Seth

Questions about levels of consciousness

154 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

@Leo Gura It's easy to say this from a drug-induced state of consciosuness, but so far as sober life is concerned, all difference might as well be real. Reality is an illusion, but the illusion is so strong such that it doesn't really matter if it's an illusion. 

30 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Nothing is. Obviously.

 

Edited by Yali

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10 minutes ago, Yali said:

@Leo Gura

A zebra is a sentinet life-form whereas a taco isn't. If that difference isn't real, then I don't know what is.

Would there be a fundamental difference between a zebra and a taco in your dream? They'd both be figments of your imagination. I think that is what Leo is extrapolating to life.

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Posted (edited)

Everything is simply made of the same ingredient, that is, energy.  It cannot be created or destroyed, as set out in the Energy Conservation Law.  Instead, it would transform and change endlessly.  To transform is to change, to change is to become, and to become is to reborn.  So, energy is ever reborn all the time in the dependent nature.  In fact, phenomena, objects, matters, consciousnesses, mental activities, spirits, souls, ghosts, memories, dreams, illusions, emotions, affections, etc. are categorised as energy items.  In the end, all is one & one is whole.  Those distinctions between all matters or phenomena are merely two sides of the same..

Edited by Naturalist

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There's various definitions of consciousness that sometimes refer to quite different constructs.

 


A Hero Could Be Anyone

"Faith begins as an experiment and ends in an experience" - William Ralphe Inge

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We aim high here ;)


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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14 hours ago, Shambhu said:

Honestly, I don't feel qualified to speak about Zen philosophy, better to ask a Buddhist.

I see. Maybe this one, im paraphrasing:

The world is illusiory,

Brahman alone is real,

Brahman is the world.

14 hours ago, Shambhu said:

The ocean and wave analogy is a good one.  The ocean (or water) is not a wave, but the wave is only water.  The water is not dependent upon the wave, but the wave is dependent upon the water.

I would say that there is no wave that is depent on the water. Whether the water is still or in motion it's only water. That is the illusiory nature of the world. Just like there is no actual wave, but the water waving, there is no world but Brahman worlding. In other words, Brahman in motion.

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Shambhu said:

 

You're rebuttal is that the ignorant cannot tell the difference between two?  Well, in that case we both agree LOL

You have stretched the analogy beyond it's limits.  I gave a warning about that above.  It's only intended use is as a pointer.

Consciousness is the observer.

All of this is the mind.

Now you are knocking at the door!

:-)

 

@Shambhu
An animal is no more ignorant than you or I.  It just does not make the same distinctions we choose to. It is no less or more than us, its interaction with the mirror is no more or less than us. It is us.

Yes consciousness is the observer. That is true. It is always observing. I created a distinction of my own where none exists.

If all of this is the mind. then all of this is consciousness. :) 

Again I've enjoyed this. I wish I could have knocked that last duality or separation down for you. I feel you helped me and I failed to help you.

All the best.

Edited by BlueOak

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@WelcometoReality

1 hour ago, WelcometoReality said:

I see. Maybe this one, im paraphrasing:

The world is illusiory,

Brahman alone is real,

Brahman is the world.

The actual quote is:  

Brahma satyam

jagat mithya,

jivo brahmaiva naparah

meaning:

Brahma is real

The world is an illusion

There is no difference in the self with Brahma

1 hour ago, WelcometoReality said:

I would say that there is no wave that is depent on the water. Whether the water is still or in motion it's only water. That is the illusiory nature of the world. Just like there is no actual wave, but the water waving, there is no world but Brahman worlding. In other words, Brahman in motion.

The ultimate truth is that there is no wave, only Consciousness.  Consciousness is not "waving" or in motion, which implies change.  Since Consciousness is Absolute, it must be changeless.  The world is only an appearance within Consciousness.  The analogy of the snake in the stick is used to explain this relationship.  If you are walking along the road at dusk, and you mistake a stick for a snake, you become frightful, but after realizing it is only a stick mistaken for a snake, your fear is removed.  So just like the snake, there never was a world (or wave) there; it only appeared that way.  There never was two actual things, only one.

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@BlueOak

1 hour ago, BlueOak said:

If all of this is the mind. then all of this is consciousness.

I don't disagree with this statement.  What I have been saying all along is that there is only Consciousness :-)  

What I have been trying to point out is that Consciousness is not the mind.  The mind is only an appearance within Consciousness.  See my reply to @WelcometoReality above.

1 hour ago, BlueOak said:

Again I've enjoyed this. I wish I could have knocked that last duality or separation down for you. I feel you helped me and I failed to help you.

There is no duality for me, so obviously it is I who has failed to explain my position to you _/|\_

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32 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

Since Consciousness is Absolute, it must be changeless.

