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Chapter V: Awareness, the Self.

Discriminating self and not self

I Am Not My Story, I Am Ordinary Awareness, The Most Obvious Thing, A Second Awareness, I Do Not Die , I Am a Partless Whole, I Am Not a Doer, I Am Not Unique in Any Way, No Need to Be Pure and Holy, I Don’t Change, I Can’t Become More Aware, I Reveal Myself to Myself, The Real and the Apparently Real.

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Discriminating self and not self

Postby Tom » Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:30 pm

Wondering what peoples thoughts are on this

When you discriminate between self and not self as a practice, surely everything that can possibly perceived is not self because we cannot directly perceive the self as we are the self?

If all in made of consciousness, as in everything that is perceived and experienced is made of consciousness then instead of discriminating self and not self could it not be as good to say all is the self?

:)
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Vinay » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:34 pm

surely everything that can possibly perceived is not self because we cannot directly perceive the self as we are the self?


I believe that's an incorrect statement. You are always perceiving the Self, as everything in nothing but the Self. The problem happens because we are perceiving the world through the subjective lens of our likes and dislikes.

instead of discriminating self and not self could it not be as good to say all is the self?


You have to do both. Technically the Vedantic terms are Satya (independent reality, real) and Mithya (dependent reality, apparently real). The Self is Satya, whereas whatever we perceive is Mithya. Just as pot (Mithya) cannot exist with clay (Satya), the world (Mithya) cannot exist without the Self (Satya).

So discriminating between Satya-Mithya leads us to the conclusion:

1) I am not the doer/enjoyer.
2) I am the Self.

Once this is clear, then you can say everything is the Self/Isvara. Then you wouldn't identify with Mithya even when you say everything is the Self, and I am the Self..


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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Stan » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:14 am

Hi Tom,

You asked for thoughts on what you wrote so, here are some of mine.

When you discriminate between self and not self as a practice, surely everything that can possibly perceived is not self because we cannot directly perceive the self as we are the self?


First of all, who is doing this discriminating ? It isn`t the self because as reality is non-dual, the self sees `no other`. As there is `no other`, the self doesn`t discriminate anything from itself but it does know itself. Also, the self most certainly doesn`t have a "practice" nor is it a "perceiver". It has no senses or mind complex. ( subtle body ). that belongs to the Individual or Jiva.

The Jiva is in Maya / duality and so it can only see objects whilst under the spell of Ignorance and as you said, the self cannot be directly perceived. there are no senses with which to perceive the self.
From the Jiva`s point of view, it is bound by Maya`s conditioning and the only way out is through self-knowledge.

In the early stages of self inquiry, it`s very important to be able to negate all objects . It is a necessary qualification. Why ? because there is nothing to be gained from the objects. they are all of neutral value and not worth chasing after. The joy is not in the object, it is in "you" ...awareness.

Discriminating the self from the not-self is done to break down the identification with the mind/ body sense complex and any objective phenomena arising `within` it and `allied` to it.
This is covered by the teaching on the gunas and the Isvara-Jiva identity. These are essential teachings for Moksha.
Discriminating the self from the not-self is Moksha.

You then said....

If all in made of consciousness, as in everything that is perceived and experienced is made of consciousness then instead of discriminating self and not self could it not be as good to say all is the self?


This is well and good BUT.... Until my knowledge is hard and fast in that `I am the self`, I think that the not-self is Real !

How do you get to the point where you can say "All is made of consciousness" ? after all, you could get a parrot trained to speak that. It wouldn`t know what it meant though, would it ? If it is not just to be intellectual knowledge or information, but self-knowledge, there needs to be a means of knowledge that leads to the understanding that one is the self alone.

Yes, you AS awareness could say that "all is the self". All apparent objects are the self from the standpoint of the self BUT, the self is not the all/ objects. It needs no "All" or objects as it is the knower of the "all". All objects. It exists before, during and after them and is not changed or modified by them.

As the self never changes, it is said to be real. The `all` or objects, are always subject to change and so are not said to be real. they exist but only have an apparent existence. confusion between the real and the unreal, self and `not self` is the cause of suffering. you can`t superimpose the real onto the not real.

The primary method of removing Ignorance / confusion is through discrimination of the Real from the Apparently Real. saying "all is the self" cannot remove ignorance.
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Tom » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:06 am

Hi Stan

Sorry I had not noticed this reply to my post! Thank you for such an in depth reply.
Would you say the self could be described as a quality? as its certainly not an object that can be perceived.

