduring knowledge of anything could ever arise, and you could never say 'all things constantly change'. As I said in the previous post; a permanent reality is necessary in order to have knowledge of the impermanence of other things. A reality that is fundamentally unstable and constantly changing can never support knowledge of anything, as the known, means of knowing and the knower would all be in constant change and momentary cessation.


I can address the rest of your post based on this part;
I don't see anything in conflict with the principle of constant change. The only unchangeable thing is, ironically, the principle itself. The "chain of events" is neverending and probably never begun either - it is infinite. Time is infinite, just as existence is, irrelevant of human (or any other) knowledge (about it) and thus a dualistic principle governs the Universe.

There are a lot of problems with this quote for your argument as a whole - I'll show how this quote actually goes against your argument for a dualistic reality.

Change fundamentally means impermanence. Impermanence means the quality or condition of a thing that has a definite cessation. Permanence, on the other hand, is the quality or condition of a thing that remains unchanging indefinitely. It is a contradiction in terms to state that change is constant- because in order for change to be constant you must have a permanent, unchanging supply of things that can change and therefore an eternal and permanent substrate/reality. See here;
The "chain of events" is neverending and probably never begun either - it is infinite.
This basically amounts to saying 'change is permanent'- which refutes the idea of change. A buddhist once said to me something similar, he said 'impermanence is eternal'. The very nature of impermanence is finiteness- a limited duration of existence and eventual cessation. Impermanence cannot be eternal as this contradicts impermanence itself. If impermanence is eternal then you must also admit the eternal existence of things which can be called impermanent- which again contradicts impermanence- as an eternal basis for changing things is admitted. In order for the idea of impermanence to be admitted impermanence itself must have a limit, an end. But here you are saying that change is infinite- that impermanence (limitation) is limitless! This argument destroys the previous assertion that 'permanence is unreal'. On this basis you then say;
Time is infinite
Try to understand what I'm saying now. If time is infinite then there must be an eternal (unchanging) reality. You cannot say that the universe is eternal (unchanging) or limitless, because it has limitations- all the constituent objects that we together call the universe are composed of duration (beginning, middle, end), limitation in spacetime, distinctiveness and diverse attributes ie duality. Therefore, there must be something different, and which you call 'existence' out of which this universe of change spins endlessly.

Since time is the sequence of change within objects ie the universe, then both time and the universe are inseparable- and if time is infinite then the changefulness of the universe must also be infinite. Therefore, there must be an infinite and unchanging material substance (which you call 'existence') out of which the changing (finite) universe is created, exists and is resolved into endlessly. And therefore neither time (infinite change) nor the universe (objects of change) exist independently from their unchanging, eternal material cause (existence) so they are unreal, ie mithyā, and a non-dual, unchanging, principle governs the universe. This position that you are arguing here is actually no different from the non-dualists who assert an endless cyclical succession of universes (infinite time) within an unchanging, eternal existence (Brahman).


:)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by gen6 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:39 am

Alright, I think this is my final post, written with a few prompts from my friend :)

So...now suddenly existence isn't equal to Universe, isn't equal to Self, etc that DESPITE the fact that you yourself agreed to the claim all these terms are equal to each other as far back as the time when my friend Severin posted his first post. He was defining terminologies then, precisely so as to be clear on what is being discussed.

He had said:
Furthermore, Subject - if I understand correctly - is equates to the Ontos (don't know if that's the correct Greek word for it), basically, 'being', 'existance' or 'reality', the universe itself (as you at one point, pointed out), the (philosophical) Absolute or even God, if you prefer. It's hard to pin it down, since the very use of words and the very discussion of the Subject, objectifies it.
And you had answered:
Ananda wrote:Yes, I equate the Subject with the existence or reality as it is, ie it's substance, as opposed to the form or appearance of objects which have only an apparent (or relative) distinction from the Subject itself.
He had said:
I suggest we stick to the words 'Subject', 'existence' or the other words I mentioned above to refer to the a priori notion we discuss (which you term 'awareness', 'Subject' or 'the Self').
And you had said:
Ananda wrote:Sure.
...instead of pointing out that the existence of all things, or the Universe is something separate from the Subject, as you now suddenly claim. I'm sorry, but no philosophical or logical inquiry can be held, when one is inconsistent in one's views.

Nevertheless, to finish our dispute once and for all. Nonduality, then, amounts to that Shankara quote: "Brahman is real, the universe is unreal, the Self is Brahman"

This Brahman, then, is simply an a priori idea - something you take out of the air and say that everything is subordinated to it, that everything is unreal, while it alone is real! You (and nonduality) go even further make it an axiom. And an axiom, let me remind, is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decision. And sure we do have to take something as an axiom in order to start any form of logical thought, but I just see no reason for this sudden leap to Brahman. The Universe, which you call unreal, is the ONLY self-evident thing I (and 99.99% of human population) need! The rest, and your Brahman is just a pretty and totally superfluous idea.

