Archive for October, 2015


Light Upon Light is a book to touch the heart, and awaken the spirit. It takes the lives of some of the great spiritual masters of the last millennium, from Rumi, to twentieth century saint Darshan Singh, and illuminates their inner quests. More than simply biography, Light Upon Light delves into their perceptions of the world, the innermost workings of their minds, and the life incidents that led them to enlightenment.

In this sense Light Upon Light is not about the spiritual path; it is designed to take the reader and carry them into the spiritual path, and perceive the wisdom of the masters from within. While author Andrew Vidich PhD has exemplary academic credentials, he writes from the heart, and calls the reader to a direct experience, a “felt sense” of the core of these masters’ teachings. He also emphasizes meditation as the universal constant taught by all masters, and has provocative exercises in each chapter to stimulate self-reflection, contemplation, and to give the reader experience of practical meditation techniques. This is a book to be treasured by both long-time spiritual students, and those new to the great masters of the path.

Andrew Vidich, PhD, is an internationally recognized author and educator. A resident of New York, he has taught religion at Manhattan College and Iona College, and is a founding member of the NY Interfaith Council. He has studied meditation for 35 years, and is the author of Love Is a Secret (Aslan, 1994).

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Andrew Vidich: Spiritual Resurrection–Becoming Beings of Love and Light

Each one of us must eventually leave this material world to journey onward to the spirit realm. Speaker Andrew Vidich explores the true meaning of resurrection? Through meditation and appropriate guidance, we can learn how to fly heavenward on the wings of our “light body.” The true meaning of resurrection is to become what we already are: beings of love and light. Become a living embodiment of the resurrection. 2014.

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Very often, enlightenment happens in the mind as a recognition of the absolute truth of emptiness in which a separate “me” does not exist. Whilst this realization is undoubtedly a profoundly transformative experience, living this truth is frequently more of a challenge. Awakening itself is simple. Of course, from the point of view of the ego it’s not so simple because the ego, being time-oriented, has an investment in enlightenment as a future goal. But once the mind recognizes itself as radiant emptiness, then awakening is absolutely natural and effortless. It’s as inevitable as a flower blooming from a bud.

But awakening is just the beginning: the embodiment of this awakening is the real journey. The adventure begins, not in the rarified atmosphere of transcendence, but in the midst of the chaos of life. And living the truth of awakening has perhaps never been more of an imperative than in today’s rapidly changing world. Most of us live complex, multi-faceted lives with jobs, careers, financial responsibilities, relationships and families. Many of us are also attempting to pursue our dreams, live our highest potential, and make a contribution to the world. At the same time, we’re increasingly aware that over half the planet’s population lives in abject poverty and horrifying circumstances. Somehow, all of this needs to be included in our awakening.

If awakening is to serve a real purpose in our lives, it needs to find new forms of expression through our everyday interactions. And if this awakening is to serve a purpose in the bigger picture of birthing a new humanity, it needs to engage us fully with the evolutionary impulse of existence. Enlightenment is no longer a secret reserved for mystics nor a luxury indulged in by privileged Westerners seeking to become “more spiritual”: it’s a necessity if we are to survive and thrive. If enlightenment is to be of any use, it needs to come down from the mountaintop and get its hands dirty in the market-place of human affairs. It’s an uncompromising embracement of both the waves of phenomenal expression and the ocean of inner stillness that brings us into deep intimacy with the creative force of life. This deep intimacy doesn’t mean you get lost in the story of the world, but it does mean you’re willing to wholeheartedly meet the world without a story. The enlightened mystic Osho called this “becoming a Zorba the Buddha”: in other words, the new evolutionary human being is someone who is utterly anchored within the light of awakened nature yet passionately committed to the bittersweet juiciness of earthly existence. Yes, the truth is “I am not my body”: but my direct experience shows me that my body is here and that consciousness moves through it as it every time I walk or run or jump. Yes, the truth is “there is no self”: but how come I answer when you call my name? Yes, the truth is “I do not exist and neither do you”: but isn’t it true that it matters whether I see and hear you with open-heartedness rather than with judgment? And isn’t this what we call relationship?

Rooted in the stillness of our being-nature, what is so unspiritual about opening to the movement of our life’s journey? Authentic awakening is not static: it’s a fresh moment to moment awareness of that which is unfolding within our direct experience. And what’s unfolding for so many of us within contemporary culture is an increasing complexity, interconnectivity and creativity at an exponential rate. Today we have the opportunity to become so much more than previous generations had ever dreamt of: for most of us, there are more resources, more technologies, more information and more wisdom available to us. What is so unspiritual about opening to embrace this evolutionary movement of our becoming-ness?

