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Vedanta versus Science
Sundari: Hello, Kumal. I have replied in point form below.
Kumal: Dear Sundariji, please find below some comments. Comment (a) merely states my understanding of your explanations and does not seek further explanation, as you have gone a lot into this already, unless you see it necessary to clarify further. Comment (b) is about the observer effect in quantum physics. Comment (c) is about a possible typo.
It would be very interesting to see how you/Jamesji explain the observer effect (outcome changes in quantum mechanics merely by the act of observation, whether the observer is a living being or an inert measuring instrument; please refer to IntegralScience.org/materialism/materialism.html if necessary) about which I have mentioned in previous email.
(a): I had this thought that since our body lives in the physical world, out of compassion or otherwise, should we not be interested in everyone understanding that he/she is self and not body-mind? If yes, then perhaps Vedanta can be made presentable from a modern perspective without changing its essence. Both your elaborate reply and Jamesji’s forwarded email seem to imply that this won’t work.
(b): In classical physics we say that the moon is there whether one looks at it or does not, but in quantum physics it is not like that. An act of observation seems to have an impact on the outcome. This is why perhaps Dr. Amit has used two terminologies:
1. Awareness (which Jamesji calls “reflected awareness” which even a non-human can have, like a measuring instrument).
2. Consciousness (which Jamesji calls “consciousness/awareness”).
The above comment is my guess from my background in physics and spirituality. I have not read his book.
(c): Incidentally, I had used the word vipasana/vipassana in the context of watching body sensations.
Sundari: You say not to reply to your first point, but I have done so because you have not understood what James and I have been saying. You really need to read James’ book if you want us to help you with your inquiry.
The jiva, who is identified with the body and does not have the qualifications for Vedanta, takes the body/world to be real and therefore separate from it. The jiva that knows it is really the self masquerading as a jiva, knows that the body (and therefore the world) is perfect the way it is, because it is not real. And it knows that the body and the world is in it [the self] and has no problem with either.
This idea of improving the world as a motivation for doing anything is not a good one and rarely works. This is because its basic premise is that there is something wrong with the world the way it is (and there isn’t), which implies that it is real, which it is not. When Isvara wants more ignorance to be removed, it will be. There is nothing wrong with ignorance or duality; it is beautiful and very intelligent. Ignorance is beginningless and endless on the macrocosmic level; it will always be so because awareness is eternal. This is because ignorance is a power that exists in awareness or it would not be unlimited.
Although for the individual jiva, once avidya (personal ignorance) is removed, ignorance is over for you. However, maya (macrocosmic ignorance) remains unchanged. Isvara’s creation does not need you or any individual to be enlightened. Although all of us play our parts in the big picture (dharma field, or macrocosmic movie), Isvara srsti, or creation, is unchanged by the presence or absence of the jiva, enlightened or unenlightened. On the macrocosmic level, when this cycle of life is over and this creation “ends,” it will not be destroyed; as a scientist you know this. It will go into seed form and “one fine day” it will sprout again and the whole movie will take place once more. It is not real; why bother with how it is working out? It does not matter.
Who is the compassion for? The most compassionate thing that any individual can do is realise their true nature as the self and live free in the apparent reality. In this way you glorify yourself and creation.
Who are you to say this world should be any different? Consciousness evolved Vedanta so that consciousness could remove ignorance in the way that it chooses to do so for its own purposes. It is not up to any individual. It is a noble quest to do what you propose – and we are not saying that you should not do it. What we are saying is that what you propose to do has already been done, which is why I gave you suggested texts to study on this topic. We are saying check your motivations and most importantly make sure that your understanding of the big picture is correct; it needs some work. You need to undertake proper self-inquiry, thus we encourage you to continue discriminating the not-self (Kumal) from the self. If Isvara wants you to teach, you will teach. First, be clear yourself what the nature of reality (meaning you) really is or all you will be doing is adding to the ignorance.