False

That is a bias of yours.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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@Leo Gura

1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

False

That is a bias of yours.

Can you imagine if everyone communicated this way here?  The dialogue would never move forward in a meaningful fashion.  I could just as easily say, "True.  It's your bias that it's not," but is that helpful?  That's a genuine question.  Perhaps your style is helpful to some, but I think you can become a better teacher yet.

Which part of my statement do you see as false or biased?  Is it that Consciousness is Absolute, or that it is unchanging, or that the two equate to the same?  

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@Shambhu Reality is not one certain way.

Reality/Infinity is made of infinitely many states of consciousness. No state is inherently more real, formlessness is not more real or true than form. 

Reality and Truth is what is, therefore every state is Absolute.

(I would say every state is Absolute relative to itself. But if Reality is Solipsistic the way Leo has said in the past, then saying it is Absolute relative to itself is the same as just saying it is Absolute.)

Consciousness is Absolute but it can shapeshift into Infinitely many different states and 'forms'. In that regard it is not unchanging.

But you could also say, everything is consciousness and only the appearances within consciousness change, in that regard consciousness is unchanging. 

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@GreenWoods

16 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Reality is not one certain way.

I would use the traditional Vedantan definition of real.  That which does not change is real.

17 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Reality/Infinity is made of infinitely many states of consciousness.

I would disagree with this statement for a couple of reason.  The first of which I stated above; that which is real does not change.  The second of which is that the Infinite is not infinite because it contains an infinite set; it is infinite because it is without limits.  My third objection would be that Consciousness has states, which have already discussed at lenght.

19 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

No state is inherently more real, formlessness is not more real or true than form. 

I would agree that one state is not more real than another.  All states are equally unreal (or illusionary).  That to which states appear alone is real.

21 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Consciousness is Absolute but it can shapeshift into Infinitely many different states and 'forms'. In that regard it is not unchanging.

So, there is some merit in this argument, and some traditions do interpret Consciousness in this way.  In the end you still have to concede that Consciousness is not a state though; otherwise, if it changed states, the prior Consciousness would no longer exist.  In your statement above, Consciousness would be the substance, and states would equate to modes, similar to the Spinozian model, which I do kind of like ;-)

25 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

But you could also say, everything is consciousness and only the appearances within consciousness change, in that regard consciousness is unchanging. 

Yes, that would bring us closer to agreement Almost 100% :-)

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Where it seems most people misunderstand “form” on this forum is that form is non-existent. If the mind is actually hyper concentrated on the moment by moment experience of reality, it will be observed that all perception is like quicksand. The moment any, ANY, “form” appears, in that same moment it’s already gone.

The only reason “form” appears as form at all is because of the mind. The mind, through the mechanism of memory, creates a lightening fast mirage of preceding moments and super imposes these memories on-top of the current aggregation of perception, giving rise to a false sense of solidity through an entanglement of outer and inner perceptive experiences.

When one actually examines the actuality of form, there is quite literally nothing there. Any thing you think you can grasp is already gone. If the mind were to actually see reality clearly, all possibility of any substantiality, solidity, FORM, would be seen as an impossibility. Form is really just a moment by moment flickering of totally unique arising and passing perceptive aggregates superimposed by the mind’s memory of “prior” moments. When one’s attention attempts to grasp onto anything, it cannot if reality is seem clearly - it’s all already gone.

Yet this isn’t even the deepest ramifications of what can be said when one actually observes reality. Because even time loses its solidity and the idea of prior moments that could have been superimposed is directly experienced as an even deeper, more subtle form of ignorance. 

So when someone thinks consciousness can change, or states are all that exist, this is a conclusion derived out of the ignorance of the nature of all states, which is that the construction of a state at all, ‘how things are appearing to be,’ is only possible through a misunderstanding of the actuality of one’s direct experience. At the highest level, the only thing that can be said to be real is that which does not change, because all that is changing is not actually changing, but completely non-existent, a pure illusion. Yet something remains. 

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@Shambhu Seems like we are just having different opinions. 

I don't see enlightenment or Brahman consciousness as more funtamental or real than ego consciousness. 

Non-existence non-exists. Existence exists. Everything that can exist exists. Existence is consciousness. 

So a pure formless state of consciousness or Brahman consciousness or any such high states, are just as much a natural consequence of Infinity/existence as an ego state is. Because existence is consciousness. And consciousness includes every possible state, the formless Brahman just as much as the formful ego state.

Relative to Brahman, the ego state is illusory. 

Relative to the ego state Brahman is illusory.

Reality is Absolutely relative.

Relative to Brahman consciousness, the ego is a hallucination. 

Relative to ego consciousness, Brahman is a hallucination. 

All of these above statements are equally true.