Authentic awakening is radical. It’s not about “spiritual practice”. It’s not something that we do for 20 minutes twice a day and then tick off our “to do” list: it’s a 24-hour a day, 365 days a year job that calls us to be ruthlessly honest. You either meet life consciously – that is, as the awakeness of your true nature – or you get lost in the dream. There’s no half way: you can’t be semi-conscious, you can’t meet life consciously when it feels good or you get things to go your way but then get lost in the story when it all goes wrong or it hurts. But you can become aware of what is still unconscious in you. This resolve to vigilance is the fertilizer for a deeper awakening.

If awakening is to be complete in you – if it’s to be a radical awakening – it must become alive in every cell of your being: your being-ness must sing and dance with the discovery of its light-essence. As this light filters out from mind into heart and further into the density of physical form, there’s a purification of all that is not yet living the truth of this awakeness. This is where it gets tricky. This is where the ancient movement of ego wants to claim ownership of the light, where it wants to hold onto an image of awakening as a transcendent or positive or blissful or never-ending experience. Purification means that everything that is unconscious in you will be brought to the fire of awakeness to be transformed. This is where confusion, doubt and fear come in: “Surely if I’m enlightened, I shouldn’t be having these unenlightened thoughts or these painful feelings?” It’s at this point that there’s a danger of re-identification with the story of your life. And it’s exactly here that the invitation to the greatest adventure holds out its hand to you. Right here, in this moment – and in each moment as it unfolds, whether it be an enlightened or an unenlightened moment – you are invited to rest more deeply within the One that expresses itself as everything: you are invited to willingly open to the divine mystery and mess of that which we call the human experience.

If you choose to be unequivocal in taking up this invitation – remember there is no half-way – your life will no longer be your own but will be given in service to this invitation. If you are radically sincere in your surrender to awakeness, the light of your innermost being will come rushing to meet your outermost expression and everything that stands in the way of this truth will be dismantled. In some people, this happens like a meandering river that gently but persistently reaches its destination. In others, this happens like a tidal wave that obliterates anything fragile or weak in its path. Either way, if the demolition job is thorough, an incredible silence will emanate from your core and reverberate through your environment, your community, your culture and your world. This silence is your true power because it is inseparable from the silent core of creation. It is the same as the light of God.

The embodiment of this light is the start of authentic living and it has the power to give birth to a new world.

(from Amoda Maa’s forthcoming book “Radical Awakening” VIEW HERE )

Source: scienceandnonduality.com

For the first time an award-winning Harvard professor shares the lessons from his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how these ancient ideas can guide you on the path to a good life today.

The lessons taught by ancient Chinese philosophers surprisingly still apply, and they challenge our fundamental assumptions about how to lead a fulfilled, happy, and successful life. Self-discovery, it turns out, comes through looking outward, not inward. Power comes from holding back. Good relationships come from small gestures. Spontaneity comes from practice. And excellence comes from what you choose to do, not your “natural” abilities.

Counterintuitive. Countercultural. Even revolutionary. These powerful ideas have made Professor Michael Puett’s course the third most popular at Harvard University in recent years, with enrollment surging every year since it was first offered in 2006. It’s clear students are drawn by a bold promise Professor Puett makes on the first day of class: “These ideas will change your life.” Now he offers his course to the world.

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Christine Gross-Loh is a freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and the Huffington Post. She has a PhD from Harvard University in East Asian history.

Professor Michael Puett on Zhuangzi in Relation to Confucius

Professor Michael Puett on Zhuangzi in Relation to Confucius


Published on Oct 29, 2015

Guy Finley explains that any painful pattern you find repeating in your life or relationships is meant to be used to rise above that level of consciousness so something new can be born within you. http://www.guyfinley.org/kit

About Radical Awakening

We are all looking for meaning among the chaos that is modern life. When we look around it is all too easy to see a world that is spiralling out of control, but if we can make changes to our own perceptions – changing our own reality – we can start to make a genuine difference to the world around us. We can turn suffering to joy and terror to peace by opening ourselves up to the concept of fulfilling our own potential.

To do this, we must see that everyone and everything is a manifestation of God (or Awakeness, Presence or Being) – that everyone and everything is one with the divine and at every moment we can make the choice of what we let ourselves feel. If we can learn to use this control in every area of our lives – from how we eat, move, breathe, think and feel to how we relate to one another, our work, our finances and our creativity – we can change not just our own lives but also the world we live in.