You are wrong in saying that James and I are saying that Vedanta cannot be “made presentable from modern perspective without changing its essence.” What do you think James has been doing for the last 45 years? With the correct methodology (Vedanta) and motivation (there is nothing wrong with the world the way it is) it definitely is possible. If it was not, I would not be talking to you and James would have gone fishing a long time ago.
James has done what you propose to do, using the existing, proven and complete teaching methodology of Vedanta. He has not tried to improve on it, it has nothing to do with his own experience (although his experience confirms it) and he does not bring himself into the teaching, ever. He teaches in his own inimitable way but the teaching itself is independent of James. He has presented Vedanta in a much simpler format, in simple English, so that it is much more easily understood. He has done this without compromising the integrity of the teaching, in fact enhancing it. This is why he is so successful and his book is so important in terms of Vedantic literature.
We are also saying that Vedanta is only heard by a mind that has been purified and is thus qualified to hear it, end of story. Vedanta only appeals to a mature mind, one that has realised that there is nothing to gain, prove or achieve in the apparent reality. You are wasting your breath otherwise. Scientists in particular, being intellectuals, are much attached to their opinions and at best will try to make Vedanta fit into their thinking instead of the other way around. Vedanta comes only to those who are ready, when Isvara sees fit that it does. It is grace and grace is earned.
When you know that you are the self, you see everyone and everything as the self and the world as perfect the way it is. Isvara will change what needs to change, when it needs to change. This is the only doer, there is no other. This is what science misses almost completely: it does not take into account Isvara (Amit Goswami included).
“(b) In classical physics we say that the moon is there whether one looks at it or does not. But in quantum physics it is not like that. An act of observation seems to have an impact on the outcome.”
Vedanta says this too; both are true. This question depends on where you are looking from (which order of reality) and who you take yourself to be. Vedanta says that the apparent reality has a strange ontological status in that it neither exists nor does not exist. Yet we experience it, so it does exist, it is just not real, meaning it is not always present and is always changing.
The world arises out of consciousness, it does not really exist “out there” in that we experience everything “in” the mind. All objects are made up of awareness and arise out of awareness, have a dependent existence on awareness. This is the “location of objects” teaching, very well explained by James in his book. If your orientation is the body, then the objects are “out there.” If your orientation is awareness, they arise out of you and dissolve into you.
Vedanta also says that that there are three levels of reality. When perception takes place through the filters of the vasanas, what we “see”’ will be interpreted by the conditioning of the individual. Thus it has a subjective reality, which is called pratibasika, or jiva srsti, the individual’s creation.
Isvara’s creation (Isvara srsti, or viyavaharika), the empirical reality, exists regardless of how the individual mind sees it. Thus the moon is there whether you see it or not. It might have different meanings to different people (pratibasika), but the moon is the moon.
Paramarthika, which is the self’s perspective, is just pure awareness. There are no objects, no duality, just self-luminous awareness. This is non-dual vision, seeing everything as the self, made up of the self.
Quantum physics is the closest science has come to finding a scientific model to explain consciousness. As much as science tried to do away with quantum physics, it has not come up with a better alternative, so it is the best it’s got. You will know better than I, being a physicist, that it is not infallible and at best can only measure probabilities or probability amplitudes. The point of science is measurement. Big problem. The word “quantum” means discontinuity, where there is a complete jump from one set of formulae to another seemingly unrelated formula. I loved the idea of quantum physics when I first started getting it (if anyone really gets it!).
The Copenhagen interpretation has stuck and so quantum physics says that the observer has an effect on the observed. How does Vedanta see this? Well, again, are we talking pure awareness or reflected awareness? From pure awareness’s point of view, there is no creation and nothing ever happened, there is no observer because there is nothing to observe. There is only the self, no objects. From the perspective of reflected awareness, maya operating ignorance has done the impossible and deluded awareness into thinking it is limited, small and separate. In other words, the self under the spell of ignorance, awareness with a subtle body, the apparent reality, or mithya. Here we have Isvara’s creation – and it operates according to certain laws, as in unified field theory. It is not a chaos.
