Knowledge is knowing one's own self. This self has no birth, no death, no change and it is omni-potent, omni-present, omni-scient,
the one without a second.
[Comments captured below]
I agree with this in general, but it raises the a slippery and subtle question: what is the nature of the "self"?
Let me highlight the issue with two analogies (two ways of thinking of the self).
Analogy 1: The self is like clay. It is a separate kind of substance. It can be reshaped into many different things, but fundamentally it remains clay.
Analogy 2: The self is like fire, which flickers and varies as it burns but it continues to persist. However, there is no separate "substance" of fire. What is persistent is the FACT of the fire itself.
I lean more towards Analogy 2 in my thinking of the self.
April 10, 2009 6:53 AM
As I said, Self is the one without a second, there is nothing available to compare the self. Clay example will not correctly describe it because every thing comes from the Self but Self is not modified, but clay is modified though it essentially retains it's clayness.
Now regarding Fire analogy.Just like, You can see something on fire but you cannot see only fire, You can see something has self but you cannot see only Self. It is because we are rather trying to see Self just like we see material objects. The Point is the Self can realize itself but cannot be seen as something different to your self. Just like diffrent objects come from magician's hat but if you look at the hat it seems empty. Visualize the situation like this. Truth is perfect. Everything comes from it is perfect. If you remove this second perfect from the first perfect, what remains is perfect. Pondering over this analogy, will give a clue over the nature of the Truth.
April 10, 2009 7:34 AM
Just to clarify: In my fire analogy, I was thinking about the relationship between an individual self and the material body.
In your response, you seem to be thinking of the relationship between the Universal Self and the individual self.
I don't necessarily diagree with your analysis, but I want to hear your thoughts on the nature of the individual self (my self). What is the relationship between the individual self and the body?
April 11, 2009 2:01 PM
I am not sure what you say in the original post (Absolute Truth: Knowledge) is true.
Suppose what you say is true. Then there is only the self and all knowledge is of the self. There is then nothing for me (Bharath) to agree or disagree with, since I am not separate from you. And there is nothing for you to expect as a response from me, since I am not separate from you. So if what you say is true, communication is not possible.
If you reply: "communication is possible because you and I talking is the play of the Self". But then again I think communication is not possible. Because in communicating you are already presupposing your view, and if I don't agree there is nothing for us to say.
So, here is my argument for why I think your view is not correct:
1. If there is only the Self, communication is not possible.
2. But communication is possible, since we are communicating right now.
3. It is not true that there is only the Self. There is at least duality.
What do you think is wrong with this argument?
April 11, 2009 7:57 PM
My comments to Gautam's dated 4/11
All bodies are material only, physical, mental and causal. Difference is gross to subtle in the same order. Individual self possesses the body. Body belongs to individual self. Regarding the nature of individual self, it is what it thinks it is. The existance of physical or any body is only at the will and pleaure of the individual self. The individual self comes into existance the moment, it takes cognizance of it's body (any body). The moment the individual self ceases to be cognizant of its body, it ceases.
April 17, 2009 8:46 AM
My comments to Bharath's dated 4/11/09
Let us look at this way.
There is only one thing.But we experince diversity and multiplicity. How come? From where this diversity has come? Obviously from the one thing that is there. From one thing, how different things can come? They cannot.So they appear to have come but in reality they are not there. The individual self i.e you and me are the part of diversity. They appear to exist at a casual glance but they disappear upon scrutiny. If they are really there, why we donot experience them in our deep dreamless sleep ? All the communication that has been being taking place is in the world of
Looking from another angle.
There is only one thing. As I said in the original post. Knowledge is knowing one's own self. It looks as if there are three things that are operating here.The one who is having the knowledge, the one about which somebody else is having the knowledge of and the process of having the knowledge. Actually all the three things cannot exist and hence 2 of the things ought to be appearing to be existing but in reality they donot. Here these two things are the individual self which thinks it is having the knowledge and 2nd one is the process of having the knowledge. These two things are part of diversity. Hence in reality there is only one thing. There cannot be any possibility for duality to have any existance.
April 17, 2009 12:43 PM
As I understand it, your response is as follows: "It only appears that there is communication, but there really isn't, for there is only the self."
So you deny what I took for granted, namely that you and I are communicating right now. You are saying that in a deeper sense there is no communication happening right now because the sense of duality presupposed by communication is an illusion. And you say the sense of plurality and diversity is an illusion because we don't experience them in deep sleep.
My question now: "But why should we take deep sleep as an indicator of the nature of the universe?"
Here is my reason why we shouldn't put such emphasis on deep sleep. For since in deep sleep there are no experiences, it means that in deep sleep we aren't made aware of anything about the world. The reason why we don't experience duality in deep sleep is not because deep sleep is beyond duality, but because deep sleep is a kind of shutting down; it doesn't tell us anything.
So, here is my question stated in another way:
"Why should we think that deep sleep illuminates the nature of the universe rather than that it blinds us to the true nature of the world, which is duality?"