You can make an analogy with religion. It's the same like asking, say, a Christian why he believes in God and he answers, because there is God, God exists! And you ask, how can you be so sure, can you prove it? And he says, of course: God IS - there is your proof! I'm sorry, but this is no proof, it's merely a statement and there is nothing self-evident about it, because I don't see God anywhere. I see only my PC screen, my beautiful piano and the dirty snow on the streets outside! That is SELF-EVIDENT! Furthermore your experience is very subjective and it's also not self-evident! It's valid only for you, and by the way there are millions of ways that your brain/you can interpret whatever you experience at any given moment, it's incorrect to tell the other people to try it, because there's simply nothing to try, and by what you've said so far, you didn't experience anything new, anything that I didn't experience, the difference is only in the interpretations :)

I won't discuss the further problems of time, where you make further incorrect conclusions in trying to disprove dialectics (for example, when you say "On this basis, you cease to exist in every moment" - there is no every moment, there is only one moment - the present, which is not frozen, but in constant motion made possible only by TIME and not by your Knower).

Thank you :)
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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by Ananda » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:38 pm

Hello gen6,
So...now suddenly existence isn't equal to Universe, isn't equal to Self, etc that DESPITE the fact that you yourself agreed to the claim all these terms are equal to each other as far back as the time when my friend Severin posted his first post.
I don't equate the universe with the Self. I equate existence with the Self. The universe has no independent reality of the Self but is not the ontological reality itself- it is an appearance within in it (phenomenon) like an ornament in gold. Read my very first post with Severin again where I say;
I equate the Subject with the existence or reality as it is, ie it's substance, as opposed to the form or appearance of objects which have only an apparent (or relative) distinction from the Subject itself.
The "form or appearance of objects which have only apparent distinction" is the universe.

I never agreed that the term universe, existence and Self are coequal- they are non different in essence but have varying degrees of reality. See in my previous post where I said;
The core of reality is non-dual ie Brahman; the universe along with time are unreal because they are impermanent and have no independent existence from their material substance. What's truly or always real is Brahman- the universe is only relatively real because it partakes of Brahman but is not always true.
Now compare that quote with the previous one to Severin and you will see how I am saying exactly the same thing.

..instead of pointing out that the existence of all things, or the Universe is something separate from the Subject, as you now suddenly claim. I'm sorry, but no philosophical or logical inquiry can be held, when one is inconsistent in one's views.
Nothing I said to Severin is inconsistent with anything I've said to you in my previous post. The whole point of my post to Severin was to point this out:

The phenomenon of the Subject is objects- the noumenon is the Subject as that which is aware of and by which objects are known to exist. The 'thing as it appears to us' is everything that falls into the category of seen/known. The 'thing in itself' is the seer, or knower, which shares none of the qualities of its phenomenon but has the same substance. The noumenon doesn't exist outside of us, because it is identical to the subject itself, ie one's inherent existence or being.
and
Reality has only the appearance of dualism, that is its phenomenon. The noumenon itself has no duality or second nature to it, and it alone is real, infinite and eternal. The noumenon is itself the substance by which phenomena appear, and phenomena are impermanent, finite, therefore can only be considered real in a relative sense. In the absolute sense there is no duality in reality at all, and nor is the non-dual nature of the noumenon (as the Subject) ever affected during the appearance of objects.
Phenomenon= Universe
Noumenon= Self


Got it?

Don't confuse your failure to understand what I say with an inconsistency on my part, I explained it all well and good with Severin already, not to mention the countless other exchanges between yourself and I.

Nonduality, then, amounts to that Shankara quote: "Brahman is real, the universe is unreal, the Self is Brahman"
The quote is a summary statement of the import of Advaita Vedanta, it is the teaching in a nutshell, so to speak.
This Brahman, then, is simply an a priori idea - something you take out of the air and say that everything is subordinated to it, that everything is unreal, while it alone is real! You (and nonduality) go even further make it an axiom. And an axiom, let me remind, is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decision.
:lol:

Shankara was not arguing philosophy when he said Brahma satyaṃ jagat mithyā, jīvo brahmaiva nāparah. It is not a postulate, not an axiom, not a dogma, not an unprovable assertion. The statement is one of realization, of insight. How to arrive at such an insight? I've already said;
Turning one's awareness onto awareness itself negates all objects of knowledge- remaining alone with one's nature where the distinction of seer, seeing, and seen collapses. All ignorance pertaining to the body and false views of individuality are burned off, and Self-knowledge is the fruit.