Seen from ignorance’s point of view, these laws do not explain the existence of consciousness. To a samsaric mind (one who sees reality as a duality), a mind that is hypnotised by materialism, it would appear that consciousness must have evolved out of matter. Bizarre, but there it is. Ask most physicists about consciousness within the unified field and most will think you are nuts or will be downright hostile to the idea. Maybe that is changing now.
The point I am making is that quantum physics applies to the apparent, or reflected, reality. Within this reality there are different laws applying to different “levels” of reality, which correspond to the teachings of Vedanta. As I said, it has all been worked out before any scientist put a name to any of it.
At the Newtonian, or classical, level (science’s world of billiard balls and clocks), the empirical reality and what Vedanta calls viyavaharika, the laws are predictable and measureable. The same laws apply to everyone, in other words, they are true no matter what your personal experience is.
At the atomic and subatomic level, the weird and whacky world of quantum physics, these rules no longer apply. Here the material world starts to disappear and there is mostly empty space. Enter the Higgs boson particle, that elusive little thing that has no mass but is known to exist because it has an electrical charge. They call it the “God particle,” which is really funny. Actually, I heard that the reason that it is called that is because science can’t find it and it drives them crazy, so they refer to it as “that Goddamn particle”! ☺ In this world the observer has an effect on the observed. So who is this observer? Reflected awareness; Vedanta calls this pratibasika, the subjective reality.
At the level of pure consciousness (what Hagelin says is the Planck scale) there is no creation, only consciousness. Vedanta calls this paramarthika, pure awareness: whole and complete, non-dual, unlimited, unchanging, self-aware consciousness/awareness, or the self, the ground of being (as Amit calls it), the substrate for everything is what Vedanta calls it.
“1. Awareness (which Jamesji calls ‘reflected awareness’ which even a non-human can have, like a measuring instrument).”
A measuring instrument is not capable of thinking, it does not have a mind and an intellect so it does not have a subtle body; although it is made up of awareness, it reflects awareness. James and I have made the very clear distinction between pure awareness and reflected awareness. He and I have been saying to you that most people (and most supposedly “enlightened” scientists) confuse pure awareness WITH reflected awareness, the real with the apparent. There is only one awareness, or consciousness, but reflected awareness is dependent on awareness and does not exist without it. Pure awareness is always free of reflected awareness. They are both awareness but they are not the same, they exist in a different order of reality, the real and the apparently real, the unreal.
This is why I emphasised so strongly to you that you need to understand fully the identity between (1) pure awareness (paramatman), (2) awareness operating maya, or ignorance (Isvara) and (3) awareness plus a subtle body (uphadi, or limiting adjunct), which is the jiva, mithya. They are all awareness but you need to have it very clear how they are connected and how and why they are not the same.
“2. Consciousness (which Jamesji calls ‘consciousness/awareness’).”
“The above comment is my guess from my background in physics and spirituality. I have not read his book.”
Your comment is incorrect. Yet again: you need to read James’ book if you want to understand what I have been saying to you. It is a prerequisite, and I am afraid if you do want to continue this discussion, you will have to read it and sign on to the logic all the way or we will not get very far.
“(c): Incidentally, I had used the word vipasana/vipassana in the context of watching body sensations.”
This is useful only in as far as you know who is watching the body sensations, vipassana or no vipassana.
Kumal: There is absolutely no intention for me to provide counter-arguments. In fact your replies have exceeded my expectations. Along with self-enquiry, it is my attempt to develop a model bringing science and spirituality together so that a common man and a scientist both can be convinced in a logical and scientific way about the truth, who believes that awareness is a faculty of mind.
Sundari: That is good, Kumal. My question was simply to establish what it is you are aiming for and where you are coming from so that I can better help you with your inquiry.
What do you mean by “…it is my attempt to develop a model bringing science and spirituality together so that a common man and a scientist both can be convinced in a logical and scientific way about the truth, who believes that awareness is a faculty of mind”?