Nice to see someone else in the UK here :)
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Stan » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:30 am

Hi Tom,

Would you say the self could be described as a quality? as its certainly not an object that can be perceived.


In a word Tom, i`d say No. Bearing in mind that the self, awareness,...is YOU, would you say that you are a quality ? Not really. and aren`t all "qualities" known ? Objects ? What sort of qualities did you have in mind ? Qualities of what ? You as the self are witness to all qualities. A thing and it`s quality exist in mithya...the apparently real. They are not ever present and unchanging. Only the self, you, is ever present and unchanging and hence real.
You can`t superimpose the real onto the unreal..satya onto mithya.

If the self were a "quality", there would have to be something else, some object, standing behind it that it referred to but, that which stands behind everything, that everything depends on, IS the self. This is a confusion between the self and objects appearing in the self. Everything always points to the real when inquired into. Always look for what is ever present and doesn`t change. Does this refer to "qualities" ? No.
As you doubtless know, constantly discriminating the real from the unreal is moksha.

Yes, it`s nice to see someone else from the UK here. At this stage of the forum`s development, we don`t know where participants are located. Having said that, `welshtyke` sounds pretty suspect to me ! if we see a `britgit` then I reckon we`ve cracked it. :)

As regards being notified of new posts, if you go to the bottom left of the topics page and hit on the subscribe link, and you will get notifications in your email inbox. You have to do this for every new topic. to unsubscribe, just click on the `unsubscribe topic` link.
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Anja » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:01 pm

Tom wrote:Wondering what peoples thoughts are on this

When you discriminate between self and not self as a practice, surely everything that can possibly perceived is not self because we cannot directly perceive the self as we are the self?

If all in made of consciousness, as in everything that is perceived and experienced is made of consciousness then instead of discriminating self and not self could it not be as good to say all is the self?

:)


The logical problem with saying, "all is Consciousness" is this: IF all is Consciousness, then all elements of Consciouness are supposed to be conscious. But as we all know, that is not the case. If all forms, all jivas would be conscious of the fact that they are the Atman also, there would be no violence, no brutality, no war, whatsoever. But that isn't the case. So...there indeed isn't something that can be called Consciousness, that indeed is conscious, which we, as forms, are part of. That is just another attempt from what I call the theocratic conspiracy to fool us to believe that we are a part of what they, the ..... you name it, call: We're all one.

No! We are NOT all one. We are not-two. And that sounds like a minor, unimportant distinction but it is a big gap. It is as big as the universe, the difference between "we are one" and "we are not two".

It's like this: I may be a part of a tiger, the mouth or the tongue, but I'm not a part of a pig, whatsoever. Although I'm a part of some sort of an animal. Know what I mean?

In other words, I might be the mouth of a tiger, but I'm NOT the mouth of a sheep, although I'm the mouth of an animal. Therefore, I'm not seperated from being a tiger, but I'm not a part of any other kind of animal.

THAT is what I call (qualified) non-duality.
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Wayne » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:34 am

Hiya Tom,

Tom wrote:Wondering what peoples thoughts are on this

When you discriminate between self and not self as a practice, surely everything that can possibly perceived is not self because we cannot directly perceive the self as we are the self?


It is. And isn't. As Stan is suggesting, as Self, there is nothing for us to perceive. We are.

Tom wrote:If all in made of consciousness, as in everything that is perceived and experienced is made of consciousness then instead of discriminating self and not self could it not be as good to say all is the self?

:)


It's a great point. And it is true. Vedanta is a process in a way, concerning identity. It is valuable to begin with demystifying or negating what self and moksha is not. That way, we are stripping away our ignorance. what is left is a blank canvas, so to speak. Once our erroneous notions are removed, there can only be one conclusion. One conviction. As all our pre-conceived identities are stripped away, there is only one logical conclusion. That I am consciousness/awareness. This is self-realization. Knowing you are the self. It is a very important 'stage', but only the beginning.

Self-actualization (mosksha) is understanding the identity that is between awareness, Isvara and Jiva. It is knowing what it means to be awareness.

Warmest wishes

Wayne
So how do I live my life? ‘Be’ the absolute reality and enjoy the appearing-reality. Simple.

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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby kpitsim » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:16 pm

To Wayne, Tom, Stan and Group:

Enjoyed your last posts on discriminating self and not self. Reminds me of the following passage I read recently from Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda:

P.222 Para. 450 "In order that the understanding be natural and abiding, it has to be based on your fundamental experiences. For this you have to begin by examining your ordinary experiences as a layman, gradually eliminating from them all extraneous elements, leaving only truth behind.