When you come full circle, enlightenment is not more special than ego consciousness. 

Rather than saying form appered out of formlessness you could just as well say that formlessness appeared out of form.

None of these two is more fundamental. 

Form did not appear out of formlessness, it is just here, as a consequence of Existence/Consciousness, just like the Brahman state.

Existence is not one certain state, rather it is ANY state, or the sum of all possible states.

30 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

.  The second of which is that the Infinite is not infinite because it contains an infinite set; it is infinite because it is without limits. 

My concept of Absolute Infinity contains infinitely many finite and infinite parts/consciousnesses.

Because I conceptualize Absolute Infinity as Existence. And Existence is unlimited, therefore it contains all possible things/consciousnesses/bubbles. The consequence of that is that there have to be infinitely many finite and infinite bubbles/consciousnesses.

1 hour ago, Shambhu said:

 

  That to which states appear alone is real.

States don't appear to something prior to themselves. States appear to themselves.

1 hour ago, Shambhu said:

otherwise, if it changed states, the prior Consciousness would no longer exist.

Indeed. Relative to the current state, the previous state doesn't exist anymore. 

A state is fundamentally just consciousness. But from a more dualistic perspective, a state is made of consciousness and appearances within consciousness. But nonduality collapses that distinction. 

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7 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Seems like we are just having different opinions. 

@GreenWoods Not just differing opinion, but differing understanding.

8 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

I don't see enlightenment or Brahman consciousness as more funtamental or real than ego consciousness. 

I would define this as ignorance.  I mean that in the nicest way possible :-)

9 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Non-existence non-exists. Existence exists. Everything that can exist exists. Existence is consciousness. 

Agreed, and if fully grasp your own statement, you will agree with me too lol

10 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

So a pure formless state of consciousness or Brahman consciousness or any such high states, are just as much a natural consequence of Infinity/existence as an ego state is.

That which is formless is not a state, but the substratum of all states.  The substratum is changeless, while states never remain the same.  The substratum is real, the states are only appearances.  Your ego does not exist, it only appears to.  This is the meaning of no-self.

12 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Because existence is consciousness. And consciousness includes every possible state, the formless Brahman just as much as the formful ego state.

The mistake here is thinking that the conclusion naturally arises from the premise.  This is the error in your logic.

13 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Relative to Brahman, the ego state is illusory. 

Relative to anything really.  

13 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Relative to the ego state Brahman is illusory.

No, that is not correct.  Brahman is always present, always the same, and it not relative to anything.

15 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Reality is Absolutely relative.

This is absurd.  I mean that in the nicest way possible :-)

15 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

When you come full circle, enlightenment is not more special than ego consciousness. 

More special?  If suffering is just as preferable to happiness, then sure lol

17 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Rather than saying form appered out of formlessness you could just as well say that formlessness appeared out of form.

Maybe it's just as easy to say, but it's not correct haha.  It would sound good on a bumper sticker though.

19 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

States don't appear to something prior to themselves. States appear to themselves.

If that were true, you would never know that a state has come and gone.

20 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

A state is fundamentally just consciousness. But from a more dualistic perspective, a state is made of consciousness and appearances within consciousness. But nonduality collapses that distinction. 

This is a fundamentally error.  The ultimate conclusion of non-duality as espoused by Advaita Vedanta, the 5,000 year old tradition of non-dual philosophy, is not that Consciousness is an infinite number of changing states, it is that only unchanging Consciousness is.  States are not at all.  This is the meaning of Advaita (a = not, dvaita = two).  But before you can reach that ultimate conclusion, you must first have the ability to distinguish between pure Consciousness and changing mental states.  It may seem like a subtle duality in the middle of the process, but it is resolved in the end.  Your version is very much a duality, since it admits to a multitude of differing states.

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5 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

@GreenWoods Not just differing opinion, but differing understanding

Indeed!

5 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

I would define this as ignorance.  I mean that in the nicest way possible :-)

:)

6 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

That which is formless is not a state, but the substratum of all states.  The substratum is changeless, while states never remain the same.  The substratum is real, the states are only appearances.  

My understanding is that there is no difference between the substratum and appearances. They are one. That's nonduality for me.

7 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

.  Your ego does not exist, it only appears to.  This is the meaning of no-self.

The ego exists relative to ego consciousness. 

No self is true relative to enlightenment consciousness. No self is false relative to ego consciousness. 

10 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

.No, that is not correct.  Brahman is always present, always the same, and it not relative to anything.

Based on my understanding, when someone is in ego consciousness, then Brahman or God literally doesn't exist (relative to that state).

That's what it means that Truth is what is, that every state is Absolute. 

11 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

More special?  If suffering is just as preferable to happiness, then sure lol

Suffering is not inherent to the ego.