Through enquiry, discriminating the Subject from all objects of knowledge, discerning the seer from all objects seen, reveals pure objectless awareness. This is the Self I speak of here, this is what is to be aimed at to remove ignorance.
and
Therefore, if you end your inquiry with a philosophical discussion, then quite right, you will always have a dichotomy- because you are only ever working with objects, things known. Self-enquiry takes us beyond philosophical discussion, which, while useful, will not remove ignorance regarding the Self.
An axiom will not remove self-ignorance, will it? Either you or I having a more logical argument will not remove self-ignorance, will it? An exchange of ideas, which is what this is, is just an exchange of ideas.
The Universe, which you call unreal, is the ONLY self-evident thing I (and 99.99% of human population) need!
:lol:

To whom is the universe self-evident? Is not the one to whom the universe appears evident yet more self-evident than the universe itself? :lol: You cannot say that the universe is self-evident, because it is an object of knowledge, known by a particular means, to a Knower which is already evident. What is self-evident is the Self. Universe comes next. Universe is evident to you, the Self. Is Brahman self-evident? Yes, Brahman is self-evident because Brahman is the Self. You cannot deny your existence, can you? You cannot negate or remove your existence from any statement of knowledge regarding the existence of other things- because you are the knower.

Is Brahman as the eternal, infinite, secondless awareness self-evident to you? No. Why? Because there is ignorance there about yourself, you take yourself to be something else, an object, part of the universe. Your existence is self-evident, therefore self-enquiry is an investigation into this self-evident existence, into this Self. The fruit of the investigation is knowledge of Brahman, or rather, the knowledge that aham brahmāsmi , I am Brahman. It is this knowledge encapsulated in the Shankara quote and is the sum or goal of non-duality; it is not a starting position in a philosophical debate.

Is one expected to prove the statement through logic, polemics, and debates? No. Direct self-enquiry only. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that non-duality is purely a philosophical ideology- purely an idea whose very existence rests on getting the best in a debate; it's not. Am I then, putting forth a dogma? No - because you can test it for yourself, the tools of testing are there viz. meditation, negation, self-enquiry etc. Philosophy and logic are not intrinsic to non-duality, you cannot test the validity of non-duality using either because both are instruments of the mind, and the mind only works in a dualistic dichotomy. Philosophy and logic are there to explain non-duality, not test it. You cannot explain non-duality away with philosophy, because you are still operating under the assumptions which non-duality asks you to question in self-enquiry. That is, your dismissal comes from a place of ignorance so is only valid from your own point of view..

You can make an analogy with religion. It's the same like asking, say, a Christian why he believes in God and he answers, because there is God, God exists! And you ask, how can you be so sure, can you prove it? And he says, of course: God IS - there is your proof!
:lol:

Your analogy is unfair. You are also repeating the same tired assertion from our previous exchange, only last time it was unicorns;
There is no evidence for the existence of invisible unicorns, they cannot be observed, tested, repeatedly observed and scrutinized with logic and reason. Self-enquiry requires logic, reason, repeated observation and commitment, testing, investigation and its evidence comes in the form of insight and knowledge. The comparison is baseless.
You ask for proof? I ask you to test it, I tell you how to test, I explain the reasoning behind it, I use philosophy to explain the reasoning. What do you do? Try to pick holes in the philosophy or in the reasoning and then say there is no proof! You cannot get any proof if you are unwilling to invest in self-enquiry- because self-enquiry is the only way to test it; philosophy only explains.

You are like a man who, after being approached by another man, and after being given the keys to a giant mansion, the directions, and the promise 'this is your mansion', sits there arguing with the other man that the keys must be fake because there is no evidence of the giant mansion! Did you follow the directions to get to the mansion first- before you tried to see if the keys fit?

In the same way, I give you my reasoning (key), give you the directions (self-enquiry) and promise you a mansion (Brahman) but you say there is no mansion because the key doesn't fit! Did you follow my directions? Did you investigate in self-enquiry and realize the Self before you applied the reasoning? You are like a runner who insists there is no finish line because he only sees the start line, is he not premature in his assertion? Is it not really that he simply hasn't started running?


I don't see God anywhere. I see only my PC screen, my beautiful piano and the dirty snow on the streets outside!
In this case, God would be the seer. You keep overlooking yourself and saying everything else is self-evident. To whom is everything evident first that you can say everything else is self-evident?
Furthermore your experience is very subjective and it's also not self-evident! It's valid only for you
I am not offering my experience as evidence for proof of my claims. I offer self-enuiry as a way to arrive at proof. What good can my experience do? My experience cannot remove your ignorance.

it's incorrect to tell the other people to try it, because there's simply nothing to try

:lol: :lol:

That's about as baseless a claim as they come. It seems my analogy of the mansion was correct in your case. How do you know there is nothing to try? Because you haven't tried it?! Because you can explain it away in your mind? :lol: Your unwillingness to try says nothing about the fruits of trying, it just says a lot about you.