This method alone takes you to the Truth without any effort or doubt. For example examine what happens during your most ordinary perceptions, thoughts or feelings; and prove that in every case it is your own Atma, the Self, that is experienced as consciousness or peace.


IMO the key is eliminating all extraneous elements, what I now can understand as what Vedanta provides through its means"means of knowledge". The fundamental experiences needs to include the experience of reading the scriptures, and the experience a sattvic, subtly intellect that serves to eliminate extraneous elements.

Bob
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby JayJaya » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:53 am

Vedanta is a provisional teaching. At each stage you accept a conceptual framework to dismiss a previous held concept that was set in concrete of ignorance......So as the shedding takes place, it like pealing each layer of an iron. Until you come to the core, you as Awareness, which is without any form or quality and what can't be discriminated away via negation....Now you have direct knowledge/experience of Self, the Real you....Although this is a huge task, to see for yourself that Moksha is your true identity, which is Eternal, unchanging, prior to time and space, not born or die.....OK once this is firmly your viewing platform, then the stage of putting the touch of Advaita, One without a 2nd......This can be the more tricky bit to put humpty dumpty back together..Not that the SelfReality was ever cracked,,,Maya, ignorance was only an apparent crack like a mirage of water in a desert....Vedanta is a beautiful mosaic once viewed from the pinnacle of Self.
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Stan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:56 am

Hi Bob,

Nice to be able to talk to you again...it`s been quite a while :-)

I agree with what you said but can`t really comment much about it as I think Jaya has just done a pretty good job of that....
I`m thinking in particular what he said here ...

" At each stage you accept a conceptual framework to dismiss a previous held concept that was set in concrete of ignorance......So as the shedding takes place, it like pealing each layer of an iron. Until you come to the core, you as Awareness, which is without any form or quality and what can't be discriminated away via negation."

It is pretty much what Shri Atmananda said but I felt Bob`s statement was more clearly put.
Not that Atmananda was wrong in anyway but, his statement " This method alone takes you to the Truth without any effort or doubt" oversimplifies the case by far.
He was talking to his students who he would have been teaching face to face, and they would have been familiar with the various aspects of his teachings.

Not so clear for us though as where is the teaching to back up his statement ?
Atmananda taught people who were already contemplative and had the qualifications in place. His teaching method called `The Direct Path` was hence suitable for them in order for them to realize the self.
However, vedanta goes further than that and ends up enabling us to know that we are non-dual love and of the nature of `perfect satisfaction`. it could be said to be the teaching that goes beyond the teaching of enlightenment.

And where are the preparatory teachings ? Karma yoga, Ishwara ?
He didn`t have a complete teaching. mind you, I don`t think in all honesty he claimed to have one, and his teachings were in line with those of vedanta.
I like his teachings and have all of his writings...i`m a bit of a `fan` of his you might say.

I`m vedanta through and through but his teachings are like reading the satsangs on the shiningworld website. excellent for purifying the mind and of course the resulting sattvic mind is highly enjoyable. :D
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Stan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:21 am

Hi Jaya,

You said ...

" Vedanta is a provisional teaching. At each stage you accept a conceptual framework to dismiss a previous held concept that was set in concrete of ignorance. ".

Yes, this is the work of discriminating wisdom.
If we see a world of objects, and all concepts are objects, then we need discriminating wisdom to neutralize our attachment to the belief in the world /objects as being real and the giver of happiness.
We need to break our attachment to them.

However, you went on to say ....

" So as the shedding takes place, it`s like peeling each layer of an onion. Until you come to the core, you as Awareness, which is without any form or quality and what can't be discriminated away via negation....Now you have direct knowledge/experience of Self, the Real you."

There is a very nice twist of irony here because do you really " come to the core " ?

The self does not need anything or any action to reveal itself.
It seems to be hidden and unseen and it looks like it only comes into being when it is revealed by " dismissing previously held concepts", But this is not true. Do we need any kind of objects or their removal to exist? We do not.

The problem in this case – as in every other case – is words. The words " Peeling" or “reveal” are dualistic.
It means that there is something that is hidden and something or some action that reveals what is hidden.
ie " peeling the onion".

The teachings of Vedanta reveal the self, which is hidden behind a cloud of ignorance, for example.
But actually, the teaching says that the self is self-revealing. What does this mean?
It means that nothing else is required to reveal it.

This is called non-discriminating wisdom.

However, Discriminating wisdom is just as good a non-discriminating wisdom because both free you of dependence to objects, and we know this as moksha.

