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Chapter XI: The Vision of Non-Duality: Knowledge Yoga.

Death = Deep Sleep ?

Relative Knowledge, Absolute Knowledge, Seeking Stops When the Knowledge Is Firm, Self-inquiry , The Real and the Apparently Real,Limitless Does Not Mean Big, It Is Ordinary Awareness, They Exist but They Are Not Real, Non-Duality Does Not Mean Sameness, The Key to Liberation: Understanding Awareness, Jiva and Isvara, Freedom from or Freedom for Jiva?, Limitless Bliss , The Five Sheaths, The Three StatesThe Waker, The Dreamer, The Sleeper, The Opposite Thought, The Three Gunas.

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Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby georgschiller » Tue May 24, 2016 12:37 pm

Hello everybody,

I recently had a discussion on death with a friend and I pointed out that death is just like deep sleep in which the subtle body basically disappears/ is dormant.
Now I wonder if this is actually completely correct to say because deep sleep is still a state, a state in which limitless and bliss is experienced by a very subtle version of the subtle body, correct?
Well, despite "Deep Sleep" being a state I suppose it is the closest example of what death is like, correct?

Here is a Satsang from Tan which supports this view:

And if we further examine deep sleep, we can see that the mind, the intellect and the ego vanish in deep sleep. This means that the subtle body, the source of individuality, dies in deep sleep. Every day the person dies in deep sleep and is born again in the dream state and in the waking state. How real is that person?

Actually the subtle body changes from moment to moment, and therefore dies every moment to be reborn every moment.

And what is our recollection of deep sleep, which is the closest approximation to the death of the individual person which we fear so much?

It is bliss. Deep sleep, which grants limitlessness and no boundaries of any kind, is experienced as total bliss.

So is there a reason for grief?

TAN http://www.shiningworld.com/site/satsan ... df&id=1277
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby Stan » Sat May 28, 2016 5:05 am

Hi Georg.

I have been looking at this post and upon consideration, I don`t entirely agree with the conclusion. This takes into consideration Tan`s commentary. There`s nothing at all wrong with it but I don`t think it entirely applies in the case you mention. AS usual in vedanta, it does and it doesn`t.

For one thing, are we talking about the death of a jiva or a jivanmukta ?
The other complication is that you at first said that "death is just LIKE deep sleep". If it is "like" deep sleep, then it isn`t deep sleep but at best, some of the charectaristics are the same.
Some points to take into consideration are....

1. Who dies ? The body and the life `principle` are the only two fundamental entities involved in the change called death. You can be in a coma for example but the body will still be alive.
Of these two entities, the `body` has always been inert and so dead...it can`t die again.
The `life principle` is always changeless and so again, can never die. The life principle does not go into the makeup of the body yet you say you die. This reminds me of one of Ramji`s sayings..." the trouble with you is, you think you are alive ! ".
So, if you say you die, how do you know that ?
You can`t say that you die without witnessing it. You would have to be there at the time knowing it. It can never happen as witnessing only happens when something known is apparent. So, death can never be known. It`s a non-event.
Even between two thoughts there is a gap where nothing is known and so again, the witnessing can`t be present. As far as death is concerned, you simply give a name to the unknown and dismiss it temporarily as a doubt.

2. What is the difference between the death of an `ordinary` person/a Jiva and the death of a Jnynani ?

If you consider that a Jnyani has a body, then all other attributes are similarly not denied to him/her.
Speaking from the relative level, in the case of the `ordinary man`, only the gross body dies and the subtle body along with it`s vasanas/samskaras is supposed to take another body on rebirth.
In the case of the Jnyani, the mind also dies as prarabdha karmas have run their course and nothing remains for any rebirth.

3. Can I die happily ?

Of course ! because happiness is the object of your life. If you can get it here and now, would you not die happily ? It can`t happen just by ending your life but by full knowledge of death/ change...mithya. This is how Jnyanis die. The aim has to beto attain self knowledge...be a jivanmukta. free whilst `alive`.

So can death be meaningfully compared to deep sleep ?

To the best of my understanding, No.
Why ?
The `Experiences` of death and deep sleep are both unknown to the waking mind and to the `ordinary` person , they are taken to be the same. In fact, they are in opposition to each other.
Deep sleep is the unique and Independent experience of a whole state. It is the `experience` of being whole and complete as identity.
Death is only a discrete incident in the waking state. The two occur in entirelly different orders of reality. there is no communication between them and so cannot be compared one with the other.