Who is “the common man”? There is only one man, one jiva, or subtle body under the spell of ignorance; every jiva, scientist or not, is the “common man.” Both common men and scientists are ignorant of who they are. You wish to show the connection between the reflected self and awareness, satya and mithya, by correlating scientific findings and Vedanta. Vedanta has already achieved this lofty goal of yours, as noble as it is, comprehensively and irrefutably, over thousands of years by thousands of rishis who understood “way back then” what science is only just beginning to uncover.
This is why it is called “the science of non-duality.” Do you actually think you are capable of improving on that? James has been invited on several occasions to talk at the Science and Non-Duality symposiums that take place regularly; he never accepts because there is no real point to it. Vedanta is not a hard sell, it only appeals to minds that are ready for self-inquiry, which is why the qualifications are so important. When the mind is ready, the teacher will appear and Vedanta will be unfolded. The day might come when he is prepared to take on the scientists but it is not a prerogative of his to do so. Vedanta is only for the qualified; Krishna says: “Let the not the wise disturb the minds of the ignorant.” There is no need to “fix” anything in the world; Isvara’s creation is perfect the way it is.
Recently a branch of science has shifted away from classical science to a more enlightened approach but even the most enlightened scientists still confuse the apparent reality, reflected awareness (mithya) with pure awareness (satya). Even Amit Goswami is not clear about the jiva-Isvara-awareness identity, or aikyam. Pure awareness is paramatma; Isvara is pure awareness plus maya (ignorance), which creates the dharma field, or the “world.” Jiva is pure awareness (the self under the spell of ignorance) plus the subtle body, which is an upadhi. The effect of ignorance is mithya, the apparent reality.
It does not work to impose satya on mithya. One has to understand what it means to be self-realised in the apparent reality. So – in making the correlation between science (the apparent reality/Isvara srsti, or creation) and self-knowledge (Vedanta/consciousness/you), you will have to be totally clear yourself about this. Obviously, this is not the case, hence your inquiry.
Do you understand the differences and the common factors between these three facts? The confusing part for most people is understanding Isvara, meaning the gunas, how they create the dharma field (the world, or apparent reality) and how the dharma field relates to the jiva and how it relates to awareness.
Like I said in my last email to you, unless one understands this identity (aikyam), one will not be able to discriminate between the self and the objects arising in the self. Your self-knowledge will remain indirect (“I know the self”) and not direct (“I AM THE SELF”). You will not understand that Isvara is the only doer.
Enlightened or not, science is the ego’s attempt to explain Isvara, whether the scientist knows this or not. Most don’t; the ego thinks it is cooking up some special relative knowledge, using clever syllogisms of its “own” deductive reasoning or by whatever means it thinks belong to it to arrive at its conclusions. Understanding science is useful only insofar as it helps one understand the distinction between the real and the apparent (satya and mithya) and that everything in the apparent reality comes from Isvara, including scientific understandings or understandings of any kind for that matter.
However, the important thing to get is that understanding science is not necessary for moksa. My interest in science helped tremendously in my quest for self-knowledge but it was not suitable for moksa, because science does not negate the doer and does not understand all of Isvara, the dharma field. Understanding the psyche, which is part of the dharma field, is infinitely more important than understanding the five elements, since people rarely confuse themselves with the five elements. I dropped science as a main interest as soon as my self-inquiry began in earnest, because I understood that all the answers are contained in Vedanta. End of story.
I am still interested in science, as I mentioned, but it does not matter that much anymore. It is still very fascinating to see how Isvara reveals the glory of creation to the human mind. But it makes not one bit of difference with regards to moksa to know these facts or not. In fact it can become an impediment in that one gets caught up in thinking that science has the answers or that one is “more” intelligent if one understands science. One is not. Science can give you knowledge of objects and how the creation functions but even with all the science in the world no one will ever understand the mind of Isvara.