The ego is perfectly happy if it gets everything it wants.

Suffering only happens if the ego doesn't get what it wants. Which happens as a result of Infinity's/God's unbiased nature.

In my opinion, it's not the ego's but God's 'fault' that suffering exists.

If there were only a biased God (biased towards happiness). Then only happiness would exist and all egos were happy. That means biasedness can create only happiness without suffering. 

But an unbiased God inevitably has to create biased egos who don't experience what they want and thus suffer. Suffering is therefore a inevitable consequence of God's unbiased nature, imo.

The more unbiased you are, the more you perpetuate suffering. 

16 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

If that were true, you would never know that a state has come and gone.

Yes, you only know the present state.

17 minutes ago, Shambhu said:

This is a fundamentally error.  The ultimate conclusion of non-duality as espoused by Advaita Vedanta, the 5,000 year old tradition of non-dual philosophy, is not that Consciousness is an infinite number of changing states, it is that only unchanging Consciousness is.  States are not at all.  This is the meaning of Advaita (a = not, dvaita = two).  But before you can reach that ultimate conclusion, you must first have the ability to distinguish between pure Consciousness and changing mental states.  It may seem like a subtle duality in the middle of the process, but it is resolved in the end.  Your version is very much a duality, since it admits to a multitude of differing states.

That means I disagree with Advaita Vedanta then.

In my opinion "pure" consciousness as in absolutely formless doesn't exist. There is always some form. Therefore there is no difference between formful and formless, because it's just gradiations. Or more accurately, complete formlessness doesn't exist. It's all formfullness, and it has different gradiations. And consciousness/existence is this formfulness. 

As long as there is consciousness there is form. Because consciousness is form.

Existence = form = consciousness 

Complete formlessness would be unconsciousness and nonexistence, therefore it doesn't exist.

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@Consilience

58 minutes ago, Consilience said:

So when someone thinks consciousness can change, or states are all that exist, this is a conclusion derived out of the ignorance of the nature of all states, which is that the construction of a state at all, ‘how things are appearing to be,’ is only possible through a misunderstanding of the actuality of one’s direct experience. At the highest level, the only thing that can be said to be real is that which does not change, because all that is changing is not actually changing, but completely non-existent, a pure illusion. Yet something remains. 

This.

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1 minute ago, GreenWoods said:

No self is true relative to enlightenment consciousness. No self is false relative to ego consciousness. 

@GreenWoods There are no two consciousnesses, just the one.  The ego appears in it.

4 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

My understanding is that there is no difference between the substratum and appearances. They are one. That's nonduality for me.

This is like saying there is no difference in gold and a ring.  In reality, there is no difference, the form "ring" is only gold.  However, gold is not a ring.  If that were the case, if you melted the ring, the gold would disappear.  

6 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Based on my understanding, when someone is in ego consciousness, then Brahman or God literally doesn't exist (relative to that state).

No, Brahman is what always exists, regardless if the ego appearance is present or not.  Brahman is existence or "Sat" in sanskrit.  It is absurd to say that existence doesn't exist.

8 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Suffering is not inherent to the ego.

The ego is perfectly happy if it gets everything it wants.

The ego is never perfectly happy!  Even if it get's what it wants, it become afraid of losing it, which it will, and then the cycle repeats.

9 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

In my opinion, it's not the ego's but God's 'fault' that suffering exists.

Sure, blame God lol  It's closer to the truth anyways :-)

11 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Yes, you only know the present state.

There is some truth to this, but you then you lose the ability to say that there are infinite states.  If you only know the present state, then how can you claim there are others?

12 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

That means I disagree with Advaita Vedanta then.

:-(  That's me being sad for you hahaha

13 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

In my opinion "pure" consciousness as in absolutely formless doesn't exist. There is always some form.

Even in dreamless sleep?

14 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Therefore there is no difference between formful and formless, because it's just gradiations. Or more accurately, complete formlessness doesn't exist. It's all formfullness, and it has different gradiations. And consciousness/existence is this formfulness. 

I can't completely blame you for this conclusion, if you either lack faith or experience.

14 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Existence = form = consciousness 

If existence equals form, then how do you account for space?

15 minutes ago, GreenWoods said:

Complete formlessness would be unconsciousness and nonexistence, therefore it doesn't exist.

This is like saying because you have never seen God, that God doesn't exist.  You might be correct, but your argument is not based on either evidence or sound logic.  

Anything with form is limited.  The form is literally created by its limitations.  Consciousness is unlimited, and therefore it must be formless.

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@Shambhu I think that you are lacking understanding or you lose yourself with the words. First you need to ground in reality then all the understanding comes from duality. Is not worth parroting wisdomesque concepts without the big picture.

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