Written in a lively, engaging and very accessible style that sparkles with clarity and grace, Amoda explains her use of the word ‘God’ in this context, and the book reflects the important changes in Amoda’s teaching in recent years as her own awakening has evolved. Beautifully presented and practical as well as inspiring, this is a brilliant introduction to the world of non-duality, non-separation and our intrinsic oneness, and supports the reader on their path to inner joy and freedom.

Amoda Maa Jeevan ‘Radical Awakening’ Interview by Renate McNay

Amoda Maa Jeevan ‘Radical Awakening’ Interview by Renate McNay
Amoda Maa Jeevan is a spiritual teacher and the author of: Finding God in Everything and Change your Life, Change your World and of the forthcoming book Radical Awakening – The Birth of a New World and a New You. In this interview Amoda Maa talks about the need of a truly holistic spirituality and of the need to reframe our understanding of what it means to be an awakened human being. Awakening is just the beginning… the real journey is the Embodiment of this Awakening. It appears as if the outer world of form is breaking down, but it is the inner World of Consciousness that has reached a Crisis Point and we are called to turn around and join forces with Evolution itself.
http://www.conscious.tv


Dada Gunamuktananda: Yogi and Meditation Teacher
Bio: Dada Gunamuktananda has trained in meditation, yoga and natural health sciences in Australia, the Philippines and India. He has been a meditation teacher of Ananda Marga since 1995 and has taught and lectured on meditation in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.
http://www.anandamarga.org

Title: Consciousness : The Final Frontier
Synopsis: The exploration of inner space, our own consciousness, is ultimately connected to our discovery of outer space. Just as the world becomes a smaller place with increase in communication and transport technology, so the universe becomes a smaller place with the increase in meditation technology!


Published on Oct 29, 2015

Amoda Maa’s talk at SAND (Science and Nonduality Conference) in San Jose, California, October 2015

Amoda speaks of a new frequency in which we are birthing a new consciousness, the imperative to live from a place of true inner wholeness in which duality and nonduality are seen as one, and the subtle trickiness of egoic mind that divides transcendence from embodiment.

More info about Amoda and her teaching at http://www.amodamaa.com


Published on Oct 29, 2015

A conversation about personal versus impersonal love

The souls journey to God, as described by the greatest mystics in history, takes Seven Steps. This Path that Christ, Magdalene, Rumi, St Francis, Kabir, Theresa of Avila and Hafiz walked on was of Seven Spheres or Dimensions of Love.

What is love …and what is it not? Why is love the most misused word on this planet? Is the love between me, my partner and family the greatest love I can experience? What is The Pathway of Sacred Tears? Is there a map of love I can follow? What is Divine Love and what is Natural Love?

What is the difference between the soul and the spirit? What are the Five Deaths we must face before entering Union? What is the True Prayer, and its REAL meaning that Yeshua gave to us, the only Prayer we need to enter Union with God?

Each ascending Sphere or Dimension of Love holds ever increasing, vaster amounts of love, with this love gradually becoming part of the very fabric of your soul. As we drink in this Love, It inexorably transforms our human soul into a Divine Soul. This is the Grace Filled Path where by following divine laws so simple a child could understand them, and through deep desire for God, one reaches Union with the Beloved.

This involves deep humility and a steadfast anchoring into the centre of your own, pure soul, along the way feeling all the emotions you have never dared to feel. To become this Divine Love, we need to realize what love is, what it is not, and the six forms of love.

The Pathway to God’s Divine Love, the simplest pathway on earth, has been obscured by our own forgetting of who God Is: the Divine Soul who created your soul and deeply desires to give you Divine Love.

Dimensions of Love: 7 Steps to God brings forth new, interesting and sometimes radical truths for the soul into the 21st century, and shares it as direct experience.

Padma Aon Prakasha is a evolutionary author, visionary creative force and spiritual teacher. Padma holds the power of great change and transformation, and is part of the new generation of evolutionary guides.He combines all his multiple lineage initiations, teachings and skills into being a powerful catalyst for soul expansion. His ability to tap into the heart of the ancient mysteries and articulate their modern day message is renowned, and he has been described as “unique, provocative, fresh, full of profound integrity, knowledge and experience.’