When self-knowledge has removed the ignorance of your true nature, i.e. negated the doer, Isvara’s creation (srsti) remains as before. The enlightened or unenlightened mind will only ever have knowledge of the objects it has contact with. It will never be omniscient. Self-knowledge does not mean one has knowledge of all objects; only Isvara is omniscient. Self-knowledge gives the mind the understanding of the essence of everything, which is awareness, meaning you. It makes no difference to the enlightened mind if it understands what science has to say or not. I said in the beginning of this email, Vedanta has worked it all out. Study the Panchikarana and you will begin to understand the sophistication of this teaching. Vedanta is a complete teaching, the only one of its kind.
Another important fact is that self-knowledge is the only knowledge that is always good, because it is always true. There is relative knowledge that is always the same, like gravity, but relative knowledge still maintains the subject-object split. Only self-knowledge resolves the split and dissolves duality. Self-knowledge, or Vedanta, encompasses everything, including scientific knowledge as it stands today. The discoveries that science makes about the creation may reveal the laws upon which the creation comes into being, but never forget, the creation is not real. It is limited, always changing, and even though its life cycle may be billions of years it will end at some point. Only the self is real, unchanging, whole and complete, unlimited. It modifies to nothing and is modified by nothing. It is eternal. I understand your interest and fascination with science but don’t get waylaid by it; stick to self-inquiry if moksa is your goal.
Before I answer another query of yours, I would like to know what your sadhana is: what is your spiritual practice? What scripture are you reading, what texts form the basis of your self-inquiry? Are you going to keep sending me quotes from other sources that you want answered or are you actually practising self-inquiry, discriminating the self from the not-self?
Kumal: The scriptures/texts: Bhagwat Geeta, Ashtavarkra Geeta, Shambhu Geeta, Avadhut Geeta, Yoga Vasistha, several main Upanishads, Kabir Das, Ramana Maharshi, various religions of the world, etc. While I have studied elementary Sanskrit in early childhood and can read it, now being out of touch, I go through the Hindi or English translations. In addition to going through the ones with slokas in Sanskrit mentioned, I have gone through the scriptures with commentary provided by Ramji at the ShiningWorld website also. Many e-satsangs about which you mentioned earlier, Ramji’s detailed comments with regards to Ramana Maharshi need mention also. There are many more sources about which I can mention if you wish to know.
Sadhana and self-enquiry path(s) followed: Advaita Vedanta is the central influence, jnana yoga/Sankhya yoga predominantly, with elements of karma yoga (for purification), daily practice of kriya yoga meditation (including third-eye meditation/aum meditation) for purification, and watching body sensations (i.e. vasanas) but only sometimes, also for purification.
Sundari: It seems you are quite knowledgeable in this field, Kumal, but to understand diverse sources you should have one simple framework of ideas with which to evaluate what you read. You really must read Ramji’s How to Attain Enlightenment because it reveals the whole logic of Vedanta in simple English. As far as other reading on the scientific aspect of Vedanta, I recommend the texts below. Remember that one cannot “study” Vedanta because Vedanta is about you, awareness. While reading is valuable, at a certain point you should be discriminating the self, awareness, from Kumal on a moment-to-moment basis. This is the real inquiry.
These are the texts I recommend:
• Panchadasi by Sri Vidyaranya Swami; James has just taught it in Tiruvannamalai this year and it is available in audio and video at the ShiningWorld website. This is one of the best teachings for the understanding of the Isvara-jiva identity.
• Shankara’s Vivekachudamani, also taught by James and available at ShiningWorld.
• Panchikarana by Adi Shankara is the Vedantic theory of how matter came into existence originating from the primordial five subtle elements. It is the method and process of the subtle matter (or the prior stage of matter) to transform itself into gross matter. Intelligence is the subtle manifestation of consciousness and matter its gross manifestation.
• The Chandogya Upanishad teaches the doctrine of trivirtkarana, later borrowed by the Samkhya school of teaching, from which developed the Vedantic theory of panchikarana with regard to the creation of the transformed evolutes of the original elements. This theory is also found narrated to Narada in the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam.