I stand to be corrected if i`m wrong.
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby georgschiller » Sun May 29, 2016 3:12 pm

Hi Stan,

If it is "like" deep sleep, then it isn`t deep sleep but at best, some of the charectaristics are the same.


Yes, it appears that some characteristics are probably the same. Today I listened to Pancadasi 2015 Tiru, Video number 35, minute 44:00 in which James said that:

there is a difference between death and deep sleep. But in fact, death is just when you enter the deep sleep state. In both cases the vasanas go dormant and we sleep in the causal body until we get a new physical body again. So, nothing dies or gets born, everything is eternal.


The rest of your reply is excellent!
The only thing I would add: In the end there is no difference between the witnessing entity and the non-experiencing entity. So, in the end there is no death and no birth
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Tue May 31, 2016 1:41 pm

Hello dear friends, a few more words about this subject I have always loved. It is my understanding that in both cases (death and deep sleep) the subtle body folds or shrinks back into its causal body to remain dormant as vasanas, seeds with potential for expression, but they are far from being the same.

In the case of the deep sleeper, those seeds of individualized consciousness (consciousness associated with the subtle body) manifests again as the same experiencing entity as before once the sleep is interrupted by the dream or awake states. Therefore, the waker (the sleeper upon waking) can obtain inferential knowledge of that previous dreamless sleep state.

Even though in deep sleep the Jiva cannot consciously register the absence of objects, which is equal to limitlesness, his self-existence cannot be negated because it takes one to know that nothing was there. And by one, I mean the subtlest subconscious thought which begins defining the individual Jiva. This way, the self-ignorant Jiva moves thru the three states of consciousness with full confidence on his apparent existence.

In the case of death, the self-ignorant Jiva upon facing its final sleep/dissolution as name and form, in most cases, believes it to be a one-way ticket… one’s subtle body folding back into one’s causal body never to return again as the same experiencing entity. No inferential knowledge can be gained about his apparent non-existence during the interval between his previous and new life because the new Jiva will be reborn as a baby with no self-conscious mind, memories, intellect… He will have to wait until he is properly reprogramed by Isvara to become altogether a totally new entity.

Therefore, the new Jiva will have no basis for the elaboration of inferential knowledge about his apparent non-existence, i.e. its unconscious existence between two lives as a soul; one’s emotional-mental energies shaped by desires and fears in their causal formation. Death is definitely not a fourth state but in reference to the apparent Jiva it is more like a break from the unending flux of the three states.
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby Stan » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:12 am

Hi Arlindo,


It`s fascinating and interesting to see your further thoughts on this "Death=Deep Sleep ? " topic.

Rather a strange topic really as we all seem to agree in vedanta that there is no such thing as death !
It rather raises the question that if this is so, does it mean that there is no Deep Sleep state if the two are the same ?

I still see no genuine connection but a `comforting` near approximation between the two.

You said....

"
It is my understanding that in both cases (death and deep sleep) the subtle body folds or shrinks back into its causal body to remain dormant as vasanas, seeds with potential for expression, but they are far from being the same."


If they are FAR from being the same, and death isn`t a state, just where is this supposed death experience located ? I take it as a given that we are talking about the "self ignorant" jiva here as the jivanmukta is a different story altogether.


As I understand it, in vedanta any form of after life must be an object.
In other words, a temporary state of experience during which one experiences the good and bad karma (Punya and Papa) earned during one’s previous lifetime.
The good and bad karmas translate as pleasurable and painful experience. Once the `good and`bad` karmas accrued for experience in the “afterlife” has exhausted, the subtle body is reborn into a physical body and returns to earth. Earth is the only loka, or world, in which spiritual growth or learning can take place because it is the only realm in which there is lag time between thought and experience. In the heavenly and hellish realms , whatever arises in the subtle body (i.e. the mind) is immediately experienced without time lags.

So for example, if one is due a spell in a `hell realm`, where pain is felt without any respite, where does this leave the cosy "death = Deep Sleep" or bliss analogy ?
This state of experience would need to exist before birth in the `Earth` loka as all memory of previous experience is wiped clean.

Does this mean that the rebirth story is mainly an encouragement for jivas worried that they may lose their`spiritual progress` when they move to the next life ?
Or a negative fear based `teaching` of the deadly perils facing those that do not strive hard enough on the `spiritual path` ?