He speaks and teaches worldwide and is the author of The Power of Shakti, The Christ Blueprint, The Nine Eyes of Light, and the forthcoming Womb Wisdom with his wife Anaiya.

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Eckhart explains why parts of our society are dysfunctional and how to take a balanced approach to dealing with this on a personal level. He says that many people live in a continually dysfunctional relationship with the present moment, which creates an unhappy existence. When millions of people reflect this state of unconsciousness, we end up with a dysfunctional world.
View Here

Many traditions and mystics talk about nondualism. But what is nondualism, and how have people—from different religions in different parts of the word—described this concept over the millennia?

In this book you will discover the long history of nondualism, from its first roots in the Indian Upanishads, to its expression in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, to its most modern-day expressions in the West. If you are a person in a nondual tradition, this book is an invaluable companion on your journey.

From the Introduction:

Nondualism is the philosophical and religious concept that all things are essentially one. It is called a philosophy of “identity” because it sees the entire universe, including any deity, as one unified whole. Although there appear to be a multiplicity of things in existence, any actual difference between them is illusory. Reality is not a multiplicity, in this view, but a singularity. Often in nondualism the apparent profusion of objects and beings in the universe is thought to be nothing other than a fantasy, and the only real thing is consciousness itself. Some, but not all, forms of nondualism include the idea of God, in which case God, creation, and the individual are seen to be identical. Nondualism has played a major role in the religions of Asia, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. It has also made some minor appearances in Western philosophies, but is an unpopular concept in the mainstream Abrahamic religions (i.e.—Judaism, Christianity, Islam).

Nondualism is the opposite (ha-ha) of a philosophy of “difference,” which sees reality as composed of many separate, individual parts, and usually a God who is also fundamentally separate from creation. Philosophies of difference, or dualism, are well known in the West: Christianity, Judaism, and to a large extent Islam are dualistic religions. The Abrahamic religions have had, here and there, a few philosophers and mystics that spoke of a nondual reality, but these have been few and far between.

India is unique in that it gave birth to several whole religions of pure identity (i.e. pure nondualism)
– for example, Buddhist Madhyamika and Hindu Advaita Vedanta.

The essence of nondual philosophy could be roughly summed up as: there is no you, no world, no deity, and no reality apart from the One Thing, which is consciousness. Everything else is imaginary. In this book we’ll examine the long history of this interesting and powerful idea.

In writing this text, it is my hope that the many people in the West who are currently involved in a nondual tradition will gain a bit more understanding of the background of nondualism, and perhaps where their tradition fits into the greater picture.

Michael W. Taft is an author, editor, meditation teacher, and neuroscience junkie. He is currently a meditation coach specializing in secular, science-based meditation training in corporate settings and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including “The Mindful Geek,” and “Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept,” “Ego” (which he co-authored), as well as the editor of such books as “Hardwiring Happiness,” by Rick Hanson, and the upcoming “The Science of Enlightenment,” by Shinzen Young.

He often teaches at Google and has worked on curriculum development for SIYLI. Michael is also an official advisor to the Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab. He was previously editor-in-chief of Being Human, a site for exploring what evolution, neuroscience, biology, psychology, archeology, and technology can tell us about the human condition, and was editorial director of Sounds True.

From Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, Michael has been meditating for over thirty years and has extensive experience in both Buddhist and Hindu practice. Michael is a senior facilitator in Shinzen Young’s Basic Mindfulness system, and is a teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He currently lives in Berkeley, California, and is founding editor of the popular mindfulness meditation blog Deconstructing Yourself.

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Non-duality Talk

Michael Taft is the author of Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept.

Michael writes, “The essence of nondual philosophy could be roughly summed up as: there is no you, no world, no deity, and no reality apart from the One Thing, which is consciousness. Everything else is imaginary.” In his book Nondualism a brief history of a timeless concept, he examines the long history of this interesting and powerful idea.

It’s Michael’s hope that the many people in the West who are currently involved in a nondual tradition will gain a bit more understanding of the background of nondualism, and perhaps where their tradition fits into the greater picture.

view here

Tracks

0:00 – 3:37 – Introduction to the topic of the history of nondualism and how it seems to be missing in the larger education

3:37 – 9:46 Early Vedic teachings. First definite nondual teachings in the Upanishads. A reading on turiya from the Mandukya Upanishad. Chandogya Upanishad.

9:46 – 11:22 The Upanishads as teaching texts. The current methodological teaching of Advaita Vedanta being a much later development.

11:22 – 14:38 Advent of Buddhism originating from study of the Upanishads and the three turnings of the wheel.