Kumal: Artificial intelligence: this implies that just like we humans have reflected awareness, such robots will also have reflected awareness. Pure awareness/consciousness has nothing to do with anybody being there or not.
Sundari: That is precisely my point, pure conciousness is prior to everything and therefore everything arises out of it, including “artificial intelligence.” My statement means that there is only one intelligence and we all share it, in seemingly different degrees and forms. It all has one origin: consciousness. The inspiration that gave rise to the thought to build a robot is consciousness, the robot is built by conciousness, the materials it is built from are conciousness in that consciousness pervades every atom in existence. The robot does reflect conciousness but it does not have a subtle body, therefore no intellect and it cannot think or feel, therefore it cannot be called a jiva. It can only “think” according to its programme, hence the term “artificial intelligence.”
Humans are the same in that they think according to their programming, or the conditioning/vasanas given to them by Isvara, but because they have a mind and an intellect, they are not only able to reason but are self-reflective, self-conscious, and do have limited free will. An animal is also a jiva, because it too has a subtle body, but no free will and only a limited ability to think. Trees and plants and insects are jivas too, but they have very rudimentary subtle bodies.
Humans have very refined subtle bodies, animals less so, insects, trees and plants even less so, etc. All are Isvara’s programmes, and only human jivas are capable of self-realisation. However, no object, not even a jiva, is actually conscious. It seems to be so, because the light of awareness shines on it. As everything is made up of conciousness, everything is a reflection of consciousness, even a robot. Even though there have been very interesting developments with artificial intelligence, no one has made a machine that has a subtle body and no one ever will. Scientist like to think that they can play God and are very clever, but their progress is entirely dependent on Isvara, whom intelligence and thought originates from. There is no difference between artificial intelligence and any other intelligence, in the same way that there is no difference between a microchip and a thought, and no difference between a thought and consciousness.
Even science knows this now with studies in the superstring theory and the Planck scale.
Kumal: As I understand it, stringtheory in nutshell says that fundamentally it is not one-dimensional particles but tiny two-dimensional particles (like tiny strings) whose different vibrations give rise to different particles like electrons, protons, etc. To my knowledge, it does not speak of consciousness as yet. Perhaps you are referring to somebody’s interpretation of this theory. As far as the Planck scale is concerned, current laws of physics do not work below the Planck scale. Currently, quantum physics is the door through which we can possibly link consciousness to the laws in the world of maya. Dr. Amit Goswami has written a lot about this. I am myself working on to link the two fields. Please check some basic mathematics at the end of KumalsArgam.com/2013/03/we-are-consciousness-proof-self.html article, which may be of possible interest.
Sundari: I am very familiar with Amit Goswami’s work, amongst many other enlightened scientists. I have his book The Self-Aware Universe. I enjoy science because it uses logic to get to any conclusion. Many years ago I turned to science as part of my sadhana because I have always been a knowledge seeker, not an experience junkie. Therefore the so- called “spiritual” world with all its mumbo jumbo, ill-thought-out concepts and refutable logic did nothing for me. When Vedanta came along I dropped everything because Vedanta simply and comprehensively covers everything.
I still enjoy science, as it is interesting to see Isvara working through the human mind to reveal more of its beauty and complexity as well as its utter simplicity. The difference between science and Vedanta is that science comes up with a conjecture and sets out hammer and tong to prove it is wrong so that it can arrive at empirical truth. Most significantly, it works on the premise that this material world, or apparent reality, is real and solutions are to be found in it.
Vedanta demolishes that pretext, as it explains beyond a doubt the logic that conciousness is all there is, the apparent reality arises out of it and is totally dependent on it, but consciousness is always free of it.
Vedanta totally collapses the subject-object split and dissolves duality, which science has not been able to do and never will because it cannot measure consciousness. Vedanta has worked everything out thousands of years ago, there is nothing to refute, dispute or experiment with or left to discover. It is the end of the line, so to speak. The word “Vedanta” means “the knowledge that ends the search for knowledge.” You cannot argue with it.