As I understand it, once self knowledge has been assimilated, vedanta just `goes away` ...it recedes out of consciousness but the knowledge is available to be recalled the moment it is needed. discriminating wisdom comes first but non-discriminating wisdom remains.
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Stan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:54 am

Hi Friends,

As we`re involved with the topic of `The Self` here (...when aren`t we ? ), I thought it would be opportune to watch a video of Ramji teaching the self.

It`s taken from Ramji`s seminar on the Gita in 2017. The venue was the excellent True Nature Healing Arts Center in Carbondale owned and run by Eaden and his wife.

Favorite quote of the entire video ? The self is always available as the `I` thought.

Here`s the link...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuFaiCn3r4M&feature=youtu.be
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby JayJaya » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:14 am

Hi Stan,


Vedanta is a provisional teaching. At each stage you accept a conceptual framework to dismiss a previous held concept that was set in concrete of ignorance. ".

Stan wrote:Yes, this is the work of discriminating wisdom.
If we see a world of objects, and all concepts are objects, then we need discriminating wisdom to neutralize our attachment to the belief in the world /objects as being real and the giver of happiness.
We need to break our attachment to them.


Yes i agree with you, I would add another facet of Ignorance, That we hold the misconception the World is Real and we are born into it and will die. That the world is existence and we are seperate from the world and at the mercy of a nature we have little control over.

Stan wrote: The self does not need anything or any action to reveal itself.
It seems to be hidden and unseen and it looks like it only comes into being when it is revealed by " dismissing previously held concepts", But this is not true. Do we need any kind of objects or their removal to exist? We do not.



So as the shedding takes place, it`s like peeling each layer of an onion. Until you come to the core, you as Awareness, which is without any form or quality and what can't be discriminated away via negation....Now you have direct knowledge/experience of Self, the Real you."

Stan wrote:The self does not need anything or any action to reveal itself.
It seems to be hidden and unseen and it looks like it only comes into being when it is revealed by " dismissing previously held concepts", But this is not true. Do we need any kind of objects or their removal to exist? We do not.


Yes I agree. Although Its not that Self was ever hidden in any way, Self was always our one real nature that everything appeared on. Only due to ignorance the self was taken as a person that was changing with some strong core believes in where my body was born, into a particular family, country etc. to form a very core conceptual frame work of who i think i am...pure ignorance, Maya doing its job.Because we live in this ignorance which is rooted in the idea that we can do actions to achieve are desired results, Vedanta provisionally gives us a bunch of action, dangling the carrot that we can achieve Moksha. Vedanta does give out the truth of our Self right at the outset but unless we are very mature we don't get it, then the teaching starts to mature us( Arjuna BG)Then as we go about the work of purification of the mind/vasanas the mind transforms into a suitable instrument to apply a deep discriminatory investigation of our unconscious beliefs through the structure that the teachings of Vedanta supplies, with the great help of a qualified teacher . Then our Real Self is revealed, like we tap ourself on are own shoulder and say this awareness i thought was a person is actually the Self and I was That all along....great mystery this revelation but Maya does a brilliant job in concealing our Self and Isvara does a brilliant job to uncover what was never concealed.


Stan wrote:There is a very nice twist of irony here because do you really " come to the core " ?


yes stan its a twisty irony. Words are words they can never truly be accurate in regards to Self. Core is very inadequate because at the core of the end of peeling an onion one layer after another nothing remains, this is what i use the word core to indicate. Although the Self isn't nothing in that nothing doesn't have existence(even the word existence is a trick). Core is symbolic in that it's formless like space that remains when there is no more layers of onion. Space is a metaphor used for Self, the difference space isn't conscious, where Self is conscious, to discriminate the difference.

Stan wrote:As I understand it, once self knowledge has been assimilated, vedanta just `goes away` ...it recedes out of consciousness but the knowledge is available to be recalled the moment it is needed. discriminating wisdom comes first but non-discriminating wisdom remains.


Yes I agree. Although because of the karma that brought about the current life is still appearing like a play.Therefore ignorant vasanas can still rare there head like a cobra that coils and lifts it head and hisses to strike at you. Although when your vision is the vantage point of Advaita, you awareness are the giver of existence via your attention, so with a flick of your attention you don't loan existence to a ignorant vasana arising in the subtle body from the casual body, it's clearly seen Awareness is ever free from what arises and departs.