14:38 – 19:07 The refinement of Buddhist teachings. Emptiness teachings. Via positiva and via negativa teachings compared.

19:07 – 21:18 The expression of nonduality by people in general.

21:18 – 22:41 The blossoming of Buddhism very briefly mentioned.

22:41 – 26:13 Advaita Vedanta. Gaudapada.

26:13 – 29:17 Shankara. Buddhism contrasted with Vedanta.

29:17 – 34:43 The Western religions and nondualism. Meister Eckhart. Epiphatic Christianity.

34:43 – 38:30 Modern teachers: Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Poonjaji, J. Krishnamurti. A gap noted in the book’s coverage and discussed.

38:30 – 45:08 Neo-Advaita, the pros and cons. Poonjaji’s teachings. Does neo-Advaita incorporate a practice?

45:08 – 46:54 Adyashanti and a paradoxical offering.

46:54 – 54:30 Michael Taft offers a meditation based on the “do nothing” technique of Shinzen Young. Conclusion

Michael Taft History of Nonduality SAND 2011 HD

Modern thought on nonduality has a long and illustrious lineage. Just where and when people began having nondual experiences, talking about these experiences, and sketching out the philosophy of nondualism is a controversial topic: sure to offend everyone! It is a deliciously dualistic topic, in which no air quotes will be allowed. Join me for a fun, lively, and fascinating exchange.


Published on Oct 28, 2015

Trusting Ourselves, Trusting Life (10/07/2015)

How can we trust in basic goodness when we encounter so much greed and violence within and around us? This talk explores three pathways of practice that enable us to bring a healing attention to our primitive survival conditioning, and cultivate the heart and awareness that express our full potential and deepest essence.

“Who would you be if you trusted the basic goodness and beauty that lives through you?”

Published on Oct 28, 2015

We live in culture dominated by two contrived metaphysical inferences: that the world exists outside consciousness and that particular arrangements of matter in that world somehow generate consciousness. This distorted view of reality feeds the delusory dreams of artificial consciousness so prevalent in the media today, such as in movies like Ex_Machina.

In contrast to science fiction, however, there is the cold science fact of our complete failure to articulate, even in principle, how particular arrangements of matter could possibly generate consciousness. But instead of forcing our culture to revise its mistaken metaphysics, this failure is leading to a new delusion: panpsychism, or the notion that consciousness is in all matter, as opposed to all matter in consciousness. Under panpsychism, consciousness is fundamentally fragmented, just as matter appears to be. Single atoms allegedly have very simple consciousness, while more complex psyches, such as our own, can be built bottom-up by connecting atoms together.

In this video, we will see how both panpsychism and our dreams of artificial consciousness arise from a delusory interpretation of the facts of reality, as available to experience. We will see that consciousness isn’t created, but the framework wherein all creation happens. We will see that consciousness isn’t fundamentally fragmented, but fundamentally one. We will see that individual psyches don’t arise from bottom-up integration, but from top-down dissociation of a single consciousness. Finally, we will see how all this follows directly from true nondualism.


Gaudapada was one of the world’s greatest philosophers in seventh-century India. He invokes the mystical symbol ‘AUM’ (pronounced as ‘ohm’) pointing to the three states of consciousness (waking, dreaming and deep sleep) and the nature of reality itself. In the text on which this book is based, he writes that the waker, dreamer and deep-sleeper are like the roles that an actor plays at various times. All three states are the result of ignorance and error. Who we really are is the fourth aspect – the actor himself. If you see or feel a ‘thing’, then that ‘thing’ is not ‘real.’ So the waking world is no more real than the dream. ‘You’ have never been born. Nothing has ever been created. Causality is a myth. Discover your true nature to be Existence-Consciousness, without limitations, undivided and infinite, prior to time and space. Incredible? Read…and be convinced by the irrefutable logic of Gaudapada.


Dennis Waite has been a student of Advaita for over 25 years and maintains one of the most visited and respected websites on the subject. He lives in Bournemouth, England.

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Book Extract

Waking World is Unreal
Dennis Waite

The World Appearance

Third objection to world being unreal

And this leads on to the third objection namely that, whereas the dream world is subjective, the waking world has objective reality. It is experienced as external to ourselves, whereas the dream takes place in our mind (K2.9 – 10). But this notion suffers from the same confusion as before. We only recognize that the dream world is ‘in our mind’ when we are awake; at the time of the dream, it is just as much ‘external’ as is the waking world when we are awake. We might as well say that the waking world is really non-existent since it disappears when we are in the dream or deep sleep states. At the time of the dream, I experience external objects and events in just the same manner. Their illogicality or even impossibility only becomes apparent on awakening.