See a previous exchange;
You are unwilling to investigate it for yourself, therefore you do not believe in it, therefore you cannot begin it. Your argument is circular. It is up to you completely whether or not to explore Self-enquiry, but if you don't -don't blame it on Self-enquiry.
by what you've said so far, you didn't experience anything new, anything that I didn't experience, the difference is only in the interpretations
I know that you haven't experienced the insights pertaining to non-duality. You admitted as much in the previous thread, 'What Am I, What are You?';
I have to say that you are absolutely right, I do identify myself with the body and everything else, I do identify myself as a big combination of objects or so to say I do identify myself as an object...

So when you say that I have to identify myself with the Subject instead of an Object, you are trying to help me to reach your state easier, so to say, I must trick my brain/mind(by at least using it to identify myself with the idea of the Subject so I reduce the effects of the Object identification) so my aim gets closer, but the moment I enter this state( direct experience of the Self) I will realize that identification is a process that's performed by an object and it's obsolete, because I am not an object.

My experience isn't new, it's ancient, teachers have been talking about it for millenia. It is subjective, yes, because it is dealing with the self, which is the Subect. But it is also testable, repeatable, and available to anybody who is commited to self-enquiry.

Regardless of the philosophical to and fro in our exchanges, which are all well and good, I get the very distinct impression that you are incredibly reluctant to go beyond concepts. The reality which non-duality explains using concepts is beyond concepts. You cannot hope to get at it with ideas, which is why is why you are missing the point when you dismiss it as an idea 'pulled out of thin air'. I think you are probably afraid of either being wrong or of change, so instead you resort to wriggling about and using as many different arguments as you can to rationalise your reluctance and explain non-duality away. This is just my observation, by the way- it's how you come across regardless of your real intentions.

I've noticed that in the previous thread, What am I, What are You? at the end you became very open to the suggestion of enquiry and I got the impression that you were actually going to investigate it for yourself for once. But then this thread came up, and you said the following;
Thing is that I am happy just right now, I love , I adore myself, I don't want to change anything anyhow, everything is working perfectly for me the way it is, with all the ignorance and duality I have, it's working so perfectly that I don't want to change it.
Which basically shows to me that you considered self-enquiry for a moment, but then realized that you didn't want to have to change the way you currently are because you're already comfortable with yourself.

I think I can conclude that on the basis that you don't want to change, or you are reluctant to change, you try to rationalize non-duality teaching away so you don't have to bother with it or put any effort into self-enquiry, and therefore you deny or think you can disprove non-duality on this basis.

Non-duality teachings are not for you.



Yet.



:)

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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by arel » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:24 pm

I'd like to jump in here... You would be hard pressed to argue with Ananda here gen6. Arguing is irrelavant with this. Especially when your arguments don't seem to come from the relevant knowledge. It might not be, as Ananda says, your reluctance for self-enquiry. That's why I wanted to jump in to post this. It maybe that his way (similiar to "Who am I?" enquiry) is not revealing for you. I would suggest you give a try what ET recommends in his book. Which is inner body awareness. I have not seen that suggested by anyone else to the extent that he does. Give it a try for 3 weeks. Just focus there, as much as you can and see what happens. This is very simple but not easy I guess. Like most worthwhile things.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

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gen6
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Re: Why absolute Monism (Nonduliasm) is impossible

Post by gen6 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:27 pm

You ask for proof? I ask you to test it, I tell you how to test, I explain the reasoning behind it, I use philosophy to explain the reasoning. What do you do? Try to pick holes in the philosophy or in the reasoning and then say there is no proof! You cannot get any proof if you are unwilling to invest in self-enquiry- because self-enquiry is the only way to test it; philosophy only explains.
The only way people can lose 50 years of their lives is by searching for something that was never there in the first place :wink: Simple formula, isn't it? And if by any chance, they are not constantly in harmony with themselves, they didn't succeed , didn't reach the final, didn't complete the mission, didn't achieve the aim, they did something wrong? Didn't they? They have to try harder? To push more? Or not to try? The less they try the further they go? Oh no, they still didn't reach the final, there is still some disturbance in the holy harmony, I sense strong presence! Come on mate, another year or two, let's go, almooost theree...ahhh you've missed it :lol: It's one big circle.Worst is that those who preach this don't realize the illusion themselves.
THE SELF just IS....right...and I have to follow your orders, pointers, words, in order to understand that, to find that, to experience that?
That's SELF-EVIDENT
:lol: ? No no, I have to ask this one more time, THAT IS SELF-EVIDENT? :lol: RIGHT... :lol:
I suggest a minute of silence now.... .... .... ..... :lol: Thank you. :)

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