Moderator note: I just tidied the BB code in your color quotes for ya bro. It's best if replies are done via the 'quote' tab at the top right of a post. That way it is easy to see relevant 'quote' bb code. Helps anyone reading the cool discussion :). Wayne
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby DavidVedanta » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:17 am

Stan wrote:Hi Friends,

As we`re involved with the topic of `The Self` here (...when aren`t we ? ), I thought it would be opportune to watch a video of Ramji teaching the self.

It`s taken from Ramji`s seminar on the Gita in 2017. The venue was the excellent True Nature Healing Arts Center in Carbondale owned and run by Eaden and his wife.

Favorite quote of the entire video ? The self is always available as the `I` thought.

Here`s the link...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuFaiCn3r4M&feature=youtu.be


The three months teaching of James from may-july will be great to watch as webinar. I am impressed by the venue and Eaden is a great host of Vedanta-seminars. :mrgreen:
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby Mira » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:56 pm

Nice discussion everyone!

Welcome Jaya!

I just want to add that for me its more natural to see things as names and forms (of the self) rather than self/not self. As Vinay says--there is only the self.

I'm reminded of a story I heard about Swami Chinamayananda and his teacher Tapovan Maharaj.

The swami asked his teacher as to why is there manifestation and why not just pure awareness. The teacher did not reply but asked the swami to get some water from the Ganges river for him the next morning. The swami got up early in the morning, went to the river and filled some water in a kamandalu pot and brought it for his teacher. The teacher looked at him and said, "I asked for the (pure) water. Why did you bring it in a pot?!"

The swami then understood....
....(presumably that all of manifestation is just pure awareness packaged in different ways).

The words in the parantheses above are mine of course, so if anyone have a different interpretation then let us know!
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby JayJaya » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:43 pm

Hi Mira thanks for the welcome.

You know 2 of the Mahavakas (great statements from the Veda’s)

Is Atman is Brahman

The Brahman is the World

Advaita sums it all up One without a second.

There is no world, There is only Brahman….The story of the rope and snake is the same implication. When ignorance hold sway, taking the world as seperate from your self is seeing the world as a snake. When that is the case we imagine all kinds of thoughts/feelings about this seperate world and we appear to suffer, all this is only imagination.

When the rope in this story is really Brahman. When the rope believes its seeing a snake all kinds of false projections and concealments can take place. All because of the ignorance of lack of correct knowledge that there is only ever been a Rope/Brahman all along.

I would say because of this beginning less ignorance of compounded karmas that each subtle body has to experience, we can all appear to have different points of views.

I for one have been blessed or cursed with a mind that understands abstract concepts but missing the more down to earth qualities.
Thank the Great Lord that mostly those days are past….So in my case it was easier to focus on the transcendence Self rather then the magic show of names and forms. It was easy to understand and discriminate the names and forms back into space. To recognise I Awareness am the knower of Space…..This all sounds simple and it is but it is also very very difficult, all depending on the maturity of the karmic continuum brought forth from other lives and the work we did to purify through spiritual practices.

The names and forms are the Self but the Self is what
eternally is without change, names and forms come and go and are inanimate denser matter that are projection of Isvara/Maya. The power of Self to appear as names and forms but without going through any modification, remaining exactly eternally transcendence without the slightest quality.

All Glory to the Great Self Lord of All…
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Re: Discriminating self and not self

Postby kpitsim » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:45 am

To Stan:

Very happy to communicate with you again in this format. I did participate somewhat in facebook, but this format is easier to refresh your memory with conversations. As usual enjoyed your response and also agree with the points made.

Your exchange with Jayjaya was very helpful too. He is very clear with his understanding, and your probings serves us all well in our inquiry IMHO. Found very interesting the distinction between discriminative and non-discriminative wisdom that I had not heard before. Another conceptual tool for my advaita toolbox. Helps account for the "experience"of both employing a concept that uses a doer to apply discrimination, and then a concept to negate the need for employing discrimination.

To Jayjaya:

Thank you very much for your contributions so far. Really appreciate your very mature and clear understanding of the teachings.

To Mira:

Thanks for your posts. Very helpful to the discussion. Have a question though as to the one you sent to Jayjaya and the story about Chinmayananda ("C") and his guru. I thought James has said that Vedanta holds that there is no answer to the question of why there is a creation, of its purpose. Vedanta answers how not why. As I understand the guru's reply about " why did you bring the pot when all that was requested was pure water" one has no choice but to use the creation when delivering an object in the creation from one place to another. Maybe I am being dense here, but I don't see how that really answers C's question as to why there is a creation at all? Apparently I am being dense, because C felt it answered his question.

Bob
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