Similarly, when we recognize that turIya is the reality, we will also realize that the waking world has no objectivity of its own but is just an appearance within Consciousness. The objective reality of the two worlds is entirely relative to the standpoint of the observer. In fact, they are both mithyA.

From a ‘detached’ point of view, both waking and dream are similar experiences. Within the dream, there are ‘others’ who validate my dream experience. I have conversations with them and I assume (as a dreamer) that they see the same external (dream) world as I do. It is only from the vantage point of having woken up that I am able to see that this world was internally generated and (no longer) has any objective existence.

Of course I feel that I am unable to take a position from outside of this waking world to look at the situation in a similar fashion. And so I call the waking world ‘real’ and the dream world ‘false’. But in fact I do take such a stand every time I go to sleep. In the dream, the waking world is negated and in deep-sleep, both waking and dream are negated.

If we imagine a dream A in which we go to sleep and have a dream B. When we ‘wake up’ (from dream B into the dream A), we will say that the dreamt dream was ‘only a dream in the mind’, and that we are now (in dream A) in the real world. Of course, when we ‘really’ wake up into the waking world, we realize that both A and B were dreams and think that we are now in reality. Except that we are now effectively in dream C!

So long as we continue to believe in the objective reality of a separate world, we have not really woken up! The bottom line, with respect to this third objection, is that the experience of an external world does not mean that the world is real. Of course, we assume that it does, but an assumption is no proof at all.

If objects of both waking and dream worlds are unreal, that must include the people who inhabit them also, including the waker and the dreamer! If this is the case, it is denying the reality of the knower as well as the known. But this makes no sense as there has to be someone who is doing the denying! So who is it who sees or imagines these two worlds (K.2.11)?

This question highlights the danger of choosing the wrong word. Gaudapada actually uses the word vaitathya for the word translated here as ‘unreal’ but this should be regarded as a synonym for mithyA. The objects of the world are not unreal. Try walking in front of an oncoming car to demonstrate this! The objects (of both states) have reality relative to that state. What they do not have is absolute reality. Their reality depends upon I, the observer. That is I, the ultimate observer – Consciousness – not I, the separate person, which is equally mithyA. I, the waking person, cannot have absolute reality because I disappear, to be replaced by the dreamer or sleeper, when I go to sleep. I, the ego, also has only relative reality.

Gaudapada provides a preliminary answer to this question of who sees the worlds in K2.12, and introduces the concept of mAyA, which was mentioned in the introduction. He says that the scriptures tell us that it is the non-dual Self that ‘imagines’ itself and cognizes objects, by the power of its own mAyA. There is only the non-dual Self, or Consciousness. But he is suggesting here that this Self effectively creates a world, together with conscious beings to inhabit it, out of Itself. And, looking out at the world through the eyes of these beings, this Self ‘forgets’ that it is everything.

In fact, the ‘knower’ is not the original Consciousness but Consciousness ‘reflected’ in the mind of the observer. And we should never forget that all of this is really mithyA, like the snake misperceived in the rope.

It does, indeed, sound fantastical. And yet this is precisely what happens when I the waker go to sleep and dream! Whilst dreaming, I fully believe that I am in a complex, fully populated world of others; and yet everything is produced in my own mind, by itself, out of itself. The apparent plurality is self-delusion. Relatively speaking the waking world is no different. None of it has independent, substantial reality; it is all only name and form of myself, turIya.

Who-I-really-am is not the waker, which is Consciousness identified with this material body and believing in a separate gross universe. Both body and world effectively disappear when I go to sleep. And I am not the dreamer, which is Consciousness identified with the mentally created subtle body and dream world. These creations disappear when I wake up or go into deep sleep. The reality is that I am the Consciousness which is doing the identifying; that which is present throughout all of the three states and which does not change.

When I enter the dream, I (now the dreamer I) forget all about the waker I, believing that I am now completely awake in this mentally created dream world. And when I enter deep sleep, I forget both. All these experiences come and go but I, as Consciousness, remain unchanging as that in which they all arrive and depart. They are transient and their reality is relevant only to the ‘I’ which temporarily rules in that particular state. I, as Consciousness, am the only absolute reality. Recall again the metaphor of the actor playing several roles.

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