It seems to me that the "Death=Seep Sleep" analogy holds but it is all Mithya. To the jivanmukta it doesn`t apply at all because there, not only the gross body dies but the subtle body as well.
If Sattya or the self is brought into the equation as it eventually must, reincarnation and that whole story can only make sense on one condition.
That being, that existence is the unlimited, `self experiencing` self is the self trying to `wake up` from a `sleep` it is just pretending to sleep. After all, as Reality is non-dual, The whole thing when seen through, is nothing but one big drama. By rights, the self should be charging the jiva a price of admittance for watching the show and, in a way, it does.

As I understand, reincarnation isn`t a vedanta teaching. it`s a preliminary teaching for those who are still working on their way to the complete vision of non-duality.
It`s endlessly fascinating though thanks to Maya.
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:05 pm

Hello Stan, I noticed that you made a distinction between the Jiva and Jivamukta in your previous post. But in truth, a Jiva is a Jiva. Self-realization will make the Jiva aware of his true identity as the Self. If self-knowledge fructifies, the hard and fast knowledge “I am Awareness” will allow the Jiva to exhaust his time in Maya without the suffering derived by the identification with the body-mind, which we may call the self-ignorant experiencing entity, which is the case of 99,..% of the Jivas.

But regardless of knowledge and ignorance of the Self, all Jivas will experience the apparent three states and the thought of the approaching dissolution of the physical body. As far as death, I agree with you saying that it is but an object and therefore it is unreal. But death is a thought only and although thoughts are objects, this specific thought called “death” (except as an anticipation of an event) cannot really be experienced by the soul, and much less by the experiencing entity. The apparent three states can somehow be experienced and known by the Jiva, but for the reasons I mentioned before, the thought called death cannot be experienced and known. This is the main distinction I tried to make in my last post. You wrote;

As I understand it, in Vedanta any form of after life must be an object.
In other words, a temporary state of experience during which one experiences the good and bad karma (Punya and Papa) earned during one’s previous lifetime.


Death or the interval between lives cannot be experienced by the soul. The soul is a sort of an emotional-mental ball of thought/energy in its causal form. Without the subtle body, there is no experiencing entity, no free-will, nobody to experience. We may say that experience of punya or papa karma will take place on its own but there will be nobody there to own it. It is impersonal. You further wrote;

Earth is the only loka, or world, in which spiritual growth or learning can take place because it is the only realm in which there is lag time between thought and experience. In the heavenly and hellish realms , whatever arises in the subtle body (i.e. the mind) is immediately experienced without time lags.

To keep it simple and free from speculation it may be safer if we say that earth is the physical plan where experience becomes personal for humans. It does so due to the development of the self-reflective mind with the faculty of discrimination and apparent freewill. Other creatures here experience their environment but they have no means to take it personal. It is all mechanical. Again, without the subtle body there can be no experiencing entity. You then wrote;

Does this mean that the rebirth story is mainly an encouragement for jivas worried that they may lose their ‘spiritual progress` when they move to the next life ?
Or a negative fear based `teaching` of the deadly perils facing those that do not strive hard enough on the `spiritual path` ?


Very nice! Rebirth is a good comforting thought. Constellations of vasanas stick together to keep finding new births, but where is the experiencing entity in all of this. It is all Isvara playing what seems to be its favorite game. :)  Life for the apparent Jiva is this one only, it ends with the dissolution of the physical body. The whole game of life is more like a mirage. The Jivamukta knows that and he has no concern with the appearance of the mental and physical dimensions. Spiritual progress is necessary to relax the mind so that contemplation may emerge and this understanding/vision can became firm.

I enjoyed very much your subsequent paragraph especially when you say; By rights, the self should be charging the jiva a price of admittance for watching the show and, in a way, it does. :lol: Yes, it does and the price is called "Self-ignorance", which makes the Jiva a labor on the stage of life... going thru all dramas and enjoyments. Only by Self-knowledge alone, the apparent Jiva can finally seat down and enjoy the apparent show. 8-)
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Re: Death = Deep Sleep ?

Postby Stan » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:40 am

I`ve got just one more thing to say.....



Image

Cartoon idea `borrowed` from Daniel Band`s website. Daniel is one of our teachers.

https://nondoodle.com/
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