Amit says that conciousness is the ground of being, which is what we are talking about here. He does not understand Isvara though. Professor John Hagelin (basically) says that with the Planck scale and superstring theory science has proved this to be true. There is no consensus on this in the scientific world to date, and I don’t think that there ever will be unless self-knowledge comes into their theories.
Although there are much more enlightened scientific approaches (like your own), however, science as it is practiced is still missing the point. And the point is that in order to understand consciousness, no one can deny the Isvara-jiva identity. I have no interest in arguing with you about this or anything else, scientific or otherwise. You could well be much more informed than I in regard to this field of science; I have long since stopped paying much attention to what the scientists have to say. It is unimportant to me and to Vedanta.
Kumal: If possible, please see if the following query can be answered.
Just like a person who becomes aware of seeing, a machine can be made that responds to the images obtained via the camera and acts accordingly. The cameras can be fitted in a way with artificial eyelashes that blink, etc. to simulate human like appearance. Likewise, we can talk about sound or touch, etc. In other words, the machine becomes aware of seeing and sound, etc. and responds accordingly. We can go a step further and talk about programming instructions (software) so that the machine reacts in a way as if it were taking decisions. There may be elements of fuzzy logic in the programming and eventually it may look like machine has free will. Can we now say that the machine is awareness?
Sundari: These questions that you have been posing are very interesting questions, no doubt. However, Vedanta, like I said to you before, is not up for interpretation and it never argues with anyone. Whatever question or doubt you come up with, I can deconstruct and explain it with Vedanta, not because I am clever but because Vedanta is irrefutable and it is never wrong. There is nothing else in this apparent reality that one can say with absolute certainty, is always unequivocally right about everything.
If you want to continue with this practice, this is fine, nothing wrong with it. But remember that one of the qualifications is sraddha, faith and trust in the teaching and the teacher. This means you have to set aside everything you knew or thought you knew and wipe the board clean. Self-inquiry must be started on this footing; one must get on board with the logic to hear it (sravana) and stick with it. Once one is established in the logic of Vedanta then one can compare one’s own thoughts and opinions or other teachings in the light of Vedanta and NOT the other way around. This is manana, reasoning, analysis in the light of the teaching. The next step is nididhyasa, contemplation on the meaning of what the knowledge means in terms of life in the apparent reality.
When maya is projected, mithya, or the apparent reality, as a duality appears. Maya makes the impossible appear possible, which means that it makes it appear as if this is a world of independent objects, a duality. Maya superimposes duality onto non-duality. In the apparent reality, Isvara (which is a name that refers to the self under the spell of ignorance with a subtle body) runs the dharma field. The dharma field, or maya, is made of the gunas: rajas (action/desire/projection), tamas (sloth/dullness/denial) and sattva (intelligence/clarity/peace). Rajas and tamas are the main components of ignorance; sattva is the subtlest manifestation of sat and is the nature of the mind.
In the apparent reality, intelligence, like ignorance, does not belong to any one person; Isvara projects intelligence (sattva) through the intellect of the apparent individual, making thinking possible. The person who thinks they are the individual/doer (the self under the spell of ignorance) believes thought originates from their mind; they think they are their thoughts and they own them. But it is really all Isvara, all a play of the gunas.
Since this is actually a non-dual reality, there really is only one principle, not two, therefore, contrary to the hypnosis of materialism, all objects arise out of conciousness, are made up of conciousness and dissolve into consciousness. Obviously this includes thought. Mithya is a thought universe; everything is just a thought in you, awareness, or conciousness.
So where do you think the thought that was responsible for the creation of this “artificial intelligence” comes from? There is only conciousness and it pervades everything, remember? Only one principle. There is no difference between artificial intelligence and any other intelligence, in the same way as there is no difference between a microchip and a thought and there is no difference between a thought and conciousness. Except that the thought is the wave and the ocean – and conciousness is H2O. The wave and the ocean depend on H2O, but H2O is free of the wave and the ocean.
~ Om and prem, Sundari